Brownie Bites with Homemade Frosting

Brownie Bites with Homemade Frosting - via GloriousTreats.com

Need a pretty dessert to feed a crowd?   Impress your guests with delicious little brownie bites with homemade frosting!

From time to time I am asked to make dessert for a large group…such a church or school event, or large party.  Although I love making desserts totally from scratch, time is not always on my side!  I like to have a few ideas up my sleeve that are pretty, delicious, and easy to make for large events.

If you start with high quality, store bought brownie bites and dress them up with a selection of delicious homemade frostings, you can easily make dessert for a crowd!  I used delicious brownies from Sugar Bowl Bakery, available at Costco and many local grocery stores.

Delicious Homemade Frostings, perfect to dress up store bought brownie bites!! - GloriousTreats.com

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Homemade Buttercream Frosting

This delicious frosting can be used to dress up brownie bites, and is equally delicious on cupcakes and cakes.

Ingredients:

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese, cold
4 cups powdered sugar

Vanilla option-
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or 1 Tablespoon milk)
(garnish) fondant flowers and/or sprinkles

Mocha option-
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved into 2 tablespoons of hot water
(garnish) chocolate covered coffee beans

Raspberry option-
3-4 Tablespoons raspberry jam (preferably 100% fruit spread)
(garnish) fresh raspberries

Mint option-
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or 1 Tablespoon milk)
green food coloring
(garnish) chopped chocolate mint candies (such as Andes mints)

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.

Add the cream cheese and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

While slowly blending, add 1-2 cups powdered sugar.

Add liquid and flavoring ingredients based on your flavor choices below, and blend.

Add remaining powdered sugar, and beat until all ingredients are well incorporated, and frosting is fluffy (20-30 seconds).

Recipe Source - Glorious Treats


Delicious Homemade Frostings, perfect to dress up store bought brownie bites!!  - GloriousTreats.com

If you need to brush up on your piping skills, feel free to reference my post on How to Frost Cupcakes, which includes a quick video, and shows which piping tips produce which final look.

Which of these tasty little brownies would you chose first… raspberry, vanilla, mocha or mint?

Brownie Bites dressed up with deliciousi homemade frosting - GloriousTreats.com

 

Disclosure – I was provided products from Sugar Bowl Bakery for dessert for my daughter’s school auction.  I only work with companies I love and promote products I truly use.

Carrot Cake Recipe

Classic, homemade and delicious!   Carrot Cake Recipe - via GloriousTreats.com

I’ve wanted to share a delicious carrot cake recipe here for quite a long time!  The road block I kept running into was… what ingredients should be included in the “perfect” carrot cake?  I love my carrot cake to include nuts, raisins, pineapple and coconut… but I know not everyone agrees with this “loaded” version of carrot cake.

I recently asked readers on my Glorious Treats Facebook page to share what ingredients they like to be included in carrot cake.   Not surprisingly, the votes were quite split!

So… I set out to find a recipe that is delicious when filled with all of my favorites, but also would work with most any combination of ingredients you prefer!  Even if you’d like to omit a few of the ingredient “additions” I think you’ll find this carrot cake recipe is moist, flavorful and delicious!

This classic, homemade carrot cake recipe is loaded with nuts, raisins, pineapple and coconut, (just the way I like it!) but feel free to adjust to your personal preferences.

Moist, homemade and delicious!  Carrot Cake Recipe - via GloriousTreats.com

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Carrot Cake

This classic carrot cake is loaded with nuts, raisins, coconut and pineapple, then topped with rich and delicious cream cheese frosting!

Yield: 1- 9"x13" cake

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
3/4 cup raisins or currants

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (I used olive)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or use an additional 1/4 cup oil)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup drained, (canned) crushed pineapple

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a 9"x13" cake pan, OR two 9" round cake pans by rubbing lightly with butter or oil and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
Add nuts, coconut and raisins to the flour mixture, then set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl and using a hand mixer), blend eggs and sugar.
Add oil, apple sauce and vanilla and blend until fully combined.
Stir in carrots and pineapple. Blend well.
While slowly mixing, pour in the bowl of dry ingredients. Blend until fully combined.
Pour batter into prepare pan(s). Spread to level, as needed.
Bake 9"x13" pan for 50-60 minutes (mine was ready at 54 minutes, in a metal pan).
The cake is ready when it appears baked on top, has a slight dome and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will be quite dark.
Allow cake to cool (about an hour) before frosting.

Prepare frosting -
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese, and beat until smooth and fully combined.
While mixing, add the powdered sugar, a little at a time. After you've added two cups of sugar, add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream.
Add additional sugar until you've reached the desired consistency and desired sweetness. Add the additional tablespoon of cream as needed.
Spread onto cooled cake (using an offset spatula).

Garnish finished cake with nuts if desired.

Recipe source - Glorious Treats

Ingredient options - If you do not care to add nuts, raisins or coconut, each of those items are optional and the rest of the recipe can remain the same. If you do not care to add pineapple, you may omit it, but I would suggest replacing with 1/2 cup apple sauce or 1/2 cup sour cream to keep the cake nice and moist.

Cake sizes - This recipe will make a nice thick cake in a 9"x13" pan, and the baking time is listed for this size. You could also bake this cake in most any combination of pans (8" round, 9" round, 10"x15" jelly roll pan, etc.) It would be near impossible to list the baking times for each possible cake pan size. The cake is done with it has a slight dome, appears baked on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Delicious homemade Carrot Cake!  - via GloriousTreats.com

Give this delicious homemade carrot cake recipe a try and share it with people you love.   This cake “keeps” quite well and is even better the day after it’s made.

Happy baking!

Pretty Cookie Packaging

Pretty Cookie Packaging - GloriousTreats.com

Oh how I love pretty packaging!  Pretty cookie packaging can elevate even a simple cookie into a beautiful favor or gift!

Certainly there are LOTS of different ways to package cookies and treats!  In fact, I’ve shared several different cookie packaging ideas over time HERE, HERE and HERE.

Although I have shown this general style of cookie packaging before, when I recently posted an image on my Instagram feed (read, please follow me on Instagram) of a pretty packaged hydrangea cookie, I had several requests to share my packaging technique.  I thought it might be a good time to revisit the idea, and share a more in-depth step by step.

So I “whipped up” another batch of hydrangea cookies and I have all the step by step packaging directions for you!

Certainly, this packaging style could be used for most any cookie or treat.

If you’d like the directions for decorating the Hydrangea Cookies shown, hop over HERE.

Let’s get started…

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step tutorial, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 1-  Assemble your supplies.  For each finished cookie package you’ll need…

1- 4″ x 9″ gusseted cookie bag (such as this)

1- 4″ x 6″ flat cookie bag (such as this)

1- piece of cardstock (in your choice of color) 3.75″ x 6″

1- piece of cardstock 4″ (wide) x 3″ (tall), folded in half lenghtwise (using a bone folder if available).

Ribbon (of your choice)

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 2-  Place the 3.75″ x  6″ piece of cardstock inside the smaller bag.  It’s hard to see from the photo above, but this has been done.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 3-  Place the bag with the cardstock INSIDE the larger, gusseted bag.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 4- Place your cookie inside the gusseted bag.  I like to use a spatula to avoid getting oil (from the cookie) on the bag or my hands.  If you notice, the bag that has the cardstock in it is inside one of the gussets (folds) of the bag, and the cookie is in the other fold.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

 

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 5-  Fold over the larger bag until it meets the top of the cardstock, and/or the top of the cookie.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 6-  Grab your pre-folded piece of cardstock and use it to enclose the folded bag (as shown).

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 7 – Staple the folded bag and folded cardstock all together.  I usually do two staples, one on each side (as shown below).  If you do not want the staples to show, you can staple the folded bag only, then use double sided tape to hold down the folded cardstock.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Step 8 – The packaged cookie is almost complete, simply add ribbon to cover the staples and complete the look.

Pretty Cookie Packaging - Step by Step, via GloriousTreats.com

Now you have a beautifully packaged cookie, and the oils from the cookie will not stain the paper backing.  Feel free to mix and match different paper and ribbon to coordinate with your cookies.

Certainly this packaging technique is a bit more time consuming and costly than the standard cookie bag tied with a piece of ribbon.  I do not package my cookies like this for every occasion, but I do find it’s perfect for a special little gift, or extra pretty favor.

Love hydrangeas?  In additional to my hydrangea cookie tutorial, I have a pretty post on hydrangea cupcakes.

Happy baking, decorating and packaging!

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

There is something about sunny spring weather that gets me thinking about fresh citrus flavors.  These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are a perfect spring treat!  And these cookies are so delicious, and simple to make, I know I’ll be making them all though the year!

These sweet and chewy cookies have a subtle lemon flavor, and just the perfect amount of crisp on the outside.  Everyone in my house loved them!!

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

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Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Sweet, rich and chewy cookies with a subtle lemon flavor.

Yield: 30-36 cookies

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
Zest of 2 lemons (2-3 teaspoons zest)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar (or sanding sugar), for rolling cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat type baking mats.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and blend until fully incorporated.

4. Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla and lemon juice and blend until fully combined.

5. While mixing on low, slowly pour in the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.

6. Use a 2 Tablespoon sized cookie scoop to scoop dough. Roll balls of dough in a small bowl with sugar, then place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake cookies 8-9 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges and slightly puffy. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Recipe Source - Rock Recipes via My Baking Addiction.

Note - Roll the cookies in white or light yellow sanding sugar (versus granulated sugar) for a bit of extra sparkle. Sanding sugar is sold in most craft stores near the cake decorating items.

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies - via GloriousTreats.com

These simple, yet delicious Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are one of my new favorite cookies!  They’re a perfect lunch box or picnic treat, or a delicious addition to any cookie tray.

Love cookies?  Try a few of my other favorites…

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Crinkles

Cowboy Cookies

Happy  baking!!

Cookie Con 2014 Giveaway!! {Closed}

Earlier this week I shared a peek of some of the fun from the cookie decorating convention and show I attended last month, Cookie Con.

Cookie Con is always a great event (here’s my recap of 2012 and 2014), but this year one of the “new and improved” components of the event was a vendor hall full of vendors selling all of the beautiful supplies us bakers and ”cookiers” can’t get enough of!

I thought it would be a little mean to tell you about all of the wonderful goodies that were available without getting a few for you too!  So I’ve teamed up with several of this year’s Cookie Con vendors to bring you a Baker’s Dream Giveaway!!

Specialty cookie cutters… check, adorable packaging materials… check, sprinkles… of course!!

Take a peek at all of the gorgeous loot I gathered….

Baker's Dream Giveaway!!  - via GloriousTreats.com

Let me tell you about the gorgeousness you see here…

Adorable cupcake print pot holders and two fun colors of sanding sugar, from Orson Gygi.

A collection of adorable and unique cookie bags, from Kurabiiki.

Elevate your cookie or treat baskets with picks from Twirled Up.

A collection of quality extracts, from Nielsen Massey.

A signed copy of my book, Glorious Layered Desserts.

Four custom cookie cutters, from Truly Mad Plastics.

10 cookie boxes (5 small, 5 medium), from BRP Box Shop.

6 large spools of custom ribbon, as well as a bright and durable apron, from Ribbon by Design.

A total value of over $200.00!!

 

Don’t you think you’d feel extra inspired to make some beautiful treats with all of these fun supplies?!

Let me tell you how to win…  {Giveaway Closed}

1.)  Simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me the item(s) you’d be most excited to win from this collection of goodies!

2.)  For a second entry, leave a (second) comment telling me you’re following Glorious Treats on one or all of my social media pages…

LIKE Glorious Treats on Facebook

Follow Glorious Treats on Twitter

and/or follow Glorious Treats on Instagram.

 

Details -  Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.  Maximum of two entries per person.  Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 30th, at 9pm Pacific.  Winner will be chosen using random.org.

Please be sure to visit each of the giveaway sponsors sites, each business sells items that I use and love, and I know you will too!

Good luck!!

************************************ Giveaway Closed ************************************

Winning comment, #171 Laura