Monday, January 28, 2013

Churro Apple Pie Waffles


I envy anyone who hasn't ever had the chance to taste all the crispy, crunchy, spicy sugary goodness that is a Churro! 


For me I consider them one of those super hero desserts that are in the league of their very own, they join the ranks of other long time dessert rock stars. 


The classic chocolate chip cookies, chewy fudge brownies, warm apple pies and rich vanilla pound cakes each one with the over bearing potential to plumpt your from any diet plan with one simple taste of a crumb.  There's almost nothing that could make them any better, oh how enticing they are in their very own straightforward decadence! 


The ideas of these desserts reaching anything more gratifying are almost non-exsistent!.........Until you welcome them to a world of pecans, walnuts & salty peanuts, white chocolate chips, dulce de leche. To a land where mounds and mounds of sweet whip cream make a pillowy bed for ripe red strawberries.  OHhhh, the possibilities are limitless. 


So that brings me back to my amor for everything Churro, in the couple of weeks since I posted my original churro waffle recipe I've seen them loved and adored by many!


They've been blogged about and blogged about, pinned and repined, all of this attention has not only thrust me into the cielo ( heavens) but it has also let me see just how many of you adora ( adore) Chrurros as much as I do! 


Which in turn caused me once again to think of Churros in all their super hero glory. and that lead me to ponder whether or not just like their rock star counterparts Churro Waffles could be any more irresistible? 

And the answer was an undoutable Si!!



Roll them in cinnamon- sugar love, dip them in the beloved melted butter, but this time stuff them with plump, tangy apples.   Wow, The result was perfect marriage! 


An American classic with a Mexican twist.......and a new breakfast tradition is born from such sweetness!






                                                                                 Ingredients 
1 teaspoon salt                                                                            

4 teaspoons baking powder






1 1/2 cups warm milk                                 


1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 3 shakes of cinnamon


For the churro topping-

1 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup cinnamon ( 1/4 cup if you don't love cinnamon like I do)

1/2 cup of melted butter


Apple Filling-  


1 can of Lucky Leaf Apples or any can you prefer

If your feeling really ambitious you can make your own apple filling.  I found a recipe here.                                                             

                                                                   Directions


1.In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside.  Also at this time you can combine your churro topping and set it aside. Preheat waffle iron
     
2.In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture;  Next fold in three shakes of cinnamon beat until blended
      
3. At this time you can also melt your 1/2 cup of butter used to pour over waffles. Next generously spray your waffle iron with no stick cooking spray. Than ladle a little batter into a preheated waffle iron, gently place on 4-5 apple slices ( depending on size of your waffle iron, smaller size use 2-3 apples. 

4. Next add more batter on top of apples, be careful not to overflow waffle maker. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. ( Caution, mixing the apples directly into the batter yielded undesirable results for me)

5.Once fully cooked immediately pour melted butter on each side of the waffle and than dip each buttered side into your cinnamon/sugar churro mixture.

At this point if your mouth is not watering from the smell, check your pulse! 

Once again if your a sugar guru, you can add maple syrup. Or if your just interested into making this breakfast into a dessert add a creamy scoop of vanilla ice cream.......then proceed to devouring
( I mean sophisticatedly eating your waffles!)




                                                                    

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frost Bites- Powdered Sugar Soft Pretzels

Snack foods have never really been my thing, I'll gladly pass up a bag of potato chips or bowl full of salsa with chips with no regrets.

 It probably has something to do with the salty taste and the crunchy texture, neither of those tempt me at all. I'm more of a soft and sweet type of chica, give me a pretty pink box filled with soft and fluffy round donuts dripping with shiny vanilla glaze and I'm in heaven!


 Just the thought of them has me peering towards my kitchen trying to spy a crumb of soft cakey goodness!  But as they say" for every rule there is an exception" and for me that exception is soft pretzels.

 I've loved them since forever, the distinct smell of fresh baked salted bread twists caressing my nose from 5 stores down hit me every time I walk through those mall doors. Soft pretzels are like my salty kryptonite!

 If you can at all understand my love affair with soft baked pretzels, than you can figure out why I've been having a " bad romance" with these sweet bebe's. 


 And when I say bad, I really mean good! Well maybe a little more bad than good if you consider the fact that I may slightly be addicted to them, I've made them twice already in the last four days!! 


 What do you expect when my exception to the rule meets everything I adore.  Super soft salty bites of  pretzel rolled in powdered sugar love, True Amor!



recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Recipe
                                                     

                                                   Dough Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 cup warm water

                                                    Coating Ingredients

1 cup very hot water

2 tablespoons baking soda

Kosher or sea salt

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup of powdered sugar



                                Directions

1.Pre-heat your oven to 475 degrees.


2.In the bowl of your mixer, sift together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.

3.Add in 1 cup of very warm water and use the dough hook to mix it well. You could also do this by hand or use a food processor. Knead the dough until it is smooth.

4.Sprinkle flour in the bottom of a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to rise.

5.After 30 minutes, knead the dough for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 equal sections. Form each section into strips about 8 inches long and about 1 inch wide.

6.Cut each strip into about 6-8 pieces. You should end up with 24-32 pretzel bites.

7.In a shallow dish combine the hot water ( to speed up the process you can microwave the water for 2 minutes or you can boil it on the stove) with the baking soda and stir to dissolve.

8.Place the pretzel bites in the water/baking soda mixture and allow to sit for one minute. Then flip the pretzel bites and allow to sit in the mixture for one minute longer. Arrange the pretzel bites on a greased baking sheet.

9.Allow the pretzel bites to rest for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with a bit of kosher or sea salt before baking them for 10-11 minutes, or until the pretzel bites are nice and brown!

10.While the pretzel bites are baking, melt 3 tablespoons of butter (1 minute in the microwave). Place the cup of powdered sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.
11.When the pretzel bites are done baking, immediately brush each bite with melted butter. Keep brushing the bites with butter until it is all gone. Then immediately place a handful of your bites in the bowl of powder sugar and roll them around until evenly coated.  The cooler they seem to get the harder it is to get the powder sugar to stick.

 If you are feeling really dulce ( sweet) you can serve them with a little chocolate dip to send you into a complete sugar rush!


Now if you are in a race for time and find that these sound so delicious that you just have to have them now!   Then you can take the fast track to yumminess, you can purchase pretzel nuggets in your grocer's freezer already made.  Follow the directions on the package, then jump to step 10-11 and race towards instant gratification!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cupid's Arrow Popcorn & Candy Munch Cups

Once the festive colors and sweet candies of the impending holiday go up in stores, anyone with little chicas and chicos know that those party donation request forms start showing up in their sweet little bookbags. 

Most likely these forms reach your doorsteps weeks in advance, if you are anything like me ...........


dulce suenos ( sweet dreams) of thick fluffy brownies, stuffed with chocolate chips dripping with rich vanilla frosting, cut into cute little heart shapes with homemade hot pink and red sugar lip sprinkles dripped all over them ( or some fancy pants treat like that) dance in your head.


They sound pretty perfect hugh!?....Right!....Well fast forward to let's say ummmm...........


the day before the big bash and what do I have? Nothing!! Not a chocolate chip, nor a lick of vanilla frosting and the idea of handcrafting sprinkles in the span of a few hours time is like mission impossible! 

So I came up with something that is way less time consuming and super easy to put together, just in case you find yourself in a situation like me and need a cute little party treat in no time flat!



                                                                     
                                        Ingredients
 
popcorn ( microwave or bagged)
Valentine's candy ( I used candy corn and m&m's but you can use anything that will mix well with popcorn, and is red and pink of course)
red or pink candy melts
red, pink and or white sprinkles
red or pink cups
 heart ring pops or regular ring pops
 
The amount of popcorn and candy you will need will all depend on how many cups you plan to fill. If you are going to make enough for about 24 cups, I would buy two bags of popcorn and three bags of candy. 
                                                                

                                                              Directions
1.  Get a large bowl pour in the popcorn and mix in your bags of candies
 
2. Once your popcorn/ candy munch are well mixed, divide them evenly into each individual cup filling them to the top of each cup.
 
3. Next you will need to melt about 1/2 cup of melting chocolate for approx. 24 cups, once chocolate is completely melted,  using a spoon drizzle chocolate quickly over the popcorn and candy in each cup.
4. I placed the ring pops in the middle of the popcorn for my last step,  to secure the pops to the popcorn I dabbed a little chocolate underneath the ring base than placed it in the middle of the popcorn.
 
For extra cuteness you can get a roll of cellophane or individual treat bags and wrap them up with a pretty pink or red bow!
 
Now how easy was that?  These really should be called " No Stress Cups"!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

{Latin Elvis} - Peanut Butter, Banana & Dulce de Leche Waffles

It's kind of ironic that I absolutely adore making breakfast foods, but if there ever was a day that I would skip a meal breakfast would most likely be the one I'd miss. 

It's not that I haven't paid attention in health class or watched one of the many info/brainwash "mercials" that declares breakfast the most vital and important meal of the day!



Yes, I do get it......but it seems that so many things are jam- packed into my mornings, that by the time I have a chance to stop it's 11:30 already and the window of breakfast opportunity has passed me by. 

But on those easy breezy mornings when I am finally on relaxed mode, I like to do my breakfast right! 



And when I do make breakfast it's usually go big or go home, maybe because I am subconsciously making up for all my unredeemed syrup soaked breakfast food possibilities.



But these precious days almost always involve lots of butter syrup, a thick rich bread of some sort and of course crisp crunchy pieces of bacon heaven. 

 This particular breakfast is a little bit of an ode to the " King of Rock & Roll" Elvis Presley,  I've always been fascinated with his innovative food choices especially his ever popular romance with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. 

 Here I give my take on the peanut butter and banana sandwich........ except I'm trading the white bread for a thick banana &bacon infused Belgian waffle.

Swept with creamy peanut butter than swirled with dulce de leche, dulce de leche is a creamy milk based confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk. 

 It's the Latin equivalent to American peanut butter and in my eyes it's dessert royalty! I'm pretty sure that if Elvis was born in Spain he'd be eating dulce  de leche and peanut butter sandwiches......

 But since he wasn't I figured I could just kick  he's version of the sandwich up a notch and give it a Latin flair!




             Ingredients
 

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 ripe bananas
6 strips of crispy bacon ( you can cook extra strips to place on top of waffles if desired)
peanut butter- just enough to spread on each waffle, I used about 1/2 cup for 3 large waffles
dulce de leche- about 1/2 cup
 
 Optional ( you can make homemade banana maple syrup, by simply cutting a few slices and sticking them in a jar of maple syrup overnight. It gives the syrup a discreet banana taste that adds a little something extra to each bite).
 
                                                Directions
 
 
 
1. Preheat your waffle iron, cook your desired amounts of crispy bacon and set aside.
 
2.Mash two of your ripe bananas and set aside, you can also chop the other two bananas that will act as toppings for your waffles and set those aside as well.
 
3.In large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and oil mix well;
 
4. Now add in your mashed bananas and 6 slices of bacon crumbled into small bits. Mix until both ingredients are well incorporated.
 
5. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron cook until golden brown.
 
6. Once all waffles are cooked stick your peanut butter and dulce de leche in the microwave for about 45 seconds each, until they are easier spread.
 
7. Spread each waffle with alternating layers of dulce de leche and peanut butter. You can put as much or as little as you like.
 
8. Layer each waffle with strips of crisp bacon and use your last banana and cut it into slices.  ( I sautéed a few slices of my bananas in butter, but later decided I preferred them as they were)
 
9. Finally if you are a real " hound dog" for the sweets you can swirl on a little homemade banana maple syrup.  
 
And there you go breakfast fit for a " Latin King" ! 
                                                                  
                                                                                             

 
                                                            
 
 

 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Marry Me, Cupcake- Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes

Although for some, the idea of packing up their last silver bell and unhanging their stockings and packing them away with care is a somber event.

For me it's a sign that my absolute favorite holiday is on it's way. I've had a "love affair" with Valentine's Day since?!.........


Well actually I have no idea when my infactuation with the national day of love began, but I do know that everything that it entails leaves me feeling warm inside and a smile on my face.   It's not so much the romantical idea ( I know this is not a real word, but I think I heard Snooki use it and I liked it!) of it all.








The whole having "El Hombre" of your dreams show up at your doorstep, whisking you off to an extravagant restaurant showering you with red roses and lavish presents like 25 karat diamond rings. Nope! that's not the reason for my obsession with Valentine's Day. It's more along the lines of almost all the store shelves blanketed with varying hues of red and pink which are my absolute favorite colors.

Hearts and sweet words of love on everything! Not to mention the chocolate! Ohhh yes the sweet, dulce, milk, dark, semi-sweet bites and boxes of caramel filled ways to show your love! LO AMO! ( I love it!). With those boxes of chocolate love come even more sugared-up dessert possibilities.  Like these Marry Me, Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes,  which are fluffy vanilla cupcakes swirled with a layer of vanilla buttercream, then a twist of pink cherry buttercream, drizzled with chocolate syrup, colorful sprinkles and a plump red cherry. Stuffed inside the cupcake is a strawberry ring pop.......... 


Well actually 5 minutes after I placed the ring pop filled cupcakes in the oven, I realized that what I would pull out the oven would be filled with an ooey gooey mess.  Ten minutes later.......Yup! I was right......the realization that the thin layer of cake batter wouldn't be enough to shield the candy coated ring pop from the molten hot temps within the oven!

Uhhh Duhh!  Anyway I still think that these can be super cute Valentine's cupcakes to give to your sweetie as gift or to bring to a school class.  Imagine their surprise when they take a bite and inside is an authentic sugared diamond, a Valentine's symbol of true love.

I assure you it will work this time, instead of baking the cupcake with the ring pop, just wait until they are out the oven and cooled.  Then you can just dunk the ring pop right in the middle of the cake and swirl your buttercream all around it.  Believe me this time it will work like a charm!




                                                                    
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery Recipe


                                                        Buttercream Ingredients

                                           

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
 
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
 
1/2 cup milk
 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 
1 jar of maraschino cherries
 
 1 jar of chocolate syrup-  I used Hershey's
 
  1 container of red or pink sprinkles
 
  Ring pops- as many as needed

                                                                    Directions    

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
 
      2. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition, until icing reaches desired consistency; you may not need to add all the sugar.
 
     3. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.        
 
     4. To make the cherry buttercream, separate a cup or more of white buttercream, add in 2 drops of pink food coloring. Pour in 1/4 cup of maraschino cherry juice and whip for 3-4 minutes until well mixed adding more juice to reach desired cherry taste.
                                                                  
 
                                                               
                                     Cupcake Ingredients                  

3/4 cup butter

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla (add more for a super-vanilla taste)

1 1/4 cups milk

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 
                                                                    Directions                                           

1. Stir together the salt, baking powder, flour

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter in an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined. Continue to beat and add the eggs. Beat well and add vanilla.

3. Add part of the flour mixture then part of the milk, then beat on low. Repeat until all of the milk and flour mixture have been added. Combine and spread batter into cupcake pans. Be sure not to over mix your batter.

4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool for at least 15 minutes.

5. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled it's time to stick in your ring pops, 
6. Next, grab two piping bags and fill with vanilla and cherry buttercream. Alternately swirl each flavor onto your cupcake.
 
 7.Drizzle cupcake with chocolate syrup, colorful sprinkles and plump cherry. You can package these up in pretty red or pink boxes and serve them with MUCHO AMOR!
 
                                                

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Churro Waffles

Have you ever eaten a churro before?  Well if you haven't....you have no idea what your missing out on! A churro is a golden rod of pure deliciousness twisted and rolled into lots and lots of sweet cinnamon and sugar right after it's taken a crispy bath in steaming hot oil.


With one bite you are plunged into a world where both spicy and sweet live harmoniously under the Mexican sun. That seems highly appropriate doesn't it?! Seeing as Mexico is one of the many places in Latin America and Spain where churros are made fresh daily by brilliant street vendors. 


Coincidentally Mexico, or at least getting another chance to dip my toes in the warm aqua water along the beaches of Playa del Carmen is on my 2013 resolution/to do list.


Additionally, since I woke up the other morning with dreams of sugared churros in my head, and since I was no where near the Mexican border at the time I figured I'd improvise a little.   So I present to you " Churro Waffles"


What I came up with is a fluffier equally tempting version of the popular Mexican treat infused with breakfast table capabilities.


                                                         

                                                                        Ingredients
 
1 teaspoon salt                                                                            
4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups warm milk                                 
1/3 cup butter, melted                                                
3 shakes  of cinnamon
  

For the churro topping-
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup of melted butter

                                                               Directions                            



  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside.  Also at this time you can combine your churro topping and set it aside. Preheat waffle iron

      2.In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture;  Next fold in three shakes of cinnamon beat until blended

       3. At this time you can also melt your 1/2 cup of butter used to pour over waffles. Next generously spray your waffle iron with no stick cooking spray. Than ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Once fully cooked immediately pour melted butter on each side of the waffle and than dip each buttered side into your cinnamon/sugar churro mixture.

4. Devour immediately!...... I mean serve immediately, Enjoy!

Oh and I drizzled my waffles with a little extra syrup at the end. Although this waffle is obviously sweet enough, those with a definite sweet tooth can give it a whirl! In the end though I thought they were perfecto without the dulce ( sweet) extras.

                                                                     
 
 
 
 
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