Recipes, sweet tooth

Brownie Shortbread Cups

These brownie shortbread cups will hit all your cravings… both buttery soft shortbread and gooey fudge brownies. You can have the best of both worlds.

These brownie shortbread bars have two layers. The bottom layer is a simple shortbread crust made from little more than butter, sugar, and flour.The crumbly cookie crust comes together in a single bowl before being patted out in a muffin pan. While the crust bakes slightly in the oven, prepare the brownie batter, you can also use your favorite brownie mix box. After baking in the oven, the cups are ready to devour. The combination of shortbread and brownies is pretty phenomenal if you ask me

Let’s get to baking!

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the brownie:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1–1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

OR

2 boxes your favorite brownie mix and the ingredients needed

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square baking pan with parchment paper or a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.

Begin by preparing the crust. 

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir just until combined to crumbs. Gently press the mixture down flat into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until set. 

In the meantime, begin making the brownie filling.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, gently melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and sugar, stirring regularly to melt evenly and prevent scorching the chocolate. Once melted and smooth, set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed with a mixer until they lighten in color and fluff up, about 2-3 minutes. Gently stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring just until combined. 

Pour the batter on top of the prepared shortbread and smooth. 

Increase the oven heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out only with a couple of small brownie crumbs. Do not overbake. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely prior to slicing.

Cookies, Recipes

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Bars

Got a sweet tooth and love chocolate? Then these chocolate chip bars are for you!

They start with my brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and are filled with milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. The brown butter and brown sugar gives a toffee-like richness to the cookie bars. And they are so easy to make in a 9×13-inch pan; no scooping or rolling needed. Just press and bake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 4.4 ounce large milk chocolate bar, chopped 

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Once it starts to brown, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool.

Pour into an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While still hot, add both sugars and mix on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.

While the butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk and set aside.

Turn the mixer on low. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely.  

Mix in vanilla extract. 

Add flour mixture one cup at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 9×13” baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal.

Press half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the bottom layer (be careful to leave about 1/4” edge around the pan, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate bar over the top. 

Press the remaining cookie dough on top of milk and chopped chocolate bar. Press with your hands to flatten. It will mostly cover but not completely cover the bottom layer.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the tops of the bars start to get golden brown. 

Cool completely before slicing into bars.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Strawberry & Lemon Bundt Cake

Filled with fresh strawberries!

Who doesn’t love a cold glass of strawberry lemonade on a hot day. Now think about that as a delicious slice of cake. All of the same refreshing flavors, but in cake form. Count me in!

This cake is perfect for brunch, a picnic or patio party! It is made with fresh strawberries and fresh lemon zest and a sour cream cake batter, this moist and tender strawberry cake will make your day. Guaranteed! 

I love fresh strawberries with this recipe but you can use frozen ones.  Just make sure to thaw them before using, then dry off and toss with the flour.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  1 zest of one lemon
  •  1 teaspoon salted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Add the strawberries and 1 tablespoon of flour to a mixing bowl and toss together until all of the strawberries are coated with the flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time until well combined, then mix in the vanilla. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients on low speed. 

Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. 

Then add the strawberries and gently fold them into the batter until just combined.

Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan or cake pan and evenly spread it around.

Bake at 350°F for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Cover loosely with foil if needed for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then invert the cake onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

The Lemon Glaze

While the cake cools, make the glaze.

In a large microwavable measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.

Let it sit for a few minutes. 

Top with the lemon glaze.