Almond Macaroon Brownies

Classic desserts are always the best go-to recipes for Holidays and celebrations.  This recipe for Almond Macaroon Brownies tops my list for things to bake this Easter.  Coconut desserts are popular around Easter because coconut is used as a whimsical clone to Bunny fur in dessert recipes.  Or maybe it’s because coconut ties well with tropical desserts that evoke thoughts of warmer weather that is sure to come. We can’t wait for warmer weather here in Fredericksburg and these Almond Macaroon Brownies gets us in the mood for sure. Traditional macaroon cookies are made with egg whites, but this time saving recipe from Betty Crocker omits the egg whites (which gives macaroons their famous delicious chewy texture) resulting in a rich and creamy topping with the same sweet, dreamy coconut macaroon taste.  Since I am short on time this weekend, I opted to use a boxed brownie mix but feel free to use your favorite brownie recipe. With so many complimenting flavors and textures, Almond Macaroon Brownies will make your taste buds sing and have you craving more. Indulge a little and bake this delicious recipe for your Easter guests this year.  It’s is sure to be a winner!

almond macaroon brownies 

The gooey coconut topping is made with the classic rich taste of sweetened condensed milk, toasted coconut and almonds and almond extract.  It’s a sweet temptation that’s so craveable, you’ll want more than just a slice.  So delicious!

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almond macaroon brownies

The brownies are made with an extra egg to make them cake like to make the base sturdy enough (like a bar recipe) for the heavy topping.  I used the fudge brownie mix from Betty Crocker to ensure I got the total fudge experience, but use any kind you like. And if you want them less cake like just follow the directions on the box for fudge like brownies.  They will be more moist and a little messier to cut into but just as delicious.  It’s all about preference.

almond macaroon brownies

Almond Macaroon Brownies

Almond Macaroon Brownies
Serves 8
an almond and coconut lovers dream. Moist fudgy brownies are topped with a rich macaroon flavored topping. Easy to make and cuts like a bar recipe.
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Cook Time
50 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box Betty Crocker Fudge brownie mix
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  4. 3 eggs
  5. Topping;
  6. 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut, coconut
  7. 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  8. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  9. 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  10. 1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 inch pan with foil leaving a few inches on the sides for easy brownie removal. Spray foil with baking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs until thoroughly combined, about two minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix filling ingredients. Remove brownies from oven. Carefully spoon and spread filling evenly over brownies and sprinkle with almonds and semi sweet mini chocolate chips. Bake 10 minutes longer (filling will not brown).
  3. To toast almonds and coconut; in a small sauce pan add almonds and on medium heat, stir constantly until you smell a nutty aroma and the almonds a just lightly golden on the ends. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to cool until ready to use. Repeat the same process for the coconut.
Notes
  1. For tree allergies, Simply replace with vanilla extract and omit the almonds from the recipe.
Adapted from betty crocker
Adapted from betty crocker
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

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Scones-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

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Recently I realized that I have a massive shortage of scone recipes on the blog.  We’re talking one recipe.  Today I am going to change that by sharing this delectable peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal scones recipe with all of you. Scones are easy to make and so versatile ( just like pancakes) that its a breakfast baking staple everyone should master.  It’s so easy to get it right.  With a few simple ingredients you can make light and fluffy scones at home that taste like they came from a bakery.  The trick is to keep a light hand when mixing and kneading the batter. The less you touch the dough the better.  Once you overwork the flour your scones will be brick-like and tasteless, not very good.  You want your scones to be light and airy with a soft and tender crumb.  You also want the flavor to be subtle, nothing too overpowering like a donut.  Scones should be a cross between a tender cake and fluffy biscuits studded with fruit,extracts and sugar or even savory with garlic, cheeses and herbs. The old fashioned way to enjoy sweet scones is with Clotted Cream and a cup of tea (which is still my favorite way), but they are just as delicious drizzled with chocolate, slathered in butter or jams and even dipped in honey.  The peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal scones I’m sharing today taste amazing with chocolate drizzled on top.  They are moist with a light peanut butter taste and a slight crunch from oats and mini chocolate chips. Of course, if you eat them warm, the chocolate chips are nice and gooey.  If you are a peanut butter chocolate lover, you will be in heaven with the goo.  These are simply divine!

peanut butter chocolate chip scones 

TIP: After melting your chocolate, add the mixture to a sandwich bag and seal the top.  Using scissors, snip a corner and press the chocolate out of the opening to drizzle over your scones.

 peanut butter chocolate chip scones
 

peanut butter chocolate chip scones

peanut butter chocolate chip scones

peanut butter chocolate chip scones 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones

adapted from M loves M
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones
Serves 8
A perfect scone recipe for the peanut butter and chocolate lover. Added bonus of oats makes these soft and chewy scones great for breakfast.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  6. 3/4 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  7. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  10. 3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips plus another cup for melting
  11. sprinkle of granulated sugar on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. and position the rack in the center. Line a round baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats. Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is pea-size and resembles course crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and peanut butter until combined and smooth.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the center of the well. with a large spoon, gently mix the dough in the bowl until it starts to come together. Add the chocolate chips and knead with your hands until just incorporated. DO NOT overwork the dough.
  5. Turn the dough out directly onto the prepared baking pan and shape it into a disk 7-8 inches in diameter and about 1 1/2 inches high using your hands or by folding the parchment paper over and patting the dough into a flat disk. sprinkle with the sugar, if desired.
  6. Bake for 20- 22 minutes, or until the scones start to brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The middle will take longer to cook but as long as your scones are a deep golden brown and firm to the touch, it's okay if the middle is still a little soft. It will continue to cook when you let it rest once it is out of the oven.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and slice the scones. Let scones sit for 10-15 minutes. Prepare chocolate drizzle by melting 1 cup of mini chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave 20 seconds more and stir. If mixture is not fully melted microwave again for 10 seconds and stir until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Careful not to burn. If mixture is gritty, you may have burned your chocolate. Add more cream or milk and stir until smooth again and the constancy of thin liquid for drizzling. Drizzle over scones and serve slices warm.
Adapted from m loves m
Adapted from m loves m
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I am a sucker for all things lemon.  Lemon meringue pie, lemon chiffon cake, lemon squares, lemon snowballs and of course scrumptious lemon poppy seed muffins are just a few of my favorites.  If you love to rise and shine in the morning to homemade muffins, this recipe is one to try. Lemon poppy seed muffins are light and moist thanks to the buttermilk and fresh lemon juice in the recipe and has just the right amount of lemon zest to keep you puckering for more.  

lemon poppy seed muffins

In my cookbook Delicious Mornings: Comforting Breakfasts Baked from Scratch, I wrote about how to bake the perfect muffin.  If you don’t have my book yet, I will let you in on a little secret.  Bake your muffins starting at a 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 375 until they are finished baking.  This will help produce a higher dome for your muffin top making them look as spectacular as they taste. And the taste, oh, the taste.  Light and fluffy, moist and lemony with a great texture and added flavor from nutty poppy seeds.  Don’t forget to keep a light hand when mixing your batter to ensure the lightest, airest muffins possible.  For more tips and tricks on baking breakfast from scratch, be sure to order my book from Amazon today.  It’s still selling and it’s HOT!

lemon poppy seed muffins

The muffins have the perfect amount of lemon flavor and the scent is heavenly while baking.  Reminds me of Spring.

lemon poppy seed muffins

I like to eat my lemon poppy seed muffins with a tiny bit of butter.  I also like my muffins warm, but they also taste great at room temperature.

lemon poppy seed muffins

lemon poppy seed muffins

The muffins have just the right amount of sweetness…BUT, if you like to offset the pucker factor you can dust the top of your muffins with a little confectioners sugar. It’s an added bonus to an already perfect morning treat.

lemon poppy seed muffins

lemon poppy seed muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

lemon poppy seed muffins
Yields 12
made with fresh lemon juice and zest these lemon poppy seed muffins are light and delicious. A great morning treat.
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Cook Time
22 min
Cook Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  3. ½ tsp. salt
  4. 1 cup
  5. 1 cup buttermilk
  6. 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  7. 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  8. 3 eggs
  9. Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  10. confectioners sugar, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and make a well in center,set aside. Whisk together 1 cup sugar, milk, butter, poppy seeds, egg, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl until light and frothy. Pour wet mixture into well of dry ingredients, and fold just until moistened.
  2. 2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Turn heat down to 375 and bake for another 12-14 minutes or until edges are just golden brown. Once cooled dust with confectioners sugar if desired.
Notes
  1. may use two lemons if you prefer a stronger lemon taste.
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

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Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

chocolate stout cake

Guinness is the ultimate Irish brewsky for St. Patty’s Day but this year instead of just drinking it, how about baking with it?  The results of this dark chocolate stout cake will have your taste buds reeling in disbelief.  How can this dark stout add so much flavor and moistness to a cake? It’s all about the Guinness.  The intense, rich dark chocolate flavor of this cake is heightened due to the brews creamy natural coffee like flavor. Coffee and chocolate are like two peas in a pod.  One compliments the other and Guinness not only brings out the intense chocolate flavor of this fudge cake but it also adds tons of volume and oodles of moistness.  Stout is made with barley, roasted malt and yeast making it the perfect baking companion.  It not only enhances the flavor of chocolate but also acts as a leavening agent that gives baked goods an exceptional rise and wonderful texture. I topped my bundt cake with silky, smooth chocolate ganache for an oh so creamy and twice as decadent finish to ensure true indulgence of each and every bite.  Intimidated by making your own ganache?  Don’t be.  It couldn’t be more simple and once you make it, you’ll have that “duh” moment of “why didn’t I do this before?” This amazing, thick chocolate ganache is made with just two ingredients…cream and chocolate.  It’s so good you’ll be swooning and licking it straight from the bowl.  Do yourself a favor and grab a spoon to really get in there, you’ll thank me later!  Now see for yourself why Guinness and chocolate were a match made in heaven and get to baking this fabulous dark chocolate stout bundt cake!!! Happy St. Patty’s Day my friends.

chocolate stout cake

The chocolate ganache is so shiny and silky smooth. I just want to bath in this stuff.  Seriously, I would.

chocolate stout cake

It took everything not to swipe my finger across the bottom of the flowing ganache drippage.  

chocolate stout cake

Ohh, la la! 

chocolate stout cake

I had to have a piece.  And show YOU how moist and delicious the inside of this cake looked.

chocolate stout cake

chocolate stout cake

Now that’s some good cake.  YUM!

  

 Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
Yields 1
a rich dark chocolate cake with a hint of guinness stout beer and made with unsweetened applesauce for added moisture. Topped with a chocolate ganache.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. for cake;
  2. 1 box duncan hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  3. 1 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  6. 1 cup Guinness extra stout
  7. 3 eggs
  8. ganache;
  9. 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  10. 1/2 cup boiling heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard size bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl on an electric mixer, beat all dry ingredients until incorporated. Add wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted, comes out clean. Careful not to overbake. Let cool in pan for five minutes and remove bundt cake by inverting pan onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled pour ganache over cake.
  3. to make ganache;
  4. Put chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or bowl. in a small sauce pan heat cream until boiling. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit five minutes. Stir until silky smooth, shiny and lump free.
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