Do you know what that means? September means the air is crisper in the morning, school season starts and pumpkin season is just around the corner! What better way to celebrate pumpkin season than with pumpkin donuts? These drop donuts taste just like mini pumpkin pies. Yum!
Now, I don’t have a donut pan so I stick to drop donuts (who needs a donut pan to make great donuts at home anyway?) Okay, these aren’t gourmet looking by any means but they are rustic and absolutely delicious. Make sure you have some friends or family members around when you make these, otherwise you’ll eat them all by yourself. Which, your taste buds will love but your tummy might not.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making drop donuts is to make sure you drop small amounts of dough into your fryer oil. If you make the donuts too large, the inside will not be able to cook completely and the inside of your donuts will be doughy instead of fluffy.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. Mix pumpkin, milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil 5-6 at a time. Fry 2-3 minutes, on each side, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Mix sugar and cinnamon; roll warm donuts in mixture and serve.
This is an easy apple crisp recipe that is a winner at any get together. Now, the word “easy” should be taken very lightly here. This recipe is easy in that you pretty much dump your apples in a pan, sprinkle on the crumb topping and bake. The steps are simple, but apple crisp requires (you guessed it) apples and getting your apples to an absolutely perfect state for baking is a bit more time consuming. It can feel tedious, but I like to peel my apples on the couch in front of the TV to help pass the time. Before I know it, I have a big bowl of peeled apples ready for the slicing and an episode of Doctor Who in the books.
It’s National Banana Split Day today, August 25th. Banana splits are nostalgic for me – going to the ice cream shoppe with my grandparents, ordering a banana split and sharing it amongst ourselves. Fresh fruit mixed with ice cream shared with close friends or family. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Well, it might be better if you didn’t have to share.
If you want to indulge but would like to keep things on the lighter side, here is a healthier version of a banana split. Keep the fresh fruit but ditch the traditional ice cream, turning instead to two-ingredient strawberry banana slow churned “ice cream” (or your favorite flavor(s) of frozen yogurt work too).
In a blender or food processor, mix peeled bananas until smooth and creamy. Pour into a dish and spoon on strawberry preserves. Give a light stir to swirl. Freeze until firm, at least four hours.
When banana “ice cream” is frozen, place pineapple slices on plates or bowls. Top each with a scoop of frozen banana. Drizzle melted chocolate over each scoop and top with a maraschino cherry if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe from Babble.com, Image from Literatureviewed, thanks!
School is almost back in season for those of you with school-aged youngin’s and for some of you aspiring students yourselves. Isn’t it amazing how fast time flies?
A miracle happened today. I finally baked a perfectly moist cake from scratch! Cakes were a challenge for me after I moved to a higher altitude. I quickly realized that all of my old cake recipes didn’t work up here. I don’t know if the altitude messed with my measuring skills or what exactly was going on but I finally found my new basic chocolate cake recipe. And I can’t say enough about it!
This cake is one of the best cake recipes you are ever going to find. It is super easy, moist, and has a perfect silky texture. I couldn’t be happier with the way this turned out.
This recipe is especially great because you mix everything in one bowl. Talk about easy clean up! That leaves me more time to make a cocktail and read a book.
I chose to use this frosting because I’m not a huge fan of buttercream frosting. For me, buttercream tends to be overly sweet and overpowering. Instead, I whipped up this egg white frosting that is much lighter. I toasted some leftover coconut and voilà! A Mounds cake is born.
Yields: 2 - 9 inch round cake layers or 24 cupcakes
Calories per serving: 157
Fat per serving: 5.7g
For the Cake:
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened, good quality cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lite sour cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (you can use half applesauce as a healthier substitute)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
For the Frosting:
3/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. sugar
Dash of salt
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. or less of vanilla
1 cup sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven (26-28 minutes for cupcakes), or until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
Heat corn syrup to a boil. In a small mixer bowl, beat egg whites and salt at high speed for 1/2 minute until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Slowly add boiling corn syrup to egg white mixture while beating. Add vanilla. Continue beating until frosting becomes thick enough to spread, about 5 minutes. Spread on cooled cake and gently press toasted coconut flakes into the frosting. Keep chilled.
This was my first attempt at a vegan dessert and I must say that I patted myself on the back for this one. There aren’t a ton of kooky ingredients in this recipe (by “kooky” I mean ingredients that I buy once and never again) however, you might be surprised to read that this mousse consists mostly of avocado. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the avocado at all. It simply provides the smooth texture you want in every good mousse. Wild huh?
What makes this recipe even better is that every part of it requires absolutely ZERO baking. That is especially nice to hear after surviving these 100 degree days. So mix this up, relax and indulge in this chilled, practically sin-free yet completely decadent dessert. You deserve it.
2 tbsp coconut oil (other light taste oil may work)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the chocolate mousse:
2 cups avocado flesh (approx 3 small avocados), pitted and scooped out
1/3 cup almond milk
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy
Fresh fruit (I used strawberries and raspberries), for serving
For the crust:
Oil a 7-10 inch springform pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the pecans until crumbly. Be careful not to over process them as you still want them a bit chunky. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse until just mixed. Scoop mixture onto prepared pan and press down firmly and evenly with slightly wet fingers or a spatula. Pop into freezer to set while making the mousse.
For the chocolate mousse:
Place all mousse ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth. In a small bowl, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave and scoop melted chocolate into food processor mixture. Process until smooth.
Remove crust from freezer and scoop this mousse on top of crust. Smooth out as much as possible and then place in the freezer for 2 hours to firm.
Once firm, remove from freezer and allow to sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes before serving chilled. Place leftover torte in the freezer wrapped and placed in a seal container. Serve with fresh sliced strawberries or raspberries.
This torte should be served chilled. It will get soft at room temperature.
I admit, I am way behind on the culinary “up and up.” I just discovered this cake from 17 and Baking and I think it is so freaking creative. It’s one of those moments where I asked myself, “Why didn’t I think of this?” And then I remind myself that I don’t really enjoy baking.
I know, I know… I shouldn’t shun baking. It’s just that I get so discouraged about it. Baking is nothing like cooking to me. Cooking gives you so much more freedom to toss in whatever ingredients you think might add flavor and texture to your dish. Whereas baking is so much more scientific. The ratios of everything still throws me for a loop. I suppose that is something that will come with time.
Every since I joined Pinterest, I’ve seen beautiful pictures of lemon bars, blueberry muffins, and other various fruit crumbly bakes that make my mouth water. Because July is Blueberry month, I decided it was time that I tried baking one of these delicious looking creations myself.
These were originally supposed to be lemon bars, but turned into more of a cake when I realized I didn’t have an 8 by 8-inch square cake pan. The baking gods were looking out for me. This cake turned out super moist, light and packed with fruity summer flavors. If you love lemon bars, you will love this cake too.
1+ Tablespoon of lemon juice (the juice of about 1 small lemon)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (the zest of about 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat egg and egg yolks on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in sugar, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, mix until well blended. Add in dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Pour mixture into a butter 8x8 baking dish or 9-inch cake pan and spread into an even layer. Bake 30-34 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow the cake to cool, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.
Last night I found myself in one of those situations where I wanted something sweet to eat but dessert was nowhere to be found. I peered in the fridge and found the following:
Leftover ham from Easter
Leftover chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting
Pork cutlet – this has been defrosting for days
One pie crust
Mysterious substance in jar – date unknown
A few bananas
Vanilla soy milk
I’d like to note that a few of the items listed do not belong to me, thus, they sit in the fridge until they resemble a science experiment and I feel obligated to finally toss them. I’m a bit of a Fridge Nazi when it comes to leftover food so I follow a strict 4-5 day rule. I can’t say the same about everyone else who uses the fridge.
Anywho, I was feeling especially creative and put together these mock mini chocolate cream banana pies. I was super excited to use up that leftover buttercream frosting.
But really, I didn’t find a ton of ideas online when it came to using up leftover buttercream frosting outside of freezing it to use at a later date or simply spreading it on graham crackers and eating it that way. These are all great ways to use up buttercream frosting, but I was just looking to do something more-recipe oriented. This was my solution.
Try these mini pies out and let me know what techniques you used or how you improved upon these. Recipes like this are pretty darn good but there is always room for improvement!
2 ripe bananas, cut in half and sliced (reserve a few for decoration)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pre-made pie crust
Buttercream frosting, about 8 - 10 ounces, leftover or not
Milk, any variety, a tablespoon or more
Heat the butter in a small pan and add the bananas and brown sugar. Stir until the brown sugar is melted and the bananas are in a glistening sauce. Remove from heat and keep in a cool place (I popped my pan in the fridge once it cooled off).
Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a large glass and cut the pie crusts into 3.5-4-inch rounds. Place them in your muffin tin and press the sides down where the dough overlaps. With a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom of each pie crust. Place in the refrigerator.
Preheat your oven to 375. While the oven preheats, make your "Chocolate Cream" by mixing together the frosting and a tablesoon of milk. You want to combine these until the frosting has a very smooth texture. Add a bit more milk as needed. Place in the fridge when it's ready.
Bake your pie crusts for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. You should smell these when they're close to ready. Push down the crusts if they bubbled a bit and allow them to cool completely.
Once cooled, remove from the crusts from the muffin tin, add about a couple teaspoons of chocolate cream, a mound of bananas, and whipped cream. Top each pie with a banana slice for decoration.
Dessert and myself go together like oil and water. I was raised by a mother who believed sugar to be the evil of all evils. We had sugar-free syrups, diet sodas and sugar-free candies and cereals. Nowadays, I have a low tolerance for super-rich desserts. One or two bites in and I’m dragging myself toward the nearest cup of milk or coffee to cut the sweetness.
These pretzels are the perfect balance of sweet and salty for my picky palette. They broke my dessert defense barrier. The added crunch from the pretzel and peanuts really make these treats even more irresistible.
Trust me, if you make these you’ll see chocolaty fingertips galore.
2 (8-ounce) bags of peanut butter pretzel sandwiches
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
3/4 cups peanut butter morsels
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
Microwave both chocolate in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes or until melted, stirring at 1 minute intervals.
Pour pretzels into bowl of melted chocolate and stir gently until coated. Lift out with a fork and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Lay in a single layer on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts over chocolate covered pretzels.
Melt peanut butter chips and shortening in microwave for 30 seconds, or until chips are soft and smooth and spoon easily into a small ziplock bag. Snip a tiny corner off of the bag and squeeze the peanut butter mixture over the pretzels.
Place the cookie sheets in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened, about an hour. Break into pieces and serve.
These last few weeks have been a sort of uphill journey with this website. I feel like I’ve taken on a responsibility maybe I wasn’t quite ready for yet, like when a someone buys their first house.
It’s a learning process, right?
I feel fairly accomplished but I know there is still a lot work to do. I can’t say I don’t enjoy working on the inners and outers of a website but there are other things I’d rather be doing with my time… like cooking or baking for instance.
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into small pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of one lemon
5 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13×9” baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing for an overhang so that you can remove the bars easily from the pan. Coat the foil well with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Use a fork to blend in the cold butter and egg. The dough should be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, strawberries, and cornstarch. Evenly spread the strawberry mix over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is just turning golden brown. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting into small squares.
I wonder how a no-bake cookie gets away with the title of being a type of cookie. Shouldn’t a no-bake cookie be some type of candy? I always consider a good cookie to have an amazing aroma that fills your home while you’re baking them. Hm.
My good buddy Jason and I made these [whatever you want to call them]. I refrained from eating all of them in one sitting… but not for long. I had two immediately and two more after he left (secret’s out). I quickly threw them into a ziplock bag and hid them in the back of my freezer. Panic-stricken, I still indulge from time to time and gorge with my freezer door still open.
3 cups oatmeal (4.5 cups if you are using quick oats)
a dash of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and salt in a 2-quart pan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add peanut butter and stir until incorporated into a smooth, chocolately concoction. Add the oatmeal and vanilla and mix. Drop by the teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and cool for 1-2 hours until set.
For faster results, you can place these in the fridge to cool.
Chocolate mousse is a great dessert to end any heavy meal. It’s perfect for individual servings for small dinner parties. Also, this may be the perfect “pre-dessert” dessert to enjoy with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
It’s important to follow these directions very carefully, especially in regards to separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. It can be a bit tricky. If you incorporate the egg yolks when the chocolate is too warm, the eggs will cook, if too cold, it will seize up when the other ingredients are added. If you stir instead of folding the egg whites and whipped cream, your mousse will not be fluffy, but dense. This all sounds a bit intense but if I can do it, you can do it.
Whip the cream to soft peaks (be careful not to overwhip it), then refrigerate.
Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso or strong coffee in the top of a double boiler, over hot, but not simmering, water, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool until the chocolate is just slightly warmer than body temperature. To test, dab some chocolate on your bottom lip. It should feel warm, but not enough to burn you. If it is too cool, the mixture will seize when the other ingredients are added.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold shape. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
Once the chocolate mixture has reached the proper temperature, stir in the egg yolks. Gently stir in about one-third of the whipped cream. Fold in half the egg whites just until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites, and finally the remaining whipped cream.
Spoon or pipe the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes. Layer in fresh berries and whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and enjoy!