Tag Archives: baking

Late Night Snacks

I take pride in the fact that I’ve been eating healthy lately. I’ve cut back on a lot of sugar (my indisputable weakness: Mike & Ike’s) and carbs (my other weakness…maybe even more so than the previous). I’ve added a lot of protein. All that went out the window last night when Sean and I decided we wanted “something sweet” around 11pm.

For Christmas I was given a baking set from Sur La Table for homemade donuts, complete with mixing bowl, donut baking tray, spatula and mix. While I’ve used the utensils, I hadn’t used the mix…seemed like a good time.

They were delicious. Only problem is now I have a bunch of donuts in my kitchen. I want them to go away, but not because I ate them all. 😉

Hey, a little splurge now and again is OK, right?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Apparently May is National Strawberry Month.  What better way to celebrate than making strawberry shortcake cookies?  I saw the recipe for these on my fellow baking lover’s blog – Fun & Fearless in Beantown.  It was my coworker’s birthday the following week and thought these would be a great way to help celebrate.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh if possible)
  • 9 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (recipe calls for coarse salt, but I used regular table salt)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used 2% milk, but the recipe actually calls for heavy cream)
  • Optional: Vanilla turbinado sugar or sanding sugar, for sprinkling

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Then hull and dice the strawberries and place them into a medium bowl.

diced strawberries

Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar into the bowl of strawberries, mix and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining seven tablespoons of granulated sugar.  Cut in the butter, making the dough crumbly in texture.  The original recipe recommended using a pastry cutter – something I have yet to invest in. : )

Right before adding the strawberries

After the texture in the mixture in consistent, stir in the milk.

The cookie dough

Once mixed, add the strawberry mixture.  Note – the original recipe showed a loose cookie dough texture at this point, but mine was somewhat thinner.  This may have been because the strawberries I used were really juicy – but regardless the cookies still came out delicious.

Using a tablespoon, place dollops of the cookie dough on a cookie sheet that’s either greased or lined with parchment paper.  The original recipe showed dough balls similar-ish to chocolate chip cookie dough balls, but mine were not as firm. Again – I think because of the strawberry juice.

Bake cookies between 10 – 20 minutes depending on your oven.  The original recipe actually called for 24 minutes but my cookies were actually done in 10!  Tip: do a “test batch” with one or two cookies on opposite sides of the baking sheet to see how long they take.

The recipe yields about 25 – 30 cookies.

The verdict:  the cookies were a success!  Definitely something I will make again.  Enjoy!

Strawberry shortcake cookies - yum!

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Here are the cupcakes I mentioned (in A Bad Day for Dieting).  I made them for a POM Wonderful cupcake contest to support heart disease research.  Check out my recipe below for Heart of POM Devil’s Food Cupcakes with POM frosting – and don’t forget to vote!

INGREDIENTS:

POM Cupcake Batter

DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE

1-1/2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup POM Wonderful juice

1/2 cup unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter

POM Frosting

1-1/3 cups (10 ounces) superfine sugar
1 cup 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs2 eggs

FROSTING:

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
1.5 teaspoon POM Wonderful juice

Chocolate Hearts

CHOCOLATE HEARTS:
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

CAKE:

Sift the flour with the cocoa, baking soda, and salt twice into a mixing bowl. Add butter. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 1-2 minutes, or until the ingredients are combined completely. Add the sugar and blend with a spoon.

Slowly mix in 1/2 the milk into the flour and beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Unfrosted Cupcakes

Combine the remaining milk with the POM Wonderful juice, eggs and vanilla with the beaters running on low speed, slowly add this to the batter. Continue to beat until the mixture is very smooth.

Pour the mixture into cupcake tine. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until the cake rises and a tester inserted in the center comes out dry.

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

ICING:
Combine all ingredients with a blender on low speed. Add 1-2 drops of red food coloring for extra pink coloring if desired.

Almost done!

CHOCOLATE HEART TOPPERS
Melt 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Let cool slightly. Transfer to resealable plastic bag. Snip a tip to make a small hole.

Trace hearts with chocolate and fill in the center as desired.

Freeze hearts until set, about 15 minutes. Remove hearts using an offset spatula.

The final cupcakes

Please vote for my cupcakes in the POM Cupcake Contest!  Voting runs through February 28th.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

Apple Muffins

One of the reasons I love apple picking is it means I can then do some baking.

I’ve actually just made my second batch – yes, second batch – of apple muffins.

Here’s what you need for the muffins:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped apples coated in cinnamon and sugar (to taste)

Here’s what you’ll need for the topping:

  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Sift together dry ingredients except sugar; set aside
  • Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture
  • stir in flour mixture, 1/2 at a time with the milk
  • Stir in cinnamon and sugar-coated apples
  • Sprinkle mixture on top
  • Bake 15 – 20 minutes at 325 degrees

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

Graduation-Themed Cupcakes

My little brother graduated from high school yesterday.  Since I seem to be on a cupcake kick lately, I decided to try my hand at making some sort of graduation-themed cupcakes.  Here’s what I came up with:

Graduation Cupcakes

I made mortar board cupcakes by using upside-down peanut butter cups and pieces of a Hershey’s chocolate bar with almonds.  I used icing between the peanut butter cup and the chocolate bar to hold the two pieces together.  My plan was to use icing to draw a line from the center of the chocolate to the edge to symbolize the tassel, but that didn’t end up happening.  Everyone seemed to get the idea anyway.

To add some variety, I also cut up come pieces of the chocolate bar to make a sort of chocolate shavings to be added to other cupcakes.

Graduation Cupcakes - Top View

Leave a comment

Filed under Food for Thought

Baking Up Some Pride: Soccer-Themed Cupcakes

I wanted to make some patriotic-themed cupcakes for yesterday’s US World Cup game against England.  Suddenly the idea of soccer-themed cupcakes popped into my head. I know – random. The only problem was I couldn’t think of how to make cupcakes look like soccer balls and not spider webs.  Hmm…  A quick Google & Flickr search proved spider webs might be the end result.  It was then suggested I try mini Oreos – the ones in the 100-calorie packs.  Bingo. : )

soccer-themed cupcakes

For the soccer balls, I put a whole Oreo cookie snack in the middle and broke them into halves and placed them on four sides of the cupcake.  I then used icing to make lines between the center Oreo and the Oreo halves on the sides.  I also used icing to between each half.

To decorate them, I made homemade icing and dyed it three different colors: red, blue and black (which turned out more like dark grey).  I then put the icing into Ziploc bags and cut TINY holes in a corner to draw.

The verdict?  I was pleased with the decorating result and the cupcakes were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.

6 Comments

Filed under Food for Thought

Eek! We’re Hosting Easter

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday.  A day where family is suppose to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus with giant bunnies & eggs…  Anyway.  My family is coming to Boston this year for Easter to celebrate with Sean & me.  I’m simultaneously looking forward to it & worried about getting it all done.  Besides cleaning, here’s what’s on the to-do list:

  1. Clean
  2. Go grocery shopping (most was done Friday – but not all)
  3. Bake
  4. Make Easter eggs (I will post pictures!)
  5. Clean up after baking & making Easter eggs…

Not to mention the cooking that will take place day-of.   I’m baking corn muffins (click for recipe) & can’t decide if it should be done today or Sunday morning.  Obviously Sunday morning before my family gets here would be best, but I don’t know if there will be time.  They will most likely be made tonight.

For Easter dinner, we’re making:

  • Pork roast
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole
  • Carrots
  • Salad
  • Whatever my little sister is bringing for dessert 🙂

Looking forward to the wine.  Too bad I didn’t think of ordering Toast-its until juuuuust now.  Getting flowers (can’t have Easter without fresh flowers.  Yes, I am a dork.) was also on my list, but Sean was nice enough to get them for me.

Wish me luck – & Happy Easter!

Leave a comment

Filed under A Bit Random, Around the House, Food for Thought