Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sweet Enough

I was asked to create a sugar free cupcake for my husband's work party. I will say that this is not an easy or inexpensive thing to do. It's no wonder so many people eat too much sugar! I used a basic chocolate cupcake recipe from and I adapted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough frosting from a cookie dough dip recipe on pinterest. I will always love the full sugar cupcakes, but these are a nice alternative.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 16
Oven 350

1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine cocoa and boiling water, whisking until blended. Set aside.
Combine flour, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. (This procedure may be done with a mixer at the lowest speed.)

Combine eggs, milk, cocoa mixture and vanilla in a small mixing bowl; add 1/3 of the egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Repeat procedure 2 times.

Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tins.
Bake 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar or frost.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting
2 cups almond flour/almond meal (Trader Joes)
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Blend together flour, shortening, honey, vanilla, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, saving a few for decoration on top of cupcakes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Discounted Doughnuts

We've started to finally think more about decorating the house. Thankfully, we painted before we moved in, because I doubt that even that would get done now. We used this weekend to really look at mirrors, artwork, bath mats, new pillows, and many other random but necessary accessories. We're getting there, I just wish decorating your house was as easy as finding what you like on Pinterest!

In my quest for house accessories, I stopped into Stonewall Kitchen and purchased a Christmas discounted doughnut pan and mix. The mix was for their Chocolate Doughnuts with a Chocolate Glaze. Overall I would give them a 7 out of 10. They were healthier than most doughnuts, since they were baked and I could add as much or as little glaze as I wanted. I will definitely be using the pan in the future, but I'm interested in creating my own recipes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweet Substitute

Since my father-in-law was in the hospital and had so many surgery complications, I have been thinking more and more about being healthy. My husband and I have tried to live a healthy life but sometimes life seems to get in the way. Since I'm in charge of cooking dinner, for the most part, I've been making healthier choices and watching portions/measurements more. That one little thing has seemed to make me a bit more conscious of the things I eat throughout the day.

The hardest part is that we both have a sweet tooth. So, for today's baked good, I was inspired by a cookbook from Diabetic Living. My father-in-law happens to be diabetic and I wanted to create a baked good that we could all have. The good thing about these brownies is that no one would ever know how low in fat and calories they are!

Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownies
Oven 350

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute blend
1/3 cup cold water
3/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil up over the edges of the pan. Lightly coat foil with nonstick spray. Set aside.                  
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat; remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and the water. Whisk in egg, oil, and vanilla until combined. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and the baking powder until combined. (Batter will be thin at this point.)

Place peanut butter in a small bowl; gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the batter until smooth. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour and the cocoa powder. Stir into the plain batter; stir in chocolate pieces. Pour chocolate batter into prepared pan.
Drop peanut butter batter in small mounds over chocolate batter in pan.

Using a thin metal spatula, swirl batters together. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes* or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 20 bars. (151 calories per bar, 8 grams of fat per bar*)

* If using sugar substitute: decrease baking time to 15-18 minutes, 140 calories per bar, 2 grams of fat per bar.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy, Healthy, Patient

It's the start of a new year and everyone is making resolutions. Unfortunately, all too often, those resolutions last for a few days or weeks and then end. My resolution is to be healthy, happy, and patient. Things that are not always easy but are very necessary. I hope all my friends and family keep their resolutions and stay healthy and happy this year!

Coffee Cake Muffins
Oven 350

For the Muffins
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
For the Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Prepare streusel topping: In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs; refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffins: Butter and flour a jumbo 12-cup muffin tin (or two 6-cup muffin tins). In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. With mixer on low, beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
Divide half the batter among prepared muffin cups. Top with half the streusel mixture, then remaining batter, and top with streusel. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
I gave these as favors after our Christmas Eve party.