Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pumpkin Roll

This was my first attempt at making a Pumpkin Roll and to be honest, it seemed a little daunting.  I mean, the whole rolling up the cake with a kitchen towel, then keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn't stick (did I put enough powered sugar on it?!)...I'm a worrier, especially to have to work at something and not have it turn it, you know?  


 I read some tips, some reviews and most said that it was a lot easier than it looks.  And it certainly was.  Parchment lined baking sheets, greased and floured, and your cake will not stick at all.  Just be prepared and have your towels ready, sprinkled with powdered sugar when the cakes come out of the oven.   


Once laid out on the towels, you'll roll them up warm, let them cool, then unroll.  That's when the cream cheese filling goes on, then rolled back up. 


Easy as pie...or...pumpkin roll.  And fun for the whole family! 

Makes 2 Rolls

Pumpkin Roll

1/2 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar 
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin puree

For the filling
2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 2 half-sheet pans and line with wax paper.  Grease and flour paper.  Sprinkle 2 thin, cotton kitchen towels with powdered sugar. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a small bowl.  Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick.  Mix in pumpkin, then mix in flour mixture until just combined.  Spread evenly onto the prepared sheet pans.  

Bake for about 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.  Immediately turn out cake onto prepared kitchen towel.  Carefully peel off paper and roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end.  Cool on wire rack.

To make the filling: Combine all ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Carefully unroll cake and spread cream cheese mixture evenly on cakes.  Re-roll, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Can be frozen for up to 3 months. 
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I first discovered this crazy good treat from RecipeGirl on Pinterest, which I admittedly have become quite addicted too.  I spend a little too much time pinning and repinning recipes and pics of my dream home -who says I won't have a beach house in the Hamptons one day? :)

I'm a huge fan of raw cookie dough and definitely eat my share when I make cookies, I really just can't help myself.  Yea, I know, raw eggs and all that, but come on, I know you do it too.  When I saw these I just had to see what they were all about.  I was not disappointed!  What a great  idea...and much safer (no eggs!).  And OMG, on top of a brownie?!  Brilliant.  By the way, do not try to eat these without a glass of milk...yea, they're THAT good.        

Makes 16 brownies 

1 box of Brownie mix (your choice, but NOT Family Size - should fit in no bigger than a 9x9 pan)
Eggs, Water and Oil - use amounts according to brownie mix
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare brownies according to instructions of the box.  Let cool completely. 

To prepare cookie dough:  Cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer.  Add milk and vanilla and combine.  Mix in flour until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  

Spread the cookie dough batter onto the completely cooled brownies.  Refrigerate until the dough is really firm (otherwise you will not be able to cut these, they will be too mushy).  You can also freeze them to speed this process up.  Use a sharp knife and cut into squares.  I kept these in the fridge and ate cold.  

(Recipe adapted from RecipeGirl.com)
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cream Cheese Chocolate Toffee Bars

Anything that combines chocolate, cream cheese and toffee is ok in my book!  I adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, who used mascarpone cheese in hers (doesn't she in everything?  Love her!).  These are rich and decadent and sort of a semi-homemade type dessert because you use refrigerated cookie dough for the crust.      

Makes 21 bars

1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
8 oz cream cheese, room temp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 7 x 10 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay a piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing excess paper to overhang the sides.  Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.  

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the toffee bits and vanilla extract.  Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the pan.  Using a fork, prick the dough all over.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.  Cool for 15 minutes. 

Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.  Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust.  Sprinkle the remaining toffee bits over the mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm.  

Peel off the parchment paper and cut into bars, serve at room temperature.  
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

Once again, I found myself faced with a couple of over-ripe bananas, but just couldn't bring myself to make one more banana bread.  There had to be something different to make.  I thought about making some sort of cake,and immediately turned that idea into cupcakes, but what kind of icing?  Cream cheese, but with a twist - honey and cinnamon.  Oh these turned out SO good!!  


And cute!  Would be great for a little one's birthday party.  Aren't my floral liners and toppers adorable? 


The cupcakes are so moist and the icing compliments them so well.  I love how you can see the little flecks of cinnamon throughout.  

Makes 12 cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

Honey-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing 
1/2 cup butter, room temp
4 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
2-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.  

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar.  Beat with a hand-held mixer until combined.  Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract.  Slowly beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.  Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined.  Add the bananas, being careful not to over mix.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 way full.  Bake until golden brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.  

To make the icing:  Combine all the ingredients, starting with 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk.  Mix with a hand mixer - add additional confectioner's sugar or milk depending on thickness of icing. 

(Source:  icing adapted from Martha Stewart)

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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