Healthy Meal Prep :: Carrot Cake Banna Bread 

Do you ever buy too many of something and then have tons of leftovers you have no idea what to do with? That’s my life story where bananas, lemons, and well, fruit in general is concerned. That’s how I found myself late one Friday night crazy deep in the bowels (sounds icky, right?) of Pinterest, vainly searching for something to do with my last three bananas.

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One Bowl Brownies & Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I’ve been baking up a storm lately and I don’t want to post all of the recipes at once…I still have cookie dough waiting in the fridge to be baked! I don’t know what got into me, but I have spent the last two days going crazy.

One Bowl Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

One of my favorite things I have made in the last two days is the chocolate buttercream recipe by Natasha from Natasha’s Kitchen. I tasted this as soon as I finished beating it, and wow. I cannot believe how easy and delicious this frosting is! I cannot wait to make it again for a cake. I did not pin this recipe and now I cannot find it on her blog ūüė¶ The only screen shot I took has her logo but doesn’t say the name of the recipe and I searched for a bit, but nothing came up.

One Bowl Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream

I put Natasha’s frosting on the easiest one bowl brownie recipe EVER. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Too many evers? Nope.¬†Seriously, these brownies¬†on her Jenifer’s¬†(and her hubby, Trevor’s) blog Show Me The Yummy took me six minutes to mix. And that’s because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to mix my chips in or sprinkle on top as directed. I ended up mixing them.

Don’t do that, kay?

My first batch came out really, really gooey in the middle. You can tell in the pictures. Not that I minded, I freaking adore extra gooey brownies.

One Bowl Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream

You can see the gooey on the fork – put your chips on top, people. Don’t mix them in.

So when I made the second batch I sprinkled the chocolate chips on top and it made all the difference. Perfection.

And my gosh. When the brownies are combined with the frosting – fireworks!!

 

The Most Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER!

Hey, it’s me. Your resident slacker and consistent poster in training

All kidding aside, I have been MIA from almost everything – including personal social media accounts – since I last posted because life has been beyond hectic. My uncle and his daughter were down, I started a new job, Cody and I¬†are remodeling the place we are moving into, and I have been helping a friend with her wedding plans. Crazy, right? Everything has been put on the back burner (you should see he laundry piling up…well actually you shouldn’t!).

While my uncle was down, I had the chance to do a lot of cooking and baking because they ate at our house most of the time. One of the things I baked was these amazingly perfect chocolate chip cookies. They are moist, fluffy, and filled to the brim with ooey-gooey melt in your mouth chocolate chips and chunks. Honestly, these are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. No other cookie – homemade or store bought – can even compare.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

This recipe comes from the Fabulous Averie Cooks. Her blog is like crack if you enjoy baking. Have you been? No? Well, why the frick not?

What makes this recipe different is the cream cheese. It adds that little something extra that makes people ask for your recipe and grab for the last cookie.

 

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

 

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup regular block¬†cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional – omit if you used salted butter)
  • 2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used a mixture of both

 

What you do:

  • Using a stand mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, the egg, both sugars, and vanilla on medium/high speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. If you use a hand mixer, it may take longer than 5 minutes.
  • After scraping down the sides of the bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and¬†salt (if you need it). Mix until just combined – about 1 minute.
  • Add chocolate chips and chocolate chunks – beat for just a second or fold in by hand
  • Refrigerate dough for at least two hours
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Line or grease¬†your baking sheet
  • Scoop out cookie balls
  • Place cookies on sheet, about 2 inches apart
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven (mine took 10 minutes)
  • Cool for a little while on baking sheet (about five minutes)
  • Move to wire cooling rack to finish cooling

 

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

 

Averie scooped her cookies into balls before refrigerating and then let them sit at room temp for 15 minutes before baking. I scooped my dough after refrigerating in order to skip the 15 minute room temp deal. I used a regular size bag of chocolate chunks and 3 cups of chocolate chips in my double batch and there was the perfect amount of chocolate in each bite.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

I cannot tell you enough how amazing these cookies are –¬†I made a double batch and they were¬†gone in two days!¬†¬†Plus, they were so easy to make. If you check out Averie’s post, it explains how long you can keep them in the fridge or freezer.

Guys, basically that means you can prep a double batch, freeze half, and be only 20 minutes away from fresh cookies next time somebody drops in unexpectedly.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie made with Cream Cheese

I hope you try out these cookies soon!

 

Lemon Lime Cake :: Boxes Baked Better

I am in love with margarita cupcakes. As in, once I ate enough of the margarita icing that I got seriously tipsy. They taste like summer to me and I make them approximately one hundred times a summer. Unfortunately, my mom is allergic to alcohol so she hasn‚Äôt been able to have any of the deliciousness for herself ūüė¶

Boxes Baked Better :: Lemon Lime Cake

 

The recipe I adapt for margarita cupcakes is from scratch and, while I wanted the yumminess, I didn‚Äôt want the time or the commitment that baking from scratch requires. This is basically a one bowl recipe. ¬†Digging through our pantry, I noticed our surprisingly large amount of yellow cake mixes (like, six boxes? Why, mom? I‚Äôll never know‚Ķ). I decided to see if I could replicate the margarita flavor without tequila ‚Äď and I succeeded! Sure, it doesn‚Äôt taste exactly the same, but this lemon lime cake is so, so¬†close. Especially if you enjoy your slice with a shot ;P

Boxes Baked Better :: Lemon Lime Cake

 

What you need for the cake:

  • yellow or white boxed cake mix ‚Äď I bet lemon cake mix would be great, too
  • ¬ľ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of two limes
  • juice of two limes
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon

 

What you need for the icing:

  • one tub of cream cheese icing
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime

 

What you do:

  • Pre-heat the oven to the temperature specified on the box and prepare cake pan
  • Follow the directions on the box
  • Add in the zests, juices, and extracts
  • Mix well and bake according to the time specified on the box
  • After the cake done, cool for ten minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (I kept mine if the pan because I‚Äôm currently cake stand-less)
  • While the cake is cooling, mix the lime juice and zest with the cream cheese icing and ice the cake once completely cool

 

There you go – a super delicious, easy, and sure to please cake. This would be perfect for a cookout, a girls night, or to impress your significant other’s parents. Guys, this cake tastes like it took a lot more effort than it actually does. Win – win, right? It is light, fluffy, and moist. Plus, I love how the lime zest looks in the icing.

Boxes Baked Better :: Lemon Lime Cake