Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crunchy, Munchy, Smores Bites

I was hesitant to try this recipe because there are TONS of great smores inspired recipes floating around the blogosphere. This recipe was SO easy though, I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did! These are so easy and satisfy even the most intense sweet tooth craving. Rich dark chocolate envelopes chewy mini marshmallows and sweet graham cracker crumbles. All the reasons we love smores, with none of the sticky mess!

Smores Bites


2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups miniature marshmallows
8 whole graham crackers, broken into bite-size pieces

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss chocolate and oil.
Microwave, uncovered, at 50% power for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring once.
Stir in marshmallows and graham crackers.
Spoon about 1/3 cup mixture into paper-lined muffin cups (I drizzled mine with melted white chocolate). Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Yield: 1 dozen.


Happy Halloween weekend!


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Whisked Away Wednesday: Eggless Whole Wheat Cookies

These cookies came about thanks to a late night crisis. I told my employees I would bring them "healthy" cookies... it was 11:00 at night and I had NO eggs, NO chocolate chips, raisins, add-ins of any kind, NO white flour and only a bit of sugar. I really needed to go shopping, but pulling 10-12 hour days at work made that a bit tough. But, against all odds, these cookies came out awesome! I was so excited when I pulled them out of the oven as basically, I had just thrown some stuff into a bowl, stirred, and hoped for the best. These are definitely going on my favorites list, and I have already made them twice this week (at the request of my coworkers!). They are a crisp, filling cookie, that I don't feel too bad about eating for breakfast. I am sure they would be great (and even more nutritionally balanced) if you threw in some raisins or nuts. I am making them again tonight and am going to sub in high quality maple syrup for the honey. I will let you know how they turn out!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoon fat free half and half
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup oil (ya, I was out of butter too, but I bet they would be good with butter as well!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all ingredients in a big bowl. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place rounds of cookie dough two-inches apart on a parchment paper lined cooking sheet.
Press down a bit on the tops of the cookies. Cook in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
satisfying and tasty
Happy munching!

Beauty and Bedlam

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dark Chocolate Dipped Orange Cookies

Today I tried another great recipe from my taste and create partner Min from Bad Girls Kitchen. I love the combo of orange and dark chocolate, so when I came across this recipe, I didn't need any convincing to give it a try! I was feeling rebellious and didn't want to mix the chocolate chips into the batter, so I decided to switch it up an dip the cookies in the chocolate. The rich, bitterness of the chocolate complemented the sweet orange-infused cookies perfectly. The cookies rose up nice and fluffy , thanks to the combo of baking soda and baking powder. I put 1/4 of a teaspoon too much baking powder in my cookies so they were a little too fluffy for my liking (that's what I get for baking in a hurry!) Next time I will make sure to follow the instructions and only add 1/4 teaspoon NOT 1/2.... The recipe also uses all butter, instead of the usual butter/shortening combo, which produced an incredibly moist, soft cookie. These will be perfect for holiday gift giving (made with the correct amount of baking powder of course!).
Dark Chocolate & Orange Cookies
Adapted from Bad Girl's Kitchen
Makes 2 dozen

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 pound dark chocolate chips (I used about 1/2 a bag)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the butter and sugar together.
Add the egg, orange zest and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients.
Roll into balls (I used a melon baller). Use your fingers to flatten onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool for five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
When cookies are cool. Melt chocolate chips in a double broiler or the microwave.
Dip cookies in chocolate and set on waxed paper to harden.
Store in an airtight container for up to five days.
Dark chocolate + Orange = delish

BY THE WAY, just started a twitter account, come be my friend please :) @whiskandaprayer
I'm still trying to figure it out so bear with me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Orange Poppy Seed Bread/Cake

Me + this cake = Love at first luscious bite! I am a big fan of a good poppy seed muffin or bread (I am especially fond of those GIANT Costco poppy seed muffins). This bread recipe takes everything that I love about those muffins (the moist texture, the lovely crunch of poppy seeds) and takes it to the next level by adding a sweet, fresh, orange juice glaze. This bread is, in a word, FANTASTIC. In some other words... scrumptious, tender, decadent, need I go on?

Orange Poppy Seed Cake-Bread
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Makes 2 loaves (8 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pans), I made one loaf and two mini loaves.

Bread Ingredients
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 cups flour(I didn't realize until too late that I only had 2 cups of all purpose flour left, so I used 2 cups white flour and one cup wheat flour. It made it a bit denser but I liked the texture it gave.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups fat free half and half
1 tablespoon melted butter (for flavor)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon melted butter

Line the bottom of the loaf pans with waxed or parchment paper and then grease and flour the entire loaf pan well. This part is quite important or else it WILL stick! For a tutorial on how to grease and flour a pan go here.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and oil.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture and whisk to combine.
Add 1/2 of the half-and-half and stir together. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the last half of the half-and-half and stir.
Finally add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix.
Add the vanilla, butter, and poppy seeds and mix well.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes checking often the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure the bread doesn’t over bake (the mini-loafs baked in about 45 minutes while the larger one took much longer, about 65 minutes). When completely baked, a toothpick inserted in the middle should pull out moist crumbs but not wet batter.
While the bread is baking, combine the glaze and ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
Let the bread sit in the pan for five minutes. Run a thin-edged knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove the bread from the pans onto a wire rack set atop a layer of paper towels or a cookie tray.
Brush the tops of the bread with the glaze while the bread is still warm. Continue brushing and/or gently pouring until all the glaze is on the bread.
Cool completely before slicing.

mmmm, carbs make me happy☺

Have a splendid weekend!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Brown-Sugar Streusel Bundt

Rich, decadent, buttery. This month for the taste and create challenge, I got paired with Min from Bad Girl's Kitchen. She's got lots of great recipes. This one, for a yogurt bundt cake appealed to me as I recently acquired a bundt pan and had not yet put it to use. The cake turned out delicious, but I neglected to follow the part of the recipe that says "let cake cool for awhile" and as a result, when I flipped it over, this is what happened:

Well, lesson learned! Next time - let cake cool longer. What can I say? I'm not the most patient person ever... Back to the actual cake though, I made it pretty much following the recipe Min gives on her blog. I didn't have any walnuts to put in the streusel, so I increased the brown sugar to a full cup. I loved the way the sugar formed a crisp crust and a beautiful ribbon through the middle of the cake. The yogurt in the batter gave the bundt a moist, rich consistency. I will definitely be making this again, I will just let it firm up a bit before I try and flip it!

Original recipe from Min at Bad Girl's Kitchen
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 heaping cup plain yogurt (I used fat free)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together butter and sugar. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
Mix in flour, baking powder and soda. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Grease and flour bundt cake pan.
Spread 1/2 of batter in pan and sprinkle with 1/2 of brown sugar mixture.
Cover with remaining batter.

Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.
Bake in 350 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes. Let cool for at least ten minutes, then turn out onto serving dish.

Look at that yummy caramelized brown sugar....

This cake didn't last long, cause I ate it!

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