Blood Orange Yogurt Cakes

There are a number of reasons why I made these cakes. Well, I suppose there are reasons behind every recipe I make, but this one has specific ones.

blood oranges

First, I picked up a bag of about 10 or so blood oranges at the grocery store last weekend. If you’ve never had one, they’re about the size of a tangerine and a little more tart than regular oranges. And they’re beautiful. They make a great snack on their own, but I thought their color would look beautiful baked!

Second, on that same trip to the grocery store I bought a big tub of Greek yogurt. Which I hate. I do this every so often – I buy yogurt because I want something new for breakfast and because I know it’s healthy for me. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, granola, and honey… it sounds so delicious! Then I eat it and remember why I never buy yogurt. I hate yogurt. So I thought, what am I going to do with this?

Lastly, I was convinced I had a loaf pan. So I wanted to make a loaf cake. I didn’t realize I don’t have a loaf pan until after I put out all of my ingredients and started preheating the oven. Whoops.

Blood Orange Yogurt Cakes from Square Root of Pie

Blood Orange Yogurt Cakes
Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 loaf cake. Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Ingredients
for the cake
1 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/2 C sugar
1 C nonfat Greek yogurt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C vegetable oil
zest of 2 blood oranges
juice of 1/2 blood orange
for the glaze
3oz reduced fat cream cheese
juice of 1 1/2 blood oranges
1-2 C powdered sugar

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake tin with liners or loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, mix sugar, yogurt, eggs, vanilla, oil, zest, and juice until smooth.
4. Add dry to wet and stir until combined.
5. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or loaf for 50 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
6. Once cakes are cooled completely, begin glaze by mixing juice and cream cheese.
7. Slowly incorporate powdered sugar. Add less for a thin glaze or more for thicker frosting.
8. Frost cakes and serve.

Blood Orange Yogurt Cakes from Square Root of PieIsn’t that pink color gorgeous? The blood orange juice is beautiful! And the yogurt makes a really light, fluffy cake. Much more enjoyable than in a bowl all by itself.

 

Flourless Pizza?!

I probably wouldn’t believe it either. But I promise, I’m not lying – this pizza has no flour. No carbs. No gluten. No guilt. And it tastes amazing!

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Trust me, I was a little skeptical when I first saw this idea on Pinterest. But then I tried it and I fell in love.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Makes 8 slices. Gluten free. Adapted from Eating Bird Food.

Ingredients
1/2 head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 egg
1 C shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, etc)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. 
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or use a pizza stone if you have one.
2. Put cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. You should have about 2 cups.
3. Saute over medium heat about 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl combine cauliflower with all remaining ingredients. Mixture should be crumbly.
5. Spread crust on pan about 1/4 inch thick, pressing down with your fingers so it sticks together.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are crispy.
7. Remove from oven, top with sauce and any toppings, and broil another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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More Valentine’s Day Goodies

Because, really, you can never have enough cookies to hand out on Valentine’s Day. No one has ever been disappointed because of too many cookies!

Remember elementary school when everyone used to hand out cheesy paper Valentines with Spiderman on them? I haven’t done that in a long time, but I think these are much better anyway. I put these in little goodie bags with my heart cookies and some candy to hand out. They’re so cute!

double choc cookies

These cookies are quick and easy to make, and they don’t have to be for Valentine’s at all! I used the Valentine’s M&Ms, but you could use regular ones, or even just chocolate chips. Next time I think I’ll add some walnuts, too.

mm batter

Double Chocolate M&Ms Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen.

Ingredients
1 C flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 stick butter
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C M&Ms

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate and butter together on the stovetop or in the microwave.
4. In a large bowl, cream eggs and sugars. Add vanilla.
5. Gradually beat in flour mixture until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and butter.
6. Fold in M&Ms.
7. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

double choc cookies2

How To Become Popular

So you want to learn how to make yourself popular, do you? Well, everyone says money can’t buy you love or friendship or happiness. True, but money can buy you all the things you need to make lots and lots of cookies. Which is basically the same thing. Make these and everyone will love you. You’ll be the coolest kid in school with a million friends, that one person everyone wants to be. This is a piece of advice I wish I had known in my middle school days… When I have a daughter going through her awkward preteen years, I will teach her to make these cookies.

cookies1They’re ridiculously impressive, but much simpler to make than they look. I’m not going to lie and say they’re easy, but you don’t need any special skills or tools. Just a few hours to kill.

I used the recipes for the cookies and icing from Bake at 350 just like when I made my Android cookies. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?

vday cookies

Marbled Sugar Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen.

Ingredients
1 batch sugar cookies, cut in your favorite shape, baked, and cooled completely
1 batch royal icing
food coloring
2 #2 piping tips (or plastic bags with a tiny bit of corner cut off)
a toothpick or a paring knife
lots and lots of patience

Instructions
1. Start by mixing your colors. Take about 1 cup of icing and mix to your accent color. Do not thin. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip (you could use a #4 if you want your stripes to be thicker). Then mix the remaining icing to your base color. Transfer 3/4 cup to another piping bag with a #2 tip. Thin the remaining icing.

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2. Outline your cookie in the base color using the thick icing.

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3. Fill cookie using thinned icing. Bake at 350 recommends using a squeeze bottle to do this, but I prefer just spreading it with a butter knife.

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4. Pipe horizontal lines with your accent color.

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5. Run your toothpick or knife lightly up and down through the stripes to create the pattern.

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6. Continue moving back and forth until you have a beautiful cookie! Let the icing dry for a few hours before serving.

Some Things to Remember
1. Once you get the hang of it, you can do more than one cookie at a time to make things go faster. I can handle about 5 at a time before I get overwhelmed.
2. You will probably make a big mess all over your table. Tape down some plastic wrap over whatever surface you’re working on and save yourself some scrubbing!
3. If it’s not perfect, probably no one besides you will notice.
4. If you mess up, you can wipe away the icing and try again. If it’s unsalvageable, don’t get upset. Just remember that it’s only a cookie. Eat it and you’ll feel better.
5. This design can be done on any shape cookie in any color for any occasion. Get creative!

cookies2Get out there, make some cookies, and pretty soon you’ll have a million people dying to be your Valentine. Or make them for the Valentine you already have! The love for you will be overflowing, I promise.

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Adventures in GF Baking

Gluten free, hooray! I’ve definitely made gluten free things before – mochi, macarons, probably everything I do with quinoa, but I’ve never specifically set out to make something GF before. I have a couple of friends on GF diets who rarely get to enjoy what I make, so I decided to try it out.

namaste

When I was home for winter break, I happened to look at the GF baking section at Sprouts. All kinds of things were on sale, so I picked up a bag of brownie mix just to try. Of course, I can’t *just* use a mix… How boring is that? I had to put my own spin on it!

The results were phenomenal. I know sometimes GF baked goods are a little gummy, or taste like whatever non-wheat flour they’re made with. These tasted like real brownies. No one could tell they were GF, and were surprised when I told them the truth! I’d love to try baking GF from scratch sometime, but for now I’ll stick with these. They were delicious!

gf brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies
Gluten free. Makes 1 9×13 pan.

Ingredients
1 package of your favorite GF brownie mix (I used Namaste brand)
whatever ingredients called for by brownie mix
8oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
1.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Preheat oven as directed on brownie package.
2. In a large bowl, mix brownies as directed. Set aside.
3. In a slightly smaller bowl, mix cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.
4. Pour brownie mix into pan. Spoon dollops of cream cheese on top of brownies, distributing evenly but leaving some brownie mix showing.
5. Run through mix back and forth with a knife to create a swirled pattern.
6. Bake as directed on package, until a knife comes out clean.

gf brownies closeHappy gluten free baking!

Back to the Snow

Leaving California is always hard, especially when I know there’s snow waiting for me back in Pittsburgh. Earlier this week the temperature got down to single digits in the daytime, and we’ve got huge icicles hanging right above our front door! It’s miserable.

strawberry sconeI had a class canceled the other morning, so I decided to make some breakfast for my roommates with some leftover fruit I had sitting in the fridge. These came out great! Perfect use of my extra hour.

Strawberry Scones
Makes 8 scones.

Ingredients
3 C flour
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
dash salt
1 stick butter, cold
1 egg
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 C milk
~3/4 C diced strawberries

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
3. Cut butter into flour mixture until completely combined. It should be crumbly.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and lemon.
5. Add milk mixture and strawberries to the dough, kneading until combined. Add flour as necessary.
6. Press dough to a disk about 1 inch thick. Slice into 8 wedges.
7. Bake 15-20 min. Serve warm with butter, honey, or applesauce.

scones

Doggy Mama

The past couple weeks have been crazy with my dance show, final exams and projects, and finally packing up and coming home for the break! I’ve been in sunny California for a few days now, never changing out of my pajamas. Perfect.

cookie-cutters

One of the things I miss most about home when I’m away, besides In N Out, is my dogs. Living in a house with no dogs feel so lonely! I made these the other day as an extra special treat for my puppies.

doggy-biscuits

Peanut Butter Banana Dog Biscuits
Makes about 3 dozen.

Ingredients
1 C peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 Tbsp dried parsley (for doggies with fresh breath!)
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 3/4 C flour

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, banana, egg, and milk.
3. Stir in parsley and baking powder. Gradually add flour, mixing until a thick dough forms.
4. Roll out dough to about 1/4″ thick. Cut as desired.
5. Bake for 20 min, flip over, then bake another 15 min.
6. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

munchkin

I think they were a hit!