Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Ultra soft and moist, perfectly spiced ginger molasses cake with a decadent white chocolate glaze. This cake is the perfect combination of flavors to get you in the holiday spirit, but secretly gluten-free and lightened-up with NO butter or oil!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

I know, I know…it’s a little early, but I couldn’t give you a holiday themed giveaway without giving you some ginger molasses. Plus, it’s post Halloween, which is the rule in my book. In fact, I have asked Steve no less than 4 times whether we could put out Christmas tree up after Halloween. He still makes me wait until after Thanksgiving, which I think is so rude because Thanksgiving has been so late these last 2 years!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Anyway, it’s finally November, and I’m ready to get into the holiday spirit! I’m ready to get out Winston’s Hanukkah sweater, my candy cane shirt, and of course LIGHTS! Not to mention, every year I start teaching my performance troupe holiday songs in AUGUST,  so I’m ready to actually enjoy them.

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

So let’s start with this cake. It is so simple, but filled with all of your favorite holiday flavors. It is also one of the softest, most tender cakes I have ever eaten. Not just out of the healthy cakes I make, but like, ever. That Taylor Swift lyric was totally unintentional. But I’m not deleting it. I just wish I had accidentally quoted Shake it Off instead because I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Anyway… This cake uses pumpkin puree (a great use for your fall baking leftovers!) in place of oil. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin. The very mild flavor that pumpkin puree contains on its own pairs perfectly with the gingerbread spices and, along with the buttermilk, is what makes this cake so unbelievably soft. Pumpkin is a great oil/butter replacement all year round! The glaze is thick with just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the bite of the spicy ginger. It is so good, you’ll find yourself making it in July!

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 9 large pieces, or 16 smaller pieces

Serving Size: 1/16th recipe

Ginger Molasses Cake with White Chocolate Glaze {+ a giveaway!}

Ultra soft and moist, perfectly spiced ginger molasses cake with a decadent white chocolate glaze. This cake is the perfect combination of flavors to get you in the holiday spirit, but secretly gluten-free and lightened-up with NO butter or oil!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • For the White Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces white chocolate (preferably a good quality white chocolate, but white chocolate chips will work)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9" square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. In a large bowl beat together pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar and lemon zest. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in half the dry ingredients, followed by buttermilk, then remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined--do not over mix.
  3. Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. To make glaze place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl (if using a bar, make sure it is chopped into small pieces). Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour 2 tablespoons immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melted. Add last tablespoon of milk if desired to get a thinner glaze. Frost and serve. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
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To ring in the holiday baking season, my friends and I on the Real Housemoms team are bringing you a Holiday Baking Giveaway! One winner will receive $500 in prizes, including a 4.5 quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a signed copy of Dessert Mash-Ups, $150 in PayPal cash, and more! And to give you some baking inspiration to make with your winnings, we’re sharing 40+ Holiday Baking Recipes too! Happy baking and good luck!





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Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven. 

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I have been on a serious s’mores kick lately. Pretty soon you’ll see what I’m talking about, but I have become a girl obsessed. It’s probably because of this frosting. The most perfect, decadent and beautiful marshmallow frosting that coming together in minutes. Every time I serve it, my friends and family are suuuuuper impressed. Shhhh….just don’t let them know how simple it is!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

I was inspired to make these 2 years ago when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is. So pretttttty. So perfect for pumpkin season!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Okay so, to be fair, these take a lot of liberties for being “s’mores”. The graham cracker is replaced by a perfect gingersnap crust, and the regular chocolate is replaced by white chocolate. Have you ever had pumpkin and white chocolate together? It is like match made in heaven.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Even though it seems like there are a lot of components going on, these cupcakes are actually really easy to make. You can prepare the batter while crust is baking, then the ganache and the frosting come together in minutes. Brulee-ing is optional, but I mean….LOOK HOW PRETTY! It definitely will take your dessert to the next level.

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

The pumpkin cupcakes are ultra soft and tender and pair perfectly with the spiced gingersnap crust and melty white chocolate. Speaking of that white chocolate…it is so good, you will want more. I tried a batch putting some on top of the crust and on top of the cupcake. It was sad because it seemed like such a good idea, but I was overzealous (shocking) and there was too much, and it stuck to the wrapper. You probably can still get away with adding extra if you you use a small enough amount that it stays perfectly in the little crust cup. Otherwise, just spread it on real thick on top. That’s what I did round 2, and it worked great!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes: Gingersnap crust, pumpkin cupcake, white chocolate ganache & toasted marshmallow frosting {gf}

Also, as you can see, I made normal sized and mini cupcakes. I prefer the minis–then you get to eat two cupcakes! But, again, make whatever you like. You’ll love them either way!

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 15 standard cupcakes or 36 minis

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Pumpkin White Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes

These Pumpkin White Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes have a gingersnap crust, soft and tender pumpkin cupcakes, white chocolate ganache and a toasted marshmallow frosting. They are mash-up heaven.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 4 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • For the marshmallow frosting:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 15 standard muffin cups or 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray if desired (sometimes lower fat baking sticks to cheaper liners). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gingersnap crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, stirring until well combined. Evenly divide crust mixture between prepared cupcake tins--about 1/2 tablespoon each for full sized, and scant teaspoon for minis. Use the back of a spoon or the bottom of a shot glass to press into a crust.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine baking blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. Mix in half the flour mixture, then almond milk, then remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Fill each prepared muffin tin about 3/4 the way full with cupcake batter. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 18-20 minutes for full size, about 12 minutes for minis. Cool completely.
  5. To make the white chocolate ganache, place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20-30 seconds just to warm the white chocolate. Heat almond milk until almost boiling, then pour immediately over warmed white chocolate. Stir until melty and combined. Spread white chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake.
  6. To make the frosting, either use a double broiler, or create your own by bringing about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium pot and placing a large heatproof bowl on top. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on low and gradually increase speed to high, beating until stiff peaks form. The frosting should stand on the whisk attachment when removed. Frost cupcakes. Use a brulee torch to brown, if desired. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Notes

Recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart

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Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you’d never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

After an incredible summer in Portland, I’m back in Phoenix. Back to real work, and back to 100++ degrees. And again I’m wondering…WHY DON’T I LIVE IN PORTLAND? Well, a fantastic husband, my puppies and an entire life time of family and friends make the heat livable I suppose.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Totally unreasonable amounts of frozen yogurt don’t hurt either. ;) You may have noticed that before I left I was on a bit of an ice cream kick. I finally figured out my ice cream maker, and I just couldn’t stop. The real deal, full fat ice cream is just so hard to recreate that I was a little nervous to go back to homemade fro-yo. I mean, I am a HUGE fan of soft serve, and I will eat it any time, any day, but it is just so hard to make something at home that doesn’t turn into an icy mess.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

The good news? This is by far the BEST frozen yogurt I have ever made! The base is so rich and creamy, and packed with tart cherry flavor. You may remember a little bit about the benefits of tart cherries from this Tart Cherry Lime Elixir. They are said to reduce soreness and oxidative stress, and aid in recovery. Also, they are delicious. I’ve been drinking tart cherry juice plain for the 7 Day Cherry Juice Challenge, and it is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.

Tart Cherry Juice Challenge

This challenge is great leading up to a big race or event, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate! If you love the taste of tart cherry juice, just drink 8 ounces a day, or you can use 2 tablespoons of the concentrate as a shot–college flash backs anyone? Except I like the idea of actually feeling better the next day instead of worse (the woes of getting older)–or diluted in another beverage.

Tart Cherry Fro-yo with White & Dark Chocolate Chips: Easy, ultra creamy and healthy!

Okay, back to the fro-yo. We all know that cherries pair magically with chocolate. White chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, you name it. I went for a combination of white and dark chocolate to create more flavors, but you are free to use whatever you’d like. Or, if you’d like to keep this 100% fat free, feel free to skip the chocolate all together, and it will still be delicious!

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Tart Cherry Fro-yo {with White & Dark Chocolate Chips}

Ultra thick and creamy tart cherry frozen yogurt loaded with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. So decadent, you'd never guess the base is FAT FREE!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka, optional
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, tart cherry juice concentrate and vanilla extract until combined and sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions. Add bourbon or vodka in the last 2-3 minutes of freezing. This is optional, but recommended—it keeps the frozen yogurt from freezing hard and icy. Fold in chocolate chips. Frozen yogurt is best served immediately, but can also be stored in a freezer safe container, just allow 10-15 minutes thawing time before scooping.
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To learn more about tart cherries and their benefits, check out ChooseCherries.com, or follow their Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest / YouTube!

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

Rich, crumbly white chocolate shortbread-like scones filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries are the perfect treat on Christmas morning, or any time year round. Vegan & gluten-free.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

Okay, let’s take a quick break from cookies for a minute. Actually, I have a confession. These were supposed to be cookies. I wanted to make white chocolate cranberry cookies, and I took one of my chocolate cookie recipes and started to modify it, and at the end I looked at the dough and thought “these are not cookies”.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

So I went rogue, and decided they would be scones. I had no idea how they would actually turn out, but as soon as they came out of the oven, I knew I had made the right choice.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

These scones aren’t flakey like a traditional bakery-style scone, but more crumbly like a shortbread. They have that buttery (without butter) melt-in-your-mouth kind of feel, and you will find yourself picking at every last crumb.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

Instead of using white chocolate chips, the white chocolate is melted into the dough so you get tons of delicious white chocolate flavor in every single bite. Ya know when you’re eating something with chocolate chips, and you get a bite without chips? How it’s basically the most disappointing bite ever? Yeah, none of that here.

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones {gluten-free}

And as if there wasn’t enough white chocolate flavor in the scones themselves, of course I had to drizzle a little extra on top because, well, it’s my favorite. I know I should choose dark chocolates, and blah, blah, blah, antioxidants, but I’ve always been a white chocolate girl at heart, and mixed with cranberries? Let’s just say these babies didn’t last long, and I am already craving more!

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 scones

Serving Size: 1 scone

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Rich, crumbly white chocolate shortbread-like scones filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries are the perfect treat on Christmas morning, or any time year round. Vegan & gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces white chocolate*
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free baking blend, or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a small baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan heat white chocolate and coconut oil over medium heat until melted, stirring constantly. Alternatively, you can heat them in a small bowl in the microwave in increments of 30 seconds stirring after each.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together baking blend, sugars, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in melted white chocolate and coconut oil. Mix in cranberries
  4. Roll dough into a large ball and press down into a 1-1 1/2" thick disk. Cut into 6-8 equal pieces. Do not separate.
  5. Bake as if for 10-12 minutes until golden and set. Set baking dish on wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle extra melted white chocolate if desired, and let set for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Notes

*For vegan scones, use vegan white chocolate.

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Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips–the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

So we’ve established how I have the maturity of approximately a 6 year old. On a good day. Also, kind of the taste buds…minus my love for vegetables. I’m just a…n eccentric 6 year old. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

Ever since before I learned to cook, I LOVED baking around the holidays. I would make a huge batch of puppy chow and put it in everyone’s stocking. It was kinda my thing. Such a simple little treat, but people went crazy for it! I never even strayed from the simple original recipe either until last year. I made a batch with cookie butter and a batch with nutella. I can’t even go there. They were ridiculous.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

But ya know what? I ended up falling equally in love with this batch! The apples bring a little tartness that cuts some of the super sweetness from the white chocolate and powdered sugar. Not to mention, apples + pb? It’s only the world’s greatest combo. Add a healthy (and I’m talking serious here, people) dose of cinnamon, and it’s kinda dreamy. In the way a little kid (AKA me) finds foods dreamy. The simplest no brainer foods that just bring you a happiness. Not like this girl’s bike apparently <—never gets old.

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow #glutenfree

I have been obsessed with those Apple Cinnamon Chex for a good year now. I put them on my Greek yogurt every.single.day. and while I know they are just a half step up from fruit loops, I just love them, and I can’t go without them. It’s only fitting that they would be a part of this perfect puppy chow. And the best part? Puppy chow literally takes all of 10 minutes to make. Just make sure you have lots of friends to give it to, otherwise you will find yourself with a stomach ache, and those slight pangs of regret after you realize you just polished off the entire batch in 24 hours. ;)

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: approx 12 cups

Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Insanely addicting sweet cinnamon puppy chow with crunchy apple chips--the perfectly sweet fall snack, and an awesome gift!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (or cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips…)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 9 cups Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 3 oz apple chips, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and white chocolate chips until fully melted and combined, stirring constantly. Slowly fold in cereal, mixing gently until cereal is fully coated.
  2. Transfer to a large trash bag or paper bag and pour in powdered sugar and cinnamon. For lack of a better term, shake the heck out of it! Just keep shaking it around (make sure the top is fully sealed! ;) ) until everything has come together. Lay out to cool on parchment paper. Evenly sprinkle chopped apple chips in with cooling puppy chow. Store fully cooled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

You can easily make this recipe vegan by using vegan white chocolate if desired.

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White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Before I left for Portland, I made a lot of food. Sometimes, I would spend all day in the kitchen creating recipes, and by the time I left I was pretty sick of the inside of my kitchen. The best day, though? The day I blasted my newly purchased Matilda original cast recording, sang Revolting Children at the top of my lungs and made all lemon desserts. It was literally the best day.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Lemon pastries have always been one of my favorites. The tart lemon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of almost any dessert, but it needs to be a pastry for me. Cookie, cake, blondie, etc. Not lemon creamy things. They don’t do it for me. Lemon bars? Meh, take ‘em of leave ‘em. I shied away from creating my own because I am so in love with the way lemon and butter taste together. I didn’t think I could recreate a genuinely delicious lemon pastry without rich, flavorful butter. I was wrong. You may want to take note, because I don’t admit to being wrong too often. Just ask my husband.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Maybe it’s the melted white chocolate? Maybe it’s the tiniest bit of butter flavored extract? It’s optional, but when you don’t use butter, I find it can be magical. And that is how I would describe these bars. Magical. I know that’s a bold statement, but when you create a blondie that is ultra soft, gooey, and not the least bit cakey without using even a hint of butter, I call that magic.

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

These babies are a full on indulgent treat without any of the guilt. They do have quite a bit of sugar that you could absolutely cut down on if you have less of a sweet tooth than me, but other than that, they are 100% whole wheat and fairly low in fat due to the nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is a must. It adds the perfect flavor and texture, and I wouldn’t try to sub it out for applesauce or any other type of fat substitute. If you love lemon pastries even half as much as I do, you will not be able to get enough of these blondies!

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 16 small, or 9 large blondies

Serving Size: 1 blondie

White Chocolate Lemon Blondies

Ingredients

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1 x 5oz container (or about 1/2 cup) nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp butter extract (optional)
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper or tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in melted white chocolate, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking until combined. Add vanilla and butter extracts. Gently fold in flour until just combined.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted about 2" from the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
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Drink & Dish: Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

When I was a little girl, my brother’s mom (yeah, my family is hard to explain…she’s not my mom, or my step mom…) always kept the creamsicle ice cream in the house. You know, the swirl between the orange sorbet, and vanilla ice cream? The one that is 100x superior to just the bar with the ice cream on the inside? She always had it, and I always finished it. She probably never got more than a bowl full, and I didn’t even live there.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

There is something so refreshing about the bright, citrusy, orange flavor against the smooth and creamy vanilla that is just about perfect in every way. Great on their own, better together.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

I’m a little obsessed with stuffing cookies. I mean, I love a good chocolate chip cookie, but it is almost always better if all of the chocolate (or white chocolate as the case may be) is contained to the center, so that when you bite into the cookies you have the same experience as, say, a jelly-filled donut. And if you don’ know it’s in there, you get an AWESOME SURPRISE!!

creamsiclecookies-13

These creamsicle cookies are dangerously addictive. The cookie is soft and chewy, and the white chocolate filling stays perfectly creamy, even after the cookies have cooled. In fact, these are a rare cookie case when they taste BETTER after cooling completely. They come out slightly underdone, and need about a full hour after that to set, and cool completely. I mean, I was impatient, and I still loved them right out of the oven, but it wasn’t until I had one the next day that I fell deeply, deeply in love. In fact, the second batch didn’t even make it past the filming day. They were that good.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Cookie stuffing can be one of those things that no matter how well you try to describe it, it’s better just to see it in action, so Nicole and I are bringing you an awesome summer episode of drink and dish! Be sure to check out her recipe for her delicious rum punch!

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12-16 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 oz good quality white chocolate squares or chopped into large chunks

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together sugar and orange zest. Then beat in cream cheese, egg white, and orange juice until combined. Slowly, beat in dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Roll cookies into 1? balls, then stuff with a white chocolate square. Re-roll into 1? ball, making sure all the white chocolate is covered. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
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S’mores Blondies

S'mores Blondies

S'mores Blondies

I have a confession. I’ve been trying to hide this little secret, but it is coming to the point where you will figure it out, so I’m going to spill the beans…

S'mores Blondies

Raise your hand if you guessed I was pregnant? You know like everyone else I know in life and stalk in fake internet life? That’s always the first thing people assume when I say I have a secret. You see, I’m an old married lady now who posts obnoxious pictures of her 4 legged kids all over the internet, so everyone seems to think it’s the “next step”. Sorry to disappoint (I’m not pregnant). In fact, my secret is pretty lame.

S'mores Blondies

I haven’t been eating dessert. That’s the whole secret. (See? Tolda ya I was lame.) You see, this whole going on 2+ months of no running has been doing me no favors, and I’ve gotten to a, um, less than ideal place with my weight. Nothing crazy, but nothing I wish to continue. So I’m trying to be pretty diligent about my eating, and kick my sugar addiction to the curb. This means I only got one tiny bite of these soft, gooey, sweet and drool-worthy blondies. Life is hard sometimes, friends.

S'mores Blondies

I had to take just the tiiiiiniest bite to make sure they were good, and so I could tell you all about them, and holy cow, they are beyoonnnnd good. I used my favorite graham cracker crust, topped it with smooth and creamy white chocolate blondie, then topped the whole thing with browned marshmallows for my favorite white chocolate and marshmallow lover.

S'mores Blondies

So things might get a little dinner and savory heavy over here until I am back to double digit long runs that burn off all the cookies, but I promise to test a few more sweet bites like this one, so that you guys can still get your health(ier) dessert fill. :)

S'mores Blondies

 

S’mores Blondies

yield 16

For the crust:

  • 8 oz old fashioned graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

For the blondies:

  • 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9″ square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, place graham crackers in your food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. While food processor is running, stream in coconut oil and continue to process until combined. Press crust mixture into the bottom of your pan and bake until lightly browned and set, about 12 minutes.
  3. To make the blondies, in a large bowl mix together white chocolate and yogurt. Beat in brown sugar until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla. Add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Transfer blondie batter to prepared crust and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove blondies from the oven and turn to broil. Evenly spread mini marshmallows on top, and return to oven to broil for about 5 minutes until the marshmallows have browned. Cool completely before serving. Blondies are best the same day, but can be kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

I want to tell you about one of my favorite nights ever in life.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake.jpg

I was training for my first half marathon, Steve and I invited Kara, Charlie and Hermano over for dinner to celebrate Long Run Day. It’s a real holiday when you’re training. Trust me.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake.jpg

We went to Whole Foods and each picked out our meat of choice, and I made a sweet potato hash on the side. We ate a delicious dinner paired with lots of dark, sweet beer (my favorite), and then we watched the Muppets Christmas Carol. It was December, and that is pretty much my favorite holiday movie.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Around the middle of the movie, we all started to want dessert. I was maybe, kind of, a little…tipsy. I usually at least follow a base recipe for an idea of liquid/flour/leavening agent ratio, but I didn’t measure a single thing. I flew by the seat of my pants, and hoped for the best.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Well, Hermano has been obsessed ever since. He calls it his favorite dessert I’ve ever made. Although, like my husband, I feel like he says that a lot. ;) Anyway, he’s been asking me to recreate for the last year, and I kept telling him I didn’t know how.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Last weekend, he performed in the southwest regionals concert. He got second chair as a sophomore! He was also asked to play with the choir. I was feeling like a super proud sister, so Steve and I surprised him with a steak from Whole Foods, and I told him I could make him whatever he wanted for dessert. He, again, requested “that one thing….with the banana…” He has a way with words.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

So again, I decided to wing it. This time I measured, but I just made it up as I went, and hoped for the best. I had no intentions of photographing it, or blogging about it, but after one bite, I knew it was too good not to share. Hermano immediately confirmed that this was the dessert he wanted. I know I changed it up a little, but the idea was similar, and the cream cheese frosting just took it to the next level.

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

Sweet, tender, soft and gooey banana cake filled with white chocolate and cinnamon chips, and topped with rich cream cheese frosting. I don’t know how I ever doubted the success of this dessert! Whenever I make things up as I go, I almost always have a moment where I decide I’ve “ruined it”, or it’s a total flop, but usually it’s just my silly anxieties. Now I know I had absolutely nothing to worry about here!

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

 

White Chocolate & Cinnamon Chip Banana Cake

yield 16 servings

  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 2 very ripe large medium bananas
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp light whipped butter
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and extracts. Mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in white chocolate and cinnamon chips.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Slowly, 1/4 cup at a time, beat in powdered sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Remove completely cooled cake from baking dish and top with cream cheese frosting. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Take 5 Cookies {HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LISA!!!!!}

take5cookies-668

Take 5 Cookies.jpg

Today is a very special day!! It’s my amazing, wonderful friend Lisa’s birthday! I’ve known Lisa since my sophomore year of college, which doesn’t seem like that long ago, but when I do the math, I realize that it was almost 9 years ago. Yikes. I’m old. But it’s okay because Lisa is older.

Take 5 Cookies

I will never forget when I went away to college (I stayed local at community college before transferring to Idaho), I had a hard time being away from friends and family on my birthday, and Lisa always sent me the BEST care packages! This year, I wanted to make her feel extra special, so I sent her a care package that *hopefully* will arrive today with these cookies, and a flashcard timeline of our friendship. Complete with stick figure humans and dogs.

Take 5 Cookies

I may or may not have cried for about half of the time it took to put this together. I also cry picking out cards for all occasions. What can I say? We all know I’m an emotional human. Anyway, Lisa’s favorite candy bar is a Take 5. I’d never had one when I met her, but she introduced me, and I was instantly hooked. I haven’t had one in years and years (except for a couple pieces in the cookies I saved for “taste testing”), but I remember loving the combination of creamy chocolate, sweet caramel, peanuts, peanut butter and salty pretzels. It is everything amazing in the world of candy all mixed into one bar!

Take 5 Cookies

I knew I wanted a peanut butter cookie base to partner with the Take 5 candy bars, so I went with my favorite peanut butter cookie base, and used White Chocolate Wonderful because Lisa loves it as much as I do. Then, I added white chocolate chips because I knew I wanted a little extra add in.

Take 5 Cookies

The result? They were everything I hoped they would be, and the perfect way to send lots of love to one of my favorite people in my life.

Take 5 Cookies

 

Take 5 Cookies

yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 full size Take 5 candy bars, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugars until combined. Beat in egg, then vanilla. Gently, fold in chopped Take 5 bars and white chocolate chips. I ended up just using my hands to get everything combined.
  4. Roll dough into balls just over 1″ and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden and cookies are just set, about 12-15 minutes. Do not over bake.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store completely cooled cookies in a tupperware with the lid sitting on top, but not sealed–these will get mushy if they are in a completely airtight container–for up to one week.

 

Drink & Dish: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies {with video!}

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

So for a hot second, I was pretty sure that after our first video, Nicole and I would be crazy to ever try this crazy idea again.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I mean, I’m pretty sure we made every mistake one could possibly make when embarking on this kind of adventure. We forgot to plug in our microphones, we exported the video incorrectly, and ended up with a video that looked like when Mike TV goes into millions of pieces to be transmitted to the television in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Then there was the editing, which took us five hours. That is the amount of time it took us to run a marathon when I was injured. We also both decided this was more difficult.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

But then you guys were so kind. You gave the most supportive and kind response, and you didn’t even make fun of the visual quality of our video. You actually took 6 minutes out of your day, and watched us take this big step. I was beyond nervous, and I wasn’t sure I even wanted anyone to watch, but this awesome blogging community has been nothing but positive and supportive. So with newfound respect for everyone who has ever posted a vlog or video on the internet, we made a list of things we wanted to improve, and set off for round 2.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

And I’m so glad we did! Yes, there is still tons to work on (how the heck do I figure out the right amount of perkiness, and personality when I’m in front of the camera???!), but I am still really excited to share the second episode of Drink & Dish with you guys.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Whether or not you are a Valentines Day person, I feel like the love of red velvet is pretty universal. And if you don’t like red velvet, honestly what is even happening inside your taste buds?!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I’ve always wanted to try making red velvet whoopie pies. I always imagined them with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Then, I was shopping for ingredients and, almost instinctively, I grabbed a jar of marshmallow fluff. The rest is history, because I am over-the-moon obsessed with this filling. It’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes, whoopie pies, spoons, and fingers. Light and fluffy with the sweet hint of white chocolate–I diiiie.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

When the cakes came out of the oven, I almost couldn’t believe it! They were more beautiful, soft, and fluffy than I ever imagined they could be. It was one of those happy kitchen moments where you want to jump up and down, and sing from the rafters (OMG, why did I not do all of those things on camera? Silly Ari…) about that very special thing you’ve just created. I’m glad Nicole was there to experience it with me. Hermano said they were probably the best thing I’ve ever made, and I might agree. I am pretty darn proud of them, and I just want you all to make them, like rightthissecond, because I am pretty sure you will love them too.

Don’t forget to check out Nicole’s post and recipe for her delicious cocktail!

 

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

yield 1 dozen large whoopie pies

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1 oz red food coloring

For the filling:

  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 large baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl), beat together applesauce and brown sugar until well combined. Add egg and vanilla. Continue beating until fully combined.
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to applesauce mixture starting and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and continue beating until combined. Add food coloring, and continue mixing until dough is red throughout.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick spray to transfer dough to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Let stand for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the filling, beat cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in marshmallow fluff, followed by white chocolate and vanilla. Slowly, beat in powdered sugar.
  7. Top flat side of half of the whoopie pies with filling, then cover with remaining pies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days.

 

 

 

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

SOMEONE’S GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!!!!

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Noooo, not me silly gooses. I already have a real husband and a New York Husband, and that is plenty. Plus, you know I said some vows to my Kitchenaid…

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

 

Ummm, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s totally normal to have two human husbands and one appliance. And everyone says vows to their favorite kitchen appliance, okay?

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

This is one of the most pointless food pictures I’ve ever taken. It shows you nothing about the actual cake, but for some reason I just love it.

Today my beautiful, wonderful friend Jen is getting hitched! I flew in to NYC late last evening, and today I’m road tripping down to Virginia for the wedding. It’s a long story, but the extra states saved me a night’s hotel fair, and earned me some extra time with NY Husband, so it’s well worth the extra travel. Jen is one of the most giving, loving people I have ever met, and I can’t wait to be a part of her special day!

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

 

I figured since today was extra special, I would do something I never do and post a CAKE! I very rarely make real cakes. I’m much more of a cupcake girl. I like the built in portion control of a cupcake, because lord knows I will break out a fork, and eat the entire cake if left to my own devices…

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

 

One time, I made Steve a red velvet cake for his birthday. Of course, this was before I knew how to cook, like at all, so it came from a box. I forgot the eggs (which is pretty typical for me), and the cake, although delicious, was a crumbly mess. This was also pre-weight-loss for both of us. We each ended up grabbing a fork, and almost completely devouring this double layer cake. It was really cute, I swear.

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

I can’t promise you that you will not have the same problem here, because this cake is GOOD. The edges browned and got slightly crispy while the middle stayed perfectly gooey and soft. The cake isn’t overly sweet to balance out the rich, chocolatey icing, and the white chocolate chips throughout create a perfect flavor balance. In basic terms, it tastes kinda like a HUGE, soft peanut butter cookie with white chocolate chips, that’s covered in rich chocolate cream cheese frosting. Except, it’s a cake. A cake I can get behind. Now, please pass me the fork.

 

Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

yield approx 16 servings

  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 2/3 cup sunflower butter (or any nut butter you have on hand will work)
  • 1  cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar,packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 12 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9-10″ springform pan with parchment paper. Spray edges and parchment paper well with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl. whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together apple butter, sunflower butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in egg. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer dough to prepared pan, and use a piece of sprayed parchment paper to gently press into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until lightly golden. The center should be set, but soft. Cool completely in pan.
  6. Once cooled, run a butter knife along the inside to release any areas that are stuck, then open springform, and transfer cake to your preferred frosting area.
  7. To make frosting, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla extract. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low speed, followed by cocoa powder. Increase to medium speed and add melted chocolate. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl often. Slowly,  add almond milk 1 tbsp at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
  8. Frost cooled cookie cake completely, and serve.