Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year! Looking Back on 2013

Happy New Year, everyone!  I know I'm a day late in posting my favorite recipes from 2013, but I'm sure you guys can forgive me, right?  2013 was a great year on Ambrosia, and I'm utterly excited for what 2014 will bring.  It's time for New Year's resolutions, and since I know many of you, myself included, will want to get your diets back in shape, I'll be posting a few lighter recipes that will help you detox from the holidays and get you back on the healthy eating wagon.  I have a New Year's resolution that I'm more excited about, though.  In addition to continuing to practice my photography, I really want to make efforts at challenging myself in the kitchen with recipes that have always intimidated me.  Croissants, puff pastry, macarons, Danish, babkas, Bûche de Noël...I'm looking at all of you!  They may not be the healthiest recipes, but I'm going to make them regardless. 2014 will be a year of experimentation and trying new recipes, no matter how nervous they make me!  Until then, though, let's take a look back at 2013.  I'm sharing my favorite recipes from the past year, and believe me, it was a challenge narrowing my list of favorites down to 12.  Enjoy, and stay tuned for a new recipe really soon!


Mini Corn Dog Muffins- These mini corn dog muffins were an unexpected hit.  I figured that there was no way they could be anything less than delicious, but I wasn't expecting to love them as much as I did.  They were a great afternoon snack, and now that Super Bowl season is coming up, they'd be a perfect appetizer to serve at your Super Bowl party.  


Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes- I made this batch of cupcakes in honor of my absolute favorite set of twins ever, for their first birthday!  These cupcakes are simple and classic.  They're not overwhelmingly chocolatey, and are filled with chocolate pudding and topped off with a rich ganache frosting.  I'm excited to come up with a new cupcake recipe for their second birthday this year! 


Hot Cross Buns- There's not much to say about these.  I've said many times on the blog already that these hot cross buns are hands down the BEST things I have EVER baked, and I still stand by that statement.  I need to make a batch of these again, and soon. 


Mini Strawberries and Cream Eclairs- I absolutely loved this slightly unconventional dessert.  I took two conventional desserts, strawberries and cream, and eclairs, and paired them together to create something new. These eclairs are a great dessert for spring gatherings!


Mini Orange-Chocolate Chunk Bundts- These moist little Bundt cakes are simple to make and perfectly rich in flavor.  Make little Bundts to give away as gifts, or make a big Bundt to serve at a party, and you'll have one impressive dessert!


Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake- This was my birthday cake last year.  Being a true chocolate fiend, I needed an intense chocolate cake, and this one hit the spot.  The cake actually got better after a few days, since the raspberry and chocolate flavors had some time to meld together, and every bite of cake ended up tasting like a chocolate raspberry truffle.  Perfection!


Fizzy Blackberry Limeade- This was my first time making homemade soda, and I really enjoyed how this drink turned out.  I've already got a few more summery homemade sodas in mind for this upcoming summer!


Strawberry Soda Floats- These soda floats were not only really tasty, but really beautiful to look at!  I hadn't been expecting the components of the floats to divide into three distinct layers, but I absolutely loved the way the floats ended up looking.  Sometimes it's the unexpected results that are the best! 


Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies- Words can't describe how much I love these cookies.  This is my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I've always gotten an immensely successful response whenever I make a batch.  I've changed up the mix-ins to create different flavor combinations, and have found that the longer this cookie dough sit in the fridge, the better the cookies taste.  Chilling the cookie dough for 24 hours makes for a spectacular cookie! 


Boozey Banana Cumb Cake- Who doesn't love a good crumb cake?  Who doesn't love bananas and booze?  Merging a crumb cake with some boozey bananas yielded a really delicious and unconventional crumb cake that was loved by literally everyone who tried it, even my anti-banana treats dad! 


Parker House Rolls- Oh boy, these rolls were something else.  They're super rich and buttery, and are unbelievably fantastic straight from the oven with a little slathering of salted butter.  Trust me, they're dangerous! 


Chocolate Mint Shortbread Stars- Out of all the cookies I made during this past holiday season (and that's a lot of cookies), these were my favorites.  They were crisp and minty, and had just the right amount of chocolate. This elegant cookie is one that I'm sure will be made again during the holidays!


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