Thursday, January 29, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Caramel Cheesecake

I love all of the variations on the cheesecake "cupcakes" at Georgetown Cupcake, so of course I was excited to try this Caramel Cheesecake.  The creamy cheesecake (with crumbly graham cracker crust) is topped with a generous swirl of caramel frosting and caramel ganache to top it all off.  This was a rich and delicious combination of vanilla and caramel pairing perfectly together!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 28th, 2015

Shake Shack - Liberty Shell

A few months ago, I was in PA for a business trip, and while I was there I realized that I wasn't too far from King of Prussia mall.  As fast as I could get my GPS up and running, I was off to go to Shake Shack for dinner, haha.  Be sure to drive around the perimeter of the mall, because Shake Shack is a standalone restaurant, and not actually inside the mall itself.  

Unfortunately I didn't have a ton of time to go to the actual mall, which is a fabulous mall to spend time in, and every Jersey-raised mall-loving girl's dream, but I am super happy that I got to go to a Shake Shack in a different area and try one of the PA-area concretes.  This one above is the Liberty Shell: Vanilla custard, Termini Bros. cannoli shell, strawberry puree and lemon ricotta.  The cannoli shell pieces added a fantastic crunchy component throughout the dish, and I loved the addition of the tangy and creamy lemon ricotta.  As someone that isn't really a fan of fruit-based desserts, I will say the strawberry puree was sort of a lot for me, but I definitely wanted to try it out as it was meant to be for the first time trying it.  What a fun little surprise for an otherwise standard business trip! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 27th, 2015

National Christmas Tree 2014

Sooooooooooo, it's just over a month after Christmas, so what better time to finally write about the National Christmas tree, haha.  I did want to share some photos from the 2014 tree because every year the design is different and super fun to see! 

There are probably a bazillion other photos just like this, but the tree lines up so nicely with the Washington Monument, haha. 

This year they had a fun new feature for the smaller state trees, working with Google's Made With Code initiative.  People (particularly young girls) from all over could try their hand at "coding" a state tree, and their design would show up later at a specific time!  They even had stations around the trees encouraging guests to try their hand at "coding" on the spot, which I thought was a neat idea for kids especially.  I look forward to seeing what fun new ideas they come up with for this year's trees!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 26th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Snowy Vanilla and Buttercream Cupcake

This Snowy Vanilla and Buttercream cupcake is a perfect little treat for these snowy winter days that are common around here this time of year.  The vanilla cake base is topped with a generous swirl of vanilla buttercream frosting, "snow" sprinkles and a blue fondant snowflake.  This cupcake was available during the holidays, and I hope that they have it as a free secret flavor sometime this winter!

If you're a fan of Georgetown Cupcake's Vanilla Squared cupcake, you will definitely love this one too.  The buttercream frosting is rich but not too cloying, for those of you that feel like buttercream is always too thick.  This is the perfect wintertime treat to enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 23rd, 2015

Baked & Wired - Karen's Birthday Cupcake

Anyone in DC that is a fan of sweets will instantly recognize this as a Baked & Wired cupcake!  Come to think of it, I've never tried using parchment paper as a cupcake wrapper like they do, I'll have to give it a try sometime when I make cupcakes at home.  Anyway, this cupcake is called Karen's Birthday: named after the owner’s mom, the family recipe for moist chocolate cake with a vanilla buttercream.

This might sound like a pretty basic cupcake flavor, but they really hit it out of the park with this chocolate cake base.  It is really decadent and super chocolate-y, as it should be.  There was also a tiny little pink piggy sprinkle on top of the cupcake, which I just thought was the cutest, haha.  Next time you're in the mood for a classic and delicious cupcake, be sure to check this one out! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 22nd, 2015

Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread with Dark Chocolate

As a fervent fan of Nutella, I am really enjoying all of the recent chocolate spreads that have come out on the market.  I saw this Skippy version on sale and picked it up right away - peanut butter and dark chocolate, yum!

This spread can be used in the same ways that you would enjoy peanut butter or Nutella.  I had it on toast, with apple slices, and swirled into brownies and other baked goods.  It definitely tastes stronger on the peanut butter end, so if you're expecting it to taste more like Nutella you might be disappointed.  Give it a try if you're a fan of mixing peanut butter and chocolate together! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 21st, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcake

I always love all of the holiday flavors at Georgetown Cupcake at the end of the year, and this Sticky Toffee Pudding cupcake did not disappoint! This cupcake is "Georgetown Cupcake's modern twist on the traditional English sticky toffee pudding - Toffee cupcake with a caramel core, topped with a toffee-infused frosting, and a caramel star drizzle and fondant holly".

I love the combination of toffee and caramel, it was like biting into a giant candy bar in many different forms, haha.  I've actually never had a real sticky toffee pudding before, but if it's anything like this cupcake I am sure it's delicious! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 20th, 2015

Shake Shack - Gingerbread Custard

Yes, I am well aware that it is January, but I had to get this post up mostly because I LOVE the Shake Shack holiday to-go bags they had over the holidays, haha.  

This is the Gingerbread custard that was available at the end of last year, and it was a nice festive way to celebrate the holidays.  It was a LOT more ginger-y than I had anticipated - to be honest I assumed it was going to be crushed gingerbread cookies mixed in, and not an actual spiced gingerbread flavor throughout.  I probably would've preferred the cookies, mostly for the texture, but I definitely can't fault Shake Shack for creating a very true-to-form flavor.  I know 2015 just started, but I already can't wait to see what the holiday flavors and bag design are this year! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 16th, 2015

Jeni's Ice Cream - The Buckeye State

I've never tried making Buckeye candies before, but they've always sounded really delicious to me.  So of course, when I found a pint of Jeni's The Buckeye State ice cream I had to try it out! 

This ice cream is a fantastic blend of salted peanut butter ice cream and tiny bits of dark chocolate.  I love both peanut butter and dark chocolate so this was an obvious winner in my book.  These aren't large chunks of chocolate, but rather like dark chocolate crumbs blended throughout.  Jeni's ice creams are always so flavorful and unique, and this one is no exception!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 15th, 2015

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo-cookies

I saw this recipe for peanut butter Oreo cookies on Kirbie's Cravings' blog, and I thought it would be extra delicious to make them using the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos that I had purchased.  I love the idea of putting crushed Oreos in a cookie - it's like you're getting 2 cookies in 1, haha. 

The recipe is very easy and the cookies are delicious! You can definitely adjust the size of the Oreos that you put in - if you want bigger pieces, just don't crush them as much.  Or, if you want more of a blended Oreo flavor, you can even pop them into a food processor to get a fine crumb.  The peanut butter cup flavor was still very prominent in these cookies, and they were a big hit at work! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 14th, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Hazed & Confused Core Ice Cream

Yesterday, the big news came out that Ben & Jerry's has launched three new "core" ice creams, with cookie-based flavors.  So exciting!! I thought this was a good time to write up my posts about the original "core" flavors, because I definitely will be trying as many of the cookie core flavors as humanly possible, haha.

This Hazed & Confused Core ice cream consists of Chocolate & hazelnut ice creams with fudge chips & a hazelnut fudge core. Basically, if you're a fan of Nutella in the slightest, you will LOVE this ice cream.  I love the fudge chips for some texture, and the ratio of hazelnut to chocolate is perfect.  The hazelnut flavors really added some depth and not a ton of sweetness, in a good way. Definitely try this one out if you're a fan of these flavors!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 13th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - Pumpkin Cheesecake

Not only is this cupcake one of the delicious Cheesecake variations at Georgetown Cupcake, it's also pumpkin flavored, woo!  

I knew this one would be a new favorite as soon as I heard about it.  There's a thin graham cracker crust on the bottom, creamy cheesecake as the "cake" portion, and lots of fluffy frosting to top it all off.  This was super delicious and I would be happy having this any time of year, not just the fall.  It is scheduled to return again this fall, but hopefully it'll show up from time to time as a free secret flavor as well, if we're all lucky. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 12th, 2015

Shake Shack - Shacktoberfest

A little late in posting this, but it's too good to not share haha.  Shake Shack's Shacktoberfest is always a fun time for brats n' beers fans alike.  I love the idea of an Oktoberfest-themed Shake Shack menu, so I always make it a point to go at least once while it's going on.  This past October, they had a pretty fantastic lineup, including some newer menu items.

On this visit I tried out the Bacon Cheddar Brat: Griddled bacon cheddar-stuffed bratwurst ($4.95) and Apfelstrudel Shake: Vanilla frozen custard hand-spun with apples, caramel and spices ($5.75).  

The Bacon Cheddar Brat was delicious - as you can see, the bratwurst is split and griddles, which adds a lot of snap to each bite.  The cheesy inside added a lot of flavor as well.  The Apfelstrudel shake was a big ol' cup of fall, with a powerful apple and spice taste blended into the creamy vanilla base.  Be sure to check out Oktoberfest at Shake Shack every October, for a delicious take on Oktoberfest right here in DC.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 9th, 2015

Reese's Spread

It's always fun and a little dangerous to follow so many food bloggers on Instagram, because they show so many fun new products that are coming out on the market.  I started seeing this Reese's Spread all over the place online, and knew I had to get it ASAP!

Once I found out that it was initially sold at Walmart back in November, I was a little discouraged because I never really shop there.  However, I found one that was conveniently located by the Wegmans I go to, and I had a gift card to use as well, so it all worked out in the end.

As soon as you open this jar you know that it's Reese's.  It has that distinct Reese's peanut butter cup smell and tastes just as good.  It definitely isn't just your regular peanut butter and chocolate mixed together - whatever they did to create this, they did an amazing job!  This spread is great for just about anything you would do with peanut butter or Nutella - definitely try it out if you love Reese's candy! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 8th, 2015

Trader Joe's - Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake

I love going to Trader Joe's to check out any new/seasonal items, and this cheesecake was sure to be a big hit! Lots of people love Trader Joe's version of Biscoff spread (myself included), so seeing a cheesecake dedicated to the lovely spread was super exciting.

Look at that beautiful cookie butter swirl!  This cheesecake consists of a Speculoos cookie crumb, cheesecake, and Speculoos cookie butter spread on top.  This is definitely a decadent treat, so the size is actually pretty good for that.  It's about 3/4 the size of a standard pie/pumpkin pie, and cuts easily so you can save slices for later like I did.  If you're a fan of Speculoos cookie butter, be sure to try this cheesecake ASAP! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 7th, 2015

Baked & Wired - Pumpkin Shmumkin

Normally on my visits to Baked & Wired, I stick to cupcakes and/or espresso drinks, but back in the fall I had a chance to try one of their ice cream sandwich offerings.  There were a few selections available, but of course the Pumpkin Shmumkin caught my eye!

This gigantic ice cream sandwich consists of pumpkin ice cream sandwiched between two molasses-ginger cookies.  While I wouldn't specifically seek out this flavor of cookie on its own, the spice-heavy cookie went perfectly with the creamy pumpkin ice cream.  Anyone that loves pumpkin will be sure to enjoy this treat. Be sure to check out Baked & Wired for the ice cream sandwiches when they come back in the warmer months - as in, far, far, far away from today. Hey, something to look forward to, right? 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 6th, 2015

Georgetown Cupcake - January Cupcake Flavors

The special January flavors at Georgetown Cupcake are all delicious, and anyone that likes unique chocolate-based flavors will love them!

Chocolate Marshmallow FudgeChocolate cupcake cored and filled with fudge and topped with a marshmallow buttercream frosting, fudge star drizzle and sparkly white fondant snowflake

Chocolate S'more ChipGraham cupcake studded with chocolate chips, cored and filled with marshmallow crème, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with a sparkly white fondant snowflake

Cookies & Creme CheesecakeCookies and Creme cheesecake with cookie crust and cookie-infused buttercream frosting

Be sure to check these special flavors out while they are available this month! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lunchtime Links for January 5th, 2015

Shake Shack - January Custard Flavors

Happy 2015 everyone!  Here's to another year of fun custard flavors at Shake Shack!

Looks like they are changing around the format with each week being dedicated to a different custard flavor:

January 1-4: Salted Buttery Caramel
January 5-11: Oatmeal Creme Pie
January 12-18: Peanut Butter Banana
January 19-25: Red Velvet
January 26-31: S'mores