Espresso Peppermint Brownies

brownies

If there’s one weakness I have, it’s dense delicious fudgy brownies. And in case you didn’t know, Dec. 8th is National Brownie Day, so we decided to pay our tribute. This recipe is pretty much as simple as homemade brownies get, and most certainly a crowd pleaser.


For the brownies:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • eggs, lightly whisked
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

For the topping:

  • 4 large candy canes

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 and set aside an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.

In a heat-safe bowl, combine 1 cup of your chocolate chips (save the rest to add to the batter), butter, and oil, and place over a small pot of boiling water.

Once fully melted and slightly cooled, combine in a stand (or hand) mixer with your sugars. Mix well, then add espresso, vanilla, and eggs. Add your flour and salt mixture and blend until just mixed. Fold in your chocolate chips.

Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

While baking, prepare your peppermint topping. *Warning, this part is loud*

Place your candy canes into a plastic baggie, removing the air, and adding into a second baggie. With a rolling pin or hammer, gently break your candy into pieces.

Once your brownies have five minutes left in the oven, remove and sprinkle on the candy. Place back in the oven and finish baking.


Recipe adapted from Food 52

Baileys Hot Chocolate

While it’s been a pretty mild winter (well, just when it comes to snow, really), that doesn’t mean we can’t still snuggle up with some hot cocoa in yoga pants under loads of blankies. And as we all know, we like to add a little bit of fun to our drinks for an even warmer evening sip. I mean come on, this sounds like a rockin’ Saturday night to us.

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Hot Cocoa

Heat some milk over a stove top and whisk in a couple spoon-fulls of your favorite hot cocoa mix. Whisk well until the chunks have diminished and it’s all frothy and wonderful. Add in your Baileys Irish Coffee (or flavored nip) and stir again. Pour into your mugs, and top with some fluffy whipped cream. Garnish with any delicious add ons — cocoa powder, cinnamon, candy canes, orange zest — go nuts!

We actually made these guys while we were still in the full holiday spirit, so if it’s felling a little festive to you, that would be why!

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Happy Weekend!

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With an unexpected day off on Monday (MLK, Jr. Day), we’re seeing some cooking and cleaning in our future. We’re finally pulling ourselves back together after the whirlwind of the holidays, so this extra day will certainly be helpful! Hope you all have a good one!

cct // Because you know how much we love pizza… 22 Ways to Turn Basically Every Food into Pizza. (also this <3)

rkv // We were feeling on the new Belle & Sebastian in our office yesterday, give it a listen!

cct // Continuing to use your student ID is one of the best things you can do for yourself these days! Di$counts!

rkv // Ok, so I know we’re supposed to be doing that whole “better, healthier me” thing this month and all… but these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are really low in fat! 🙂

cct // I’m all about finding healthy and delicious breakfast these days, and this sounds amazing!

rkv // We’re only like a third of the way through winter, and I’m already getting a little stir crazy, especially with my apartment design — I think I need a bit of a refresh!

cct // I’ve been itching to do a fun and quick(ish) DIY – this, this & this sound fun!

rkv // I’ve been wanting to share a feature of my home with you guys for a while now (though that would involve a bit of a cleaning overhaul…), so I found these tips on shooting interiors very helpful!

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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November is shaping up to be one of my busiest birthday months, but I’m feeling prepared with the recipe for this delicious cake. My aunt Grace made it over the summer for our family reunion and we were all emailing her begging for the recipe!

The instructions for this decadent cake are as follows…

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
(original recipe from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles)

// Chocolate Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
6 T. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup olive oil
2 T. vinegar
2 cups cold water
2 tsp. vanilla

01. Preheat oven to 350°.

02. Prepare two 9″ round cake pans. Grease the pans well, making sure you cover the entire interior surface. Cut two pieces of wax paper and fit one inside of each pan. Set aside.

03. Measure all dry ingredients into bowl and whisk to combine. Make 3 large holes in the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil and vinegar. Pour this into the 3 holes. Pour the water over entire mixture. Mix with a fork. Add vanilla and stir. Divide evenly into the two cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, removing from the oven as soon as a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in their pans on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Then run a thin knife around the edge of each pan and invert the cakes onto your rack to cool. Let cool completely before assembling.

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// Peanut Butter Frosting

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed, just until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining ingredients and combine again. Then turn the speed up to high and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes, until frosting is light, airy, and fluffy.

// Chocolate Frosting 

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. unsalted butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix milk and sugar in small saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then remove pan from heat. Add chocolate chips to the pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth.

// Assembly

*Additional ingredient needed: 10 to 12 small peanut butter cups*

Place one chocolate cake on a plate or platter. Using a spatula, apply a thick, even layer of peanut butter frosting on top of the cake. Place the second layer of chocolate cake on top of the layer of peanut butter frosting. If needed, fill in the frosting gap between the cake layers with an additional piping of frosting, somewhat “smooshing” it in as you go around the cake, to give a flattened look. If you already have enough frosting bulging out from between the cake layers, simply “flatten” it out by running the long side of an offset spatula or knife carefully around the cake’s side, flattening the frosting as you go.

Give your chocolate frosting a good whisking, making sure that it’s smooth and spreadable. You want your frosting to be a bit warm so it has the right consistency for spreading. If it’s too hot, it will spread too quickly, and possibly run off the sides of your cake, so let it cool a bit. Pour the frosting onto the center of the cake and then gently swirl it to the outside perimeter. Let the chocolate frosting set for about 30 minutes before adding the peanut butter circles on top.

Once the chocolate frosting is set, pipe 10 to 12 circles of peanut butter frosting onto the top perimeter of the cake. Then top each circle with a small peanut butter cup.

gm_ChocolatePeanutButterCake_3And enjoy 🙂

 

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Do you guys ever find yourself getting annoyed when you just want to make a traditional baked good? I feel like every time I search for something simple like “banana bread” or “blueberry muffins” I get results like “rolled oat banana bread with cream cheese filling” or “greek yogurt vanilla bean blueberry muffins.” While I’m all about playing around with recipes, sometimes I just want something simple, ya know?

So on this chilly weekend, my roommates and I decided to make the kind of chocolate chip cookies your grandma makes. Chewy in the middle, crispy on the edges, and no Mediterranean pink sea-salt flakes in sight.

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Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks

 

To Make
(serves about 30 cookies)

01. Preheat oven to 375 degress

02. Mix butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together.

03. Add in eggs, blend well.

04. Stir in flour by hand, then baking soda, and chocolate chips

05. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the edges become golden.

06. Allow to sit on baking sheet for ten minutes before moving to a cooling rack

07. Dip in milk, and enjoy!

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Happy Weekend!

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Sorry for the cheeseball pic, we’re just excited to be having a girls weekend together in Boston! Christa is heading up with our friend Brit after work for a grand ol’ time! Another cool thing about today is that it’s pi day! (get it, 3.14??) and we’re using it as an excuse to literally eat pie. Anyway, we hope you all have a fantastic weekend friends, and enjoy our Friday links!

rkv // Because I love Beyonce, and I love emojis, this Drunk in Love emoji video pleased me very much.

cct // What is your stance on the “Ban Bossy” Campaign? There are so many opinions and reasons for & against, you can read some here & here.

rkv // April 6th is coming at warp speed. Some of you know exactly what that means… GAME OF THRONES SEASON 4. In case you’re like me and pretty much forgot all of season 3 already, here’s the entire season in one 25 minute clip. (PS – so excited for the return of Jon Snuhh)

cct // Oh my god guys, this might be my dream dessert

rkv // I’m a big fan of tasty beers, so I’m really appreciating Treasures and Travels’ A Month of…Beer. They’re using March to learn all about the art of brewing, and I loved this little infographic to help learn about the different types.

cct // Being a designer, typefaces and fonts are important. Learn (watch) a little more about one of the best type houses in the world!

rkv // Mmmm Greek yogurt coffee cake

cct // While our awesome friends Cheerleader are off playing at SXSW, we’re at home… jelly…reminiscing about our past Bonnaroo trips. And while SXSW isn’t quite as rustic and camp-y as Bonnaroo, here are some tips on having “the best music fest ever“.

PS – we made our Irish Soda bread a looong time ago, but if you’re looking for a delicious treat for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, make sure to check out ours!

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