Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Kiss Brownie Bites

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After making some scrumptious caramel filled pumpkin pie spiced snickerdoodles yesterday, I realized something.  As tasty as they were, I wanted chocolate.  They held no interest for me.  And after guiltily eating a few spoonfuls of nutella right out of the container, I decided I really needed to fix my need for a chocolate fix, ASAP.  I had some Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses in my cupboard, waiting for some brilliant excuse to use them and so I started thinking about what they would go well with.  Eventually, after not long, I decided what I really wanted was brownies.  I took off on the search for a simple, yet rich brownie recipe, and came across Smitten Kitchen's My Favorite Brownie Recipe.  They looked simple, I had everything, and I didn't even have to pull out the mixer.  Win!  Since I wanted to use the Kisses, I thought I would portion control them and make individual brownie bites in a mini muffin tin, and this way each one could have a lovely Kiss center.  In 45 minutes start to finish, I was done, and enjoying rich, chocolately brownies that had a wonderful center that tasted like pumpkin pie cheesecake.  Win, win, win.

Batter in the mini muffin tins with the inverted Kisses before baking.
Pumpkin Spice Kiss Brownie Bites
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's My Favorite Brownies)

Makes approx. 40 brownie bites

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 40 Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses, unwrapped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two mini muffin tin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together, in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are melted  and combined.
  3. Whisk in the sugar, and then the eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and salt and whisk well to combine.
  4. Stir in flour with a spatula until combined.
  5. Using a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop, place a level scoop full of batter into each muffin tin cup.  Press a Hershey's Kiss, pointed side down, into the center of each scoop of batter.
  6. Bake for 14-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the inner most brownie batter comes out with just a few crumbs, if any.
  7. Let cool in the pan for several minutes and then carefully use a knife to pop each brownie bite out of the pan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Caramel Filled Pumpkin Pie Spiced Snickerdoodles

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One of my favorite cookies are snickerdoodles.  I am the biggest cinnamon-sugar fan out there.  Second favorite non-chocolate thing?  Caramel!  So, naturally, why not combine the two?  And, to get in the holiday spirit, I thought some pumpkin pie spice might be a nice twist on the traditional cinnamon spice.  There is a secret ingredient in these too--brown sugar!  Yep, gives them a lovely chew, and a deeper flavor.  Can not go wrong with these, they are crispy on the edge, chewy on the inside, and caramelly goodness in the center.  These are pretty large cookies, and very satisfying.  I think these will be on my Thanksgiving menu for sure!!

Caramel Filled Pumpkin Pie Spiced Snickerdoodles
(Snickerdoodle recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 75th Anniversary cook book)

Makes 36 large cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 36 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
  1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and cream of tarter and beat until combined, scraping down sides occasionally.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined well.
  4. Beat in the flour until well combined.
  5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 15-60 minutes, or until easy enough to handle.  
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Mix the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl.  Using a 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out a level scoop full of dough and place the ball in your hand.  Gently flatten the dough and place a caramel in the center.  Wrap the dough around the caramel completely, and finish rolling it in to a round ball.  Roll in the spice and sugar mixture to coat, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Place 9 cookies on a sheet at a time, spacing them evenly.
  8. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
  9. Let cool on the parchment until the caramel is solidified a bit before transferring to a cooling rack.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sunday's Sweet Confessions Link Party #13 and Co-Host Klerebearsweets!

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Sweet Confessions Sunday Link Party #13 and Klerebearsweets

Welcome everyone to this weeks link party!  This week I have the featured links in their very own post that you can check out too.  Make to to check out the fabulous posts! This week I am trilled to pieces to have a fantastic co-host joining me for my link party this week.  I am honored to introduce you to my classmate, fellow blogger, and friend: Claire, from Klerebearsweets!  She has a beautiful blog, writes the most engaging and enjoyable posts, and has incredible tasty recipes in her repertoire. 

Without further blah blah blah from me, here is Claire with a recipe that is sure to make you hop, skip, and jump right in the kitchen to get baking.

Good Morning & Happy Sunday! My name is Claire and I am the author of klerebearsweets - a blog that's basically my way of recording all the recipes of the food I like to eat! I have a gigantic sweet tooth so I'm always looking for new dessert recipes to try. If you ever have a recommendation, please feel free to stop by, say hi, & make a suggestion! Bonus points if it includes peanut butter and chocolate! social media links for those of you addicted like I am :) klerebearsweets | facebook | twitter | pinterest

So the recipe below is one that is just so perfectly autumn in my opinion - Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls!

Once you smell the aroma of the dough, you'll just know it's autumn, despite whatever the weather may be outside (here in California, the weather has been very indecisive). Anyway... So a few days ago (or maybe it was just yesterday, who knows), I read about what was probably the most awesome and photo-worthy brunch ever for the blogging world - Joy the Baker & Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. I have long been a fan of both these blogs so of course I couldn't wait to see what the two of them collaborated over for their meet-up. My highlight from reading the posts: Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls. Don't those just sound like autumn? Say it out loud a few times, it'll hit you. Or maybe not. Anyway, be sure to go check out their posts and see all the wonderful photos & other things they did, in addition to making these perfect Autumn breakfast/brunch/lunch/anytime treats.

So yes, rather than do the million other things I needed to do last night, I began making chai spiced cinnamon roll dough. Just look at that wonderful ball of dough. The aroma of cinnamon filled my kitchen last night and it was AWESOME. Also, a whole stick of melted butter gets drizzled in at this point - how can this recipe not be amazing?

You roll it, you pat it, you mark it with a...wait a second, that's not right. Anyway...skipping ahead after the letting it rise bit, I rolled this sucker into what I would guesstimate is a 9x13 square. Or maybe 9x12? Not sure. I just kept rolling because I felt like it was too thick at the 10x10 mark.

Roll it tightly into a delicious spicy-cinnamon cylinder.

 AND NOW WE DRIZZLE MORE MELTED BUTTER ON TOP! Pretty sure Paula Deen would be proud.

 Baked cinnamon-y deliciousness. Do you see all that caramelized sugar? Crunchy goodness.

Now we drizzle the spiced glaze on top! Time to eat!

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls 
Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 – 1/4 oz (just over 2 teaspoons) package active dry yeast  
1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature  
2 1/2 Tablespoons light brown sugar  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
1 large egg  
1 large egg yolk  
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading  
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
 3/4 teaspoon salt  
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg  
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar  
2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon  
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg  
a pinch of ground ginger  
1/2 teaspoon salt  
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Spiced Icing:  
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk (I would like to note that Joy says to use heavy cream, but alas, I was out of heavy cream and only had milk - it works fine, it's just not as rich)
a healthy dash of cinnamon (and by healthy, I mean your hand accidentally slips and there's close to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in there) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  



In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup water heated to about 115 degrees F - warm but not scalding hot. You don't want to kill the yeast. Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat with a wire whisk until well combined. Fit the bowl onto the mixer, fitting with the dough hook attachment.

 Add the flour, spices, and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together. Turn the machine on medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes. The dough will be very moist. With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter about 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to knead for about 6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky.

Place the dough on a well floured work surface, and knead about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the dough. The dough will likely be a little sticky still, not to worry. Place the giant ball of dough into a greased bowl (I just take a dab of butter or vegetable oil - whichever is closet - and rub it around the mixing bowl that I just used, to save dishes). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. (If your house is a bit chilly, this make take up to 3 hours).

While the dough rises, make the filling. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in the maple syrup. The filling should seem like damp sand. That's such a lovely analogy I know. But that's what it looked like to me.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump it from the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough adding more flour as needed. Work the dough for about 1 or 2 minutes. Once it’s no longer very sticky, place a kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 5 minutes before you roll it out.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 x 10-inch square or just keep rolling until all of a sudden you have a giant thing of cinnamon-y flat dough, like I did. As the picture shows, I ended up with closer to a 9x13 rectangle than a 10x10 square. No matter. This dough is so yeasty that it puffs up like crazy in the oven, so you're good to go with thin.

 Brush the top of the dough with half of the melted butter (1/2 stick). We’ll use the rest of the butter after the rolls are cut. Pour all of the filling onto the dough. Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.

Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder seam side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp, thin knife, gently mark how many slices you will make. I left the uneven bits so I ended up with 13 rolls. Joy only had 8. Your choice. Try to get them equal in width though. Butter a few pie tins, if you have them. Or just butter a 9x13 metal baking dish. Squish those little cinnamon suckers in the pan, so they are snuggled tightly together, but are not bulging out of the pan.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 1 hour. You may also cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Which is an awesome idea because then all you have to do is heat the oven, pop them in, and make the frosting. Then voila - delicious Autumn breakfast/brunch).

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the rolls. If you refrigerated the rolls, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 - 30 minutes. You may need to adjust this according to your oven. I would recommend checking at about the 18 minute mark, and pricking with a toothpick.  


While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using your whisk (or a fork), drizzle the spiced icing all over the rolls. Serve immediately. (If you plan to eat them later in the day, microwave them for about 25 - 30 seconds first. You'll thank me.) These are crunchy-caramelized sugar-cinnamon-y goodness. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for bringing us that amazing recipe and post Claire!  Now, on to the party!

Cornbread Stuffed Taco Peppers

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For the life of me, I can not think of things that sound appealing to make for dinner.  It is quite a contentious topic in our house.  I hate asking what my husband wants for dinner, and he hates when I ask, because deep down (or not so deep down) neither of us has an answer to this inevitable question.  Despite having numerous wonderful bloggers and their ideas at my fingertips, I still can never find something.  Oh, I have a list of about a million desserts that sound good that I would like to make, but never, ever, anything for dinner.  Through some stroke of luck a few days ago though, I came across a recipe for Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers from Oh Bite It.  Oh my gosh they looked amazing!!  That inspired me to come up with this adaption, which turned them from a snack, into a full on delicious dinner.  I warn you though, the combo of sweet and heat is incredibly addicting, and you won't be eating just one...I had three before I even stopped to think about :)

I made taco meat when I made this since I didn't have any leftovers, but this would be a fantastic place to make use of taco meat that is leftover.  Otherwise, just make up your favorite taco meat, I use ground turkey to make my taco meat filling.

(Inspired by Oh Bite It's Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers)

Makes 10 halves

  • 5 large, fresh, Anaheim chili peppers (green chilies, New Mexico chilies)
  • 2 ounces Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels (canned, frozen, or fresh)
  • 1 box cornbread mix (I used Krusteaz Honey Cornbread mix) plus ingredients called for in the mix
  • 8 to 10 ounces of cooked taco meat filling (leftover from tacos the night before, or your favorite taco meat filling)
  • hot sauce/enchilada sauce for topping
  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the peppers.  Carefully slice each pepper lengthwise in half, and remove the ribs and seeds.  Place on lined baking sheet cut side up.
  3. Prepare the cornbread mix as instructed on box.  After it is mixed, add the corn and the shredded cheese and mix well.
  4. Place about an ounce (about 2 level tablespoons) of taco meat into each pepper, depending on how big they are.
  5. On top of the taco meat, place approximately two level tablespoons worth of the corn bread mix, spreading evenly over the taco filling and the length of the pepper.
  6. Place in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cornbread is firm, slightly browning on the edges, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Drizzle with some hot sauce or enchilada sauce to serve.
  8. There should be enough corn bread batter left over to make about 6 muffins (if you use the Krusteaz box).  I just greased a 6-muffin tin, evenly divided the batter, and baked according to the box directions.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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Ok. For WEEKS I have been craving something just utterly chocolatey, sweet, savory, chewy and yummy.  I have looked through hundreds of recipes and could not decide.  Do I make brownies?  Cookies?  Candy?  Well, I decided!  I found a recipe for Flourless Fudge Cookies on King Arthur Flour.  I have made them before with regular chocolate chips, and they are like fudgy brownies in cookie form.  Absolutely the richest chocolate cookie I have ever had.  I thought that this time, to get some of that savory in there, I would add some Reese's peanut butter morsels.  OH. MY. GOSH!  These are like a killer peanut butter cup cookie.  I won't lie, these are dangerous.  What is even more dangerous about them, they take about 5 minutes to whip up, if that, and 8 minutes to cook.  in 13 minutes you can be in peanut butter chocolate bliss.  AND they are waist line friendly, at only about 80 calories a cookie. 

This is by far one of my favorite cookie recipes of all times.  My son even helped me make these tonight, perfect cookie for little ones, since it doesn't require a long attention span from start to finish.

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Flourless Fudge Cookies)

Makes approximately 36 cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules, optional but tasty
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 package (10 oz.) Reese's peanut butter morsels
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix everything together except the peanut butter morsels.  Scrape down the bottom and sides and mix again.  Add the peanut butter morsels and mix in gently.
  3. Using a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough (more like a batter) onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Flatten the cookies out slightly to even distribute the morsels.
  4. Bake in oven for 8-9 minutes, until they spread, are slightly shiny, and start to crackle a little bit on top.  They should be slightly firm to the touch.
  5. Let cool on cookie sheet. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday's Sweet Confessions Link Party #12 with a side of Wake Up Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake!

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Sweet Confessions Sunday Link Party #12

Welcome everyone to this weeks link party!  This week I have the featured links in their very own post that you can check out here.  Make to to check out the fabulous posts!  In place of the featured links I am bringing you all a scrumptious breakfast recipe (even if it is dinner time where you are, who doesn't want coffee cake for dinner?): Wake up Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.  Yep, coffee cake with actual coffee.  And what the heck, some chocolate for good measure!  What a great way to wake up, or stay awake.  Most, chocolatey, with a hint of coffee goodness.  A guaranteed pick me up!

Wake Up Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
(Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen's Coffee Lover's Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake)
Topping and Filling:
  •  1/3 cup brown sugar
  •  4 ½ teaspoons instant coffee granules
  •  1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips       
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
  2. Filling/Topping: In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, coffee granules and cinnamon; set aside.   
  3. Coffee Cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture alternately with Greek yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (The batter will be thick)
  5. Spread half of the batter evenly into prepared baking pan (I sprayed my finger tips with non-stick spray and pressed it out, it was easier) and sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar topping and half the chocolate chips. Spoon the remaining batter in 8 dollops over the batter in the pan and spread gently. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (I used a glass pan and it took closer to 37 minutes, so just keep checking, it will depend on your pan and your oven).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunday's Sweet Links Featured Posts from Link Party #10 and #11

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Sunday's Sweet Links Featured Posts from Link Party #10 and #11

I have been slacking, I know.  Between kids and school, I haven't had much time to dedicate to blog posts.  So to make up for no featured links from link party #10, I am combining it with the featured links from #11, and they are getting their very own post this week!  Without further blabbing, here are this weeks, and last weeks, featured links!

Most clicked link from #11-  From the Kitchen of Mama Harris's Mama Harris' Infamous 7-Up cake



Something Sweet's  Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

 The Best Laid Plans' Gobble Gobble Snack Mix

Butter with a Side of Bread's Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Most clicked link from #10: Marigold Mom's Oreo Truffles


Chocolate, Chocolate and More's Twitter and Blogging


Akawest's Coconut Cake


Lady Behind the Curtain's Easy Homemade Pita Bread

Lady Behind The Curtain - Easy Homemade Pita Bread 

MommaChelle's You've Been Booed


Thanks everyone for partying and entering your links, they were incredible!  All the featured links will be mentioned on Facebook, Twitter, and pinned on Pinterest!

See you next week!

If you were featured, grab yourself a button and post it proudly :)

Mommys Sweet Confessions

<a href="" target="_self"><img src="

/u427/Lindsay_Stotts/mommybutton_featured1.jpg" alt="Mommy's Sweet Confessions" width="150" height="150" /></a>

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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I once again went on a recipe finding mission to find something to use those darn multiplying overripe bananas perpetually gracing my counter tops.  This mission led me to the Peanut Butter Banana Bread from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.  My faith in how wonderful her recipes always turn out lead me to do a double batch right off the bat.  I was not disappointing.  This is now my most favorite banana bread recipe, and I have made my share of them!  It had just a hint of peanut flavor, was fantastically moist with a tender, fine crumb, and the peanut butter glaze on top was the perfect cherry on top of a great recipe. 

I made a few alterations to accomadate what I had on hand, but I was very pleased with the outcome. 

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
(Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen's Peanut Butter Banana Bread)


  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about three medium bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour (6.75 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Peanut Butter Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour or line with parchment paper (I did this, worked great).
  2. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, butter and eggs at medium speed until combined. Add sugars and beat until blended.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.  Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Peanut Butter Glaze:  In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk and peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled bread.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday's Sweet Confessions Link Party #11 and Co-Host!

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Sweet Confessions Sunday Link Party #11 and Very First Co-Host!

Hi everyone!!  I am thrilled to announce that this week, I have my very first, and very fantastic co-host:  Carrie, from Frugal Foodie Mama!!  I hope you will all give her a warm welcome, visit her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and say hi!  Today, in place of our Sunday Sweet Links Features, we have a to die for recipe from Carrie: her Chocolate Covered Cherry Coke Cake!  I used to drink Cherry Coke by the gallon, so this is right up my alley!

Our Sunday Sweet Links Features Post will be a separate post this week, so make sure to check that out still.

No more blabbing from me, here is our awesome guest post!


Hello!  I am Carrie and I blog over at Frugal Foodie Mama about my life as a stay-at-home mom to a baby and a teenager, my family's journey to become a little more eco-responsible everyday, and how I still manage to stay a foodie on our one income budget.  Please stop on over any time and say hi! 

Today I am going to share with all of you my recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherry Coke Cake.  For my son's birthday, I decided to combine a few of his favorites- fudgy chocolate and Cherry Coke.
I have always heard about those Coca-Cola chocolate cakes, and it has been on my list of recipes to try.  So, I thought why not try it with Cherry Coke instead of Coke?

I created this recipe from hodge podge of a couple of Coca-Cola chocolate cake recipes and one of my favorite bundt cake recipes, the Better Than Pretty Much Everything Chocolate Cake from the Is This Really My Life? blog.  I kind of pieced it together and prayed that it turned out edible.  Lucky for myself, my son, and our birthday party guests, it turned out decadently fabulous.

What you will need to make your own:
For the bundt cake:
16.5oz box of Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
5.9oz box of Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 egg
12oz can of Cherry Coke
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Chocolate Covered Cherry glaze:
1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and coat with flour.  Mix together all the ingredients for the bundt cake except for the chocolate chips.  Mix right away because the pudding mix will quickly make the batter thick.  Once the batter is well mixed, stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour into your prepared bundt cake pan and bake for about 55 minutes.  

Once baked, let the bundt cake cool for about an hour before turning it out onto a serving plate.

Halve and pit about 1 cup of fresh cherries.  I wish that I could tell you that I have a fancy trick for this, but I do not.  Someone told me to try using a straw to poke out the pits.  It sort of worked, but my knife and fingers worked them out way quicker.

Now for the Chocolate Covered Cherry glaze...
Melt the butter, chocolate chips, light syrup, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.  When completely melted and well incorporated, add the cherry halves.  Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.  Let it cool slightly (maybe 5 minutes), and then pour the chocolate and cherries over the top of the cooled cake.

 And there you go!  Chocolate Covered Cherry Coke Cake! :)  This cake is pretty rich, and oh so sinful.  It was really moist.  I was actually surprised at how much of the liquids were successfully replaced by the Cherry Coke in the recipe.  No oil, no water, and only 1 egg.  


Thank you so much Carrie!!  Can't wait to try this out!  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tomato Basil Bagels

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My husband had the good fortune to be near a wonderful bagel shop in college.  His favorite bagel was their tomato basil bagel.  Sadly, after he moved back to California, he has not been able to ever find this flavor again.  When I asked him about his favorite bagel flavor, he told me that he would love me to try to make a tomato basil flavored bagel.  A bit chewy, a good crust, not too bready, and obviously, that tomato basil flavor.  He was able to tell me three things about it: 1) there was no tomato pieces in the bagel, 2) there were basil flecks in it, 3) they were kind of a light pink inside.  With this information I started brainstorming.  Decided I was going to use my favorite King Arthur Flour bagel recipe as a base, since I already knew their recipe produced a texture and outer crust that I was looking for.  I opted for the tomato paste mixed into the water to evenly distribute the tomato flavor without using something like sun dried tomatoes (though I am sure that would be tasty!).  Lastly, good ol' dried basil. 

The resulting bagel: Lovely crust, good chew, perfect balance of tomato and basil flavors, and best of all, it got a thumbs up from my husband!  He said it is as close as he has ever had to those, based on what he remebers them tasting like.  Woo-hoo!

One note though.  I thought I would be all smart and bake these on my pizza stone since that always produces the good crust I look for in my bread and rolls.  Don't do it.  The sugar from the boiling must caramelize onto the baking stone.  They were a nightmare to get off.  Be smart, stick with how KAF wrote it, they know what they are doing :)  I am using their directions pretty much unchanged, because it is well written, and works. 

Tomato Basil Bagels
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Bagels Recipe)

 Yield: 8 bagels


  •  1 tablespoon instant yeast
  •  4 cups (17 ounces) Unbleached Bread Flour
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  1 tablespoon malted milk powder (like Carnation's), (if not available, use brown sugar or barley malt syrup)
  •  1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, lukewarm
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional, not the same as malted milk powder)
Water Bath
  •  2 quarts (64 ounces) water
  •  2 tablespoons malted milk powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  •  1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  1. Manual/Mixer Method: To make this dough by hand or in a mixer, combine the water and tomato paste and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the water.  Mix all of the remaining dough ingredients into the water mixture and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be quite stiff; if you're using an electric mixer it will "thwap" the sides of the bowl, and hold its shape (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise till noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  1. Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients in the pan of the machine, program the machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. Check the dough after 10 minutes; it should be quite stiff, and won't have formed a smooth ball. The dough will feel quite firm when you poke your finger into it. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then complete bagels as instructed below. 
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They'll puff up very slightly.
  3. While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt, baking soda, and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  4. Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it's about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  5. Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
  6. Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're as deep brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes into the baking time (this will help them remain tall and round). Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.    

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Death By Chocolate Link Party!!

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Welcome everyone to the Death by Chocolate Link Party!

I will also be pinning all the links to the new "Death by Chocolate Board" on Mommy's Sweet Confessions' pinterest :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Twice Baked Enchilada Potatoes

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My husband and I love enchiladas!  Unfortunately, they don't really fit in with our current diets and eating habits.  This greatly bums me out.  While trying to think of something decent to make for dinner tonight, I thought of the bag of potatoes sitting in my cupboard that I really needed to use, lest they go bad...again.  I know these things are so disjointed, but I had been tossing around ideas of healthier versions of lasagna, and mixing mashed potatoes in the filling instead of ricotta...then I was looking at enchilada casseroles...and then I gave up and decided maybe to just bake some potatoes.  And then I thought about combing the potatoes and enchiladas somehow, since I had no tortillas.  Anyways, long story longer, I somehow arrived at the notion of an enchilada flavored twice baked potato.  

This dish is hearty, filling, and bursting with flavor!!  And, two halves came out to about 300 calories, so it is a lower calorie way to get that enchilada goodness.  The secret to the creamy texture and yummy flavor without all the fat and calories?--Laughing Cow cheese :)  Yep.  Laughing cow cheese.  Melts beautifully, adds a wonderful creaminess, all for 35 calories a wedge (I know, now I sound like a commercial.)

Anyways, give them a try, they really do make a delicious, satisfying, comfort food dinner.  And if you are pressed for time, you could always microwave the potatoes, just know that the skin won't be quite as delicious.  You could also use leftover taco meat, and that would cut out a step, and who doesn't like that?

Twice Baked Enchilada Potatoes

Makes 4 servings, 2 halves each.

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey (I used 93/7)
  • Enough taco seasoning to  season the 8 oz of turkey (either half a seasoning packet or 1/8 cup from a larger container, just do half of what it says for a pound of ground turkey)
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 2 ounces colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 wedges Laughing Cow light Swiss flavored cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt
  1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place washed and scrubbed potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Using a fork or knife, pierce each potato three times.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until they are easily pierced by a fork.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, cook the ground turkey in a medium skillet over medium heat until cooked all the way through.  Once cooked, add the taco seasoning and about 2/3 cup of water and simmer together for 5-10 minutes, or until the seasoned sauce has thickened and coated the turkey.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are done, remove from oven and after they are cool enough for you to handle (5-10 minutes) cut each in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the center, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato flesh in the skin all the way around.  Place the scooped out potato flesh into a medium bowl.  Repeat with all potato halves.
  4. Once all the potato halves are scooped out, add the laughing cow cheeses, the 1/2 tsp. salt, the 1/4 tsp black pepper, and the green chilies into the bowl containing the potato flesh that was scooped out.  Mix together thoroughly, making sure the cheese is evenly distributed.  Add the seasoned ground turkey and gently mix in.  Adjust salt to taste.
  5. Place the hollowed out potato shells into a foil lined 9x13 baking dsih.  Distribute the filling evenly back into the hollowed out potato shells using a spoon.  Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the tops of all the potatoes and then evenly distribute the shredded cheese on on top of each.
  6. Place back in oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blueberry Banana Bars

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It seems like I am always left with more over ripe bananas then the amount of perfectly ripe ones I ever got to eat before they turned.  I have done banana bread and banana muffins to death.  Honestly, I am just burnt out.  The last several batches of over ripe bananas have honestly just gotten trashed.  Sad, I know.  Today, I decided to muster up some ambition, search for inspiration, and make something I could enjoy with bananas.  Inspiration led me once again to Sweet Pea's Kitchen, and her Banana Bars with Cream cheese frosting.  Man I wish I wasn't on a diet....I love cream cheese frosting, but I couldn't in good conscience add that much sinfulness onto something I was hoping could be a breakfast food.  Instead, I opted to throw in a bunch of plump, frozen blueberries, to give a little life and pep to it in a healthier fashion (it will never be as good as cream cheese frosting, but at least I can eat it for breakfast without feeling guilty.)  The results, a delicious, moist, not overly sweet banana bar, with blueberries bursting in every bite.  I must say, I am happy with the results.

I had so many bananas I actually doubled the recipe, and put probably (I didn't measure, boo me) 2/3's of the batter in an 13x18 sheet pan lined with parchment (the bars that are pictured) and the rest into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment. These came out twice as thick, and were more of "blueberry bottomed" banana bars, but they tasted just as good.  So, there are pan options, just depends on how thick you want them.  I would not fill any pan more than 2/3's to 3/4 of the way full though, otherwise you may have a big mess on your hands.  Last note, the blueberries make this take longer to bake since they are frozen and make the batter cold.  If you use fresh or canned blueberries, reduce the baking time, or start checking it about 5 minutes earlier.


Blueberry Banana Bars
(Recipe by Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen's Banana Bars)

Yield: 24 bars

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place a piece of parchment in a 9x13 pan, letting the parchment extend up the sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed banana and then carefully fold in the frozen blueberries.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 25-30 minutes. or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cut in to bars and enjoy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heavenly Cookie Bars

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I have been dying for some sweet, salty, chewy, and very chocolatey cookies lately, but have frankly been too lazy, and too busy (bad combo) to do anything about it.  One of my favorite bloggers, Sweet Pea's Kitchen, happen to post a  recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  All the yummy of cookies, without slaving over an oven repeatedly putting in and taking out sheets of cookies.  It mixes up quick, didn't even need a mixer, just a whisk (BIG bonus!!) and bakes up in no time.  The only modification I made was that instead of all chocolate chips, I added chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and then pretzel pieces, and then some whole pretzels on top just for presentation points. 

They truly are heavenly.  Sweet, salty, chocolaty, crunchy, chewy, seriously, just heavenly.

Heavenly Cookie Bars
(Adapted slightly from Sweet Pea's Kitchen's Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars)

Makes 1- 9x13 pan, cut into 24 or 32 slices


2 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup light brown sugar (7 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
3 oz. mini pretzels, half broken into small pieces, half kept whole for the top

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, with ends extending up the sides (will be for easy removal later).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together with a whisk, the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until combined.
  4. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Using a spoon or spatula, mix in dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture until just combined.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and broken pretzel pieces and mix well.
  7. Scoop into the prepared pan, using a spatula to press it down evenly into the pan.  Place the whole pretzels on top in a decorative pattern (I used 24 evenly spaced ones, so when they are cut, there would be 24 servings, each with a pretzel on top) and press down slightly.
  8. Bake for 27-32 minutes, until the top is light brown, slightly firm to the touch and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack to room temperature.  Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out, cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Confessions Sunday Link Party #10!!

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Sweet Confessions Sunday Link Party #10: WOO-HOO!!

Hi everyone!  I can't believe that it has been 10 wonderful link parties!!  I am so excited!  I hope that you will all share this with your friends, and bring them to the party so we can party like its 1999 (or not)!  This week for the Sweet Links Spotlight I let you guys determine the top post.  Well, your clicks did.  This weeks top feature was the most clicked link of the week.  Thank you to all the new party goers this week, I am tickled pink to see you all here!  Congratulations to everyone, all the links were fantastic and I can't wait to see what you have this week to share!

Sunday's Sweet Links Spotlight

If you were featured, grab yourself a button and post it proudly :)

Mommys Sweet Confessions

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/u427/Lindsay_Stotts/mommybutton_featured1.jpg" alt="Mommy's Sweet Confessions" width="150" height="150" /></a>

Don't forget to spread the word, invite some friends, and have them let me know you sent them. Love to meet new friends!
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