Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

This may be my new favorite cupcake...and that's a pretty bold statement.

Coconut cupcakes (from Food Network)


  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used sour cream)
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

I made mine for V-day, and did the batter half red/half white batter.

Mexican Vegetable Tortilla Bake

Another good and easy dish to're welcome:)

Servings: 6

2 cups frozen yellow corn kernals, thawed
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 - 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 ounce can reduced sodium diced tomatoes
1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies
4- 6 inch corn tortillas (I like the thin ones)
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese or Mexican cheese blend, shredded
6 tablespoons fat free yogurt
Cooking Oil Spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place 2 tortillas in an 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking oil spray. Spoon half of corn mixture over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes. Let stand at least 2 minutes to set, then serve and top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

COOKS NOTE: Those more adventuresome might want to try adding a little jalapeno or chipotle peppers to this. Start out small, you can overpower quickly when using only veggies.

Black Bean Chipotle Chili

First time making a chili from scratch- pleasantly surprised! I forgot to take a picture of the Chili, so I stole borrowed one from the original recipe website:).

The recipe can be found here.


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium yellow or red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 15-ounce cans of low-sodium black beans
  • 2 14.5-ounce can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
  • 1 chipotle chile from a can, finely chopped, and 1 tbsp Adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt for topping (optional)


Heat oil on medium-low heat in a large pan.

Sauté garlic, onions and chopped pepper until softened. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano, followed by black beans, tomatoes and chipotle chile with sauce.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add cilantro. Simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt on top and a side of corn bread.

Makes 4-6 servings

Sunday, February 6, 2011

PB Snickers Brownies

I saw a recipe for these on Cookies and Cups... YUM! A brownie with a snickers in the middle....and a peanut butter snickers at that?! Had to try..Glad I did....

Peanut Butter Snickers Brownies topped with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Swirled Frosting
(will make approx 11 brownie cups)

For brownies:
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 stick butter, room temp.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 - 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 T. milk

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 stick butter, room temp.
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 - 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Preheat to 350
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a large bowl stir together eggs, vanilla and sugar.
Stir in melted butter.
Sift in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt.
In each muffin tin add 1/4 cup brownie batter.
Press unwrapped Snickers square into each cup

Cover the tops of the brownie with remaining batter, so that the snickers is completely covered.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until edges are set and center is not jiggly.
Remove pan from oven and set on a wire cooling rack.
Let the brownie cups cool for at least 30 minutes IN the pan.
When the brownies are cool, use a butter knife to release the edges and flip pan over onto cooling rack.
Carefully flip the brownies over and let them cool completely before frosting.

Mix frosting, while brownies are cooling. Fill half the bag with PB frosting, and half w/ chocolate.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Double Chocolate Kiss Cookies

We've had 3 snow days so far..and a 4th tomorrow! This means lots of baking going on over here...and I'm in heaven!!!

Double Chocolate Kiss Cookies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces.

2. Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt alternately with milk, beating until well blended. Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

4. Make your favorite buttercream icing. Spread icing onto cookies, and place chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie. About 3 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Recipe from Cookies and Cups:)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Make a buttercream frosting....add some cinnamon to the regular recipe:)
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