Baked · Breakfast · Cake · Chocolate · Dessert · Donut · Snacks · Valentine's Day · Winter Treats

I never met a donut I didn’t like, until today!

The Donut.

It’s a staple in American culture, it’s an excuse to eat cake for breakfast and it’s flavor and topping options are endless. One thing for me should be a firm constant when it comes to the donut.Donuts should always be fried. Whether it’s a cake donut or my personal favorite, a yeasted donut, they should always be fried: NOT BAKED!

Donut pans are something I only recently started using. About a year ago I was teaching a donut class and had my first baked donut encounter. If I can remember correctly we were making a Nutella filled yeasted donut, an apple cider donut and for some god awful reason the third donut, a lemon poppyseed with a delightful lemon glaze, as a baked donut. In a pan. A donut pan to be specific.

The donut pans themselves are cute. I have seen three basic sizes for the pans- regular size (the size of a donut from the supermarket or dunkin, not a fancy giant donut) a medium one and a small one. The small donut is a little bigger than a silver dollar.

I have several issues with baking donuts in pans, but the main two I will talk about are as follows:

1. The texture
2. The look

Donuts are typically made from a dough. It’s rolled out and shapes are cut out with a cookie cutter. It’s dense, almost heavy and when fried gets a soft but firm interior texture and a firm, sometimes crunchy, outer texture. They are easy to pick up and handle, especially when dipping in ganache or glaze.

Baked donuts are made from a batter that is thin and handled easiest when piped into the donut molds. The texture is soft, almost crumbly and the exterior is thin and delicate. Baked donuts are literally cake, shaped into the image of a donut.

The Look:
Donut pans CAN produce very round, symmetrical pretty looking donuts. The issue I constantly have when I make these is figuring out the perfect amount of batter to add to each mold.

You can see from both images the different amounts of batter I added to each row of donuts. Lookig at the second picture, the first row is what we are looking for shape wise. I filled the molds about 1/3 of the way full.

The middle row is a little overfilled and the donuts looks bloated. They basically look the way i feel after eating a burrito. These were filled about 1/2 the way full.

The last row are overfilled and the middle hole has been engulfed with batter. These molds were filled almost to the top of the pan.

Personally I think donut pans should be used to make anything except what I would call a donut. Since my first time using them in class, I have dabbled here and there in trying out different recipes. Each recipe I have made has come out fine, if I was aiming to make round shaped disks of cake. They just aren’t donuts and not what I want when I want a donut.

The latest recipe I made comes from King Arthur and was pretty good! I omitted the chocolate chips in the batter and used vegetable oil instead of melted butter. I also made a traditional ganache for the top:


Chocolate ganache
8oz dark bittersweet chocolate
5.5oz heavy cream

Heat the heavy cream and chocolate over a double boiler until the chocolate is melted. Let cool down for 2-3 minutes before using.

Cookies · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 5- Happy Valentine’s Day from my cold Black Heart to Yours

I started Valentine’s Day off the only way I know how… by promptly waking up, laying on my couch and stuffing my face with a Cookie Butter Blondie. Off to a swell start I would say!

I came home last night and to my surprise, there was a card in my mail box! Could it be a card from my POS ex-boyfriend finally telling me he is sorry for being a terrible human being and a check for the $300 he still owes me? Nah… life never works out that way.

The only cards I ever receive are literally all at Christmas. I usually get 3-10 cards each Christmas from friends or family wishing me a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” from their perfect little family to mine. Me? Well, I don’t have a perfect little family. I don’t have a husband that loves me no matter how terrible I am to him and a bunch of filthy kids that look like said husband, but would be cuter if they looked like me… I am just saying what you are all thinking. New plan for next Christmas, I am gonna start sending out cards of me and my cat and see how they like it.

I could tell by the writing on the card it was from my parents. My mother has the most beautiful handwriting, always has. I remember as a kid purposefully asking her to write things for me because it was so elegant. People do not write like she does anymore. Literally, they don’t teach cursive in schools anymore, hell I bet kids don’t even know what a pencil is.

I opened up my card and laughed harder than I have in weeks. Inside was the cutest card with a cat on the front giving me the biggest stank eye and striking a yoga pose.

Oh, if you have not figured it out, I am a crazy cat lady.


It immediately warmed my heart and I knew the message inside because 5 years ago my parents sent me this very same card for the very same reason; something to brighten up my day when I was feeling down!

“I Meditate, I do Yoga, I Chant… and I Still Want to Smack Someone!”


This card has lived on my fridge for the last five years and whenever I have had a bad day, I repeat the message inside over and over to myself to find some kind of zen. I think I might need to actually frame these now…

This, is the closest thing I am getting to a Valentine this year. I can always count on my Dad and I suppose knowing that he is my rock is all I really need. I am not going to do the whole GIRL POWER thing where all the girls I know get together and pretend like they are not sad depressed ladies and try to convince the world that things are SUPER COOL and that they LOVE being single.


All Lies.

You know it, I know it, lets embrace it and accept it.

Yeah, I am single with no lovers insight. I have been single for a while now and I do wish I had someone to share my life with. What I am okay with is not having someone to share today with, because I think everyday should be Valentine’s day. Society and greeting cards should not have to tell you when to confess your love for someone… you should be able to do that on your own, on a random Wednesday, in July!


So in honor of my new optimistic outlook on this stupid silly holiday I whipped up some Sugar Cookie Conversation Heart Cookies and went out of my way to buy each of my co-workers a little something something to brighten up their day.

Also, although I will not see him, I had to make my dad some granola since he is my valentine!

I started making my own Granola over 10 years ago once I realized how easy it was and how much better it tasted than store-bought. Traditionally I like to keep my granola plain, no nuts, no dried fruits. Today though, I am going to live dangerously and do something different.



The shredded coconut and pepita seeds are small enough that they provide a little bit of texture to the granola and a whole heck of a lot of flavor. I added some of it to my morning yogurt and it paired really well with the grapefruit and mangos in my yogurt.


Coconut Pepita Seed Granola


3 TB Brown Butter, Melted
3 TB Coconut Oil, Melted
1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 TB Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Pepita Seeds
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Buckwheat Honey (or orange blossom)
1/4 Cup Real Maple Syrup


  1. In a small sauce pan melt and brown the butter. Once melted, add the coconut oil until melted.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix together the oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, wheat germ, flax-seed, pepitas and coconut.
  3. Add the maple syrup, honey, brown butter and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients absorb the liquids.
  4. Pour granola onto a parchment lined sheet pan and spread it out evenly using an off-set spatula.
  5. Bake the granola at 325 for 20 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan and using a spatula, mix the granola around so the bottom does not burn. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Note: If you let the granola cool completely before touching it, it will break up nicely into little chunks.

Whatever you are doing today and whether you are alone or lucky to be in love, I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!


– K

Bars and Brownies · Chocolate · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 4-of Swoon worthy V-day desserts has me updating a classic

As a kid I never liked blondies. I always thought of them as the brownies sad, ugly cousin. It wasn’t until I worked in a kitchen and was forced to make blondies that I learned to appreciate them and eventually, fall in love them. There is something so mind-blowing simple and delicious about the combination of melted butter, brown sugar and chocolate chips.

Blondies are also a great vessel for a variety of ingredients like chocolate, nuts and dried fruits. Me? I like the classic combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts but you can do whatever you like.

Around Christmas my mom gave me a jar of Cookie Butter she bought from Mom tends to see things, think they look interesting and then randomly buy them for me. As you can imagine, I usually make out quite nicely when this happens.


After a moment of fat kid weakness where I pretty much ate half the jar of Cookie Butter, with a spoon, straight from the jar I started thinking of ways I could use it in baked goods. I have seen lots of recipes over the past couple of years that call for the use of Cookie Butter but recently came across one that incorporated it into a blondie.

YAAAASSSSSSS Blondies meet Cookie Butter. Cookie Butter meet Blondie 🙂

The Cookie Butter definitely adds extra moisture and sweetness to the batter so I adjusted my recipe by adding more flour and decreasing the brown sugar in the recipe. The result is a soft, gooey texture that is moist and packed with flavor.



Cookie Butter Blondies

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1/2 Cup Cookie Butter
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups AP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts


1. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan and cover the bottom with parchment. Its goo
2. In a mixing bowl combine the cookie butter, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until smooth.
3. Once mixture is smooth, continue to beat on medium until everything becomings fully incorporate, mixture becomes thick and fluffy (it should appear lighter in color as you aerate it).
4. Add the remaining flour, baking power and salt and mix on low just until all the flour gets incorporated.
5. Remove the mixing bowl and with a spatula, fold in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you go.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the center is set.
7. Let cool before cutting!

Cake · Chocolate · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 3- The best flour-less chocolate cake you will ever make

If you say Flour-less or Gluten-Free to me, I am probably going to roll my eyes at you give a hard PASS.

This rich, dense, creamy, decadent flourless chocolate cake will change your mind forever when it comes to Gluten-Free baking. It is also my most coveted recipe I make.

Although I feel the term “cake” is perhaps not the best description, the cake is more like a baked ganache containing sugar and eggs. The key to this recipe is to use a high quality dark chocolate such as Valrhona.


Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 lb 8oz Chocolate
1 lb Butter
1 lb Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Pineapple Juice
8 Egg Yolks
1 Vanilla Bean or 1 TB Vanilla Extract

1. Grease a 9 or 10inch round cake pan with pan spray and cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of parchment paper.
2. In a small saucepan, bring he pineapple juice to a boil and reduce to down to 3/4 Cup.
3. In a large bowl, combine half the sugar and egg yolks and whisk together until thick and pale.
4. Over a double boiler, melt together the remaining sugar, butter and chocolate. Once melted, add the reduced pineapple juice and mix until combined.
5. Using a ladle and whisking the egg mixture continuously, ladle the hot melted chocolate into the egg mixture one ladle at a time. Once half the chocolate has been ladled in, pour the rest in and continue to stir until completely incorporated.
6. Add the batter to the prepared cake pan and place the cake pan in a larger pan with high walls. Add water to the base pan, just enough so it comes up about half way on the sides of round cake pan.
7. Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes to an hour. The cake will have a slight jiggle still in the center of it. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool, in the waterbath.
8. Carefully turn the cake over onto a cake stand or plate and garnish before serving.
Garnish Ideas:
Fresh Fruit: Raspberries, Blackberries, Pomegranate Seeds, Cheeries
Chocolate Ganache
Whipped Cream



Candy · Chocolate · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 2- Swoon Worthy Oreo Truffles for Valentine’s Day

Two Words… Oreo Truffles.

Nothing could be easier than these three ingredient Oreo Truffles. I warn you, they are incredibly addictive.

Simply take 1 package of regular or mint flavored Oreos and place all the Oreos in a food processor. Pulse the cookies until finally ground. Remove about 2 tsp of crushed cookies and set it aside for garnish. Add 1 8oz package of plain cream cheese to the ground cookies and continue to pulse until the Oreos and the cream cheese are smooth (it should start to look like a thick paste).


Scoop balls of dough on a parchment lined sheet pan and gently, with your hands, roll them into smooth balls. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm them up. Once firm, dip the cookie dough into melted dark chocolate and set back onto the parchment to harden.

I like to sprinkle a little bit of the reserved crushed cookies on top of each truffle before the chocolate hardens.

Make a double batch and freeze them for later!


Bars and Brownies · Dessert · Valentine's Day

5 Days of easy, swoon inducing treats for the baking challenged that are perfect for your Valentine- Day 1

A couple of weeks ago I made Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treats and promptly ate the entire pan within 2 days because they were SOOOOOOOO good.


Now the problem with making Rice Krispy Treats is not how good they are and not how quickly you will eat them, it’s that there is always leftover Rice Krispy Cereal and I have no idea what to do with it. Honestly, I did what any intelligent person would do, I made more Rice Krispy Treats!!!

This time around I started thinking about ways I could jazz them up and add a little something special to them. A lot of ideas flowed through my head… are you getting the idea that you are going to see a lot of funky Rice Krispy Treat ideas from me in the future? You are not wrong…

I started to get inspired by the colors and desserts most popular around Valentine’s Day and immediately it hit me- Cocoa Nib Raspberry Rice Krispy Treats!

I had a half a bag of freeze-dried raspberries leftover from a baking experiment gone wrong and had just purchased a new bag of Cocoa Nibs.


I used the standard Rice Krispy Treats Recipe Found on the box of the cereal and simply added 1/2 Cup Freeze Dried Raspberries and 1/4 Cup Cocoa Nibs to the sticky batter and mixed them in when I added the rice cereal to the hot marshmallow.

For a thicker treat, I buttered a 13×5 baking dish with butter and lined the bottom with wax paper before pouring in the batter. Using a buttered off-set spatula I gently pressed the treats down into the dish to create a nice smooth top.


Holy Moses these are incredible! The classic Rice Krispy Treat is still my favorite but the addition of the crunchy chocolatey cocoa nibs and tart raspberries really help balance out the sweetness of these treats.

Happy Baking!