Monday, December 23, 2013

Pillsbury Holiday Giveaway (CLOSED)

Remember those ooey gooey dark chocolate caramel pecan brownies I shared with you a couple weeks ago? They were made with a Pillsbury® Dark Chocolate Cake Mix. So easy! Today, Pillsbury® is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a Celebration Starter Kit including all of their new holiday baking mixes and frostings, plus a $100 gift card.

Included in the Celebration Starter Kit is:

Visit Pillsbury on Facebook, and Pillsbury on Pinterest to learn more ideas about how you can Celebrate More with Pillsbury® and their new Holiday line. 

To enter this fabulous giveaway, simply leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what new Pillsbury® product you're most excited to try. That's it! 

One entry per person. Open to U.S. residents only. 

*I was provided with product samples and compensation by Pillsbury®, though the opinions I express here are my own. ©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating 6 Years Of "Lick The Bowl Good" With A Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Every year my blog anniversary comes and goes and I forget about it. I intend to do something special to celebrate the day (November 3rd) and time escapes me, stuff comes up and then the holidays hit and my blog birthday goes unmentioned again. Well this year, to say "thank you for sticking by me!" I have a giveaway for you. I've been blogging for 6 years and so much good has come out of it. I've connected with some amazing people, made and eaten lots of tasty treats and some not so great ones too. I've learned a lot about baking formulas, food styling and photography and I even wrote my own cookbook, gosh darn it! Such an amazing opportunity and accomplishment that was! Would you like to win a signed copy of Lick The Bowl Good

I'll tell you more about the giveaway in a moment, but first let me tell you about this cake, streusel squares to be exact. The recipe comes from Great Cakes by Carole Walter. The Cake Slice Bakers are baking from this new book. This was a good recipe, the cake had a soft tender center, lightly scented with vanilla. The topping was the best part though- those buttery, cinnamon-y crumbs were hard to resist. This would be a great one to share with a crowd or to give as gifts this Christmas. You can even play up the flavorings a bit and use rum, lemon, or almond extracts in the cake. 

Streusel Squares
Recipe from Great Cakes by Carole Walter
via All That's Left Are The Crumbs

Printer Friendly Version

Streusel Topping:
  • ⅓ cup (⅔ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 large egg white

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350⁰F. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2” pan.

To Make The Streusel Topping: Melt the butter, then cool slightly.

Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon all at once and stir with a fork until the mixture forms small crumbs. Take a handful of the crumbs and make a fist to press the mixture into a large clump, and then separate into smaller clusters, at least two or three times the size of the original crumbs.

Repeat until all of the crumbs have been reshaped, then set aside.

To Make The Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to soften on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1½ to 2 minutes.

Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the eggs and additional yolk, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.Blend in the vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, dividing the flour mixture into three parts and the milk into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon.

Beat the egg white lightly with a fork, and using a pastry brush, spread about half of the beaten egg white over the top of the cake batter. Discard the remainder - the egg white helps the streusel adhere to the top of the cake.

Sprinkle the entire surface of the batter generously with the streusel, gently patting the crumbs into the batter with the palm of your hand; do not press hard.

Center the pan on the rack and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, begins to come away from the sides of the pan, and the streusel is crisp. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out dry.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a cake rack to cool. When ready to serve, dust the top with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

The Giveaway! 

1. A Signed Copy of Lick The Bowl Good
2. Red Striped Paper Straws
3. Kitchen Utensils Magnets
4. Magnetic Note Pad
5. Baker's Twine
6. "For You" Baker's Tags
7. Recipe Cards
8. Sticky Notes for Bookmarking Your Favorite Recipes :-)

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. You have 4 chances to win. Please leave a separate comment per entry. 

Entry #1 (mandatory entry)- Leave me a comment on this blog post telling me about your favorite holiday traditions.

Entry #3- Follow monica_h30 on Instagram

Entry #4- Share this giveaway with your friends and family and help spread the word about Lick The Bowl Good

Please remember, if you enter more than once to leave me separate comments per entry. 

I will select and announce the winner using on Monday, December 30th. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Best of luck and Happy Holidays to you all. Thank you for your generosity and support over the last 6 years. My family and I are thankful for you.

~Monica Holland

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Brownie Points!

When we were kids, my step mom, Olivia, used to make my brother and me caramel brownies. She didn't make them very often and I remember them being really good (they were my brother's favorite) but I thought maybe it was a difficult recipe so they were only made for special occasions. I was wrong! She shared the recipe with me and they could not be simpler to make. I took the liberty to tweak things here and there (that's what I do) because the amounts were a little vague and I like to be specific when it comes to baking. Specific amounts in baking lead to consistent results, am I right? Here we go!

Pillsbury® recently sent me their new seasonal line of cake and cookie mixes just in time for holiday baking. I received Chocolate Peppermint Premium Cookie Mix, Traditional Sugar Premium Cookie Mix, Dark Chocolate Premium Cake Mix as well as Peppermint Frosting and Funfetti Frostings in Rudolph Red and Garland Green. My step mom's recipe for caramel brownies called for German Chocolate cake mix, but I opted for the Dark Chocolate Cake mix for these rich and gooey brownies. To learn more about these products, visit Pillsbury on Facebook, and Pillsbury on Pinterest

Dark Chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans. You know these were good...and decadent! These brownies are for sharing. After making these and being left with an entire pan of brownies, I now understand why my step mom only made these about 1-2 times a year. They are dangerous and so much better than I remembered. I'm typically a "plain jane" brownie person and don't like anything but cocoa in my brownies but these are excellent. Thanks for the recipe and the trip down memory lane Olivia :-) I hope you'll seek out these new Pillsbury® products and make these brownies!

Dark Chocolate Caramel Nut Brownies 
adapted from my step mom, Olivia Luna

  • 14-16 oz. package caramels (50-60 caramels)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1- 15.25 oz. box Pillsbury Dark Chocolate Premium Cake Mix
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges. Spray the paper once again with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the caramels melt and the mixture becomes smooth. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the brownie batter. 

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, melted butter, vanilla extract and the remaining evaporated milk. Mix until well combined. 

Press half of the brownie batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and gently and evenly drizzle the caramel mixture over brownie base. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips and the chopped pecans over the caramel. Crumble the remaining brownie batter evenly over the nuts and chocolate and return back to the oven. 

Bake for an additional 20-22 minutes. It will be hard to tell when it's done because the brownies will be really gooey in the center and don't firm up until they have cooled completely, but don't bake any longer than the recommended time. 

Cool completely until the brownies have reached room temperature. Using the handles of the overlapping parchment paper, lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut the brownies into squares. Store in an airtight container. 

I was provided with product samples and compensation by Pillsbury, though the opinions I express here are my own.

©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Eat Say Love" Kitchen Prints and Discount Offer

A few weeks ago my blogger friend Cyndi from Tender Tummy showed me this adorable print someone had posted on Instagram. Of course I wanted one! The print is made by Ashley from Eat Say Love on Etsy. I sent a message to her asking if she could  make it "lick the bowl good" and she did. And I love it and it looks great in my kitchen.


If you're interested in getting an adorable kitchen print for yourself, head on over to Eat Say Love and browse around for a bit. Prints are available in 5x7's 8x10's and 11x14's and range in price from $14-$25 and shipping is fast so you can have it before the holidays if you order soon! They make perfect gifts for you or a fellow foodie and if you don't see the color combination you want, send Ashley a message and she can customize it for you.  

Enter code: lickthebowl at checkout to take 15% off your purchase. Hurry, offer expires December 10, 2013

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