Sunday, April 24, 2016

Passover Brownies 2.0!

Two days ago I posted a recipe for Passover Brownies.  Well, my Grandma Ellen sent me another recipe, this time for S'mores brownies, and I just had to try them!

4 ounces (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup matzah cake meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups mini marshmallows, or large marshmallows cut up
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional--I omitted)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, with an oven rack in the center of the oven.
Grease a disposable 8" x 8" or 9" x 13" pan with butter and matzah cake meal.  I used an 8 x 8 pan.  It is really important to use a disposable pan, because these brownies are messy and hard to get out of the pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for about 60 seconds.  Then add in the 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips, and stir until melted.  Microwave for 20 seconds if needed.  Stir in the sugar, and let cool until teped.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the cake meal and salt.  Last, add in 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cups marshmallows, and walnuts if adding.  Pour into the pan, and spread evenly.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

You now have two options as to how to continue. The first way is how I did it, the second way is how the instructions said to do it...I would *probably* follow the instructions, but seeing as I made these very late last night I misread what I was supposed to do.

1) Let brownies cool for 20 minutes.  Then add marshmallows to the top and broil for about 1 minute.  Take out, and place some chocolate chips on top.  Let melt for a few minutes, and then take a fork and spread the chocolate.

2) After the brownies are set, add marshmallows onto the top and place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes.  The marshmallows should be puffed, not browned.  Remove the brownies from the oven.  You can now add the chocolate chips as above, or melt and place in a bag and drizzle over the top.

Cool the brownies, and place them in the fridge overnight.  Cut the brownies up with a knife that has been run over hot water.   This step is very important, as the marshmallows will otherwise stick to the knife.  You might have to place the knife back under water half-way through.

Put the brownies back in the fridge and enjoy!!

More photos to come later.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Passover Means Brownies!

Hi everyone.  I am so sorry that I haven't blogged lately.  I made chocolate cupcakes that were fantastic, and topped them with peeps.  They were fantastic.  I am more than happy to share the chocolate cupcake and chocolate frosting recipe with anyone!

However, I am here to talk about Passover, which starts tonight.  That means I can't eat food that contains yeast.  My amazing mother sent me Mandel bread, and I am baking brownies.  These brownies are edible all-year round.

Passover Brownies:
10 tbsp unsalted butter plus 1 tsp for greasing the pan
6 ounces or 1 cup (parve passover) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/8 cups sugar plus 1-teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup Matzo cake meal
1 1/2 cup (parve passover) semi-sweet chocolate chips or 3/4 cup (parve passover) semi-sweet chocolate chips plus 3/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease in 8-inch square pan with butter and matzo cake meal.  I would suggest a disposable one, but you don't have to.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave safe bowl.  Remove from heat, and add 6 ounces chocolate chips, stiring until they are melted.  Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract.  Test the temperature of the chocolate; it should be tepid.  If not, let it rest until it is.
Whisk the eggs together, and then off them to the chocolate mixture.  Stir until the eggs are all mixed in.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the matzo cake meal until it blended.  Add in the chocolate chips, or chocolate chips and nuts.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies on the middle shelf of the oven, for around 30 minutes.  The toothpick should come out with some moist crumbs.  Cool completely on a wire rack, and refrigerate overnight.  Cut the brownies up, and store in the fridge!  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's (almost) Pi day!!

Tomorrow is Pi day! I'm always disappointed in myself when a day like cupcake or cookie day comes around and I don't know it until the end of the day and I don't have time to bake.  As I was heading to the market today, I remembered that tomorrow is Pi day.  I was going to bake a cake (I have been looking forward to making one for a few weeks now), but switched it up and decided to make a chocolate pie.  Now, I did not make the crust.  That would have been too complicated for me today, but who doesn't love a triple chocolate pie?

1 extra large graham cracker pie crust (I got the keebler 9 oz crust)
3 boxes (Hershey) chocolate pudding mix, instant, 4-servings
1 box vanilla pudding mix, instant, 4-servings
3/4 cup (low-fat) chocolate milk
2 1/4 cup (skim) milk
1 tub cool-whip, extra-creamy
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) In a small bowl, whisk together 1 box vanilla pudding mix and 1 cup milk.  I only have 1/2 box in my apartment, but I think using 1 box will be better. Place in fridge.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together 3 boxes chocolate pudding mix, 3/4 cup chocolate milk, and 1 1/4 cups milk.  Whisk in 1/2 of the cool whip.
3) Spoon the chocolate pudding into the pie crust, and spread out evenly.

4) Take the vanilla pudding out of the fridge, and spread evenly over the chocolate.

5) Next, spoon the non-frozen cool-whip over the vanilla pudding.  It is much easier to spread the cool-whip when it is runnier.

6) Last, but not least decorate to your desire!  I added chocolate chips around the outside and then made the Pi sign in the middle.  However, you can use whatever you would like to decorate the pie.  

An alternative would be to place marshmallows over the top of the pie instead of the cool-whip and vanilla pudding.  Broil the pie until marshmallows are golden.

Have fun and Happy Pi day!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Valentine's Day Baking

Valentines day is exactly one week from today.  Do you know how you are going to celebrate it yet?  Are you going to bake for a valentines?  Are you going to bake for friends?  How about for yourself? Me, I am going to bake for my favorite valentines: my father!  What better way to bake then with the Valentine's day M & M's, and heart shaped (chocolate chip) cookies.

I am going to apologize in advance for my lack of pictures of some of the cookies and steps.  I accidentally pulled out the USB before I had finished uploading the pictures and lost half of them....

3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (minus 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package M & M's (I recommend picking the holiday packages :) )

Beat butter and brown sugar in a mixer until combined.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixer as needed.  Then add the granulated sugar.  Next, add in the egg and vanilla extract.  Add in the pudding mix, followed by the baking soda and flour.  You want just under 2 cups of flour (see my picture for below).  I recommend taking out 1-1.5 tbsp flour so that you can create a dome in your cup.  Next add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 3/4 cup M & M's and mix in by hand.  Roll out the dough as follows: use ~1.5 tbsp of dough or 1/4 cup dough and take out 1 tbsp.  Roll the dough and place on the cookie sheet.  Place the side with all of the M & M's down on the cookie sheet (trust me on this!).  Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Pull the cookies out and add more M & M's to the top and bake for about another 2 minutes, or until browned.

This is what my second cup of flour looked like:

The cookies with the M & M's face down.

The first round of M & M addition.

Can't you see the difference already in the number of M and M's?

The final product, already packaged to be sent in the mail!

Have you ever wanted to make shaped chocolate chip cookies before?  They are not easy to make, and I can't imagine rolling out chocolate chip cookie dough and then baking it only to have it spread out and lose shape!  So, I went about making shaped chocolate chip cookies, or really blondies, in another way.

2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips, plus a few tbsp
1 cup peanut butter chips, plus a few tbsp

Melt butter, and then add the butter and brown sugar to a mixer.  Once all combined add in the granulated sugar.  Next, add in the egg and vanilla.  Mix in the baking soda, baking powder, and flour.  Last, add in the chocolate and peanut butter chips and mix by hand.  You can substitute the chips with any flavor that you want.  Line a 9x11 baking pan with parchment paper and evenly spread out the dough.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then pull out and lightly press in more chips to the top of the blondies.  Bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool until the cookie is warm, and then use cookie cutters to cut out shapes!

This is what the cookies looked like after I cut out all the hearts.

Happy baking (and dough eating)!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Back in college I was involved with Challah for Hunger.  I absolutely loved being a part of that organization.  My favorite part was selling the challah, and then, of course, eating it!  My favorite flavor was peanut butter chocolate chip, followed by chocolate chip and plain.  Since I graduated in May, I have not had a lot of challah.  Seeing as I was stuck in my apartment this weekend due to Blizzard Jonas, and I had all of the ingredients I needed on hand, I decided to bake challah!  I used Tante B's Famous Challah Recipe from  However, the recipe would have made more challah than I ever could have possible wanted, or been able to eat, so I halved the recipe.  Yes, I even halved the egg, and saved the other half for the egg-wash.

I cut the dough into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds.  I rolled out each strand, so that they were probably 5-6" in length, and then braided three strands together.

I decided to add chocolate chips to the outside of one, and after I added the egg-wash I sprinkled some salt on top.

Now, the challah really expands in the oven.  As you can see, some of the challahs stuck together.  They came apart very easily, however, so it wasn't a problem.

As I didn't bake the large loafs, I baked the challah for 18 minutes at 375, turned the oven off, and let them sit for another 15 minutes.

Lets just say, I'm in heaven.  I absolutely recommend this recipe, and cannot wait to make it again (in a few months).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Peanut Butter and Coffee anyone?

I have been telling my lab mate about my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins.  After a few weeks of her begging me to make them, I finally did.  Of course, I also added a twist!  I made a loaf version of the muffins, and I made Peanut Butter Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins (whoo, what a mouthful!).

First up, the loaf cake!

I followed the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins, and placed it into a large loaf pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top so that it is more aesthetically pleasing and desirable.  I baked them at 375 for 20 minutes, decreased the heat to 350 and baking for another 20 minutes or so.  The reason that I decreased the heat is because the top was already browned, but the inside was not cooked.  To continue cooking the inside and not burn the top, you need to decrease the temperature of the oven!

I also wanted to try something new.  I had bought coffee a few months ago to bake with and haven't had the occasion to try it yet.  I figured muffins were the perfect place to start!  Now, I was lazy between making the loaf cake and the muffins, and didn't want to clean the bowl; therefore, we got peanut butter coffee muffins with chocolate chips!

1 2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup (low-fat) buttermilk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 (extra) large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup (skim) milk
3 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Add the peanut butter, buttermilk, applesauce, egg, and vanilla to a bowl and mix until fully combined.  Then add in the flour, sugars, and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, add the instant coffee to the milk.  Then add to the muffin mixture, and stir until combined.  Last, add the chocolate chips.  Place the muffins into a well-greased cupcake pan, and bake at 375 for 10 minutes, and then decrease the heat to 350 for another 20 minutes or so.

If you are not a fan of peanut butter, just leave it out of the muffins.  The consistency should still be fine, and your muffins should taste amazing!

I had brought the muffins and cake into lab, and they were well-received!

Now here is my questions to all of the bakers: How do you get you nice rounded muffins, or muffins that don't have the dome like these do?

Happy Baking!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Washington D.C.

Saturday I drove up to Washington D.C. to see my amazing friend Amira, who attends medical school at GW.  I was fascinated by the drive, and the change of landscape.  I went from being in a small town (Charlottesville) to the middle of nowhere.  At least, that is how I felt.  There were a few houses along the "highway" and some general stores, but not much else.  About a half hour outside of D.C. I started to get excited. Why? Because there was civilization.  Now, many of you may be thinking that I was excited about all of these stores because of my stark drive.  I assure you, that is not the case.  I was super excited about seeing a Super Target, next to a Best Buy and a Lowes, and then a few minutes later a whole shopping center and a mall.  Some days I don't mind living in a small, college town.  Everything that I need on a daily basis is 10 minutes away.  That being said, the speed limit is mostly 25 mph (so slow!), and the shopping is anywhere between 20 minutes and 1 hour and 20 minutes away.  I have been fortunate to grow up in a place where everything I could possibly need or want was so close (for the most part 30 minutes).  Something that I am currently grappling with is the small-ness of this town.

That being said, my short trip to Washington D.C. was fantastic!  It was great to catch up with Amira, who I haven't seen since August, and walk around our Capital.  The White House is so much smaller than you think it should be, with the Executive Offices being right next door.

The Row Houses in D.C. are beautiful.  They contain their own style.  You can tell many of the new buildings from the older ones due to a difference in architecture.  I wish that the new buildings would be built with the same style as the older ones, but alas, they are not.

It is always fun to go to a new or different places, because you learn so much about them.  I am so grateful that I got to spend this weekend with Amira catching up.  It is like we have never been apart; we finished each others sentences multiple times.

Cheers to a great weekend with a great friend, and to future trips!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

Happy New Year everyone!!

A week ago, it was my birthday.  My grandmother got me a marble cake with chocolate frosting, and it was amazing!  Unfortunately, I had to fly home immediately after I had one slice.  Needless to say, one piece of cake was not sufficient.  I decided to bake my own cake, putting a spin on my Moms Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake.  This also happens to be one of my Dads favorite cakes.

For my birthday, I got a brand-new camera!  So what better way to test it out, then to take tens of pictures of this cake?

1 box Betty Crocker's Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix with pudding
1/2 box vanilla pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate chips.  Mix until combined.  Take note, the cake mix has mini chocolate chips in it.  Beat the batter for about 8 minutes.  (I did this by hand, so it wasn't actually 8 minutes..I would suggest doing this in a mixer unless you are looking for a workout!).  Coat the chocolate chips with flour, and add to the batter, mixing them in.  Pour the batter into a greased bundt-pan.  Bake at 350 for 50-80 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean.