Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Rocky Road Fudge

Get ready to sink your teeth into sweet squares of Rocky Road Fudge!

Super easy Rocky Road Fudge | Sweet Baked Life

Why do so many people like Rocky Road Fudge? Simply put, it’s darn good! And it’s probably because of the amazing combination of chocolate, marshmallows and walnuts!

My husband is one of those people who LOVES Rocky Road Fudge. It really is his all-time top candy to eat! His favorite place to get this treat is from See’s Candies. In his honest opinion, See’s makes the best candy. Ever. Period. End of discussion. I have to admit, I also like this traditional candy shop. I have been a fan of their confections ever since I was a little girl. I adore the sweet smell of chocolate and of course, the free samples with every visit!

Now it seems, every time my hubby is craving something sweet, he will ask, “Are you going to See’s? And if so, bring me back some Rocky Road Fudge.” And about 99% of the time, it’s a, “nope” from me! That’s because I don’t really like going to the mall — that’s where the closest See’s store is located, and I would rather make the candy than buy it! Go figure!

Super easy Rocky Road Fudge | Sweet Baked Life

And, let me tell you, this recipe is so easy — it only takes 4 ingredients and does not require baking!

Once ready to eat you will be delighted by the texture of smooth, rich chocolate engulfed with fluffy marshmallows and crunchy walnuts. I added lots of marshmallows and walnuts — just the way the hubs likes it!

Be warned, a little piece goes a long way. And, if you have a family who likes sweets (like mine), you may just want to make a double batch! It’s also great for snacking on in the middle of the night to satisfy that sweet craving! It’s also a great gift to share with someone special — that is if you can make it and get it out of the house without letting your family know what you’re up to!

The boys loved this stuff! Winner! I’m already thinking about making more!

Super easy Rocky Road Fudge | Sweet Baked Life

Rocky Road Fudge

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 package (12 oz) milk chocolate chips
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups walnut pieces

Instructions:

First, prepare an 8×8-inch baking pan with a coating of non-stick spray. Then line with parchment paper, and repeat with the spray and set aside.

Into a large bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir and microwave for about 30 second intervals until chips are melted. Be sure to take care in melting as not to scorch the chocolate. Stir to ensure chips are melted and smooth.

Add the marshmallows and walnuts, then fold until incorporated. Pour into your prepared pan and smooth to an even layer. Sprinkle a handful of mini marshmallows on top and gently press down. Place in the refrigerator until set, or overnight. Then remove from pan, slice into small squares.

Note, my husband likes a lot of marshmallows and walnuts, you can use less if you prefer. Also, no need to chop the walnuts, when you slice the candy the nuts will be sliced.

Super easy Rocky Road Fudge | Sweet Baked Life

Surprise your family or friends today and whip up a batch of this rich Rocky Road Fudge!

Sheila


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Fluffy Crumb Cake

Freshly baked Fluffy Crumb Cake, warm from the oven is the perfect weekend breakfast!

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Oh, and did I mention the topping? Well, it’s literally the best part of this crumb cake — it’s the crumbs of course!

And who could not resist these buttery, delicate sweet crumbs on top of a moist and fluffy breakfast cake?

Not me.

Not my family.

And surely not you! Or so I hope!

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

This is probably the best crumb cake I have ever made. Seriously. It’s true.

The cake is scented with vanilla and not too sweet. And the topping…To. Die. For! It’s sweet and crumbly and will literally will make your heart jump a beat!  It’s stunning to look at; it stands up tall and the golden crumbs glisten in the morning light. And it’s even better to eat!

It’s an ideal breakfast for me to make for my family. You see, during the week, I usually grab some type of health bar, heat up some oatmeal, or sometimes even pack a couple of these mini frittatas, and I’m out the door. My days are long and eating happens quickly.

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

So really, over the weekend is usually the only time when I get to enjoy my meals. And I do. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day.

On Saturday and Sunday I still get up early (internal alarm clock!), which allows me to leisurely make something scrumptious. I whip up something quick, toss it in the oven, and wait for the amazing aroma to fill the house. Then, when my family wakes up, they immediately ascend to the kitchen to see what I have concocted.

It’s a dream to sit on the couch with my husband, indulge in the breakfast that I have baked, such as this Fluffy Crumb Cake, sip on a hot Cappuccino that he has generously made for me, and talk about our day or just life in general. It’s really the only time we do this — and I love each and every moment!

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

FLUFFY CRUMB CAKE

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour

Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8×8-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

To make the crumb topping:  To a small bowl add the sugars, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Then add the flour and using a fork, gently stir until the topping until it looks crumbly. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the cake: In a medium bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined then set aside.

Into a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy — about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated. With the mixer on low-speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated then add 1/2 of the milk and mix until blended. Repeat ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread to create an even layer. Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping over the batter in an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top begins to brown and a toothpick inserted to the top is clean. Cool slightly, then cut into squares. Serve warm or room temperature.

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Fluffy Crumb Cake | Sweet Baked Life

I hope that you relax and savor weekend mornings with a big piece of this Fluffy Crumb Cake —  it’s a great way to start the day!

Sheila

 

{Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy}


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Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies

Send an arrow straight through your loved one’s heart with these enticing Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

With Valentines’ Day right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what wonderful homemade goodies to make your sweetheart, friends, co-workers or family.

And for me, these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies are the perfect treat make for my boys. They love anything they can have and call “their own”, meaning if I make these cookies in mini cast-iron skillets, they each get their own pan full of soft, sweet, buttery cookies, dotted with rich chocolate M&M’s — all to themselves.

You see, around my home, we each have our favorites when it comes to treats and snacks. For some reason, we never can agree on one thing to buy and share. So when I go shopping, my list can get a bit overwhelming! My husband will ask for his favorite chocolate candy, ice cream, or salty potato chips and the like, and my son does the same thing. Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

If I happen to get a special treat for myself, I have to hide it as it will be gobbled up in no time flat. My husband will say something like, “Don’t worry, if I eat all of your {fill in the blank here with my special treat}, I will just go to the store and buy you more”.

Well, that does not work for me. The point is, I like to eat my sweets a little at a time, and savor each and every bite. If I buy a bag of candy, it can literally last me the entire month. Whereas with my hubby and son, well that bag would be gone in one day!

But I can’t really blame them for their love sweets. These guys are my loves and no matter what, I adore spoiling them with my baking adventures as much as I can! This time of year is no exception — time to bring on as many pink, pretty and delicious sweet treats as possible! Or as many as my boys will eat!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

This is why I like using mini cast-iron skillets to make desserts — we each have our very own skillet filled with goodness! No reason to fight over how many cookies we each get. The only fighting is when the boys have to decide who gets the extra skillet  — and for the most part, they end up sharing it!

My guys loved these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies. The base is not too sweet – fluffy on the inside with a bit of crunch on the top and sides (just the way we like our cookies!) and the pretty pink milk chocolate M&M’s give the cookies an angelic feel and a blissful taste!

You will send your loved ones over-the-moon with these freshly baked skillet cookies — they will love you forever, and probably ask you for more!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

VALENTINE MINI SKILLET COOKIES

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Valentine Milk Chocolate M&M’s

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 4 mini cast iron skillets with non-stick spray and set aside. If you skillets are well seasoned, you can skip this step.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.  In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Dough will be thick.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the M&M’s and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Evenly divide the dough between 4 small mini cast iron skillets and press down gently to make an even layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature in either the skillet or remove and cut each cookie into 4 pieces.

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I hope your day is filled with love and a batch of these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xxoo

Sheila


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Vanilla Almond Biscotti

These pretty Vanilla Almond Biscotti are not-to-sweet and perfectly crunchy — ideal for dipping into your coffee, tea or milk!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

I always wanted to make biscotti, but never did; until recently that is.

And gee, what took me so long? It could be that I am not really into baking cookies, OK, don’t hate! I do love cookies, but I guess I don’t have the patience for scooping, shaping, placing evenly on the cookie sheet, baking and repeating the process until all the dough is gone! I would just rather turn my cookie recipe into a wonderful pan of bar cookies!

I am though, always up for making something new. You see, I love watching The Great British Baking Show. My husband thinks I’m crazy and wonders, why to I sit with my eyes glued to this show? Well, it’s because they whip up some of the most interesting things; most I have never heard of before. To me, it’s fun to watch and see how the home cooks figure out how and what to bake. A challenging baking show for sure!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

One one episode the bakers were challenged to make biscotti. Now this is something I have heard of and have always wanted to make. I stumbled across the episode, and yes, there were some strange concoctions. But I also watched the segment where the hosts showed exactly how to make biscotti.

As my eyes filled with delight, I knew biscotti was on my list try. The basic recipe looked so easy — my type of cookie for sure. However, do you ever get that feeling when you are watching cooking shows that even thought it looks easy, the magic of TV editing may play a big part of the outcome?

I do! But with this recipe I did not care. I wanted to make a cookie that was simple to make with simple ingredients, so visions of  Vanilla Almond Biscotti began to invade my head as I ventured to my local grocery store to pick up the few items I needed.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

I decided to make these one Saturday morning to surprise my boys. And they could barely wait for them to cool before they started devouring them. Yep, must be good if the boys like them. Did I say like? I think I really meant LOVE.

I had to steal some away to save for the photos or this would just be a post with crumbs on the plate!

As I explained to the guys, biscotti means “twice baked”, meaning that you bake them once, cut, put back on the baking sheet and bake again. The outcome is a deliciously crisp, yet soft, cookie. And they are good to eat any time of the day; that is if they last long enough after they come out of the oven!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

Vanilla Almond Biscotti

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup almonds

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until blended and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, butter and sugar and beat on high-speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. The add the vanilla and mix well. Remove bowl from the stand and gradually add the flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined. Then fold in the almonds.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two 3×10-inch logs on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 30-35 minutes. When the logs are cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes), use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4-inch pieces and place cut-side down onto two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, turning the biscotti half way through, until dry and firm.  Let cool completely in the pan.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

These Vanilla Almond Biscotti look as beautiful as they taste! Be warned, they are so good that you may want to double or triple the recipe just to make sure you get some to enjoy yourself!

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired and adapted from The Great British Baking Show & Real Simple}