Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Never-Melting Ice Cream Cone!

Hi Friends!
     Lately, I've been becoming more and more interested in decorating cupcakes, as opposed to just the flavors.  I am searching through books trying to find the latest designs and putting my own spin on them- and "veganizing" them along the way!  Today, I created the "Never Melting Ice Cream Cone!".  I baked a dark chocolate cake right inside the cake cone, topped it with a Raspberry Buttercream, and garnished with all the fun toppings of a ice cream sundae.  This recipe can be tailored to whatever flavors you enjoy most, so bring out your inner kid and create your perfect ice cream cone!

Stay Sweet,
Amy xox

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Peanut Butter BOMB Cupcake

Hi Friends!     
      Okay- I admit it. I am ADDICTED to peanut butter.  I have even been known to grab a spoonful or two right out of the jar for a quick peanut butter fix!  Of all the things I eat peanut butter with, I adore the combo of chocolate chips, bananas and pretzels; so naturally, I put them all together in this sweet and savory cupcake!  The cake itself bursts with that deep roasted peanut taste and the chocolate fudge gives that hint of luxury.  Throw on some banana chips and pretzel pieces and you've got yourself the Peanut Butter BOMB! I'm craving some peanut to the fridge!
Stay Sweet,
Amy xo

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5 O'clock Somewhere!

Hi Friends!
     Lately, the weather in Milwaukee seems to be confused; it's April, yet I see snow in my yard.  Where is Spring?!?  Where is the vibrant green grass or the deep purple flower buds?  Well, then I'll just make my own Spring colors.  These Tequila Lime cupcakes not only look pretty, but they pack a serious punch from the lime...and tequila!  Warning, do not nosh on this batter too much- being buzzed while baking could end badly : )

Stay Sweet,
Amy xo

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Secret Ingredient Is...

Hi Friends!
     Recently, I took a trip back home to find some Chocolate Chip Cherry ice cream stocked in the freezer.  Score!  I thought to myself, "What could be better than chocolate chip and cherry ice cream?", then the obvious struck- CUPCAKES!  I know how expensive cherries can get- but with my secret ingredient (almond extract, shhh!), these cupcakes pack that wonderful cherry taste without the extra costs.


Chocolate Chip Cherry Cupcakes!
yields 1 dozen

1 cup soy milk
1 tsp white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with liners.
2) Combine soy milk and vinegar- whisk until frothy and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
3) In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, extracts and soy milk.
4) In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips)
5) Combine the dry to the wet ingredients- folding in the chocolate just before the mixture is combined.
6) Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter.
7) Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
8) Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

yield about 4 cups

1/2 cup vegan margarine (room temperature)
1/2 cup vegan shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tb cherry syrup

1) With a hand mixer, cream together the margarine and shortening for about 3-4 minutes.
2) Add the powdered sugar to combine.
3) Stream in the almond extract and cherry syrup.  You might need to add soy milk to get to a fluffy consistency.
4) Continue whisking for about 5 minutes.
5) Frost those COOLED cupcakes, and enjoy!

**I strongly recommend using PURE almond extract.  Yes, it is a little pricey, but it really makes a difference! And, almond extract really adds a nice to touch to just about any baked good you can imagine!  Try it in other vanilla cupcake recipes- you will be surprised!!

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World- Isa Moskowitz)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Whole-y Moly English Muffins!

Hi Friends!
     After indulging a little last night...okay okay a LOT.. I decided to create a more healthy way to start off the week.  I love starting my day with oatmeal or any type of whole grain; the fiber keeps you full and gives me the energy to get through a very long day at school!  I have never made these so the recipe might get some tweaks in the future, but for now here we go!

Whole Wheat English Muffins
makes 4

1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
1/2 Tb. sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tb. vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. (scant) canola oil

1 Tb. Earth Balance

1) In small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water- whisk with a fork until sugar dissolves.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
2) Combine the flour, vital wheat gluten, and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle.
3) Mix the wet with the dry mixture until just combined.  Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes.
4) Grease another bowl with the oil and place the dough ball in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for about an hour.
5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and preheat a heavy skillet on medium heat.
6) Punch down the dough and roll to about 1/2" thickness.
7) With a large coffee cup, cut out 4 muffins.
8) Melt the Earth Balance in the skillet.  Cook the muffins one minute on each side.
9) Place directly onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
10) Allow to cool completely- then either toast or slather with jam!