Thursday, July 19, 2012

Desserts for the Deserving

Last month I was reading the different blogs I follow and I was touched by "Desserts for the Deserving" by Amanda over at i am baker.

Desserts for the Deserving was established in 2011 with the sole purpose of bringing people joy.  It is a non profit movement where bloggers, bakers, crafters, and all forms of creative people offer up time and resources to bring strangers joy.

Who wouldn't love to receive a surprise something in the mail, from a complete stranger (in a total non creepy way)?! This girl would! So, I signed up and was matched with a lady from Kansas. Here is what I received:

The person I want to nominate is my mom. My grandma passed away from an intense fight with cancer two years ago yesterday(June 6th). She left behind my wonderful grandpa who is 95 and still lives on his own. During my grandma's cancer journey my mom made a 5 hour round trip drive to their house every week to spend 2 days while still working full time. After grandma passed away and grandpa did not want to move home with my parents, she has continued to make the same 2-3 day trip EVERY week while still working full time. On top of this she leads a bible study and teaches sunday school. So for about 3 years my mom has given up many days every year to help her parents. In the meantime my mom has missed many family events and sacrificed her free time that she could relax and have time for herself so that she can care for her parents. She is so giving and puts EVERYONE before herself. She deserves a treat and this would be wonderful!  

My initial thought? What a Proverbs 31 woman! What an inspiration...I am truly blessed to send her a small little bit of sunshine in a box. I am so blessed to get to be a part of such a wonderful movement. 

What I sent to my recipient.
 I chose to make items that could be shipped easily and hopefully (still have my fingers crossed) wouldn't melt. I made Peanut Butter Cupcakes with chocolate centers, Monkey Bread in a jar and also Double Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Icing in a jar. 

Monkey Bread
1 can of Grands Flaky Biscuits
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two medium/large (14+ oz) Ball Jars with cooking spray. Combine sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk together. Cut biscuits into 1/4s and roll in sugar mixture. Place 16 pieces in each jar (make sure it doesn't fill the jar more than 3/4 of the way), sprinkling remaining sugar mixture between layers. Place jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and bubbly. I placed a tablespoon of butter on top of mine when they came out of the oven. Allow to cool some before serving. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Icing
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt butter and chocolate together. Mix together completely and set aside to cool. Beat together eggs, vanilla, sugar and cocoa powder in a mixer until combined. Add chocolate and butter combination and beat until just combined. Next, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Add to mixer and beat until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl to make sure it all comes together. Pour batter into (8-10) 6 5 ounces jam jars that have been sprayed generously with cooking spray. Bake the jars on a cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are formed and spring back when touched. Allow the brownies to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar
In a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring it to a boil and cook it, without stirring until it turns a dark amber. About 7 minutes. (Carefully watch this step because it can burn in a matter of seconds) Once it darkens turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. Carefully stir in the heavy cream and vanilla, stirring well even as it bubbles. Then allow it to cool. While the caramel is cooling beat the butter and salt until smooth and creamy. Then add the powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated. Turn off the mixer and pour in the caramel and beat everything until it is light and fluffy. Spread evenly over cooled brownies.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
 2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extracat
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch of salt  

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or grease and flour cups.In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

 I hope the deserving recipient of these desserts enjoys them as much as my husband and I enjoyed the left overs! =) The high temperatures of travel from Texas to Kansas made me a little nervous, so I shipped them Next Day Air (UPS of course). I hope she receives them tomorrow and has a Blessed and Happy Friday. Thanks again to Amanda and her helpers for setting up such a special event and thanks for allowing me to participate! I can't wait to do it again next year!


  1. What a great idea!!! I would love to participate in something like this.

  2. You are just awesome. I am so touched by your generosity and kindness!!