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I Get Knocked Down

12 Mar

So I actually had a very different post in mind for today – I had my 90’s song all picked out but the theme was going to be about getting re-motivated and finding balance for a healthy lifestyle. And then something shocking happened to me.

After work I went to donate blood for the American Red Cross. This is a new thing I have been trying to do every few months – I think it is so important, and such an easy way to give back. I had just finished and was sitting down for a few minutes, when I heard a bone cracking thud. The guy next to me had fainted face forwards onto the floor. I had never seen someone faint. I know it’s common after donating a pint of your own blood, but this was a first for me. When he came to he bolted up immediately and tried to stand, terrifying all the nurses around him.

It’s not funny and I know that, and I was glad to see he was okay afterwards, but it was just so in keeping with my planned blog title for the night so I couldn’t help but share. And as I walked home I hummed: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down… 
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I tried this new recipe on Sunday night because I am still working on keeping my motivation up and getting back on plan –  jumping back up after a fall, you could say.  These delicious Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins came from a blog that I love and have followed for a while, Fannetastic Food. They are easy to make, really filling and satisfying. Check them out:

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
Dry:
1 1/2 cups, whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup, brown sugar
1/4 cup, chopped pecans
1/4 cup, dried cranberries
2 teaspoons, ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon, ground cloves
1 teaspoon, baking powder IMG_4900
1 teaspoon, baking soda
1/4 teaspoon, salt
Wet:
1 1/2 cups, unsweetened applesauce
1 cup, shredded carrots

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and the dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform. Spoon the mixture into a non-stick or sprayed muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes or so, until a fork or toothpick comes out clean.

Note: I made a few small changes to the original recipe based on what I had in my kitchen!

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Recipe adapted from Fannetastic Food

As Delicious As It Sounds

10 Mar

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Thinking back, this may have been one of my very first more ‘risky’ baking attempts. That isn’t to say it is very difficult, because its not, but these are definitely a step up from your traditional chocolate chip cookie.

These pillow cookies are brownie stuffed chocolate chip cookies – yes, that exists. And it is as delicious as it sounds.

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Ingredients:
1 cup, butter
1 1/2 cups, packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon, vanilla
2 1/2 cups, all purpose flour
2 teaspoons, baking powder
1/2 teaspoon, salt
12 oz bag, semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 package, brownie mix
Instructions:
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1. Make brownies according to package directions and let cool. Cut into squares.

2. To make the cookie dough, begin by beating butter with a mixer until creamy.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and mix. Add flour to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.3. Add brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, yolk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a measuring cup, scoop the batter by the 1/4 – 1/2 cup (depending on size you want). Place the dough on parchment paper – work quickly so the dough remains chilled.

5. Make an indentation in the cookie dough and place a brownie square in the center. Press the brownie gently down and work the remaining cookie dough around the brownie. You can use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. If your dough gets too soft, you can chill the rolled dough balls for a few minutes before baking.

6. Bake the cookies for 18 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then cool completely on a wire rack.

Just to note, these cookies do come out pretty enormous but I think they could easily be made smaller. I recommend trying to cut them down a little.

Recipe adapted from Bakerella

Turning Up the Heat

9 Mar

This blog is still new and who knows where it will go, but the real reason I first started thinking about blogging was for baking. I have always loved to bake. Before healthy eating, running and everything else, there was always baking. It has been a stress reliever, a creative outlet, my way of showing appreciation for others, and always a really good time.

This week I whipped up a special treat for a co-worker’s birthday: White Russian Mini Cupcakes. These were delicious, simple and much appreciated by the staff on a slow Friday afternoon!

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I am definitely planning on turning up the heat and posting a lot more recipes and baking adventures on this blog – stay tuned for more posts, and will be updating the Recipes tab as well!

White Russian Cupcakes (Makes about 30 mini cupcakes)
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups, all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons, baking powder
1/4 teaspoon, salt
3/4 cup, sugar
6 tablespoons, butter
1 large egg and 1 egg white
1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
1/2 cup, milk
1/8 cup, Vodka
1/4 cup, Kahlua – divided

Buttercream Ingredients:
1 stick, butter
3 cups, powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoons, Kahlua

Cupcake Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until combined. Add the egg, mix, and then add the egg white. Next add the vanilla, Vodka and 1/8 cup of Kahlua.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternating, ending with the flour mixture.
5. Bake 17-20 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, brush the tops with remaining 1/8 cup of Kahlua. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Buttercream Instructions:
Beat butter until creamy. Add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing until combined. Add Kahlua 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.

Recipe adapted from Baked Perfection

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