Mocha Cupcakes

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Yesterday I spent the day completely alone, with no plans at all, and it was just the change of pace I needed. After cleaning the house and curling up on the couch with a snack and the T.V. remotes, I figured there was no better time to whip up a batch of cupcakes. I didn’t want to go for anything to fancy or time-consuming, so I stuck to this simple mocha cupcake recipe. They were possibly the quickest batch of cupcakes I’ve made, and were completely delicious topped with frosting and a drizzle of melted chocolate .

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Tårta Mandel

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One day this past week, I had a long discussion with some friends about cake. Naturally, we all ended up craving it. After a little thought, I determined exactly the kind of cake I wanted: an almond torte served at IKEA’s cafeteria. It required a few minute’s research, but I learned the name and found a recipe (here) that seemed like it would be simple and yield the results I wanted. The final product was better than I could have imagined – it was light, a little chewy and not too sweet, with rich flavors that IKEA’s version lacks.

P.S. Sadly, the vultures got to the cake before I could take a picture of the whole thing – let’s just say it got their approval.

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Note: The recipe suggests using a rectangular pan, but I used two 9.5 inch circle pans and did a two-layer cake – it worked out perfectly.

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Mini Nutella Cheesecakes

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While I’m more than happy to eat Nutella out of the jar with a spoon, it’s not the most glamorous way to consume it. Just as I was craving chocolate, I stumbled across this recipe (via my favorite lifestyle blog, Brit + Co) which looked simultaneously decadent and adorable. The process was simple (bonus: no oven required!) and the product was delicious.

Note: I’m not a huge fan of packaged whipped topping (it’s fine, but if I had the choice, I’d choose actual whipped cream), so I substituted 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream whipped together with about 3-4 Tbsp of sugar.

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Cheese Crackers

crackers 1Cheese is something I absolutely love and will never, ever get enough of. In my family, it’s its own food group. So naturally, artificial cheese has never been something I’ve bent over backwards for, but Goldfish and Cheez-Its are just about the only kinds of junk food I like. After seeing this recipe on Cupcakes and Cashmere, I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ve made something like these crackers before, but these ones were somehow so much better. They were simultaneously tender and crispy, and weren’t too salty or greasy. Not to mention, the whole process took less than an hour (I skipped the refrigerating step and the dough was fine) and was so simple. I’ll definitely be making these in the future.

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