Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue

Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue

Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue



I’ve decided that Key Limes are a pain in the butt and I totally prefer working with Persian Limes. Why? Because I’m lazy and zesting little teeenieeeee tinyyyyy limes takes 500 years and I’m already old. I don’t have time for that stuff. Who would finish baking if I were to keel over in the middle of zesting, dead from a zesting induced coronary?

Well, I have now managed to use the word zesting (which spell check says isn’t even a word in the first place) more in a few sentences than I had in the previous year. Zesting, zesting, zesting, zesting. There. That should take care of the next year or two.

I had planned to go on a raging bender tonight, which for me means two beers and then I fall asleep. But I came to the realization that 3 and a half hours of sleep the night before doesn’t leave much room for even picking up a beer bottle, much less enjoying it. So I shall instead drink tea fixed for me by my loving husband, eat dinner, inhale two one of these utterly delicious lime bars, then fall asleep watching M*A*S*H on Netflix. Yes, I live on the edge like this often. It’s an adrenaline filled life that few can handle. Feel free to live vicariously through me.

In the meantime however, bake these bars. Crunchy graham cracker crust, creamy, tangy lime filling, all topped with a sweet vanilla bean meringue. These are soooo good. Have I led you astray yet? WHAT!? DARN! Quit bringing up the danged Emu!!!

You know the drill…. :-)

Mrs. Cupcake, who is too pooped to pucker

Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling-
  • 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup key lime juice (you can sub regular lime juice)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • a few drops of green food coloring (optional)
  • Meringue-
  • 4 egg white, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • one vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (or sub 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 inch square pan with non stick foil. Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl and mix well, until you have a crumbly mass. Press down into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 until browned, about 15 minutes. Let it cool down completely before adding the filling. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest and sour cream. Whisk until thoroughly blended, then add the eggs and food coloring (if using); whisk until mixed.
  3. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and chill for two hours at least, or until needed.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, make your meringue- start a pot of water simmering.  In another, slightly smaller pot, whisk to combine the egg whites, cream of tarter and sugar. Place over the pot of simmering water, making sure it doesn’t actually touch the water, but is just above it. Whisk the egg white mixture continuously until it reaches a temp of about 120 to 125 degrees; enough to feel somewhat uncomfortable on your fingertip, but not burning hot. It will take just a few minutes at most. Remove from the heat and add in the scraped vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Whisk just to combine.
  5. Pour the still warm mixture into either the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat at medium high speed until the meringue is fluffy and holds a firm peak. Spread over the top of the chilled pan of bars. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the top of the meringue. You can also place it under the broiler with the oven door open for a minute or two, but watch it carefully if you do this as it doesn’t take long to burn.
  6. You can serve now or re-chill the bars. Use the foil to pull the bars out of the pan and place on a large cutting board. Peel off the foil from the sides and cut into desired serving sized pieces. I wouldn’t cut them as large as the ones I have here. That was just for photo purposes :-p
Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue

Tangy Key Lime Bars With A Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Meringue

 

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Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars (Recipe Re-Do)

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars

Coconut Caramel Cookie Bars



 

You want this cookie. Quit looking at me that way! Would I lie to you? I know, I know, there was that time with the Emu & Brussel Sprouts Casserole…. but we’ve moved on since then, you and I. Now I am your one stop shop for delicious recipes *coughcough* and wonderful cooking advice, as well as life advice, beauty tips and home renovation ideas.

You’re falling for this, right? We understand each other. I’m here to make bad one liners and create yummy recipes and in return, you pretend to laugh at my jokes and drool over my cooking.

I first made these back in 2012. While I may not be an amazing photographer even now, I like to delude myself into thinking that I have progressed quite a bit from back then. The photos from the old post looked like nothing so much as a mass of goo and didn’t do these delicious bars justice. These are some of my husbands favorite cookie bars. He is a huge fan of the Samoa (or whatever they are called now) cookies the Girl Scouts sell. But who the heck wants to pay $3.50 for a 10 ounce box of cookies when you can do a little bit of work and end up with a full pan of delicious, not round but thick and chewy Samoa-ish cookie bars?

These aren’t difficult at all. Can you use a mixer and measure? Yes? Then you’ve got this! These are chewy, with an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie base, covered with ooey gooey caramel, toasted coconut and rich creamy chocolate and…and…and.. *fans face* I really need a cookie now. Please excuse me for some private time.

You know the drill…. :-)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (in the same aisle as the vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips plus another 1/2 cup for the top of the bars
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  •  1 cup caramel sauce (preferably home made)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and butter well or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring every few minutes. Watch carefully; coconut can go from pale to burnt  very quickly. When it’s done, set aside.
  3. Place the softened butter and the brown sugar in a large bowl and beat well, until relatively light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, coconut flavoring and egg. beat well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, 2 cups chocolate chips, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine then add into the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom of the foil lined pan. Top with the extreme abundance of caramel sauce, then the shredded coconut. Top this with the extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 350 until the bars are just barely set, about 30 to 40 minutes. The middle shouldn’t wiggle but should just feel barely firm when pressed. Don’t press too hard because molten caramel on your fingertip hurts. Don’t ask how I know this please.
  7. Let cool for about an hour in the pan, then use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack. If they start to collapse onto themselves when you lift, let cool for a while longer.

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Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

 

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

 

When I first moved to this side of Kentucky, I missed all the big malls that were in the Louisville area. We pay for the beauty of this side of the state with a bit of isolation. Now, I’ve never been a Mall Rat by any stretch of the imagination, but I did sorely miss things like Cinnabon, The Hallmark Store and Godiva. So I was tickled when I finally got into the “big” city of Lexington (where I lived then was about 3000 people and where I am now about 17,000 for the whole town, but only a few hundred in the area I live in, with NO civilization at all) and found a mall. One of the places I absolutely loved to go to in there was a coffee shop. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name now, but I loved it. Sadly, they closed a few years after I found it. Things like that happen near me. I’m that person who gets into the check out lane and the computer breaks JUST after I set all my groceries down; that person who discovers an amazing new product only to have it discontinued a month after I find it, with no chance to even stock up.

Without fail, every time I went to this shop, I got the same thing, something that I have seen nowhere since (though I make my own version now). It was half coffee, half hot chocolate, with a shot of orange syrup and copious amounts of cinnamon sprinkled on top.. So, so delicious. The flavors of the chocolate, the cinnamon and the orange all combined together into pretty much the perfect coffee drink. When I make it for myself now, it is usually during the Winter and nine times out of ten, I will add a shot of my favorite brandy . What!? It makes it extra delicious and toe warming. :-D

So, when I was deciding what to make here, brownies popped into my head, at which point I smacked myself upside the head and said, “Janet, you just want brownies and you already have 72 different ones here.” So, after telling myself to shut up, I realized myself…erhmmm, I, was correct. I needed to DO something with said brownies. So I turned them into a brownie version of my favorite coffee drink. And oh my, these are decadently delicious. The brownies are soft and fudgy with hints of cinnamon and orange. The glaze is glossy perfection with a chocolate orange taste that is amazing (if I do say so myself). In case you can’t tell, I rather like these. Which is why most are going to work with Russell tomorrow, so I don’t have to be put into a piano case when I die.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake… who wants to be cremated, not buried in a piano case, thankyouverymuch.

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze 

  • Brownies-
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cup up
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange oil , preferably Boyajian
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Glaze-
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange oil
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • chocolate covered coffee beans and orange zest for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 inch baking pan with foil and butter the bottom of the foil.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.Microwave at 60% power for 60 seconds, then stir. If not fully melted, microwave at full power for ten seconds; stir. Let cool for five minutes.
  3. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture; beat well with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Add in the corn syrup, vanilla extract and the orange oil. beat just until combined.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, instant coffee and cinnamon. Beat just until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is matte looking and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.
  6. Let cool in the pan, on a rack, for about 2 hours or until completely cool.
  7. Make the glaze- In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Microwave at 60% power for about 30 seconds. Stir to help the chocolate finish melting. Add in the rest of the glaze ingredients and beat gently until it is a shiny cohesive glaze. Spread over the cooled brownies. For easier cutting, place the pan of brownies in the fridge for at least an hour to let the glaze set up.
  8. Cut into small squares; these are rich. Garnish each square with a chocolate covered coffee bean and some orange zest.

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Fourteen Recipes For Easter (& Spring!)

Fourteen Recipes For Easter (And Spring!)

Fourteen Recipes For Easter (And Spring!)

Ahhh, Spring; that season where our land turns to a swamp and I expect any minute to see crocodiles and hear lively Cajun Zydeco music. But Spring is also the season for Easter, the day when Jesus rose from the dead and set the stage for our salvation, a gift we can never hope to repay. I wanted to put together a compilation of recipes for you that celebrate both the season and the day. Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

I love this risotto. it is perfect for Springtime; fresh and bright. And cheesy. Cheesy is always good :-D

Lemony Cheese Risotto
Lemony Cheese Risotto2

Blueberries are starting to come into season and get a bit less expensive at the stores. This cornbread is a delicious way to enjoy them!

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

And you need a main course, of course. This is my all time favorite way to make ham. The orange marmalade glaze is delicious and I am sure it could be used on any other ham (or even a pork loin roast or chicken) just as easily.

Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham

Orange Marmalade-Brown Sugar Ham

Orange Marmalade-Brown Sugar Ham

What goes better with ham than mac & cheese, right? This one of my most popular recipes and for good reason; it’s absolutely wonderful! Decadent, creamy, cheesy and it makes enough for that Easter day crowd or a potluck at church

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Macaroni And Cheese
Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

If you have kids in your house on Easter, chocolate cake goes over well. Ok, so it goes over well with practically everyone! This is also one of my most popular recipes. Soooo moist and the icing is amazing! And we all know the kids just don’t get enough sweets form the Easter Bunny on Easter, right? *coughcough*

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Here’s another risotto for you. For some reason, risotto just says Spring to me. If I’m wrong, oh well; it’s still a very tasty risotto, lol. I mean; bacon, mascarpone cheese and caramelized onions. What could be bad about that?

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

You have to have lemony foods during Easter and in the Spring, am I right? They are just so bright and fresh and lively, the are perfect for this time of the year when the world is waking up from its slumber. This cake is so fitting. lemony and zesty and tangy and oh so good!

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

It’s always nice to have something tasty to drink when family is getting together. It settles the nerves when there are 4000 kids running about fighting over whose chocolate bunny is bigger. This Berry Peachy Sangria is light and refreshing and a perfect way to signal Springtime to get springing :-P

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

If you’d prefer something non-alcoholic, this is one of my favorite ways to make a fresh tasting tea. This is made with Constant Comment tea, Lemonade mix and water; easy peasy. Then you garnish it with frozen strawberries in lieu of ice cubes and enjoy.

Spiced Strawberry lemonade Constant Comment Tea
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Need a little more chocolate, but a bit less involved? These brownies use cake mix and bagged caramels, but you’d never know it once you taste them. They are amazingly good and completely easy

Easy Caramel Pecan Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

If you’re wanting some fresh bread for the Easter table, I have a few you’ll love. This loaded baked potato bread is one of my favorites. it is so moist and stays fresh for days thanks to the potato in it. But it won’t last that long because…well…bacon. And cheese.

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Or maybe your family prefers rolls instead of a loaf of bread? These oatmeal rolls are my family’s favorite. This isn’t the greatest photo since it’s one of my earliest posts, but don’t let that influence you away from trying these. These are soft and fluffy with such a good flavor.

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

These three cheese, pancetta and fig scones are my absolute favorite. The mix of sweet, savory and cheesy is wonderful! And they are great for a buffet brunch on Easter.

Three Cheese, Pancetta And Fig Scones/a>

Three Cheese, Pancetta & Fig Scones

Three Cheese, Pancetta & Fig Scones

Last but not least- this cheesecake is utterly amazing (if I do say so myself). Moist, creamy and the berry sauce on top is the perfect foil to set it off. Plus, it just looks so darn impressive!

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust



Well, orange season is pretty much over. Sure, I can still go to the store and grab some navel oranges, but the peak season for the good stuff…. Clementines, Blood Oranges,  Cara Caras, Tangelos, is about kaput till next Winter. That makes me sad, as I could live on oranges and yogurt if allowed to. Of course, my husband gives me looks and tells me I need to eat something more substantial, but what does he know? Oranges and yogurt are a perfectly acceptable breakfast…or lunch..or dinner.  Speaking of oranges, I have some blood oranges in my fridge that are looking pretty peaked and old. I got notices from the Social Security office in their name the other day saying it was time to sign up for benefits and for some reason, every morning when I get up, they are all lined up in front of the TV with an anti wrinkle cream infomercial playing. So if anyone has any ideas of how to use them up before they move onto Viagra commercials, I’d appreciate it. I wait much longer, I’m going to have to pay to have them put in a home for aged oranges.

So it’s time to move on to my other favorite citrus- limes.  Is there anything to hate about a lime? They are a beautiful color, they smell absolutely amazing and they taste delightful. Well, not plain so much. I’ve never been the wedge of lime and shot of tequila type of gal, though I do enjoy a slice in a gin and tonic. But baked into something? Delicious and a definite favorite in my household.

These are based on my Triple Lemon Bars which is one of those baked goods I can’t control myself with, thus I rarely make them. They make me weak in both the knees and the self control and make my already tight jeans tighter. So I made lime bars instead… because I’ll do soooo much better in the area of self control with these <insert sarcasm font here> I wanted to change them up a little. So I made the crust with browned butter instead of just plain old butter. Sounds so simple and boring, ehh? But oh my gosh, you wouldn’t believe the difference it made. I found myself eating bits of the raw dough until I stopped myself before it got to the point where I wouldn’t have enough for the crust. it just adds this caramelly, nutty flavor and scent to the crust and tastes so good. I have plans now to just make a browned butter shortbread in some flavor or another. Add in a tart sweet lime filling and a tangy lime glaze? Yeah, just say goodbye to self control.

You know the drill… :-)

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

  • Crust-
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Filling-
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Glaze-
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon lime oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 13×9 inch baking dish with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the crust ingredients and beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it is moist and crumbly throughout. You should be able to pick up a piece and press it together in your hand and have it stay. If it doesn’t, add about a teaspoon more water and beat it again for a minute.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Slide into the oven and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile, make your lime filling- In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Use a whisk to beat until thoroughly combined. Add in the lime zest, vanilla extract, lime oil, flour and baking powder and whisk until well combined. Pour in the lime juice and whisk again just until combined.
  5. Pour the lime filling over the hot crust. Place back in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set when lightly pressed on, light brown and doesn’t look liquidy at all. Let cool in the pan for an hour or two then place it in the fridge for about an hour at least; overnight is even better.
  6. About an hour before you’re ready to serve, make your glaze- In a small bowl, whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Pour over the cold bars. Let set up for at least 30 minutes or so before slicing. Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board and use a knife that has been dipped in hot water then wiped dry to cut squares from the bars.

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Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Tangy Lime Bars With A Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks



I think if it were left up to the guys in my house, every day would be a day devoted to seeing how many carbs and how much cheese they could stuff into their bodies, veggies be damned. I on the other hand would happily live on veggies and meat, with dessert afterward of course. I love cheese, but I’ve said before I prefer my carbs in sweet form usually. Thus why this blog is overwhelmingly sweets and not non-sweets.

The rare times we can manage to go out for dinner, they love places that have pizza, with Gatti-Town being a favorite…unlimited pizza, pasta, breadsticks and then games. What more does any male need, right? I am pretty sure that when the cooks see them go up for their 14th plate of cheesy carbs, they groan and wish they worked somewhere else. I’m never worth the price of the buffet myself. I usually manage two slices of pizza and a salad  and that’s about it.

Right now, it’s a rough patch financially, so I wanted to give the guys a treat I knew they’d love that we can’t afford to get out. What better way than one of their favorite buffet foods, made fresh at home?

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

I think they were happy with these. I mean, really… cheese…bacon. Bacon is one of Gods gifts to mankind :-D I managed to eat one and it was quite yummy. I hid one for myself for later too, hehe. They inhaled the rest of them for an early dinner. Not traditional, not even particularly nutritious, but my guys enjoyed the treat.

These are extremely easy to make. it’s a SIMPLE yeast dough you can do in a stand mixer (or even by hand if you want). Then you roll it out into a rough rectangle, cut it, let it rise, sprinkle with the goodies, then bake and eat the cheesy, carby goodness. Nuthin’ to it. You can add a bit of thinly sliced red onion to this or a bit of green pepper… just use your imagination and put what makes you happy.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who feels the need for a fresh salad now

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 112 to 117 degrees)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil (or just use some of the bacon drippings)
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked to chewy crispness and crumbled
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar, shredded
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl; stir to mix then let it sit for about five minutes. The mixture should start to get foamy.
  2. Place 4 cups of the flour, the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/4 cups water in the bowl of a stand mixer (again, you can mix by hand. It will take longer, but it’s definitely doable). Pour the yeast mix in and beat on low speed, with the dough hook, for about five minutes, until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball.  If it is too sticky to work with, add in another 1/4 cup of flour, then mix again until the dough comes together in a ball.
  3. Grease a large baking sheet or cookie sheet. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter and give it a few quick kneads just to bring it together well. Roll it out into a more or less rectangular size (it doesn’t have to be perfect- you’ll just be laying it out on a baking sheet) of about 15 x 11. Carefully roll it up halfway over the rolling pin or your hand and transfer it to the baking sheet. Stretch out any wrinkles you may have made in it during the transfer.
  4. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the dough into long strips, then again down the middle to cut the strips in half. Don’t separate them, just leave it like that. Let rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees while it rises.
  5. Brush dough lightly with either olive oil or bacon drippings. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Sprinkle the cheese on top of that, then the bacon.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  7. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the breadsticks through the score lines you made earlier.
  8. Serve to hungry males with pizza sauce. Take in the accolades and cheese scented kisses.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks 3

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie



Are those three wonderful words or what?  Creamy…. Fudge… and Pie. They make me happy just reading them. They also make me want to grab a spoon and shove it into what’s left of this pie, but thus far, I’ve resisted the urge. I’m trying my best to NOT get mistaken for a whale when I go in our pool this Summer. I can see it now- “Today, in an event never before seen in the state of Kentucky, a rare white bellied and legged and armed and faced , obviously needing a tan whale was seen in the swimming pool of a local family. No one knows how it got there, but rumors have been abounding as to how big it really is, with some giving estimates into the hundreds of tons! Full story at eleven!”

I think it may be a lost cause though. All the weight I lost and said “Nope, never gaining it back! Not me!” is back. The part of me that looks at modern society and sees thin women in beautiful clothes cares. But the part of me that is almost 51 and likes to eat creamy fudge pie? Not so much. So far, the fudge pie part is winning. I know me though… at some point, I’ll go through the cycle all over again though I’ve lost all hope that it will be permanent. I’m not willing to cut out all the fun foods nor am I willing to exercise for 2 to 3 hours a day, which at my age, I’ve found seems to be the only way to keep the weight off.

Oh well. As a food blogger, I live by the motto of “fat is flavor”, right? So I should be one well marbled woman! :-P

I have been making this pie for many many years. It comes from what I have mentioned before is one of my favorite cookbooks- The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. This is the book that helped me learn to REALLY bake as an adult, not the throw together stuff I did as a kid and teen. It’s one I’ve been using for about 30 years now and love. My copy is tattered and stained and I really should get a new one. Someday.

Make this pie. You can cheat like me and use a store bought crust or make your own if you’re feeling ambitious. I do either, depending on my mood. Store bought won this time. This pie is very chocolatey, but not pudding like as most chocolate pies are. it is, as the name says, more fudge like, almost like having a dense brownie in a pie shell. Over the years, I have of course adapted this to our liking but it isn’t much in the way of changes at all. All I do differently is to increase the filling by 50% because otherwise it’s rather thin and I add a bit of almond extract to the filling. Since it’s with the large amount of chocolate, it doesn’t taste almondy so much as, like adding espresso, it just adds that certain something to the flavor. Did I mention that this pie is also really really easy to make?

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs larger fat girl pants

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

  • 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter,
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook at full power for one minute, stirring afterward, then putting it back into the microwave to cook in 30 second increments until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add in the sugar, flour, salt and extracts. beat just until smooth. Stir in the chocolate/butter mixture and blend well.
  3. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes until the pie is gently set. It shouldn’t be liquidy looking at all on top but should be set. The pie will fluff up as it bakes, then sink and crack all over as it cools. This is normal. The top will be an almost chewy, brownie like layer with a creamy mousse like layer under that.
  4. Cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney



Being brought up in the Midwest in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m old. Just shush.), there wasn’t much in the way of “exotic” foods. There was a lot of sausage, a lot of pork, which was horrid back then for the record- really fatty and just nasty. I honestly stopped eating pork as a young adult because I thought it was horrible. Now I absolutely love pork. There was also a lot of chicken, etc etc. All the homey Eastern European foods that had been brought to the heartland and foods that were made by a depression era parent were part of our upbringing. But Indian foods? Thai Curries? Fiery spice blends? Nahhhh…. not in the Chicago of that time period. When I got into my early thirties, I wanted to branch out some in my cooking. I’m not even sure why. There was nothing in me that said, “oooo, that sounds delicious and I want to try to make it!” It was more like just cooking curiosity. I have always been very interested in reading about different cultures and when you combine that in a book with their food culture, you’ll have me hooked. I had no idea that once I started down that road, I would become a quick addict.

But I have. I could happily eat foods of that part of the world daily and not get bored with them. The problem is that it is difficult still to get good ingredients in my neck of the woods for the actual dishes and there are very few restaurants serving good Indian or Thai foods. So most of the time I settle for the condiments- mainly the chutneys. Some of what I make is Americanized because I want it to appeal to my not as adventurous family. I buy the “real” stuff from stores with good ethnic food selections and enjoy them myself. But I have made so many different chutneys it’s ridiculous- that tomato one up there, peach, cranberry, blueberry cranberry, pear ginger and so one and so forth. But my favorite will always be this spicy mango one I keep coming back to. It is a total amalgamation of a handful of different ones I have tried over the years until I finally got it to where I wanted it to be. It’s sweet, tangy from the vinegar, fruity and has a mild bite that adds so much to foods. I don’t just use chutneys with curries. I love them with baked chicken, fried chicken, any sort of pork. You name it, I’ll try it with chutney :-D This doesn’t need to be canned, though you can do so if you’re feeling froggy. Just store it in the fridge in a covered container. It will keep well in there for months due to the high vinegar content.

You know the drill… :-)

Mrs. Cupcake, who is now craving a good Indian curry.

Spicy Mango Chutney

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar, cider or white (white makes it a bit sharper in taste, but I rather enjoy that)
  • 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how much you like spiciness. This amounts puts it at about a 5 on a 1-10 scale)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (NOT ground mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a medium pot (I use a 3 quart pot to help contain any bubbling). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Stir well, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down if it seems to be sticking. It will take longer to cook down, but it will get there. Cook until the chutney has reduced by about 1/3, is no longer watery, but looks thick and syrupy. It should take about an hour and a half or so.
  3. Let cool, then store in the fridge in a covered container. This can also be canned via water bath if preferred.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies



I know, I know; one heck of a title. You guys know I am not much on titles that are a bigger mouthful than the food, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I mean, I could have named these “Chewy, Crispy Oatmeal Cookies With Cranberries, Chocolate Chips And Toasted Pecans”. Now THERE’S  a mouthful.

Sometimes, when I get into the kitchen, I like to pretend I’m cooking healthy. Throw some oats in a cookie dough, add some toasted nuts and some cranberries and I suddenly feel like I’m running a health food blog. I, of course, totally ignore that said cranberries are sugar sweetened, that I also have chocolate chips in them and that there is 2 sticks of butter in with the oatmeal. Yep… health food! No counting calories needed here. *coughcough*

I am running really behind today cause that stoopid Migraine is still hanging around making me fairly miserable and making me not want to do much of anything, so I’m not going to ramble much today, but just to get the goodies.

As cookies go, these ARE actually not too bad for you. Yes, they have butter and chocolate, but they do have those nuts and even sweetened, you get some vitamins and fiber from the dried cranberries. Plus, compared to a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes, these aren’t very sweet. If you like a sweeter cookie, feel free to add about 1/3 cup more of sugar. Personally, I rather enjoy their crispy edges and chewy center just like this…. just sweet enjoy to feel like an indulgence.

You know the drill…

Love you guys! <3

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey (this is what helps you get that chewiness)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, at medium speed on a hand mixer, beat together the butter and two types of sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs and beat well, scraping bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract and honey and beat well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones and use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Dump in the cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out golf ball sized rounds of dough. Place about two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. You can leave them as balls and they will be a bit more chewy or you can flatten them out a bit once they are on the sheets and end up with cookies that are somewhat crisper; your choice.
  7. Bake until they are set but still feel the tiniest bit moist in the center to get chewy cookies, about 18 minutes or until totally set, about 21 minutes to get crisper cookies.
  8. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars



The last post I mentioned being tired. Guess what? I’m still tired. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? Because I have kids, that’s why. last night at about 2am, Joshie came in the room saying he had had a bad dream. We cuddled for a bit, then I put him back to bed. Three fifteen am, Josh came in and said he was scared in his room and he needed a drink. I got him a drink, tucked him back into bed with “Favorite Bear” and “Fuzzy Bear” and stumbled back to bed myself, after tripping over a meowing cat who decided that he too was lonely and swatting at my bare leg was the way to let me know. So, first I had to go clean the rivulets of blood of my leg and put in 33 stitches. Mind you, all of this was after not being able to sleep well anyway because I’ve been dealing with a Migraine. FINALLY, about 5:30, I fell asleep. Then my husband and Josh came to say bye at 6:30 when Russ took Josh to school and himself to work. Fell asleep again… all the way to dream sleep this time…… only to suddenly be jerked awake by the feeling of someone poking me in the head through the pillow I routinely keep over my head to keep out light and noise. What was it, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you?

It was my 18 year old son Zach. He had missed the bus and needed a ride in. After I sobbed for a while and threw a tantrum while lying on the floor kicking my feet, I drove the boy in. And stopped at a gas station for something they pretended was coffee, but I’m fairly sure was really leftover ethanol. So I added cream and sugar to it and hoped for the best.

Which brings us to these bars. I blame lack of sleep and my family for the fact that I let these go a bit too long in the oven and the bottom crust was a weeeeeee bit hard (think machete needed) to cut through. Just remember… in cases like this, do not let me be your foodie role model. You’re welcome for that reminder.

They are good even with the slightly rocky bottom crust though, which says a lot for the bars. These are just my rendition of the ever popular Salted Caramel Butter Bars that are ubiquitous to the internet. They originally came from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey which I love and have taken out of the library about 63 times. I mean, really…. just look at the title. Of COURSE I love this cookbook!

The original bars are just crust, salted caramel and crumbles on top. Can we say one dimensional? :-p Not that anything with salted caramel and streuselly crumbs is a BAD thing. I just happened to think it needed something. Whoda thunk it, huh? So what did I do, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I added some toasted pecans in the top crumb layer and I added some chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer and increased the amount of caramel by about 4 ounces. See? Nothing earth shaking. Just enough to change it up a bit.

These are SWEET with a capital SWEET! Cut these bars small. I can see layering a couple of tart apples in there during the Autumn season to help cut the sweetness or serving these with some unsweetened sauteed apples as dessert. They just cry out for some tang. Also? Do not cringe when you see the amount of butter in these. C’mon… they’re called butter bars and this is my blog. You expected salad?

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups (1 lb) salted butter, room temp (you can sub unsalted, but add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture if you do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven
  • Filling-
  • 2 9 ounce bags Werthers Baking Caramels, unwrapped (because you know you planned on leaving them wrapped :-p)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, preferably non stick. If NOT non stick foil, butter the foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer for this, but you will end up covered in flour and powdered sugar. Trust me. Cream them together until smooth. Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly mass of dough.
  3. Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared pan; add the toasted pecans to the remainder of the dough, then place the part with the nuts in the fridge. Bake the crust at 350 until it is just firm and a light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust cooks, make the filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to help melt, then continue microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until it is smooth and fully melted. Mine took 2 and a half minutes altogether.
  5. Pour the caramel over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the teaspoon sea salt and the chocolate chips. Get the dough from the fridge and crumble it up over the top of the caramel. It is a lot of crumbs but don’t worry, it works.
  6. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbly and the top layer is a nice light golden brown. Remember, I said LIGHT. Don’t be like me :-P The baking should take about 25 minutes.
  7.  Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into small squares and serve with something tart…or some nice black coffee.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars