Friday, September 25, 2009

{Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes}

This cupcake has little pockets of grape jelly. The cupcake itself is moist and toothsome, and the chunky peanut butter frosting is smooth and rich without being cloyingly sweet.

This recipe for PBJ cupcakes is from Buttercup Bakes at Home.
PB&J Cupcakes
Makes: 12 to 14 cupcakes

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs, room temperature
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup grape jelly
* Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting (see recipe below)
* Coarsely chopped peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, alternating with the milk. Add the vanilla.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups until each is about two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. When cupcakes are thoroughly cool, fill a squeeze bottle with jelly, and then invert the tip of the bottle into the center of a cooled cupcake. Carefully squeeze about 1 tablespoon jelly into center of cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Frost with Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting, and garnish with roasted salted peanuts or crushed peanut butter cups.

Chunky Peanut Butter Frosting:

Makes: 2 1/2 cups (enough to frost 14 cupcakes)

* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
* 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 tablespoon milk (a few drops more if needed)
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. On low speed, slowly add 1 cup sugar, then a few drops milk. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining sugar and a few more drops milk if necessary.
3. Increase mixer speed to high, and mix until frosting is fluffy and reaches a good spreading consistency. Use immediately.

{Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies}


* ¾ cup granular sugar substitute
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup creamy trans-fat-free peanut butter
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* ¼ cup sugar-free jam, any flavor


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer set on low for 3 minutes.
3. Add peanut butter and baking soda. Mix on medium until dough comes together, about 30 seconds.
4. Form dough into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation.
5. Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon jam.
6. Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes.
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

{Peanut Butter Playdough}


* 1 cup Peanut Butter
* 2/3 to 1 cup nonfat dry milk
* 2 tablespoons of honey
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add enough powdered milk to make the mixture dry enough to handle.
3. Shape into balls.
Don't worry if they would like a taste. It's all edible.

{Orange-Scented Playdough}


* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup salt
* 2 packages Orange-flavoured Kool-Aid
* 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 2 cups boiling water
* 3 tablespoons oil
1. Mix dry ingredients, add wet.

2. Knead until smooth (careful-- it's hot! may take a minute or two before you can really ditch the spoon and get your hands in there!) You may need to add extra flour for desired consistency.

3. Grab cutters and rollers and whatever other playdough toys you like and have FUN!

{Orange Dust}

(This recipe is an accompaniment for Shrimp with Orange Dust.)

Orange Dust


* 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed oil
* 2 navel oranges
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 cup water
* electric coffee/spice grinder

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil with grapeseed oil. Remove zest from oranges with a vegetable peeler and trim any white pith from zest with a sharp paring knife. Bring zest, sugar, and waterto a boil in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy, about 6 minutes. Drain zest in a sieve and spread out on baking sheet. Bake zest in middle of oven until dry and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack. Grind zest to a powder in electric coffee/spice grinder.

Note: Orange dust can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place up to 1 month.

{Orange Sugar Dust Cookies}

Makes: 36 cookies


* 1 (18 ounce) box orange cake mix
* 1/2 cup oil
* 2 eggs
* 2 tablespoons orange juice


1. Mix well the cake mix, oil and eggs.
2. Using ungreased cookie sheet, drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough on cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.

Optional: Dust with with sugar or frosting

{Got Cookies?}

Sweet Tip Of The Day
Replace your larger cookie jar with a mini pottery jar. Fill it with healthful snacks like walnuts, almonds, and sugar-free cookies!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes: 20 cookies


* 1 pkg (8 oz.) sugar-free low fat chocolate cake mix
* 3 tablespoons fat-free (skim) milk
* 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 10 maraschino cherries, rinsed, drained & cut into halves
* 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
* 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Beat cake mix, milk and almond extract in a medium bowl with electric mixer at low speed. Increase speed to medium when mixture looks crumbly; beat 2 minutes or until smooth dough forms. (Note: Dough will be very sticky.)

3. Coat hands with cooking spray. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly. Place cherry half in center of each cookie.

4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies lose their shininess and tops begin to crack. Do not overbake. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

5. Heat white chocolate chips and oil in small saucepan over very low heat until chips melt. Drizzle cookies with melted chips. Allow drizzle to set before serving.

Cherry Petites

This recipe is from my grandma's recipe collection.

Grandma Ella's Cherry Petites

Filling ingredients:

* 2-8 oz. cream cheese
* 3/4 c. sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 tsp. vanilla


1. Mix with mixer until creamy.
2. Set aside.


* 1 box vanilla wafers
* 1 can cherry pie filling
* cupcake liners


1. Place 1 wafer in each cupcake holder.
2. Put 1 tsp. filling on top of each wafer.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
4. Once cooked, add 1 tsp. cherry pie filling to each.
5. Enjoy!

{Grandma's Cherry Drop Cookies}

{No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake}

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake


* Graham Cracker Crust
* 1 1/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
* 1/4 cup margarine, softened
* 1/4 cup sugar
* filling
* 1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
* 1 (12.5 oz.) can cherry pie filling


1. Mix together Graham Crackers, margarine, and sugar in a bowl until well incorporated and crumbly. Press into a pie plate, going up the sides as much as possible.

2. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and spreadable. Whisk whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour cream cheese into prepared crust. Smooth the top with a spatula, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Spread the cherry pie filling over the top, and refrigerate until serving.

{Cherry Clafouti}

Clafoutis is a baked French dessert that is typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter, halfway between a Yorkshire pudding/pancake batter and a custard [1], in a baking dish.

(Source: Wikepedia)

Cherry Clafouti

Makes: 12 servings

* 2 Tbsp, unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
* 2 cups fresh (or frozen, unthawed) cherries, pitted
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* Confectioners sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Fill with cherries.
2. In a blender, combine sugar, eggs, milk, flour, salt, and butter until smooth. Pour batter over cherries in prepared pie plate.
3. Bake until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar. Serve hot.

{National Cherries Jubilee Day!}

September 24th is National Cherries Jubilee Day

Cupcake of the Day - Vanilla cupcake with chunks of cherries, topped with a dab of whipped buttercream. (Need I say more!)

Happy National Cherries Jubilee Day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

{Chocolate Zebra Apples}

A chocolately treat for kids of all ages! Perfect for Valentine's, birthdays, Autumn days, etc!

Chocolate Zebra Apples
* 1 Apple
* Caramel
* Milk Chocolate
* White Chocolate
* Dark Chocolate
* Wooden Carmel Apple/Popsicle Sticks
1. Cover a tray with wax paper.
2. Wash and dry apples.
3. Insert a stick into the stem end of each apple.
4. Dip apple in warm carmel.
5. Drizzle apple in white chocolate. Apply in strips. Allow chocolate to harden.
6. Follow up with strips of dark chocolate. Allow to harden & cool.
7. Enjoy!

{Zebra Kiss Cookies}


* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup cooking oil
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* Sifted powdered sugar
* Milk chocolate kisses with stripes


1. Stir chocolate in small heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. Cool. Combine eggs, sugar,
melted chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla in large bowl. Gradually add flour to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Cover; chill 2 hours or until easy to handle.
2. Shape dough into 1-1/4-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in 375 degree F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops cracked. While still hot, press a kiss into the center of each. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 48 cookies.
Make-Ahead Tip: Bake cookies and place kiss in center of each. Cool completely. In an airtight or freezer container arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close container easily. Freeze up to 1 month.

{Black & White Cookies}

What's black and white and craved all over New York? = Luscious chocolate and vanilla iced cookies! They are the size of your hand & are more like small cakes than crunchy or chewy cookies!

Here's a Low-Fat version of the cookie:

Low-Fat Black & White Cookies



* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 2 large egg whites


* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
* 3 tablespoons milk, skim milk or light cream, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (melted chocolate is also acceptable)



1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Set applesauce in a fine sieve to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

5. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in applesauce, vanilla and lemon juice. Add in egg whites and beat until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth.

6. Drop batter two tablespoonfuls at a time onto the prepared baking sheet. Smooth slightly to form nice, round circles.

7. Bake for 10 minutes, until set but not browned.

8. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


9. When cookies are cool, prepare the icing. Sift 3/4 cup confectioners sugar into two small bowls. Add 1 tbsp milk and the almond and vanilla extracts to one bowl and stir until smooth. Add cocoa and 2 tbsp milk to the other bowl and stir until smooth.

10. Using a small knife and working over the bowls to catch drips, spread each icing over half of each cookie. Set on a rack until icing is set, then store cookies in an airtight container.

{Happy Checkers Day!}

September 23, 2009 is Checkers Day

In honor of this day, challenge a friend to a game of checkers.
Afterwards, enjoy some black & white striped checkered-topped cupcakes!
Happy Checkers Day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{Sprinkle Some Love!}

Sweet Thought Of The Day
Spread some sweetness by filling a shaker jar full of sprinkles & giving it to a friend or new neighbor!
Note: Be sure to personalize it with a label, poem or tag.
...Hi Neighbor!...or Welcome To The Neighborhood!...Sweetness, Love & Happiness!...
May no gift be too small to give, nor too simple to receive, which is wrapped in thoughtfulness and tied with love.

{Spaghetti Cupcakes}


* 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked & undrained
* 4 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Grease 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan cheese & pepper.
4. Evenly press into muffin cups to form a "crust."
5. Evenly top each cup with spaghetti sauce, then mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Add happy faces using broccoli flourets for hair, eyebrows or noses. Use sliced black olives or pimiento olives for eyes. Pepperoni or sliced tomatoes for mouths. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

{Cupcake Cookies}


* 3 cups graham crackers, finely crushed (about 40 crackers)
* 1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
* 2 cups miniature chocolate chips
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 lb butter, softened
* 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
* vanilla frosting or chocolate frosting
* candied sprinkles'
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Fill small candy liners (smaller than the smallest cupcake liners) with dough.
4. Place side-by-side on cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cool and frost with white or chocolate frosting.
7. Whatever you do...Don't forget the sprinkles!

{Yummy Goodness!}

Hi all! Just my newest little yummy spot in the great big blog pond. ~K