Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

A soft, fluffy layer cake that bakes up taller than your average cake with mini chocolate chips speckling the batter and chocolate frosting all around.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been searching for a good chocolate chip layer cake recipe. One where the chocolate chips actually stay suspended in the batter and don’t sink to the bottom so when you turn out the cake you have a sticky, chocolate mess stuck to the bottom of the pan and a broken, crazy looking cake that is utterly impossible to save.

I gave up on them.

Then I saw this recipe in my Tate’s Baking for Friends and all those cake fails were quickly forgotten.

It’s imperative that you use mini chocolate chips. The big ones will sink, even if you coat them with flour, too heavy even for this batter. This cake works because the batter is thick enough to hold up those lightweight, little chips. It’s made with two eggs and two yolks, entirely with brown sugar – no white, and buttermilk, all giving it a wonderful rich flavor. Plus, there’s lots of it. Cake, that is. Lots of cake.

The recipe makes a ton of batter that is best baked off in springform pans where it can bake up as high as it wants without fear of overflowing. If you don’t have two springform pans you can bake it in three or four smaller pans or use the extra batter for cupcakes.

The frosting is my favorite cocoa frosting, the one I always turn to. You can easily turn it into a mocha frosting that would complement the cake nicely by adding a few teaspoons of espresso powder and you can also add some mini chocolate chips in keeping with the theme.

This is the chocolate chip cake of my dreams.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

A soft, fluffy layer cake that bakes up taller than your average cake with mini chocolate chips speckling the batter and chocolate frosting all around.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:
softened butter and flour for the pans
3 + ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 + ½ cups (9 ounces) miniature chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli )
Frosting:
1/2 cup light heavy cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with oven rack in the center. Butter and flour the sides of two 9x3-inch round cake or springform pans or three 8x2-inch round pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Make the cake:
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Measure the buttermilk with a glass measuring cup and add the vanilla to it.
  4. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat the brown sugar and butter together on medium speed 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
  5. On low speed add the flour mixture in thirds alternating with buttermilk in 2 equal additions, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  6. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. I scoop up the batter with a one cup measure to get them as evenly as possible. (If using regular cake pans don't overfill them - use excess to make cupcakes and place a baking sheet on your bottom rack to catch any drips.)
  8. Bake until wooden toothpick in centers of cakes comes out clean, about 38 - 40 minutes for the 9-inch pans and 30 - 34 minutes for the 8-inch size.
  9. Cool on wire racks for 10 - 15 minutes then run a butter knife around the edges and turn out from the pans or remove the rings, if using springform pans. Turn cakes right side up and cool completely on wire racks.
  10. Make the frosting:
  11. In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  12. In a medium mixing bowl on medium speed beat the butter, salt, cocoa, vanilla, the espresso, 1/3 cup of the warm cream and half the sugar until smooth.
  13. Gradually add the remaining sugar beating on medium speed until smooth and fluffy 5 - 6 minutes - if the frosting seems too thick to spread then beat in the remaining cream a teaspoon at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. Frost the cake right away.

Notes:

Adapted from Tate's Bake Shop - Baking for Friends by Kathleen King

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-chip-layer-cake/

Dutch Coffee Buns

Dutch Coffee Buns

Dutch coffee buns are yeast rolls traditionally topped with a jam glaze and filled with custard and raisins. Always one to buck tradition and in an effort to use up my leftover holiday baking supplies, I filled mine with almond paste, dried cranberries and then topped them off with a tart cherry jam glaze.

This was my monthly Baking Partner’s challenge. Thanks to Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen, the creator of the group and Kaveri of Palakkad Chamayal for suggesting these delectable buns! They’re easy to make with a process that is just like cinnamon rolls.

Dutch Coffee Buns with Almond Filling & Jam

The dough is proofed once then rolled out to a square and topped with almond paste and cranberries. It’s rolled up and sliced then left to proof again before baking. The buns are topped with jam glaze and are best eaten warm with a cup of fresh, piping hot coffee, the traditional way they are served in the Netherlands.

They bake up soft and fluffy with almond paste and chewy cranberries bursting from the seams. The sweet jam is the perfect topping for the tender, yeasty buns.

You can find the links to all my Baking Partner’s versions below along with recipes for the Dutch apple tart.

Dutch Coffee Buns with Jam & Almonds

Dutch Coffee Buns

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 buns, depending on size

 Dutch Coffee Buns

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet (7 grams) instant yeast
1 + ¼ cups lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces almond paste
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup fruit jam (tart cherry, strawberry, apricot or blueberry)
2 tablespoon warm water
a handful of sliced almonds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the hook attachment)whisk the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together. Add the butter, vanilla and milk, stir until the milk is combined then turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is smooth or use your stand mixer set to medium speed.
  2. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with saran wrap. Set in a warm place and proof until doubled in size about 1 hour. Meanwhile, break the almond paste apart into small pieces.
  3. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes. Then roll it out with a rolling pin to about a 13 x 13-inch square.
  4. Sprinkle the almond paste all over leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the cranberries over top of that.
  5. Roll the dough up to form a cylinder shape. With seam side down cut slices with a serrated knife 1-inch to 1 + 1/2-inch in size. Place on the baking sheet. If any of the almond paste falls out just pop it back in.
  6. Set a piece of parchment over top and then gently cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and proof again 30 - 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You can brush the tops of the rolls with a tablespoon of melted butter, if you like. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Mix the jam and warm water together and brush over top of the warm rolls. Sprinkle with almonds.
  9. Serve warm with a fresh, steaming hot cup of coffee.

Notes:

Adapted from The Dutch Table

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/jam-glazed-dutch-coffee-buns/

Baking Partners

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

These delectable parfaits are made by layering coconut cream pie filling with graham cracker crust crumbs, blueberries and whipped cream. A deconstructed coconut cream pie with a bonus.

Sometimes I forget just how good desserts like this can be. I get so caught up in baking cookies, cakes and brownies that other types of desserts don’t even enter my mind. The realization hit when I took the finished parfaits out of the refrigerator and heard oohs and aahs behind me and sunk in again as I happily devoured spoonful after spoonful of this heavenly concoction.

I used all the components of a coconut cream pie recipe and added blueberries because if there’s one thing I’m sure of when it comes to blueberries it’s how much they love coconut. And whipped cream.

The thick and creamy filling is made with half & half, shredded coconut, a little sugar, vanilla and cornstarch as a thickener in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can easily make one with a heat-proof bowl and a sauce pan. I included a link in the recipe below that explains how.

The graham cracker crust is baked on a baking sheet and then broken into crumbs. It’s buttery and sweet and I could quite possibly eat the entire thing just by grabbing a piece here and there every time I walk by it.

My conclusion? Dessert parfaits are wildly underrated. I need more of them in my life!

Like a habit.

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 larger-sized parfaits or 8 medium-ish or lots of smaller ones!

Coconut Cream Pie Parfaits with Blueberries

These delectable parfaits are made by layering coconut cream pie filling with graham cracker crust crumbs, blueberries and whipped cream. A deconstructed coconut cream pie with a bonus.

INGREDIENTS:

Graham Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (made from about 16 crackers)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling:
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
5 large egg yolks, beaten
2 cups half & half
2 + 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/4 cups shredded coconut (I use organic, unsweetened)
Whipped Cream:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
To Assemble:
1 pint of fresh blueberries or about 8 ounces frozen
1/2 cup toasted, shredded coconut, (optional, for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

    Make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium-sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl stir the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar together. Add the butter and use a fork to work it into the crumbs.
  3. Dump the crumbs out on the baking sheet and pat it into a rectangle 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Bake 8 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Make the filling:
  5. In the top of a *double boiler or medium heatproof bowl whisk together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and egg yolks until well combined.
  6. Heat the half & half in a saucepan to just under the boiling point - steam will come off it and bubbles will rise to the surface. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot half & half into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks so they won't curdle. Slowly whisk in the remainder.
  7. Set the bowl over the bottom of the *double boiler or a saucepan of boiling water and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla and the coconut. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so that a skin does not form refrigerate until cool 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Make the whipped cream:
  10. Whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken then add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until thick and fluffy with soft peaks.
  11. Assembly:
  12. Crumble the graham cracker crust into crumbs. Layer the parfaits starting with a layer of crumbs followed by a layer of coconut cream then blueberries then whipped cream. Depending on the size of your parfait glasses you can repeat the layers again or stop there and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut.

Notes:

*How to Make a Double Boiler

Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/coconut-cream-pie-parfaits-with-blueberries/

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Peanut butter rice krispie treats layered atop fudge brownies and enrobed completely in chocolate like a little gift.

Let’s talk about the brownie layer first. It’s soft, rich and fudgy with an occasional crunchy bite because it has rice krispies in it too. They’re softer than what’s found in the top layer from being baked and there’s just enough to give it a little texture and subtle crunch.

The rice krispie layer is a little more denser than the traditional rice krispie treat and tastes more of peanut butter than marshmallows. It’s in equal proportion to the brownie layer and together they make the perfect bite.

If the brownies were any taller it would be hard to wrap your mouth around them. While that’s never a bad thing when it comes to desserts, my intention was to get a mouthful of both so you experience crunchy peanut butter-laced cereal and soft fudgy brownie all at once in one beautiful bite.

The chocolate coating is the facet that ties them both together and makes the brownie feel complete. It unites them. Without it all you have are rice krispies on top of brownies. With it you have “peanut butter rice krispie treat brownies“. Brownie bombs. A perfect juxtaposition of chocolate to peanut butter to make your heart pitter patter a little faster. {Of course you can make them without it but I don’t recommend it.}

I do recommend you bake up a batch of these completely irresistible treats as soon as humanly possible. . .

You’re very welcome.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 (8x8-inch) pan/16 (1-inch) squares

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

Brownies:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 + 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Rice Krispie Layer:
1 tablespoon butter
20 (about 5 ounces) regular marshmallows or 2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Chocolate Coating:
1 + 1/2 cups chopped milk or semi-sweet chocolate (I like Callebaut )
1 teaspoon melted shortening

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease just the very center of an 8x8 baking pan to get the parchment to stick - then line it with parchment paper (or aluminum foil), leave it overhanging on two sides; lightly butter the paper.
  2. Make the brownies:
  3. Melt the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips together in a double boiler or in the microwave on the chocolate setting in 20 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  4. Stir in the sugars and salt, then the eggs, then the flour, stirring just until combined. Stir in the rice krispies - it will be pretty thick.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the brownies from the oven to a wire rack and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top. Wait 15 - 20 minutes then spread the melted chips gently over the top - they won't cover it completely - it's just to give the rice krispie layer something to adhere to. Let cool completely.
  7. Make the rice krispies:
  8. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted.
  9. Add the cereal and stir until well combined. Scoop it out onto the brownies and spread it out with a buttered spatula or wet fingers edge to edge as evenly as possible. Refrigerate 25 minutes to make for easier cutting and covering in chocolate.
  10. After about 25 minutes remove from refrigerator and lift them out using the overhanging parchment onto a cutting board. Cut into squares or bars using a large chef's knife or a paring knife wiped clean between cuts. Set them on a wire rack or on clean piece of parchment.
  11. Make the chocolate coating:
  12. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt all the chocolate except about a tablespoon (set it aside) in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is smooth and melted. Add the chocolate you set aside and stir until melted. Stir in the shortening.
  13. Dip the brownies one at a time - you can stick a skewer or chopstick into them to make it easier - using a spoon to cover them all over with chocolate. Let excess drip off and then set on a wire rack or on parchment. Working fast, repeat until all the brownies are coated. The chocolate should set up quickly - if it doesn't, you can place them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until set.
  14. Store in a cool dry place, tightly covered up to 5 days. Layer them with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Notes:

Brownies adapted from these Rocky Road Brownies

Rice Krispie Treats adapted from

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-covered-peanut-butter-rice-krispie-treat-brownies/

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Banana Bread

Banana bread bursting with dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips. The tart berries paired with the sweet chocolate and subtle hint of banana is a particularly delicious combination, not to mention, befitting of the season.

This is a bread that only gets better as it ages. The banana flavor becomes more pronounced after a day or two and the chewy cranberries really pop. It has a soft, fluffy crumb and surprisingly isn’t as sweet as some banana breads.

There’s no butter involved, just a small amount of oil and buttermilk that you can swap out for sour cream or yogurt. I always have a canister – or three – of buttermilk powder on hand for baking. I love it because you can mix it up as needed and it has the same properties as fresh. Cup for cup I find it’s cheaper too and it’s not as wasteful. You can find it in the baking section of your market or buy it on-line.

This is a perfect bread to serve at a holiday brunch or to have on hand for impromptu guests that might drop in before Christmas. You know, to spread holiday cheer or drop off gifts or brighten your day with caroling.

It’s nice to be prepared with a little snack. Payback.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Banana Bread

Banana bread bursting with dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup very ripe mashed banana ( 2 to 3 small - medium)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk, sour cream or plain yogurt (I used buttermilk)
1 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup dried cranberries, rough chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard-size loaf pan.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and oil together on low speed until blended. Beat in the banana and vanilla.
  3. In a separate, medium bowl whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour. Add to the egg mixture and mix on low until just combined then pour in the buttermilk and mix again until just combined.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle a handful of chips over the top.
  5. Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool on a wire rack 30 minute then carefully turn out to cool completely.

Notes:

Adapted from King Arthur's Baking Companion

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/chocolate-chip-cranberry-banana-bread/

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry and Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles. My entry in the “Blueberries Meet Their Match” blogger recipe contest being held by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

The challenge was to use blueberries with coconut, balsamic vinegar, rosemary or bananas. Being I had six bags of shredded coconut (stocking up for Christmas baking) on hand it was an easy choice.

How I came up with this combination of flavors and the idea to make them into truffles is a complete and utter mystery. Sometimes the ideas come to me out of the blue, exactly like a lightning bolt from the sky. Sometimes they’re bad ideas and I dismiss them immediately, other times I take notes. This was an “other” time.

Truffles weren’t my first choice. I confess. There may have been a batch of blueberry bars using these very same flavors that didn’t make the cut. Everyone loved them but I just didn’t think they were good enough. . .

The thing I love most about these is how all the many flavors come together to make one delicious bite but at the same time there will be a solitary standout. You may taste the zinginess of the ginger in one bite while the next one is all about the macadamia nuts. One thing I do know is the subtle hint of blueberry permeates them through and through and the toasted coconut is a stand out.

Wish me luck.

Blueberry Coconut Truffles

White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Yield: about 34 truffles

 White Chocolate, Blueberry & Toasted Coconut Truffles

Blueberries, toasted coconut flakes, white chocolate, crystallized ginger and macadamia nuts come together in these delectable truffles.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut (I like Woodstock Farms )
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
a pinch or two of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
16 ounces white chocolate from a block or bars, chopped (I like *Callebaut )
2 tablespoons heavy cream, half & half or whole milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus a little more if needed, to roll the truffles in

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium skillet set over medium heat toast the coconut until golden, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat cook the blueberries with the brown sugar and a pinch or two of salt until they release their juices and start to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Use a hand blender to puree them right in the pan or add them to a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, put the macadamia nuts in a ziploc bag, place them on a cutting board and cover them with a kitchen towel. Pound them into fine crumbs using a meat mallet or small frying pan. Alternately you can use your food processor but I found this works better for such a small amount.
  4. Before you start the next step be sure you have everything lined up and ready to mix in because once you melt the chocolate you have to move quickly before it sets up.
  5. Pour the blueberries back in the pan over medium heat, once it starts to boil stir in the cornstarch. Continue cooking about 3 more minutes, stirring often until the blueberries thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the ground ginger and crystallized ginger. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, set aside 1/3 cup of the chocolate and melt the rest with the milk over a double boiler or in a large microwave safe bowl using the chocolate setting. If microwaving check every 20 seconds - white chocolate can easily scorch - and stir it. Once it's melted stir in the 1/3 cup of chocolate you set aside along with the coconut oil until it's smooth and creamy.
  7. Immediately mix in the blueberry mixture - the chocolate may start to thicken fast - add the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. Combine well using a metal spoon to work it into the chocolate - it should be very thick at this point but still pretty soft.
  8. Once everything is combined allow to cool off for 10 minutes on the counter then refrigerate 15 minutes - no longer or it will harden too much.
  9. Scoop up slightly rounded tablespoons and pat into a rough-shaped ball (about 1-inch in size), using your fingers to pack it together and shape it. Set on a wire rack and repeat until all the mixture is used.
  10. Roll them in confectioners' sugar. Store tightly covered up to one week - these do not do well in the refrigerator because they harden up. For longer storage you can freeze them. If they do get too hard to eat you can microwave them for 5 seconds before eating.

Notes:

*I use Callebaut White Chocolate Blocks. Look for it by the deli or near the artisan cheese section.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/blueberry-and-toasted-coconut-truffles/

Vanilla Pecan Pie

This is a sponsored post for McCormick. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Vanilla Pecan Pie

Pecan pie gets an exciting new twist! This double-decker pie features a layer of cream cheese topped with sticky pecans. It’s like two desserts in one. Pie meets cheesecake. The best of both worlds.

It may look complicated to make but in reality it’s ridiculously simple to put together. You can use a premade crust to save time – I’ve included a pie crust recipe if you prefer homemade or if you have a favorite you can use that.

The cheesecake layer comes together easily by beating cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla together then spreading it over the bottom of the crust. It’s baked for 15 minutes giving you time to make the pecan topping. The sticky sweet glue that holds the nuts together comes together just as easily as the first layer by combining eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter and more of that lovely vanilla extract. The flavor of the day.

The pecans are piled on top of the cream cheese and the buttery syrup is poured over it. Another, longer trip to the oven and out comes one of the most delicious pies of the season.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Pecan Pie

It’s the perfect holiday pie with vanilla infusing both layers and that nutty, crunchy topping balanced by the rich creaminess of the cheesecake. Vanilla is one of the most sought after flavors of the season along with pumpkin spice, ginger, peppermint, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg. Here are some of my favorite McCormick recipes for bringing more of those flavors into your life:

Vanilla Cheesecake Pecan Pie

Vanilla Pecan Pie

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

Vanilla Pecan Pie

Pecan pie gets an exciting new twist! This double-decker pie features a layer of cream cheese topped with sticky pecans. It's like two desserts in one. Pie meets cheesecake. The best of both worlds.

INGREDIENTS:

Crust: (or use 1 refrigerated pie crust)
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons shortening
3 - 5 tablespoons ice water
Filling:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan pieces, toasted
For serving:
whip cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

    If using premade crust skip steps 1 and 2.
  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and salt together. Use a pastry blender or two forks used scissor fashion to cut the butter into the flour until you get coarse crumbs. Repeat with the shortening. Drizzle with ice water 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need it all) and toss to combine with a fork, once it starts sticking together use your hands to form it into a ball. Press it into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1/2 hour.
  2. Dust a flat surface with flour and roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle. Press it into the pan and flute the edges or use a fork to make a design.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Skip this next step if you made your own crust - Prepare crust as directed on package for one-crust pie using 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
  4. Beat cream cheese, 1 of the eggs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth.
  5. Spread evenly on bottom of crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  6. Beat remaining 2 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Add corn syrup, butter, remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla and salt; stir until well blended.
  7. Sprinkle pecans evenly over baked cream cheese layer. Slowly pour corn syrup mixture over nuts.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until just set in center. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes:

Adapted from McCormick

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/vanilla-pecan-pie/

This is a sponsored post for McCormick. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Connect with McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Little pumpkin cakes sandwiched with marshmallow fluff buttercream. Why they’re called “pies” I’ll never know because whoopie “cakes” is more fitting. To their credit whoopie “pies” is cuter.

The word on the street is that pumpkin is out of season already. I refuse to believe it. It’s just a rumor pumpkin haters would have you believe. A big mistake. They can’t be out of season if Thanksgiving is still ahead of us. Thanksgiving was made for pumpkin pie eating. And in case you forgot pumpkin comes in a can! Helloooo. . .That means it is never out of season in my heart of hearts.

So these whoopie pies are like one of the best little treats for making people happy. Tuck them into lunches, backpacks and share them with your best friend, coworkers and whoever else you want to see smile.

Everywhere whoopie pies go happiness follows. That’s just how they roll.

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: about 22 whoopie pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Little pumpkin cakes sandwiched with marshmallow fluff buttercream.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin puree
3 1/4 cups all-purpose or white whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur)
Filling:
2 sticks butter, slightly softened but not too soft (I left it on the counter about 20 minutes)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups marshmallow fluff

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a whoopie pie pan or two baking sheets - or line them with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer beat the butter, oil, sugar, molasses, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Scrape down the the bowl and then beat in the eggs one at a time, until fluffy and well-combined.
  4. Beat in the pumpkin on low speed.
  5. Add the flour in two additions mixing well on low speed after each addition. The batter will be thick.
  6. Use a small ice cream scoop (2 tablespoon size) to drop the batter onto the baking sheets about 2" apart or fill the whoopie pie pan 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  7. Bake about 10 - 12 minutes until the cookies are firm on top and lightly brown around the edges.
  8. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. To make the filling beat the butter on medium speed 2 minutes. Add all the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla. Beat on medium 5 minutes. It should be thick and fluffy.
  10. Scrape down the bowl and add the marshmallow fluff. Beat on low just unti combined no more than 1 minute.
  11. You can scoop the filling into a large piping bag fitted with a big, plain tip to fill or just dollop big spoonfuls onto the middle of the flat side, top with another and press together.
  12. Store in one layer in a tightly covered container up to 5 days or wrap each one with plastic wrap.

Notes:

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/pumpkin-whoopie-pies/

I’m linking this to the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash hosted by Joanne of Eats Well With Others and Heather of Girlichef! If you make a recipe this week using squash please link it below.