As you know, we are fans of the pig in our household. Dan and I got on a wild hare about doing something fun and creative with bacon, and in a moment of pure genius, he suggested we do bacon lollipops with a touch of maple flavor. Now, I’ve never made candy before, but it was WAY easier than I thought it would be. Have fun with this recipe — try different extracts and add-ins, and even some food coloring, to customize your flavors. If you decide not to do lollipops, you can easily adapt this into maple bacon brittle: pour the mixture and bacon onto a greased cookie sheet and break apart when cool.
When asked to determine what kind of birthday cake Dan wanted for today, he scoped out some of my dessert cookbooks for inspiration. He knew he wanted cheesecake and pointed out one with candy bar chunks, one with peanut butter, and one with a chocolate swirl. I figured since it was his birthday, he could have all three. Here, the creamy peanut butter cheesecake combines with Reese’s peanut butter cup chunks, a chocolate/peanut butter swirl layer, and a buttery chocolate crust for a totally decadent birthday cake.
I was looking for a good, Springtime-y dessert for this year’s Easter dinner. My whole family is populated with chocoholics, but I thought it would be neat to try something new. These lemon bars are the perfect balance of tart-sweet, complemented beautifully with a buttery crust and a luscious cream cheese frosting.
Once upon a time, Dan and I would dedicate the recipes on this blog to dishes we enjoyed together, things that were creative and delicious. Now that we have a 9 month old baby, we thought it would be a neat idea to develop recipes that she can enjoy as well. She usually eats table food along with us during meal times, but we wanted a way to incorporate some of the baby food we keep for her in the pantry. Here, we combined baby oatmeal and pureed baby food into some nutritious mini muffins that are good enough for even Mom and Dad to sneak a bite.
Today, my co-workers hosted a bridal shower for one of the gals in the office. One of the ladies planning the party asked me to bake cupcakes for the shindig, and I was pleased to oblige. The shower was to be a garden theme, so we decided I should make these hydrangea cupcakes that I saw on Pinterest. I whipped up a batch of cannoli cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and Nutella, then went to town on the two-tone frosting technique. The end result was absolutely gorgeous, delicious, and perfect for celebrating a special day.
This week, my department moved offices to the other side of campus. Another department graciously sent a group of their excellent student workers to help us haul our stuff, saving us many hours and sore joints. We asked them what kind of treat they wanted as a thank-you gift, and the chocolate-peanut butter combo won handily. This is an easy recipe that combines decadent cake mix with peanut butter and Heath toffee bits, making a deliciously chewy little treat.
Introducing a new feature on Food to Us — Kids in the Kitchen! My little buddies, Jenna and Jackson, are big fans of Cupcake Wars. When they came over to visit the other day, I thought it would be fun to make cupcakes with them. These cheery, colorful cupcakes are great for showing kids how to bake. Give it a shot with some of your favorite kiddos some time!
One of our annual traditions is attending Addison Oktoberfest, one of the more fun and authentic of such celebrations this side of Munich. Dan and his buddies are members of the Society of the Boot, which is probably self explanatory. Anyway, this year we decided to make pretzel necklaces for the big kids and little kids in our group, because portable snacks are really useful at festivals. We ended up buying 6 pounds of pretzels at Sam’s Club, so we have a bunch of leftovers. Why not add them to something chocolatey, we thought. Here, rich chocolate brownies get gooey with caramel, toffee bits, chocolate chips, and pretzels for a delicious sweet/salty combo.
When cruising Pinterest for Halloween party ideas, I was taken with this recipe for frosting that would glow under a blacklight. I’d seen some other recipes for pumpkin-shaped cakes made with two Bundt cakes, so merging the two together made sense. This glowing frosting makes a jack o’lantern cake pop on the party table.