Tag Archives: desserts

avocado pie

avocado pie

Let’s just get right into why this is amazing:

It’s no bake!

Right? You know how exciting that is.

Also, it’s made with avocados. So, you can act like you have superior tastes and like this is a healthy pie. (It’s not.)

And it’s made in a blender. (Is that better or worse than a hand mixer? I can’t decide.)

avocado

I found this recipe over at How About Orange. It’s originally from the California Avocado Commission. See more amazing avocado recipes here!

Ingredients:
2 avocados, peeled
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
graham cracker pie crust

 Instructions:
I just plopped everything in the blender and let it rip until the engine almost burnt out. Looking back, the recipe says to blend the avocado and lemon juice first, then add the condensed milk last, after the avocado is well-blended. Maybe that’s why mine came out looking like funfetti. Or because the blender isn’t the best. Whatever it was, I just went with it. Sometimes baking is about the mistakes.

avocado pie

Pour the mixture into a pre-made graham pie crust (I’m not above it), and refrigerate for at least an hour.

 The taste? Sort of like key lime pie. Or at least you’re tricked into thinking you’re about to eat key lime pie, because it’s so green. It’s a little creamier and definitely has a hint of avocado. I served it with whipped cream.

the weekender 3/23/2012

rusted antique cars

Yay! It’s here again. I’m so happy this weekend is here. I’ve been on vacation for the past three weekends. Ryan and I went to New York for my birthday (no pictures, sorry), and spent the last weekend at a beach house with some friends. On our way back we stopped at this antique car graveyard outside of Tallahassee. I snapped some photos and placed them on my flickr.

This weekend I’m only doing two things: I’m getting a massage (!), and watching the last episode of Battlestar Galatica (!!!). Last episode ever. What am I going to do with my life? I’m going to need the massage just to calm down from the tumultuous after-effects. Besides that, I’ll be vegging out. Here are a few links from around the internet.

Ryan is making this tofu and cauliflower fried “rice” for dinner tonight. I can’t wait.

Thin Mint and Bailey’s Chocolate Float – Holy cow! Just in time for Girl Scout Season.

Also, slow cooker chocolate and nutella bread pudding is a complete win. I need more reasons to use my slow cooker.

This Saul Steinberg photograph is so fun to look at.

This has been quite a week for foxes. First, this fox pillow d.i.y., this starry fox drawing, and then this story about domestic foxes.

And in case you can’t make it down to the amazon Rainforest this weekend, don’t worry. Google did it for you. They’ve added street view to parts of the Amazon river! So cool! I love technology.

What are you doing this weekend?

small desserts

tiny cupcakes
Did you happen to catch the New York Times story about small desserts? What do you think? Are they just a weird craze? Or are you sick of trying to eat mega-sized cookies and cupcakes? Sometimes all I need is just one bite to satisfy my cravings.

Also, I started following this Flickr filled all sorts of with tiny foods. [It’s also the source of that image.]

And if you’re really into adorable, miniature things…

forcing the season: pumpkin chiffon cake

It’s not Fall yet in Tallahassee. We’re still wearing white and flip flops. But we hope if we drink enough pumpkin beer and light enough pumpkin scented candles and eat enough pumpkin foods, Fall will come any day now.

So, enter the pumpkin chiffon cake – the first autumnal food of the wannabe season.

pumpkin chiffon cakeThis one comes from Rachel Ray Magazine (recipe link).

I had all of the ingredients in my house (bonus!), including pumpkin, which I hoarded from the great canned pumpkin shortage of 2010.

pumpkin

Sorry if you had a hard time finding pumpkin last year. I could have been at fault. I grabbed the last 5 cans at Target and didn’t look back. Then I generously gave them out to my friends. “Oh, you couldn’t find any pumpkin? I have pumpkin, but you see…My car could really use a wash…”

The hardest part of this recipe was whipping the egg whites.

egg whitesMy biggest first-world problem is that I don’t have a stand mixer. This electric hand mixer and I have been through some really though (read: emotional, angry, martial) times. And although I would drop it in a second for a stand mixer, I believe this hand mixer and I were meant to be together – mostly because I’ll never be able to afford the alternative.

So when a recipe says whip the egg whites for ten or fifteen minutes (a.k.a. eternity on a hand mixer), I just don’t. I whipped it for a few minutes before my arm fell off.

pouring mix

So the cake didn’t rise. Oh well, it doesn’t affect the taste one bit. I think I made a rookie mistake of not whipping the egg whites enough. My hands got too tired!

pumpkin-chiffon-cake-Final

It was a tasty cake, say my friends. I didn’t have any since I don’t like pumpkin flavored things. That probably makes my pumpkin hoarding story even more ridiculous.

nanaimo bars – chocolate and peanut butter goodness

I dreamed of a nanaimo bars recipe and It looked a little something like this. I thought about it all weekend. Apologies to those who are helpless against chocolate and peanut butter combos

chocolate pb bars

I really tried to avoid it, the cravings started Friday. Sunday night rolled around and I was utterly helpless. The good news is these bars are so intense, that just one resulted in complete chocolate/peanut butter/heavenly satisfaction.

Chocolate Graham Peanut Butter Bars
{adapted from here}

Yields: 9 big bars
Total Time: 45 minutes (plus an additional hour to chill)
Benefits: No oven(!) and had all ingredients in my pantry

Chocolate Graham Bottom:
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
(the original recipe had 1/4 cups nuts, which I didn’t add)

Freaking Amazing Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup salted butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Top Layer
8 oz. semi-sweet baker’s chocolate
2 Tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of peanut butter

Creating the Chocolate Graham Layer:
Create graham cracker crumbs by placing approximately 10 crackers in food processor.

graham crackersYou can also do the old ziploc bag and hammer trick.

ingredinetsMelt the butter, chocolate, and sugar in a double boiler. Or you can do what I did (at your own risk) and melt the ingredients on the stove top over extremely low heat. Don’t forget the sugar like I did.

melt ingredientsAdd the egg and cook for about five minutes.  The ingredients will get smooth and creamy and thick.

meltedRemove from heat and add graham cracker crumbs.

GRAHAM CRACKERS

Once combined, pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper.

crustSpread the crust evenly across the dish.

Creating the Freaking Amazing Peanut Butter Filling

Combine butter, sugar, and peanut butter in mixing bowl.
pb ingredients

Using an electric mixer, start on low speed, gradually increasing speed to medium until combined and you get a nice whipped look.

peanut butter fillingTry not to eat it out of the bowl, but it is ok to lick the mixer attachments.

Spread the peanut butter layer over the chocolate graham crust.

pb layer

Creating the Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

Next melt the 8 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate and sugar over low heat. Once it’s almost completely melted, add in 1/2 cup of peanut butter. It will blend quickly then remove from heat and spread the yummy topping over the other two layers.

adding th top layer

Place in the fridge for at least an hour then enjoy.

chocolate pb bars

p.s. This recipe is linked up here, here, here, and here.

samoas bars and the weekend

This weekend sloth truly overtook me. I spent most of my time watching this,

reading this,

kindle

snuggling him,

watson

and cuddling her.

riley

Somehow, I managed to bake something, but forgot to snap a photo (update, photo added). You’re going to like this one. Are you ready for it?

samoas-bar

Samoas Bars

Yes, everyone’s favorite girl scout cookie turned into a bar treat. Recipe adapted from here (she took step-by-step pictures).

Yields 20, total time 60 min.

Ingredients:
-1/2 cup sugar
-3/4 cup softened butter
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
-3 cups shredded coconut
– One 16 oz. jar of  Caramel Sauce (I used Hershey’s, or make your own)
– 6 oz. chocolate chips (plus a bit of olive oil)

Prep:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

The Crust First:
1. In a mixer, blend together sugar and butter until well-combined and fluffy.
2. Add egg and vanilla, blend on medium
3. Switch your mixer to low and slowly add in flour, a bit at a time, until it is all combined. The mixture will be really thick, kind of like a dry cookie dough.
4. Pour the dough into greased baking dish. Since it’s thick, it’s hard to spread. You’ll have to use a spatula to get it to cover the entire dish.
5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Toast the Coconut:
Once your crust is done, let it cool and start toasting coconut.  Here’s how I did it.
1. Start by bringing the oven temperature down to 300 degrees.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Pour three cups of coconut flakes onto the sheet.
4. Place in oven for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven every five minutes to stir around the coconut.

You want the coconut to be nice and golden, not too brown. Once you take it out of the oven, give it a good stir. It will still toast a bit on the sheet. Depending on your oven or the placement of the baking sheet, these will brown quicker or slower than the 15 minutes it took me. Just keep an eye on it.

Melt the chocolate:
1. You can melt the chocolate any way you please: chocolate melter, double boiler, or microwave. I melted mine directly on the stove top at low heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil, less than a teaspoon, to help it melt and mix well.
2. Once melted, transfer the chocolate into a pastry bag or a ziplock bag to help with the drizzling.

Put it together:
1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is mix the coconut with the jar of caramel sauce in a large bowl.
2. Pour the caramel coconut mixture on top of the crust.
3. Cut the tip of the chocolate pastry bag and drizzle.

This was a hit. I hope you enjoy.

how to make a rainbow cake

I’d like to start this post with an apology. For the next week, there will be a lot of baked goods featured on this blog. It might be a rough week, especially for you dieters, but try not to be so sad. While I try to have a nice balance of crafts, d.i.y., food, and pretty things, sometimes baking just takes a priority in my life. Mostly, because it’s cheaper than many of my hobbies.

Last week’s girls night circled around the creation of this beauty:

Sure, the colors scared me a little, but it seems like rainbow cakes are a rite of passage in the blog world.

We used a white boxed cake mix and added icing gels.

I was reluctant because I’ve never dyed cake with an icing gel, but it seems fine. They’re Duff’s color gels, which I’ve never used before, but they really seem more effective than the Wilton ones.

Add in the dyes

Don’t be shy. The more, the better? Maybe. Remember red dyes have a funny taste. Mix it in and you should get fun things like this:

Now layer it into a well floured cake pan. Pour about a cup and a quarter of each color batter in the cake pan. You want stack the batter on top of each other. It will eventually spread out. Yes, I was skeptical too.

This was so much fun to watch.

Here’s the color combination in the other pan.

Then you bake them as per the instructions on the box.

One of our cakes cracked. I’m finding this is part of life.

But it was even worse underneath. We were unsure how exactly that chunk fit in the cake. We fail at puzzles.

But no worries, we frosted it with some melty icing and it was delicious.

Vanilla bean butter cream recipe found here.

Life is good.

You caught me. I tried to add as many photos as I could, because it’s just so colorful and pretty.

How-to-make-a-Rainbow-Cake

strawberry pink champagne cupcake recipe

Are you in the mood for something luxurious?

strawberry-pink-champagne-cupcakes

How decadent. I made these for a New Year’s party. I was really frustrated that I couldn’t find a recipe online (most of them were made with boxed cake mix), so I sort of just made this up. They turned out pretty good.

Prep & Cook time: approximately 40 min.
Yields: 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
3 egg whites
1 whole egg
3/4 cup whole strawberries
3/4 cup pink champagne

How-to:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree.
– In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
– In large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
– Add the egg whites one by one into sugar mixture, then add the whole egg. Beat until creamy.
– Fold in the strawberry puree until well combined.
– Slowly add in all of the flour mixture.
-Finally, mix in the champagne and mix until smooth.

strawberry-pink-champagne-cupcakes-2
My mixture was certainly very pink.
– Fill cupcake pan with 1/2 of the batter in each slot. These things do rise.

strawberry-pink-champagne-cupcakes-3
I made mini cupcakes.

– Bake for 15 minutes. If you make regular sized cupcakes, you might need to add an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

strawberry-pink-champagne-cupcakes-4

I used this buttercream frosting recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It’s the best out there.

strawberry-pink-champagne-cupcakes-5

Enjoy your cupcakes!

[edit] here’s a .pdf download via my instructables account.

halloween whoopie pies

 

halloween-whoopie-pies

You know I couldn’t make these without  saying, “I made whoopie…pies.” I have a lot to say about my experience making whoopie pies.  Yes, they’re fun to say and pretty easy to make, but I’m not crazy about the taste and, of course, the sugar factor. That oozing cream filling that you see up there, well that’s two cups of marshmallow fluff mixed with another two cups of confectioners sugar and a cup of butter. Just looking at these things are sinful. And the mallow filling is far too sweet. I just assumed that whoopie pies were made with buttercream frosting, but that’s not the case. The authentic Amish whoopie pie is made with marshmallow. Next time, if there is one, I’d much prefer to stuff them with buttercream. The only saving grace was the buttermilk I placed in the cake. It left room for extreme sugar.

Recipie: Chocolate Whoopie Pie
I followed a variation of this epicurious recipe.

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat the butter and brown sugar until you get a fluffy mixture. Don’t wimp out, it takes time to do this. Once it’s fluffy enough, you can place the egg in. Slowly put in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, alternating between the two. This also took a lot of time and beating, but it’s worth it because it makes them fluffy.

Drop the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The Epicurious recipe called for 1/4 scoops, but I did a 2 tablespoon scoop and placed them about two inches apart. Be sure to round out the drops of batter, so they’ll rise in a nice shape. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Pull parchment paper and cookies off of the baking sheet and transfer to cooling rack until finished. I only had one baking sheet, and it only fit 8 cookies, so I had to do this a second time.

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 16 cookie halves, or 8 full pies

Surprise! I made blondie whoopie pies also!

halloween-whoopie-pies-2

Well, I dyed them orange, that’s why they’re not blonde. They’re also filled with chocolate! It was remarkably difficult to find a recipe for blondie whoopie pies on the internet. My instinct told me to just find a cake recipe, but I didn’t want this to be a disaster. In fact, the only place I could find one was from Redbook. Yes, the magazine. I should have known. What do they know about baking? (They’re the ones I got the filling recipe from.)

But they didn’t turn out all bad. I switched this recipe a little. Instead of adding milk, like the recipe called for, I substituted buttermilk. After all, I had an entire quart of it, and I didn’t plan on using it. Here’s a caveat with this recipe, these suckers spread out and make huge saucer patties. They’re twice the size of the chocolate whoopie pies.

While the cookies cooled, I worked on the frosting. Take a look at how pretty they looked on cooling sheets. I love Halloween colors.

halloween whoopie pies 3

 

The Epicurious filling recipe had awful reviews, and I was scared away from trying it. So instead I went with the Redbook filling recipe. I followed the instructions and split the filling into two parts, so I could make one chocolate and one orange. By the way, orange has got to be the hardest color to make out of food dye. I mean, I used an entire bottle of both red and yellow for the cookies and the filling.

This filling was pretty disastrous. It just started running everywhere. The cookies were completely cooled off. It’s not a pretty sight.

halloween-whoopie-pies-5

It’s like all of the whoopie pies decided to burp at once.

Regardless, it was quite a delicious dessert. I also didn’t have too much of a problem with the frosting spreading on the blondies. I attribute this to two reasons: 1. They were huge and could take excess movement, 2. The chocolate I added worked as a stabilizing agent.

I made them for a much in-demand game night that my boyfriend and I usually host. What’s more fun than good old fashion aggression and board games? I hope my guests enjoy these. I couldn’t imagine them even finishing one of them though. They’re huge and very sweet.  The end result:

halloween-whoopie-pies-6

5 minute chocolate cake: this is going to ruin my life

Whenever I’m craving something sweet and chocolate, it’s usually too much effort to actually obtain and the desire passes.

Not anymore. Thanks to Marisa over at New Dress a Day.

Despite having an awesome DIY and recycled fashion site, this girl can whip up a delicious microwavable chocolate cake in 5 minutes. Click on the link above for the recipe.