Sunday, May 29, 2011

Great Big Cupcake Giveaway At Cozy Home Scenes!

Lenny the Cupcake is excited about finding this giveaway!

Right now "Cozy Homes Scenes" is having a great big giveaway to win cupcake supplies! If you love to make cupcakes or just love to bake,then this is something for you. :).  This whole prize pack is value at more then $30 and some of the items include a cupcake cookbook and a really cute cupcake apron. 

So if your interested in entering this giveaway click the highlighted red link. Also for more information this contest ends on June 5th and is open to U.S and Canadian residents :). So hurry on down and get your entries in because you dont want to miss out on this. 

Keeping Myself Entertained

Picture of me with my new haircut I had a couple months ago. Doesn't it look like a author shot that could be on a cookbook  :P

No new baking today :(. However its still exciting over here because I've been receiving  lots of coupons including one for a free box of cereal! Woot! and I have two giveaway wins that will be here anytime.This time its jewelry wins and they are beautiful pieces. I'll have to take some pictures of me wearing them with some outfits I think would suit them well.Plus I have some freebies I sent out to receive. It is giveaway wins and freebies that make checking the mail awesome.

 Now your probably wondering what I sent out for free samples umm. Should I tell you or keep it a secret? ummmmmm... ehh I cant keep a secret at all lol.  Well I sent a few and I'm still searching for more because Its quite addicting once you find a few and then find more. For me there's so many freebies I miss out on being in Canada, but I love supporting Canadian product so its perfectly fine with me and great to others letting us try out their samples :). 

Now back to what I sent out. Well for my favorite that I'm excited to get is a chocolate sample and I know everyone here will love to try some. Plus I have another food sample of a free coupon for a family pack of chocolate milk. Also don't be discourage that you don't have these samples because their are ton of sites out their where you can find them. It was really easy for me. Try typing in Canadian free sample and your bound to find something you like.

Also I'll be sure to even give a review of these samples since I have a blog at my disposable and I'm not that cruel to talk about it and then never keep going with it. Or maybe I am cruel to talk about eating chocolate lol But don't worry its not all food  I also sent for some beauty products and a few other products I like. However I am still waiting for the good stuff to show up online I assume summer is the best time :). haha maybe I'll be mean and take pictures of the food samples as well lol.

I think I have addiction to entering giveaway and freebies though, but it so much fun and its great to find surprises in your inbox that isn't junk mail lol :)

Well everyone have a great weekend and check out those freebies. I know I'll be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Gift In The Mail And My Baking Accomplishment

Just Wednesday I received a parcel in the mail and it was my giveaway win from 6 bittersweet of a silpat baking mat. I have never owned, used or even felt a Silpat baking mat before, so it was exciting to have a new product added to my baking collection especially since I've heard a lot of good things about it. If the professionals rave about it I am sure I'll like it to once I try it out.Now I wont be held back with certain recipes that need silpat mat. I can create some delicious treats with this product.So thank you 6 bittersweet for the great giveaway and the sweet note,plus thank you to Silpat :). 

Hey wait!.... 
I'm not done yet with all the excitement. On Thursday night I baked my first batch of perfect topped muffins! :).I have never been able to till now to create a muffin top shape that was correct. For everyone that has made muffins before know what I mean on the right or wrong shape. I have practically made all the other shapes in previous recipes including pointed top,round top,flat top or even sometimes split apart.However this time I got a great risen, bumpy and somewhat round top.

I am proud of myself for finally getting it. I knew where my mistakes laid all this time,however I learned from them and it paid off. My mistakes laid in with the over mixing this whole time even though I thought in previous recipes I hardly mixed.In this recipe I made sure to go slow and only mix till moistened. This recipe is a winner and I can't take all credit for my perfect muffin shape because their are so many recipes out their that don't pan out,but this muffin really came out well.

It was a really simple and even a little healthier muffin recipe. The healthier part of the muffin was it had no added sugar and  just had pure natural fruit sweetness from the bananas along with the aromatic of cinnamon. Plus adding in some whole wheat flour for some flavor and a bit of apple topping.This is a no fail recipe. So try it out yourself.Try the original recipe or mine version or make it up yourself. The possibilities are endless. I would love to see these muffins with mini chocolate chips, yum!

Have a great day everyone!

No Sugar Banana Muffins( Adapted from Sugar Free Banana Muffins)
Makes 12 large muffins

6 lg overripe bananas
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup melted margarine
1 apple, sliced, topping or crunchy apple sauce.

Used frozen overripe bananas. Defrosted in microwave till soft. Peeled and then mashed in a large bowl until smooth. Added cinnamon and beaten eggs, stirred till combined. Melted margarine and stirred in.

In medium bowl. Stirred flour,baking soda,baking powder and salt together.Added to the wet ingredients and stirred until moistened. No over-mixing!

Poured into a greased large muffin tin. Filled half way and added small pieces of apple to the top.

Baked at 375 F for 20 minutes until golden brown and a hard crunchy top.Tested with a toothpick till clean.Cooled on the rack.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

When you see their is lots of peanut butter in the fridge and you really want to bake. The first thing that pops into your head is old fashion peanut butter cookies, right? They are delicious and simple to make, but sometimes you get bored of the same simple cookie over and over and you want to change it up. Well here I wanted to mix it up a bit too and make a recipe of something I have never made myself before with peanut butter. Many probably have made a version of this or even use the exact same recipe as me. Its all a learning experience for me first hand.

I have never attempted until now to make sandwich versions of peanut butter cookies because most of the time I had scarce ingredients or the length of time just did not work. But I had the time now to put my whole self into the recipe. No distractions for a new recipe.

 I actually started off with this recipe with a missing ingredients. But don't fear I didn't leave it out I just made a homemade version of it. Can you guess what ingredient it was. Well it was brown sugar. I saw this information in my mother's Betty Crocker book to make your own.Only two ingredients needed and most people that bake always have theses on hand. One is white sugar and the other is molasses, plus it can be light or pure whatever you like. Its that simple and all you do is mix those ingredients together in a bowl and you have your homemade brown sugar. Plus it seems I had extra brown sugar leftover in the recipe which would be great to towards another recipe. If your not into leftover sugar you can just add the two ingredient straight into the batter and that's it.

There are a lot of people out there that don't like the strong flavor or smell of molasses. I understand how you feel I hate the smell of  when measuring this ingredient. I do however recommend holding your nose in this process and I grantee if you make this recipe you will not taste the flavor. Peanut butter mask its wonderfully. Any other recipe where molasses or dark brown sugar are a main flavor in a recipe and you hate it. You might want to brow out of the treat or just quickly replace it with a light brown sugar. If no complaints to any of these well I wish I had your nose and taste :).

This sort of cookies do take a little of a fragile hand to create and everyone that attempts the recipe should give themselves more time then they planned to finish them. You never no what can happen in a recipe or kitchen.These are a freezer box cookie so you should give at least an hour for the freezing process to take affect and make a perfect shape cookie.

This step you shouldn't be afraid of  because its quite simple. You basically half the dough, roll both into a log and wrap in saran. For me I had no saran so I use a large freeze bag and place one log on the bag, roll it up, press the sides and place in the fridge.You can even tape the ends.Its that easy and you can use the freezer bag again along as you wash it. Its actually a really fun step.

Another fun step is the slicing. When you see those Pillsbury commercials with the cookie tube and they slice it. This is basically the same just homemade. All you need is a flour surface and sharp large knife.That's it :).

The filling is really easy and oh so creamy. This is I guess the best part of the whole recipe and a very kid friendly step too. Just watch their intake on the filling:) Its great to get children involve in baking and let them learn something fun.After that you can eat them or place them in the freezer. They will taste even better cold.These cookies will go quick so you better make another batch soon after.

These cookies are chewy and crunchy with a great creamy filling. Best balance ever!

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies ( Adapted from Martha Stewart's, Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup light brown sugar or Homemade Brown sugar:1 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp molasses)
1 1/2 cup Kraft smooth peanut butter
1 lg egg

Peanut Butter Filling:
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour


In medium bowl,whisk flour,baking soda and salt. Set aside
In sm. bowl, mix 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tbsp of molasses till sugar turns brown and combined.(Bits of molasses is fine they will breakdown in the beating step)
In a large bowl, Cream margarine, brown sugar and 1 cup of peanut butter. Until fully combined. Beat in egg.
Beat on low, slowly add flour mix. (dont overmix). Form dough into a ball. Cut in half.

Roll each piece of dough into a log  about 8 inch length. Wrap in saran or parchment paper. ( If you don't have any of those you can wrap the cookie logs with a plastic freezer bag)

Freeze for 1 hour or until harden.

350F oven. Remove one log and unwrap.Place on flour surface and cut about 1/4 inch slices and place on a nonstick cookie sheet or a parchment paper prepare cookie sheet.Bake the cookie till their puffed and set.
Will be a light golden color.Cool on cookie sheet about a minute. Remove and place on a cookie rack. Repeat with the second cookie log.

Peanut Butter Filling:

Prepare: Take 1 tbsp or less of filling. Spread flat side of half cookies.Press the other cookies on top. Cool in fridge.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Late Easter Treat Recipe!

 It seems whenever Easter comes around there is always leftover candy hanging about that no one likes and  most of time people are on candy withdraw after.

Well if your someone that did have leftover candy during that time.You might want to try this recipe on for size for next years leftover Easter candy especially for chocolate items.
For me I really wanted to make a tube cake since I have never really made one and I also wanted to incorporate leftover candy. So what I did was I easily adapted a coffee cake recipe with ingredients I had in the kitchen. I made myself a streusal topping without brown sugar and had sliced apples as my choice of fruit topping. Along with that I added a special surprise layer inside of chopped mini eggs and eggies which gave a melty texture to the middle of the cake.Plus I even added a little rum flavoring to replace vanilla. The apples paired well with the moist and flavorful cake and the chocolate gave a ting of dark chocolate sweetness. Not to strong and not to weak just a good balance.I love using leftovers in baking because it make sure nothing goes to waste and you can create something new with a previous food. Its really one of the creative part in cooking and baking. Reusing ingredients and making something taste good.
This was a really simple coffee cake recipe and I'll be sure to use it again. You might see it again but as a totally different cake since it seem to be easily adaptable to anyone favorites.

Sorry .I didn't get this recipe up right after Easter. But its at-least here for next year!

Also in other news. I found out that Canada post may be going on strike starting Wednesday. So I might not receive my silpat baking mat anytime soon :(.Unless it gets here by Tuesday :), wishful thinking :P. Oh well, it will get it when it gets here. I'm just glad I didn't win a food item instead. If this strike does happen the food be probably bad or whatever by the time I receive it lol. Hoping everyone receives there giveaways before!

Mini Egg Streusel Coffee Cake ( Adapted from Cherry-Streusel Coffee Cake)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup strawberry yogurt
1 cup chopped mini eggs or eggies
1 cup Streusel

1. Oven to 350F
2. Grease tube pan,9inchs
3. Mix first four ingredients in medium bowl and set aside
4.Cream fat, sugar, eggs and rum extract together in a large bowl till light and fluffy. Low-med speed.
5.Add flour mix in three parts ,alternating with the strawberry yogurt (beginning and ending with flour) Till combined
6.Spoon half of cake mix into the grease tube pan. 
7. Chop mini eggs or eggies until you have about 1 cup. Sprinkle evenly on the batter.
8.Top with the rest of the batter and make sure it fully covers the mini eggs. Smooth with a spatula
9.Sprinkle with strudel topping evenly ( May have extra leftover)
10.Bake cake for 40 -45+ minutes until springy and toothpick test comes out clean.
11.Remove cake and place on a cookie rack. Be sure to place a cookie sheet under rack to prevent a crumb mess.
12.Cake cool for 15 minutes.Turn cake pan upside down on rack. Release pan and turn the cake to the strudel side.Let it fully cool.Serve

Strudel Recipes ( Adapted from Strudel Recipe)

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
3/4 cup hard margarine

Combine dry ingredients into medium sized bowl. Mix. Cut in margarine until clumps form. Sprinkle over cake.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recent News And Baking

I am finally getting into the mood to start up my blogging again. So I guess I'll take it slow by sharing with you guys my most recent baking and what has been happening overtime.

Since my last post I have been keeping busy with baking and doing some exercise here and there. I also won a giveaway of a beautiful vintage brooch that I gave as a gift for Mother's day and just recently I won 3 new giveaways. As of now I am waiting till they arrive;however one of the gifts is a silpat baking mat and I am super excited to try it out for the first time. I've heard nothing but good things about it and the professional pastry chefs use them so I guess I can't go wrong. So has anyone tried the silpat baking mat? and what are your thought on it? I would love to hear from everyone :)

Anyways I guess everyone was wondering where "The Art Of Baking" was, no new blog posts!:S. Well don't be worried I just took a break and I am making sure blogging doesn't consume me to much.I follow by doing it for fun,doing it when I want to and when I feel inspired.For baking I've done a few new baking recipe here and there. But mostly going back to my trusty recipes I've done over and over. But for my most recent baking I made a cake for David 21th Birthday for Saturday. I chose to make a chocolate banana cake with a egg white frosting. Simple and beautiful!