The Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes

Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes

The tradition of enjoying the Nutcracker Ballet at Christmastime is another thing the pandemic took from us. I’m not sure when I’ll ever feel safe sitting close to people in a theater for ballets, plays or movies. In the meantime, I can enjoy the music at home and share some Nutcracker inspired treats with you.

The Nutcracker Land of Sweets is a magical theme that has me mesmerized. Gingerbread, candy canes, gumdrops and billowy clouds of pink frosting are what dreams are made of. And that’s exactly what these dreamy cupcakes are made of. The cupcake flavor is a subtle spice cake. The recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart cake recipe I made last summer. The original cake was paired with blackberry jam, but I knew plum jam would be perfect for these cupcakes. I topped them with a mildly sweet, fluffy Swiss meringue buttercream.

Part of the fun of making these cupcakes began at the store as I collected the sweets to decorate the cupcakes. Another perk of the job is taste testing the candy. I discovered that purple spice drops are licorice flavored and red spice drops are cinnamon. Who knew?

Print Recipe
The Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes
Spice cupcakes filled with plum jam, topped with fluffy pink frosting, gingerbread men and Christmas candy, and dusted with sugar snow
Course Dessert
Keyword cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Keyword cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Instructions
Spice Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 serving muffin pan with disposable baking cups. (I used silver foil liners.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla, one at a time, mixing until well combined.
  5. Add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with milk. Mix until combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into wells of prepared muffin pan, filling about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake until light golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.
  8. Let cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Gently transfer cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Core the center of each cupcake, removing a 3/4-inch deep circle. Fill with jam and replace the circle top.
  10. Frost cupcakes with pink Swiss meringue buttercream. Decorate with cookies and candies. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Pink Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercreamgue Buttercream
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and temperature of 160ºF is reached.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Whisk until glossy, stiff peaks form and mixture reaches room temperature.
  4. Turn mixer to medium-low speed. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing the butter to fully incorporate each time before adding more.
  5. Switch to paddle attachment. On low speed, mix in vanilla, salt and food color. Continue mixing on low speed for a few minutes until smooth.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Spice Cake

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Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling

pumpkin spices mini loaves with caramel filling

In early September, I saw someone announce the fall season on social media. In addition to people pointing out that it was too early for the announcement, the word police corrected the person with the word autumn. Since both terms are correct, we can call the season whatever we prefer. I think autumn is a pretty sounding word, so I’ll use it for the rest of this post. Whatever you call it, these Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves are a perfect little celebration of the season. They have just the right amount of pumpkin spices, making them so fragrant that your kitchen will smell like cozy autumn heaven.

pumpkin spices mini loaves with caramel filling

I call them loaves because I originally made them in mini loaf pans. They’re so cute and delicious that I often give them as holiday gifts. This year I decided to try them in ramekins and I loved the results! I used 6-ounce ramekins, but you can use 8-ounce ramekins, any size mini loaf pans, a muffin pan or even a 9-inch loaf pan. Keep in mind that baking times will differ. To find the ramekins I used, click here.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling
Mini loaves of tender pumpkin bread with caramel filling and luscious cream cheese frosting
Servings
mini loaves
Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings
mini loaves
Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour seven 6-ounce ramekins or six 8-ounce ramekins or any loaf pans of your choice.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  5. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla until combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into prepared ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. (Mini loaves or muffins bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on size. 9-inch loaf bakes for 40-50 minutes)
  7. Cool completely if serving in ramekins or remove from pans after cooling for 10 minutes. Continue to cool on wire rack.
  8. Make 3/4-inch well in the center of each loaf. Fill with caramel sauce. (For the 9-inch loaf, make multiple holes with a skewer. Fill with caramel.)
  9. Top with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
  4. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined.
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Fairy Puffs

Fairy Puffs sugared mini muffins wtih edible flowers

My dad used to take me on walks in the woods to look for fairy rings when I was a child. I wanted to see a real fairy so badly! I got a book about fairies, hoping to learn more about them. Fairies love little cakes, milk, honey and butter so I’m sure these Fairy Puffs would be fairy approved.

My Fairy Puffs recipe is loosely based on an old favorite mini muffin recipe. I tweaked it quite a bit, including the addition of pink dragonfruit powder. Dragonfruit has a subtle flavor, so the bright fuchsia powder is mostly for color. But oh what a beautiful color it is! You can find dragonfruit powder in healthy food stores or online. To find the dragonfruit powder , also known as pink pitaya powder, I used, click here.

fairy puff muffins

Decorating these little cuties was so entertaining! After sampling multiple variations of sparkling sugar and cinnamon sugar, I decided that dipping the bottoms of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar, then dipping the tops in butter and sparkling sugar gave them the perfect balance of sugar and spice. I had purchased some edible flowers a couple of days prior, and they added a pretty, magical touch. The flowers I used are called bachelor’s buttons and I got them at a local gourmet flower seller.

sugared mini muffins with edible flowers

Print Recipe
Fairy Puffs
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Instructions
Fairy Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 24 serving mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, dragonfruit powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill wells of prepared muffin pan with batter.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake. Small muffins can dry out easily.)
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove puffs from pan and transfer to cooling rack. (Loosen puffs with a small offset spatula or butter knife if necessary.)
Topping
  1. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place colored sparkling sugar crystals in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dip the bottoms of each puff in melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Dip the tops of each puff in melted butter, then into sparkling sugar.
  5. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To purchase dragonfruit powder, click here.

 **To purchase pink sparkling sugar crystals, click here.

 

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Raspberry Lemonade Brownies

raspberry lemonade brownies

Here is the lemon brownie enlightenment no one asked for, brought to you by the self proclaimed lemon brownie expert, yours truly! We all know what a lemon bar is. The one we all know and love has a lemon curd filling on a shortbread crust, possibly drizzled with lemon icing. The lemon brownie is a whole different animal. Don’t mistake lemon brownies for lemon cake either. Lemon brownies contain white chocolate which gives them a rich, fudgy texture like their chocolate cousins. Now that we got that straightened out, we can sleep peacefully tonight.

May I just say that my lemon brownie credentials go all the way back to childhood? I grew up with a big lemon tree in my backyard and I constantly experimented with lemons in cooking and baking. I also experimented my way to the perfect lemonade ratio. My younger brother and I made a lemonade pact. He would pick the lemons and I would make lemonade. Our mom never bought soft drinks, so if we wanted refreshments, we had to team up! Decades ago my mom was delighted to see me making a batch of raspberry lemonade for the first time. The raspberry lemonade brownie recipe I’m sharing here has that same sweet-tart flavor we enjoyed back then.

raspberry lemonade brownies

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that there is no electric mixer needed. You can literally execute this recipe with only a wooden spoon to stir it! My other favorite thing is the burst of flavor and color from the fresh raspberries. The icing contains no food coloring. Just three raspberries will give you that luscious shade of pink!

Print Recipe
Raspberry Lemonade Brownies
Course Dessert
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Raspberry Lemonade Bownies
Raspberry Lemonade Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Raspberry Lemonade Bownies
Raspberry Lemonade Icing
Instructions
Raspberry Lemonade Bownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium microwaveable bowl, heat white chocolate and butter in the microwave for 20 second intervals until melted. Alternately, melt white chocolate and butter on the stove in a double boiler.
  4. In a large bowl, combine melted chocolate and butter mixture, sugar, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs. Stir until smooth.
  5. Add flour and stir just until combined.
  6. Gently fold in raspberries.
  7. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan. Bake until top is set and edges are light golden brown, about 25-28 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely.
Raspberry Lemonade Icing
  1. In a small bowl, smash raspberries with a fork.
  2. Add powdered sugar, melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Whisk until smooth, adding more lemon juice as necessary.
  3. Spread icing over cooled brownies.
  4. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve with additional raspberries, if desired.
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Marshmallow Mudslide Cookies

marshmallow mudslide cookies

Have you ever had mudslide cake? It’s a deliciously messy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and marshmallows, also known as Mississippi mud cake. I saw one covered in a layer of marshmallow fluff and it made its way into my dreams. I woke up with the inspiration to make a cookie version of the gooey mudslide cake.

I saw a few mudslide cookie recipes out there that used standard size marshmallows and chocolate chips mixed into the cookie dough. If you’ve ever baked with marshmallows, you know that they nearly disappear during the baking process. Chocolate chips melt beautifully into little pools of chocolate, but then harden once cooled to room temperature. I happily volunteered to address these challenges! After some trial and error, I created a satisfying cookie with plenty of gooey marshmallow goodness and a rich fudge filling that stays soft at room temperature. Dreams do come true!

marshmallow mudslide cookies

Print Recipe
Marshmallow Mudslide Cookies
Chocolate fudge-filled cookies topped with toasted marshmallows
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Fudge filling
Cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Fudge filling
Cookies
Instructions
Fudge filling
  1. Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk together in a double boiler or in the **microwave in a medium microwave safe bowl.
  2. Stir in chopped nuts. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Cookies
  1. Heat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer.
  4. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well combined.
  6. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  7. Add dry ingredients in two increments, mixing just until combined.
  8. Roll fudge filling into tablespoon sized balls
  9. Roll cookie dough into 1/8 cup balls then flatten into a disc with your fingers and place a ball of fudge filling in the middle of each disc. Wrap the cookie dough around the ball of filling, sealing it completely.
  10. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on large baking sheets.
  11. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  12. Turn on broiler.
  13. Place a marshmallow on top of each cookie.
  14. Broil cookies until marshmallows are toasted. This takes about 1 minute. CAUTION Watch cookies carefully when broiling! They can go from done to burnt in the blink of an eye!
Recipe Notes

*I used Kraft Jet-Puffed S'moreMallows, but if you're unable to find them, use jumbo marshmallows. Cut them in half lengthwise with kitchen shears. Place on cookies cut side down.

**To melt fudge filling in microwave, heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring until melted.

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Pastel Snowball Cookies

pastel snowball cookies

This delightful melt-in-your-mouth cookie recipe has been in my family for decades. We call them Snowballs, but they’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes or Greek Kourabiedes. I make them every year for Christmas, but they would also be perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthday parties, tea parties, weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers.

Pecans are my favorite nuts to use in this recipe, but you can use almost any nuts you have on hand. The original snowy white version is a classic but you can take them up a notch with pretty pastels and fruit flavors. You can use crushed, freeze-dried fruit for color and subtle flavor. Spirulina is a nutritious, vibrant powder you can use to make beautiful blue cookies. You can also dress up your snowballs with edible glitter or luster dust used for cake decorating. There are endless ways to be creative with these cute cookies!

Print Recipe
Pastel Snowball Cookies
Melt-in-your-mouth powdered sugar covered shortbread cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Pink powdered sugar
Blue powered sugar
Lavender powered sugar
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Pink powdered sugar
Blue powered sugar
Lavender powered sugar
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and sea salt. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour and pecans.
  5. Add flour and pecan mixture to butter mixture gradually. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  6. Shape dough into scant 1-inch balls. Place balls one inch apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake until light golden brown, about 18-21 minutes
  8. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a plastic bag. With a spatula, transfer three warm cookies into the bag. Shake gently to coat cookies with powdered sugar. Transfer to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  9. Cool cookies completely then proceed to instructions for pastel powdered sugar, depending on which color you have selected.
Pink powdered sugar
  1. Process freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries into a fine powder in a mini food processor.
  2. Whisk freeze-dried berry powder with 1/3 cup powered sugar together in a small bowl.
  3. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Blue powered sugar
  1. Whisk 1/3 cup powdered sugar and spriulina powder in a small bowl.
  2. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Lavender powered sugar
  1. Process freeze-dried blueberries into a fine powder in a mini food processor.
  2. Whisk freeze-dried blueberry powder with 1/3 cup powered sugar together in a small bowl. Whisk in petal dust for a more vibrant color, if desired.
  3. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Recipe Notes

*The ratios for the pastel powered sugar are approximate. Freeze-dried fruit varies in color. Add more or less to achieve your desired shade.

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Honeydukes Inspired Pink Coconut Ice Cake

Honeydukes Inspired Pink Coconut Ice Cake by Brownie Mischief

I recently enjoyed a girls’ day out at Universal Studios Hollywood. My daughter is a Harry Potter fan, so of course we beelined straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter upon arrival at the theme park. We were spellbound by the ominous looking Hogwart’s Castle and the sparkling snow-topped shops of Hogsmeade. My daughter was in Harry Potter fan heaven, flitting around Hogsmeade, testing out her interactive wand and sipping some refreshing Butter Beer. It’s definitely a must-try

Our favorite shop was Honeydukes sweet shop, where anyone with a sweet tooth can get his or her candy wishes fulfilled. The candy selection was nothing short of magical. We picked up some Chocolate Flies, a Chocolate Frog and some Pink Coconut Ice candy.

Honeydukes Candy                   Pink Coconut Ice Candy

I was most excited to try the Pink Coconut Ice. I’ve been intrigued by the thought of this candy ever since it was mentioned in the book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. The Pink Coconut Ice candy is similar to a stiff fudge. It’s very sweet, so you can cut it into small squares and have plenty to share with friends.

Pink Coconut Ice Candy

I imagined the “shimmery pink squares” a little differently so, I decided to build on my imagined version of the coconut candy by making a shimmery pink coconut cake. I used my favorite coconut cake recipe and pink coconut buttercream. I tinted my buttercream with Americolor gel food color soft pink. I covered my cake in large flakes of unsweetened coconut. To find unsweetened coconut flakes, click here. I think the large flakes look more whimsical and add texture, but feel free to use whatever kind of coconut you prefer. I colored my coconut a shimmery, soft pink. Click here to see how I colored my coconut flakes.

Honeydukes Inspired Pink Coconut Ice Cake by Brownie Mischief

You don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate this pink, fluffy, coconut-covered cake. I can imagine this pretty cake at any party or event with a pink theme. I hope you enjoy this perfectly Pink Coconut Ice Cake as much as we did!


Print Recipe


Pink Coconut Ice Cake

Moist, fluffy coconut cake with pink buttercream and coconut flakes

Course Dessert

Servings
6-inch cake (serves 6)


Ingredients
Coconut Cake

Pink Coconut Buttercream

Pink Coconut Flakes

Course Dessert

Servings
6-inch cake (serves 6)


Ingredients
Coconut Cake

Pink Coconut Buttercream

Pink Coconut Flakes


Instructions
Coconut Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease three 6-inch cake pans.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and oil together with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Beat in coconut extract. Gradually beat in egg whites until mixture is well combined, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.

  5. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with coconut milk, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.

  6. Pour batter into prepared pans, evenly distributing batter between the pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of pans comes out clean.

  7. Place pans on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and place on rack to cool completely.

Pink Coconut Buttercream
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.

  2. Add salt. Beat until combined.

  3. Turn off mixer. Add powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until sugar is moistened, then turn up to medium speed and beat until combined.

  4. Add coconut milk a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add coconut extract and beat at medium speed until buttercream is smooth.

  5. Add gel food color with a toothpick, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Beat at low speed until well blended.

  6. Fill and frost cake with Pink Coconut Buttercream.

Pink Coconut Flakes
  1. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add a small amount of petal dust. Whisk together with a small whisk. Add additional petal dust until desired color is reached.

  2. Spread coconut flakes out onto a large shallow dish. Sprinkle powdered sugar mixture over coconut with a small sieve. Toss gently with gloved hands.

  3. Place cake on a baking sheet to catch excess coconut. Press colored coconut onto sides and top of cake.


Recipe Notes

*Do not substitute all-purpose flour. For best results weigh your dry ingredients. **For best results, use natural coconut extract. Imitation coconut flavorings may give your baked goods an unpleasant flavor. ***If your coconut milk is separated when you open the can, simply place it in a blender to emulsify before using. To find my favorite 6-inch cake pans, click here. To find the gel food color I used, click here. To find unsweetened coconut flakes, click here. To find the edible pearl dust I used, click here.


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Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

Summer is nearly over, and after the recent heatwave here in Southern California, I’m more than ready to welcome fall weather. But before I put on my fluffy sweater and dive into pumpkin spice everything, I want to enjoy the tail end of peach season, don’t you? Farmer’s markets and stores near my home are still brimming over with fresh peaches, so I picked up some peaches and decided to give them a proper goodbye and send them off in style.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I created some luscious peaches and cream filled, bite-size puffs of choux pastry, called profiteroles. They’re like cream puffs, only smaller. The filling is creamy, but so light and airy that I’m convinced that these profiteroles have no calories! The recipe I’m sharing with you uses fresh peaches, but feel free to substitute frozen peaches if fresh peaches aren’t available. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but the steps are done in stages and are very easy to do.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I decorated my profiteroles with fresh, pesticide-free miniature rosebuds, also known as spray roses. If you can’t find miniature rosebuds, pesticide-free rose petals would be a good substitute. You may not get a chance to embellish these little beauties. They have a way of popping into people’s mouths even before you can decorate them!

Print Recipe
Peaches & Cream Profiteroles
Bite-sized puffs of choux pastry filled with a creamy, fresh peach filling and topped with fresh peach icing.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Peach Purée
Peaches & Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Peach Icing
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
Peach Purée
Peaches & Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Peach Icing
Instructions
Peach Purée
  1. Purée peaches in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed peaches through a sieve. Stir in lemon juice.
  2. Place puréed peaches in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until peach purée is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove form heat. Add peach flavoring, if using, and set aside to cool completely.
Peaches and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts.
  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap. Let cool.
  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of cooled peach purée. Add remaining peach purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator.
  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into peach pastry cream mixture. Set aside in refrigerator.
Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.
  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. (**I used Ateco tip 808.)
  7. Pipe 1 inch balls, about 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheet. Smooth tops with a wet finger.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Use a skewer to poke a hole in the bottom or on the side of each profiterole.
  10. Place peaches and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (***I used Wilton tip 12)
  11. Place tip into the starter holes and fill each profiterole with filling.
Peach Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together and spoon over filled profiteroles. Decorate as desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

*To make peaches easy to peel, blanch them  in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then dunk  in ice water.

**To find Ateco tip 808, click here.

***To find Wilton tip 12, click here.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

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Purple Berry Cake with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting

Purple Berry Cake with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief

Purple is passionate. It’s mystical. It’s regal. Don’t we all know someone whose favorite color is purple? It’s painfully obvious. They can’t hide it. They don’t want to hide it. They can’t just be friends with purple. They’re in a relationship with purple. The first time I made this Purple Berry Cake, a purple lover I know said that when she saw it, it spoke to her soul. This cake is, what I like to call, a double-take cake. People stare. They can’t resist it’s charismatic charm. Once they stop staring and taste it, they fall hopelessly in love.

Purple Berry Cake with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief

Fresh berry purée is added to the batter, creating a soft, moist cake. The layers are brushed with berry syrup, which helps keeps the cake moist and gives it a nice punch of berry flavor.  I used blackberries and blueberries, but you can use any combination of purple berries that you like. After baking, the color of the cake layers will be a brownish gray with a hint of purple, depending on your berries. I think I need to come up with name for this color. How about Silverberry? You can see tiny flecks of the berries in the cake and I think the color is lovely, especially with the lavender frosting. If you want a more purple cake, feel free to add some gel food color to the batter. I used Wilton Violet gel food color to achieve the pretty lavender cream cheese frosting. The extra butter and the addition of heavy cream makes this frosting silky and spreadable.

Purple Berry Cake with Silky Cream Cheese Icing by Brownie Mishchief

I’m obsessed with edible flowers lately, so I garnish my baked goods with them whenever I can get my hands on some. I found these pansies in the produce department of my local food market. If you can’t find pansies, pesticide free violets or rose petals would also be pretty. Make sure to apply them to your cake right before serving, since they are delicate and will wilt over time. Brush some of your berries with a little dab of edible gold luster dust for an extra regal touch.

Print Recipe
Purple Berry Cake with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Servings
6-inch cake (serves 6)
Ingredients
Purple Berry Cake
Silky Cream Cheese Frosting
Finishing Touches
Course Dessert
Servings
6-inch cake (serves 6)
Ingredients
Purple Berry Cake
Silky Cream Cheese Frosting
Finishing Touches
Instructions
Purple Berry Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray two 6-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper circles.
  2. Purée the berries in a blender or small food processor.
    Puree fresh berries.
  3. Strain puréed berries through a sieve. Reserve 2/3 cup berry puree. Set aside remaining puree for syrup.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/4 cups (8.75 ounces) sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  6. Add flour in two additions, alternating with buttermilk, beating at medium speed just until combined.
  7. Stir in the reserved 2/3 cup berry purée.
  8. Pour batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
  9. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and continue cooling on wire racks.
  10. Meanwhile, make berry syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining berry purée, remaining 1/4 cup sugar (1.75 ounces) and 1/4 cup water over medium-low heat. Stir together and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  11. Split each cake layer into two and brush with berry syrup. Fill and frost cake with Silky Cream Cheese Frosting.
Silky Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
  4. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add gel food color with a toothpick, a little at a time, until desired shade is reached. Beat at low speed until well blended.
Finishing Touches
  1. Garnish top of cake with fresh berries. Brush a few of the berries with edible gold luster dust. Garnish with fresh flowers immediately before serving.
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Fully Loaded Chocolate Snack Attack Cookies

Fully Loaded Chocolate Snack Attack Cookies by Brownie Mischief

I’ve seen some fully-loaded cookies out there, but these extreme cookies just earned the title! They’ve got enough chunky, chocolatey, sweet and salty glory to satisfy the most ravenous cookie craving!!! (Yes, all of those exclamation points are necessary.) But, before we even go one step further, I must mention a few disclaimers. I strongly urge you to make sure your fridge is stocked with milk. Please change into your comfiest pants before attempting this recipe. Canceling all plans for the rest of the day is recommended, as a nap may ensue immediately following consumption of these cookies. OK, now that we got that out of the way, let’s jump in with both feet!

Fully Loaded Chocolate Snack Attack Cookies by Brownie Mischief

Did you notice how serious the mood got? We need a moody photo that looks like it was taken in a rustic cabin to emphasize the seriousness of these chocolate cookies. It’s no coincidence that I’m sharing this recipe with you right before Father’s Day. Every Dad I know is an accomplished snacker. Dad will love these cookies for his personal snack stash! Package them up and deliver them to your Pop with a jug of milk or a thermos of coffee. You can probably skip the straw. We all know that Dad is going to chug his milk, but every respectable blog photo of milk must contain a pretty straw.

Fully Loaded Chocolate Snack Attack Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches by Brownie Mischief

These cookies make amazing ice cream sandwiches, too. Press a scoop of softened vanilla ice cream between two cookies and pop it in the freezer. If you want to make these cookies picture perfect, use a scoop to portion out your dough. This will make them uniform in size and they’ll bake more evenly. Click here to find the scoop I used. For even more visual appeal, don’t crush the pretzels before adding to the cookie dough. Some of them will break when you are mixing them into the dough and this is fine, because the large pieces help make these cookies chunky. This recipe makes eighteen large cookies. That’s one dozen for Dad plus six for you to snack on, because when these babies come out of the oven with their melted chocolate chunks and little pools of caramel, resisting will be impossible! Now it’s cookie time…you’ve got this!

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Fully Loaded Chocolate Snack Attack Cookies
Large chunky, sweet and salty chocolate cookies loaded with chocolate chunks, pretzels, caramel, rice cereal and nuts.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and beat just until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed, just until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chunks, pretzels, caramel bits, chocolate rice cereal and peanuts.
  7. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of cookie dough and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until set. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute before transferring to wire rack to cool.
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