Monday, February 26, 2018

Prize Winning Recipe and A Love of Travel

Last Monday was our Library's 18th Annual Chocolate Lovers Bake Off, and for all of you who know how much I love to bake, it will come as no surprise that I entered. This year I entered Neapolitan Cupcakes in the cake category and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting in the cookie and bars category. And I am happy to report I won first place in the cookie category. So if you love pumpkin and chocolate, feel free to try them out for yourselves.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1  cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, and then beat in pumpkin before adding dry ingredients. Finally, fold in chocolate chips. Spread in greased pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick come out of the center cleanly. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

 1 ½ cups softened salted butter
1 cup baking cocoa
5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup milk
1 TBS vanilla extract

In stand mixer, add five cups of powdered sugar and cocoa and beat on low until combined. Add butter, vanilla, and one TBS of milk and beat. Continue to add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar. 

Besides baking, reading, writing, crafting, taking pictures, and geocaching, I also love to travel.  So as I sifted through my pile of borrowed library books, I decided on a book simply titled Somewhere Else. As I opened the cover and admired the end pages my interested was piqued. On those end pages were a myriad of old newspaper or catalog clippings of suit cases and travel bags. In case I haven't  mentioned before, I also have a love of all things old and full of history. It took me a while to tear myself away from the end papers, but when I did, I enjoyed the story of George the bird. George, much like myself, was a prize winning baker. But unlike me, George never went anywhere.

George's friends invited him to travel, but he always turned them down claiming he was just to busy to go anywhere. When winter arrived, George found himself all alone until a bear named Pascal stopped by looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Eventually, George revealed his secret to Pascal and Pascal helped him over it. And in the end, they set out on a grand adventure!

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter  @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.


  1. Yummy, chocolate and pumpkin, two of my favorites! Thanks for sharing these recipes.

  2. Oh that looks so very yummy! Congrats on winning!

  3. I love the cake and simple to prepare.Congratulations!for being the best.

  4. I love the recipe and will share it with my daughter. I also love the book. We learn so much through traveling. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this past week.

  5. Thanks for stopping by Mary. Hope your daughter enjoys the recipe :0)