Sunday, May 25, 2008

Desserts for a Cook-Out

We had friends over today for a cook-out. We really like having people over but our house is pretty small (which is great for some things, but bad for entertaining), so it's always much nicer during the summer when we can have people over and sit outside.

Hubby manned the grill, our friends all brought side dishes and I made the desserts - brownies and carrot cake cupcakes. I tried two new recipes and thankfully both turned out nicely. I don't know why I do this to myself, but many times the first time I try a given recipe is when we are entertaining. This has blown up on me several times too so you'd think I would learn my lesson. Nope.
The brownies were fantastic and were really easy to make. Actually they were too easy to make - I will want to make them again and again and this recipe is simple and fast enough that I can do that whenever the urge for homemade brownies hits.

They were fudgey but not too dense - which is exactly how I like my brownies. I don't even want to think what they'd taste like warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream... I found the recipe on and I followed the recipe as written. By the way, 1 1/2 c of chocolate chips is the same as a 9 oz bag.

The other recipe I made was a carrot cake, but instead of using a 13x9 inch pan I made it into 24 cupcakes - somehow having to use a plate and fork to eat dessert at a backyard cook-out doesn't seem to fit, especially when there are kids involved! I iced the cupcakes with my version of a cream cheese frosting that is excellent, if I do say so myself :-) It makes about 3 c of frosting so you only need 1/2 of the frosting recipe to ice 24 cupcakes.

Noelle's Cream Cheese Sour Cream Frosting

1 1/2 T unsalted butter
8 oz light cream cheese
1/3 c light sour cream
3/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t almond extract
4-5 c powdered sugar

Beat butter, cream cheese and sour cream until creamy. Add vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until mixture reaches spreading consistency. Yield 3 cups.

The cake was good, but I have a feeling it will taste better tomorrow after the flavors have a little time to blend. I'll let you know! UPDATE - Ohhhhh yes, this cake was SO much better the next day!!! Next time I will make it one day in advance.

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