Archive for the ‘Snacky Snack’ Category

Sorry I haven’t been around lately…I’ve been busy making cakes and putting smiles on other peoples faces.

But no fear Black Martha will not disappear (that sounded really dorky)…I do have a quick frosting recipe to share. This is for those of you who still use canned frosting…SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

Its a very easy recipe to make. This frosting goes great with yellow cake…and yes you can use a box cake mix (I cringed when I typed that)…whatever you fancy.

It is a little on the sweet side, but I believe chocolate lovers will appreciate the goodness.

Chocolate Frosting
adapted from Sing for your Supper

Makes about 3 1/2

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey Cocoa Powder)
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* I haven’t tried this with heavy cream, but I’m sure it would make your frosting super velvety and that much more great!

You can make this in an electric stand mixer or hand mixer.

Stir melted butter into cocoa and alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add a small amount of additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Frost cake when completely cooled, as desired.


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Happy New Year! To start this year on a good note I decided to try something that I’ve been wanting to make for some time now…and that’s Caramel Sauce. I’ve had this fear of boiling sugar and somehow knocking the pot off the stove and burning the shiz out of myself ( I’m crazy….I know), but no worries it hasn’t happened…well not yet.

*Sorry for the crappy pics…I took them with my phone…couldn’t get my camera, until I was done making this.

Caramel sauce is very easy to make, just takes some patience and standing in front of the stove for a bit. If you walk away, you risk burning your sugar and the sauce will be ruined….ruined I tell you…cause I did that!! There’s nothing sweet about the smell of burnt sugar in your house.

This sauce is pretty amazing…not life changing…but sooo good. If its done right, you will not go back to store bought caramel sauce…ever…pinky swear! So give it try, it took me three times to get it right.

*The key to getting great caramel sauce it dissolving the sugar before bringing to a full boil. Do this and you will be a very happy person.

Caramel Sauce
adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt


In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Set the pan over med- low heat and stir the mixture gently until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup will not be completely clear  but  let it warm over medium-low heat (a 3 on my stovetop) for at least 6-10 minutes (I set my timer for 8-10 min) before moving to the next step. To be sure the sugar is dissolved.

A good way to tell is by dipping a spoon in the sugar mixture and then gently slide your finger (it might be hot, so use caution) over the mixture on the spoon and take a taste. If the sugar is dissolved, the syrup will be smooth and not at all grainy. If you still feel grains of sugar, keep stirring over low heat until it is completely dissolved. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before letting the mixture come to a boil.

Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to medium or medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Cover the saucepan and let the syrup boil for 2 minutes.

Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil the syrup until the edges start to turn golden brown. Carefully and gently stir the syrup until it turns a medium amber, caramel color. This can take up to 5-7 minutes. But watch it, cause when it starts to turn gold, it will get dark pretty quickly. I like to take the pot off the stove a few times and swirl the caramel around then place it over the heat as it starts to darken. I do this until its a deep gold color.

Remove from the heat and add the butter. Gently stir until the butter is incorporated. Stir in the cream. If the sauce becomes lumpy and isn’t whisking together, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

Serve the sauce warm or at room temperature. Store the sauce in a jar or airtight container, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Reheat on 50% power in the microwave or in a saucepan, adding a tablespoon of two or water, if needed, if the sauce is too thick.

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Happy Holiday’s Everyone! Hope you are enjoying them as much as I am.

If not this drink might make you a little more Merry! Enjoy

Holiday Punch
adapted from What Katie Ate

1 cup cloudy apple juice (use organic or regular is fine)
1 cup cranberry juice
50 ml Vodka (1 travel size bottle)
1 cup ginger ale

Place apple juice, cranberry juice and Vodka in a jug of a blender. Whiz until light pink and frothy. Pour mixture into a medium size jug. Top with ginger ale and a handful of ice.

Serves 4

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Coke in a cake? That can’t be right? Who came up with this? These are the questions I asked myself when I came across this recipe. Being a lover of Coke I had to try it. A cake that had two of my favorite things in it, chocolate and soda I can’t live without…this had to be good.

This is a very easy recipe. You don’t need a mixer and it takes no time to make. The cake comes out so moist, its ridiculous.

The only issue is its SWEET …SUPER SWEET. You need a glass of milk …kind of sweet.

I have no plans on making this again any time soon. This might be a once a year kind of cake. But it is a great cake to take to a party.

Coca Cola Cake
adapted from May Flaum

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coca-cola (from bottle is my preference!)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsalted butter (half a stick)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup coca cola
2 cups confectioners’(powdered) sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 35o’F and spray non-stick spray into a 8×8 pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium or large sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine butter, cocoa powder, coca cola and buttermilk. Stir the mixture really well and bring to a boil.

Remove mixture from heat and add the flour mixture and whisk until combined. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla extract.

Pour mixture into 8×8 pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Your cake will look like its not done, but don’t over bake it.

When the cake is nearly done. Make the glaze.

In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, mix together butter, cocoa powder and coke. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Slowly stir in the 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Then stir in the chopped pecans if using.

Once cake is done and out of oven (toothpick should come out clean), pour the warm glaze right over the top of the hot cake.

Waite about 10-15 minutes before cutting into it.

Enjoy the sugar bomb!

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There have been plenty of times were I have made pancakes and realized soon after they were on the griddle…we had no syrup…really messes up my morning. So to avoid having those kind of moments in the future I made some homemade syrup. Say what?

Yes people…homemade syrup…its easy…and you probably will have all the ingredients on hand.

I will warn you…this syrup is pretty bomb and if your kids are like mine and love all things sweet and delicious then this will not last long in your home at all.

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
adapted from Creations by Kara

Buttermilk  Caramel Syrup

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
In a large saucepan or pot, bring buttermilk, sugars, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat andwhisk  in soda and vanilla. It will bubble up a lot (make sure you us a large saucepan!).  Let it cool in the pot and stir it occasionally until bubbles go away. Store in fridge in an airtight container or mason jar up to 2-3 months.
Few notes:
* If you are concerned about the butter content. Instead of using a whole stick of butter you can use half a stick (1/4 cup).
*You could probably cut back on the sugar. Instead of a 1 cup of white sugar. Try 1/2 cup, but keep the 1 cup of light brown sugar.
* This is great with pancakes, waffles, ice cream, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls…whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

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I’m on the fence with Pumpkin Cookies. They are not my favorite. Something about the cake-y texture of them does not appeal to me. So I went on a hunt to find a recipe for a chewy Pumpkin Cookie…and I had luck finding one…just one.

These cookies are chewy, slighty cake-y but better than the ones I’ve had in the past… a lot better.  These cookies are a great fall treat.

Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from How Sweet Eats

makes about 24 cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted and cooled

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the flour, salt, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, mix the melted butter (make sure its cooled) and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. Fold chocolate chips and chunks.

Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, then roll into golfball-sized balls. Bake for 9-10 minutes, then let cool completely.

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My oldest son CoolKid loves to be in the kitchen with me. He is always eager to learn new things and is such a great help. The other night we made some delicious Banana Nut Muffins.

These muffins are really good…moist and flavorful. I have tried many banana muffin recipes and this one is a family favorite so far. So if you are like us…banana eating freaks…and you always have very ripened bananas lingering around…you must use them in this recipe.

Banana Nut Muffins
makes 12 muffins (this recipe can be doubled)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese (half of an 8oz package), softened
1 cup sugar
1 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium very ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F.

With an electric mixer beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating just until blended.

Combine flour, baking powder,baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt in a bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon evenly into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

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