Monday, September 3, 2007

Catch up time!

Seeing as how it's Labor Day, and I am supposed to be doing N-O-T-H-I-N-G, I figured this would be the best time for me to catch up on my blogging. I hate that I have become so busy that I don't have time to post any of my creations. Hopefully I can start enacting a little time management and get my posts up sooner :) Well enough blabbing already, LET'S GET TO IT!!

Cinnamon Chocolate, White Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I've been wanting to make a cinnamon cookie for a while, and have also wanted to find a way to get rid of the three different types of baking chips I had in my freezer, so this is what I came up with. The batter is a traditional chocolate chip cookie. In order to take it "to the next level" I added a little bit of cinnamon at a time, tasting it as I went along. I wanted to make sure that the cinnamon flavor was there, but not overpowering. I can't remember how much I ended up putting in, but I think it was about 2 tablespoons. It was just enough so that you could tell there was a different flavor to the batter, but you wouldn't immediately know it was cinnamon. I also added white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips to the mixture, which turned out giving the cookies a very unique and oh-so-good flavor combination. I ended up using these cookies as the base to my ice cream sandwiches. I chose Haagen Dazs Bailey's flavored ice cream, which was a match made in heaven. Whether you have these cookies plain, with ice cream, or even just eating the batter out of the bowl (which I did all three thank you very much!!) you're gonna fall in L-O-V-E...

Tropical Nutella Crepes

In trying to think of something different for dinner, I kept having a nagging craving for something coconuty. I'm a huge freak for toasted coconut and think that coconut/pineapple are the ultimate flavors of summer. So when walking down the ice cream isle I about passed out when I saw Haagen Dazs' Pineapple Coconut ice cream. It's like it was a sign from God, who was listening to my inner craving and had presented me with this amazing ice cream. But, knowing me, I wouldn't be satisfied with just ice cream...what could I pair with this...after four more steps down the ice cream isle, there they were...packaged crepes! I could totally do something with this. My mind now racing, I scurried through the other isles grabbing my remaining ingredients. Once we were finished eating dinner I quickly asked if everyone was ready for dessert, because I had been waiting for this dessert ever since I had gotten home. "Yeah, we're ready"...sweet! I jumped up and quickly started my skillet to toast my coconut in. Pulled out the ice cream to let it soften a little and began building my masterpiece. The first step is to take the crepe out of the bag and place it on your plate. Next, spread the crepe with a thick layer of slightly melted Nutella :) Top the crepe with some of the toasted coconut and sliced bananas. Roll up the crepe and scoop out a nice big chuck of ice cream, topping with even more toasted coconut. Take a seat and get ready to pretend like your in Jamaica Mon!!

Orange White Wine Cupcakes
Courtesy of Vanilla Garlic

As I was poking around in the wonderful world of blogging I visited one of my favorite blogs...Vanilla Garlic. Garret, the creator, comes up with some of the most unique and amazing recipes and when I started reading about this Orange White Wine Cupcake I knew I had to try it. Especially when Garret claimed that the entire prep time was only about 5 minutes! Totally excited about the awkward ingredients I set out to give these cupcakes a try. The only thing I did differently than Garret's recipe was to use Riesling instead of White Wine, I'm all about the sweet wines, so that's what I went with. I also had a tangelo which I zested, instead of an orange. Once I began putting this recipe together I was amazed at how easy it was, I was also amazed at how good the batter tasted! When I saw that the recipe had Olive Oil, I must admit I was a little skeptical. As I dropped the batter into the muffin tins, I made sure to give each cupcake a generous sprinkling of sugar...and into the oven these went. My cupcakes didn't use the whole bake time that Garret suggest, but my cupcake pans are also very dark, so just make sure to keep an eye out for that. As soon as I pulled my cupcakes out of the oven I was excited to try them, so I eager ran my butter knife around one of the cupcakes to loosen in up and tried to take it out of the pan. The entire cupcake broke apart into chunks!! I almost started crying because I thought the rest of the cupcakes would do the same thing and that I had some how ruined them. But I came to find out that I just needed to let them cool off longer and set up in the pans. So after waiting patiently for a few minutes I was able to, easily, get all of my cupcakes out, safe and sound. And let me tell you, one bit of these cupcakes and you will swear you died and went to Heaven! I don't know where Garret came up with this amazing combination, but thank God he did, because this was one of the lightest, sweetest, most refreshing cupcakes I have ever had. The flavor combination was incredible, the cornmeal wasn't too over powering, it just added a nice crumbly texture to the muffin and the tangelo zest helped to brighten up the sweetness of the wine. And that crispy, crunchy, sugar topping made these cupcakes perfection! I took these bad boys to work and they were a huge success, I actually had people arguing about who was going to be able to take home the leftover cupcakes! (Which wasn't necessary anyways, because there weren't any left over :0) ) So thank you Garret for giving me a unique, but oh so amazing new recipe to try, this cupcake will definitely become one of my staple recipes!!!

Orange Cornmeal Cupcakes with White Wine & Olive Oil
Makes about 10 cupcakes
375 DegreesAdapted From Martha Stewart

What You'll Need...
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup of sugar, plus 1/3 cup for topping
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Finely grated zest of one orange

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar, and wine until smooth. Add the other dry ingredients and the zest; whisk together gently.
3) Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers and spoon into the papers about 4/5 full. Sprinkle on the sugar (topping will be thick). Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out. clean.

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