Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Just in time for Halloween here are the easiest pumpkins muffins in the world. They are moist, flavorful and adaptable to your flavor preferences as you can use whatever cake mix you prefer. I added in some mini chocolate chips so mine are technically three ingredients. :)

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
From Duncan Hines
Printable Version
1 box of cake mix - chocolate, vanilla, or spice work best
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
Optional: 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (white chips are better for spice or yellow cake mixes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two muffin tins or place in muffin papers. Mix the can of pumpkin and cake mix together until combines. Stir in chips if using them. Fill muffin cups to almost full as these muffins don't rise very much. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

I was on the hunt for butter pecan cupcakes for my husband's birthday because that is one of his favorite ice cream flavors. There are tons of recipes for layered butter pecan cake, but since I wanted to take them into work for his coworkers to enjoy I really thought cupcakes were the way to go. I finally came across this recipe from A Cuppy Cake Life and spent the majority of the day whipping them up. Making cupcakes with a three month old is no easy task but a couple of hours later they were in the hands of hubby and his coworkers being gobbled up. Although this a great cake recipe and the toasted pecans were a tasty touch, I was not a fan of the frosting. I think there was too much powdered sugar and modified the recipe below. Honestly I suggest using a different frosting, perhaps your favorite buttercream! 
Butter Pecan Cupcakes
From A Cuppy Cake Life
Makes about 30 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups butter, softened and divided
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside. In a large skillet melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Add the chopped pecans and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar and remaining cup of butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix throughly after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry mixture in thirds alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Stir in 1 cup of the toasted pecans. The remainder will be used to top the cupcakes.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to a write rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together the butter, vanilla, and 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Once well incorporated add the evaporated milk alternating with a cup of sugar at a time until all ingredients have been added. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Spread on cupcakes and top with remaining toasted pecans.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Banana Cashew Balls

One thing that I was most surprised about after giving birth to my daughter is how ravenously hungry I was during the first few weeks. I think it was from all the breastfeeding and energy I was expending caring for my little baby. I was always looking for a quick, healthy, and filling snack. So when I offered to bring our friends who just had a baby a meal, I also took them some of these Banana Cashew Balls. I actually found the recipe from looking at my friend's Pinterest page, as she is a super healthy eater. I wanted to make something I knew she would like and she mentioned on Pinterest that bananas and cashews were two of her favorite flavors. I happen to love both flavors too so was eager to try these myself. With no refined sugar, flour, or oil, these little balls are an excellent source of potassium, protein and carbs. They keep best in the fridge and were really great cold. 
Banana Cashew Balls
From FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes about 15 balls
2 overripe bananas
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons oatmeal
4 dates, pitted
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (didn't have these)

Cut the bananas into about 3/4 inch thick slices and place them on a microwave safe dish. Microwave at 60% power for about ten minutes (may need to be more) or until most of the moisture has boiled out of the banana. 
Pulse the cashews in the food processor until coarsely ground. Add the flax seed and oatmeal and pulse a few more times. Add the banana and dates and seeds from the vanilla bean. 
Blend into a thick paste. Moisten your hands and scoop up the paste in about one tablespoon portions. Form into balls. Cover and keep refrigerated. 


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