Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

“The secret to life reaches far beyond baking, but a stick of butter and some chocolate chips is always a good place to start.”

Christina Tosi

It’s no secret that cookies are BY FAR my favorite thing to bake: everybody loves them, they are so delicious, and best of all…so easy!

The quote above by my baking role model, Christina Tosi, could not be more accurate, in my opinion. I’ve realized over my years of baking that you just really cannot go wrong with a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies. When I wanted to bake something, I would always have trouble deciding what I wanted to bake and I always thought I should switch it up. I’d flip through cookbooks, research recipes online, and scroll through Instagram baking accounts to try and find inspiration for my next baking endeavor. After endless recipe searching, I found myself time and time again coming back to the same chocolate chip cookie recipe because it is just. that. good. 

To give you a little insight into why I am obsessed with these cookies…let me talk to you a little about Levain Bakery. Levain Bakery is known world-wide for their incredibly massive, softball-sized, heavenly chocolate chip cookies. I honestly don’t think I can put into words how life-changing my experience trying Levain Cookies was (okay, that might be a little dramatic but honestly, they are the best cookies in the world). The outside of the cookie is crunchy and crispy but the inside is still molten and delicious. They truly have those cookies down to a science

After having my first bite of their Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, I knew their cookies were different and I wanted to figure out how to bring that amazing cookie experience back with me to Texas. (Fun fact: After I ate my cookie in their store, I went up to the register and asked if they could at least tell me what flour they used in their cookies and sadly, she wouldn’t tell me 🙁  They have to keep their amazing recipe top secret!) 

There are soooooo many copycat Levain bakery cookie recipes on the internet and after endless scrolling, I decided to try the recipe from Melissa Stadler of Modern Honey because it had the highest reviews. It’s a great recipe but over the past year, I have made some of my own adaptations to the recipe that I feel like take it to the next level. I elaborate more on that below.

Also, as I was writing this blog post, my sister pointed out that it had been exactly 3 years TO THE DAY of me trying Levain for the first time! What a coincidence!

(Pictures below are from May 2018 when I tried Levain for the first time)



Now, onto the real reason you are here…the cookie recipe!

These cookies are a rendition of the classic Levain cookies but with a few twists. They have the classic beautiful, golden, crispy outside, but are still gooey and soft in the middle with pools of melted chocolate! I mean, they really are pretty heavenly. 

A few things are crucial to getting these cookies just right:

  1. It’s VERY important to chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the fridge so that the cookies don’t spread as much in the oven
  2. There are some ingredients that make these cookies unique which I explain below

The cookie recipe below has a few unconventional cookie ingredients so let me break down why some of those ingredients are used in this recipe and how it truly does make a difference (don’t forget that baking is not only an art, but also a science)!

  • Cold, salted butter
    • I think many bakers would argue with me on the debate of unsalted vs. salted butter. The argument for unsalted butter is that you are better able to control the amount of salt that goes in the recipe but I have found that salted butter adds a better flavor and richness than unsalted butter  and these cookies are so rich that the salted butter helps to balance out that richness from the chocolate.
    • The butter being cold is IMPERATIVE to this recipe. The cold butter helps the cookies not spread too much which creates the distinct Levain cookie thickness.
  • Cake flour
    • I won’t get into the hardcore science-y aspect of  how different flours affect baked goods but cake flour has a lower gluten content which helps to create fluffier, puffier, and more delicate cookies. The all-purpose flour has a higher gluten content than cake flour so it creates a better structure to the cookie. With the combination of cake flour + all-purpose flour, the cookie is still thick and pillow-y but holds it’s structure in the oven.
  • Cornstarch
    • The cornstarch is another ingredient in this recipe that prevents the cookies from spreading. It is used as a thickening agent in sauces traditionally, but when used in cookies like this, it creates a soft and thick cookie. 
  • Chocolate chips
    • The type of chocolate chip you use makes a huge difference in this cookie. For these cookies, you want dark chocolate chips and you want chips that will melt. Many chocolate chips have a coating on them that is intended to prevent the chips from losing their distinct shape but for these cookies, you want ooey, gooey “melty-ness”!  Levain uses dark chocolate chips in their cookies and I have found two brands of chocolate chips that I absolutely love in these cookies because they bring the perfect amount of richness and meltiness:

I hope you enjoy these cookies! Bake some for yourself, your family, your friends, neighbors, colleagues, any and everybody! Nothing says “I love you” more than a batch of warm, homemade cookies! 

Happy Baking!


Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe by Emily Faris


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



These cookies are thick, decadent, and full of melty chocolate chip goodness! This recipe makes 12 big cookies (if you want to make 10 cookies and make them even bigger, go for it)!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) COLD salted butter, cut into cubes

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs, cold

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 TBSP cake flour

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 TBSP all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

  • 2 1/4 cups good quality dark chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)–> You can definitely add more chocolate chips according to your preference


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    Mix together cake flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch in a medium sized bowl and set aside
  • Cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with a stand mixer or hand mixer for at least 5 minutes (8 minutes is preferred) until the mixture is light in color and fluffy (See Note** below)
  • With mixer on medium, add in both eggs to the wet mixture until thoroughly combined
  • With mixer on medium-low, slowly add dry mixture to the wet mixture a little bit at a time until just combined (don’t over-mix because that will result in denser, tougher cookies)
  • Add in the chocolate chips with mixer on low or stir in by hand until incorporated
  • Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour before baking (the longer the better)
  • Place about 5 ounces (the size of a baseball) of the chilled cookie dough on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet and place the mounds of dough at least 3 inches apart. I usually do no more than 6 cookies per pan—> Don’t roll the ball into a perfect circle. You want loosely shaped mounds of dough!
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the outside is barely golden brown–> You do not want to over-bake these! (They will continue baking on the pan after being taken out of the oven so don’t be scared if they look a little underdone)
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes or just eat right away! I won’t judge!

Notes from Emily

  • Recipe adapted from Modern Honey’s Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies
  • **I know 5-7 minutes seems like a really long time to cream the butter and sugars together but it does make a difference. By creaming the butter and sugars for a longer amount of time, you are adding air into the mixture which creates a lighter, fluffier, and more delicate cookie which WE WANT! Don’t skimp on the longer creaming process—I promise it’s worth it!

Why You Need to Take a Momofuku Milk Bar Class in NYC

Recently, my family and I traveled to the Big Apple, aka: the City That Never Sleeps, aka: The Capital of the World, aka: the City So Nice, They Named it Twice…you get it…we went to New York City! The very first thing on my agenda when planning this trip–aside from the typical stuff like booking flights and hotels–was finding the best bakeries that NYC had to offer. I’ve had a running list of bakeries for more than two years so that if we decided to take a trip to New York I would know exactly where the best places were. And the time came! We planned a trip to New York!

The first bakery on my agenda was Momofuku Milk Bar. I knew I wanted to go to Milk Bar because of their famous “Crack Pie” and “Cereal Milk Soft Serve”, and as the Netflix junkie that I am, I discovered that Milk Bar and Christina Tosi (pastry chef/owner) is featured as an episode on Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” and I’m not going to lie…I may or may not have watched it five times. Sorry not sorry. After watching that, I found out that they offer cake classes and I immediately signed up to do one. And the rest is history…

In this post,  I’m going to tell you all about my experience at a

Milk Bar cake class and why it was the absolute highlight of my trip!

{The Milk Bar Class}

The class that my sisters and I did was the “Milk ID” class and it was the highlight of the entire trip for me. The building where the classes are held is in Brooklyn so it gave us the chance to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see the Manhattan skyline which was a plus. The minute we got there, the Milk Bar staff could not have been more friendly and accommodating, and they seemed to truly love what they do which made the class 10x more fun! And BONUS! We got to choose a classic Christina Tosi headscarf to wear while we made the cakes and got to keep it!

This is inside the building where the classes are held in Brooklyn

The class that we chose was not the traditional and most popular “Birthday Cake and Truffles”; we chose the “Milk ID” class where we got to make our own cake completely the way we wanted to. They brought us out a tray with clear cups filled with happiness. We got to sample different frostings, crumbs, and fillings, and we had two different types of cakes to choose from: Chocolate or Birthday Cake. Naturally, I chose their famous Birthday Cake. 

The tray where we got to sample all of the different and fun flavors

After sampling the numerous combinations of crumbs, fillings, and cake, I landed on what I wanted to make: Birthday Cake with birthday cake crumbs, vanilla buttercream, and the lemon cheesecake filling. Man, oh, man was it a glorious combination. You have the sweetness from the birthday cake, the crumbs, and the buttercream, but then right when it’s just sweet, you get a nice punch from the slightly tart lemon cheesecake filling and then you continue to gorge yourself with more cake. It’s quite the vicious cycle. A delicious cycle might I add. 

The class instructors were so helpful and upbeat throughout the entire class and encouraged us to make any combination we wanted and gave us tips and tricks while we decorated and assembled. 

Anyways, I won’t give away too much of what goes on in the class because I want you to experience it for yourself first-hand because it really is one of the most fun and best experiences I’ve ever had, seriously. But as they say, a picture’s worth a thousand words so below are some pictures from my sisters’ (Maddie and Lauren) and my experience at the Milk Bar class in Brooklyn!

The delicious sheet tray of Birthday Cake..yes, it was ALL mine and yes, I did snack on it the entire time


On the left is my sister Lauren’s chocolate cake in the making and then on the right is my cake in the making. Also, my red headscarf made a little cameo


The final product!


Me and the sistas

Taking a class at the Milk Bar store in Brooklyn was such a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat! 






Visit the link below for all info regarding Milk Bar…you will not regret it! 




Easy & Delicious Cornbread

The Great Debate. No, I am not talking about politics. I am talking about the debate on whether sugar should be added to cornbread or not. This debate has ruined relationships, broken apart families, and divided the nation. Okay, okay maybe that’s a bit dramatic BUT everyone does have their own opinion on whether sugar should be added to cornbread and everyone has their own take on “the best” cornbread. Some people like their cornbread plain and simple like Grandma used to make while others like theirs with fancy, exotic add-ins like hot dog weiners?! (uh-uh no thank you), but generally speaking, Northerners like extra sweet cornbread and Southerners prefer less sweet cornbread according to the Boston Globe and Feast Magazine. I have to say that I agree with my fellow Southerners that cornbread is better with no extra sugar! (Yikes!! Did I just say that??)

Anyways, bickering aside, I believe that this cornbread recipe will satisfy every preference and turn “added-sugar, Northern-style cornbread folk” into “simple, Southern-style cornbread people” with one bite; and I am here to say that I firmly believe that this cornbread recipe is hands-down the best I’ve ever had. And that is saying quite a bit.

This cornbread recipe has actual corn in it and chopped up bell peppers which add a perfect bite of texture and spice to the bread. To chop the bell peppers, I swear by my hand-held vegetable chopper. It makes chopping any vegetable SO MUCH EASIER! All you have to do is seed the peppers and roughly (and I do mean roughly) chop the bell peppers into big chunks and then chop those with the vegetable chopper into finer pieces. You can also chop the peppers with a traditional knife and it will be just as perfect. If you need a quality vegetable chopper, I have used the Zyliss Vegetable Chopper ever since I can remember. (My model is older but this link contains the newer model with all the same functions.) The bell peppers in the cornbread do not drastically change the flavor at all, they just elevate the bread to a whole new level of deliciousness. The best part of this recipe is that it uses Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix as the base and simply revamps it! So easy and so delicious!

This cornbread is also so moist and stays moist for up to a week! I even tested it! After eating a plethora of cornbread in one sitting I decided to cut a few slices and put them in an airtight container in the fridge and see how long they stay moist and I was not disappointed. The cornbread stayed incredibly moist after a week in the fridge! I’m not kidding…it did not get dry at all! Winning!

The cornbread reheats beautifully after sealed in an airtight container in the fridge. Just put however many slices you want on a plate and microwave for 15-20 seconds until warmed to your preference. You could also add a pat of butter and if you’re feeling extra fancy, a drizzle of honey.

Easy and Delicious Cornbread

Prep time: 10 min                    Cook time: 20-25 min                    Total time: 30-35 min


  • 2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1- 11 oz can corn*, drained (I used Green Giant “Extra Sweet Niblets“)
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, finely chopped and seeded (Red or green is best-I used green in this recipe)


  1. Finely chop the bell peppers into pieces roughly the size of the corn kernels
  2. Strain the corn to drain liquid
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir to combine
  4. Pour into two greased 8×8 pans and bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until top is slightly brown and toothpick* comes out clean

**NOTE:  1. I used regular canned corn, NOT canned cream corn because I found that the cream corn added too much liquid to the bread and made it too mushy

2. “The toothpick test”– stick a toothpick in the middle of the pan and if the toothpick comes out clean, bread is ready, if it still has batter on it then bake longer


Recipe adapted from Marty’s Musings

The Best Carrot Cake

I think we can all agree on one thing when it comes to baking: we spend more time searching for that perfect recipe than we do actually baking the recipe. Please tell me I’m not alone!

This Carrot Cake recipe will help you to stop your frantic scrolling through Pinterest, your panicked clicks through food blogs, and your endless page-turning of cookbooks, looking for that perfect Carrot Cake recipe.

This. Is. It.

This is THE BEST Carrot Cake I have ever had. I have truly been ruined because no other Carrot Cake will ever be as good as this one! This is my mom’s world-famous (ok, well more like family and friends famous, but still!) carrot cake recipe and it is absolutely to-die for. It has the perfect combination of moist cake, warm spices, fluffy cream cheese frosting, and delicious walnuts throughout. My mom has made this cake every single Thanksgiving and it has stood the test of time for 23 thanksgivings (and counting)! Everyone devours this cake and we’re lucky to have maybe one slice leftover. Also, a fun fact is that my mom used to make this carrot cake for the downtown coffee shop that my Uncle used to own and it was a favorite among everyone!

This cake is the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert and is perfect for anytime of the year: Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, YOU NAME IT! It is so simple to make and so delicious.


This cake contains walnuts but you can substitute pecans and it will be equally as delicious. You also do not need to toast the walnuts because they will bake in the cake and be in the frosting which makes the recipe even easier and with fewer steps! A WIN-WIN! This carrot cake also has the fluffiest cream cheese frosting and the cake itself is so moist with bits of walnut, aromatic spices, and sweet, shredded carrot throughout. It’s a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Like actually. If Heaven and cake had a baby, this would be it. It’s incredible.

To make the frosting, it is your basic cream cheese frosting but with walnuts added into the frosting. This gives it a great texture and breaks up the creaminess a bit when you bit into a perfectly crunchy walnut.

To decorate the cake, after frosting it, I like to decorate the perimeter and middle with some chunks of walnut but if you’re feeling extra fancy you could separate a bit of plain cream cheese frosting (without walnuts) to pipe some rosettes or fun swirls on the top of the cake. Let your artistic juices flow!

This Carrot Cake recipe will be your new go-to…I guarantee it! (recipe below)

The Best Carrot Cake

(My Mom’s Carrot Cake)



  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots, (5-6 carrots), I use the shredding attachment on my food processor or you can buy packaged shredded carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, (walnuts)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1- 16 oz. box confectioner’s sugar (3 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and cinnamon
  3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, slowly mix together all of the wet ingredients: sugar, vanilla, grated carrots, vegetable oil, and eggs
  4. Once wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, slowly add in dry ingredient mixture and beat until all combined (about 3-4 minutes on medium speed)
  5. Add walnuts to batter and mix**
  6. Once batter is completely combined, pour into two-9 inch round or three-8 inch round pans which have been greased and floured
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into cake
  8. Cool thoroughly before icing

For the frosting:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and beat with an electric or stand mixer until fluffy
  2. Spread frosting between layers, on top, and around sides to cover throughly
  3. Add walnuts to decorate, icing swirls, or anything else you want! (optional)

**Note: Batter will have a sugary texture but once baked, it is a perfect texture.

Cinnamon Roasted Nuts


I don’t know about you but for me the holidays are absolutely, hands-down, no-doubt-about-it my favorite time of year! There’s truly nothing quite like stuffing myself so much on Thanksgiving that I have to go upstairs and change into pants that have an elastic waist band…in order to continue stuffing myself with food (#noshame). There’s also nothing quite like driving around town to see various Christmas lights and sipping on hot cocoa by the fire with your closest family and friends. I truly just love every single thing about the holiday season!

With the holidays approaching, I can’t help but want to fill my house with the smell of cinnamon, warmth, and happiness. And these cinnamon roasted nuts do just that! When I was younger, there was a store that my dad and I would always go to around the holiday season (late November to early January) and they would always have this stand in the store with fresh-roasted, sweet cinnamon nuts and the minute I walked in, the fragrant scent of sugar, cinnamon, and salty nuts would hit my nose so quickly and I would always have to by a bag or two (or six haha) of the nuts before I left.

These cinnamon roasted nuts are so addictive and will make your house smell like holiday cheer and cinnamon in about 30 minutes! Who wouldn’t want that?!  They are sweet and cinnamon-y but the touch of salt balances it all out perfectly, making for a super delicious snack. If you’re having guests over for a holiday party, make this recipe, put the nuts in the oven, and after awhile, your house will smell incredible! Seriously, it smells so dang good.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can really use any nuts that you have on hand. For example, in the recipe that I made (photographed above), the only nuts I had on hand were unsalted almonds and salted cashews and they were delish! If you only have pecans on hand that works great! If you only have cashews and almonds, that is great too! That’s the wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is so versatile.

The recipe is so simple with only a few ingredients and a few steps. You can put these nuts out as a pre-Thanksgiving appetizer or a holiday party snack for people to munch on or…do what I do and make a batch and try to use restraint and not eat them all when they first come out of the oven. These nuts also make for a perfect holiday gift to give to your neighbors, friends, and family! To gift these, simply make the recipe, let the nuts cool, and then put them in cute mason jars and tie with a fun, little gift tag and ribbon and voila you have a perfect homemade gift for any occasion!

I can assure you, if you put these nuts out before an event, they will be gone faster than you can say “Merry Christmas!”

‘Tis the season!

-XO Emily

(Recipe below)

Cinnamon Roasted Nuts



  • 2 1/4 cups any nuts (preferably unsalted almonds, cashews, or pecans)
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar (unpacked)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I use Morton’s natural sea salt)
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


  1. In large bowl, mix together egg white and water with a whisk and whisk until frothy (not stiff peaks)
  2. Add nuts into egg white and water mixture and mix until nuts are completely coated
  3. Combine both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in airtight container (zip top bag or sealed container works fine) and shake until thoroughly combined**(you may need to break the lumps of brown sugar with a fork)
  4. Pour sugar mixture over nuts and mix until everything is combined
  5. Pour nut mixture onto well-greased pan and spread out into one even layer
  6. Bake in oven at 225 degrees until nuts are toasted and aromatic, turning every 15 minutes, for about 1 hour
  7. Let nuts harden and cool and store in airtight container
  8. Enjoy!







The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think if you were to look up Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookies in the dictionary it would probably say: “the Oatmeal Raisin cookie’s much prettier cousin.” I mean I feel bad for Oatmeal Raisin cookies but, come on, I think 99.8786% of the world would prefer chocolate chips to raisins. But hey that’s just my rough percent estimate.

Anyways, my mom and I had lunch recently at a sandwich shop in our city and they are known for their addictive and amazing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. The cookies are about as big as your hand and they taste like what I imagine Heaven tastes like. After having these cookies for years now, I promised myself that I would find a recipe that tastes just like them and I think I may have done it, folks! These cookies are perfect because they have just the right amount of cookie to chip ratio and are super easy! I changed the recipe up and added a few little things that just enhance the recipe even more. I hope y’all enjoy making these cookies and most importantly eating them!

(There is a PART TWO to this post so keep scrolling after you’ve checked out this yummy recipe!)

The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

prep time: 15 min     total time: 2 hours (includes chilling dough and cooking)

yields: 18-24 medium sized cookies


  • 1 stick salted butter, softened to room temp.
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned oats (do not use instant oats as it will yield a weird texture)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I add a little extra just for good measure)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and beat for about 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add in dry ingredient mixture and mix until just combined (don’t over mix dough).
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and scoop cookie dough balls with large ice cream scoop and place onto baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Chill dough balls in the freezer for 1 hour or overnight and then bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes.
  8. Let cool and enjoy! Or eat them while they’re piping hot, they’re delish either way!

**TIPI’ve learned that the best way to be able to make cookies whenever you want is to prepare 3-4 bags of the cookies’ dry ingredients. When you’re making a batch of cookies, combine the dry ingredients into 3-4 separate bags (batches) and then write the wet ingredients that the recipe calls for on the front of the bag and stick them in the freezer. That way you’ve eliminated two-thirds of the work of making cookies by having the dry ingredients already measured out.

In the words of Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”

The bags keep in the freezer for up to two months and you can do this with any cookie dough you’d like: Sugar, Chocolate chip, Snickerdoodle, Molasses, Oatmeal chocolate chip, Peanut butter, etc.** 


Recipe slightly adapted from Recipe4Living: http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/perfectly_potbelly_s_oatmeal_chocolate_chip_cookies.htm


Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters

Ahhh if only food was calorie free. I do wish I could eat everything I make but unfortunately I cannot because if I did, I would be as big as the side of a house or maybe a whole house or maybe even a whole neighborhood! With this in mind, chocolate-covered nuts are one of my guilty pleasures but they are also my go-to dessert. When I’m craving something sweet and I don’t feel like baking up an entire cake or cookies and just want something easy and not heavy to satisfy my sweet tooth, I immediately turn to these badboys: Chocolate Peanut Clusters! They are truly the easiest treats to whip up and, if eaten in moderation, are not bad for you, in fact they have protein from the peanuts! So, wait, does that make them healthy?!

All you need to make these is chocolate chips, peanuts, and a bit of sea salt (optional). (Because who doesn’t like sweet and salty?) There are also two ways to make these: You can either scoop the mixture into little “piles” on wax paper and let them set or I recently discovered these wonderful candy molds at a craft store and you can just scoop the mixture into the candy cavities and come out with perfectly proportional servings! (link at bottom of page) 

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters


   prep time: 10 min     total time (including set up time): 1 hour


  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 cups peanuts, lightly salted or unsalted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Melt chocolate chips in 15 second intervals in microwave until melted or use double boiler to melt
  2. Pour peanuts in medium sized bowl and pour melted chocolate over peanuts
  3. Stir to combine and coat the peanuts with chocolate
  4. Scoop little piles of chocolate-peanut mixture onto wax paper with small ice cream scoop (I find that an ice cream scoop is easiest to use to prevent a sticky mess)


Spoon chocolate-peanut mixture into candy mold

5. Sprinkle each cluster with a bit of sea salt (optional)

6. Let clusters set up in fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes in freezer or 1 hour in fridge (If you are very impatient like me, I like to stick the clusters in the freezer so I don’t have to wait as long, but if you are patient then the refrigerator works just as fine.) 

6. Enjoy!


Blood Orange Sorbet

A couple of months ago my family and I went to this super delicious restaurant in Dallas and I had the absolute best dessert there: Key Lime Pie with Blood Orange Sorbet! Let me fill you in on a little secret…I’m a sucker for good key lime pie. As tasty as the pie was, the blood orange sorbet was even better! I never wouldhave thought to pair citrus with citrus but, wow, I do now! After tasting this sorbet, I had been trying to figure out how to recreate it and I found a blood orange sorbet recipe but modifying it to be slightly healthier. I adjusted the sugar by using half white sugar and half natural agave nectar in place of all white sugar. I also used bottled blood orange juice instead of juice from the fruit because let’s be honest, finding blood oranges in your local grocery store is few and far between. At my local grocery store, in the juice aisle, I found “Italian Volcano Blood Orange Juice” and the flavor was great! This sorbet is so refreshing and light and the absolute perfect summer treat. It’s texture is somewhere between an icy granita and a creamy sorbet and you won’t feel very guilty eating it! Recipe below!

Blood Orange Sorbet

  prep time: 20 min    total time: 4-7 hours   yields: about 1 pint


-1 1/4 cups water

-1/2 cup sugar

-1/3 cup agave nectar

-2 2/3 cup blood orange juice

-2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan to make a simple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove simply syrup from heat and let cool completely.
  3. Stir in Blood Orange juice and lemon juice to cooled simple syrup.
  4. Pour mixture into electric ice cream maker (or container) and freeze according to ice cream maker manufacturers instructions.
  5. After churned, transfer sorbet into container to continue freezing in freezer for 2 more hours.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blood-orange-sorbet


Chocolate French Silk Pie with Pretzel Crust

Chocolate French Silk Pie with Pretzel Crust

I present you with my all time favorite pie. Yes, it is indeed my favorite. This pie is modeled after a certain pie that I fell in love from this quaint pie shop in Dallas. I discovered this pie about 3 years ago when my mom and my sisters and I traveled to Dallas for a day-trip and were told to go to this adorable pie shop. I can truly say, my life has been greatly improved upon the discovery of this pie at the pie shop. It is a Chocolate French Silk Pie with a Pretzel Crust and within the first bite, I was hooked. I have had this pie at my birthday and many other celebrations. After a few years and many chocolate pies later I knew I had to try to find a recipe to recreate it. After a long time looking, I stumbled across a recipe from Oleo Recipes (http://oleorecipes.blogspot.com/2012/03/dark-chocolate-caramel-french-silk-pie.html) and I made the recipe and it tastes incredibly close to the original! (With this recipe, I made a few adaptations. For example, their recipe calls for caramel but I chose to not include that). This pie is so incredible because it truly is the epitome of sweet and salty. With a rich, dark chocolate french silk filling and a salty pretzel crust, it is balanced perfectly and you will come back wanting more and more…and more and more…and more. And even better is that this pie takes no time to make and tastes like a professional made it. Y’all I’m not exaggerating. I take the art of pie-making seriously. Please let this pie bless your life and your tastebuds like it has mine.

**WARNING** This pie is not particularly for people on a diet so if you are on a diet just pretend this pie is healthy. You won’t regret it. Hey, maybe eat it on your cheat day. Every day is a cheat day for me;)

Chocolate French Silk Pie with Pretzel Crust

yields: 12-16 slices        cook time: 10 min        total time: 4-5 hours

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups very finely ground salted pretzels
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted or salted butter, melted (salted butter adds a bit more saltiness with the pie which is nice given the pie itself is very rich)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted or salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs (**this recipe does contain raw eggs, consume at your own risk**)


  1. Grind up pretzels in food processor until completely crushed just before powder form
  2. Combine crushed pretzel “meal”, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl
  3. Pour into pie pan and press to form to sides of pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min
  4. While crust is cooling, microwave heavy cream until hot and add chocolate chips to make ganache
  5. Set ganache aside to cool. While it is cooling, cream the softened butter and sugar together
  6. After beaten, beat in cocoa powder, vanilla, and room temp. ganache and beat until smooth
  7. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat after each egg is added
  8. Once all combined, pour filling into baked pretzel crust
  9. Let set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (the longer the better!)
  10. ENJOY!






Chocolate Brownie Trifle


Chocolate Brownie Trifle

What’s decadent and has brownies, pudding, whipped cream, and toffee all over it? Brownie Trifle!

One thing you may have found out about me by now is I like chocolate. Like really like chocolate. If I could choose, I would make chocolate one of the main food groups. I mean come on! It comes from a plant which is practically healthy…right? Right. (I’ll just tell myself that.) 

This brownie trifle is a family recipe that my mom has made every Christmas Eve ever since I can remember. Christmas Eve would not be Christmas Eve without my family’s usual Tex-Mex and Brownie Trifle. Ahhh what a lovely combination! Anyways, this brownie trifle might be one of the absolute simplest desserts to make and will be gone and eaten as fast as you can say the word “brownie”. It is the ultimate crowd dessert and people will think you slaved away in the kitchen, when really you can make this AND watch 5 episodes of The Office in the time you would’ve been making some other *time-consuming* *tedious* *grueling* dessert!

The trifle has layers of brownie…….chocolate pudding……cool whip…….and toffee bits….need I say more?

Make this dessert for a party or your family, or your spouse, or yourself. I prefer the “yourself” one. Wherever you bring this trifle, I promise, there will be no other dessert superior to it. You can take my word for it.

-XO Emily

Chocolate Brownie Trifle

servings: around 16 | prep time: 10 min (not including brownie cooking) | total time: 2-3 hours (includes chilling time)


  • 2 boxes brownie mix (prepared) in 9×13 pan
  • 2 packets chocolate pudding mix (prepared)
  • 2  8 oz (or 1 16 oz) container Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 1 bag toffee candy bits (Skor, Heath, etc.) (crumbled)


  1. Prepare the brownie mix according to box directions (Or you can make your own, favorite brownie recipe!)
  2. Bake brownies according to box, then let cool
  3. Thaw the Cool Whip in the refrigerator or set out room temp. for quicker thawing
  4. Prepare the chocolate pudding according to box and let set until thickened to regular pudding texture
  5. Crumble brownie into medium sized chunks
  6. Time for assembly!
  7. First layer: add in crumbled brownie chunks to cover bottom
  8. Second layer: spoon on chocolate pudding to cover brownies
  9. Third layer: add on cool whip to cover pudding layer
  10. Fourth layer: Sprinkle on toffee bits
  11. Repeat layers as many times as will fit and then top with cool whip and finish with sprinkled toffee bits!
  12. Let cool and set in refrigerator for at least 1 hour then serve!

**It is really good as leftover too, if you even have any leftovers! ;)**