Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate Cake Pops

 Merry Christmas Eve!


Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn.

Cake Ball Mix

What you need
1 batch Dark Chocolate Cake
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk (or more, as necessary)

Bake the cake and let it cool completely on a rack. This is a very moist cake, which is ideal for this recipe. It's best to let it cool overnight at least. When it is completely cool, break the cake into a large bowl. Crumble it with forks or your fingers until it is in fine crumbs.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and milk together until smooth. Pour into the cake crumbs and mix with a spoon. Then continue mixing with your fingers, kneading and mixing until fully incorporated into the cake. Check to see if it will roll into a ball. It should: this makes a very malleable, easy-to-handle cake mixture. But if it needs a little extra moisture, add milk a spoonful at a time.
When the mix is completely done, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. You can leave the mix refrigerated for several days at this point. I left mine in the fridge for about three days before making the balls. You could probably also freeze this.

Making Cake Pops

What you need:
Lollipop sticks (found at Michael's, JoAnn's, or other craft stores)
12 ounces chocolate chips
12 ounces white chocolate bark
Edible wax, optional
Colored sugars, candies, and other decorative sprinkles

How to make the balls:
Prepare two large baking sheets by covering with wax paper or parchment. Take a bit of the cake mixture and roll it into a smooth ball. If you want to use the lollipop sticks, stick one into the end of each ball, pointing upward, as you put the ball back down on the sheet. [Note: I cut the long lollipop sticks in half; they seemed a little long for the size of the balls.] Repeat until you've used up all the mixture. As each sheet fills up, put it in the freezer so that the balls harden.

How to decorate the cake pops:
Melt chocolate or white chocolate in a double boiler on the stove. If you want to make the coating a little more resistant to melting, add a small square of wax to the pot and let it melt too. Stir well. Dip each ball into the chocolate until covered. Dip in sugar, coconut, sprinkles, or anything else you'd like to decorate with. Put it back on the sheet to harden.

Don't refrigerate these; it will cause the coating to weep or melt. They can be frozen, however.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Meals The Best of Nestle Kitchen.
Preparation Time: 20 mins - Cooking Time: 18 mins  - Cooling Time: 20 mins cooling - Makes 22 cupcakes


2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red gel-paste food coloring
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
4 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Candy sprinkles (optional)


For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Paper-line 22 muffin cups.

Sift flour, baking cocoa and salt together into a medium bowl. 
Whisk together sugar, oil and eggs in large mixer bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in food coloring. Gradually stir in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk (adding flour in three additions and buttermilk in two). Combine baking soda and vinegar in small bowl (it will foam); quickly fold into batter. Divide batter between paper cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For cream cheese frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread Truffle Pops

Via Dashing Dish


Recipe courtesy of Dashing Dish, healthy alternatives to the food you crave.

Ingredients:Gingerbread Truffle Pops:
  • 1 cup gingersnaps or gingerbread cookies
  • 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For Coating:
  • 1/4 cup sweetener
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate, melted for drizzling
  • 12 sucker sticks, or popsicle sticks
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place cookies into food processor container, and pulse until cookies reach a fine crumb, (mixture will resemble a coarse meal.) Soften cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds, and mix with gingerbread cookie crumbs, sweetener, and cinnamon.
  3. Roll or scoop mixture into 1-inch balls. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sweetener to make the coating, and roll truffles in coating.  Place truffles on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Microwave white chocolate for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave an additional 15-30 seconds, or until chocolate is melted. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over the top of the truffles.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour, or freeze for 15 minutes to allow truffle to set up a bit before placing sucker stick. Once truffle is firm enough to handle, gently press sucker stick in the center bottom of the truffle. Place pops in a decorative glass or jar. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
*Note: You may also skip the last step, and simple leave them as truffles!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Homemade Dark Chocolate Truffles

Happy Wednesday! Just a few days left until Christmas, I have family in town for the Holiday and I am taking a week off from work so I may be absent for a bit until the end of December. I wanted to post some photos of my Dark Chocolate Truffles that I made as gifts this Christmas. I found some sweet little boxes at a craft store and wrapped them up with a bow!

I found these cute Martha Stewart candy cups at a craft store and thought they were perfect!

(These truffles do not ship well and should be stored in the fridge or freezer so that they do not melt.)

I hope you are all having a great Holiday season and remember to slow down and enjoy the time spent with family and friends! I am so excited for my time off and I am still hoping for some snow...


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lime Coconut Cookies

  • 2 Cups Basic Cookie Dough (See recipe below)
  • 6 Tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 Teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon water
  1. Shape 2 cups of Basic Cookie Dough into two 8-inch logs, roll in coconut and press coconut into dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 3 hours to overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment. 
  3. Cut each log into 16 slices.  Arrange 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until tops look done and coconut is golden brown.  Let cool on cookie sheet 3 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire rack; let cool completely.
  4. Combine sugar, lime juice and water in medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Drizzle over tops of cookies.
Basic Cookie Dough:
  • 3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt onto wax paper.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar and beat with a mixer until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until evenly blended. Dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days. Makes about 4 cups dough.
Recipe by Jean Kressy courtesy of Relish.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hamptons Dream Home & Dark Chocolate Truffle Recipe

I can't believe Christmas is in less than 7 days! I still don't feel quite ready and I am really hoping for some snow to make it feel more like Christmas! I am also making yummy dark chocolate truffles today which always make it feel like the Holidays.

Today I wanted to feature a home designed by Alexander Gorlin Architects. Here are a few words taken from Alexander Gorlin Architects about the project: "Our recently completed 12,000 square foot summer house for a family of four in the East End of the Hamptons takes full advantage of its location between the bay and the ocean to offer views of both. With an emphasis on entertaining, the house includes guest suites, staff quarters, an outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace." Sounds amazing to me, I have family near the Hamptons, it is such a beautiful part of the country. I suggest that everyone visits
 Beautiful use of materials on the facade of the house!

The vaulted ceilings bring in even more light and the natural elements are calming. The interiors give the look of a beach house while not being themey.

I love the view-through fireplace and walls of floor to ceiling windows.

I would love to have this view from my dining room. All of the glossy surfaces and white reflects light making it feel even more open and airy. Those are the perfect pendants!

Check out that stairway and the amazing custom slab table.

High quality craftsmanship pays off in any project and durable materials last forever.

The drapery is installed in a track to hide the hardware and there are multiple layers of drapery so you can control the amount of light in a beautiful way!

The free-standing tub is gorgeous. I love how the wood paneling wraps into the interior of the space, creating a connection between the architecture and the interior design!

Wood paneled shower stalls is a perfect way to accommodate large number of guests.
Clerestory windows are perfect for a bathroom, they give privacy with tons of natural daylight.

A view through the entire house is such a great design and all of the windows bring in natural light and outdoors!

This boardwalk is fabulous, what an easy walk to the beach...
Chocolate Truffles...

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Truffles courtesy of Ghirardelli!
Yield: 30 Truffles
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup(s) Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/3 cup(s) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


    • In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl.
    • Cool, cover, and refrigerate the mixture until firm, at least 2 hours.
    • Using a melon baller or small spoon, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cocoa. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
    • Note: The Unsweetened Cocoa can be replaced with 3/4 cup of chopped almonds or pecans.

    I have made these truffles many times and they are melt-in-your-mouth amazing! I am making them tonight and I will try to share more photos of mine later! Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie Of The Day: Glazed Lemon Cookies

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple.
Makes 48 cookies| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 1hr 45m



  1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
  2. Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.
    To wrap: Give a nut tin a second life. Wipe it clean with a damp towel, then peel off the label. Tie a bow with extra-wide ribbon to hide any glue remnants. Note: If nut allergies are a concern, use a coffee can instead.
    To freeze: Instead of refrigerating the dough, freeze the logs for up to 2 months. To bake, follow the recipe instructions, cutting and baking the dough from frozen, and use the upper end of the time range.
Happy Sunday!