Red Velvet Brownie S’mores Bars

6 Mar

Happy March everyone! Spring is coming and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m ready for some warmer weather. Being able to walk outside in a tank top and shorts sounds really good right about now.

This is my first blog post this year, which I am a little disappointed about, but sometimes life is just busy! I have made a couple of fun recipes so far this year and am finally getting the chance to post them.

I made these bars a couple of weeks ago for a good friend of mine on Valentines Day. I did some research on fun valentines baking and came across these on one of my favorite blogs. You can find the original recipe here.

There are a lot of steps in making these bars, but don’t let that fool you because each step is very simple. They contain layers and layers of ooey gooey goodness. Its always a little nerve racking when making a new recipe for the first time, especially when making it for someone else. I was more than happy with how these turned out. The combination of brownie, cookie and s’mores isn’t something you would think of, but once your taste buds have massaged the 6 layers of flavor I promise you will think you have died and gone to heaven. These bars will be in heaven; there is no doubt about it.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli double chocolate)

graham crackers (about 7 full sheets)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups mini marshmallows

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)

Red Velvet Layer

1 box red velvet cake mix (I used duncan hines)

1 stick melted unsalted butter

1 large egg

3 Tbsp canola oil

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

2) Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and pour into bottom of your prepared baking dish. Layer with sheets of graham crackers. Top graham crackers with chocolate chips, then marshmallows and finally drizzle evenly with sweetened condensed milk.

3) In a large bowl, mix the red velvet cake mix, melted butter, egg and oil, until dough forms. With a cookie scoop, scoop dough over marshmallow layer then press dough so it’s pretty flat and little marshmallow is showing.

4) Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until baked through. Let cool completely. Best if prepared at night and left to cool overnight. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

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Enjoy. Love, Lindsi.

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Apple Crisp

18 Nov

I have had a crazy fall, as most of you can probably relate to. I have gotten involved in more ‘after work activities’ than I ever have in the past. It’s been a blessing getting involved in groups and surrounding myself with wonderful people, but it has taken away any sort of baking time that I have.

Once things slow down a little bit, I will be able to get back on track to a normal baking schedule. Until then, I will just enjoy what I am apart of now. Baking will always be there for me to go back to, these other opportunities won’t.

Even with my crazy schedule, I was able to bake some apple crisp a couple of weeks ago and am finally sharing it with you all.

I have yet to find a smell that out does the aroma of fresh apple crisp baking in the oven. Countless memories instantly overtake my mind when that scent fills the air. Apple crisp/apple pie are timeless recipes; they will never go out of ‘style’. Thank goodness.

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I have had too many apple crisps and apple pies to count. However, this recipe is the best I’ve ever had. It combines the perfect ratio of apples to crisp.

As the cooler weather slowly embraces us, what sounds better than warming up the oven and throwing in a sweet, savory apple crisp?

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup oats

1 cup flour

1 stick butter

6 cups of apples

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup water

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) Mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, oats and flour.

3) Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter. Put half of the crumb mixture in a 9×13 inch pan.

4) Pour sliced apples over the mixture.

5) In a small bowl, mix together the other 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.

6) Pour the water over the apples. Top with remaining crumb mixture.

7) Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Enjoy my friends.

Love. Lindsi.

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Pumpkin Bars with cream cheese frosting

4 Nov

Fall is coming and going so quickly. October is already over and with my hectic schedule this fall, I have had little time to bake. I had a list of recipes I wanted to bake and have only been able to make a few so far. Luckily there is still a good month of fall left so plenty of time to catch up.

So far, I’ve been able to make two of my all time favorite fall recipes. These pumpkin bars and apple crisp (recipe coming next). These pumpkin bars come from my Grandma. The recipes I know how to bake best come from her; she was a major influence to my love of baking.

I brought these bars to work and everyone went crazy. Even my coworker Annie who isn’t a sweets fan devoured them. She commented that they have a carrot cake taste to them. In my opinion they are better than any carrot cake I have ever tried. But, you’ll just have to try them and come up with your own opinion.

Not only do these bars pack in a crazy amount of flavors, they are literally a ‘piece of cake’ to make. Pour all the ingredients into a bowl, stir, pour into a pan and bake. Done. Presto. End of story.

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE BARS:

2 Cups Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 Cups Sugar

1 Cup Oil (I used Canola)

4 Eggs

2 Cups Canned Pumpkin

1 Cup Nuts (I used pecans)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FROSTING:

6 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)

1/2 Cup Butter

1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

3 Cups Powder Sugar

2 teaspoons Milk

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the oil, sugar, and pumpkin and beat again.

2) In a separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together.

3) Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

4) Finally stir in the nuts. Pour into a large greased pan (a large cookie sheet with sides on it).

5) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

6) Allow the bars to cool completely and frost.

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Enjoy my lovelies. xoxo.

Love, Lindsi.

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Avon Adventures

21 Oct

We have these amazing family friends that own a condo up in Avon, Colorado. They have been so sweet in allowing my family to stay there whenever we need time away. This place is absolutely incredible. Their condo is on the top of Beaver Creek ski resort. Not only is the condo itself beautiful, but the scenery is breath taking. A wrap around porch over looks the slopes and allows you to see for miles just looking outward. We have been there a total of three times now, and just got back from our third adventure.

Back in April I thought it would be really fun to plan a trip up there for my sisters 21st birthday. She is so in love with Avon and the condo, so I knew it would be a no brainer to go there to celebrate. It was not easy trying to get all five of our schedules to line up and took several months to figure out.

I made Nat this collage and wrapped it up as an early birthday present. We weren’t able to go over the week of her actual birthday, which was okay because it only extended her birthday even more.

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We spent six days of literal bliss in a place where you are constantly surrounded by the Lords creation. What could be better?

Ever since I moved out in May, I haven’t seen my family as much and it is getting more and more rare that we can all get together. Being able to spend the week with them was exactly what my heart needed. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the family that I was given, they are all such a blessing to me.

The best part about this trip is how relaxing it was. We didn’t even do anything big. We just hung out, drank A LOT of coffee, went on hikes (I saw my first bear), and drove to a couple of different mountain towns.

This post is about to be blown up with photos. I don’t think there is a better way to describe a trip than with pictures.

So here you go, enjoy.

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On our first hike we saw two bears! Instead of heading away from them, my dad wanted to risk our lives just so he could take a picture. (They’re sitting on top of the fence at the very end).

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On the way to Leadville.

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One day I will own a bakery. One day.

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Went to the cutest antique store in Leadville.

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Small town movie theater in Edwards.

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Biggest hike we did. Most tiring, exhilarating experience.

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First snow of the season!

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A starbucks a day…

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Picked up a souvenir on our hike. His name is Lemmington.

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Until next time beautiful Avon Colorado. Thank you for treating us so well. Xoxo.

Love, Lindsi.

Pumpkin Scones

26 Sep

Fall is officially here! The cooler weather, the smells, the colors, and best of all, the change in flavors. I would be lying if I said I didn’t adore pumpkin. There is just something about it that instantly brings my heart joy. Yes I know you can bake with pumpkin all year long, but I always save using any sort of pumpkin until September. It’s just not as fun eating baked pumpkin goods in March. It’s something I look forward to all year long. Am I alone in this weird obsession, or are there more of you crazies out there?

For those of you that know me, you know that I love me some Starbucks. Fall is a Starbucks lovers dream. If you’ve had their pumpkin scones, you have officially lived. If not, go now, they are patiently waiting your taste buds at a local Starbucks near you. My first thought when trying one of these scones was, I need to learn how to bake these. I found this recipe last fall and made them immediately. Since I didn’t start this blog until January I haven’t been able to share the recipe. So, I pulled it out again last week and made these scones for my sister birthday.

These scones are pretty sweet because of the frosting topping. To me they are more like a dessert than anything else. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat them at any point during the day. Dip them in coffee and you’ll be set.

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I also wanted to do this post so I can talk about my sister and her birthday last week. My little sister has been such a light in my life. We just flat out get each other. One of those relationships where you can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. We have the exact same sense of humor and find joy in the most random things. She has loved and supported me through every stage in my life, I would not be able to function without her. I thank God that he blessed me with such an amazing girl to grow up with.

She turned 21 last Wednesday and I’m still in shock about it. She will always be my baby sister, it’s hard knowing that she is now all grown up.

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As part of her gift I decided to surprise her with a trip to her favorite place, Avon Colorado. We’ve taken two family vacations there and its absolutely breathtaking. It holds a special place in our hearts and we’ve been dying to get back. Natalie was shocked when she found out. We’re off to Avon next week. I can’t wait to post about it when we get back.

I’m excited to see where Nat goes and what accomplishments she makes from here on out. I am so proud of who she is and the incredible woman she is becoming. I love you my dear sweet Natalie.

Anyways, back to scones!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour
7 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 Tbsp half & half
1 egg
6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed

For the plain glaze:
1 cup + 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half & half

For the spiced drizzle:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half & half
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground ground ginger
pinch ground ground cloves

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. With a fork, pastry knife, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter remain. Set aside.

3) In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, half & half, and egg together. Add to the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together in a ball.

4) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 4 or 5 times to bring the dough together, and then flatten into a circle 1″ thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half, then cut each half into thirds.

5) Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

6) When scones are cool, whisk together the plain glaze ingredients, then spoon on top and spread slightly. Let harden for 10 minutes, then whisk together the spiced drizzle ingredients and drizzle on top (to drizzle, I pour into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off a tiny bit of the corner and squeeze). Let harden completely, about 1 hour, before serving. Store in an air-tight container (I like mine in the fridge).

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Just so everyone knows, pumpkin and fall baking is about to blow up my blog in the next several months. I have so many recipes that I want to share and try. You’ve officially been warned.

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Enjoy my lovelies.

Love, Lindsi

THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

4 Sep

Most of my favorite baking recipes seem to come from someone in my family, mostly from my mom or my mom’s mom.  Recipes that I grew up with. Not only are they delicious, but they instantly make me flash back to certain parts of growing up. I had an incredible childhood (thanks to my parents) and this is a big part of why I enjoy baking, the memories instantly flood back. What is it about flavors, smells and sounds that make you flash back to a time that was wonderful and you would give anything to go back or a time that you rather die than go back to it? Life is a constant trigger of some past experience.

My mom has made these muffins for as long as I can remember. There is something about baked blueberries that spikes the taste. Instant yum. I have had countless blueberry muffins and these by far outweigh every single one. The trick: you combine mashed blueberries and whole blueberries. It changes the flavor, I swear.

Here are a few pictures from our last encounter, this past Monday for Labor Day. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I always use holidays as an excuse to bake.

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The first thing I do is measure out 1/2 cup of blueberries and mash them with a fork. It’s nice to have this done so you can just throw it into the batter once you’re ready for it. (It’s also a good way to take out some frustration, if need be).

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(hand model: my lovely sister, Lauren)

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INGREDIENTS:

1 stick butter (room temperature)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups blueberries (1/2 cup mashed with a fork)

2 cups flour

1/2 cup milk

TOPPING:

1 Tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups or use liners. (I did 6 jumbo size muffins and 6 regular size muffins. You can also do 12 regular size muffins)

2) In a medium size bowl, beat butter until creamy. Next beat in the sugar until pale and fluffy.

3) Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Beat one last time until combine.

4) Mix mashed blueberries into the batter.

5) Fold in half the flour and then half the milk. Add remaining flour and milk. Fold in remaining blueberries

6) Scoop batter into muffin cups (about 2/3 full). Sprinkle with nutmeg sugar.

7) Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

8) Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before removing.

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Grab your kids, friends, family (if you got ‘em), or shoot just grab yourself and start baking. You will instantly start making memories of your own. And I promise, you will never regret it. I will leave you with that simple piece of advice.

Love, Lindsi

Almond Poppy Seed Bread

25 Aug

I love me some poppy seeds. Always have. Always will. I don’t know what it is about those darn things because they’re just little specks. But, specks packed with flavor. I have always been a sucker for the almond poppy seed muffins from King Soopers. I think they taste so good because they are so bad for you, but one here or there never hurt anyone.

For some reason the combination of poppy seeds and almond go really well together. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly, if you will. Delish.

So, I did some research and out of all the almond poppy seed breads out there, this one seemed the most appealing to me. Plus, it is lightened up a bit so I have no guilt what so ever eating it. That is the best kind of baking in my opinion.

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If you haven’t noticed already I am all about easy baking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a challenge once in awhile, but overall I like easy. This bread falls into that category. It is definitely a quick bread. I need to branch out and make a bread that needs to rise and takes more than an hour to make. Soon to come!

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Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Sink

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 egg whites
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/4 cup sliced almonds

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan (I used three 6×3 pans. You can also use one 9×5 pan baking time will just change.)

2) With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream and almond extract and beat until just combined.

3) In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir. When the mixture is almost combined, add the poppy seeds. Beat until the wet and dry ingredients have just combined and the poppy seeds are distributed throughout the batter.

4) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s). Top with the sliced almonds.

5) If using small pans, bake for 30-35 minutes. If using one large pan, bake for 60 to 65 minutes.

These loaves won’t brown as much as other breads, they come out pretty white in color. Make sure you use a toothpick to check the middle to see if done.

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The best part about this bread is that it is perfect at any time during the day. It’s wonderful in the morning dipped in coffee, as a side for lunch or dinner, or even for a snack or for dessert. Drizzle some honey on top- you can thank me later for that recommendation.

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Enjoy my friends.

Love, Lindsi

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