Frosted Orange Carrot Cookies

To continue with my carrot themed recipes, here is one for cookies.  However, when I made these I realized the title of the recipe was a lie! These have the texture and taste of a cake much more than a cookie but still super good. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

·       1 cup butter

·       1 cup grated carrots

·       2 cup flour

·       1 tsp. vanilla

·       ¾ cup sugar

·       1 egg

·       2 tsp. baking soda

·       ¼ tsp. salt

FROSTING:

·       ½ c. juice from orange

·       1 Tbsp. orange zest

·       2 c. powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

1.   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2.   Cream butter and sugar together.

3.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.

4.   Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

5.   Drop cookies on cookie sheet.

6.   Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Oven times may vary.

7.   Mix together frosting ingredients while cookies are baking.

8.   Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack.

9.   Frost the cookies with frosting when cookies have cooled.

Delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These cupcakes are yummy, this is no fail recipe that are moist and will not last in your house for very long.  I took them to a yoga training and they were inhaled.

Makes 24 cupcakes or 12 if you halve the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cups canola or other vegetable oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3 cups grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup raisins

FROSTING

8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake leave off if preferred

DIRECTIONS

MAKE BATTER

Heat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Or, grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended.

Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins.

BAKE CAKE

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.

TO FINISH

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.

When the cupcakes are done pipe, or spread the frosting on top. Scatter nuts on top., use decorations of your choice or leave plain.

Carrot Cake Pie

I could not make up my mind if I wanted to make cake or pie so I decided to make both in one!  See, you can have your cake and eat it!

I made this with a pretzel crust because I wanted that crunch with the sweet and salty combo.  Do not pre-bake the crust, I tried that and it just got a little overdone.  It will bake with the pie, do not worry.

Get Cookin'

Pretzel Crust

  • ¾ cup of butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3 cups of pretzel rods, crush do not food process, you want crunchy little bits vs powder

Mix all ingredients together and place the mixture into a pie plate. 

Carrot Cake Pie Filling

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon in a bowl.

Cream together butter and sugar, I love to use my Kitchen Aid Mixer for this, it takes all the work out but gives great results.

Stir in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

Stir in dry ingredients and mix.

Fold in the carrots.

If your batter looks too thick, thin it with cream/milk of your choice.

Pour batter into pretzel crust and bake for 40 minutes.  If the pie is still jiggly keep it in there for an extra 5-10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  • Package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Stir in vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and mix slowly until combined. 

Fill a piping bag with a 1M tip and pipe frosting onto your pie in a design of your choosing.

Will store in the refrigerator for at least 3 days…. if it lasts that long!

Enjoy!

Cheat Day: Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Flour

 

These yummy cupcakes have the advantage of being made with almond flour. They are good for those who need to be gluten free.  Also, the only sweetener is maple syrup which has a low glycemic index so it's not bad for you at all.  They were easy to make and totally yummy.  I gave hubby the choice of chocolate frosting or lemon frosting and he chose the lemon, the right choice and a huge hit in our house.  Edible butterflies are from Amazon.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of almond flour 

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of water

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon of vanilla 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325ºF. 

Prepare a cupcake baking pan with cupcake liners (about 8). 

Whisk the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together in a bowl or mixing bowl. 

Add the maple syrup, olive oil, water, eggs, and vanilla and whisk or mix until well blended. 

Fill the cupcake liners until 3/4 full with batter. 

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. 

Cool and serve. Store sealed at room temperature for several days, or sealed in the refrigerator for a few weeks. 

(Recipe from www.comfybelly.com)

Happy Hour: Grapefruit Mocktail

So, I saw this on Facebook a few weeks ago, and thought I would try it. Not sure if it is carving my body into bikini-worthy standard, but it is a wonderful pick me up first thing in the morning and it has become my daily go-to.

I have to admit full on grapefruit juice is too much for me (a bit of a weeny) so I do equal parts water to juice. Also, I prefer the flavor of maple syrup to honey and it still has that low glycemic index quality so no nutritional benefit lost.  At first the flavor of apple cider vinegar was a little tart, but I know it is really good for you so I persisted and now my taste buds have gotten used to it.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Chia Seed Pudding

This is really yummy and has the added advantages of being full of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids - both of which we need more of.  It’s delicious and filling, good for breakfast, a snack or dessert.

Here's What You'll Need 

2 cups of coconut milk (homemade or natural)

1/2 cup of chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/4 cup (or less) of maple syrup (or sub in any sweetener)

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Fruit of your choice for topping

Instructions

Blended/Smooth Version

Place all ingredients into blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.

Whole Chia Seed Version

Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds. 

Continue with these final steps for either version

Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight so the mixture can set. 

When ready to serve, top with fruits and/or nuts of your choice. 

Enjoy!

Smoothie Time

Here's What You'll Need

1 cup of water

1 banana (chopped)

1/2 cup of kale

1/2 cup of baby spinach

1/2 cup of cucumbers (chopped)

1/2 green apple

1/4 cup of organic rolled oats

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1 cup of ice cubes 

 

Directions

Roughly chop all fruits and vegetables.

Place the water, kale, spinach, cucumber and chia seeds into a blender.

Blend until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients and continue to blend until very smooth. 

Pour into a (chilled!) glass and serve. 

Enjoy! 

Orange Ginger Salad Dressing

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Ingredients 

3 to 4 cups of freshly squeeze orange juice

A quarter cup of raw sesame seeds

Optional: A quarter cup of raw pistachios

A quarter cup of chopped green onions or chives

1 small thumb of ginger

Juice from 1 squeezed lime

1/2 cup of carrots

Rind of an orange and then add all the orange segments

Optional: another herb like cilantro, rosemary, or basil

 

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender, pour and enjoy!

 

 

(Recipe from www.fullyraw.com)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Bacon

This is not super healthy but I figure every now and again it's okay to splurge and have a cheat day.  A few weekends ago we traveled to North Conway, New Hampshire with our eldest son Joe and his lovely wife Chelsea.  Our reason for being there (apart from hanging out with our awesome kids) was to participate in the annual Chocolate Festival.  Basically, you cross country ski for 8 miles and every couple of miles or so there is a feeding station serving all varieties of chocolate.  Chocolate sundaes, hot chocolate, Swiss chocolates, and one place had chocolate covered bacon, which Joe inhaled.  As a good vegetarian, I stood by and cheered him on, but it did inspire me to make these cupcakes for the carnivores in my life. 

List of Ingredients

¾ cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

A smidge of salt

1 large egg

½ cup of sugar

6 tablespoons of butter softened

2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

¼ cup of milk

Get Cookin' 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Start on the Cake Mixture

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and put to one side

I use my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer, could not live without it, use this to beat eggs and sugar until light and foamy

While beating add softened butter and then vanilla

Put mixture onto low speed and add half of dry ingredients

Add the milk and mix

Add the rest of the dry ingredients

Using an ice-cream scoop fill 6 muffin cup liners ¾ full

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes

Allow to cool

Now onto the Frosting

Melted Chocolate

1 cup of powdered sugar

Few tablespoons of milk

Chocolate covered bacon

Toppings

Bake 3 strips of bacon in the oven along with the cupcakes for 20 minutes

When you take them out pat dry really well with kitchen towel, it’s hard for chocolate to stick to greasy bacon

Allow to cool then cut so you have 6 equal pieces

Take 1 cup of chocolate chips and melt in the microwave.  I usually go in 30 minute sets and see how it goes so as not to burn the chocolate.  Usually takes about 1 ½ minutes.

Dip half the bacon piece in the chocolate and put on parchment paper. Then put in the fridge to set.

Take leftover chocolate and add to your mixer

Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix

I usually add a little bit of milk until a get the consistency I want

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, and top with chocolate covered bacon.

Voila! Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Pudding

A very popular comfort food in England is hot rice pudding.  During the winters, it gets very cold in the Northeast and I am always craving comfort food. Hot rice pudding is super easy to make and a semi-healthy and not-too-sweet dessert that will warm your insides. 

Here's what you'll need: 

¾ Cup of Arborio Rice

½ cups of water

¼ teaspoon of salt

4 cups of Almond or Coconut milk

¼ of brown sugar (more if you like it really sweet)

½ teaspoon of vanilla

¼ cup of raisins

Cinnamon for topping

Get ready to cook! 

Bring rice water and salt to boil over medium heat

Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (about 15 minutes)

Stir in milk and cook uncovered for 30 minutes

Add vanilla and cinnamon and raisins

You can tell it’s done when it’s the consistency of porridge

Enjoy, it’s delicious and sticks to your ribs!