Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


2 Comments

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

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Pink and Chocolate Cake

Time to welcome the month of love with this pretty Pink and Chocolate Cake!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Or for me, just another reason to make something drool worthy using the color pink!

But really, I don’t need a special day or month just for that! I try to incorporate my favorite color into my recipes as much as I can!

If you hadn’t noticed from this blog, there is pink everywhere, and some of my favorite posts include Birthday Cake Bark, Pink Lemonade Sheet Cake, Honey Vanilla Cupcakes, and Peppermint Bark Cookie Bars.

Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE Valentine’s Day – heart decorations, lots of chocolate and of course, pink, pink and more pink!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

As you move past the pink, there’s the chocolate. Ah, let me tell you all about the chocolate cake — it’s out of this world fabulous! It’s moist, dense, and rich all rolled into one incredible, lip smacking cake. And the frosting is the best super fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth buttercream that you will ever experience!

Put the cake and the frosting together, and well, let’s just say you and your sweetie will be on cloud nine!

I loved it (well, duh!).

My boys loved it (amazing!).

My co-workers loved it (spoiled!).

And you will love it too!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

You see, I made a cake similar to this one about a month ago. For that version I added peppermint extract and chopped peppermint bark to the frosting. It was A M A Z I N G!

Unfortunately, I got very sick right after it was made (ok, not from the cake — I got that terrible flu!) and did not have the energy or desire to take photos of the beautiful cake. And by the time I was up to possibly dragging myself out of bed, well, the cake had seen better days!

So I decided to recreate my scrumptious cake for Valentine’s Day. However, when I was making it, I asked my boys if they wanted peppermint frosting or vanilla. And of course they said vanilla — go figure! I sided with them (I would have made the frosting peppermint!), as I wanted them to enjoy this special treat.

But if you love the flavor combination of peppermint and chocolate (like I do!), then by all means substitute peppermint extract (about 1/2 teaspoon) for the vanilla extract as indicated for the frosting recipe.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

PINK & CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Servings: 15-18
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream (or you can use milk)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
3-4 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 11×7-inch baking ban with non-stick spray and set aside. This makes for a thick cake, if you prefer you can use a 13×9-inch pan and adjust the baking time.

For the cake, in a large mixing bowl whisk flour, granulated sugar and salt, and set aside.

Over low heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Add the boiling water and turn up the heat to medium and allow mixture to boil for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and pour the hot mixture over the flour mixture and lightly stir.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Then pour this mixture into chocolate flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour into prepared sheet cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Then, with the mixer on low-speed, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, milk and the red food coloring, adding a couple of drops until you get the color you prefer. Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Frost the cake using an off set spatula, and smooth to create an even layer. Slice into squares and enjoy! Note, this is a rich cake, so a little piece goes a long way. Yield: 15-18 squares.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Spread the love with your special someone by sharing a big slice of this incredible Pink & Chocolate Cake!

xxoo

Sheila

 

{Adapted from my Texas Sheet Cake and Coconut Buttercream Frosting}


2 Comments

Valentine M&M Blondies

Spread the love with these pretty Valentine M&M Blondies!

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

If you didn’t know it already, I love the color pink. And anytime I can incorporate any variation of this sweet color into my baking, I do (as you may have noticed a bit of pink on this blog).

And to me, Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to go all out with pink!

I know some of you are all about red for this day for lovers, but for me, pink steals my heart every the time.

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

So today, I have taken one of my all-time favorite recipes, blondies, and added some pretty little M&M’s to make these especially scrumptious Valentine’s treats!

This recipe is super easy and super delish! You start with a rich buttery base and toss in the sweet pink chocolate candy bits, and voila, you’ve got Valentine M&M Blondies to share with your loved ones!

It’s true…from the first bite of these heavenly squares, love will strike and they will cherish you forever!

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Valentine M&M Blondies

  • Servings: 12 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups Valentine M&M Candies

Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 11×7-inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until combined. Set aside until ready to use.

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

On low-speed, slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Remove from stand and fold in the M&M’s. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Put in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has turned golden brown and the blondies are set. Do not over bake.

Cool the blondies in the pan on a wire rack until cool. Cut into large squares. Yield 12 large squares.

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Pretty, pink and perfectly delicious, these Valentine M&M Blondies will make cupid’s job a whole lot easier!

Have a sweet day!

Sheila


9 Comments

Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust {gluten-free}

This decadent Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust is the perfect romantic treat to share with your loved one!

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

If you’re looking to sweeten up your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, look no further. Every bite of this chocolate coconut goodness will melt the heart of your loved one and have them begging you for more! This is THE recipe to make!

And even better if your special someone is a chocolate lover, as the filling is a rich chocolate ganache — it’s chocolate at its best!. Now, don’t let the fancy name fool you, as ganache is simply chocolate heated by warmed cream and stirred to a smooth, perfect consistency.

This recipe is so easy to prepare, yet your sweetheart will think you slaved all day in the kitchen preparing this luscious Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust — but in fact, in no-time flat your mouth-watering tarts will be done and ready for you to enjoy after a romantic dinner.

So it’s time to whip up a little sweet magic and put a spell on your guy!

You only need 4 ingredients – for the crust you’ll combine coconut and butter and for the ganache its chocolate and heavy cream. Oh yeah, and this yummy tart is gluten-free! Need I say more? Nope, as the outcome is a soft yet crunchy coconut crust smothered in smooth rich chocolate.

You can even whip up some freshly whipping cream to serve on the side. But for me, I don’t think it needs it – some things are just better left simple – brings out the pure, amazing flavors. Simply heavenly!

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust {gluten-free}

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 bag (14 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, process the butter and about 1/3 of the coconut until mixture forms a ball. This will take about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Then sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of coconut over mixture. Using your hands, combine until fully incorporated.

To make the crust; divide the coconut mixture among 4 mini ceramic pie plates or tart pans and press coconut into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the center begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling; add the chocolate to a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Then to a small saucepan add the cream and let it come just to a boil over medium low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes, then stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is combined. Pour into coconut crusts and refrigerate until filling is set, 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

Shower your love with this simply irresistible Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust — and my your Valentine’s day be filled with lots of love and sweets!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Martha Stewart}