Friday, January 28, 2011

The Healthy Brownie

Yes you read that correctly. A Healthy Brownie!

The hubbie and I have been trying to cut back on our carbs this month and all has been going well, until it hit me. A craving like no other for a big, giant, fudgy brownie...sigh.

Your craving one now too, aren't you?

I thought there has to be a way to make a carb-friendly brownie, and there is indeed. I had no idea how it would taste, but it was worth a shot at staying on track with my diet and fulfilling my craving!

I have to say after trying it, it was not too bad and definitely fulfilled my craving. It was more of a cake-like brownie than fudgy, but it had a surprisingly good chocolate taste. I was pretty nervous that I would taste the black beans, but I didn't, not one bit! I added peanut butter, who wouldn't, but you could trade it out for chopped nuts or even a few mini-chocolate chips if you want.


The Healthy Brownie

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup granular sugar substitute (splenda)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp natural low-sugar peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan with extra-virgin olive oil spray and set aside. In a large food processor puree rinsed black beans. Add in eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar substitute, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and peanut butter. Process ingredients till combined and smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick entered in center of pan comes out clean. Cool brownies completely on wire rack, then cut into 36 squares. 

Each square contains 2g carbohydrates and 1g of protein. A serving is listed as 3 squares for a total of 3 net carbs, which I think is pretty amazing for a dessert! I sprinkled mine with confectioners' sugar, but you could also top with a sugar-free whipped topping.

The recipe calls for a sugar substitute, I typically use Splenda which I find great for baking, but I usually cut it down a bit because it is too sweet for me. So the original recipe called for 1-cup of Splenda if you are wanting a sweeter brownie. I also use a high-quality dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder, I think its worth the flavor to spend a little extra!

Recipe was adapted from

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...PW's Cinnamon Rolls

In an attempt to stay wordless on my first "Wordless Wednesday" post I will just say a few things...

These are the best cinnamon rolls ever!

Pioneer Woman sure knows how to win a girl over.

I am warning you...this makes a lot of cinnamon rolls, but don't worry you will want to devour them by the pan full! Or freeze them as I did.

Happy Baking!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthday Cake and Royal Icing Sugar Cookies

It was my sister's birthday this weekend, I won't mention her age, but it was a big one! 

Happy Birthday Teeny!

Oh...but you might see it on some of the cookies, sorry sis!

Like I told you in the last post, she does not like chocolate, but she loves white cake. Yes, like wedding cake. So I made her a cake and brushed up on my cake stacking/icing/piping skills a bit as well. 

I used the white cake recipe from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook I got for Christmas. I am not giving the recipe, because honestly it wasn't my favorite. It was a little dry for my taste and they actually leave out a step in the directions, luckily I have made a few cakes in my days to know better! I want to say that I have eaten there many times in the past and have loved it, just not this recipe. If anyone has a favorite white cake recipe, let me know!

I will tell you that I thought the Vanilla-Bean icing I used was awesome, you can find that over at BrownEyedBaker. I was a little worried because it is such a fluffy frosting, I added an extra 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Also, unless you have clear vanilla flavoring I would add some Americolor White coloring if you want the frosting a bright white instead of an off-white color. I didn't have any on hand, but will in the future!

I also made cookies, you know in case the cake fell apart on the drive to her house (I worry too much), and also as a little party favor for her friends! I love curly ribbon. I secretly think working in the gift wrapping department at Macy's would be awesome!!

I used the same recipe as I did when making the Halloween Cookies and learned my lesson on thinning out the flood icing too much. This time I think I got it juuuust right. Now if I could stop shaking when I need to draw a straight line and write letters, we'll be in business!

If you were curious, the cake and cookies made the drive from Houston to Dallas with no breaks, cracks, or bumps. I was thrilled!

Happy Baking!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Blondies

Can I just say that I am so super excited!!

Nope nothing to do with these blondies, they are great, but I got to place my order for Girl Scout Cookies today! No matter what I can bake, nothing will replace a bite of frozen Thin Mint or the creamy peanut butter filling inside a Tagalong! Did y'all get to order some?

So about these blondies... My mom and sister came to Houston to celebrate a late Christmas since I was in Florida with my husband's family. Yeah that's right, my Christmas tree is still up and yes, we are the hobos with the wreath still on the door. I'll take it down...later. Since they were in town, I made these blondies for my sister. She does not like chocolate. I know, it's crazy to me too! 

These blondies had a little bit of surprise inside though...peanut butter chips! She may not like chocolate, but since we are related and all she must love peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl cream butter on medium speed till smooth. Add in sugars and beat till fluffy or about 3 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time till incorporated. Add in vanilla and mix till incorporated. Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture a small amount at a time, which beating on low till completely incorporated. Add in peanut butter chips and mix by hand with spatula. Spread batter evenly into prepared 9x13 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely before cutting into bars (unless you can't wait no one will notice the little corner missing).

If you want to chocolate them up, just substitute out 1 cup peanut butter chips for chocolate chips. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

I believe I owe my followers an apology. It has been 2 weeks since my last post and I know that is ages in the blogging world. With no better excuse than I have been super busy, I'm sorry! I have been getting my food blog fix by reading on the go, (what did we ever do without smart phones!) but I feel awful for not getting this post out sooner.


These cupcakes were for a friend's birthday, she asked for the best frosting I could think of. All I could think of was this jar of Dulce de Leche in my pantry. I dragged my husband to the fancy grocery store, oooh about 2 months ago, because I HAD to have Dulce de Leche. It has been sitting in the pantry since. I kept waiting for the right time, the right recipe, the right occasion. Well now is as good a time as any and what better way to use it than for a birthday!

Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup water
1 and 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs

1 and 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup dulce de leche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners, set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder, set aside. In a large bowl beat butter on medium till creamy. Add in sugar and blend till fluffy or about two minutes. Add in vanilla and blend, scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. Alternate adding water and flour mixture to butter mixture. Beat mixture till completely blended. Pour 1/4 cup batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let sit in pan for 5 minutes, then let cool completely on metal rack.
 To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed till creamy. Slowly sift in confectioners' sugar and mix on low till completely incorporated. Add in heavy cream and vanilla, mix till incorporated. Add in dulce de leche and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until frosting is smooth and fluffy, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Fill a pastry bag fitted with your favorite decorating tip and frost cooled cupcakes. 

Dulce de Leche recipe was adapted from

This pic was just for me to compare my old way (left) of frosting a cupcake versus the new way (right).  Which is your favorite? Or does it not matter since the moment you get the cupcake you want to eat it anyways?

A tip I read about recently for cupcakes, if you only have one cupcake pan, cover the batter and place in fridge till the first batch has completed baking. Add 2-3 minutes of baking time for the second batch. I own two cupcake pans so I don't need to do this, but it is good to know! If you do own two cupcake pans, something that I do is rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. This ensures an even bake on all the cupcakes as the middle of the oven is always warmer than the sides.

Happy Baking!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

I know its a little late to make these for New Year's, BUT they are totally worth trying!

Although I think I have to apologize to all your diet resolutions, as much as I wish these were zero cal, no carb, lettuce-like cupcakes, they are not. They are delicious and sugary, so sorry! You can look forward to some more diet friendly recipes in the future, but for now enjoy!

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

3 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup pink champagne
6 egg whites
4-5 drops red food coloring
additional pink champagne for glazing

3 and 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp pink champagne
4-5 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line two cupcake pans and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form and set aside. In a second large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Alternate adding flour mixture and champagne to butter mixture till well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Add in red food coloring till pink color is attained. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and mix thoroughly. Add in remaining egg white mixture till combined. Fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, gently poke 8-10 holes in cupcake using a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, glaze the cupcakes with extra champagne.

For frosting, beat butter till creamy. With mixer on low, slowly add in sifted confectioners' sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated beat on high for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. Add in champagne and mix till incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with frosting and decorate cooled and champagne glazed cupcakes.

Adapted from

To achieve the rose look, I used a Wilton 1M decorating tip. With pastry bag at a 90 degree angle to cupcake surface, start in center of cupcake and swirl outward.

I chose to glaze the cupcakes with champagne to make sure they contained a vibrant champagne flavor and it worked! I did find that the cupcakes tasted best on the same day that I made them, after two days passed, they lost the champagne flavor a bit. So make 'em fresh!

Lastly, I found these super cute cupcake holders from Wilton and just knew they would be perfect for these champagne cakes ... but the liners started peeling off after a few hours! Not sure if it was the moisture from the champagne or if they always do that. I am curious as to where everyone buys their cupcake liners, I'd really like to get some nice quality ones to try out!

Happy Baking! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Best of 2010

To start out the year I thought it would be fun to go through my top 10 posts of last year. I have never done a post like this, but I think it would be a great way to remember your favorite dishes.

I also find that I rely on posts like this from other bloggers to get a quick list of their top recipes, so here goes from the bottom!

and finally...

Lots of cupcake love in 2010! I have to say of the 65 recipes I have posted since starting this blog in February, my all time favorite is my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. It is probably the simpliest thing to make when I have a peanut butter craving!

What is your favorite post of 2010? I would love to start out the year with some new favorites!

Happy Baking!
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