Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake with Nutella Whip

Summer is here! With school finally being done for the semester, I'll hopefully have more time to post on here! To celebrate the end of the semester, I decided to make this yummy dessert:
I wish I could take credit for this brilliant concoction, but alas, someone wiser than I came up with it (follow the link for the recipe!). Martha of The Kitchen Cookie has tons of yummy looking desserts (she has savory food too, but I'm more interested in the sweet :), including quite a few cheesecakes that I can't wait to try! I'm still not very confident in my cheesecake abilities, so I prefer to see how others spruce it up, then copy them :) Maybe by the end of the summer I'll be willing to make my own concoction!
This cheesecake is quite simple, and very delicious! I needed to cook the brownies just a little longer, I think. Mine sort of oozed out of place when I poured on the cheesecake. Maybe it's because I cheated and just used box brownie mix, and it takes longer to cook? I guess I'll just have to make it again! Other than that, I love how it turned out. Martha piped her Nutella whip on with a fancy star tip all over, but mine was too soft, and the details got lost. So, I just used a spoon to give it a rough finish, then covered it with shaved chocolate. Maybe not as fancy as hers, but I still think it looks good!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nutella Cookies

So, a while ago I bought some Nutella from Costco a while ago, and my family has been pretty slow going through it. I decided that to try and speed along the consumption rate, I would try to make cookies with it! The first attempt turned out okay, but not great. This attempt, however, turned out FANTASTIC! I think they are super yummy, and wanted to share them with you guys!


1 cup butter-flavored shortening

1 cup nutella

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bag Hershey's Kisses


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream shortening, nutella, and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until blended.

5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add slowly to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until completely combined.

6. Shape 1 inch balls around Hershey's Kisses and place in mini muffin tins. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I used a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe from the Cookbook Queen (love her, she's HILARIOUS! If you haven't read her blog, you should definitely check it out!), and adapted it slightly for what I wanted. If any of you try these, let me know how they turn out!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Guest Post: Ashley from Ashley's Craft Corner

Today, we're lucky enough to have a special guest post from one of the most awesome bloggers out there! Okay, so I might be a little biased, but she pretty much helps me out with all of my crafts, and I probably wouldn't have a craft blog at all if it weren't for her!

Without further ado: Ashley, from Ashley's Craft Corner!

Hi everybody! I'm Ashley from Ashley's Craft Corner (and Lori's big sister hehe). When Lori asked me to do a guest post I knew exactly what I wanted to share.

My inspiration came from this project. I contemplated making something very similar for my older brother and his wife for Christmas and asked my sisters what they thought. We decided that it wasn't a good fit for my brother, but Lori said that she liked the idea. I knew that if I was going to make some art for Lori that it needed to be a rooster. This is what I came up with.

I found an image I liked online, then had my hubby take the image and make an outline of each section as a vector image so that I could cut it out with my Silhouette. I can't really give a better description than that because I don't really know what/how he did it (I just sent him the image and asked him to make it work with my machine).
If you don't have a Silhouette (and hubby who is good with computer stuff) here is what you can do:
Print out your image.
Cut out each section. It will be kind of like a puzzle at this point.
Trace each section onto your paper of choice. I prefer to trace onto the backside of my scrapbook paper so that I don't have to worry about any lines showing on the finished product.
Cut out each traced section.
Mod Podge each "puzzle" piece onto a sheet of card stock. Add any wording you want at the bottom. Once it is dry give the whole thing a coat of Mod Podge, then frame it (after it dries).

I was pleased with the results and I think Lori was too!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

World Nutella Day!

Hello all and Happy World Nutella Day!

Five years ago, two bloggers, Sara and Michelle, declared February 5th to be World Nutella Day. I hope you're all celebrating in your own ways, whether that be baking some sort of delicious treat using Nutella, or just eating it on a spoon (I won't judge ;-) ).
As promised, I have some special Nutella Day treats to share with all of you. To celebrate this very momentous day, I baked you some cupcakes!

I made two types of cupcakes using Nutella. They are practically the same, but not quite.

Version # 1 -
Chocolate Nutella Bliss Cupcakes
These consist of a chocolate cupcake topped with Nutella frosting, a few shards of chocolate on top, and a dusting of cocoa powder. Want the recipe? Keep reading!

The second version is an idea I've had for quite some time. Now, don't be freaked out by the idea, it sounds strange, but when you think about it, it's really not!

Version # 2: Blackberry Hazelnut Cupcakes

It's the exact same cupcake as #1, but with blackberry mousse inside! I figured, chocolate and raspberry or strawberry go so well together, why not blackberry?
Want to see the inside? I know you do!

I had some leftover batter (the recipe I have makes 30 cupcakes, normally I just make them extra full, but I decided to actually fill the cupcake liners as directed on the recipe!), so I made some mini cupcakes. Aren't they cute?

Here are the recipes I used:

Hershey's Chocolate Cupcakes (from the back of the cocoa powder box):

2 C sugar

1 3/4 C flour

3/4 C cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 C milk

1/2 C vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 C boiling water


1. Heat over to 3500F. Grease and flour two 9-in round baking pans.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on med. speed 2 min. Stir in boiling water (batter will be VERY thin). Line 2 1/2 in. muffin cups with paper baking cups. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
3. Bake 22-25 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 10-12 servings.

Blackberry Mousse
(recipe from Food & Wine):

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

3 tablespoons cold water

1 cup blackberries

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg white

3/4 cup heavy cream


1. Place 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it stand for about 5 minutes to ‘bloom’ (to swell up and soften).

2. In a blender, puree the blackberries with the remaining 2 tbsp of water and strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan – you should have approximately 3/4 cup puree at this stage. Stir the sugar through, and slowly bring it to a boil. Boil for about 3-5 minutes or until slightly reduced, then stir in the softened gelatin until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg white until firm, then immediately fold into the cooled berry puree using a large silicone spatula until no white streaks remain. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until softly whipped. Fold the cream into the berry mixture until smooth and streak-free.

4. Place mousse in a container and refrigerate for about an hour to set and chill.

Nutella Frosting (adapted from Koko Cooks)
3/4 c butter, softened

1/2 c chocolate hazelnut spread

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs milk

3 1/2 c powdered sugar


Blend all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Adjust consistency by adjusting with a little more milk if too stiff, or a little more powdered sugar if too runny. Frost and decorate cupcakes as desired.

The frosting recipe made enough to frost ALL of my cupcakes (24 regular-sized and 21 minis). The mousse recipe made enough to fill 24 regular-sized cupcakes (although I only filled half of mine. Now I can just eat the mousse I didn't use! Yummm).

But I promised you guys more than just treats today! Ready for more excitement? Today is my very first, very own link party!


Ready for the rules? Super easy.
1. Link directly to the post you want to share (not just to your blog's URL).
2. In that post, link back to this post (so we can all share in the linky love!)
3. Look at other people's links! It's all about sharing ideas, so leave a comment on something else you like! (This is optional, but makes the whole thing a lot more fun!)

This post is linked up to:
Sweet Tooth Friday, Hoosier Homemade, Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, Inspiration Friday, I'm Loving It Fridays, Sweets This Week, Sweets for a Saturday

Friday, February 4, 2011


I was featured today on Ashley's Craft Corner! Check out the post and have a look around, she's got some really great crafts and recipes posted!

Texturized Vase Tutorial

I wish I could take credit for this awesome idea, but I can't. I found it here. And thought it looked so cool, I had to try it!

I'm sure you all know what very big, important day is right around the corner. My birthday! Okay, that too, but I was really going for Valentine's day. So rather than make a sensible vase that can be used year round, I made a cute V-Day one! It was a bit time consuming, but pretty easy.

Vase (dollar store)
Hot glue (on hand)
Tissue Paper (on hand)
Mod Podge (on hand)
Acrylic Paint (borrowed from sister)
Clear Spray Paint (on hand)

This project cost me a grand total of $1. Awesome! Want to know how to make it? ... I'll just assume that's a yes :-)

First, pick a design. I knew I wanted to make it Valentines-y, but I didn't just want hearts. That's so predictable, and I pride myself on thinking outside of the box. Or... vase. After extensive google image searches, I settled on a picture of two swans kissing, making that little heart between them.

Next, print out the image (I printed it in several sizes so I could figure out how big I wanted those swans to be!), then tape it to the INSIDE of the vase.

Then, on the OUTSIDE of the vase, trace the image with hot glue. It doesn't have to be perfect (and actually looks better if it has some flaws, in my opinion!), but if you make a major oops, you can always cut off some of the hot glue using an exacto knife. It comes off the glass pretty easy.

Ignore the gross yellow-ish color of the glue on the right - it was a bit old. Still works just fine though!

One thing that was a little tricky with this step was figuring out where exactly to outline. I closed one of my eyes during this process to make it a bit easier.

While your hot glue is drying, you can prep for the next step. Take some tissue paper (you'll only need about half a sheet, depending on the size of your vase) and wad it up into a ball. Lots of wrinkles will give you lots of texture! Lay it out flat, then tear it into small squares roughly 3" by 3".

Perfection is NOT necessary here. This whole project is all about bringing out the flaws, so leave your inner perfectionist in a different room when making this vase!

After your glue is all dry and your tissue paper is in wrinkly squares, it's time to bust out the Mod Podge. Brush the Mod Podge directly onto the vase, then lay a piece of tissue paper on top, and pat it on with your fingertip. You might get some Mod Podge on your finger, just use another finger or keep a moist washcloth nearby and wipe it off.

When you're Mod Podging the tissue paper around the design, be sure to get into all the little creases and crevices. That will give it more texture! If you accidentally tear the tissue paper, no worries, just put more tissue paper on top. I did that plenty of times, and it still turned out cute!

Give the tissue paper PLENTY of time to dry. I did the next step the next day to make sure it was completely dry. If it's still at all moist, when you go to paint it will tear the tissue paper and cause all sorts of problems!

Once it's dry, bust out that paint! For my vase, I did a very light pink for the base, then a dark red-maroon for the outer accent color. I forgot to take a picture of the vase when it was pink, but just imagine the image above in pink. Or the image below without the red. You're all smart, I'm sure you'll get it :-)

After the base color dries, get your other color ready. This is the part I was most worried about, but it turned out okay. Get some paint on your brush, but get as much of the paint out of the brush as you can. You want it just barely moist. Then gently brush a bit of the accent color on. If you accidentally get a huge spot of the accent color, just brush over it with the base color, let it dry, and try again. It's very forgiving, just don't give up if you mess up.
Once that is dry, cover the whole vase with clear spray paint to seal it, and voila! You're done! I also tied a little ribbon around mine, but that's totally optional.

I hope you guys like the vase, let me know if you try it out! I think I want to make one for St. Patrick's Day. How cute would it be to have a light green background with a dark green shamrock? Really this could be adapted for any holiday, or you could do a shape like a fleur-de-lis and leave it up year-round!

Leave me a comment if you plan to try this or if you have any questions!

I'm linking this project up here:


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

World Nutella Day!

This Saturday, February 5 is World Nutella Day! If you guys like the stuff as much as I do, then you know it's a day worth celebrating!

Here on Creativity Is..., we'll be celebrating in two ways: our first ever LINK PARTY, and of course a delicious Nutella recipe! Check back this weekend for all of the excitement!

Binder Wall Folder

I know this idea has been floating around out there in the blog world for quite some time, but being the literary fiend that I am, I just could not bring myself to destroy a book that someone put countless hours and ridiculous amounts of energy into writing. I've been wanting to make something similar though, so that I have a place to store all my grocery store ads (rather than just in a heap on the floor).

So, I took the concept and used an old binder! I cut out the metal rings from the middle (this part was a bit tricky, I just cut around the two little circles that go all the way through, that way the binder would still be intact. You could also just leave them in if you don't mind them), then covered the whole thing with paper. I mod podged the paper on, used a ribbon so it won't open all the way, and attached another ribbon to hang it from! It was super easy (except removing the metal parts, but that wasn't too bad either, and is totally skip-able), and I love how it turned out!
Another perk of having the wall folder is that it forces me to go through my ads more often. I can't fit an infinite amount of ads in it (unlike the floor - although I guess technically it is limited to the amount of space in my apartment), so every week or so I go through and get rid of all the expired ones! I plan on putting some cute design on the front saying "Ads" or "Advertisements", but that will have to wait until I have time. It's done now, and that's what matters most!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Okay, I'm not very good at this craft blogging thing. I don't have a whole lot of time to make crafts, so I don't post very often. And even when I do craft, I often don't think to post. Sorry!

I'm going to try to get better. And probably expand the blog a bit to include things like reading and writing and such. I'm a huge English nerd; I love to write, and I love reading. Right now I'm really into the classics (let's face it, most authors nowadays just don't put as much time into writing as they used to. Now it's all about meeting deadlines.). Hopefully most of you will still want to read my blog even when it's a post about books instead of crafting. If not, well, you don't have to read. But hopefully it will get me to post more!

Last summer for Fourth of July I made some super cute star-shaped sugar cookies. Well, the frosting recipe I used from Our Best Bites wasn't my favorite in taste, but it did make the cookies very pretty. I brought some of the cookies over to my family, and my dad LOVED them. So, I made him some of his very own for his birthday a few weeks ago!

My dad drag races, so I thought it would be cute to give him race car cookies! I love how the flame designs turned out.

I had planned to blog today about some donut muffins I made today (got the idea here), but when I uploaded the pictures, my computer freaked out, so I don't have any pictures! :( They were pretty good, but I'm thinking I'll tweak the recipe a bit the next time I try them. They were more dense than I was hoping for.

With resolutions to blog more often, hopefully you'll all be hearing from me again soon!