Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Easy Cookies

Happy cookie (and pattern!) found here
When I got home yesterday from a 4 day weekend away with my husband, the first thing #3 says to me is, "Can we make cookies?"  My answer was, of course, "Tomorrow!"

So, today, the minute she woke up, and every 5 or so minutes afterward, "Can we make cookies now?"

Finally, this afternoon, after she got home from preschool, we made cookies.

I wasn't really up for the usual measure-fest that cookie baking from scratch can be, so I decided to try a short-cut.  I have made "Funfetti" cookies before, just a box of Funfetti Cake Mix (Pillsbury), oil and eggs.  They're super easy, the recipe is right on the box, and everyone loves them.

Since I wanted to sneak something healthy into them, I tweaked the recipe...a lot. Also, I for some unknown reason had 4 boxes of Orange Supreme cake mix, so I decided, hey, why not?  Orange and sweet potato could taste good together...maybe...

Here's the recipe:

1 box (any flavor really) cake mix
2/3 cup sweet potato puree
2 tbsp canola oil
2 eggs
cooking spray

Mix ingredients, drop by spoonfuls onto cooking sprayed cookie sheets, bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Now, like I said, this was a group effort.  #3 and #4 were very involved, which is why we ended up with Christmas colored sprinkles.

That's also why we ended up with so many...that's #3 dumping the rest of the container in!

Oh, and this is also what happens when one of them gets a hold of the camera:

I particularly like the one of #4 trying to pull my shirt off.  Sigh.

The good news is, they came out pretty good!

The thumbs up are from the littles, they were they only ones willing to sample! They loved their cookies, and had fun making them. The really good news? My kitchen survived with a minimum of mess!

Admitting failure

Sad clown pattern for sale here
Sadly, I was not able to get rid of all 2 dozen donuts.  Despite my best efforts, I was only able to do two donut killing recipes in two days, which only used up the first dozen.  The kids ate another eight (yikes.), and I threw out the last four.

I think my biggest conundrum with this challenge was what to do with the cream-filled donuts!  I could not figure out how to get rid of them in any recipes.  Hopefully, this is not a problem that will be repeated, but just in case, I will tell my husband not to ever bring home cream-filled donuts, even if they are free...unless of course he is bringing home one of FROST Doughnuts amazing gourmet which case it can be filled with any of their ingredients (except bacon!), and there will be no need to worry about leftovers!

More later, I'm letting the littles help me make cookies this afternoon...HA! We'll see how messy that gets that goes. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

2 dozen donuts, 2 days. part 2

Plate of donuts (and link to pattern) found here
I think the sheer impossibility of baking 2 dozen donuts into something resembling healthy has broken my poor little baking brain.

That is the only explanation for what I made today.

By the way, if you are wondering about the 2 day deadline, my in-laws are coming to stay with the kids tomorrow, so my dear husband and I can get away for a much deserved break.  I felt obligated to remove the ginormous pile of stale donuts BEFORE they came to judge stay at my house.

So, here is today's (potentially inedible) donut killing invention:

Pumpkin-Sweet Potato-Donut Bread

(Again, I have a need for over-explainyness:  I figured this could potentially be gross.  So, instead of the 3 perfectly good bananas the recipe called for, I used up a 1/2 cup of sweet potato puree, and the last cup of a can of pumpkin that I had already opened.)

2 cups whole wheat flour (because by gosh, I am not adding any more refined flour to donuts!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

3 ripe bananas, or 1 and 1/2 cups of whatever fruit/sweet vegetable you have lying around
2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar (I reduced this from the 1/2 cup called for in the original recipe.  Fatal mistake?  Possibly.)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup milk, separated
2 tsp vanilla
3 chocolate covered donuts (now you see why I reduced the sugar!)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a bread pan.  (I used non-stick cooking spray...immediately after I decided I should have used shortening...we'll see how it comes out...literally!)

Mix flour, salt, baking powder and soda together in one bowl.
In a second bowl, mix fruit/veg, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the milk.
Set both aside.

Cut up the donuts. (I used two chocolate covered old fashioned, and one chocolate covered chocolate cake, because, say it with me: that's what I had!  I did resist the urge to also use the one with chocolate and sprinkles.)  I sliced them into 1/4 inch segments, decided those were too big, and cut them in half again.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together.  Dump donut pieces on top.  (When I got to this point, I realized that was a whole lot of dry, stale donut bread on top of a bready mix...which is where the rest of the milk comes in...) Pour 1/4 milk over donut pieces, then fold into dough.

Pour lumpy mixture into bread pan.

Bake for 60 minutes.


As I'm typing, the "bread" is in the you'll have to wait for the results!

Update:  Color me shocked.  THEY LOVED IT!  The bread came out warm, moist and tasty, and the girls loved the chocolatey donut chunks!  It even came out of the pan easily.  I absolutely cannot believe this worked.

The result:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to get rid of 2 dozen donuts in 2 days

Crochet donuts (and pattern!) found here
Some days are good days for dieting, some start with piles of donuts.

Armed with only the very best, and sweetest of intentions, my husband brought home 2 dozen donuts.  His reason?  "They were free!"

So, how to get rid of that many donuts in two days...without just eating the lot in one sitting?  I have a few ideas, but the first was inspired by one of my most favorite naughty breakfast treats at a local diner, The Brown Bag.  They serve a marvelous "Cinnamon Roll French Toast", which is a cinnamon roll cut in half, soaked in egg batter, and cooked like French Toast.

Of course, if you've read my blog before, you know I can't just leave it at that.  I am compelled to try and force some nutrition into it!  So, here is my first attempt to make donuts a worthwhile meal:

Donut Pumpkin French Toast

Six glazed donuts (or twists, or cinnamon roll style)
4 eggs
2 tbsp canned pumpkin
a little flaxseed meal
Cooking spray
2 tbsp margarine

Slice each donut in half.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, and pumpkin
Coat a large non-stick pan with cooking spray, and set over medium heat.  When the pay is hot, add the margarine.
Soak each side of the donut halves in the egg mixture briefly, then place the donuts (outside down) in the pan.  Sprinkle cut side with flaxseed meal, and flip after 2 to 3 minutes.  The cut side will need a little longer to cook.

Serve warm.

Any guesses as to whether the kids liked it?  

Updated to add:  The twist were the hardest to flip,and the middle fell out of one of the cinnamon roll-style donuts, so if you have a choice, stick with standard glazed.

Turkey day

Adorable turkey (and pattern!) found here

You're probably wondering, why is there a turkey in February? Two reasons: 1. When I started this post, and added the turkey picture, it was November. 2. I feel like a turkey. I have not typed a word for this blog in over 4 months, and I have absolutely no good reason for the break. So, my apologies, I hope you can forgive me, and will continue reading. No recipe right now, but I will be posting some later, in a flurry of posts titled, "How to get rid of 2 dozen donuts in 2 days"...guess what my dear husband brought home this morning? "But, they were free!". Sigh. My continued apologies for the brief teaser post. I am actually typing this on my phone, at the gym, while killing the last of the 2 hours the nice folks in the gym daycare will watch my monkeys. Isn't technology mah-velous?