Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Muffins with Lemon Glaze


We just returned from spending the summer in sunny California!  What a nice extended vacation.  We stayed with my Aunt who has the most fabulous fruit trees in her backyard.  How nice to go out and pick a lemon, orange or apple anytime we wanted.  I use lemons ALL the time when I cook and bake so this was just super convenient.  Also since it was so nice and hot where we were and you pick the lemons fresh off the tree you get this warm very juicy piece of fruit to use which was so easy to extract juice from.  The kids made fresh lemonade a few times which they absolutely LOVED.  The recipe that I made, Lemon Zuchinni Bread was super delicious and light and refreshing.  The perfect summer treat.

Beautiful Lemon Tree



Ingredients:

1 c grated Zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
2 TB lemon juice
1 c sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or scant 1/2 c of milk with 1 TB lemon juice mixed in)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tap salt



Lemon icing
1 c powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB milk

Preparation:

For cake mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) together and set aside

In large bowl beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix until combined.  Next add buttermilk and lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold in grated Zuchinni.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.

Pour into prepared lined muffin tins to make muffins or a greased loaf pan to make a cake.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 min for muffins or 40-45 min for loaf pan.

For the icing combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk together.  Drizzle over warm cake.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Coconut Macaroons



I make these cookies A LOT!  They are a big hit everywhere I bring them.  If you are a fan of coconut, these are the cookies for you! It's one of those recipes that I don't need to bother measuring anymore and it always comes out delicious.  The trick is to let them get pretty dark and toasted and then the sugar and coconut will caramelize on the bottom of the cookie......so good!

Ingredients:

cups sweetened coconut
½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Line a baking sheet with a silpat baking liner or parchment paper. Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl until moistened. With damp hands form small haystack shapes on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cookies are golden brown. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. They are also delicious if you dip the bottoms in melted chocolate. Just let harden well before packing up.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wheat Free Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies


I've been trying to eat wheat free as much as possible and the hardest part is dessert.  I still need something sweet to eat every once in awhile.  These cookies are the perfect sweet bite and only 5 ingredients.   Now I have to try not to eat them ALL by myself!  So if you like bananas, chocolate and almonds these little cookies are just for you!

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups almond meal (almond flour)
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 chocolate chips (extra minis for garnish, optional)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (also optional - I like the added sweetness)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In medium bowl, mash bananas.  Add almond butter and stir to combine.  Next add almond meal, coconut sugar and chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.   On lined cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray drop cookie batter using two teaspoons.  Sprinkle the tops with mini chocolate chips if desired.  Bake for 22 minutes until cookies are slightly browned on top and bottom.  Let cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red Velvet Cake Dip Ball


Here's another fantastic, delicious dessert dip!  What's better than Red Velvet?  This one is really fantastic.  It was the most popular one I served at my New Year's Eve party and a HUGE hit with the adults.  You can serve anything with this dip, pretzels, graham crackers, cookies etc.  I love pretzels with it, something about the sweet and salty aspect of that combo is a winner with me.


Ingredients:

1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix,dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Vanilla Wafers, pretzels, graham crackers, or other cookies for dipping
 
Preparation:
 
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add in the Red Velvet cake mix, brown sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined.   Mixture will seem extremely dry and you will think it will never get creamy but I assure you it will.  Just keep beating it together and have patience.

Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball.  Refrigerate the ball for about 1 hour or until it is firm enough to keep its shape.  You can also put it in the freezer for quicker results.

Place the rainbow sprinkles on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the sprinkles.  Make sure to press the sprinkles into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.
 
Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  The cheese ball will be very firm straight out of the refrigerator so let stand for about 10-15 min before serving.  Also you may want to place a few small spreaders on the platter to make it easier to serve. 

 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chocolate Crumb Cake Loaf



A nice change from the usual cinnamon crumb cake.....This VERY chocolately version is to die for.  I used our favorite chocolate cake recipe found here....Ultimate Chocolate Cake and made a delicious dark chocolate crumb topping.  When I combined the two it was over the top delicious.  This recipe makes two loaves so you can share with friends ;)

Ingredients:

Ultimate Chocolate Cake batter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously spray two loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Prepare Ultimate Chocolate Cake batter and pour half batter into each loaf pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder and melted butter.  Mix with a fork until big crumbs appear, set aside.  Remove cakes from oven after baking for 20 minutes...the cake will not be done and probably be runny.   Top each loaf with half of the chocolate crumb mixture.  Place cakes back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Immediately dust the entire top of the cakes with powdered sugar and then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Set aside to cool before cutting and serving.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Shaped Cupcakes (using a regular round cupcake pan)

 
Happy Valentine's Day!!
 
I wanted to make some Valentine's Day cupcakes to donate to my children's school PTA Valentine's Day Bake Sale.   I have seen this technique around Pinterest and other Food blogs but have never tried it myself.  This is so simple and they come out adorable with no special tools or cupcake tins.  All you need is 24 marbles or large round glass beads, two regular round cupcake pans and 24 cupcake liners and you are all set.  You can of course make your favorite cupcake and frosting recipes but in a pinch a boxed mix and canned frosting works out great!
 
Ingredients:
 
Cake batter, prepared (any flavor you like)
1 container frosting, any flavor/color
2- 12 cupcake pans
24 cupcake liners
24 marble or large round glass beads
sprinkles or decorations optional
 
Preparation:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.  Prepare cake batter according to box directions or recipe.   Pour batter about 1/2 - 2/3 full and then carefully place a marble between pan and cupcake liners to make indentation (as seen in picture below).  I have also placed marbles in-between pan and liners before pouring in batter.  I think this might be easier and you will not accidently overfill liners although either way will work.  Bake cupcakes for 20-23 minutes.  Cool completely on rack before frosting.  Now you can be creative and frost and decorate your cupcakes anyway you like.
 
Line
 

 
 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Funfetti Cake Dip Ball


For our New Year's Eve party I made 3 delicious dessert cheese balls to serve for dessert.  They were all a huge hit.  Here is one of them.  This one was a most popular with the kids which was no big surprise because It tastes like birthday cake.  This is a fun and different dessert idea for any celebration.  You can serve just about anything with it from pretzels, cookies, graham crackers etc.  Just use your imagination!  I found this recipe on Pinterest and you can find the original recipe here at What's Cooking Love?


Ingredients:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups funfetti cake mix,dry
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Vanilla Wafers, pretzels, graham crackers, or other cookies for dipping
 
Preparation:
 
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add in the Funfetti cake mix, sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined.   Mixture will seem extremely dry and you will think it will never get creamy but I assure you it will.  Just keep beating it together and have patience.

Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball.  Refrigerate the ball for about 1 hour or until it is firm enough to keep its shape.  You can also put it in the freezer for quicker results.

Place the rainbow sprinkles on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the sprinkles.  Make sure to press the sprinkles into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.
 
Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  The cheese ball will be very firm straight out of the refrigerator so let stand for about 10-15 min before serving.  Also you may want to place a few small spreaders on the platter to make it easier to serve.