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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1/3 cup organic sugar

48 milk chocolate Kisses, unwrapped

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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.