Friday, February 28, 2014

chocolate donut holes with oreo glaze.


Are you ready to blow to some minds today? 
Yes? Ok good. I'll help you.

These beyond simple donut "holes" are made in mini muffin tins. You can make them in a real donut pan if you have one, just adjust the baking time. 

First, you whip up some plain (but flavorful, I promise) chocolate donut batter and let 'em bake. While they are baking, make the glaze. There is an estimated ratio of milk to powdered sugar given in the recipe. Feel free to add more if you'd like to because you can always double dip those bad boys ;) Just don't forget the chopped up Oreos!

After they are out of the oven and mostly cooled, dunk 'em all the way in to that thick, yummy glaze. If they are being consumed at home, they are ready to eat! If they are going somewhere, I recommend waiting to store them until the glaze is hardened. 

I also recommend lining the cooling rack with foil/wax/parchment. This makes for a super easy clean up.  Also, please read my notes under the recipe to see my substitutions. :)




Ingredients:


For the donuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 egg**
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned***
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Oreo glaze:
1 and 1/4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoons milk****
Finely chopped Oreos (I probably used 6-8 double stuffed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a mini donut pan (or mini muffin tins) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. 
  3. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and slowly, stir together until everything is just combined.
  4. Transfer batter to a Ziploc bag or a piping bag (I didn't do this, I just spooned it). and cut the tip off. Squeeze the batter into each mold, filling it about 2/3 full.  Bake for 7 minutes (a little longer if you are using a muffin tin, I left mine in around 10 minutes). Let the donuts rest in the pan for 2-3 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  5. Repeat process until all the batter has been used.
  6. While the donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and chopped Oreos until well-combined. The glaze should be thick, but still pourable. Add milk as needed to get it to the right consistency.
  7. Dip the entire donut into the glaze (you won't be sorry) with a spoon or other utensil.  Place on a wire rack. Glaze will harden after some time. 
*I put 1/2 tbsp lemon juice into glass measuring cup and filled the rest of the way up with half and half. Also, you might need 1/4 cup more milk (or half and half, cream, almond milk, etc.). My batter was thick like dough but was perfect after I added more liquid.

**I didn't have an egg so I substituted 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt.

***I am lazy and therefore, I didn't brown my butter. I melted it.

****I used a combo of half and half and milk. The result? A thick, rich, creamy glaze.


Recipe (slightly tweaked) from Culinary Couture

Enjoy, friends & please let me know what you think!!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

cherry white chocolate pudding cookies.


I'm usually not a cherry-flavored dessert person (especially when maraschino cherries are involved). Don't get my wrong, I LOVE eating cherries in fresh fruit form. I just don't like it in my dessert, however, I will admit there are a couple cherry desserts I do enjoy. 



But these cookies, oh these cookies, are a game-changer for me. Ok, maybe I can't go that far... They are an exception to my (mostly) no-cherry-dessert-rule. 


They are soft, sweet, and PINK! 


What are you waiting for? 
Make these adorable cookies now! 



Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cherry flavored gelatin (uncooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package instant white chocolate pudding (3.3 ounces, uncooked)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, sugar and Jello together. 
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, cream again. 
  3. Combine flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl then slowly add to butter mixture. 
  4. Once all combined, fold in chocolate chips. 
  5. Spoon onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  6. Let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

Notes:

Mine yielded about 36 cookies which is ~23 grams carbohydrates per cookie

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

healthy fried rice with cauliflower.


I love this easy-to-make veggie "fried" rice. It uses absolutely no oil and is loaded with veggies. You can scale down the ingredient amounts if you don't need 15 servings. :)

I paired this side dish with teriyaki steak but it would be super simple to make this a main course by adding cooked chicken, pork, or steak.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups cauliflower
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup defrosted vegetable blend (peas, corn, green beans, carrots)
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Preparation
  1. Steam cauliflower
  2. Chop cauliflower finely, using a blender or food processor. (Don't puree though, otherwise it'll look like mashed potatoes)
  3. In a frying pan, add broth and bring it to a light boil. 
  4. Once broth has began to simmer add your cooked rice, cauliflower, and vegetable blend.
  5. Once the rice mixture has soaked up the broth add your soy sauce,  pepper, cinnamon, and brown sugar. 
  6. Let the rice cook on low. (while egg cooks)
  7. While the rice is cooking, scramble up the egg in a separate pan. 
  8. Add cooked egg to the rice mixture and stir.
  9. It is ready to serve!

Recipe Credit: Undressed Skeleton

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

gluten free fudge brownies.


Rich, decadent brownies that are to die for! 



Here's another non-gritty, non-grainy gluten free recipe.  These have all the things that brownies should have- cocoa, lots of sugar, and chunky chocolate chips. Gluten allergy or not, these brownies are worth trying. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (or butter if you aren't doing dairy free)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, not optional :)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line pan with parchment paper. 
  3. Combine the sugars and oil and beat until well combined. 
  4. Add in the eggs and whisk together. Mix in the vanilla and beat for about two minutes. 
  5. Stir together the cocoa and salt. 
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend until smooth. 
  7. Fold in the chips and nuts. 
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 20-25 minutes. 
Recipe Source: Yammies Glutenfreedom

Monday, February 3, 2014

loaded cookie bars.


I just love recipes where I can add whatever kind of mix-ins I like.  These kinds of recipes are always a crowd-pleaser because it has a little bit of everything for everyone.

For these cookie bars, I added peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, Oreos, peanut butter M&Ms, and mini Reese's cups.  I also made a section specifically for the peanut butter mix-ins because I looove my peanut butter-chocolate candy but Grant doesn't. 


Like the original author of this recipe says, it's a great way to clean out your pantry of those half-eaten bags of candy and cookies. Get started now!


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped (as many as you want or that will fit)
Other mix-ins, i.e. M&M's, Mini Reese's, baking chips, etc. (again, as many as you want or that will fit)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8" x 8" baking pan then line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
  5. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  6. Sprinkle chopped Oreos and/or your other mix-ins, lightly pressing them down with your finger or a spatula.
  7. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until done based on add-ins used. Top should be set and edges slightly firm. A toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Recipe CreditAverie Cooks

Saturday, February 1, 2014

chocolate chip cookie cake.


My best friend, Laura, loves cookie cake. I can remember many occasions where she went to Kroger or Wal-Mart and picked up a cookie cake- just because she loved them.  

We don't live close to each other anymore so I was really excited when I found out she was going to be home for her birthday. That meant I got to make a birthday cake for her! I couldn't decide what kind to make and then a cookie cake occurred to me. A cookie cake... of course, a cookie cake. What else would I make?!

A few of us got together for her birthday which is a few days before Christmas.  It was wonderful to see wonderful friends during the most wonderful time of year!




This recipe also turned out to be super easy to make. I was in a rush so I didn't chill the dough. In my most humble opinion, you can skip that step if you need to do so. ;)

Ingredients
Cookie Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used green & red festive Nestle holiday chocolate chips)

Vanilla Buttercream*
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp water
Instructions
Cookie Cake
  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick.
  5. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Place parchment paper into the bottom of your cake pan to help the cookie not stick.
  8. Spread the dough out into the cake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. Don't overbake!
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream*
  1. Beat the shortening and butter until smooth.
  2. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and 1 tbsp water.
  4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add more water to get the right consistency.
  5. Pipe or spread your icing onto your cooled cookie cake. I don't have piping bags or tips so I cut the tip of a pleated sandwich bag and piped that way.
*I kept the original recipe's vanilla buttercream combination because I didn't use exact measurements. I used some combination of heavy cream, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and food coloring. I mixed until I liked the consistency. :)

Recipe Source: Life, Love, & Sugar

sweet cornbread.



This cornbread recipe is sure to blow your mind. It is sweet, dense, moist, cake-y, and delicious.  I tweaked it just a bit- I cut the amount of sugar in half and I didn't separate the eggs. It still tasted good so I call that a success. 

We loaded our cornbread with cinnamon sugar butter (Land O'Lakes makes it and it is my favorite) and enjoyed a bowl of potato soup with it. As the source of this recipe says, it would be a perfect side to any meal though. 


Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease an 8x8 pan.
  3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and cooled melted butter and stir.
  4. Mix in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, stirring to incorporate - but do not over mix.
  5. Pour into your pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through.

Recipe Credit: High Heels & Grills