It still feels unreal to me that it has been one year already since I published my first post on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.  I have enjoyed the whole blogging experience so much and you all are truly the best part.  I love the community of bloggers that I have met that feel like friends even though we have never met in person.  And I love all of the kind and thoughtful comments that you readers leave on my posts.  I could have never imagined how much time I would spend taking photographs and baking and how much I would continue to love to write.  Thank you for your support and continued reading.

I thought that in honor of Satisfy My Sweet Tooth celebrating it’s first birthday, I would share some of my favorite posts and the most popular posts according to readers.

In no particular order:

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel  and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut M&M Cookie Bars

Profiteroles

Brownie Pie

Babybel-stuffed Meatballs

Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Fresh Spring Rolls

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Peanut Butter Cups

My favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

Is there anything in particular you would like to see on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth in the future?

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Valentine’s Day was always my favorite holiday growing up.  I know it sounds strange, but I have always been quite a girly-girl and I have always melted over anything pink, red and/or heart-shaped.  I was the girl who made my valentines out of paper doilies and would go so far as to string ribbon through the edges of the doilies!  Naturally there was also plenty of glitter and stickers involved.  There was nothing better to me than coming up with a clever idea for my valentine box for school and I just loved bringing it home, dumping it out and reading notes from friends, trying to decipher what the boys really meant with the messages on the conversation hearts they gave me and eating candy!  While my love for Christmas has probably surpassed my feelings about Valentine’s Day, the holiday is still a close 2nd.  And not for any of the materialistic reasons either.  I don’t want or expect anything from my husband.  A thoughtful card means more to me than any roses or jewelry.  I just love making treats for others and being able to whip out my pink and red food coloring!

So with Valentine’s Day only a few days away, my brain has gone to all things pink, hearts and chocolate.  I came home on Monday and my sweet valentine had some lovely red tulips waiting for me which was completely unexpected and therefore made my day.  So now I want to make my Valentine’s Day complete with some delicious and festive treats.

With how much of a chocoholic I am, it is surprising that I don’t make brownies more often.  I have had this recipe tucked away for a while and it combines  two of my favorite ingredients:  chocolate and coconut.  There is even a layer of caramel in these brownies, so they are pretty close to perfection.  Even without all of the toppings, the brownies themselves are rich and fudgey due to the combination of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and unsweetened cocoa powder.  And the toasted coconut gives just enough crunch to keep you very interested.  If you need a sweet Valentine treat for a chocolate lover in your life, these will earn you serious brownie points (pun intended :)).

 

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A few tips:

  • After making this recipe, I think you could simply grease your pan and not line it with parchment paper.  Your choice, I just felt like all the parchment paper did was make the sides of my brownies and uneven shape.  And if you grease the pan well, you shouldn’t have any trouble removing the brownies.
  • Spray the bowl that you use to melt the caramels in with nonstick cooking spray and it will be much easier to clean when you are finished :).
  • Nuts would be another lovely addition to these brownies.

combine chocolate chips, butter and water and microwave until chocolate is melted

whisk in sugar, then eggs

whisk in flour, cocoa powder and salt

pour batter into prepared pan and bake

melt caramel candies and milk together and pour over cooled brownies

sprinkle toasted coconut over the top and press gently

allow caramel to cool completely, then cut and serve

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Is there anything more fabulous than brunch?  It is two meals in one which is a perfect excuse to eat more and really indulge.  In my opinion, a good brunch has both savory and sweet offerings, which can also be a reason for over-indulging.  For example, I can only eat 3-4 bites of something sweet like pancakes or a yogurt parfait

and then my palate wants a bite of something salty to cut the richness.  So then I will have a bite or two of eggs

or a salty starch, and what do you know?  I am ready for something sweet again!  It is a deliciously vicious cycle!

I also love brunch for another reason.  When else (after your college years have passed :)) is it acceptable to have a cocktail before noon?  I love a refreshing bellini or mimosa to wash down my sweet and savory bites.

I was invited to a brunch this past Sunday and I was asked to bring “some type of bread” which in my mind meant a sweet bread.  I wasn’t feeling scones and muffins just seemed a little blah so I turned to my good friends Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito and their book Baked Explorations.  Ok, Matt and Renato are only my  friends in my imagination, but I can still always count on them to offer something perfectly scrumptious for any occasion.

(image source)

Since I purchased this book, I have been waiting for a reason to make the Monkey Bubble Bread.  I have had Monkey Bread many times before, but in this recipe, the dough is made from scratch and each dough ball is dipped in melted butter followed by a roll in a cinnamon sugar mixture which then makes a caramel while the bread is baking.  Are you drooling yet?  This Monkey Bubble Bread not only tastes amazing but it looks very impressive and is a fun dish to share because everyone can just pull apart as many pieces as he or she wants.  And trust me, you will want many pieces.

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combine warm milk and yeast

in another bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt

add egg, milk and melted butter and mix with paddle attachment 

switch from paddle to dough hook and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes

dough should easily form into a ball and pull away from the bowl

cover dough and let rest until doubled in size

punch dough down and then cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces

dip dough balls into butter, then cinnamon sugar and place into bundt pan

let dough rest until doubled in size again, then bake and cool for 5 minutes

invert onto serving dish and serve warm

What is your favorite brunch dish?

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Jan 03
2012

Top 11 of 2011

When Satisfy My Sweet Tooth came into existence this past summer, I had no idea where this adventure would take me.  What I started as something to share recipes with friends and family and hone my photography skills has slowly developed into a full-time obsession that I just can’t get enough of!  Experimenting, writing, taking photos and sharing all of it with you has been such a pleasure and I thank you sincerely for following along with my on my culinary adventures!

I thought I would sum up my first 6 months of blogging with some highlight of my favorite recipes and yours.

1.  Possibly my most popular recipe are these Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars.  Rich and buttery graham cracker crust topped with homemade caramel, chocolate ganache and sea salt.  Need I say more?

On another note, did you know that “espresso” is one of the most commonly mispronounced words?  I read a list of words in the newspaper this week.  People usually stick a “c” in there to make it “ek-spress-oh”.  Just thought you would want to know.

2.  I was surprised how gaga you all went for these sweet and salty beauties.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I drool over these Peanut Butter, Pretzel and Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I am so happy at how many of you lovelies have let me know that you have made and enjoyed these as well.

3.  Next are these Coconut, M&M Cookie Bars.  These bars combine two of my favorite ingredients:  chocolate and coconut.  The flavor of these cookies is almost like the Samoas Girl Scout cookies and they are just so chewy and addicting.

4.  One of my favorite savory recipes that I have shared with you is this pasta with Red and Green Pesto.  I can’t believe I have only made it once and I also just realized that this would be a very festive Christmas recipe!  I really should start making a list for next year’s holiday season already…..

 

5.  And of course, my all-time favorite pasta, Grandma Suzy’s Fettucini Freddi.  This sauce is so clean and simple, yet every time I eat it, I cannot stop oohing and aahing over it.  And especially now that I received the pasta maker attachment for my mixer, I cannot wait to make homemade noodles with this silky, delectable sauce!

6.  I was so thrilled when I stumbled upon this Crock Pot Apple Butter this fall!  Talk about an easy food gift to share with others.  This will be a staple that I make every fall when friends and family give me apples from their fall harvests.

7.  Nothing really satisfied my craving for crunch like these Heath and Macadamia Nut Blondies.  Chocolate, toffee and nuts are such a rich combination and all of the textures together makes these bars particularly drool-worthy.

8.  I took my first cooking class in 2011 with Emily.  The recipe that I have made the most often from that evening of learning is these Fresh Spring Rolls.  I love how diverse they are because of all of the possible fillings and the sauce is so perfect that I do not even want to order them out at restaurants anymore!  And they are a perfect healthy recipe to start off 2012 right.

9.  I never realized how starting my own blog would lead to an obsession with other blogs!  There is just so much inspiration to be found by browsing through other people’s creative ideas.  No ingredient was more prominent in the blog world during the fall than pumpkin.  I have a few pumpkin classics that I make each year and possibly my favorite is this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake.  It is so moist and incredible.

10.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  These bars are a perfect example of how i see a recipe and then brainstorm about how I can change it to fit my preferences.  These are chewy, nutty, filling and healthy.  A breakfast treat or snack that you can really feel good about.

11.  And finally, one of my favorite combinations, chocolate and peanut butter combined in these soft and chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups and Sea Salt.  Cookies are my absolute favorite dessert!  I’ll take a perfect cookie over a rich chocolate tart or cake any day.  They are also very dangerous though because I can never eat just one!  This is a cookie that you could easily put your own spin on with several different ingredients.  Let your creativity shine!

I am not big on resolutions, but a new year does make me think about what improvements I would like to make in my life.  As always, I know that I want and need to exercise more.  I actually feel excited about it after lounging non-stop and eating way too many holiday delights.

I have an email folder, Pinterest board and cookbooks full of recipes that I cannot wait to try this year.  I hope that you will continue to join me on my adventures in the kitchen.  I do so appreciate your readership and support.  I always love hearing from you and please let me know if there is anything special you would like me to share with you in 2012.  Happy New Year sweet teeth!

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On the 4th Day of Christmas my sweet tooth gave to me Pecan Caramels.

Is there anything more fabulous and frustrating at the same time than candy-making?  I have almost been brought to tears many times over a flopped batch of fudge or caramels that were rock hard.  I think the only thing that can make it any easier is practicing.

I have finally gotten the art of caramels down (at least this year :)) and I really think the key to success is a good thermometer.  The one that I have is this one that I purchased at Williams Sonoma for not too bad of a price.

(source:  Williams Sonoma)

The thing about a candy thermometer is it is very boring to watch until about 10 degrees before your goal temperature and then things really take off.  You must watch it oh so closely and remove your pan immediately when you see your target number.  If you do that and remember to butter your pan well before pouring the molten mixture into it, it should be smooth sailing.

 

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What candy have you had trouble making but then mastered with practice?

melt butter in a medium saucepan

add sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, nuts and corn syrup and attach candy thermometer to pan

bring mixture to a boil and heat until thermometer reads 240 degrees

add vanilla and pour into well-buttered pan

cool completely then cut caramels and wrap in wax paper

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