Monday, February 28, 2011

This One's For You Dad

About a week ago I asked all of you to let me know what I should cook/bake.  The results are in….NOTHING!  I didn’t get any suggestions so there was no picking a dish out of a hat and no coming up with a new recipe.  Instead I decided to make something for my Dad, to thank him for the giant stock pot that he gave me on the weekend.  It would have come in handy a couple of weekends ago when I was making my mega batch of Bolognese sauce.
When I was at my Dad’s house on the weekend he asked me how to make chicken stock.  I proceeded to explain the details and he looked at me with a bit of a blank stare.  When I left I thought, I’ll have to go back to my Dad’s house soon and make chicken stock with him.  Then I thought maybe there are a few - more people that want to learn, I should put a step-by-step on my blog.  Here it isJ
It really is quite simple and is another one of those things that I like to make in large batches to bag and freeze for later use.  Here’s what you’re going to need 2 whole roaster chickens, 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks with leaves, 3 onions, 1 head of garlic, fresh thyme, peppercorns and salt.  That’s it!  Sometimes I through in other herbs like rosemary and dill but all I had was thyme so that will do.  Also, I got lucky and Metro had buy one get one free roaster chickens this week. 
I start off coarsely chopping all of the veggies.  I don’t bother peeling the garlic, carrots or onions.   It will all look something like this.
Then I dump all of this into a large stock pot, I put the chickens on top and fill it up with about 6 liters of water. It will look like this

Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature so that the stock simmers.  Let simmer gently for at least 3-4 hours.  It will start to look like this
Then strain the stock into a clean bowl or pot and let chill overnight. It will look like this
I hope anyone who has always wanted to make a chicken stock gives it a try.  There is no comparison to a box stock and it will make you a mean pot of chicken noodle soup.
Just to recap I’ll put the full recipe below
Chicken Stock
Yield about 3-4 liters
Ingredients
  • 2 roaster chickens
  • 3 onions, cut in half, not peeled
  • 4 carrots, tips removed and cut in half
  • 4 stalks of celery, leaves included
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 6 liters of water
Directions

  1. Prep all of you veggies and add to the bottom of a large stock pot
  2. Place chickens on top of veggies and add 6 liters of water.  The water should just cover all of the ingredients
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours.
  4. Strain the stock to remove all of the solids.  Cool stock overnight in a large bowl or pot and discard all of the solids.
  5. Stock can stay in the refrigerator for about 3 days or can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months.
ENJOY!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Guilt Free Mac and Cheese


We were heading out for a hockey game this afternoon and wouldn’t be home until dinner time.  I wanted to have something that didn’t need a lot of work so I put together a casserole before we left so that we could just pop it in the oven when we got home.     
What I love about this Mac and Cheese recipe is that the calories are reduced significantly because there is no cream or roux used to make the dish smooth and creamy.  Instead I used a pure of red pepper and pimento’s and made a smooth sauce and just added all of the cheese into the puree.  I find whenever I look for good Mac and Cheese recipes I always have a hard time making them when I see that each serving can be anywhere from 800-1000 calories.  This recipe comes out to only 500 calories per serving, and it still tastes pretty darn good!
Also, the recipe calls for panko.  For those of you who have never used or heard of panko you can find it at most grocery stores in the Asian food section.  Panko is a Japanese bread crumb that gives a crunchy texture that regular bread crumbs, you can see how nice and crunchy the topping was.

I will definitely make this again and I plan on making a few batches to put in the freezer.  I’ve been in a casserole mode lately so expect to see a few more in the near future.  I think I’m trying to get in the last few wintry meals in before the snow is gone and the BBQ gets going.
Red Pepper Mac and Cheese
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
  • 2 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¾ cup drained pimiento in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz large shell pasta
Directions
  1. Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 2 garlic cloves to boil in small saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  3. Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot.  Drain and return to the pot
  4. Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor. Add pimiento and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, chili powder, and 1 garlic clove, process until smooth.  Then add cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Blend until sauce is smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a medium sized baking dish. Stir sauce and Swiss cheese into pasta. Season with salt and pepper and spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
  6. Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.
ENJOY!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone Remembers This Stuff


Remember this stuff?  You might have to think back a little, to when you were a youngin'.  It's Sponge Toffee!  At first I thought this would be a difficult task that would take a few trials before I came out with a success.  But that was NOT the case.  I got it on the first try and I must say it is the BEST sponge toffee I have ever had.  The first night I made the sponge toffee then the next night I coated broken up pieces with milk chocolate and dark chocolate.

To coat I melted about 1 cup of desired chocolate over a water bath.  I add a tablespoon of shortening because it gives the coating a nice shine once it sets. Dip broken up sponge toffee and cool to set on trays lined with parchment.  I tried both milk and dark chocolate and much preferred the dark chocolate.  The hubby loves milk chocolate and insisted it would taste better so I humored him and dipped half of the toffee with milk chocolate.  After trying my half with dark chocolate he agreed that dark chocolate tasted much better.  I think it is because the sponge toffee is so sweet that it overpowers the milk chocolate.

The other tip I will mention is to be very careful with the hot sugar when you pour it into the prepared pan.  Mine bubbled up and started going over the edges...it made a mess!  Make sure that the parchment paper goes up nice and high on the edges. 

One last thing, you can use 2/3 cup of light corn syrup or you can sub in 1/3 cup of golden syrup.  If you don't know what this is you MUST track it down.  Golden Syrup is made from refined sugar cane juice and is sometimes referred to as treacle.  Lyle's Golden Syrup is what you'll want to look for in the grocery store.  It took me a few store's to find it so start looking and grab a jar or two when you see it.  I think I found it in the isle with honey, peanut butter and jams. 


Sponge Toffee Recipe

Ingredients

·       Vegetable oil for greasing pan
·       2 ½  cups granulated sugar
·       1/3 cup golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
·       1/3 cup light corn syrup
·       6 tablespoons water
·       2 tablespoons baking soda
·       2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

  1. Liberally grease a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with vegetable oil. Trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of parchment paper. Line the bottom of the pan with the parchment paper circle. Line the sides of the pan with a parchment paper so that the parchment paper creates a collar that rises above the sides of the pan. Liberally grease the parchment paper.
  2. In a deep medium saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil, without stirring. Cook until hard crack stage, temperature reads 300F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan during the cooking process, brush the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water.
  3. Remove from heat. Working quickly, add the baking soda and quickly blend to incorporate the soda into the sugar mixture, about 5 seconds. The mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda. Be very careful not to touch the hot mixture.
  4. Immediately pour the hot toffee into the prepared pan.
  5. Let cool and set completely before touching.  Cut into pieces.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Curry In A Hurry

I usually make this curry dish with tofu but on the weekend I picked up a package of hot Italian sausage so I sub’d it into my vegetable curry.  For all you vegetarians out there just use tofu instead of the sausage and you can switch out the fish sauce and use soya sauce.

I really liked the addition of Hot Italian sausage because it added to the spiciness of the curry.  If you don’t like things too hot you can use mild sausage and cut back on the chillies.  If I plan ahead I usually pick up eggplant and snap peas to add in. 

Red Curry Vegetable Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 3 Hot Italian Sausages
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium potato, diced into ½” cubes
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 3  tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4-6 lime leaves
  • 5-6 red eye chillies
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Handful of Thai Basil, the more the better
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Bake sausages for 20-30 minutes until done, rotating after 15 minutes.  When sausage is cooked slice into 1” pieces.
  2. Once all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until shimmering.  Add onion potato and sausage and stir fry for about 3 minutes until onions are soft. 
  3. Add curry paste and heat for another minute.  Add red pepper and carrots and cook another minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, 1 cup of water, brown sugar and lime leaves.  Bring to a boil and simmer 12 minutes until carrots and potatoes are tender.  Stir in fish sauce and serve over steamed rice.
On a final note, I thought it might be fun for people to request a recipe.  If there is something you've always wanted to make or just want to see how my version of your favorite recipe turn out, let me know by commenting to this post.  One week from today I'll write all of your suggestions on a piece of paper and draw one.  That's assuming there is more than one suggestion.

ENJOY!

Monday, February 21, 2011

PB and BS Cookies


This morning my mom called and told me that she made cookies for my dog, Arlo.  She's been doggy sitting all weekend and I thought to myself if my dog gets cookies I want cookies to.  I was going to make my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies but I was out of chocolate chips.  But I did have butterscotch chips, so I adapted my recipe and turned them into Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies.

Here's my tip for making great cookies, it's something that most of you probably wont believe at first but trust me it's true.  BY GOOD VANILLA!!!  Don't buy that stuff at the grocery store that come in 1L jugs for $4.99.  Most specialty food stores will sell good vanilla. I go to HomeSense and they usually have cheaper bottles of the good quality stuff.  I end up spending about $8.99 for a 250mL bottle and it lasts me about 3 months, and I bake a lot of cookies:)

PB and BS Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.
  3. Cream together butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla and egg and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and start mixing on low until just incorporated, so that the flour doesn’t fly everywhere.  Turn up the speed to medium and mix until the flour is mixed in well.
  6. Using an ice cream style cookie dough scoop drop balls about 2 tsp in size 2 inches apart. Press a fork lightly in a cross over each cookie.
  7. Bake 9 minutes and cool on a pan for about 3 minutes.  Place cookies on rack and let cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
ENJOY!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thanks Frank

I had a FANTASTIC weekend!  I feel like I haven’t said that in a long time.  I think it started off just right with my Birthday and a temperature of +15C….WOW!  I have never had weather like that for my birthday before.  Maybe it’s a sign that my last year in my 20’s will be a good one. 
I took on a big task today and made an extra huge batch of Bolognese sauce to package up and freeze for the months to come.  By the end of it all I'm spent, so I gave the man of the house a recipe and said make this for dinner.  It worked, he followed the recipe to a T and made delicious Frank’s Red Hot Chicken Burgers.  Again I am being a little sneaky with this because he LOVES Hamburgers….but beef not chicken.  He also LOVES Frank’s, so two out of three…Frank’s Chicken Burgers.
The sauce simmered for most of the evening so we didn't get to have that for dinner tonight.  But one day in the future I'll take a pack out of the freezer when I don't feel like cooking and I'll let you know how it all turned out.  I'll give you a peak at how much sauce we're talking about.

Back to the burgers, I'm definitely making these again.  This time we grilled them on our indoor griddle but when the warmer weather comes I want to try them on the BBQ.  

Frank’s Chicken Burgers
Ingredients
·        1lb ground chicken
·        ½ tsp salt
·        ½ tsp pepper
·        1 tsp dried basil
·        1 tsp dried oregano
·        ¼ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
·        ½ cup Parmesan cheese
·        4 slices cheddar cheese
·        Favourite chicken burger toppings
·        4 hamburger buns

Directions
  1. In a large bowl combine ground chicken, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, Parmesan and Frank’s.
  2. Mix until just combined, you don’t want to over mix or the meat will get tough. Form into 4 patties.
  3. Grill patties on both sides for about 10 minutes. When burgers are almost done top with cheese and allow the cheese to melt.
  4. Add finished burgers to buns to buns and top with your preferred burger toppings, lettuce, mayo and tomatoes for meJ

ENJOY!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Recipes In One Post, It's Your Lucky Day

I LOVE soup!  And since it's my birthday I decided if I'm making dinner it's going to be something I like.  Then I felt a little bad and came up with the idea to make some fresh cornbread for you know who to fill up on.

I've never made cornbread, in fact I don't know that I have ever eaten it.  That means I might not be the best person to judge how good this recipe was. I searched around a little and found the basic ingredients for cornbread then added onions, cheese, jalapeno and creamed corn.  Put it all together and you get Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread.


What I love most about the cornbread is that it is cooked in a skillet, for some reason that makes me happy, but I'm weird like that.



This was the perfect side for Spicy Vegetable Chicken Soup.  I love soup and I love vegetables even more and this soup is packed full of them.  I just have one confession, I didn't use happy chicken.  You see for some reason when I was standing in front of all the chicken at the grocery store $11.51 for two chicken breast seemed like to much compared to $6.51 with 30% off.  I figured since it was going to be swimming in chicken broth I would never notice....and I didn't.

                                               So Cute! Right?

Here are both recipes. I used a Hot Smoked Paprika in the soup.  If you don't have the Hot variety you could add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper for some heat.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup creamed corn
  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup chopped jalapeno peppers
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together to combine well.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, 2 tbsp olive oil, eggs, and creamed corn, and onion whisking together to combine thoroughly.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. If the batter will not pour, add more buttermilk to the batter.
  6. Swirl the canola oil in the hot cast iron skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet, top with cheese and jalapeno.
  7. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back upon the touch, about 30 minutes.

Spicy Vegetable Chicken Soup
serves 4-6

Ingredients
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups  spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 boneless, cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  •  celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained 
  • 1 L low-sodium chicken stock
Directions
1.  Preheat a large pot on medium heat. Add chopped bacon and fry until brown and crispy. When the bacon is done, remove and drain on paper towel.
2.  Keeping heat on medium, add onions, mushrooms and peppers to bacon grease and saute until soft, about 6 minutes.
3.  Add garlic, spinach, paprika and cumin and stir for 60 seconds.
4.  Turn heat down to med-low and add chickpeas, celery, carrots and chicken. Pour in chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and bacon. 

ENJOY!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Late Night Loaf



Last night we didn’t get home until around 9PM.  We stayed in Ottawa and had dinner with my father in-law.  All day I had banana bread brain and when we got in the front door I said “I really feel like baking”.  The hubby knows that when I want to bake I am on a mission and nobody can rest until I bake!  So he said “how can I help”, I got the green lightJ 

I took out my cue card with the banana bread recipe I’ve been making since I was in university and decided to make a few adjustments this time, just to see what happens.  I put half butter and half shortening, I usually use only shortening.  Also, I added 1/3 cup of brown sugar to replace 1/3 cup of the sugar.  I think the addition of brown sugar sped up the cooking time a little and made the outside toastier than usual.  Finally, I had an extra banana that would not get eaten in our lunches this week so I sliced it up and topped the unbaked batter with them.

At first I was a little disappointed with the end result. Mostly because the sliced banana sort of sunk into the batter instead of sitting on top the way I hoped.  But it created chunks of whole banana baked into the loaf and I liked it! They were toastier than usual and didn’t quite puff up like they usually do, that could be from the addition of butter.  The shortening usually creates and very fluffy batter, this one was denser.

We each brought a big piece of the loaf to work and the critiques were positive all around…fewf!  So I decided I would post it anyways.  BUT, one of these days I’ll make the really thing and show you how much better it is….promise

My Banana Bread-Modified
Yields 2 loaves

Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown suger
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 banana, sliced
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease and flour two loaf pans
  3. Blend sugar, butter and shortening in a large bowl until smooth
  4. In a separate bowl sift together baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In another small bowl whisk together vanilla, buttermilk and eggs.
  6. Add flour in ½ cup measures with 1 tbsp of liquid, stirring well between each addition. Continue until all flour and liquid mixtures have been incorporated.
  7. Fold in mashed bananas, be sure not to over mix!
  8. Divide batter between two loaf pans and top loafs with sliced banana in a line down the center of the loaf
  9. Bake 40-50 minutes until the tops are golden brown and center is firm.
  10. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.
ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Calzone=Magic

A few years back my husband, then boyfriend, had a job that required he work out of town Monday to Friday.  He hated it but it was a good opportunity for him so he pushed through it for as long as he could.  One Friday night he showed up at home and I had a fresh batch of calzones baking in the oven.  His face lite up.  After dinner he was almost in tears, good tears.  Then he said I can't do it anymore, I'm quiting my job.  So every time I make calzones I remind him that this was the food that made you realize you couldn't be without me.....awwww.

Before I left for work this morning I put together the dough so that it could rise all day in my toaster over.  Then when I got home I cooked up some sausage.  I just took a pack of sausage and removed the casing and cooked it in a pan like ground beef.  I added about 1 tbsp of tomato paste and some herbs while the sausage was cooking.  I also added some onion, mushrooms and yellow peppers.  I usually like to use swiss cheese in a calzone, I don't have any real reason I just like the flavour and the way it melts.

I set the oven to 425F and let it preheat for about 20 minutes.  The calzones cooked for about 17 minutes.  Make sure to brush them with egg before they go in the oven, it helps to seal the edges and make the tops nice and golden brown.
You're going to like this part, look at the inside


The dough is not whole wheat and I often us the recipe for pizza as well.  It works every time!

PIZZA DOUGH

Ingredients
  • 1 cup luke warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
Directions      
  1. Put the water in the bottom of a large bowl, I use my trust mixer.  Add the yeast, olive oil and sugar.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes until it is bubbly and frothy.
  2. In a separate bowl mix together flour and salt.
  3. Add to yeast and water mixture stiring until the dough comes together and forms a ball.  Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.  I like to use my mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on speed 3 for 4 minutes.
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time To Catch Up A Little

When the power finally came on this weekend I got to work.  By the end of the day I had made 36 Valentine's Day cupcakes.  A few weeks ago I found the cutest little cupcake boxes at Micheal's and instantly I knew I was going to make cupcakes for Valentine's Day.  I was exhausted by the time the 36th cupcake was frosted but I quickly felt better when I saw how pretty the cupcakes were packaged up in these fabulous boxes.


I passed the treats out to close friends and family.  I also shared them with the ladies on my hockey team.  Most people just commented on how pretty the cupcakes looked, but I think they tasted good to.  When I had one on Saturday evening I felt like the cupcake was a little dry, maybe I over cooked them a little.  However, last night, two days later, I had the last one and it was moist and delicious.


Now, 24 of the cupcakes were Red Velvet with Buttercream frosting.  The other 12 were Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip, at an impressive 140 calories each with frosting.  I topped them with a Low Sugar Cream Cheese frosting.

They look like a real cupcake!:)  They don't taste to bad either, especially if you are diabetic and its either this or nothing. 

Here are all the recipes in case anyone wants to spend a Saturday baking cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients

Yields 24 cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 jar red gel-paste food color
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • Buttercream frosting

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
2.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
3.  Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
4.  Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
5.  Frost cupcakes with a piping bag fitted with a 1M or 2A tip Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight

Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients
·       3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
·       pinch of salt
·       1 tbsp clear vanilla extract
·       2 lbs confectioner sugar, sifted
·       6 tbsp heavy cream or milk

Directions
1.   In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy.
2.  Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
3.  Add salt, vanilla, and cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is nice and smooth.


Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cupcake

·       1 cup all-purpose flour
·       1/3 cup  unsweetened cocoa
·       1 tsp baking soda
·       ½ tsp  salt
·       2/3 cup Splenda no calorie
·       ¼ cup  butter, softened
·       ½ cup carton egg
·       1 tsp vanilla
·       ½ cup buttermilk
·       2 oz dark chocolate

For the icing
·       8 oz cream cheese
·       10 oz Cool Whip   
·       ¼ cup Splenda no calorie

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350°. 
2.  To make the frosting bring cream cheese to room temperature.  Blend with a mixer until smooth.  Blend in whip cream and splenda.
3.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir together well.
4.  Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes.
5.  Add egg and vanilla, beating well, I found the mixture doesn’t quite come together well but once the flour was in it was okay.
6.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate.
7.  Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with muffin cup liners.
8.  Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
9.  Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Top with low sugar cream cheese icing.
ENJOY!