Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup.

I know that it isn't September yet and I am enjoying every ounce of summer that's left, buuuut I'm also looking forward to fall. I love fall in Wisconsin. Love, love, love it! So, when one of my besties saw a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Syrup that claimed to be better than the ones you can buy at chain coffee shops I jumped at the opportunity to indulge in a little autumn ahead of schedule!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup.
(Adapted from Cooking Like a Champion)

1 1/2 cups water
 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Dissolve sugar in water in a small pan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and allow to cook for about 7 minutes. Stir frequently and do not boil. Remove from stove, pour into bottle and store in the refrigerator.

To make a latte, use about 2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso. And if you do not have an espresso machine or are looking for a speedy alternative…you could use instant coffee and use 2 tablespoons of syrup for each heaping tablespoon of instant coffee. Add hot, frothed, or cold milk/ice and you’ll have yourself a delicious hot or ice latte.

Happy latte making!! And, yes, I’m off to make myself one right now…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nutella Brownies with Cheesecake Topping.

Nutella.  I almost guarantee that a.) you've never heard of it or b.) you've heard of it and love it.  True?

Let me clear the air though...  I do not fall into either of these categories.  I've know about Nutella and purchased it on occasion for many years.  But guess what - I don't love it.  (Gasp!)  It's true.  I like it just fine, but it is hardly anything that I would gush about.  (At least until this recipe).

My mom on the other hand...she loves it!  Recently she saw an ice cream recipe and asked if we could make it for her since she does not have an ice cream maker.  We agreed.  When my husband (previously falling to the "a" category above) went about making the ice cream, he too, fell in love with Nutella (category "b").  And now my husband can't get enough Nutella.

This is where the Nutella Brownies with Cheesecake Topping come into play.  I set out to find deliciousness involving Nutella.  And I found it.  These brownies have leaning towards the Nutella lover side of things.

Nutella Brownies with Cheesecake Topping.
(Recipe from Babble via Pinterest; Method Adapted by Me)

4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cocoa powder
1/2 cup nutella
1/3 cup flour

Cheesecake Topping:
8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

Beat all of the brownie ingredients together.  Pour evenly into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  Using the same bowl, beat all of the cheesecake ingredients.  Carefully pour and evenly spread the cheesecake mixture over the brownie mixture.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  This is necessary for the cheesecake to set.  Once cool: enjoy!!  Refrigerate any uneven brownies.

Sounds heavenly, right?  They are.  Oh, and did you notice how simple the recipe is?  And how few dishes will need to be washed?  I LOVE this recipe!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

S'Mores Pie.

I must prefix this post with a warning.  This pie is dangerous.  Maybe even lethal.  That is, if you are: trying to lose weight, trying not to eat sweets, home alone for any extended period of time...the list goes on and on.

That being said, make this pie!!

You may remember my love of all things s'mores with the exception of a "true" s'more.  Add this to the list!  This dessert is similar to the s'mores cookie bars, but in the shape of a pie.  Genius!  (As is pinterest which led me to this gold mine!

S'mores Pie.
(Recipe Adapted from Cookies & Cups)

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla beating until combined.  Slowly add in dry ingredients - beating  until combined.  Press half of the crust into the bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch pie plate.  Save remaining crust for the top.

1 container marshmallow creme (7 ounce)
5 Hershey's chocolate bars (broken into small pieces)

Evenly spread marshmallow creme on top of the pie crust.  Top with chocolate pieces.  Pat top crust into sections covering the top of the pie and pressing any seams together as you go.  Bake for 20 minutes in a oven heated to 350 degrees.

Allow to cool and serve!

Really, I can't imagine a more tasty pie.  I just can't decide if I prefer the pie room temperature or before the pie has cooled completely and the chocolate is still a little melty....