Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread

Hi friends – Happy Sunday! The “Sunday scaries” are real tonight as I start to shift my mind to work tomorrow after being at the beach all week. It was such a great week of family, games, and rest, which makes it hard to go back to reality.

However, as with all good vacations, Dylan and I felt the need to diet afterwards. We made a really yummy dinner of veggies, salmon, and pineapple on the grill tonight. But! Just because dinner is healthy, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get dessert too 🙂

Dylan had requested a chocolate chip “pizookie”, but I wanted to take it one step further. I found this recipe from my friend Sally (maybe one day we will be actual friends!) and it did NOT disappoint. This bread is easy, contains a lot of ingredients you probably already have, AND tastes just like a chocolate chip cookie in cake form. In fact, I even got a “good job honey” from my husband after he ate his second slice. I’m telling you, this is a winner.

Since I followed the recipe to a “t”, I’m not going to write it out, but instead give you a few pointers…

  • She calls for the eggs, butter, and sour cream at room temp; however, I felt a bit weird about leaving the sour cream out. Also, I didn’t feel bad about the sour cream being cold since the milk was going to be cold as well. Leaving the butter out to soften did really help when I creamed it with the sugar though.
  • I decided to not make the chocolate & peanut butter topping and I was glad I held off. The bread is so full of chocolate, you don’t really need anything else.
  • When you get to the part where you add the sour cream, mine definitely looked curdled. She mentions that is normal! My dough all pulled together when I added the dry ingredients and the milk.
  • I ended up baking mine for right at 55 minutes – just be careful when you get close to the one hour mark that you don’t overbake. Mine was perfect – the outside was a little crunchy, but the middle was gooey and moist.
  • The only things I didn’t have in my kitchen were mini chocolate chips and whole milk – honestly, I thought they were both worth the trip to the grocery store and helped the bread turn out so well.

I really don’t think you can mess this one up if you follow the recipe! It is so yummy and easy. Happy baking!

xoxo,
Morgan

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by grabbing dinner at the place that catered our wedding. My husband has always raved about their banana pudding, but I had never tried it, and to be honest, I wasn’t dying to try it either because I’m not too crazy about banana pudding. One bite in and my mind was completely changed. This banana pudding was so. good!!!!! So good, in fact, that I was inspired to make banana pudding at home!

Ingredients

1 8 oz block of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 5 oz package of instant vanilla pudding

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla extract

5 bananas, sliced

1 box of vanilla wafers

Cool whip, thawed (optional)

Directions

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft. Add sweetened condensed milk, cream, water, pudding package, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.

In a trifle dish, a 9 x 13” casserole dish, or any regular ole glass bowl you have, assemble the pudding. Layer vanilla wafers in the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of bananas on top of the wafers. Next, spoon 1/3 of the pudding into your dish, ensuring all bananas are covered. Repeat until you have 3 layers. If desired, garnish top with additional banana slices, wafers, and cool whip. Let pudding cool for 1 hour or so to thicken up.

Note: depending on the size of your dish, you make to double up on wafers and banana slices so the layers are thicker.


Hope you love it!

xoxo,

Katie

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes

Y’all. These cupcakes turned out so good. I made an orange creamsicle cake last year and it just wasn’t orangey enough. This year I decided to just bite the bullet and invest in orange extract. I’m glad I did- these cupcakes have the perfect flavor!

Ingredients

Cake

1 white box cake

1 3 oz package of orange jello

4 eggs

3/4 cup orange juice

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp orange extract

Frosting

1 8 oz package of cream cheese

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butterm

5 cups powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp orange extract

Directions

Whisk together cake mix and jello. Whisk in eggs one at a time until completely combined. Mix in juice, oil, and extract. Prepare 2 12-cup muffin tins and preheat oven to 325F. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 14 minutes or until cupcakes are cooked. Beware, these will burn quickly!

To prepare frosting, mix room temperature cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes. 1 cup at a time, mix in powdered sugar until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if you desire a different consistency. Add salt, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and continue mixing until smooth. Separate half of the frosting into a new bowl. To the electric mixing bowl, add the orange extract and mix thoroughly. Add some drops of yellow and red food coloring to distinguish the orange flavored frosting from the cream cheese frosting. To swirl the frosting, lay plastic wrap on the counter. Spoon a strip of each frosting side by side, then roll the plastic wrap up. Place the log of frosting into a piping bag and pip frosting onto cupcakes as normal.


Happy baking!

xoxo,

Katie

Homemade New York-Style Cheesecake

Homemade New York-Style Cheesecake

Hi friends! Happy Memorial Day. What a precious day of reflection on all those who have given their lives for our country and our freedom. I hope you all spent it with loved ones!

Between visiting family, overhauling my flower beds, and work travel, I’ve been slacking on the blog game! I am back in business now though. Today, I want to share with you a recipe I made for my mom’s birthday. Every year for her birthday, I decide to tackle a cheesecake (since I know it is one of her favorites). Last year, she was on the keto diet, so I made a keto-friendly cheesecake that actually turned out really well (see that recipe here)! However, this year I was upping the ante. I decided to take on a more complex homemade baked New York-style cheesecake recipe with 1 goal: no cracks in the cheesecake.

I started with this recipe after doing a good bit of reading about water baths, over-mixing, and room temp ingredients. Since I stayed pretty tight to the original recipe, I won’t type it out here but will share some of my notes…

  • When she says you NEED 18in wide aluminum foil and a springform pan – trust her! I don’t know how I would’ve done this without them. The 18in aluminum foil gave me peace of mind in ensuring my water bath didn’t leak into the cheesecake. I thought this variation of aluminum foil would be hard to find in a store, but I easily found it in my local grocery store. You can also purchase springform pans like this one for pretty reasonable if you don’t have one.
  • It’s essential that your ingredients are at room temp – it’s worth the extra time to ensure this step. You’ll be glad I mentioned this when your batter isn’t lumpy 🙂
  • My cheesecake ended up having a somewhat strong lemon flavor due to the juice and zest you put in. I will probably go a bit easy on this the next time. You want enough to give it that “zing” but not enough so it’s lemon cheesecake. I’ll probably half the lemon ingredients next time.
  • When you boil water to go in your roasting pan, make sure you boil a whole kettle’s worth. You’ll need more than you think poured around the pan. For the roasting pan, I had one I used to cook a turkey in and it was perfect. Here’s a similar one, if you are in the market. I think you could use a big disposable aluminum pan as well if you don’t want to buy this. Just make sure it’s wider than your springform pan.
  • My biggest regret is that I wish I had baked my cheesecake longer. I think mine needed a good 1 hr 45 to 2 hours. I ended up baking it for 1 hour and 45 minutes and the very middle was still “liquidy”. Ultimately you don’t want it too shiny in the middle. Once you get to that 1 hour and 45 min mark, keep an eye on the look of the top – you’ll notice a difference in the edges. Wait patiently until the middle gets that way too.
  • As far as preventing cracks… The picture on this post is what mine looked like right out of the oven, no cracks!! But… The recipe tells you to run a knife along the edges (this was great) and then cover with plastic wrap. DON’T COVER WITH PLASTIC WRAP. I was devastated when I started to put the plastic wrap on and it stuck to the cheesecake. When I pulled it back, it ripped the top, and there I was with a big ‘ole crack after all. I really think if I would’ve just put it straight in the fridge to cool without anything on top, it would’ve been perfect. Oh well, you live and you learn.

That’s it! This recipe was more advanced than our usual recipes on the blog, but it was a really fun “project” to make. If you are looking for something a bit adventurous, look no further. For this reason though, I’m ranking this a 2 out of 5 for our rookie ratings.

That being said, you’ll have to let me know if you try this one! Happy baking!

xoxo,
Morgan

Root Beer Float Popsicles

Root Beer Float Popsicles

I bought a popsicle mold last week on a whim and I’m already thinking up all the different flavors I want to try! This week was Root Beer float- which surprisingly I’m not a huge fan of in the first place (don’t get me wrong though I’ve never turned down ice cream in my life). I’m glad I tried this flavor because it was super fun and turned out really yummy!

Ingredients

Vanilla Ice Cream

Flat Root Beer

Directions

*my popsicle mold made 10 popsicles, so my measurements are based on that*

Let 1 cup of vanilla ice cream melt (just sit it on the counter, do not melt it in the microwave). Pour 1 tbsp of melted ice cream into the bottom of each mold and let it freeze for an hour or so. Mix 2 cups of flat root beer with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of melted ice cream. Fill each mold to the top with the root beer mixture. Let the popsicles freeze overnight. To remove the popsicles from the mold, let them sit out for a couple minutes and gently loosen.


Hope you enjoy all summer long! Let me know if you have any other popsicle flavor ideas!

xoxo,

Katie

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

I finally made this cake that I’ve been seeing online for over a year. It has two ingredients that I’ve always wanted to try out- mayonnaise and coffee. Mayonnaise is supposed to make the cake extra moist as well as deepen the chocolate flavor, and coffee is supposed to do the latter, as well.

I followed the recipe found here exactly. I’ve listed my thoughts below!

So is the mayonnaise cake as good as the internet thinks?!

-I 100% do think this cake was more moist than any other homemade cake I have made! However, I’m not sure that a cake made with buttermilk or sour cream or a similar type of tangy fat would not produce the same effect. It would be interesting to compare how those 3 fats would change the taste/texture of a cake. Overall, I’m sold on the mayonnaise.

– The ingredient I did seem to have an issue with was the coffee, which is funny since it is probably more widely used than mayonnaise. I don’t drink coffee, and the whole time I was baking this I could only smell coffee in my kitchen. The batter tasted SUPER strong of coffee. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t drink it and I’m more sensitive to the taste or what, but I did not expect to have this taste more like coffee than chocolate. I will say once baked the coffee taste mellowed, but to me, this cake still had a faint taste of coffee. Almost like a mocha cake. Which is not necessarily a bad thing! I do like mocha. But I think in the future I will avoid chocolate desserts that call for coffee in them. I want my chocolate to be chocolate.


If you’ve ever tried baking with mayonnaise or coffee and have a different experience, let me know!!

xoxo,

Katie

Strawberry Ice Box Pretzel Pie

Strawberry Ice Box Pretzel Pie

One of my favorite pastimes is browsing Southern Living dessert articles and texting myself links to recipes I want to try. Seriously, my whole text thread is recipe links. Most just sit there, but I couldn’t get this one for a Strawberry Ice Box Pretzel Pie out of my head! I’m so glad I tried it. It wasn’t too hard to make and it isn’t overly sweet. It’s a refreshing summery dessert and the pretzel crust pairs surprisingly well with the strawberry! My recipe notes are below.

1. I had enough pretzel mixture to make almost another pie. If you want, make about 2/3 of what the recipe calls for, for the crust. I used my Pyrex measuring cup to press my pie crust into the dish. To speed up the cooling time after baking, I stuck my pie in the freezer.

2. I do not own a food processor, so I just used my cheap blender to chop the strawberries. I ended up pureeing them, which did not affect the end result.

3. Be careful to keep an eye out while whipping your cream. I was on the brink of making butter because I turned away for too long! It should not take long to reach soft peaks while whipping the cream.

4. The amount of pie filling fit perfectly in my dish. I expected to have leftovers based on the amount of crust I was left with, but I used all the filling!

5. Once you have frozen it according to the recipe, the crust will be very hard to cut through. I let mine sit in the fridge for a bit and it made for a much smoother cut.

6. I did not whip more cream for a topping. The pie is delicious even without it.

7. It appears that this pie will “melt” as sits out, so I recommend storing it in the freezer.

8. I used the whole package of strawberry jello.


I’m so glad I finally tried out this recipe! I will likely make this time and time again. Hope you enjoy!

xoxo,

Katie

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hi friends! Happy Sunday night. I don’t know about you, but it has been a busy weekend. Between birthday celebrations, church events, and my cousin’s play, I’m about ready to go to bed.

Since we were celebrating my dad this weekend, I decided to make something he loves – red velvet cake! I’ve had moderate red velvet success in the past, but have never really nailed the cake/ frosting combo. I used this recipe for the cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and this recipe for the cream cheese frosting. Warning: this cupcake recipe was a bit complex, so enter at your own risk. She does a great job spelling out the steps (why I won’t here), so you can do it! Here are some notes from my experience…

  • Make sure you set everything (buttermilk, butter, and eggs) out to get to room temp ahead of time – I really think this makes a difference! You’ll need to set them out on the counter for a couple of hours before you start baking
  • I think you could probably go a little heavier on the vanilla and cocoa powder. The flavor of the cupcakes wasn’t quite as strong as I wanted it to be.
  • Go heavy handed on the red food coloring – I’m always shocked at how much I end up needing for the red velvet color! I used a whole little bottle (one that typically comes in a 4 pack of colors) of red food coloring for mine.
  • Make sure you fold in the egg whites completely. If you don’t (like me), you’ll end up with little yellow spots in the red velvet cupcakes where the egg whites didn’t mix in completely.
  • My biggest piece of advice… DON’T OVER BAKE THEM. Unfortunately, mine turned out a bit dry because they were a couple minutes over baked. The recipe calls to bake them for 20-21 minutes. I would start with 15 minutes and keep a close eye on them. It’s so tricky because you can’t see them really turning color because of the food coloring and you don’t want the middles to collapse because you open the oven too early. Pull them out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean.

On a different note… The cream cheese frosting was the best I’ve ever made and it was so easy! It turned out really well. Just make sure you also pull out the butter and cream cheese for this ahead of time. One other tip is that if you make the frosting ahead of time and put it in the fridge, you need it to get to room temp before you can pipe it evenly on the cupcakes. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way.

Other than my mishaps, I really did enjoy making these this weekend. Hope you do too!

xoxo,
Morgan

Double Chocolate Cake Donuts

Double Chocolate Cake Donuts

After debating whether to make banana pudding or key lime pound cake this week, I landed on Double Chocolate Cake Donuts…. Not sure how I made such a jump, but here we are!

Every time I try to make donuts from scratch I’m a little disappointed. They just taste like a differently shaped muffin. I guess I need to try fried yeast donuts, but that’s more effort than I’m willing to exert. However, the recipe I tried this week definitely felt more like a donut than cake! I used this recipe and made no substitutions at all. This recipe came together very easily and without a heavy duty mixer. I was skeptical about the frosting on top as it wasn’t sweet by itself, but it complemented the donut very well! You have to try these!

Happy baking!

xoxo,

Katie

Chewy Jif Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy Jif Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been craving a good peanut butter cookie for a while. The last peanut butter cookie recipe I tried was super crumbly and I couldn’t take even one bite without a glass of milk. So I thought I’d find a tried and true recipe and give it a try! Where better to look than the Jif jar.

Ingredients

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup butter

3 tbsps milk

1 tbsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

Directions

Beat the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and milk until well combined. Slowly mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda until completely combined. Drop by rounded tablespoon into a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a fork, flatten the cookie and make the criss cross pattern on top. Bake at 375F for 9 minutes.


Hope you enjoy!

xoxo,

Katie