BLACK BOTTOM CUPCAKES

December 20th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

If I had to choose only one sweet treat to make for the holidays,these cupcakes would be it. I’ve been making them since I’m a young girl. My love for these rich chocolate cupcakes with the chocolate cream cheese center hasn’t diminished one bit over the years. Check out the recipe. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.
Enjoy!

Preheat oven 350 F

for cake
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 c water
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar & baking soda. Then combine the oil, vinegar, water & vanilla with the dry ingredients & mix until completely incorporated.

for filling
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 c. chocolate chips
1/8 tsp salt

In a food processor combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar, salt & chocolate chips. Pulse until well combined. Set aside

Fill paper cupcake cups about 2/3 full with cake batter. Add a dollop of the cream cheese on top of the batter.

for mini cupcakes..bake for 20 minutes (Baking time will vary depending on the size of the cupcakes) Bake until cake is set.

RASPBERRY LINZER COOKIES

December 19th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink


I love this recipe. These cookies are light, flaky & nutty, with a touch of sweetness from the raspberry jam. It is no doubt the best linzer cookie I’ve made.
Enjoy!
(recipe Soo-Jeong Kang/The New York Times)

2 1/2 sticks, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup finely ground, roasted almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup good-quality raspberry jam, preferably seedless
Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment or silicone baking mats.
In a bowl or stand mixer, mix butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients, a half-cup at a time, to butter mixture.
Divide dough into 3 balls. Place each ball between parchment paper (nonstick works best) and roll into a thin circle, about 11 inches in diameter and just over 1/8-inch thick. Refrigerate flat for at least 15 minutes.
Working quickly with one sheet of dough, remove top layer of parchment, then flip onto a clean sheet and remove the bottom layer. Using a tree-shaped cookie cutter, cut 30 shapes for the bottoms of the cookies and place on prepared baking sheets. Reserve scraps to reuse for more cookies.
Bake cookie bottoms for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown. Rest for a couple of minutes on the tray, then carefully transfer to a cooking rack. Repeat the process to create the tops, using a pastry tip or a straw to cut out 5 to 7 holes on the trees to resemble ornaments. Open any holes that close during baking.
Meanwhile, melt jam with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar and boil lightly for about a minute. Cool slightly. Assemble cookies by flipping the bottoms, spreading them with a scant teaspoon of jam, dusting the tops lightly with powdered sugar and then gently pressing the tops onto the bottoms. Store airtight between layers of wax paper or parchment for 3 days. Freeze for up to a month.

GUMMIE BEAR ICE POPSICLES

August 31st, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Just because summer will be over soon, doesn’t mean you can’t eat ice pops. We eat ice cream all year long; at least I do. These gummie bear ice pops are one of those treats that are fun to eat. There’s a chewy, fruity surprise in every bite. What kid doesn’t like gummie bears?! Even I like them.

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Besides being so damn cute, they’re easy to make. All you need is coconut “water,” gummies, a mold and wooden sticks. If you don’t have a popsicle mold, no big deal, use paper cups. I used mini parfait glasses that I had left over from a cocktail party.

If you have a fear of your kids bouncing off the walls from the sugar, you can make a healthier version. Substitute the gummies for blueberries or any cut up fruit you like.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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CHEESECAKE W/ NUTTER BUTTER CRUST & NUTELLA GANACHE

April 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday Dear DIVA, Happy Birthday to ME!!!

When we’re kids, we would get so excited for our birthdays. We wanted so badly to be older, that we would go as far as telling our age in fractions…8 1/2, 9 3/4. As we “do” get older, our age becomes taboo. No one wants or likes to get older, but we have no choice in the matter. I use to dread when my birthday rolled around, but now I embrace it. Even though I embrace my birthdays, I still don’t tell my age.

On one of my milestone birthdays, I was so depressed, I cried all day. My poor husband tried so hard to make my day special, but I just wasn’t having it. The next day, I came to my senses. I realized HOW RIDICULOUS I was behaving! I shouldn’t be sad because I’m a year older, I should be happy that I lived another year. Another year of being with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy. From that point on, I decided not to attach an age to my birthday. I wanted it to be a celebration of life! After all, isn’t that what happens when we’re born?

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I now celebrate my birthday to it’s fullest. It no longer is just a birth”day”, but a series of celebrations.
On another milestone birthday, I actually wrote up a weekend long itinerary of activities for my friends to help me celebrate. My birthday celebration has become a thing my friends look forward to. They know there’s always something fun planned. So, if you’re like I was and dread your birthday remember, we can’t change the fact that we get older, but we can change the way we think about it. It makes all the difference in the world!
Happy Birthday to you.

Now, about the cake. One of my favorite, if not my favorite snack is peanut butter and Nutella. I can eat each one straight out of their jars. I love putting them together on graham crackers or smeared on a ripe banana. This year, I decided to use peanut butter and Nutella together in my birthday cake.

I made a rich, creamy cheesecake that has a peanut butter crust made with crushed Nutter Butter cookies. I then topped it off with a thick layer of chocolate-hazelnut Nutella ganache. One bite and I thought I heard angels sing..it’s that good! Not only is celebrating your birthday important, but celebrating with a great cake makes it that much sweeter.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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BRIGADEIROS (Brazillian chocolate truffles)

February 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
The Lenten season is upon us. Lent is the time when Christians everywhere prepare themselves to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a time when the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. On the days leading up to Lent, there are celebrations all over the world. These celebrations are sort of a last hurray before their Lenten commitments begin.

Countries all over have big celebrations, but none as big as Carnival in Rio, Brazil. It’s five days of all night parties with half naked (if not naked), drunken people singing and dancing in the streets. I’m not quite sure what all the drunken nakedness has to do with lent or Easter, but hey, I don’t judge. I love a good party!

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Like every good party there’s good food. A party in Brazil wouldn’t be the same without BRIGADEIROS (bree-guy-day-rows). They’re a beloved Brazilian treat that’s invited to every celebration. They’re similar to chocolate truffles. As a matter of fact, they’re called Brazilian truffles. The difference between the two are, truffles are made by melting chocolate in hot cream and have a fudgy consistency. BRIGADEIROS are made with condensed milk and cocoa. Their consistency is more like caramel.

This year Carnival is from February 28th-March 4th. So, head to your kitchen and make a batch of these gooey, rich, chocolatey Brazilian treats and celebrate. I think the excitement of eating delicious BRIGADEIROS, just may be the reason for all the drunken-nakedness. So beware. You just might find yourself doing something you might have to repent later.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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RED VELVET/CHEESECAKE W/ CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

February 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
Awhile ago, I posted a CARROT/CHEESECAKE that got a lot of reaction. It’s a cheesecake sandwiched between 2 layers of carrot cake. This cake was pinned on Pinterest over 45,000 times. I want to thank all you Pinners out there for this amazing response. Since Valentine’s day is approaching, I thought it was time to do it again. This time I replaced the carrot cake with RED VELVET. It was a huge hit! I took it to a Superbowl party and my friends gobbled it up! I don’t know how this cake could have been bad with the recipes I used.

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For the RED VELVET CAKE, I used a recipe that’s from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in NYC. This upscale hotel has been making this popular cake since the 1950’s. It’s funny how when I talk about a cake being born in the 50’s it’s impressive, but when I talk about me being born in the 50’s it’s depressing. Anyway, the cake is light, airy and moist. It’s the best red velvet cake I’ve tasted.

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As for the CHEESECAKE….WOW. This cake is ridiculously delicious. It’s super creamy and rich; everything a cheesecake should be. This recipe came from Junior’s Cheesecakes. Junior’s started wowing people with their fabulous cheesecakes since 1950 in Brooklyn, NY. These 2 delectable cakes together created something that was heavenly sinful. You need to try this. Trust me, you’ll be extremely happy you did.

I’m hoping with a little help from my fabulous followers, that we can pin this cake as much as the last.
Enjoy!
D I V A

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FREGOLATA (crumb cookie)

October 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This weeks “Cookie of the week” is FREGOLATA. (crumb cookie) I believe it’s from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s one big cookie that’s places on an upside down cup then broken into pieces by whacking it with the back of a spoon. They’re nutty, crunchy and fun!….so good.

Enjoy!
D I V A
(recipe)

Cranberry-Walnut Swirls

October 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This week’s cookie is Cranberry-Walnut Swirl. It’s a simple butter cookie recipe with chopped cranberries and walnuts rolled up into the dough. They’re sweet, buttery and tart.

Enjoy
D I V A
continuare per la ricetta (recipe)>>

CHERRY-NUT MUDSLIDE COOKIES (cookie of the week…week 1)

September 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Cherry-Nut Mudslide Cookies have rich, fudgy center with a slightly crisp outside. They’re full of dried cherries that bring a nice tartness to the cookies. They’re also packed with salted pistachios and toasted hazelnuts. These cookies are keepers.

Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

July 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


I was looking for a treat to bring to a friend, who has little kids. I start thinking about summertime goodies I enjoyed when I was little. Right away, ice cream came to mind. Not just ice cream, but ice cream sandwiches. I loved the vanilla ice cream that was sandwiched between two layers of thin dark chocolate cake.

I decided to make these cold, creamy treats, but in a new way. I spread a thin layer of store bought slice and bake cookie dough into a 13X9 inch pan. I baked the dough until golden. I then put a layer of vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge then another layer of ice cream, slightly freezing each layer in between. When the ice-cream was completely set, I cut it in half and put one side on top of the other, then cut it into smaller sandwiches.

These ice cream sandwiches were so yummy, that even the adults gobbled them up. They are a little time consuming but well worth it. They’re much better than the ice cream sandwich that I so loved as a kid.

Enjoy!
D I V A
continue for recipe.

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