Salted Pretzel Almond Bark

Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateFor the days your sweet tooth needs some satisfaction but your mind keeps talking you out of it, you can still find a way to compromise. With this incredibly easy salted pretzel almond bark made with melted chocolate chips, you not only get a nice combination of sweet and salty but can snack without feeling super guilty. This sweet and salty bark makes a nice gift or just a good midnight snack.Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateTo make a small batch (about 10 pieces), you’ll need:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 handful of small pretzels
  • 1 handful of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)

First, lay out a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips on defrost mode for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the chocolate onto the wax paper and use the back of a spoon to spread it out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, if not a little bit thicker.

Take a handful of pretzels and use your hands to crunch them into smaller pieces. Spread over the chocolate and gently press the pieces down. Do the same with the almond slices, pushing down slightly to press them into the chocolate. Place the salt in your hands and evenly sprinkle it around the chocolate. It adds a little extra salt if you want it. Otherwise, the pretzels also give it a saltiness.Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | Revamperate Pretzel Almond Bark | RevamperateLet the chocolate sit for a while, or put the sheet in the fridge to speed up the hardening of the chocolate. When it’s hard enough, use your hands to break it into pieces.

That’s all there is to it. This pretzel almond bark is pretty easy, right? Package it up for a cute holiday gift or snack on it yourself. Enjoy!

Espresso Frosting on Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Despite never really liking coffee, it has become part of my daily routine. When I get up in the morning, I turn on the coffee maker, and Andrew and I sit together at our breakfast bar every morning drinking our coffee with different flavored creamers and preparing for the day. But let me tell you – I would so much rather start my day off with cupcake. An espresso cupcake to be exact.

Using my recent recipe for chocolate coffee cake, which I last paired with a caramel glaze, I made these espresso topped cupcakes that are made with real ground espresso powder, which is actually quite tough to find, so your best bet is to order it online ahead of time. With just a little added powder, this topping becomes delicious espresso frosting that pairs well with just about any cake, but my first choice is chocolate with some added coffee.

For this frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder

First, beat together the softened butter and powdered sugar, adding a little at a time until it is completely mixed. In a very small bowl, combine the vanilla and espresso powder and stir until the powder has blended into the vanilla (it won’t completely dissolve). Then add this mixture to the whipped butter and sugar, and continue to mix until it has evenly dispersed throughout the frosting. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water.  Espresso Frosting | Revamperate Espresso Frosting | RevamperateThen pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and serve. They are wonderful with a cup of coffee (hot or iced) or milk. Enjoy!

Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate I’ve never really thought of myself as a great baker, but recently I’ve found food to be the most inspiring thing around me. Although my blog is about so much more than recipes, you can see that I’ve picked up my baking game lately. I also never had a knack for homemade cakes – I’m all about boxed cake mix, but I’ve definitely hit a turning point in my baking. With this chocolate coffee bundt cake with carmel glaze, topped with butterscotch candy, I learned that I truly can make cake that beats up your average boxed cake mix. That’s not to say it’s not tough to make a good cake, but this cake is chocolate, coffee and caramel heaven.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 baking cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Butterscotch candy, chopped (optional, for topping)

For the caramel glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Cream together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, coffee and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and continue to beat until completely mixed. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Slowly add the brown sugar and milk, and turn up the heat to medium-to-high until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly with a spatula. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let the mixture sit for several minutes before adding the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Continue to stir until the powdered sugar has completely dissolved. If it’s too thick, add milk one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Let the cake cool on a cooling rack until you can remove it from the pan. Bundt cakes can be difficult to remove cleanly, but there are some tips here. Otherwise, you can certainly try this recipe with other pans. As you can see above, I also made several cupcakes out of this batch because I use a smaller than average bundt pan. Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | Revamperate Chocolate Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze | RevamperateWhen the frosting reaches a glaze consistency, drizzle it over the cake and sprinkle butterscotch candy on the top. For best results, serve warm and with a side of coffee or milk. I made this for Andrew’s coworkers, and it was quite a hit. Despite not having a lot of experience with from-scratch cakes, this chocolate coffee cake came out perfectly moist and rich, just the way it should be. Enjoy!

Cookie Butter Frosting

DSC_1007 DSC_1008I’m so excited to share this recipe for a number of reasons, but most importantly, I’m excited because I finally got a KitchenAid standing mixer! It’s absolutely gorgeous and this frosting is the first recipe I’ve used my new toy to make. My old hand mixer completely fried making cookies a couple days ago, so I knew it was time to make the big investment and buy myself an early Christmas present. I’m looking forward to sharing tons of new recipes on the blog with it. Now, to the cupcakes!

I hope you are all aware of the phenomenon of cookie butter. If you’re not, you might want to get down to Trader Joe’s and pick up a jar because it really is the best thing since sliced bread. Cookie butter is exactly what it sounds like – ground up cookies in butter form, like peanut butter but with cookies. Yeah, that’s about it.

But it’s amazing, and while it goes really good with just a spoon and a good TV show, it also goes really well with cupcakes. This cookie butter frosting recipe is as good as it sounds and would pair well with most cupcakes, but my favorite combination is a simple chocolate devils food cake. This recipe makes enough for about 18 cupcakes, depending on how generously you pipe your frosting.

Your ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of cookie butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk (optional)

Beat together the softened butter and cookie butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and then slowly add the powdered sugar. Once completely mixed, add in the milk for an extra creamy texture and you’re ready to begin piping.DSC_1024 DSC_1105Pipe the frosting on your cupcakes and prepare to amaze everyone with the phenomenon of cookie butter. So easy, right? Enjoy!

Homemade Butterfingers Bars

Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers BarsYou know what’s great about Halloween (besides costumes and decorations)? Candy! Especially when it’s half off after Halloween.

Fun fact about me – I absolutely love candy corn, something that most people don’t usually like. As I was looking up things to make with candy corn (because there’s such a limited window that you can find the stuff), I came across something a little surprising. Did you know you can make homemade butterfingers with candy corn?! Immediately I knew I had to try it.

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is with only three ingredients.

To make about 12 mini bars, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of candy corn
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips

On the stove, melt the peanut butter and candy corn together on low or medium-to-low heat. Stir continuously as the candy corn begins to soften and melt. I found it easier to put the peanut butter in first because the candy corn gets so sticky against the pot when melting.

When the mixture is completely melted and stirred together, it should have a thick consistency. Remove from heat. Lightly spray a square or rectangular pan with cooking spray, and use a spatula to spread the mixture into the pan. Press down and into the corners of the pan until it is flat and about ½ inch thick (much like you would with rice krispie treats). If it is not enough to fill your pan, simply use the spatula to make the end as straight as possible.

Let it sit until it is completely cool, and use a sharp knife to cut small bars out of the pan. I made mine about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.Homemade Butterfingers BarsMelt the chocolate chips on defrost mode for about 40 seconds, then stir, and repeat in 10-20 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. If needed, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate to thin it out a little. Use a fork to dip the butterfingers centers in chocolate and set on a piece of parchment paper to harden.Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers Bars Homemade Butterfingers BarsJust like that you have delicious bite sized homemade butterfingers! Not only are they so simple to make, they actually do taste like the real thing, and I bet you never thought candy corn would be the secret ingredient. You’ll never buy a butterfingers from the store again. Enjoy!




White Chocolate Cake Bites

DSC_0556DSC_0573The only thing better than cake is cake combined with frosting, amiright? You’re probably familiar with cake pops, but if you’re not, you’ve gotta get on board this delicious cake train. There are lots of ways to make cake pops and lots of fun ways to decorate them, whether you eat them off of a stick or by themselves. My version this time around is a little different than your normal chocolate cake bites because they’re flat. Truthfully, I found this way to be much easier to dip and store than your average balls. Plus, let’s be honest, they taste the same, no matter what shape they are.

Put these ingredients together:

  • Chocolate cake
  • Vanilla frosting (any is fine)
  • 1 bag (2 cups) of white chocolate chips

You’ll also need:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Cooling rack (or cookie sheet covered in foil)

The best way to start out is to, you know, bake a cake. I had leftover cake from a tiered chocolate cake I made a while back as well as some leftover homemade buttercream frosting. Here’s the fun part; combine your cake, crumbled up a bit, and some frosting in a bowl and mash it all together with your hands. The cake-to-frosting ratio isn’t a perfect one, so start with a little frosting and add more as you go. You want everything to stick together but not stick to your hands (or a rolling pin), making it easy to form into shapes. Once it is well-mixed, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. This will make it easier to roll out afterward.

Roll out your cake mixture with a rolling pin until it is only about a half inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or, in my case, the top of a sprinkles bottle, to cut out shapes in the dough mixture and place them on a cookie sheet. Once all your shapes are cut out, move the tray to the fridge. DSC_0543Next, melt the white chocolate chips in bowl by microwaving them on defrost mode for about one minute. Then stir the chocolate and continue to melt on defrost mode in 15 second intervals until completely melted. I have tried melting chocolate a hundred different ways over the past year and, trust me, this way works. Follow these directions and you’ll be fine as long as you stir well.

Once your chocolate is completely melted, drop your cut cake pieces into the chocolate and use a fork to turn it over, covering it completely, and pull it out with the cake bite sitting on the fork. Gently tap excess chocolate off and carefully place the cake bite on a wire cooling rack to drip and harden. You can also place them on a cookie sheet, but the cooling rack works well for letting excess chocolate drip off instead of pool around it. Once they’ve cooled and hardened, they are complete!DSC_0559You can easily add embellishments to these chocolate cake bites, like sprinkles or colored stripes, but I decided to keep it simple this time around. Take these bite-sized pieces of heaven anywhere you go and you’re sure to make friends.

Enjoy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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Everyone loves Reese’s, right? Well now you can make peanut butter cups at home, and I swear they’re at least as good.

Here’s what you’ll need to make peanut butter cups:

  • Mini cupcake pan
  • Mini cupcake liners
  • Chocolate chips
  • Brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegetable oil

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Start with lining your pan with mini cupcake liners. All of my measurements are approximate. You may need to adjust amounts based on taste or thickness. Melt 1 cup  of chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of oil in a small ceramic bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Fill the cupcake liners with a thin layer of chocolate, just enough to cover the bottom. Put the pan in the freezer to solidify the chocolate.

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While the chocolate freezes, make the peanut butter filling. In a pan, melt approximately 1 cup of peanut butter on low and slowly add 4 tablespoons of powered sugar and 4 tablespoons of brown sugar while you stir. Taste it as you go in case you want to adjust the sugar, but I find the sweeter the better with these. The sugar is important because it not only sweetens but changes the consistency of the the peanut butter. When it’s all mixed up, put the pan in the freezer until the peanut butter is hard enough to mold.

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When the mixture is ready to mold, create small balls in your palms and squish them down flat enough to fit comfortably inside the cups. There should be enough room on the sides and on the top for more chocolate. Heat 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of oil again for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat for 30 seconds. Pour the rest of the chocolate on top of each cup. It should fill the liner completely and stay flat on the top. Then put the pan into the freezer to finish them off.

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They should harden fairly quickly, and when they do, you can remove the peanut butter cups from the pan. From then on, keep them refrigerated so they don’t melt. I guarantee they’re delicious and great for gifting! My coworkers love them!