Sunday, May 29, 2011

lassie buns

I'm guest posting over at Newfoundlander at Heart today.  Go check it out!

Friday, May 27, 2011

mint chocolate rice krispie treats

Let me just state that I loved these and will definitely be making them again.  I made them for a coworker's birthday last week.  I needed something quick because I was working at the bike shop the night before and these were perfect.  So easy to throw together and such a nice light treat.  I'll keep this entry simple to go along with the recipe.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Mint Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup unsalted butter
10.5 oz marshmallows
1 cup mint chocolate candy (I used Junior mints)
7 cups rice krispies

1.Melt butter over low-medium heat in a large pot.
2. Add the marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted.
3. Add the mint-chocolate candy and stir again until melted.
4. Remove from heat and add rice krispies.  Stir until evenly coated.
5. Press ingredients into a 13x9 pan lined with parchment.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then add a Junior mint to each square. 
6. Once completely cool, remove the rice crispy treats from the pan; using the parchment as a sling. 
7. Cut the treats and enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

peanut butter apple donuts with peanut butter-honey frosting

These were inspired by one of my favourite snacks: toast with peanut butter, honey and apple slices.  The other day, as I was eating said snack, I thought to myself, "I really need to make this into a baked good".  I had decided a peanut butter blondie with apples baked on the top and drizzled with honey would be good (I might still make that) when my roomate commented that we hadn't had mini donuts in a long time. That's when these scrumptious babies were born. 

They do have apple in the batter, but are best served with a fresh slice of apple on top.  So yummy!

Baked Peanut Butter Apple Donuts with Peanut Butter-Honey Frosting

1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 medium apples, peeled & shredded
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray donut pans with baking spray and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until smooth. Whisk in peanut butter, oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined and add the apples. Pipe the batter into pans but do not fill right to the top. Bake 8-10 minutes (for mini donut pan) until golden and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry.

For the frosting:
Using a fork or a small whisk, whisk together the peanut butter and honey.  I used a large round tip and piped it close to the surface of the donut.

Friday, May 20, 2011

carrot cake: variations on a theme - part 2

For the second installment in my carrot cake series I made the maple carrot cake from Food and Drink magazine.  It was for Easter dinner with my family and I was dissapointed to find out that my Mom and I are the only carrot cake fans and everyone else sucks (I love you family but you're missing out!).  Luckily my Mom  had made some brownies so they didn't miss out on dessert completely. 

Personally, I really enjoyed this carrot cake, although the maple flavour didn't come out as strongly as I would hope.  I always find maple frosting tricky because the maple syrup sweetens it so much that I never want to add much icing sugar and the texture can suffer.  Does anyone have solutions for this?  Maple extract just doesn't do it for me.  I wasn't able to get a shot of the inside of the cake because it was too dark in our dining room.

Maple Carrot Cake with Maple Butter Icing
Food and Drink Magazine, Spring 2011

4 cups (1 L) grated carrots
2½ cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
½ tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) golden brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
¾ cup (175 mL) maple syrup
½ cup (125 mL) milk

1½ cups (375 mL) butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (175 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
3 to 3½ cups (750 to 875 mL) sifted icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or lightly oil two 9-inch (1.5-L) round cake pans.
2. Grate and measure out 4 cups (1 L) and set aside. Place flour in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to blend.
3. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, then vanilla. It may look curdled. Then beating on low, gradually add about a third of flour mixture. Beat just until mixed, followed by the maple syrup. Beat in half the remaining flour followed by the milk, then end with the flour. Stir in carrots.
4. Divide batter between pans. Spread evenly to sides of pan. Bake until centres seem set when lightly tapped, from 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
5. To make icing, place butter in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beating on low, gradually pour in about ¼ cup maple syrup. Add vanilla. Then add about ½ cup icing sugar. Repeat process twice. 
6. Assemble and ice. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

peanut butter nutella swirl banana muffins

This blog post got all screwed up when blogger went down last week, so it has taken me far too long to get it up.

Ever since making the yummy muffins that I blogged about a few weeks ago.  I've been a little muffin crazy.  This banana bread was too much to resist but I didn't quite have enough bananas to make the full loaf.  No problem, muffins it was!  Being the totally predictable person that I am, I had to add chocolate to this combo somehow, and decided to use up a bit of the nutella I had lying around by swirling it in.

These muffins were totally addictive.  It was a good thing that my friend who I had over for some tea and crafting (she taught me how to embroider...I'm officially 85 years old) took some home, because I literally would have eaten the rest had they been there to eat.  This recipe is highly recommended, but if you don't have nutella around, it would be delicious with some chocolate chips, coconut or nothing at all.

Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins
adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain or vanilla fat free yogurt
1/3 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 tsp nutella per muffin

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with papers and set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground allspice.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, yogurt, peanut butter and melted butter. Whisk in eggs and sugars. Blend mixture until no sugar lumps remain.
4.  Pour the wet mixture into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold together with a spatula until no more flour bits remain. Fold in the chopped nuts as well. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.  Put 1 tsp nutella on top of each muffin and using a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl around.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

blog give-away win!

I am so happy to share this!  I won a blog give-away.  I don't think I've ever won anything in my life before.  It was featured on Margot's blog, Newfoundlander at Heart.  I won a tshirt from flirtees which will be perfect to wear to my second job at a bike shop. 

I've also finished updating my Recipe Index, so check it out!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

variations on a theme: brownies - round 2

Oh my goodness...these brownies!!  I don't have words.  My love for peanut butter and chocolate is obviously well documented, and these just take it to the next level. 

Let's go over this for a minute. A layer of brownies, a layer of chopped reese's peanut butter cups and roasted peanuts, and a layer of peanut butter- chocolate rice crispies. One word - heaven.

Below...the melted peanut butter and chocolate before adding rice crispies.  So, so good!

These were definitely enjoyed by all who had the pleasure of being at my friend's game night.  I will definitely make these again.  I think they may top the list of my favourite peanut butter chocolate concotions and they're too easy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Bars

1 batch brownies (boxed mix or this brownie recipe)
1/2 cup salted peanuts (if don’t have salted, add sea salt)
1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

1. Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan. Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4 minutes more.
2. While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.
3. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

strawberry nutella "pop tarts"

After making the cookie pie that I blogged about yesterday I had some leftover dough.  I had seen this post the week before and decided to use up the dough and make some home made pop tarts.  These were yummy, but my dough to filling ratio was off, so next time I would try and roll the dough thinner.  I would also add a bit more sugar than usual to the dough, or sprinkle them with sugar if using store bought dough.  Regardless, they're a fun idea and a super easy way to use up some leftover dough bits.

Homemade Pop Tarts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough and cut into rectangles.
2.  Fill with whatever you like, (I chose sliced strawberries and nutella) leaving space around the edges for sealing.
3.  Use a fork to seal the edges and bake on parchment until golden brown (13 to 15 minutes).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

chocolate chip cookie pie

This tool (the one I mentioned a few weeks ago) is ruining my life!  Ok, that is perhaps a bit melodramatic, but seriously, sometimes this knowledge is just best left unknown.  For example, I was going to make this pie, but then I entered it into our evil "handy" little tool and what popped up shocked and horrified me!  Don't get me wrong, I knew it would be bad, but somehow I had deluded myself into thinking it wouldn't be quite THAT BAD!  700 calories and 50g of fat, people!  Oh the humanity!  Having that knowledge, I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't serve people a pie that I knew was so horrendously gluttonous.  I'm sure I've served things just as bad, but unwittingly, and somehow that makes it better for me. 

So, I made this pie instead.  And you know what, I didn't look up the nutritional information.  I'm going to live in the dark and pretend that it isn't so bad.  It really can't be as bad as that other pie.  Right?  I guess adding ice cream probably doesn't help. : S

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

From Nestle

1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter softened (1 and 1/2 sticks)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Beat eggs until frothy.
3.  Add in flour and sugars.  Once blended, beat in the softened butter.
4. Stir in your chocolate chips and nuts.
5.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  I used a store bought in this case due to time constraints (no time for chilling), but I have had the best results with Dorie Greenspan's recipe.
6. Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Eat warm, topped with ice cream.