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Banana Bread Cake Pops

Banana bread with chocolate.

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This past weekend was my boyfriend’s birthday and I planned a surprise party for him (yes, I can be sweet when I try!). So, I decided to treat everyone to some quick, sweet bites- Banana Bread Cake Pops. Why the Banana Bread? Well, it’s a staple in the Naik House- we always have some moist, chocolatey and nutty banana bread that my boyfriend always goes home with. Let’s just say he REALLY likes our banana bread! I thought, why don’t I just use that banana bread and make them into cake pops? Plus, no guests likes to stand around holding a plate and fork chowing down a slice of cake! I mean no one said that cake pops have to be made with a particular type of cake, or cake at all!

I combined a tweeked version of our Banana Bread recipe with sweet banana frosting and enrobed it in deep, dark chocolate. Now, if that doesn’t sound good to you, than I don’t what does! If you’re not a banana fan (like me), you’re palette is definitely going to change after you take a bite out of these!

Banana Bread Recipe:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan with PAM. Set aside.

1. In a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, cream and oil until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, break up the banana and add sugar.

Using a hand mixer, whip together until fluffy, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the wet ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and continue beating for 2 minutes longer. DO NOT OVER BEAT! Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until inserted wooden toothpicks comes out clean. Set aside to cool for an hour.

Banana Frosting:

1. In a large bowl mash the banana with the lemon juice. Mix in the vanilla and milk.

Using a hand mixer, blend banana mixture together on medium-low speed until slightly smooth. Add the sugar in slowly and continuously with the blender on medium-low. As the frosting becomes thicker, increase the speed of the mixer. Frosting should have a thick and creamy consistency- you don’t want it to be too thick. If it is too thick, you can add a little milk.

Makes 2 cups of Frosting

Coating:

  • 5 3.5oz Dark Chocolate Bars (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Brand)
  • Sugar Pearls- any color
  • 1/2 3.5oz White Chocolate Bar (I used Ghiradelli Brand)

1. In a large clear bowl, break dark chocolate bar into small pieces. Microwave for 35 second. Remove and stir with a spatula. Continue until chocolate is almost all melted. Stir vigorously to melt remaining pieces and the chocolate will become shiny. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. When you’re ready to decorate, melt the white chocolate the same way.

To Make Cake Pop Balls:

1. Once the banana bread is cool, break it up into a large bowl.

2. Use a little more than 1 cup of the banana frosting, and stir into the crumbled banana bread. Mix well. The consistency should be almost like a thick, crumbly dough:

3. Using your hands, grab a little bit of the dough and roll into 1-2 inch balls. Ass your rolling, press the dough together to make sure its compacted tightly- you don’t want them falling apart later on! If your hand gets super sticky, just dab a little warmer on them and continue rolling. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper:

Freeze for about 2 hours, or until the balls are cool and hard.

4. Once the chocolate is melted and cooled to room temperature, stick the cookie stick into each cake pop, and dip the balls until completely coated and smooth. Remove and carefully place back on parchment lined sheet. Dip each ball, making sure that they’re dipped all around, and there are no rough edges. If decorating with sugar pearls, coat the tops with a few pearls right after you dip the cake pops. If decorating with white chocolate drizzle, let cool (overnight preferably).

Pour the melted white chocolate in a small ziplock bag and cut a TINY part of the corner off. Drizzle the cooled cake pops, going back and forth until a pretty lined drizzle-effect appears. Let cool for about 2 hours.

5. I served mine in a rectangular basket, filled with a styrofoam piece (so they stay put), and everyone loved them!

Makes about 48-50 Cake Pops


 
 

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Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops

Don’t need much of an introduction for these yummy pops, besides mentioning that they’re CRAZY easy to make and I used a slightly ghetto cake-pop method. What! I wanted cake pops fast and I was tired! Jeez, a chef can take some shortcuts!

Anyways, I used Betty Crocker chocolate Chip Cookie mix and instead of using regular butter, I used Land-O-Lakes 50% less fat butter spread. The result was fluffy cake-like chocolate-chip goodness. Why you may ask did I use buttery spread? Well, since I’m just a little obsessed with being healthy, I decided to cut the fat and calories a bit by using the 50% less fat spread! It was amazing!

Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops:

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Chocolate-Chip Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup 50% less fat butter spread/margarine- at room temperature (I used Land-o-Lakes)
  • 1 egg- at room temperature
  • PAM Baking Flavor
  • 1 cup homemade vanilla frosting
  • 2-3 cups melted dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2-3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (I used Skim Plus)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 tbsp unsalted butter- at room temperature (Yes, I used real butter for this)

1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with PAM. In a large bowl add cookie mix, egg and butter. Mix all together until incorporated well and forms into cookie-dough texture. Drop about 2 tbsp rounds onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until soft, and medium-brown on the bottom. Remove and cool.

2. To make the frosting, in a large bowl add the butter and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. With the mixer on low add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar, increasing the speed as you add more sugar. After you’ve added all the sugar, beat in about 2-3 tbsp milk and vanilla extract. Frosting should be thick and cream (as if you were to frost a cupcake). Pour more/less milk to achieve that consistency.

3. In a large bowl crumble about 3/4 of the batch of cookies. Add the frosting and mix until you’ve reached a crumbly, dough-like consistency. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet to freeze for about 30 minutes. Before freezing, place a lollipop stick into the balls, so the stick hardens with the cake and stays put. Remove and dip one-by-one into the melted, cooled chocolate. stand up-right in a glass or stick into a styrofoam slab to dry. Eat! I liked mine with a glass of cold fat-free milk :)

 
14 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka, Chocolate

 

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nutella cheesecake layer bars recipe

Tartine et pot de Nutella

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I am very much a creature of habit.

Daily routines, favorite foods, clothing styles, music preferences . . .

It’s all so predictable.

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So of course, my shopping tendencies are no different.

Case in point: 3 of the same horizontal-striped shirts from Gap in different color combinations.  (To be fair, I found two of them on sale.  Win win win!)

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I don’t know what it is about theses simple stripes that I like so much, but I always (and that’s no exaggeration) reach for this kind of clothing whenever I’m shopping.  It’s not so much reinforcing a style as it is my near-obsession with stripes.  (And I know that three shirts aren’t enough to constitute me calling this an obsessions – but these guys are just the tip of the iceberg.  One look inside my closet and you’d understand.)

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So I suppose it’s only natural that I would make a “horizontally-striped” dessert.

Layer bars.  I love them.

(Oh, and cheesecake too!)

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These bars are awesome.  They’re quick and easy (mixed almost entirely in the food-processor), require a pretty limited number of ingredients, and are flat-out delicious.

The first (bottom) layer is a chocolate graham cracker crust.  The crust isn’t overly sweet, though you could add a pinch of sugar if you’d like.  It’s more about the structural support for the bars, as well as the added chocolate flavor.

Next comes the second (middle) layer, which is really straight-forward vanilla cheesecake.  No bells and whistles.  But guess what?  It doesn’t need it.  Good-quality vanilla extract gets the job done.

Last is the third (top) layer – the layer we’ve all been waiting for – the Nutella cheesecake!  Blend in the infamously addictive chocolate-hazelnut spread with some reserved vanilla cheesecake and you’re good to go.  The Nutella flavor isn’t overpowering at all- it’s actually somewhat subtle.  It’s definitely detectable, but if you want a more robust Nutella flavor, go ahead and use a higher proportion of it.  You could even make a Nutella fudge sauce to serve with the bars.

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You can’t go wrong when there’s Nutella involved.

Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars

- 8 Chocolate Graham Crackers

- ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, melted

- 16 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

- 2 eggs, at room temperature

- ½ C. Granulated Sugar

- ¼ + 1 Tbsp. Heavy Cream

- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

- ¼ C. Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter an 8 x 8 baking pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that the parchment is well pressed in the corners.  Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse chocolate graham crackers until they become crumbs (like bread crumbs).  Add in melted butter and pulse until moistened.  Press graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Bake crust in the center of the oven until set, about 12 minutes.  Set aside and cool.

Clean out the food processor.  Add cream cheese, eggs, sugar, ¼ C. heavy cream, and vanilla extract.  Pulse until smooth.  Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside.  Add Nutella and 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream to remaining 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture in the processor.  Pulse until smooth.

To assemble, spread the vanilla cheesecake mixture over the cooled graham cracker base, being careful not to disturb the crust.  Pour Nutella cheesecake layer on top of vanilla layer and spread evenly.  Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to serve, lift bars out of the pan by lifting up the parchment paper (it should release easily).  Slice into 16 squares and serve.

Yields 16 Squares

Printer- Friendly Version

Source: http://themoonlightbaker.com/2011/03/04/nutella-cheesecake-layer-bars/

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate

 

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peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins

butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, choc...

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What do you do when (a) it’s your free day, (b) there’s plenty of bananas in the kitchen, (c) and there’s that cool jar of peanut butter sitting in the pantry, screaming out “try me!” ? Bake these muffins of course. Yeah I know, it’s like four weeks or so to the end of the semester, and I have like a pile of readings and assignments to do. I need a break, yes? HEH HEH. These muffins were totally worth the mini break!

Crunchy muffin top, yet soft, fluffy and moist on the inside. Even if you’re not a peanut butter fan, you’ll still love these. I’d know because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter unless it comes in the form of reese peanut butter cups. This recipe’s definitely a keeper for me. Trust me, make these muffins. (:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 20 medium sized muffins
(adapted from here)

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed (makes about 1 1/4 cups of mashed bananas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil (I used normal vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/167 C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Combine, and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  4. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture. Mix enough just to combine. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cases, about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh in case you were wondering, this is the jar of peanut butter that left me intrigued. It’s my dad’s favourite brand of peanut butter.

source: http://snaprolls.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/fifteen-peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Betty’s Christmas Vanilla Butter Cookies

Wheat flour

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Christmas Vanilla Butter Cookies. This recipe is designed for making cookies that are to be cut with specialty cookie cutters, and is also the perfect cookie for frosting. These Vanilla Butter Cookies taste great, too!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg, well-beaten
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
red-colored sugar and green-colored sugar for sprinkling tops of cookies before baking (optional) or icing for after cooling (optional) (I will be uploading Icing for Christmas Cookies in the next upload.)

In a large bowl, beat 1 cup softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add 1 well-beaten egg, and beat for 1 minute. Stir in 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, gradually. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until dough is firm and easy to handle. Roll out on lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired Christmas shapes with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets or baking pans. Sprinkle with green-colored sugar or red-colored sugar, if desired. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown. Cool on wire racks. Transfer to a nice serving plate or cookie tin. These make great Christmas gifts in cookie tins, or you can use them for your Christmas party or to leave for Santa! Enjoy! –Betty 

I know it’s not Christmas, but I am uploading Betty’s videos in some kind of order , so it’s not really the time for these kind of videos, but oh well Christmas cooking videos are always good in my opinion! Enjoy!

 

 

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Betty’s Icing for Christmas Cookies Recipe

eat as much as you can

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Colored Icing for Christmas Cookies. I used red and green colors in this icing. I used red, green, and white icing to turn my Christmas Vanilla Butter Cookies into festive treats! I think you will enjoy icing your Christmas cookies with this recipe.

Ingredients (full recipe; I only made half of the recipe in the video):

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ tablespoons water
food coloring, as desired (for Christmas cookies, red and green are the best colors to use.)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 ½ tablespoons water thoroughly. Add more water, a few drops at a time, until mixture is of spreading consistency. If the mixture is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. Divide into 3 parts. Color one part with green food coloring to desired shade of green, one part with red food coloring to desired shade of red, and leave the third part white. Use the icing to frost cookies as desired. Let each individual color of icing set up before applying a different color, and let all iced cookies sit on waxed paper until dry. Then you may stack them on a nice serving plate or nestle them in a cookie tin that is lined with Christmas tissue paper or napkins. The cookies will be quite colorful and enjoyable to ice! –Betty 

 

 

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Betty’s Rich Chocolate Frosting Recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Rich Chocolate Frosting. This frosting is composed of unsweetened chocolate squares, butter, eggs, half-and-half, confectioner’s sugar, and flavorings. It looks lovely and tastes decadent!

Ingredients:

(2) 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg (I used ¼ cup egg substituteEgg Beaters.)
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
16-oz. package confectioner’s sugar

Place (2) 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate in top of a double boiler. Bring water in double boiler to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and heat chocolate until it melts. Set aside to cool slightly. Place ½ cup butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer. Add cooled, melted chocolate, 1 egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute), 1 tablespoon half-and-half, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice. Mix well with mixer. Continue to mix with mixer while slowly adding a 16-oz. package of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Spread immediately on cakes, cupcakes, etc. This is a beautiful frosting that is so easy to use. You can easily spread it over the top of Never Fail White Frosting on my Best Chocolate Cake with Double Frosting! Enjoy!!! –Betty

 

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Betty’s Never Fail White Icing Recipe

Thin layers of a genoise soaked in grand marni...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Never Fail White Icing. This is made with a boiled sugar syrup beaten into egg whites and is a dramatic and tasty icing for cakes, cupcakes, and other sweets.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 egg whites
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans

In a heavy pot, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup. This mixture will have a “white” look. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until clear. Then cook, without stirring, until 232 degrees (F) on a candy thermometer. In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue to beat, slowly adding hot syrup mixture. Add ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and frosting is of spreading consistency. Gently stir in ½ cup of pecans. Immediately spread on cooled cake. After cake is spread, allow icing to set up. (It may be helpful to place the frosted cake in the refrigerator to speed up this process.) Enjoy!!! –Betty

 
 

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Betty’s Killer Meringue for Cream Pies Recipe

Meringues mit Schlagrahm

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make a Killer Meringue for Cream Pies. This meringue is made of sugar syrup that is beaten into egg whites. It is gorgeous, and it comes out perfect every time!

Ingredients:

¾ cup water
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 egg whites, at room temperature
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup water, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Stir until blended. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until transparent and thickened. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 egg whites and a dash of salt. Beat with an electric mixture until frothy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, and continue beating while gradually pouring cooked syrup into egg whites. Beat 3 minutes, or until stiff. Do not over-beat. Spread over the top of a cream pie and bake at 425 degrees (F) for 5 to 8 minutes. Lovely meringue! I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Betty 

 
 

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Betty’s Party Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle.

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Party Peanut Brittle. Everyone loves peanut brittle, and it is a perfect pick-up food at a party.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
cooking oil spray

In a medium-sized heavy pot, stir together 1 cup sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil, without stirring, 5 minutes (310 degrees on a candy thermometer). Add 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts. Stir. Cook 2 or 3 more minutes (280 degrees on a candy thermometer). Mixture will be golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Immediately, pour mixture into a 15-inch by 10-inch jellyroll pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil spray. Spread mixture with the back of a wooden spoon until of desired thickness and even. Let cool 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces, using a large spoon. Place on serving dish, or store in an airtight container. The taste of this Party Peanut Brittle is outrageously good! You may want to use it at your Super Bowl Party as a sweet snack! I hope you love it! –Betty 

 

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