I’m the reason you broke your New Year’s Resolution.

It’s no secret that I enjoy making things to eat.

Cooking and baking, along with sewing, are some of the only areas that allow myself complete free reign in.

As a person who likes to plan things in advance and mark down things in her planner 99% of the time, I’m learning to let things go and let more things just happen. No, that doesn’t mean I’ll slack off…it just means that I’ll be more accepting of taking things as they come at me, even if they are short notice. I’m learning to just do my best at what I’m supposed to be doing, and let God take care of the rest.

You’re probably reading that and thinking that it is an elementary thought, and in reality, it is. Sometimes it takes realizing it and actually living it out to completely understand it.

On a less serious note, here are a few of my treats that I have made in the new year- some from my head, others are a tweaked recipe, and some are just from a box.

Hope your New Year’s diet and Spring Break bod don’t take too bad a hit from the following goodies…Enjoy!

Strawberry Sprinkles Cupcakes

I’ve made these many a time before and they never get old. Most recently, I made these on Valentine’s Day morning for my friends. It was a very eventful morning to say the least…I broke a jar of hot sauce on the ground, spilling red sauce and broken glass everywhere. Then, to top it off, I broke bowl filled with melted butter all over the floor. Even though it got off to a bang and I didn’t exactly have a Valentine, it was probably my best one yet.

Candace Nelson, the owner, released her recipe on Oprah and it can be found here. A Dallas native, I am lucky enough to have a Sprinkles near me. I hope we get one of the cupcake ATMs soon!!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I made pancakes for the first time this semester. I had never thought to make them, but now I make them for brinner or “breakfast for dinner” quite frequently. Next on my list to learn how to make is French Toast and Crepes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

I literally can’t go home without my Dad asking for some.

Ginger Spice cookies with Cinnamon, Molasses, and Clove

I saw these pre-packaged, break and bake cookies at HEB and was tempted by how good they looked. I added a little bit of extra cinnamon, but they were delicious, none the less.

Texas Themed Sugar Cookies

Texas’ independence day was recent and I just had to make something to celebrate. I used the classic Pillsbury dough and Betty Crocker Frosting. They’re always a hit!

Chocolate Cake

My sweet Dad bought me a Hershey’s cook book for Valentine’s day. This was one of the cakes out of it and man was it good. I made it on a Friday night and it was practically gone by Saturday afternoon.

Salted Toffee Chocolate Chip  Cookies

One of my roommates found these on Pinterest and didn’t have to ask me twice to make them- they were good! If you don’t like salt with your chocolate, then you’ll be in for a surprise.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 Heath bars crushed into pieces
  • Salt to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Slowly add flour mixture and blend until completely incorporated.  Stir in chocolate and toffee.

Drop 2 ounces of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of salt, but  not too much.  Bake until cookies are puffed and just started to brown, 13-15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Mint Chocolate Mousse Brownies
adapted from Betty Crocker

  • Box Bet Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. whipping cream
  • 1 c. Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. sugar

Topping: 1/3 c. Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips + a handful more for sprinkling over the top.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a10-inch spring-form pan with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using the water, oil, and the 2 eggs listed here. Spread evenly in spring form pan.

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream and 1 c. Andes Creme De Menthe chips over medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

In another bowl, beat 3 eggs and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy; stir into chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over brownie batter in pan.

Bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes or until the top is set. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt about 1/3 cup Andes Creme de Menthe chips, stirring in 15 second intervals, until chocolate is melted.  Drizzle melted chocolate over the brownies.  Sprinkle more Creme de Menthe chips over the top if desired.

Run a metal spatula around side of dessert to loosen; remove side of spring form pan. Serve at room temperature, or cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled.

Blueberry Snickerdoodles

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 heaping cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • *1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar & 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling cookies in
Preheat oven to 375°F.Beat together butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly beat flour mixture into the butter mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries, being careful not to crush them. Otherwise you’ll end up with purpleish-blue cookies, but if that’s your thing, then go for it!In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.Place balls 3 to 4 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. With a flat-bottomed glass dipped in cinnamon-sugar, slightly flatten cookies. Be careful not to totally crush the berries though. Again… blue cookies.Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until edges being to slightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Oreo Cookies

  • 1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix- I used Duncan Hines
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 10-15 crushed Oreos

Preheat oven to 350°

With your mixer, beat together cake mix, oil and eggs until combined.

Pour in entire bag of chocolate chips and oreos.

Mix on low until they are evenly incorporated.

Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place n a parchment lined baking sheet about 2″ apart. Cookies will spread.Bake for 8-9 minutes.

 Chocolate eXXXtreme Cupcakes

(You have been warned. These cupcakes are ridiculously chocolaty and good)

These are a bit complicated to make, so I’m going to number the steps to make it a bit easier.

1)Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Beat butter until softened.
  2. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
  4. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
  7. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips.
  9. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
 2) Chocolate Mousse filling
You can fill these with any chocolate mousse recipe, but here’s the one I used.
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Simply mix 4 egg yolks on high for 3 minutes, then gradually beat in 1/4 cup of sugar.
Then, heat 1 cup of whipping cream over medium heat until hot, then pour half of it into the sugar/egg yolk mixture and then pour it all back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not boil.
 Stir in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Refrigerate for two hours, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Beat 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream in a chilled bowl, on high speed until stiff.
Fold chocolate mixture into whipping cream, serve, then immediately refrigerate.
To fill the cupcakes, use a small paring knife to cut a cone into the cupcake. Spoon or pipe (I found piping to be easier) chocolate mousse into the hole. Replace the top. Don’t worry if the top of the cupcake doesn’t look pretty any more, you are going to frost over it so no one will know the difference.
Part 3 – The Dark Chocolate Ganache

 

  • 3.5 oz of dark chocolate broken into small pieces
  • 1/3 C heavy cream
Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted and integrated with the cream. While it is still warm, spread a thin layer of it over the cupcakes. It will harden when it cools.
 
 Part 4) White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1pkg. (6 squares) BAKER’S White Chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; mix well.

Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy after each addition.

I hope you liked the recipes! You can look forward to new ideas for Southern Elle and updates on my Spring Break soon.

p.s. Guess who I get to hear sing this week?

Yes. Gavin DeGraw. I’m stoked. You can be envious. It’s okay.

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