photo by Jenny MacBeth

Caramelized Lace – For any dessert!


For my Mother’s Day dinner, I served baby back ribs and shrimp scampi along with this sweet delight for dessert.

This idea came to me when I heard the story of Glen and his mom loving a dessert, they once shared, with a crunchy lace topping. They tried to explain it several times to me, but I turned to a friend for advice. It’s not exactly what they once shared, but I’m told it’s pretty close.

I wasn’t sure what to call it because you can use it in many dessert recipes. It is definitely caramelized and has a lace texture to it. So, as clever as I am (haha), I’m calling it caramelized lace.

Let’s get started…

photo by Jenny MacBethYou’ll Need:

4 3/4 cup of Special K Oats and Honey
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter (do not use salted butter)
A small pinch of kosher salt
2 container of Dolci Frutta (sold with four small containers)
Parchment paper

To Do…

Preheat oven to 275.

photo by Jenny MacBethGently crumble cereal in a mixing bowl.

photo by Jenny MacBethToss in your brown sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix it all together.

photo by Jenny MacBethPlace the parchment paper over a cookie sheet. The mixture will stick to your pan if you do not use parchment paper. Trust me. I learned the hard way.

Spread the yummy mixture over it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t spread out evenly. – As it cooks, the butter will do that for you.

photo by Jenny MacBethCook for 15 minutes. Once cooled, you can start to pinch off chunks.

You can serve it this way, or…

photo by Jenny MacBethI loved dunking it in dark chocolate, but it’s not necessary. The caramelized lace can stand alone.

Glen found Dolci Frutta at Sam’s Club. It’s advertised to use on fruit, but I thought why not add it to the lace. Just follow the instructions on the box. Hint: You have too work fast, it hardens quickly.

photo by Jenny MacBethCrumble a few pieces of the lace in the bottom of your serving dish then top with ice cream. I served it with Breyers Pure Vanilla ice cream. Heat another Dolci Frutta and drizzle a spoon full over the ice cream. The chocolate will harden even faster over the coldness of the ice cream. Add in your caramelized lace.

It’s a sweet and salty dessert. Tastes like chocolate caramel turtles. Enjoy!

Any cool tricks or recipes you want to share? Let me know because this girl likes to eat.



Belgian Ale Cupcakes

Moan-worthy! I was doing a little dance in my kitchen when I was done. Soooo nom nom. – Words can’t even begin to explain it. I was so excited that when Glen was done exercising, I shoved a cupcake in his face saying, “TRY THIS.”

If your reading my blog, you know I’m not a baker. I’m more a salty and spicy kind of girl. However, if you mention beer in a cupcake, I’m definitely going to try it.

cake batter instructions, photo by Jenny MacBethThere are all kinds of beer cupcake recipes out there if you just Google it. I, however, can not begin to tell you that when it comes to baking sweet nothings, I screw up some part of the recipe. I’m not sure why. I just do. It makes me sad inside.


I’d like to think that I simplified a complicated recipe. Go buy a box of Betty Crocker white cake mix, and follow the instructions on the back. ONLY – you will replace the water with an orange-citrus Belgian white ale. You can use Bluemoon, the popular choice, but when I was shopping at my local beer emporium, 1 For the Road, they recommended I try Shock Top. I just love saying, “Beer emporium.” It just makes me tingle, and I absolutely love having one close by. Pennsylvania needs to bend the laws to allow more establishments to sell beer by the bottle. There is no fun in buying 24 bottles of the same beer. Sorry! A little rant. Back to the recipe…add in the zest of one large navel orange. It gives it a boost in flavor and color.

Not good with separating the egg whites? Neither am I. Get some All Whites by Crystal Farms.

cupcake pan, photo by Jenny MacBethPour in your batter 3/4 full – allow for the cupcake to swell up. Put in your already preheated oven by following the box instructions. The box says 18-23 minutes, however, mine took about 25 minutes. So, make sure to keep checking it with a toothpick.

While your cupcakes are brewing…

sugar and beer, photo by Jenny MacBethStart your frosting.

Now for the topping, I’m pretty picky. I followed an old recipe I had on hand that is perfect.

This takes quite a bit of time. I suggest using a standing mixer, so you can do other things, and your arms don’t get tired.

Start beating 2 egg whites, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Mix for 10 minutes until soft and fluffy.

While that’s mingling…

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of Belgian white ale, and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Cook on medium heat until…

bubbly batter, photo by Jenny MacBethNice and bubbly. Doesn’t that just look like a fluffy cloud of all things heavenly?

mix icing, photo by Jenny MacBethSlowly add hot sugar mixture, beating continuously for another 10 minutes until it’s so stiff that you can’t get it off the spoon without serious effort. – Exactly like marshmallow creme.

Stiffen, photo by Jenny MacBethThe batter is easily manageable for the not so neatly creative bakers. I love this frosting because you can scoop and top allowing each cupcake to look divine.

finished cupcake, photo by Jenny MacBethTake the zest from another large navel orange for garnish. Serve with a Belgian White Ale. Done and delicious!

See! I suck at this and it looks awesome. If I do say so myself.

I had a few parties this weekend, so I doubled the recipe. It really didn’t take me long to prepare and bake; all the while taking pictures.

Tip: Keep these bad boys refrigerated. The frosting will start to melt on you, not to mention, it has egg whites in it.

Have any cool cooking tricks, let me know because this girl likes to eat.

Thanks for reading.



Dark Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Happy April Fools! Who’s going to try one of my cupcakes?

We are meeting friends for dinner tonight. Since it is April Fools, I wanted to bake them some yummy cupcakes, but make two of those, not so yummy. My friend Paula recommended that I use chili powder. I have a great recipe for dark chocolate and chili pepper sauce for pasta, so I didn’t think that chili powder would do the trick.

I was already planning on making dark chocolate something, since our friends both love it. And, since Paula inspired me to use spice as my trick, I found a recipe.

First, I need to tell you that I’m not much of a baker. It may taste yummy, but my artistic ability to make baked goods, look like works of art, are not so good. My decorating skills look more like a Jackson Pollock painting. So, even though I followed this recipe exactly from The Cake Mistress, it doesn’t look like hers. Sigh.

I will say, especially since I’m posting this, it tastes scrumptious. However, I think I will try a different version next time. I’ll explain what I’ll do different throughout the post.

Let’s get started…

infused-water-chili-pepper, photo by Jenny MacBethI couldn’t find baby chillies, so I used two small chili peppers. I like it spicy. The Cake Mistress calls for two baby chillies sliced and seeds removed, or use dried chili flakes. I opted for the fresh chillies by adding to 1/4 cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, but since I take photos of my food and preparation, my chillies were soaking for about an hour. This takes time. but don’t worry, you only get a hint of spice in the finished cupcake. Next time, I’m going to skip this step and add crushed chili flakes to the batter. I also wouldn’t mind trying Jalapeno jelly.

Kitchen Aid, photo by Jenny MacBethI love my Kitchen Aid. It’s the best for whipping up batter. I tossed in 3 eggs, 1 cup of butter, and 1 cup of sugar, then mix until light and fluffy. The Cake Mistress says to use caster sugar. Of course, I couldn’t find it. I just used regular sugar.

Add in 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cups of flour, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

mixer, photo by Jenny MacBethAdd half a bag of Nestle special dark chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, and 1/2 of the chilli-infused water and combine. This is where I would add the Jalapeno jelly for next time.

Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and creamy.

cupcake tray, photo by Jenny MacBethPut mixture in your cupcake pans with liners. If you are planning an April Fools prank, make sure you remember which ones are meant for the joke. I added tons of salt to two – Shhh! <insert evil laugh here>

Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to the counter. Finish cooling fully before icing.

chocolate-butter, photo by Jenny MacBethIn the meantime, start your topping. Combine the other half of the dark chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. As the mixture begins to melt, reduce heat to low, stirring constantly, until melted.

melted-chocolate, photo by Glen GreenRemove from heat, and whip in 1/3 cup of heavy cream, and remaining chilli water. I guess this is where I went wrong. The Cake Mistress said to let it rest for 10 minutes until the mixture was velvety.  It took a good 30 minutes to thicken up, and it still wasn’t thick enough to make her cute swirly topping. Nonetheless, I added the dark chocolate sauce to the cooled cupcakes.

guinness goes best with these cupcakes, photo by Jenny MacBeth Since I couldn’t find baby chillies, I added crushed chili flakes for garnish.

I put the cupcakes in the refrigerator and the icing harden to perfection. My cupcakes have a crunchy layer.


Secret ingredient: Pair this cupcake with a Guinness. Oh so yummy!

Please share your ideas because this girl likes to eat.