Sunday, May 27, 2012

How To Create Mini Muffin Doughnut Bits

Remember when I reviewed those doughnut muffins and I mentioned how I would love to redo the recipe, for better results.Well just recently I had way more success with the recipe and I think its all because I had newer baking powder to work with and way more control over my mixing.These two aspects made such a big difference in the overall product and I'm surprised how well the recipe did even with the dramatic change of making these into mini muffin doughnut bits. Overall, I had better risen and structured muffin tops. Very few air holes and no tunnels, throughout the treat.This is a big difference compared to my last attempt and I'm moving up.

Now when I started my redo of this recipe I made sure to NOT double the ingredients because I knew the plan was to create mini doughnut bits.I made the right choice in doing this because I ended up with an acceptable amount of 36+ muffins and they were very successful in their appearance.They came out to be puffy smooth muffin tops that resembled round balls and they had a cake-like texture that was surprisingly similar to a deep fried version, excluding all that unhealthy oil.They also had a beautiful lightly golden color to them and I was so happy that these came out exactly as I pictured them.They weren't by any means perfect, but they were ten times better then my last muffins.

Since I had such a good experience in creating these muffins and having so many of them at the end of baking. I thought I should make an additional topping.So I gave one half of the mini's an cinnamon sugar coating and the other half vanilla glaze with chocolate sprinkles.The cinnamon sugar coating really bought out the flavor of the nutmeg in the muffins and the coating had a grainy sugar exterior.The vanilla glaze brought that see through white that had a smooth texture and the flavor was mildly sweet.These two coating were  all about creating those old fashion doughnut flavor everyone loves.They were great tasting and the colors were awesome.

Overall, I love these mini muffins and I can see these being a great replacement to an actual doughnut. They are a way healthier treat, have similar textures and you know exactly what's going in them. However there is one small downside to this recipe and its really how you feel about it.The measurements are not exactly even in metric or easy to convert into imperial.However I have made it easy for everyone that want to try this recipe out because I've given all measure examples in the recipe.So beside that small pain in the neck the recipe was way more successful this time and its all about me learning to better myself in creating a perfect muffin.I'm slowly getting there.

Just remember when you making muffins limit your mixing, sift your ingredients and always make sure your baking powder is up to date.These are extremely important rules for muffins based on what I've learned from past experiences.So I still recommend this recipe,especially in a mini format.Everyone loves doughnuts and don't you want to indulge on a treat that actually healthier for you then the real thing. So try this recipe out now and create your toppings!

Everyone have a great Sunday and hopefully its a beautiful day!

Baked Mini Doughnut Muffins Or Baked Doughnut Holes  
(Adapted from Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins)

36+ mini muffins

435ml all purpose flour(250ml+125ml+ 60ml)
7ml baking powder
2ml salt
2ml nutmeg
1ml cinnamon
185ml granulated sugar(125ml+ 60ml )
85ml oil
1 egg
185ml milk(125ml+ 60ml)


60ml margarine
85ml white sugar

Preheat oven to 350F
Mix flour,baking powder,salt,nutmeg and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
Make a well in the dry mix.
Crack egg in medium bowl,whisk.
Measure milk in liquid measure and add oil.
Add the milk mixture to the eggs.After add granulated sugar,whisk.
Pour liquid into well,fold, until just combined.
Grease mini muffin tins.Two would be best.
Full each cup 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.Until risen, touch test and toothpick test.Don't over cook, time varies with mini muffin.So watch them carefully and remove them when light golden brown and top spring-back.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Melt margarine in a small bowl.
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Dip muffins in the melted margarine and then coat with the sugar mixture.Set aside.

Vanilla Glaze With Chocolate Sprinkles 

Mix icing sugar,vanilla and water together.Till reaches consistency of pourable.If to liquidity add more icing sugar and if to thick add more icing.Dip mini muffins into glaze,sit on plate and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Creative Italian Spiral Cookies

After making two cakes, I wanted my next treat to be a simple and quick recipe.So I chose to make cookies, but not just any ordinary ones,Italian style cookies.These treats are very similar to sugar cookies in texture;however, what really sets them apart to make them special is their flavor.They have vanilla and almond extracts paired together to bring a really great layer of flavor to transform a basic cookie.The almond is the star of the show and to be honest its my favorite extract.

The recipe I chose to use to make these is for Italian rolled cookies,which directly come from my Italian Foods eleven course collection.By me saying that,this tells you I have made these treats multiple times and the recipe has most likely been adapted;however I have always kept the original recipe unchanged.This time in making these I did make a couple changes,but nothing to risky.Right in the beginning, I started with doubling the ingredients because most of the recipes in this collection make small batches and the second change was the shape of these cookies.Originally, these are to resemble half bows hence rolled cookies;however in the past I have always had difficulty in assembling this shape. So I made the decision in making these into spirals and It was actually very simple to create.Its easier being done, then me talking about it.

When I made this cookie dough I found it pretty simple to put together.The ingredients are basic and the directions were direct.The only negative aspect I would say about this recipe is the measurements.This can be bothersome for some people because its in metric.So converting has to be done and this isn't always so even.So I'll be sure to give some examples for metric/imperial in the recipe below to help everyone out.Beside that everything was pretty relaxed.

The assembling was the funnest part of this recipe and the design came out great.It was very unique and eye catching.The icing sugar just gave that little bit of something to these cookies.Now for amount of cookies I would of loved more, even though I doubled the recipe.However remember I changed the shape, hence I had to use more dough for each cookie to create larger spirals.So when you create bigger cookies you get less of them,but doubling the recipe was still very important of course in creating these.Wouldn't change a thing!

Now the best part of these Italian style cookies is their texture and flavor.They are soft,crumbly,thick, and very moist cookies.The texture is very important for these treats and Its all about color along with how long you bake them for.It needs to be golden yellow bottoms and a white spring back top to get these perfect.For the flavor you will get almond extract.It is very strong in these cookie, but the vanilla is still able to peak through there.Its also a slight sweet cookie and has the icing sugar as an even added sweetness.I can even see these cookies with a simple white glaze instead of an icing sugar. Ideas? Ideas? ummm Overall, these were a tasty treat that were simple to make.I give this recipe an A+ for simplicity,directness and great flavor,

 Lastly, I like to mention that this recipe is part of a collection of memories.I'll always remember greats times with friends cooking in Italian food class.Some of my best times were in that class and I even slightly remember making this recipe.But anyways, I'm getting all sentimental now.So I better stop there and recommend everyone to try out this recipe and tell me what they think.Ta ta for now!

 Italian Spiral Cookies 
(Adapted from Italian Rolled Cookies,Italian Foods 11)

150 ml margarine (125ml (1/2 cup) + 25ml ( 1 tbsp + 2 tsp)
250 ml sugar,1 cup
2 egg
20 ml vanilla ( 4 tsp )  + 2ml almond extract (1/2 tsp)
550 ml flour (250ml(1cup)+250ml (1 cup) + 50ml ( 1/4 cup - 2 tsp)
2ml salt ( 1/2 tsp)
50ml icing sugar ( 1/4 cup)

  1. In a large bowl,Cream margarine, add sugar 15mls at a time, beat.
  2. Add vanilla extract ,almond extract & eggs, beat.
  3. Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
  4. Gradually add flour to wet mixture, stir in.
  5. Grease cookie sheet.
  6. Take 15mls of patter.Roll into a rope and roll into a spiral.
  7. Place on cookie sheet.Bake at 350F for 12-20 minutes.They will be white on top and lightly golden brown on the bottom.Top will also spring back.You do not want to overcook these.Time varies with how many cookies are on the sheet and how big.
  8. Let cool on a cookie rack.When slightly warm.Dust with icing sugar. Place the rack full of cookies on top of a large plate.Sift the icing sugar on top.Continue till all cookies are dusted.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Birthday Cake For Dave!

So my boyfriend Dave just turned 22 years old this passed Monday and ever since we've been together I always make him a birthday cake.So the day before, which was Mother's Day,I made him a 2 layer round cake along with making a second cake for my Mom.It was a very busy day of making treats.

So since it was so busy I made it simple on myself and made another banana cake, following the same recipe.It was super simple to make and very quick.Which was great because it gave me lots of time to brainstorm in how I wanted to decorate this cake.So when the time passed, I figured out exactly what I wanted.

For decorating, I prepared myself a batch of peanut butter frosting from a recipe in Betty Crockers Cookbook New Edition.It was  really easy to make and great to work with for decorating.It covered the cake layers really nicely and I didn't even have to worry about any crumbs showing through like in the last cake.

Overall, the frosting gave the cake lots of height & shape with very minimal work put into it. Its texture was thick and creamy, no complaints;however its flavor was very rich,which sort of overpowered the banana cake. It was still very good, but I think next time I will ease up on how much peanut butter is being added to create a milder flavor.After, I created this frosting,it wasn't the only thing I was using to decorate this cake.

 I had two cad bury dairy milk bars in hand,which I thought would be a great way to decorate this cake.These bars I had were a brand new flavor from cad bury, it was their coconut and cashew milk chocolate bars, which was a great choice for Dave because he loves coconut.So with this chocolate I simply cut them into chunks and one half went in between the layer and the second half was sprinkled on top. The chocolate made it a real simple way to  decorate this cake without any piping.Overall, it gave the cake a slight crunchy texture and a mild flavor of coconut.Mostly it helped in giving this cake a great appearance.

I had a lot of fun creating this cake and it being the second one I made that day.I was getting my groove and it became pretty simple to create.The recipe I know was simple and quick.The frosting made it so much easier then the icing I did for the last cake and the chocolate really helped in appearance.Overall, I recommend this cake recipe and I think frosting are ten times better then icings.Try the recipe out for yourself.Bring your own ideas into it and let me know.

I think I have had my share of making cakes for now.Moving on to simpler treats!

Banana Cake 

Yields : 2 cake rounds (8inch)

1/2 cup margarine,softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (2 large ripe bananas or 2 large frozen bananas, thawed & mashed)
1/3 cup sour milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Grease and flour two 8inch round cake pans.Beat margarine and sugar together in a large bowl, till light and fluffy.Beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla.

In a medium bowl, Mash two large ripe bananas.Add the buttermilk or sour milk.Set aside.

How To Create Sour Milk:1/3 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice,let sit for 5 minutes.When its cloudy its ready to use.

In a medium bowl,Sift together flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.

To mix.Added fat mixture in 3 parts alternately with banana mixture in 2 parts,beginning and ending with flour. Example:Dry mix,banana mix,dry mix,banana mix and lastly dry mix. Beat thoroughly after adding each mix. Once everything is fully mixed in, spread batter evenly into both prepared cake pans.

Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.Dark brown in color.Cool and release cakes on cooling rack.Let cool completely.Cut the cakes tops to make them even.Place on a cake stand and decorate.

Peanut Butter Frosting 
(Betty Crocker CookBook New Edition)

3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup + milk

In a large bowl, beat icing sugar and peanut butter on low speed.Stir in vanilla and gradually beat in milk till smooth and spreadable.If frosting is to thick, add more milk, few drops at a time and if to thin beat in small amount of icing sugar.Fill and frost two 8 inch cake rounds.

Chocolate Chunks:

Cut two bars with a knife into large/small chunks.Sprinkle half of chocolate chunks to the inside layer and then the second half for the top.Keep it pretty close to the middle. Let set in fridge.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I Made For Mother's Day

I told you I be back to tell you all about my Mother's Day dessert.I spent many hours this passed Sunday, making two cakes! One for my mom and the other for my boyfriend's birthday;however for now I'll just be sharing about her delicious cake and I'll leave the other to share about next time :)

Anyways, you probably want to hear about what kind of cake this is?It's probably quite obvious by the cut in the cake in this picture.So did you guess a banana cake? Well if you did, your quite right! This is a moist flavorful banana cake, very similar to its bread and muffin variation.So by that you know its going to be quite simple to make and very versatile. Hence why I chose this recipe.

I found this simple recipe in Company's Coming Cakes, Cookbook By Jean Pare.It had straight forward directions and simple ingredients.I made very little changes to direct cake recipe beside adding a few steps such as greasing & flouring the cake pans,using frozen(thawed) bananas and making my own sour milk to use instead of buttermilk.These were very small changes and even the recipe gave me tips and ideas for me to use,which was very helpful.Overall,I have to give this recipe an  A+ for simplicity in ingredients,direct steps and quick to make.

Now the cake it self for texture and flavor, was very moist, while being light,spongy and slightly crumbly. For flavor it was sweet with a mild banana flavor.However with this cake you do have to be careful with the flavors you use in sense of icing. I was super lucking with the butter icing I chose because it didn't take any thing away from the banana flavor and actually complimented it very nicely.It just added a slight sweetness  and the cake actually is very good with or without icing.So you got a choice between the two.So for the cakes flavor and texture on its own get an A+.

Now the decorating and assembling of a cake is the the creative part.The recipe gave me a choice of icings, but it was all up to me of how I wanted it to look.For icing, I made a butter icing and reserved a large spoonful for the star piping. Now once I created the icing, trouble happened! I ended up forgetting to even out the bottom layer by cutting it and I didn't clue into this till after I gave it a crumb coat.So to fix this I had to cut it,waste icing in the process and re coat the top again.Now with this mistake being fixed I had very little icing left to do another coat and so I tired my best with what I had.However I was lucky enough that my mom doesn't like a lot of icing on her cakes.

After that it was a lot easier.I had just enough icing for the top for the chocolate chunks to stick and I was able to pipe yellow stars along the edge.The chocolate that I used was Cad bury Dairy milk Chocolate.It is one of their brand new bars called Honey roasted Hazelnut and Cashew.I used about 1 and half bars for this cake,which was just the right amount, any more would of been too much.The star piping was very simple and brought some color to this cake. Overall the chocolate helped decorate this cake in a simple way without using to much icing,which really helped me out in the long run.It also brought more texture and flavor to this cake.It was a smooth and creamy milk chocolate with a soft crunch from the hazelnuts and cashews.It actually matched quite well with the flavor of this cake,along with giving it a great appearance.

Overall it was a great cake and I had a lot of fun creating.It took some time and effort to assemble it, but I think I did a pretty good job with what I able to create in the end.My mom and family loved the cake and it only lasted like a couple days.It was that chocolate!

Banana Cake
By Company's Coming Cakes Written By Jean Pare

Yields : 2 cake rounds (8inch)

1/2 cup margarine,softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed banana ( 2 large ripe bananas or 2 large frozen bananas, thawed & mashed)
1/3 cup sour milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Grease and flour two 8inch round cake pans.Beat margarine and sugar together in a large bowl, till light and fluffy.Beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla.

In a medium bowl, Mash two large ripe bananas.Add the buttermilk or sour milk.Set aside.

How To Create Sour Milk:1/3 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice,let sit for 5 minutes.When its cloudy its ready to use.

In a medium bowl,Sift together flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.

To mix.Added fat mixture in 3 parts alternately with banana mixture in 2 parts,beginning and ending with flour. Example:Dry mix,banana mix,dry mix,banana mix and lastly dry mix. Beat thoroughly after adding each mix. Once everything is fully mixed in, spread batter evenly into both prepared cake pans.

Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.Dark brown in color.Cool and release cakes on cooling rack.Let cool completely.Cut the cakes tops to make them even.Place on a cake stand and decorate.

Chocolate Chunks

Cut 1 and half bars of Dairy Milk Chocolate.Honey Roasted Hazelnuts and Cashews.Large or small chunks.Place in fridge.Once done icing the cake.Sprinkle them on top,be sure to have icing on top to help them stick.

Butter Icing

Yields about 1 1/3 cups.

2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter,softened
3 tbsp milk/cream/water
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl, beat all ingredient together, until smooth.Add more liquid if too thick, if too thin add more icing sugar.Reserve a large spoon full of icing,add to a small bowl.Add yellow food coloring till reaches a bright sun yellow. Ice the cake with the white icing. Then add yellow icing to a piping bag with star tip.Pipe along the top edge all around.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day + Desserts

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Its a beautiful and warm day here on Vancouver Island! I'm already feeling that summer warmth coming through! So to celebrate my mom for Mother's Day I am making her a delicious treat for tonight.I hope she likes it!

Now for everyone to find out exactly what I'm making you"ll have to tune on my new post about it.You"ll definitely want to try out the recipe I have lined up. I also have to mention that I'll be making a birthday cake as well for my boyfriend to celebrate on Monday,which I'll post about as well.I have a busy days worth of baking.So I better start!

Everyone have a great day and for all the Mother's out there be sure to enjoy it!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beautiful Spring Weather To Showcase Colorful Sugar Cookies

Here in B.C, were finally getting our beautiful spring weather.This weekend is suppose to be all sunny and blue skies.So far that's exactly what were getting and I'm taking advantage of it for my photos.I'm excited for more warm weather and the summer season to come upon us.BBQ's,nature walks,swimming, the beach, and even ice cream.Now the warmth,is not the best time to bake, but I'll just have to find days where its cooler and try to make summer desserts.Yum!

Anyways,I should let everyone know about the recipe I just recently made.Its a sugar cookie recipe that I slightly adapted from my Foods 11 course.Its really simple to follow and has very little ingredient.I actually highly recommend it because its actually a sugar cookie where no chilling has to done.You can cut out as many different shapes as you like and it will still come out as good as chilled dough.

I was actually super surprised to revisit this recipe and find this out.Plus I was super relieved because I started baking quite late, at about 11pm.That's why they seem to call me the midnight baker around here.Always seem to bake really late in the day and not in the morning or afternoon.I guess that's when I get the most creative!

Now for these delicious sugars,you also get the added bonus of having a colorful glaze.With just a drizzle of  red and blue glaze you transform these plain cookies into works of art and giving them added sweetness.I really love the pastel colors to these and the sunlight as really highlighted them well in the photos.Now for the flavor and texture.These are sweet vanilla cookies with a crunchy and thick texture.They are also slightly soft and crumbly.They hold their shape very well and are best when served cold.So keep them in the fridge to get the best flavor.

For anyone planning to make this recipe I have some pointers for you.I recommend when using hard margarine make sure its room temp.This makes a big difference in creaming your mixture.When stirring your  flour mixture, be sure to do this thoroughly because it will help evenly distribute the baking powder.Also, when rolling out this dough be sure not to make it too thin.If its too thin you end up with some pretty thin cookie rounds that don't rise much.

Then lastly, be sure to watch these cookies carefully.For each oven it is different, it might be 4 ,or 5 or  even 6 minutes.You don't want to overcook these! Especially with a smaller batch of leftover rounds.For this recipe, I got about 28 cookies,which means I ended up with four rounds on one cookie sheet,definitely a different baking time for them.

If you just follow these pointers, which are also written in this recipe you will have a perfect sugar cookie you can be proud of.I can't see these cookies lasting to long here either.They seem to be a great spring/summer treat to serve!

Now, I hope everyone is having a great weekend and hopefully its beautiful weather!

Sugar Cookies With Colored Glaze 
(Adapted from Flood Cookies and Icing,Foods 11)

125ml hard margarine,room temp
125ml granulated sugar
1 egg
3ml vanilla exacts
5ml baking powder
350ml all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400F.Creamed the margarine in a medium-large bowl with a electric hand mixer, till light and fluffy.

Add sugar slowly,while beating in.Then add vanilla and egg.Beat till smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix or sift all purpose flour and baking powder together.(Helps evenly distribute the b.p)
Add half of flour mixture to wet mixture,mix with wooden spoon.Add remaining flour,stir in.

Set up pastry board,lightly floured.Form dough into 3 balls
Knead each ball 2-3 times,till combined.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface(not to thin) and cut with a regular round cookie cutter.

Place rounds on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes.Watch them carefully.Golden brown edges and bottom.Cool on a rack completes.When warm,placing in fridge will quicken the process.

Colored Glaze

Icing sugar(Varies on how much glaze you want)
1ml Vanilla
1/2 tsp -1 tsp Cold water
Red & Blue

In a small bowl, Whisk icing sugar,vanilla and cold water. (If too thin, add more icing sugar.If too thick add more water)


From the original bowl, take a portion of the white icing and add it to a second bowl.Proceed to add blue food coloring
For the white icing, add red food coloring.


When cookies are completely cool.Place cooling rack on top of a plate.Use two spoons/knives for each colored glaze.Dip them in the glaze and proceed to drizzle the cookies.Let set and place in fridge. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Win A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer At The Penny Hoarder!

At The Penny Hoarder there is an awesome giveaway going on right now to win this brand new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!. Its a 5 quart size and color is white.Its super easy to enter the giveaway.Its through Raffle-copter and there is lots of chances to win! Go check it out and read more details of what this stand mixer can do! Its open till May 23 for Canada And The USA.So get on over there to get your entries. Click the highlighted black words to find the link!Good luck everyone!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes With Lemon Glaze

Just this past weekend,I got the chance to test out the design molds, I got for free.When I picked these items out at a yard sale, everyone thought they were for Jello molds; However I mentioned they might be great for little cakes due to the unique design on them.Everyone thought this was a great idea and so I grabbed them.They were still in good condition and all I had to do was clean them up.Free is Free!

On Saturday,I was super excited to try this item out and see if the idea would work.Before I started baking,I knew it would be very important to plan out in my head how I wanted to create these.So at first I thought I only have seven molds to work with so each little cake that I make would have to completely cool before I could do another batch.So from there, I made sure to give myself  a lot of time to make these cakes.When thinking of time, I also came to the conclusion that the molds would definitely need to be placed on a cookie sheet to prevent any spilling and be able to stay balanced when baking.After I was able to figure out the best way to use these items It was time to choose a cake recipe!

Now what would be the best cake to make? A yellow cake,a spice cake,chocolate cake? etc.So many choices, but you really got to think of ingredients you have and what would look best.For me,I wanted a simple cake that would show off the design the best.Looking at countless cake recipes, I ended up coming to the conclusion that a white cake would be the best choice.It uses very simple ingredients and It helps show the design features. Also I rarely make white cakes so it would be a special treat.However I can see a yellow or spice cake doing very well.

Now I knew what kind of cake I wanted.So I chose a simple recipe from Company's Coming Cook Book: Cakes.It was for there one bowl white cake recipe, which was super simple to follow and made slightly adapting it very easy.All I had to do was beat all the ingredients together in a large bowl till smooth and the only ingredients I needed to change was butter to margarine.Simple ingredients that most people have in their fridge and pantry.

Now for the directions, I had to change greasing and flouring a 9inch cake pan to doing the same to the molds and then I had to fill them a little more then 3/4 full of batter to a regular cupcake pan.Then lastly, I had to lower the baking time in the original recipe for cupcakes to bake properly.However for me I just removed them from the oven when the cakes sprung back.From their I let the cakes cool,released them from the seven molds to show off the design and then filled 5 of the cups with the rest of the batter. I got about 11 all together,but I did try pushing it to 12 but it wasn't enough.Once they were all done I set  them aside on a cooling rack and admired how well the design came out on the cakes.Super surprised by those molds.Then to just give a little more decoration to the cakes I went and made a glaze.

Now for the glaze. I used company's coming recipe for lemon glaze.It was a super simple recipe and the only ingredients needed were icing sugar, lemon juice and little bit of water to adjust thickness.There was a slight adaption I had to make which was cutting the icing sugar in half to 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup.It would of been way to much glaze leftover if I did their measurement.From their. I slowly drizzled the icing on the cakes and it gave a great design and shine to them. It really made the cake so much better looking then originally.

Overall, the cakes came out great and I was super surprised how well the design came out.The glaze just gave that added touch.When I tried one of these mini cakes they were so good.There texture was moist, crumbly,airy and I would say scrumptious.They were also sweet with a strong vanilla flavor while the lemon glaze added sweetness and tang.Overall the flavors match very well together.I really liked these mini cakes and will be making them in the future.I may actually try a different cake variation for these molds.

They were a great find and I might try using them for flavored gelatin.It was super fun to experiment with these and I'm excited for this weekend to experiment with what birthday cake I'm going to make for my boyfriend .Ummm should be interesting.Anyways, everyone have a great week so far! 

 Vanilla Cupcakes With Lemon Glaze 
(Adapted From Company Coming Cakes By Jean Pare.Recipes: One Bowl White Cake And Lemon Glaze)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine,softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup 1% milk

Preheated oven to 350F
Added all ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.Beat with a electric hand mixer at medium speed until smooth.Poured into greased and floured cupcake molds about 3/4 full.Place them on a large cookie sheet and baked for about 30+ minutes.Until spring back and toothpick comes out clean.Let cool before releasing from molds.Putting them in the fridge will help quicken the cooling time.Release them and turn cupcakes upside down to reveal design.Let cool again and set on a cooling rack.

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp water

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until reaches the consistency of barely pourable glaze.Add more water if too thick.If you want a richer lemon flavor add more of the juice. Use a spoon or knife to dip into the glaze and drizzle on the cakes.Let set.Ready to eat.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Get Creative And Make Mini Deep Dish Pizzas!

If you have been a loyal reader of mine you have probably read that I always seem to say that homemade pizza is the only way to go and to revisit that I think its very true.This is because its way cheaper then any restaurant or delivery and way better in texture,flavor and freshness to any frozen pizza.Also, when its homemade you have the opportunity to experiment with your dough and toppings to see what works for you.The only thing anyone has to do is plan their time well enough to prepare and be able to fun while creating it, no rushing. Anyone can make a pizza.Its super easy!

Now when I recently wanted pizza.I had experimenting on the brain, so instead of a traditional pizza I went with following a brand new recipe, to create mini deep dish pizzas.They are simply a different format of the delicious food, basically a muffin sized snack.I have never made these before and they actually became pretty simple to create.All I needed was some pizza dough (homemade or store bought), a muffin pan and lots of toppings.Simple as that!

Now for me, I chose to make a homemade dough by following, a recipe called Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust .With this dough I slightly altered it by replacing all the flour with all purpose;however I do really recommend whole wheat because it brings so much more flavor to the crust. I would of have chosen this route if I had this flour on hand because whole wheat dough is my favorite.After I created this dough,I began following the directions for Martha Stewart's Mini Deep Dish Pizza recipe.

For this recipe,I had to improvise with how to create the mini rounds.So I decided to use a lid to a medium sized coffee container to create a cutter.This actually worked very well for me because it cut the dough very easily and was big enough for the muffin cups.It was the best sized round for the cups that It gave me the freedom to fill each muffin sized snack with a variety of toppings.

Once I figured out the pizza dough solution it was time for me to prepare the topping,which was the most time consuming step in the whole recipe.The basic toppings were chopped tomatoes and grated mozzarella cheese;However I wanted to step up the flavor, so I added minced garlic and Italian seasoning to the  tomatoes.After that was completed it was now all about experimenting with more toppings.I had the choice if  I wanted all the minis completely different,half and half or all the same.For me I went with a half and half choice and used a variety of toppings such as chopped red pepper,feta,pineapple tidbits and onion.I used what I had on hand and layered as much I could in each mini deep dish.The large rounds made it possible for me to really stuff those minis with lots of toppings.Super fun!

After that,it was time for me to bake these delicious snacks and they came out risen, golden brown and bubbly all over, at about 12 minutes, Yum! However sadly some of the minis did have issues with cheese bubbling over them, which caused some appearance issues, small burnt parts!. Note to self got to be more careful with how much cheese I add, response I love cheese to much! However don't be to worried the crust wasn't ruin even for the one's that had appearance issues.The great filling helps a lot with that!

Once these cooled a bit, I tried a couple.Ohhh! They were Yummy. The crust was moist, chewy and thick, while the filling packed a punch in flavor.The red pepper was definitely the dominant flavor in this filling while the tomatoes and onions came second.The seasonings helped a lot in bringing out these toppings and the pineapple gave just enough sweetness.Then lastly,it was the feta and mozzarella that tied everything together.The feta brought some texture and saltiness and then the cheese that is always missed by pizza, Mozzarella! Brings great flavor and smoothness to this snack.

Overall I loved these! They would be the best snack or appetizer to serve.Maybe even as a mini muffin size. Ummm,sounds like a great idea? These are great warm or cold.If cold, they would have even more flavor to them because the flavor would absorb even more overtime, especially into the crust.But they have lot of flavor even warm, so their great either way.They are also even more hand held friendly then regular pizza.No worrying about tons of toppings slipping off your pizza like a so called, thin crust pizza! 

They are really fun to create and super simple to prepare.They can be great for a lunch,snack, side dish or as an appetizer.The recipe gives you the freedom to experiment with any dough you choose to use or any toppings.I love creating and seeing what tastes great.So overall, I have to give this recipe an A+ for simplicity and giving me freedom to expand. I recommend everyone to check out my adapted recipe below and the original recipe link.See what you can create!

Everyone have a great Sunday everyone!

Mini Deep Dish Pizza
Dough:Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (Altered:Used All Purpose Flour)

4-5+ Roma tomatoes,chopped
Half of a purple onion,chopped
Italian seasoning
2 + cups mozzarella cheese,thinly grated
1 large red pepper,chopped
Sea salt and pepper
1 can Pineapple Tidbits
1 large garlic clove,minced

Made Amazing Whole Wheat Dough.

Brushed a nonstick muffin thin with oil.Lightly flour the work surface and rolled out the pizza dough.Cut out 6 inch rounds.(I used a coffee lid to cut-out my rounds)

Preheat oven to 450F.

Chopped Roma tomatoes and mix it with the Italian seasoning and minced garlic.Chopped the red pepper,minced the purple onion,grated the mozzarella cheese and crumbled the feta cheese.

Pressed the pizza rounds into the cups,gently.

Then sprinkled sea salt and pepper in each round.Then layered it with about a tbsp of grated cheese and seasoned tomato.
Then began adding the toppings.

(My Topping)

Red pepper,onion,feta and pineapple.Then added more tomato and cheese.

Bake for about 12 minutes, golden brown,risen and crisp.Let cool before removing cups.

Note:Had a few burnt sides only due to cheese bubbling over.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Found Some Great Baking Items At A Yard Sale!

I love yard sales and thrift stores.I hope you love them too and if you don't well your missing out on some great treasures and deal.They are actually the best places to find kitchen items,books and clothing etc.Who cares if its used.If the items are still in good condition might as well take advantage.For me, I just recently found some great baking items at a yard sale.Which are all in good condition and I'm super excited to try them out.Check out my video below to see the treasures!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Delicious Upside Down Buns AKA Sticky Buns

Recently, I made my first batch of upside down buns, aka sticky buns. I've eaten my share of these and have made many other buns, such as cinnamon buns,hot cross buns,and rolls.However for some reason I have never attempted to make these?, until now.

So now I have finally made them and they were delicious.Its the exact recipe my mom would make that I loved as a kid.Its actually a bread machine recipe that she slightly adapted from the recipe book that came with her Black & Decker Bread Maker.There are so much great recipes in this book that I would love to try with the bread maker.

This recipe for example is originally for their upside down pecan bun;however no one here is a fan of nuts in bread so the recipe was changed to have delicious raisins for the filling and brown sugar glaze.This gives a chewy,soft texture while giving some more sweetness.Also when I made this recipe,I used real 2% milk instead of their ingredient of skim milk powder for the dough.Liquid milk gives some more moisture and flavor;however either one can be used.I just replaced it because I never have milk powder in the kitchen and I also replaced the butter with hard margarine because I didn't have it on hand.Beside those ingredients changed I basically followed the recipe directions and delicious sticky buns came alive.

It was the very bread maker that made a perfect dough for these buns.It made it super easy and all I had to do was put in the first eight ingredients into the pan,place in the machine and turn it to dough setting.The machine does all the work of mixing and rising.So in that time I was able to do other things while I waited.

Now the machine can't do all the work.So when it was done I had to make the syrup that is poured in a 9x 13 pan, preferably glass.Then I had to roll out the dough,make the filling and assemble it all together,jelly roll style.Then I had to cut out the rolls and I got about 13 all together and I definitely recommend when cutting rolls to use a thin string like dental floss, flavorless of course.String will  actually work a lot better then a large knife because knives tend to tare the spiral.Then I placed them on the syrup glaze to rise and then baked them until golden brown.

In the end I got huge sticky buns with a spiral top and a syrup glaze bottom.They had a layered,airy and light dough that absorbed a lot of the flavor from the filling and syrup.The spiral part was golden brown and had a beautiful design and the bottom had dark syrup with plump raisins.The filling was sweet of brown sugar and raisins with a hint of cinnamon.Everything tied so well together and it was a moist layered sticky bun.The best part is the upside down part;however I say the whole thing is my favorite.Lots of moisture and flavor.Super easy recipe and delicious buns gone in a flash.

If you want an easy upside down bun for a bread maker try this recipe below and for my next post it will be something savory in a mini format :) 

Upside Down Raisin Buns
Adapted from Upside Down Pecan Buns.Black & Decker bread maker recipe manual

(Bread Machine Recipe)

Dough Recipe

1 1/4 cups water
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
2 tbsp hard margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp quick acting yeast

Brown Sugar Syrup

1/4 cup hard margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup raisins

3 tbsp hard margarine, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cups raisins

I added the first eight ingredients to the baking pan.Then I inserted it into the oven chamber and twisted it to secure.Then I closed the lid and selected dough/pasta setting.(This will preheat for 25 minutes and then mix.It will also rise the dough) Note:Only remove the dough when the cycle is done and the bread machine peeps.

Once the dough was done.I created the syrup.In a large pot,I boiled the margarine,water and brown sugar for 1 minute.Then proceeded to pour the syrup into a 9x13 inch baking pan, preferably glass. Then tilted the pan back and forth too fully cover the bottom.Sprinkled on the raisins.

Then I removed the dough from the bread machine and placed it on a floured surface.I kneaded the dough till it was no longer sticky and rolled it out into a rectangle as big as I could get it, about 12x18 inch.Then I melted 3 tbsp of hard margarine into a liquid measure and brushed the dough with a basting brush.

Then in a small bowl I mixed the brown sugar and cinnamon together.Then I proceeded to sprinkle the mixture onto the dough and then sprinkled on the raisins.From there I rolled the dough by the large side and pinched the edges to seal.( Jelly roll style)

Then I cut each roll, using a string.I got 13 rolls. Then I placed each piece on to the syrup in the pan.Then I placed the pan in a warm place and covered it with a towel.I let it rise for 30 minutes or until double in volume.( This depends on warmth and climate)

Once rising is done, I removed the towel and baked for about 35 minutes at 375F till golden brown and bubbling.Then I loosen the edges and turned each piece upside down to show syrup/raisin side.