Extra Decadence

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chai Buttercream Frosting, Made More Delicious

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chai Frosting

I finally upped my pumpkin cheesecake game and arrived at perfection.

Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips: Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2104 inspired these Cinnamon-Coconut Cookies with Orchidea Chips. Plus cookies! In the mail!

Round-up: A Quartet of Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s a pumpkin round-up! Muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and the perfect Thanksgiving cheesecake.

The Perils of Bloggery, and a Recipe Round-up

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Bread

Apologies galore, and a recipe round-up to make up for lost time.

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

chewy brown sugar cookies

Here’s what needs to be said about these Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies: if you make these, and give them to people, don’t expect the people to leave unless you send the cookies with them. These cookies are delicious, and addictive, and of course they are, because they are full of brown sugar and butter and will haunt your dreams. They’re soft, chewy, sweet, and utterly delightful. These are fantasy cookies.

Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies (with Cappuccino Chips)

Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies

These weren’t JUST particularly spectacular cookies.

Yes, being Chocolate Coconut Espresso Cookies, they were destined to be delicious, and when I swapped out the chocolate chips for cappuccino chips they went all the way to sublime. But these were special cookies — not in an afterschool special kind of way — because I made them for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Root Beer Layer Cake with Cream Soda Frosting

Nathaniel with birthday cake

Happy birthday, Nathaniel! My boy turned ten last week. TEN!

But let’s skip the sentimentality — because once it starts, it won’t stop — and jump right in to the cake. (If you ate, you’d definitely want to jump right into it too.) I asked Nathaniel what sort of cake he wanted, nervously remembering last year’s post-hurricane ginormous Devil’s Food Cake, and he didn’t take long to decide: he wanted the cupcakes his dad got for his birthday, but in layer cake form. So. . .root beer layer cake. With cream soda frosting. Right.

Butterscotch Brownies

Butterscotch Brownies

These brownies were a great lesson. I now know that if we find ourselves with unexpected company, I can whip together an amazing dessert without a trip to the grocery store or an abundance of time. And this hypothetical company is in luck, because these brownies are absolutely delicious. They’re sweet, fudgy in texture, and bursting with butterscotch flavor, real butterscotch, because it comes from butter and brown sugar instead of a Hershey’s bag.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies for Juliet’s birthday

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

It was Juliet’s 6th birthday last week so I sat her down with my iPad and we went through one of my Pinterest boards so she could pick out something special. She knows what she likes, that’s for sure, and once she saw heart-shaped peanut butter sandwich cookies, the searching stopped. I kept thinking she’d want a cake of some kind, but Juliet didn’t care about that. Like me, she loves her peanut butter.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

The kids needed donuts. They did! I was just doing what my conscience dictated when I whipped up a batch. I was fulfilling a moral obligation. Really.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cookies

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cookies

It was the 4th of July, and the kids deserved cookies. And when we were in Pennsylvania, I’d picked up something intriguing called “butterscotch peanut butter”, and I thought that would make for an interesting variation. I was right! These are terrific. Sweet, nutty, crunchy, and crumbly.

Root Beer Cupcakes with Cream Soda Frosting

Root Beer Cupcakes with Cream Soda Whipped Cream Frosting

Happy birthday Dave! Time for root beer cupcakes with cream soda frosting!

The week of his birthday, I sat my lovely husband down and showed up the recipes I’d been pinning for him. He’s a vanilla guy, so I walked him through vanilla layer cakes & pound cakes and something called “fudgy vanilla brownies”. He brought up the 2nd-prize-winning Toffee Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce and Sea Salt, as well as my mom’s classic recipe for blonde brownies. And then we got to the root beer cupcakes, and the decision-making suddenly got a whole lot easier.

Peanut Butter Muffins

Peanut Butter Muffins

If you love peanut butter, then you love these muffins, whether you know it now or not.

(I love peanut butter.)

They’re not healthy breakfast muffins, though. They’re dessert-y, peanut butter fantasy muffins. And they’re very easy to make.

Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips

I found a recipe for low fat Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffins, and in a fit of I’m still not sure what, I turned them into Espresso Muffins with Peanut Butter Chips, and they are full of dark espresso cakey goodness.

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

This was my birthday cake. This was one of the most decadent things I’ve ever made. This was also the best cake I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I may have to make it again next year. It started with two sticks of butter. Then, the first two cups of sugar. (The first two, […]

Salted Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

Salted Espresso Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve made these before, but this time I added a twist. I made them at Christmas, and instead of using regular chocolate chips I used Christmas-colored red & green chips, but this time I really took these to another level flavor-wise by substituting half of the chocolate chips for cappuccino chips, freshly arrived from the […]

Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes

Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes

These are tiny sweet lemony bites from heaven. Oh my. I didn’t even know I owned a mini bundt pan until about a month ago. I’m not 100% sure where I got it, but my money’s on it being a freebie from my friend Scratchy’s days at the Martha Stewart show. And what a way […]

Quick and Easy Rolled Sugar Cookies

Quick and Easy Rolled Sugar Cookies

Time for Valentine’s Day cookies. I’ve used the same recipe for sugar cookies for the past year or so, but the last time I made it we had a lot of trouble rolling out the dough, plus it makes about 5 bajillion cookies more than we need. I poked around the web for something simpler, […]

Baking with Kate in Toronto

Baking With Kate In Toronto

We were in Toronto for a few days, and my niece Kate likes baking (and eating), so it seemed only logical to bake with her. Also, she’s fun to hang out with, so really, I’ll take any reason that comes my way to do spend time with her. We immediately ruled out anything that would […]

Vanilla Mini Donuts

Vanilla Mini Donuts

This morning I wanted to make something special and sweet for the kids. They argued about what it should be. There were tears of frustration. Juliet wanted donuts. Nathaniel wanted mini muffins. We settled for mini donuts, with the requirement that they have some sort of icing or glaze. Deal. Into a bowl went the […]

Toffee Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce

Toffee Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Toffee Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce and Sea Salt, to be precise. The annual bake-off for the Digital Group was upon me, and this year I wanted to really make something special. I’ve taken up baking pretty heavily since the last one, but I mostly do everyday baking: breakfast muffins, cookies for the […]

Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Nathaniel's birthday cake

Nathaniel requested an insane cake for his birthday party. He didn’t say “devil’s food cake”, but he knew exactly what he wanted. “A chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, and I want layers, and I want it shaped like a rectangle.” Layered rectangles? It’s not like we invited 50 kids to this thing, I think we’ll […]

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Chai Buttercream

pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon chai frosting

Finally, I remembered the sugar.

The last time I tried to make this cake, it took until it had been sitting in the fridge for a few hours for me to realize, mid-bloggery, that I had forgotten to put in the sugar. This time, I remembered. As Juliet would say, “wa-lah!” (It’s her version of “voila.”)

When it comes to a full-on decadent dessert maker, you can’t really go wrong with Paula Deen. I did actually lighten things up just a tiny little bit, but mostly I was just focused on making this a worthy dessert for tonight’s Thanksgiving table at Dad & Michael’s.

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

jump to recipe Nathaniel’s birthday was actually almost two weeks ago, but when Sandy knocked out the power, birthday baking was put on hold. Then I went away to BC, and so it got further delayed. Then I got home, we restocked the kitchen, and the time for birthday treats for his class finally arrived. […]

Peanut Butter and Dark Choolate Mini Muffins

Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins

Dave doesn’t usually express a strong baking opinion, but tonight he asked for something that didn’t have pumpkin, but did have chocolate. I didn’t exactly come up with something Weight Watchers-friendly, but sometimes one must make sacrifices, especially where peanut butter and chocolate are concerned. Also, it looked like a fun recipe to make. I […]

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves

I’m almost too busy savoring to type. These mini loaves are sublime. I really had no idea what I was going to bake when I got home tonight. I had bananas to use up, and I had peanut butter cravings, but I always have peanut butter cravings. Still, I felt obliged to honor them tonight. […]

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Debacle

Pumpkin Cheesecake Fail

Well, it finally happened. The dizziness got the best of me. Back in June, on my sister Rosie’s birthday, I promised her a pumpkin cheesecake, but she was away all summer and we couldn’t work out the details of making it and getting it to her.  She’s back in Manhattan for a few days before […]

Gingery Carrot Tea Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingery Carrot Tea Cake

This cake was created to make someone feel better, so I’m hoping it does its job. I haven’t frosted it yet as I write this, but the cake smells fantastic, the frosting tastes wonderful, and I can’t wait to combine them in the morning. I just didn’t want to put the cake in the fridge […]

Espresso Chocolate Muffins

Espresso Chocolate Muffins

“Can you make something with espresso?” asked Kate. Of course I can. We have a house full of visiting family this week and couldn’t be happier about it. I plan to stuff them full of baked goods as much as they’ll let me, and they get to make requests too. Tonight I whipped together a […]

Snickerdoodle Mini Loaves (and muffins)

Snickerdoodle Mini Loaves

There are some baked goods that I call “get-it-out-of-the-house-or-gain-ten-pounds-delicious”, and I created that expression specifically to describe snickerdoodle mini loaves. They’re insane. Antonia — the same Antonia who inspired me to make the Cheesecake Brownie Bites — asked for something decadent again, this time to celebrate John Calvin’s birthday tomorrow. She isn’t a Calvinist; in […]

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Squares

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Squares

I’ve resisted this recipe for as long as I can. I mean, I pinned it TWELVE DAYS AGO and it has peanut butter, oatmeal, mini chocolate chips, and at some point you actually get to turn it into this: That’s twelve days too long, in my book. I had a great excuse to make it, […]

Bossk Brownies from the Star Wars Cookbook

Bossk Brownies

jump to recipe Nathaniel, unsurprisingly, is a Star Wars fan. And Nathaniel owns a very entertaining book called The Star Wars Cookbook. No, really, he does. We’ve made Wookie Cookies before, but this time Nathaniel really wanted the Bossk Brownies. I’ve had some bad experiences with brownies, but I decided to give it a go. […]

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Antonia is a co-worker who likes my baking so much that it inspires me to try making new things, and she needed something decadent. I love a good baking assignment, so I narrowed it down to three choices, and let Nathaniel cast the deciding vote. It took him about three seconds. This was one of […]

Baking Scones At Mussers’ Bed And Breakfast

Mussers Bed and Breakfast

jump to recipe Every June, on or about the last day of school, we take the kids to Pennsylvania to ride the rails at Strasburg Railroad. We ride Thomas the Tank Engine, visit the train museums, buy jams in tiny jars, eat homemade ice cream and shoofly pie, and take a horse & buggy ride […]

Mini Donuts WIth The New Mini Donut Maker

Mini Donuts

Last week, Jenny sent us a box of presents from ThinkGeek. She said there was one gift for each of us and we had to figure out whose was whose. She did say that it wouldn’t be difficult, and she was right. Juliet: Ice Princess Ice Cube Straws Nathaniel: Finger Sporks Dave: Sizzling Bacon Candle […]

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

According to Pinterest, I first noticed this recipe 20 weeks ago, which means it’s been waiting for me since January. Maybe it was the three sticks of butter that dissuaded me from trying it sooner, but a visit from our glorious friend Jenny was a good excuse to try something new, and she said she […]

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll Bars

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll Bars

I made this once before, a long time ago, and I remember thinking it was a bit undercooked. The flavor was there, but it was a little too wet and not cakey enough, so I figured I’ve made about 20 new things since then, and maybe I’ve acquired some baking skills along the way. Also, […]

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

(requested by Nathaniel) This was another very early Pinterest discovery: Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I made it in early January and I was disappointed because my streusel swirl sank to the bottom. The only reason I haven’t made it since then was my father’s description: “It was delicious but the sugar made my teeth sing.” But […]

Frosted Sugar Cookies With Nathaniel And Juliet

Frosted Sugar Cookies with Nathaniel and Juliet

The kids loved when we made sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, and have been begging me to do it again. It seemed like a good day for a time-consuming project; I needed some distraction but I wanted to spend time with them, and that fulfilled both needs with one buttery, sugary task. Why not. Since […]

Chai Spiced Tea Loaves And Muffins

Chai Spiced Tea Loaves And Muffins

I already have a plan for how make them prettier, but I think the deliciousness is just about right. Found this recipe on Pinterest, of course. (Of course!) I waited to make the glaze until the following morning, and it was very easy. The whole recipe was specific, but easy. The adventure began as I […]

Red Velvet Cookies. . .

Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese Blobs

. . .with White Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese Blobs It’s supposed to be a cream cheese swirl, but I am esthetically challenged when it comes to baked goods. I can make things that taste wonderful, but none of them look all that terrific, and some look downright scary. My treats are designed for deeper […]

Maple Yogurt Pound Cake

Maple Yogurt Pound Cake

I knew I still wanted to do some baking today! I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Food52 for Maple Yogurt Pound Cake. It won a contest! I had to try it. I didn’t have Grade B maple syrup, had to settle for the good stuff, organic Grade A dark amber from Trader Joe’s. […]