Cookie dough brownies are little pieces of dessert HEAVEN.

Cookie Dough Brownies

BIG NEWS EVERYONE.

I’ve found a way to improve on brownies.

Not possible, they said. How do you make brownies better??

Topping them with cookie dough, that’s how.

Cookie dough brownies are little pieces of dessert HEAVEN.

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Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Chocolate Torte

What’s better than chocolate cake? Chocolate Torte! It’s richer and denser than a regular cake, and best of all makes you sound fancy when you say it.

I’m sharing this decadent dessert in honor of St. Patrick’s day! Somehow a rich chocolate cake felt like the perfect dessert after corned beef and Guinness.

Full disclosure: this torte will take time. It’s not the simplest and definitely needs a few hours to pull together. But it’s not complicated, just requires more than your beat-and-bake cake recipe.

From my standby, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I dream of somday cooking all the recipes in the book but there’s about 5000 plus a million variations, so that’s probably not in the cards. But a girl can dream, right?

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect! Continue reading

Chocolate Chess Pie

Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share my husband’s favorite dessert: chocolate chess pie.

This is Logan’s absolute favorite. His family always has it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and once we went to his aunt’s house and she pulled out FOUR to give to him to get him through finals. (Bonus: they freeze well.)

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie is the perfect decadent dessert for Valentine's Day!

They’re rich and decadent, full of chocolate and with that chess texture is just unbeatable. (Where does the term come from to describe that texture? I have no idea.) It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert!

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Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

Cinnamon chocolate chip bread

I hope everyone is enjoying some slower days in this last week of 2016! We’re watching lots of TV and playing with our Christmas presents. In the spirit of this holiday laziness, here’s an easy but festive breakfast bread.

I love desserts masquerading as breakfast. It’s as if adding cinnamon or fruit makes them acceptable for the main dish. So how do you make something as tasty as cinnamon bread better?

You add chocolate!

Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

This quickbread comes together easily and uses mostly ingredients you already have. It’s great for hosting overnight guests: breakfast is easy and uncomplicated, and you can make it in advance!

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Rich fudgy brownies, HOMEMADE!

Homemade brownies

I have a confession to make: growing up, I was that kid who liked box brownies better. And let’s be honest, most of us do! Most of the homemade varieties people brought to birthdays or potlucks were dry and less intensely chocolate-y than what you crave in a brownie. And then in college why would we bother with homemade brownies when the box ones were so stinking good?!? Who’s with me here!?

Rich fudgy brownies, HOMEMADE!

Anyway, recently I set out to find a brownie recipe that could actually hold a candle to box brownies and didn’t require 8473 steps. Of course, the winner was from my favorite guy Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything; his brownies are moist, rich fudgy things with so much chocolate that eating more than two will guarantee you a stomachache later. (That hasn’t stopped me or anything, but in case you’re wondering.)

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Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who’s moving to college this month?!?

There are a few things about moving into my freshman dorm room that stand out really clearly.

Convincing my parents to take me six hours earlier than my official move in time, because the RA’s wouldn’t care (they didn’t).

Seeing my pot-luck roommate got there first and therefore got first pick of which closet/desk/bed she wanted. They were about the same level of grungy, but still.

Lifting the bed, wondering if it’s supposed to sway this much when you’re sleeping seven feet off the floor?

That slightly giddy, slightly overwhelmed moment when I realized I was setting my home base for my first year of college.

Finishing the unpacking, only to look blankly at my parents, wondering how you say goodbye in such a momentous moment (there I said it), except they actually live only ten minutes down the road. How I got there is a whole other story, though.

Standing in my mostly set up dorm room, absorbing this new space that was more “my own” than any other place I’d lived yet.

What do you do then? Right after you move into your dorm for the first time ever, before you know who your go-to friends are going to be, before you know how you’re going to make friends at all, before you quite know who you will even be in college?

You sit in your new chair and you eat a cookie. Not just any cookie: one of your mom’s homemade chocolate  chip cookies.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

And somehow, tasting mom’s cookies, I’m not worried about classes or friends or anything else. These cookies make me believe I can do this whole college thing.

So to make mom’s chocolate chip cookies, use this recipe! They’re addictive, comforting, and possibly even better warm from the oven.

Chocchipcookies07

Side note: it’s the Toll House recipe for the most part. Couple edits of my own.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

First step in any good baking: cream the butter!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Add in the sugars and vanilla. Then eggs, then dry ingredients. Finally, add the chocolate chips! (Apologies for the lack of photos. This is what happens when I bake after midnight.)

Chocchipcookies03

After chilling. It’s good for the butter to be cold before baking.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Form into 1-2 inch balls.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Confession time: I like smaller cookies because it’s an excuse to eat more of them. My mom makes fewer, bigger cookies.

Chocchipcookies09

Bake for 8-10 minutes to golden brown perfection!

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Cream the butter, then add both sugars and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add eggs (one at a time).
  3. Combine dry ingredients , then add in small batches to the wet ingredients. When mostly combined, add chocolate chips
  4. For best results, pop in the fridge for an hour before baking. But if you don’t have time, you can skip this step.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown on a baking sheet, either greased or with a silpat. Cool on wire racks, and take a taste while they’re still warm!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

What food makes you confident?

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars have got to be the ultimate comfort food!

Chocolate chip cookie bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the ultimate comfort food.

There’s something about cookie cake. The thick dough and gooey chocolate has this intensely comforting effect, especially when it’s warm from the oven.

Even better, this recipe is quick to whip up for a dinner or movie night or hostess gift!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the ultimate comfort food.

Always, the start: cream the butter.

Cookiebars02

Add the sugars and vanilla. Beat well.

Cookiebars04

Beat in eggs, one a time, until well combined.

Cookiebars05

With the mixer on low, add in your sifted dry ingredients.

Cookiebars06

When the dry ingredients are almost fully incorporated, add the chocolate chips.

Cookiebars07

I always load mine up with chocolate chips. More on top for good measure!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the ultimate comfort food.

Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350°F, until it’s a beautiful golden brown on top and a toothpick stuck in comes out clean.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the ultimate comfort food.

LOADED with chocolate, and right on the verge of being undercooked.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars have got to be the ultimate comfort food!

Gooey and warm and perfect for a crowd.

Recipe based on one I found on So Festive.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the ultimate comfort food.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter for 2 minutes, until lighter and fluffier. Beat in sugars and vanilla.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add 1/2 the dry ingredients to the mixer and stir to combine, then add the second half.
  5. When flour is nearly combined, add the chocolate chips and stir gently.
  6. Spread evenly on the baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in comes out clean.

Cookiebars15

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

Brownie batter dip

There’s no great introduction for this post, other than to ask you if you want a bowl of uncooked brownies in socially-acceptable (and egg free) form.

Do you?  Make this recipe.

My friends inhaled it at a recent party. So fast that I didn’t actually get a decent photo in the process – we were too quick to dig in!

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

It’s addictive on EVERYTHING. Graham crackers, cookies, marshmallows, fruit. So grab some things to dip and get going!

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

Beat cream cheese and butter.

Browniebatterdi (2)

Beat for a couple minutes, until light and fluffy.

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

Add powdered sugar and milk, a little at a time.

Browniebatterdi (4)

Once all the sugar and milk is incorporated, it looks something like this.

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

Finally, add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and flour. When fully mixed, it needs to chill for a couple hours in the fridge. To make it more party-ready, I added sprinkles on top right before serving!

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

I found the recipe on Life in the Lofthouse – thanks Holly!

Enjoy!

BROWNIE BATTER DIP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder

STEPS:

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together for 2 minutes on high.
  2. On low, add in 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (about 3/4 cup at a time) alternating with tbsps of milk. Use 2 tbsp of milk, but if the mixture is too thick, add another.
  3. Add in cocoa powder, vanilla, brown sugar and flour. Once fully combined, refrigerate for 30 minutes for best flavor.

Use strawberries, marshmallows, graham crackers, or anything else you’d pair with chocolate!

Brownie batter dip, aka crack in dip form. Get ready.

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose 

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Golden Butter Cake with Mocha Frosting

This is a big week for the Myricks: Logan comissions and grafduates! Obviously we’ve got a big weekend of celebrations ahead, and I’ll share more soon. But this made me want to share a celebratory cake recipe!

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

One of my aspirations for being a well-rounded chef is to make cakes that are just as good as the box mix cakes.

Who’s with me? I have no idea what manner of magic they put in that stuff, but box cakes are so good. Made even better by the fact that its so stinking easy to make.

So when I found Mark Bittman‘s butter cake recipe, I knew this was a good place to start for a classic vanilla cake.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

With the richness of the butter cake, I wanted an icing that would contrast, so I tried mocha frosting. (Also Mark Bittman – one of my favorite cookbooks!)

And y’all, this cake.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

So good.

SO GOOD.

Eat more of it than I’m willing to admit on the Internet. And then another slice for breakfast the next day.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

 

 

Next time you need a cake, make this one. You’ll thank me later.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Egg yolks give this cake its richness.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Cream the butter and add sugar.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Add the eggs, one at a time. This is apparently very important – something about making sure the proteins of the yolks combine properly.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

With all eggs mixed in, the texture looks something like this.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Next, add vanilla.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixture, then 1/3 of the milk.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Keep alternating until all the milk and flour is incorporated.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Divide the batter between two greased cake pans.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

While the cake is baking, melt the chocolate.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Once again, beat the butter.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Add in sugar, milk, and chocolate.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Keep adding sugar and milk, along with coffee, vanilla, and salt. Combine well.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Once the cake has cooled, frost the cakes!

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Turns out gorgeous!

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

Added some sprinkles, because everyone loves sprinkles.

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

GOLDEN BUTTER CAKE WITH MOCHA FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

Butter cake

  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mocha frosting

  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp cream or milk (cream will make richer icing)
  • 2 tbsp strong coffee or espresso
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 inch circular cake pans. For best results, cover the bottom with a circle of wax paper and grease that too.
  2. Cream butter, then add sugar and beat for several minutes. Beat in the yolks – one at a time – then vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the mixer, then 1/3 of the milk. Alternate flour and milk until everything is just combined.
  3. Split the batter between the cake pans. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean. Once it’s baked, let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer onto a rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting! With an electric mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the butter for several minutes. Melt the baking chocolate and let cool.
  5. Add 1 cup of sugar, then a couple tablespoons of milk. Beat well.
  6. Add the salt and vanilla, then the chocolate and coffee. Alternate the rest of the milk and sugar until you’ve reached the consistency you want. You may not use all the sugar – I used about 3 1/4 cups sugar this time. If it gets too thick, add more milk. Too thin: add more sugar. But don’t push it too far or the rich chocolate flavor will get diluted.
  7. Once the cake is fully cooled, frost the top of the bottom layer, then add the second layer of cake. Frost thick, and for an extra touch, add sprinkles!

Butter cake with mocha icing - it's better than the box mix!!!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Bridal shower yogurt bar

This spring and summer will be a whirlwind of wedding related events. Two of my dear friends and college roommates are getting married this summer, and both asked each of us roommates to be bridesmaids! Which has been an AMAZING honor – it has been so much fun to celebrate both these women who I love so dearly!

This past weekend, Taylor’s bridesmaids threw a bridal shower.It was so much fun!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

Taylor & her bridesmaids!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!We decided to do a brunch-themed party: who doesn’t love brunch?!?

The theme ended up being especially fitting, considering the gifts she received were almost entirely for the kitchen! Never have I ever seen so many darling matching kitchen dishes – most of the Pioneer Woman line made an appearance! I’m looking forward to the future dinner parties on her gorgeous kitchen set.

We had a gorgeous spread- the biggest muffins you’ve ever seen, mimosas and bellinis, fruit, two egg casseroles, as well as some of the best dips I’ve ever tasted!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

And cake. So much delicious cake.

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

One of my favorite parts of the shower was another food item. [Really, no one should be surprised that I focused on the food.] Trying to think of another breakfast/brunchy  item that would please a crowd, I came across the idea for a yogurt bar! (Thanks Pinterest.)

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

The concept is super simple: get a couple types of yogurt and all your favorite tasty toppings in one place, and let people go crazy!

Advantages of a yogurt bar:

  1. customizable – people can do what they like!
  2. easy to make work for vegetarians/gluten-free
  3. gives a healthy option if people feel so inclined. You know, if you need to balance out those mimosas and muffins.

It perfectly fit a bridal shower too: the yogurt is rich and smooth and creamy, striking the right balance between decadent and light, combining fun and sweet and healthy.

For our shower, I chose three types of yogurt. We had about 30 people there, so I wanted to try and have options for everyone!  I bought plain Greek yogurt, vanilla Greek yogurt, and plain (non-Greek/regular) yogurt. I kept my flavors basic, to better dress up with toppings!

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Toppings we used included: granola, strawberries, bananas, honey, and chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with fruits, so feel free to experiment and see what people like the most!

At the shower I picked vanilla Greek yogurt with strawberries and chocolate chips. [Adding chocolate chips to anything is a win, right???]

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

Another plus: whatever leftovers you have will feed you breakfast (or dessert!) for the next couple days. I’ve been starting my day with plain Greek yogurt topped with a splash of honey or bananas all week, and loving it!

Celebrating Taylor with a brunch-themed shower!

That’s my favorite brunch-themed party food! Enjoy!

A yogurt bar is perfect for a brunch themed bridal shower!

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose