Chocolate “Munchkins” Donut Holes

July 5, 2012 § 20 Comments

Ohhhh, Munchkins!  Dare I say that it is impossible not to love them?  Especially those glazed chocolate ones.  They’re always the first to go. :-D

Last week a donut craving hit me hard. I don’t even like donuts that much, but then I read Jessica‘s blog (complete with two amazing donut recipes) and I just couldn’t resist.  I mean, HOMEMADE DONUTS?!  What’s not to like? ;-)

It’s amazing that I was able to wait a whole week to make some but, then again, my house was filled with leftover blueberry bread and homemade ice cream so I kinda had to wait.  Bummer!

Luckily all of that waiting gave me the time to sit down at my 10 page long “To Make List,” brainstorm flavors, drool over the aforementioned flavors, and then try to decide which kind to make.  Let me tell you, it’s hard work being Erika these days! ;-)

In the end, I chose to make chocolate munchkins because, like I said earlier, who doesn’t like munchkins?!  Plus, donut holes = built-in portion control…kinda. :-P

Chocolate “Munckins” Donut Holes

Adapted from AllRecipes

“Fudgy glazed donut holes…they taste just like Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins!”


For donuts:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For glaze:

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees.  Have ready a plate lined with several paper towels.
  2. While the oil is heating, in a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for glaze and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk,  sugar and melted butter.  Using a fork stir in all dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  4. Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, measure out ½ tablespoonfuls dough and, using your hands, roll into a ball.  Gently place dough ball into oil and fry for 2-3 minutes.  Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain onto a paper towel lined plate.  Dip the hot donut holes in the glaze. (You may have to warm up the glaze for a few seconds in the microwave before dipping.)  Serve immediately; donut holes are best eaten the same day they are made.

Yield:  ~2 ½ dozen donut holes

Cookies N’ Cream Brownies

May 31, 2012 § 8 Comments

This weekend I had a total Oreo meltdown. 

A total meltdown, as in, I bought two packages of those heavenly sandwich cookies and nearly drove myself crazy by promising I wouldn’t open them until I had a kick-ass recipe to use them in. 

An hour and over 15 Oreo-licious recipe ideas later, I had another meltdown.  It was 10PM and much too late for me to get in the kitchen and make sweets.  Ugh!  I was forced to wait another day until my Oreo void could be filled.  The temptation was almost too much to handle!  But, hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? ;-)

All day I’ve been dreaming of these brownies.  Well, not these exact brownies, but the brownies these brownies are based on.  Let me explain…

Back when I was in elementary school, the 5th graders would have bake sales once a month to help offset the cost of our “graduation.”  Even back then I was a little foodie, so each month I would bring my signature baked good.  Yup, you guessed it.  Cookies N’ Cream Brownies.

At that time I used a boxed cake mix and pre-made frosting so, in the midst of my Oreo meltdown, I decided that making a homemade version would be a good idea.  I was right.  These tasted 1000000x better than the original and that’s really saying something because the originals were pretty darn delicious!

Cookies N’ Cream Brownies

“Cookies N’ Cream Brownies inspired by an old favorite.  Dense, fudgy brownies topped with Cookies N’ Cream buttercream frosting, and crushed Oreos.  These brownies are what dreams are made of, folks!”

Brownies adapted from Epicurious


For Brownies:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For Cookies N’ Cream Buttercream:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup Oreo cookie crumbs (~5 Oreos ground  in the food processor) 
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.   Stir occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Once the butter mixture is cooled for 10 minutes, stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.  When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until well blended.  Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Meanwhile, beat together all ingredients for the buttercream and allow to sit at room temperature.
  5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board.  Spread prepared buttercream in an even layer on top of the brownies, cut, and serve.

Yield: 16 regular-sized brownies or 24 smaller ones

Enjoy! :-D

Nutella Whoopie Pies

May 14, 2012 § 16 Comments

Nutella…who doesn’t like that stuff?  It’s rich, chocolate-y, and let’s not forget delicious.  You’d have to be crazy not to like it!

I only know one crazy person who flat-out doesn’t like Nutella…and she happens to be my bestfriend.  Last year she informed me that she had never tried Nutella before so, naturally, being the Nutella addict that I am, I bought her a jar.  I watched intently as she ate her first-ever spoonful of Nutella totally expecting her to fall in love with it when instead she said Erika, you’re going to hate me, but it’s not as good as I thought.  I don’t really like it.”

I was beyond surprised.  This girl has a sweet tooth like whoa and she didn’t like Nutella?!  It’s practically the food of the gods. It was heart-breaking!  :-(

Perhaps I was being a tad over-dramatic but, the point is, that she is a minority and I’m sure the majority of you agree with me when I say that Nutella is absolutely, 100% amazing deliciousness.  If not, please leave right now…

Okay, now that all the die-hard Nutella fans are here, I need you to picture something in your head.  You might want to grab a napkin because your mouth is going to water.

Are you ready?

First, frosting.  Good buttercream frosting.  Whipped to perfection.  With Nutella blended in.  A pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. Two rich, cake-y whoopie pie cookies.  Soft, fluffy chocolate ones.  Filled with the aforementioned Nutella buttercream. It’s oozing out the sides.  You take a bite.  Bliss.

Nutella Whoopie Pies.  Make them and that will be your reality.  Believe me. ;-)

Nutella Whoopie Pies

Adapted from my Cake Batter Oreo Cakesters, originally adapted from Martha Stewart



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon agave, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Nutella Buttercream:

  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Wisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Place butter, shortening, sugar, and agave into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high-speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add egg and half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla. Then finally mix in remaining flour mixture.
  4. Drop about 2 teaspoons dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing approximately 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies spring back when lightly touched.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter, Nutella, cornstarch, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth.
  6. Pipe or spoon about 2 teaspoons filling onto the flat sides of half the cookies.  Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping the flat sides down.  Serve immediately or place in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Yield:  24 whoopie pies

*Note: I only added 3/4 cup milk and recommend adding the extra 2 tablespoons to ensure a flatter, more fluffy whoopie pie cookie.

I’m telling you, you’ve got to make these!

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