CONFESSIONS OF A BAKE-AHOLIC ~ Baking is my guilty pleasure. When life gets crazy, as it often does, I hit the Internet, or the family recipe book in search of a dessert I can put a fun new twist on. It soothes the soul when the outdoors aren’t readily available. If you haven’t already, give it a try. By the way, I am not a professional baker, so all of these recipes are easy and relatively painless, even for the beginner. Happy Baking!
GERMAN CHOCOLATE JOY
The perfect holiday cake! That’s the only way to describe this one. It blends the rich, warm taste of German chocolate with the sweet, bold flavors of coconut and pecan. If you love Almond Joy candy bars, you’re sure to love this one. German Chocolate cake was my husband’s favorite, until I made this. Now, it’s all about the German Chocolate Joy!
German Chocolate Cake Mix with pudding
1/2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 1/4 cup water
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter (room temperature)
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bake cake per instructions on the box. It’s finished when you can stick a knife or toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean. Let cool for about five minutes in the cake pan, then remove and place on a cooling rack.
Frosting~ place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low until combined. If either are still a little cold, speed up your mixer to medium. When combined evenly, stop the mixer and add a cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Blend on low for about a minute. Continue adding the confectioners’ sugar until it’s all blended in.
Add the vanilla extract and increase the mixer speed to medium/high and blend until the frosting is fluffy. Fold in the coconut and the pecans.
When the cake has cooled, frost the top of the cake you leveled. Then, place the round top cake on top. Next frost the tops of the cake and use what is left to frost the side. Now, I placed a moose figurine on top because it was my husband’s birthday, but this cake is pretty enough when finished to stand alone.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER EXPLOSION CAKE POPS
These are a perfect Fall treat and sure to be a big hit with family and friends. It seems like a lot of work, but I guarantee it goes fast and you’ll have a ton of fun. This is by far one of my new favorite treats! One bite and your mouth will be dreaming of the rich flavor explosion all day.
1. White Cake Mix
2. Cream Cheese Frosting
3. 1 bag of Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Melts (you can buy these at Wal-Mart in the Creative Baking section) Or, you can get fancy and use Ghirardelli chocolate baking bars
4. 1 bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
5. 1 bag of cake pop sticks
6. 3 eggs
7. Olive oil
8. Wax paper
9. Cookie sheet
10. Cake pop stand
1. Bake the cake mix using the directions on the box. I baked mine in a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish.
2. Let it cool for about 30 minutes.
3. Crumble the cake into fine pieces in a large bowl and mix in 1 cup of the cream cheese frosting. I used my hands to get it mixed together really well. P.S. it’s pretty messy.
4. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
5. Then use a 1/8 cup to scoop out the mixture… molding it into round balls.
6. Place the balls side by side on the cookie sheet.
7. Put the whole sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
8. Pour some white chocolate melts and some Reese’s peanut butter chips in a microwave safe bowl. About half and half. Microwave on high for one minute.
9. Take it out and use mix until it’s completely blended ( no chunks) If you need to microwave longer do so in 15 second intervals.
10 . Dip the end of your stick in the melted chocolate and stick it into the top of each of the round balls.
11. Put it back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes, or until hardened.
12. Then take it out and dip each ball into the chocolate mix, I like to use a rubber spatula to smooth the chocolate on.
13. Place each one onto the cake pop stand to harden. You want to double space them so they don’t stick together.
14. When the chocolate mixture is gone repeat, but this time mix the peanut butter chips with the dark chocolate melts.
15. Scoop the leftover chocolate into a plastic bag and squeeze it down into one of the tips. Cut a small piece of the corner of the bag off and use the extra chocolate to decorate.
I’ve been on maternity leave for less than a week now awaiting the arrival of my second little girl, and the down time has me a little stir crazy. So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner I thought this dessert was the perfect remedy for my boredom. It’s a slight alteration of a recipe I found on Pinterest. I call it Dark Chocolate Berry Bark.
DARK CHOCOLATE BERRY BARK
16 oz Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Candy Melts
16 oz Light Pink Candy Melts
1/4 tsp Raspberry Candy Flavoring (do not use extract it changes the consistency of the candy melts)
Fun Valentine’s Day sprinkles
1 bag of Cherry M&Ms
Note: You can opt to use plain chocolate candy melts and cherry candy flavoring if you don’t like raspberry. I found all of my supplies at Target and Walmart.
1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. In a microwave safe bowl melt your dark chocolate and raspberry candy melts. If you’re using a different brand follow the directions on the bag. I chose to melt half of my melts at a time for one minute in the microwave. Then using a rubber spatula I stirred the melts until all the lumps were gone.
3. Spread the dark chocolate layer evenly on the cookie sheet.
4. Place it in the refrigerator to harden and cool.
5. Melt the light pink candy melts in the microwave and again stir until the lumps are gone.
6. Add 1/4 tsp of candy flavoring to the melts, then spread evenly on the dark chocolate layer. Immediately add sprinkles and cherry M&Ms.
Note: I found that you may want to press the M&Ms into the chocolate so they don’t fall off later.
7. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool and harden.
8. Remove the wax paper from the cookie sheet and break the chocolate into pieces. The less perfect it looks the better.
This quick, easy dessert is delicious and doesn’t make a huge mess in your kitchen. And, it’s great if you have small children because you can break it into small pieces. My daughter absolutely loves it!