Salted Caramel Brownies


So, last week I introduced you to what I believe to be the BEST Classic Fudge Brownies. Mostly fudgy, a tiny bit cakey, double-chocolate Nirvana ⛅️ So, I’m done right? Dust off my hands, hang up my apron, I made the best brownies, I’m outta here! But wait. There’s more. Let’s put stuff INSIDE and ON TOP of the best brownies ever seen in my lifetime! I know! Let’s fill it with chunks of salted caramel candies (that we make ourselves because we’re amazing), top it with EVEN MORE caramels, sprinkle on some flaky salt, and bake it until molten lakes of salty caramel lava form inside and out! Sounds like a good time.  Got an hour? Let’s go!  (Read more…)

 

Classic Fudge Brownies

I feel like anyone who likes to bake even a little bit needs a good classic brownie recipe that they can rely on. A reliable, easy to whip up, delicious recipe with no bells or whistles, just great chocolately flavor in a soft fudgy brownie.  I mean, look how many brownie variations are out there on the Interweb.  You can add almost anything to a brownie and make it taste great!  BUT you need a good foundation.  A no fail, delicious, great all by itself, or maybe with some ice cream, brownie recipe.  This is mine.  I mess with it a bit in future recipes, but this brownie is a winner all on its own 🏆  (Read more…)

Braised Korean Short Ribs

There’s something about slow braised beef ribs that gets my mouth watering just thinking about them.  And smelling them cook? Oh no.  I can’t get anything else done until I eat them.  Short ribs that have been cooked low and slow, that literally fall off the bone and keep falling apart as you eat them make me crazy. 😜 When I was a kid, I remember my Mom cooking short ribs like this on the stove, simmering them for hours in a sauce similar to galbi (grilled Korean short ribs) or bulgogi (grilled sliced beef.) The long cooking time gave everything a deep, intoxicating flavor and aroma and, when you finally got to eat them, the meat fell apart with a mere glance.  It’s similar in some ways to the Galbi Jjim recipe I posted earlier on the blog, but has a sweet and savory taste all its own. I’ve received more messages and comments asking for this recipe than any other dish I’ve ever posted on my Instagram account (second only to my chocolate cake.)  The recipe is so popular that Hmart recently asked me to do a video demo for their website. So… these ribs are kind of a big deal. 😉

Give this recipe a try and you’ll remember your own Korean mom’s cooking… even if you’re not Korean  (Read more…)

 

Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

My youngest daughter has  always had a weakness for those brightly frosted, festively sprinkled sugar cookies that they sell at the mega market. You know the ones. There they are, right up at the front of the store, all puffy and fluffy, the frosting and sprinkles reflecting the theme of an upcoming holiday.  I almost bought some for her recently and I stopped myself.  I’m a baker.  Surely I can recreate a sugar cookie! But I’m also inherently lazy.  I mean, I’m always moving, but I don’t want to do more than necessary to get a job done (work smarter, not harder.) I didn’t want to make a dough that had to be chilled, rolled out, and cut out… ugh 😩 so much to do before cookie eating time. So, I took the idea of a frosted sugar cookie and turned it into Super Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars!  Less work, no need to chill or roll or cut, just press the dough into a pan and bake to deliciousness! (Read more…)

Cranberry-Blood Orange Scones

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a dry scone 🙋🏻‍♀️ Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a stale scone Well that ends now.  I’ve made literally thousands of scones in my career. For quite a while I was a baker at a local pastry shop here on the Jersey Shore, and part of my job was making dozens and dozens of scones oh so very early in the morning.  Before that, I worked in a small gourmet market, where I spent most of my day making scones.  But…  I was always making someone else’s scones.  They were delicious, but they weren’t what I personally wanted in a scone, and isn’t that what baking is all about?  Making something you love and hoping others will love it too? Well, I’ve thought about all the things that I loved about every scone I’ve ever made for anyone else, and used that to help me create a scone that I would want to eat every day. I wanted a scone that had some nice structure to it, but didn’t crumble with a mere glance in its direction. I also wanted it to have a just-right crispy exterior with a fluffy and light interior. I wanted as close to scone perfection as I could get without needing a passport.  Guess what?  I think I did it. You be the judge  (Read more…)

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again: A cupcake is the perfect food.  It’s compact, portable, portion controlled by design, and, in a pinch, it’s breakfast!  I mean, it has wheat AND dairy, just like a bowl of cereal!  You’re welcome 😉  And here, I’m adding a legume topping: Peanut butter frosting!   Get on board with my new food pyramid.  The view is great from the top! (Read more…)

Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars

The Saga of ‘foods Cynthia was kinda “meh” about, but now likes’ continues.  Today’s chapter is all about the lowly marshmallow.  Even as a kid marshmallows never excited me.  I was never really into S’mores, didn’t have a Rice Krispy treat until just recently, and as a child of the South, never ate a Moon Pie, with or without an RC Cola (😱 clutch my pearls!)

The one “food” that finally brought marshmallows a little closer to my mouth (and my heart), is Breyers Rocky Road Ice Cream, which may or may not disappear from my freezer at a rapid rate, on occasion. Dark chocolate ice cream, laced with ribbons of marshmallow, and big pieces of crunchy chocolate covered almonds?!  Oh, heck yes!!  I have tried to recreate the flavor and fun of that treat with these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars.  Soft bits of mini marshmallows and crunchy toasted nuts are mixed into rich chocolate and layered over a buttery chocolate shortbread crust for an unforgettable bite.  Sometimes I’m all in with almonds and sometimes I’m nuts about walnuts, but I’m always over the moon about these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars! (Read more…)

Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers

So this is what happened.  The Boy was studying for something at work.  An exam.  Grown up stuff.  But he forgot he had bought all the ingredients to make his Sausage and Peppers.  This is a meal that only he cooks.  I don’t mean that traditionally he’s the one who cooks Sausage and Peppers, I mean he’s the only one allowed to cook sausage and peppers. Ever.  But he’s busy now and the rest of us are hungry, so… I made them.  Gasp!! 😱 I know!!  But, it was Sunday, and Daughter #3 and I were binging something or other on Netflix, and I didn’t want to stand at the stove nursing vegetables and sausages.  So I went the sheet pan supper route, and oh boy did things go crazy!  The Boy emerged from his study cave, sat down, examined his Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers sandwich, took one bite and said it was… better than his! 😳 And he looked VERY disgruntled when he said it.  And when he ate every bite.  And when he got a second sandwich.  And when he came back with an extra serving of plain Sausage and Peppers.  I’m sorry for stealing his “King of Sausage and Peppers” crown but this went over REALLY well, is what I’m saying.  You should try it too.  Maybe there’s an Italian Nonna you want to make mad? (Read more…)

Skillet Cornbread


Cornbread holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons. I went to elementary school in San Antonio, where the cafeteria would serve cornbread the way rest of the country served plain bread.  I also grew up the grandchild of Olga Mae from Noxubee County Mississippi, who made Skillet Cornbread almost every day of her life.  The best part of her Skillet Cornbread was a not so well kept secret in the South – bacon fat.  Olga Mae, like most resourceful Southern women of her time, kept a coffee can full of bacon fat on her kitchen counter that found its way into most of the foods she cooked, especially her Skillet Cornbread.  Why buy butter or oil when you get bacon fat for free every time you cook bacon?  So when I think of my Ultimate Skillet Cornbread, it has to include bacon fat. I’m not saying anyone should go on an all bacon fat diet, just don’t throw it away the next time you cook a few slices.  There’s a cornbread waiting to bake (Read more…)

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I may have mentioned this before (see my Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake), but I am not the biggest fan of bananas. They are singularly squishy, make a horrible noise in my mouth when I eat them, and the smell seems to be everywhere when you throw away the peels  (I mean, can we just take the trash to the curb? 😖)  But The Boy continues to buy bananas whenever he goes to the store. He rarely eats them, but oh man does he buy them.  Like buying bananas is required by law.  Go shopping, buy bananas, no jail time.  I don’t know what to do with all the freakin’ bananas!! I just can’t freeze any more bananas that he will ultimately forget to use in smoothies, so I’m always trying to find ways to hide them in baked goods.  I may have finally found the ultimate solution.  A chocolatey brownie that stays extra moist thanks to mashed up bananas, gussied up with swirls of peanut butter, and topped with another banana for fancy reasons.  Plus, the combination of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter is delicious enough to bring Elvis out of hiding!  (Read more…)