Salted Peanut Caramel and Pretzel Scotcheroos

Caramel Pretzel Scotcheroo

Because it’s Halloween weekend…..and because I’m obsessed with Take 5 candy bars, I decided to share the recipe for these awesome Take 5 inspired Scotcheroos! These bars have a Peanut Butter Rice Krispie / Pretzel base, a Salted Peanut Caramel middle, and are topped with a Dark Milk Chocolate Glaze. They’re salty-sweet perfection and everything I dreamed of when developing the recipe. Hope you guys love them as much as I do!

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Cookies and Cream Cookies

Cookies n Cream 1

Random fact about me……I’m not the biggest fan of Oreo cookies. I’m not sure why, but Oreos just don’t do it for me. Here’s where it gets a little weird though – even though I don’t really like Oreos, I loooooove anything Cookies and Cream! It makes no sense, I know!! But man, if you put Oreos in just about anything (ice cream, donuts, cake….) I’m all over it. These cookies were inspired by my love for all things Cookies and Cream. They have both crushed and chopped Oreos in them and a little white chocolate and milk chocolate to balance out the flavor. The end result tastes like the perfect bowl of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream…..but in cookie form! Hope you guys like them as much as I do!

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Mocha Stout Cupcakes for High-Altitude

Eylisan Split Shot and cupcakes

Over the past few years, beer has slowly become my go-to drink of choice. It’s something that kind of crept up quietly on me. I’ve always loved beer, but when given the choice I would usually go for wine or something stronger like a Manhattan. These days though, beer always wins. There’s a very good reason for this gradual change in my beverage habits. Over the past decade or so, beer has experienced a sort of renaissance. People all over the States are going out of their way to create good quality, unique craft beers and this is a trend I am most definitely enjoying.

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Blondies

The anticipation has been steadily building over the past two weeks and this weekend it’s finally here……the Mother of all Sundays, especially if you’re a fan of football or commercials. That’s right folks, you know what I’m talking about – it’s Super Bowl Sunday! Part of me feels like I should be unbiased when writing a post about the Super Bowl. That I should go the politician route and say something like, “Well, it will be a great match-up. Both of these teams had a good season and I’m excited to see the Broncos top ranked offense go up against the Seahawks top ranked defense.” But, here’s the thing, I can’t say that and it’s not because I have anything against the Seahawks – it’s because I am a huge Broncos fan. I’m talking crazy, semi-obnoxious, “sorry I can’t hang out with you on Sunday – the Broncos are playing,” wish I could rename my dog Peyton Knowshon Von Miller…….fan. Continue reading

Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl Treats

Cereal Bar Treats

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to eat sugary cereals on school days. I could eat them all I wanted during the summer and weekends, but weekdays….not so much. This kind of bummed me out, because I loved Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Corn Pops and pretty much any other cereal that wasn’t the most nutritionally sound choice. Now before you start feeling bad for me – you should probably know that my Dad woke up early every school day to make my brother and me an insanely good homemade breakfast. We’re talking Belgian waffles, pancakes, crepes, that thing where cut a hole in toast and cook an egg in it……breakfasts totally unworthy of elementary school kids and probably the reason why I’m still so obsessed with good breakfast as an adult. So I really have no reason to complain. But man, do I love sugary cereal. Continue reading

Best Ever Butterscotch Cookies for My Pops

front pic

Today is kind of a big day.  Today is what I like to (jokingly) call my Dad’s “Old Man Birthday.”  That’s right….today my Dad is turning 70 and Fiancé and I are in town to help him celebrate.  And yes, Boyfriend is now Fiancé and since I feel so weird and even a little pretentious typing out the word fiancé all the time – he will now be referred to as “Dude” (per his request).  So as I was saying, Dude and I made a special effort to make sure we were able to spend my Dad’s birthday with him.  For me, it was especially important to be there.  I mean this is the man who taught me how to bake and has in so many ways shaped the person I am today.  While most girls like to say, “I’m turning into my Mother” – the phrase you’re more likely to hear out of my mouth is, “Holy crap, I’ve turned into my Dad.”  I usually say this about once every couple of months to Dude, who whole heartedly agrees with my statement.

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Worst Blogger Ever (and the Best Mango Lime Pie and Key Lime Pie Ever)

Key Lime Pie

Sooooo…………how’s it going?  I guess it’s been a little while since my last post.  I’ve been meaning to write, but as you can see that hasn’t panned out too well.  I’m starting to feel like the parent who promises to take their kid fishing at the cabin and then bails at the last minute and leaves the kid sad and disappointed on the front stoop decked out in all their fishing gear (and yes, that’s an Arrested Development reference).  As it turns out though, I have a legitimate excuse for being such a neglectful blogger the past couple months.  Business has been steadily growing over the summer (which is beyond awesome) and I’m currently looking into expanding The Earnest Baker.  Hopefully I’ll have some exciting news to share within the next couple months, so stay tuned for that!

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Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dark Chocolate and Pecans

Today marks the first official day of Summer (best day ever), which means the hot sunny days of ice cream and BBQs are finally here.  Last week I was in Miami and had my first ice cream craving of the summer.  So I stopped by Whip N Dip (a staple for all born and raised Miami folks) and decided to buy an ice cream sandwich that was, no joke, the size of my face.  It was incredible.  I’m not sure if it’s because it was crazy hot outside or because it was the largest ice cream sandwich on the face of the earth, but I started wondering why I don’t make these more often.  When I was in college I used to make ice cream sandwiches all the time for my roommates and myself……….that could explain why we all weighed a good 5 to 10 pounds more back then.  To me, ice cream sandwiches are synonymous with Summer.  When I was a little kid, I used to love getting a Chipwich from the ice cream truck.  There was just something about those soft chocolate chip cookies and cold vanilla ice cream rolled in mini-chocolate chips that spoke to me.  It was and still is the perfect dessert for a long hot summer day.

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Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding

Berry Bread PuddingSummer is finally here!!  Which makes me happy for two very specific reasons.  One, because Summer is by far my favorite season.  I love the long, hot, sunny days and the hiking and the camping and the being able to run in shorts and a tank top……it really doesn’t get much better than Summer.  The other reason I’m so happy is because it means the Farmer’s Market is starting soon and by soon, I mean in five days.  It’s crazy to think that it’s finally here and I can FINALLY start selling everything I’ve been working so hard on for the past four months.

As you can imagine, the past couple weeks have been a wee bit busy for me with finalizing details and some super last minute recipe testing.  There are still a few things that need to be ironed out, but for the most part everything is pretty much done.  Now comes the baking, and selling, and getting word out about The Earnest Baker……so I guess this is kind of just the beginning in a weird sort of way.  On that note, this week’s post is going to be short and sweet (like I mentioned before, only five more days until I’m officially open).  Since Summer is here and I’ve been eating an insane amount of berries lately, I wanted to share my favorite summertime dessert with you guys – Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding.

Now you might think bread pudding doesn’t exactly sound like a typical summer dessert, but this Summer Berry and Challah Bread Pudding is the perfect summertime treat.  It takes advantage of all the gorgeous, fresh berries that are finally in season and really highlights and enhances the flavor of the fruit.  The soft, rich Challah and the lightly sweetened custard base are a wonderful balance to the tartness of the berries.  This dessert is a staple in my house during the summer and I hope it will become one in your house as well.  Sometimes I even eat the bread pudding for breakfast…….I mean it has bread and fruit sooooo that’s kind of breakfastey….right??

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Banana Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins

No matter how long you’ve been baking or how much experience you have in the kitchen, you are bound to have a mishap every once in a while.  You might get distracted and forget to add in an ingredient or you might leave something in the oven too long or maybe (and this is my usual mistake) you forget to buy a key ingredient when you’re at the grocery store.  Most of the time, these mistakes result in a ruined baked good or a last minute dash to the store.  Sometimes though, these mistakes turn out to be a happy accident and the resulting product is magical.  The story of ganache is a perfect example of this.  Legend has it that a pastry apprentice accidentally spilled cream into a bowl of chocolate.  Instead of throwing the chocolate out, he stirred it together with the cream and it turned into a beautiful thick chocolate sauce.  The result of his mistake was the indispensable pastry staple we all know and love today – ganache (which funnily enough translates to “fool” in French and is supposedly what the chef called his apprentice after his mishap!).

A couple weeks ago, I made what I like to call a “fortunate mistake.”  I was making a batch of my favorite Cranberry Walnut Muffins and, as is typical of me, realized I forgot to buy buttermilk.  It was early in the morning and I was hungry, so I really didn’t want to go to the store.  Instead, I decided to root around my fridge to see what I had that I could substitute for buttermilk.  I didn’t have any milk, so making my own buttermilk was out of the question. What I did have was a lonely little container of Fage Greek Yogurt, staring at me and begging to be used.  It was my only option and like I said, I was really hungry, so I decided to give it a shot.

Greek yogurt is obviously very different than buttermilk, so I knew I was going to have make some changes to my recipe.  This kind of yogurt has a lot of protein (20 grams per cup!), which is awesome when you’re eating it on its own…….but not so awesome when you’re trying to make a tender muffin.  To keep the batter from getting tough, I knew I needed to add another source of moisture in to the recipe.  I did the usual scan of my kitchen and stopped when I noticed a sad, single, ripe banana that was just pleading to be made into something delicious.  So I went ahead and mashed up the banana and threw it in the recipe.  At this point, I had made so many changes that I thought one more couldn’t hurt and decided to swap out the oat bran for flaxseed meal……cause who doesn’t love their Omega 3’s??

I had absolutely no idea if these muffins were going to turn out.  Part of me thought I would end up with tough, rubbery banana flavored hockey pucks.  Luckily for me though, the Baking gods aligned and the muffins came out perfect.  They were moist and tender with the just the right balance of banana flavor.  I actually liked them so much that they’ve become my new weekday breakfast staple.  It’s rare for mistakes like this to turn out so well and even rarer to substitute a bunch of ingredients in a recipe and have it work out so perfectly!  But when it does, I feel obligated to share the love and so I present to you the recipe for my new favorite muffins.  I hope they make you as happy as they make me!

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