Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

I've had this recipe for a long time, but the original just called for dusted powdered sugar on top. I've been waiting until I remembered to actually write down my own frosting recipe to share, since powdered sugar alone just didn't cut it, in my opinion.

Original cupcake recipe: Cooking Light
Frosting recipe: mine
yield: 12 cupcakes

1 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt
2 Tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cupcakes, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
3. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.
4. To prepare frosting, combine butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar in a medium bowl; beat well with a mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 1 tablespoon of milk, mixing well. Gradually mix in remaining powdered sugar and as much of the 1 tablespoon of milk as is necessary until frosting is a good texture for spreading. Top each cupcake with frosting and enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Granola Bars

Back when I was still nursing Lane, I was always in search of healthy snacks, because I was starving all the time. This is my take on a random granola bar recipe. Feel free to mix up the "add-ons"...different nuts (I used cashews the last time I made them), chocolate chips, all raisins or cranberries, etc. These are really, really good...not too sweet, crunchy, and just all together yummy. Make sure you have the full amount of honey...I was a bit short the last time I made them and they turned out a bit dry (as seen in the above photo).

yield: 20 bars

2 cups oats
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup wheat bran or wheat germ, or 2 Tbsp of each
1/4 cup flaxseed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, mix together oats, flours, and next 8 ingredients (through cinnamon). In a separate small bowl, mix together oil, honey, egg, and vanilla, stirring well with a whisk. Pour oil mixture into oat mixture and mix well. Press into prepared pan.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350° or until bars are golden brown. Cool completely; turn out onto a cutting board and cut into bars.