Tag Archives: butter

Bake With These Easy (And Healthy!) Substitutions

9 Oct

DSCN4542

At the start of the year I did a post about Healthier Chocolate Chip cookies, and I was reading it over last night and it got me to thinking about substitutions – ones that are quick and easy and can make a recipe healthy without sacrificing taste.

Check these out:

If It Calls for: white bread, Use: Whole grain bread

If it calls for: Bread Crumbs, Use: Rolled Oats of Crushed Bran Cereal

If It calls for: Butter/Margarine/Shortening/Oil, Use: Applesauce or prune puree to replace half the called for fat

If it calls for: Butter/Oil, use: Mashed Avocado or mashed banana

If It calls for: Cream, Use: fat free half and half or evaporated skim milk

If it calls for: Cream Cheese, Use: Fat free or reduced fat cream cheese varieties, or low fat cottage cheese (pureed until smooth)

If It calls for: Eggs, Use: Egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute (egg beaters!)

If It calls for: Flour, Use: Whole wheat flour (for half of the called for flour)

If It Calls for: Frosting, Use: Marshmallow Fluff, or meringue  (they are a lot lighter and fluffier, without all the fat of frosting)

 

Most of these substitutions work really well because they use things you likely already have in your pantry at home – what a great way to cut out calories and fats from the things you love to bake (and your family probably won’t even notice the difference in taste, so it can be your little secret!) Easy, right?

What about you – what baking substitutions do you swear by?

Make-Your-Own Cupcake Bar – So Many Delicious Options, So Little Time

3 Apr

As you know from my post about Frosted sugar cookies, I love making cookie decorating into an event I can enjoy with friends and family. So when my friend and I decided to host a dinner party, I wanted to do something like cookie decorating, and since my friend is really into baking cupcakes, I thought why not decorate your own cupcakes, and then I had an even more brilliant thought – the Make Your Own Cupcake Bar – where you can fill, frost, and decorate your cupcake however you wanted from a bunch of really yummy options!

 
Now, we did have some reservations about doing this, mainly that it would be too complicated or messy, but it really wasn’t, it was easy, and very delicious!

 
We started out with a batch of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, nothing fancy just one batch of each baked per the box directions. Then we cut divets out of each one (so that people would be able to fill them as they pleased)


Then for the fillings, we decided on hot fudge, caramel, and raspberry pie filling. The hot fudge and caramel came in convenient squeeze bottles, and the pie filling we put in a bowl with a spoon for filling in the cupcake divet


My favorite part is next…the FROSTINGS. We had decided on vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter frostings, all made from scratch. When it comes to frosting, I would MUCH rather make it from scratch than buy it in a jar, it doesn’t take that much work and the results are 1000 times yummier than store bough frosting!


As for our frosting recipes, they are all pretty basic, we just combined the ingredients below and beat them until they were the perfect frosting consistency:
Vanilla: 1 cup Crisco, 1 lb confectioners sugar, 1 T clear vanilla flavoring, 1 T butter flavoring, 3-4 T milk (as needed to make the texture more creamy)
Chocolate: 1 cup butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, 4 T cocoa powder (more if a deeper chocolate taste is desired), and 3-4 T milk (as needed)
Strawberry: 1 cup butter, 6 cups confectioners sugar, ½ cup frozen strawberries
Peanut Butter: 1 stick butter, ½ cup peanut butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, and 3-4 T milk (as needed)

 
The above recipes make for a great variety for your cupcake bar, not to mention they are all super delicious!

 
Then came the toppings – we kept it pretty simple – sprinkles, crushed oreos, mini m and m’s, toffee bits, and peanuts

Then we let everyone go to town!

The results? Aside from delicious, everyone seemed to really enjoy that they could pick and customize their own cupcake with the different filling, frosting, and topping options
This would be a great idea for a kid’s birthday party…or even for an adults birthday party, or really for any occasion at all! You can change any of the items to customize your likes or party theme, and it really was pretty easy to put together, since a lot of the items were pre made

I am thinking I may have one of these for my birthday…hmm…maybe with red velvet? The possibilities are endless!