Best Baking Projects to Guarantee a Sweet Week

Prep one of Food Network's indulgent treats during the weekend and enjoy an at-the-ready dessert when you need it.

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LemonBars_01.tif

Squares of dessert topped with powdered sugar

Squares of dessert topped with powdered sugar

Meal planning over the weekend for a few nights’ worth of dinners during the week indeed has its merits; after all, who doesn’t want to come home to a nearly-ready-to-eat meal? But you know what’s perhaps even more enticing than supper at the ready? Dessert at the ready.

Take a few hours today to prep one of these over-the-top indulgences — think towering chocolate cake, the easiest chocolate chip cookies and buttery lemon bars worthy of citrus season — and get set for some sweet treats during the week when the craving hits.

With citrus season in full bloom, the time is now to take advantage of juicy lemons and put them to work in Food Network Magazine’s easy-does-it recipe. Built upon a tender pastry crust, these bars feature a lemony filling that’s both sweet and tangy.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Leave it to an Iron Chef to combine three craveworthy flavors — chocolate, peanut butter and caramel — into one fan-favorite brownie. Bobby Flay adds a spoonful of peanut butter to his homemade caramel sauce, then swirls this smooth creation into a two-chocolate brownie batter for indulgent results.

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FNM010110SugarFix003.PSD

Round red cookies with cream sandwiched between them

Round red cookies with cream sandwiched between them

Just as a classic red velvet cake features the subtle taste of chocolate and often a cream cheese frosting, so too do these whoopie pies from Food Network Magazine. The cookies are both light and fluffy, and the frosting, speckled with fresh vanilla bean for the best flavor, is smooth, with a slight tang.

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

It’s late, you’re tired and all you want is a cookie. These timeless treats are your answer.

“Most people would agree that the cream cheese frosting is the best part of any carrot cake,” the chefs in Food Network Kitchen note, “so it makes perfect sense to replace it with a thick layer of creamy cheesecake.” The carrot cake base comes together with fragrant cinnamon and ginger, plus chopped pecans for welcome texture.

With a 5-star rating and 2,000 fan reviews, this is the chocolate cake to which all other chocolate cakes will be compared. Ina Garten’s towering masterpiece features two richly chocolate cake layers, plus a fluffy blanket of buttery frosting. Follow Ina’s lead and add hot coffee to the batter and instant coffee powder to the frosting; it will merely boost the flavor of the chocolate, not impart a coffee taste.

Smore Brownie Cupcake All American FNK Silo

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Smore Brownie Cupcake All American FNK Silo

Even in the midst of chilly winter you can enjoy the flavors of your favorite campfire treat. These graham cracker-laced cupcakes are stuffed with a bittersweet chocolate filling and topped with a fluffy marshmallow-like frosting — which is, of course, gently browned with a kitchen torch to achieve the toasty flavor you know and love.

Two slices of Banana Bread, one of which contains spread butter, on a small blue plate with white edging

Two slices of Banana Bread, one of which contains spread butter, on a small blue plate with white edging

Consider this the back-pocket banana bread recipe you’ve been looking for all this time. This top-rated pick is spiced with ground cinnamon and turns out moist every time.

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