It's a...brownie!

OH Chocolate. Here's a little side story to start this post:

Today at work I ate lunch, and then went back to work. I worked for a bit and thought to myself "Woo! This day is flying by!"...then I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 1:15. Oy. My body decided then and there to tell me that if it didn't get chocolate soon it was going to revolt.

I staved off the craving with a couple handfuls of Special K with Strawberries and a piece of gum (gum is surprisingly effective here!). I was also able to because I knew that we were making brownies tonight. Not just brownies, but "OH my god I'm never making brownies from a box again" brownies. The are nothing short of the best brownies EVER.

One of my favorite ( FAVORITE) food blogs out there is She finds wonderful recipes to share, she's eco-friendly without being preachy, and she takes pictures so gorgeous that you want to cook right then and there (and eat too of course). When I read the blog post about the "Best Brownies" I knew I had to give them a try. I've made them many times since, and I vow to never make brownies from a box again.

Tonight's baking bonanza is specifically for Beth's husband Justin's volunteer group. Justin volunteers for a very cool group that works with at-risk kids in DC to teach them about business and help them develop ideas, learn about becoming entrepreneurs, etc. So Justin is going to be making these kids and volunteers seriously happy. You will be too, you've just got to try them! The photo above shows some of the brownies we took home...Jeff and I had two as soon as we got in the car tonight, we couldn't even wait to get home!

Okay, so on to the recipe...
Well alright. Technical difficulties, I suppose, folks. For some reason the blog isn't letting me paste the recipe! For now, check out the recipe on Alexandra's blog here and I'll try to paste it in tomorrow.
Goodnight, and happy baking everybody!

Hey Y'all!

Tonight's baking adventure was awesome! Now if any of you who know me and my foodie-ness, you know that I have a serious soft spot in my heart for Ms. Paula Deen.

Just look at her! That big smile, those sparkling baby blues! How could Miss Paula EVER steer you wrong? Well she can't. It's just a fact. It's Paula's numero uno favorite ingredient, so it was with her in mind that I, with the help of my good baking buddy Beth, made BUTTER tonight.

Oh yeah...butter. And it was gooooooood.

Beth had the idea to make butter last week during our pumpkin cupcake baking night, and I was all about it. She thought we could make some corn muffins, and some tasty homemade flavored butter to go with them. So tonight we made Sweet Corn Muffins with Honey Cinnamon Butter and Maple Cinnamon Butter. We're talkin' finger-licking, heart-stopping tastiness tonight folks. If you've ever used Jiffy mix, I'd like you to take the box and throw it away (maybe scoff at it first, because you're straight up better than that after you've made these). Follow the directions below, sit back, and wait for the compliments to flow!

Sweet Corn Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk, divided

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add eggs, shortening and 1/2 cup of milk; beat for 1 minute. Add remaining milk; beat just until blended. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done (**ours took about 17-18 min, so keep an eye on them! When they start to look golden around the edges, and pull from the sides, they're done).


For this you'll need heavy whipping cream, salt, and whatever you'd like to flavor it with. You can tell this is going to be a crazy technical process...

We used honey and cinnamon in one, and maple and cinnamon in the other.

In a small-medium tupperware container pour heavy whipping cream (maybe 1/2 cup?). Flavor with salt (1tsp? this is optional, but I like salted butter). Pour honey or maple syrup in and shake cinnamon on top. Put lid on (tight!!) and shake until it starts to thicken. Remove lid and taste, add more spice/honey/syrup to taste.

Okay now here's the hard part.

Shake the crap out of it. Shake it, and shake it, and then when you think you're done? Shake it some more. Pretend like it's your boss's head, that cop who gave you a parking ticket, or that guy that cut you off in traffic......or maybe just shake in a non-aggresive way. Do what you gotta do.

The butter will start to look curdled and separated. When it gets to this point, take a couple paper towels, pour liquid out of tupperware and let butter fall into your hand. Squeeze it into a ball until thick enough to spread. Use your best judgement here. Mine was pretty soft, so I just worked it into a ball, then wrapped it tight in saran and stuck it in the fridge. I just checked it, and it's looking really good.

Well that's it! I hope you try it and I REALLY hope you enjoy it. I'm seriously loving all the possibilities with making butter! Next week, look out for something delicious and chocolatey! G'night y'all! ;)

The Blogger's Back!

I'm back! After a long hiatus while I switched jobs (I now work for the government and I LOVE it!), I am back to the blog. All of you faithful followers can thank my good friend Beth for bringing me back into baking mode. She emailed me last week and asked if I wanted to maybe come over and bake with her. Ummm, you'd like to give me an excuse to bake AND hang out? Yes please!

So off to the cupcakes...

Look at this beauties! This photo is substantially better than my usual cell phone quality pics that I post, thanks to Beth and her amazing camera/photographer skills. We're hoping chooses this pic for the main recipe photo, so keep an eye out for it! We decided to go with a fall theme, and it actually worked out really well as the temperature was hovering around 45 degrees tonight when I got to Beth's place. I just LOVE pumpkin anything this time of year! It's so warm and cozy, and always makes your house smell so nice. We went with a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from They turned out really well, but Beth and I agreed that the consistency was more that of a muffin. They were pretty tasty none the less :) If you're looking for a good recipe to get you in that warm, cozy autumn mood, this is a great option!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes: 24 cupcakes


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree **

**some folks wrote comments in that they used pumpkin pie mix instead, and that it turned out great. Also, some used an entire 15 oz can of pumpkin, and that it make for a very moist cake. If I were to make it again, I'd probably do that.**

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Beat 1/2 cup of butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg**. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

**Me again. I wasn't a fan of how the part above was written out. We mixed in the pumpkin after adding the eggs, then alternated the milk with the flour in 3 parts. It's just how I roll, seems like it would mix more evenly and not be too dense that way**

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing

They really were so delish. So delish that I ate one and didn't dare bring any home. Big thanks to Beth's husband Justin for bringing them to his office tomorrow!

I'm thinking of branching out from cupcakes as well, and telling you of my other culinary adventures (mostly just baking, though). Hopefully Beth and I will have more to blog about in the coming weeks. I made a PIE this past weekend! Yes...PIE!! Homemade crust and all! So keep an eye out for future blogs, and don't hold it against me if it's not always cupcakes. ;) Variety is the spice of life or something like that...right?!

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