Guest Blogging on Lee La La

Hi There Lovelies.

Today I have the pleasure of guest blogging on my dear friend Lindsay's blog Lee La La.  I'm sharing my recipe for homemade donuts. They turned out A****MA**ZING!! 
Go check it out. 


Caramel Brownies

I saw this recipe and HAD to try it. I halved the recipe and made these in a 8X8 pan and it was perfect. These brownies are SUPER, rich!! They are over the top!!! My hubby took some into his work and the guys said they were "like food crack" Delicious and very rich!!! 
 This recipe originally found on Annie's Eats
For the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups pecan, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the caramel filling:
14 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray.  Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  (Alternatively, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.)  Remove the bowl from the heat.  Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated.  Stir in the flour and salt just until combined.  Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, maintaining the oven temperature, and let cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the chopped pecans (if using) to a medium skillet over medium heat.  Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  To make the caramel filling, combine the caramel candies and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.  Stir in half of the pecans.  Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer.  Pour the remaining brownie batter over the caramel layer, taking care to pour and spread it evenly otherwise it will be difficult to spread evenly over the caramel layer.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining pecans on top of the final brownie layer.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving.  (To speed cooling, chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.)
Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil.  Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares.  Store in an airtight container.


The debut of "The Haute Hog"

After doing a couple of "what I wore" posts I was hooked. I loved it so I decided to start a little what I wore party of my own and this is the very first edition!!

I hope you will join me and link up something you've worn lately. Please grab my button and include it in your what I wore post or on your sidebar so we can get more people to participate. The more the merrier.
This linky will be up all week long so take your time!!!
Have fun!

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Here's what I wore.
You will soon find out that I have a very eclectic wardrobe. This Indian Caftan is perfect for summer and is just about the most comfortable thing I own so this is what I wore.

Caftan (dress): Cost Plus World Market
Sandals: Michael Kors
Sunglasses: Lauran Conrad for Kohls
Little Spoon Necklace: Beau & Stella
Bracelets: J. Crew

Momma Go Round

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My Linky Parties

I have been really enjoying my Handmade Hog Linky party but I wasn't posting it consistently each week so I have decided to go ahead and lock down a schedule. The Handmade Hog linky party will always be posted on Wednesdays. 
For this party I welcome all things handmade; recipes, DIY, Crafts, party planning, photography.

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And I am soooooo excited to announce that I will be debuting my new "what I wore" party this Saturday called "The Haute Hog" It will post every Saturday. I was so nervous to do my first what I wore post and it turns out I loved it so I decided to start my own little party. I hope you will join me and link up what your wearing too.

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Thanks so much for joining me. I hope you have as much fun as I do at these parties:)

I also wanted to give a shout out to my friend Kim at 733 Blog Design. She is the one who designed my blog and has made all these adorable buttons for me. If your looking for someone to help with blog design I HIGHLY recommend her. Thanks Kim!!!! 


Chocolate ice cream cake

My wonderful husband's birthday was last week and he is a H*U*G*E ice cream fan so when I asked him what kind of a cake he wanted me to make he said an ice cream cake. 
So, I went to work. This is what I did.

First you will need 2 spring pans. The one's I used happen to be 7". I like this size because it's a little smaller than the regular 9" but any size spring pan will do.

Line the bottom with wax paper

Temper your ice cream and scoop into spring pan. (I used a pint for each layer)

Next cover the ice cream with wax paper and place in freezer to set. You should make 3 disks if making a 4 layer cake. Once hard, unlock spring pan and pop out ice cream disk. Place in a large zip lock bag in freezer until ready to use. 

Bake your favorite kind of cake in 2 spring pans (the same size you used to make your ice cream disks.) Be sure to spray them generously with non stick cooking oil. Once they are completely cool, remove from pan and slice length wise to make 2 cake disks from each cake. This will give you 4 layers.

Next, slice off the top hump of the cake so all the layers will lye completely flat once stacked. Now place the 4 cake disks into the freezer as well. Once frozen you will be ready to assemble your cake. 
The final step before assembly is to make your icing or ganache. I used {THIS}recipe for chocolate ganache frosting and it was perfect. 

Place one layer of cake down and frost.

next place one ice cream disk.

frost and repeat

Now quick, get it back in the freezer before it melts!!!

Once the initial assembly of the cake has taken place and it has frozen solid again, you can frost the outside of the cake but don't try to do it while your assembling it because the cake will melt. You will not have enough time. 

The Handmade Hog Linky Party and French Macarons

Please join me and link up ANYTHING handmade or homemade. I would love to see recipes, DIY projects, party planning, and craft projects of all kinds!!!
And if you didn't make anything this week, no worries, link up an old favorite!!!
There are no rules! Feel free to grab the Handmade Hog button and place it in your post or on your sidebar but it is absolutely NOT required!! EVERYONE is welcome to participate!!! This is just supposed to be a fun way to share your ideas and pick up some new ones !! 
So, please join me! LINK UP!!! I can't wait to see what you have in store!!!

Today I am going to share a recipe and a method for making French Macarons.  I have recently become a bit obsessed with them. They are so intriguing and gorgeous; like little magical cookies with their perfect shells and radiant colors. I just L*O*V*E them! 
Let me start by saying these are not for the faint of heart. It took me 3 tries to get these right so don't be discouraged if you try once and they don't turn out. As you can see in some of my photos the lavender macarons did not turn out perfect because they are missing the "feet". That's because I under beat the egg whites. I decided to showcase them anyway because they were still pretty. Macarons are like riding a bicycle, once you get it, you'll be a be a macaron fool! I promise just me patient. 

The recipe and method I am going to share with you today is a compilation of recipes that I tried. It is a hybrid version that I found worked best for me. The recipes I used were this {RECIPE} from Martha Stewart and the recipes from {THIS BOOK}.

Recipe for Mango Mascarpone Macarons
(will yield 8-18 macarons )

Ingredients for shells:
The whites from 2 large eggs
3/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
food coloring of your choice to match the flavor (for this recipe yellow and red)

Ingredients for the mango mascarpone filling:
(please see method below for instructions)
1/2 a packet of unflavored gelatin
1 ripe cubed mango
1 egg
4 tablespoons of superfine sugar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
pinch of salt

 Recipe for Mango Mascarpone Filling:
Puree mango cubes and place in small pot. Heat gently on medium and sprinkle in gelatin. Once gelatin is mixed in and dissolved remove from heat and set aside. Separate the egg with the yolk in one bowl and the white in the other. Add the superfine sugar to the yolk and mix well. Now add the salt to the egg white and beat until medium peaks form. Now gently fold in the egg yolk and the mango puree. Chill in refrigerator. Now simply place in piping bag and fill macarons.

Helpful Hints About Egg Whites:
1."aged" egg whites work much better so separate the egg white from the yolk and set aside in refrigerator at least 24 hours in advance but can be up to 4 days.
2. Egg Whites must be room temperature before beating. Set out for at least 30 minuets prior to using. 
3. Use a copper or glass bowl for best whipping results. 
4. Insure your bowl and beaters are squeaky clean. Any residue or oils will interfere with beating.
5. Do not over beat egg whites as they will fall apart and become liquid again. I found 4 minuets was perfect. 

Here are 2 of the specialty products you will need to make the macarons. You can buy the almond flour at a whole foods market or a specialty grocer. You can buy the super fine sugar {HERE}

#1. The first thing you need to do it put the almond flour and the confectioners sugar into a Cuisinart or blender and mix thoroughly.

#2. Next you need to place the almond flour and confectioners sugar mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake @ 300 degrees for 7 minuets. Remove, cool and put through a sifter or strainer TWICE!! 

#3 Set the 1/4 cup of superfine sugar in a small container on the side so it's ready to go. Place the room temperature egg whites into a bowl and beat until foamy. Now add the cream of tartar. When soft snowy peaks begin to emerge, add the superfine sugar slowly and  DO NOT stop beating (use one hand to pour in the sugar that you set aside before you started).  As soon as the egg white form stiff peaks STOP beating!! You can easily over beat egg whites.For me this was exactly 4 minuets. If you over beat the egg whites the macaron will fall flat. You may add food coloring towards the end of your beating process. Gel food coloring works best and you can get it at Hobby Lobby or similar craft stores (if all you have is water based grocery store food coloring it will still work fine).

#4. Next take the cooled almond flour and confectioners sugar mixture and sift it into the egg white mixture (this will be the 3rd time you've sifted). Do not use the beater. Simply fold in with a silicone spatula once you have sifted the entire portion of flour and sugar into the whites. You should fold somewhere between 40-65 times. This is the most important step in the entire process. The batter should be smooth and shiny!! When you put it in the pasty bag it should begin to ooze out of the tip but not drip. It should appear like hot magma. If it doesn't ooze then you need to fold it just a few more times. My experience was just a few folds made a BIG difference here so be careful..

#5. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place mixture into a piping bag. If you don't have a piping bag, no worries, simply get a gallon zip lock bag and snip a little hole in the corner to insert piping tip. Now pipe uniform circles onto the cookie sheet. Try to place the tip to the side to avoid a peak in the center of the macaron. Now let the macarons rest for 1 hour prior to cooking! They should form a nice crust prior to baking. When ready you will bake at 300 degrees for 10-12 minuets. They should never brown and you should see the little "feet" emerge within a few minuets of baking.

#6. Now once they are finished, let them cool almost completely and now drizzle water under the wax paper. This seems a bit ridiculous but trust me it will make lifting the macarons off the wax paper MUCH easier. I tried it skipping this step and I tore the inside out of the macaron. If you do tear the inside out of the macaron don't panic. Once you fill it you can mask that part.

Now simply pipe the filling onto one half and top with another macaroon! VOILA! 
Enjoy this magical creation that you've worked long and hard to make! Aren't they beautiful?

Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches

    • I found this recipe on Martha Stewart and it is A*M*A*Z*I*N*G. If you love chocolate malts you will love these little cookie sandwiches. The filling was amazing. In fact it makes an excellent hot fudge topping for ice cream sundaes too. YUM. YUM. YUM.

    • For Cookies:
    • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
    • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • For The Filling

    • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 cup plain malted milk powder
    • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make cookies: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, creme fraiche, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.
  2. Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.
  3. Making filling: Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simming water, stirring. Let cool. With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Assemble cookies: Spread a heaping tablespoon filling on the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat. Cookies can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in airtight containers up to 3 days.



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