Sunday, November 23, 2014

Apples and Pears, oh my!

Happy early Thanksgiving to all.

Ever thought about making healthier sweets at Thanksgiving while celebrating with family?

Let's give it a try this year!   Think about your favourite sweets you, ok tell the truth, over indulge on. There, you've thought it, ok now say it out loud. This year plan for making or eating healthier.  If you don't cook ask someone to make it for you.  Buy the ingredients and the freezer proof containers and tell them "happy baking".

Tonight I decided to make something sweet, but healthy.

3 Bartlett Pears  *option: Organic
1 large Honey Crisp Apple  *option: Organic

1 tsp light Brown Sugar
1 tbsp finely crushed Graham Crackers
1 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp room temperature unsalted butter  *option: Organic
A hint of cinnamon  *option: Organic

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Slice Bartlett Pears in half, scoop out seeds
Slice Honey Crisp Apple into 1/8 slices
Place dry ingredients together in a bowl and stir in the butter

Arrange Bartlett Pears and slices of Honey Crisp Apples on a cookie sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle "topping" all over and fruit that has been placed on the prepped cookie sheet. Add a touch of cinnamon before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.  Option to serve with vanilla Greek Yogurt or eat as is.

Apples and Pears, oh my!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Craving for Chocolate & Peanut Butter? You've found it!

The joy of baking comes from wanting to be creative in the kitchen.  Be imaginative with pulling some of your favorite sweets together.  This cupcake is great for those that love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Dark Chocolate.  I decided to make the Delicious Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes with using dark chocolate cake, filled with Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with Chocolate buttercream.  

I must say these are incredibly delicious…my craving was fulfilled, for the moment.  


This easy recipe is great for kids of all ages, so stop what you're doing and get to the store... you're making cupcakes with the kiddos.  Re-Play makes great toddler feeding products, fit for any queen or king.  See how Stepheny of Steph's Sweets uses them when making these delicious creations.

© Steph’s Sweets

With Chocolate buttercream and Reese’s Cups, makes 2 dozen
adapted from Steph’s Sweets

Prep time: 20  Cook time: 15 minutes

I like to make it easy, so here’s the shopping list:
Pillsbury Moist Supreme Dark Chocolate cake mix

Peter Pan Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

4 Grain All Natural Eggs

Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark

Paper Baking Cups

Room temperature ingredients: All ingredients should be room temperature; this ensures that everything will incorporate smoothly.  Note: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups should remain in the freezer until ready to divide. 

Products courtesy of Re-Play, a division of Re-Think It, Inc.

Making the dark chocolate cupcakes

1.      Follow the directions as noted on the Pillsbury cake mix and preheat oven.  I love my Kitchen Aid Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer after discovering it’s easier to “mix & leave”.  As that is mixing, prepare the cupcake pans with the baking cupcake liners.  Rules of thumb, from time to time as the ingredients are mixing scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl; you want to incorporate all ingredients evenly.

2.      To fill each cupcake evenly use a medium (3-tablespoon) ice cream scoop to spoon batter into the cups. Follow the baking guidelines located on the cake mix box. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
3.      As the cupcakes are baking, remove the Reese’s cups from the freezer, unwrap and using a knife divide the Reese’s Cups in 8 pieces. Set aside in a Re-Play Bowl or Re-Play Snack Stacks.
4.      It’s time to prep the Chocolate buttercream. See directions below for the easy recipe.
5.      Prep a piping bag with a ½ cup of Peter Pan creamy peanut butter.
6.      After removing the cupcake pan from the oven, remove the cupcakes from the pans and place the cupcakes on wire racks. Using the peanut butter filled piping bag, insert about ¼ teaspoon in each cupcake while they are still warm.
7.      Next fill a new piping bag with the chocolate buttercream; ensure to use the Wilton No. 2F Drop Flower Decorating Tip.
8.      Pipe each cupcake with the chocolate buttercream.
9.      Add a piece of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and add a light drizzle of Hershey’s Special Dark Syrup.
10.  Serve and Enjoy with a glass of milk.

Products courtesy of Re-Play, a division of Re-Think It, Inc.

adapted from Steph’s Sweets

Prep time: 15 minutes

I like to make it easy, so here’s the shopping list:

1/2 cup solid Crisco vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon of Meringue powder

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

1/3 cup of Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark

2-3 tablespoons of room temperature water

Directions:  In a large bowl beat shortening and butter add 1-2 tablespoons of water and add vanilla together until light and fluffy.  Once completely light and fluffy gradually add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time and the Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark.  When all sugar is mixed, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary.  The key is to whip it long enough to incorporate air until it expands 1.5x in volume and lightens in color.

Important tip:  Do NOT add the milk until the end and make sure you add it a little at a time.  Sometimes it doesn’t need milk.  I find the humidity plays a huge role in this.

Delicious Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Email me if you have any questions: