Archive for February, 2014

Favorite Shots: Gone in 60 Seconds

malt cupcakes fav



Pipe Dream #252: To Be Perplexingly Pleasing – Andes Monster Cookies

andes monster 2My guess is that you don’t eat mint, chocolate and peanut butter in combination very often. Mint and chocolate (York Peppermint Patties) or chocolate and peanut butter (Reese’s amen), but not all three in combination. And neither had I, until I tried these unexpected delights, a chewier/better version of these monster cookies. It is so odd, but the Andes mints really do add something that makes these just irresistible. And I really liked the texture that the old-fashioned oats lend to the finished product.

The ingredients and method couldn’t be simpler. I had this recipe sitting in my email for literal years, but I really should have gotten it out of the way much sooner. And by “gotten it out of the way,” I mean “tried it so that I could solidify its place in my archive of trusty favorites.”

andes monster 1

andes monster 3

Portable and pleasing, these are. Enjoy in plenty.

andes monster 4


Andes Monster Cookies

Inspired by this recipe. From Katrina.

1 1/2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon white corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces peanut butter
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter
2 ¼ cups old fashioned oatmeal
4 ounces total Andes mints bits and chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of  a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for a minute or two, then add in the peanut butter, creaming until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, beating until well mixed. Mix in the baking soda, corn syrup and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, stir in the oatmeal, then stir in the chocolate.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, allowing room to spread.  Press down slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes.  Don’t overbake.

Pipe Dream #251: To Save the Southern Belle – Orange Maple Syrup Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

orangle maple cake 5

This cake should be straight out of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ I only say that because it’s the only classic Southern book I can think of right now, and doesn’t the plate and pecans just make you think of a Southern belle Paula Deen caramel cake tea party? It does me.

This is my third breakfast-inspired cake for my cousin’s shower. You can salivate over the gluten-free Nutella mousse cake and blueberry muffin cake I did if you want. I won’t right now,  because I’m typing right now, and who has time to clean off their keyboard?, but you just feel free to click those there links.

orange maple cake 3

orange maple cake 1

The idea was that it would be like a stack of orange pecan french toast drizzled with maple syrup. The sponge itself uses maple syrup as the sweetener. I really should have found a better recipe–the mixing technique was odd, and I don’t think the butter and syrup were well-incorporated, which caused problems. I thought it was a bit dry and not fluffy at all, but some people at the shower said it was their fav, so I don’t know. To each his own, or her own, as it were. Do guys ever go to baby showers? Maybe not.

Also, I had no zester or grater when I was making this, so I was pitifully trying to peel an orange with a dull knife and then lazily trying to slice it into tiny bits. It was a fail, and the orange really didn’t come through. The idea was solid, though, and I have hopes that if I try this again, I could do it much better.

orangle maple cake 4

Smooth like butta. Oh wait, it is butter. Buttercream, that is. Delectable. I feel like the decor job saved this cake from my ultimate disapproval.

nutella mousse cake 4

The cakeliest,


Orange Maple Syrup Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Cake adapted from Epicurious. This will make two 8-inch layers.

You can find the frosting recipe at smitten kitchen. Add maple flavoring in place of vanilla flavoring.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
finely -grated zest of one orange
2 cups pure maple syrup
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with non-stick spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray the parchment. Dust the pans with flour and tap out excess.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool the cakes in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of cakes and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Remove parchment, and let cool completely. Frost as desired.

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