Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Back baby! Nutella Gelato – you know it was worth the wait…

December 3, 2011

Hello my dearest friends!  I’m sooo soooo sorry I’ve been gone so long!   Life simply got away from me… you know how things get.  I’m happy to report I’m back on the East coast, in the middle of my third year of medical school, and loving every minute of it!  Oregon, all the relaxation, the new perspective (and naturally all the food LMM and I indulged in together) have left me refreshed and ready to tackle this beast they call medschool again!

But then, you’re not here to read about medschool.  Let’s be honest.  You read the words “nutella gelato” and your jaw hit the floor and your salivary glands went into over-drive.  It’s ok, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  It happened to me too…

Yes yes, I know – my last entry was about nutella too, but come on, who doesn’t love it?  Besides, this is a first for me.  Despite my deep love of kitchen gadgets (you should see my Christmas list…) this is the first time I’ve had my hands on an ice cream maker :) You see, it would appear I attract foodies where ever I go, and I’ve recently befriended the fabulous Stephanie – who is quite awesome for a myriad of reasons, only one of which is her possession of an ice cream maker.

I always get nervous when I strike out into a new area of deliciousness.  How could what I make possibly live up to expectations?  Well let me tell you, this slightly modified recipe from Giada De Laurentiis came through… deliciously rich and smooth, it’s enough to make a girl swoon :)  So enjoy, and I promise to come back soon with lots of tastiness!


  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)


In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze.


Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

April 5, 2011

So I know I promised all of you my grandmother’s meat loaf recipe, and don’t worry, that’s coming too, but I can post that any time…  Today I have the unique pleasure of posting a new recipe of mine, dedicated to a very special someone.  A very special someone who has, up until today, been known to the world as Cookie Do.

One of my very best friends in the whole world is pregnant, and as her last name is Do, the little one inside’s nick name, has been “Cookie Do”… way way way too many cute puns to be had there.  Today she and her husband found out that it’s a boy!  This wonderfully gooey cookie bar is dedicated to one Mister James William Do, with all the love and adoration in my heart :)


Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

3/4 c. butter

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. nutella

1)  Heat oven to 350°F.

2)  In large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3)  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).

4)  Stir in chocolate chips.

5)  Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish.

6)  Spread with nutella.

7)  crumble the rest of the dough on top.

8) Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

9)  Coo over James William.


Easiest Chocolate Mousse Ever!

April 1, 2011

Hellooooo my dearest readers!  I’m so sorry I’ve been gone – I’ve been baking recently, but for some reason just not motivated to post here.  But never fear – I’m back :D  After a brief respite, Wednesday night dinners have returned, and with them my creative cooking juices.  Last night I had the pleasure of not only cooking for the family, but for a lovely guest as well (I just love cooking for people who like food :)).

The meatloaf I made (my grandmother’s recipe) which will be posted later this week was followed by, as the title of this post implies, the easiest chocolate mousse ever.

I stumbled across this recipe first as a filling for cream puffs, but it wasn’t long before I started making it for dessert all on its own!  Two ingredients – that’s right, only two, and done in less than five minutes, this stuff is dangerous.  In fact I’m sure the waistline police will be outside my house within moments of me posting this recipe, but it has to be done!  Enjoy!

Easiest Chocolate Mousse

1 small box chocolate flavored instant pudding mix

2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream

1)  Combine ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl and beat until mixture comes into stiff peaks.

2)  Serve with fresh fruit (strawberries are great this time of year) and enjoy :)

PS – for your viewing pleasure:

Super Bowl Cupcakes

February 9, 2011


These cupcakes are crowd pleasers.  Plain and simple.  Whip a batch up, and watch them disappear.  So moist and delicious, even non-beer drinkers will gobble these down. If you make them for a party like I did, you may get random people coming up to you offering to have your children… erm… just fair warning. I mean, what would you expect when mixing alcohol and chocolate? In the words of one of my favorite people ever: “Yes. Just yes.” There’s not much else to say about that :)

<3 Betty

*Original recipe found here:

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup Guinness
1/2 cup butter
1/2  cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
For the Frosting
1.5 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons Baileys (or other liquor of your choice – all I had on hand was Kahlua and it turned out fabulously)
For the drizzle:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolat chips
1Tbsp good irish whiskey

1)  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2)  Set aside butter for frosting so it’s room temp when you’re ready to frost cupcakes.

3)  Grease muffin tin well or line with muffin cups.

4)  In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

5)  Add sour cream and egg and mix well (don’t worry, it’ll still be dry).

6)  Melt butter for cupcakes and add cocoa and Guinness, stirring well.

7)  Add chocolate mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

8)  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.

9)  Bake 17 minutes.

10)  Cool completely in muffin tins

11)  Mix all ingredients for frosting until smooth and creamy

12)  Frost liberally.

13)  Melt chocolate in microwave and stir in whiskey until smooth.  Use a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a whole cut into the corner to drizzle cupcakes.

14)  Devour.

Mentor Cake

December 20, 2010

Law students are encouraged to sign up for the mentoring program at the beginning of the year.  Our school connects students with local alumni.  This is how I met Alison, the nicest mentor one could hope for.  She has shared fantastic study tips, her stellar outlines, and a very positive perspective.  What could a first year student offer in exchange?  A baking lesson. Alison informed me that she has made some disaster cakes in the past.  She said that her past cakes came out “tough.”  I am not quite sure what this means, but cakes that share adjectives with tires simply won’t do.  And so Alison and I destroyed the kitchen together and made this cake, plus some snickerdoodle muffins (see “Special Visitor Muffins” for the recipe).   All in all, we used over seven cups of sugar, more than half a bag of flour, and an entire package of butter.    She attempted to sabotage this cake by only bringing one-fourth of the chocolate necessary for the recipe.  However, I happened to have plenty of chocolate on hand, and our baking efforts were saved.   I had a generous slice of cake for lunch; it’s worthwhile brain food, and my exams are halfway complete.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

2 cups plus a scant ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 ¼ cups milk
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour parchment paper to fit the inside of two round 9-inch cake pans.

2)  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a whisk in a large bowl.

3)  In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese, one stick of butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy.  Add the confections’ sugar and 1/3 cup milk, alternating, until it is gone (beginning and ending with the sugar).  Then beat in the melted chocolate.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix once more.

4)  Separate 2 ½ cups of the above mixture and put it in a sealable container.  Store it in the refrigerator—voila your frosting!

5)  Beat in half a stick of butter to the mixture.  Add the eggs, beating between each addition. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, alternating with 1 ¼ cups milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

6)  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake 35 minutes.  Allow the cakes to thoroughly cool before removing from the pans and frosting.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

Oh No You Don’t! Cake

November 21, 2010

Have you ever noticed that when a child is about to do something naughty, an adult often exclaims, “Oh no you don’t!”?  I caught myself yelling this phrase when James jumped on the counter as I was baking a birthday cake.  My sweatshirt sleeves were rolled up, my fingers were coated in flour, and I was holding a wooden spoon and glass bowl dripping with batter.  I was also exhausted from torts class and a batch of muffins that stuck to the muffin tin.  In spite of my wild gesticulations and most serious voice, James gave me a look that said, “Oh, yes. We do.”  My parenting skills had just been trumped—by a cat.  In the moment, it occurred to me that the phrase, “Oh no you don’t” doesn’t have any meaning on its own.  It’s grammatically deficient, and it’s insipid.  It’s so insipid that if I could come up with a catchy-enough tune and Katy Perry agreed to sing it, there would be teens across the U.S. belting it out in their V-Bugs.  As I whipped up the cake frosting, I imagined some clever predicates that could be inserted between “don’t” and the exclamation mark.  Feel free to post your favorite (complete) “Oh no you don’t…” phrase in the comments.  It’s good food for thought, no?  Most importantly, happy birthday, Anna.  I hope this year is every bit as sweet as frosting.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Orange-Coconut Layer Cake

¾ cup softened butter
¾ tsp salt
grated zest of one orange
juice of one orange
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup shaved coconut

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans

2)  In large bowl, combine the butter, salt, and the orange rind.  Add the sugar and cream the mixture.

3)  Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.

4)  In another large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and baking powder.

5)  Combine the juice of one orange and the lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Add enough water to make a cup.

6)  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the juice to the creamed sugar mixture.  Repeat this step three times.  Mix until the batter is smooth.  Pour the batter into the cake pans.

7)  Bake for 25 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8)  When the cake has cooled, frost with icing, sprinkle with coconut, layer, and repeat.

Golden Orange Frosting

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, separated
6 tbsp butter
4 tbsp fresh squeezed orange
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp grated rind of an orange
1 tbsp flour

1)  Heat the butter on low heat, add the orange rind, and 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar, a little at a time.  Stir continuously.

2)  Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature; beat in the flour.

3)  In a bowl, add the remaining three cups of confectioner’s sugar, alternating with the juice from the orange and lemon to the previous mixture.

4)  Beat the frosting until it is light and creamy.  Add some water to loosen if the frosting is too thick.  Refrigerate the frosting until it’s ready to be spread on the cake.

Shanghaied Muffins

November 16, 2010

This weekend I had the opportunity to tour a small bit of the Portland underground—a labyrinth of tunnels running under the city.  These tunnels were used as secret hideouts for opium dens, torture chambers for sex slaves, and avenues of human trafficking.  Drunkards were frequently stolen from saloons and shuttled underground, often drugged, and brought to sea where they’d be forced to work for years as ship crew.  Sometimes men were dropped right through the floor of saloons above, by the pull of a bar-attendant’s lever.  These sorry shanghaied individuals were unlikely to escape; there were a number of ways for traffickers to hold them captive, including stealing their shoes and sprinkling a thick layer of broken glass along the exit route. There are numerous ghost tales that go along with these tunnels, but I did not encounter any creepies.  Most importantly, this activity made my contracts practice test far more palatable. Offer, acceptance, and the statute of frauds are a lot easier to handle after such an outing.  I “raise” these muffins in honor of Portland’s shanghaied.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1)    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and thoroughly grease a muffin tin (and I mean, really grease it, or the muffins will get stuck).

2)    In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.

3)    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, butter, yogurt, and vanilla.  Pour these ingredients into the large bowl and mix until just combined.

4)    Fold in the chocolate chips being careful not to over-mix the batter.

5)    Distribute the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.  Let them cool before removing.

Duck Face Cake

November 7, 2010

I wasn’t sure what I should write about this week.  When I asked Josie if she had any ideas, she replied, “Your face.”  I am not sure I have anything profound to say about my face.  I have, however, spent a good part of the week perfecting my “duck face.”  If you aren’t familiar with the pop-culture “duck face,” I recommend starting with  It seems that most folks, primarily women, are making a duckface because they think it’s hot.  Here’s why I am making a duck face: my living room looks like something exploded, my desk is covered with unopened mail, my binders are beginning to get out of control, and my cats got spayed and neutered on Friday.   As a result, the kittens are doped up and acting like serious crack-addicts jonesing for their next good fix; I started adding a splash of Kaluha to my coffee and putting some correspondence on hold.   I also added highlights from a box to my hair, in favor of a fresh change.  I do all of this while making one big fat duck face in the general direction of my law school.  It’s all I can do to keep from quacking.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups carrots (approximately 1 pound, plus a few)
¼ cup shredded coconut


12 oz cream cheese
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 ½ tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate

1.  Grate the carrots and set them aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two round 9-inch pans.  Line the pans with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.

3.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

4.  In a separate bowl, use a handmixer to combine the eggs and the sugar for a minute or two on medium, or by hand until fluffy.  Then mix in the vanilla and the vegetable oil.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.  Fold in the carrots and the coconut.

6.  Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7.  While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, butter, and two tablespoons of the orange juice concentrate just until fluffy and smooth.   Add the remaining orange juice concentrate, and continue beating until the frosting is spreadable.

8.  Frost the cake when it is cooled.

**Recipe adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

Movie Theater Brownies

October 29, 2010

Last weekend, my cousin Katie convinced me to go see Paranormal Activity 2 at the movies with her.  After buying tickets we made our way to the concession stand and ordered drinks, candy, and popcorn.

Me:  One medium popcorn please.

Clerk:  Do you want to make it a large for only a quarter more?

Me:  Sure, why not?

I’m not sure why it is, but I’m a sucker for this move.  A quarter seems so trivial, and after all, what if I really did want more popcorn?  Well – as predicted I came out of the theater with a good amount of popcorn still in my bag – just about the difference between a medium and a large in fact…

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been on a “use every part you can find” kick.  At any rate – I was determined not to let my quarter go to waste.  at first I was tempted to make popcorn balls, but in the end my chocoholic heart won out.  So I present to you – movie theater brownies:

<3 Betty

Movie Theater Brownies

1 batch of your favorite brownie mix

left over popcorn from the movie theater

2 cups M&Ms (whatever other candy strikes your fancy.

1)  Make brownie batter as directed

2)  Add movie theater leftovers

3)  Bake according to recipe.

Peanut Butter Chews

October 23, 2010

This one goes out to all of you who first discovered this peanut-buttery deliciousness in Eagle Hill 7th grade Home Ec. class, with a big shout out to Mrs. Brenner!  So easy even twelve year olds can do it, and done in under a half hour, this was the perfect first project for a bunch of rowdy middle school kids (not to mention the perfect project for weeknights when you desperately need a peanut butter fix…)

Yesterday at work, I was talking to some of my colleagues about these tasty delights, and decided when I got home to whip up a batch.  The following conversation ensued:

My Aunt:  Hey, what are you making?

Me:  Peanut butter chews :)  They’re really easy and ueber tasty!

My Aunt:  Peanut butter JUICE?  GROSS!

And so I present to you, peanut butter juice… erm, chews.  (Best served in fact with a big glass of milk, not juice…)

Peanut Butter Chews

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups cornflakes cereal
  1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, mix together the peanut butter, corn syrup and sugar. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes, remove from heat.
  2. Add cereal, mix well and mold into small balls.