Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Firstly, I want to say that this recipe is long.  And time consuming.  And, because of that, it’s not something I usually post to Maynard. However, I needed something special to show gratitude to a friend of mine who did something extra sweet for me and these cupcakes seemed like they’d fit the bill. 
They did not disappoint!  They’re light, and the coffee & liquor flavor sends them over the top.  The mascarpone frosting adds a sweet beginning, end and finish.  My point is, if you have a few hours, make these, but have someone to share with because you’ll be tempted to eat them all on your own!  I didn’t change one single thing about the recipe, from Annie’s Eats.
Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. cake flour, sifted
  • 1¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. coarse salt
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cup sugar

For the soaking syrup:

  • ½ cup freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
  • 3 tbsp. Kahlua
  • 6 tbsp. sugar

For the frosting:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To finish:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Directions
  1. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend; set aside.  Add the milk to a small saucepan.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the pan, and add the scraped pod to the pan as well.  Heat over medium-high heat just until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard (or rinse and save for another use).
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk lightly to blend.  Set the bowl over an inch or two of simmering water and heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.  Return the bowl to the mixer base.  Whisk on high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, and able to hold a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Pre-Heat Oven to 325F
  4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in three additions.  Stir ¾ cup of the batter into the milk mixture to thicken, then fold the milk mixture into the batter just until evenly incorporated.  Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling them about three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are set and light golden, about 20 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire racks to cool slightly before removing from the pans.
  5. To make the soaking syrup, combine the hot coffee, Kahlua, and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Place the warm cupcakes on a wire rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch dripping liquid.  Use a pastry brush to brush the soaking liquid onto the tops of the cupcakes, repeating until the syrup is used up.  (This took me about four or five cycles of brushing).  If necessary, poke each cupcake a few times with a wooden skewer to help the syrup soak in.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a separate bowl and return the mixer bowl to its base.  In the mixer bowl, combine the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula to lighten.  Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until evenly incorporated.
  7. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag (I used a Ziplock bag with the corner cut off) fitted with a plain round tip.  Pipe a large dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Just before serving, dust the cupcakes with unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

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Pure delight, would be how I’d describe these cookies and not just because I ate them on an empty stomach, before eating lunch.  Sally’s Baking Addiction had something fabulous going on when she created these cookies.  The original recipe is adamant about chilling the dough before you roll them together but I’ll tell you first hand, you’re going to get sticky whether you do this step or not and since chilling dough is my very least favorite thing about any cookie recipe, I didn’t.  It’ll save you a couple hours time and get cookies in your belly so much faster!

Ingredients

    Chocolate Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup white bean puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk (almond or soy work well too)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup white bean puree
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce 
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Make the chocolate dough: Cream the bean puree and sugars together. Beat in the applesauce and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Make the peanut butter dough: Cream the bean puree and sugars together. Mix in the peanut butter, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the baking soda, baking powder and flour. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. (OPTIONAL) Chill the dough for at least 1-2 hours. 2 hours is preferred.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Get a small, round spoonful of each dough and roll them together in the palm of your hand.   Roll into a ball. Repeat for each cookie.
  5. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. As they cool, the cookies will firm up. Store in a freezer bag, in the freezer until they’re gone.  Trust me, it won’t take long.

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Fennel Leek Soup

Fennel Leek Soup

My good friend, Kelli, told me about this soup that her dad, Paul, made for her family and how much they all loved it!  Yesterday was a perfect, soup-kind-of-day so I pulled up the e-mail she sent to me and set to work vegan’izing it.  See the original recipe uses chicken & chicken broth but I wanted to keep it plant based so I took a couple liberties with substitutions, adding barley and wild rice to it (whereas the barley is optional in the original).

I was blown away with how good it turned out.  It’s easy to pull together, cooks up fast, and unlike my first attempt at a plant-based soup (that smelled like something died in it) this smelled amazing and it was so easy to go back for a second helping.  I’d never had leeks before and am still a fennel noob, so I was a little apprehensive, once again turning to You-tube to figure out how to cut the leeks (easy peasy) – so that’s my tip for this recipe.  Trust me, try it, you won’t regret it!

I had some leftover cornbread from a batch of vegan chili we had the other night so I broke it into chunks and tossed that on top for lunch today – perfection!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 5-6 leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 fennel plants, (each plant has 2 bulbs) bulbs cleaned and sliced
  • 8 large mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoons ground thyme
  • 68 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 cup wild barley
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cleaned spinach, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot add the olive oil, carrots, leeks, garlic, sliced fennel bulbs & mushrooms.  Sauté for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper & thyme.
  2. Add vegetable stock, thyme, rice and barley to the mixture then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Near the end of the simmer, add the fresh spinach leaves.

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Quinoa-Veggie Sushi Rolls

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

I’ve made this twice now and the first time was somewhat of a disaster, taking me far too long to make on my own and it didn’t make nearly enough to feed the whole family.  I made them too tiny and they just weren’t perfect, like I wanted them to be.  This time, I added more veggies, more quinoa and had the girls layer the rolls while I rolled and cut them.  Wholesome Cook has several variations on these rolls but I wanted something simple without meat.  The recipe below made a LOT of rolls.  There was enough to fill up the five of us at dinner, plus a lunch for each of the girls and myself the next day.  I had to search for a tutorial on how to roll sushi because I’d never done it before so if you’re a sushi-rolling virgin, I suggest you do the same.  I’d also recommend buying more than one sushi mat and encourage someone to help you layer and roll the rolls because it’ll go much faster!

For the Quinoa Sushi Rolls:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package nori (sushi roll seaweed)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 cup carrot shreds
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 2 avocados, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped roughly
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds

To Cook Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under cold water.
  2. Transfer quinoa into a saucepan, add vegetable stock and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring, until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Add chopped almonds & chia seeds.
  5. Place a nori sheet on the sushi mat, then spread a couple spoonsful of quinoa mix on half of the nori sheet, working from the edge closest to you and right to the sides.
  6. Layer your favorite toppings across the middle of the quinoa and, using your mat, tightly wrap the rolls all the way to the end.

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Baked Glazed Doughnuts

Baked Glazed Doughnuts

Yes, this is the second doughnut recipe this week, but I just bought the pan and they’re so easy to make, I can’t help myself.  The Village Cook was one of the few recipes that spelled the word “doughnut” that way versus “donut” and since the first way seems far less Homer Simpson to me, I choose to spell it that way.  You’ll get 12 doughnuts with the recipe that follows.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large, mix flour,sugar, baking powder, salt
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the milk, egg, butter and vanilla
  3. Combine the wet into the dry and mix together until moistened.
  4. Cut the corner of a gallon-size bag and spoon batter in.  Squeeze batter into the doughnut pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

For glaze:

  1. Mix together 1/4 cup melted butter with 2 cups powdered sugar, add enough milk to thin, and dip each cooled doughnut or muffin into it.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

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It was Sunday afternoon, the kids and I had just come home from a morning run/bike ride and an afternoon of playing at the park, and we were in the mood for something sweet.  These doughnuts from Janie’s Kitchen were just what we needed!  Not over sweet, these are a great treat to indulge in without feeling like you’ve cheated on your healthy side.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (roughly 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Topping (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325F

  1. Using your electric mixer with the whisk attachment, add the mashed banana, sugar and Greek yogurt. Mix until incorporated.
  2. Add melted butter & vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to avoid re-solidifying the butter (or use room temperature eggs) and mix.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the batter and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix!
  4. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the batter into a zip lock bag and seal shut. Using scissors, snip the bottom corner of one side of the zip lock bag to create your homemade piping bag.
  6. Grease your doughnut baking pan and pipe 3/4 full the batter into each doughnut mold.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture on top of each doughnut batter before baking. Or you can dip the doughnuts once baked in the cinnamon sugar mixture. You may need to paint melted butter on top of each doughnut before dipping the doughnuts in the sugar mixture to allow them to stick. Both options work perfectly.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before eating.

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Rice Salad with Fennel, Orange and Chickpeas

Rice Salad with Fennel, Orange and Chickpeas

This recipe is straight from the website Forks Over Knives.  We watched the DVD a few weeks ago and it was very influential.  We’re trying some new things, cooking a little differently and have taken out a few things from our diets.  I won’t go into all of that here, since you’re just here for the food, not a lecture. 

What I can tell you is that this recipe is really good!  The kids liked it and even though I was convinced, until my first bite, that it was going to be a FAIL, it wasn’t!  I thought the vinegar would be far too strong and overpower the rest of the dish, but it didn’t.  It lent a nice flavor to all the rice and the red pepper added just enough of a kick.  I’d never had fennel before so I was also nervous about that but, again, it was really very good.  We had this as our main dish and it was more than enough for the five of us with 3 lunches the next few days.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 2 oranges, zested, peeled, and segmented (zest and segments reserved)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water and drain. Add it to a pot with 3 cups of cold water. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  2. While the rice cooks, combine the chickpeas, fennel, orange zest and segments, white wine vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, and parsley in a large bowl and mix well. When the rice is finished, add the rice to the bowl and mix well.

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Triple Berry Kale Salad

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This salad found at How Sweet is filling, crispy, savory and a perfect way to start a new year!  It made enough for 4 adults with two smaller lunch portions the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of curly kale, leaves removed from stem and torn
  • 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Directions for Salad

  1. Place kale in a large bowl, and add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry vinaigrette. Massage and rub dressing into kale with your hands, then let the kale sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in salt, pepper, cherries, berries & almonds.  Mix until kale is coated with the dressing then add avocado and gently toss.

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Pork Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls

I’ve never made egg rolls before and after I found these on All Recipes, they sat on my menu for a few weeks, and I kept putting off making them because I knew they’d take a little extra prep and I dreaded frying in hot oil.  It’s a perfect meal to ask the kids or your significant other to help with though!  I asked my husband to take care of mixing the vegetables while I prepped the Sesame Noodles and browned the pork.  Then he assembled the rolls while I fried them and it all came together in the end.  I used a pan screen to keep the oil splatter down to a minimum but even without it, there was very little clean up.

The kids were ecstatic to have homemade egg rolls and they turned out better than I’d hoped.  I like showing them that you can make this kind of food at home and you don’t have to go out to get it!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 24 oz. peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 ounces shredded carrots
  • 1 lb. package of egg roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds(optional)

Directions

  1. Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.
  2. In another large skillet heat oil on medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.
  3. Lay out one egg roll wrapper with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.
  4. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

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