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Take 5 Pie


It's summer in Texas.

So naturally, I made pie.

A pie that's rich, chocolatey, salty, peanutty, and caramelly. Inspired by my favorite sweet treat that combines all of my most loved flavors into one bar: the Take 5 candy bar.


Have you ever had a Take 5? I feel like they're seriously underrated. Like...I think it's been years since I've seen any advertisement for them. When I tell people about them, they always look at me with mild confusion as if they've never heard of it. I couldn't rest on it when there are people out here who haven't experienced this candy.


Especially in pie form!!

Everything about this pie is my favorite thing. The crust is a peanut butter graham cracker crust that is, honestly, next level. It's salty and a little sweet, and balances so well with the chocolate custard filling.


Y'all. This chocolate custard is dreamy all on it's own. It's reminiscent of a chocolate mousse meets a French silk pie...and there is caramel swirled into it. The caramel cuts through the dense chocolate and ties the flavors together.


There are a few moving parts to this recipe, but it's worth it. The crust, caramel, and chocolate custard can all be made ahead of time for day-of assembly. The pie itself is also kept perfectly fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days before an event.


If you try it out, please let me know! I would love to hear about your success stories in the comments below, or you can hit me up on Instagram. We all deserve a good piece of pie, friend.

Take 5 Pie


Take 5 Pie

By
A chocolate, caramel, peanut butter and pretzel pie inspired by the Take 5 candy bar.

Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 TB browned butter
  • 1/2 powdered sugar
  • Graham crackers (18 rectangles)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate custard:
  • 4 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 0z. 72% intense dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 TB sugar
Toppings:
Crust: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. In a food processor, blend graham crackers until finely ground. Add peanut butter, browned butter, powdered sugar, and salt to the graham crackers and blend until mixture has incorporated and formed into tiny balls (about 2 min). 
3. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan. 4. Bake for 12 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Let cool completely. 

Chocolate Custard: 
1. Combine chopped chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl over double boiler until melted. Remove from heat and set aside. 
2. In a separate heat proof bowl, whisk eggs and sugar over double boiler for 5 minutes until eggs are pale and slightly stiff. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Let cool completely. 
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream and sugar on medium to high speed until soft peaks form. 
4. Once chocolate mixture has cooled, add 1/4 of the whipped cream mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix by hand until combined. Fold in remaining whipped cream until fully combined.

Assembly:
1. Pour 1/2 of the filling into the crust. Drizzle top with prepared caramel and swirl into chocolate. Repeat with remaining filling. Let cool in fridge until set. 
2. Before serving, top with crushed pretzels and sea salt.

Prep time:
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Yield: 1 pie

Raspberry Tequila Fizz


Tequila and raspberry tied up with champagne...these are a few of my favorite things!

Honestly, though. All of my faves in one drink.

There's tequila, triple sec, lime, raspberry, and champagne. I will drink basically anything made with tequila or champagne, so I made a cocktail with both. I'm a genius.

Plus, this color is so dreamy. What's not to like?


I had leftover raspberry simple syrup from when I made Raspberry Swiss Rolls a few weeks ago, and it was a welcome addition to this drink. It's easy to whip up, and can keep in your fridge for up to one month. I prefer to enjoy my cocktails a little less sweet that most, so keep in mind that you may need to add more syrup than called for if you prefer things a little sweeter.


The ingredients are simple, as are the tools needed. Gather up these babies:

  • Silver tequila
  • Raspberry simple syrup
  • Triple sec
  • Lime juice
  • Prosecco
  • Lime & salt for garnishing

I used a cocktail shaker to chill and fully incorporate everything, but it's definitely not a necessity. Simply shake or stir the liquor, syrup, and juice together in a short glass and top with prosecco.


Easy peasy, and so satisfying.

This can be our post-Valentine's-Day-still-want-to-drink-and-eat-everything-pink cocktail. Okay? Okay.

Raspberry Tequila Fizz

Raspberry Tequila Fizz

By
A tequila based cocktail lightly sweetened with raspberry syrup and topped with champagne.

Ingredients
  • 2 oz. silver tequila
  • 2-3 tablespoons raspberry simple syrup (to taste)
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • Prosecco
Raspberry Simple Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 oz. raspberries

To make syrup: 
1. Combine sugar, water and raspberries in a small saucepan. Stirring often, cook over medium heat until raspberries have completely broken down. 
2. Remove from heat. Raspberries should remain in pot until the syrup has completely cooled. 
3. Once cooled, pour sauce through strainer to remove the fruit and seeds from syrup. Syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

To assemble: 
1. In a cocktail shaker or glass, mix together tequila, raspberry syrup, triple sec, and lime juice. Pour over ice. 
2. Top with prosecco. 
3. Serve chilled in a glass garnished with lime and salt.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 drink


Winter Fruit and Honey Toast


Texas gets really weird this time of year.

The weather, that is.

The first week of February was annoying, but par for the course. It was in the 80s on Monday, and by Friday we had a chance of snow. I understand that this always happens, as I've been living in Texas for most of my life, but I never get used to it. Like the time when I lived in Lubbock and all evidence of a morning blizzard was gone by noon. Just, weird.

So, I needed something in my life that was going to look pretty and taste yummy. Y'know, to deal with all the crazy change. This winter inspired fruit and honey toast was exactly what I needed.


Six simple ingredients are all that is needed for this easy toast recipe:
  • Brioche bread
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Blackberries
  • Blood orange
  • Honey
  • Granola

I love the balance of the tart blackberries and tangy oranges mixed with the sweetness of the cheese and bread. The granola and honey are the perfect ribbon to tie everything together. It's such an easy treat, but one that will turn a gloomy morning from boring to bright. 

Winter Fruit and Honey Toast

Winter Fruit and Honey Toast

By
Thick and sweet toast beautifully balanced with the tangy and tart fruit. A drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of granola ties everything together.

Ingredients
  • 1 thick slice of brioche bread
  • 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
  • Blackberries
  • Blood orange
  • Local honey
  • Granola for topping
1. Lightly toast both sides of bread over medium heat until barely golden brown. Remove from heat, let cool 2-3 minutes. 
2. Spread ricotta cheese across one side of bread. 
3. Top with blackberries and peeled blood orange. Drizzle honey, and sprinkle with granola. Serve immediately.

Prep time:
Cook time:
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Yield: 1 toast


Mini Raspberry Swiss Rolls


Surprisingly, I'm into all things cheesy this year.

I want all of the flowers, all of the chocolates and, of course, all of the hearts.

It's no surprise that my mind dreamed up these little bite sized heart-shaped Swiss rolls. They're perfectly adorable and so flavorful. I was so excited to test them out.


Then...I started making the sponge cake, and it flopped. Encouraged by how "easy" the recipe I was following said, I adjusted my technique and tried again. Another flop. I then spent hours researching different recipes, techniques, and ingredients to finally found success in this recipe.

The sponge cake is soft, moist, and pliable. Perfect for rolling, and delicious to eat. Let me let you in on a few secrets that will make your cake perfect as well:

1. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer for no less than 5 minutes. This process beats air into the eggs that will allow your sponge cake to rise correctly. The egg mixture should be a very pale yellow, frothy, and have doubled in size before you're done mixing.

2. You will pour the batter onto parchment paper, but make sure to spray the parchment with cooking spray and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Otherwise, the parchment will stick to the cake when cooled.

3. Roll the cake into one giant roll immediately after removing from the oven, and let it cool while rolled. If you wait to roll the cake until cooled, the cake will crack.

As long as you follow these steps, you're golden!



The filling is super easy, but takes a bit of time to prep. The raspberries need time to cook and cool, so start this process while your cake is cooling.

Now it's time to assemble!

Unroll your cooled cake and peel the parchment off the back. I rolled my cake onto a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar so that the cake wouldn't stick.

Brush one side of the cake with the raspberry simple syrup, allowing it to sink in for a few minutes. Next, add 1/4 inch of buttercream on top of the syrup layer. It's important that the layer of buttercream isn't too thick. A thin layer will allow you to roll your hearts much easier.

With the long side of the cake toward you, cut one inch strips of cake. You should get about 18 strips. To make the hearts, gently fold each each end toward the middle and shape into a heart. The hearts should retain their shape without any additional buttercream.

Repeat with each strip of cake until you have a group of adorable little cake hearts. Share them with your love, your classmates, or yourself!


I hope you all have a rockin' Valentine's Day full of chocolate and all things happy and good.💕

Mini Raspberry Swiss Rolls

Mini Raspberry Swiss Rolls

By
These mini chocolate Swiss rolls are drenched in fresh raspberry flavor and are perfect for Valentine's Day, or any day!

Ingredients

Cake - adapted from Crazy for Crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Raspberry Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 oz. raspberries
Raspberry Buttercream - adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup raspberry puree
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium sized pan with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
2. Beat room temperature eggs on high for 5 minutes until eggs are very frothy and pale yellow. Beat in sugar, water, and vanilla extract. 
3. Whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. Sift dry mixture into wet ingredients and fold to mix until just combined. Do not over mix. 
4. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to all corners of the pan, ensuring the mixture is evenly spread. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cake slightly springs back when pressed. 
5. Place pan on wire rack. Working from the short end, roll the cake (with parchment attached) until completely rolled. Let cake cool while rolled, at least an hour. 

Simple Syrup: 
1. Combine sugar, water and raspberries in a small saucepan. Stirring often, cook over medium heat until raspberries have completely broken down. 
2. Remove from heat. Raspberries should remain in pot until the syrup has completely cooled. 
3. Once cooled, pour sauce through strainer to remove the fruit and seeds from syrup. Syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Raspberry Buttercream: 
1. Combine raspberries and sugar in small pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes, or until soft. 
2. Transfer raspberries and juices to blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture over a strainer to remove any seeds. Let cool completely. 
3. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Add raspberry puree and milk and beat until smooth.

Assembly:
1. Unroll the cooled cake onto a surface lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove parchment.
2. Brush cake evenly with raspberry syrup. Let sit for 1-2 minutes.
3. Spread thin layer (about 1/4 inch tall) of raspberry buttercream over syrup layer.
4. With the long side facing you, use a pizza cutter to cut 1 inch strips of cake (about 18).
5. Gently fold each side of the cake into the center, creating a heart. Repeat for all strips.

Refrigerate rolls for up to 1 week.

Prep time:
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Yield: 18 mini rolls





Baked Mozzarella Sticks


We're friends, right?

As your friend, I feel like I'm obligated to tell you that you can have buttery, cheesy mozzarella sticks....without frying them.

That means you can have your Super Bowl party snacks, and eat them too. Which is necessary if you're still crying about that last Chiefs loss like I am.


Luckily, we have mozzarella sticks. Thank goodness for that!

Even though we're baking and not frying the mozzarella sticks, it's important to me that the crust is still perfectly golden brown. While panko bread crumbs make the perfect crust, if you have ever baked with them, you know that they barely take on color in the oven.

The solution? Browning the panko prior to breading. Melt the butter over medium heat, stir in the panko, and continue stirring until bread crumbs are evenly browned. You'll need to constantly stir the mixture so the heat doesn't concentrate and burn any bread crumbs.


Once the panko is golden brown, mix in the spices and set aside to cool slightly. In the meantime, prepare the cornstarch and egg. If you've ever fried chicken before, set up your station as you would to fry chicken.


Here's how to assemble, using a method we call "wet hand, dry hand":

1. Dip a cheese stick in cornstarch with one hand and coat completely. Transfer to bowl containing the beaten egg.
2. With your clean hand, dip the cheese stick in the egg until fully coated. Transfer to panko/spice mixture.
3. With your "dry hand," cover the cheese stick with the bread crumb mixture. Move to a parchment lined pan.
4. Repeat until all cheese sticks are prepared.


Once all the mozzarella sticks are ready, it's time to bake! Bake for no longer than 8 minutes, or the sticks will begin to flatten. Serve hot with marinara, or your preferred dipping sauce.


So, who are you cheering for this Sunday, Patriots or Rams? Or will that one rumor come true, and the Rams vs. Saints game be replayed? We'll see what happens.

Either way, I hope your Super Bowl is filled with lots of snacking and lots of cocktails...and maybe a Monday sick day. 😉


Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

By
Buttery, cheesy, melty, semi-healthy mozzarella sticks. Perfect for your next game day party!
Ingredients
  • 6 Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Melt butter over medium heat. Stir in panko until coated, and continue stirring until panko has turned a golden brown. Transfer to heat safe bowl. Mix in spices, and set aside to cool slightly. 
3. To prepare for assembly, beat 1 egg in bowl and measure cornstarch onto plate. 
4. Dip unwrapped cheese stick in cornstarch and coat. Then, dip cheese stick in egg and coat. Lastly, dip cheese stick in panko mixture and coat. Set finished mozzarella stick on parchment covered pan. 5. Repeat step 4 until all mozzarella sticks have been prepared. 
6. Bake for 8 minutes. Serve hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 6 mozzarella sticks
Calories: 136 per stick



Vanilla Chai Tea Stocking Stuffer

This week is flying by, and I'm truly about it.

My parents and I are traveling to Kansas to meet up with my sister and extended family this weekend and we have a whole week of activities planned. I'm so excited!


Every year I make an extensive gift list complete with corresponding symbols, gift ideas, what was actually purchased, the price for each item, and total spent. I use the symbols to mark if the gift has been bought, received (if ordered online), and wrapped. It's the one thing I count on to make sure I don't forget anything this holiday season.


I know not everyone is as list crazy as I am, so I've got you covered if you're in need of a last minute gift or stocking stuffer.



A few years ago, I made this Vanilla Chai Tea Latte mix for some friends and family, and it was a total hit. My mom has been asking for it ever since, so I decided to make a batch to sneak into some stockings this year.


Aren't they adorable?! Here's how it's done:

You'll need:


1. Once the chai mix is prepared, divide the mix evenly between eight jars. Secure the lids on tightly.

2. Punch a hole in the left corner of the recipe card and feed a piece of twine through the hole.

3. Secure the twine to the side of the lid with a hot glue gun, making sure it is on the opposite side of the recipe card. Allow the glue to cool for 10-15 seconds.

4. Continue wrapping the twine around the lid, overlapping the recipe card as you go. This step insures a secure recipe card!

5. Once you have wrapped the twine 4-5 times around the lid and have reached the side of the lid opposite the recipe card, cut the twine and secure with hot glue. Let dry completely. Become the hero of Christmas.


I love this vanilla chai mix so much that I may end up sneaking one into my own stocking this year... 😏

If you make these for your friends and family, let me know! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook.

Happy gifting, and happy holidays!


Don't forget to pin on Pinterest!



Two Ingredient Peppermint Hot Chocolate


I'm sorry...can someone please tell me how it is almost Christmas??

In one of my recent Instagram posts I talked about how crazy this holiday season has been for me. I moved house the week before Thanksgiving, and have been unpacking and adjusting to a new space ever since. I feel like my holiday recipes have all been pushed aside, and I seriously miss being in the kitchen.

I couldn't let Thanksgiving week come and go without baking something, so I settled on making a traditional pumpkin pie, and...one of the most difficult French pastry recipes there is.

You know, because it's me.


If you've watched The Great British Bake Off, you've probably heard of kougin amann. They're delicious little croissant like pastries with a caramelized sugar coating. We had them when we were in San Francisco over the summer, and I've been wanting to recreate them since.

Now, was it wise of me to begin this recipe at 6pm when the recipe calls for laminated dough? Probably not. Should I have listened when recipe said it would take all day to make? Yes, but I didn't.


Instead, I stayed up until 1:00am and ended with pastries that were passable for kougin amann. They were good, but definitely not quick and easy.

Not like this Two-Ingredient Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

This is not your average hot chocolate. It doesn't come from a powder, and there aren't a ton of ingredients. It's super rich, decadent, and delicious.


Did I mention it's easy, and only has two ingredients? My secret: peppermint ice cream. It does all of the heavy lifting. Mix melted peppermint ice cream with melted semi-sweet chocolate in a saucepan until heated through. Pour into your fav mug (how cute are these snowmen mugs?!), and serve while hot.


This recipe makes enough hot chocolate for two, so grab your bestie or your babe and cozy up to the Netflix fireplace. It's almost Christmas, and you deserve it. 🌟

Two-Ingredient Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Two-Ingredient Peppermint Hot Chocolate
By
Decadent and rich, this easy two-ingredient peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect go-to for a cold winter night.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups of peppermint ice cream
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1. Melt chocolate and set aside. 
2. Melt peppermint ice cream over low heat until melted through. Sir in melted chocolate until completely combined. Stir continuously until mixture is hot. 
3. Serve in mugs while hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 servings


Don't forget to pin on Pinterest!

Mocha Cookie Sandwiches

I had something else planned for y'all this week, but then I finally perfected these Mocha Cookie Sandwiches and I had to share.
My brain has been rotating through many different ways to execute the perfect mocha latte cookie. Do I use a straight coffee flavor? Add chocolate? Brewed espresso or ground espresso? Incorporate the cream into the cookie, or make a sandwich? After many tests, I've figured it out.

And, it's perfect.
The cookie is soft and moist, and the espresso packs a punch. I loaded them up with cocoa powder and chocolate chips to achieve the "mocha latte" flavor.

A sweet vanilla buttercream acts as the "milk" that makes up a latte, and sandwiches the two cookies together.
The ground espresso takes what would be a delicious chocolate cookie and elevates it to a whole other level. I would probably put espresso in all of my cookies if I thought I could get away with it. 😉
I used finely ground Starbucks espresso beans that I ground with my spice grinder. If you don't have a grinder, you can buy pre-ground espresso at most grocery stores and coffee shops. If you're wary of buying an entire bag of espresso to only use in one recipe, Starbucks Via Instant coffee in the darkest roast you can find (Italian or French Roast) is a good substitute. These are sold in Starbucks stores, and you can also get them at Target (and probably most grocery stores). No matter which option you choose, make sure the grounds are super fine. There's nothing worse than biting into a cookie and getting a mouth full of coffee grounds.
To make the cookies, combine flour and butter until fluffy in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Slowly add these to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips, and chill for at least an hour. The dough can also be refrigerated overnight.

The filling comes together super fast as well! I used this Whipped Vanilla Buttercream from Completely Delicious, but my French buttercream will also work.

When the cookies are baked and cooled, pair up ones of similar size. Pipe the buttercream onto one cookie, and sandwich them together. This recipe makes about 10 sandwiches, but can be easily doubled if you're expecting a crowd!

Mocha Cookie Sandwiches

Mocha Cookie Sandwiches
By
Soft and fudgey espresso cookies sandwiched with sweet vanilla buttercream...the perfect mocha latte.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 cup special dark cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
1. In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. 
2. In a separate bowl, combine espresso, flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Slowly add to the wet mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for at least 1 hour. 
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes -- cookies will appear gooey. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to cool. 
4. Prepare whipped vanilla buttercream, and pipe onto half of the cookies. Sandwich cookies together and serve.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 10 sandwiches


If you try these, let me know! Comment down below, or find me on Instagram. 😊

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