Monday, November 12, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes

Yummy note: When I got this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment, I took a lot of time looking at Sarah's wonderful blog named Sarah's Kitchen.  Many of the recipes she posted are straightforward and pretty good-looking comfort foods that I could see eating night after night. I am sure her husband, Randal, that she blogs about quite frequently, really gets some great eats! Despite some wonderful main dish recipes that I've bookmarked, I keep seeing beautiful cupcakes... and well, more beautiful cupcakes taunting me.. Sarah, congrats, you had me at cupcake. It was like I shut my eyes, and saw these awesome pictures of cupcakes all lined up, with fluffy frosting, yummy and tasty looking. So enough of the gawking, I had to dive right in, and try it out myself. I really had a hard time picking, I really wanted to make these Salted Caramel Mocha brownie ones, but then I thought about these Caramel ones, and finally I came to a realization I can't eat all these cupcakes myself.... So in typical It's Yummy to My Tummy fashion, I got my non-dairy thinking cap on and decided to think rational and pick a cupcake recipe that had the best options to make dairy-free. These chocolate biscoff ones seemed appropriate  Plus, anytime I can use biscoff spread, count me in. 





Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe with adaptions from: 
http://sarahsbritamericankitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/chocolate-cupcakes-with-biscoff.html





Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes 

Ingredients: 
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup soy yogurt 
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract






Directions: 
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, cream sugar, vegetable oil, and egg until smooth, for just a few minutes. On low speed, blend in half of the dry ingredients until incorporated. Next, blend in the coffee, yogurt, and vanilla. Add in the remaining dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute into cupcake wrappers. Bake at 350 for about 22-24 minutes. Makes 12 cupcakes. 



Biscoff Frosting

Ingredients:
1 cup butter substitute, softened
3/4 cup biscoff spread
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp soy milk or soy creamer



Directions:
Beat the butter substitute and biscoff spread until smooth.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add in some soy milk and beat until it is creamy and combined well. 


To make some decorations, I just melted about a cup or so of non-dairy chocolate chips with a teaspoon of shortening together. Then I poured the melted chocolate into mini cookie cutters to set. Then you push out the chocolate when set and you have pretty cut-out chocolates to decorate cupcakes with. 





I need some serious help or therapy though... I couldn't stop at the Biscoff frosting. I had to indulge and make one of these Swiss Meringue Buttercream frostings I've read all about from Sarah. I've never made one like this before, so it was a bit intimating. Trust me, I wish I had a few pictures while making the frosting, but I was freaking out a bit too much. It was a bit more temperamental than I was ready for... but eventually got it to work. It took time for mine to "set up" as it looked all weird, soupy, and then curdled all in a matter of a few minutes, so as my mixer whirled the frosting together, I quickly sought out reinforcements and read up on Swiss meringue frosting.  Go ahead, some day when you are bored, Google it, and be educated about frosting. :) After my, mini freak outs, the frosting came together, and it was pretty and tasted smooth and silky buttery like Sarah frequently mentioned in several blog posts. It was now ready to decorate my moist chocolaty cupcakes!  Here's the link from the recipe I followed for the Swiss Meringue Frosting from Sarah's Kitchen- http://sarahsbritamericankitchen.blogspot.com/2011/12/snowflake-cupcakes.html




This cupcake recipe was so easy to make, that I don't know why you would want to use the boxed mixes, when you can get such great flavor and depth from this recipe! They were super moist and delicious. I will surely make these again. Thanks again Sarah for sharing your great recipes. 




For more information about the Secret Recipe Club, check it out --> http://secretrecipeclub.com
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Monday, November 5, 2012

frozen yogurt covered fruit bites

Yummy note: I had a large container of soy yogurt that was getting close to the expiration date, so I knew I needed to use it up quick. I already had made some muffins and didn't want to use it for baking, so I decided I was going to use it for smoothies later. Then it hit me, how about some frozen yogurt bites for the kiddo... Sure, that would work, however, he LOVES fruit, so why not do frozen yogurt fruit bites instead! These sure have been a nice healthy snack to just pop out of the freezer in a snap to enjoy. Next up, I make a bigger batch and throw some in my morning smoothies that way!



Frozen Yogurt Covered Fruit Bites


Ingredients: 
Container of yogurt, your choice, I used what I had leftover, which was a plain flavored soy yogurt.
Fruit - I used blueberries and a sliced banana (next time I want to try strawberries or cranberries perhaps would be a nice sweet treat)



Directions:
Toss blueberries or other desired fruit in a bowl of yogurt. Stir yogurt and fruit, enough to cover.  
 
Then take two toothpicks and begin to fish out your covered fruit. This is the most tedious part, but it really goes by faster than you think, once you get going.


Place yogurt covered fruit onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet and place uncovered in the freezer for atleast a half hour. At this point, they might be starting to set up a bit, really depends on your freezer. I actually forgot about mine until the next day and then pulled them out of the freezer and they were pretty solid, lol. However, it was perfect for packaging up!
 

I also made a chocolate yogurt covered banana slices, as I still had plenty of yogurt left after the blueberries. I just added in a few teaspoons of cocoa powder and a little drizzle of chocolate syrup for sweetness and it was perfect to taste.
 

I think these were my favorite of the two fruits, as it has been a nice healthy snack when I go looking for ice cream in the freezer!  :) 
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