Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cake Pops 2


I lovee making cake pops. I made these for Christmas. I used vanilla flavor red & green melting chocolate, and cocoa flavor melting chocolate. I didn't think people would like these when I brought them to Christmas eve, but they were a hit! It was perfect because everyone was so full from dinner, and they were like the perfect dessert because they were so little.



I have learned a few things making cake pops, and these tips should make them perfect(:

-When you mix the frosting in, use a canned frosting and only 1/2 the can. The canned frosting will make them firm a little better, when I made a homemade frosting, the cake pops just got too mushy.

-Dip frosting on the stick before you attach it to the cake ball, this will make it not fall off when you dip it.

-Freeze the cake pops for at least 2 hours. This made everything soo much easier! The chocolate dried within 3 minutes because they were so cold, and the cake pops never fell off their sticks!

Have a happy new year everyone!!(:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!(: And that the baking ideas were useful. I have been dying to make truffles forever! Especially those cranberry ones. Unfortunately, my mom doesn't want to see another truffle for a while because my neighbor just brought a bunch over and I got her some from See's candy. So truffles will have to wait until Valentines day.

This cheesecake, was maybe one of the best I've made in a while(: Not really any cracks in the top either! I brought this to Christmas and everyone loved it! It's pretty easy too, but next time I'll try to find regular chocolate graham crackers instead of using teddy grahams.


Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake
recipe from Cooking Light

Ingredients
4 ounces chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoon canola oil
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Chambord (raspberry liquor)
3 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 (8-ounce) packages block style 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 ounces block style fat free cream cheese, softened
1 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Wrap outside and bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan tightly with a double layer of heavy duty foil.

Place crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Drizzle with oil. Pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Place cranberries, sugar, liquor, and water in a saucepan. Boil. Cook 8 minutes or until cranberries start to pop and mixture is syrupy. Cool 20 minutes. Place mixture in a food processor. Process 1 minute or until smooth.

Combine 1 cup sugar and cheeses in large bowl; Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in yogurt, vanilla, and salt. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Place 2 egg whites in a medium bowl; Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Fold beaten egg whites into cream cheese mixture. Pour filling over crust. Spoon cranberry mixture over filling. Swirl together using the tip of a knife. Place spring form pan in a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 2 inches. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched.

Turn oven off. Cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Baking Ideas

It's getting to that time of year again. The neighbors are making fudge and truffles, and I'm starting to bake dessert for Christmas Eve. If you have no idea what to make for Christmas, here's a few yummy ideas(:


Cranberry Orange Truffles
This recipe is on my to make list. Don't they look good? Different from your regular truffles, but probably still delicious.




Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
Yummmm. I'm not really a peppermint kind of person, but these look amazing.




I've tried the Soy Nog and that was really Delicious so I bet this would be even better!





I think Red Velvet is always a favorite.




Easy Sugar Cookies
These cookies don't look that hard to make. So if you're not good with decorating icing like I am, they're perfect!




Gingerbread Cake Pops
These are super cute. And cake pops are always a fun treat to make.




Happy Baking Everyone! And Merry Christmas(: I'll be posting new recipes after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes


These cupcakes, were probably the best cupcakes I've ever had/made. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew that I had to make it. They were worth all the hard work! You have to make the cookie dough, freeze it for about 3 hours, make the yellow cupcakes from scratch or use a mix, put them in the oven, and then make the frosting. I was skeptical at first because I thought the whole thing would be pretty doughy, but it was perfect the day after they were made. I'll for sure be making these again, I ate one everyday for breakfast until they were gone(:


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

1 box yellow cake mix plus ingredients to prepare mix or yellow cupcakes from scratch

Directions
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until just Incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; Mixing just enough to evenly combine. Form the dough into tablespoon sized balls; Place on baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2 1/2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Beat 3 eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer to break up. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; Continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon into the prepare cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on top of the center of each cupcake, and smooth down to the bottom, covering the dough ball with batter.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake (not the dough ball) comes clean, about 15-18 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 11 cupcakes

Creamy Chocolate Frosting
recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk and sugar.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies


I've never made these cookies before. I was really excited to make them because I love making cookies, and they looked pretty easy to make. And they were! I mainly made these because my neighbors bring over fudge every year, and we never know what to give them in return (besides shoveling their driveway) so I made these! My parents were pretty sad that I gave most of them away because they loved them, so I'll definitely make these again. I only adapted the recipe a little bit, but next time I might use chocolate nutella instead of peanut butter. Either way would probably be really good(:


Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Ingredients
1/2 cup light butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Jiff omega 3 peanut butter
1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar
1/3 cup organic sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons soy milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coating:
1/3 cup organic sugar

Garnish:
48 milk chocolate Kisses, unwrapped

Directions
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

In medium bowl with electric mixer, beat the butter. Add peanut butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Beat in the milk. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. And to the peanut butter mixture and beat until Incorporated. Cover and chill the batter for about an hour, or until firm enough to roll into balls.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.

Roll the batter into 1 tablespoon round balls. Place the organic sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each ball in the sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cooking for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven, place a chocolate Kiss in the center of each cookie, pressing down until the cookie just starts to crack. Cool completely on wire rack, then put in a sealed container.

Makes about 2 dozen big cookies, or 4 dozen small cookies



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Serving Mini Cheesecake


I was really excited about making this. When I first saw it, I was a bit skeptical but I'm so glad I tried it! It's really easy to make. All you have to do is stir up all the ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

I ended up making three of these because my parents both wanted one and I made a few changes to the recipe. I used 100 calorie chocolate chip cookies and organic sugar because organic sugar tastes better than splenda. But, I'll definitely be making this again. It was such an easy dessert, and I think it's almost better than regular cheesecake.



One Serving Mini Cheesecake
recipe slightly adapted from Hungry Girl.com

Ingredients
1/2 pack Nabisco 100 cal chips ahoy thin crisps, divided
1/4 cup low fat part skin ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
1/2 tablespoon Jell-o sugar free fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed

Directions
Break half of the cookies into small pieces, and finely crush the other half. Set both aside separately.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, organic sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip, and then gently stir in the broken cookie pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Making 1 serving

For nutritional information, click here

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake


I know this has been all over the blog world lately, but that's what made me want to make it. Everyone said it was really good and worth trying, so I decided to try it. And it's worth it! It's really good. Not as good as the Brownie Bottom Pudding Pie, but still pretty good. Next time, I'll probably make my own graham cracker crust and add more to the bottom layer.


Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of the batter and spread into bottom of crust. Set aside.

Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over batter in the crust.

Bake in preheated oven 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before cooling.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vegan Red Velvet Cake


I've been really wanting to make some vegan desserts lately. I'm not really sure why, they just seem so interesting! I really think people are wrong when they say vegan food isn't good. It's delicious! My dad used to think that, until he tried this cake. The whole layer cake was gone within 3 days(: And only 3 people were eating it! I see that as a good sign.

This cake is really easy to make. I added a lot more food coloring than the recipe called for, but I liked that it had a nice red color. I used a vegan buttercream frosting, but next time I'll use a vegan cream cheese one. I think Red Velvet Cake is almost not complete without cream cheese frosting.


Vegan Red Velvet Cake
recipe from The Daily Green

Ingredients
for the cake:
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 cups non dairy milk (I used soy milk)
2/3 cup canola oil
6 tablespoons red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

For the Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup nondairy nondydroginated butter (I used Earth Balance), at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons nondairy milk (I used soy milk)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 8-inch round cake pans.

To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Create a well in the center, and add milk, oil, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Divide cake batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Place pans in the oven spaced evenly apart. Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating 45 degrees halfway through. When the cakes pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, they are ready.

Let cakes cool 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides. One at a time, invert cakes onto a plate and then re invert onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, with an electric hand or stand mixer, cream butter until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla, milk, and food coloring. Add additional milk if the frosting is hard to work with.

Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the right consistency. Cover the frosting with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out until ready to use. Rewhip before using.

To frost cake, place one layer, rounded-side down, on a plate or cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula, spread some frosting over top of cake. Carefully set other layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Cover entire cake with remaining frosting.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brownie Bottom Pudding Pie


I've been wanting to make this for a long time. It just looked so good! And it is. I think it's one of the best things I've ever made. My mom brought this to Thanksgiving at my uncles house and she said it was a hit! She said it was gone pretty quickly, but she brought me back a piece.

I'm so glad I got to try it, it tastes amazing! I've never made a pie that had a brownie bottom. Next time, I think I might try making a Blondie bottom with a different type of pudding filling. The best part is, it takes almost no effort to make! I'll for sure be making this again.


Brownie Bottom Pudding Pie
recipe from Kraft Foods

Ingredients
4 squares Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped Planters Pecans
2 1/2 cups cold milk
2 packages (4-serving size each) Jell-o Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip Whipped topping, thawed
Grated Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on High 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Stir in flour and nuts. Spread into greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cool Completely on rack.

Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread over pie. Top with whipped topping; Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Ideas

I'm really excited about Thanksgiving now. I'm having a vegetarian thanksgiving with my dad (and I'll share the recipes later) so I don't have to worry about not getting protein. But, If you haven't figured out what to make or bring for Thanksgiving, here are some ideas.

If you aren't sick of pumpkin yet, Pumpkin Pie Pudding!



I made this a while ago. Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake. It was a hit. My dad keeps telling me to make it, but I'm not making it for Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll make it again for Christmas.



I thought this one was pretty cool. Baked Brie with Pecans. You could bring this as an appetizer and it's super easy to make.



Curry-Spiced Sweet potatoes. Yum! I love sweet potatoes. I'm for sure making something with sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.



Deviled Eggs. These have always been a favorite of mine. And these ones have tofu in them! If you're always short on protein like I am at thanksgiving, These would be the thing to make.


And lastly, Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Strudel. I'm sad I just found this recipe! I'm definitely going to make this soon. Maybe I can even make it for Christmas.



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars


I've wanted to make these for the longest time. The recipe pictures made them look so good! And really easy too.

The were actually pretty easy, but I just made a few changes to the recipe. The crust is the hardest part, it kept sticking to my fingers! But I just floured a spatula and pressed the crust into the pan no problem. These would be great to make for Thanksgiving because you can make them in advance. And the recipe can easily be modified and changed.


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars
recipe adapted from Splenda

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 Splenda sugar blend
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup light margarine
8 oz fat free cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 CUP canned pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend
1 cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine flour, Splenda brown sugar blend, the Splenda sugar blend, and oats. Cut in the margarine with a fork until mixture is crumbly.

Press the crust mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Beat cream cheese and pumpkin together. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until combined. Add the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and the 1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend and beat until blended.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pre-baked crust and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Lift from pan to cool. Cut into 24 bars.




Friday, November 19, 2010

Pistachio Pudding Cookies


These are probably the favorite cookies I've made so far. And you really only need four ingredients to make them! My mom's lovess Pistachio and it was her birthday so I wanted to make something Pistachio flavored. First I wanted to make a pistachio cheesecake, then a pistachio layer cake, but I finally decided on the Pistachio cookies. And she loved them!

These cookies are really easy to make and can easily be switched with a different pudding. You can also add any chocolate and nuts to them you want. I added some white chocolate chips and some milk chocolate chips to it. Next time, I think I'll make Vanilla or Cheesecake pudding cookies.

Pistachio Pudding Cookies
recipe adapted from Eggless Cooking

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix- 1 package (3.4 oz)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F

In a small mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter and pudding mix together until smooth.

Gradually beat in flour.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Grease a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Take a tablespoon of dough and drop it on the baking sheet sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-13 minutes until light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before transferring to airtight container.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mistakes in Baking


I'm sure everyone has made mistakes when they're baking or cooking. Baking is a learning experience, everything can't be perfect alll the time.

I wanted to bring some kind of cupcakes to Thanksgiving so I decided to try and make Tiramisu Cupcakes. I've never made them before, so it thought it would be fun. Um.. wrong.

The recipe was very bad/: Sorry, but it's true. The directions were not very good at all and the steps were very complicated. The recipe had me form stiff peaks with egg whites once, and whipped cream twice! That's a lot of whipping. And I only have a hand mixer so it takes longer than it would with a kitchen aid.

But, the good part is I made my own frosting! The custard for the tiramisu came out very runny but the cupcakes were fine so by that time, I just wanted to make a simple frosting and be done with it. Everyone liked the frosting a lot!(: I'll be making that again soon.

White Ladyfinger Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites

Directions
Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, (if using a stand mixer use paddle attachment), cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and beat until Incorporated.

In separate small bowl, combine oil and milk.

Add flour and milk/oil mixture alternately to the butter and sugar mixture. Beating on low speed after each addition.

Pour mixture into large bowl. Scrape down the sides to make sure you get all of the batter.

In small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to "lighten" the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Grease and lightly flour two muffin pans. Fill each cup half full.

Bake at 350 Degrees F for 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

Mascarpone Frosting
recipe by Me

Ingredients
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond milk (or regular milk/soy milk will work)
1 teaspoon vanilla
(butter can also be added to the recipe, if needed)

Directions
Using an electric mixer, beat mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar together. Slowly add almond milk in 1/2 teaspoon measures. Add the vanilla. Mixture should be thick, but not runny. Do not over beat.

If you want to make the tiramisu cupcakes, the recipe is here.

What was your biggest mistake/fail in the kitchen?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Bread


This bread is probably the best way to remember summer. Now that it's getting cold out, I'm missing summer a lot. It's even going to snow tomorrow! Warm baked bread takes me away from that for a little bit :)

This bread is pretty easy to make. I've made it before, but the first time it didn't go so well. If you make it, make sure to leave the bread in the pan for at least 20 minutes! Last time I left it in there for 5 minutes and tried to get it onto the cooling rack and it fell apart! But this time it stayed together. If you are going to make it, don't be afraid for the bread to get soggy from the glaze. The more glaze, the better.

Lemon Blueberry Bread
recipe from Joy of Baking

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup blueberries (can be frozen or fresh. I used frozen)
Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions
For the bread: Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 loaf pan.

In separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and the milk (in 2 additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55-65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or a toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie


I know that I wanted to make some kind of pie for Thanksgiving. I just didn't know what kind of pie. I've never really made a real pie before, not counting the quick pies just made from pudding and milk and poured into a pie crust.

Since this was my first one, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good for my first try. I did use an already made pie crust, so next time I think I'll just make one from scratch. Me and my mom didn't like it, but my dad loved it! He ate the whole pie (except for one slice) all by himself! I think that's a good sign :) The only problem with this recipe, was that it was a little bit too sweet and a little watery. Next time I'll add less sugar and milk.

Sweet Potato Pie
adapted from Food Network

Ingredients
2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potatoes
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2/3 cup milk
9-inch unbaked pie crust
3 eggs whites
1/4 cup sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

For the filling, using an electric hand mixer, combine the potatoes, 2/3 cup sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add the milk and continue to mix. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Place the pie on a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before covering with meringue.

For the meringue, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy and stiff, but not dry. With a rubber spatula, spoon the meringue onto the pie, forming peaks. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around. Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until delicately browned. Cool and serve.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chocolate Yogurt Pops


Okay, this isn't exactly a Thanksgiving recipe, but trust me it's really good!

Me and my mom lovee Skinny cow Truffle bars. We buy them every week and run out of them within 3 days. So I wanted to see if I could create something similar and that I can make whenever. These aren't like the skinny cow truffle bars, but they're pretty good! And the best part is, you can make them in a variety of flavors. Next time I'll probably make a french vanilla flavor or a chocolate vanilla swirl one. Either way it would be delicious!

Chocolate Yogurt Pops
recipe from Splenda

Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) container plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup sugar free cocoa mix
1/4 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener, granulated
4 Popsicle sticks

Directions
Mix all indigents together in small mixing bowl. Spoon mixture into four, 3 ounce paper cups. Set cups in a muffin pan or on a flat plate. Place Popsicle sticks in the center. Freeze about four hours, or until solid.

Peel paper cups away and thaw 3-4 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gingerbread-Sour Cream Muffins


I haven't really baked much in the past week, but starting this week I'm going to start baking a lot more. Why? Because I'm in charge of making all the desserts at Thanksgiving and I want to test out a bunch of recipes to see which are best :)

This recipe isn't exactly for Thanksgiving, but it's sort of in season so I wanted to try it out. I saw these in Better homes and gardens and they looked really good. Well.. every recipe in that issue looked delicious! I think I book marked every page. These muffins aren't too sweet, which is probably why I didn't like them as much but my parents loved them! They said they're almost as good as the Zucchini Muffins. Next time, I'll probably add a little less ginger and a little more molasses, but I'll definitely make these again. They were a hit!

Gingerbread-Sour Cream Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon (I used allspice)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 8-ounce carton sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup mild-flavor molasses
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely snipped crystallized ginger (I omitted this)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F. Grease the bottoms of twelve 2 1/2 inch muffin cups. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, ginger, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of flour mixture.

In another medium bowl, combine egg, sour cream, milk, brown sugar, and molasses. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full.

In small bowl, combine granulated sugar and crystallized ginger. Sprinkle over muffin batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Remove from pan. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Yay more pumpkin recipes! I've been finding even more ways to use pumpkin. I usually use them in desserts, but lately I've been thinking about using them in main dishes. There's lots more pumpkin recipes to come, I want to try them all before the season is over.

I've always wanted to make whoopie pies. The name sounds fun and they always look really good. I've made sandwich cookies before but they were the hard kind that aren't good after they harden too much. This cookie is great because it's almost cake-like. It's very soft and it never gets hard. This was also another great way to use pumpkin! The recipe called for 3 cups of pumpkin but I only used two cups and it was still delicious. Everyone loved them and I'm sure they'll be gone soon ;)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
recipe from Annie's Eats

Ingredients:
for the cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup canola oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the cream cheese filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
To make the pumpkin cookies, preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (I used aluminum foil). In large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk sugar and oils together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined. (Batter should be smooth. Not doughy.)

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop pumpkin mixture onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 4 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture.

To make the filling, in a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth with no visible lumps. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful to not over beat the filling or it will lose structure.

To assemble, turn half of the cookies upside down. Pipe filling onto the flat side of the overturned cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: about 21 sandwich cookies

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MM Blondies


Blondie's have always been a favorite of mine. I've always liked them better than regular brownies because they're not too chocolaty and there's not too much vanilla flavor either. You can add however much chocolate or nuts you want to the recipe and it tastes great either way.

This recipe was fairly easy. Very simple and easy to make. I would definitely make this again- everyone loved them! It was so hard to take a picture of them because they kept wanting more. There's only 5 left now(: The only thing I would do differently next time is double the recipe. The bars were only a little bit thin and I think doubling the recipe would make them more thick and chewier.

M&M Blondie's
adapted from Kayte's Kitchen

Ingredients
2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup (10 tbsp) butter
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M's (use the orange, yellow, and red ones)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and Line a 13x9 baking pan. Set aside.

In medium sauce pan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly.

Cool for 4 minutes. Stir in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with M&M's. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Cool slightly on wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Dog Treats


Patiently waiting for her treats to be done.

I've always wanted to make my dog treats. I did make her treats a few months ago, but it was kind of a fail. I didn't have many ingredients and I didn't have cute cookie cutter like I do now. I haven't made a Halloween recipe yet, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

These treats are super easy to make and my dog Baily loved them. I kept trying to take a picture with the treat in front of her but as soon as I put it in front of her, she ran away with it! She ended up eating three of them, but they're small so I'm sure it isn't that bad for her.

The funniest part about me making them for her was she knew I was making them for her! She hovered around the kitchen the whole time, patiently waiting for her treats to be done. This is very messy so if you make them, don't wear white! You can put any ingredients you want in them but if you make them, make sure to use a lot of peanut butter.

Halloween Dog Treats
from the
Dog Treat Kitchen

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk (fat free/skim is preferred)
1 cup peanut butter (use all natural or sugar free)
1 tablespoon black strap molasses

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

Whisk the flour, oats, and baking powder together in medium bowl.

Gradually stir in the milk, peanut butter, and molasses. (I mixed this part with my hands, it blends better that way!)

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until soft dough forms.

Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Brush with egg paint icing and top with sprinkles (see below for egg icing)

Bake for 12-20 minutes.

Let cool completely on wire rack. Treats can be stored for up to 2 weeks in container, 3 weeks in fridge, and 6 months in freezer.

Egg paint icing

Ingredients
One egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
food coloring

Directions
Pour the egg yolk in a small bowl. Add the water and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add desired amount of food coloring. Remember to put the egg paint icing on BEFORE you put the dog treats in the oven.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baked Pumpkin Donuts


Ready for more pumpkin recipes? Because there's even more to come after this! I used to not like pumpkin very much at all. I would just eat the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and that was it. Now I think I might be a little obsessed with it. But there is a lot you can bake with pumpkin! Pumpkin can be used in so many different way which is great. I might even make pumpkin cake pops one day.

This was a fairly good recipe. But unfortunately, the directions were way off. And some of the ingredient measurements were off too. But the end result was pretty good! They don't taste like most donuts do, but that's what makes them different. I used a cinnamon sugar topping on half of them and used a cinnamon glaze on the other half. I think I liked the cinnamon glaze ones better but the cinnamon sugar ones were pretty good too. If you don't have a doughnut pan, these can easily be made as muffins too.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts
adapted from Culinary Cory

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Cream together the butter and light brown sugar. Add the other wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. With your mixer at medium speed, slowly add the dry sifted ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until barely just combined. Do not over mix.

Spray the doughnut or muffin pan with cooking spray and fill each mold all the way with the pumpkin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the exterior springs back when touched. Allow to cool completely before topping each doughnut with glaze or cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Glaze

Ingredients
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions
Mix all ingredients together until mixture is slightly hard. Glaze should spread on evenly and should not be runny.

Cinnamon sugar

Ingredients
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed together.
Directions
Dip doughnuts and butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Recipe Yield: makes 9 Donuts

Friday, October 15, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Pops







Ever since I saw these on bakerella, I've wanted to make them. But I never had any lollipop sticks, candy melts, or cake mixes. But you don't really need a cake mix to make it, but it's just easier using one.

I thought these were going to be fairly easy to make. And I was right. They were easy.. until I started putting the chocolate on them. I learned a few things while making cake pops.
1. Make the cake pops small. If they're too big, they won't stay on the stick.
2.When you put the stick in, don't push it down all the way. If you do, it will fall off when it gets harder
3.Make sure the chocolate isn't too thick! If it is, the cake pop will become too heavy and fall off the stick.
4.Don't use too much frosting. The recipe said use a whole can, but that's too much. I only used half a can and it was still a little too much.

All in all, making cake pops was a.. learning experience. Some were good and some were falling off the sticks.

But in the end, it was actually pretty fun. And you can use any kind of cake, frosting, and chocolate. I used white chocolate melts, milk chocolate, and mixed some together. Next time I think I'll use less chocolate and a different cake mix.

Red Velvet Cake Pops
recipe from Bakerella

Ingredients
1 box red velvet cake mix (and ingredients to prepare mix)
1/2 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz)
1 package candy melts
lollipop sticks
cardboard box

Directions
Prepare cake as directed on box and let cake cool completely on wire rack in pan. After cake is cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

Mix thoroughly with 1/2 can cream cheese frosting. Mix until slightly moist and slightly doughy. You can use your fingers for this part, but it may get messy.

Roll mixture into quarter size balls, lay on cookie sheet, and stick lollipop sticks slightly into cake balls. (You can do this by using a mini ice cream scooper but it's easier to hand roll them)

Chill for 2-3 hours. This can be done faster by putting them in the freezer.

Once cake pops are chilled, melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

Roll pops in chocolate and prop up in Styrofoam or cardboard box. (Make holes in a cardboard box and stick them in, make sure the cardboard box isn't too short.)









Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Pie Cupcakes


And the pie cupcakes continue! So far, there's three pie cupcakes. And, this one is actually perfect for fall. I've never made an apple pie before. They always seem very hard to make and I don't really like apple pie very much either. These were perfect because I love apples and cupcakes! You can top these cupcakes with either vanilla buttercream or whipped cream. Both are great with the cupcakes. And they're great to make in advance for a get together or family event. I still liked the Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes better, but these come in a close second.

Apple Pie Cupcakes
recipe from Annie's Eats

Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
For the apple filling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced

Directions
To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line two cupcake pans like paper liners.

In medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl with electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream or whipped cream.

Vanilla Buttercream
recipe from Annie's Eats
Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon milk

Directions
In a small bowl with electric mixer, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat at medium speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and milk, beat at medium speed until Incorporated, about 1o seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down once or twice.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes


Is it just me, or do I seem to make a lot of pie themed cupcakes? I've already made the Boston cream pie cupcakes and I have a lot of other pie cupcakes in mind. Maybe it's because they're different. I like different recipes that no one has ever thought of or heard of before. And I like classic recipes that can be tweaked or modified the way you want them.

These cupcakes aren't like any other banana cupcakes. They're probably like banana cupcakes x 10. The filling is perfect, the cupcake is nice and moist, and the frosting is just great. The frosting was probably my favorite part of the cupcake. I think this is also one of the best things I've made. That goes along with the Mocha pumpkin cheesecake, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, and the homemade lofthouse sugar cookies. Which one go you think is best?

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
recipe from quick & simple

Ingredients

for the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup plain yogurt
for the filling:
1 package instant banana pudding
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the frosting:
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 container (8 oz) cool whip
1/4 cup powdered sugar
garnish:
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
banana slices (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas and yogurt, mixing on low speed until just moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Do not over mix.

Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in pan, then remove cupcakes to cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting and filling. Mix banana pudding with milk according to package directions, adding vanilla. Chill for at least 30 minutes. For frosting, mix vanilla pudding with milk and vanilla. Fold in cool whip and powdered sugar until frosting is creamy. Chill for at least 30 minutes until set.

Once cupcakes are cool, insert a paring knife into top of cupcake, making a small hole in center. Spoon filling mixture into zip-top plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of the bottom. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon filling into top of each cupcake. Swirl frosting on top of cupcake. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Top each with banana slices if desired. Keep chilled.
Yield: 20 cupcakes

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard


I know I just posted a pumpkin pie recipe, but this is different! And it's in season, so we might as well eat it now right?

This recipe is exactly like the one at dairy queen. I made sure it was. And it tastes exactly like pumpkin pie! Except in yummy, ice cream form. You can also use any kind of ice cream you want, but vanilla tastes best with it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard

Ingredients
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Libby's canned pumpkin pie mix
Nilla wafers
Cool whip
Nutmeg

Directions

Using a blender, add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the blender. Whole milk ice cream with a high butter fat content tastes and blends the best. Add one scoop of the pumpkin pie mix to the blender. Next, add 1/4 cup crushed Nilla wafers to the blender. Do not crush them finely, only barely crushed into big chunks in your hand. Blend the ingredients on a pulse setting for 20 seconds. Do not over blend. Scoop the contents into a glass and top with a dollop of cool whip and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake


I've always loved cheesecake. It's such a rich dessert and it's always really good. And there's so many things you can do with it too. You can make cheesecake cupcakes, bars, low fat cheesecake. There's endless combinations of flavors too. Which is why when i saw this, i knew i had to make it.

This cheesecake is pretty different than most. When I was looking for a great pumpkin cheesecake recipe, this one jumped out at me because it was so different. I thought it would taste a little strange at first because of the different flavors, but it works! It works great. It's rich, but it's not too rich. It also takes a while to make, but the end result is great! And you can decorate it and put whatever toppings you want on it.

Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake
recipe from The Daily Green

Ingredients
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers, or chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree or 1 can (16 ounces) solid pack pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted
4 tablespoons hot coffee
2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate-covered coffee beans or chocolate-covered raisins

Directions
Heat oven to 350 Degrees F. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Combine with crushed graham crackers and ground coffee. Press into bottom and partially up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Use electric beaters at medium speed to cream the cream cheese for 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and beat until combined.

Pour filling into crust. Bake until instant thermometer inserted in center reads 160 degrees F, 70 to 75 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.

Melt 2 oz chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in double boiler, or a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Remove from heat. Whisk slightly, then whisk in hot coffee. Cool 10 minutes. Press top of cheesecake to even out the surface and "mend" and cracks. Spread glaze over cheesecake.

Decorate with chocolate-covered coffee beans or raisins and whipped cream. Chill to set topping.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Bread


Yum. I love anything with banana's. Banana cream pie, banana yogurt, regular banana bread. This is a different version of banana bread but it almost makes it taste more amazing than it already does. The glaze is perfect. Not too sweet and not too plain. And it almost melted into the bread, making the bread even more moist than it already was.

I wasn't originally planning on making this recipe, but it almost jumped out at me because it was a little different. And it's healthy too. Andd super easy to make. And you know what the best part is?There wasn't many dishes left over at the end. Yay for banana bread!

Peanut butter Banana Bread
recipe from cookinglight
Ingredients
For the bread:
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain fat free yogurt
1/3 cup peanut butter (i used the crunchy kind)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts
Cooking spray
For the Glaze:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fat free skim milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars. Beat until blended.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Level with a knife. Combine flour, and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and beat until just blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center. Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove bread from pan, cool.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.
Yield: 16 servings.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homemade Lofthouse Sugar Cookies


You know when you first walk in the grocery store there's those sugar cookies with the bright pink/green frosting that look so delicious? I used to LOVE those cookies and buy them all the time, but this time i wanted to make them myself.

I found a recipe that said it resembled the ones at the store so i decided to try it. And wow, it really does resemble it! It's not exactly like the ones at the store, but that's okay. These cookies are almost cake-like but not overly sweet. The frosting i used is pretty sweet, and it goes together perfectly with the cookies. And the best part is, they're really easy to make! The only thing i would do differently next time is cut the recipe in half. I had a ton of extra cookies and almost no where to put them. But they are perfect for big family get together's.

Homemade Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

In large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir in the milk and vanilla. In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir into creamed mixture until everything is blended. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookies sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in oven. The tops of the cookies should spring back when touched. Cool on rack before frosting.

Sugar Cookie Frosting
(recipe from allrecipes)
4 cups confections sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)

In large bowl, cream together confections sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in milk and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake


Ok, i know this probably seems like a weird cake, but it's good! It really is. And it's super easy to make too. I decided to make this cake because i had a ton of avocados that i bought that were going to spoil if i didn't use them soon. And you can really change up the recipe any way you want! Just don't change it up too much or else you'll wind up with a gross cake.

I used canola oil instead of vegetable oil and whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I also used less avocado because i didn't want the avocado to be the main part of the cake. But if you are going to make this, make sure you use fresh avocados! The cake didn't taste the way i thought it was but that's probably because the avocado's were a bit old. If you're a daring baker and like to try new things, then you should try this. Because it really is good.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup avocado, mashed, about 1 medium avocado
2 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside

Sift together all dry ingredients except sugar. Set aside.

Mix all the wet ingredients together in medium bowl, including the mashed avocado. Add sugar to wet ingredients and stir.

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry all at once and beat with a whisk until smooth. Pour batter into greased cake pans. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pans about 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with avocado butter cream.

Avocado Butter cream Frosting
8 ounces avocado meat, about 2 small to medium avocados
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Peel and pit the avocados. If the avocados have brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop them into the bowl.

Place the avocados meat into a medium bowl with a mixer attached. Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add powdered sugar a little at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract until combined. If not using right away, store in the refrigerator. Don't worry, it won't turn brown!



Monday, September 20, 2010

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie is probably one of my favorite things to make. Everyone always loves them and can't stop eating them. The last time I made these, I used store bought everything. Frosting, cake mix, and a boxed filling. But these ones taste a lot better! And they're actually fun to make too. The custard filling is really creamy and delicious. The best part was I had a ton of filling left over so it worked as a little snack or you could put more filling in the cupcakes if you wanted. The only thing I would do differently is change the filling to french vanilla pudding instead of custard. But the custard works great too.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
from cookinglight
For the cake:
2 teaspoons cake flour
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cups fat free milk
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 oz dark chocolate
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

To prepare cake, coat bottom of 9 inch round cake pan or cupcake pan with cooking spray. Dust with 2 tablespoons cake flour.

Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl, whisking. Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter in large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and egg, beating until blended. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup milk alternating to sugar mixture beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Place egg whites in medium bowl, beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, run knife along outside edge, remove and cool on rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in medium saucepan. Gradually add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk and egg substitute to pan stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Place pan in large ice filled bowl until custard cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

To prepare glaze, place chocolate and 2 tablespoons milk in bowl and melt over stove top. After it's melted, remove from stove top and add powdered sugar and stir with a whisk until smooth.

Insert filling into cupcakes by poking a hole in the bottom and filling it with the filling. Evenly spread glaze over top, and enjoy!