Sunday, June 2, 2013
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Sawsan's blog, Chef in Disguise. Her blog is filled with lots of amazing middle-eastern recipes to give you a delicious taste of that side of the globe.
I was all set to make her Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies. But, then, I saw her recipe for Healthy Cookie Dough Dip and, well, everything changed. I'm very big on healthy eating, but, as you all know, I also have a major sweet tooth. Definitely not easy to balance the two. So, when I saw this recipe, I was thrilled - what a way to have your cake and eat it too!
Sawsan made hers using white beans and date puree. I didn't have any date puree, but her recipe said that honey or some other sweetener could be used, so I tried it with the honey first. Unfortunately, once I added the honey, the dip became way too liquidy, almost like soup. I'm not sure what went wrong, but I decided to try again.
By this time, I didn't have another can of white beans to use, but I did have black beans so I went with that. To prevent the problem of too much liquid, I used brown sugar in place of the honey. Then, because chocolate goes so well with black beans (think black bean brownies), I threw in some cocoa powder. Finally, I added some peanut butter.
The result was absolutely delicious, chocolatey peanut buttery goodness that you wouldn't believe. Would I know that I'm eating beans? Nope. I seriously didn't even need anything to dip into it. I grabbed a spoon and dug right in.
Thanks Sawsan for your awesome recipe.
Healthy Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained very well)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. brown sugar
5-6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 c. peanut butter
chocolate chips (optional)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to your food processor and blend until very smooth. Then, mix in the chocolate chips.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
One of my friends is totally crazy about Samoas cookies. Not that I can blame her. Chocolate, coconut, and caramel is a pretty hard combo to resist. I'm just as crazy about the Samoas ice cream that Dreyer's recently came out with.
So, with Samoas on the brain, I decided to make my own version of a Samoas cupcake. I used King Arthur Flour's golden cake recipe as the base, whipped up a caramel coconut filling, and topped it all off with rich chocolate ganache.
Oh boy was it ever good. I loved KAF's cake recipe. It was so moist and fluffy and had a nice crumb and great vanilla flavor. I think this will be my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe, at least for now. With the yummy, gooey filling and luscious frosting, this was the best Samoas I've ever eaten. Thank goodness that I had people I could give these cupcakes to, or else I would have devoured the whole batch. It's nice to know that I can now have Samoas more than once a year.
Samoas Cupcakes (Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
Vanilla Cupcakes (King Arthur Flour)
2 c. sugar
3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, soft
1 1/4 c. milk, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs
Caramel Sauce (In the Pink and Green)
1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. salted butter, cubed
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, at room temperature
10 Tbsp. sweetened shredded coconut
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
For the cupcakes:
Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.
Cream the sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and sift the mixture. Add half the mixture to the wet ingredients and beat to combine. Add the milk and stir to combine. Then, add the rest of the flour mixture and mix well to combine.
Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins. Bake at 350F for 20-25 min. until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the muffin pans and place on wire racks to cool.
For the caramel coconut filling: In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, whisking as it melts. When it turns a deep amber color, add the butter and stir until melted. Add the heavy cream and whisk till the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. Add the shredded coconut till combined.
For the ganache: Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small bowl and heat for 1 min. at 50% power. Stir and repeat the process as necessary till smooth. Chill the ganache briefly until it reaches your desired consistency.
Makes 24 cupcakes
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Years ago, my dad asked me if I could make banana cake, not banana bread, but cake. At the time, I didn't know of any good recipes for banana cake, so the request went unfulfilled. Recently, I decided to try one of the banana cupcake recipes that was out there on the internet, but it turned out horrible. The cake was dense beyond belief, gummy, and stuck to the wrappers. Absolutely inedible. After that, I worried that perhaps a good banana cake just did not exist. Maybe bananas were meant to be made into bread and only bread, or, if cake was possible, it was always going to be heavy and dense.
Then, I came across this recipe for Banana Cupcakes on the blog, the Brown-Eyed Baker. From the pictures, it looked like the cake would actually come out, dare I say, fluffy. The crumb looked light and most definitely did not resemble banana bread of any sort. So, I decided to give things another go.
And, I was thrilled with the results. The cake, yes it was cake, was fluffy and soft and light and super moist to boot. There was also a wonderful banana flavor in every bite. I frostedthese cupcakes off with a peanut butter buttercream and then, since I had a bag of peanut butter Snickers minis (which are totally yum), I decided to top the cupcakes off with them (cause more sugar is always a good thing). Add a drizzle of melted chocolate and these cupcakes were a mouthwatering combination of banana, chocolate, and peanut butter. Simply irresistible.
So, what do you know, a good banana cake DOES exist. Next time Dad, your wish is my command.
Elvis Cupcakes (created by Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
Banana cupcakes (from Brown-Eyed Baker)
1 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
5/8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. mashed very ripe bananas
1/4 c. buttermilk (I used plain nonfat yogurt)
2 Tbsp. milk (I added this)
12 Peanut Butter Snickers minis
Peanut Butter Buttercream (Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
1/2 c. butter
5 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
milk (to desired consistency)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar till light and fluffy. Add the bananas and mix well. Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat for 1 min. until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with the yogurt, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 min. until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 min. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place on the rack to cool completely.
For the frosting: Beat the butter with the peanut butter until well combined. Beat in the powered sugar till light and fluffy. Add milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1. The batter seemed a little dense, so I added a little extra milk to the recipe, about 2 Tbsp.
2. The original recipe called for buttermilk, but I used nonfat yogurt since that's what I had.
3. The original recipe called for a combination of butter and shortening, but I just used butter.