Welcome to my Sweets Blog!

Welcome to my Sweets Blog!
I've been looking for a way to share my sweet creations with everyone, and I think I have found it--here is my sweets blog! As I experiment with delicious desserts & sweet treats, I will post pictures, recipes, and how-to tips & tricks. Hope you enjoy reading about my sweets as much I enjoy eating them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Truffles (No Sugar Added!)

The % shown on the packaging literally means
 how much of this chocolate bar is actually cocoa.
These are great snacks for anyone watching intake
 of refined carbs, since less than 10-15% of a small
bite of these bars is sugar! To put into perspective,
 a milk chocolate bar is usually only 30% cocoa,
which means a whopping 70% is sugar,
milk solids, & who knows what else.
Lately I've been curbing my daily chocolate cravings with Lindt Excellence Extra Dark (85%) or Supreme Dark (90%) chocolate bars. There is very little sugar or anything else but cocoa in these bars, and the flavor is so rich that you really don't need more than a small square to get a good chocolate fix. But there is something so much more satisfying about eating a homemade dessert! 
I have made chocolate truffles before, with milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. And sugar. So I know that basic technique of truffle-making. It goes something like this: Chop the chocolate, melt with butter. Simmer some heavy cream and sugar, and mix with the chocolate and butter. Refrigerate. Scoop into balls. Refrigerate again. Coat in more melted chocolate, nuts, cocoa, or more sugar. Eat! It's the type of recipe that is very easy to substitute different types of chocolate, add in different flavors, and coat with different toppings. Kind of like making your favorite chicken dish with salmon instead, or switching up the vegetables in a stir-fry to use the ones you have in the house. So I knew I could adapt a recipe for no-sugar dark chocolate truffles that would be similar to the Lindt dark chocolate bars, and would give me that tingly feeling I get when I eat my own delicious creations.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes

I know I'm not the only one super excited about this cupcake craze going on in the dessert world right now. 

Catch the Cupcake Wars
on the Food Network.
This show definitely sparks
my baking creativity!
There are so many cupcake shops opening up all over, and food-television is giving loads of attention to the trend with shows like one of my favorites, Cupcake Wars. (Catch the show sometime, it's awesome--if the contestants make it to the final challenge of the episode, they have to make 1,000 cupcakes in two hours!! Get more info on the show here on Food Network's website.)

I had to jump on this delicious bandwagon and learn how to make some fancy cupcakes. I have perfected a vanilla cupcake with buttercream. A simple recipe, sweet enough to satisfy any dessert craving, and they look party-ready when topped with rainbow sprinkles. For my dad's birthday, I tried to fill vanilla cupcakes with raspberry preserves. The raspberry filling tasted great--it was sweet and tangy, and made with real raspberries. The filling process, on the other hand, could have gone better. I tried to pipe the filling into the cupcakes, but while doing so I couldn't get a feel for how much filling was ending up in each cupcake. Luckily, my family members are all good sports when I ask them to taste-test for me...some cupcakes had a mouthful of raspberry, and others had a tiny speck! I'm definitely not finished exploring this cupcake-filling technique. But for my next attempt, I decided to try adding extra layers of flavor by filling the cupcakes in a different way--with candy! 

I came across a recipe for Brownie cupcakes on the Wilton website. So I thought, brownies, Reese's, & buttercream. What can possibly taste better than that? And so the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes came to life.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diana's Dream Cookies

My cookies are my thing. So it only seemed fitting that my first blog post should be dedicated to my famous sugar cookies. I have to admit that these are the best tasting decorated sugar cookies that I've ever eaten.  The cookie is sweet with a hint of vanilla and is slightly crispy, and the icing is sugary and hardens on the cookie, but melts right in your mouth. 

Below you will find everything you need to know about how to make delicious iced sugar cookies.