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Baseball Brownie Cups!

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Dense chocolate brownie cups topped with fudge and a dome of creamy peppermint topping! These baseball brownies are a perfect idea for Father’s Day!

Our day to celebrate dad is almost here! I happen to have a pretty incredible dad. By the time this posts he will be in Canada fishing with my uncles and cousins (does Father’s Day get better than that??) I’ve celebrated all of his various hobbies over the years…fishing, golfing, football (watching), setting off epic firework shows… but I hadn’t made anything baseball. Until now. Let me introduce to you, the YUMMIEST baseballs you will ever meet!

Seriously- they are almost too cute to eat!!

Now, these look difficult to make. Let me assure you that they are not- until you pipe those little laces on top. Then, if you have shaky hands like me, these are AGONY. Just being honest. 🙂 If you have a steady hand (or have a friend to help) you will zip through that piping like nothing though! Promise.

Here is how we made these (printable recipe here):

Ingredients: (makes 24 baseball brownies)

Baseballs: (make these 1st)- you will need a little chocolate bomb mold to make these:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Food color in white
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in white
  • About 1/2 cup of Wilton’s Candy melts in red.

Brownies: 

  • 1cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)
  • Green jimmies for grass!

DIRECTIONS:

Mint Baseballs:

  • Melt white candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard.
  • Make mint filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Add white food coloring to make it pure white (the butter gives it a slightly yellow color)
  • Place filling into a large zip-top bag and seal tightly.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe mint filling into each white shell- filling them about 3/4 full.
  • Use a knife to spread mint filling to edges. It will dip in at the center just a bit- and you want this. If it is full all the way across it doesn’t settle on the curved top of the brownie well (see the gap along the bottom in the below photo).
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. 
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 mint bombs ready.

  

  

Brownies:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  
Chocolate Glaze:
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until bombs ready to assemble.
  • Assemble the brownies by spooning a little chocolate glaze on top of a brownie and spreading to all edges.
  • Place a “baseball” in the center and sprinkle jimmies around edge.
  • Allow this all to harden up (refrigerate to speed process up).
  • Melt red candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Place melted candy melts into a bag or squeeze bottle fitted with a tiny writing tip (I used a Wilton’s 1.5 size).
  • Carefully pipe laces on top of baseballs (use photo as a guide) and allow these to harden.
  • Store in a lightly sealed container for 3-4 days.
  • Enjoy!

See how the center of each baseball needs to accommodate the dome-shaped top of the brownie? Here is what happens if you fill them too flat:

See along the edge how it doesn’t connect well? Yeah. Don’t do that. 🙂

My thoughts: Yes, these take some work. But they are SO CUTE!! I’ve spent way more effort on recipes that didn’t score this high in the fun/cute category. If you are going to waste time making something- waste it making these! Plus they are the BEST brownies… I promise. Delicious. 🙂 

My dad doesn’t play much baseball anymore- but he used to, and I have fond memories of playing hours of catch in the backyard with him. Just for fun, here’s a throwback to his baseball days:

That’s me in the 70’s bib 🙂 And here we are now:

Happy Father’s Day dad! Love you!!!!!!

I know you will probably stop right here on this idea, but just in case you are making TWO desserts for dad, here’s a few other ideas. Click on a photo to see the recipe:

 

 

 

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Elderflower Lemonade Cupcakes

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Elderflower syrup and fresh mint leaves make these cupcakes unique. The lemonade frosting on top makes them unforgettably delicious!

Just a few weeks ago I made Elderflower Lemonade that was amazing. Seriously- you need to try it! After making many batches of it for friends and family, it occurred to me that these flavors would make such good cupcakes! I experimented a bit with the cupcakes, and topped them with my famous lemonade frosting and YUM! I really liked them. A lot!

Plus they are so fun and springtime-y! The only special ingredient you’ll need is Elderflower syrup. I got mine on Amazon and you won’t want to skip this ingredient because it is the secret deliciousness behind this recipe. Plus, once you have it you can make the lemonade- and you will not regret it!!

Here is how we made these (printable recipe here):

INGREDIENTS: 

  • One boxed white cake mix (plus eggs and oil to make according to package)
  •  Elderflower syrup (about 1-2 cups depending on boxed mix)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2- 8oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temp.)
  • 1 packet (0.23oz.) of Kool-Aid Lemonade
  • 1- 7oz. container Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping (refrigerator temp)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Make cake mix according to package, but replace 1/2 of the required water with elderflower syrup (so if the mix calls for one cup of water, use 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of Elderflower syrup)
  • Bake according to package, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool on countertop.
  • Cream together cream cheese, lemonade and yellow food coloring until smooth.
  • Beat marshmallow creme and powdered sugar in and then fold in Cool Whip until completely smooth.  
  • Place frosting in a large zip-top bag, fitted with a decorating tip, and keep in fridge until ready to frost.
  • Before frosting, use a toothpick to poke holes into the top of each cupcake (6-8). Use a pastry brush to generously brush the top of each cupcake with elderflower syrup, allowing it to soak into the holes. 
  • Pipe lemonade frosting on the top of each cupcake and decorate as desired.
  • Keep in a loosely sealed container, refrigerated, for 2-3 days.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These really are such a deliciously different flavor of cupcake. The mint with the lemon- and that yummy syrup… I love them! They are on my permanent list of spring cupcake options! I hope you get a chance to try them! 🙂 ~r

This lemonade frosting has been one of the biggest hits on this blog. It was originally created in 2011 for a Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake, which is my most popular recipe- ever. This is a little sad to me since my photography in 2011 needed LOTS of improvement, and the photos are awful 🙂

I remade it (making the frosting a bit thicker) in 2012, and used it on cupcakes in 2013.

It is a go-to frosting recipe for sure. It actually tastes like lemonade, and as my friend Laura (the frosting-hater) says: “I love it- it tastes more like a creamy filling than a frosting.”

Spring recipes are SO FUN! Here’s a few more to try (click on photo to see recipe).

 

Key Lime Pie Shakes!

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These creamy key lime pie shakes are just the thing to kick-start summer!

It’s June NEXT WEEK!!!  Summer is almost here! One of my favorite flavors of summer is lime, and these creamy lime shakes with graham cracker crumbles are the best! I added sweetened condensed milk (because that’s what you add to key lime pie!) and it blended with the ice cream and lime to make the thickest, creamiest shake I’ve ever had. Even after I took photos under hot lights, these shakes were still thick and creamy! Yum.

Here’s how we made them (printable recipe here):

INGREDIENTS: (fills about 6, 8-oz. glasses)

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 2 cups of non-alcoholic lime Margarita mix
  • 1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • A touch of green food coloring (if desired)
  • Cool-Whip topping or whipped heavy cream
  • About 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine ice cream, margarita mix , condensed milk and food color in a blender (I have a small blender and did mine in 2 batches)
  • Top with whipped cream/Cool Whip and sprinkle with graham crumbs.
  • Add a cherry on top if you’d like. I hate cherries, so I added a little red Sixlet instead 🙂
  • Enjoy immediately!

 

My thoughts: These are easy and quick to throw together- and if you like key-lime pie, you will love these refreshing little shakes! Hope you get a chance to try them! 

Other key-lime recipes here on Easy-baked: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Maple Pecan Cupcakes

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maple-pecan-cupcakes

These rich, dense chocolate cupcakes are topped with a light whipped maple pecan frosting that is out-of-this-world delicious! 

I know. Maple pecan things are a dessert for the fall- not early summer! I just couldn’t resist. Maple and pecan are two of my favorite flavors together! I thought about saving this post for November and I couldn’t make myself wait to share it with you because it is just that good! These are delicious. So if you can’t bring yourself to make them, pin the recipe for later- but pin it. You will want this one someday!!! Promise.

Here is how we made these (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24 cupcakes)

  • One boxed chocolate cake mix plus oil and eggs to make according to box
  • Milk- enough to replace the water required by boxed mix.
  • 1 (3.9 oz.) box of chocolate pudding (instant)
  • 3 cups chopped pecans (divided)
  • 24 pecan halves
  • 2 sticks salted butter (softened)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of maple extract or flavoring

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped pecans with dry cake mix.
  • Add eggs and oil according to package, and add milk instead of water- in the same amount as listed on package.
  • Add box of instant chocolate pudding.
  • Beat on high for 2 minutes until smooth.
  • Scoop evenly between 24 cupcake liners placed in muffin tins and bake according to package- until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Gently remove from tins and allow cupcakes to cool on countertop.
  • Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and maple flavoring in a large mixing bowl.
  • Beat on high until light and very fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).
  • Fold in one cup of chopped pecans (this leaves 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top!)
  • Use a cookie scoop to place a dome of frosting on each cooled cupcake. Press a pecan half on top and sprinkle with a bit of chopped pecans. 

  • Store in a loosely sealed container for up to 3 or 4 days. Refrigerate to keep a day or two longer.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: You are going to love these! If you want to simplify, just make the boxed cake mix as-is plus nuts. The milk and pudding make the cupcakes more dense, rich and moist- but you could skip adding these extra ingredients to save time. It’s that frosting… even my friends who aren’t big frosting lovers were licking this stuff off the top of these cupcakes. Yum. Hope you get a chance to try them- now- this fall- whenever!! 🙂 Enjoy! ~r

Other maple and/or pecan recipes to try! (click on a photo to see instructions)

 

Elderflower Lemonade (bezinka limonáda)

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Elderflower syrup and mint add a refreshing twist to this fresh-squeezed lemonade!

Last spring I was in the Czech Republic at the headquarters of the mission organization I work for, Josiah Venture. We were waiting for over 140 college interns to arrive and we all went out for dinner at this adorable little restaurant. The menu was entirely in Czech and someone ordered me a lemonade and when I got it and took my first drink I LOVED (loved.loved.loved) it! It took me awhile to figure out what it was I loved so much, and the secret ingredient was: Elderflower syrup! This is commonly made in central Europe to add to beverages and desserts- but I’d never heard of it or tasted it before.

Since I don’t have Elderflower growing in Indiana, I went to my trusty Amazon and discovered that Monin makes this syrup- and it is delicious (find it here). I spent the winter adding it to hot green tea (amazing!) and now that it is spring I gave the lemonade a try- and nailed it! Seriously….you have got to try this! It’s indescribably good.

Here is how we put it together (EASY!!!!!!) Printable recipe here.

INGREDIENTS: (to make one liter, or about 34 ounces): 

  • 2 medium lemons
  • 8-10 mint leaves, slightly crushed (give them a squeeze before you add them!)
  • 3 to 4 slices of lime, halved.
  • 2/3 to 1 cup of Elderflower syrup
  • Club soda and ice

DIRECTIONS: 

  • Juice lemons and add juice to 1 liter carafe (note: in my photos I used a half-liter size, which is fun to drink right out of with a long straw!)
  • Place mint leaves, lime slices, and syrup in carafe.
  • Fill with ice to about 2/3 full.
  • Add club soda until filled- stir well and serve in individual glasses.

My thoughts: Well, in case you didn’t catch this earlier in the post: I LOVE THIS BEVERAGE!!!!! If you like your lemonade sweet add a little more syrup. If you like it tart, add less. Add some different fruits if you like- I think some sweet raspberries might be good crushed into this too. Yum. You really need to try this!!!  🙂 ~r

I enjoyed mine on my back porch- right out of the 1/2 liter carafe 🙂 

One of my favorite parts of travel is discovering new international recipes to try. Here are a few from the past: (click on a photo to see the recipe!)

Spring Flower Oreo Pops!

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Make a bouquet of Oreo flowers for mom this Mother’s Day!

This is the third Oreo Pop recipe I’ve used these cute little sunflower seeds in this spring- and it might be my favorite! The fun bright colors just make you smile. Tie them up in little cello bags with pretty ribbon and they make the perfect Mother’s Day treat next weekend!

You’re smiling aren’t you? Just guessing… 🙂 I absolutely LOVE these- and the color combinations are only limited to the colors you can find in the sunflower seeds. Mine are a combination of Trader Joe’s and JoAnn’s Fabric ones. You can get them online- or maybe even at your grocery! Different companies make different colors. The JoAnn ones gave me those pretty teal blue and shiny purple ones. I just used little pearl sprinkles for the centers.

Here’s how we made these fun little pops:

(If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24-30 Oreo pops)

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white.
  • Wilton’s Candy Melts in a variety of colors (you’ll need at least 2 bags of them)
  • Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
  • Edible pearl sprinkles in a variety of colors

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).
  • Melt one color of Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Gently dip Oreo in Candy Melts, using a spoon to cover all sides. Tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper.
  • While Candy Melts are still soft, set a pearl sprinkle at the center and then gently place sunflower seeds around the pearl in the shape of a flower (as pictured). Allow Candy Melts to harden completely.
  • Repeat with other colors of Candy Melts.
  • Store in a sealed container for 2-3 weeks. You can also tie them individually in small cello bags and store for the same timeframe. (These are a perfect treat to mail to mom or grandma!!!!)
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: I will never pick a bouquet of flowers without thinking of my mom 🙂 She never had a summer day where there wasn’t a huge bouquet of fresh-cut flowers from her garden sitting in the center of the kitchen table. This is her third Mother’s Day in heaven, but I know these would have made her smile if she was here.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you, and miss you!

We have lots of fun recipe ideas for Mother’s Day! Click a photo to see the recipe:

Looking for that perfect gift for moms and grandmas? Get them my cookbook- specially designed to use with kids and grandkids, teaching them both kitchen skills and about God’s love for them! Fun!!! Click on the following link to find out more about it: Life Is Sweet: 12 Baking Devotions for Kids.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

 

Maracas Oreo Pops!

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these adorable maracas made with Oreos and candy sunflower seeds!

I love Mexico! I’ve been there on vacation, and I’ve been there many times to work alongside the people of a little town called Siete Ejidos in Sinaloa. I love the food, the beautiful people, the music, and the bright, fun colors that are everywhere! Seriously- why is it unacceptable to paint a house bright blue and orange in the States? (or at least in my neighborhood…)

These were such fun cookies to make because you can just go crazy with color and make any design you want! Use sprinkles or candy…I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds on mine, and I love how they turned out! They have that “bead” look you often see on maracas and other art in Mexico.

Here’s how we made these (printable recipe here)

(If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 24-30 Oreo pops)

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s Candy Melts in white.
  • Wilton’s Candy Melts in a variety of colors (you’ll need at least 3 bags of them)
  • One box of Dots Candy

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Press a lollipop stick through a Dots candy until about 1 inch of the stick is out of the other side (see photo below).
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).

  • Melt one color of Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Gently spoon color over bottom 1/4 of Oreo (see photos below).  I gently turned the stick so I could spoon color on the back too- then tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper and allow this to harden up.
  • Melt second color of Candy Melts as above. Spoon color over the rest of the Oreo, tap stick against bowl to drain away excess, place on parchment paper, and gently place sunflower seeds in flower pattern in the center (or add sprinkles…or drizzle chocolate…). Allow this to harden.
  • Melt third color of Candy Melts and spoon over top 1/4. Tap stick against bowl to drain excess and set on parchment paper to harden.
  • Allow candy melts to harden completely, and then pipe line/dots on in any color (I used black).
  • ENJOY!

My thoughts: These are a delicious little way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Once they are hardened up, you can tie them into little individual cello bags and they will keep for weeks. I love make-ahead treats! 

Are you a recent arrival to the incredible fun of Oreo Pops?? They are one of our favorite things to make here on Easybaked- and we have them for every possible occasion! Here are a few to try: (click on photo to see recipe)

Or are you looking for great recipes for Cinco de Mayo?? We have those too! We love to celebrate this holiday here!!

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