Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake


If you need an easy to make, but super impressive to look at, and super delicious to eat, cake for an upcoming occasion, look no further.

This cake will wow your guests (or your family!) with its beauty and its flavor and moistness, and it starts with a box mix for convenience. Instead of frosting it, you drizzle on white chocolate and salted caramel, and oh my, decadence defined.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt,


eggs, oil, and cooled coffee.


Beat on low for 1 minute and then beat 2 minutes on medium. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan.


Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan.


Invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool completely. In a microwave safe bowl, place the white chips and shortening. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir until creamy. Drizzle over the top of the cake.


Drizzle the salted caramel over the chocolate.


Oh, yeah, baby.


One year ago: Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheese Spread
Two years ago: Oven Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches
Three years ago: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Four years ago: Shrimp Nachos

Find more great ideas at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Food Frenzy.

Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cake

1 chocolate cake mix
1 instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon shortening
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, eggs, oil, and cooled coffee. Beat on low for 1 minute and then beat 2 minutes on medium. Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, place the white chips and shortening. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir until creamy. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Drizzle the salted caramel over the chocolate.

Serves 14.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Inside Bru Crew Life

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cherry Almond Coconut Layer Bars


These bars are reminiscent of the classic "magic" bars but these feature dried cherries and almonds - one of my favorite combinations. These disappeared quickly in the break room at my office, and I probably ate most of them, truth be told.

These are easy to throw together, taste delicious, and look impressive.

Start by making the shortbread crust. In a food processor, pulse together butter, powdered sugar,


flour and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats


and pulse until just combined. Press dough evenly onto bottom of parchment paper-lined 9x13 baking dish


and bake about 20 minutes.

Scatter chocolate chips,


almonds and cherries on top of crust.


Drizzle with the sweetened condensed milk


and top with coconut.


Bake until coconut is golden, about 20 minutes.


Let cool completely in dish on a wire rack before cutting.


Shortbread, chocolate, cherries, almonds, coconut. Oh yes.


One year ago: Asian Chicken Soup
Two years ago: Pear Custard Bars
Three years ago: Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes
Four years ago: M&M Cookies

Find more inspiration at Mouthwatering Mondays, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff.

Cherry Almond Coconut Layer Bars

3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups shredded coconut

In a food processor, pulse together butter, powdered sugar, flour and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oats and pulse until just combined. Press dough evenly onto bottom of parchment paper-lined 9x13 baking dish and bake at 375 until lightly browned and firm, about 20 minutes.

Scatter chocolate chips, almonds and cherries on top of crust. Drizzle with milk and top with coconut. Bake until coconut is golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in dish on wire rack before cutting. Store at room temperature up to 3 days.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Banana Fritters


I love, love, love baking and cooking with bananas. I tend to have plenty of them (both bananas AND recipes that use them) around, as a quick search for "banana" on this blog would reveal... (in my opinion, there are never too many varieties of banana bread!)

When I saw this recipe, I knew I would want to try it. I managed to eat these for dinner one night, but they would also make a delicious dessert (and would be a more healthy option if these, covered in syrup, were the final ending to a salad dinner!).

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and blend in the eggs.


Stir in the flour.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drop spoonfuls (2 to 3 inches in diameter) of the batter into the hot oil.


Reduce the heat to medium. When bubbles begin to appear, turn and cook the other side until golden brown.


Repeat the process until all the batter is used up, keeping the cooked fritters in a warm oven. Serve them with maple syrup or honey.

One year ago: Cranberry Orange Cream Scones
Two years ago: Stromboli
Three years ago: Sausage Pumpkin Pasta
Four years ago: Baba Ghanoush

For more inspiration, check out Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Banana Fritters

6 ripe bananas
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and blend in the eggs. Stir in the flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drop spoonfuls (2 to 3 inches in diameter) of the batter into the hot oil. Reduce the heat to medium. When bubbles begin to appear, turn and cook the other side until golden brown. Repeat the process until all the batter is used up, keeping the cooked fritters in a warm oven. Serve them with maple syrup or honey.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cinnamon Toffee Rice Krispie Bars


Rice Krispie Bars are so much fun! They are easy to whip up, loved by kids and adults alike, and can be embellished with any number of yummy things to take them over the top. After being assigned to Mommy's Menu for this month's Secret Recipe Club, it didn't take me long to realize that this recipe would be a winner.

And if you have little helpers in the kitchen, this is a perfect recipe to make with them. I was lucky enough in this case to have an assistant.


"I love cooking with Elena Blthe!"

Just like "regular" krispie bars, start by melting the butter over medium low heat. Then add one of the "embellishments" - cinnamon.


Add the marshmallows and continue to cook and stir


until the marshmallows are melted and smooth. Pour the cereal into a large bowl and stir in the toffee chips.


Pour in the melted marshmallows and stir well until all the cereal is coated. With lightly greased hands, pat the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.


For the topping, combine the chocolate chips and the shortening in a small bowl


and heat on 50% power in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each heating, until the chips are melted and can be stirred smoothly. Drizzle over the bars.


Refrigerate the bars for an hour or so to set the topping.


One year ago: Bacon and Egg Pie
Two years ago: Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Three years ago: Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
Four years ago: Mocha Cheesecake Bars

Find more great stuff at Mouthwatering Mondays, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff.

Cinnamon Toffee Rice Krispie Bars

1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 (10 oz.) package mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup toffee chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. shortening

In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cinnamon and cook and stir until fragrant. Stir in the marshmallows and allow to melt.

Stir in the cereal and toffee chips and mix well. Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips and shortening 30 seconds at a time until smooth. Drizzle over the bars. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.






Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pizza


I love to have many varieties of pizza in my repertoire. And brussels sprouts and bacon is one of my favorite combos, so I knew that this would be great on a pizza. This pizza is on a traditional marinara or red sauce, but I think it would also be fabulous on a garlic white sauce. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

In the recipe below, I've linked to my favorite pizza crust recipe. It uses a food processor. If you prefer to use your bread machine, this is a great option. Use whatever crust recipe you like best, but if it's been chilled or frozen, be sure it comes to room temperature before you work with it.

Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat the oven to 500.

For the topping, start by cooking the bacon. I always like to cut it into pieces before I cook it, so it cooks more quickly and evenly.


Drain off all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease, then add the brussels sprouts (I used my food processor to make quick work of shredding the sprouts!),


garlic,


and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until the sprouts are softened.


Stretch out your pizza dough and place it on a large piece of parchment. I like to place the parchment on an inverted baking sheet for stability and to help transfer it to the pizza stone later. Top with the pizza sauce,


then the mozzarella and the brussels sprouts mixture.


Finally, top with the Parmesan.


Transfer the parchment to the pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.


Let rest for a couple minutes before cutting and serving, and enjoying!



One year ago: Banana Waffles
Two years ago: Caramel Chocolate Pumpkin Blondies
Three years ago: Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
Four years ago: Pasta with Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pizza

1 pound homemade or prepared pizza dough (I use this recipe)
4-5 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced thin (or shredded in a food processor)
1/2 - 3/4 cup marinara or pizza sauce
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Place a pizza stone in the oven and heat the oven to 500.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon pieces until lightly browned. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic and brussels sprouts. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until brussels sprouts soften. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

With lightly greased hands, stretch out the pizza dough to a 10-12 inch round. Lay the stretched out dough on a piece of parchment paper. (I place the parchment over an inverted 1/2 sheet cake pan.)

Spread the sauce on the dough. Top with the mozzarella, then the brussels sprouts/bacon mixture, then top with parmesan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. Serves 4 as main course.

Recipe Source: Adapted from White on Rice Couple

Monday, January 13, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bars


I love finding a recipe and then adapting it to make it a little healthier. I did just that with these delicious bars - replacing some of the fat with applesauce and amping up the banana quotient. Chocolate and bananas are a great combination.

When I served these to my nephew, he turned up his nose cause he "doesn't like bananas anymore." However, after just one bite he changed his mind: "Elena Blthe, I love these, because they taste like chocolate!" So here's a little snack cake for all you chocolate lovers, made even better by banana. All the little monkeys in your life will love these bars.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa,


baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add mashed bananas, applesauce


and vanilla


and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.


Transfer batter to a lightly greased 8×8 baking pan.


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out semi-clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.


One year ago: Island Chicken
Two years ago: Northwoods Bean Soup
Three years ago: Carrot Bran Muffins
Four years ago: Baked Oatmeal

For more ideas, visit Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff.

Double Chocolate Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 medium bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, crisco, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add mashed banana and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press batter into a lightly greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out semi-clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 12 bars.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Becky Bakes
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