Tag Archives: dessert recipies

Secret Kisses Cookies

12 Jan

A couple of weeks ago I made secret kiss cookies as part of a belated Christmas gift for my best friend and her husband. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to bake more. I’ve tackled the buying and eating desserts concept well so I figured this would give me a new challenge. No worries though, I fully intend to still do reviews of local bakeries and dessert places! 🙂

These little babies were so good that my dad starting snagging some when they came out of the oven. I ended up giving him his own little stash so that my bestie and her hubby would actually have some left! They are basically Italian wedding cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss in the middle. They’re very rich and twice a good with extra powdered sugar plunked on top.

Secret Kisses Cookies (Makes 3 dozen cookies): Recipe taken from “Hershey’s Cookbook and Recipe Cards”

  • 1 cup (2 sticks margarine, softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds (I used almonds for mine)
  • 36 Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates or Hershey’s Kisses with Almonds (I used the traditional Hershey’s Kisses)

1) Beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed in large bowl until fluffy. Add flour and almonds/walnuts; beat on low speed of mixer until well blended. Cover; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to handle.

2) Remove wrappers from chocolates. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using about 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie, shape dough for each cookie, shape dough around each chocolate; roll in hand to make ball. (Be sure to cover each chocolate piece completely.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3) Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set but not browned. Cool slightly; remove to wire rack. While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. Roll again in powdered sugar right before serving.

The Cupcake Shoppe – Raleigh, NC

27 Dec

While at home in NC over winter break, I went to see some of my friends in Raleigh. One of my favorite cupcake places and probably the best known place in the city for cupcakes is the Cupcake Shoppe. The have a smaller menu than many of the places that I’ve been to in DC but they also have a good number to choose from and more traditional options. Some of the best flavors in my opinion include the coconut, cookie monster, peanut butter cup and black and white cupcakes.

During the holidays, they have some options that are not only seasonal but delicious. They include peppermint patty, eggnog and gingerbread. I’ve had their gingerbread in the past and it’s always a winner. The cake is gingerbread of course, the frosting is vanilla and is topped with a hot cinnamon candy. (Sorry for not posting a picture of it by the way! I took it to go and it didn’t exactly travel well. Oopsies!)

If you’re in the area stop on by. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Location: 104 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27603; Price: $3/cupcake or $33/dozen; Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10am-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-11pm, Sunday: Closed.

The Buzz About Buzz Bakery

14 Dec

The Cookie Monster Cupcake 🙂

As of yesterday, I officially finished my first semester of grad school at Georgetown! I could not be more excited to have a three week winter break ahead of me and decided the best way to celebrate was with a cupcake. 🙂 My friend Emily has been raving about a bakery in Arlington (located in Ballston) called Buzz Bakery & Lounge for months so I decided to try it out.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was how cute this store was. They have a huge U-shaped counter in the middle of the store and tons of cute modern furniture and some very snazzy light fixtures I might add! There was a ton of seating room too, which really sets this place apart from most bakeries I’ve visited.

Ordering here is no easy feat since everything looks amazing (see the picture of the display case below if you need proof!). So after much deliberation I decided to order the cookie monster cupcake. It’s one of their signature cupcakes and I can see why. The actual cake tasted more like a chocolate chip muffin rather than cupcake but it was a difference I decided I actually liked. The icing is whipped to perfection and has little itsy bitsy pieces of cookie crumbs in it. Also it has cookie dough in the middle and a small cookie garnish it on top.

Yeahhh I don't think any dessert choice could be a bad one here. 😉

While I wish I could have tried more, don’t fret….I will certainly go back and try something different. I know I’m a sucker for cupcakes but if that’s not your thing they have plenty of other options as well such as pies, tarts, cookies, brownies, plated desserts and cakes. They are also extremely well-known for their breakfast selection. In fact, the Washington Post said they have the best breakfast sandwiches in town. Stop on in and see if you agree with the Post!

In addition to the Ballston location, they also have a store in Alexandria if that’s closer to you. 🙂

Could this storefront be any cuter?? Yeah, I don't think so.

Sooo cute!

Chocolate Pecan Pie, a Delicious Success!

5 Dec

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This weekend I made time to make a delicious chocolate pecan pie (see recipe two posts down). I’d only ever had traditional pecan pie so I had really high expectations but I absolutely love this pie. The top layer is slightly crispy and the middle is creamy and rich. I was also pleasantly surprised that something like pecan pie was this easy to make. And to be honest one slice is not enough! If you’re a sweet lover like me you’ll be coming back for more. However, I did have to change the recipe some. Since I live in the land of organic grocery stores, the only cocoa I could find was Ghiradelli. Not a bad substitute at all though since it’s probably the most premium cocoa you can find. First dessert creation was a success and I plan to try something more challenging next time. I’m open to suggestions. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. 🙂

The Sweet Lobby

2 Nov

The Sweet Lobby is tucked away on a cute side street in Capitol Hill and is easily accessible via the orange line – Eastern Market stop. The shop itself is tiny and is really only meant for to-go orders. And by tiny I mean there’s really only room for the line that forms for to-go orders. The store seems to have many regulars and I received some good recommendations from the lady behind me in line. Because this shop is known for its macaroons I tried two – the PB&J flavor as well as the hazelnut praline salted caramel. I figured the PB&J flavor would either great or terrible but I wanted to try something a little different. I’m glad I tried it though since it was delicious! It was similar to a peanut butter cookie with grape jelly sandwiched in the middle. While that one was pretty amazing, the hazelnut praline salted caramel was hands down the better of the two. It was light and airy and had hazelnut and praline shavings sprinkled on top. I do have to say that I’ve never been a fan of macaroons until now! I can see why this place is know for their macaroons…they are definitely this shop’s best product.

The cupcake I had was also very good as well. The chocolate salted caramel is a chocolate cupcake which is dipped in dark chocolate ganache, filled with house-made salted caramel and topped with milk chocolate buttercream and a salted caramel swirl. The center of the cupcake was the best part. I have never seen or heard of a cupcake like it. What I enjoyed most about their cupcake collection was the variety. They had unique cupcake flavors such as bananas foster, pumpkin spice, mango cream, chocolate caramel crunch, Boston creme, sticky toffee and pineapple ‘inside out’ cake.

Even though I’ve been raving about this shop, I do have one warning. They will charge you 50 cents extra if you get a cupcake box that only holds one cupcake. However, this is the only box they change extra.

The shop also offers shortbread, madelines, mendiants, looseleaf tea and European style hot chocolate. This little shop is a gem! I’d certainly recommend going for anyone who likes uniquely flavored cupcakes or is a fan of macaroons.

Pinkberry – Guilt Free Dessert

26 Oct

PB frozen yogurt + chocolately goodness

I wanted to mix things up this week and try some frozen yogurt at Pinkberry. For some reason, I end up craving ice cream and cold dessert as it gets colder outside…go figure! If you’re on a diet or just weight-conscious, this should be your main stomping ground. This place has plenty of low calorie options for a gal (or guy)  just tryin’ to get a sugar fix. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my dessert decision (peanut butter frozen yogurt) until I discovered the array of toppings. So what did I do? Well instead of getting fruit I went straight to the chocolatey goodness. I added chocolate chips, brownie bites and a waffle piece. The combination was pure heaven!

The best part about this experience was that you get to try samples of the yogurt…you can try every single one if you really want to. Feeling festive and wanting to try something seasonal, I also tried the pumpkin frozen yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I’d recommend this combination as well. One of the employees told me that I common combination is pumpkin yogurt, cinnamon and swirly whip (aka pumpkin pie). I was also in love when I found out my frozen yogurt wasn’t weighted AND when the employee told me their wasn’t a limit to the number of toppings. I just wanted to hug her at that moment (don’t worry I didn’t). She said, “Anything you can get in the small size cup is yours.” Amazingggg!

Pinkberry’s offers several frozen yogurt flavors including: original, peanut butter, pumpkin, chocolate, mango and pomegranate. The also have smoothies, fruit parfaits and fruit bowls. Check here to find a location near you: locations.

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