Root Beer Bundt Cake

I was assigned to cover the dessert category for the Easter meal at my mom and dad’s house and I immediately wanted to make a bundt cake of some kind.  After much deliberation, I decided on this root beer cake.

Overall it was a very good cake, super dense and moist as bundt cakes tend to be.  But I was disappointed that the root beer flavor wasn’t very strong.  However, I’m sure that the root beer enhanced the chocolate flavor though.

Root Beer Bundt Cake
Source:  Pink Parsley who adapted from Baked:  New Frontiers in Baking

For the cake

  • 2 cups root beer (not diet)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved.  Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined.  Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.  The batter will be slightly lumpy; do not over beat as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a small knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

For the Root Beer Fudge Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup root beer, plus more as needed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

To make the frosting, cream the butter, root beer, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Then gradually add the cocoa powder, then the powder sugar.  Mix until the frosting is shiny and smooth.  Add more root beer, a few teaspoons at a time, if the frosting is too thick to spread easily with a spatula.

Use a spatula to spread the frosting over the crown of the cake in a thick layer.  Let the frosting set before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream on the side.

Nutella Ice Cream

Oh boy, it’s getting ridiculous that I say this every time I make a new ice cream flavor, but this one is seriously better than the last in my opinion (Tim probably disagrees).  And all I’ve done so far to taste it is lick the paddle, but it is so good, man!

Sorry, no pictures until my computer is fixed.
Nutella Ice Cream
adapted from Carrie’s Sweet Life

  • 1 cup nutella
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the nutella and sugar until smooth. Add the milk. Blend on low-speed until smooth and the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and the vanilla.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Place in your ice cream maker and churn as directed.  It took about 45 minutes to achieve the final result for me.  Store in the freezer.

Chocolate Chip Pie

This is a recipe that I have known about for a couple of years and always wanted to try.  I just had to get a copy of it from my sister, which I finally did a few months ago.  For whatever reason, I kept forgetting to ask her for it.  It is a pie that her in-laws make for holidays and it sounded really good to me.  It’s basically one gigantic cookie, that is a little on the gooey side.  It’s very rich, so a small sliver is the perfect serving.
I made a few additions – salt and vanilla.  To me, it’s just not right to leave them out since the salt brings out the sweetness and the vanilla enhances the chocolate flavor.
Chocolate Chip Pie
{source:  my sister’s in-laws, adapted from Toll House}
  • INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • pinch of salt {my addition}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract {my addition}
  • Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream – optional for serving

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in morsels and nuts.  Spoon into pie shell.  Cover edges of crust with foil to prevent over browning.

BAKE for about 1 hour or a little more, until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Is it weird that I don’t like hot fudge sauce?  Thought so.  I like cold fudge and chocolate sauce, just not hot fudge.  Anyway, I’ve been on a roll making homemade ice cream and this was one flavor I was really looking forward too.  Unfortunately, I think I did something wrong.

For one, I didn’t have nearly as much ice cream base as I expected based on my other ice cream recipes.  Therefore, I had what seemed like way too much fudge sauce and too many peanut butter patties.

And then, the chocolate flavor was way too strong.  I attribute that to my use of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder.  The flavor was just really intense and for me to say that is odd, because I love rich desserts and dark chocolate!  I used the special dark cocoa because it is the only cocoa powder that I can find {locally} that mentions being dutch processed.

Even though it wasn’t as great as I was expecting, overall, it was decent.  But I probably won’t make it again, since it just didn’t do anything for us.  As a tip for anyone who wants to make it, or in case I do try it again – I would recommend doubling the half and half and adding more sugar to the base recipe, but keeping the cocoa powder amount the same.  That way, you will have more base and a less intense chocolate flavor.

(Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 30 minutes Chill Time: 8 hours Churn Time: 20 minutes

2 cups half-and-half
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup smooth peanut butter
Fudge Ripple (recipe follows)
Peanut Butter Patties (recipe follows)

Fudge Ripple
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator before using. (Fudge Ripple can be stored for up to 2 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.)

Peanut Butter Patties
6 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Mix together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap. Pinch off small pieces of the peanut butter mixture, about ½ teaspoon each, and drop them onto the dinner plate. Once you’ve used all of the mixture, freeze the patties. (The patties can be stored in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.)

To Make the Ice Cream:

1. Whisk together the half-and-half, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly blended.

2. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Fold in the Peanut Butter Patties when it has finished churning. Just before you remove the ice cream from the machine, spoon some of the Fudge Ripple onto the bottom of the storage container. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, layer generous spoonfuls of the sauce between layers of ice cream. Avoid stirring the Fudge Ripple, as it will make the ice cream muddy.

*I also followed Michelle’s Note: After making the ice cream mixture, I went ahead and made the Fudge Ripple and Peanut Butter Patties and got them into the refrigerator and freezer, respectively, so all of the “dirty work” was done at once and they would all be sufficiently chilled once I was ready to churn the ice cream. I just made the Fudge Ripple in the same pan as I made the ice cream mixture.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

I had a pretty intense craving for these bars out of nowhere one day and luckily I had some time on my hands to make them.  And it really was good that I had extra time on my hands because I couldn’t find a freaking recipe for them anywhere!  How is it possible that I’ve never made them before, therefore blogging them and therefore knowing where to find my recipe?!  So, over the next hour I searched through about 10 cookbooks before finding a recipe.

They really hit the spot and reminded me of the school cafeteria too.  Weird.

Aside:  What is with all of my flashbacks to childhood?  Today I was thinking about the movies I watched all the time as a kid like Top Gun, Rags to Riches, and Grease!  I need to get copies of them so I can watch them soon.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter rice Krispie Bars

Source:  a hometown cookbook

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup Karo syrup

1-1/4 cup peanut butter {I used half smooth and half chunky}

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 cups rice krispies

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat the syrup and sugar on the stove until melted.  Add the peanut butter and vanilla, mixing well.  Then add the cereal.  Press into the prepared pan.

Melt the chips together and spread over the top.  Allow to set up, then cut into bars.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welp, it finally happened.  I made a Pioneer Woman recipe that didn’t turn out well.  These cookies spread out so thin in the oven that they basically baked into one giant cookie on the baking sheet.  However, I probably should have known better.  PW mentioned that they are very flat and crispy.  I should have spaced them farther apart.

On the other hand, we did like the flavor a lot.  Who doesn’t love a chocolate malt milkshake?  So with some adaptation in the future I think they could be great.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: PW

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Golden Brown Sugar
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cups (rounded) Malted Milk Powder
  • 1 bag (12 Ounce) Milk Chocolate Chips
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter, then add both sugars and cream until fluffy. Add eggs and beat slightly, then add vanilla and beat until combined. Add malted milk powder and beat until combined.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, beating gently until just combined.

Add chocolate chips and stir in gently.

Drop by teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Bake less if you want chewy cookies; more if you want crispy cookies.

Optional: Allow to cool completely, then use two cookies to make an ice cream sandwich. Add sprinkles to the sides of the ice cream, then wrap individually in plastic wrap.

Chewy Brownies

I can’t believe I have been blogging this long and have never posted a brownie recipe!  How is that possible?! We are such big fans of brownies!  Thick and cakey or dense and fudgy, it doesn’t matter to us.  We like them all.  These happen to be thin and chewy and very chocolaty!   Tim was such a fan of them because of their strong dark chocolate favor.  I loved the little bits of melted chocolate from the chopped bittersweet chocolate that got stirred in the batter at the end. 🙂

Chewy Brownies

{Source: Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue as seen at Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: 24 brownies

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder {I used Hershey’s special dark chocolate cocoa}
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but I strongly recommend it)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.  Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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