Raspberry Rose Water Cupcakes

Raspberry Rose Water Cupcakes Vanilla bean cupcakes swirled with tart raspberry puree then topped with a luscious rose water infused raspberry frosting, and sprinkled with chopped pistachios.  Take your taste buds on an exotic vacation with these Raspberry Rose Water Cupcakes!

Raspberry Rose Water CupcakesLiving in Dubai has some perks.  For one, I can have anything I want delivered to my house for free or for only 5 dirhams (1.35 USD!).  I usually grocery shop online, because they deliver my groceries to my doorstep for free.  It’s magical.  Oh, and did I mention that the Ikea here will deliver and assemble your furniture too.  For free.  America needs to take some notes.

Raspberry Rose Water CupcakesOne of the things I love about living in Dubai is all the variety of exotic foods and ingredients I have access to.  I have found everything from rose and cardamon flavored camel milk to crazy looking Southeast Asian fruits like the Rambutan.   Every grocery store also has a nice supply of beautiful orange blossom and rose waters, something I always found a little difficult to get back home.  I totally took advantage of the rose water for these Raspberry Rose Water Cupcakes.

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Apricot and Cherry Ricotta Galette

Apricot and cherry ricotta galetteFlaky pie crust filled with creamy ricotta, tart cherries and sweet apricots.  This rustic Apricot and Cherry Ricotta Galette is my favorite lazy pie.

Apricot and cherry ricotta galetteOur family just got back from an amazing road trip vacation in Europe.  One German car, two small anxious kids, one big college bound kid, and two crazy parents.  Don’t worry though, we were already crazy before the vacation.  We started in Frankfurt Germany and drove to Europa-Park in Rust, which is one of the most amazing theme parks I’ve ever been to.  Next, we drove to a small French town in the country and visited Nigloland.  This was another European theme park and definitely one of my all time favorites.  It was quaint, gorgeous, and wonderful for little kids.  My husband’s coworker’s family owns the park, so they set us up in a cute little hotel room in the park.  We slept inside the theme park, right under the Ferris Wheel!  Who can say they’ve done that?

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Snickerdoodle Crupcakes

Snickerdoodle Crupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingSoft cinnamon sugar cupcakes with a hidden surprise!  A luscious croissant baked right in the cupcake and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  These Snickerdoodle Crupcakes are easily my new favorite mash-up dessert!

Snickerdoodle Crupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingI’m so excited about these.  Yes, I often get excited about baked goods, but these are awesome!  Think of a soft snickerdoodle cookie combined with a buttery croissant, then smothered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting like a cinnmon roll.  Best breakfast ever, right?

I’ve always loved the idea of hybrid desserts or dessert mash-ups.  There’s  of course the coveted cronut, the cruffin (burglars even broke in and stole the recipe!), and also the Brookie.  I even morphed sweet potato pie into baklava.  It was a memorable experience.  Just a quick shout out…one of my favorite bloggers wrote all about mash-ups.

Snickerdoodle Crupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Chunk Banana Caramel Poke Cake

Chocolate Chunk Banana Caramel Poke CakeSoft banana cake littered with dark chocolate chunks and walnuts while swimming in salted caramel.  What’s not to love?  Turn those brown bananas into a lovely Chocolate Chunk Banana Caramel Poke Cake!

 Everyone knows not to grocery shop when you’re hungry.  We all do it anyway and end up with a cart load of food we probably will never get around to eating.  You also shouldn’t grocery shop with a two year old, regardless if she’s hungry or not.  Every time I’m in the produce section, she’s super excited to see those bright yellow bananas.  “Bananas!”, she always squeals when she rides by them.  Will she eat those bananas?  Nope.  Does she scream if you don’t put them in the cart? Yes.  It’s okay though, that means plenty of opportunities for baking this Chocolate Chunk Banana Caramel Poke Cake.  You would be squealing about bananas too.

Chocolate Chunk Banana Caramel Poke Cake

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Chocolate Cannoli Bars

chocolate cannoli bars with dark chocolate ganache and pistachiosThree glorious layers come together for the ultimate cannoli experience.  These super easy Chocolate Cannoli Bars are still decadent and plus they look super fancy.  This is where you can go crazy with the pistachios.  Pistachios = Fancy. 

chocolate cannoli bars with dark chocolate ganache and pistachios So I think I finally got the kiddos on a schedule.  Oliver goes to summer camp every morning from 8 to about 1:30.  Super amen to that!  Then it’s just Jovi and me for what we call “mommy camp”, which is just Jovi watching people play with Play Doh on Youtube.  Is that a thing?  There are like hundreds of videos of people making cupcakes with Play Doh, and her little two year old brain is hooked.  Then around 11 am I smell something funky, change that diaper and she’s down for a nap.  Probably dreaming about Play Doh, I’m sure.  So for about an hour and a half it really turns into mommy camp.  I catch up on the blog, bake, and just soak in the sounds of nothing.  I love it.

chocolate cannoli bars with dark chocolate ganache and pistachios

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Andes Mint Whoopie Pies

Andes Mint Whoopie PiesThick dark chocolate cakes sandwiched with the creamiest, made from scratch mint frosting ever.  And don’t forget the huge helping of Andes Mints! These Andes Mint Whoopie Pies will help you cool off during the heat wave.

Andes Mint Whoopie PiesI think my sweat glands hit a milestone today.  No lie, I changed my clothes like three times today, like a sweaty man.  I basically was sweating like a man with hyperhidrosis. It broke 50 C today, and in American speak, that’s pretty much 120 F.  My little Chevy rental said so and I’m sticking with it.  Summer is so strange here in Dubai.  The sunshine is so bright and beautiful, but the wind is so intense that there is always this dusty haze around.  It’s so dusty it looks like smog.  We haven’t had a major sandstorm yet, but from what I hear it’s a little scary.  Like Tom Cruise Mission Impossible scary.  On a lighter note, we told my son we were living in Tatooine.  He pretty much feels like a boss.  He can now tell his little friends that in his past life he had an address in Star Wars.

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Caramel Maltesers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Maltesers Chocolate Chip CookiesMy favorite chocolate chip cookie kicked up a notch with a messy drizzle of gooey caramel and a generous helping of crushed Maltesers Candies.  You’re welcome.

Caramel Maltesers Chocolate Chip Cookies You know what’s super terrifying in Dubai?  Not the camels that have been known to bite fingers off, or spread MERS among happy and oblivious tourists.  It’s not even the 12 types of venomous snakes found here.  It’s the insanely dangerous drivers.

Here’s a scary fact:  Everyday an average of 2 people are killed on the roads here.  Everyday!

 When I first started driving here I literally had to pack extra pants from all the “Omigod, he’s coming into my lane and I have no where to swerve!” moments.  Don’t get me started on their roundabouts.  Please for the love of God, send some Dutch people over here to teach everyone how a roundabout works!

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Spiced Pear Tea Cakes with Blackberry Jam

Spiced Pear Tea Cakes with Blackberry JamMake summer feel like fall with these Spiced Pear Tea Cakes with Blackberry Jam.  Juicy pears baked inside cinnamon spiced mini tea cakes and smothered in fresh blackberry jam.

Spiced Pear Tea Cakes with Blackberry JamDubai has schooled me on what a real summer feels like.  Scorching sun all day, everyday, with highs of 120 and lows of 100.  Lows of 100?!!  On a positive note, I will say that bright sunshine everyday makes for great lighting while taking photos of food.  You food bloggers would love it here!

Some facts about Dubai summers:

If taking a shower in the middle of a summer day, turn the water all the way to cold and it will be too hot to use.  The water has been boiling in your outside pipes all day, while the hot water tanks are inside being cooled by the air conditioning.

You will definitely incur third degree burns on the bottoms of your feet if you decide to step outside on the pavement without foot wear.  Even for a couple of seconds to run the trash out.

Nice summer night winds?  Think of the hottest setting of your blow dryer hitting your face continuously.  Or opening an oven in your face.

And yes, you can definitely fry an egg on the sidewalk.  In the shade.

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Daim Crunch Fudge Brownies

Daim Crunch Fudge Brownies with dark chocolate buttercream frostingDeep dark chocolate brownies topped with rich fudge frosting and topped with crushed Daim chocolate candies. These Daim Crunch Fudge Brownies are the perfect combination of salty sweet toffee and bittersweet chocolate.

Daim Crunch Fudge Brownies with dark chocolate buttercream frostingHave you ever had that moment when you can’t decide between a brownie with a crunchy edge or a soft chewy center?  Well, now Ladies and Gents, you can have both.  These brownies are so insanely fudgey it’s completely ridiculous, and the combination of those crunchy little Daim pieces take them over the edge.  I have to warn you, Daim candy is a little difficult to find in the U.S.  I’m in the United Arab Emirates so I can find it on every corner.  If you aren’t in the UAE or Europe, you can find it in IKEA or most likely World Market.  Otherwise, you can used some chocolate covered toffee that’s been crushed.  You want the variation of big and small pieces to really make these brownies cruch.

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Magic Cookie Bar Madeleines

Magic Cookie Bar MadeleinesLight and airy madeleines drenched in sweetened condensed milk, toasted coconut, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.  These Magic Cookie Bar Madeleines will be your new favorite sinful treat!

Magic Cookie Bar Madeleines Hello everyone!  From the magical land of Dubai!  To say these past couple of months have been a crazy ride is a complete understatement.  Moving two small children across the world is pretty insane.  Most people would probably not recommend uprooting your whole family and move to the Middle East.  I say if you’re young and the opportunity to immerse your kids in an amazing multi-cultural city full of adventure, DO IT!!!

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