Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

It was my brother's birthday last week and I was tasked with dessert! Oh such a big thing for someone's birthday! My brother is not a huge sweets person but he does like his brownies and peanut butter so I was thinking of coming up with some peanut butter brownies, but then I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes and knew that was the one!

These are super fun to make. You start with an Oreo cookie in the bottom of the cupcake holder. I bought chocolate Oreos because I couldn't find any peanut butter ones and then you make a peanut butter batter. You pour the batter over the Oreo cookie almost to the top of the holder and bake! These turned out fantastic!



The best part was I also decided to attempt my own chocolate icing and the recipe for the chocolate icing was fantastic! The icing turned out so good and sweet and easy to work with. I piped the icing on to each cupcake and used a mini Oreo cookie to decorate the top of each cupcake.

These are perfect and a huge keeper for parties! I definitely recommend giving these a try if you have a peanut butter lover in the house!



I got this recipe from  http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2014/08/peanut-butter-oreo-cupcakes/

Ingredients
For the Cupcakes
 
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 package Reese's PB Cup Oreo Cookies (24 cookies)
30 small Peanut Butter Oreo cookies
 
For the Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used half regular/half dark cocoa)
1/2 cup whipping cream
 
Directions
 

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again. Add the peanut butter and beat until creamy.
 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add alternately with the buttermilk until everything is combined. Beat the mixture for 1 minute on medium speed.
 
Place one large cookie in the bottom of 24 cupcake liners. Spoon batter over the top of the cookie and fill the liners almost to the top. (You should have enough batter left for 5-6 plain cupcakes as well.) The cupcakes will not bake over, so make sure the liners are very full.
 
 
 
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let sit in the hot pan for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
 
 
 
Beat the butter until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt. Stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and add alternately with the whipping cream until everything has been mixed in. Beat on high for a minute or two until the frosting thickens and becomes fluffy. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a small Oreo cookie. Store covered in a container on the counter for a few days. Makes 30 cupcakes total.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Arg, summer is coming to a close and damn if I can't feel the crispness in the air! I do admit I am a fall lover but unfortunately the fall season just doesn't last long enough for my liking!

This past weekend to do a last little crack at summer flavours before I bring out the apples, cinnamon and pumpkin in the next weeks I decided to make these fresh, light and delicious Lemon Sugar Cookies! These cookies are super easy to make and taste great. There is something so refreshing about the lemon flavour. These are a soft cookie and even though I baked them a little longer they remained soft and I think would regardless.



So in essence likely my last summer post using summer flavours unless we get another blast of some warm summer weather that inspires me to break those out again!

I got this recipe from http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/lemon-sugar-cookies/

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 large lemons
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Add lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.



Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets,  about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and set. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mini Sweet Potato Samosas

My last post was for a dessert I made using wontons and in my experience, wontons are best when used fresh. I can't find another way to buy them where they don't package them in big numbers together, so when I made the dessert I also decided to whip up some appetizers to use all the wontons so they didn't get wasted.

One appetizer idea I used was Tuna Rangoon, which I had preciously posted on here and is super delicious!
http://www.crazy-good-cooking.com/2012/08/tuna-rangoon.html

Another recipe I made which is new so I am sharing with you this marvelous Monday is Mini Sweet Potato Samosas. These are also fairly easy to make. The filling is sweet potatoes and a few other ingredients. The longest part was peeling, cutting and cooking the sweet potato so it was mashable.

 



I liked that this recipe called for the wontons to be brushed with oil as that gave them a crispness that I didn't get with the tuna Rangoon. I liked that they were both baked but the oil certainly added another element that I really liked.

These are very tasty and make for a wonderful appetizer. I suggest giving these little guys a try!

I got this recipe idea from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mini-sweet-potato-samosas/detail.aspx

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon dry onion soup mix
curry powder to taste
20 wonton wrappers
sesame oil for brushing
Directions:
Simmer sweet potatoes with a little water until very soft. Drain, and mash with butter, milk, onion soup mix, and curry powder.


 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
 
Place about 1 teaspoon of the sweet potato mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper. Brush two adjacent edges of wrapper with water, fold into a triangle, and press the edges together to seal. Brush both sides with sesame oil. Place the samosas on a baking sheet.


 
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then turn over, and bake for 5 minutes more.

 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Baked Banana Wontons with Coconut Caramel Sauce

Happy Friday everyone! I am so excited for today because in one week today my husband and I get possession to our new house! The moving in begins next Friday and goes through the whole weekend! I kept saying I didn't want to wish away summer but it's so hard to do when you are waiting for a big event that occurs at the end of summer!

I made this different and delicious dessert last weekend for my family Sunday dinner and I wanted to share it with you. It didn't turn out perfectly and I am still trying to figure out what happened but it sure tasted delicious!



I made Baked Banana Wontons with Coconut Caramel Sauce. I have worked with wontons before but only ever for savory appetizers and they have always turned out well. I'm not sure what happened but for some reason the banana filling leaked out a bit on these wontons and made them stick terribly to the baking sheet. I managed to salvage enough to create the dessert but the leftovers I was hoping to have ended up in the garbage. I would try this again and the only thing I can think of is to lessen the amount of filling I added but the bananas seemed a bit runny too so maybe something to thicken up the bananas would have worked well.

Anyways I made the banana wontons a bit ahead of time but I didn't bake them until I started making the sauce which was after we finished dinner so I could serve the dessert hot and fresh. The sauce was easy to make but didn't caramelize for me as much as I hoped but again it tasted amazing!

I would recommend this dessert but take note of the things that happened to me and maybe adjust your recipe accordingly so you don't have the same frustrations I experienced! This dessert is unique and tasty and worth the effort! I would try it again but I would make a few changes.

I got this recipe from http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-baked-banana-wontons-optional-coconut-caramel-sauce/

Ingredients
    Baked Banana Wontons
  • 1 medium banana, mashed with a fork
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
  • Coconut Caramel Sauce
  • 1/3 c. coconut milk full fat
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
Instructions
    Baked Banana Wontons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 
Combine cinnamon and banana in a small bowl. Place a heaping teaspoon of banana filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with a small amount of water, fold into a triangle, and press edges together to seal.
 
 
 
Brush both sides of each finished wonton with coconut oil. Place wontons on a baking sheet.
 
 
 
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until corners are browned and crispy.
 
 
    Coconut Caramel Sauce 
Whisk together coconut milk, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
 
Combine sugar and water in a small heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Do not stir! Allow mixture to come to a boil. Once it begins to boil, watch it like a hawk. Eventually the mixture will start to smell like caramel and turn a golden color, then light brown. This will take about 6 minutes.
 
When you see that it’s started to turn brown, slowly pour in coconut milk mixture, whisking constantly and quickly. If the sugar hardens around the whisk, don’t worry; it will melt. Just keep whisking! Continue to heat over medium-high until mixture has thickened and is a light caramel color, about 5 minutes more.
 
Drizzle over wontons and ice cream.
 
Enjoy!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad

Summer is starting to come to a close...can you believe it? I can't believe we are in the last half of August already! I do however love September, it's such a beautiful month, but it leads into the dreaded winter months which seem to go on forever! The BBQ season has about 6 good weeks left so let's make the most of it!

This Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad is delicious! I have made a few pasta salad and I love them all but right now this one if my favourite! It might have to do with the little chunks of cheese in it...maybe!

I love how pasta salad makes such a huge amount and it's great to feed a lot of people. I love how you can throw basically any veggie in there and it will taste good!



I got this particular recipe from http://centercutcook.com/creamy-cheddar-pasta-salad/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound rotini (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • *Optional – add in chopped fresh broccoli

DIRECTIONS

Cook rotini according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta has cooled. Drain well.

In a large bowl combine mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and dried parsley.

Combine the rotini with the dressing, then stir in chopped red bell pepper, celery, finely chopped onion, and chunks of cheese.

Chill for one hour before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars

There is something about coconut being one of the ultimate summer flavours! I don't know what it is but I love it during the warm summer months!

I am a huge fan of coconut and these cookie bars did not disappoint. I did find them a bit sweet but I enjoyed them. I started by making a very simply sugar cookie crust. I patted it in to the baking pan and baked. Once those were cooled I whipped up the frosting and frosted the cookie bars adding a bit of extra coconut before placing them in the fridge to chill!



I was super impressed with these cookie bars, not only do they taste great, but they were easy to make, a few simply steps!

I definitely recommend giving these a try for a BBQ this summer! I mean labour day is coming up in two weeks!

I got this recipe from http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/07/coconut-sugar-cookie-bars/

Ingredients
    For the Cookies:
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
    For the Frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or almond milk or soy, or nonfat/regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus more for garnish.
 
Instructions
 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
 
Cream coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg and both extracts. Mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in flour.
 
Press the dough into prepared pan.
 
 
 
Bake for 16-19 minutes. The sides will just be getting golden and the center will look a little under done.
 
Make the frosting: Beat coconut oil and powdered sugar until mixture is crumbly. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until the frosting comes together and becomes smooth.
 
Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
 
 
 
Frost cookie bars and top with more coconut for garnish. Store at room temperature loosely covered.
 
Frosting will semi-dry and cookies are stackable but some frosting may transfer.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Coconut Chai Lemonade

It's going to be a scorcher today, so you need to keep hydrated! The weekend is also suppose to be super nice so that is exciting news now that we are in the middle of August and finally getting some beautiful bug free weather!

Here is a recipe I tried last weekend on a really hot day that will work well for you this weekend to keep yourself feeling cool! This Coconut Chai Lemonade is pretty easy to make and is super delicious!



This recipe only makes enough for one glass, so if you want to make a big batch or a pitcher adjust accordingly! I would definitely recommend serving this for a BBQ this weekend for something different! It's delicious and refreshing on those hot days!

I got this recipe from http://honestlyyum.com/10002/coconut-chai-lemonade/

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz coconut chai syrup (see below)
  • 4 oz water
  • lemon wheel and freshly grated cinnamon for garnish

Coconut Chai Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 chai tea bags

Directions:

  • Add coconut milk and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine.
  • Once the syrup starts to steam, add the chai tea bags and stir.
  • Let steep for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and remove the tea bags. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Add the lemon juice, coconut chai syrup, and water to a shaker filled with cracked ice.
  • Shake briefly to combine (3 seconds).
  • Empty the entire contents of the shaker into a lowball glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and top with freshly grated cinnamon.