Appetizer Idea: Shortcake Bites

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With this post, the challenge to think of as many creative ways as possible to use wonton/ eggroll wrappers…CC Pics 008

Continues.

It started with those zesty Mini Fajita Bowls. It may have spiraled out of control. But just maybe. Because now we’re moving into desserts.

The things my brain comes up with. I’m not clever, but I’ve got an unusual resourcefulness (I’m also quite cheap or “thrifty”) and an unwavering interest in trying new culinary creations.

I like this one. The wonton wrapper forms the base of shortcake and gives it an interesting contrast in flavor. I still can’t quite explain it. Not quite a slight of saltiness, but something along those lines.

And of course, who doesn’t love some fresh chopped strawberries and a little whipped cream?CC Pics 004

No, I don’t do Cool Whip. Those sugars and preservatives aren’t kosher with me (or my stomach), but in small does my tummy can handle this wonderful product called “Tru Whip.” I love it. Pick it up in your health food section or store next time you’re ready to call it quites on a recipe that calls for Cool Whip and offers no alternatives.

Sweet with a little cream and crunch. Perfect.

1 serving (Of course, you can make many more if you have company.)

Ingredients

1 egg roll wrapper

2 T diced strawberries

1-2 T Tru WhipCC Pics 007

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a mini-muffin tin. Set aside.

Using a cookie cutter you like, cut as many shapes out of the egg roll wrapper as you can. I got four with a a small flower cutter, but a slightly larger one would have been perfect. Circles and other shapes would work great, too.

Tuck wrapper gently into each tin slot. Bake until crispy and golden brown, only about 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully. Remove and let cool.

Once cool, spoon even amounts of strawberries into each and finish off with a pretty dollop of Tru Whip. Enjoy the sweet crunch!

Key Lime Cake with Whipped Yogurt Frosting

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I’ve written about how I’m not crazy about cake mixes. They usually have hydrogenated oils, but sometimes I get lucky and find one that doesn’t.SAM_4933

Or if I’m really lucky, one that uses whole, unrefined sugars and flours. But that’s rare.

But people like those cake mixes so much! It’s hard to please a crowd with unrefined tastebuds.

So here’s a compromise I made for a very special someone’s birthday. He likes key lime pie, a lot. Now he likes key lime cake, too.

IngredientsSAM_4921

1 box of angel food cake

1 large lime or two small

1 container of key-lime-flavored yogurt

1/3 cup healthy whipped topping (try a soy type or Troo Whip)

DirectionsSAM_4931

-Prepare the angel food cake as directed, but add in some fresh lime zest and a little squeeze of juice at the end. The cake should still taste light and fluffy with just a hint of lime flavor, most of which comes from the topping

-Let cake cool, of course. But once it cools completely, you can begin making the whipped yogurt topping. It’s as simple as mixign the yogurt and whipped topping together, drizzling all over the cake, serving chilled, and if you like, sprinkling with fresh zest or coconut shreds.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Margarita Cupcake

cupcake

It’s been said, sang, and probably screamed more than once.

“It’s 5’o’clock somewhere.”

Whether you’re throwing the ultimate happy hour at your home or a Tex-Mex fiesta, a margarita is sure to set a carefree tropical vibe.

Now, you know I’m not a big drinker, but I have a sweet tooth that eclipses the need for any sweet in liquid form. That’s why I love this marg cupcake. It’s adorable. It can be made with alcohol. And it’s the perfect way to play up the aforementioned party themes.

Or if you just need a margarita cupcake because it’s been a long day at work, the following recipe is perfect for wasting away again and searching for your long lost salt shaker…

Oh, but that’s not salt along the edge of the cupcake. It’s shredded coconut. A similar effect though, right?

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww pastry)
  • 1 T stevia
  • dash of baking powder
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with 1 T nondairy milk
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • 1 more t nondairy milk
  • optional: lime zest to taste
  • optional: replace 1 t milk with 1 T tequila

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Top with your favorite frosting, shredded coconut, a stevia crust, or whatever other toppings you fancy.

Une Vanilla-Pear Cupcake

There’s something rare about a pear.

No, really. That rhyme is purposeful, at least in our cultural context.

I think that we Americans, and some Amerikans, too, love our apples. It’s as American as apple… You already know what I’m going to say. And that, I think, proves my point.

But every once in a while, the American diet says “Bon voyage!” to this staple fruit and sets sail for a slightly different fruit alternative, le poire.

Pair that pear with a sweet cream cheese frosting, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Ingredients

3 T spelt or ww flour (or coconut flour for a gluten-free version)

dash of nutmeg and baking powder

2/3 T stevia

fresh lemon zest to taste

splash of vanilla

2 T nondairy milk

1 t organic vanilla yogurt

a few pear slices

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or silicone muffin cup. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients; then blend in the wet ingredients. You can leave the pear out or you can mash some of the slices up for a very soft, fruit-puree dough.

-Transfer to prepared dish. Bake for about 10 minutes.

-While baking, mix 1 t Neufchatel cream cheese with 1 t stevia and a scant splash of vanilla. Microwave for 5-6 seconds if too thick. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

-Remove finished cupcake. Let cool a bit, and then spread frosting and top with extra pear slices.

DIY: Cupcake Transport Idea

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Friends of mine might remember the adorable cupcake presentation boxes I had for my letter writers when I was applying to M.A. programs two years ago.SAM_4837

Another round of excellent and supportive letter writers put up with my numerous reminders and gushing thank you’s again, this time for doctoral programs.

There’s a lot changing in my life right now, but craftiness and my cooking-to-relax routines are not. This time, it was a healthful little blueberry muffin. It needed delicate transport and it needed to be as cute as I was thankful. My favorite culinary truth: Eating is 50% presentation.

So I found this great little idea on Pinterest. Put a muffin or cupcake in a small plastic cup. Wrap with whatever kind of wrapping you like–I used treat bags from Michael’s–tie up in a pretty bow and take them anywhere. The cups keep the treats sturdy and upright. The bag gives the pizzazz.

Oh, and the most important part, the muffin, makes everything sweet. I hope they liked my thank you’s. I’m thinking of baking something for them again because I had so much fun tucking them into their mailboxes.

Cake Cups + Filling Ideas

This is more of a great idea (or two) than it is a new recipe.

Cake cups!

Like cupcakes, but reversed.

In a cake cup, you add in something you love. For me, it was my healthified fro-yo fix, which you can make simply by taking your favorite yogurt and freezing it for about an hour. Garnish with some sweet fresh berries and voila! A dessert that does a body good.

To make, simply follow any one of my single-serving cupcake recipes. But instead of filling the muffin tin slot as you normally would, gently press the dough up the sides of the slot. Bake for about 5-6 minutes (less time is needed because the dough is spread more thinly). Let cool and add in your favorite filling.

I’ll copy and paste the sweet-pink strawberry dough recipe I used below, but get creative!

I also did something similar with my super-moist chocolate blueberry cupcake recipe, but I made the cups smaller by dividing into two, scraped out the sides, and filled with a one-part peanut butter and one-part cream cheese frosting filling.

Yes, I was proud of this secondary cake cup, too. It tasted just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, only cakier!

And in case you’re wondering, no you can not taste the blueberry, but you will be amazed at how moist the fruit puree makes the cake.

Strawberry Dough Ingredients

3 T flour ( I used spelt)

a pinch of baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla

1 heaping T milk

1 T stevia

.5 t vegan butter

1/5 egg (mixed, or flax egg)

.5 t maple syrup or agave

1 t strawberry preserves

1 medium to large strawberry (ripe, pureed or well smashed)

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl; push to one side. On the other side, mix all wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry thoroughly. It’s okay if there are some chunks of fruit in the batter, but too many or too large of a chunk will bake into a gummy texture you won’t like.

-To form cookies, roll into small balls. If you’d like, however, to make doughnuts, you can simply shape a doughnut round by using a specialized pan, or doing as I do, which is using the rim of a muffin tin slot to shape an O. You could also use a cookie cutter that’s shaped like an O, but if you do this make sure the dough is thick enough–consider layering two or three Os.

-Bake for about 6-7 minutes.

Chocolate Blueberry Dough Ingredients

2.6 T whole-wheat flour

2 t cocoa powder

pinch of baking powder, baking soda, (scant) salt, and vanilla

1.5 t stevia

1 T and 1 t vanilla yogurt

1.5 t applesauce or coconut oil

1 T and 1 t almond milk

1 T and 1 t blueberries

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet or prepare with a cupcake liner.

-Puree blueberries or mash with a fork. Then mix in vanilla, oil, and milk. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Transfer these to the wet ingredients, mixing in slowly. Be sure not to overmix.

-Spoon batter into cupcake tin and bake for about 11-13 minutes.

These toppings could be really fun. You could go more muffin like, as I did, with fresh coconut cream and blueberries. Or you could add icing because, essentially, this muffin could pass as a cupcake, too!

Let the sweetness last as long as you can :)

Maple Syrup Oat Muffin

Not quite like oatmeal.

Not quite like a traditional muffin.

Not quite like a flapjack.

This delicious baked treat is deliciously odd. It takes from the three beloved breakfast staples, ones that can easily be prepared in a bland way, and pulls them together with a rich, flavorful syrup taste.

Yum.

Ingredients

2 T quick oats (save 1 t for topping)

2 T spelt or whole-wheat flour

dash of baking powder and cinnamon

1 t vegan butter

2 t pure maple syrup

1 flax egg

1 T nondairy milk

optional: chopped pecans or sliced almonds

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin slot or a ramekin. Set aside.

-Combine all dry ingredients; then wet.

-Softly mold to prepared baking dish. Press in extra oats and nuts.

-Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Alternatively, you can microwave for about a minute and a half.

Top with extra maple syrup or honey if you like. Serve fresh out of the oven.

PB&J Cupcake

Peanut-butter-jelly time!

The song is a little annoying, but this recipe won’t be.

Unless you have a hard time fighting temptation. Then it might.

PB&J sandwiches really are like a dessert break in middle of the day–otherwise known as lunch. Think about it: sweet fruit, savory nut spread, topped on soft bread. Sounds almost like a sweet-savory cake, doesn’t it?

Let’s just go there already. We need a real PB&J dessert. A cupcake. Ever seen the ones in many cupcake emporiums? I always thought they looked less appetizing next to their chocolate and vanilla counterparts.

But try this very rich recipe, and you’ll change your mind.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp spelt flour (30g) (or ww)
  • .5 T stevia
  • dash of baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon
  • 1/2 an egg or 1/2 flax egg (.5 T ground flax mixed with 1/2 T water)
  • 1 T all-natural, salt-free peanut butter
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 T organic vanilla yogurt
  • .5 T nondairy milk

For icing: Mix another 1/2 T peanut butter with either another 1/2 T vanilla yogurt or 1/2 T Neufchatel cream cheese. Top with your favorite preserves.

Directions

Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or a single silicone cup. Set aside. (Note: You can microwave for 1-1.5 minutes for a quicker muffin, but it will probably turn out less moist.)

Mix dry ingredients; then blend in wet ’til combined, but don’t overmix.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Let cool. Spread with the peanut butter frosting and preserves.

Orange Dream Cupcake

Remember my sweet lemon solo cupcake from late August? It was delicious & zesty, yes?

Well now that we’re in the dead of winter, I figured it was high time for another fruity cake, but one more appropriate for the season.

An orange one!

And you know the fruit won’t be expensive considering most grocery stores are selling oranges by the bag for just a few dollars this time of year.

The recipe is below. I’d recommend pairing with coconut flakes or almonds. Or if you like a little sweet, cream cheese frosting. Check out my healthy Neufchatel cream cheese frosting recipe, featured earlier on my fluffy carrotcake cookies.

IngredientsCooling off in an individual silicone cupcake mold.

(makes just one cupcake)

  • 3 tbsp flour (30g) (See directions for flour notes)
  • heaping 1/16th tsp salt
  • little orange zest, if you like
  • 1 tbsp applesauce, oil, pre-melted margarine (I used French vanilla yogurt), or a combination
  • 1 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 t freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 packets of stevia should be about right. If you use liquid sweetener, cut back a tiny bit on the other liquid.)

Directions

-Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.If icing isn't your favorite, you can also eat this cupcake plain (more like a muffin)...

-Mix the ingredients and pour into an oiled (or sprayed) muffin pan. Smooth top of batter. Bake for about 10 minutes or so.

-Alternatively, you can cook in the microwave, in a greased mug or ramekin. (Microwave times will vary, depending on the flour you use and the strength of your microwave.

Carrot Cake Cookies for One + Cream Cheese Frosting

If you like carrot cake, you will flip when you try this recipe.

To make, simply follow my carrot cake for one recipe, but omit egg. Bake at 350 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes.

When you take them out, they should be soft, light, and fluffy. Allow them to cool.

Now if you also like cream cheese frosting on your carrot cake, guess what? I have a new recipe for cream cheese frosting that’s 100% guilt-free and incredibly easy to make.

To make one serving of cream cheese frosting, mix 1-1.5 T Neufchatel cream cheese with 2 T stevia and a splash of vanilla. Mix well and refrigerate if you like a colder, thicker frosting.

When the cookies have cooled a bit, spread on the sweetness and enjoy!