I’m a bit behind on my blogging schedule, mainly because I’ve had some exciting things happen in the last couple of months! First- I finished all the content for my upcoming book and turned everything into my publisher. Super exciting/terrifying to have sent it all off! I’m also really excited to share these pretty promo cards they made for Sugar High:
Second bit of a news is a fun one. I’m so excited to say that my husband and I are expecting our first child! I’ve nicknamed the little lime-sized baby “Muffin” for now. Life is wild.
Onto this pretty pound cake! Since the holiday season is officially upon us, it’s time to think about sweet treats that travel well, and please crowds. This chocolate chip pound cake is perfect for any such an occasion.
I love pound cake because it stands alone- you don’t need to make frosting or cream or anything to go with it, although if you’re feeling up to whipped cream, go for it. It’s just lightly sweet, very dense, and provides us with a perfect little snack anytime. Or a breakfast. Yes, I eat cake for breakfast, it’s fine.
This is a classic recipe, and you can find my bundt cake version over here. I’ve made this one in the form of a single loaf- a bit less cake overall, and the addition of chocolate chips gives it just the right twist.
You can actually alter this recipe in so many yummy ways. For example, top it with sliced fruit before baking, or fill it with berries, or lemon zest and juice. Whichever way you make it, it’s still going to have that perfect tightly-knit crumb that you’ll keep coming back to.
I hope you’re starting off your holiday season brightly this year! Personally, I’m one of those Christmas fanatics that starts listening to Christmas music on November 1st, and shopping later that day. However you prefer it though, treat yoself with something sweet all season!
Fall is here and I’m so pumped. Bring on the seasons of holidays and baking and big feasts, I’m in.
I’m back in the kitchen after a few weeks of a break after I finished up and sent in all the recipes and other work for my upcoming book! After cramming in the last few recipes at the end there, I needed a little break from baking.
But now, fall has hit me and I’m so ready. I’m starting out this season with these Praline Chocolate Sweet Rolls, and omg, what a start. These rolls are layered in flavor all throughout, and you’ll love all the bold, unique tastes wrapped up together into a big ‘ol fluffy, soft bun.
These babies start with homemade praline candies, sweet and crunchy. You’ll need a candy thermometer to get these right since the temperature is so important. Sugars, butter, milk, bourbon and more will bubble away until they reach the soft ball stage, and you’ll scoop it out and let it cool.
The remaining filling is made of softened butter, dark cocoa powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon, smashed together into a paste. You’ll spread it over the fluffy, light dough, sprinkle on chopped pralines, and roll it all up like a present.
The best sweet rolls are generously covered in smooth frosting. I honestly get bummed out when I buy a roll somewhere and they skimp on the frosting. We all love it, why the heck aren’t we ALWAYS covering rolls in frosting? Listen, we’re already splurging on a sweet roll, we do not need to save the calories.
These rolls are truly over the top, and they’re worth every step. Don’t wait, make ’em today.
Lay out two pieces of parchment paper on your counter, and have a small cookie scoop or a spoon ready to go.
In a medium pan, use a wooden spoon to stir together all of the ingredients over high heat. Once the mixture has started to boil.
Place your candy thermometer into the pan, and turn the heat down to medium-high.
Continue to stir the mixture constantly until it reaches the soft ball stage, or 240 degrees.
Remove from heat, and stir for about 1 minute, until it just begins to thicken.
Working quickly, use your scoop or spoon to scoop the praline onto your parchment paper. Let these cool completely and then roughly chop. Set aside.
For the dough:
Mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the whole milk, 1 cup of water, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until about 120 degrees.
Pour the milk mixture into a stand mixture, or a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of flour to start, and beat together until combined.
Add in the yeast mixture, and beat together for several minutes. You will have a lumpy, very wet mixture at this point.
Add in another 1/2 cup of flour, and beat together. Continue slowly adding flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and is no longer sticky.
Then, pull the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead in a little more flour until it's smooth.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 30-35 minutes for the first round, until doubled in size.
After the first rise, punch down the dough, and knead on a floured surface once or twice. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rise again for about 20-25 minutes this time, until risen by about 1/3.
For the filling:
Stir together the softened butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon until a paste forms.
Roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 20 inches by 12 inches.
Spread the filling evenly over the entire rectangle. The dough will be soft, so this will take some working.
Sprinkle the chopped pralines evenly over the top.
Roll the dough, starting on the longer end, until it has formed a log.
Slice off the uneven edges of the log first. Then cut the dough in half, and in a half again, until you reach 16 rolls.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick sheet, and evenly arrange the rolls on it.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees, and allow the rolls to rise while it preheats, about 15 minutes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
For the frosting:
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.
Add in the vanilla extract and milk, and beat together until smooth.
Scoop the icing onto the warm rolls, and spread. Enjoy!
You like coffee, right? And chocolate, obviously. And so you probably like things that combine them. Cool, me too, glad we got that straight.
These bars are that. A sweet, rich, frosted cookie bar that tastes like deep dark chocolate and bold espresso. That description was dramatic, I know, but really I love these.
Also, can I just be honest with you for a minute when I say that sometimes baking several batches of individual cookies kinda just takes way too long? I start making cookies all the time and then by oven swap 5 I’d rather die than keep baking. So when you can just stuff all the cookie dough onto one pan, bake it one single time, and slice it up- DO IT.
Anyways, on to other matters.
My book is nearly done! Not published-done, but writing and photographing recipes is nearly complete, and I’m so thrilled. I can’t wait to look at all the work I’ve done finished and ready to send off. Also, I’m pretty sure my oven could use a little rest- I’ve been baking multiple times a day on the weekends you guys, pretty much every weekend.
So sometimes baking something easy, yet rewarding like these babies is the perfect thing. I use dark cocoa powder in all my recipes, including these. I’m not exactly sure what it is about living at a high altitude, but I just can’t get a strong chocolate flavor to come through with regular cocoa.
I actually use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, mainly because it’s available at regular grocery stores. Also though, it’s a blend of regular cocoa and dutch processed cocoa, so it interchanges nicely in recipes.
I’m also using instant expresso powder in this recipe, which brings out a strong coffee flavor without the need to dilute the cookies or frosting too much.
But more importantly, simple things are easy to make. And when you want a chocolate covered graham cracker, you probably want it immediately. Or you could be normal and go to a candy store the day after tomorrow, whatever.
I just got back from a trip to California to see my husband’s grandparents, and I think we hit every candy store within a 50 mile radius. You might think thats probably only like one, but it’s more like 10. And somehow even after going to 9 candy stores, we still bought stuff at the 10th.
My favorites are always chocolate covered graham crackers. Those things are crack you guys. So naturally, after the 18 hour drive home, and a day without food in my house, all the ones I bought are gone, and I still want more. You guys feel really bad for me, right?
Anyways, turns out they are super easy to make, which I know shocks no one, and also that sprinkling some coarse salt on top makes them even better somehow.
I used 24 oz of chocolate to make about 36 chocolate covered grahams here, but if you feel like you don’t need that many, (you are wrong) just ya know, melt less chocolate and go with it. Also, I suggest using chocolate that you like to eat. The first time I did this, I used something really cheap, and it didn’t taste nearly as good as I hoped. Since it’s just a coating of chocolate, it’s worth it to go for the good stuff.
Anyways, it’s pretty straight forward; melt the chocolate, dip the grahams, shake off the excess, salt and chill. Enjoy!
Guys, this is a good one. It’s a long title, but I just felt like you needed to know the extent of what’s happening here like, immediately.
So, wanna hear a super cool story? One of my co-workers at my day job, Chaz, always talks about this awesome pizza place he grew up with called Dion’s, and how they just recently started opening them up in Colorado. Like seriously, Chaz loves this place. So when Dion’s reached out to me about this post, I was sitting there thinking, “Dion’s… Dion’s… where do I know that name?”
The point of the story is that I’m so excited to be partnering with this awesome restaurant for my post today, and I hope you guys love it! Thanks for listening.
My husband and I went over to Dion’s last night for dinner, my first time at the restaurant. We ordered the Duke City pizza, from a recommendation of my friend Chaz, and it didn’t disappoint! It’s really unique, with green chili’s so it’s got a good kick to it.
When we headed out, we grabbed a few dough balls to take home for this dessert recipe. Their dough is made fresh every morning, so it’s really great to work with, especially compared to some grocery store options out there. I’m a from-scratch baker for a lot of recipes, but in my everyday life, I LOVE shortcuts. With such a great quality dough, it’s super easy to bake with.
Alright, on to the monkey bread. You guys, please, you must try this recipe! It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Seriously, EVER. Listen, you can make monkey bread that’s not stuffed. You can, but don’t, because this version is worth every single extra step.
I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did, and if you have a Dion’s in your city, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!