Monday, July 22, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

36 chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.

Do you know how much we love to host our friends during Ramadan? Each year I am blessed to see their beautiful faces in my home is truly a cherished gift.

Maryam made some yummy indian food. I wanted to coordinate with the theme, and bake vanilla chai cupcakes or mango lassi mousse cupcakes. But considering people are fasting all day, and they would probably like something alittle sweeter, I decided to go with chocolate. And cookie dough. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Adapted from Recipe Girl
12 cupcakes

Cookie dough filling (*may want to double recipe)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

*You may want to double the recipe if you want to bake mini cookies to garnish the cupcakes. Or you could buy Mini Chips Ahoy Cookies to garnish.

Filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to stir together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until the cookie dough is firm. Make the cake batter in the meantime. When ready, scoop out the cookie dough by the tablespoon and roll into a ball.

*Cookies for garnish: Roll cookie dough into teaspoon size balls and then press them down to about 1/4 inch thick because they do not spread out much while baking. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees F for 4-5 minutes. Do not over bake.

Chocolate Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.

Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend to combine. Add the water, oil, egg and vanilla. Blend to combine, scraping down the sides as needed a couple of times until all is well mixed. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.

Drop a ball of chocolate chip cookie dough into the center of each cupcake.

Bake the cupcakes for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake portion of the cupcake (not tested through the center where the dough is), comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely before adding the frosting.

Cookie Dough Frosting
3 sticks salted butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mini chocolate chips (garnish)
12 mini Chips Ahoy cookies (optional garnish)

This amount will generously frost 12 cupcakes (as seen in pictures). You could half the recipe if you aren't into that much frosting.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Mix in the flour, milk and vanilla and continue to mix until all is well combined.

Frost cupcakes with a knife or scoop the frosting into a piping bag and pipe it on decoratively. Sprinkle mini chips on top and garnish with a small chocolate chip cookie.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding Date Cake

Ramadan Mubarak!

Incredibly moist cake baked with sweet smelling dates and topped with a brown sugar toffee sauce and walnuts.

Maybe sticky toffee pudding can have different textures? Because the last one I made was different. Hard to describe, but it was just softer, and you could eat it with a spoon. I was expecting this one to be just like it, but actually it baked up as a cake. Date cake. Moist, dense date cake. It was a delicious surprise. 

I was alittle unsure because the cake has no sugar added! The dates lend all their natural sugars. It was still satisfyingly sweet.

Since I was expecting sticky toffee pudding, I wanted the sauce to be, well sticky. But once you add the powdered sugar, however, it sets up right away and hardens. It was still good, and tasted like toffee, but I think something alittle gooey would be great. More like caramel and then add just alittle powdered sugar. Or maybe just put a thin layer of caramel underneath this topping.

Do you see how moist it is? You pre-cook the dates so they become soft and flavorful.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Date Cake
Recipe adapted from The English Kitchen

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped (15 medjool dates)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp baking soda

Place the dates into a saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, gently. Make sure the water doesn't completely evaporate. Add the baking soda, and set aside to cool. It should still have water in the pan.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Make sure it hangs well over two sides so that you can just lift the bars out to cut when finished.

Place all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together, until well blended. Add the date mixture and lightly blend. Do not over mix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

To make the frosting combine the butter, brown sugar, and cream into a small sauce pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the powdered sugar and mix together well. Quickly spread over the cooled cake mixture and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.

Cut into squares to serve.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fried Banana Nutella Rolls - Banana Haru Maki

Fresh banana and nutella wrapped in an egg-roll style wonton, deep-fried and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Topped with chocolate and caramel sauce. Served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Is your tongue on the floor yet? I saw Samrena pin these. They looked so freakin good I had to make them that very day. I just had something similar at Sushi Zushi. It's called banana haru maki. Delicious.

Naven said these were one of the best things I ever made. And they were so easy! :)

The only uneasy thing was trying to find spring roll or egg roll wrappers at the store. I looked everywhere. I tired myself out looking and asking. I couldn't find them. Had to improvise. I just grabbed frozen puff pastry dough. I guess I really wanted to make these that day. 

I rolled out the dough to make it as flat as I could, but still able to keep its shape. I cut my own little wrappers, probably about 6 inches x 6 inches. Here's a better picture of how to wrap it. Basically, put 2 tablespoons of the nutella in the center of the wrapper and then place half a banana in the corner. Wrap that corner over the banana. Then bring the corners to the left and right of the banana in together and pinch them together to combine them. Then roll the banana to the last corner on the opposite side. Pinch the dough to seal it.

They turned out very well with the puff pastry dough. I was worried it would be too thick and not fry all the way through.

I bought Torani dark chocolate sauce just for these. Alittle bit more expensive, but worth it. I wanted to make homemade caramel, but I got lazy.

Last words I shall say are cinnamon and sugar. That is all. ..... and nutella.

Fried Banana Nutella Rolls
Recipe adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth
Yield: 9 rolls

1 package (17.3 oz) frozen puff pastry dough
5 bananas, halved
1 cup Nutella
Vegetable, peanut or canola oil for frying (I used vegetable)
1/2 cup caster sugar*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dark chocolate sauce (optional)
Caramel sauce (optional)
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

Take box of dough out of freezer and place on counter for 30-40 minutes. Unwrap the folded dough and lay flat. Don't wait too long, because if the dough becomes fully to room temperature, it becomes harder to unwrap the folded layers. If however, you wait too long like I did, you can use a rolling pin to roll it out.

*You can make caster sugar by pulsing 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in the blender until it is super-fine but not powdery. Place in a bowl and stir in cinnamon. Set aside.

Once the dough is at room temperature, use a rolling pin to make the dough as flat as you can, but still able to keep its shape, so you can pick it up and move it. Use flour to dust the rolling pin and dough. Cut dough into 6 inch x 6 inch wrappers. 

Put 2 tablespoons of the nutella in the center of the wrapper and then place half a banana in the corner. Wrap that corner over the banana. Then bring the corners to the left and right of the banana in together and pinch them together to combine them. Then roll the banana to the last corner on the opposite side. Pinch the dough to seal it.

Heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees and place about 3 rolls into the oil at a time, frying for about 2 minutes on both sides, or until they are nice and golden.

Carefully, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove rolls, shake off excess oil, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm with ice cream and enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I made these delightfully fruity cupcakes for our fourth of July barbeque with our family. We don't pop fireworks or anything but since everyone is off from work, we wanted to get together and of course play with Ibraheem. My nephew is nine months old now and loves to be the center of attention. <3 

Should I even mention anymore that I got these from Pinterest? I think that's the last time I'll say it. Sorry, I know. Just assume every recipe is from there from now on. But I used a different buttercream.

Also sorry that these pictures are so dark. I should have brightened them up a bit. I really should get some kind of lamp that can evenly light up the table when I take photos.

Anyway, these were very easy to make because it is a doctored up boxed cake recipe. They came out very moist, to where you can make them the same day. You don't need them to sit overnight.

The description for these really fits. They aren't just a regular lemon cupcake. It tastes like a sweet, fruity glass of lemonade. Yum yum yum.

The frosting came out perfect too. My mom found some raspberry extract (kind of hard to find!) a few months ago so I was happy to finally use it. It helps deepen the raspberry flavor. 

The original recipe made these into mini cupcakes, but they are very light so I'm glad I made them full size.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Recipes adapted from Your Cup of Cake (cake) and My Baking Addiction (buttercream)

Lemonade Cake
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large egg whites (do not use the yolks!)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line pans with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl combine oil, egg whites, buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and extracts until smooth. Stir in cake mix until smooth.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 10-14 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Raspberry Buttercream
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1/2 cup shortening*
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
2 teaspoons raspberry extract*
3 cups powdered sugar

Blend the raspberries in a food processor or blender until it is pureed and then push through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. It should now equal about 1/2 cup after it has been strained.

Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add extracts and raspberry puree and combine well.

Gradually beat in the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition.

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