Today marks 1 year from my first blog post, fruit sushi. I made a delicious Asian pasta salad last night (recipe to come), so I must have some serious asian persuasion this time of year. I had big plans to attempt a re-creation of the most delicious banana caramel cake I ate at a restaurant a few months back, however, due to my dietary restrictions until May 11th that deliciousness is going to have to wait. I did attempt a vegan/gluten free version, but they came out with about the same consistency of a gummy bear. Instead my 1 year blogiversary will be celebrated with some Lavendar Brownie cupcakes (for everyone else) and some no-bake almond butter chocolate bars (for me and everyone) inspired by a recipe from a fabulous blogger I met at the bakesale the other weekend. Everything (banana cupcakes aside) turned out great and I feel like my blogiversary recipes are the perfect culmination of my year of experiments......some successes, some failures, but overall a sense of pride that comes with creating something with my hands and the joy of sharing my creations with others.
Lavendar Brownie Cupcakes
recipe from Martha Stewart Cupcakes Book
-3/4C + 2T all purpose flour
-1/2t baking powder
-3-1/2oz unsweetened chocolate
-2 large eggs (room temperature)
-1t vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 standard muffin tins with paper liners (I could have filled mine a little less, but I only got 15 cupcakes from this recipe).
2. Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. On medium speed beat together chocolate and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in Vanilla.
5. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour until just combined.
6. Spoon batter into muffin tins, fill a little over half way. Bake about 18-20 minutes, rotating half way through. I took them out when a toothpick came out almost clean. They continue to cook as they cool and I did not want them to be dry. Allow to completely cool before spooning on the icing.
Lavendar Icing (This recipe made about double what I needed)
-1/3C whole milk
-1/2t dried lavendar
-3C confectioner's sugar
-Violet food coloring (or equal parts blue and pink)
1. Bring milk and lavendar just to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
2. Strain milk/lavendar mixture into a medium bowl. Be sure to remove all of the dried lavendar bits. By hand, mix in 3 cups of confectioner's sugar. Slowly add in food coloring. I ended up using 4 drops of blue and 4 drops of pink.
3. Immediately spoon onto cupcakes and smooth with a knife.
-2t meringue powder
1. Remove stems from flowers
2. Whisk together meringue powder and water
3. Brush meringue mixture onto flowers one at a time and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a tray or wire rack and allow to dry completely.
No Bake Almond Butter Chocolate Bars
recipe adapted from Bridezillabakes
-1C almond butter
-1C earth balance margerine (or butter)
-3C powdered sugar
-12oz dark chocolate
1. Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside. Mix together first 4 ingredients (slowly adding powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency add more if necessary, I added a bit too much and they turned out crumbly). Spread evenly into pan.
2. Melt chocolate in double boiler and spread over bars. Allow to set before cutting.