I helped make 100 cake pops for a wedding this past weekend. It was a project for food stylist Karla Spies, she brought all the ingredients and supplies into the studio so we could record the assembly of making cake pops. She brought several decorating options and they turned out delicious.
Make vanilla cake from box mix cake.
Make homemade buttercream frosting.
Crumble cake into buttercream frosting.
Mix cake and frosting till they roll into nice balls.
The list of benefits to drinking Matcha is enough to keep me motivated. The after noon slump comes around 3pm for me, that becomes Matcha Time it keeps you energized yet calm.
Matcha comes from green tea, but since it’s made from the entire leaf, it packs in a more concentrated amount of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. One cup of matcha equals 10 cups of green tea.
Studies have revealed a variety of health benefits associated with matcha and its components, ranging from enhancing weight loss to decreasing the risk of heart disease.
1½cups (200 g) all-purpose flour (spooning into measuring cups, then leveling)
1¼tsp. (4 g) Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. (4 g) Morton kosher salt
¾tsp. (4 g) baking soda
¾cup (1½ sticks; 169 g) unsalted butter, divided
1cup (200 g) (packed) dark brown sugar
¼cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2tsp. vanilla extract
6oz. (170 g) bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
Cook ½ cup (1 stick; 113 g) butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling often and scraping bottom of pan with a heatproof rubber spatula, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes. Transfer butter to a large heatproof bowl and let cool 1 minute. Cut remaining ¼ cup (½ stick; 56 g) butter into small pieces and add to brown butter (it should start to melt but not foam and sizzle, so test with one piece before adding the rest).
Once butter is melted, add both sugars and whisk, breaking up any clumps, until sugar is incorporated and no lumps remain. Add egg and egg yolks and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Whisk in vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold reserved dry ingredients into butter mixture just until no dry spots remain, then fold in chocolate (the dough will be soft but should hold its shape once scooped; if it slumps or oozes after being scooped, stir dough back together several times and let rest 5–10 minutes until scoops hold their shape as the flour hydrates).
Using a 1½-oz. scoop (3 Tbsp.), portion out 16 balls of dough and divide between 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake cookies, rotating sheets if cookies are browning very unevenly (otherwise, just leave them alone), until deep golden brown and firm around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Making some Limoncello, I discovered the love of Limoncello while in Italy.
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, it is made from the zest of lemons and is steeped in vodka until the oils are released. It is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digestivo.
How to make Limoncello:
12 organic lemons
1000 ml Everclear or 100 proof vodka
1 1/2 cup sugar, made into simple syrup
Peel or zest the lemons, taking care to just zest the outermost yellow peel and none of the white pith inside. If necessary, carefully cut off any residual pith with a small pairing knife.
2. Place lemons in a large glass mason jar or other glass container than can be sealed airtight. Cover with everclear or vodka. Secure lid and place in a cool, dark location for at least 1 week and up to 4 weeks.
3. When liquor is yellow in color and peel begins to turn white and easily snaps in two pieces when bent, limoncello is done. The longer it steeps the stronger the lemon flavor will be.
4. Strain limoncello into a clean class jar, discarding lemon peels. If desired, strain the lemon liquor again through a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter. This will remove even more residual solids and result in a smoother final product.
5. Combine sugar and 3 cups filtered or bottled water in a saucepan set over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, then pour into jar with lemon liquor. Secure lid and return to your cool, dark location to mellow, at least 2 weeks or more. The longer you let it mellow, the better your final limoncello will be.
6. Once limoncello has mellowed, Chill in the freezer for at least 24 hours before serving. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a year
These nuts make a nice gift during the holidays. These nuts have a nice sweet and salty with a touch of heat to make them memorable. They have sweet maple syrup combined with a kick of cayenne pepper, then there’s fresh rosemary and flaky sea salt added to the mix. That whole sweet-salty-spicy thing gets me every time, and the rosemary makes this festive for the holidays as well as all winter long. These Spicy Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts have got it all.
I’m staying with the chocolate rum theme. These rum balls are inspired by some cake balls I had at a birthday party they were so addicting I wanted to keep eating them. I went home and started looking up recipes and found this version of cake balls, but with brownies and rum. Sign me up. I found that a cake like brownie mix soaks up the rum better and use about 1/2 cup of rum, a nice dark spiced rum. The added sprinkle of salt on top adds a nice contrast to the chocolate and hides where my toothpick was used during dipping. Use a microwave or a chocolate melter to melt the chocolate chips for dipping the brownie balls. I use almost a whole bag of chocolate chips for one batch of dough balls and I add like a teaspoon of coconut oil to the chocolate to thin it out just a touch.
November is always a big birthday month. Let’s bake a birthday cake, I usually go for my favorite chocolate. I wanted to make a chocolate rum cake this year. My friend dug up an old recipe she saved from the newspaper, it was titled Janice’s whiskey cake from the food section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 27th 1996.
It looked like a classic, the recipe called for white cake mix and whiskey, I substituted chocolate cake mix and dark rum. It worked great, the instant pudding made it nice and moist. But still not enough chocolate for me, any excuse to top it with some chocolate ganache. I also made the ganache with a tablespoon of the dark rum. After melting the cream and chocolate I placed it in the refrigerator over night and then whipped it up the next day and spread it on top of the cake as frosting. The birthday guests really enjoyed this cake, it will make a repeat appearance.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
Combine flour, sugar, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk egg, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil in another bowl until smooth; pour into chocolate mixture and stir until batter is just blended. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Find yourself some nice chunky chocolate chips and try out this super moist muffin recipe.