Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bars

Keep your cool.


Well summer is officially here.  I personally feel that summer starts in May, but officially it is not until June 21st.  What better way to cool off than with a light, refreshing low-calorie frozen treat?  I picked up a box of Honey Maid Graham Crackers (the only brand I will eat) to use for one baking project or another.  I don't typcially make too many recipes on the back of packages, but this one really peaked my interest.  I modified it slightly, but it turned out fantastic!  It even inspired me to make a couple other flavors.  I can't get enough of these things.  


Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bars
recipe modified from Nabisco

10 1/2 Honey Maid Graham Crackers, broken into quarters (42 rectangles)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, pureed
1 cup nonfat plain Greek style yogurt
1 1/2 cup thawed frozen reduced-fat whipped topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides.  Arrange half the graham pieces, in 3 rows of 7 pieces each, on bottom of pan.

Spoon strawberry puree into medium bowl; stir in yogurt, whipped topping, and vanilla extract.  Spread over graham pieces in prepared pan.  Top with remaining graham pieces, aligning to match placement of graham pieces on bottom layer. Freeze 4 hours.  Use foil handles to remove dessert from pan; cut between grahams to form 9 square bars and 3 rectangular bars or 21 rectangular bars.  (square bars are pictured)


Friday, June 14, 2013

Pina Colada Cupcakes

If you like Pina Coladas.








































This is another one of those cupcakes recipes that has been in my head for ages.  They were inspired by the little paper umbrellas that I picked up at World Market a couple years ago.    They turned out just as delicious as I hoped.  I chose not to include alcohol or any rum extract in these because I did not think they would really enhance the flavor, but if you want a more authentic Pina Colada taste then go ahead and add either some rum or rum extract.  I decorated the edges of the cupcakes with toasted coconut which is completely optional, but a nice touch if you ask me. These are really perfect for a summer BB-Q or a Pool Party.

Pina Colada Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cups sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the coconut milk and pineapple (batter will be thick). Fill paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Pina Colada Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

1 stick of butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons pineapple juice
2  1/2 tablespoons coconut milk

Beat butter and salt until creamy.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time alternating with pineapple juice and coconut milk until fully combined.



Friday, June 7, 2013

Orange Pound Cake

This was my birthday cake.

Did I mention that I turned 30 last November while Noble and I temporarily lived with my in-laws. I am very lucky to have loving in-laws that were more than happy to have Noble and I stay with them for three weeks before we moved to Georgia.  I often talk about the time "Noble and I lived in West Virginia" and I am sure Noble will have to hear stories about it the rest of his life.  You would think not much could happen in three weeks, but we had quite the time.  Noble experienced his first snow which happened to be a blizzard, we had no power for several days, we celebrated Noble's first Halloween, and I had my 30th birthday.  My mother-in-law, who I love dearly and is a fantastic baker, made my favorite cake for my birthday which was this Orange Pound Cake.  She made it several years earlier for one occasion or another and I fell in love.  I saved this post for this long because I think an Orange Cake fits much better in the summer...and I forgot about it. This cake is absolutely delicious and keeps well for many days.  I highly recommend it.

Orange Pound Cake
recipe from recipe.com

3 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 3/4 cups sugar
8 eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups orange juice

Drizzle:

3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter and flour a 10-inch tube or bundt pan.

Beat butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat in extract and rind.  Combine flour, baking power, and salt in small bowl.  Gradually beat into butter mixture on medium speed, alternating with Orange Juice.  Beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Lower heat to 300 and bake an additional 45 -50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Turn out cake and cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk confectioners sugar, juice, and water until smooth  Drizzle over cooled cake.  Let dry completely before slicing.