Browsing Tag

sweets

Food & Recipes

Chocolate Chia Mousse

June 22, 2015

Chocolate Chia Mousse (2)When Ainsley was first born I realized very quickly that if I was going to be sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with new experiences and exhausted, then I better focus on eating well. I mean food is, at its core, all about fuel, so what better way to care for my body than to be mindful about what I was eating. A lot of people talk about the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthfully; I strive for that, too, but I’m working on getting back in the game after a season where I gave myself a little more permission to indulge than when I wasn’t pregnant.

Sweets have always, always been my nemesis. Sugar doesn’t make me feel good. In fact sugar makes me feel really crummy and sluggish most every time I eat it. So to satisfy my craving for a little something sweet at the end of the day without the crash, I’ve been trying to get a little more creative.  Continue Reading…

Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Lactation Cookies

February 17, 2015

Lactation Cookies (3) | Espresso and Cream

For the next number of days (or perhaps weeks?!) I think I’ll be talking about how we’re in “the home stretch” with this pregnancy. At 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant, not that anyone is counting, I’m quite ready to be done being pregnant and meet our little peanut! I’ve been doing a little nesting around the house over the past few weeks, cleaning the house from top to bottom and organizing every drawer and closet in our house, except for that really scary one filled with clothes that no longer fit me in the basement.

I’ve also been doing a little cooking, although not nearly as much as I thought I would. I had grand visions of making a thousand healthy freezer meals to eat at a moment’s notice, but instead we settled for going to Costco and stocking our basement freezer with frozen lasagna, loaves of whole wheat bread, soups and frozen pizza.

The one thing I did make from scratch, however, were these lactation cookies. I’ve heard great things about different types of lactation cookies over the years but never really paid much attention to them until I actually had a need for my own recipe. Most of the recipes I found online were laden with lots of butter, sugar and white flour. And while I totally support cookies made with traditional ingredients, I know that I’ll also be trying to lose the baby weight and eat a little more healthfully in the months to come.

Lactation Cookies | Espress and Cream

I decided to play around with finding a happy balance, creating a cookie that’s both delicious and semi-healthy. I cut the butter down a bit and reduced the sugar. Additionally, I added plenty of flax seed and oats and used a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour. I think the end result is a cookie that tastes amazing and slightly sweet but also doesn’t leave you feeling guilty after you eat one, or two, or three. Not that I would know or anything.

Lactation Cookies
Serves: 30
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons brewer's yeast
  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add in the sugar, brown sugar and flax seed and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and brewer's yeast. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the oats, followed by the dark chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. Spoon dough by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Cool completely on wire cooling rack.

 

Uncategorized

Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts

February 9, 2015

Banana Bread Doughnuts (2) | Espresso and Cream
I now fully understand why everyone says that the last few weeks of pregnancy are the longest weeks. There is something very strange about technically being “full term” knowing baby could arrive any day while being fully aware that baby could still be a month (!) away from his/her arrival. The suspense! The patience! I’m not great with the whole patience thing and have never really loved surprises, so you can imagine how this is all going over with me.

I’m working hard on keeping myself busy after a number of friends suggested that’s the best way to keep yourself sane and happy. I’ve got a pedicure on the calendar and a hair color appointment, along with a bunch of coffee dates and a to-do list of house-related projects. Hopefully I’ll welcome baby relaxed, pampered and fully socialized, right?!

Banana Bread Doughnuts (3) | Espresso and Cream
I’ve also been doing quite a bit of baking lately since I have the extra time on my hands. These Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts set a record in our house for how quickly they were consumed. I ate one, my husband ate 11 and they were gone in 24 hours. I’m not kidding! I’ll take that as a sign that these babies are one of the better recipes that I’ve made lately. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Banana Bread Doughnuts (1) | Espresso and Cream

Baked Banana Bread Doughnuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Doughnuts
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • Doughnut Glaze
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Garnish
  • Additional powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. If your doughnut pan is nonstick (I think most are) then do not spray. Otherwise, if it isn't nonstick, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. In a second bowl, stir together the egg, sugar, bananas and oil until well combined. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon some of the batter into each of the doughnut pans with a spoon. Alternately, you can spoon the batter into a pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pans, if desired.
  5. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until toothpick inserted into doughnuts comes out nearly clean with just a few moist crumbs. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire cooling rack.
  6. Meanwhile, stir together the milk and powdered sugar. Spoon glaze over warm doughnuts. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Nutella Blossoms

December 22, 2014

Nutella Blossoms | Espresso and Cream

 

This year I’m entirely behind my baking game. By this point in the month on most typical years I’ve already managed to bake through my standard rotation of Christmas goodies, but this year I’ve just started baking a few days before Christmas. I’m finding this to be a very smart way to get around my lack of willpower. At least I only have a few days to indulge rather than an entire month!

My family from Idaho is coming to visit for the week starting tomorrow, so the last handful of days have been devoted to preparing the house, grocery shopping and getting ready for their arrival. Although I didn’t get all the baking done that I would have liked, I did manage to make a few of our favorite family recipes as well as a few new recipes, like these Nutella Blossoms.

Joe requested the traditional peanut butter blossoms, but when I saw that jar of Nutella in my pantry I knew it needed to be put to use. Although I can’t say these cookies are better than the original (that’s setting the bar pretty high!) they do make a fun new addition to the holiday cookie tray. So for all you other baking procrastinators out there, if you’re looking for a new cookie recipe to try I would highly suggest these little gems!

Nutella Blossoms | Espresso and Cream (1)

Nutella Blossoms
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Additional sugar for rolling cookies
  • 24 Hershey's kisses
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the Nutella and shortening until well-combined. Add in the sugar and beat 1 to 2 minutes more until fluffy and combined. Add in the egg and vanilla, beating until just combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Roll heaping tablespoons of the dough in between your hands to form balls. Roll balls in sugar and place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and cookies are puffy. Immediately place one Hershey's kiss in the center of each cookie. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Uncategorized

Frosted Sugar Cookie Pumpkins

September 16, 2014

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies 1 | Espresso and Cream

 

It’s not often, but every once in a while I get the urge to bake something cute. I should clarify that “cute food” really isn’t my thing, but sometimes it’s pretty hard to resist the seasonal section at Target and I leave with, say, a pumpkin cookie cutter and fall-colored sprinkles that I didn’t even know I needed. Dang you, Target. Thankfully, the cookie cutter was only $1, meaning you, too, can easily get caught up in the excitement of fall, cute food and all things pumpkin.

Since everyone is posting pumpkin-flavored desserts, I decided to go with something that looked like a pumpkin rather than tasting like one. Although these cookies may look like a lot of work, they really aren’t too much of a pain to make since the decorating is on the simple side. And for a little extra time and effort, it’s worth it for the adorable end result.

This frosting is incredibly easy to work with and very versatile. The key to getting the glassy look on the cookies is to outline with a stiffer frosting, then thin the remaining frosting with a bit more milk so it spreads easily when put in the center of the cookie. The border you piped around the edge will prevent the thinner frosting from dripping out all over the cookies and give you a polished, perfect look. I could easily see this recipe be adapted for other Halloween shapes, like a bat or ghost. The sky’s the limit!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies | Espresso and Cream

Frosted Sugar Cookie Pumpkins
Author: 
 
Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit Dec. 2013.
Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • Decorator Frosting
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk, plus more for thinning
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • Orange and green food coloring
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, combine salt, baking powder and flour until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth and well combined. Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla or almond extract. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until just combined.
  3. Place on lightly floured surface and roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into pumpkin shape using a pumpkin cookie cutter and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are just lightly golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter and milk until smooth and well combined. Use enough milk to create a frosting that is smooth but firm enough to pipe through a pastry bag.
  5. Place ¼ of the frosting in a small bowl and color with green food coloring. Color remaining frosting in large bowl with orange food color. Place a small amount of the orange and green frostings in pastry bags or zip top bags with the end snipped off. Use orange frosting in pastry bag to pipe a border around the edge of the pumpkin.
  6. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons milk to the remaining icing until it is slightly softer and runs a little more freely. Spoon a small amount of icing into the center of each lined cookie. Tilt the cookies around so icing in center completely fills the outlined cookie.
  7. Repeat process with the green frosting on the stem. Allow cookies to set, about 30 minutes.

 

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