Tuesday, December 27, 2011

vanilla cake pops


I have wanted to make cake pops for sometime now, however I wasn’t keen on combining the frosting with the cake to mold cake balls. I usually scrape off the frosting, as I prefer the cake.


My two lovely stepdaughters know my love of cooking and bought me a Bake Pop pan for Christmas. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I was so excited over my gift and quickly put it to good use.  They said "it was a selfish gift...more for us than for you".

I made these vanilla cake pops and decorated them for New Years. I think they would make a great desert for a New Years Eve party. They are so easy to serve and very decorative.


Cake pop batter needs to be denser than your normal cupcake or cake batter. The dense batter helps the cake balls adhere to the sticks and keep their shape. The candy coating seals in the freshness of the cake batter.  Just wait until your bite into the smooth candy coating and discover moist vanilla cake. The mixture of cake and candy is sinful, however a cake pop contains less calories than a slice of cake or a cupcake.


Eat what you enjoy but in smaller quantities…that’s my New Year’s resolution!

Photos taken of Alice and Olivia and The Malibu Lumber Yard

The Malibu Lumber Yard offers some great high end designer stores, such as Alice and Olivia.  This store offers both casual and dressy clothing.

vanilla cake pops
Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Baking Pam
1 14 oz bag of Wilton Candy Melts in vanilla flavor (available from Michaels Arts and Crafts)
Edible sprinkles to decorate
A Bake Pop pan (available from CVS)
Cake pop stand (available from Amazon)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Put the flour, sugar baking powder, salt and oil in a bowl. 
  • Using an electric mixer beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. 
  • Gradually pour in half (1/4 cup) of the water and beat until the water is just incorporated. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and remaining water together for a few seconds. 
  • Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. 
  • Scrape sides and continue mixing for a minute more until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix. 
  • Spray both sides of cake pop pan with baking pam. 
  • Using a liquid measuring cup, pour mixture into cake pop pan (side without holes).
  • You will have enough mixture to completely fill all 18 holes. 
  • Put topside of cake pop pan on and secure with clips.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Let pans cool before removing top pan (if any cake has baked through the holes simply scrape off before removing top pan). 
  • Melt a small amount of candy coating in the microwave.
  • Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the coating, then insert into cake ball. 
  • Place cake pops into freezer for 10 minutes. 
  • Heat large batch of candy coating in microwave and prepare your topping bowls. 
  • Remove your cake pops from the freezer. 
  • Dip cake pops in candy coating. 
  • Sprinkle on additional toping of topping bowl. 
  • Use a cake pop stand or Styrofoam to hold your finished cake pops.
Enjoy and have fun decorating!




Sunday, December 18, 2011

chocolate chip bacon cookies



Are you ready to try the newest culinary hit of sweet and savory?  This is a great sweet and savory cookie recipe using brown sugar, mini chocolate chips, and bacon.


These cookies are out of the ordinary and make great little gifts.


Bacon adds the right amount of saltiness that makes a great combination with the chocolate.


These cookies grow significantly in size when cooking, so don't shape the balls too big.  Be sure to gently flatten with the back of a wooden spoon.

I went shopping at the Malibu Country Mart and one of the stores I stopped in was The Malibu Colony Company. This lovely and sophisticated shop offers an exclusive selection of fanciful and elegant gifts, jewelry and lifestyle items. They also offer a fashionable collection of home accessories, fine linens for the table and bed and furniture, all of which is presented in our wonderfully unique and charming setting in beautiful Malibu.

Out of all the beautiful items, I chose to purchase a cookbook, Off The Menu. The cookbook contains staff meals from America’s top restaurants. In this cookbook, I found a recipe for brown sugar bacon cookies. I thought hmmm…. sweet and savory, I like it!  It’s about time I jump onto the sweet and savory bandwagon. I do have to admit, the taste of sweet and salty does take time to get use to, but it’s worth the try. 

I adapted the recipe by adding chocolate chips and bacon topping.

chocolate chip bacon cookies
Adapted by Off The Menu

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 pound bacon, finely chopped (1/2 cup will be used in the cookies, the remainder will be used as topping)
½ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  • In a large mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping sides as necessary. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. 
  • Add the flour mixture a little at a time until incorporated. 
  • Fold in ½ cup of bacon and mini chocolate chips. 
  • Using a tablespoon, shape dough into balls and place 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Flatten each cookie slightly with the back of a wooden spoon. 
  • Bake for 14 to 18 minutes until golden brown; half way through cooking, add bacon bits on top of each cookie and push in as needed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

banana oat streusel muffins

Thinking of something easy and tasty for breakfast on Christmas morning? Try these healthy and moist banana oat streusel muffins. The cinnamon and nut streusel topping adds an extra layer of flavor, which makes muffins go from ordinary to extraordinary. 


Not only do these muffins contain healthy ingredients of banana and oats, they also are made with light olive oil rather than butter. These muffins don’t require a heavy amount of butter, since a small amount of butter is added to the topping.

Omit the topping if you want to go healthy all the way. They are still just as delicious. 

Photo taken at Malibu Lumber Yard
Happy Holidays and Peace in Malibu
banana oat streusel muffins
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups quick cook oats
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
4 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, beaten
4-tablespoon light olive oil

Directions:
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake tins. 
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. 
  • Mix well and make a well in the center. 
  • Add banana, egg and olive oil. 
  • Stir with a wooden spoon just until well combined (do not over mix). 
  • Spoon mixture into the cupcake tins. 
  • Stop and proceed with streusel topping. 
Topping

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup finely chopped nuts 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1-tablespoon butter 
Directions:
  • In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients; sprinkle evenly over batter in muffin cups. 
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

oatmeal craisin m&m cookies

I wanted to make oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, but soon discovered that I did not have raisins or chocolate chips. What I did have were craisins and dark chocolate m&m’s.


What a wonderful and tasty substitute To my surprise, these cookies tasted and smelled like Christmas.


Try using an ice-cream scoop to get cookies evenly sized.

photo taken in December of Coffee Bean in Malibu

Photo taken in December of Malibu
These tree decorations kind of look like m&m's.

Malibu Christmas Tree
oatmeal craisin m&m cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1-teaspoon baking soda 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher sale
2 eggs
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1-cup craisins
1 cup dark chocolate m&m’s

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. 
  • Add brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
  • Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. 
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. 
  • Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. 
  • Stir in remaining flour. 
  • Stir in oats. 
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoons or tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • Bake for about 8 minutes or until edges are light brown and centers appear set. 
  • Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

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