Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mint Chocolate Spider Cupcakes

Happy Halloween everyone!

Is everybody ready for a night of trick-or-treating, candy eating, dressing up, and halloween-y fun! I sure am! Do you wanna know what I'm going to be? Bashful! As in Bashful from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! My friend's mom made all of our costumes, and boy, are they super duper cute! It looks exactly like their clothes (except the pants...I wore tights), and to make sure people could tell us apart, she wrote, no wait, I mean sewed our "names" on to the butt area of our tops! It was super cute! We even had the hats! So yup, that's what I'm gonna be for Halloween! :)

 Aren't these cupcakes super cool? My friends came over, and we baked for the entire day! Or actually...it was more of me baking and they decorating. They spent the entire day frosting and decorating these cupcakes! I saw this design on several other blogs and I knew I had to make them! It was just way to cool! A spider web!!! On a cupcake!!! Amazing!!!
 The flavor of the cupcakes was super yummy. Minty, chocolate-y, and just delicious in general!

Mint Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes
Printer Friendly Version
Ingredients:
1 stick butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
1/2 cup milk

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line 12 muffins tins with cupcake liners
2. In a microwavable bowl microwave chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder until melted, stirring occasionally.
3. In a separate bowl combine cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
4. In a bowl beat eggs and granulated sugar. Mix in extract.
5. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with the milk.
6. Evenly divide among cupcake tins and bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
7. In a bowl beat butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Frost cupcakes.
8. In a microwaveable bowl melt chocolate with butter. Place in a ziploc bag and cut off the tip. Pipe in concentric circles, and using a toothpick, drag the tip of the toothpick from the center to the edge.
9. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I got a blister from my mixer! And oatmeal butterscotch cookies


Man, I seriously need to get a new mixer, and preferable one of those kitchen aid stand mixer. I was on one of my baking marathons (which I'll explain later), when my palm started to hurt. Turns out I got a blister from holding it too much! Can you believe that?! A blister! From my mixer..my Hand Mixer. Gosh, I sound really lame, getting a blister from a mixer. Haha, that sentenced rhymed :)


Okay, so the reason for my baking marathon is because it's one of my closest friend's sweet sixteen this week, and part of my spectacular sweet 16 bday gift is a huge box of homemade cookies! Sounds yummy, right? Well I wanted to make an assortment, so I made snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal butterscotch cookies, s'mores cookies, cranberry chocolate cookies, and caramel cuts. It sounded like a good idea when I thought of it, but now, well, my hand hurts, and I'm covered in flour. How fun....

The first recipe will be for oatmeal butterscotch cookies!



Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen
Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, and butterscotch chips
4. Place rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet
5. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doughnuts!

How embarrassing...for the last like, I don't know, all my years of my life, I thought the word "doughnut" was spelled, donut. Oops, I guess I've seen the Dunkin' Donut sign too many times....But anyways, I bet you guys are wondering why I'm talking about my horrendous spelling skills, right? Well, this month I completed my first daring baker challenge! It was held by Lori over at butter me up, and this month's challenge was to make...doughnuts! (yes! I spelled doughnut right! LOL)


So doughnuts aren't actually my favorite food. I know, strange yea? It's just that they're fried! In oil! Yuck! I guess super yummy doughnuts don't taste fried, but I guess I just couldn't do it 'cause I ended up baking them! I guess they do look kind of plain, but dip them in a chocolate glaze or roll 'em in some butter and cinnamon sugar, and then ta dah, you have an amazing, and uh sorta healthy breakfast!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Don't those bananas look gorgeous? Okay, maybe not. But in about a month or so they will be the perfect shade of yellow, and they will be so sweet all the other bananas will be jealous!
Strange? No way! These bananas are the best bananas...In The World! I'm serious, they are that good. And, they are growing in my backyard! So I can have delicious bananas whenever I want, errr actually whenever they're ready and the birds haven't gotten to them first. Usually I just eat them plain, but sometimes...like today, I put them in my sandwiches. They make delicious peanut butter and banana sandwiches!
Yea, I don't know why I even bothered with a recipe...everyone knows how to make a sandwich right? But anyways, here's the recipe!

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Ingredients:
2 slices bread
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 banana
1 panini press

Directions:
1. Heat panini press
2. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread
3. Slice banana, and evenly spread over the peanut butter
4. Cover with the other slice of bread and place in the panini press until done


Friday, October 22, 2010

Mini Strawberry Crumble

Don't you wish you could make a single serving of strawberry crumble? Okay, maybe you haven't, but now you can! You see, I was craving a crumble, but no one else in my family wanted one. So you know what I did? I rummaged through The Freezer, found some strawberries, then made a crumble. :)
Sorry the lighting is so off and it doesn't look that good...It was late! Hence the whole craving thing and all... But it did taste good!
My dad recently purchased these pyrex glass containers with lids, and there was one dish that was perfect for a single serving of crumble. Okay, maybe it's like two servings, but only one serving for me!
Mini Strawberry Crumble - Printer Friendly Version
Yield: for 1 person
Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon yogurt
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup oats

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚
2. In a bowl mix strawberries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice
3. In a separate bowl mix the flour and oats, crumble the butter and yogurt in to the flour mixture
4. Pour the strawberry mixture in to two ramekins or one 3 inch oven proof bowl
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is browned



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cranberry Orange Bread

I just love eating warm bread on a cold fall day. Too bad that only happens when I go visit family..but that's okay because today I made this fragrant bread that filled the entire house with the sweet smells of orange, cranberry,....and fall! Yes, to me this bread smells like fall. Along with pumpkin pie or pie in general (something I have still never made) and anything with cinnamon, maple, or nuts.

This bread was delicious on its own for breakfast, or snack, or dessert. Wait no, not dessert. I guess you could eat it as a dessert, but I don't think it would last that long! The tangy orange juice flavored this quick bread quite nicely, and I just love it when breads are studded with anything, in this case cranberries! Simply delicious!

Cranberry Orange Bread
Adapted from Whole Food's Cranberry Orange Tea Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dried or fresh cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F and grease two 5x3 pans
2. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda
3. In a large bowl, combine milk, oj, oil, eggs, and yogurt
4. Stir in flour mixture until combined
5. Mix in dried cranberries
6. Pour batter in to pan and bake for 45 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And the winner is....

.....Adriana from Bittersweet Baker! Congratulations Adriana! I will contact you soon about the details!

Hee hee, see that finger? It's my brother's...he wanted a picture of his finger with the winner's name. Don't ask why....But yes, I used lots of little pieces of paper instead of a random generator. I'm old school....like this sponge cake! Yum. Light and fluffy, perfect with fresh fruit..or maybe some tart apples? Oh, I forgot, here's a picture of all the little pieces of paper! :)



Two pieces of cake waiting to be layered!

Classic Sponge Cake
adapted from azcookbook
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup apricot jam

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F . Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
2. Sift the flour onto a sheet of parchment paper or onto a plate. Set aside.
3. In a large, deep bowl, combine the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until light in color and thick, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in juice. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they form soft peaks and have tripled in volume. Slowly pour in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy.
5. Using a rubber spatula, gently but quickly fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the yolk-sugar mixture. Fold in one-half of the flour. Fold in the another third of the whites, followed by the remaining flour. Finally, fold in the remaining whites until the batter is smooth.
6. Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes
7. Once done, cool on rack
8. Cut cake in half horizontally
9. Evenly spread jam on one half, top with cake.
10. Top with whipped cream or frosting or plain, and serve

 Stacked with a thin layer of jam..uh oh i forgot to take a picture of it frosted. Whoops :( well anyways, it was a delicious end to a great meal!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall is here.... and a recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Sigh. Did I start off this post too sad? Well I am. Everyone is posting recipes about fall, and talking about how the leaves are changing color, it's becoming cooler at night, just becoming more fall and winter-like...Well not in Hawaii. Nope, I guess you could say it's a little colder, maybe like 1 degree, but no leaves are changing color, there's no fall/winter-like feel. Baking during the fall in Hawaii just isn't the same as baking when it's really cold. I love that feel, you know what I'm talking about? When it's so cold outside and you're just bustling away in your warm and cozy kitchen.



Well not to fear, I'm not too sad, especially since I baked these pumpkin whoopie pies to remind me of fall. They are actually my first attempt at whoopie pies! And they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself! Well....at least the cake part did. Don't judge me, but I used marshmallow fluff for the filling. Shhh! Don't tell, it'll be our little secret! :) But they cake part was delicious. It was cakey (as it should be), pumpkin-y, with the perfect balance of spices. Plus, they made the house smell delicious!


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies 
From Brown Eyed Baker
For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
Marshmallow fluff or your favorite frosting!

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with a silicone baking mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
5. Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping TBSP of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
7. Sandwich with your favorite frosting!
8. Enjoy!





Monday, October 11, 2010

Spelt Pancakes

Don't you just love waking up on a Saturday morning to the smell of warm pancakes? Well I do too, but that never really happens because I always wake up wayyyy too early, and I'm usually the one making the pancakes. But I guess that's a good thing because I get to try different recipes to find "the one". This recipe is for a healthier pancake, or at least that's how I think of it. It uses spelt for crying out loud! It should be healthy!

My entire family, including me, were surprised by how tasty these pancakes were. Plus, they were really easy to make. All I had to do was throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix with a spoon, pour on griddle, flip, and serve! The pancakes had a delicious cinnamon-y nutty flavor, that tasted great by themselves or with a little maple syrup and whipped cream! Perfect for a lazy Saturday morning!



Spelt Pancakes
Ingredients:
1 large egg
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup milk
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbs apple sauce
3 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a bowl mix all ingredients
2. Heat a griddle to medium heat. Spray with pam
3. Use a ladle to pour batter in the center of the pan
4. Flip pancakes when bubbles form over the surface of the cake
5. Wait about a minute
6. Serve with maple syrup or whipped cream!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yogurt Nectarine Cookies

Yum....yogurt....and I don't mean that gross stuff that comes in plastic containers and rhymes with moplay. I mean real yogurt. Like the one you make by yourself, and doesn't always turn out correctly. Sometimes it's too watery, sometimes it's too firm. You know, that sort of yogurt? (Or is it just my yogurt?) Actually, I don't make yogurt. My dad does! He makes his own yogurt and eats it with granola and fruit! (No, he doesn't make his own granola, yet....) I think it's really weird, but sometimes he uses oatmeal if there's no granola. Like plain oatmeal, no cooking, nothing. So why this story about my dad's yogurt? Why I made yogurt nectarine cookies! They're a little cakey, don't spread much, and the juice from the fruit was kinda strange in the batter. I can see why they're usually turned into cakes...

p.s. don't forget to enter my giveaway!


Yogurt Nectarine Cookies
Ingredients:
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 nectarines, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. In a bowl beat yogurt, sugar, butter, and egg until mixed
3. Add in baking soda and flour
4. Fold in nectarines
5. Placed rounded and slightly flattened spoonfuls on a cookie sheet
6. Bake for 14 minutes or until done
7. Enjoy!



Monday, October 4, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Bread Roll

Remember when I made peanut butter and apricot jelly pecan swirly bread? Well this time I went with a classic; cinnamon and sugar. Okay, so I know it's supposed to have raisins in it, but I didn't have any, and I forgot I had the huge bag of dried cranberries from costco. (Love that place, just ugh..I don't know what I'm gonna do with that huge bag of cranberries!)

I made the bread dough the same way I did last time, so if you don't have a bread machine, I'm pretty sure you can just make the dough in a bowl, let it rise for about an hour or so, and then roll it out.

Pretty cool looking, huh?
Some more pictures of the swirly cinnamon-y goodness! It reminds me of cinnamon toast crunch in bread form :)

Or a cinnamon roll in bread form without any icing. And when I cut it .....
Yum!

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Cinnamon Sugar Roll
Ingredients:
1 dough:
-3/4 cup water (Hot if not using a bread maker)
-2 cups bread flour
-2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
-1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
-2 1/2 Tbsp. dry milk
-1 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
-1 tsp. active dry yeast

1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. Make dough according to bread makers instructions, bring out before last rising
2. Preheat oven to 350˚F
3. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough until about 1/2 inch thick
4. In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon, evenly sprinkle over bread
5. Roll, making sure to roll tightly
6. Allow to rise for about 20 minutes under a damp cloth
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned






Friday, October 1, 2010

$35 CSN Giveaway

 Sorry I haven't been posting regularly, it's been such a hectic week! Today's post is something a little different than normal. It's not for a recipe, or a review, it's actually a giveaway! Yes, you heard right, a giveaway! It's my first one, and I'm so excited.  I was recently contacted by the wonderful people from CSN stores to host a giveaway. You guys have all heard of CSN, right? They have practically everything you can think of! From beautiful and sturdy dutch ovens, to the basic necessities of baking. You guys really should check out their store; it has some great deals and products! But anyways, they will be sending the winner of this giveaway a gift card for $35 that can be used at any of their (200+!) csn stores!


Now, how to enter this giveaway. Well, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite fall/winter dessert. If you can, please leave a link or recipe. I've been looking for some fall and winter inspired dessert recipes!

For additional entries:
1. Subscribe to milkncookiezzz
2. Become my friend on foodbuzz
3. Retweet/link to this giveaway

Please leave an additional comment telling me which additional entry you completed. Within your comment, please either leave your email address or a link to where I can contact you. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to US and Canada readers. Entries are accepted until 11:59 pm October 15th, and the winner will be announced... well, lets just go with a few days after. Sound good? Well then comment away!