It’s here! Your first Brownie Of The Week!


Cinnamon rolls? Do you like them? Do you love them? Thick, puffy, warm, melt in your mouth? If you do, then this is the brownie recipe for you (I sound like a sales person, don’t I? 🙂 ).

Even if you don’t, you may still find that this brownie appeals to you more than the best cinnamon roll. Like me. I like cinnamon rolls. I don’t really love them, and hardly crave them, but I’ll take them (as long as they’re the right kind). But these brownies? Oh, yeah!

Maybe you are wondering to what kind of brownie I am referring to? With all this talk about cinnamon rolls, there could only be one kind: Cinnamon Roll Brownies! Yep.



For these beauties, I am using an ingredient that I have given nothing but a hard time to my sister since she used them in some scones once twice, and that is cinnamon chips. Don’t know what I am talking about? They are these; I buy the Hershey ones, but I don’t know if there are any other brands out there.

After my sister used them in the scones, it’s been a big joke that she keeps threatening me to make them again * UPDATE: has made them again* (in case you couldn’t tell, they weren’t my favorite). The cinnamon chips and I just didn’t get along. But when it came time to construct a cinnamon roll brownie? Well, the chips and I had to patch up our differences. I did that which I thought I would not. I used them.

So now what can I say? The darn things worked!!

Let me give you the lowdown: A brownie with chocolate chips, a touch of cinnamon, cinnamon chips to boot, and a cream cheese frosting.

Sound good? Try them; they are really delicious and a fun spin on a breakfast favorite!

Cottura felice!


~ For the cream cheese frosting, feel free to use your favorite recipe as opposed to this one; I have also used one from Sally’s baking addiction and it was quite good.

~ Also, for the cream cheese frosting, you may need to add a little more confectioners’ sugar than what is called for – however, I had let my cream cheese get way too soft so that could have been the problem… 🙂 

~ Finally, for the baking times, you will have to be patient. There is a lot of chocolate chips in there so it can be kind of hard to tell when they are done!

 Cinnamon Roll Brownies

For the brownies

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 C. all – purpose flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (maybe a little less, depending on how strong you like your cinnamon flavor)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. cinnamon baking chips (I use Hershey brand)


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk (or mixer), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in the chocolate and cinnamon chips.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 30 -35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

Once brownies have cooled to room temperature (or at least not warm enough to melt the frosting) make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, sofetened
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. sour cream


Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter until combined.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and sour cream and beat until blended well (about 2 minutes longer).

Spread evenly over the brownies and sprinkle with some ground cinnamon, if desired.

Store leftover brownies in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Brownie recipe adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies and the Cream Cheese Frosting is from The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball


Happy Memorial Day and a cake recipe for you!

Memorial day for blog

First of all, let me begin by wishing you a happy Memorial day – I hope you enjoy the holiday and have some time to just kick back, relax, honor those who have served and those who are continuing to serve our Country, spend some time with family/friends, and best of all, eat!

 The latter brings me to my next topic:

Crowd pleasers. We all look for them, don’t we? Crowd pleasing cake, crowd pleasing cupcakes, crowd pleasing cookies, the list goes on. Why? (which might be the dumbest question to date) For me, when I’m looking for a good recipe, one thing I know is is that if it’s a crowd pleaser, it must be good. I mean, it’s a crowd pleaser for a reason, right? Not to mention the obvious; when we take a dish/dessert somewhere, we want to be sure it will please.

Anyway, you get what I mean: we like crowd pleasing dishes/desserts.

So on that note, here is a crowd pleasing bundt cake. This cake dates back to I don’t know when, but it’s been made in my family for as long as I can remember. There’s a reason for that: it’s really, really, good. It is a sure crowd pleaser.

I don’t know if there has ever been an event where this cake has gone to and not been raved about. And, do you know what’s even better? It’s easy. Plus, it’s one of the only things that comes from a box mix that I just love – and trust me, that’s saying a lot.

The cake mentioned is a Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake, and I don’t think there is a single thing to not like about it. It’s moist, it’s super delicious, it’s easy to make, easy to take, super hard to stay out of, good the next day, gosh, even the batter is good!


If you make this, I know you will love it – and when eaten warm??? My oh my.

So if you decide to whip this up and take it to an event, you tell me if someone doesn’t come up to you with compliments and maybe even ask for the recipe! 😉

I hope you enjoy this old family favorite of ours – cottura felice!

WARNING: the content you are about to consume below is super addicting! 🙂


See how old this recipe is?

See how old this recipe is?

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

This cake is sure to be a crowd wower at any gathering – it is so delicious and moist, I think it’s the only party dessert you will ever need, really!


1 package Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
1 sm. (3.5 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
5 oz. chocolate syrup
16 oz. package chocolate chips
1 c. nuts, chopped if desired (just as good without, in fact, I am not sure I have ever eaten this with the nuts!)


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10 – inch tube or regular bundt pan.

Mix dry cake mix, pudding mix, and oil.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Stir in sour cream and vanilla.

Add nuts, if desired.

Pour half of batter into another mixing bowl; set aside. To remaining batter, add chocolate syrup and chocolate chips. Mix well.

Pour half of plain batter into prepared pan; top with half of chocolate batter; add remaining plain batter; then chocolate batter. Cut through batter with knife to marbelize.

Bake for 1 hour or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick or cake tester when inserted.

Cool before removing from pan.


Sempre Dolce in NYC


I just got back  last week two weeks ago from a whirlwind trip to NYC and it was amazing! Let me tell you a little about it:

I went to New York to play in a winners recital (this competition here)  at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall – I wanted to hop over and see Louis Lortie who was playing in Stern Auditorium that same evening) and while I was there tried out some eats, however nothing really worth writing about – like I said, it was a whirlwind trip. However, it is amazing how much of NYC one can see in 24 hours! One place we ate at that is worth writing about however, is Alice’s Tea Cup. It was really good and quite a fun experience as well. Each one of us (my Mom, sister and my cousin, we left my brothers to find some place to eat on their own…) tried something different and of course we each had tea. As mentioned before, it was an enjoyable experience from the way the tea is served (you get your own teapot), to the cute tea cups, to the food itself; this place is definitely worth trying if you are visiting NYC . Another place would be this French bakery my siblings went to without me – I was on a plane. Oh my. The lemon and chocolate tarts were to die for! Another must for a visit. We also made it by the Magnolia bakery and aside from the chocolate cheesecake and lemonade (although it was slightly over sweet, but still good though) there was nothing really worth bragging about. The chocolate cake was good, but nothing that couldn’t be made at home. The flourless chocolate cake was a flourless chocolate cake (I love flourless chocolate cake, but this one just wasn’t anything, again, that couldn’t be made at home) and a little dry at that. I had heard the cupcakes were a close rival to Sprinkles Cupcakes, but truthfully I didn’t quite see that quality in them – don’t get me wrong, they were good and I have had FAR worse cupcakes, but I still like Sprinkles and maybe even Hey Cupcake in Austin better.


Other than eating, one highlight of the trip was Central Park. I know, how touristy can you get, right? I am not a big fan of doing the touristy stuff on vacation (like please, please do not go to Times Square – trust me)  but Central Park is an exception. I must confess it is different than I imagined. I always envisioned a large city park (maybe somewhat like the Boston Commons?), but this was like park meets nature. In the middle of the city. Lots of fun to be found there (if I had more time I would have liked to have tried the row boats :)). Another highlight (if you can call this a highlight, maybe I am easily amused?) was riding around in taxis for the first time. Unlike Boston, where the subway is pretty easy to figure out and for visitors preferable, I found walking or taking a taxi easier and less confusing (although I must confess that I did not even try to take the subway. My brothers did however and they confirmed that fact). But regardless, riding in taxis was fun (other than the fact that they are costly… but it’s New York, right?) as it reminded me of the old classic movies I love to watch so much. By the way, you know you are a big classic movie enthusiast (I am too; I do not often watch movies that were made past the 1950’s) , when you go around NYC thinking of all the movies that take place there and even quoting some lines as well. 🙂

Anyway, I had a wonderful 24 hours in NYC and can’t wait to go back someday. So with that said, on to other subjects.

I am posting another brownie recipe that I think you will love, but before you kill me for providing yet another brownie recipe, let me give you a little announcement:

I partially chose to post a brownie recipe today because it helps (or maybe a better way to put it would be that posting another brownie recipe is helping) give me an introduction to my new Brownie Of The Week (isn’t that just a brilliant name?) post that I will be doing every other week or twice a month. As you can tell and as I have stated before, brownies really excite me, so the idea of the many combinations that I can and am going to be fooling around with just excites me all the more. I hope you enjoy this venture of mine – I can’t wait to start!

Below are some of my creations thus far.

On this particular brownie recipe:

There is nothing that I did here that is much different from the original recipe except to add another source of chocolate. I added these. I know it’s past Easter and due to my lateness in posting this, you may not even have any left, but it is a good way to use up any extra candy coated chocolate Easter eggs you might have. I used the Hershey ones and they turned out really awesome! I mean, really awesome. So if you do manage to have any extra Hershey (or similar) chocolate candy eggs left or you stocked up when the Easter candy went on sale, then make these. Enough said. Make them, you won’t be disappointed; even my niece who can be a picky eater liked them, they’re that good!

Cottura felice!


~ You want to let the brownies cool before eating but if you want the ultimate chocolatey experience, then I highly recommend eating them while they are still somewhat warm. You won’t regret it!



 Easter Brownies  

For the brownies

1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 bag Hershey candy coated chocolate eggs


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and chocolate eggs.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

 Barely adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies