Take 5 Scotcheroos

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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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Chocolate Espresso Stout Cupcakes

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

Latest News and My New Favorite Ingredient

The Earnest Baker Logo

It’s amazing to think that it’s been almost three months since I made the decision to start The Earnest Baker.   It’s even harder to believe that I only have a little over six weeks left until the Farmer’s Market starts and I’m officially open for business.  This means I’m in the homestretch now, which is equally exciting and nerve wracking.  I’m excited, because I cannot wait to open and finally be able share all the baked goods I’ve been working on.  At the same time though, it’s nerve wracking because there’s still a good amount I need to get done.

I wanted to share a couple pieces of exciting news with you guys.  You may or may not have noticed the new header on the site.  You may have also noticed the slightly boring (but in my mind super cool) picture at the beginning of this post.  What you’re looking at is the official logo for The Earnest Baker!  I’m really stoked about this development, because it makes everything seem a little more real.  It also means I’m getting business cards and who doesn’t love business cards??  Seriously, business cards are awesome.  I get to say things like, “Here, take my business card” and sound all professional.  I’m probably getting overly excited about this…….I’ll calm myself down now.

The second thing I wanted to tell you guys is that The Earnest Baker is now Facebook official (people say that, right?).  The Earnest Baker now has its very own Facebook page that you can check out.  This is pretty cool, because it’s another way to stay connected.  What I love most is that Facebook is a quick way to post updates and it’s also a really easy way to interact with everyone.  I’ll post news and pictures regularly on the page and if you have anything you want to ask, share, or even a special request – please shoot me a comment!  I promise to respond quickly.

Okay, now on to the more fun foodie stuff.  Caramelized White Chocolate and I are having a bit of a love affair.  It is, without a doubt, my new favorite ingredient.  Caramelized White Chocolate is becoming very popular with pastry chefs and for good reason…….it’s insanely delicious.  It’s made by “roasting” white chocolate in the oven at relatively low heat (250°F) and stirring it every 5 to 10 minutes for about 30 minutes to an hour.  Once it’s done, you stir in a good pinch of sea salt.  What you end up with at the end of this process is really quite magical.  It transforms the cloyingly sweet white chocolate we all know into this beautiful roasted, caramelly, salty-sweet liquid.  Just thinking about it makes me want more!

You can use the Caramelized White Chocolate for a variety of purposes.  It’s great on top of ice cream or sandwiched in between two shortbread cookies.  It’s also a great addition to stir into cookie dough or cake batter.  I’ve been playing around with it, so you can expect to see a few baked goods with it this summer!  If you’d like to give it a try (and I highly suggest you do), here are the links to the websites I referenced while making it:

David Lebovitz’s Caramelized White Chocolate Recipe

Food52 Caramelized White Chocolate

The process requires a decent amount attention, so it’s a good thing to do when you have an hour to kill.  I set a timer and dragged it around the house with me to remind me when to stir and check on it.  It’s totally worth it though.  If you end up becoming as addicted to Caramelized White Chocolate as I am, please don’t blame me……blame the chocolate!  Although, it’ll be pretty dang hard to stay mad at that delicious substance for too long.

What I’m Baking: Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

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Today is Valentine’s Day.  A holiday that, if I’m being honest, I’m not too keen on.  I have a hard time getting behind a holiday that puts pressure on couples to be super romantic and makes single people feel bad about their lack of a relationship.  I do, however, really enjoy the whole eating tons of chocolate part of the holiday.  That part I can get behind.  My boyfriend and I don’t exchange gifts or really do anything out of the ordinary for Valentine’s Day.  Although, maybe I could get him to watch the new episode of The Vampire Diaries with me tonight by playing the Valentine’s Day card……….interesting.  Anyways…..in the spirit of eating chocolate, I decided to be a good girlfriend and surprise my boyfriend with his favorite cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.

These aren’t exactly the sexiest or fanciest cookies, but my boyfriend loves them.  I’d actually never had one before dating him and my first experiences with the cookie left a lot to be desired.  Most of the recipes I found were way too sweet (and that’s saying a lot coming from me) and the chocolate and peanut butter flavors got lost in the overabundance of sugar.  Since these are Boyfriend’s favorite cookies, I knew I’d have to figure out a way to create a No-Bake Cookie I could love.  I wanted something that downplayed the crazy sugar overload and let the other flavors shine through.

I found a great recipe in the book Baked Explorations that was almost exactly what I was looking for.  It contained chunky peanut butter, which added a nice texture to the cookie, and used dark cocoa powder.  The recipe was still a little sweet for my taste, so I dialed back on the sugar, added a little salt, and threw in some semi-sweet chocolate to up the chocolate quotient.  The end result was perfect.  It was a No-Bake cookie I could get on board with and, more importantly, my boyfriend loved them.

If you haven’t tried a No-Bake Cookie before or have had some bad experiences with them, I highly recommend giving this recipe a shot.  It made me a believer in them.  And if you need help justifying eating this cookie – I’m kind of a pro at that, so here you go……….oats have lots of fiber and are considered  a “superfood,” whole milk has calcium which some say helps burn belly fat, and peanut butter has protein.  I mean when you really think about, these cookies are pretty darn healthy.  Like I said, I can justify just about any dessert.  Hope you enjoy these cookies and Happy Chocolate Eating Day!!

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