Walnut Fudge Brownies

We just had our first glimpse of Indian Summer here in SF. 

Wow, it was so hot! I haven’t done much baking at all because I didn’t want to turn on the oven but the fog has rolled back in so we’re back in business.

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Walnut fudge brownies sounded like a good bet for this foggy day.

I mixed the dry ingredients together and then made the wet chocolate mixture.

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I added butter, eggs and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and then mixed the dry and wet ingredients together.

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I poured the batter into a parchment lined pan. I still don’t have a square brownie pan! I then added more walnuts to the top and popped it into the oven.

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The recipe said to bake it for 19 minutes. That felt short to me but I tried. At 19 minutes, it was still super raw so I put it in for 19 more. It was only halfway cooked after the second 19. I thought to myself, maybe it’s because it’s supposed to be fudge… but it didn’t feel right to serve raw brownies so I put it in for 30 more minutes and then it was finally done.

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It was crumbly but still moist in the middle. It didn’t seem like fudge though. Maybe I missed the mark on that point… but it was still delicious!

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Yum!

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Sweetly,

Simona

Dulce De Leche Banana Bread

It is officially Indian Summer in San Francisco!

Which means that having the oven on all day for baking is painful. That didn’t stop me yesterday though and I’m so glad because this dulce de leche banana bread is goooood!

Luckily, it was easy to make. For the dry ingredients, I just had to combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
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The next step was the hardest for me because I had to mush up the bananas. Eeeeek!

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I then added a stick of butter and sugar to the bananas and mixed. Once combined, I added two eggs and a cup of yogurt.

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I poured the batter into the bread pans and then added the dulce de leche. The recipe said to add 3 tablespoons to the top and swirl it in. I ended up putting 4 tablespoons and I’m glad I did.

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I let them bake for an hour and when they came out, they smelled so good.

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I could see the dulce de leche seeping through on the sides, though faintly and when I cut into it, it wasn’t until the second slice that I got dulce de leche in the middle.

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The bread was moist and sweet and didn’t taste overly like banana (you know how much I don’t like bananas, haha). If I were to make this again, which I definitely will do, I would add the dulce de leche in layers alternating with the batter so that it would be more evenly distributed.

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Sweetly,

Simona

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

I’ve had an unusual amount of marshmallows in my pantry for a long time…

So, I decided to make chocolate marshmallow cookies.

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First, I melted the chocolate chunks over steaming water.

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I then mixed the dry ingredients with the eggs and then combined that mixture with the melted chocolate.

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The next step was to take small handfuls of batter and place a couple marshmallows and chocolate chunks into the center. The batter was then wrapped around them to form a ball.

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The recipe said to put marshmallows and chocolate chunks on top of the cookie balls and I did for the first batch.

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These came out alright but some of the chocolate chunks on top didn’t melt and some of the marshmallows slipped off the top. I wasn’t totally pleased with this batch.

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So, for my second batch, I didn’t do the last step of adding the toppings. I did, however, try to squeeze a few extra marshmallows and chocolate chunks to the inside of the cookie balls to make up for it.

I liked how these came out better. They still weren’t necessarily the prettiest cookies BUT check out how they’re not flat! I’m really onto something here.

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The insides were chewy with melted chocolate. So good! I thought these were a perfect end to the summer months 🙂

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Sweetly,

Simona

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

I am really proud of this cake I made.

There were tons of ingredients and the prep took me a while, but all things considered, it was a pretty easy recipe and it came out AMAZINGLY.

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I first made the cream cheese filling which included combining the softened cream cheese, sugar, and butter. Once combined, I added the egg, flour, and vanilla and beat them together.

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The next step was toasting the pecans.

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While they toasted, I combined the dry ingredients together, including all of the spices.

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I then added the eggs, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla and combined it to make the cake batter.

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The final step to the batter was to add the toasted pecans and chopped apples. I poured 2/3 of the batter into the bundt pan then added the cream cheese filling. I used a chopstick to gently mix the cream cheese filling into the batter and then poured the remaining third of the batter on top.

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I placed this in the oven for an hour and ten minutes. The whole apartment smelled amazing! It was like it was really fall in my kitchen.

It was beautiful when it came out and smelled so good. The recipe said to let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then 2 hours on a plate or wire rack. I followed these instructions precisely (unlike normally when I rush through frosting cakes before they’re cool).

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I was really nervous about flipping the cake out of the pan. This part always goes poorly for me, but to my delight, it went off without a hitch!

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I actually let it sit for 2 hours to cool. It took a lot of self-control.

At the very end of the two hours I made the frosting by melting brown sugar, butter and milk on the stove.

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I let it boil for a minute and immediately poured it over the cake.

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Et voila!

Not only did this look beautiful, if I do say so myself, but it tasted SO GOOD. The frosting was to die for and I would definitely put it over anything. The cake was moist with crunchy bites here and there from the pecans. You would think that because of the cream cheese filling and frosting it would be really sweet but it wasn’t. It was perfect!

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I didn’t want to waste any frosting so I poured it over a second time and let it pool in the middle which was perfect for dunking cake pieces into 😉

I will definitely be making this again – maybe for Thanksgiving!

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Sweetly,

Simona