Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

What is your favorite candy bar?




Mine? Well, it's definitely Twix.




Mmmm butter...I love butter. It's like buttah!




Anyway, back to what I was saying. Twix is sold here in the UK, but Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not.




Blasphemy, right?! We should start a campaign, Americans in the UK! We should have petitions to get Reese's sold here so we can indulge in that rich chocolate-peanut buttery goodness.




Or you can just make your own. Which is what I did because I'm tired of seeing Reese's all over your food blogs and not being able to put my hand through the computer A-Ha "Take On Me" style and grab it. Sigh.




Now that I know how to make them, I have a feeling I'll be gaining 30 lbs in the next month. Unless I give them to Mr. Sweets. Then he can be the one gaining and I'll be the one crying because I want a Peanut Butter Cup. 




Recipe adapted from here.

Makes 30
Ingredients:
  • 2.5 cups Milk Chocolate Chips or whatever chocolate you have in the house
  • 2.5 tablespoons Shortening
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Graham Cracker (4 Digestive Biscuits) crumbs

♥ Combine chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in increments of 30 seconds. It me 45 seconds to melt mine!

♥ Loosen the top paper cup of mini cupcake cases but keep it in the stack for easier handling

♥ Spoon about 1 teaspoon of chocolate into the paper cup and spread the chocolate around the sides, leaving a little space at the top. I used a pastry brush for this

♥  You can place the coated paper cups into a mini cupcake tin, which is what I did, or you can put them on a plate!

♥ Refrigerate them when you are done coating all of them

♥ In a saucepan, melt the peanut butter and butter. 

♥ Once melted, take off the heat and stir in the confectioners' (icing) sugar and graham crackers (digestive biscuits)   

♥ Press about 1/2 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture into the paper cups

♥ Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the melted chocolate over the tops of the paper cups and refrigerate for a few hours!  


And now you're in chocolate bliss! 


Smooches!! xoxo 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crazy Email

Hey everyone! Happy Day Before Friday! Woo!!

So, if you follow me on Twitter (@KissedBySweets), you'll see that I wrote a tweet about receiving a very odd email from a stranger. It took me by surprise, to be honest! Then I was a little angry about someone trying to push their beliefs onto me. I'm a 25 year old woman, I know who I am and what I like. You know?

Well, if you feel like reading, here you go! Let me know what you think!


"I was excited to see that you called your sweets vegetarian but why not have vegan sweets, then you can sell to everyone?
Why limit yourself?
 
Loads of people make stuff which has birds eggs in it
              (and of course for each bird hatched to spend a short and un-natural life
                       laying eggs, another is killed at only one day old as it is the wrong sex)
 
Loads of people still use the milk produced by cows for their babies, thinking it to be a natural and healthy food for humans. It is not!
 
Cow's milk is the cause of many human health conditions which we would rather not have:-
Breast and other hormonal cancers (as a result of the high Growth Factor Hormone (to help young calves grow into big cows as quickly as possible) which is very similar to HumanGFH and triggers the overgrowth of cells (cancer) in many
 
Arthritis caused by the heavy imbalance of calcium to magnesium (130 to 23 units) which is perfect for young cows but in humans we need a ratio of one to one to be able to absorb the calcium. The excess calcium in the human body cannot be excreted and far from keeping our bones strong, actually causes hard unhelpful deposits on the ends of bones and joints, called arthritis 
 
All animal produce uric acid. The human body can only excrete 9 units of uric acid per day. When we eat flesh we get more uric acid than we can excrete normally. The body has to find a way to neutralise the acid when it is in the gut so draws on 'softer' calcium from inside the bone as the nuetralising chemical. This weakens the bones over time to cause osteoporosis. As a vegetarian who consumes cows milk produce you would still be taking uric acid into the body and still reduce the density of your bones.
 
Dairy also causes asthma, exzema, irritable bowel syndrome (actually this is the body telling us that we are putting the wrong things into our bodies), over weight (it is designed to make baby calves grow into big cows quickly!) and with that diabetes and also triggering the diabetec gene in the following generation by altering the DNA before puberty
 
Those who consume dairy products also tend to age more quickly due to the stress on the human body of consuming this un-natural product and have pudgy skin!
 
It is not very good for cows either, they are made pregnant at a young age by artificial insemination, their babies are taken from them immediately after birth and the mother is left to cry and they do cry for their babies for days on end. A cow is a sentient being who cares about her offspring just as a human would. The calves likewise cry for their mothers, often they can hear eact other but not access each other, imaging the trauma.
 
The male cows are sometimes left to die, sometimes shot, sometimes put into veal crates so that they cannot move and get much blood into their legs to make muscle, keeping their flesh white for those who would kill these tiny young creatures and eat them. This is still done to these young animals born in the UK as thousands of them are sold off and transported in lorries, hundreds of miles across to France and the rest of Europe. All such live transport of animals must be banned, now.
 
And what are these surviving young calves fed on? Not their mother's milk. They get a mixture of products otherwise considered waste, frequently contminated always with antibiotics as standard throughout their short miserable lives.
 
There are many substitutes for animal products in preparing food for humans. And if there is no substitute them I would rather just go without
 
I do hope you will look into how you can continue your business in a way that is animal friendly and human healthy as soon as possible. There are many recipes online and when you get into using different products you will wonder hoe you could ever have done different. I know I did.
 
I was vege for almost 20 years before remembering that actually I wanted to save animals and became Vegan about 9 years ago. I would never go back. It has turned my health around, physically and spiritually. I feel more at one with nature and do not feel as though I am living a lie, pretending that dairy is kind to animals. As one poster says, if you are not vegan, then you are not vegetarian!
 
I look forward to trying your vegan sweets at Oxford FF. Good luck, Jane"



I would like to clarify that the reason I am vegetarian is because we ate meat at home every night and I got sick of it. Plus I was about 13 years old, so I was being a rebel! I absolutely *love* cheese and butter, so I will never give that up. And also? I'm not running a business...yet. This is just a blog!! And one last thing. I do not make vegetarian sweets. I make vegetarian treats-which are meals. My title line is "Sweets and Vegetarian Treats". So, bam!
Smooches! xoxo

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baked Eggplant Rolls

This recipe brings me back to the days when I first learned to cook. 




I used to make these Baked Eggplant Rolls, better known as Involtini di Melanzane, all the time, and everyone always raved about them!




I mean, who thinks of putting EGG into EGGplant? Not me!




But by gosh, it works. 




This dish is very simple to make, and it's actually fun rolling the egg into the eggplant! I'm weird, aren't I...




Perfecto!




Serves 6

Ingredients:
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 Eggplants (Aubergine)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce (I don't usually include this because I'm not a huge fan of tomato sauce!)

♥ Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C
 
♥ Slice the eggplant (aubergine) in 1/3 inch slices lengthwise

♥ Fry in a frying pan with olive oil until lightly browned on both sides

♥ Drain the eggplant (aubergine) on papertowels  

♥ Whisk the eggs with 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese

♥ Add the parsley, salt, and pepper

♥ Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and pour in the egg mixture

♥ Cook until both sides are lightly browned

Once the omelet is done, place it on a chopping board and cut into strips lengthwise, then slice across the middle of them

♥ Place an omelet strip in the center of an eggplant (aubergine) slice, and roll from one end to the other

♥ Place the rolls in a lightly greased baking dish, seam side down

♥ Spoon the tomato sauce over the eggplant (aubergine) rolls and drizzle lightly with olive oil

♥ Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

♥ Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!


Smooches! xoxo 

Monday, July 25, 2011

What do you think?

What do you think I should bake this week? I'm out of fresh ideas! Suggestions would be much appreciated!


Smooches! xoxo

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Raspberry Macaroons

I *love* macaroons! Macarons? Who knows. I like to say "oooo" so Macaroons it is! 

I first tried them at a train station when Mr. Sweets and I were on our way to Paris for Valentine's Weekend, and I was in love. 

Every time I see their prettiness, I long for one.

So. I baked them! And added raspberry flavoring!




I was quite nervous about making these. I kept reading how they didn't go right for some people. I even chatted to my Twitter friend, @BrisBakingBlog , to find out what went wrong with hers! 

I am so proud of myself because they turned out perfect! And super delicious too! 

How pretty are these?! 




Recipe from here!

Makes about 20 pretty macaroons

Macaroon Ingredients:
  • 175g Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar
  • 125g Ground Almonds
  • 3 Egg Whites...leave them overnight in a container with plastic wrap that touches the egg whites

Filling Ingredients:
  • 150g Butter, softened
  • 75g Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar 


♥ Preheat the oven to 160 C or 140 C for fan-assisted ovens

♥ Mix the confectioners' (icing) sugar and ground almonds in a bowl

♥ Sift the mixture into another bowl

♥ In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks

♥ Gradually whisk in the caster sugar until you have stiff peaks

♥ You can add flavoring and food coloring at this point. I put raspberry flavoring, which was okay but not great. I actually recommend not putting any flavoring at all! 

♥ Fold half of the almond-sugar mixture into the meringue with a spatula.

♥ Once it's mixed well, fold in the rest of the mixture. It will appear grainy.

♥ Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle. 

♥ Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper 

♥ Pipe small (but not too small like I did) rounds of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving a little bit of room to spread out 

♥ Give the baking sheet a hard tap against the counter to set the little rounds

♥ Let them rest for 15 minutes until you can lightly touch the rounds and nothing sticks to your fingers

♥ Bake for 15 minutes and then let cool completely

♥ Remove the rounds by pushing them off the parchment paper from the back. Don't try to lift them off

♥ Beat the butter until light and fluffy

♥ Add in the icing sugar, flavoring, and coloring and mix!

♥ Spoon the mixture onto the back side of a macaroon and sandwich with another macaroon!

♥ I refrigerated mine so they'd stiffen!


Try not to eat them all, okay? Because I might, and I'm on a diet. Eek!


Smooches! xoxo

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vanilla Chai Spice Cupcakes

Do you remember my Moroccan Chai Spice Cupcakes?

Well, I posted on Twitter that I had baked them, and @Drinkmechai tweeted back with an offer to send me some samples so that I could create another Chai Spice recipe with their product! How nice is that?!




So I baked regular vanilla cupcakes with a hint of the Vanilla Chai Spice Mix I was given.

Thank you, @Drinkmechai for sending me some samples so I can bake delicious cupcakes!

I think all of you should make these. I love my Chai Tea Latte's at Starbucks, and now I can enjoy a Chai cupcake along side of them!




Vanilla cupcake recipe from a book called Perfect Cupcakes

Makes 6!

Cupcake Ingredients: 
  • 3/4 cup (90g) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup (60g or 4 T) Butter
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup (85ml) Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Drink Me Chai Vanilla Chai Spice Mix

Frosting:
  • 2 cups Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 T) Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Almond Flavoring  

  Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C

♥ Prepare a 6 cup cupcake tin with liners or lightly grease it

♥ In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the vanilla chai spice mix

♥ In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar

♥ Beat in the egg and vanilla

♥ Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture

♥ Stir in milk and the rest of the flour

♥ Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes

♥ While the cupcakes are baking, beat the butter for the frosting until light and fluffy

♥ Add in the confectioners' (icing) sugar 

♥ Stir in the vanilla and almond flavorings 

♥ I refrigerated the frosting until the cupcakes were done and cooled down because my kitchen gets too hot and melts the frosting! So you can do it too if you want! :)


Smooches! xoxo

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    The Simpsons' Mini Donuts

    Yeah, Mr. Sweets says they look like the donuts that Homer Simpson eats.




    I haven't seen the show in ages, so when I googled it, I got excited that they indeed do look like those donuts!




     Except they aren't fried, they are baked. They don't add up to the deliciousness you get from Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but they are a healthy version, and taste more like little cakes.




    And who doesn't love cake, pink icing, and sprinkles? I do. It's my favorite Dunkin Donut, always. And now, so will you!




    Donut recipe from here.
    Icing recipe from here.

    Makes approx. 36 mini donuts

    Donut Ingredients:
    • 2 cups All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
    • 3/4 cup Sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg...I would actually omit this. I think it'd taste better without it
    • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon...I would omit this too.
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 3/4 cup Milk
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • 1 tablespoon Shortening


    Icing Ingredients: 
    • 1/8 cup Milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • 1 cup Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar


    ♥ Preheat oven to 325F/170C

    ♥ Lightly grease a mini doughnut (or is it donut?) pan...available from Amazon! 

    ♥ In a large bowl...or in an awesome food mixer like the one I just got, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. 

    ♥ Stir in milk, eggs, vanilla and shortening. Beat together until well blended.

    ♥ Fill each donut (I've decided I like it better this way) about 3/4ths full. It takes lots of patience! Use a teaspoon :)

    ♥ Bake 8-10 minutes and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then on a wire rack

    ♥ Once all of the donuts are cooled down, start on the glaze! 

    ♥ Combine the milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat on low until warm

    ♥ Sift confectioners' (icing) sugar into the milk mixture

    ♥ Whisk slowly until combined

    ♥ Remove the glaze from the heat and quickly dip the donuts into it

    ♥ Get a Mr. Sweets to put the sprinkles on as you dip the donuts in the glaze! Thanks, Mr. Sweets! 

    ♥ Put the donuts back on the wire rack to let it harden

    ♥ Enjoy!


    Smooches!! xoxo           
             

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Chocolate Whoopie Pies

    Normally I post every Monday, but I got food poisoning Sunday night from a pizza that I had ordered! It was absolutely terrible, so I was in bed all day yesterday trying to recover. I'm still not 100%, but I'm getting there!

    So, to make up for yesterday, here is a post today! Whoopie pies!

    First of all, do you like my new food mixer?



    I *love* it! Baking is so much easier now! It tends to get very hot in my small kitchen with the oven on, so this helps me cool down. 

    Now, onto the Whoopie Pies...




    Well, they were alright. I had never had one before until I made them, so I don't know what they are really supposed to taste like. But I will say, they tasted amazing the next day. Even Mr. Sweets enjoyed them!



    Unfortunately, they were a tad large. Oops. Is that unfortunate? Meh, probably not.

    I got the recipe from here! Next time, I'll try using marshmallows as the filling instead!

    Do you have any fun Whoopie Pie recipes? If so, please do share! I need all the help I can get! :)


    Smooches! xoxo

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Banana Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

    Do you remember my Banana Nutella Muffins? Well, I do. Because I *love* bananas and nutella together! 



    I also happen to love Cinnamon Rolls. It's been one of my favorite desserts since I was a child.




    There's just something about them. 

    The smell that comes from your oven while they are baking.

    The delicious flavorful first bite you take.

    And, my favorite part. The middle of the bun! Who else doesn't just love that middle part? It is the most moist and most flavorful! 






    Makes 14 

    Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients:
    • 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1/3 cup Sugar
    • 1/3 cup Butter
    • 1 cup Milk
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 1 packet of Active Dry Yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
    • 1/2 cup Nutella
    • 2 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
    • Cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons Butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

    Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:
    • 1 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons Milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla 

    ♥ Mix 2 1/4 cups of flour and yeast in a large bowl

    ♥ In a small saucepan, heat the milk, 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt until warm and the butter is melted. Stir constantly.

    ♥ Add to flour mixture

    ♥ Add the eggs and beat for 30 seconds on a low speed with an electric mixer

    ♥ Beat on high speed for 3 minutes

    ♥ Using a wooden spoon, mix in the remainder of the flour until you have a dough that is soft and not sticky

    ♥ Sprinkle flour on a surface and knead dough until it is smooth. You will need to add additional flour to get it this way

    ♥ Shape dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size in a warm place

    ♥ Preheat oven to 220C / 425F

    ♥ Place sliced banana pieces into a baking dish and add butter and brown sugar

    ♥ Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bananas are golden and bubbling. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then smash up with a fork

    ♥ Once dough has risen, punch down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes

    ♥ Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the nutella all over it. It might help to microwave it for a few seconds to make it easier to spread. 

    ♥ Spread the roasted banana mixture on the dough

    ♥ Sprinkle cinnamon all over

    ♥ Roll the dough and slice it into however many slices you want. The thicker, the better.

    ♥ Place dough slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cover loosely with cling film for 1 hour

    ♥ Bake in a 190C / 375 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until light brown 

    ♥ Mix the confectioners' (icing) sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and pour over the cinnamon rolls while still warm



    Smooches! xoxo

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Moroccan Chai Spice Cupcakes

    I wanted to try a new recipe, and I have a list of them that I want to experiment with!




    Well, I failed on the decoration part. I was aiming for Moroccan-themed cupcakes, but it just wasn't happening. Thanks to @MimosaBakery, I now know which gold paint to use! 




    Regardless of my Mr. Sweets-styled cupcakes, they tasted amazing! I mixed whipping cream with Chai Spice and poured it into the middle of the cupcakes. Deeelightful! 

    So here's some individual pictures of my Moroccan-themed Chai Spice Cupcakes! 




    "Morocco" in Arabic......betchya didn't know that I know Arabic!




    Paisley failure.




    Symmetry is not my thing. I blame it on Geometry, again. 


    Smooches! xoxo

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Happy Independence Day!

    Happy Independence Day, everyone! Today is a very special day, and I am totally in the wrong country right now. Haha!

    This day means a lot to me because it means Freedom. I served in the military for 7 years, so it holds a special place in my heart.

    Unlike my cupcakes. Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. It just wasn't happening. Lately, it's just not happening. 

    So, feel free to laugh at me while you take a look at the pictures! 



    Try to ignore those red specks everywhere and focus on the red, white, and blue! Impressive, right?!

    If you squint, maybe...



    Oh well, they taste really good. Like, seriously delicious. I used cream cheese icing that I made yesterday for my failed Brown Red Velvet Cake Pops!

    I hope you all are having a BBQ or something else exciting! 

    Enjoy some fireworks for me, please!

    Smooches! xoxo

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Mr. Sweets' Beans on Toast

    Today, I present to you...

    Mr. Sweets' Famous Beans on Toast!




    I always love when Mr. Sweets makes me breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 

    Even if it is an odd meal to us Americans.

    But I promise. It's pretty darn good!



    Serves 1 really hungry person, because I couldn't finish all of it! 

    Ingredients
    • 2 pieces of Toast...we like to use that really thick bread
    • 1 can of Beans
    • Grated Cheddar Cheese
    ~ Heat up those beans, put on top of the toast, and smother with cheddar cheese!

    Simples!!


    Smooches! xoxo