Tag Archives: foodie

Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I just ate my weight in carrot cake.

Oh my gosh.

My stomach is about to burst. But it’s all worth it. This carrot cake is so amazing; it’s just a traditional fall cake everyone should learn how to make. There’s something about the secret sweetness of carrots, crunchiness of toasted pecans, and the creamy tartness of cream cheese that just makes it a flawless trio. The trick with carrot cake is finding the right one. Now I don’t know if I just haven’t had carrot cake for a long time or what but this carrot cake SPEAKS TO ME. It says “eat me, the calories are all worth it. eat me. eat me. eat me.” then I do and I feel bad so then I just eat my feelings in more carrot cake.

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You see this vicious cycle.

But you still have to make this cake.

It is from Paula Deen’s Southern Kitchen, which ensures it’s as traditional you can get. And- it’s EASY. It doesn’t take long to put together, bake, and assemble at ALL. It’s the perfect dish to kick off fall.

Ingredients-

  • Butter, for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional

Frosting:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 12 oz powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round pans; Line bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.
Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Add all ingredients  into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Spread frosting on top of each cake layer. Stack the cakes on a serving plate and serve.

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Enjoy! Here’s the link for the original recipe below VVV

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grandma-hiers-carrot-cake-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

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Homemade Nut Butter

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I love peanut butter. It is yummy. And gooey. And delicious. And a GREAT thing to use in all types of baking projects. However, there is an issue with big-brand peanut butter companies.  Look on the ingredient list. You’re looking at it? Good. On my jar of peanut butter, it says “Ingredients: Peanuts and sugar” but it ALSO contains some molasses and fully hydrogenated veggie oils.

But…but…I don’t want anything extra in my peanut butter. I just want it for the healthy fats and proteins! Not the sugars or oils!

What ever is the answer to this food dilemma?

As I was scrolling through Instagram one day, I came across the recipe for homemade nut butter from http://mindovermunch.com. Alyssia (The woman who runs the Instagram and website) does an awesome job posting healthy recipes every day, along with the nutrition info. I thought making her nut butter was an awesome idea because I was in Colorado at the time and I was having an urge to make food. So I asked my grandma if she wanted nut butter. And she said sure. So. My own interpretation of this recipe was created!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (16 oz) of salted or unsalted nuts. Any nut! I did a combo of them but you can use almonds, cashews, maybe macadamia nuts….
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs of honey or 1 tbs of sweetener (I used truvia and it was fine, it depends if you want your butter sweeter or saltier. I like mine saltier, so I didn’t find much of a need to use a bunch of honey)
  • 1/2 cup (more or less) unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Procedure:

Place nuts, cinnamon, and honey or sweetener in the food processor. Blend until the mixture resembles a big ball. Add some almond milk to break up the ball. The ball will probably start forming again. Add some more almond milk. Wait to see if it forms a ball again. If it does, add some more. Point is, gradually add the almond milk; don’t do it all at once. Eventually, after a lot of blending, the butter will settle from the ball to a creamy mixture. The great thing about this recipe is 1. it’s simplicity and 2. you can alter it to however you like your nut butter. Don’t like cinnamon? Don’t add it! Don’t like honey? Don’t add it! Like thick nut butter? Add less almond milk! Like thinner nut butter? Add more! It’s greatly versatile, which is why I love the recipe. I hope you try it out and love it as well!

Calories: It ranges from 160-200 ish per 2 tablespoons, because there are so many factors involved based off of personal preference. It’s a matter of what nut you use, how much honey you add, how much almond milk you add, etc.

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The Candy Cookie

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Last night, I was in a mood. You know those moods? Like, irritable beyond a ridiculous point where you’re just like insane and no one can speak to you. Luckily, I do indeed know how to get out of these moods when I’m in them. The answer: baking. I hadn’t actually baked anything  delectably sweet for a while. I mean, yeah dinner foods rock, but I needed to go back to my unhealthy, blood clogging roots of chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Good thing I had an excuse to make food; my rowing team is getting back from two back-to-back races so they’ve all been gone for more than a week. I unfortunately could not go because a summer school program pinned me down at home. It’s been awfully lonely and quiet at the club, so I figured I’d do a little welcome-home baking by making something sweet. Last time I checked my Bingefest Brownies were a favourite. So I had every intention of making them. But I had  dilemma. Those brownies require like, 4 cups of crushed graham crackers for less than 20 brownies. And All I had were 6 graham crackers. That is not sufficient for more than 4 cups. So. I had this idea. I have graham crackers I need to use. I have m&ms I need to use. Thus, the candy cookie was born, as a play off of my brownies! There are three parts to this cookie: the chocolate slice cookie, the caramel, and the candy topping. The recipe itself is as easy as pie (although, truth be told, making pie is very difficult. It’s as easy as pie in the expression sense that everyone uses it in. It’s a dumb expression though because making pie is really hard. Okay okay point is, the actual baking of the cookie and caramel is indeed easy.), however, the assembly can be a bit of a hassle. But let me tell you: I took one bite into these cookies, and it was all. worth. it. It’s like the love child of a s’more and a caramel candy. It is. lovely.

Ingredients:

For the cookie:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • toppings: 1 cup chopped m&ms, 6 crushed graham crackers, coconut, whatever you like really

For Caramel:

  • 6 oz butter, diced
  • 1 14 oz can of condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs light corn syrup

Procedure

Cookie:

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix the butter and sugar in a separate large bowl until creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla. Beat to make sure the batter is consistent with the new addition. Add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until the the dry is mixed in evenly with the wet ingredients. The batter should go from being a light cream color to a very dark chocolate color. It should also be pretty doughy- hard to mix. Once you reach that consistency, add the chocolate chips to mix in.

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Now what you’re going to do is  take saran wrap and lay it out, about 9×15 inches. Scoop up half of the batter. If you made the batter correctly, it should be “workable”. You should be able to rolled the batter out into the log. What I do is I don’t roll it out ON the saran wrap. Instead, I roll it out with both of my hands and as it takes that log shape, I lay it down on the saran wrap. It should come out to be about…16-18 inches long, and 1-1.5 inches in diameter. You do two of these logs. Put them in the fridge for 2 hours or to speed up the process, the freezer for a half hour (that’s what I did). To make them fit in the freezer I just criss crossed them over each other like a x. At this point, the logs can be stored in the freezer for up to a month before baking! One of the many beauties of homemade slice-n-bake cookies. While waiting, get started on cleaning your kitchen. Trust me.

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Preheat the oven to 350 F. After a half hour in the freezer or two hours in the fridge, get ONE of the logs out. Slice it into cookies that are about 1/3 of an inch thick and lay them on an ungreased cookie sheet. I was able to lay 20 on a 12×18, and got 35 I think out of one log. It may be a little hard to cut through the log at some points because of the chocolate chips but just force the nice through and if they fall apart you can smush it back together with your fingers. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the top is soft to the touch but the edges pull away from the bottom juuuust a tad. Don’t bake until hard, otherwise they. Will. Burn. I did them for 11:30 and they were perfect. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, the transfer to wire rack for cooling. Repeat the process with the other log.

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Get started on the caramel. All you have to do for this is throw the sugar, butter, syrup, and condensed milk in a small-medium saucepan. Heat gently until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat so that the mixture is simmer. Let it simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until darker in color and thicker. Stir occasionally.

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Once your have all the cookies racked and the caramel’s all done, time to chop up the m&ms and crush the graham crackers! Once they’re nice and crumbly, spoon about a teaspoon of caramel onto a cookie. Then, turn the cookie caramel-side-down into the desired topping. Making sure it doesn’t get crazy-candy-y on the sides, otherwise you’ll end up creating more work for yourself in the clean up process.

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Take a bite. Fudge. Sweet caramel. Then crunch. Entirely worth every bit of effort. And take a gazillion pictures.

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I mayyyy or may not have combined the extra caramel, crushed graham crackers, and some coconut to make little cluster candies…stick em in the freezer. Mmm. Home-made caramel candies.

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Sweet tooth to the max.

Credit for cookies: Cookie Swap Cookbook

Caramel: Best Ever Chocolate Cookbook