How to Make Mocha Brownie Cups (Recipe)

It’s funny to reflect and think about the fact that just 5 years ago, the thought of drinking coffee was absurd to me. It wasn’t until mid-college that I began drinking coffee occasionally, and soon after I joined millions of fellow Americans in becoming addicted to the beverage. Fast forward to real time, and I now enjoy not only drinking coffee daily, but also finding ways to get that wonderful flavor into non-liquid forms. If you’re an all-things coffee fan as I am, these brownie cups are a must-try for you!
It amazes me how far a packaged mix can sometimes get you. Yep – the base of this recipe is a box of good ol’ Betty Crocker brownie mix! I essentially went by the box instructions, but used only one egg to make the brownies super fudgy. Add in instant coffee and simply pour the batter into cupcake liners. Then…

Yes, those are Rolos in the middle of each brownie cup! Because really… how can chocolate-covered caramels not make a coffee flavored brownie better?!
Whip up some mocha icing, spread it on top, and you’re ready to dig in. 🙂

Mocha Brownie Cups
Makes about 15, depending on size
1 package brownie mix
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp. water
1 egg
3 1/2 tbsp. instant coffee
15 chocolate-covered caramels (such as Rolos), unwrapped
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine brownie mix, oil, water, egg, and instant coffee and stir until mixed.
Pour into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Press one chocolate-covered caramel into the center of each cup. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean. Allow brownie cups to cool completely before frosting. Once frosted, store brownies in refrigerator.
Mocha Icing
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. instant coffee
Blend all ingredients with mixer on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat about 2 minutes. Spread icing onto cooled brownie cups.
Are you a coffee drinker? Do you enjoy all things coffee (desserts, etc.) or are you strictly a liquid coffee fan?

Individual Tres Leches Cakes with Spiced Chocolate Mousse

Whew! After that long-winded title, I better not disappoint with this one! We had a Mexican themed lunch today at work. I wanted to do a dessert that fit the theme, yet still allow my usual creativity. Ever since I ordered this Wilton pan from Sur La Table a few weeks ago, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect opportunity to test it out. More about the pan in a second. First, let me reel you in.
Mmhmm. Little cakes soaked in three milks. Rich, fluffy spiced chocolate mousse pocketed inside. And what’s that on the bottom there? Oh, you know, just a sturdy base of semisweet chocolate. Okay – back to the pan.

I bought this pan for $10.95 and could not be more excited about it. It is perfect for so many creations. Want to make cookies or brownies and top them with a scoop of ice cream? This is your pan. Strawberry shortcake? The pan above is waiting for you. Individual cheesecakes? Give this guy a try. I think you get my point. 🙂
Once the cake batter is ready to go, fill each cup about 2/3 full and baked them ’til light golden brown. Let ‘em cool for about 5-10 minutes, remove, and repeat. If you don’t have this pan (yet), just make cupcakes!
Here’s where the fun really starts. Turn the cakes (or cupcakes) upside down, and spread with melted semisweet chocolate.
Once the chocolate is set, whisk together your three milks, pierce each cake with a fork multiple times, and slowly pour the milk mixture into the cakes. I place the cakes in a cake pan so the excess milk mixture doesn’t dribble all over the counter. 🙂
Then, and this is perhaps my favorite part, whip up your spiced chocolate mousse. Dollop the top of each cake with the mousse.

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How to Make Peanut Butter Yogurt Pie (Recipe)

*EDITED TO ADD: If you like bananas, try a similar version of this pie, peanut butter banana yogurt pie!*

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  I’m just going to glide right over the fact that Syracuse lost their first basketball game of the season and tell you that the sun was out two days in a row (practically unheard of in January up here) and my mom’s birthday was Saturday.  Much more happy.  Anyway, it was mom’s birthday and in rare Liz fashion, I didn’t bake her a cake.  I know what you’re thinking – what kind of daughter-with-a-baking-blog am I?  Well, don’t worry, we still indulged, just with a creamy peanut butter yogurt pie instead!

See, I’ve been on the Greek yogurt train for well over a year now, but mom just recently jumped aboard this past summer.  I’ve told her before, I’m pretty sure she’s single-handedly keeping Chobani in business these days.  Knowing how much she loves the good stuff, I decided I should incorporate Greek yogurt into her birthday dessert.  I’ve recently learned that vanilla Greek yogurt with a little peanut butter stirred in makes a delicious (and healthy) little snack and well, lo and behold, it’s delicious as a pie, too!

I had actually planned to add powdered sugar and whipped cream to the pie filling too, but found it really didn’t need it.  Obviously, I’m pretty sure powdered sugar and whipped cream can do no wrong and you could add them if you want a sweeter, more indulgent pie… I’d say 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup whipped cream… but trust me when I say that if you try the simple version below, you won’t be disappointed!

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How to Make Peanut Butter Oh!s Squares (Recipe)

Hello and happy Monday!  I hope you had a nice, relaxing weekend.  Despite my last-minute packing, I actually did have a fairly relaxed weekend, and am now cruising down the east coast toward my new state of Florida!  My mom and I spent last night in Virginia and got to take a field trip to Trader Joe’s (woohoo!), and today we’re headed to Savannah!  I’m so excited for Savannah, it’s a place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I started watching Paula Deen throw butter and mayonnaise into dishes right and left.

Since I’m the midst of a major road trip, I thought I’d share with you one of the snacks I packed for our trip, peanut butter Oh!s squares.  They’re essentially just peanut butter rice krispie treats made with a different cereal, but oh (ha!) what a cereal it is.

My family grew up going through boxes and boxes of cereal every week, and Oh!s were one of our all-time favorites as kids.  As the box states, “good stuff in the middle.”  If you’ve never had them, they’re a circle shaped cereal that tastes sort of like Cap’n Crunch, with little crunchies in the center of the circle.  Basically, they’re sugary cereal deliciousness that you have to try at least once in your lifetime.  I order you.

I whipped these squares up over the weekend (in between stuffing my car with everything I didn’t have the moving company take) and they’ve been the perfect treat to have on hand as we zip down the east coast.  Make a batch soon, they’re easy and delicious!

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How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (Recipe)

Do you ever feel like your days are so busy and exhausting but you have nothing to show for it?  That’s how I’ve been feeling for the past week or so.  A billion little projects right and left.  Heaven help me when I actually have a family in… 20 years.

You know what I do when I desperately need to make something sweet (desserts are critical to life, obviously) but I just don’t have the time?  I fall back to the simplest treats I know… rice krispie treats.  Keep ‘em traditional, change up the cereal, add some sprinkles, chocolate chips, or… make chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats.

 

If you’ve never had chocolate peanut butter, you’ve never lived.  I buy Peanut Butter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams variety — I’ve never see any other brands, but I’m sure there must be some others out there.  Anyway, all you do is swap some of the butter for the peanut butter, and before you know it you have crisp and gooey chocolate peanut butter treats.

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