Desserts

Organic Banana Walnut Bread

There's a new business in town, NSB Eats Organic, that offers a great produce home delivery service. The owner, Jana Caylor, is passionate about the quality of her products. In fact, she even goes directly to the farmer and hand selects every egg that she delivers. 

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My family is enjoying all the fresh fruits and veggies and I am thrilled that everything is delivered to my door. I place my order online over the weekend and my box of goodness arrives Tuesday afternoon. 

Last week, I ordered organic bananas, along with those farm fresh eggs, so I could make my all-time favorite loaf bread. My husband, who doesn't normally like banana bread, loved the organic version. Jana's bananas were substantially more flavorful than conventional brands. 

The following Banana Walnut Bread recipe is not 100% organic; however, the only ingredients that are not include the cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. 

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ORGANIC BANANA BREAD RECIPE
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Florida Crystals Organic Sugar
1 stick Organic Valley Pasture Butter
2 farm fresh Eggs
3 organic Bananas
1 tablespoon Organic Valley Grassmilk
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
2 cups King Arthur Organic All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 cup organic Walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are slightly lumpy. Add milk and cinnamon and mix together until ingredients are incorporated.

4. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Add banana mixture to creamed butter and sugar. Stir until well combined. 

6. Add dry ingredients and mix until flour disappears. Fold in chopped walnuts.

7. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on baking rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

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Chocolate Banana Changa Mexican Dessert

Do you like frozen chocolate-covered bananas? If so, you are going to love these Chocolate Banana Changas. This easy-to-prepare dessert includes a banana smothered with chocolate chips, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, deep-fried and and slathered with pecans, caramel and chocolate sauce.

The following recipe makes a perfect after-dinner dessert for two. You can easily double or triple the recipe as needed. These do not store well, as the deep fried changa tends to get too greasy after cooling. It's best to eat these hot, while the chocolate is still melted.

CHOCOLATE BANANA CHANGA 
Serves: 2 
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

1 quart Peanut, Vegetable or Canola oil 
2 medium fresh Bananas, peeled 
2 Tablespoons semi-sweet Chocolate Chips 
2 (10-inch) Whole Wheat Tortillas 
1 Egg, yolk only 
2 Tablespoons Pecan pieces 
2 scoops Chocolate or Vanilla ice cream
4 ounces Caramel Sauce, warmed 
1 ounce Chocolate Syrup

Directions:

1) Add oil to large 6-quart saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high and allow oil to rise to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2) Place tortillas on microwave-safe plate, cover with waxed paper and heat for 1 minutes. You want the tortilla to be pliable and easy to work with, so do not overheat. 
3) Roll bananas in chocolate chips, then place in center of tortilla. Fold ends over, then wrap tightly. 
4) Whisk egg yolks and using a pastry brush, coat the tortilla to create a seal. 
5) Deep fry changa until golden brown and chocolate is melted; about 4 minutes. 
6) Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. 
7) Transfer to serving dish. Cut the changa diagnonally, in the center. Arrange changa with points up on dessert plate. 
8) Add scoop of ice cream in center of two pieces. 
9) Sprinkle with pecans, then drizzle with caramel sauce and chocolate syrup. Serve immediately.

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Chocolate Covered Marshmallows on a Stick

Chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick are one of the easiest treats to make and almost everybody loves them. I prefer to use the giant-size marshmallows, but you can use regular or mini marshmallows. When using mini-size, opt for a toothpick rather than a stick!

Kids love making chocolate covered marshmallows. Depending on their age they can do a variety of tasks. Little ones can help put in the sticks or decorate, while older kids can help dip in melted chocolate. It's a great way to create lasting memories or even family traditions. 

CHOCOLATE COVERED MARSHMALLOWS ON A STICK

Servings: 28-30 using giant marshmallows
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Dipping and Decorating Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag giant marshmallows
1 (12 ounce) bag Milk or Dark Chocolate melting discs
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts, sprinkles, or mini chocolate or butterscotch chips
28-30 Sucker Sticks

DIRECTIONS:

1. Using a double-boiler, add chocolate wafer discs and heat over low heat until melted.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sucker stick in the center of each marshmallow and place on sheet.
3. Dip each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Shake off excess, then lightly roll the sides in nuts, sprinkles or mini chips. Set on baking sheet and let dry for 20-30 minutes.

 

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Homemade Sour Cherry Cobbler

Personally, I find homemade sour cherry cobbler to be one of the best comfort foods. It's a dessert that can satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet. Or, it can be sweetened up more by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Today, I'd like to share my mom's homemade sour cherry cobbler recipe and hope that it becomes a family favorite. One challenge I had when making this recipe is finding sour cherries. A few gourmet shops had them, but wanted over $8 for an 8-ounce jar.

I ran across a great deal at Nuts.com. Their cherries are only $4.99 for a 24-ounce jar and they taste amazing! I have shopped at Nuts.com for years and highly recommend them. They have thousands of products, including organics, at very affordable prices.

Home Sour Cherry Cobbler Recipe
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Yield: (1) 8"x8" pan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

24 ounces Sour Cherries (reserve drained juice)
1-1/4 cup granulated Sugar
2 cups+2 Tbsp. unbleached, all purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
6 Tbsp.unsalted Butter, softened
2/3 cup Half-and-Half (or whole milk)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly grease 8"x8" glass or metal baking dish with butter.
3. In a small bowl, drain cherries and set juice aside. Place cherries in pan and arrange in an even layer.

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4. In a small saucepan, add cherry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a light boil. Stir constantly until mixture reduces into thick syrup.
5. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate, than pour over cherries.

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6. In a mixing bowl, sift together remaining flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter and blend until mixture becomes crumbly. Add 1/2 cup half-and-half and stir until ingredients are combined.

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7. Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop and drop topping over cherry mixture.

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8. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush topping with remaining half-and-half or milk. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is medium golden brown.

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How to Make High Heel Cupcake Shoes

Have you ever wondered how to make high heel cupcake shoes? They've become all the rage and bakeries charge an arm and leg to make them. The good news is you can make these gorgeous edible shoes for a fraction of the cost. Better yet, recipients will be highly impressed with your baking talent.

Making homemade high heel cupcake shoes isn't difficult, but does take some time. It takes about two hours to make a dozen shoes from start to finish. Here's what you'll need to prepare the shoes, along with a step-by-step pictorial.

Homemade High Heel Cupcake Shoes
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Yield: 12
Prep Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 box Cake Mix
1 container Frosting
12 designer paper cupcake tins
12 Graham Crackers (regular or chocolate)
12 Pirouette Cookies
3 ounces Ready-to-Use Gum Paste
Food coloring
½ cup granulated Sugar

Directions:

1. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions. Use elegant, funky designs, or colored cupcake papers.

2. Make a shoe stencil by cutting a piece of paper the length of a graham cracker and trimming the edges at an angle. Place stencil over each cracker and trim edges with a sharp knife.

3. Apply a thin coat of frosting to each cracker and let air dry for 30 minutes.


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4. Once cupcakes are done let them cool completely before applying frosting.

5. Add a small amount of food coloring to icing. I used the colors of gold and red to create different styles of shoes.

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6. Frost each cupcake and top with colored sugar, sprinkles, or edible gold dust.

7. Now it's time to assemble the cupcake shoes. Begin by placing a small ball of gum paste on the pirouette cookie and gently attach to the angled portion of the graham cracker.

8. Place the graham cracker about 1/3rd of the way on the top of the cupcake. Carefully position the heel and pipe a thin layer of icing to hold it in place.

9. Pipe icing around edge of cracker and across the edge that rests on the cupcake.

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10. Make embellishments from the remaining gum paste. I made bows and balls which I attached to the back of the shoe and on top of the cupcake.

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11. Put a pair of shoes in a small cake box and surround with tissue paper to prevent them from sliding around.


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12. Stick a candle in a designer cupcake shoe and give them as a birthday gift!

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Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls with Bacon

My all-time favorite holiday candy is chocolate covered peanut butter balls, or Buckeyes. I've been making these homemade candies for over 20 years (yikes!) and last year I decided to amp them up a bit by adding bacon. After all, everything tastes better with bacon, right?

Not only do these chocolate covered peanut butter balls with bacon taste amazing, they are relatively easy to make. The most time consuming part is dipping the balls in melted chocolate.

One thing I have found to be incredibly helpful is to insert a toothpick into the center of each ball than freeze for at least an hour before dipping in chocolate. Also, when dipping in chocolate I work in batches of no more than 20 balls at a time since it doesn't take long for them to thaw out.

Another tip is to line baking sheets with parchment paper. This is especially helpful to keep dipped PB balls from sliding around while the chocolate is wet. Remove toothpicks right after dipping. The toothpick is a great tool for spreading chocolate over the top and covering up the hole.

Last, but not least, sprinkle bacon bits on top of balls right after dipping in chocolate. Dipping chocolate sets up fast once it hits the cold candy. If it dries too quickly the bacon bits won't stay attached. I usually dip 2 to 3 balls than sprinkle bacon bits, instead of stopping between each one. If you're making a lot of peanut butter balls it is helpful to have an assistant who can add the bacon bits.

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CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUT BUTTER BALLS WITH BACON

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Yield: 60 (1-inch) balls
Prep Time:  1-1/2 hours
Freeze Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound Cherrywood Bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1 cup smooth Peanut Butter
1 stick unsalted Butter, softened
2 cups Confectioner's Sugar
16 ounces milk or dark Chocolate Candy Wafers

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon on sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crisp. Turn slices halfway through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb grease. Once cooled, chop into small bits.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter and butter until smooth. Gradually add confectioner's sugar and 1/2 of the bacon bits until well incorporated.
4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop, roll into 1-inch balls and insert a toothpick in the center. Freeze for 1 hour.
5. Add chocolate candy wafers to a double boiler or small saucepan. Heat on low setting until wafers melt. If chocolate becomes too thick add a teaspoon of coconut oil or vegetable shortening.
6. Transfer 20 balls at a time to a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
7. Dip 2 to 3 balls in chocolate. Remove toothpick and sprinkle with a pinch of bacon bits. Repeat until all balls are coated and topped with bacon.
8. If desired, transfer peanut balls to decorative paper cups and package in colorful boxes.

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No time or desire to make homemade candies? No worries! Send handcrafted candies to loved ones every month through Clubs of America "Chocolate of the Month Club." They'll love you for it! Click the banner below to place your order.

Monthly Chocolate Club


Potato Chip Cookies | Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

This is the first year I've participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and I must say it was a lot of fun. Not only did I receive three dozen yummy homemade cookies, I also met four new food bloggers.

While it was challenging to choose one cookie to exchange with my newfound foodie friends, I decided upon Potato Chip Cookies. Reason being, they are one of my all-time favorites and since they contain greasy potato chips they stay fresh for quite some time.

Before revealing the recipe for Potato Chip Cookies, I wanted to share these photos and introduce you to the cookie swap partners.

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The first batch of cookies I received were Boozy Salted Fennel Pollen Shortbreads sent from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Pictured above on the top right, these square shortbreads were packaged in adorable green and red polka dot containers. Very festive! They had a really unique licorice-honey flavor from the fennel pollen and the slightest hint of Ouzo. Tasty!

The second batch of cookies was Peppermint Tea Shortbread dipped in White Chocolate and dusted with Christmas sprinkles sent from Amber at Bluebonnets and Brownies. They are pictured above on the bottom right. It's easy to spot them by the colorful sprinkles! These cookies were crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, and had a delightful undertone of peppermint. I found them to be perfect for dunking in a cup of tea. I was going to try them with hot cocoa, but by the time I got around to it they were gone!

The third batch of cookies was good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies from Amishi at NaiveCookCooks.com. I was very happy to receive these cookies because they are definitely one of my favorites. Amishi packaged her cookies in a super cute red box covered in snowflakes. It was such a great touch and very much appreciated. Not only was the packaging great, the cookies were amazing!

My cookie exchange partners included Camilla from Culinary Adventures, and Amber of Blue Bonnets and Brownies, along with Kimberly from Eat the Evidence.

What's great about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is it is helping raise funds for my favorite organization, Cookies for Kids' Cancer. You might recall that this past October, The Cheap Gourmet hosted Team Logan Bake Sale in honor of my friend Sherry's son Logan and to raise money for this non-profit organization.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer is doing great things to advance pediatric cancer research and is one of the most honest and ethical charities I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I hope you will support them by hosting your very own bake sale, cookie swap, or donating funds.

Since I had some packaging supplies and marketing materials left over from the bake sale, I decided to package my cookies with CFKC stickers. Since the potato chip cookies are somewhat fragile I hoped the packaging would provide extra cushion during shipping.

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The ladies who organized the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap provided an array of stickers and labels, so I prepared gift tags and printed an ingredients list which included their logo.

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Here is a box of Potato Chip Cookies ready to go to Kimberly.

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One of the reasons I chose Potato Chip Cookies is they are sweet and salty. Normally, when I prepare these cookies I drizzle them with melted chocolate chips. Since I was shipping cookies across the country I elected to leave off the chocolate for fear it would make a mess.

POTATO CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

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Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20-22 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup granulated Sugar
3-1/4 cups all purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups Potato Chips, coarsely crushed (I use crinkle cut chips because they are thicker than regular chips)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Slowly add flour and vanilla extract until well blended.

3. Stir in crushed potato chips and mix well.

4. Using a cookie scoop, drop one scoop of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Use a fork to slightly flatten each cookie in a criss-cross pattern. (Flattened cookies on left and center rows and non-flattened cookies on right)

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5. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until light golden brown around edges. Let cookies stand for 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack until completely cooled.

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6. If desired, sprinkle cooled cookies with confectioners' sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate. To make melted chocolate, place 1/2-cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 45-60 seconds.


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange Zest and Vanilla Bean

Want to add a twist to traditional chocolate chip cookies? If so, you'll love the following Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange Zest and Vanilla Bean! The addition of these two basic ingredients creates an amazing flavor profile that will leave everyone asking for more.

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH ORANGE ZEST AND VANILLA BEAN

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Yield: (30) 2-inch cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 vanilla beans, pulp only
2-1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chip morsels

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using a grater, scrape orange zest into small bowl.

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3. Scrape pulp from vanilla beans and add to orange zest.

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4. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated and brown sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add egg and mix well.
6. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well-incorporated.
7. Stir in orange zest, vanilla bean pulp, and chocolate chips.
8. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

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9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks until completely cooled.

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Click here to learn more about the "Be a Good Cookie" spatula.


Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies | Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

Sometimes the best holiday cookie recipes are the ones found on the side of a packaged cake mix box. A good example is these Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies from Duncan Hines. Those of you who have followed The Cheap Gourmet for awhile know that I can't resist deviating from original recipes. However, I only modified this one a little bit.

What I like about these Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies is they are super easy to make and ideal for shipping. They are also great for holiday cookie exchange parties. It's hard to find sturdy cookies that won't crumble after being tossed around in a postal truck. It's also hard to find cookies that won't lose their moistness while enroute to family and friends. Not only are these cookies durable AND moist, they taste amazing!

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RED VELVET CRINKLE COOKIES

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Yield: 36 (2-inch) cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 9-11 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

6 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
1 cup Confectioners Sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 large Eggs
2 Vanilla Beans, pulp only
2 teaspoon fresh Orange zest

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave; set aside to cool.

3. Place confectioners sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix with a fork to blend. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, add cake mix, cooled butter, eggs, vanilla pulp, and orange zest. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough ball forms.

5. Use a cookie scoop and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners sugar and shake off excess.

NOTE: I found it easiest to roll out all the balls first,  then dip in powdered sugar.

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6. Place cookie balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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7. Bake one sheet at a time, in center of oven until set. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. 

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8. Store in airtight container and separate cookies by placing sheets of wax or parchment paper between layers.

Click here for the original Duncan Hines Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies recipe.


OXO "Be a Good Cookie" Spatula Review

As a member of the OXO Blogger Outreach Program I receive products to try out and share my opinion about. Last week, I received the OXO "Be a Good Cookie" spatula which helps raise awareness and funds for my favorite charity, Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

I was introduced to OXO while organizing the Team Logan Bake Sale event for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Gretchen Witt, founder of the non-profit, works for OXO and the company developed the "Be a Good Cookie" spatula to help raise funds her organization. 50% of the proceeds of each spatula sold go toward pediatric cancer research.

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There are many things I like about this spatula. First of all, it is relatively small which makes it ideal for lifting cookies, as well as the perfect size for kids. Secondly, the head is flexible; making it easy to lift cookies from baking sheets even when they are close together. Also, the handle includes a soft, non-slip grip that keeps it tight in your hand.

The spatula head is made from stainless steel. On the front, the words "Be a Good Cookie" is etched on the steel, while the back reflects the website address. The head is coated in orange silicone so you'll never have to worry about the words rubbing off.

The OXO spatula is designed specifically for cookies, but it can be used for other types of cooking. It's great for flipping eggs and dollar size pancakes and is ideal for stir-fry prepared in a wok. It is also perfect when cooking sticky foods, such as teriyaki glaze, because of the non-stick coating. At only $7.99, this spatula is a great bargain and makes a great gift for all your baking friends. Click here to order your "Good Cookie" spatula from OXO.

To give the OXO "Good Cookie" spatula a good workout, I whipped up a batch of my favorite Orange Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookies. These cookies are small and dense, yet packed with flavor. Best of all, they are incredibly easy to make!

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ORANGE VANILLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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Yield: (30) 2-inch cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 vanilla beans, pulp only
2-1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chip morsels

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using a grater, scrape orange zest into small bowl.

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3. Scrape pulp from vanilla beans and add to orange zest.

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4. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated and brown sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add egg and mix well.
6. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well-incorporated.
7. Stir in orange zest, vanilla bean pulp, and chocolate chips.
8. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

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9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks until completely cooled.

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Enjoy these Orange Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookies with a steaming hot cup of coffee or cocoa and a great book such as "Those We Love Most" by Lee Woodruff. I received this book as a gift from Cookies for Kids' Cancer after answering a question on their Facebook page.

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The author has dedicated this book to Gretchen Witt's son, Liam, who is the inspiration behind the organization. "Those We Love Most" is an amazing story about the trials and tribulations of a family caused by secrets they kept and is a MUST-READ!

Interested in raising funds for Cookies for Kids' Cancer? Consider hosting a holiday cookie swap. Currently, GLAD is donating $1 per cookie exchanged to the organization. This is a fantastic way to complete your holiday baking while helping out a good cause.  Click here to learn how to host a Cookies for Kids' Cancer bake sale.


Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Patties No-Bake Recipe

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Patties No BakeDark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Patties are one of my favorite no-bake cookie recipes. They are super easy to make and include common ingredients most of us have on hand in our pantry and refrigerator. These are a great standby when unexpected guests show up because you can whip up a batch in less than 15 minutes.

I recently updated this recipe by using dark chocolate instead of regular cocoa. If you don't care for dark chocolate, feel free to substitute with unsweetened cocoa powder. While this recipe calls for smooth peanut butter, there is no reason you can't use chunky.

These no-bake cookies are exceptionally rich, so avoid the temptation to make them larger than the instructions state. Keeping them small also helps eliminate some of the guilt. I hope you enjoy them so much that you begin your own family tradition of serving them!

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CRUNCH PATTIES NO-BAKE RECIPE

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Yield: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cool Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 stick unsalted Butter
3/4 cup granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa (or Unsweetened Cocoa, if preferred)
1/4 cup low-fat Milk (substitute with Soy or Almond milk, if desired)
1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1-1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons quick-cooking Oats
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1) In a large saucepan, combine butter, sugar, cocoa and milk.
2) Over medium-high heat, cook the mixture until it boils; stir constantly. Once this comes to a boil, it will begin to bubble. At this point, remove pan from heat.
3) Add peanut butter, vanilla and oats. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
4) Drop mixture by teaspoonful on waxed or parchment paper. Flatten with backside of spoon to create 1/4-inch patties.
5) Let cool 15 minutes and serve.


Bacon Buttermilk Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

Bacon-buttermilk-pancake-cupcakes-maple-syrup-buttercream-frosting-chocolate-covered-baconI selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at food blogs.

I'm excited to share my Bacon Buttermilk Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting recipe. Not to brag, but these are the best cupcakes I have ever baked. Not only do you receive the goodness of a bacon-stuffed pancake, but also the divine decadence of maple buttercream frosting topped with a piece of chocolate covered bacon. Life doesn't get much better than this!

I created the bacon buttermilk pancake cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting as an entry into the Denny's/Foodbuzz BACONALIA challenge. Not only do I have a chance to win cash and a gift card to Denny's restaurant, I was able to experiment with one of my favorite foods – BACON!

These cupcakes taste like buttermilk pancakes, but are the texture of carrot cake. They are very easy to make and perfect for birthday parties, cook-outs, and special occasion events.

It's best to prepare the bacon beforehand to provide ample time to drain excess grease. I used thick sliced smoked bacon and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can find the recipe for spicy hot chocolate covered bacon here. You don't have to garnish with chocolate bacon, but it takes the cupcake to an entirely new level.

BACON BUTTERMILK PANCAKE CUPCAKES WITH MAPLE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING AND CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON

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Yield: 18 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bacon Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Cupcake Bake Time: 10-12 minutes

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:
12 slices thick Bacon
2-1/2 cups Cake Flour (can substitute with all-purpose or wheat flour, if desired)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
1 stick unsalted Butter, softened
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
1-1/4 cups pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Buttermilk (shake well)
3/4 cup Walnuts, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line 18"x13" baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bacon slices, leaving a bit of room between each slice.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until dark golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and transfer to paper towel lined plate to absorb grease.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger together.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Using a handheld mixer on medium setting beat butter and sugar together until creamy.
6. Add eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix until ingredients are incorporated.
7. Add one-third of flour mixture and mix for about 30 seconds. Add one-third buttermilk and mix for another 30 seconds. Repeat, alternating one-third flour and one-third buttermilk at a time.
8. Chop 6 slices of bacon into small bits.
8. Add bacon bits and walnuts to mixture and gently stir ingredients by hand to incorporate.
9. Line muffin tin with paper or tin cupcake liners or lightly grease muffin pan with butter, vegetable oil, or vegetable oil spray.
10. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
11. Transfer to baking rack and let cool to room temperature.

MAPLE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Yield: 2-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup unsalted Butter, softened
3 ounces Philly Cream Cheese, softened
2/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Pancake Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, add butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt. Using handheld mixer on medium setting beat ingredients together until creamy.
2. In a measuring cup, combine maple syrup, pancake syrup, and vanilla. Slowly drizzle into butter mixture until ingredients are incorporated.
3. Slowly add confectioner's sugar, about 1/4-cup at a time, into frosting mixture. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting forms fluffy peaks.
4. Place frosting in refrigerator and chill for one hour.
5. Frost cupcakes using a flat icing knife or decorator bag with large tip.
6. Break remaining 6 pieces of bacon into 3 pieces per slice.

Bacon-pancake-cupcakes-maple-buttecream-frosting-chocolate-covered-bacon
Bacon-pancake-cupcakes-maple-buttercream-frosting

 


You might also like:
Outrageous Bacon Buttermilk Belgian Waffles with Homemade Maple Syrup Whipped Cream
Spicy Hot Chocolate Covered Bacon


Spicy Hot Chocolate Covered Bacon

Spicy-chocolate-covered-bacon-on-a-silver-platter If you've never tried spicy hot chocolate covered bacon you are in for the treat of a lifetime! The saltiness of the bacon combined with heat of freshly ground chili peppers and slathered in melted chocolate offers a taste bud sensation like no other!

Before divulging the spicy hot chocolate covered bacon recipe, allow me to tell you how it came to be. Last November, I was invited to participate in "A Chile and a Spoon Competition" hosted by Marx Foods.

Marx Foods provided a variety of dried chili peppers to food bloggers and allowed competitors to create any dish we wanted as long as it contained one or more of the sample peppers and could be eaten with a spoon. My entry was Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.

I've been like a kid in a candy store since receiving the generous supply of chili peppers from Marx Foods. I've made a few dozen varieties of chili powder and used them in soups, stews, side dishes, desserts, marinades, sauces, and as meat rubs.

My all-time favorite use of freshly ground chili powder is pairing with chocolate. I can say with certainty I have not made one chocolate dessert without chilies since the chocolate lava cake entry. So, when my favorite foodie website on the planet, FoodBuzz.com, announced they were hosting a bacon recipe contest with a grand prize of $500 cash AND $100 Denny's restaurant gift card, the idea of spicy hot chocolate covered bacon came to mind. 

Please note the following recipe was created as part of the Denny's and or FoodBuzz BACONALIA challenge and is an entry for a chance to win.

This recipe calls for thick sliced bacon. If the bacon is too thin it will fall apart when coated in melted chocolate. I used hardwood smoked bacon, but I bet maple or pepper-crusted would be delicious as well.

While you can use any type of chili peppers, I highly recommend Marx Foods. They have a fabulous supply of unique peppers and the flavors are absolutely divine!

I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here's the chocolate covered bacon recipe. Enjoy!

SPICY HOT CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON

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Yield: 54 pieces
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 22-25 minutes


INGREDIENTS:

18 slices thick hardwood smoked Bacon
1 dried Mulato Chili (mild)
1 dried Organic Limo Rojo Chili (hot)
7 ounces Chocolate Candy Discs or Baker's Dipping Chocolate

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Remove stems from chili peppers. Roast chilies in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic; about 5 to 6 minutes. Frequently turn to prevent scorching.

Mulato-chili-peppers

3. Grind peppers in coffee grinder or food processor until fine powder. Transfer to small container and set aside.

Freshly-ground-chili-pepper

4. Line 18"x13" baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon strips side-by-side, leaving a little room to prevent sticking. Lightly sprinkle each side with chili powder.

5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until bacon is dark golden brown and crisp. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.

6. Using a double-boiler, melt chocolate candy discs over low heat or microwave according to package directions. Transfer melted chocolate to a medium bowl large enough to accommodate your hands.

7. Using kitchen shears, cut bacon slices in thirds. Add to melted chocolate and gently toss with hands until evenly coated.

8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently shake off excess chocolate and place bacon pieces on baking sheet.

9. Place in freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to serving dish or resealable container. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Spicy-chocolate-covered-bacon-on-a-silver-platter


Marx Foods: A Chile and A Spoon Recipe Competition - Voting Now Open!

Yesterday, I published my Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe for the Marx Foods: A Chile and A Spoon Recipe Competition. Today, I am asking for your vote and encouraging you to view all the amazing chile recipes submitted by food bloggers.

Marx Foods: A Chile and a Spoon Recipe Competition offers an eclectic collection of amazing recipes. Discover Peanut Butter Mole, Ice Cream Sundae with a Chile on Top, Aji Cereza Chili Pumpkin Soup, Slow Cooker Japones Pulled Pork with Thai Red Curry, Spicy Squash and Black Bean Chili, Vanilla-Almond & Chocolate-Cinnamon-Chile Pudding, Cuatro Chile con Carne, Chinese Hot & Sour Soup, and much more!

To cast your vote for your favorite Marx Foods: A Chile and a Spoon Recipe, click on the banner below. Voting is limited to one vote per ISP, so choose wisely. While I hope you vote for The Cheap Gourmet Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, please vote for your favorite. All the participants worked hard to create unique chile recipes and each offers a delightful spicy dish.

Marx-foods-a-chile-and-a-spoon-competion-smokin-hot-molten-chocolate-lava-cake
While you're casting your vote, enter to win Marx Foods "Random Sausage Sampler Giveaway." All that is required is to post a comment about which Marx Foods sausage you would like to try.

Thank you for taking time to vote! May the best chile recipe win! Voting ends Sunday, December 5th.


Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake: A Chile and A Spoon Recipe Competition

The following Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake is a recipe I have created for the Marx Foods "A Chile and A Spoon" contest. Marx Foods sent me a generous supply of chiles and I have been having so much fun experimenting with them. 

For the Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake recipe, I chose the cascabel chiles, which rattle when shaken. These unique looking chiles piqued my curiosity the moment I saw them. The heat index is mild, but when the cascabel chiles are roasted their flavor intensifies.

After much experimentation, I've finally perfected the chile lava cake recipe and am excited to share it with you today. It's best to roast the chiles first, make the chocolate ganache icing, than prepare the cakes. Let's get started.

Marx-foods-chiles Thanks to MarxFoods.com for these amazing dried chiles!

Fresh Roasted Cascabel Chile Powder

The cascabel chiles need to be roasted in order to grind them into chile powder. Simply heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the stem from 2 cascabel chiles and place in the skillet. Heat the chiles until they become aromatic; about 7 to 8 minutes. When the chiles begin to sweat, remove from heat and transfer to a coffee grinder or food processor. Pulsate grinder until peppers are a medium-coarse grind. Store leftover chile powder in an airtight container and place in the pantry.

Visit MarxFoods.com for a detailed guide to roasting chile peppers and making your own chile powder.

Tip: To clean peppers from grinder, add 1 tablespoon white rice and pulsate until a fine grind. Dump rice powder and wipe grinder clean with a paper towel. I learned this trick from MarxFoods and it works really well!


Chocolate Ganache Icing

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Yield: 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1. Chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl.
2. In a small pan, heat heavy cream over medium-heat. Bring just to a boil. Keep a watchful eye to avoid scorching the cream.
3. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside until cakes are ready to frost.

Chocolate-ganache-icing
Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Yield: 4 (6-ounce) Souffle Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 7 to 8 minutes

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon butter (to grease souffle cups)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (for dusting souffle dishes)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon cake flour
2 to 3 teaspoons cascabel chile powder (2 teaspoons is mild-medium heat, 3 teaspoons is smokin'-hot)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly butter bottom of each soufflé cup. Dust the bottom of each cup with cocoa powder. Tilt to coat and tap out excess cocoa.

Chocolate-dusted-souffle-dish
3. Using a double-boiler, melt butter stick and chocolate.

4. While butter and chocolate are melting, add eggs, egg yolks, and sugar to a medium sized bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat until light and thick.

5. Slowly add butter and chocolate mixture. Do not add all at once or the egg mixture will curdle. 

6. Add flour, chile powder, and cinnamon and mix well. 

7. Divide mixture between 4 (6-ounce) soufflé dishes. Each dish should be about half full.

8. Place dishes on baking dish and place in oven.

Prebaked-chocolate-souffle-dishes
9. Bake until sides are set and center is soft; about 7 to 8 minutes. DO NOT over bake or the cakes will not have a molten liquid center.

Smokin-hot-molten-chocolate-lava-cake
10. Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes.
11. Add 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons chocolate ganache icing per cake.
12. Grab a spoon and dig in!

Chocolate-lava-cake-with-ganache-icing

 


Cheese and Honey Phyllo Rounds

Cheese-an-honey-fillo-rounds
I created cheese and honey phyllo rounds for my Greek Feast for Two entry into the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog Challenge. Although, The Cheap Gourmet did not proceed to the next round, I've acquired a love for Greek food and indulge in it whenever I can. If you haven't experimented with Greek recipes, I encourage you to do so. The flavors are amazing and many of the traditional recipes are relatively easy to prepare.

The cheese and honey phyllo rounds make a great appetizer and a semi-guilt-free dessert. As with anything, moderation is the key. You can change the type of cheese, but it's best to use a semi-hard cheese for this recipe. Soft cheeses will melt too much and you'll end up with a product that's more like a mozzarella cheese stick. 

The original cheese and honey phyllo rounds recipe called for cutting the dough into rounds. I didn't have much luck with that method and cut the sheets into quarters. This dish is intended to be served at room temperature, but my husband and I liked them best straight out of the oven. 

CHEESE AND HONEY PHYLLO ROUNDS

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Yield: 16 rounds
Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 14 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

8 sheets refrigerated Phyllo dough, cut into quarters
4 ounces Pecorino-Romano cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil for basting
1-1/2 Tablespoons Honey

Athens-fillo-phyllo-dough
 
DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place phyllo dough on large cutting board. Cut sheets into quarters and stack into a pile.
3. Use two sheets of phyllo dough for each cheese-stuffed round. You will need to work quickly so the dough doesn't dry out.
4. Place two sheets of dough on cutting board and lightly brush with olive oil. Place 1/2-teaspoon of cheese near the end of the square. Gently roll and lightly baste with olive oil. Carefully roll one end toward the center to create a snail shell.
5. Place on baking sheet and lightly baste each round before placing in oven.
6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until light golden brown.


Cheese-and-honey-phyllo-rounds-baking
7. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with honey. Serve at room temperature.

Cheese-and-honey-fillo-rounds-baked


Pink Champagne Cake with Whipped Cream Icing and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Champagne-cake-with-chocolate-covered-strawberries
The long awaited recipe for pink champagne cake with whipped cream icing and chocolate covered strawberries has arrived! This recipe was intended to be featured in the Luxury Dinner round of the FoodBuzz Food Blog competition. While The Cheap Gourmet blog did not advance, this cake recipe is way too good not to share!

The texture of the pink champagne cake is similar to a pound cake, while the flavor is similar to angel food cake. I used Andre Blush; a California pink champagne because it was on sale at the grocery store for $6.99. They don't call me cheap for no reason!

Only one cup of pink champagne is used between the cake batter and whipped cream icing, so the champagne flavor is exceptionally mild. This cake is perfect for nearly any special occasion. However, it must be refrigerated until served. Otherwise, the whipped cream icing will slide off. Enjoy!

Pink Champagne Cake with Whipped Cream Icing and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Serves: 8 to 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 38 to 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

Cake Ingredients:

1 pound whole Strawberries
7 ounces Baker's Dipping Chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted Butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups Sawns Down cake flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Pink Champagne
6 Egg Whites, stiffly beaten

Icing Ingredients:

1 cup heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Confectioner Sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 cup Pink Champagne

DIRECTIONS:

1. Select 10 large strawberries for dipping. Leave stem and leaves intact. Wash and dry thoroughly.

2. Melt Baker's dipping chocolate according to package directions. Dip strawberries in chocolate and place on plate to dry. Store in refrigerator until needed for decorating.

Chocolate-covered-strawberries
 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

5. Remove stems from remaining strawberries, cut into quarters, and place in food processor.

  Whole-strawberries
6. Gently pulse until strawberries are pureed.

Strawberry-puree
 7. Separate egg yolks from eggs and place egg whites in medium mixing bowl. Using hand held mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Whipped-egg-whites
 8. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.

Creamed-butter
 9. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
  Creamed-butter-and-sugar
10. Add flour, baking powder, salt and champagne. Beat on high for 2 minutes.

11. Fold in beaten egg whites and strawberry puree.

12. Pour half of cake batter into each cake pan. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Champage-cake-batter-in-round-cake-pans

Baked-champagne-cake
13. While cakes are cooling, prepare pink champagne whipped cream icing.

14. In a medium bowl, beat heavy whipping cream until stiff; about 2 minutes.

Champagne-whipped-cream
 15. Add sugar, vanilla, and pink champagne and beat until incorporated; about 20 seconds. Be careful not to overbeat whipped cream or it will turn out like cottage cheese.

16. Once cakes are completely cooled, it's time to add the icing and chocolate covered strawberries.

17. Place one cake layer on cake stand. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream icing on top.

Whipped-cream-layer-champagne-cake
 18. Add second layer to cake and evenly spread remaining icing on top and sides.

Champagne-cake-layers-with-whipped-cream
 
Champagne-cake-with-whipped-cream-frosting
19. Gently remove chocolate covered strawberries from plate. Place 8 strawberries around the outer edge of cake and position 2 strawberries in the center.

Champagne-cake-with-chocolate-covered-strawberries
  20. Slice cake into 8 to 10 pieces and serve with a glass of pink champagne.

Slice-champagne-cake-with-whipped-cream-icing-and-chocolate-covered-strawberries


Nature's Pride Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Kahlua-Infused Raisins and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Pumpkin-bread-pudding-with-cinnamon-whipped-cream-2
The following Nature's Pride pumpkin bread pudding with Kahlua-infused raisins is a recipe I am submitting for a FoodBuzz.com competition. If my recipe is selected, I will have the opportunity to present my dish to food bloggers during the Nature's Pride Festival food blogger conference hosted in San Francisco in November.

My Nature's Pride pumpkin bread pudding with Kahlua-infused raisins was adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for pumpkin bread pudding and Country Living's recipe for cinnamon whipped cream.

The original pumpkin bread pudding recipe used 10-ounce ramekins, but I substitued with 6-ounce custard cups. The great thing about this recipe is it can be baked in a variety of sizes such as regular and mini muffin tins. I recommend using mini muffin tins to serve pumpkin bread pudding during holiday parties. If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, substitue Kahlua with espresso coffee syrup.

I'd like to thank Nature's Pride bread for providing a coupon for a free loaf of their 100% whole wheat bread. Using whole wheat bread adds a rustic element to the pumpkin bread pudding and the cinnamon whipped cream brings all the flavor profiles together. I hope you enjoy this delightful bread pudding recipe!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Kahlua-Infused Raisins

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Yield: 8, 6-ounce custard cups; 18 muffins; or 48 mini muffins
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Ingredients-pumpkin-bread-pudding
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup Kahlua, coffee flavored liqueur
1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, for custard cups
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
12 slices Nature's Pride 100% Whole Wheat bread
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 large brown eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with Kahlua and hot water. Let soak until plump, about 20 minutes.

Kahlua-soaked-raisins
2. Lightly butter custard cups and sprinkle each with 1-1/2 teaspoon brown sugar. Lightly press sugar into bottom of cups. Set aside.

Brown-sugar-custard-cup
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Place bread slices on baking sheet and heat in oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until bread is slightly crisp. Remove from oven and set aside; leaving oven turned on. Cut bread into quarters lengthwise and crosswise to make 3/4-inch cubes.

Natures-pride-bread-cubes
4. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, spices, and salt.

5. Toss in bread crumbs and mix gently with hands to evenly coat. Let stand a few minutes to absorb pumpkin puree and spices.

Step-1-pumpkin-bread-pudding-ingredients
6.Fold in Kahlua-infused raisins.

Step-2-pumpkin-bread-ingredients-with-kahlua-infused-raisins

7. Divide among prepared dishes, pressing down slightly to make level.

Step-3-pumpkin-bread-pudding-filled-custard-cups

8. Bake until custard is set in the center and top is golden; about 38 to 40 minutes for custard cups and muffin tins; 17 to 18 minutes for mini muffins.

Step-4-pumpkin-bread-pudding-baked

9. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. Un-mold onto plates. Top with homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Cinnamon-whipped-cream

Yields: 1-1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar spice, optional

Directions:

1. Add ingredients to a medium bowl.

2. Using a hand mixer set on medium-high, beat ingredients until stiff peaks form.

3. Drop a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream on top of each pumpkin bread pudding and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture, if desired.

Pumpkin-bread-pudding-with-cinnamon-whipped-cream

 

 


Truvia Shortbread Cookies by The Cheap Gourmet

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of making Truvia Shortbread Cookies and I must say they are the best shortbread cookies I have ever tasted! As you may know, The Cheap Gourmet was contacted by the marketing department of Truvia Natural Sweetener who graciously donated FIVE full-size boxes of this delightful zero-calorie sweetener to be given away to readers of this blog. The winners of the January Giveaway have been selected and contacted via email. Once they confirm their prize and grant permission to use their names, I will post the winners on the blog.

The Truvia Shortbread Cookie recipe is available at www.Truvia.com, along with several other tasty treats. Fortunately, this zero-calorie sweetener allows me to make extra yummy treats that don't end up on my thighs! Not only are they easier on the waistline, they taste just as good, if not better, than the high-calorie, fattening versions.

Many of the recipes presented at Truvia's website are inspired by Celebrity Chef, Marisa Churchill. Marisa was chosen as one of the top 40 pastry chefs in the country by Food Arts magazine. She has appeared on many of my favorite food programs including Bravo's Top Chef and The Food Network.

Truvia's shortbread cookie recipe is super simple to make. It took less than an hour from start to finish to create three dozen of these delectable treats. Better yet, Truvia's shortbread cookies only require eight ingredients: butter, Truvia sweetener, sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, flour, cornstarch and salt.

Once ingredients are blended together, shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.

Truvia_shortbread_cookies_balls

Next, dip a flat-bottomed glass in a small amount of cornstarch. I'll admit, I added too much cornstarch to the glass bottom. If you make the same mistake, use a pastry brush to lightly dust-off the cookies prior to baking.

Truvia_shortbread-cookies_flat

Bake for 16-18 minutes until shortbread cookies are light golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to baker's rack. Cool for 20-30 minutes and transfer to airtight container.

Truvia_shortbread_cookies

I had one extra packet of Truvia Natural Sweetener and decided to sprinkle a small amount on each cookie. This step is not included in the directions, but I found the addition of the Truvia sprinkles to add a bit of crunch and a little burst of extra sweetness.

After having the pleasure of using Truvia Natural Sweetener for the past month, I can honestly say I am a Truvia-convert. The Truvia Fudgy Brownies recipe was a huge hit with my family and as I recall they lasted about 1-1/2 days. That's a sure sign that my family loved every morsel ;-)

I am grateful that Truvia introduced their product to me and allowed me to experiment with the various recipes posted on their website. I am also grateful for their generosity to share their product with readers of The Cheap Gourmet Blog.

Personally, I love Truvia and will be trying more of the delightful dessert recipes, beverages and smoothies. I hope you will give Truvia Natural Sweetener a try as well. I think you'll be as pleased with the product as I am.

Tomorrow, I will be announcing the February contest. Please stop back by or subscribe to our "Get the Scoop" mailing list to be notified of new recipes and upcoming giveaways. Thank you for being part of The Cheap Gourmet family and good luck in upcoming contests and giveaways!

Happy Cheap Gourmet Cooking!

P.S. We are frequently adding new cooking contests, sweepstakes and giveaways in our Cooking Contests section. Please bookmark the page and stop back often!

Copyright © The Cheap Gourmet and Kathy Browning. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright and intellectual property rights. Reproducing or electronically submitting this article without written permission from the author is prohibited by law. Govern yourself accordingly. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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Truvia Natural Sweetener Fudgy Brownies

As mentioned earlier, Truvia Natural Sweetener is the January sponsor of The Cheap Gourmet blog. I have had the joy of experimenting with Truvia and am very impressed with the product. Last night, I made a batch of Truvia Natural Sweetener Fudgy Brownies, which are delicious and decadent!

The recipe for Truvia Natural Sweetener Brownies is available at Truvia's website, along with recipes for more yummy baked goods, sauces, spreads, pudding and hot cocoa mix. Truvia brownies were very easy to make and required about 15 minutes of prep time. 

Truvia_brownies_baked

Beautiful baked brownies at only 130 calories! Life doesn't get better than this!

The Cheap Gourmet and Truvia Natural Sweetener will be giving away FIVE (5) boxes of this healthy sugar alternative on February 1st. The only requirement for obtaining an entry to win a box of Truvia is to leave a comment on the blog or subscribe to "Get the Scoop" mailing list. Subscribers receive monthly recipes, menu planners, grocery coupons, gourmet food sales, and cooking contest information. 

Please support our sponsor by visiting their website and purchasing their products. If you love brownies, I can guarantee you will love Truvia Brownies. If chocolate isn't your thing, perhaps you would enjoy shortbread cookies, sweet potato pie, pear and sour cherry crisp or raspberry oatmeal bars.

Thank you and Good Luck!


Thanksgiving and Holiday Dessert Recipe Resources

If you are reading this, chances are you're scrambling for Thanksgiving and holiday dessert recipes. The good news is you've come to the right place! Below I've listed my five favorite dessert resources. Each source provides dozens of yummy treats to serve on turkey day or throughout the holiday season. I know you're short on time, so let's get down to dessert business!

The Cheap Gourmet's Five Favorite Thanksgiving and Holiday Dessert Recipe Resources

Truvia.com – Truvia™ is a new all-natural sweetener derived from the stevia leaf. Truvia was recently featured on The Martha Stewart Show as one of "Martha's Finds" and part of O You!, The Oprah Magazine's signature event in Kansas City, Missouri.

Baking with Truvia is different than using granulated sugar, so be certain to review the Sweetness Conversion Chart if you decide to use Truvia in recipes other than those presented on their website.

My personal Truvia recipes include: Pumpkin Pie (of course!), Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Classic Cheesecake, and Apple Berry Galette. Give your guests the special treat of reduced-calorie, flavor-rich healthy desserts. I promise they will never know the difference unless you tell them!

MyRecipes.com – Featuring Thanksgiving and holiday recipes from Cooking Light, Southern Living, Coastal Living, All You, Real Simple and Health magazines, MyRecipes.com is featuring a special holiday pie section.

"9 Delicious Pies for Turkey Day" selections include: Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust, Oatmeal Pecan Pie, Elegant Pumpkin-Walnut Layered Pie, Coconut Cream Pie with Pineapple, Tiramisu Toffee Trifle Pie, Peanut Butter Banana Pie, Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream Pie, Fudge Pie and Peanut Butter Pie.

KraftFoods.com – Kraft Foods has a special place in my heart as my mom whipped up many holiday meals and desserts using their product line. Their website presents a "Best Ever Thanksgiving Recipes" section that can help you with everything from turkey and trimmings to elegant desserts.

This year, I will be serving Kraft Foods Rocky Road Freeze pie. This decadent dessert is super easy to prepare, requires few ingredients, and is often accompanied by squeals of delight at first bite!

Other delicious dessert recipes include: Chocolate Truffle Pie, The Perfect Apple Pie, Candy Crunch Pudding Pie, Philadelphia Caramel Pecan Cheesecake, Ginger Snap Bread Pudding, Banana Pudding Squares, and Angel Lush; a diabetic-friendly dessert!

BakeSpace.com – Another social cooking site, Bake Space is a fun and interactive website offering an abundance of recipes for every day cooking to holiday entertaining. At present, Bake Space members have swapped more than 1 million recipes so chances are high you will find exactly what you're looking for along with many recipe surprises!

Dozens of Thanksgiving dessert recipes are included in the Bake Space database. A few of my favorites include: Pumpkin Custard Ice Cream, Zucchini Spice Cake with Lemon Sauce, Pumpkin Mousse in Cinnamon Pastry Shells and Apple Cider Float.

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to subscribe to our mailing list. Subscribers are instantly notified of new recipes, product specials and cooking contests and giveaways. We have some amazing giveaways planned for 2010. Don't miss out on these exciting gifts! Subscribe today and you could be our next winner.

Last, but not least, post a comment on any blog post and you're automatically entered into November's giveaway. Details can be found at The Cheap Gourmet November Giveaway.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Clubs of America


Thanksgiving Menu Ideas, Recipes, Cooking Tips and How-To Video Resources

Tired of the same ole' Thanksgiving menu? Ready to venture out and try new and exciting recipes? In need of cooking tips or searching for how-to videos that provide step-by-step cooking instructions? If so, you'll love the following Thanksgiving menu ideas and cooking resources!

For years, our family Thanksgiving menu consisted of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, noodles, the infamous green bean casserole, freshly baked rolls along with at least one pumpkin pie and one pecan pie.

This year we are joining friends for a Thanksgiving feast and I have been searching for unique dessert and side dish recipes. The following holiday cooking resources have helped me locate a variety of delicious, nutritious and healthy recipes. My biggest problem now is deciding which ones to prepare! I hope these resources help you locate recipes to complement and enhance your Thanksgiving meal!

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas, Recipes, Cooking Tips and How-To Video Resources

Every Day with Rachel Ray
– Rachel Ray is infamous for creating recipes suited for home cooks who don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Her website is packed with recipes for all occasions and includes a special section devoted to Thanksgiving.

At Every Day with Rachel Ray you'll find recipes for starters, sides, turkey, stuffing, soups, desserts and drinks. How-to videos are available and include: How to prep a turkey for roasting; how to carve a turkey; how to make stuffing; how to make gravy; how to make easy mashed potatoes; how to make an easy lattice pie; and much more!

Cooking.com – Here you will discover a vast database of recipes for every occasion. From breakfast, lunch and dinner to party planning and holiday fare, Cooking.com is a one-stop resource for recipes, cooking tips, kitchen gadgets and more!

Click on the Holidays and Parties link to locate complete menu planners or individual recipes. Wow your guests with unique pumpkin recipes such as Pumpkin Maple Crème Brulée, Pumpkin Walnut Cake or Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake. Go beyond traditional Thanksgiving casserole dishes by whipping up Pear and Red Onion Gratin, Whipped Sweet Potato Bake, or Canadian Bacon, Potato and Swiss Chard Gratin.

Campbell's Kitchen – Manufacturer of America's favorite soups, Campbell's Kitchen provides 115 holiday recipes certain to please even the pickiest eaters. From Skinny Mashed Potatoes to Sausage Walnut Stuffing and Herb Roasted Turkey to Brie en Croute, Cambell's Kitchen offers affordable and easy-to-prepare recipes practically guaranteed to make your Thanksgiving feast memorable.

Be certain to download Campbell's Kitchen Free Holiday Planner which includes all the recipes you'll need for the holidays and the leftovers to follow!

Eat Better America – Locating healthy holiday recipes can be challenging, but Eat Better America provides a vast assortment of great tasting, nutritious recipes that are low in calories while bursting with flavor.

Indulge in French classics such as Turkey Ratatouille or Italian favorites such as Turkey and Spinach Manicotti. Savor the intoxicating flavors of Thyme-Roasted Turkey Breast or save time by preparing the Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Stuffed with Rice.

Eat Better America recipe selections include: breakfast and brunch, appetizers and snacks, dinner, sides, breads, desserts and drinks. Take a moment to subscribe to their newsletter and receive diet, nutrition and fitness tips; discover simple ways to eat healthy; and obtain a variety of money saving coupons.

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Planning on having holiday events catered? If so, check out Angie's List to obtain unbiased reviews and company ratings. Don't leave catered events to chance. Find out who is the best in your area by contacting Angie's List TODAY!

Try Angie's List!


Thanksgiving Healthy Holiday Cooking Menu Planner

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is only six days away! If you are looking for healthy alternatives to traditional holiday fare, I'd like to share The Cheap Gourmet Thanksgiving Healthy Holiday Cooking Menu Planner.

The Thanksgiving Healthy Holiday Cooking Menu Planner includes recipes fit for a feast. Recipes range from appetizers to desserts and include family favorites such as oven roasted turkey and mashed sweet potatoes.

Thanksgiving Healthy Holiday Cooking includes something for everyone - from carnivores to vegetarians and vegans. You're certain to find recipes that will tantalize your tastebuds and impress your guests.

Download The Cheap Gourmet Presents Healthy Holiday Cooking Thanksgiving Recipe Collection 2009

Recipes include:

Appetizers:
Artichoke and White Bean Dip
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Soups:
The Great Pumpkin Soup
Quinoa Soup with Greens and Potatoes

Salads:
Quinoa Apple Salad
Persimmon Mesculin Salad

Entrées:
Roasted Turkey
Baked Cod Fillets

Side Dishes:
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Quinoa Stuffing
Roasted Beets
Couscous Stuffed Artichokes

Beverages:
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Orange Coconut Frost

Desserts:
Creamy Pumpkin Pudding
Rice Pudding with Cranberries

Feel free to pass along the Thanksgiving Healthy Holiday Menu Planner to health-conscious friends and family.

In closing, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you for supporting The Cheap Gourmet and wish you a bountiful holiday season!

Please support our affliates during the holiday season by visiting our Gourmet Foods Catalog. Discover unique gourmet gifts for all your food lover friends! Purchasing gifts through our carefully selected food purveyors and affiliate programs allows us to continue providing free recipes, menu planners, and great gift ideas.

234x60 GMC Indulgent Gifts

P.S.Don't forget to leave a comment on any blog post to be entered into our fun November Giveaway!


Alouette Cheese Gourmet Fall Cheese Party Giveaway

It's not too late to enter the Alouette Cheese Gourmet Fall Cheese Party Giveaway. But, you better hurry because the winner will be selected at midnight on Halloween night, October 31st. My dear friend, Maeme, was gracious enough to open her home and host The Cheap Gourmet's wine and cheese party. It was a huge success and tons of fun. Here's Maeme enjoying one of Alouette's spreadable cheeses.

Maeme enjoying alouette cheese spread

Kim, shown below, brought two bottles of Chocolate Wine, which was a big hit. After all, who doesn't love chocolate? The chocolate wine is definitely more of an after-dinner dessert wine. A small glass or two is the perfect accompaniment with a piece of dark chocolate and a slice of brie cheese. Thanks for the chocolate wine Kim. It was delightful!

Kim enjoying alouette cheese spread

We indulged in a bounty of finger foods, salads, veggie tray, fruit platter, nuts, candies, crackers, breads and cheeses. As you can see, everyone loved the luscious Alouette cheeses and were extremely impressed by the gorgeous cheeseboard that's part of the Gourmet Fall Cheese Party giveaway.

Delane enjoying alouette cheese

Delane loved Alouette's spreadable spinach and artichoke dip.

Diane alouette cheese

Bonnie's favorites included the spreadable Sundried Tomato and Basil and and Creme de Brie.

I have compiled a Wine and Cheese menu which includes several of the dishes served at The Cheap Gourmet's Wine and Cheese party. I hope you enjoy the recipes and wish you the best of luck in the drawing. 

Click here to download The Cheap Gourmet Wine and Cheese Party Menu

The winner of Alouette's Slow Down and Savor Life Gourmet Cheese giveaway will be announced on the blog on Monday, November 2nd, 2009. The winner will be notified via email to confirm the mailing address for their prize. If the winner does not respond within three days, a new winner will be selected at random. Be sure to check the blog and your email to see if you win!

Alouette Cheese and Cheese Board


How to Make a Cupcake Cake for any Occasion

How to Make a Cupcake Cake for any Occasion

Last weekend my husband and I attended a birthday celebration for friends who were both turning 60. Being such a milestone birthday, friends and family organized a semi-surprise party and planned a feast for royalty.

In July, I ordered mini cupcake pans from Easy Bakeware, which I had not had a chance to try out. Several years ago, another friend of mine taught me how to make cupcake cakes. The guest list included several children and I thought mini cupcakes would be a great way to keep them away from the "grown-up" cake until it was ready to be served.

I was preparing several dishes for the party and needed to save a little time, so I purchased boxed cake mixes and canned icing. Overall, I baked about 225 mini cupcakes. Although I only had two 12-cupcake mini muffin pans, the Easy Bakeware made the process a breeze!

Easy Bakeware

I used mini muffin paper baking tins and filled each about 2/3rd's full of batter. Baking time per batch was 13 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I used three types of cake batter - French Vanilla, Dark Chocolate and Butter Chocolate. The Butter Chocolate was by far my favorite; although all of them were quite tasty and addicting!

Next, I cut a cardboard moving box into a 24"x18" rectangle and covered it with foil. I had purchased decorative letters and colored sprinkles at the store. For the cupcakes used for the mini cupcake cake, I spread the icing evenly using a small icing knife, then placed one letter on each mini cupcake.

Happy Birthyday Mini Cupcake Cake 

As  you can see, I used white frosting for the cupcakes with letters. It reads: "Happy 60th Birthday Maeme and Carl". I alternated flavors on each row. The first, third and fifth row are French Vanilla cupcakes, while the second and fourth rows are chocolate cupcakes.

Using some of the extra mini cupcakes, I created little islands on the sides to fill in the extra space. I purchased paper palm trees attached to a toothpick. These palm trees gave me fits because they had this teeny-tiny square adhesive covered in paper. The paper had to be removed and the palm trees stretched out and attached to the other side. Considering it was 4am when I was finishing up this cake, not all the palm trees came out uniformly. As they say, it's the thought that counts!

Cupcake Cake Birthday  

I used the butter chocolate mini cupcakes to create the islands and used a piping bag to swirl the icing. I placed 3 to 4 "island" cupcakes together and then placed one on top of the stack to create the illusion of an island. I then used white icing to pipe around the edges of the cardboard and topped with colored sprinkles. 

This was my first attempt at making a cupcake cake and while it isn't perfect, it was certainly a huge hit at the party. I placed the remaining cupcakes on dessert trays and when we departed the party, I noticed only 3 were left. The cupcake cake was completely devoured.

Not only was the cupcake cake a lot of fun to make, it didn't take much time and the guests absolutely loved it. Homemade gifts are always a great way to make people feel special. Even though I used boxed cake mixes, I could not have been more pleased with the final product.

If you are wondering how I transported the cake, I simply covered it loosely with foil. The palm trees helped keep the foil off the icing. I drive a Toyota Rav4, so the cardboard platform fit perfectly in the tailgate area. We drove extra careful to make certain we didn't need to make any sudden stops or take corners on two wheels ;-)

The possibilities of cupcake cakes are endless. Grocery stores, dollar stores, and party stores carry a wide range of novelty items that can be used to create all kinds of theme cakes. If you don't own a pasty bag and piping tips, you can place icing inside a sandwich bag and snip one corner off. Piping the icing on the cupcakes is considerably more efficient than using an icing spreader.

After using the EasyBakeware muffin pan, I can honestly say that I will be converting ALL my bakeware to this brand. The pans are made from silicone (I think!) and are super easy to clean. The muffins popped out easily and there was little mess to clean up.

EasyBakeware is currently offering FREE bakeware. You can receive any piece of bakeware for free, but will have to pay the shipping cost of $7.95. I've seen this type of bakeware in stores and the average retail price is $19.95 to $24.95 per piece!

If you're like me and love to bake, I highly recommend giving EasyBakeware a try. Click on the banner below and take advantage of the free offer before it's too late.

Easy Bakeware


What's for Dessert? - 7 Simple Gourmet Dessert Recipes

I'll admit it. I have an insatiable sweet tooth. If I don't have some kind of dessert on a regular basis, I get cranky. Just ask my husband. I think it stems from my childhood. My mom always made sweet treats for us. We'd come home from school and the house would be filled with the scent of chocolate chip cookies or a freshly baked cake or pie. No matter how bad our day had been, the desserts always made everything better!

While I love to cook, I love to bake even more. I still hold onto my dream of opening a bakery some day, but for now I am content baking for my friends and neighbors. If I ate everything I baked my cholesterol would be sky high!

Today, I'd like to share my favorite dessert recipes with you. I'll forewarn you -- they aren't low-fat or low-calorie. I highly recommend sharing them with others because they are so tasty you'll find yourself eating way more than you want!

Monday: Mom's Famous "Just Peachy" Peach Cobbler - This stuff is addicting. Even my husband, who isn't a sweets-person at all, enjoyed this dessert. It's tasty served hot, cold or room temperature. It's even better served with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream. Yum! 

Tuesday: Cherry Delight Pie - This is probably the easier dessert you could ever make. It requires overnight refrigeration, so if you want to eat it on Tuesday, you'll need to make it Monday night. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't like this pie and it is always a huge hit with co-workers.

Wednesday: French Toast Bread Pudding - All I can say is WOW! If you like french toast, you are going to love this dessert. This sweet treat requires overnight refrigeration so the bread can soak up the spices. It's well worth the wait and will fill your home with the most tantalizing aroma. Talk about a great way to start your day or end the evening. Magnificent!

Thursday: Fudge Pound Cake - This dessert will satisfy your need for chocolate. It's very versatile. You can serve it in thick or thin slices; eat it plain; frost it; spread cream cheese, preserves or jam on it; break it up and mix it in ice cream; and so much more.

Friday: Banana Split Brownie Pizza - This is the perfect dessert for family TV night, slumber parties, girls-night-in parties, soccer parties, football parties, any kind of party! Be careful though - this dessert is highly addicting!

Saturday: Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake - There is no better way to start your day than with this luscious blueberry buttermilk coffee cake. This is by far one of my favorite weekend desserts. And, it's relatively healthy and uses organic ingredients.

Sunday: Chocolate Covered Cherries - When I was a young girl, my grandmother would give me a box of chocolate covered cherries every year for Christmas. When my daughter was a toddler she was cared for by a woman who was a baker. She taught me how to make homemade chocolate covered cherries. Although these require chocolate molds and are somewhat time consuming, they are definitely worth the time. Once you try these delicious candies you will never be able to eat boxed cherries again. These things are almost sinful!


Mom's Famous "Just Peachy" Peach Cobbler Recipe

My husband and I recently discovered the Daytona Flea and Farmer's Market. We've developed a relationship with one of the young ladies who works for a produce vendor. A few weeks ago she offered us a sample of peaches. Seems they had an abundance and were selling them for 59 cents a pound.

These were the sweetest peaches I had ever wrapped my lips around.  I love smoothies and since peaches freeze really well, I decided to buy nearly a bushel of my favorite fuzzy fruit. They don't call me The Cheap Gourmet without good reason. I LOVE a great bargain.

As I was preparing the peaches for freezing, I remembered mom's recipe for her famous Peach Cobbler. Considering I had nearly 10 pounds of peaches, I decided to bake a batch of cobbler.

Mom's recipe was a little vague and unfortunately, I can no longer call her up and ask for guidance. My first attempt didn't turn out so great. In fact, it was kind of a disaster.

The edges were black (as in "burnt") and the center was somewhat gooey. Although it tasted pretty good, it was lacking something. I went back to the drawing board and the second batch of peach cobbler came out much better.

It isn't 100% as tasty as mom's, but it is pretty darn close. Considering I still have about 7 pounds of frozen peaches, I will continue to experiment until I figure out what special ingredient mom included which isn't written on her recipe card. When I do, I'll be certain to update the recipe!

BARB'S "JUST PEACHY" PEACH COBBLER RECIPE

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Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Bake Time: 35-45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 stick unsalted Butter, sliced into one-inch pats
1 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour (can use all-purpose, if desired)
1-1/2 cups Sugar (can use Turbinado Sugar, if desired)
1 cup Milk (can use Soy, Almond or Rice Milk, if desired)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice
4 cups fresh, sliced peaches (or two 15-1/2 ounce cans)
2-3 Tablespoons granulated Sugar, optional

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Arrange butter pats on bottom of 9"x12" baking pan.
3. In medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, milk, baking power and spices. Stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
4. Pour batter over top of butter pats.

Peach Cobbler Batter 

5. Arrange peaches on top of batter.

Peach Cobbler Sauce 

6. Bake in 400 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until edges and top of cobbler are golden brown.
7. Remove from oven. Sprinkle top of cobbler with granulated sugar, if desired.
8. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, scoop of vanilla ice cream or simply "as-is".

Peach Cobbler with Sugar Topping 

Other types of fruits can be substituted for peaches. Blackberries, blueberries, mangos, plantains and apples make for mega-yummy cobblers. You can increase or decrease the amount of fruit by up to one-cup. Using less fruit will create a cake-like batter, while more fruit will lessen the amount of pastry surrounding the fruit. It's all a matter of personal preference ;-)


Barb's Fall Harvest Pumpkin Bread

Since it is officially fall, I felt there was no better time to share mom's "Fall Harvest Pumpkin Bread" recipe. Mom served this hearty loaf bread throughout the fall and winter season. I remember one time she made the pumpkin bread for the adults attending a Halloween Party. I loved the aromas bursting from the oven and couldn't wait to indulge in a slice. Mom told me the bread was Halloween candy for grown-ups and if there was any left over, I could have it. There was never any leftover!

When I became a mom and my daughter was involved with Girl Scouts, I made mini loaves of mom's pumpkin bread and gave them to the parents. I attached a card that said "Grown-up Halloween Candy" and included the recipe on the back. Everyone loved the idea. With the holidays rapidly approaching, I'd be delighted if you baked mom's "Fall Harvest Pumpkin Bread" and give them away as gifts. Feel free to share the recipe with everyone you love and tell them it is a gift from heaven ;-)

BARB'S FALL HARVEST PUMPKIN BREAD

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Yield: 2 bread loaves

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups Sugar
2/3 cup Vegetable shortening
1 1-pound can Pumpkin
4 Eggs
3-1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
2/3 cup Water
1 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Grease and flour two 8"x4"x2-1/2" loaf pans.

  3. In large mixing bowl combine sugar and vegetable shortening. Using hand mixer, cream sugar and shortening together on low speed.

  4. Add pumpkin and mix on low for about one minute.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat each egg for 20 seconds, then add another egg until all four eggs are combined with batter.
  6. Using the low setting on the mixer, add flour 1 cup at a time until all 3-1/2 cups are combined with batter.
  7. Add remaining dry ingredients, except for walnuts. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, or until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  8. Add walnuts and using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold nuts into mixture.
  9. Pour half of the batter in each loaf pan and spread mixture evenly.
  10. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack.
  12. Cut into 1-inch slices and enjoy!

Cherry Delight Pie

As mentioned in an earlier post, "In Honor of My Mother, the Cooking Queen", my mom passed away on June 26th. She had a love for sharing food with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Everyone who indulged in her desserts, casseroles and home cooking always asked for her recipes.

While I intended to present mom's favorite recipes throughout the month of August, I simply wasn't able to bring myself to open her recipe box. Today, is the first time I have been strong enough to peruse mom's recipe collection.

The first recipe in the box was for Cherry Delight Pie. Mom absolutely loved this dessert because it is super simple to make, it's affordable and everyone who eats it goes bonkers for it. I hope it becomes one of your favorites!

CHERRY DELIGHT PIE

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Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate Overnight

INGREDIENTS:

1 - 9-inch Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 - 8-ounce package Cream Cheese (use low-fat, if desired)
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
3 Tablespoons Milk (whole or 2-percent works best)
1 cup Whipped Cream (mom used Cool Whip)
1 - 15-ounce can Cherry Pie filling

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In medium mixing bowl, add cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and milk. Beat until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to graham cracker pie crust and evenly spread mixture.

  3. Top cream cheese mixture with an even layer of whipped cream.
  4. Top with cherry pie filling.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Cut into 8 wedges and top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired

*Cherry Pie filling can be substituted with blueberry, raspberry, strawberry or blackberry.
** Double ingredients to make 2 pies


Dessert University: Cook Like a Chef, Even If You Can't Boil Water

Dessert University is the coolest thing I've ever seen! This multi-media collection includes over 100,000 recipes and step-by-step videos you can download to your computer and access at any time. The Dessert University package includes chocolate recipes, vanilla recipes, dessert recipes, candy recipes, sweet recipes and cooking lessons.

With Dessert University you can learn how to make any dessert known to man (or woman!). Expert videos will teach you how to make brownies, torts, truffles, cakes, exotic desserts, international desserts, death-by-chocolate desserts, gourmet quality desserts, and even health conscious desserts. You will be the envy of your friends, family and neighbors and everyone will invite you to their pitch-in events. With the click of a button you can quickly and easily become a master in the kitchen!

By now you're probably wondering how much this culinary training course will cost you, right? Believe it or not, Dessert University is currently available for only $34.95. Yes, you read that right -- you can have access to mouth-watering, tantalizing-tastebud sensations for a mere $34.95. There are no limits and no recurring fees. Once you pay the $34.95, you will have instant access to the entire Dessert University program.

This all-in-one package includes:

  • The complete Dessert University Digital Download System
  • The official Dessert University eCourse featuring 50 pages of step-by-step directions
  • 1500 downloadable Video Tutorials
  • Thousands of original recipes perfect for any party or social gathering

Order today and you'll receive Special Bonuses including: Candy Recipes, Unlimited Updates and FREE Membership to Dessert University Members group, which includes Live Personal Support.

If you're like me and LOVE desserts, you are going to go bananas over the Dessert University package. And, if for any reason you aren't completely satisfied with your purchase, it's covered by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

What more can I say? I love Dessert University and think you will too. Dessert University normally sells for $97, but if you hurry you can grab your copy for only $34.95. Don't delay or you'll miss out on this special price!

Click here to learn more and ORDER your copy of DESSERT UNIVERSITY.