Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Simply scrumptious, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are morsels of dark chocolate goodness dusted with powdered sugar — to me they look like pillowy chocolate clouds!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Can you believe I have never made Crinkle Cookies before? It’s true. I’ve always wanted to make them, but for some reason or another never did.  Lately, visions of these chocolaty cookies have been invading my thoughts. So, I gave into my temptation and dusted off my cookie trays to bake these soft beauties!

I know, I know, people usually make these cookies over the holidays, but, why not break-out from that old tradition and make these delicate delights any time you please?

You see, I’ve been a bit turned upside down at work lately, so, for me, deciding to make these cookies at this moment in time was absolutely perfect! Especially since my chocolate craving seems to be at an all-time high!

I also thought it would be a good time to treat my family to some fluffy homemade cookies to show them know how much I appreciate them during this crazy time! And, they LOVED them — well, they pretty much love all cookies. However, they were thankful I made them — mostly because I don’t bake cookies much!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

These cookies are super simple to make. And if they weren’t, I would not have made them!

You use ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now; sugar, cocoa powder,vanilla, butter, and eggs. After you mix them, roll them into balls and toss them into some powdered sugar, they are ready for the oven. As they bake, they crack which gives them the delicate crinkle look, — an irresistible treat for sure!

Be warned, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies go fast! Next time I will definitely double the recipe, and I would suggest that if you make them, you consider doubling it too! Yes, they are that good; super soft and moist and the dusting of sugar makes them look so pretty.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 -1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, add the confectioners sugar and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and whisk until combined.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined after each addition. Then add the vanilla and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

To form the cookies, scoop the dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop, and place the dough in the palm of your hand and roll. Place dough ball on a piece of wax paper. Repeat using all of the dough.

Then, one-by-one, roll the balls in the confectioners sugar and place on a baking sheet, placed about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool for 12 minutes. Then remove cookies from sheet and place directly on rack until completely cool. Repeat until all cookies are made.

Makes about 36 small cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Get ready to break out of your routine, and bake a fresh batch or two of these delightfully good Chocolate Crinkle Cookies now!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma}


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Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares

Warm, cheesy and yummy! These Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares are one of my all-time favorite, super easy, go-to dinner recipes.

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares | Simple and delicious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

If you are looking for the perfect week night meal to prepare for your family — look no further. This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to assemble and 1 hour to bake. The outcome is super tasty and just as satisfying! I only wish all dinners could be this easy to prepare.

This one-dish wonder incorporates soft white corn tortillas layered with succulent chicken, tangy cheese, smooth sour cream, mild green salsa and roasted chiles and baked to a golden perfection. Once you take a bite of this spicy and creamy concoction you’ll be hooked.

To make this recipe even easier to prepare, use a store-bought roasted chicken. I do have to admit, I make this as often as possible — the flavor combination and simplicity win me over every time!

And with any leftovers, I pack them up into single serving pieces and bring with me to the office for a delicious lunch. All you have to do is just zap it in the microwave for a minute or so and your set. So perfect for me, as my husband usually will not eat leftovers!

A great, quick dinner! Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares | Sweet Baked Life

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares

2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (you can use a store-bought roasted chicken)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup green salsa
1 (4 oz.) can fire roasted diced chiles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend)
8 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
Cilantro, for garnish

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11×9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, sour cream, green salsa, chiles, cumin and 1 cup of cheese. Mix  until well combined.

In the baking dish, layer 1/2 of the tortillas, overlapping slightly, then spoon 1/2 of the mixture over tortillas and spread evenly and top with 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat once ending with the cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with additional green salsa and sour cream.

You can even prepare these Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares in the morning, put into your refrigerator and when you get home from work or after a busy day, pop the dish into the oven and you’ll have a home-cooked meal for your family to enjoy in no-time!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Layered Mexican Chicken with Corn Tortillas, Shape Magazine, June 1999}


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Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake

Decadent, dark and darn delicious, this Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake is like a big, thick brownie frosted with chocolate ganache!

Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Did I say divine? Well, I should have!

Because this cake is all that and out-of-this-world I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!!!!

For some reason, I seem to be on a chocolate kick these days! Not really sure why as I usually mix things up a bit. Must be the chocolate that runs deep in my veins. You see, I have always loved chocolate, ever since I was a little girl. Forget eating dinner; I was not hungry for that! But when it was time for dessert, well for some reason I miraculously was ready to partake!

One of my best memories of chocolate includes going to our local ice cream store and ordering my favorite – mint chocolate chip ice cream dipped in rich, chocolate that instantly hardened. Ah, yes, I am still in-love with that chocolate sauce that hardens to silky perfection as proven by the fact that I learned how to make it here.

My chocolate obsession is also evident by my recent posts which include these scrumptious Skillet Cocoa Brownies and this fabulous Chocolate Malt Layer Cake. Both were darn delicious, but nothing really prepared my taste buds for this sinfully good, Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake

I instantly fell in love after taking my very first bite of this cold cake! You start by making a brownie-like cake layer then top it off with thick, glimmering chocolate frosting! The moist, dense cake texture combined with the silky frosting — ah, don’t think I need to say  more!

So chocolate lovers, get swept away into the best chocolate dream you could ever imagine and you’ll have pure, sweet chocolate pumping throughout your body in no time!

And guess what? Even my family loved this cake! Yes, my two very picky guys said it was really good; rich, but good. In my book, that’s a compliment. Yeah, hard to believe that these guys turn down most of my sweets — my office friends thank me again and again, as they are ever so happy to gobble up the unwanted “leftovers”!!!

I sliced large pieces of this cake when I took the photos, however my hubby proceeded to let me know, that you really only need a small piece of this dense chocolaty goodness. A little chocolate love goes a long way! Well, I personally could not stop eating it — right out of the pan in the fridge, I might add!!! Cold and oh so good!

Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

For the frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10×8-inch or 10×10-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate. Then add the vanilla and blend until well incorporated. On low-speed, slowly add and mix well after each addition, 1/2 of the dry ingredients, sour cream, then the last 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Note, the batter will be thick.

Scoop the batter into the prepared dish and spread the top evenly with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with moist crumbs. Let the cake cool to room temperature on a rack

When your cake is cool, add the chocolate chips to a medium-sized glass bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan over low heat on your stove. Once steaming (note, do not let come to a boil), pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until all the chocolate is melted, then whisk to fully incorporate the chocolate and cream. Add the sugar and cocoa and whisk until smooth. Using a spatula spread the frosting over the cake. Put the cake in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or overnight. Slice with a sharp knife and serve cold. Store cake in refrigerator.

Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake | Sweet Baked Life

This Cold Chocolate Fudge Cake is the perfect snacking cake! Be warned, a little bit can go a long way!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from The View from Great Island}


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Chocolate Malt Layer Cake

If you love chocolate malt shakes, then you’re going to love this Chocolate Malt Layer Cake. It’s rich, thick and reminiscent of that classic shake only it’s reimagined as an incredible baked treat!

Chocolate Malt Later Cake | Sweet Baked Life

The soft sweet layers of dark chocolate cake engulfed with smooth, chocolate malty frosting will have you smacking your lips over and over again! And you too, may instantly become a fan of this cake – just like me! You see, for quite some time, I had been wanting to make a sweet treat that combined chocolate and malt – and that’s where this fabulous Chocolate Malt Layer Cake comes into the picture.

A couple of weeks ago, when I asked my kid what type of cake he wanted for his birthday, he quickly answered that he wanted a Fudge Cake from our local Raley’s grocery store. Can you imagine that, my own kid would rather have store-bought cake over one that I would lovingly make? Go figure!

But the only thing that was on my mind was creating something tempting with malt! I was defiantly on a mission to make a treat with this amazing flavor — I just had to figure out how to accomplish this feat without the “boys” knowing!

Since my son was having a pool party the day after his “real” birthday, I told him that I would be more than happy to make a cake or other treat of his choice for his friends and he could have the store-bought (bite tongue now!) cake when he celebrated with the family.

And I made it clear, that there was no way I was going to buy two cakes (I was already cringing that I had to buy one)! By now, my strong malt vibes were being sent to him telepathically! Malt…chocolate…malt…chocolate…

ChocolateMaltCake-5

After a few days, he looked at me with his big brown eyes, and reluctantly opted for me to make something for his “real” birthday and that he wanted his favorite Fudge Cake to celebrate with his friends (much to my chagrin).

Anyway, with my mind filled with visions of malt, it was the perfect time to spring my idea on my picky eater. And to my surprise, he actually agreed to a chocolate layer cake with chocolate malt buttercream frosting. As well, he even asked if we could crush some Whopper’s candy to put on the top! Must have been those strong signals I was sending him!!

It’s funny too, he usually states that my cakes are too sweet, especially the frosting! Yep, you heard me right, my cake sweeter than a store-bought cake? Well, I don’t think so!

This recipe is super easy to make. You start with a standard dark chocolate layer cake. I actually used a boxed cake mix and changed it up by using milk and butter — this really gives the cake a fluffy texture. And the frosting was just as simple. I just added cocoa powder and malted milk powder to my basic buttercream recipe — this literally takes less than 3 minutes to whip up!

And voila, the outcome was an instant chocolate malt shake disguised as a cake! And my son gave it huge praises!

Chocolate Malt Layer Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Chocolate Malt Layer Cake

Cake:
1 package Pillsbury Devils’ Food Chocolate Cake Mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs

Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup malted milk powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 box (16 oz.) confectioners sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup crushed Whopper’s Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Balls

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl add all ingredients for cake. Whisk vigorously until well combined and thick. Divide the batter among the two pans and even with a spatula if needed. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling the cake on the rack until completely cool.

To make the frosting, to a large bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter and beat until fluffy. Add the malted milk powder and cocoa and mix until well incorporated. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Add the heavy cream, a little at a time, until the perfect consistency is reached. Note, if too thick or thin, add more cream or sugar as needed.

To assemble: place one layer on a cake tray, top with about 1/3 of the frosting and spread until even. Place the second layer on top and using the remaining frosting, frost the sides and top. Crush the Whopper’s and sprinkle on top of the cake.

Chocolate Malt Layer Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Oh and by the way, my hubby loved it too and stated that this moist and creamy Chocolate Malt Layer Cake was better than the “other” cake we bought at the store! And why pray tell? Because, you see, it was not as sweet and the addition of the malt in the frosting gave the cake a unique and fabulous flavor combination!

Now my darling family, what did I tell you? Yes, always listen to the baker in your home! Hahahaha!

Sheila

 

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