Super Bowl Blackout Supercharged Doughnuts

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Sometimes you need a little extra help recharging. When I need a quick boost, I often turn to coffee. Maybe I should get more sleep. Maybe I should plan more, eat better, or practice more self control when it comes to making time for rest. But sometimes I just don’t, and on those days, I crave a steady stream of caffeine. I know you know the feeling.

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Stayed up too late on Sunday night?

Is your Monday morning brain having a hard time waking up?

Feel like the Super Dome during a power outage, in desperate need of a big jolt of energy?

For times when a coffee and a doughnut aren’t quite enough, get a double dose of coffee with these supercharged doughnuts that I recently dreamt up in my kitchen. . . Leave it to me to put doughnuts in coffee, and coffee in doughnuts.

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Yes, you read that right. Coffee. In. Doughnuts. Chocolate and coffee are perfectly complementary and they team up to pack a punch in these delightful baked doughnuts. Some people achieve balance through protein shakes, juices, and probiotics. Sometimes I am one of those people. Sometimes I am one of those other people whose idea of balance is tempering bitter with sweet, coffee with chocolate.

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When it feels like the lights are flickering, power up with these.

Supercharged Coffee Doughnuts

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a doughnut pan.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In another bowl, combine egg, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop batter into the wells of the doughnut pan. Wipe off any excess batter that gets on the pan surface in the center of the doughnut to preserve the ring shape.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Makes 6 doughnuts.
  8. Optional: dip in your favorite frosting or glaze.

Go Ravens!

Farmers’ Market 04.21.12 and Strawberry Snacks

Last week I saw local asparagus in the grocery store for the first time this year. When strawberries followed a few days later, I knew what I had to do. The farmers’ market was calling my name. On our first free Saturday in Richmond in a very long time, Kyle and I made it out to the South of the James Winter Market. Here’s the haul!

  • Romaine lettuce (Broadfork Farm)
  • Green onions (Broadfork Farm)
  • Radishes (Walnut Hill)
  • Strawberries (Walnut Hill)
  • Asparagus (Walnut Hill)
  • Kale (Walnut Hill) – for juicing!
  • Olive and Herb Bread  (Norwood Cottage Bakery)

It was a beautiful warm morning and we enjoyed walking the short distance to the farmers’ market for the first time since moving into our new home. Unfortunately I was battling a migraine for most of the day so I didn’t do much else on Saturday until about 4:00 PM. I couldn’t figure out if it was exhaustion, stress, or my pollen allergies that had sidelined me until the late afternoon. Then when the torrential downpour hit late Saturday evening and the temperature dropped thirty degrees overnight, I figured it out. Usually when the weather takes a dramatic turn like this, I get terrible headaches. I am so glad that I was able to make it out into the sunshine for a few hours to grab a coffee with Kyle and peruse the market tables. We had such a wonderful, relaxing morning before I had to crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my eyes!

I rallied and went out for dinner and drinks with friends on Saturday night, and woke up to cold, pouring rain on Sunday morning. It was such a stark contrast to the nice warm weather of the day before. To remind me of the bright sun-warmed stalls filled with fresh local produce, I pulled out the strawberries and made this easy spring dessert.

These tasty little morsels contain just three ingredients and they are really easy to make. I brought them to brunch with some friends this afternoon and they went over really well, so I decided to share them here. When the main ingredient is dark chocolate peanut butter, what could go wrong?

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Strawberries

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Slice the top off of each strawberry.
  2. Using a paring knife, strawberry huller, or serrated grapefruit spoon (it works!), hollow out the center of each strawberry, being careful not to poke a hole through the bottom or sides of the berry. You are making a little strawberry cup. Adorable.
  3. Optional: slice off the very tip of each strawberry so that the treats will stand upright.
  4. Using a pastry bag, pipe the chocolate peanut butter into the center of each strawberry. Alternatively, use  a small spoon or spatula to the fill berries with the peanut butter.
  5. Sprinkle a few grains of sea salt over the top of each one.
  6. Freeze in a covered plastic tub for 20 minutes to set, then store in refrigerator.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

As promised, I have a sweet new cupcake recipe for you. This winter citrus is insanely fresh and delicious right now. After enjoying fresh oranges for a few weeks, I decided to feature that nice zesty seasonal flavor in a sweet treat. I could pretend and say I was saving this recipe for Valentine’s Day, but I’m not much of a Valentine’s Day person so my close friends wouldn’t let that fly. The truth is I have been super busy and just haven’t gotten around to writing the post.

I went on a citrus kick a few weeks ago and made lemon cream cupcakes (from allrecipes) and these chocolate orange cupcakes ( my original recipe to follow) one weekend. It is amazing what a difference fresh ingredients can make! The subtle sweet orange flavor that is baked into these chocolate cupcakes is so fresh tasting, with this slight tang from the orange zest. The orange plays really well with the rich cocoa flavor.

I have mentioned before that I am not a natural baker, so when a confection turns out for me, I am genuinely surprised and delighted. Lately I have been experimenting a bit more with baking, and I am starting to get comfortable enough to make up my own recipes. Those work out for me even less frequently so it’s really nice when I come up with something tasty.

I am not even going to lie – this recipe is the second attempt. The first attempt did not work out so well. I am still learning about the delicate chemistry of baked goods. I did not realize that putting finely diced fresh orange in a cupcake would result in the batter soaking up all the orange juice, leaving chunks of stringy pulp behind. Because I believe that cupcake eating should not require post-dessert toothpicks and floss, I tried again. This time with juice.

The first batch never made it to the office. I choked down one or two cupcakes then threw them away. They just weren’t right. I brought the final batch into work and my coworkers approved. Success! I think they were pretty surprised to find out that the cake is vegan. The frosting, however, is not. I couldn’t resist topping these with dark chocolate ganache. I had never made ganache before and I was really surprised at how easy it is! If you want to go the vegan route though, you could use any vegan icing that your little heart desires and I am sure they would still be delightful.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes (makes about a dozen)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour and combine with other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add to dry ingredients and stir. Mix with a stand/hand mixer until well combined.
  4. Coat a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with baking cups. Pour batter into cups until each cup is two-thirds full.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for a a few minutes, then remove to wire racks to continue cooling.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • Patience

Preparation:

  1. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and stir to combine. Continuing stirring until chocolate is melted, then whisk until smooth.
  4. Let cool completely. Pop the bowl in the fridge for an hour or overnight if you have a lot of patience.
  5. Bring the frosting back to around room temperature then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
  6. If you’re fancy, use a pastry bag or a cake decorating gadget to top your cupcakes. If you’re like me and have a ton of gadgets that you always forget to use, don’t bother dusting off the cookie press / cake decorator gadget, and just use an old fashioned knife to spread the frosting on to the cupcakes.

Hope you dig them as much as I do!

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

I have discussed before that I have a hard time getting ready in the morning. I’m not exactly a morning person, and it is a constant struggle for me to get dressed, fed, caffeinated, and out the door on time. A few mornings a week, Kyle sleeps later than me and I have to get ready in the dark, which compounds the problem. I brainstormed solutions about a month ago, and oatmeal breakfast cookies were born. If you have trouble fitting a healthy breakfast into your morning routine, and if you’re like me and you typically put yourself together while stumbling around in the dark, this handheld serving of oatmeal might be for you too.

Candlelight is superior to lamplight when you are stealthily eating cookies in the wee hours of the morning while your partner sleeps, peaceful and cookieless.

I’ve created another version of these cookies, and they are even more delicious than Breakfast Cookie 1.0, originally posted here. They are the perfect on-the-go breakfast for those mornings that you find yourself feeling around the furniture to make your way to the shower in total darkness, banging your knees on dressers and ironing boards, stepping on your pet’s tail, tumbling over as the cat spitefully trips you by running in between your unsteady feet, and struggling to match the colors of your work outfit through squinty eyes.

When you finally make it out the door alive, this cookie is a blissful reward for your morning commute that helps you get energy and prepare for your day. It centers and calms you so much that you might not have a nervous breakdown when you notice that your knees aren’t the only combo of black and blue that you’re sporting today, as you realize that you have matched navy blue tights to your jet black pencil skirt. Full of all the things that make you happy and healthy, and determined to help you start your day out right, here it is:

The Black and Blueberry Breakfast Cookie


Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and pureed in a food processor (add some of the milk early if you need some liquid to get it going)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut + 1/8 cup sliced almonds (or 1/4 cup of any combination of nuts)
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons honey

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let this mixture stand for ten minutes to let the oats soften. One time I let it stand for about 30 mins in the refrigerator and it was even better.
  3. Divide mixture into six large mounds and place the dough mounds onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart from one another.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool.
  5. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to a week.

This cookie goes well with a homemade iced coffee and a positive attitude. Now go forth and kick some ass!