Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Turtle Brownies

Chocolate and caramel and pecans....oh my!  I like to call these my "pimped out" brownies.  Sure, chocolate brownies are yummy but why not add some caramel and pecans to push them over the top?  

I am having a "day" (a pretty rough day) and I need some chocolate...badly!  We are talking about one of those "stay in your jammies all day, lying on the couch eating cheese puffs" kind of days.  

Please don't tell anyone, most people think I'm pretty happy go lucky all the time and I hate to break the illusion (I basically hide my bad moods behind chocolate, red wine, and mashed potatoes).  I once had a grumpy woman accuse me of having butterflies flying out of my butt!  I'm not sure what that means....but I think it means I try to find the positive in life!  

So today I am going to try and focus on these beauties that I have created!  They are pretty darn yummy and not too hard on the eyes!  They are also super easy!  One might even say they are cheater brownies (yes...I used a box....I try not to do it often....but I'm human....and it was a super yummy, good brand).

This does not mean that you need to use a can use your favorite recipe....or my favorite recipe from my blog!  My Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownies would be perfect for this recipe.  You could omit the espresso if you feel it would be too much (I do it all the time when I want to create a new brownie creation).

Basically I'm telling you.....make these brownies and maybe some mashed potatoes, open a bottle of wine and put in season one (through 10) of the "Friends" series, and wash your bad day away!!!!  That's what this crazy girl is gonna do!  :)

Chocolate Turtle Brownies

For the brownies:
1 box brownie mix (or your favorite brownie recipe)

Follow instructions on box to make the brownies.  Can pour the batter into a greased 9x9 inch pan or use your greased mini muffin tins, as I have done, to make little brownie turtle bites!  (actually I used my Demarle mini muffin tray that I got from my good friend Kim.....check out her page to order this fabulous non-stick tray....super cool).

Bake as per the instructions on box or until toothpick inserted into brownies comes out almost clean (I like mine a little fudgy).

For the turtle topping:
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces, chopped
Sprinkle over cooled brownies

1/2 bag of caramels, wrappers removed
4 tablespoons cream
Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted.  Drizzle over top of brownies and pecans.

1/2 cup chocolate chip pieces or a really good dark chocolate bar, chopped (depending on your mood)
2 tablespoons cream
Microwave together for 30 seconds, stir and give it another 15-30 seconds if not completely melted.  Drizzle over the brownies.

Allow the chocolate to set....and....ENJOY!!!

(see....I told you it was easy)  :)    :)    :)

Recipe Shared On:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cinnamon Toffee Scones

Have you ever heard people say "no thanks, I don't like scones"?  This is what I heard from about a dozen people last week when I made these scones.  To which I would answer "ok, but they have toffee in them".  Of course, this was also followed by them taking a scone and then practically yelling "OH.MY.GOD"....."BEST SCONE EVER"!  Nobody took just one either...they were fighting over them and eating 2 or 3 each.  No joke...BEST SCONE EVER!

Seriously people.  I know that scones have a reputation for being dry, hard, hockey pucks that resemble biscuits; but, would I really do that to you?  NO!  I only make scones that are full of flavor and moisture and yummy goodness (yes...and butter, but that's beside the point)!

These scones are so easy to make (unless you don't have a food processor, then you have to do it by hand) and they are full of the best stuff....cinnamon and toffee bits!  Really, you can't go wrong with toffee!  I added the toffee bars with chocolate, chopped into little bits but you can use the packaged pre-chopped up toffee bits.

I will admit they are just as easily dessert as they are a breakfast food.  So I have made these scones three times now and every time I get the same reaction from people...."BEST SCONE EVER" and "CAN I HAVE ANOTHER ONE....PLEEEEAAASE"!  I guess this means you will have to try to make them. I dare you to try them and not LOVE them....not gonna happen!

Cinnamon Toffee Scones recipe adapted from Once Upon A Cutting Board


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup toffee bits


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly sprinkle flour over surface.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the large bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse several times until coarse crumbs form.
Add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract and pulse a few times until mixed in. Add toffee bits and continue to pulse until dough starts to come together to form a ball.

Transfer dough to the floured parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pat dough into a square that’s roughly 7 by 7 inches. Cut into 9 squares, then cut each square diagonally in half to make 18 triangles.

Spread scones out about 1 inch apart and place baking sheet in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until scones are golden. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before eating. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe shared on:
Chocolate, Chocolate, and More - Thursday's Treasures
21st Century Housewife - Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Food Frenzy
Adorned From Above Blog Hop

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lemon Meringue Muffins - Guest Post From On Sugar Mountain

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am today!  Today is a day of firsts and I have my very first guest blogger on Baker Becky today!!!!  :)  Jess, from On Sugar Mountain, will be sharing one of her fabulous recipes for muffins (I have such muffin envy when I read her blog, she makes the BEST muffins ever).

I met Jess and started following her blog a little over a year ago. She was one of the first blogs I followed after I started my blog and we have become great blogger friends (with me drooling over all of her delicous recipes)!  She is super creative and adds all of these fun ingredients to a plain baked good to make something spectacular and delicious! I know you will love her and her blog as much as I do!

Hello friends!

My name is Jess and I am the blogger behind On Sugar Mountain. Baking is my stress-reliever, and for as long as I have been blogging, I remember having Becky as a supporter, fan, and most importantly, a friend in the blogging world. Through all my ups and downs, she has been rooting for me, and trust me...

There were a lot of downs to accompany the ups. I may only be 22 but I'm quite the pro at spiraling when it comes to the age old question:


Ahem. We won't go there in this post heehee. Becky encounters these mini-spirals often on my blog and continues to be the best of friends and keeps me going. Plus, how can anyone stay bummed when looking (and dreaming about) those cupcakes of hers? Did you these heavenly strawberry surprise cupcakes?? She was even sweet enough to guest post those beauties for me last week during the last spring break of my life (WHAT?!) and so I am so so SO excited to be posting here with what I consider my specialty: muffins.

But not just any muffins.

I've said it before and I'll say it here: cupcakes can hate. They've got nothin' on my muffins.

Teehee. We won't get into how long it took me to come up with that little slogan. Let's just pretend it came to me right this second in a burst of creativity and passionate love for muffiny goodness.

Also: to be clear I do love cupcakes. I love Becky's cupcakes especially. But muffins are just so simple, and have the potential to be decadent, delicious, and downright ahmazing.

Case and Point: Lemon Meringue Muffins

A little homemade lemon curd goes a lonnnnnnng way in taking these muffins from good to oh-my-god-where-have-muffins-been-all-my-life?!

Please don't fear the homemade lemon curd. I promise you, this recipe is absolutely out-of-this-world and super simple. I still have an extra jar in my fridge for...umm...

eating with a spoon?

Yes. Let's go with that. This stuff is Spring in delicious edible form.

Oh and are you looking for an exciting Easter dessert that will be sure to shock and awe?

These Lemon Meringue Muffins aim to please: a light and fluffy vanilla muffin, with a hint of fresh lemon zest, cored out and stuffed with homemade lemon curd, then topped with a creamy drizzle. The fluffiness stems from egg whites beaten to stiff peaks, then folded into the muffin batter right before sending them on their merry way into the oven.

So there you have it friends: muffins are no longer ugly cupcakes. Instead, I think they may be giving cupcakes a run for their money. Does Muffin Wars sound awesome to you too? Or just me?
Don't answer that heehee. Just eat these muffins!

Happy Baking!


Lemon Meringue Muffins

  •   2 cups flour
  •   1/2 cup sugar
  •   1 tbsp lemon zest
  •   1 tbsp baking powder
  •  1 tsp salt
  •   1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •   1 cup milk
  •   2 egg whites
  •    Homemade Lemon Curd (here's the recipe I used)

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease one 12-cup muffin pan with butter/cooking spray.
2.      In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil and milk.
3.      In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks, about 5-7 minutes.
4.      Pour milk mixture over dry ingredient mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. If a few streak of flour show, that's okay.
5.      Gently fold egg whites into muffin mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
6.      Fill muffin cups 2/3 way full with the muffin batter. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely.
7.      Make small cavity in muffin by cutting a circle out of the center of the muffin. Make the hole big enough to fill with lemon curd. Spoon lemon curd into each of the cavities.
8.      Drizzle with cream glaze, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Drizzle:

  •   1 to 2 tbsp heavy cream
  •   1 cup powdered sugar

1.      Whisk together cream and powdered sugar until thick glaze forms. Add more heavy cream if mixture is too thick, or more powdered sugar if mixture is too thin.
Pour into ziploc bag and snip off small corner to drizzle over muffins.