June 2011 archive

Fireworks on the Fourth?



fireworks



I’m entering the best week ever. Moving week! We were promised that the new house would be move-in ready just in time for hot dogs and fireworks on the Fourth of July {or in my case, fake meat veggie dogs}. It seems that all has gone according to plan {fingers crossed}. Painting, check. Flooring, check. Cleansing {and some sage burning} tomorrow, check. Current house mostly packed, check. Movers coming, Wednesday. Me, feeling like I am forgetting to do a million things, check {duh}.

Yes, this is thrilled and exciting and our first “real house”. Strangely enough, I mostly feel as if I am playing house.

Unfortunately, I am positive that the stresses of moving will cause me to complain {endlessly}, freak out, and turn a few {please just a few} more hairs grey.  It is very highly likely that I will have a crying breakdown by the end of this week. I am sorry Cole. I am pre-warning you.

Still, the thought of being about to watch some fireworks on the Fourth in our new house with R + M is giving me butterflies. I literally cannot wait.

Here’s to a fun-filled, fabulous, festive and fireworks week!

xoxo,

Niki

Cakery Friday: Peanut Butter and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

I am a sucker for Nutella, it’s just SO good! I am also a sucker for easy desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I  love the challenge of a complicated dessert. But there is really something to be said for cookies you can prepare from beginning to end in under 20 minutes {seriously}. These thumbprint cookies are super simple and super delicious! Oh and p.s. these suckers are gluten free!



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Gather all of the ingredients.



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In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1 large egg beaten, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix until well combined.



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Measure out cookies, approximately 1 tablespoon each, and roll them into small balls. Press down gently on them to flatten. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.



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Carefully remove the cookies from the oven and using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, gently press down in the middle of each cookie creating the “thumbprint”. Fill each hole with a small spoonful of Nutella. Place back in the oven and bake for another 2-4 minutes.



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Enjoy these cookies however you want!



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Happy Baking!

xoxo,

Ali

Cakery Friday: Mocha Coffee Cake

I love coffee. It’s the perfect accessory to my morning granola, and an ideal end to a delicious meal. When I came across this mocha coffee cake, I knew it would be a hit! You actually make one batter and flavor it three different ways. Not only does it taste great but it looks insanely impressive. And the glaze on top is a fabulous added touch!



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Gather all of the ingredients.



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Whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 14 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.



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Combine 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted, room temperature butter with 1 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale, about 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla.



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Mix 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and dissolve it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water. In a separate bowl mi 2 tablespoons of instant expresso powder and dissolve it with 1 tablespoon of hot water.



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Add the flour mixture alternately with 1 cup of greek yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Be careful not to over-mix.



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Transfer about 1/3 of the batter into a small bowl. Add espresso mixture and stir until combined. Then transfer 1/3 of the remaining vanilla batter to another small bowl and add the cocoa mixture and stir until combine. {You should have 3 types of batter at this point}.



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See… 3 types!



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Spoon all three batters into a bundt pan that has been buttered and floured, alternating so each flavor is distributed throughout the pan {see pretty picture below}.



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Bake at 350 degrees F until cake is golden about 55 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.



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To make glaze: Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder with 2-3 tablespoons of strong coffee and 3/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar. If glaze is too thick, add coffee to thin. Pour generously over cake.



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For a printer-friendly version of this recipe click here: Mocha Coffee Cake

Happy Baking!

xoxo,

Ali



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