Happy National Dessert Day!

14th Oct 2014 / By Guest Contributor

To anyone with a sweet tooth, it makes complete sense to devote an entire day to celebrating the best part of any meal: Dessert. No need to feel guilty about inhaling more than one cupcake or an extra cookie… or three. You get a free pass on National Dessert Day! Below are three recipes you won’t be able to resist.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
What you’ll need:
A dozen chocolate cupcakes made from your favorite recipe or a pre-made mix.
Dark chocolate chips or squares for melting.
Toffee bits
Caramel Butter cream (see below)
Sea salt or fleur de sel for sprinkling.

Caramel Butter cream
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 recipe caramel sauce (see recipe below)

Directions: Add your butter in a mixer with the whisk attachment and mix for about 2 minutes. Slow it down and add your powdered sugar and then mix it up for another minute. Speed the mixer back up and slowly add the caramel sauce (make sure it’s either room temperature or cold) then continue to mix until it’s all incorporated. 

Caramel Sauce 
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions: Measure out your butter and heavy cream and have them ready to go next to the stove. Pour your cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and watch it. When you see the sugar begin to liquefy (usually this happens in the center first), get your whisk and start stirring. Keep whisking until its all liquid with no chunks and becomes transparent. You are looking for a medium amber color. This happens fairly quickly after the sugar becomes clear so make sure to keep a sharp eye on it.

Once it’s to the color of your liking, add your butter and whisk fast. You’ll notice the caramel will bubble and then transform into a smooth, creamy looking caramel! Count to five and then slowly add your heavy cream, whisking again the entire time. It should now look like a slightly runnier than usual sauce. Pour it in a container and you’re finished!

Time To Assemble: Melt your chocolate in the microwave (15 second intervals with a stir in-between). Dip the top of your cupcake into the chocolate. Repeat this with the rest of your cupcakes. While the chocolate is still in it’s melted form, sprinkle the toffee bits on top. Once the chocolate is solid again (I suggest popping them in the fridge for a few minutes) pipe a swirl of your caramel butter cream on top! I used a zip block bag and cut the corner. Sprinkle the sea salt on top and you’ve created a delectable cupcake!

Apple Dumplings

What you’ll need:
6 apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 TBS butter, softened
Pie dough (pre-made)
Egg wash
Sugar for sprinkling

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. Set aside. Then proceed to core and peel all six of your apples. Divide your pie dough in half and roll it out. Cut into four pieces. Then roll out the second half of the dough and cut each piece into two halves. Place the apple in the center of the larger piece of dough and fill each one with your sugar mixture. Bring the sides of the dough around each apple and press together. Make an egg wash to brush onto the apple dumplings and then place them on a parchment lines baking sheet. With the remaining dough, cut 12 leaves, brush them with egg wash and then place them on top of each dumpling. Sprinkle with sugar! Bake 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
What you’ll need:
1 cup + 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea sat
1 stick unsalted butter, melted until browned
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks

Directions: In a bowl, sift the salt, baking powder, and flour together. Set aside. Over medium-low heat add your butter into a small saucepan, whisking constantly until it reaches a golden brown color; remove from heat once that happens. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and sugars; mix until light fluffy. Incorporate the egg on medium high speed for another minute and then add the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate chunk. Form your cookies into the size of two tablespoons and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 2 hours. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking sheet in the over & let it cook for 13-14 minutes (until golden brown). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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