Cupcakes for Chanukah! Recipes and more

Sorry for the lag in posting, lots of travel and family commitments but now, shes back…………………..

cup3 There are times in your life (like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

 

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

cup2

 

Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

 

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

cup4

BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

cup1

ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

 

 

 

Black VS Green Olives, Which Would You Choose? Great Recipes

Every parent who has ever sent a child to summer camp knows about color wars. That fight to the death Olympic like couple of days where what color/team you’re a part of defines you, empowers you and generally consumes every waking moment. In our house color wars revolves around olives; team green and team black.

Yes, we’re a house divided and while I’m the captain of team black and my husband is the captain of team green our ambivalent side shifting children could care less. They just want olives.

Just so we’re clear, aside from their taste and color olives all come from the same tree. The only difference between them is the state of their ripeness when picked (green ones are harvested when they are immature, a bit denser and a tad more bitter and black ones stay on the tree just a little longer and have a more mellow flavor). All olives must be cured before being eaten and they way they are cured with determine their, final flavor and texture.

Olives are one food you can keep on your pantry shelf, unopened for 3 to 4 years. Once opened, keep them in their original brine in a container with a lid or the original jar. For the most part we use the stuffed green olive or the black from the can in most of our recipes. However, get creative and try some of the other varieties that specialty markets and gourmet sections of your supermarket now carry

 

manzanilla:  Spanish green olive, available unpitted and/or stuffed

 

picholine:  French green olive, salt-brine cured, with subtle, lightly salty flavor

 

kalamata:  Greek black olive, deep purple, almond-shaped rich and fruity flavor

 

niçoise:  French black olive, small in size, rich, nutty, mellow flavor, high pit-to-meat ratio, often packed with herbs and stems intact

 

liguria:  Italian black olive, with a vibrant flavor, sometimes packed with stems

 

ponentine:  Italian black olive, salt-brine cured then packed in vinegar, mild in flavor

 

gaeta:  Italian black olive, dry-salt cured, then rubbed with oil, wrinkled in appearance, mild flavor, often packed with rosemary and other herbs

 

lugano:  Italian black olive, usually very salty, sometimes packed with olive leaves

 

sevillano:  Californian, salt-brine cured, very crisp

 

Modified from about.com

 

Olives are typically not the main ingredient in a recipe. That being said the following recipes are all olive centric and showcase the full bodied flavor of these bite size treats. While you can interchange the different types of olives in the recipes you should know that some are saltier than others and you need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

 

TRADITIONAL TAPENADE

This is a thick olive topping that is terrific with crackers, bread or on chicken or fish.

 

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 to 4 tablespoons capers

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed

1 3/4 cups pitted black or green olives (or a combination)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (fresh is best)

1/3 cup olive oil

Black pepper to taste (optional)

 

In a food process combine all the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. Makes approx 2 cups

 

Modified from epicurious.com

CLASSIC GREEK SALAD

 

4 large tomatoes cut into chunks

1 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 green pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 head romaine, shredded

1 to 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

14 to 16 Kalamata olives, pitted

 

Dressing

 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Combine all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and romaine and toss to combine.  Top with cheese and olives and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss to coat and serve. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

GREEN OLIVE CHICKEN

 

4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large can whole tomatoes

14 to 16 large green or black olives

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

 

In large skillet heat the oil and lightly brown the chicken. Don’t cook it totally, just brown the outside. Remove the chicken from pan and drain it on paper towels.  Don’t clean the pan.  Add the onion and green and red pepper to pan and cook slightly. Stir in the garlic and rice. Cook stirring until rice is turning golden. Add the tomatoes, olives, chicken broth, oregano and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the chicken. Cover the pan and cook, at a simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Serves 4.

 

My file source unknown

 

OLIVE PEPPER CHEESECAKE

 

Butter for greasing pan

1 cup panko bread crumbs

16 oz cream cheese, softened

8 oz grated sharp cheddar

1 pkg. taco seasoning

16 oz sour cream, divided

3 eggs

1/3 cup diced green or black olives, drained well

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/2 cup salsa

2 cups of your favorite guacamole or avocado dip

Chopped tomatoes for garnish

Chopped olives for garnish

Cheddar for garnish

Corn chips

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch spring form pan and then coat it with panko bread crumbs and set it aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, cheddar and taco seasoning until fluffy; stir in 1 cup sour cream. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Fold in the olives and peppers. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Combine remaining sour cream with salsa and spread the mixture on top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then remove sides from spring form. Top with the guacamole. Garnish the additional tomatoes, olives and cheese. Serve corn chips.    Serves 12 to 16.

 

Submitted by Reggie Magaran Chicago IL

FRESH OLIVE CHOP

 

2 (6 oz.) can Lindsay Naturals Green Ripe Olives, drained and chopped

1/2 cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced

4 ounces crumbled feta

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

toasted pita wedges, crackers, thinly sliced baguettes or tortilla chips

Italian flat leaf parsley as a garnish

 

Place the olives, red pepper, feta, oregano and lemon zest together in a bowl.  Gently toss together.

 

Spoon the mixture into a small bowl and place on a larger platter.  Surround the bowl of with the pita wedges, crackers, baguette slices and/or tortilla chips.  Or spread the olive mixture onto the pita wedge and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.es, crackers and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.

 

This recipe was created By cookbook author Joanne Weir, modified.

 

ARTICHOKE AND BLACK OLIVE DIP

 

1 (7.5 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and diced

1/2 cup diced Lindsay® Ripe Pitted or Lindsay® Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives

1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons light or regular sour cream

2 tablespoons light or regular mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or chips. Serves 6 (1/4 cup) servings.

 

Modified from Lindsay.com

 

CHICKEN CHILI MAC N CHEESE

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 chili peppers, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons flour

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (1 lbs.) box macaroni pasta, cooked

8 ounce grilled chicken breast, diced

1 (6 oz.) can California Black Ripe Olives, whole, pitted

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/8 teaspoon paprika

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a saucepan melt the butter. Stir in peppers and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until smooth and golden. Whisk in the chicken broth, a half cup at a time, until smooth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Add the cooked pasta, chicken and olives. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle the top with the paprika and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8

 

Recipe courtesy of the California Olive Committee, modified

 

OLIVE CORN AND RICE SALAD

You can add or subtract the amount of veggies as you please!

 

1 (16 oz.) can whole corn, drained or 2 cups fresh off the cob

3 to 4 cups cooked rice

1/ 2 cup chopped red pepper

1/ 2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped black olives

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/ 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/ 4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

 

In medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn, rice, peppers, green onions and olives. Toss to combine. In a jar with a lid combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, parsley, mustard and garlic powder. Shake the dressing to combine and pour over the salad. Cover and chill several hours. Stir in the shredded lettuce just before serving then top with the Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 8

 

My files source unknown

 

BAKED PASTA WITH OLIVES

 

1 pound pasta (fusilli or bow tie), cooked according to the package, drained, kept warm

5 small zucchini cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (28 ounces) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

1cup black olives, sliced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese shredded or cubed

2 to 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute zucchini until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper and put them in a large bowl. Add the pasta, tomatoes, olives, 1/3 cup Parmesan, rosemary and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine Place the mixture into the prepared pan and then sprinkle the top.

Cover the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan and bake until cheese is melted and the top slightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6

 

Modified from The New Pasta Cookbook by Joanne Glynn

Never Too Late for Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipes

 

Chocolate has been the “high priestess” of aphrodisiacs since it was discovered over 3,000 years ago inMexico.  Montezuma (of the don’t drink the water fame) would drink 50 goblets of a chocolate drink a day to give himself stamina to handle his harem of over 600 women.

So with my quantum leap of food logic I say what better way to say I love you on Valentines Day than giving or serving chocolate (for breakfast lunch AND dinner).

Hold on a second before you go rushing out to buy DeBrands, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s or even Nestles. You need to know a little bit about the chocolate you’re about to use or eat. Not all chocolate or cocoa is created equally. Different recipes call for different types of chocolate.
Unsweetened or baking chocolate is simply cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. It is used primarily as an ingredient in recipes, or as a garnish. Semi-sweet chocolate is also used primarily in recipes. It has extra cocoa butter and sugar added. Sweet cooking chocolate is basically the same, with more sugar for taste. Milk chocolate is chocolate liquor with extra cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla added. Milk chocolate is the most popular form for chocolate. Cocoa is chocolate liquor with most of the cocoa butter removed, creating a fine powder. Each form of chocolate can create a different taste so make sure you’ve got the right ingredient for your recipe.

White chocolate is somewhat of a misnomer. In theUnited States, in order to be legally called ‘chocolate’ a product must contain cocoa solids. Most of the stuff you get in the market place today does not contain these solids so technically it’s not really chocolate. Real white chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Chocolate in its many forms is always welcome as an expression of love. The making or serving the following recipes won’t guarantee the love will be returned but they could give you a shot a few extra brownie points.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES

1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Dark Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Coarse sugar

 

In bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pulse until well blended. Add butter chunks and process for a few seconds, just until butter is size of peas. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sugar.

In small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour cream mixture over dry ingredients. Add chopped chocolate and stir to form dough. Knead dough lightly in bowl about 10 times. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface and shape into 8-inch round disc. Transfer round to plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Or serve slightly warm. Makes 8

 

Modified from epicurious.com

CHOCOLATE CREPES

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened chocolate powder

1 egg

1 egg white

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup milk

strawberries or raspberries or sorbet

 

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add all liquid ingredients and stir until batter is smooth and creamy.  Let batter rest in the refrigerator until the air is settled, about 2 hours. When ready to prepare crepes, heat crepe pan over medium heat and pour 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the batter into hot pan. Rotate pan until batter is cooked through and then turn to cook the other side. When done remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Store until ready to serve. May be made one to two days ahead of time. Fill with berries, sorbet. Serves 2.

CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

This recipe is a fun way to portion out cake mix into individual servings much like cupcakes, but with a much quicker bake time.

 

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of boiling water

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of softened butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

 

In a bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add 2 large eggs to the butter mixture, stirring between each egg to combine thoroughly. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa water mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Batter may be stored in the refrigerator until needed. Makes 4 waffles.

 

CHOCOLATE FRENCH TOAST PUFF

This recipe should be started the night before you want to serve it as it has to sit for at last 4 to 5 hours before you cook it.
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 cups skim milk, divided
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
2 cups half and half

Topping
3/4 cup butter, very soft or melted
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
Whipped cream or maple syrup, optional
Generously grease a 9×13 baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep. Arrange trimmed bread slices on bottom of pan in 2 layers. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, chocolate chips and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until chips are melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Stir in vanilla. Let cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs, remaining milk and half and half. Mix chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour over bread slices. Cover pan tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and prepare topping.

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, walnuts, coconut and dark corn syrup. Spread or spoon the topping over the bread slices. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until center is set. If edges are browning to fast, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so until cool enough to spoon or slice. Top with whipped cream or syrup, if desired. Serves 8

 

CHOCOLATE ORANGE BREAKFAST DRINK

 

1 orange – peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 cup cold milk

1 cup crushed ice

 

Combine orange pieces, chocolate syrup, milk, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve. Makes 1 serving

 

COLOSSAL CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS

2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen white yeast bread dough, thawed, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk
Grease two 9-inch-round baking pans. Roll out 1 bread loaf into 16 x 10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle 2 tablespoons over dough leaving 1/2-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with 1 cup morsels and 1/2 cup nuts. Roll up the dough starting at short end; seal edges. Cut into 6 slices; place cut side up in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining bread loaf, sugar mixture, morsels and nuts; place in second prepared baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough almost fills pans. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool slightly in pans on wire racks. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk and mix into a stiff glaze. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls. Serves 10 to 12.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

 

3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 can of pumpkin (1 pound)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

8-12 oz. chocolate chips (miniature or regular)

 

Preheat oven to 375. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, oil, eggs, Mix to combine. Mix dry ingredients separately; then add slowly to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. For full size muffins bake 20 to 25 minutes. For mini muffins bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 12.

 

National Cinnamon Roll Day /Kosher recipes

I’m always impressed with young cooks (or chefs and chefettes if you prefer) who show initiative and perseverance when it comes to creating what they want to have happen in the kitchen. Take the example of 10 year old Sam Tollison of Colorado who loved cinnamon rolls so much that he got 100 signatures on a petition to the governor of the state to create a day devoted just to the Cinnamon Roll. Well, you guessed it folks, Gov. John Hickenloolper, so impressed by this kid’s determination and dare I say it, sweet tooth, had January 8th declared Cinnamon Rolls Day (it was actually written into law).

Now before you start writing and complain about how “frivolous” this action might seem just consider how much time, effort and study must have gone into Sam’s quest to champion his favorite pastry.  This is one pretty special 10 year old and I say BRAVO to him, his parents and all the people that signed the petition (not to mention the governor that recognized a future constituents vote getting motivational abilities)

All of this hoopla is leading up to; you guessed it, Cinnamon Roll recipes. Now before I get to the recipes you should know that there are 2 distinct groups (hmmmm just like politics) of cinnamon rolls. Those with yeast and those without. I guess you could say I’m an independent voter as I vote for (and eat) both, depending on which has the better platform oops I mean frosting or filling. Adding nuts to the equation (recipe) is solely dependent on your personal taste. They then can become pecan rolls or schnecken but that’s an entirely different election oops again, I mean column.

This column is my gift to Sam and the people of Colorado for recognizing just how special this pastry (and a 10 year old who loves them) really is.

YEAST CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)

 

3/4 cup milk or almond milk, warmed (approx 110 degrees)

1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoon) yeast, regular, instant or rapid-rise yeast

3 large eggs, room temperature

4 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

12 tablespoons butter or margarine or margarine, cut into 12 pieces at room temperature

 

Filling

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter or margarine or margarine, room temperature

 

Preheat oven to 200 then turn it off. Line a 13X9 pan with foil (make sure the foil hangs over the edges when you push it into place). Grease the foil and set the pan aside.

 

In a bowl combine the milk and yeast. Whisk to combine and then whisk in the eggs. In the bowl of an electric mixer (with a dough hook) combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine and then slowly add the milk mixture and mix just until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed slightly and add the butter or margarine or margarine. Mix just until the butter or margarine or margarine is completely mixed in. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixing bowl, 7 to 10 minutes. Place the dough on the counter and roll it into a ball. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and place the dough in the preheated warm oven (if you have a proof setting on your oven you can use that as well). Let rise for about 2 hours or until it’s double its original size. While the dough is rising make the filling. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

 

When the dough has doubled in size place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle and then spread the top with the softened butter or margarine or margarine.  Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the butter or margarine or margarine making sure to leave 1/2 inch border. Press the filling into the dough. At this point the dough may be sticking to the counter and you may need to lift the dough slightly with a spatula. Roll up the dough, starting on the long edge, jelly rolls style, pressing consistently to form a roll. Make sure that that you keep the rolling pretty tight. This dough will rise and expand so you want to make sure the filling will stay in place.  Seal the seam by pinching it together. Cut the roll into 8 pieces. Place the slices in the prepared pan. Let the rolls rise until they doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours) and them bake them. When the rolls have risen preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until they are golden. Remove them from the oven when they are done and cool for 30 minutes (in the pan). When the rolls are cool remove them (using the foil overhang). Frost before serving. Makes 8

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (dairy or pareve)

 

8 oz cream cheese or pareve cream cheese

1/2 cup butter or margarine or margarine

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk

 

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor electric mixing bowl and mix to combine. Start with 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of  milk add more depending on how thick you like your frosting.  This frosting can be made 2 to 3 days in advance.

 

From my files, source unknown

COPY CAT CINNABON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)

 

Dough

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast

1 cup warm milk or 1/2 and 1/2 or almond milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup margarine or butter or margarine

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup bread flour

 

Filling

1 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup margarine or butter or margarine

 

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add the sugar, margarine or butter or margarine, salt, eggs, and flour, mix well. Mix and knead the dough until its smooth. Make sure you flour your hands so the dough doesn’t stick to them. Grease a large bowl with butter or margarine or margarine and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise to double its original size (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Make the filling by combining the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl then set it aside. When the dough has doubled in size place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/3 inches thick and then spread the top with the softened margarine or butter or margarine. Leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges without butter or margarine or margarine.  Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on the top. Roll, up, jelly roll style, fairly tightly. Cut the roll into 12 pieces and place them on parchment lined cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.

 

Frosting:

4oz Cream Cheese or pareve cream cheese

1/2 cup margarine or butter or margarine

1 3/4 to 2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine.

 

Modified from a Todd Wilber recipe

 

DEBORAH RANCIOT’S GOTHAM BAR AND GRILL CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy)

 

1 cup whole milk

2 envelopes active dry yeast

1/2 cup plus 1 pinch granulated sugar

2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

2 large eggs

4 1/4 cups sifted flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons half-and-half

 

1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the whole milk at high power in 30-second bursts until it’s warm but not hot. Stir in the yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar and let the milk stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat 1 stick of the butter or margarine with the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the teaspoon of salt at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat at low speed until incorporated. Beat in the warm milk mixture, scraping in any yeast that has settled in the bottom of the bowl.

3. Switch to a dough hook. Gradually add the remaining 2 1/4 cups of flour and beat at medium speed until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm place until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

4. Cut four 15-inch-long sheets of wax paper. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and divide it into quarters. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll the dough to a 14-by-7-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it onto a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Transfer 2 sheets of dough to each of 2 baking sheets and freeze for about 15 minutes, until well chilled but still pliable.

5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, blend the remaining stick of butter or margarine with the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

6. Evenly spread 1 sheet of dough with one-fourth of the cinnamon butter or margarine. Trim the edges to form a neat 12-by-6-inch rectangle. Working from a long side, tightly roll up the dough. Return the dough to the freezer and chill until very cold, about 20 minutes. Repeat with the remaining sheets of dough and cinnamon butter or margarine.

7. Butter or margarine a 10-inch spring form pan. Cut the rolls 1 inch thick (you should have about 48). Arrange the cinnamon rolls, cut side up, in concentric circles in the pan, starting from the edge and working into the center. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until puffy.

8. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the half-and-half and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon.

9. Remove the plastic from the rolls and bake them for about 40 minutes, until golden and risen and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 180°. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the ring from the rolls. Remove the ring. Slide the rolls onto a plate, drizzle with the glaze and serve.

 

Make Ahead The unbaked rolls can be covered in plastic wrap and allowed to rise overnight in the refrigerator; let warm to room temperature before baking.  You can add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts and 1/4 cup of chopped raisins to the butter or margarine filling if you like.

 

BAKING POWDER CINNAMON ROLLS (dairy or pareve)

 

2 1/2 cups plus extra for rolling out

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, ½ and ½ , milk or non dairy substitute

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

 

Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

 

Frosting:

 

8 oz cream cheese or pareve cream cheese

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk or non dairy substitute

 

Preheat the oven to 425. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter or margarine until the mixture is crumbly, set the mixture aside.

 

Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour; 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter or margarinemilk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter or margarine together. Gently stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Don’t over mix. Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough out into a rectangle (this will require a bit of pushing and pounding to get it into the rectangle shape.  Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the brown sugar filling making sure to leave 1/2-inch border. Press the filling into the dough. At this point the dough may be sticking to the counter and you may need to lift the dough slightly with a spatula. Roll up the dough, starting on the long edge, jelly rolls style, pressing consistently to form a roll. Make sure that that you keep the rolling pretty tight. This dough will rise and expand so you want to make sure the filling will stay in place.  Seal the seam by pinching it together. Cut the roll into 8 pieces. Place the slices in the prepared pan. Brush the top of the rolls with the remaining melted butter or margarine. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Place a piece of wax paper on a cooling rack. Loosen the rolls from the sides of the pan with a knife. Flip the buns out onto the wax paper on the cooling rack, then immediately flip the buns over onto the serving platter. Cool for 10 minutes before frosting. Makes 8

 

Frosting: Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor electric mixing bowl and mix to combine. This frosting can be made 2 to 3 days in advance.

 

Submitted by Artie Markson Chicago IL modified from about.com

 

CHERRY AND PECAN CINNAMON BUNS (dairy or pareve)

 

For dough

1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115)

1- 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute at room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces and softened

 

For filling

1/2 cup dried sour cherries, dried cranberries, or raisins

3/4 cup pecans, toasted until golden brown and chopped fine

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly

 

For glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons water

 

In bowl of a standing electric mixer with paddle attachment sprinkle yeast over water with 1/4 teaspoon sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, flour, milk, salt, and yolks and beat on low speed until combined well. Beat in butter or margarine, a few pieces at a time, and beat on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (Dough will be soft.) Scrape dough from side of bowl and let rise, covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, in a warm place 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Make filling while dough is rising:

 

In a bowl soak dried fruit in warm water to cover 15 minutes. Drain fruit, discarding water, and chop fine. In a small bowl stir together fruit and pecans.

 

In a small bowl stir together well sugar and cinnamon.

 

Grease a 13-by 9-inch baking pan. Punch down dough and on a floured surface roll out into a 16- by 12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter or margarine, leaving an unbutter or margarineed 1/2-inch border on long sides, and sprinkle filling evenly over butter or margarineed dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over filling.

 

With a long side facing you, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion, brushing off any excess flour, and pinch long edge together firmly to seal. Cut rolled dough crosswise into 12 pieces with a sharp knife and arrange pieces, cut sides down, in pan. Let buns rise, covered loosely, in a warm place 45 to 50 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

 

While buns are rising, preheat oven to 350. Bake buns in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes. (Alternatively, buns may be made 1 week ahead: Bake buns in middle of oven until pale golden, about 15 minutes (buns will not be completely baked), and transfer pan to a rack to cool completely. Freeze buns in pan, covered tightly with foil. To serve, thaw buns at room temperature 1 hour and bake in a preheated 350°F. oven until golden, about 10 minutes). Transfer buns to a rack and cool slightly.

 

Make glaze while buns are cooling: In a small bowl whisk together confectioner’s sugar and water until smooth. Transfer glaze to a small sealable plastic bag and snip off tip of 1 corner to make a hole for piping glaze. Pipe glace onto cinnamon buns and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

 

Modified from Gourmet 1995

 

BISCUIT CINNAMON BUNS (dairy or pareve)

 

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter or margarine

1 large egg

1/4 cup milk or non dairy substitute

3 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon water

 

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Into a large bowl sift together flour, remaining tablespoon granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter or margarine into small pieces and with your fingertips or a pastry blender blend into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another small bowl whisk together egg and 3 tablespoons milk and add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

 

Transfer mixture to a lightly floured surface and gently knead, 3 or 4 times, until it forms a dough. Pat dough into a 10- by 6-inch rectangle (about ‚ inch thick). Brush dough with some remaining milk and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar. Beginning with a short side, roll up rectangle to form a 6-inch log and cut crosswise into 4 pieces. Arrange pieces on a baking sheet, cut sides up, with seams touching. Bake buns in middle of oven until pale golden and cooked through, about 18 minutes.

 

In another small bowl stir together confectioners’ sugar and water until smooth and drizzle over warm buns. Makes 4.

 

Modified from epicurious.com

Cupcakes for the Holidays

There are times in your life ( like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

 

 

Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

 

BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

 

ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

Cupcake VS Muffins You Choose the Winner

It isn’t often in this trouble filled world that a difference of opinion is solved in an amiable manor. The dispute over what or what is not a cupcake (as opposed to a muffin) and be solved in either a simplistic, cupcakes have frosting, muffins do not answer or with a semi scientific response where a basic recipe for both require about 2 cups flour, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1
egg, 1/4 cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. To turn the basic muffin recipe into a cupcake it to double the shortening, sugar and egg ingredients and voila, the muffin becomes a cupcake.

Seeing that is was about 2 o’clock in the morning when this craving came upon me I of course came up with a few less politically
correct answers for the question “What is the difference between cupcake and muffins?”

1. A muffin is a confused cupcake or vice versa depending on which you like more.

2. If you throw a cupcake against a wall you a gentle “whomp” sound and lots of crumbs as it explodes and falls on the
floor.

3. If you throw a muffin against a wall you get a
“thud” noise and it puts a dent or hole in the wall.

4. Cupcakes are made of cake silly, whereas muffins
typically a quick bread.

5. Muffins are unattractive cupcakes and cupcakes are
pretty muffins.

6. In a cupcake you cream the butter and sugar together
before adding the other ingredient. With a muffin you dump everything in the
bowl at once and hope it doesn’t explode.

7. Most cake recipes can be utilized to make cupcakes
where as you can’t really make a cake out of a muffin recipe.

8. Muffins typically cook at a higher temperature than
cupcakes.

9. While you can/do grease the muffin/cupcake pans before
cooking you rarely use a paper liner for a muffin

10 Who cares, they’re both delicious.

 

Make no mistake; this is an equal opportunity cup cake
and muffin column. It came about when I decided I couldn’t go one more day
without a muffin, or was that a cup cake. I went through my recipe files and
came up with two almost identical recipes but one was called a cup cake and the
other a muffin. Being the curious soul I am, I ended up researching and the
following recipes that could be either muffins or cupcakes are the happy
result. You decide.

 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN MUFFINS

 

Topping:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

1 can (10 ounces) pineapple slices, drained cut in thirds

 

Muffins:

 

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oatmeal (not the quick kind)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice

1 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

 

Make the topping: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar into
each prepared muffin cup. Place 2 pieces of pineapple in each muffin cup. Set
the pan aside.

 

Muffins: In a large bowl combine the flour, oats,
cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine and set it aside.
In another bowl combine the brown sugar and eggs and mix well. Whisk the oil,
orange juice and vanilla into the egg mixture and mix until combined. Add the
crushed pineapple, mix to combine and then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture
and stir until just blended. Gently mix in the carrots and raisins. Divide
batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops
are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Immediately
run a knife around edges of cups and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet.
Reposition any stray pineapple pieces. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve
upside down, warm or at room temperature.

 

Adapted from 750 Best Muffin
Recipes by Camilla Saulbury

AFTER THE HOLIDAY SWEET POTATO MUFFINS

Leftovers are the key to this
recipe

 

1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cranberry sauce

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a
large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, oil, water, orange zest,
and vanilla. Mix to combine and set aside. In another bowl combine the flour,
salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then add to the sweet potato mixture. Mix
to just combine. Add the cranberry sauce and mix to just combine. Fill the
prepared pan so that the batter fills each muffin cup 2/3’s full. Bake for 25
to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the muffins in pan on
a rack for about 5 minutes then remove to cool on a rack. Makes 12.

 

JAM FILLED ALMOND MUFFINS

 

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup blackberry, blueberry, raspberry or cherry
jam

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

 

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 muffin cups with cooking
spray and set it aside. In a bowl combine the jam and almond extract and mix to
combine. Set it aside. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda
and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs and brown sugar. Mix until combined
and then add the buttermilk, orange juice, oil and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add
to the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until JUST combine. Do not over
mix. Fill each of the 12 muffin cups ½ full of the batter. Drop a generous
teaspoonful of the jam into the center of each muffin and then top with the
remaining batter, filling each muffin cup ¾ full. Sprinkle the almonds on the
top and then sprinkle the sugar over the almonds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or
until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Loosen edges with
a knife and remove them from the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Makes 12

 

Tip: You can substitute 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1
cup milk for the buttermilk.

 

Modified from eatingwell.com

 

 

CREAM CORN AND SALSA CORN MUFFINS

 

1 cup corn meal

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup milk

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter

2 teaspoon honey

1 egg

1/2 cup cream style corn

1/3 to 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 12 muffin cups and set them
aside. In a large bowl combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. In
another bowl combine the milk, lemon juice, oil, honey, and egg. Mix to combine
and then add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix to just combine and
then add the corn and peppers. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on
top. Makes 12.

 

 

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS AKA BREAKFAST CUPCAKES

Great with butter or jam they can also be frosted

 

2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached
All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups (9 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter, melted

coarse pearl sugar, for topping (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a standard muffin pan with
paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups.

 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour,
sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set
aside.

 

In a large measuring cup or medium-sized mixing bowl,
whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and vinegar. Add the wet ingredients,
along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend;
there’s no need to beat these muffins, just make sure everything is
well-combined.

 

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin; the cups
will be heaped with batter, and the muffin will bake into a
“mushroom” shape. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.

 

Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake
tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins
from the oven, and after 5 minutes remove them from the pan, allowing them to
cool for about 15 minutes on a rack before peeling off the muffin papers or
silicone cups. Yield: 12 muffins.

 

From the King Arthur Flour website.

 

CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

Using a mix makes this super easy

 

1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil

4 eggs

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use Combine all ingredients
into a bowl and mix well. Pour into cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3
full. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool completely.

 

Make the filling

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup powdered sugar

 

In a glass microwavable bowl combine the butter and
peanut… Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until the butter is melted. Stir to
combine and add the graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Mix to combine,
but don’t worry, it will be thick. Refrigerate the peanut butter mixture for 30
minutes to firm. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, use a small paring knife
remove a hole in the center of the cupcake making sure not to go all the way to
the bottom. Make it shallow and wide as opposed to deep. Roll just over a
tablespoon of filling into a small ball and place into center of the whole and
set them aside. (you may have extra filling, it makes a great buckeye candy if
you dip it in chocolate).

 

 

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 to 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoon milk

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and
vanilla and mix to combine. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. On a
low speed slowly add the powdered sugar in one cup at a time and then add the
milk to give the frosting its desired consistency. Frost the filled cupcakes
being careful as you cover the peanut butter filling. Makes 12. .

 

Submitted by Rhonda Trilalon Detroit MI, modified

I’m Raisin the Roof for Father’s Day!

 

            My dad loves raisins. In cereal, in bread, in cookies, covered in chocolate and even, in a pinch, plain right out of the box. As a kid one of the bestest sweet treats he could give us was mixing up a bowl of sweet black and golden raisins with cashews (he’s a dentist so this was as crazy as he’d go in the sugar department). It was only later when I discovered his deepest darkest secret. While he was passing the bowl of these “good for you” natural treats he was stuffing his face with the chocolate covered ones.

            While I’m planning on giving him a pound or two of the primo milk chocolate ones this Father’s Day I’m also going to go all out and create a couple of other “raisin-centric” recipes just to let him know how much I appreciate all the wonderful stuff he taught me all the years of my life, especially  about sharing.

       

APPLE SAUCE RAISIN NUT QUICK BREAD

 

1 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9X5 loaf pan. In a large bowl combine the applesauce and egg. Mix to combine. Mix in the melted butter, brown and white sugars and then set the mixture aside.

 

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture. Mix just until blended. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Cool the bread on a cooling rack for at least ½ hour before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

 

RAISIN COFFEE CAKE

 

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar divided

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon powdered sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×9 pan.

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and thoroughly mixed. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into another bowl. Add to butter mixture one-third at a time alternating with sour cream and beating well after each addition. Mix in raisins.

 

In small bowl mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Spread about 2/3’s of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and then top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.

 

Bake in middle of oven 55 minutes to 1 hour until pick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Cool for ½ hour and then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

 

Modified and submitted by Arthur Parsons Trenton NJ

 

CASHEW AND RAISIN COOKIE

 

1 2/3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 large eggs

3/4 cup chopped cashews

3/4 cup golden raisins

 

Preheat oven to 300. Grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and baking soda. Mix to combine. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, vanilla, and eggs and beat until the mixture thickens. Add the flour mixture, cashews, and raisins to the egg mixture and mix to combine. . Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 6 or 7 times and then shape it into a 12 to 14 inch roll. Place dough on the prepared baking sheet and then pat the roll down until it’s about an inch thick. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

 

Place the cookie roll on a cutting board and cut the roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices. Place the slices back on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes (the cookies will be sort of soft in the middle but harden as they cool. Cool on a cooling rack. Makes 2 dozen

 

QUAKER VANISHING OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

This is the recipe is the first one I made myself as an 8 year old!!

 

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned)

1 cup raisins

 

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together until no streaks remain. Stir this into the butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

 

Modified from the Quaker Oats web site

 

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE AND RAISIN MUFFINS

 

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a muffin pan or line with 12 paper muffin liners. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the oats, sugar, raisins and salt.  Add the milk, egg, and oil, mix until just blended. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, about 2/3’s full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cool on a wire rack. Makes 12

 

RUM RAISIN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

 

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup rum

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

3/4 cup flour

1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

 

Place the raisins in a bowl and pour the rum over them, let them sit for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan. In a sauce pan combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring until the chocolate and butter melt together.  Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Mix in the raisins (with the remaining liquid) and then add the flour and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter to pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cut into squares. Makes 8 to 12

 

Modified from Bon Appétit | December 1999

 

CURRY AND RAISIN VEGGIE SALAD

 

1 head broccoli, chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

2 shredded carrots

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

 

In a bowl combine the broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, bacon, raisins and onion, mix and set aside. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and curry powder. Mix to combine and then pour the dressing over the vegetable mix. Mix to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes about 12 cups.

 

Modified from sunmaid.com