Recipe: Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

In recent years I've developed an addiction to ice cream and frozen treats. 

This is not something I've had my entire life. As a kid, I remember occasionally getting ice cream for a treat or on vacation or occasionally something from the ice cream man who drove around our neighborhood. But I don't remember craving it the same way I do now. Recently I'm pretty game for ice cream any time, any day, any where. Need a pickmeup? Go get ice cream. Need to celebrate something? Let's get ice cream! Need to kill some time before going to the movies? Ice cream that you get a lid for and end up sneaking into the movies. It's just exactly what I want at any given moment and I've decided to go with it.

These popsicle were created because I tend to come home from work very hangry and need something right away. Because when you are tired and annoyed from work and hungry, you'd be surprised how often you decide to just get ice cream for dinner. Having these not-too-unhealthy alternatives handy means I make it to dinner more often.

Raspberry Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons honey
Half a lemon
1 1/2โ€“2 cups vanilla greek yogurt

Place raspberries in a medium sized bowl. Add honey and juice from half a lemon. Using a spatula or spoon, cover the berries with the juice and honey and let sit for at least a half an hour in the fridge. Pour your raspberry mixture into a blender, and blend until smooth. If you really hate raspberry seeds, you can pour the mixture through a mesh strainer before filling your popsicle molds, but I didn't bother.

When filling your popsicle molds (I believe I have this one), alternate between the yogurt and raspberry puree until they are 3/4th full. Then using a wooden skewer, swirl the layers together a little bit to get swirls. If you don't have a wooden skewer lying around, you can use anything that's long and fairly skinny. You also don't have to swirl them at all and they will still be great. Add in your popsicle sticks and freeze for 4โ€“6 hours until completely frozen.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I took a little time off from making, baking, and photographing to have a low-key weekend before I head to Chicago this week. Work has been intense lately. I'm adjusting to wanting to spend a lot of my time off with someone else. The weather has been starting to perk up. All in all I just needed a weekend to relax and not worry about baking. Getting back into the swing of things this weekend, I wanted to make something that used up things in my fridge/pantry. It's been a little while since I've baked cupcakes and I had a few oranges and blood oranges lingering in my fridge and these cupcakes were born. A standard cupcake with a few twists: orange zest, dark cocoa, and a tangy frosting.  

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes 

Yields 36 cupcakes

1 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed or Special Dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place liners in a cupcake pan.

Cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add zest of one orange and vanilla and mix together.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add a third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, add half the buttermilk, another third of dry, the other half of the buttermilk, and the last third of dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into the cupcake pan, filling each liner until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then cool completely before frosting.

ChocolateOrangeCupcakes-4.jpg

Orange Buttercream

1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 orange, zest and juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with confectioner's sugar, adding one cup at a time. Add vanilla and the zest of an orange. Juice the orange, strain it, and then add to the frosting one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistence. (I used 3-4 tablespoons) Beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes until frosting is light and airy.

Add to a pastry bag with a star tip and frost each cupcake in a circular motion. Top with an orange slice if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight cake carrier.

Recipe: Lucky Charms Popcorn

Did you know you can buy 1 pound bags of dehydrated marshmallows (a.k.a. Lucky Charms) on Amazon for $10? Maybe you're thinking, who would want to do that? And the answer for that is me. I bought them. I knew it would be awesome to use them but didn't know what to do with them. I could use them to top cakes and donuts, but I wanted to incorporate them into something different. I'd been seeing different recipes for birthday cake popcorn floating around the internet and all of a sudden it clicked and I knew I could throw these marshmallows in it to make it even better.

I didn't think I would like this popcorn as much as I do. It's really intense. Very sugary and vanilla-y, but also strangely addictive. I found myself not being able to walk past it without grabbing a piece. And this recipe makes the popcorn from kernels on the stovetop, because it's honestly the most fun thing to do. Watching the kernels pop in a pot makes me giddy. It just seems like magic or something! 

Lucky Charms Popcorn

Yields 6 cups of popcorn

Adapted from this recipe.

1/2 cup of coconut oil, separated into two 1/4 cups
2/3 cup of popcorn kernels
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1โ€“1 1/2 cups boxed white cake mix
1/2 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows
1/4 cup sprinkles

Make your popcorn: Add 1/4 cup of coconut oil to a large pot with a lid and add three kernels to pot. Cover and cook on medium high heat until the kernels pop. Remove them from the oil, add the rest of the kernels, cover, and remove from heat for a minute. Put back on heat and cook until the popping starts to slow down. Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt, and remove lid. I found this walkthrough really helpful.

Make your topping: In a medium heatproof bowl, melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in 1/4 cup of coconut oil, then add 1 cup of the boxed cake mix. Add up to another half a cup if desired.

In a large bowl, add half of the popcorn and half of the melted white chocolate/cake mixture and stir until well incorporated. I used my hands for this process. Once mixed, spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with half of the marshmallows and sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining popcorn and white chocolate/cake mixture and spread it out overtop the previous batch on the baking sheet. Add remaining marshmallows and sprinkles and let harden. I left mine out overnight with some loose plastic wrap over top. Enjoy or store in an air tight container. 

Recipe: Nutella and Banana Indoor S'mores

I know it's technically not summer anymore, but it's currently 95 degrees in my house as I write this and it certainly still feels summery around here. I also don't really need a timeframe to eat s'mores. S'mores should be an all-year-round food in my opinion.

So that's what we are doing today. Making s'mores inside because at some point it's going to be snowing and I'm going to crave s'mores and we'll have this to fall back on. There won't be a fire pit. Your hair won't smell like a smoky fire. But, at least you'll have this treat. And we're throwing bananas and Nutella in there because we can. We're adults.

Nutella and Banana Indoor S'mores

Yields 6 s'mores

  • 6 graham crackers, broken in half
  • 6 marshmallows
  • Nutella
  • 1 banana, cut into large slices

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.

Take a half piece of graham cracker, smother it with Nutella and place a marshmallow on top. Do this with 6 halves of graham cracker and place each on the foil-lined baking sheet. Place in broiler for 2-3 minutes. You're going to want to watch these the entire time. They go from slightly toasty to burned in a matter of seconds. TRUST ME.

Once your marshmallows are slightly browned, remove from the oven and immediately press a slice of banana down on the marshmallow. Spread more Nutella on another piece of graham cracker and top each s'more. Enjoy immediately.

Recipe: Coffee Cake Donuts

Hi, 2015! Let's fill you with laughter and fun and donuts.

Maybe you've made your New Years resolutions to go to the gym more, or eat a better diet. But over here in my little apartment, I'm making a resolution to eat more donuts. It's a resolution I feel pretty confident I'll be able to stick to all year long. And it's so much better than heading to the gym.

Coffee Cake Donuts

Yields 24 donuts

Adapted slightly from A Baker's Field Guide to Doughnuts

Topping:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour

Donut Batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick cold butter (I used salted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard-sized donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Start by making the crumb topping. In a large bowl, combine sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir until combined. Stir in cake flour and continue to stir until mixture becomes a smooth, thick dough. Set aside.

To make the batter, whisk both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and sand-like.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla extract until combined. Using an wooden spoon, fold wet ingredients until dry until dough comes together. Small pieces of butter will still be visual throughout the dough. 

Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Keep the wells on the light side, you don't want to overfill them. Break the crumb topping up with your fingers and evenly distribute the crumbs on top of each donut. Lightly press the crumbs in place and be generous!

Before baking, tap the pan on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake each donut for 8-10 minutes. You'll know when they're done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After cooling 5 minutes in the pan, transfer to a wire rack with parchment paper underneath to continue to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy the same day.