Sunday, July 19, 2009

frozen key lime pie

 It is super easy, and probably not the best dessert for you, (because of the cool whip) but it is creamy and tart and delish.

Frozen Key Lime Pie


One 8-ounce container nondairy whipped topping, thawed slightly
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
One 9-inch prepared graham cracker pie crust (I made my own)
Finely grated lime zest for sprinkling (I put 1 TB in the pie)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whipped topping, condensed milk, and lime juice until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula.

2. Set in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the lime zest over the top before serving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

vanilla bean cupcakes & vanilla bean buttercream

Yes, sometimes I use cake mixes. The recipe I use for cakes has you fold an egg white mixture into another mixture, and I find that using that recipe (or style of recipe) for cupcakes unsatisfactory- because they don't bake evenly, because they are smaller. Or maybe I just suck. Anyway, enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

1 pkg Betty Crocker Vanilla cake mix
1 stick of butter, at room temp
3 eggs
1 cup water
3 vanilla bean pods
1 TB vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Line 24 standard muffin cups. Cut vanilla bean pods lengthwise and scrape out seeds, reserving half of them for the frosting. Discard pods. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, beat on low for 30 sec and then on medium for 2 minutes. Using a cookie scoop, (2 TB) portion out the batter into the liners using 2 scoops in each one. Bake for 17-21 minutes, or when inserted with a toothpick it comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Store in the fridge if not eaten right away.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks of butter, at room temp
1 TB light corn syrup
1 TB pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
the remaining vanilla beans from the cupcake recipe

Sift (or whisk) the sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with a mixer on high until light yellow, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, drizzle in the corn syrup, vanilla, and the vanilla bean seeds. Reduce the mixer to low and add half of the sugar and mix well. Add the other half and mix well. Using the mixer on low speed, blend in the cream. Return the mixer to high and whip until light and creamy (3 minutes).

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes with a pastry bag fitted with a big tip (your choice of shape) I like the star one for these guys.

Friday, July 10, 2009

ultimate ginger cookie

*see my notes below before baking!


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves (1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (3/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (1/4 cup butter, melted)
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces) (1/4 cup)
  • Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
  • (1 TB vanilla crush- vanilla extract with vanilla beans)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. (I used silpat liners)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. (I just used a whisk) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. (Add the vanilla) Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. (Cookie scoop is easier.) With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. (I didn't flatten them at all, they flattened while baking.) Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. (10 minutes is better. At 13 they were too hard for me. But I love soft cookies!)The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

*Food Network, Barefoot Contessa

I wanted something a bit spicier than my usual ginger cookie. I found this on the Food Network website. The comments in parentheses are what I did to change the recipe, because I am not that fond of cloves and nutmeg. And I lessened the crystallized ginger because I didn't want them to be THAT spicy! After they had cooled on the cooling rack, I melted some white chocolate chips and drizzled it on top of the cookies. Just a little bit of white chocolate makes them just perfect!

(I had a hard time finding the crystallized ginger- I finally found it in the spice aisle, but it was $11 for a tiny glass bottle. So I went to the health food section and found a 1 lb bag for $5. Deal!)

soft ginger cookies

3/4 c butter, at room temp
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp baking soda
2 c flour
1 egg
2 TB corn syrup
2 TB molasses

Preheat oven to 350. Sift dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add egg, corn syrup, and molasses; mix on low until combined. With mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients. Using a cookie scoop, portion out dough. Roll into balls, then roll in granulated sugar. Place on lined or nonstick baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. (this recipe cannot be doubled)

Monday, July 6, 2009

chocolate chip cookies

1 c butter (at room temp)
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use half milk chocolate and half semi sweet)

Cream together butter and sugars in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, mix until incorporated. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and then add soda and vanilla. Mix in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, place on non-stick or lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom. Makes 30 or so 3 inch cookies.

This recipe can also be made Vegan. Substitute the butter for vegan margarine, the eggs with egg replacer, and the chocolate chips for non-dairy chocolate chips.