Tag Archives: Recipes

Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies

11 Feb

Well folks, it’s that time of year. Stores cover their windows with hot-pink hearts. Candy of all fillings show up on every shelf. And everyone seems a little happier (or angrier if you’re the anti-love type). It’s Valentine’s Day.

This year I’ll be spending Valentine’s day without a male special someone. Not unlike most of my Valentine’s day. But just because I don’t have a boy doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the day and shower my loved ones with something sweet.

Since I love to bake (and my friends love to eat my baked goods), I decided to whip up a few sweet treats for those special people in my life.  Tonight I tackled the heart-shaped sugar cookie, a classic holiday treat.

I’ve made this recipe many times, so this time I wanted to try something new. I made two versions of the dough. The first is the original and the second is a healthier version. I recently had to write an article about healthy ingredient substitutions (shameless plug), and decided to give them a try.

So let’s see how it went.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Dough Recipe One

The magic behind the first cookie dough.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

Dough Recipe Two 

The pieces of cookie dough two.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup mashed bananas (roughly 2 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

After the dough is made, the preparation is the same.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cover surface with flour (to avoid dough sticking to the table)
  3. Separate the dough into four sections.
  4. Roll section from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Cut out cookies using any type of cookie cutter.
  6. Place cookies, 1-inch apart, on baking sheet (sprayed with Pam)
  7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cook completely before icing and adding other decoration.

But before loading these treats up with frosting and sprinkles, take a look at the nutritional info per cookie.

Dough 1: 110 calories, 5g fat

Dough 2: 86 calories, 4g fat

Ok, so not a huge calorie difference in the long run. But if you plan on piling on the extras and eating more than one, you’d be better off with a low-calorie base.

Aside from nutritional info, there are a few other tiny differences. The second dough doesn’t hold its shape as well when baked. It also rises a bit more than the typical sugar dough, so you may want to roll the dough a little thinner. As far as taste, the second dough isn’t as sweet, which is great if you want to avoid going into a sugar coma.

Dough One(L) vs. Dough Two (R)

But when it comes down to it, both are amazing cookies that your special someone will love!

What’s your go-to cookie recipe?

Red and Green Oatmeal Christmas Cookies

4 Dec

There are three distinct Christmas scents: evergreen, peppermint, and cookies!

Truth be told, my mom makes the best Christmas cookies. Some seem fancy while others are simpler, and they are all delicious. Unfortunately, given the variety of cookies and the amount of them, these treats take about two days to mix, bake, and decorate.

So after scouring the internet and making a few minor adjustments, I settled on Red and Green Oatmeal Cookies. They’re festive and, as an added bonus, low in calories (only 75 a cookie!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Quaker Oats
  • 1 cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter, sugars, and apple sauce together until smooth.
  3. Add the egg whites and the vanilla extract, and continue mixing.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  5. Slowly add the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the M&Ms and combine well.
  7. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart from each other.
  8. Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes. Yields about 24 cookies.

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Share the recipe below!

Olympic Torch Cupcakes

27 Jul

Tonight marks the beginning of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Athletes from across the country will gather to “go for the gold” as all those old school commentators like to say.

If you’re anything like my friends and me, you use this event as an excuse to get together, eat tasty treats, and watch a spectacular opening ceremony. Now, I could have baked something simple. But face it folks, if there is a theme then my dessert will revolve around it. Since tonight’s ceremony revolves around the lighting of the torch, it only made sense to make torch cupcakes.

Fear not. This recipes doesn’t require anymore time or skill than a regular cupcake. It just looks like it.

Olympic Torch Conecakes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 box of cake mix, any flavor of choice
  • 2 boxes of flat-bottomed ice cream cones
  • 1 can of vanilla frosting
  • Red and yellow food dye (or orange if you can find it)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare cupcake batter according to directions on the box.
  3. Pour batter into cone. Make sure to leave at least 1/2-inch so, when baked, the cupcake lines with the top of the cone.
  4. Place cones in cupcake pan (one cone per tin, of course).
  5. Let conecakes bake for 18-21 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. While cupcakes cool, mix food coloring into the frosting. I do about 40 drops of yellow and 10 drops of red, but you can experiment as needed.
  7. Frost conecakes and enjoy!

Yields about 24 “conecakes.”

I’ll admit, it looks more like an ice cream cone than a cupcake, but it’s the thought that counts. right?

As you can see from the photo below, I also made basic cupcakes with the Olympic rings as decor. What will you be making to celebrate tonight’s Opening Ceremony?

Go for the gold with these desserts!

 

Homemade “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

17 Jul

Very few people find similarities between school and summer. Well, except for the fact that they both begin with “s.” But one trait (or should I say treat) I’ve always associated with the two is ice cream sandwiches.

In elementary school, my mom would give me 50 cents one Friday a month so I could buy something sweet at lunch time. I’d always follow up my PB&J with and ICS. Licking the smooth vanilla ice cream off the sides and biting into that soft, chewy chocolate cookie was often the highlight of that particular day.

These days, however, I’m trying to watch my wallet and weight, and the in-store ice cream sandwiches are not friendly to either ($6 for 4four sandwiches?!). So tonight, with a little help from Pinterest, I decided to whip up my own frozen treats and I have to say, they were pretty damn sweet.

Homemade “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 package of pudding mix, any flavor
  • 2% milk
  • 1 container fat-free Cool Whip
  • 1 package of graham crackers, any flavor

Directions

  1. Prepare pudding according to directions on the box. Make sure it is well blended
  2. Mix in container of Cool Whip. Let mixture sit in fridge for an hour.
  3. While mixture sets, break graham crackers in half.
  4. Scoop about 2 Tbsp. worth of mixture onto one cracker.
  5. Place second cracker on top and put sandwich on a tray.
  6. Continue until you run out of mixture or graham crackers.
  7. Place tray in the freezer for at least one hour. Once set, move sandwich to plastic bags.
  8. Take out and enjoy whenever you want a frozen sweet.

For a little something extra, roll the sandwich in sprinkles or chopped nuts before placing in the freezer.

What combinations of pudding and crackers will you try? Let us know!

Quick Fix: Cookie in a Cup

14 Jun

Last night, as I curled up on the couch to watch some TV, my stomach started to rumble, a tell tale sign that I need some food. But this was speical sort of a rumble, as it was begging for a certain sweet.

Coooooooookies!” it screamed. 

Now I’m a big believer in eating what you want, when you want it (in moderation of course). Cookies, however, aren’t something you can whip up with in a few seconds. At least, that’s what I thought.

After a little experimenting, and a little help from the internet, I managed to bake a sweet and satisfying cookie in under five minutes. Don’t believe me? Give it a go.

Cookie In a Cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. brow sugar, packed
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Melt butter in the microwave.
  2. Mix sugars, salt, and extract with the butter.
  3. Add egg yolk and beat well.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Microwave for 45 – 60 seconds.
  7. Let cool (this is still a cookie after all) and enjoy!

Not only is this a simple recipe, but it’s one that you can easily change up. Try butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips. Throw in some peanut butter. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make cookie in a cup your way and let The Sweet Treat know how it turns out.

Tie-Dyed Cupcakes

6 Jun

Happy Hump Day Sweet Treaters!

Wednesdays are the hardest days to get through. You’ve all ready put in two days at the office (although it seems like more), and you have two more to get through when the day ends. Thankfully, we have the weekends to relax and release some stress before the week starts again.

For me, however, the last two weekends have been anything but relaxing. Between train trips, babysitting adventures, and a wedding, life was more chaotic than clam. Despite this buisy schedule, I still found time to squeeze in some dessert.

Last weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I traveled home for some doctor appointments. Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Westerly without seeing some of my friends. On Friday night, I drove up to Hartford to visit my friend Meghan. The next day we ran Color Me Rad, a 5k race where attendants throw colored corn starch on you ever kilometer. Sounds fun, right? It was. I highly recommend you register for one in your area. Fair warning: it takes two showers for the color to come off.

Since Meghan and I are cupcake enthusiast and since I can’t show up somewhere empty handed, I decided to make Tie-Dyed Cupcakes. Appropriate for our running adventure. I thought they would be difficult to make, because when so many colors come together they turn brown. But with a little patients, they ended up looking great (and tasting even better).

I must make a confession: given my time crunch, I opted for boxed mix and canned frosting. I always encourage making treats from scratch, but it doesn’t hurt to take a little help when you need it.

myborrowedheaven.blogspot.com

Ingredients

  • 1 box of white cake mix (you can use yellow, but some of the colors don’t come out as well)
  • Food coloring, assortment
  • 1 can frosting (you can use any flavor you want)
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  • Plastic bowls (one for each color you use)
  • Toothpick

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven according to mix directions.
  2. Prepare batter according to mix directions.
  3. Divide batter among bowls.
  4. Squeeze a couple drops of food coloring into each bowl and stir to combine. The more coloring you add, the brighter your cupcakes will be.
  5. Using a spoon, drop a little of each color into your cupcake liners. Try alternating the order for variety.
  6. Using a toothpick, swirl the batters together. Only swirl once or twice to avoid “browning.”
  7. Place in oven and bake according to mix directions.
  8. Let cool and frost.

 

These cupcakes are perfect for a kid’s party, color run, or just to get you through the hump day.

Enjoy!

I would also like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts regarding my grandmother. We all experience loss in life, but it’s important that we keep the person alive through our words and actions.

Easter Re-Treats

9 Apr

Although it’s belated, I’d like to wish all my Christian followers a happy Easter (and of course happy Passover to my Jewish readers). If your family is anything like mine, you spent yesterday consuming large amounts of food, and squeezing in several laughs between bites. You probably also bought large amounts of Easter candy thinking people would choose mass-produced sweets over homemade treats.

While you may snack on a Peep or two over the next few days, you’ll eventually reach your marshmallow supported breaking point and throw everything into the garbage. Rather than throwing all that money and food away, try giving classic Easter candy a make over with these five recipes.

Jelly Bean Cocktail

Have your treat and drink it too. . . if you’re over 21 that is. Maureen C. Petrosky‘s Jelly Bean Cocktail is the perfect way to wind down after a long (or short) day.

Candy Cupcakes

Whether the Bunny brought you Milky Ways or Reese Eggs, you can use these candies as the base for a kick a** cupcake. Grab your favorite mix, prepare the batter, and push a piece of candy in the middle for an added surprise.

Hard Boiled Egg Cookies

Not a fan of egg salad? Not a problem. With a little help, you can turn those dyed eggs into a chewy chocolate chip cookie.

Trail Mix

Add some color and chocolate to your afternoon snack. Throw some pastel M&Ms or those Cadbury mini eggs into a pre-packaged mix. But make sure not to eat too much, as trail mix can contain a lot of calories.

 

Peep Krispie Treats

As much as you want to put these suckers in the microwave, try using them in a classic dessert. Substitute Peeps for regular marshmallows to create a tye dye version of this simple sweet.

 

How do you utilize Easter leftovers? Share your recipes in the comment section!