Yogurt Cinnamon Crumb Cake

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20161216_085111Looking for a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack? Search no further– this yogurt cinnamon crumb cake is so perfect for any occasion. It’s a light butter-y sweet cake that is deceptively low calorie and super moist thanks to the use of greek yogurt. I’ve topped this cake off with a brown sugar pecan crumb for a delicious fall flavor.

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20161206_084151Baking with yogurt makes for a great alternative to full-fat goods. I actually bought 2 big Costco Kirkland brand yogurts but wasn’t too crazy about how strong the cheese taste was, so I decided to use it for baking instead, hence this delicious crumb cake was born!

This delicious cake is super easy to make and absolutely mouth-watering. Feel free to make it sweeter or top it off with a variety of nuts to personalize it to your personal preferences.

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright feb 2017 ©

Yogurt Cinnamon Crumb Cake

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Delicious and moist fall-tasting crumb cake made healthier with the addition of greek yogurt
>>> Yields 9 x 9 inch square pan

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 30 min

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C greek yogurt (fat free or whole both work)
  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking sodaStreusel topping:
  • 1/4 C AP flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9×9 inch square pan by buttering the bottom and sides.
2) Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a mixer. Add in the eggs one at a time.
3) Add in the vanilla, yogurt, and salt and mix lightly until combined.
4) Add in flour, baking powder, and baking soda and fold the batter lightly until no flour streaks remain.
5) Prepare the streusel topping by combining the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and ginger in a bowl. Add in the cold butter and mix lightly. Then add in the pecans and cranberries until everything is combined.
6) Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Then sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the batter.
7) Bake for 30-35 minutes in the oven until the inside is baked (use the toothpick test) and the top is light golden brown. If it gets too brown, cover with tin foil.
8) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Slice and serve!

Happy eats!

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Taiwanese Pineapple Tart (凤梨酥)

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Ever heard of these delicious Asian treats? No? Don’t let yourself be deprived a single day further! This popular Taiwanese treat is a lovely afternoon pastry to pair with your tea. Pineapple cakes are actually buttery shortbread cookies filled with a fragrant pineapple jam. While some store-bought Pineapple Cakes use winter melon of other neutral flavored melons in their filling to cut the natural sour-sweet flavor of the pineapple, I personally prefer a cake filled entirely of the tart pineapple fruit.

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20161002_114204The filling is easy to make and can be made ahead of time and then stored in the fridge for a few days or for months in the freezer. The crust is also a simple shortbread dough. I’ve found that the easiest way to assemble the cake is to first freeze the jam in circular molds and wrapping the jam with the shortbread while the jam is still frozen. This makes it less messy and easier to assemble quickly.

20161002_161237I’ve brushed on an egg wash because I wanted a shiny crust, but normally these are sans-egg wash. Now it’s your turn to try making these special Taiwanese treats!

Copyright January 2017 ©

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake (凤梨酥)

20161002_114202Classic Taiwanese pastry with a sweet Pineapple center and flaky butter-y crust
>>> Yields 12 tarts

Time:
-Prep: 40 min
-Bake: 20 min

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 whole golden pineapple
  • 1/3 C white sugar (more depending on how sweet your pineapple is)

Shortbread dough

  • 8 tbsp (1/2 C) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C dry, powdered milk
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 1/4 C cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash (optional)

Instructions:

1a) For the filling: Cut and break down the pineapple into small chunks.
1b) Cook in a small pot for 25-30 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Smash the pineapple into small pieces to make the jam. Don’t turn the heat too high or it will bubble and spray out.
1c) Add sugar in near the end after most of the water cooks out. Keep cooking until the jam is mostly dry and thickened.
1d) Remove from heat and let cool completely.
1e) Once the jam has cooled, portion into small tablespoon molds. It will yield ~25-30 portions, depending on the size of your pineapple.
2a) For the shortbread dough: Beat the softened sugar and sugar together until creamy and light. Add the vanilla and egg in and continue to mix until well incorporated.
2b) Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and powdered milk into the mix and beat for another minute until the ingredients are mixed and a soft, but pliable dough is formed. If it’s too sticky, you may need to add some more flour. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours for easier handling.
3) Divide the dough into 12 portions (can be more or less, depending on size of filling).
4) Wrap the divided pineapple jam in each piece of dough, closing tightly to ensure none of the jam leaks out. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
5) For an optional, shiny crust, beat an egg and brush a light layer over the tops of the tarts.
6) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7) Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over and bake for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown and the dough is set.
8) Remove from oven and let cool completely. They can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks and in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Happy eats!

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Coconut Pecan Macaroons

 
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Have a few egg whites leftover from a recipe using egg yolks? Have a hankering for a soft, chewy treat? These Coconut Pecan Macaroons are absolutely perfect! They’re a one-bowl recipe and the hardest part is just the separation of the egg yolk and egg white.

20161208_144938Macaroons, which shouldn’t be confused with Macarons, originated in Italy and were originally made with almond paste. The paste was subbed with coconut and thus the macaroon we know today was born. I added my own twist of pecans for a nutty flavor that wouldn’t overpower the soft, delicate coconut. They’re easily customizable if you want to add or remove nuts and throw in some chocolate chips or cocoa powder for those chocoholics!

 

Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website. Copyright Jan 2017

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Coconut Pecan Macaroons

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Crisp toasted coconuts with a nutty, sweet interior–delicious treat for the coconut lover
>>> Yields 20 cookies

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 C shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 C toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 C confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or silpat
2) Mix together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
3) Add in the coconut and toasted pecans and stir until combined.
4) Using a cookie scooper or spoon to place even balls of the mixture on the sheet pan (~1-2 tbsp in size).
5) Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven until the outsides begin to turn golden brown.
6) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Happy eats!

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Mocha Chocolate Swirl Cookies


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As you might recall, last December, I made over a dozen different types of cookies and treats for friends and family for my first holiday cookie tin. One of the popular favorites were the mocha chocolate swirl cookies. These are essentially shortbreads individually flavored with coffee and dark chocolate.
20161217_145457They’re buttery and melt in your mouth, as expected of any shortbread. Plus, they’re quite low-maintenance and simple to make. To make that distinctive swirl, the dough needs to be split and flavored separately, then rolled out into a thin rectangle. Next, they should be individually chilled to prevent the butter from melting out of the cookies. Place the layers on top of each other and roll into a tight roll. The dough can either be frozen or chilled before slicing with a serrated knife into round coins.
20161217_150053These shortbread swirl cookies are pretty impressive looking while still being simple to prepare. If you’re looking for a different flavor, go ahead and switch it up with cinnamon and vanilla or green tea and white chocolate. These are the perfect addition to your cookie tin or holiday baking list next year!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright january 2017 ©

Mocha Chocolate Swirl Cookies

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Buttery shortbread flavored with coffee and dark chocolate for a lovely melt-in-your-mouth cookie
>>> Yields 40 cookies

Time:
-Prep: 30 min
-Bake: 10 min

Ingredients:

  • 3 C AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C (16 tbsp) butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

Instructions:

1) Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer for 7-8 minutes until the butter has become a light yellow color and fluffy.
2) Add in vanilla, salt, and egg into the butter and mix until combined.
3) Mix together the flour and baking powder together.
4) Combine the wet and dry and stir until the dough is smooth.
5) Divide into two portions. Add the coffee granules to one and cocoa powder to the other.
6) Roll out each pieces of dough between plastic wrap into a 9 x 14 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
7) Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hr and up to 2 days.
8) Place the cocoa dough on top of the coffee dough. Using the rolling pin, lightly press the layers together.
9) After letting the dough slightly soften to a pliable texture, gently roll the dough up into a log shape.
10) Chill the dough for another one hour. Rotate the log every 15 minutes to prevent flat bottoms.
11) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
12) Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices using a serrated knife and place on a parchment lined or well-greased baking sheet.
13) Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops have slightly browned. The cookies should still be relatively soft. If they’ve hardener, then they have overcooked.
10) Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack and let them come to room temperature.
11) Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Happy eats!

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Napoleon (Mille-feuille)


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My mom loves Napoleons because of the light flaky pastry and semi-sweet, cold creamy pudding filling. For those of your unfamiliar, these are a French pastry dessert composed of a sweet pastry cream sandwiched between light, flaky puff pastry, and topped with either powdered sugar or a chocolate icing.

20160911_081937A few months ago, I bought a box of pastry sheets and decided to use it up to free up some space in the freezer. The only other thing I needed was to whip up some of the pastry cream that I made a while back that is perfect for not only Napoleons, but fruit tarts, eclairs, and cream puffs! I made a huge batch of the cream and froze half for another dessert for another day. The cream freezes great–just whisk it up after it thaws completely and it has the same consistency as when it was freshly made!

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20160911_081914This simple recipe for a complicated sounded dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser and is easy for beginners because you don’t need to make your own pastry! Pepperidge Farm brand pastry sheets are so easy to use! Just let them slightly defrost before use and you’re guaranteed for buttery, flaky results. You can layer this flaky dessert with fresh fruits or drizzle in some melted chocolate on top, but since I wanted to go a simple route, I just opted for a vanilla creme.

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright december 2016 ©

Napoleon (Mille-feuille)

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Super easy, yet very satisfying pastries for an easy afternoon treat that’ll impress everyone’s taste-buds!
>>> Yields 6 3-tiered pastries

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 15 min
-Cook: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Pastry Sheets
  • recipe for pastry cream
  • optional: fresh fruits, cut and washed
  • powdered sugar

Instructions:

1) Let the pastry sheets thaw until pliable on a floured baking sheet.
2) Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 equal squares for a total of 18.
3) Prick over the tops of the surface of each square with a fork. (Or you can layer another cookie sheet on top of the pastry if you don’t want it puffed at all) Place in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 425 F.
4) Bake the pastry sheets for 10 minutes. Place a smaller baking sheet on top and bake for an additional 6 minutes for a flattened pastry (optional). Remove the sheet and bake for another 6 minutes until the strips are golden brown.
5) Remove the puff pastry from the oven and let cool completely.
6) Prepare the pastry cream following the recipe on the link. Let it cool in the fridge before assembling the Napoleons.
7) To assemble, place one pastry puff on the bottom, layer pastry cream on top, cover with another puff pastry, layer pastry cream, and then the final layer of puff pastry on top.
8) Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. You can also put fruits in between the layers or drizzle with melted chocolate.

Happy eats!

Cornflake Blueberry Muffins

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20160918_110910My parents bought a huge bag of Kellogs Cornflake Cereal that I need to use up since I definitely wouldn’t be able to finish the 2 lb bag! I’ve been looking up recipes to use up the cereal and decided in a simple muffin recipe with some added crunch on top with cornflakes. These muffins are nice and moist with that interesting texture from the cornflakes. I used honey since it goes well with the toasted corn flavor that you get from the cereal.

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The recipe is very straight forward, as most muffin recipes are! Just don’t let the cornflakes get too mushy by waiting till the end to fold in LIGHTLY the cereal. These smelled SO good coming out of the oven, and the added sweetness from the blueberries made this the perfect alternative to a breakfast pastry! I have some tips below on how to make the best muffins.

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A few things to note:

  • For any add-ins, mix them with the dry ingredient to coat with flour to prevent any sinking while the batter is baking
  • Don’t over-mix the batter! Just combine the wet and dry ingredients until they are mostly incorporated. A few streaks of flour won’t affect your end product and you’ll still have delicious muffins
  • The batter shouldn’t be overly runny. If it is, add in a few tablespoons of flour so that you have a thicker batter.
  • Don’t overfill the muffin wells. Filling them all the way to the top will be a sure fire way of overflow while baking and ending up with a huge mess. Leave about half an inch from the top of space for your muffins to expand while baking.
  • Bake at high heat. This will give you beautifully domed muffin tops. If you prefer flatter muffins, just bake at a lower but longer time (350F for 23-25 minutes)
  • Be careful that you don’t over-bake your muffins or let them brown too much. Since it’s a heat temperature bake, you’ll want to check on the muffins the last 2 minutes of cooking and remove as soon as the skewer comes out clean and the insides are baked.
  • Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors and add-ins. I tend to go a bit crazy every now and then so I don’t get tired of eating the same muffins and it’s a great experimental recipe. Want healthier muffins? Add in dry oats and whole wheat flour. Want chocolate? Fold in some chocolate chips. I love how versatile this recipe is!

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Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright december 2016 ©

Cornflake Blueberry Muffins

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Slightly sweet blueberry muffins with cornflakes folded in and a crisp cornflake sprinkle on top make these the perfect breakfast treat!
>>> Yields 12 muffins

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1/4 C honey or white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 1 large egg (if using white sugar, use 2 eggs)
  • 3 tbsp oil (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C cornflakes cereal
  • optional: 1/2 C dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, raisins)
  • optional: 1/2 C toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare 12 muffin tins by either greasing the tins or lining with paper liners.
2) Mix together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, including the fruits and nuts.
3) Add in the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the cornflakes.
4) Spoon the batter evenly into the tins. Sprinkle cornflakes on top of the batter.
5) Bake for 15-18 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
6) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Store in freezer for long-term storage or at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Happy eats!

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Cinnamon Crumb Pizza

20160716_114859When I was young, we used to live near a Cici’s Pizza, which my family would frequent thanks to its cheap cost and relatively satisfying food choices (all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, soup, salads, dessert and breadsticks? Count me in!) To be honest, there are just a few items from there that really stood out to me and would be what I would constantly go back and get seconds or thirds of. Their deep-dish barbecue pizza (which was order only), their soft garlic-y breadsticks, and their desserts.

20160716_123410Oh, their desserts. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I would always save room for their sinfully rich chocolate brownies dusted with powdered sugar, their ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls topped with a sweet icing, and a family-favorite apple cinnamon crumb pizza. Looking back now, I realize how sugar-heavy all those desserts were and probably wouldn’t even dream of eating them for fear of developing diabetes on the spot, but those memories are near and dear to my heart and the inspiration behind this recipe.

My brother recently came home to visit and when I asked him if there were any specific foods he’d like me to make, he immediately replied with “Pizza!”. So naturally, I went with my trusty pizza dough recipe and whipped up a barbecue chicken one that my family loves. This time, however, I decided to make some extra dough and make a sweet pizza. Why? Just for the sake of variety and because my family has a secret sweet tooth that always needs addressing 😉

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Normally, my mom dislikes all things cinnamon (I know… the horrors), but she loves the cinnamon apple pizza from Cici’s, so I decided to re-create a lazier version of it by forgoing the apples and just make a sweet cinnamon streusel. The end result of my hodge podge creation was a fan-favorite. The sweet, cinnamon brown sugar spread paired perfectly with the crispy, buttery crumb topping without being sickeningly sweet or overwhelming in taste. My entire family gobbled down both pizzas and declared that the dessert pie was the absolutely perfect new addition to the pizza tradition. Next time, I’ll definitely be making another one of these delicious pizzas and you should too!

Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When re-posting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright november 2016 ©

Cinnamon Crumb Pizza

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Sweet dessert pizza with a buttery topping laced with cinnamon and spice
>>> Yields 1 9-inch round pizza

Time:
-Prep: 10 min
-Bake: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe for pizza dough
  • 3/4 C AP flour
  • 3/4 C rolled or quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each of ground ginger, allspice, and nutmeg
  • optional: 1/2 C powdered sugar + 1 tbsp milk for icing

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Mix all the ingredients except the butter together in a bowl.
3) Add the cubed butter and mix with hands until crumbs form.
4) Sprinkle over prepared and rolled out pizza dough.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and crust is cooked. For a crisper crust, bake longer.
6) Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle icing over the top of the pizza.

Happy eats!

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