Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peanut Butter cookies

Okay I made these cookies a week back. I made them with Natvia and used the same amount that the sugar called for. Big mistake. You should always half the sugar amount if substituting with artificial sugar. So it was a nasty cookie. They were super sweet and left a horrible taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. Next time I substitute the sugar with the Natvia I will do it right.  So i made the proper recipe. I did half the recipe as I am the only one in the house that seems to like Peanut Butter but I am not complaining.

I had a friend over this arvo and between us both (mostly me) we almost polished them off.

Peanut Butter Cookies (this is the half recipe) from
65g Unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup castor sugar (half that if you use Natvia/Splenda)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 egg (I weighed the full egg and then halved it)
3/4 cups self raising flower
whole peanuts

Beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars together.
Add the egg and mix. Gradually add the flour until it forms a soft dough
Roll in to teaspoon full balls and place on lined tray. Place a peanut in the middle.
Bake at 160-180 degrees for 10-12mins until brown.
This made nearly 30 cookies at the half recipe. So yummy and yes I nearly ate all of them. There are a couple left for hubby to try LOL. I am naughty.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Evening - or at least it is here in Australia.

I have been fasinated in Key Lime Pie ever since I saw one of the characters on the show 'Dexter' trying to find the best KLPie and when I found some Key Lime Juice at USA Foods Australia I couldn't go past buying some and giving the pie a go. So the recipe search began and I found a very simple recipe that has the crust and three ingredients. This is divine. If you like your dessert pies tart than this is for you. Very tarty like Lemon Meringue Pie - which is a favourite in this house too.

Too eager to eat some I forgot a photo before slicing it up.
Mmmmm yummo
Key Lime Pie
150gms Digestive Biscuits, blitzed in food processor
3 tablespoons castor sugar
1/3 cup butter, salt reduced

250g Cream Cheese (one block) do not use reduced fat
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Melt butter in the microwave and add to blitzed biscuits and sugar. Press in to pie dish and put in fridge to set a little.

Whip softened cheese with a beater (I used my food processor) to improve consistency. Add condensed milk and juice and mix until well combined. Pour over the crust and refridgerate for at least four hours.
I loved this and my hubby did too - in fact I turned around to have another piece - after I had a few pieces already and it was all gone. LOL. I am so making this again but might add some green colouring as well to really make it look like lime pie.

Friday, August 24, 2012

MandM Cookies

Whilst at the supermarket the other day my little girl saw a packet of M&M Cookie mix and wanted to buy it so we could make some at home. Being the person I am, I decided that nearly $6 for a cookie mix was too much so I decided to buy a pack of M&M's minis and made these from scratch. I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that the kids love so thought I would just substitute the chips for the M&M's.

Whilst adding the ingredients I realized one thing - I haven't been making the cookies according to the recipe. Don't get me wrong they actually tasted good and we so melt in your mouth - but alas I realised why. I had been putting in a whole can of Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of half. So I fixed that and just added 1/3 cup of sugar instead of the required 2/3 cup. So next time I will make the recipe properly and see how they taste. Anyway - they were still good so I am saved LOL.

These were so yummy. The boys loved them but alas my little miss doesn't. She is not a chocolate fan. She is more in to lollies.

M&M Cookies
250g butter, room temp if possible
2/3 cup castor sugar
200g (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups SR flour, sifted
1 packet of mini M&M's

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk until light and fluffy. Add the sifted flour and M&M's and mix until well combined.

Use a tablespoon (I make them small so use a heaped teaspoon) and roll mixture into balls and place on baking paper, leaving room for them to spread and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12mins or until lightly golden and remove from oven. Leave on tray for 5mins to cool (they will fall apart if you don't).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coconut Custard Pie

Hello my lovelies. Hope you are all well. Here in lovely little Melbourne I have still been baking up a storm and have been trying to come up with my own recipes for 'sweets' so have been a little quiet on my little old blog but hoping to post most days - if I can.

If you are in to cakes you will probably have heard of a show called 'Cake Boss' - my current favourite. Buddy takes the traditional birthday, christening or special occasion cake to a new level. I mean he makes the most amazing cakes. If you haven't watched an episode you should catch one on YouTube.

Anyway I got this above book from and when I saw a recipe in there for Coconut Custard Pie I thought I would give it a go.

Recipe said to do a 9" base but I just bought a premade one from the supermarket. Don't think it is that big.
This is - how can I say it - deliciously disgusting. This was nice but not. I think next time I would use half the amount of coconut or even skip the coconut all together. Like all new recipes you try this was one I don't think I will make again. If you are interested in Buddy's recipes you will have to buy the book. I don't want to put recipe up as it might get me in to trouble.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cake Pops my new fav

Cake Pops and I are not friends.

In fact, we have a very turbulent relationship. Every time I 'try' and make Cake pops they are an epic fail. The candy melts never melt properly - in fact I used to over 'cook' them so they were all lumpy and I find that Candy melts just aren't 'smooth' enough for cake pops, as in the chocolate just is not dippable. So under the advise from a friend who is an expert at cake pops I used Nestle Melts instead and woo hoo - they worked. I am over the moon. Now what I have to do is work out how to do them a little smaller.

I used a 1.75" Meat Baller - best thing invented and fabulous to use for cake balls. It is so quick with the baller. I just bought 2 more - both 1.25" so they are a little smaller. So cool. Anyway. I did it. *do happy dance*. Seriously I was Cake Pop challenged and I finally got it right. Now to make some seriously different flavours. I just used a premade cake with icing from the local bakery. Used 3/4 of the cake and made 17 cake pops.

My Miss using the meat baller.
Making nice round balls.
Melt chocolate in microwave at 50% power.
Sorry about yuck color - just trying out some powder colour.
Make sure you have lots of chocolate on end of stick so when you put in ball it holds it up
when it is ready to go.
All 'staked' ready to put in the fridge to chill.
Choc all melted.
Dip, swirl, tap off excess. Easy.
Ashley eating the left over chocolate.
I melted some Candy Melts and dipped the tops in it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mousse au Chocolat

This has to be THE best Chocolate Mousse you will ever try. Gelatin free. Oh so yummy. This is my husbands recipe. He has always made it and I have never been game enough to try it as it always - I mean always ends up tasting so yummy when hubby makes it. I didn't want to fail. But all things need to be tried, so he is my attempt - and might I say that boy did it go down well. Oh so so so so scrummy.

My eldest son thinks it is better than hubby's and it is quite yummy and set a lot firmer than hubby's as I used double cream instead of normal whipping cream.

White eggs whipped, chocolate mix and whipped double cream.
Folding chocolate mix with the egg whites.
Folded (almost)
folding cream in to the rest of mix.
All done.
Mousse au Chocolat

6 oz (170gms) German sweet cooking chocolate or good quality dark chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp strong liquid coffee
1/2 heavy cream, whipped (I used double cream)

1. Melt the chocolate - I did in microwave at 50% power - for one minute then at 30 second intervals until melted.
2. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon coloured. Beat vanilla, coffee and melted chocolate in to yolks.
3. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until they stand in peaks, and fold in the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
4. Transfer to serving dish or cups and chill for 2 hrs. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream.
5. Variations: Rum or orange liqueur may be substituted for the coffee.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Immortal Rules Review

It's not a perfect world: vampires rule, humans are blood cattle and rabids lurk in the darkness, hunting them all. Allison Sekemoto may have chosen immortality, but it doesn't mean she likes it. But maybe there's a way to change it all back......

Okay I don't normally do a review of a book but 'The Immortal Rules' by Julie Kagawa was an exciting book to read and I fell in love with Allie. In a world where she struggles to survive, not only to stay hidden from the vamps, their pets and the rabids outside the walls, she also has to find food and stay sheltered. When her whole world changes to one decision - to die or not to die - all that changes. Her struggle to stay herself and not turn in to a monster is what got me. She is trying to hold on to her humanity and falls in love for the first time but it can not be. Had me on the edge of my seat and I cannot wait to read the next one. This is a good read. Simple but very well written. Can't wait to see what evolves in the next chapter.

If you are in to the Immortal world this is a must.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mini Choc & Vanilla Cheesecake Cupcakes

Yes yes more mini cheesecake cupcakes....!!! LOL

I love them. They taste good and I want to get it right dang nam it...!!!! So another try of my 'own' recipe. I took elements from the NY Style cheesecake recipe and altered it. Firstly you don't need that amount unless you intend on having lots of people to your house in which case you make a big one not these mini ones. Anyway on to another try of mini's. I decided I would try a couple of chocolate ones. I just added a small amount of ganache (made with cream cheese instead of cream).

Ready to go in the oven. This was so thick and creamy.
Just out of the oven
Ready to eat. So yummy but need more chocolate.
This time I used full fat cream cheese not the reduced fat one. It makes a huge difference. They don't 'collapse' as much as with the reduced fat cheese and they are definately more filling. For someone like me who is supposed to be trying to lose weight, I would make the reduced fat ones just for myself next time with half the recipe I made for this one.

Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes by Tracey (me)
100g digestive biscuits
75g butter
1/4 cup castor sugar
500g full fat cream cheese (two blocks here in Australia)
1/2 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
100ml double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon lemon juice (normally it would be 1 tablespoon of rind but I can't justify $3.50 for one lemon)
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Blitz biscuits in food processer until well 'crushed'.
Melt butter and add to the biscuits and castor sugar. Mix well and place in the cupcake patties. I used slightly more than the 75g as I wanted it to be 'firmer'.

Mix cream cheese, sugar and flour in a bowl for about 30 secs on medium speed or until mix thoroughly. Add one egg at a time - make sure it is mixed well. Scrape down the sides of bowl and add the remaining eggs one at a time until all mixed. Add double cream, vanilla and lemon juice (or rind) until well mixed.

Spoon in to patties and bake for 20mins. May still be slightly wobbly in the middle so make sure you check. If it needs more - do 5mins at a time.

Chill until it needs to be eaten.
Choc version:
Melt 75g chocolate (preferrably dark but I didn't have any)
Add 25g melted butter and about 25 - 50g cream cheese (or cream if you prefer).
Mix well together and add it to the vanilla mix - add a teaspoon of cocoa. Of course this is just a suggestion as if you do a big cheesecake you would have to almost double the amount. Alternatively, you could just add melted chocolate and cocoa.
I made mine in the morning so I can chill through the day. You could keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and these are perfect for freezing. Enjoy your cupcakes and make sure if you try this that you let me know what you think. Probably needs to be a little sweeter and definately need more chocolate for the choc ones.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with marshmallow frosting

No I am not going through a baking obsession....!!!

I am trying to give my kids more of a range of desserts and sweets snacks other than the store bought ones and plus my 6yr old son Lachlan wants to be a chef. We will see how long that lasts but we will be buying him stuff for Christmas and birthday to enhance his enjoyment of cooking and baking. I just have to get over my total dislike of mess - which is something that is unavoidable when kids are making food.

I made some awesome Chocolate Whoopie Pies. Once again I forgot to wrote down where the recipe came from so am sorry about that.

Ready to go in the oven
Lachlan making the 'cookies'. Look at his mouth lol.
The mix. OMG this was awesome by itself.
Just out of the oven. These tasted nice just by themselves.
With marshmallow frosting.
Unlike the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies these actually taste awesome with the frosting in the middle.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
5 tablespoons of cocoa
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon each of baking powder, baking soda and salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Sifted all dry ingredients.
Cream the shortening and sugar (this will not cream like butter and sugar so mix until combined). Add and mix the egg yolks. Add the dry sifted ingredients a little at a time - alternate with a portion of the milk with vanilla. Mix well until all combined.

Drop the batter on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leave room for them to spread. Bake at 190 degrees celcius for 7 -10 mins (I did mine for 8 1/2). Remove and let cool. When completely cooled put frosting in the middle and sweeze to the edge.

Marshmallow Frosting
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups icing sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff/creme (I doubled that amount).

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Easy peasy.

This recipe yielded about 20 pies - depends on how big you make them. They are very soft - very much like an actual cake so if you want them firmer you might have to alter the mix a bit so it is a little drier.

These are so much better than the red velvet ones. The frosting makes them taste better. Kids love them and believe it or not so does my hubby. LOL. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mini Baked Cheesecake Cupcakes

Ever since last weekend when I made the New York Style Cheesecake I have been meaning to make smaller ones as having a big cheesecake is - a) tempting and b) so so so much. LOL. I had a go today (as well as making two lots of Whoopie Pies but more on that tomorrow) by halving the recipe for the big cheesecake. Unfortunately the recipe for the big one called for 5eggs and of course you can't half an egg so I used 2 eggs. Maybe next time I will do with 3 eggs. I also used the 30% less fat cream cheese as it is softer and a lot easier to mix with my hand mixer.
Batter all ready to go.
In the oven for 20mins
I use a small ice cream scoop.
All baked. Unfortunately they tend to collapse as soon as you take out of oven.
The finished product was good but will definately do them a bit bigger next time as you could easily eat 5-10 of them that are really small. I didn't do the base with the Digestive biscuits this time but will do next time for sure.

Mini Baked Cheesecake Cupcakes
500 g reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of plain flour
2 eggs
40ml Heavy whipping cream
1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix cream cheese, sugar and flour with an electric beater on medium speed for about 1-2mins until nice and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add eggs - one at a time. Scrape sides again and add whipping cream, zest and essence.

Place in cupcake patties in a muffin tray and put in an oven heated to 190 degrees celcius for 15-20 mins. Let stand until cooled and place in the fridge overnight. These are best served cool.

Red Velvet Whoopie Cookies with Cream Cheese frosting

As you all know I have been looking up yummy recipes and I stumbled across Whoopie Cookies. Never heard of them before but they sounded good, as you know cake mix made in to a cookie it pretty darn good to me - so thought I would give them a go.

This is a really simple thing to make. Not many steps. I don't know where I got the recipe from as when I print them off - if they don't have the blog or website on the page I don't remember to write it down so very sorry for that.

Cookies ready for the oven.
Just out of the oven.
Ready to be iced with cream cheese frosting.
My miss enjoying the frosting.
Frosted and looking oh so yummy.
I tried one or two of the cookies by themselves which was oh so yummy. I ate one of the put together cookies and must admit that it was so very sickly sweet. Maybe it is because I am not one for super sweet things anymore. Next time (if there is one) I will make them without the frosting. They are good - seriously - by themselves.

Red Velvet Cake Whoopie Cookies
1 box of red velvet cake mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Frosting Ingredients:
225gms cream cheese (8oz) softened (I used the spreadable)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons milk
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 185degrees celcius
Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil. Roll the dough in to balls the size of walnuts. Place two inches apart on baking tray.

Bake in the preheated oven until tops start to crack, about 8 minutes. Cool on trays for 10 mins and then put on wire rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. If consistency is too stiff, add more milk.

Spread a generous amount of icing on the bottom cookie and sandwich it in between another cookie until the icing comes to the edge. Repeat for remaining cookies. Makes about 15-20 cookies.

The recipe for the frosting makes a large amount. Next time I will be halving it as I had to throw half of it out.