No Bake “Skinny” Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

Soooo, the skinny is in quotes there for a reason.

SURE, I could have used the “low fat” Oreos for the crust (do those even exist?) and SURE, I could have used Splenda instead of real sugar, but I didn’t ok? So I’m not really sure how skinny this pie worked out.

I wanted to make a no-bake dessert for a dinner party, because my oven had been on all day and the apartment was getting hot! I had pinned this one a while ago and thought it was the perfect occasion! My (slightly) modified recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which itself is modified from Skinny Taste .

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Pie Ingredients

Oreo Cookie Crust
  • 1 cup Oreo Cookie crumbs (note: probably should have used the 24 Oreos recommended, because you miss out on the icing goey-ness, but I had the cookie crumbs, and I’m cheap…)
  • 1/4 cup light butter, melted
Filling
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz fat-free thawed whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup (approximately, I just drizzled until it looked right!)
  • 1 cup crushed Reese’s Pieces, divided

Directions:

  • Using your hands, mix the Oreo crumbs and melted butter together. It may look like there is not enough butter, but it will come together. Place into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan, pressing the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides as much as it will fit. Try to make the crust 1/8 inch thick all around. It does not have to be perfect, though. Set in the freezer as you make the filling.
  • Prepare the pie filling in a large bowl by mixing the peanut butter, sugar, cream cheese, and milk. I used my KitchenAid Mixer. Mix until the mixture is completely smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping.
  • Remove pie crust from the freezer and layer 1/2 of the pie filling onto the crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the crushed Reese’s Pieces. Layer with the rest of the pie filling, swirling to make it completely smooth on top. Top with chocolate syrup and remaining Reese’s Pieces. I also topped with additional whipped topping because the pie didn’t look as full as I wanted it to. On top of the topping I put the syrup and Pieces.
  • Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. 20 minutes before serving, remove from the freezer and let sit out to gently thaw. This made the pie much easier to cut.

Tips:

  • Put the pieces and then the chocolate syrup for a cleaner look. I did it the opposite way around and instantly regretted it – my nice clean drizzle lines were covered by powdered chocolate!
  • If you have trouble crushing the Reese’s Pieces, put them in the freezer for about an hour first. Use a food processor, or wrap them in a thick towl and hit them with a mallet (or hammer, get creative!)
  • Next time I make this, I will definitely use full cookies for the crust!

Enjoy!

Slice o' Pie

Pink Champagne for a Champagne Birthday!

A close friend recently celebrated her champagne birthday (happy birthday Caitlin!) and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try these Easy Pink Champagne Cupcakes I stumbled on via Pinterest!

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With only a few ingredients, I knew they would be easy, but the question is… Would they actually be good! Thankfully, the answer is yes! I think everyone enjoyed them. The result is a fluffy, sweet, very girly cupcake!

ingredients:
- One box white cake mix
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3 egg whites
- Red food coloring (to desired colour)
- 1 and 1/4 cup pink champagne

directions:
- mix!
- pour!
- bake (according to the directions on the box)!

tips:
- maybe make these mid afternoon so you don’t feel as weird finishing off the bottle of bubbly!

It’s really as easy as that!

For the icing, I made my favorite buttercream recipe and piped it into roses with little silver balls for decorations. I think it added to the girliness (in a good way!)

Enjoy!

P.S. sorry for the low quality pics – my camera battery was not charged (so unprepared)

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No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes

Happy New Year!

After a long holiday season of baking, I decided it was time to try a no-bake dessert, even though I usually reserve them for the summer months. After searching on Pinterest, I found this recipe for Nutella Cheesecake which fit what I was looking for!

While this dessert is possibly not the healthiest I could have picked, what is dessert for if not for spoiling yourself.

Voila!

Voila!

Ingredients:

Crust:

Oreo Cookie crumbs – either from the box (about 1 cup) or from whole cookies (about 12 cookies)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

Garnish:

whipped topping & Oreo cookie crumbs

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, or in my case a Kitchenaid, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.

3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping and Oreo crumbs

Tips:

  • Why use real Nutella when the store brand is so much cheaper? For this recipe, no one will know the difference!
  • Don’t forget to put your Cool Whip in the fridge for a few hours before starting this recipe – if it’s cold, it will slow you down!
  • I’d love to try this recipe with more layers in a larger dish for a potluck – I think it could look really attractive!
  • Get creative with toppings! I for one would love to try this with fresh raspberries!

This recipe is so quick and easy, I’m looking forward to more no-bake desserts!

Enjoy!

Marble Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting!

Merry Christmas!

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Well, perhaps I’m a bit early. But my holiday baking started last week! It was two of my coworkers last day before the holidays, so I had to send them home with something sweet – so I decided on Marble Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting – and some with North Pole decor!

Both the cupcake recipe and the dark chocolate frosting recipe are Martha Stewart’s (probably time for me to get a new cookbook!) while the white is just your basic butter cream with the Wilton’s Icing Whitener added.

CUPCAKES:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 Cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.

3. To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

4. Fill prepared cups with alternating spponfulls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are golden and a cake tester (i.e. toothpick) inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight container.

5. when cooled, sprinkle cupcakes with powdered sugar or frosting.

Tips:

  • I skipped the icing sugar and decided to use icing – it’s just so pretty!
  • The swirling portion was easier if I held down the paper cup lightly using two fingers
  • Don’t be afraid to get in there and really swirl in those figure 8 motions – otherwise you just end up with layered cupcakes
  • This made 18 cupcakes for me! (16 was the estimated)

ICING:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

Tips:

  • Martha always recommends melting your chocolate over a pot of boiling water – me, I stick it in the microwave and stir it every 30 seconds…
  • It’s definitely a good idea to have more icing sugar on hand, while the first time around would have had a good consistency for a cake, I felt I needed my frosting to be a bit stiffer for piping

 

Something to note is that this is probably the best icing I’ve ever made. It was just SO chocolatey and good! Definitely a must for any chocolate lover in your life.

The North Pole signage was made by “gluing” a North Pole sign to the broken candy cane with icing – while the sign itself isn’t edible, it’s still a cute way to decorate! To package these, I used holiday themed cupcake boxes picked up at my local Homesense, and tied a ribbon with a name card around them.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Halloween! Cupcakes and MORE!

Halloween is my favorite time of year!

SINCE Halloween is awkwardly placed on a Wednesday this year, we celebrated with an afternoon party at work last Friday.

I of course made cupcakes!
This is another Martha Stewart gem, PUMPKIN CUPCAKES!


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Tips:

  • The cupcake stand is a Wilton one, which I got at Winners for only $7!
  • The pumpkin candy toppers are from Dollarama! (Woo, savings!)
  • I cheaped out and bought pre-made icing. It’s the last time I’ll make that mistake – it’s definitely worth the time to make your own!

Along with the cupcakes, we had many other SPOOKY TREATS including:

Nacho Dip Graveyard! Just cut tortillas into spooky shapes and bake them!

Newts Eyes! Deviled eggs with food colouring, olives and hot sauce!

Brain Fruit Platter! Peel and carve a watermelon!

Blood punch! Cranberry and soda with a frozen ice hand!

Lots of CANDY!

And of course, decor!

Since today is actually HALLOWEEN – we all dressed up!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Birthday Cupcakes – Yellow Buttermilk!

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!!

My birthday was at the end of September, and to celebrate, I borrowed (yet another) recipe from Martha Stewart – Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes! This one is reminiscent of childhood birthday cakes, and was just what I needed for officially hitting my mid 20s (WOO!)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

That’s a lot of eggs – AND a lot of buttermilk, AND two kinds of flour!

 

Some helpful tips…

I scooped up the cake flour at Bulk Barn – so I was able to get exactly what I needed!

I made my own buttermilk by combining milk and white vinegar – however I really wish I had just bought the carton…

This made more cupcakes I anticipated – about 24 large and 24 mini!

 

For icing, I stuck with my childhood theme (and my love of mint green icing, apparently) and made a classic combination of butter, icing sugar, and vanilla extract – easy peasy!

The result was a delicious short-bready tasting cupcake, with just the right amount of super sweet icing!