Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mocha Brownie Cupcakes

We are quite the coffee addicts around our house. It is my firm belief that there isn't much better than coffee & chocolate together. An iced mocha is a surefire way to perk up my day (pun intended. Perk? Coffee? oh my). So these little cupcakes are what I'd consider the trifecta of great desserts. 1) Coffee 2) Brownie 3) Chocolate!

I've made them a few times now but I think my favorite way to make them is as mini cupcakes, kind of like a shot of espresso, but a million times better :)

Mocha Brownie Cupcakes
makes about 22 full-sized cupcakes
Print This Recipe

for the cupcakes
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons espresso powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
½ cup coffee liqueur

for the frosting
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons hot coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare 2 cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. Place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water and in the bowl melt together the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool.

While the chocolate mixture is cooling combine flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the coffee liqueur and chocolate mixer and beat until combined.

Gradually pour the flour mixture into the electric mixer bowl and beat until just combined.

Spoon the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling the cups about 2/3rds of the way.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter at medium high speed until it is smooth. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar until just blended, then increase mixer speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the coffee, coffee granules and vanilla extract and beat until well-blended.

Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Source: Annie's Eats

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola

It is my opinion that there are not enough breakfast foods that taste like dessert. There's a small selection of coffee cakes, donuts, and the occasional breakfast cookie, but that's about it. So, one day while I was making the oh so healthy Cranberry Almond Granola I started thinking about how a basic granola recipe could have similar ingredients and tastes to an oatmeal raisin cookie. And- Tada!- the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie granola was born.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola
print this recipe

6 Tablespoons salted butter (or if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt to the mix)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup raisins
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter then add the brown sugar and cinnamon into the pan. Stir until well combined. Add the raisins and oats into the pan and mix until completely blended.

Spread the granola onto a lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the granola a few times to turn it over, then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden and slightly crispy.

Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Source: A Laura's Recipe Collection original

Friday, April 2, 2010

Whole Grain Waffles

These waffles are too good for my waffle maker. My waffle maker SUCKS. I mean, really. What did I expect? We bought for $7 years ago. Obviously it wasn't the highest craftmanship possible. However, after many, many failed batches of really gross homemade waffles, and a bit of tenacity (read: my own stubbornness and a desperate, inexplicable need for waffles) I figured out that if you just leave the waffle batter in El Cheapo the Waffle Maker for a good 10 minutes they actually turn that lovely golden, crispy brown I'd been craving.

My lame waffle maker so does not deserve these waffles! They are so flavorful while being healthy. I substitute applesauce for the oil the original recipe calls for while not only makes them healthier, it gives them a very light, yummy cinnamon apple flavor.

Whole Grain Waffles
printable recipe

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of fine salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups milk
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat waffle maker according to manufacture instructions.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg, milk, butter and applesauce together.

Gently mix together the dry ingredients with the egg mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into waffle maker and cook golden brown and cooked through.

Source: Food Network