Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Funfetti Cake Donuts

Man, sorry I've been away for so long. Time seemed to have gotten away from me. days turned into a week, and school has been a whirlwind for the kiddos.

I am back now though and I brought donuts with me. Delicious, sprinkle coated, cake donuts.

They are baked so they are healthy but who doesn't love donuts sprinkles on donuts. Make these for breakfast tomorrow and children AND adults will be happy!

For the Donuts:
(makes 6-7 donuts)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (I used nonpareil but they can bleed)

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra sprinkles for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a donut pan, set aside.

Start by making the donuts: whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and sugar in a medium bowl until combined, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, and egg until smooth. Add in the melted butter and vanilla and stir until mixed. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Do not over mix, batter will thick. Fold in the sprinkles. The less you mix the less the sprinkles will bleed. Transfer batter to a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut off. Pipe donut batter into prepared pan, filling 2/3 of the way full.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Allow donuts to cool on a wire rack before glazing.

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze. Dip each donut into glaze, allowing excess to drip off. I found dipping the donuts twice provided a thicker glaze... Sprinkle tops with sprinkles.

Serve and enjoy! These donuts are jam packed with all of the flavors of a vanilla funfetti cake!

*recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Dump Cake

I am absolutely loving these dump cakes. Yes, all you naysayers... It includes boxed cake mix. But hear me out, literally with 3 ingredients you can have a quick and easy dessert that EVERYONE will love (and I do mean everyone).

And you can make it completely your own with whatever cake mix and pie filling you choose. And for those looking for a little more oomph, make your own filling and cake!
I have a bunch of ideas up my sleeves for dump cakes in the upcoming seasons, but let's jump head (or mouth) first into this Blueberry Lemon version, shall we?

You will need:
1 box lemon cake mix
2 (21 ounce) cans blueberry pie filling
1 stick of butter

Ice cream or whipped cream for topping.

Here's what you do:

Grease a 9x13" baking dish. I used a mason jar and 9x9" and it was perfect. If you want to make individual cakes, or gifts for someone, this should make about 4 full 1-pint mason jars.
(Could you imagine giving someone a jar full of this with a pretty ribbon tied around it!? YUM!)

Dump your pie filling (literally) into your desired dish(es).

Sprinkle with box of cake mix, running through hands to remove any clumps.

Top cake with slices of cold butter, I used 3 for the mason jars.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is golden.

Scoop the cake into bowls/plates or top mason jars with ice cream or whipped cream... Or ya know, both?
This cake is far from glamorous but what it lacks in looks it totally makes up for in taste.
Butter, fruity, heaven.
Enjoy! And if you make your own combination of dump cake, leave a comment with what you tried!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Firecracker Chicken

I love the ability to make takeout food at home... And this firecracker chicken was no exception.

It has a similar flavor to sweet and sour chicken with a little kick! It could easily be baked instead of fried and the sticky sauce makes the perfect coating.

Whip this up for dinner today (or maybe tomorrow, it's kind of late. Unless dinner at 9:00 pm is your thing).

You will need:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup cornstarch
3 eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

For the Sauce:
1/3 plus 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons water
3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 green onions, diced for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly spray a 9x13" baking dish, set aside.

Place 1 cup of cornstarch on a plate and in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Set up your station with cubed chicken, then cornstarch, and then the whisked eggs.
Heat oil to 375 degrees in a frying pan, about 2-3 inches deep.
Dredge multiple pieces of chicken in the cornstarch, coating completely, and then into the eggs allowing the excess to drip off. Then place coated chicken in hot oil and fry until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and continue until all chicken has been fried.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until smooth and combined. Place fried chicken pieces in your baking dish and pour sauce over the top. Stir to coat all of the pieces.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring mixture to incorporate the sauce every 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan, serve over warm rice, and sprinkle with diced green onion.

Enjoy this sweet and spicy chicken! Betcha can't eat just one... :)

*adpated from The Recipe Critic 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Double Chocolate Cake

Oh, sweet chocolate cake heaven!

I honestly crave chocolate cake with a dark chocolate inside and creamy chocolate frosting... The cheek tickling combination is out of this world.

So when mothers day arrived I knew I wanted to make a cake that my mom and I would love.

Plus, I've really been in a cake making mood lately and I've even planned future cakes.

But for now, lets talk double chocolate cake.

Thick chocolate cream cheese frosting, dark chocolate cake, and chocolate shavings... Is that enough chocolate for ya!? Perfect... Let's get baking, shall we?

For the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 3-9" round cake pans, set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder until incorporated.
Add in the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until mixed.
Heat water over the stove until boiling and slowly combine with the chocolate batter while the mixer is on low.
Once incorporated, pour chocolate batter evenly between the 3 pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then invert on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once the cakes are cooled make the frosting.

In a clean bowl for your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Add in the cocoa powder. Add the milk a Tablespoon at a time, rotating with the powdered sugar and ending with the milk until combined.
Add in the vanilla extract and espresso powder until smooth and creamy.

Start with one layer of your cake and spread 1/4-1/3 cup of frosting over the top. Top with another layer of cake and spread another 1/4-1/3 cup of frosting over the top. Top with the final layer of cake and frost the entire cake in an even layer.
Slice and serve.

Cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

This cake is perfectly creamy, over the top chocolate, and so so good! Enjoy everyone!

*recipe adapted from Add a Pinch

Thursday, May 8, 2014

French Toast Sticks

I have a slight breakfast addiction. I have yet to meet a breakfast food that I didn't like.

But having children doesn't often mean mornings filled with coffee and breaking daylight sun-shining on my face...

No, usually it involves shoving coffee into my mouth while stirring oatmeal, pouring orange juice, and rationalizing with my children that "we will have peach oatmeal tomorrow" and "no, you cannot have Cheetos".

However, I live for weekends. When there is plenty of time to "take it slow" in the morning and sit down as a family for a delicious breakfast. Last weekend I wanted a kid and adult friendly dish, these French Toast Sticks were spot on.

They are kid size and still have all of the delicious textures of french toast. Make these for Mothers Day this weekend and no one will be disappointed!

You Will Need:
8 slices Texas Toast, sliced into 4 strips each
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Butter for cooking
Maple syrup

Slice Texas toast in 4 strips and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 Tablespoon of butter. When butter is completely melted, dip one bread "stick" at a time into the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off, and place in heated pan. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan.

Cook until all sides are golden brown. Remove and place on a serving platter and continue until all of the sticks are cooked.

Drizzle sticks with syrup or serve a bowl of syrup on the side for dunking.

Dust with powdered sugar if you like, serve and enjoy!

These sticks are great eaten with your hands or a fork and are perfect for little fingers.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Fried Ice Cream

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! I can't believe May is well underway and summertime will be here before we know it!

If you are looking for a dish that isn't only Mexican inspired for Cinco de Mayo, but one that can get you well through the Summer months, this ice cream is for you...

And hell, who DOESN'T like fried ice cream! A crunchy fried exterior coated in chococolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cute little cherry is only hiding a melted ice cream center.

I know, right?

The trick to cooking these gems is frying as hot and quick as possible... Exploded ice cream in your frying oil is no bueno (not that I would know... OK yes, yes I would).

Anyways, I hope you have time to whip up this fried ice cream for dessert tonight. And if you are still on the lookout for a fun dinner recipe, hop on over to my best friend Amy's page at Crafts, Cakes, and Cats and try her delicious Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Taquitos... Ole!

For the Ice Cream:
1 pint ice cream, I used vanilla but any would work
2 cups Corn Flake cereal, crushed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon water

Vegetable Oil for frying

For Topping:
Chocolate sauce
Whipped Cream

Scoop your ice cream into 4 balls, using your hands, that are about 2 inches in diameter. Your hands will feel like Anna's heart in Frozen. Wrap the balls in plastic wrap and re-freeze for 2-4 hours.

In a large Ziploc bag, combine the crushed Corn Flake cereal, cinnamon, and sugar. Shake to combine and pour on to a large plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 teaspoon water. Set aside.

Working quickly, roll your ball of ice cream into the cereal mixture, pressing to stick.

Then dip into your egg mixture

Then roll back into your cereal mixture to cover completely.

Re-wrap in plastic wrap, tightly covering and reshaping slightly, and place back in your freezer for 4 hours to overnight, preferred.

Heat enough oil in a medium sauce pan, tall enough to completely cover the ice cream (about 3-4 inches) to 375 degrees.

Remove ice cream ball from freezer and quickly dip into the hot oil and fry for 30 seconds and just until lightly golden.

Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess oil to drip off.

Transfer to serving plate, drizzle with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherry.

Serve and enjoy!

I just love the crunchy exterior with oozing vanilla inside. This ice cream will be gone in a flash, trust me.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

I posted a question on my Facebook page asking if you had to choose, would it be chocolate or peanut butter?

A good majority said chocolate, a few said both, and only a couple voted for peanut butter.

Sad really, I looovee peanut butter! You can make it sweet or savory and it is so versatile. Plus, ask my kids and they would gladly live on PB&J sandwiches every day.

With peanut butter being an absolute staple in my house, I knew everyone would love these cookies.

I added an extra crunch with honey roasted peanuts mixed into the batter and by using thick and creamy peanut butter, these cookies topped the charts.

These cookies were gone and quick!

You Will Need:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Jiff creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour flour
1 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars, peanut butter, and butter until mixed. Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda until combined.Gently stir in the hot water and then the flour.
Stir in the chopped peanuts.
Scoop quarter cup sized cookies onto cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden.

Remove from cookie sheet and place on rack to cool.

Serve and enjoy! I sandwiched mine between a scoop of frozen yogurt and fresh strawberry jam... YUM!