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
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

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
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

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
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
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!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies

These are maybe the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. No seriously. And that's saying a lot because I've had a lot of good cookies. But for some reason, I usually prefer the store bought kind. Why? Because the one's that are homemade are always flat, dry, hard, and tasteless. Which is another reason why I buy store bought cookie dough and eat it without baking it. And it sure is good.

On my hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookies, I literally looked everywhere until I found the perfect recipe. Chocolate chip cookies are a pretty delicate thing that is meant to be perfect. When i found this one, I knew it was right. It's a very unique recipe that uses yeast in the recipe! And when I made the cookies, they were a hit too. My parents loved them and begged me to make them again and I liked them too! My mom even brought them to her work to share with everyone and they were a hit there too. If you want perfect chocolate chip cookies, you should make these.

Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies
adapted from Sugar Plum
1/2 cup salted sweet cream butter
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz semisweet chocolate
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, whisking frequently, until it starts to brown and foam, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

In medium bowl, mix flour and baking soda. Stir in yeast and salt until combined.

In large bowl, using a mixer at medium speed, beat softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined and grainy. Beat in browned butter for 1 minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a cookie sheet. Drop 1/4 cup measures of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool 2 min before transferring to wire racks. Cool 10 minutes before putting into sealed container.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

I love anything that's healthy so i really wanted to try these. And it's getting colder out so i want to go to the farmers market as much as i can. These muffins are incredibly easy to make. The only hard part was grating all the zucchini. They were all done and out of the oven within an hour! I chose to leave out the walnuts, cranberries, and nutmeg in the recipe but I'll definitely add it next time. It would make the muffins even more moist and delicious.

Zucchini Muffins
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in the walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.

Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Let me just say these are probably the best snickerdoodles i've ever had. This was my first time making them so i wasn't sure what to expect. They're really easy to make! I was glad this recipe didn't call for the cream of tarter, it might have ruined the recipe. These cookies are perfectly moist in the middle and they're the right size too! The only thing I would do differently next time is cutting the cinnamon sugar part in half. I was left over with a lot of cinnamon sugar.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in medium bowl. Beat with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Set aside.

Lightly spoon flour in measuring cup. Level with knife. Combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beat until just combined. Shape dough into balls.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small shallow dish. Roll balls in sugar mixture and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until tops crack. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies

Ever since i tried a cheesecake brownie ice cream, I've been wanting to make actual cheesecake brownies. These brownies, are really the best. They're super moist and they're best right out of the oven. Or you could always warm them up in the microwave too. These brownies are actually healthier, but you can't even taste it at all! I opted out of the instant espresso powder, but next time I would definitely use it because it would make the brownies thicker. And i would cut the cheesecake part in half. I was going for a cheesecake swirl, but it ended up being almost a 2 layer brownie. But that's okay, it almost made them more delicious.

Cheesecake brownies
For brownie layer:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules, dissolved in 1 table spoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Cheesecake swirl:
1 (8 ounce) package fat free cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

For brownie layer, combine butter and chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Microwave until nearly melted. Stir.

Combine next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, espresso mixture, and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add to dry ingredients, stir and pour into prepared pan, and smooth into even layer.

For cheesecake swirl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg white with an electric mixer at medium-high speed. Drop by spoonfuls into brownie layer. Draw tip of knife into brownie layer to swirl.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out slightly damp. Cool in pan. Cut into squares.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Loaded Alfredo with chicken and vegetables

I don't really cook much. I'm more of a baker. But when i do cook, i make sure that it's super easy.And really healthy. Like this Alfredo dish.

This dish is really unique because the sauce is only made with four ingredients: flour, milk, butter, and parmesan. The sauce is really creamy and it tastes amazing. The reason why i decided to make this was because my mom recently had an Aalfredo dish from pizza hut and she said it tasted disgusting. Plus it was really unhealthy! So if you love alfredo and you want something healthier, then you should really try this.

Loaded Alfredo with chicken and vegetables
from Cook this, Not that
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups fat free milk
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups bite size broccoli florets
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
8 oz cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced
12 oz whole wheat fettuccine

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk to prevent any lumps from forming. Add the garlic and simmer, whisking often, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until nicely thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have lightly caramelized. Stir in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot, add the sauce and the chicken mixture, and toss to coat, If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin it. Serve immediately.