Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pina Colada Muffins

So last year this time, Nathan and I were sitting on the beach in Bali sipping Pina Colada's, eating fresh fish and bronzing in the sun. Now,  a year later, we are living in beautiful Vancouver... but not on vacation. We have had a fortunate winter with tons of snow at Whistler and the opportunity to snowboard on some unbelievable powder days. But... nothing beats vacation in Bali. So I decided to make some muffins that brought us back to those memories.
I had fresh pineapple in the house and I always seem to have coconut on hand. I found this recipe for Pineapple Coconut Muffins online and decided to adjust it a bit and give it a try. They turned out better than I thought they would! We even took a few the next day on our hike to the top of Mt Seymour in North Vancouver as a snack after reaching the peak! Later that afternoon we went to Jericho Beach by our house to do some reading and relaxing and gobbled down a few more of these treats.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sour cream (I used low fat Greek Vanilla Yogurt)
1 cup pineapple, diced into small pieces
2 teaspoons dark rum (I used white rum - but i'm sure Malibu Rum would be good too!)

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1/4 cup of the coconut. 3. In another bowl, whisk the sour cream, butter, egg whites, run and vanilla together until smooth. Stir in the diced pineapple. 4. Stir the dry ingredients into the sour cream mixture and stir with a spoon until just combined, do not overmix.5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to about 3/4 of the way full. 6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of the coconut and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Sprinkle over the muffin batter.7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

I was invited to a 3 year olds birthday party this week. I wanted to bring a treat for the kids that would be something fun and something they hadn't seen before. I had seen these Cookie Monster Cupcakes online before and always thought they were super cute.

I decided to go the extra step and make homemade cookies as well. (the cookie monster is supposed to look like he is eating the cookie - not everyone got that one, haha). I used the recipe from my last cookies but used chocolate chips instead of the Nutella, bacon and pecans. The trick is to make the cookies really small and flat so they fit in the mouth (I had to cut them off).

1. I used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe and added blue food colouring at the end. You need to get the blue food colouring gel from a baking shop (or Michaels).

2. When the cupcake had cooled down, I cut a slit in the top and added in the half cookie and make it stick with some icing (Nathan's idea)

3. Then I frosted it with blue frosting (used store bought cream cheese frosting and added the blue food colouring gel)

4.  I then took blue coconut (dyed blue with the gel also) and sprinkled it all over.

5. Then for the eyes... I wanted to use the big white choc chips but we couldn't find them nearby. So I just used the white icing and tried to make an eye. I don't like how they turned out but better than nothing. Then I  used a chocolate chip for the middle of the eye. Cookie Monster usually has googly eyes, so try to make them looking googly. (is that a word??).

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe:

  • cups flour
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • eggs
  • teaspoon vanilla
  1. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer on low speed, mix in butter, milk, eggs and vanilla; beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Spoon into 12 paper-lined or greased muffin cups, filling about three-quarters full. Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Variation: Chocolate Cupcakes - Reduce flour to 1 cup and baking powder to 1/2 tsp. Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 tsp baking soda to dry ingredients. Sift before adding butter and wet ingredients.
Here is a link to one with better eyes and frosting as fur...