Delectably Creative Treats

Posts made in August, 2014

Decadent Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes, I’ve Died And Gone To Heaven

Decadent Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes, I’ve Died And Gone To Heaven

on Aug 15, 2014 |

    There are just some days I cannot get chocolate off my brain. ALL day long, ALL I want to eat is chocolate. It is an amazing thing and can take care of many Mommy problems. It’s my “Calgon Take Me Away” place. My little girls feel the same about chocolate. I’m pretty sure there are NO other flavors that come close to being their favorite choice of any dessert. I am a firm believer that one bite of that sweet, dark-brown goodness, makes every problem, boo-boo, or heartache minuscule. Is there any better way to celebrate than cramming your face with a dark chocolate cream cheese frosting? NO, I THINK NOT! Most of my recipes revolve around chocolate. I have been light on ya’ll by mixing up the menu. But, in all fairness, it’s really the center of my mind when it comes to dessert. Yes, I LOVE food. Yes, I LOVE dessert. I have a love-hate relationship with these things because I LOVE to stuff my face, but then I hate it when I realize that I, alone, have consumed the whole thing (come on, I know I am not the ONLY one). I love buttercream frostings, especially when they are not overly sweet. But sometimes the occasion just calls for something a bit more rich, cream cheese. Yes, my family is split on this old friend, 3 detest cheese and 3 LOVE cheese. Since I am the one baking, I usually win and sneak cream cheese frosting on the desserts from time to time. Today, I made my super moist chocolate cupcakes and topped them off with my decadent chocolate cream cheese. As if that wasn’t enough, I gave these pretty little cakes a nice drench in semi-sweet chocolate! Are you ready to gain 5lbs?! Let’s start baking…       Decadent Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes Yields: 32 standard size cupcakes       Ingredients: For the cake: 2 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup instant chocolate pudding mix (one box) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup chocolate milk 2 eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt...

Read More
Ghirardelli Ultimate S’mores Contest Is In The Bag!

Ghirardelli Ultimate S’mores Contest Is In The Bag!

on Aug 11, 2014 |

    If you are not on my Facebook page, Twitter, or Ghirardelli’s fan pages, then you haven’t heard that I am the grand prize winner of The Ultimate S’mores Contest!!! Yes sir, I won their national contest for the most creative s’mores recipe. If you have been following my blog then you will remember my post on my Mini Mason Jar S’mores Shakes. Those sweet, little frozen treats brought home the grand prize of a year’s supply of Ghirardelli Chocolate and a $5000 ultimate s’mores party provided by Ghirardelli!!! Woohoo, my family and friends are SO excited! This past Wednesday was huge for us because not only did I discover that I was the winner of Ghirardelli’s Ultimate S’mores Contest, but also won a place to compete in the World Food Championship 2014.     Yes, I almost fell over and no matter what kind of chaos was going round our disheveled house, it was in no way going to bring me down. I seem to be on a roll these days, which usually isn’t the case. Telling the girls and Trip (the ultimate Ghirardelli lover) that I won, was absolutely amazing. The excitement filled our car when we found out and I promised the girls that they could have an unlimited number of their friends come and celebrate with us. Can you just imagine a bunch of 7, 5, and 3 year old kids with endless sugary s’mores? Hence the reason this Ultimate S’mores party will NOT be at the Evans’ household! Even though Gwennie didn’t understand there was no holding her back…       Here is the link to my award winning shake! I hope you take sometime to celebrate with me and sip on that cool, s’mores goodness! XOXO My Mini Mason Jar S’mores...

Read More
Ooey-Gooey Smore’s Cake…Featuring My Old Fashion Graham Cracker Cake

Ooey-Gooey Smore’s Cake…Featuring My Old Fashion Graham Cracker Cake

on Aug 8, 2014 |

    In anticipation of National S’mores Day, celebrated on August 10th, I have decided to share with you my cakey version of this fun and messy treat. There is actually another reason for this special cake too, but that explanation will have to wait for now! I know it is making you antsy just knowing I will be revealing a secret soon… S’mores are one of my “fall back on” flavors for dessert choice. The combination of the sweet, creamy chocolate with the gooey, toasted marshmallows followed by a nice crunch of the graham cracker is heaven in my little mind. I really LOVE dark (practically burnt) marshmallows, there is no mistaking the flavor of a toasted marshmallow… S’mores are such an easy dessert and make for many possibilities. My kiddos are always lining up in the kitchen with their skewers in hand, when my kitchen torch makes an appearance (yeh, there’s NO way in heck I would EVER attempt to build a real fire, I’m WAY TOO girly for that mess). That reminds me to ask y’all, do you have a kitchen torch? It is a lifesaver in the kitchen and has been used in many recipes, so if you don’t have one, I highly suggest you march yourself to the store and buy one!     This cake is a unique one because I have revived a very old recipe for the base. My cake layers are made of my moist and incredibly, unique Graham Cracker Cake. Yup, a cake made of mostly graham crackers. My Graham Cracker Cake isn’t overly sweet and has a different crumb texture compared to a normal flour and butter cake. You see, the graham crackers act like flour in this recipe producing gluten and holding all the yummy stuff together. There is one cup of flour in the batter to help tighten it up, but just so you know, it has a remarkable graham flavor! If you are a graham cracker lover (which we are and eat boxes of them weekly) then this different, retro cake is for you. I am honestly not really sure why you don’t see graham cracker cakes a whole lot, maybe because it is a...

Read More
World Food Championships 2014, Here I Come!!!!

World Food Championships 2014, Here I Come!!!!

on Aug 8, 2014 | 2 comments

      I’m SO excited to announce that I was one of 5 people chosen from Cookmore.com to be a contestant in the World Food Championships 2014!!!! I, seriously, worked very hard creating recipes that would get me noticed! This is huge for my baking career and family! If you don’t know what the World Food Championship is, I will let their official website explain:   “The World Food Championships is the natural progression of the thousands of cooking competitions that take place across the globe each year. Tens of thousands of consumers will compete in a year-long trial to qualify for the World Food Championships. The World Food Championships takes over where Food Network leaves off – in the kitchen and backyard of every American home. Not fake made for TV stars – but everyday real consumers who simply believe they can. Nowhere in the culinary landscape is the spirit of integration and engagement more alive than at the World Food Championships, where the world’s most creative food champions face off for pride and culinary glory. The World Food Championships averages about 25,000 attendees per day throughout the multiple zones and competitions.” “The field for the 2014 World Food Championships will be expanded to nine categories with 550 competitor spots. Returning categories include: Barbecue, Chili, Sandwich, Burger, Dessert, Bacon and Recipe, while Pasta and Seafood have been added as the two new categories. As in years past, the Recipe category is based on a theme of food, and this year that theme will be Cheese. Using the EAT methodology and a hybrid of sanctioned and celebrity judging processes, in a tournament style competition, the World Food Championships will identify winners in each of the seven key categories of competition. Once the champions of each category are crowned, they will meet at the Final Table for ultimate bragging rights and a pile of cash. When the smoke clears and the Final Table judges have their say one lucky competitor will be left standing as the World Food Champion.”     WORLD BARBECUE CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD OPEN CHILI CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD BURGER CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD DESSERT CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD SANDWICH CHAMPIONSHIP BACON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD RECIPE CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD PASTA CHAMPIONSHIP WORLD SEAFOOD CHAMPIONSHIP “The World...

Read More
Soft, Delicious, & Tasty Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft, Delicious, & Tasty Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

on Aug 6, 2014 | 1 comment

      Even though I bake with full blown butter, sugar, and flour, it is always nice to change things up from time-to-time. And quite honestly, my family doesn’t even realize when I bake gluten free. Yes, I know, I should be incorporating these ideas and recipes more often on our dessert menu because they truly are better for you, but some habits are just SO difficult to break! My gluten free recipes are surprising to most because they are really, really delicious. The best part is they can very easily be turned eggless as well. There is a wonderful egg substitute on the market that works incredibly well in baked goods, Ener-G Egg Replacer. I find it at my local Whole Foods grocer, but you may also purchase online. In my gluten free recipes, I enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour with xanthan gum. Most grocers carry these items, but there are also many substitutes that can be used if these are not readily available. My next go-to choice for baking is Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix. The Arrowhead Mills GF choice already uses Xanthan gum in the mix so there is no need to add any in your recipe.           I have become pretty educated and crafty in my gluten free and sometimes vegan recipes. Did you know that most instant puddings are gluten free as well? So if you really wanted, you could use any of my basic cookie recipes and change out the flour for your gluten free substitute, I actually do it all the time!     These Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies bake really nicely in a mini cupcake pan too! It is great to have an option of flattened cookies or a cute mini cupcake that you can top with a bit of buttercream. I will be posting my vegan, gluten free buttercream frosting recipe soon! Let’s get to baking…       Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Yields: 18 cookies   Ingredients: 3/4 cup  Earth Balance spread, softened ( you may use margarine or unsalted butter too) 3/4 cup packed  light brown sugar 1/4 cup  white sugar 1  egg...

Read More
Butterbeer Cream Cake…For Only The Finest Of Wizards

Butterbeer Cream Cake…For Only The Finest Of Wizards

on Aug 6, 2014 |

    There is a BIG benefit, besides weather, to live in Orlando, Florida…theme parks! We basically have multiple “large and famous playgrounds” only minutes from our home. Universal Resort sports amazing Harry Potter attractions, goodies, and alternate worlds. It was at Universal Islands Adventure, that we had our first addicting sip of Butterbeer. Of course, if you didn’t know, Butterbeer is from the series of “Harry Potter” books. Butterbeer at Universal is served as a cold beverage or a frosty slushy drink. This stuff is SO good, especially when you are sitting in lines in the 100+ degree heat! Butterbeer resembles butterscotch and vanilla cream soda. It has a very smooth flavor and delightfully reminiscent of a butterscotch sundae. Ever since my eldest had one sip, she has become obsessed with this stuff! I have posted before about this infatuation and how Gracie won Kellogg’s Rice Krispies contest for creative kids with her Butterbeer bites. Harry Potter fans can be magically transported into Hogsmeade by drinking this cold concoction. My quest to serve Gracie some of the best Butterbeer desserts has NOT been an easy one!     Butterscotch is a very strong flavor and can overpower others when present in large amounts. It was a fine process to create a cake resembling Butterbeer. I wanted to definitely taste the creamy, vanilla flavor behind the initial taste of butterscotch. This cake is a lot of fun transformed into cupcakes, in fact it was a top seller on my food truck. My simple Big Boy Vanilla Cake is filled with a creamy butterscotch filling. Then frosted with my light, fluffy, and Luscious Vanilla Buttercream. The cake is beautifully drenched with butterscotch sauce and a homemade vanilla cream sauce! When making Butterbeer Cream Cake into cupcakes, you will fill the center of each with my butterscotch cream, frost, drench, and then top with an adorable striped straw! Seriously, this is one of my favorites, flavor-wise and visually.       Although you can’t tell by the photos, this Butterbeer Cream Cake is only a 4″ circular cake. I have enjoyed making these little beauties because they eliminate any leftovers (although, I’m embarrassed to say, there are usually are none). Last...

Read More
Does Life Get Any Better Than Cookie Dough Frosting?

Does Life Get Any Better Than Cookie Dough Frosting?

on Aug 4, 2014 |

    One word, incredible. That’s what people say when taking a bite of my cookie dough frosting. It’s as if you just dipped the top of that cupcake into a bowl of freshly made cookie dough! This frosting isn’t for the occasional sweet lover, it is for the die-hard, spoon-licking, hardly-any-left-to-bake, cookie dough lover. My cookie dough frosting is my exact chocolate chip cookie recipe, minus the baking soda and eggs. So yes, pregnant ladies, you may indulge. This is probably one of my most popular cupcake flavors to date. There is just something about eating cookie dough that will bring even the snootiest adult to his knees.       I put this cookie dough frosting on just about anything! It works great with vanilla bases cakes, chocolate cakes, chocolate-chip cakes, cookies, and yea, even ice cream! For these photos, I used my Big Boy Vanilla Cake recipe.       The smoothness of the frosting comes from the milk. The milk replaces the eggs, allows the dough to become creamy, and gives you the ability to pipe cakes. And there is no fear of eating raw egg in the cookie dough (which I might add, has NEVER been a concern in my family, LOL). Cookie dough frostings are super easy to make and basically any flavor cookie dough can be easily converted. Use this recipe as a basic guideline for making a base of a cookie dough frosting and then start adding your own flavors, crunches, or candies to the mix! And here’s an exciting fact, they CAN be made gluten free! I have made many gluten free Cookie Dough Cupcakes in my kitchen. Of course, just eliminate the flour and replace with your gluten free all purpose baking mix of choice. Even people with special dietary needs can enjoy the buttery sweetness along with everyone else. Let’s start baking…       Cookie Dough Frosting   Ingredients: 1 cup margarine, softened (2 sticks ) 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2-4 tbsp of milk (it will depend on your desired consistency for the frosting) 1 tsp salt 2 cups all purpose flour 2...

Read More
Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

on Aug 4, 2014 |

    Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! It only seems right to share my most favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with you today! These are very easy and very tasty. I am picky with my cookies (just like my cake textures). My family and I love cookies that have a nice crunchy edge, but are moist and soft in the center. I love reheating these chocolate chip cookies the next day to enjoy the sweet, buttery goodness as if they just came out of the oven again! But honestly, most of the time, they don’t make it to see the next day after they were made.     These are a simple recipe and most people usually have the ingredients on hand. I would like to take a moment and explain to you why I use margarine. It is very important when baking these cookies to use a margarine that has 80% vegetable oil. This makes a huge difference in the cookies texture and how it bakes. Have you ever used butter in a recipe and the cookies come out thin and flat. Or have you used a margarine (whatever was on sale) with out even looking at the percent of vegetable oil and your cookies didn’t bake up the same as the last batch you made? The vegetable oil in margarine allows the cookie to puff up and look fuller. There is a simple explanation, according to Better Homes & Gardens, “The margarine should have 100 calories per tablespoon. Margarines with less than 80 percent vegetable oil have a high water content and can result in tough cookies that spread excessively, stick to the pan, or don’t brown well.” Many years back, I actually had never realized this was the problem with my cookies. I would buy whatever margarine was on sale or cheaper at the store and wonder why my cookies were always inconsistent. But, after actually reading my margarine boxes and making many batches,  I finally realized the problems were with my margarine choices. Hope this helps if you are puzzled, like I was! Now, let’s get baking…         Chocolate Chip Cookies Yields: 24 cookies Ingredients: 1 cup of margarine, softened (2...

Read More
There’s A Secret Hiding In My Double Chocolate Cookies, Mini Ghirardelli Squares-Baked In!

There’s A Secret Hiding In My Double Chocolate Cookies, Mini Ghirardelli Squares-Baked In!

on Aug 3, 2014 |

Everyone in my household LOVES Ghirardelli chocolate. We always have some bars, chips, or squares on hand. So, when I came across Ghirardelli’s new bags of mini chocolate squares in an array of flavors, it put a little skip in my step. These have been a staple in our house for over a month now. The newest flavor I came across was the Sweet Dark Chocolate Cookie Bits Mini squares. These are perfect for my little ladies, who can’t seem to get enough of anything with chocolate wafer cookies crushed inside! I was making my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies last night and just happened to glance at our candy dish sitting across from me. Those little Ghirardelli mini squares caught my eye and the idea was born! I was excited to stuff my double chocolate cookies with a hidden secret for my family to bite into. The plan went into effect and I was on my way creating my sneaky sweet treat. It was a great feeling to crack these warm cookies open and see that Ghirardelli chocolate ooze out from the center! I knew I had created a new hit with my loved ones. The surprised look on each of their faces as the melted chocolate oozed down their chins was priceless. I plan on using ALL of the different flavored Ghirardelli mini squares in a lot of cookie recipes to come. It is a nice new twist to my already yummy recipes in my arsenal. This Double Chocolate Cookie recipe is an easy one. The chocolate in the center will ooze as long as the cookie is warm. When the cookie cools it will not run like pictured. If its been awhile since you baked the cookies and you are looking for that oozy bite. Then just pop it in the microwave a few seconds and there you go, just like it was out of the oven! Just be sure you have a glass of cold milk on hand. Let’s get baking.       Double Chocolate Cookies Yields: 24 cookies Ingredients: 1 cup margarine, softened (2 sticks that must be made of 80% vegetable oil) 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup...

Read More
Gasp, Cookie Butter Stuffed Snickerdoodle Cookies!!

Gasp, Cookie Butter Stuffed Snickerdoodle Cookies!!

on Aug 1, 2014 |

    I believe it is my civil duty to share this new recipe with you! These cookies basically speak for themselves, Cookie Butter Stuffed Snickerdoodles! Yup, this will be your NEW favorite cookie. Cookie Butter Stuffed Snickerdoodles were born the other day when the hamsters in my brain got to running. I was actually dipping a shortbread cookie into my Biscoff Cookie Spread Jar and thought, “why haven’t I tried filling a cookie with this stuff?!”. And so my mission began, figuring out how to stuff this buttery, cinnamon cookie spread into my super easy and tasty cookie dough. It actually came out perfectly the first try (which is really amazing considering that rarely happens). You see, cookies are my number 2 go-to sweet treat. They follow VERY closely behind cake (my first love). My mom is a cookie addict and claims that she has “never met a cookie she doesn’t like”. So, it is for that reason alone, I blame her for my “sit-down and eat an entire batch of freshly made cookies” problem! It is my birth right to eat as much cookie dough as possible before popping those dough balls into the oven. There is a simple explanation for this cookie sickness, let me amuse you…     A long time ago (in the 80’s) when I was 10, it was late in the evening and my mom decided to make chocolate chip cookies. I eagerly helped, knowing I would be indulging in that buttery, sweet dough before bedtime. As the dough was mixing,  I quickly turned my head and, in a blink of an eye, my butt length hair got sucked right into the electric stand mixer’s beater! Ahhh, my hair became tangled all the way to my scalp! Seriously, no lie! Here I am with perfectly washed hair, stuck in a very heavy mixer’s beaters and unable to move my head! All I could think about, at that age, was “do I have to go wash my hair again?”. My panic stricken mom called the neighbor to help in my flattering catastrophe. I can’t even imagine what this man thought seeing my head tightly wound in cookie dough (although I believe his only...

Read More