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Saturday, March 22, 2014

New York-style coffee cake crumb muffins

The red velvet bundt cake I made in honor of B's visitor was a huge hit.  It made for a delicious breakfast along with some espressos today and amped us up for a walking culinary tour of the city.  I left the boys and -- since I was nearby -- stopped at my baking store.  I had had in mind that I wanted to make these amazing sounding New York-Style Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins for a while (I even bought the cake flour and rest of the ingredients the other day), so while I was at the baking store, I picked up some mini panettone baking cups, since I thought they'd make the muffins* cuter.

* Why did I say muffins and not muffins?  Because frankly I'm pretty sure they're just mini coffee crumb cakes and not actually muffins.  But that's neither here nor there.

So this recipe?  EASY.  And taste-wise?  DELISH!  Because despite bringing them to B and his visitor for breakfast tomorrow, I had to make sure they were edible.  Clearly.  So I tasted one (just one, I was good, we were going out for dinner soon thereafter) to make sure I (a) wouldn't poison them, and (b) wouldn't ruin my new-found reputation as a great baker!

New York-Style Coffee Cake Crumb Muffins


For the crumb topping:

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour

For the muffin (or as I say, mini cakes):

1 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 6 1 Tbsp pieces
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup plain yogurt) -- I used the buttermilk, since I had leftovers in my fridge


Powdered sugar

Directions (adapted from the original recipe):

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line a cupcake tin with paper cups - or if using pannettone baking cups, spray them lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour the melted butter over the mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix them.
Add the cake flour and mix until it resembles a thick pasty dough.
Set the topping aside.

Put the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a stand mixer.
Mix with the paddle attachment, on low speed.
While on low, add the butter, 1 piece at a time.
Continue beating the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs (no visible butter chunks seen), 1-2 minutes.

Measure the buttercream in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup.
Add the egg and egg yolk, and the vanilla.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry.
Mix until all of the liquid has been incorporated and the batter is light and fluffy.
(Mine was light but not fluffy, so I increased the speed for a few minutes to make it fluffy.)

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop 1/4 cup into each muffin tin or panettone cup.
Mine barely had enough for that, so maybe I didn't make it quite fluffy enough or maybe I didn't measure it quite perfectly.
Sprinkle the crumb topping generously onto each muffin top.
Don't press the topping down into the batter, just let is rest on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
(Mine were seriously underbaked at 20 minutes, plus an additional 30 seconds under the broiler.  This was despite having tested them with a toothpick to make sure they were done.  Of course by then they were already out of the oven, so once I realized that upon tasting a muffin, I stored them in the fridge overnight and then baked them again the following morning, for about another 20 minutes.  I have to say, they're super delicious warm out of the oven!!)

Let muffins cool in tins for 5 minutes.
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.....if they even last that long!!

When ready to serve, dust with some powdered sugar!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Red velvet bundt cake

When I saw a recipe for a red velvet bundt cake a while ago, I was really intrigued.  I'd never seen a red velvet bundt cake before, but more importantly, I couldn't figure out why it had never occurred to me to make one before!  And while everyone loves my red velvet cupcakes, I didn't know if that recipe would work in a bundt cake or not, so when it came to making the bundt cake, I ended up using the recipe I found.

So the recipe sat in my virtual recipe box on Pinterest for a long time.  Until today.  See, B has family visiting from out of the country, and his visitor was talking about these cool new cupcakes at home, red velvet.  B told him how I baked all the time and made me show him pictures of my baking (I showed him B's favorite, the Samoa Cupcakes, and while he was flipping through pictures, he saw the red velvet ones I had made at that same time, about a year ago, for a friend's 30th birthday).

Since we're getting together at the end of the week, I figured I'd bake something red velvet for B's visitor.  Enter the aforementioned red velvet bundt cake.  The only thing I doctored with this recipe was the icing.  I wanted to make a white chocolate-cream cheese icing, so I decreased the powdered sugar (the white chocolate has sweetness of it's own), added the white chocolate, and added just a little extra milk to thin it out and make it pourable.  (And by the way, this makes a TON of icing....I ended up using about half of it on the cake.  I'm debating what I can use the rest of it for, but I'm sure I'll come up with something else to use it for.)

Red Velvet Bundt Cake
From Bird on a Cake


For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (as I type this up, I am not 100% sure if I ended up adding the salt, but having tasted the cake already, I can say that if I left it out, it was still delicious!)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder out of laziness, and I have to say, it made it absolutely delicious!!)
1 tsp white vinegar (I used cider vinegar because thats what I had at home, and thats what my other red velvet cake called for)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring (thats 2 Tbsp.  I used 4 tsp (1 1/3 Tbsp) of gel coloring, which is richer and therefore I used a little less)

For the icing:

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar (I used just over 3)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup milk (I used closer to 1/3 cup)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
Grease a Bundt pan really well (I used Pam for baking, and I sprayed it liberally, and the cake popped right out of the pan).  
Place one cupcake liner in a cupcake tin (this will be used for the garnish). 
In a medium bowl, mix eggs with a wire whisk. 
Add oil, vinegar, vanilla, buttermilk and food coloring. 
Whisk together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. 
Add the wet ingredients and mix on medium high until combined.  
Fill cupcake liner half full with batter, then pour the rest of the batter into your Bundt pan. 
Bake the cupcake for 20-25 minutes, and bake the cake for 50-55 minutes.

Let the cake cool.

Make the icing.

Mix together the room temperature butter and cream cheese.
Add the sugar and vanilla.  I add the sugar in about 1/2 cup increments, for 2 reasons - (1) if you add it all at once, you will inevitably be wearing powdered sugar, and (2) that way you can adjust the level of sweetness.
Add the white chocolate.
Add the milk.

Pour over the cooled cake.

Crumble the cooled cupcake.
Sprinkle over the iced cake.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bailey's coffee cheesecake

Ever since I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  It was called Irish coffee cheesecake, but I read it as "Bailey's cheesecake," because besides coffee, my single most favorite ingredient in it was Bailey's.  I mean, honestly, how mouth-watering does that sound?!  It definitely helps that I think Bailey's is absolutely delicious.  And despite not being the ultimate cheesecake fan, I figured if anything could convert me to a cheesecake lover, Bailey's was definitely a great contender!  Put that on a chocolate graham cracker crust spiked with some espresso powder, coat it in a semisweet chocolate ganache (with or without some Irish whiskey....which I opted against)...well I was smitten before I even took my first bite!

Now a thing to note: while I do love Bailey's, I do not extend that love to all things alcoholic.  In fact, I'm not a huge drinker.  However, I strongly dislike whiskey.  In all actuality, I hate it, but since I like one specific type of flavored whiskey, I'm generally not a fan.  Plus, the leftover Irish whiskey I had from the car bomb cupcakes now has a new home at B's apartment, since all it would do in my apartment is gather dust.  So basically there was no way in hell I was buying more Irish whiskey for this recipe.  My strong dislike for the stuff coupled with the fact that I no longer had any in my apartment, was enough for me to decide that my version would be sans whiskey.

I wanted to top this with a little bit of homemade whipped cream and a few chocolate covered espresso beans, since I liked the way they would tie in the espresso from the crust and the semisweet chocolate in the gananche.  But since I wasn't actually serving the cheesecake at the time I was taking pictures, I left it without the whipped cream and the chocolate covered espresso beans.  However, I would recommend it for serving.

Please note: This recipe, like the hamentaschen I made earlier int he week, I set out to make as is, as in a regular sized cheesecake.  But apparently my springform pan was at my parent's house from back when I made that amazing Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  So I ended up making mini cheesecakes.  I got 5, plus I threw out a ton of crust mixture and a good amount of filling.  I ended up baking mine for 38 minutes.  I topped one with melted milk chocolate and the rest with the ganache.

Bailey's Coffee Cheesecake
Adapted from Buttercream Blondie's Irish Coffee Cheesecake


For the chocolate cookie crust:

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (I read this literally, searched high and low for chocolate graham crackers, and ended up using Teddy Grahams for it....I had thought to use chocolate wafer cookies like I did for the personal cheesecakes over a year ago, but wanting to follow the rules properly, I didn't....they might give a slightly more chocolate-y taste to the crust)
4 oz unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

For the Irish cream cheesecake:

24 ounces cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish cream

For the chocolate ganache:

4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate (I used semisweet)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (I left this out, accidentally)
If you choose to make the original recipe, the Irish Coffee Cheesecake, add 2 tsp of Jameson Irish Whiskey


Extra cream, for whipping
Some powdered sugar (or granulated sugar, whichever you prefer), to sweeten whipped cream
Chocolate covered espresso beans, for garnish.


Start by making the crust.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt the butter in the microwave.
Mix butter, graham cracker crumbs, and espresso powder.
Press into a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Once the crust has cooled, wrap the pan in plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil.
Mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until fully combined.
Add corn starch and espresso powder.
Continue to mix until fully incorporated.
Add eggs and vanilla extract.
Stir in the Bailey's.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place pan in a roasting pan, and fill it 1/4 of the way with hot water.
Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes.

When the cheesecake is done, remove it from the water bath.
Place on a cooling rack.
Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, put it in the fridge.

Lastly, make the ganache.

Bring the cream and butter to a scant boil.
Pour over shopped chocolate.
Stir to combine.
If using whiskey, stir it in.
Set aside for about 5-10 minutes, so that the ganache is not piping hot.
Pour the ganache over the cheesecake.  I wanted the ganache to run over the sides and drip down, so I spread it to the very edge and let it drip down in some places.

Make homemade whipped cream.
Pipe whipped cream onto cheesecake.
Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bailey's Irish cream cookies

My Thursday morning started out just like any other.  I got up, got ready, did a few little chores around the apartment (unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, took out the garbage).  I even made some cookie dough, which isn't unheard of given my Thursday work schedule (I start my work day later, so if I'm up at a decent hour, I have some free time in the morning).

But then it changed.  Because when you're baking with Bailey's at 9:30 a.m., it's not your average Thursday morning!

With St. Patty's Day around the corner, I figured making some festive treats would be fun (I made some Irish Soda Bread a few days ago).  Plus, I had been eyeing this recipe for a really long time!  Now I know Bailey's is not "St. Patrick's Day" festive, but it is Irish, and therefore in my book completely acceptable as a St. Patty's Day treat :)!  It doesn't hurt that I love Bailey's, too, and happened to have a bottle sitting around from when I made those Car Bomb cupcakes back in December.

As always, I copied down the ingredients and directions and off to the kitchen I went to make the dough.  Of course when I was then making the dough, I glanced over and saw 1 Tablespoon of baking powder -- which seemed like a lot.  Thinking I must've been too drowsy when I copied over the recipe, I added 1 teaspoon and went on with the recipe.  Only when I went back to confirm, it was in fact 1 Tablespoon!  So I went back and added a little more Bailey's to the already made dough to soften it a little, and then added the additional 2 teaspoons of baking powder.  Also, this dough is pretty dry at the end.  My Kitchen-Aid was really working hard to mix it all together.  So, if you're thinking that this might be a recipe you could skip the Kitchen-Aid on, and use a hand mixer instead, I strongly suggest you stick with the stand mixer/Kitchen-Aid!

I decided to leave these cookies plain and just partially dipped in chocolate.  The BIGGEST letdown?  I didn't have a shamrock cookie cutter :-(  I tried ordering one online but it was going to come after St. Patty's Day.  So instead I ended up using my non-festive circles and then using Shamrock sprinkles that I had.  Not super-festive, but at least sticking with the St. Patty's Day theme!

This cookie was posted on the original blog as a sandwich cookie.  I chose not to fill them because mine rose a bit and were puffy, and would've made a massive sandwich cookie.  For the filling - if you chose to use it - click on the link below, which will take you to the original and complete recipe.

Bailey's Irish Cream Cookies
from Buttercream Blondie


For the Bailey's Cookie Dough:

8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 cups sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking bowder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Bailey's

For the Garnish:

Dark chocolate for dipping (I used dark and milk)
Festive sprinkles


Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk.
Mix in the vanilla extract.

Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl.

Alternate adding in the dry ingredients with the Bailey's until combined.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for a few hours, up to overnight.
Roll out the dough and cut out cookies using a (shamrock) cookie cutter.
Chill cookies at least 30 minutes before baking to keep their shape.

Bake at 350 for 12-13 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
Start checking them after 10 minutes.
As soon as they get a little blonde on the edges, they're done.

Dip cookies in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

In honor of today being pi day (it's March 14, or 3.14), I figured I'd review my new pie cookbook, because frankly I don't have enough time today to bake a pie!

Honestly, pie isn't my first (or second, or third...) choice when it comes to dessert.  But upon the recommendation of my friend L, I picked up this book because she said the pies were awesome -- but more importantly they had a really great and easy pie crust.  Well, I was sold, considering I have been buying frozen pie crust for all of my pie-baking endeavors that do not require a graham cracker crust!

Enter one of the 3 new cookbooks to my ever-growing collection: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book!

Some of the recipes in the book are classic pie recipes, like Derby pie and sour cherry pie.  Some are slightly altered versions of oldies but goodies, with about 5 varieties of pies with apples in them!

Other are newer, fresher, more creative pies, like wild ginger strawberry pie (I can't wait for spring to make this one!!), nectarine blueberry pie, salted caramel apple pie (L made this one for Thanksgiving and I was drooling as she was telling me about it!), and cinnamon apricot pie with vanilla pouring cream, just to name a few.  Mmmmmm!

And get this -- there isn't one pie crust recipe, but 10 crust recipes, including an all butter crust, a chocolate all butter crust, lard & butter crust, and an animal cracker crust!!

And the pictures, oh the pictures!  The pies look heavenly, and there's even a picture of what raw freshly made pie crust is supposed to look like.  Remember that time you made a homemade pie crust and it looked like all the butter wasn't mixed in?  Well, turns out it's supposed to look like that!  According to this book, "the dough should be marbelized with streak of butter."  Who knew!   And as an added bonus, there are illustrations on how to weave a pie crust, too!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I had two "special" kinds of Hamentaschen lined up for Purim this year.  But I couldn't find a plain hamentaschen recipe.  And seeing as I've never baked hamentaschen before, I figured I should start with the good old fashioned plain ones.

So it was pure luck that I came across a blog today in which she raved about her "crisp and classic" hamentaschen.  They sounded tasty and easy, since there was no refrigeration of the dough before rolling it out.  And being that they were pareve (meaning non-dairy and non-meat containing), I didn't have to wait for any butter to warm to room temperature (which, incidentally, I did take out butter before I left for one of the "special" varieties I had thought about making).

I set out to make "regular" sized cookies.  I didn't have a big circle cookie cutter, so I tried using a small prep bowl.  That didn't work.  So I ultimately went with my small circle cookie cutter, which resulted in mini hamentaschen.  Which is pretty funny, considering that I love mini baked goods but in this particular instance didn't set out to make.  If B could see them right now, he'd totally make fun of me, since he often makes fun of me for my love of and fascination with all things mini.  It's because I told him the mini baguette he bought at Whole Foods was "so cute."

This little platter was a gift from a coworker for Purim a few years ago.
It's a baker holding a tray of hamentaschen -- perfect for a plate of them!

Now for the one downfall of this recipe.  The dough is a B*TCH to work with.  OMG.  It's so soft and sticky.  I ended up using about 3.5 cups of flour to make the dough.  And then I had to use a ton of flour on the counter (which I covered in wax paper), and then on top of it, and then once I started rolling it out and pieces of dough weren't coated with flour, I had to re-coat it.  But despite this, they were delicious and frankly, I'd suffer through all of that again!  Or maybe just add even more flour to the dough...

Crisp and Classic Hamentaschen


1/2 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil, since thats what I had)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour plus more as needed (and boy did I need it....I used about a half cup, and probably could've used a little more!)

Jam or preserves for filling (I chose raspberry, apricot, and pineapple).


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cream the oil and sugar together until fully incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Add the orange juice and vanilla.
Mix well.

Mix the baking powder, flour, and salt together and mix into the dough.
You may need more flour, so add more flour by the 1/4 cup full until it is the consistence of a cookie dough.

Flour your rolling surface (I covered my counter with wax paper, then floured that, then put the dough on top, then floured it again, and covered with another piece of wax paper before rolling it out).
Take small portions of the dough at a time and roll out the dough so that it is thick enough to hold the filling but not too thick.  
Using the top of a glass or a round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough.
Place 1/2 tsp of desired filling in the center of each circle.
Form hamentaschen -- first crimp together the top of circle to form the peak of a triangle and then lifting up the bottom of the dough and pressing it to the sides to form a triangle.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 7-10 minutes (my mini ones took 7 minutes) or until lightly golden brown.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Irish soda bread

My friend E's mom makes THE best Irish Soda Bread.  I don't know what it is that makes it so amazing, but it is seriously SO GOOD.  She sends it down to E in the city, and I always hope I'm lucky enough to get a little piece.  So with St. Patrick's Day a week away, I decided to attempt Irish Soda Bread.

One thing I should get out in the open right now: I am not Irish.  Not one bit.  So if you are Irish, and you see this recipe and think "does she seriously think that that's Irish Soda Bread?!," I will insert my disclaimer here.  I really, really, really thought that Irish Soda Bread had caraway seeds in it.  But neither of the two recipes I found included them.  So with two recipes to choose from, I went with this one.

Another thing?  I really don't like orange zest.  Yuck!  I debated keeping it out of this recipe, but threw it in last minute.  Of course I couldn't find my microplane anywhere, so I ended up chopping some orange peel and adding it in.  Also, I think I undershot the amount a little bit.  I'm OK with that.  But I just needed to come clean to you.  But you know what?  The orange zest is SO perfect in this bread.  Don't leave it out, I beg of thee, even if you're gut response to orange zest is "YUCK!!" like mine usually is.

Ina Garten's Irish Soda Bread


4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp for currants
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1.75 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten (I confess....I used a Jumbo egg, since all I had were large and Jumbo, and I didn't want to buy another dozen eggs just for one extra-large egg for this recipe)
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants (before you ask, I'm sure that raisins would be fine, too)


Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.

Combine the currants with 1 Tbsp flour.
Mix into the dough.
It will be very wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board (or use your counter, like I did).
Knead it a few times into a found loaf.
Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an "X" into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.  I recommend doing it like this, instead of doing what I did, which was cut the "X" and then attempt to move it to the baking sheet, therefore causing the loaf to look a little lopsided.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
When you tap the load, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a baking rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monster brownies

I worked late on Tuesday.  I have a the day off on Wednesday and scheduled a dentist appointment smack in the middle of the day (in Westchester).  And on top of all of that, I decided that Wednesday (well technically starting in the morning) would be the perfect time to do a 1-day juice cleanse (after I baked these brownies late Tuesday night).  The brownies spent all of Wednesday taunting me from the kitchen counter as I photographed them while drinking a slew of fruit-and-veggie only cold pressed juices.

So what do I decide to do?  Bake something extremely decadent.  Because there's nothing like deciding to do a 1-day juice cleanse to make me want to bake something extremely gluttonous...like Monster Brownies with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mini M&Ms, and chopped Oreos!!  And then bring them to the dentist's, because there's nothing better to bring to a dentist than a sugar-loaded baked treat, right?

I actually saw the recipe for Monster Brownies a while ago, and thought that they'd be great to use those leftover chips and toppings I have around the apartment.  For this batch I used leftover Oreos from the Oreo pops I made for my friend's bar's 2nd birthday.  Leftover peanut butter chips from the cookies I made for the baby shower in January.  And some leftover chocolate chips from those other brownies I made last month.  And then I added some extra mini M&Ms that I had bought for another cookie but still hadn't ever gotten around to making...

Monster Brownies
From Bake or Break


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups total of your favorite add-ins (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, M&Ms, nuts, pretzels, crushed cookies, coconut, chopped candy bar, etc.) -- I ended up using 1/2 cup each of mini M&Ms, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips.  Instead of measuring out the chopped Oreos, I just cut 7 double stuffed Oreos roughly into 9 pieces.


Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease a 9 x 13" pan.  I used a spray.
Line the pan with parchment or aluminum foil, leaving about a 2" hangover on both short ends.  I also did another piece of parchment paper perpendicular to that one.
Grease the lining.  Again, I used a spray.

Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave in 30 second intervals until butter has melted and chocolate melts when stirred.
Stir until smooth.
Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together floud, baking powder, and salt.
Set aside.

Beat sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
Add the chocolate-butter mixture, mixing until combined.
Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
Stir in add-ins.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evently.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until set and a pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
Using the overhanging liner, lift brownies out of the pan.
Cool completely before cutting into bars (really follow the directions -- let them cool completely).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Woodrow's turns 2!

My friend's bar, Woodrow's, turned two yesterday!!  Not to brag or anything, but I was there for the soft open, opening night, the first birthday, and again the second birthday parties.  And countless other nights, too, but that's another story...

For the first birthday, E and I baked a cake at the bar and decorated it with golden details and a giant "W."  This year, sticking with the golden theme, I made 4 dozen Oreo pops for the occasion.  I decorated them with gold sugar, gold dragees, a few "2"s, and some I just sprayed gold.  I have to say, I had a lot of fun making them, and I couldn't think of a happier even to make them for!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Woodrow's!!  Here's to many, many, many more!!

Want to know how to make Oreo pops?  Check out the details here.