Valentine Day Cupcakes (Peanut Butter)


Valentine Day Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes w Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

Chocolate seems to be the flavour of choice for Valentine’s Day but if you’re looking to switch things up this year bake up a batch of PB & J cupcakes.  Peanut butter cupcakes topped with a raspberry icing are a great way to show your love.

The scent alone of these peanut butter cupcakes will have your mouth watering!  You could enjoy one sans the icing as they are wonderfully moist but why anyone would miss an opportunity for raspberry flavoured icing is beyond me.

This delicious and easy to make recipe is from “Salty Sweets” by Christie Matheson.  It bakes up a perfect 12 cupcakes and I’ll bet you already have everything you need at home.  So, don’t waste time as Valentine Day is fast approaching.  Be your own Valentine and bake up a batch just for yourself.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

3/4 creamy peanut butter (not natural)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup whole milk

Method:

In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mix master cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and creamy.  Scrape down bowl.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat together for about 30 seconds.

With mixer on low add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, then remaining milk and last 1/3 of flour, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Don’t overmix.

Divide batter evenly between the 12 cups and bake for about 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove and let cool completely before icing.

Raspberry Icing:

Beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 4 cups icing sugar.  Add in a tablespoon of cream or milk one at a time until you have a firm icing.  Add in 1 tsp of vanilla and mix.  Add in a couple tablespoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam and mix together well.  If icing is too thin add in a few tablespoons more of icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Peanut Butter Cupcake w Raspberry Icing
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

 

 

Hashtag Pie, Oh My! Chocolate Chip Cookies Instead


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweetenufblog – chocolate chip cookies

I was looking for inspiration to fuel a stint of pie making.  I figured a quick search on Instagram, maybe viewing a lemon meringue pie or an apple pie would get my creative baking juices flowing.  Pie is just pie, right?   After all the definition of pie is a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.

#pie…so simple.  But once again I seem to have missed the memo related to searching in today’s tech world.  I was expecting images of colourful scrumptious looking fruit pies with perfectly browned lattice tops or maybe, some fancy pastry cutouts adorning said pies.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as I quickly learned!

Seems #pie isn’t for pies made with pastry and fruit. It’s for FEET!  Oh yes, lots and lots of bare feet. Big feet and little feet.  Some with wrinkly soles, long toes and polished nails. But sill feet and interestingly enough it seems to be just women’s feet.  I’m pretty sure I’d recognize man feet if I saw them.  Who knew there could be so many interesting ways to photograph feet…wet feet, bottoms of feet, jewelled feet and feet encased in strappy footwear and, well, it goes on and on.

After my inital ‘ick’ it was like a train wreck I couldn’t turn away from. It appears the ‘foot fetish’ people like their feet attached to scantily clad bosoms and behinds.  Maybe the attractiveness of the bare feet increase with the barer the body attached to those feet.  Since I had to stop looking before I saw something I wouldn’t be able to recover from my research into the #pie has come to an end.

This is why today’s recipe is for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I needed a chocolate fix to settle myself down and baking a pie will need to sit on the back burner for a while longer.

Chopped ChocolateThese chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges cookies are full of chocolate.  This recipe from ‘Bake from Scratch’ has been made twice this week in my kitchen and I’m down to my last cookie.  I modified the recipe slightly by using both whole wheat and all-purpose flours, both chocolate chips and chopped chocolate and a little less vanilla.

Using both chips and chopped chocolate makes for the perfect chocolate ratio in every bite.  The chopped chocolate melts and spreads while the chips keep their shape.

Just make sure you have a few at the ready if and when you decide to starting look up hashtags on Instagam!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line 2-3 cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Scrap the bowl halfway through.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla.

With mixer on low, gradually add in  flour mixture and mix only until combined.

Fold in chocolate.  Use large scoop and place cookies on prepared sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake cookies about 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will brown around edges but remain soft in the centre.

If using a medium scoop check cookies after about 9-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Chocolate Chunk Oat Shortbread


Chocolate Chunk Oat Shortbread
Chocolate Chunk Oat Shortbread

Today’s recipe is for sweet and chocolately shortbread made with the addition of toasted oats.  The toasted oats add nutty flavour and crisps up the texture.  The addition of chopped chocolate just makes the shortbread more delicious.

With the holiday season fast approaching and the weather getting colder shortbread seems to fit the bill!  Although for me, shorbread anytime is the right time!!

Despite the fact you need to toast up the oats, with only 7 ingredients in total, these cookies are worth the extra step and I’m sure will make it onto your cookie platter.

Chocolate Chunk Oat Shortbread

From Canadian Living Holiday Baking 2015

Ingredients:

3/4 cup large flake oats

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate

Method:

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line 2 cookie sheets and set aside.

Spread oats on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly toasted, about 7-10 minutes.  Cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat butter wth brown sugar until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the oats, the flour, cornstarch and salt.

Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and stir until combined.  It might be necessary to knead the batter together.  Fold in chocolate.

Roll 1 tbsp of dough into balls and press the top into the remaining oatmeal.  (Alternately, use a medium scoop for larger cookies.)  Arrange oatmeal side up about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Cool completely.

Choc Chunk Oat Shortbread prebake
Baking Time for Shortbread
Chocoate Chunk Oat Shortbread - Delicious
Chocolate Chunk Oat Shortbread – Sweetenuf!

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins

20170815_154847
Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins – recipe on sweetenuf.ca

It seems everywhere I go people are gearing up for Fall.  The Labour Day weekend hasn’t even passed yet and I’m seeing snow suits in stores and magazines full of ‘Fall’ recipes.

Although I’m definitely not ready for cooler weather and I will hang on to summer until 11:59 pm on Labour Day a pumpkin muffin anytime of the year is moist and delicious.

Add in some small sweet Canadian wild blueberries and they are even better.  Take them up one level higher with a streusel topping and it is win/win/win for everyone.

Bake up a double batch to enjoy on the upcoming last weekend of the summer and freeze a few for those hectic days after Labour Day when everyone is getting back to their ‘normal’ routines.

These moist muffins full of sweet blueberries hint at their pumpkin flavour and if you wish to skip the streusel no one needs to know.

20170815_155042
Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

The recipe lists all-purpose flour and I used 1/2 half whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose.  As well, I used frozen blueberries as they are readily available in the grocery stores throughout the year.  Use right from frozen to cut down on colouring the batter purple but you will need to add another couple of minutes to your baking time.

Any leftover pumpkin can be frozen in ziplock bags for the next pumpkin recipe that comes your way.

(This recipe is from 2016 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes, Better Homes and Gardens magazine.)

Blueberry-Pumpkin Muffins with Almond-Oat Streusel

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line 15 muffin cups with liners.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Almond-Oat Streusel (recipe follows)

Method:

In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, combine pumpkin buttermilk and vanilla.

In a large bowl beat the butter and white and brown sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alernately, beating on low after each addition.  MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  OVER MIXING PRODUCES A TOUGHER FINISHED PRODUCT.  (Batter will be stiff.)  Fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Fill approximately 2/3 full and top with streusel.

Almond-Oat Streusel – In a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tbsp rolled oats and 2 tbsp sliced almonds, 4 tsp all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir in 3 tbsp melted butter and combine.

Bake 18 -21 minutes.  Muffins will spring back when lightly touched, or toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin.

 

Sweet and Salty Cookies

Sweet and Salty Cookies

20170809_083340
Sweet and Salty Cookies

Besides being deliciously sweet and a little salty these cookies are a great way to use up some of those ‘little bits’ of the sweet and salty items hanging around your kitchen.

My quick to be devoured cookies contained a Wunderbar, some sea salt Caramel baking bits, salted peanuts and a few dark chocolate chips.  These are great with pretzels or crushed potato chips for the salty portion or even Bugles…you remember those incredibly addictive delicious snack items.  For the the sweet….well, the options are endless…smarties, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped chocolate or a combination of all of these.

20170807_160653
Add-ins for Sweet and Salty Cookies

Each time you make these you can create your own unique combination of sweetenuf yumminess.  Don’t hesitate, start looking for all those bits taking up valuable space in your cupboards.

Sweet and Salty Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F and parchment line 2 cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup sweet (chopped chocolate, butterscotch pieces, M&M’s, etc.)

1 cup salty (crushed potato chips, pretzels, Bugles, peanuts, etc.)

Method:

In a large bowl, beat together butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.  (As always, remember to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout.)  Beat in 1 egg at a time and beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture until combined.  Fold in your sweet and salty pieces.

Use a scoop, approximately 2 tablespoon size, and leave a couple of inches between each cookies.  Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking time to ensure even baking.

Let cool and enjoy.

20170809_083340
Sweetenuf – Sweet and Salty Cookies

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Biscotti


Peanut Butter Butterfinger Biscotti (2)
Peanut Butter and Butterfinger Biscotti

 

Butterfingers in a biscotti you ask?!  Superb I say…with the addition of crunchy peanut butter these cookies are amazing.

While my friends were shopping for the essential food items to keep us going for our next few days of vacation in Florida, I headed straight for the baking aisle!  Never mind about fruits and vegetables and wine, what sweet delights can I pick up in Aisle 5, that are not available at home.

Alas, the choice was minimal.  I have been known to be overweight on the suitcase because of a dozen or so packages of Heath Chocolate Bits or peanut butter filled chocolate chips purchased while on vacation. Butterfinger Baking Bits But a few bags of Butterfinger baking pieces did find their way into my suitcase and along with the bottle of Cava and several other items my suitcase was stickered with a “Heavy Load” warning…upside…they didn’t put it on me, so I guess I can still eat a few more of my sweet treats!

PB and Butterfinger dough
Butterfinger Bits added to Peanut Butter Biscotti Dough

I added in the Butterfinger pieces same as I would add in either chocolate chips or nuts to my biscotti.  The addition of some almond flour (or almond meal) helps give the biscotti a lighter texture as I don’t love my biscotti rock hard like many of the store bought monster versions!

Without further ado below is my recipe.  Enjoy with or without Butterfinger pieces.  You can add in whatever your choose or leave them plain.  These keep for a couple of weeks on the counter and for several months well wrapped in the freezer.

A reminder to add or subtract baking time to your biscotti’s second bake depending on how ‘dry’ you prefer them.  I usually bake mine a minute or two less on each side.  They are still crisp and dunkable but don’t need to be dunked to be eaten.

I hope you give these a try and enjoy them as much as I did.

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Biscotti

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or spray lightly with Pam.

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup crunch peanut butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or half of each of all-purpose/whole wheat)

1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup Butterfinger Bits (or roasted peanuts or chocolate chips)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the brown sugar until smooth and then beat in the butter and vanilla.  Beat in the peanut butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Using a wooden spoon stir this into the egg mixture in 2 additions.  This will form the dough and it may be slightly sticky.  Stir in the Butterfinger Bits or chocolate chips.

Divide the dough into 2-3 even pieces (I do 2 pieces as my baking sheets are large).

On a lightly floured surface for dough into logs about 12-inches in length.

TIP: Wet your hands and the dough won’t stick!

Place logs on prepared sheets and using heel of your hand flatten the and shape as needed into rectangles.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (check after 15 minutes to rotate pans and check on how they are baking.  Adjust time accordingly.)  When biscotti are lightly browned around edges remove from oven and cool.

Turn oven down to 300F.

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Biscotti (2)When biscotti have cooled and firmed up slightly, 15-20 minutes slice into 1-inch pieces with a serrated knife.  Place on sides on baking sheet and return to oven.  After 8-10 minutes flip biscotti’s and bake an additional 8-10 minutes.

Let cool completely.

 

 

Hazelnut Streusel Bread

Hazelnut Streusel Bread

Hazelnut Streusel Bread
Hazelnut Streusel Bread recipe on sweetenufblog.ca

Other than your basic baking ingredients, flour and sugar, etc. you need a food processor, which you don’t even need to wash between steps, and some hazelnuts to whip up this light, tender and tasty Hazelnut Streusel Bread. Streusel in the middle and on the top and the addition of chocolate chips will make this sweetenuf treat a staple on your ‘to go’ bake list.

I found this easy recipe in a Williams-Sonoma book titled ‘Home Baked Comfort’.

To make it easier purchase a bag of peeled hazelnuts and this bread will be in the oven in under 15 minutes.  No peeled hazelnuts (or filberts as they are sometimes labeled), on hand?  Spread the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a 325F oven, shaking occasionally.  Remove and dump the hazelnuts onto a clean tea towel (wrapping them up) and rub them vigorously together to remove most of the skins.  Don’t be worried if some of the skins remain.

Remember to measure accurately, preheat your oven and scrape down the food processor as needed to ensure the best baked product you can!

Hazelnut Streusel Bread

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

StreuselFor the Streusel:

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp cold butter

1/2 cup hazelnuts, rough chopped (toasted and peeled)

For the Batter

1/3 cup hazelnuts (toasted and peeled)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1/2 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Method:

For streusel, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter and prcocess until crumbly.  Transfer to a bowl and add in the 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts.  Set aside.

For batter, in the food processor, process the 1/3 cup hazelnuts and 1/3 cup sugar until finally ground.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and process to combine.  Transfer to a large bowl.

In the food processor now add the butter and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add in the eggs and vanilla and process until fully combined.  Add in sour cream and process.  Scrape into bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together.  Add chocolate chips and fold in.

Scrape half of the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with half of the streusel and top with remaining batter and streusel.

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.  Toothpick inserted in centre will come out clean.

Let cool completely and slice!Look at the delicious streusel