Verdict: win!

When I was but a wee toddler, my father tricked me into tasting a sip of beer. I instantly hated its bitter, hoppy taste and since that moment I've rejected any encounter with the offensive, carbonated beverage. For better or worst, David's been coaxing me to try other types of beers...and now I might be a little obsessed. Who knew beers didn't have to be hoppy? My latest obsession is the Left Hand Milk Stout I had at Chumley's. Even better, it was nitro-poured, so it was super smooth and minimally carbonated. Call me childish, but I hate bubbly drinks.

Anyway, I've been wanting to make chocolate cupcakes with milk stout for a while. Finally had the time this past weekend. I'm not really a frosting girl, so I like these cupcakes plain. The stout flavor is pretty mild, but the chocolate cupcake is still superb. As expected from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen! Visit her website for her complete Irish car bomb cupcakes recipe.

Verdict: win

Not my ideal perfect cookie, but these are by far the easiest tasty chocolate chip cookies to make. Best for people who don't like to deal with creaming butter.

Verdict: epic

Named after its creator, a local high school German teacher, this recipe has been passed on by word of mouth across the community. Legend has it that the recipe has even appeared in a Purdue University dining court. Frau brownies consist of a triple layer of childhood flavors combined into a decadent treat. The base is a cakey brownie followed by a thick spread of marshmallow fluff which is topped by a crunchy mix of rice crispies with equal parts melted peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Best served warm and when feeling nostalgic about being a kid again.

(On another note, I entered this recipe into the "So You Wanna Be a CakeSpy? Contest!" hosted by Jessie O of CakeSpy. She's awesome. Check it out.)

***update 12/17/12
I'm a CakeSpy finalist! I need your votes/feedback for a better chance to win, though. If you like this recipe, would you please vote for me? Complete voting details are here. (Otherwise, just go to this facebook photo of Frau brownies then "like" and comment on the photo itself). Contest details can be found here. Thank you all so much for the overwhelming support :)