Monday, June 3, 2013

Menu Plan #13

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Hi all!  I'm working on some new baking posts to share soon.  In the meantime, I have a Menu Plan ready for this week.  I swear by making a meal plan each week.  Without it, I'm completely useless come dinner time.  My goal for this summer is to get a little closer to being 100% Gluten Free.  My husband is already there and whatever I prepare for dinner is GF for him.  I'm not sure that the kids and I will ever get to the point that we are totally GF, and that's okay.  I think just reducing our intake of wheat & gluten is an important change.  Has anyone read the Wheat Belly book?  I'm inclined to believe the whole Frankenwheat theory - which is just sad.

The thing I've found the most challenging about the whole gluten free deal is BAKING.  Oh my goodness!  It's really hard to find the right mix of flours (brown rice, white rice, potato, bean, etc.) that will yield a tasty treat without being gritty.  It's the grit that I can't stand the most!  I recently bought a bag of Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour mix, and wow!  I'm so impressed.  I've been subbing it in here and there with great success!  My girl and I made banana bread with it last week and it turned out so well - absolutely delicious and no grit.

Anyway...Here we go with the Menu Plan!

Monday
Grilled Hamburgers
Salad

Tuesday
Brown Rice

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday
No, I will not be cooking.  Take me out.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

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I have a departure for you today.  A departure from CHOCOLATE!  Sometimes, though it's pretty rare, I just really crave something other than chocolate for a sweet treat.  My favorite in those instances is usually Brown Butter Blondies (say that three times fast!), but these bars come in a very close second.

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars!

They are so delicious, not too sweet and come together really fast!  Make some!
 
Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

by Brandy's Baking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (8 oz) bag of toffee bits
Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray.
2.  With your electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together, about 2 minutes on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated.
3.  Turn mixer to low and add in baking soda, salt and flour, mixing until just incorporated.  Add in the toffee bits and stir until combined.
4.  Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and center is just set. Cool pan on wire rack and cut into squares when ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  Cookies & Cups
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

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Happy Monday, folks!  I recently made the tough (but necessary) decision to shut down Brandy's Baking...just the baking orders, not the blog.  I'm keeping the blog. :)  It's all good.  I just need to direct a little more focus toward the kiddos and their school stuff.

I wanted to share my most frequently requested cupcakes this morning.  I love them so, so much.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes!


I have made these cupcakes so many times.  I think I could whip them up with my eyes closed, no joke.  They are so good!  Give them a try!


Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

by Brandy's Baking
Ingredients (24 cupcakes)
    For the Cupcakes:
    • 24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
    • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 2/3 cup sugar
    • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 cup milk
    • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped into quarters
    For the Frosting:
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
    • Oreo cookie crumbs
    • 24 Oreo cookie halves
    Instructions
    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

    Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.

    Recipe source:  Annie's Eats
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    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Pumpkin Pancakes

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    Can we talk?

    Can we talk about bad TV?

    You know how I love it.  I love the bad TV.

    Billy the Exterminator

    American Hoggers

    and now...now I'm obsessed with

    AMISH MAFIA!

    Photo Credit:  DCL














    Amish Mafia!  Who knew, right?  It's really a rather interesting show...justice for the wicked, blackmail, barn fights, buggy destruction, and more!  And the cast...er, characters...what do we call them?  Cast?  I'll stick with cast.  The guy that makes me laugh the most is the little dude on the left...John.  Around here we would say,  "awwww, bless his heart...", which translates to:  Poor fella, he's not so smart...box of hair and all.

    I can't even talk to you about Merlin.  He's too scary.  And by scary, I mean crazy.
    Scary crazy.
    Crazy scary.

    Esther though, I'd like to talk about her.  Esther is really the brains of the whole operation, if you ask me.  The men don't know it, but she totally runs the show.  Go Sister!

    Photo credit:  DCL
















    Shall we talk about food now?  How about some Pumpkin Pancakes?!


































    These pancakes made a tasty breakfast!  They were so light and full of yummy pumpkin goodness.  My kiddos loved them.  Makes some!

    Pumpkin Pancakes

    by Brandy's Baking
    Ingredients
    • 3 cups cake flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
    • 3 Tablespoons sugar
    • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
    • 2 whole eggs
    • 3 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2-1/2 cups milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    Instructions
    In a large bowl, combine cake flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir together and set aside.
    In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and milk. Slowly drizzle wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring gently with a spoon as you go. Once combined, if mixture needs more moisture, splash in a little more milk. Batter should be pourable.
    Heat large skillet or griddle over medium-low to low heat. Smear a little bit of butter over the surface and drop tablespoon-sized amounts of batter onto the pan (more if you want larger pancakes.) Wait a minute or so, then flip to the other side. Pancakes should be light golden brown and set in the middle.

    Recipe Source:  ever so slightly adapted from the great and marvelous  Pioneer Woman
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    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

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    Hi friends!  I hope you are all having a fantastic 2013 so far.  I was just remembering how Brandy's Baking started the new year last year.

    Remember these very naughty Rocky Road Brownies?


    I think we need to start 2013 off with something sweet too!

    Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!


    Make some!


    Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

    by Brandy's Baking
    Ingredients (about 20 cupcakes)
      For the Cupcakes
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
      • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
      • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
      • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
      • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
      For Cream Cheese Frosting
      • 2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
      • 1 stick butter, softened
      • 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      Instructions
      For the Cupcakes
      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
      2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
      3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
      For the Cream Cheese Frosting
      1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
      2. Add in vanilla and then gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.

      Recipe ever so slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction
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      Saturday, December 22, 2012

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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      I hope your holidays are merry and bright!  Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for a very happy new year!


      We are off to a fantastic start for Christmas break...my little girlie has strep throat AND the flu!  Ho, Ho, Ho...Merry Christmas!
      Wednesday, December 12, 2012

      Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

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      Hi friends!  Just a quick post today to share an easy cookie recipe to make for the holidays!


      Why yes, I am aware that this picture could win an award...
      for worst ever photo.  I'm in a hurry here...sorry! 

      My friend and I stopped by Panera yesterday for lunch and they had gigantic red velvet crinkle cookies in the display case.  I didn't get one, but I've been thinking about them ever since!  I searched and searched when I got home for a recipe and I kept landing on a recipe using a boxed cake mix.  I know, I know!  Yes, we all prefer homemade and I'll keep experimenting until I have a good from scratch recipe.  Until then...don't hate on this blogger and go make some cookies! 


      Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

      by Brandy's Baking
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 10-11 minutes
      Ingredients (18 cookies)
      • 6 tablespoons butter
      • 1 cup powdered sugar
      • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
      • 1 box Red Velvet Cake mix
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
      • 1 cup white chocolate chips
      Instructions
      Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.
      Place cake mix, cooled butter, eggs and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms. Fold in white chocolate chips.
      Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on cool, ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
      Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
      Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.

      Slightly adapted from:  Duncan Hines
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