Girl Scouts has a new cookie coming !

I love Thin Mints but I’m excited next year to try out their new flavor called “Toast-Yay!”. It’s apparently gonna taste similar to french toast & going to have one side frosted. My brain’s already trying to think of ways to use that cookie in desserts or baked goods. If nothing else, I’ll enjoy just munching on them straight out of the package !

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Girl Scouts.

Take care y’all !

Shark Week Cake

I don’t know about you but I love Shark Week. Even though it’s passed, I saw an advertisement on my Facebook feed about this Shark Week-themed cake and I thought it looked so cool. Check out Food Network’s Facebook page and if you scroll down far enough, you’ll see on August 14, at 4:15 pm the cake that I’m talking about. It sounds like it’s actually a cake done by SprinkleBakes and not Food Network itself. I checked out her page and she has another Shark-themed cake on her page that I thought looked pretty. I can only hope to have my own creations someday that look just as awesome !

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Shark Week, Food Network, Facebook or SprinkleBakes.

Take care y’all !

Thin Mint Cupcakes

Well the milk was still good today* so I followed through and made the cupcakes. This recipe gave me some grief but in the end it was all worth it !

So starting with the cupcake ingredients, she calls for a box of white cake mix but doesn’t say how many ounces that mix should have (I used Pillsbury 15.25 oz. box of moist supreme white cake mix). The recipe calls for butter but doesn’t say if it makes any difference on using salted or unsalted so I played it safe and chose to use unsalted butter. Five egg whites are also gonna be needed, I just presumed that she meant egg whites from large eggs. Her ganache calls for chocolate chips. Since it didn’t specify a type of chocolate, I went with semi-sweet since that was the only kind I already had at home. I’ll talk about the frosting later on. Her calling for 24-48 Thin Mint cookies gets confusing with the directions.

She naturally starts off with preheating the oven but then she mentions putting a Thin Mint in the bottom of the lined cupcake pans. At first I figure she means there’ll be 24 cupcakes but I wanna make sure so I watch the video that comes with the recipe & she only shows one (probably ’cause showing two would seem like wasted time but still, seeing two would’ve made me more confident). This little issue started to make me doubt myself so I just decided I’ll start with 12 and keep adding more paper cups and Thin Mints as needed. Time for making the cupcake batter. I accidentally screwed up and put all the batter ingredients in at the same time. Still kept to the 2 minutes suggested for blending it all together (since there was no speed recommended, I went with low speed). I thought I was filling up my cups 2/3 full with the batter but in the end I only had enough batter for 18 cupcakes so I’m no closer to knowing whether this recipe was meant to yield 24 cupcakes or not. For baking time, you’re told to just follow you own cake mix box directions but that hers took 16-17 minutes. I forgot to check the cake box and just automatically went with her time. Using the toothpick test, mine took about 17 1/2 minutes. Thank God I went with that ’cause according to the box I eventually got around to looking at, these cupcakes should’ve been done in 19-23 minutes. I mean yeah, there was just a little bit of batter sticking when I called it good but I know that there’s still a little bit of residual cooking that goes on and at 19-23 minutes, I don’t know if I would’ve ended up with dry, overdone cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are out of the oven I move onto making the ganache. I was a little unsure if I got it to “almost a boil” or I actually did reach a boil, even if it was just for a second or two. I let it sit for the time called for and then… oops. Just as I’m typing this up y’all, I realize it says to chill the ganache. I don’t know why but when I looked at it before, I thought they just wanted the ganache to sit on the counter and cool down. This makes so much more sense now as to why it says not to let it firm up completely ! My ganache was so thin compared to what it should’ve probably been (I think it actually started to get absorbed into the cupcake when it got added later on). You’re given multiple options on how to core the cupcakes. I used a plastic knife but the cupcake corer would’ve given me a more equal amount of cake removed across all 18 instead of how they turned out. Was easy to get the cake out with the plastic knife though. I poured the ganache into the hollowed out center and was ready to move onto frosting.

The frosting… I was a little frustrated with the directions on this. The frosting ingredients called for are cream cheese, butter, 6-7 cups of powdered sugar, 2-4 tablespoons of Creme de Menthe “(to taste”, 2-4 tablespoons of milk “to reach desired consistency” and optional green food coloring. The instructions say to blend the “softened” cream cheese and butter. I’m sorry, come again? Nowhere in the ingredients list does it mention the cream cheese and/or butter should be softened, seems like it should be though. Now the powdered sugar is supposed to be added in slowly (so I only put one cup in at a time) and be alternated with Creme de Menthe until the frosting reaches “desired taste, color, and consistency”. I felt like maybe the line could be misinterpreted as just saying all you need to now get alternatively mixed in was the powdered sugar & Creme de Menthe. Just so happens that that was all that I added. I was 4 cups of powdered sugar in and had just blended in the 4th tablespoon of Creme de Menthe when I decided to take a taste of it. The sweetness was noticeable but not sickly sweet and I could taste the mint flavor but it was more subtle than I wanted it to be. Afraid of losing the mint flavor if I added anymore powdered sugar in, I decided to stop where I was. Downside to this though was that the frosting wasn’t as thick as it should’ve been. I was using a 1M frosting tip to apply the frosting onto the cupcakes and as I putting the frosting into the piping bag, it actually started to drip out of the piping tip ! I just had to fill up the bag quickly and have the piping tip facing up to the ceiling while I carried it over to frost the cupcakes. The frosting was pipeable but it didn’t have as much height to it so it was harder to get the additional Thin Mint cookies you’re supposed to decorate with to stay upright. Between the frosting and the heat/humidity of a southern kitchen in the summertime, some of the cupcakes started out looking like this:

and in the matter of 5, maybe 10 minutes if I’m lucky, they looked like this:

If you check out the original recipe you’ll notice you’re supposed to sprinkle on chopped Andes Mints but when I tried it out on one, it just looked messy and it’s called “Thin Mint Cupcakes” not “Andes Mints Cupcakes” (but that does sound delicious like a delicious cupcake though) so I skipped on adding it to the other cupcakes. Well it was finally time to taste these cupcakes and thank God they were delicious ! You get the mint without it feeling like you’re eating toothpaste or something and the chocolate ganache oozes out when you bite into the center. The cookie at the base of the cupcake didn’t lose its texture so it provided a nice textural contrast to the creamy frosting and the soft, tender cupcake. Even though this wasn’t the most easily understood recipe, the flavor will have me coming back to make this again.

*Even though this post is getting finished today, I started writing this yesterday.

If you’re interested in the original recipe, click here.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote/mention Thin Mints, Pillsbury, Andes Mints, or Intensive Cake Unit.

Take care y’all !

I just wanted a copycat recipe for Mounds.

My mom loves eating Mounds bars so I thought it’d be nice if I could find a recipe for them and be able to make them at home. This recipe I came across titled “Homemade Bounty Bars (aka. Mounds)” looked promising so I figured I’d give it a try.

I’ll admit, I didn’t read their post leading up to the recipe so when they called for semisweet chocolate I thought that’s what was needed. Only after making the treat did I read the top and realized that they wanted semisweet chocolate to be used if you were looking to make Bounty Bars but that you should instead use dark chocolate in the recipe if you’re looking to make Mounds. Kind of important information that should’ve been listed in the actual recipe, not just in some paragraph leading up to it (but it does serve to remind me that I should read the whole post and not just the recipe so I don’t get surprised again in the future).

As far as making it went, you’re supposed to get 12 bars out of this recipe but they don’t give you any measurements for how much of the coconut mixture goes into each bar so I just rolled out 12 balls of the mixture first before shaping it the way it’s supposed to be. I think I tempered the chocolate correctly but after the coconut bars were dipped into it, the chocolate must’ve cooled too quickly & caused streaking. This was the best looking bar out of the bunch:

I asked mommy to try one and see what she thought. She thinks the chocolate is nothing like the Mounds you’ll buy in the stores but did say that the coconut mixture was very similar though. If you’re still intrigued and want to try making it yourself, just click here.

I wasn’t paid in any form to mention Bounty Bars, Mounds, or Not Enough Cinnamon.

Take care y’all !

I forgot to take pictures, I was too focused on eating.

I decided to try out delish’s recipe for “best-ever chocolate chip cookies” from their cookbook “Insane Sweets”. You can actually find it on their website but there it’s called “Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies“. Both versions call for packed brown sugar but don’t say whether to use light or dark so I used light brown sugar. Both call for 3 ounces of chocolate chopped but the book adds on that it’s supposed to equal out to about 1/3 cup… it won’t. It’ll be more than 1/3 cup but you better believe that I went with the ounces rather than the 1/3 cup (I love chocolate too much to pass on chocolate simply ’cause it didn’t fit into the measuring cup).

I’m not used to recipes saying they want cookies to be spaced 3 inches apart but once the cookies baked I understood why, these are big cookies ! The cookbook version ends with the baking time but the online version tells you how long to leave them on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. Kind of important information that I wish they’d included in the book !

Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to try these. I’ve loved eating Toll House cookies for so many years thinking they were the best chocolate chip cookies that I never tried other chocolate chip cookie recipes figuring I’d just be disappointed. Boy was I wrong ! The edges of these cookies have a little crispiness to them but the middle was soft. The chopped chocolate wasn’t all soft or melted like the chocolate chips so it added another texture to the cookie. These were at their best when they’d just come out of the oven but mommy and me were still enjoying them long after they were cooled down. Oh yeah, totally not related to what it’s like eating these cookies but this recipe says you’re supposed to get 15 cookies from this but I actually got 20. I swear that I followed their amounts called for and used a 3 tablespoon cookie scooper but alas, I got more cookies out of this recipe than they did. Considering how awesome these taste, I ain’t mad about that at all !

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Toll House or delish.

Take care y’all !

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake?

My mom and me both love chocolate so when I came across this recipe, I wanted to see if it lived up to it’s title or not.

For the ingredients, there’s only one thing you get to choose between: “1/2 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil”. I chose to go with the canola oil. For the frosting, even though they say 1/4-1/2 cup of almond milk, it’s actually only 1/4 cup that goes in and then the remaining milk is there for adding in if you think the frosting is too dry.

I was able to make the cake and the chocolate buttercream frosting and just needed to assemble. This cake is really moist but that makes it so tender that you can easily have the cake start to break if you’re not careful. Thankfully, this recipe produces so much frosting that any cracks will easily be hidden once it’s smothered with the frosting. The recipe never mentions having to level the cake but since mine didn’t come out with a flat surface, I figured I needed to ! After trying to level out my cake by hand, I’ve come to realize that I either need to invest in a cake leveler or accept that I’m gonna have a lot of tilted cakes until I get better. Wasn’t sure how much frosting to use between the two layers and still have enough for the outside of the cake so this is how the finished product came out looking:

As you can tell, I could’ve used some more frosting between the layers ! Finally tried a slice and the first bite is so good ! This is a chocoholic’s dream cake and the “buttercream” frosting is silky smooth. After the first bite though, all that frosting started to make the cake too sweet. I scraped off a lot of the frosting and tried another bite and the sweetness was much more manageable ! This is a rich cake so you’re probably not gonna be able to enjoy more than one slice at a time but what a delicious slice it’ll be !

The recipe for this cake came from noracooks. If you’d like the recipe, click here.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote noracooks.

Take care y’all !

Kuddos to vegans

I tried being vegan guys, I swear I did… but it didn’t stick ! I just enjoy eating meat and dairy too much to give it up. I have so much respect for the people out there who can stick to the vegan diet but it’s just not for me. Just felt like I should let you readers know so you don’t come on the site expecting it to be strictly vegan recipes and then you see a recipe involving cheese, eggs, milk, bacon, etc. and feel bamboozled or lied to.

Stay safe and take care y’all !

Glazed Orange Loaf

This was the first baked good I made after deciding to go towards being vegan and I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out but it looked like it was worth a try !

In their ingredients list, they call for soy milk (I used plain unsweetened), flour (I used all-purpose flour), and “juice of 1 medium orange”. I have no clue what a medium-sized orange is ! They don’t sell oranges in stores based off their size so I just grabbed an orange and measured out the juice in a liquid measuring cup (got about 1/3 cup worth of juice). The recipe also calls for orange zest but they list it down at the very end so don’t do what I did and forget to read the whole list, throwing away the first orange after it was juiced and having to use up another orange just for the zest.

The directions are easy enough to follow. Using parchment paper did make it easy to pull out the loaf when it was done baking however I couldn’t get the paper to stay smooth when I was lining the pan so my loaf came out looking… different than the shape of the actual pan.

I left the loaf in the pan while pouring the glaze over it, causing the bottom of the loaf to look a little soggy but it didn’t ruin the texture of the dish.

Finally the loaf was cool enough to cut and I couldn’t wait to try a piece (which is why you’ll see one end missing in the first picture). Oh my god, this was good. You could definitely taste the orange in this, the glaze made it sweeter but not so sweet that you couldn’t enjoy it for breakfast, dessert or just as a snack at any given time !

One piece of advice though, after you slice this, wrap it up (I used plastic wrap). The loaf will start to lose a little bit of its moisture and tenderness after it’s cut (not instantly but still).

This recipe came from “Vegan Junk Food” by Lane Gold (expanded edition).

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote the cookbook or Lane Gold.

Take care y’all !

Sorry it’s been a couple of days

I know I haven’t posted in a few days, sorry. The first day, my left shoulder was really bothering me so I was trying to avoid using it as much as possible. Yesterday it was just a case of trying to figure out what I want to do with my “diet”. I don’t like restricting myself from making whatever looks good to me but I have to think of my health. While it doesn’t stop me from doing what I set my mind to, I’ve lived with pretty much constant aches and pain for years now. I gave up eating meat and drinking alcohol a while back but I was still experiencing pain which was really frustrating. I talked to my mom (who’s pretty much vegan) and she said that when she drastically cut back on how much sugar she was having, her own back pain seemed to disappear. I’m desperate enough that I’m gonna try going vegan and cut back on how much sugar I consume. I’m still going to keep baking and making desserts, I just won’t be eating nearly as much of each dish. I hope you’ll still enjoy coming back to see what I have to post !

Take care y’all !