Glazed Carrot Cake

Hey there! Happy pre-new year weekend!

It was recently my dad’s birthday, so of course I had to make a cake of some sort. My parents are really not into icing and the amounts of butter and/or sugar normal cakes include. So I went with a simple carrot cake with a thin glaze (needed some sort of excitement). Carrot cakes normally taste perfect with cream cheese icing but, had I included that, I would have ended up eating the whole thing solo (which I would do… but would probably regret later).

This is one of those recipes that I’ve had forever and really don’t know where it came from. My mom probably got it off the Internet, when that was a new thing to do.

As usual, here’s what you’ll need:

This recipe doesn’t have any butter so you’ll see that quite a lot of oil is needed. Just mix everything together and you’ll get this (not too attractive, but just go with it for now):

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Bake at 350°F for an hour and then invert onto a rack or plate of your choosing. I made a glaze with vanilla soymilk (whatever milk you’ve got on hand) and icing (confectioner’s) sugar. Just add a really small amount (teaspoon at a time) of the milk to your sugar until you’ve got the consistency you like. Pour it over:

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And decorate some more if you want:

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The cake may seem really oily before you bake it but after, it will be perfectly moist.

Enjoy the week and we’ll see you later!

-S

Recipe (makes 1 loaf):

–       1 cup sugar

–       1 ½ cups flour

–       ½ tsp baking soda

–       ¼ tsp salt

–       ½ tsp cinnamon

–       1 cup grated carrots

–       2/3 cup vegetable oil

–       1 egg

–       1 tsp vanilla

  1. Combine sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add carrots, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Pour into loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.
  5. Frost with glaze or cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing:

–       ½ package (1.5 ounces) cream cheese

–       ½ tbsp warm water

–       ½ tsp vanilla

–       1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

  1. Beat cream cheese with water and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sugar until reaching desired consistency.
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Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies for Christmas!

You know how some days are just perfect? Days when it seems like the whole world conspired just to make you happy? I had one of those days recently. My class was cancelled last minute, it was my Mom’s birthday, I bought a super cute pink hoodie, and made Chocolate chip cookie sandwich cookies. All in all, a great day off in the midst of exam prep, presentations, and the madness that is student life!

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These cookies are perfect for Christmas time-they’re so fast and easy, and the whole family can get involved in baking them. I made these with IS-a family friend, using the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and the cookies turned out pillowy soft, and the frosting with straight up scrumptious! I personally prefer a chewy chocolate chip cookie though, so if I were to remake this recipe, I would use the Original Tollhouse Chocolate chip cookie recipe (it’s also included below). We made the cookies using mini chocolate chips, but feel free to use regular chocolate chips.

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Of course, I found the need to add sprinkles to these cookies. We found these super cute dinosaur sprinkles that we used for some of the cookies! Feel free to try different flavour combinations like peanut butter chip cookies with nutella frosting in the middle, or chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips and vanilla buttercream…mmm that would be scrumptious! Especially with a warm cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day!

 

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These cookies were quick and delicious-clearly we couldn’t resist taking a bite!

Thanks to IS for the pictures!

S will be making something delicious next week and I’ll see you in the New Year!

-G

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Sally’s Recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/02/23/mini-chocolate-chip-cookie-sandwiches/

Original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 36 mini cookies which makes 18 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tbsp white sugar

6 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp pure vanilla

1 egg, at room temperature

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add egg, beat well.

4. Beat in flour mixture, and stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about 4 cm between each cookie.

6. Bake for 9-11 minutes (usually I bake them for 9 minutes, exactly).

Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp milk

1. On medium speed, cream butter for a few minutes. Turn speed to LOW and slowly pour in the dry ingredients.

2. Mix until sugar/cocoa are absorbed by the butter.

3. Add the vanilla and salt, and then milk.

4. Beat for about 2 minutes or until the frosting reaches a desired thickness.

Sandwich Cookie Assembly:

1. Pipe frosting onto mini cookies, and make the sandwiches.

2. Roll the cookie edges in sprinkles.

No Ice + No Cream = Ice Cream

I recently bought a friend a Yonanas machine (www.yonanas.com) and was pretty impressed that it actually worked pretty well. I’ve been thinking of getting one for myself but I would feel pretty guilty about the sixty something dollars it costs. Instead, I came upon this solution. I never knew that you could easily make ice cream out of bananas without an ice cream maker!

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All you really need is bananas. I sliced up three and froze them overnight. Secondly, you’ll need a blender. Lets take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this machine, regardless of what century it’s from. I kid you not; it says it is the “Royal LaMachine I”. Not too sure why you would ever call a blender that, but it still works, so I’ll go with it. There are lots of things you can do flavor wise here. You could add in peanut butter, some cookies (cookies and cream, anyone?) or I think some Nutella may be quite good too. I went for some cinnamon, vanilla, and honey after watching a Brothers Green episode on Youtube.

Just put the bananas in the blender, add the cinnamon, honey, and vanilla (or whatever else you want to add), and blend away.

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Initially, it won’t look like much. Every 20-30 seconds, use a spatula to push the bananas down towards the blade. Eventually, it’ll become smooth and creamy. I made this at around 4 pm, so I put it into a container and froze it until after dinner. If you don’t have the time, you really don’t need to freeze it.

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And there you have it 🙂

Hope you guys are all enjoying the holiday season and we’ll see you soon!

– S

Recipe (from the Brothers Green on Youtube):

6 bananas, thinly sliced, frozen overnight
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup walnuts  (I didn’t include these and it was still delicious)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Morning Glory Muffins and Chai

Alas here it is, final exams season. This calls for some serious comfort: a blanket, a muffin, and some Chai perhaps?

By Chai, I don’t mean that overpowering tall-extra-hot-no-foam-blah-blah-blah-chai-tea-latte you get over at Starbucks (the Cinnamon Dolce Latte however, is a magical concoction). I’m talking about the warm, gingery chai that my mom makes. Question: since chai literally translates to tea, why do cafes call their drink a tea tea latte? Chai can honestly cure everything! It’s raining outside (in December?!), and you’re feeling gloomy? Here’s some tea and a samosa! Sore throat? Solution: tea and Vicks VapoRub! None of your lab experiments worked today? Ok, I think you get the point…

I’ve included a recipe below; in case you’re in dire need of some Chai today!

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I’m a stress baker, and when I feel like things are getting out of hand, I like to make muffins. I’ve made a LOT of muffins since I started university! So, in the midst of some intense studying, I baked some Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins, for you. These muffins are super healthy and also moist and delicious! They have lots of whole wheat, and according to my Science education, this will keep your blood glucose levels stable-which is important! And it also has ground flaxseed, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your brain and your heart! Cinnamon will keep you alert and the bananas are high in potassium! Basically the only thing left to do is actually study…

The original recipe is from The Kitchn, which is a great resource for young kitchen aficionados, but of course I tweaked it according to what I had on hand at the time. Feel free to experiment with different additions: maybe some shredded carrots instead of zucchini, nuts instead of pumpkin seeds, or even chocolate chips (for the antioxidants, of course!).

Here are the dry ingredients:Image

The additions:Image

And the wet ingredients:Image

Measure out all the dry ingredients along with the fruit, veggies, and seeds, and mix them up.Image

Next, separately do the same for wet ingredients.Image

Combine the two, by adding wet to dry, and folding them together gently. If you over mix your muffins, you’ll end up with a tough texture, and especially since there is no butter in this recipe, you want to be as gentle as possible with the mixing.

Pour the batter into a prepared 12-cavity muffin tin, and bake for 22-24 minutes. If you don’t have any muffin liners, do not despair! Just butter and flour each cavity of your muffin tin, and bake as usual. Image

And there you have it! Delicious and healthy muffins, so you can conquer all of life’s challenges! 🙂Image

As usual, the recipes are included below.

Thank you for checking us out this week! If you love our treats, follow us by typing in your email address below. We won’t spam you, pinky promise!

-G

Chai Tea

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/3 cup water

2/3 cup milk

1 tbsp loose tea or 1 tea bag

3 cardamom pods, broken so the seeds are exposed

1 knob of ginger, about 1 inch in size, smashed

1 tsp sugar (or to taste)

1. Heat up 1/3 cup water in a saucepan with the tea and spices, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

2. Add milk and bring up heat until the tea comes up to a boil, then reduce again and simmer for a few minutes.

3. Strain, add sugar, and serve!

Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins

Modified from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-whole-grain-morning-glory-muffins-recipes-from-the-kitchn-176724

Makes 12 standard-size muffins

1 cups + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

4 tbsp quick oats

½ cup white sugar

5 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and grated
6 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
½ to ¾ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
2 large eggs or ½ cup yogurt
1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
6 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12-standard size muffin cups or fill with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, ground flaxseed, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Add the zucchini, apple, coconut, and pumpkin seeds and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs/yogurt, bananas, vegetable oil, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake the muffins for about 22-24 minutes, until golden brown but still just slightly undercooked in the center (they will finish cooking while cooling). Rest the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Melting Snowmen Cookies

Hey there! December is finally here and with it comes our favourite season of the year (minus the depression of finals). Today I made some simple cookies and just decorated them up festively.

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I tried out this recipe after making some butter cream frosting (check out our first cupcake post for the recipe) and had a motherload of egg yolks in the fridge. So I actually googled, “egg yolk cookies” and came across a recipe from food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/egg-yolk-cookies-63803). There’s quite the unattractive picture with that recipe but trust me, they taste delicious.

IMG_2759Beyond tasting great, they are also one of the simplest cookies to make. Just add the margarine (I really only use butter in icings), sugar, egg yolks, vanilla (I don’t have the 500 types of extracts they listed), and mix. Then add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder (I used in place of the cream of tartar). Bake away…

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You don’t have to decorate these at all. But just in case, here are a couple easy ideas.

IMG_2794I had been wanting to try out this snowman idea for a while (http://www.trulycustomcakery.com/tutorials/25.html). Usually, these are done with large marshmallows but all I had on hand were the mini ones so I tried it out. Just put them in the microwave for about 8 seconds and they’ll puff up and get sticky so you can put them onto the icing. I used some chocolate chips for mini hats and orange sprinkles for the carrot noses. The black and green are just icing with some food coloring that I put on with a toothpick.

The rest of these cookies are pretty much randomness. I tried making a little Christmas tree with colored icing and then used some cupcake toppers that G got me last year to finish off the last cookie.

Hope you guys have a fabulous week and be sure to check back next Sunday!

– S

Edited Recipe (see http://www.food.com/recipe/egg-yolk-cookies-63803 for the original)

*makes 8 large cookies*

1/3 cup margarine

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

2. Add egg yolk and vanilla to creamed butter and sugar and mix.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and baking powder).

4. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture, mixing until well blended.

5. Form into balls.

6. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Check out https://sweetlittlebrownies.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/starting-off-with-cupcakes/ for a great frosting recipe.