rocky road cupcakes rocky road cupcakes Feeling the urge to bake? We've got your back. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

11 of our best desserts for when all you want to do is bake

For these one-of-a-kind cookies, brownies and cupcakes, it's full flavor ahead.

It's the best kind of dilemma: You're feeling creative, but you're also very, very hungry.

What to do? Bake!

Our Israeli Kitchen's dessert recipe collection boasts some of the most delicious cookies, brownies and cupcakes ever to grace your screen. What's more, they go way beyond simple chocolate chip cookies and into some fabulous, inventive flavor combinations, usually involving chocolate (because what else?). Dig in!

Mint chocolate meltaways

mint chocolate meltaway cookiesFresh out of the oven, these cookies will fill your house with warm, minty fragrance. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

A good mint cookie is like an after-dinner mint and a gourmet dessert all in one. These cookies, in particular, have a quality that really does evoke the sensation of candy melting in your mouth. The secret to this sensation? Butter. And lots of it.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for mint chocolate meltaways.

Butterscotch blondies

This recipe calls for rich maple syrup, sunflower butter and chickpeas, packing these blondies with protein, fiber and natural sweetness.This recipe calls for rich maple syrup, sunflower butter and chickpeas, packing these blondies with protein, fiber and natural sweetness. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Speaking of butter, this one might significantly decrease your supply. But not the run-of-the-mill dairy kind; this one calls for sunflower butter, an increasingly popular ingredient in baked goods recipes. But there's another hidden gem in these blondies, and it's not one you'd normally find in desserts. It's chickpeas. And you just have to trust us on this one when we say, "It works."

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for butterscotch blondies.

Raspberry rugalach cookies

raspberry rugelachThese golden-brown pastries are filled with raspberry jam and toasted ground walnuts. (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

These croissant-like pastries are popular in Israeli bakeries, commonly seen filled with chocolate spread. These rugalach, however, are fantastic when filled with fruit jam and nuts, as seen in this recipe. A little bit of crunch, a little bit of sweetness and a whole lot of flavor.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for raspberry rugalach cookies.

Vanilla lavender cupcakes

vanilla bean and lavender cupcakesThese cupcakes are inspired by the delicate, aromatic lavender flower. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

A cupcake inspired by a plant? Believe it. And don't think it's a coincidence that Israeli Kitchen contributor Sarah Berkowitz took her inspiration from an herb that's famous for its relaxing anti-stress properties. Between the pure vanilla and the aromatic lavender, it's clear these are not your toddler niece's birthday cupcakes.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for vanilla lavender cupcakes.

Frozen chocolate mousse squares

frozen chocolate mousse barsThis frozen chocolate mousse dessert resembles a candy bar, but it's elegant enough to serve on fine china. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

In the world of desserts, this one's got it all: Easy to make, not a huge time commitment, rich but not too heavy, elegant enough to serve on fine china, a kid-approved favorite for its candy-bar-like attributes, and at the same time, if there was such a thing as an upscale ice cream truck, these frozen bars would be the main attraction.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for frozen chocolate mousse squares.

Hazelnut jam thumbprints

hazelnut jam thumbprint cookiesThumbprint cookies go back a few generations, but their flavor and adorable presentation make them timeless. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Through generation upon generation of cookie baking, the thumbprint has endured. And what Berkowitz does here, in a sense, is turn a traditional thumbprint cookie into something everyone – and all their diets and sensitivities and restrictions – can enjoy. There's something about the smooth tones of hazelnuts and the sweet juiciness of the fruit filling that pulls all the other elements together effortlessly.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for hazelnut jam thumbprints.

Rocky road cupcakes

rocky road cupcakesThese cupcakes are equally delicious when using a cake mix instead of making the cake from scratch. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

We're pretty sure we don't have to work too hard to extoll the virtues of this recipe. One look at these cupcakes, and we predict you'll make a beeline for the kitchen and immediately start doing your own inventory: what ingredients you have, what you don't, how long it'll take to acquire the latter, and what other plans you have to cancel to stay home and make these cupcakes.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for rocky road cupcakes.

Chocolate crinkle cookies

Chocolate crinkle cookies.Chocolate crinkle cookies. (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

Like the hazelnut jam thumbprints above, crinkle cookies are a time-honored baking tradition. With a 4-hour resting time for the dough, the only tool you'll need to acquire for this recipe is patience; the rest is probably in your kitchen already. So plan accordingly.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies.

Peppermint bark brownies

peppermint bark browniesTwo favorite desserts – brownies and peppermint bark – combine to make one amazing confection. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

This one-pan recipe will make you look like a gourmet baker, but you'll probably have way fewer dishes to wash and gadgets to use than the Julia Child wannabes who show everyone up at the bake sale every year. You might call it the dessert for lazy people; we like to call it, simply, dessert.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for peppermint bark brownies.

Speckled coffee cookies

speckled coffee cookiesWhat's the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee? These speckled coffee cookies. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

If there was such a thing as a sophisticated cookie, we've found it in these speckled, coffee-tinged morsels. If you like coffee or coffee-flavored foods, this is your cookie, because the coffee flavor is not at all subtle; it's memorable. The best part, like many of our favorite baked goods, is what's on top, and that's entirely up to you. Half a square of a chocolate bar? A chocolate-covered espresso bean? A plain espresso bean? The possibilities are plentiful.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for speckled coffee cookies.

Key lime cupcakes

key lime cupcakesThese key lime cupcakes are almost too gorgeous to eat. Almost. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

We left this one for last because if you've gotten this far in our list without becoming ridiculously hungry, this one's bound to get you there. Here, Berkowitz uses real key limes (yes, the kind you find in a real key lime pie in a real Florida key on a real vacation you should really be taking right now), but if you can't find them, traditional store-bought limes work well, too. It's a cupcake that will brighten up any gathering, with an aroma that evokes summer, sunshine and freedom.

Get our Israeli Kitchen recipe for key lime cupcakes.


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11 of our best desserts for when all you want to do is bake
Recipes for cookies, brownies and cupcakes when all you want to do is bake.