Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ask and you shall receive

I'm on Twitter. No, that’s not a drug. It’s a social networking site. One of the interesting things about it is meeting people in REAL life who you’ve been talking to for months on twitter.

Well, one such person that I know on Twitter from Boston comes down to NYC occasionally and asked for a specific recipe next time all his Twitter buds met up. I promised him I would make it, and a promise is a promise….no matter how exhausted I am.

Well, exhausted me = more messy me. First step was to measure the flour and put it in a sifter.
In Twitterland we would call that a #fail.

Then, of course, there is the measuring of peanut butter. Now, whoever thought that measuring peanut butter would be a great idea obviously never did it. It sticks to EVERYTHING and made my poor goose measuring cup look like it was a volcano exploding (or like my goose was molting brown feathers.)Well, have no fear. Even an exhausted and extra messy Erika Beth still ends up baking a delicious dessert.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Erika's Extra Notes: Add a sugar heart for extra cuteness, but watch out! Love multiplies quickly! Bake well and prosper!

(Psssst! Follow me on twitter: EBthemessychef)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It’s springtime in NY and I wanted to make something with lemons. So, I flipped through my Mom’s trusty Best Recipe book and found Lemon Surprise. Well, surprise indeed! I don’t really remember my mom making these bars. But hey! It involved lemons!

Another surprise would be how many faces I saw in the inanimate objects of this recipe! For instance, did you realize lemons look like eyes?
And when you break eggs and separate the yolks…..well, take a look.
And look what I found in the pan!!!
(Ok, ok….I drew that one.)

One more surprise was a little longer in the making. The instructions say to beat the egg whites until stiff. I had a small inkling of what that meant. So, I took a whisk and beat the eggs for about a minute. There. Good enough.

Then I put all the ingredients together and stared at the batter.
There was NO way this was going to bake. At least, that’s what I thought. But, I made a leap of faith and put it in the oven anyway.

The bars came out lovely. SURPRISE! They were almost like custard. SURPRISE! I spoke to my mom today. “Until stiff” = stiff. As in you could make peaks with the whites. So THAT’S why my batter didn’t impress me. SURPRISE!

However, with or without the stiff egg whites, this recipe still tasted great and was a refreshing way to end a lovely spring day.
Lemon Surprise (from my Mom’s Best Recipes Cookbook)
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C flour
2 T melted butter
1/2 C lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon
3 eggs, seperated
1 1/2 C milk, scalded

Beat egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat egg yolks and milk. In a third bowl, mix sugar, flour, and butter together. Add lemon juice and rind. Add the egg yolk mixture to this and beat well. Fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Pour into greased 8x9 or 9x9 pan. Place dish in pan of hot water. Bake 325 degrees for 45 minutes. A custard pudding will be on the bottom and on the top it will be more cake like. Cut into 9 squares.Bake well and prosper!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

I am not a morning person. Those who know me would probably argue this statement due to knowing me as a person who gets up to run, but this statement is true. Because of many jobs where I had to get up SUPER early to be at work at 6am during college, I learned how to get up and go. That doesn’t mean I’m a morning person. Trust me. But, knowing I was waking up to make blueberry muffins the other day made me more of a morning person. Because, well, blueberries are so cheerful, don’t you think? Not to mention they make very pretty and artistic messes! All hail the blueberry!
Of course, once added to batter it looks like something from a SciFi movie.

Blueberry Muffins (from my Mom’s Best Recipes Cookbook)

2 C flour
1 ¼ C sugar
2 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ C melted butter
2 eggs
½ C milk
1 C blueberries (Erika’s Exra: I like to use frozen ones. No rhyme or reason on why.)

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and eggs, one at a time. Add melted butter. Flour berries; add to batter. Pour into cupcake liners in muffin pan, and sugar generously on top. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until quite crisp. Makes 20.Bake well and prosper!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the Oscar goes to.....

Whoa! What is that?!!!
I’m sorry. It looks like our regularly scheduled program has been interrupted and replaced with a dessert. *whispering to stage manager* Ah, yes. Well, it looks like we’ll just have to talk about dessert instead of the Oscars.

This is just fine seeing I made a FABULOUS cake for my friend’s Oscar party tonight. I was inspired by someone I would give a food Oscar to for cutest food presentation. Once again, I have been inspired by Bakerella for my dessert this week.

I decided to make my own version of Peanut Butter Cup Cake.

Confession: I've never made a double layer cake. But, if I do say so mayself, I made pretty ones today:
Another confession: I've never made creamy cake icing like this recipe calls for from scartch. I've usually bought it from a can or made something different for frosting. I's shocking. But once again, if I do say so myself, I made a pretty frosting:
*furious whispering to stage manager* What is THAT picture doing up? I was on a whole "pretty" roll!!! *sigh* Yep. Those are my hands after using said pretty frosting for said pretty cake. Pretty, ain't it?

Peanut Butter Cups Cake (from:
1 devil’s food cake mix
3 eggs1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (plus more for garnishing – I used 2 bags)
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with wax paper and coat paper.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.

Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool cakes completely.

Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and then pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.

Trim each cake layer so the tops are flat. Place one layer on a cooling rack and pour 1 cup frosting on top. Spread evenly with a spatula. Add second layer and pour remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Smooth out with spatula.

Allow frosting to set for a minute and gently press remaining chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over top and sides of cake. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to set. Remove and serve.

Erika's Extra: I opted not to put the chopped peanut butter cups in my cake dough to cut some of the peanut butter flavor. When putting the cakes together, I put some smaller chunks in the icing in the middle of the two cakes.

Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I’m the youngest of four children so I know all about sharing. I promise I do. But what you’re about to read may come as a shock. The recipe I made this weekend was SOOOOOOOOO delicious that I only shared ONE piece with ONE person. The rest I am eating. Yes, me, the baby of my family. The cute, wouldn’t hurt a fly, wants everyone to feel loved baby of the family is hoarding these all to herself.

As the title of this blog suggests, I made whoopie pies. However, I was considering naming it, “I Have a Serious Problem.” And not just because I make a mess with the simplest tasks like getting a half teaspoon of cinnamon.
(One would think the instructions said “pour cinnamon on counter.” Sheesh!)

No, I have another serious problem other than depth perception. Ergh! I just don’t know how to broach the topic. Here, I’ll come out and say it. *taking a big breath and closing my eyes* My name is Erika Beth, and I am addicted to cookie dough.

*opening one eye and then another* Wow. That wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I mean, it’s not like there’s any evidence that I have a problem.
Well, besides that.
Oh…right. And the spoon.
Oh my. Y’all are not seeing this. No, that isn’t from the mixer…. *sigh* Who am I kidding? Yes it is.

I couldn’t resist!!! These were the BEST whoopee pies I’ve ever made! (Please note: these were also the FIRST whoopee pies I’ve ever made.)

Now, I AM sorry I didn’t share more of these marvelous, mouth watering, scrum-diddle-umptous tastes from heaven. To make amends, I will share the recipe with everyone so they too, can make their own beautiful bites of bliss.
Oatmeal Whoopie Pies (from
2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup shortening

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
2.Cream butter or margarine with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and mix well. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, baking powder, boiling water, baking soda and flour. Mix to combine. Stir in the oats.
3.Drop cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.
4.To Make Filling: Beat egg white. Mix in the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat in the shortening and remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Beat until light.
Bake well and prosper!