Hey y’all! I’ve never done a post like this before, but I wanted to branch out a bit. I love baking/cooking and have since I was a kid. I find it fun and relaxing and rewarding because, duh, you get to eat it at the end; and even better, you can share it with your other people and (hopefully) make them happy as a result! I’m starting a new series that I’m super excited about where I’ll be testing recipes of various categories from various platforms (ie, Pinterest, Tasty, etc), and letting you know if they’re any good or not! I hope y’all enjoy this!
For this first post in my new series, I’m starting with two of my favorite things: Baking and Pinterest. I have recently rediscovered the magic and addiction that is Pinterest, and one of the things I love scrolling through are all the recipes! My favorite things to make are baked goods/desserts, so I’m starting with a few that I have made that I found on there. I like Pinterest as a platform to find recipes because you can search whatever you’re in the mood for, and poof, you have like 10000 ideas, and you can see pictures of them all. It usually takes a bit of clicking around to find the best option, but it’s honestly hard to go wrong.
1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
The first recipe I’m going to highlight is from a blog called Eating on a Dime, and it’s for Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars.
Here’s what the original looked like! I have no pictures unfortunately, because I baked these before I had the idea for this post– so just imagine that mine looked like this 🙂 (they didn’t look too far off honestly)
For these, you basically make a dough mixture which is a cross between crust consistency and cookie dough consistency, and that makes up the top and bottom layers of this magical creation. It doesn’t have any crazy special ingredients in it– just your usual sugar, flour, butter, baking soda, salt, brown sugar (my fave), eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips.
Once you have pressed down the bottom layer of cookie, and then you pour over an easy, gooey, decadent ‘cheesecake’ mixture. You make this with cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and an egg. Once you have it all combined, you pour it in the dish.
Then you top it with crumbles of more of the cookie dough mixture and bake it for a while. These are fantastic, and they were easy to make! I had a bit of trouble with the bake time/pan size, because it calls for a 9×9 pan, but I only have 8×8 or 9×13, so I went for the 8×8. That resulted in me having to bake it a bit longer to get the cheesecake fully cooked inside, which then resulted in the outer edges being a bit harder than I prefer. But I think if I got the right size pan, or fixed the ratios, it would be near perfection.
2. Berries and Cream Cupcakes
The second recipe I tried was for berries and cream cupcakes, and they were so fun to make. They consist of a vanilla cupcake, an almond scented cream filling, and a mixed berry buttercream on top. I was inspired to make these to branch out of my norm a little bit. I am usually drawn to recipes that include things like chocolate, caramel, banana, cinnamon, coffee, toffee, things like that, rather than fruity recipes. I found this one and it just looked too good to pass up.
Here’s the link: https://thecakeblog.com/2017/04/berries-and-cream-cupcakes.html
And the og picture:
The cupcakes are super easy and simple- they are just a base for the other things. The recipe is cool though because at the end you whisk some hot water into the mixture, which I’ve never done before, and I think it’s supposed to make it lighter maybe? The batter itself was very thin and tasted like pancake batter, and that made me a little nervous frankly. But they came out just fine and tasted great. I didn’t get a pic of the batter, but here are the cupcakes right out of the oven. I must have put an unequal amount of batter in each, because they rose to different heights as you can see.
The cream filling is the STAR of the show. You’re basically mixing together whipped cream, cream cheese, almond extract, and a few other things to make this magical creamy mixture that tastes incredible. My piece of advice for this is to make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature before you put it in. I didn’t get mine fully to room temp, and it ended up getting really clumpy. Still tasted delicious though. Here we are scooping out the center to make room for the magic.
The buttercream is really delicious as well, but I made some mistakes in making it. The recipe calls for freeze dried berries, and for some reason my brain read frozen berries. So I bought frozen berries and didn’t realize it until I was about to make the frosting. I went ahead and put them in anyway, after my roommate convinced me to put them in a food processor and grind them up frozen. This worked out really well initially, but then the frosting basically because like a slushie. I don’t know who has freeze dried berries hanging around their house?? Anyways, it was a solid recipe and tasted really great with everything else. I would recommend adding a bit more salt than it calls for, because it can get pretty sickly sweet if you don’t.
I stuck some fresh berries on top for presentation, and they added a wonderful fresh punch to the cupcake as a whole, so I wouldn’t skip them.
I really liked this recipe, and I think it leaves it open to add nearly anything to that frosting, since the rest is pretty simple. These were a great recipe for summer while we can still get fresh berries!
3. Dark Chocolate Chunk Brownies with Mocha Frosting
The last recipe I tested for this post was a bit of a cheat, because I thought it would be from an independent blog through the pin I found, but it’s actually a recipe from (the queen herself) Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond. So basically this is blog/recipe inception because I’m reviewing a blog’s review of a recipe lol. If you don’t know the Pioneer Woman, I would highly recommend watching her Food Network show- she’s the softest sweetest woman out there.
Link to blog with Pioneer Woman’s Recipe- https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/chocolate/pioneer-womans-mocha-brownies.html?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share
And here is the original picture from the blog! (look how much frosting!?)
Anyways, this recipe is for brownies with mocha frosting. I had several issues with this one, but I’ll get more into that. But the end result was decadent and so delicious! The base is a pretty basic recipe for brownies. Instead of using cocoa powder you use melted chocolate, which I thought was interesting. After I added all of the ingredients together, the batter was so light and fluffy, but it didn’t have enough chocolate for me. So I added about a cup of dark chocolate chunks, the same that I originally melted down for the batter, and it made a huge difference. I think without them, the brownies would have been lighter but less yummy.
In baking them, I used a 9×13 pan instead of an 8×8. I would highly recommend using a 9×13, as the recipe yields a tonnn of batter. The bake time was still pretty accurate for the different pan size, but they were so thick that I had to bake them longer to get the middle done, which left the corners a bit harder than I would’ve liked. The top also did that weird cracking thing, which I’ll add a picture of, but I think that’s normal? They rose a ton in the oven, but once they cooled they were a pretty normal nice thickness.
The frosting is equally as decadent and delicious! It has all of the normal ingredients of a buttercream, with the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Again, I would recommend adding a little more salt than it calls for, because the salt is great for balancing the sweetness in the whopping 5 cups of powdered sugar. I also added a few tablespoons of milk into the frosting, because it was a tad thick.
Then, you add cocoa powder to the frosting, which I’d never done before but it came out just fine. The final piece to make these mocha is coffee! One of my favorite things ever! I brewed a cup of coffee in my Keurig, and it would have been totally fine except I didn’t really adhere to the instruction that the coffee has to be completely cooled. I was a bit impatient and put it in when it was still a little warm, which was a HUGE mistake. It basically melted the butter in the frosting and turned it into soup. I tried to remedy this by sticking it in the fridge for a while, which helped a tiny bit. It didn’t really matter either way though, because this frosting is one of the best things I have ever made flavor-wise. Everyone needs this in their life. Here’s a photo of my soupy frosting that looks more like the batter …
The end result is so good, but you really can only take a few bites because it’s so rich. I am obsessed with this recipe though. Brownies don’t really need frosting, but no one was complaining with the addition of frosting lol. They are a lot less thick than the original picture since I used a larger pan and didn’t use all of the frosting, but they still turned out well.
So there you have it! Those were three recipes that I found on Pinterest and tried at home to test how the recipe would go. I had so much fun doing this post, and I’m already planning a few more! My order of how I like these would be 1) brownies 2) cheesecake bars (though 1 & 2 are basically tied) and 3) berry cupcakes. I just tend to lean more towards chocolate than fruity desserts, but that’s a personal preference. Overall they were all pretty good! Thanks so much for stopping by, and let me know which one sounds the best to you!!