February 18, 2007
chocolate shortcakes with bananas and caramel

I appear to be on something of a dessert kick. Cupcakes last weekend, shortcake this. Yes, shortcake in the middle of winter, maybe because today's gorgeous weather didn't feel like winter at all. I don't think I've ever had chocolate shortcake before, and the cocoa and butter made these guys super-rich and yummy. I did my best not to overwork the dough, and they did come out pretty tender. From the Jan/Feb 2007 Cooking Light.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare the shortcakes, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces) into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces, with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk; stir just until moist. Knead lightly in bowl 5 or 6 times. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 8 wedges, cutting into, but not through, dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack. Place shortcake on a cutting board or work surface; cut along score lines with a serrated knife to form 8 wedges.

To prepare filling, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; stir gently just until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until pale golden (about 4 minutes), gently swirling pan if needed to cook sugar evenly. Remove from heat; add 2 tablespoons whipping cream and 1 teaspoon butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cool 5 minutes.

Place 1 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed, and 1/8 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa in a medium bowl; fold until just combined. Split shortcakes in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Arrange about 1/4 cup bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, over bottom half of each shortcake; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon caramel sauce, about 2 tablespoons whipped topping mixture, and top of shortcake. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel sauce over top of each shortcake. Yield: 8 servings.

Posted by astraea on February 18, 2007
February 10, 2007
lemon-scented blueberry cupcakes

The first time I've ever made cupcakes! I guess I'm now officially part of the craze. I just tested one (while watching Charlie's Angels, natch), and I can report with authority that the lemon and the blueberry blend together most deliciously. I topped them with extra fresh blueberries, but if you wanted to get super-fancy you could use edible flowers as decoration...or marzipan sculptures. From the Jan/Feb 2007 Cooking Light.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 12 decorative paper muffin cup liners into muffin cups.

To prepare cupcakes, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups (about 6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Measure 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; level with a knife. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon flour, 10 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda in a large bowl. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 large egg in another large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, and 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind to butter mixture; stir with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Toss 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Fold blueberries into batter. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare frosting, place 1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until just blended. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (do not overbeat). Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes; garnish with fresh blueberries, if desired. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Yield: 1 dozen.

Posted by astraea on February 10, 2007
February 05, 2007
gingerbread waffles

there are many folks out there who really like the flavor of gingerbread, and what better way to have than as a waffle for breakfast. my waffle iron is reversible, so i have the option of belgian or thin waffles. i made these with the thin iron and they were really good.

we had alot left over so i stuf them in the freezer and they toast up quickly as an addition to a bacon and egg breakfast or something to grab on the way to work.

Gingerbread Waffles

3 eggs separated (or egg substitute equivalent)
1 cup milk (or skim milk)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-3/4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 stick butter (or margarine) melted

Beat egg yolks with whisk and add milk, molasses and brown sugar. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and spices. Add liquid ingredients to dry along with melted butter.

Beat egg whites (if using) until they form stiff peaks and fold into batter. Bake in a hot waffle iron.

Posted by karine on February 05, 2007
pumpkin ginger pancakes

it has been forever and a day since i last posted here. now it is time to do a little catching up, with the foods i have been making this winter. lets start with the pumpking ginger pancake, which is a real favorite at our house.

Pumpkin Ginger Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 t salt
2 T brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t powdered ginger
1 egg
1/2 cup non-fat, plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 T butter, melted

Mix first 8 ingredients (all dry) in a large bowl.

In a second bowl mix all wet (last 5 ingredients).

Combine dry into wet slowly mixing until all ingredients are incorporated.

Spoon onto cooking surface, approximately 2 minutes; flip.

Cook an additional minute, transfer to serving plate.

Posted by karine on February 05, 2007