Thursday, March 29, 2012

White Almond Sheet Cake

This is my new favorite cake ever.  It was the first sheet cake I've ever made as well. It tastes very similar to my Almond Butter Cake (found here) except this one is more moist and has more of a buttery-almond flavor as opposed to the lighter flavor with a touch of apricot.  I baked this sheet cake last night to take to school today for a party in civics, and I honestly had to force my parents to not eat any more pieces after I gave them some.  My mom says - hands down - that it's the best thing I've ever made.  I swear, they would have eaten the whole cake.  I don't blame them though...I had to force myself to only a couple slices because I wanted to have enough to take to school.  And it was totally worth the wait because they were soooo delicious today as well!  I can't decide if I like this cake better warm or cold; it's phenomenal either way.  What makes this cake so good is the flavor of almond extract.  I absolutely love almond extract, and I know it has a tendency to be overpowering in desserts, but it was the perfect amount for this recipe.  The sour cream also makes this cake super duper moist.  One thing I love about this cake is that it bakes up so quickly! And putting the frosting on it when it's warm makes the frosting seep into the cake and soak up all that yummy, sweet flavor. Do NOT skip the frosting!  It truly makes the cake.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds (optional) 


  1. In a large saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt until smooth.
  2. Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. For frosting, in a large saucepan, combine butter and milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in sugar, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Spread over warm cake.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Best French Toast In the Entire Universe


Oh yeah.  I'm not kidding in the slightest...this is the BEST french toast recipe ever.  I first had it a few year's ago at my friend Lisa's house; her mom made it for us for breakfast.  I loved it so much...I had at least thirds.  I kept telling her how incredible it was, and she made it every time me and Lisa had a sleepover.  It cuts like butter, and the inside is perfectly eggy and soak up the egg/milk mixture sooo well.  The addition of orange zest gives it a wonderful, fresh taste that makes it so much better than any other french toast recipe.  And the honey makes it perfectly sweet and...ohmygoodness everything about this recipe is just SO perfect.  It's just as phenomenal every time I eat it.  It's one of those recipes where once you have it, you have to have it every couple weeks or so or you'll go insane because you love it so much. She gave me the recipe and I can honestly say I've only made it once, but I used a different bread, so it didn't turn out as good as she makes it. You have to use a good Challah bread, or it won't taste like the absolute best french toast in the entire universe.  But I promise you that if you follow this recipe exactly, it will be the best.  After you try this recipe, you will never eat another french toast recipe EVER again.  Whenever me or a friend or family member makes or orders french toast, it seriously tastes almost gross, because all you can think about is how much better this recipe is.  I recommend serving it will pure maple syrup, a little bit of powdered sugar, and fresh strawberries. Please try this will not disappoint.  You can find this recipe here.

Chocolate Fudge Balls


I made these fudge balls for a party at my school, and they were a huge hit!  I made half coated with coconut and the other half coated with powdered sugar (in case some people didn't like coconut...what freaks).  They are nice and sweet on the outside, and fudgey and chocolatey and slightly chewy and rich on the inside. The addition of melted bittersweet chocolate (i used Ghiradelli) and coffee powder makes the chocolate incredibly delicious. They literally melt in your mouth and you have to stop and treasure the moment when you pop them into your mouth.  I was skeptical before I made them because they use raw oats, and I thought it would give them a weird, chewy, texture...but the result was so amazing.  You don't taste the oats; they just hold the balls together and make them chewy like fudge


  • 4 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes or 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Mix the oats, sugar, and cocoa together in a bowl. Add the butter, and use your hands to mix the ingredients together to make a thick dough. Mix in the coffee, vanilla, and chocolate until thoroughly blended.
  2. Place the coconut flakes or powdered sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll between your hands to make small balls, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Roll the balls in the coconut flakes or powdered sugar. Balls are ready to eat, or may be refrigerated 2 hours to become firmer.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mocha Nut Cookies I gave up coffee for lent (I's totally awful, right!?) but I can have foods with coffee in it, like ice cream, tiramisu, etc.   I spotted a recipe in my recipe folder called Mocha Nut Cookies, and of course, I had to make them on first sight of the "mocha".  I've been craving coffee majorly (still 2 weeks till lent ends!), and this would satisfy the craving at least a little bit.  And I was right...these definitely satisfied my craving because they were so good!  The coffee flavor isn't very strong, so if you don't like coffee, you'll probably still enjoy these cookies. They're so chocolatey and delicious, with a slight crunch from the nuts.  The addition of melted chocolate makes them very moist, rich, and more chocolatey. And the addition of coffee powder brings out the chocolate flavor even more!  Oh yeah...the cookie dough is incredible as well.  And you know the cookie is gonna turn out good if the cookie dough is good.  Whether you're having a chocolate craving, coffee craving, or just a big dessert craving from a major sweet tooth (that's my life right there), this recipe is sure to satisfy it.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies


  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt over hot (not boiling) water 1/2 cup of the chocolate morsels. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
  3. In small cup, dissolve the instant coffee in the 2 teaspoons boiling water. Set aside.
  4. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In large bowl, combine butter, sugars, and coffee. Beat until creamy. Add egg and melted morsels. Mix well. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in remaining 1-1/2 cups chocolate morsels and nuts. Form into walnut-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes. Allow to stand 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cinnamon-Apple Glazed Cookies

These aren't just any cookies.  They're cookie craaaaaackkk.  They are absolutely incredible...SO [full of flavor]. These are most incredible fresh from the oven, and warm so that all the delicious cinnamon sugary vanilla glaze drizzles off the cookie and melts in your mouth.  These are my whole family's new favorite cookie.  I love the apple, nutty, cinnamon flavors combined in this magnificent little cookie.  Just my mom, dad, and I nearly finished an entire batch.  And the cookie dough is super amazing as well (I was eating it by the spoonful). But this is one of the rare times where the cookie (especially warm from the oven) tastes even better than the cookie dough.  These are so soft and cake like and just pure cookie perfection.  And don't forget to make the glaze! It truly makes the cookie.

Yield: about 3 dozen


  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1.5 cups apples - peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup grated apple
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Beat shortening, butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and blend thoroughly.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  3. Stir half the dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts, apple chunks, and grated apple, then stir in remaining half of dry ingredients and milk. Mix well.
  4. Drop from tablespoon 1 1/2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies to racks and while still warm, spread with glaze.
  5. To make Glaze: Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and enough milk to make glaze of spreading consistency. Beat until smooth. Spread on warm cookies.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guinness® Bread



In honors of Saint Patrick's Day last weekend, I wanted to make some beer recipes. I don't know why, but I absolutely love the flavor of alcohol in foods.  Like chocolate bourbon balls?  Oh my gosh...those are my favorite.  And for those of you that don't know...alcohol burns off when you cook it, just giving the food an incredible flavor. But I came across this recipe from, and it looked super easy, so I decided to make it for breakfast on Saint Patty's Day.  I was extremely impressed.  This bread is so perfect...not to mention healthy!  It's made with whole wheat flour and rolled oats, and is very low fat.   It reminds me of the brown bread you get at the Cheesecake Factory, only this has a slightly different flavor from the beer and it's way more moist and a lot better!  And that's saying so much because I absolutely adore that brown bread at the Cheesecake Factory.  This is amazing served warm with >butter<.  I had it for breakfast with butter, honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon...sooo good.  However, it would be perfect any time of the day, like as a side for lunch, dinner, soups, etc.


  • 1 cup regular rolled oats, plus additional
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Guinness® beer


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk, and Guinness® beer. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with additional oats if desired.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the door, and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the oven before turning out onto a wire rack.