Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy Brownies Cover

Let’s talk about brownies. I don’t know about you, but I prefer brownies to be nice and fudgy. I like cake, but I don’t like cakey brownies. So I set out on a mission to find the Fudgiest Brownies on the planet and you know what? I think I found them! These brownies were so fudgy and SO easy to make. One bowl people. One bowl and a wooden spoon. That’s all it takes.  [Read more...]

The Verdict: The Baker’s Jar

Sooooooo. We finally had the chance to try those desserts from The Baker’s Jar that I posted about earlier this week. If you recall, I got the mini-sized Happy Birthday Cake, the mini-sized Mud Cup, the standard-sized Ruby’s Carrot Cake, and the standard-sized Lemon Pie jars.

Real quick – please excuse the quality of these pictures. They are all pictures taken on my iPhone so they aren’t the best quality.

First up was the Happy Birthday Cake.

Happy Birthday Cake Jar

Disclaimer: I added more Sprinkles! There just weren’t enough. I was disappointed with the Happy Birthday Cake Jar, if I’m being honest. The cake was a bit dry and…crunchy? And I definitely wasn’t a fan of that. There were a few bites that were chewy too, which was a bit strange. So I don’t think I’d buy that one again. And that’s disappointing because I LOVE BIRTHDAY CAKE. [Read more...]

Cupcake Emergency

So as I already mentioned, Hurricane Irene came through and kept everyone indoors all weekend long. I decided that I was going to get a little bit of baking in while I had the chance. I had a few cupcake flavors I wanted to try out, so that’s exactly what I did! After all, we were in a Cupcake Emergency!

I baked up some Chocolate Cupcakes

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And I made my Basic Buttercream

I wanted to do a few different flavors of Buttercream, so I divided up the Basic Buttercream and went to business!

I took some Oreos and threw them in Vitamix. I had Oreo crumbs that were nice and fine. So I decided to do a Cookies N’ Cream ButtercreamVanilla Buttercream + Oreo Crumbs = YUM!

Chocolate Cupcake; Cookies N’ Cream Buttercream

I still had some of the fine Oreo crumbs leftover, so I decided that I wanted to do a Chocolate Buttercream dusted with Oreo Crumbs. So I added in some Penzeys Natural Cocoa Powder and a very small sprinkle of Williams-Sonoma Espresso Powder.  And let me tell you – between these two ingredients, the Buttercream comes out oh so chocolatey. The Epresso Powder really enhances that rich chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Cupcake; Chocolate Buttercream; Oreo Crumbs

Mr. Curly Fry loves Kit Kats, so I wanted to incorporate those into a cupcake. So I used the Chocolate Buttercream. Talk about a Chocolate overload. But in a good way!

Chocolate Cupcake; Chocolate Buttercream; Kit Kats

I had some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in the refrigerator so that inspired me to make a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcake. When I was making the Cupcakes, I put some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in the center of the cupcake and baked it. So there’s chocolate chip cookie baked in the center of these bad boys!! Then I topped it off with Chocolate Buttercream and garnished it with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.  How can you go wrong with that?

Chocolate Cupcake with a Chocolate Chip Cookie filling;
Chocolate Buttercream
; Chocolate Chip Cookie garnish

Last, but certainly not least! I wanted to do a Peanut Butter Buttercream. Is there really a better combination?! Peanut Butter + Buttercream = Heaven! This was my favorite cupcake of the day…the Chutter Butter! The Peanut Butter Buttercream was so creamy and smooth…it had my taste buds doing back flips! I seriously could have sat there with a spoon if I had any extra Buttercream left!

Chocolate Cupcake; Peanut Butter Buttercream; Nutter Butters

What flavor of Buttercream would you like to see spotlighted here on the blog?! 

 

 

Cake & the Bean Stalk


So as you all know, I love to get deals from Groupon, Living Social, Eversave, etc so that I can try out some new places around the city. It’s hard to believe we’ve already been living in the city for 10 months now, and there’s so many places we haven’t been yet. A while ago I bought a Groupon for Cake & the Bean Stalk, which is located at 1112 Locust Street in Philadelphia.

It was a beautiful morning for a walk, so I set out to use my Groupon and check out the place. I had $10 to spend and I was able to get breakfast [Everything Bagel w/ Cream Cheese $2.00], Coffee [price depends on size and what you order], and two desserts to go.  I think that everything was priced very well.

They have a very nice set up. When you go in the door there are some dessert/food cases set up near the register, and the sitting area is separated by a wall, which is nice. There is a little outside patio with chairs if you choose to sit out there, and there are a number of tables inside to choose from. It’s got a really cool vibe. The mismatched chairs at the tables give it a nice look.

They have many different beverages to choose from, as well as a number of freshly baked desserts like cookies, brownies, cakes, and a number of other sweets.  They also have Paninis! I was there a little too early for one though. They often have special deals, so be sure to follow them on Twitter.  I chose the Brownie [$2.50 - and it's quite large; you can choose with nuts or without] and the Blondie [$2.50 - and like the brownie it's quite large] as my to-go desserts.

The Brownie was delicious – nice and fudgy – exactly how I like them!

The Blondie was amazing; It was packed full of Reese’s Pieces!

Colorful chairs & table

Who wouldn’t want to stop in?

Street view

Cake and the Bean Stalk has Free WiFi, so feel free to take your laptop or other mobile device and stop in for a beverage, sandwich and dessert! Definitely pick up a Blondie and a Brownie – they’re amazing!  I’ll definitely stop back in for more desserts, and I want to try some of their iced beverages. It’s hot out there!

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

Our favorite afternoon snack on Saturdays and Sundays is a Smoothie. They are so fun to make with my Vitamix! And truth be told, if I don’t use that blender for everything, Mr. Curly Fry will have a bird, lol! He almost had a heart attack spending that much money on one small appliance.  But anyway – back to what I was saying. We’re lucky to have Reading Terminal Market a few blocks away from us so that is where we get all of our fresh fruits and vegetables from. When we were there last week, I noticed that they had large bags of Red Bing Cherries for only $2.99 a bag so I grabbed a bag. I am always looking for some new flavors to add to our smoothies, and I thought cherries would be a fabulous addition.

Now we all know that cherries have those pesky pits in them that need to be removed. So how did I spend a few hours on Saturday and Sunday? Pitting those cherries by hand! I couldn’t imagine pitting enough cherries by hand to make a cherry pie. I had enough after finishing one bag of cherries. After pitting so many cherries, I decided I needed some help. I didn’t want to have to do this again. So I went on my favorite web site- Amazon.com – and searched for a good Cherry Pitter. You can never have too many kitchen gadgets! And I found one that got pretty good reviews. I ordered it and it’s in my possession at this very moment. I ended up buying the Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter.

photo from Amazon.com

I cannot wait to use this! The cherry pitter has a removable splatter shield that directs juices downward and prevents the juice from squirting everywhere. My kitchen work area won’t look like a crime scene anymore. When I go to the market this weekend, I’ll be getting several bags of cherries. I want to make some type of dessert with the cherries, but I can’t decide what to make.

So tell me – what’s your favorite dessert that involves cherries?