Three Tier Cake Co

Blackberry Dump Cookies

IMG_2103

Because sometimes you just need a cookie. And sometimes you have to search high and low for ingredients in your near empty pantry/refrigerator since you haven’t been to the store in weeks in order to make said cookie. The end result doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to taste delicious!

Blackberry Dump Cookies

Ingredients
Two eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk Greek black berry yogurt (or regular Greek yogurt)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1/3 cup chopped Hershey chocolate
1/3 cup Craisins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment. In a small mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In stand mixer with paddle attachment combine butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add in coconut, chocolate, sprinkles, and Craisins and stir with a spatula until combined. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on sheet one inch apart (I used a small ice cream scoop). Bake for 15-17 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.  I think you could change up the mix-ins with whatever you have on hand; it could change the cooking time though!


Pumpkin Ginger Ale Cake

IMG_1331

After quite the hiatus, I am happy to be back sharing my cooking adventures!  After having a baby and deciding to stay home with her full time, I am optimistic that one day this little one will nap somewhere other than my arms, and I will be able to type with both hands.  Until then, I hope you forgive me for my lack of literary substance.  But I promise there’s nothing lacking in the recipes!

This pumpkin ginger ale cake was my first official return to the kitchen after baby.  I made it in October ever-hopeful that I would post it during the fall season.  Alas, it didn’t happen.  But if you’re anything like me, pumpkin is not exclusive to Autumn.  This cake is quick, simple, and tasty!  I served mine with ice cream, but I think a simple chocolate drizzle would be delicious too.  Or eat it directly out of the pan with a fork at two in the morning while singing Journey to your crying child… not that I know anything about that!

Pumpkin Ginger Ale Cake

Ingredients
1 white cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ginger ale

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 11×13 pan.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined.  Pour into greased pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake come out clean.  Enjoy with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, or as is!


Holiday Candy Peanut Butter Blondies

IMG_2680
Every Christmas I end up with bite sized candy.  Either from stockings, co-workers, or cookie plates, they seem to multiply overnight.  We can never eat it all, and it seems like a waste to throw all that candy away.

IMG_2667

I remember one Halloween, we made blondies with candy bars in them with Katy and Anthony.  With that in mind, I decided to create a Holiday Candy Blondie.  Because I had Butterfinger Bells, I couldn’t help but add peanut butter into the mix.  I also put in  chocolate chips to make them extra chocolatey.  After they baked, I melted some peanut butter and drizzled it over the blondies.  I think a little vanilla ice cream on top would make them even better, if that’s possible!

IMG_2666

Holiday Candy Peanut Butter Blondies
Adapted from Yum Sugar
Makes a 13×9  glass pan

Ingredients
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped candy bars (I used butterfinger bells, Kit Kat, and Green and Black’s chocolate)
1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a 13×9 glass pan.  In medium sized mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In large mixing bowl, beat butter until light in color.  Add peanut butter and beat until mixed, scraping bowl as needed.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Add in dry ingredients and beat until combined.  Stir in candy and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into pan (it will be thick) and spread it with a spatula.  Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Once cool, melt peanut butter and drizzle over bars.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Pie with a Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust

Chocolate peanut butter ganache pie... Not sure I want to share it!
It’s been nearly a month since I last posted.  Since life has been more than hectic, there has been zero time for kitchen time which means little time for recipe writing as well.  However, I did make this delicious and decadent pie for Thanksgiving and as my mother-in-law, Julie said, “it’s a chocolate lover’s dream.”  I hope you make it soon!  The pie is simple enough to make but looks and tastes like you slaved for hours!  You could even make it for yourself, watch Love Actually, and pass out on the couch from the sugar… or is that just my plan?

Did you make anything tasty for Thanksgiving? Any baking plans for the upcoming holidays?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Inspired by Martha Stewart

Ingredients
3 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used Jiff)
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Make pie crust (recipe below) and let cool.  Once cool, combine chocolate, peanut butter, and honey in a medium mixing bowl.  Heat heavy whipping cream in microwave until hot but not boiling, about 2-3 minutes.  Pour hot cream over chocolate chip mixture and let it sit for five minutes.  You will want stir it so badly, but resist the temptation because you don’t want a chunky ganache!  Walk away and leave a timer for five minutes!  After the longest five minutes of your life whisk together ingredients until smooth.  Add vanilla and stir until combined.  Pour mixture into cooled crust saving about 1/2-3/4 cup of ganache for garnish.  Place in the refrigerator and let cool for at least two hours.

Chocolate Chip Pie Crust
Recipe slightly adapted from Serious Eats

Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  In large mixing bowl beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Slowly add flour to mixture until combined.  Add chocolate chips and mix them in by hand using a spoon or spatula.  Press into bottom of cake pan and poke holes in dough with a fork.  This will keep the dough from rising too much when baked.  bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  If dough is rising too much, re-poke holes in crust with a fork.  Let cool completely.  You will have extra cookie dough.  You can save it in the freezer and use for regular chocolate chip cookies.  You can also use the extra to make mini cookies to garnish your pie.  I drizzled remaining ganache and melted peanut butter on the cookies before placing them on the pie.

Once cool, pour in ganache and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream
Ingredients
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Directions:
I must warn you that I hand whip my whipped cream.  Smitten Kitchen suggested this to ensure you don’t over whip your cream.  You’ll work up a sweat but your whipped cream will be light and heavenly.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  With a balloon whisk, if you have one, whip the heck out of it until whipped cream is is thick and not too stiff peaks are formed.

Once pie has chilled for at least two hours spread whipped cream on top of the pie and garnish with remaining ganache and chocolate chip cookies.

Take a bit and enjoy the chocolate-peanut butter deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 


Cinnamon and Sugar Croissants

DSC_0478
I don’t know about you, but there are some weekend mornings when I crave going to a bakery and ordering a chocolate croissant or an apple turn over, but the allure of relaxing on the couch in my pajamas wins out.  When this happens I want something quick and delicious that will make me forget the bakery and return to relaxing on the couch even faster.

These cinnamon and sugar croissants are perfect for a lazy morning or even a nice brunch- simple and delicious.

Cinnamon and Sugar Croissants
Ingredients
One tube of pre-made croissants
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Brown Sugar Glaze
Ingredients
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2-2 teaspoons milk

Directions:
Preheat oven according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mix sugar and cinnamon.  Unroll croissants.  Spread a light layer of butter on each croissant.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on croissants.  Roll croissants and place on baking sheet.  Cook croissants according to manufacturer’s instructions.   While croissants are baking, whisk together the glaze.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl minus the milk.  Slowly add milk until the glaze is a spreadable consistency.  When done, let cool for five minutes.  Drizzle glaze on top of croissants and serve.


Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts with a Brown Sugar Glaze


I must apologize for my lack of writing lately.  With work and coaching beginning, I haven’t had much free time.  And the free time I do have, I often pass out on the couch at 7:30 and waste it catching some z’s.  Weeks ago I promised a pumpkin doughnut post, but the only time I’ve spent on the computer the last two weeks is when I’m entering grades or taking online coaching classes.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe from these delicious pumpkin doughnuts I made.  Although I tweaked a few things, I can’t say the recipe is mine… I borrowed it from Annie’s Eats.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  They are the perfect treat to welcome Fall, which finally seems to be making its way to AZ!

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
Makes about 2 dozen 2inch doughnuts and doughnut holes
Ingredients

3½ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying

Brown Sugar Glaze
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Cinnamon and Sugar mix
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat until well blended.  Stir in the egg, then the egg yolks, and then the vanilla until incorporated.  Combine the buttermilk and pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm.  (I let dough sit over night so they would be ready for breakfast the next morning)

On a well-floured work surface, roll or pat out the dough to a ½-inch thick round.  Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour.  Using a 2½ to 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough.  Use a smaller cutter (or a wide pastry tip) to cut a hole out of the center.  Reroll and cut the dough scraps as necessary.  Place cut doughnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to fry.

Add oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven to a depth of about 2-3 inches.  Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil to 365-370˚ F.  Add the rings of dough to the hot oil so that they are in a single layer and not touching.  Fry, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and doughnuts are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes total.  Use a skimmer/strainer to remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined rack.  Bring the oil temperature back up to the target range before repeating with the next batch of doughnuts.  Use the same process for the doughnut holes, frying for a shorter time.

To make the cinnamon-sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and whisk to blend.  When the doughnuts are just cool enough to handle, dip half of them in the cinnamon-sugar to coat completely, shaking off the excess.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices in a small bowl.  Add the milk and whisk to combine, until a thick glaze is formed.  If necessary, add a bit more milk to thin the glaze out.  Dip the remaining half of the doughnuts in the glaze.  Allow the glaze to set before serving.



Midweek Munchies

Midweek Munchies
I know it’s a little late, but I’m so excited to share what I did during my vacation that I couldn’t skip it!
Knit gnome!
I spent the first day of my break knitting this little gnome.  I can’t wait to make an entire garden full of them!  They are just too cute!  Sometimes I look at a knitting pattern and think the end result will be so adorable, but then I make it and it doesn’t turn out as cute as I wanted it to.  That was not the case with my little gnome.  I couldn’t be happier with the way he turned out.  What do you think?
Lunch
On Tuesday, I finally got the tour of Mr. Heschwell’s new office, and we ate delicious sandwiches from Pane Bianco.  I can’t wait to go there for dinner and try one of their pizzas!
Doughnuts
Later in the week, Katy and I had a girls’ day out!  Before we met, I finally made the pumpkin doughnuts I’ve been drooling over!  They were dipped in a brown sugar glaze and melted in my mouth.  I’ll be posting the recipe later next week!

Katy and I stopped at Lux, the cake supply store, Knit Happens, and we ended our afternoon at China Chili downtown.  Katy and I bought Debbie Bliss yarn that was 50% off!  What a steal!

We also both felt it necessary to take pictures of our lunches at the same time.
Lunch time blogging
My view through the lens.


And Katy’s.

Yesterday, I had lunch at the food trucks with Alex, Heather and her family, and Katy and her family.  It was hot and crowded.  We all ate in shifts because the lines were crazy long and no one’s food was ready at the same time.  I really want to go to the food trucks tonight… anyone in?

Today we’re off to a CinderELLA birthday party.  I can’t wait to see what Katy’s created!

It was a lovely week away from work, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.  I hope you have a nice weekend too!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Scones

Chocolate chip cookie scones
I must admit that I don’t often crave scones.  Most of the time, if you buy one at a coffee shop, they are dry and tasteless.  The only scones I have ever pined after are the ones we made in culinary school.  Fresh out of the oven they were soft and chewy and not at all dry.
IMG_2345
IMG_2346

Saturday I woke up ready to bake.  I thought I might make pumpkin doughnuts (it is October after all) but I didn’t want to wait three hours for the dough to chill.  When it comes to breakfast food I hate waiting too long to eat! Luckily these scones are quick and simple!

IMG_2363
IMG_2365
They’re like eating chocolate chip cookies mixed with warm biscuits… delicious!  I hope you enjoy them too!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Biscuits
makes 8-10 scones

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4  teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Combine all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into dry mixture (work quickly so the butter doesn’t begin to melt).  Stir in chocolate.  Combine butter milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract in measuring cup.   Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients just until dough comes together.  If dough is too dry, add a little milk at a time but be careful not to over stir.  Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed dough 4-5 times.  Shape dough into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Cut the dough in half and then cut into triangles.  Place on parchment line cookie sheet, making sure the scones aren’t touching.  You may need to bake in two rounds.  Beat the egg in a small bowl.  Brush the egg over the scones and sprinkle with sugar.  Be careful not to brush too much egg on top!  Bake for 15-20 minutes until scones are golden brown and when a toothpick inserted in the middle of a scone it comes out clean.


Midweek Munchies

Midweek Munchies

Fall break is next week, and I can’t wait to have entire week to myself.  I have a long list of tasks that are awaiting me like vacuuming the stairs and mopping the floor…yuck!  BUT I also have quite a few crafts and recipes on that list!  Usually I start with the fun items and skip the home improvement projects.  Obviously, this has happened too often, and it can’t be put off any longer.  I plan to use the crafts and recipes to bribe myself into getting the cleaning done… Vacuum a step, eat a cookie I baked… sounds good to me!

Here are a few of the fun items on my to-do list:

*I’m planning on visiting some thrift stores to buy plates to create my own cake stands and tiers.  I hope I can find unique plates that will make eye-catching stands to show off desserts.  I’ve been working on my picture taking skills for the blog and hope the stands will spruce them up a bit!  Anyone have a few photography tips?  I could really use them!

* I’ll also search for a Scrabble game or two to create these fun coasters.  I bought coasters from Ikea for a dollar a few years ago.  Now the condensation from the glass soaks the coaster and leaks through it!  I guess they were worth the dollar though!

*Bread inside of bell peppers, what?  I’m going to make these just out of curiosity.  I think if they are as delicious as I want them to be, they would be the perfect “wow” factor for a party.  One of these days I really need to have a party instead of just write about one!
New shoes

*I bought these shoes a while ago, but I’m not sure what to wear with them.  Any ideas?  I’m going to try to find an outfit that will do the shoes justice. Maybe Fall break will give me the time to try on different outfits and maybe I can hit the town in them with my love.

*I’m ready for Halloween because that means I can make this yummy mummy dip!

Phx City Grill
*Alex and I spent the afternoon downtown a few weekends ago and ate at Phoenix City Grille.  Alex’s burger had crispy jalapenos and mine had onion jam.  I’m hoping we can return there soon, and I can find a recipe for that delicious jam!

*I’m looking forward to a tentative Knit Happens date with Katy next week.  It’s not like I need any yarn, but can you really ever have too much?

I’m definitely look forward to a week away from work, and I can’t wait to tackle my list!

PS… A very big thank you to Mr. Heschwell for a beautiful burger photo!

 


Butternut Squash Casserole

Sometimes the only thing that gets me through the workday is knowing that I will come home, turn on Brett Dennen, and cook. While I chop onions and mince garlic, I bolt out songs as loud as I can and dance in front of my cutting board. It may seem odd, but in these moments, the day I had vanishes and only me, Brett Dennen, and my kitchen remain. It’s liberating. I suggest trying it sometime.  You’d be amazed how something so simple can change your perception of an entire work day.

It seems as fall break gets closer and closer, the weeks become drawn out and never ending.  I often find myself day dreaming about the summer and fun moments I hope to relive next summer –  Like going to True Food Kitchen where I shared the most delicious dinner with Heather and her childhood friend Lauren.  One of the few dishes we split was a steaming casserole made with spaghetti squash.  I’ve wanted to recreate it for sometime and felt the drive to do so this week (thanks to Mr. Dennen).

The only problem was that I was overly excited about the many varieties of squash Sprouts had to offer me, and it wasn’t until I was chopping up ingredients for the casserole that I realized I had bough butternut squash instead.  Since I had the majority of the ingredients already cut and ready to go, I thought, “what the heck” and just went with it.

Squash

I’m glad I did!  This casserole might be the best kind of comfort food with its sweet squash taste, garlic-y undertones, and melted parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top.  I could go on, but the left overs are sitting in the fridge for lunches tomorrow, and I might be tempted to eat it all without a second thought.

Perhaps one day Brett Dennen will make this casserole and he’ll do a slow dance while savoring his creation…wouldn’t that be mind boggling?

 

Butternut Squash Casserole

Ingredients

I medium butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
3 cloves  garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
One jar marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut butternut squash in half and poke a few holes in it using a fork.  Place on a microwave safe plate and pour 1/4 cup over squash.  Cook squash in microwave for 7-10 until it is soft.  While squash is cooking, saute onions, zucchini, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a skillet until vegetables are soft but not mushy.  Add in tomatoes and cook until hot. Once squash is cooked, use a fork to scrape out the insides and place in an 8×8 glass pan or casserole dish.  Pour sauteed vegetables into casserole dish and mix with squash.  Spread mixture evenly across the dish.  Top with marinara sauce.  If you don’t want to use the whole jar, that is okay!  Just add as much as you’d like!  Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  Cook in oven until the cheese is melted and slightly brown.  Let stand for five minutes before cutting and serving.  Garnish with fresh basil.

Image of Brett Dennen from Each Note Secure