Coffee and Donuts Cake

20130702-141232.jpg My Pastor just had a birthday! I never caught how old he was turning, but maybe he likes it that way:) Everybody knows that he’s a regular at starbucks, and that he loves his donuts. So naturally, when I remembered this cake from Sprinkle Bakes, I knew that it would be perfect for him!

20130702-142235.jpg this cake has three layers of moist, dark chocolate cake, covered in a fluffy coffee buttercream that tastes like homemade coffee ice cream, and it is filled with homemade pastry cream. With chocolate covered donuts pressed into the sides, can you say yum?! My pastor said that it was ‘coffeelicious’…
If you know someone who loves coffee and donuts (who doesn’t?!), you need make this for them!!

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Adapted From Sprinkle Bakes

Cake Layers

3 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups (21oz) granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups (7.5oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (4.5oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300F. Grease three 9″ round pans with butter. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease the paper.

Combine semisweet chocolate with coffee. Let mixture sit, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

In large bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In separate large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs on medium speed until thickened and pale (about 3 minutes). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Divide batter evenly between pans and bake in middle of oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on wire racks. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Remove paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Pastry Cream

2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup (3.5oz) sugar
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In medium saucepan, heat half-and-half, 6 tbsp of the sugar and salt over medium heat until simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in remaining sugar until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cornstarch until pale and creamy, about 20 seconds.

When half-and-half mixture comes to a full simmer, pour 1 cup into egg mixture and whisk vigorously to temper. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining half-and-half mixture and whisk to combine.

Heat over medium heat until a few bubbles break the surface and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s thick and glossy; about 30 seconds.

Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla.

Strain pastry cream through fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto surface of cream. Refrigerate for about three hours or until cold and set.

Coffee Frosting

3 sticks plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (12oz) sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

In small bowl, heat cream and espresso powder until hot; stir to dissolve powder and let cool.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will be pale and creamy.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light.

Donuts

6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
3 dozen plain mini donuts

Combine first three ingredients in small saucepan over low heat; stir until mixture is melted, remove from heat. Dip top of donuts in glaze, move to wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with pearl non-pareils or white sprinkles.

Assembly

Place first cake layer on serving platter or cake turntable, anchoring it with a bit of buttercream. Top with half of pastry cream, spreading almost to edges but leaving a bit of room. Top with second cake later. Spread with remaining pastry cream and top with third cake layer. Brush crumbs from cake; frost with coffee frosting, using an offset spatula. Press donuts onto side of cake. Save one donut for top; attach a toothpick to the donut and press onto middle of cake top. Garnish with espresso powder and pearl non-pareils or white sprinkles.

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Flourless Coconut Fudge Cookies (GF)

20130127-165519.jpgWell, it’s been a long time guys. All I can say is that life happens. School is in full blast, I am no longer allowed to eat any gluten, and soon no dairy. Yup. But in the meantime, here are some cookies that will knock your socks off (guaranteed), and meet everyone’s gluten free needs! And now to have delicious, super fudgy, gluten free cookies, you probably don’t even need to run to the store. All basic ingredients for one fabulous cookie.

20130127-170143.jpgNow that’s not to say that I’d make these just because they’re gluten free and convenient and incredibly easy. I make these because they are fudgy. They are full of dark chocolate. Not to mention the chocolate chips and the toasted coconut. They are truly a winner. But lets talk fudge for a minute. I love fudgy things. Not goopy, undercooked, cakey, gooey, or any other abominations trying to pass for my favorite texture. But these, my friends, have the perfect, fudgy consistency. Perfect. They are also great after algebra, another reason to get in the kitchen!

Note: you can leave out the coconut and the chocolate chips, just use one less egg white.

Flourless Coconut Fudge Cookies (GF)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup (3 oz) dark cocoa powder
4 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray.

Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Dough should be like thick batter.

Drop dough by a tablespoon or a medium cookie scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly.

Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through baking time.
They should have shiny, crackly tops.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on baking sheet.

Yield: 16 cookies.

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

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Today I am not only writing about a very special recipe, but am entering this recipe in the Creative Holiday Recipe Contest by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups! Have you ever thought of putting a candy cane in a cookie? I have. The thing is though, is that they melt all over the place. But, encasing it with cookie dough encloses the candy cane, so that when it cools, its crunchy and whole again. And that’s what I did with these cookies.

20121212-151018.jpg To make the ultimate candy cane cookie, first I covered the candy cane in dark chocolate. Then, I covered that in shortbread dough and baked it. Then, I covered that in white chocolate, and finally drizzled it with more dark chocolate and sprinkled some candy cane pieces on top. All of this resulted in a wonderful combination of textures, tastes, and one festive looking cookie.

20121212-151502.jpg The candy cane is crunchy, minty, with the dark chocolate adding depth and richness. Then, there’s some not-too-sweet shortbread, with it’s irresistible slightly crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture. The addition of white chocolate balances out the dark chocolate and shortbread, adding just the right amount of sweetness along with the candy cane. You absolutely can’t miss out on this one!! Plus, it’s my own recipe…now you have to make it, right? 😉

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

11 candy canes, + 1, crushed for garnish
3 oz unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
5 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
12 oz white chocolate or vanilla candy coating, melted
1 oz unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Coat candy canes with dark chocolate, place in freezer. Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in mixer just until combined. Combine flour and salt; stir into butter mixture just until combined. Divide dough into 11 equal pieces. Remove one candy cane from freezer (to keep chocolate from melting), cover with shortbread dough portion. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of candy canes; bake for 16-20 min. until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool. Spread cookies with white chocolate to cover surface. Pour unsweetened chocolate into zip-top back, snip small hole out of corner. Drizzle on top of cookies, sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let chocolate set.

Yield: 11 cookies

Chocolate Almond Fudge Cookies

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Soooo, I have a little story to tell. The day that I made these cookies, I was planning to bring them somewhere and make a lot of people very happy. But, right before I put them into the oven, I find out that the oven won’t turn on. Nothing. So I despair, and go to my event empty handed. The next morning, whatcha know! The oven turns on! I was advised to take advantage of it while it was still working, so I baked me some cookies. First thing in the morning… best. morning. ever!

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I usually don’t like nuts in my cookies or brownies, but the slices of almonds weren’t too crunchy or disrupting, but they added a pleasant balance of textures. I was a little skeptic
about adding cinnamon to the nuts as they were toasting, but I stuck with it. Surprisingly, it was one of my favorite parts! The cinnamon, slight as the addition was, enhanced the flavor of the almonds, and added a wonderful warm toastiness.

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When I say chocolate almond fudge cookies, I mean it! The texture of the cookies, when first bitten into, is slightly crisp and crackly on the outside, and then…the fudginess. Soft but slightly chewy, with melty bits if chocolate and toasted almonds. The taste is amazing, to say the least. The warm, rich chocolate, the toasted almonds, with almond flavor throughout thanks to a few drops of almond extract. I suggest that you make these cookies as soon as possible, and enjoy them while they last!!

Chocolate Almond Fudge Cookies

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup (5.25 oz) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5.25 oz) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 cups (10 oz) flour
1/2 cup (1.5 oz) cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee powder, optional
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup (2 oz) sliced almonds
1 cup (6 oz) chocolate chips

Combine almonds and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and toast over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.

In bowl of mixer, cream butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 min). Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and stir to combine. Add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and almonds. Refrigerate dough for 2-4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Roll dough into 2 tbsp sized balls and set on prepared baking sheet.

Bake on middle oven rack for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through baking time, let sit on sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack; cool completely.

Yield: 24 cookies

Oreo Crunch Bars

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My apologies for this NOT fall themed recipe, but you’ll thank me later. After making triple oreo cookies, I spotted this recipe on How Sweet It Is, and I knew my obsession with Oreo baked goods was not over yet. In fact, when I saw her photos, I almost DIED. Seriously…Yum.
Brownies. With whole Oreos. Chocolate chips. Crushed Oreos. Peanut butter and chocolate poured on top. Yes…you heard that right. And the texture…oh goodness.20121006-235657.jpg The texture of these bars–chewy brownie, crunchy Oreos, smooth, melty peanut butter and chocolate…all of that paired with the flavors; chocolate brownie, sweet Oreos, nutty peanut butter and rich chocolate make for one insanely addicting bar! And they are oh-so fun to make! These bars would be perfect to make for a sunday football party to munch on, a fun project to do with the kids, or just because they are SO. GOOD.

20121009-203552.jpgAny reason you can conjure up, or even if you have none at all, you should definitely make these bars…people will love you like 10x more. Just kidding! Maybe.

Oreo Crunch Bars

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
20 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9″ square baking dish with parchment paper (or grease with butter).

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time; add vanilla. Add in cocoa powder and mix until combined. Add flour and salt, mixing well until batter is smooth and comes together. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Spread into prepared baking dish. Place 9 Oreo cookies on top and press down slightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, crush remaining Oreos in plastic bag. Remove brownies from the oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips and crushed Oreos. Place in oven for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter in bowl on HIGH, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Remove brownies from oven and pour melted chocolate mixture over top, spreading to cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Let brownies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 pieces.

Yield: 16 bars

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

20120829-164140.jpgThe flavors chocolate and raspberry were meant to be together; sweet, tart raspberries with rich, dark chocolate. They’re one of those combinations where the result is better than the sum of its parts. So to combine them in a moist, chocolate cupcake, filled with raspberry preserves, and topped with melt-in-your-mouth rich chocolate frosting, you’ve reached absolute cupcake perfection. The cupcake is made similarly to a brownie; melted butter and chocolate are stirred into the dry ingredients until just combined, with sour cream for moistness.

20120829-202234.jpgThey are baked, cooled, and the centers are removed and eaten filled with preserves, then the frosting. THE FROSTING. The frosting starts out by whipping butter for five minutes, until fluffy, where actual melted chocolate is added along with confectioners’ sugar. They are topped with a generous amount of frosting in the form of a gorgeous swirl.
Add sprinkles and…perfection! If love were a cupcake…

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Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Cooks illustrated

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1.5 ounces) dark cocoa powder
¾ cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream
Raspberry preserves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.

2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.

4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.

5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

7. Scoop out centers using a teaspoon or a teaspoon sized scoop; fill with preserves.

You can find the frosting recipe here: Chocolate Buttercream

Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles or as desired.

Yield: 12

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Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

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Have you ever come home, completely exhausted, and needed something sugary and delicious? That was the story of my life last weekend. Luckily for me, I live in a household of bakers! A shortage of sweet treats is not a common occurrence at my house. So was the case last weekend; my sister K made some cookies when I needed them the most. Now K didn’t make any ordinary cookies like chocolate chip or raisin…she made soft,
crunchy-on-the-outside, rich chocolate cookies, stuffed (!!) with a peanut butter filling not unlike the inside of a peanut butter cup.

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Imagine making these cookies for a loved one and watching their face light up as they discover the creamy center inside an already incredibly decadent chocolate cookie (unless they have nut allergies, in which case there’s more for you how sad for them). These would be a fun project to make with kids or anyone you wish to gain instant admiration from!! Enjoy.

Magic in the Middles

King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

Ingredients

Chocolate dough:

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder or dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Peanut butter filling:

3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.

5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.

7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough and make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.

8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center.

9. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.

11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.

12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they’re set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.