whole wheat pupcakes with peanut butter frosting

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pua’s birthday is actually in october, but i am clearly behind on posting so it’s only going up now.  whoops!  but i am glad i was able to post it before her next birthday though. gotta celebrate the small successes. haha.

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for pua’s first birthday, i also make her pupcakes – they were apple and cheddar flavored. she definitely loved those, but i wanted to try a new recipe for her second birthday.

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i combined two recipes and came up with these whole wheat pupcakes with peanut butter frosting. i knew pua would love the peanut butter flavor of these pupcakes, because peanut butter is one of her absolute favorite treats. sure enough, after we sang happy birthday to her, she was ready to dig in.

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she even licked her plate, making sure to get every last bit of the pupcake and frosting.

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cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes

cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes 12one of my coworkers is super talented and makes all kind of fun cupcakes.  she made these and posted a picture on instagram and i was immediately intrigued.  i knew i had to give them a try as soon as possible.

cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes 10so for birthday treats a few months back, i made these cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes.  i love how they incorporate and highlight one of my favorite childhood cereals.  plus cinnamon and sugar is such a classic combination – how could you go wrong.

cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes 13this is a cinnamon sugar swirl cupcake, topped with cinnamon toast crunch cream cheese frosting.  i mean, common!  for the cinnamon sugar swirl cupcake, i used the same cupcake base as my snickerdoodle cupcake.

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no-bake mini cheesecakes

remember a couple days ago how i talked about our summer of wellness.  well i had dinner with those same friends and we were planning on doing a potluck.  so i tried to think of a relatively healthy dessert i could bring.  well i ended up not finding anything that i loved that was particularly healthy, but i did come across a recipe for no-bake cheesecake that wasn’t particularly unhealthy.  that’s a step right?

i found the recipe on one of my favorite blogs, skinnytaste.  gina made a cheesecake/pie but i wanted to make mine into mini cheesecakes.  as you can tell from my love of cupcakes, i love little, individual servings of dessert.  i used my go to graham cracker crust and scaled it down a little.  i could have just halved the recipe but the graham crust is my favorite part of cheesecake so i wanted a thicker crust.  the crust is topped with a reduced fat cream cheese and cool whip free mixture and garnished with a few slices of fresh strawberry…

and there you have it, no-bake mini cheesecakes!  of course they don’t taste exactly like regular, baked cheesecake and but they are a great, low fat cheesecake option for days when you don’t want to turn on the stove and/or you want to be just a little bit more health conscious.  it allows you to have your cake and eat it too!  perfect!


red velvet whoopie pies 2.0

i know this is a little belated, but unfortunately due to our snow days last week we had to push our office’s valentine’s day celebrations back a week.  so yesterday the spirit committee brought in a variety of valentine’s day themed treats to celebrate valentine’s day and february birthdays.

i actually made these same heart shaped red velvet whoopie pies a few years ago.  but i wanted to do a new post because i think these look quite a bit better than my first go at it.  i think the big difference was the size of the tip i used.  the first time, the tip was just a medium round tip.  with this batch, i used a large round tip which made it much easier to pipe the batter out and allowed the cookies of the whoopie pie to be fluffier and smoother.

although i love the bright red color of these whoopie pies, i know that the red dye is not good for you.  so i was thinking of trying these out a third time to see if there is a way to decrease or even eliminate the use of artificial food coloring.  i’ll be sure to update the blog if with a new recipe as soon as i figure one out.  until then, pin this recipe for next year’s valentine’s day celebrations. ❤

another reason i wanted to do a new post of these red velvet whoopie pies is because this time i took step by step pictures.  i really think they are helpful – i love looking at them on other blogs so i figured i should include them here.

the first step is to trace hearts onto parchment paper.  this will give you a guideline to follow as you pipe out the batter.  here is a pdf of the Hearts i used.  just space 12 evenly on a piece of parchment paper that fits nicely in your baking sheet.  the flip the parchment paper over so that the side that you wrote on is on the bottom.

on to the batter.  mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.


parmesan basil crackers

last week we had a couple snow days.  snow days are the best.  i mean what can be wrong with free days off.  awesome!  having some extra time, i decided to do some baking.  it was nice to have the time to try out some new recipes for no particular reason.  i usually bake specifically for birthday treats or for gifts and cook so that chris and i have food to eat throughout the week.  but this time, i just baked for baking sake.  sooo nice!

i had been wanting to try out this recipe for parmesan basil crackers for a while now and i finally had my chance.  there is nothing like homemade crackers.  they are so much better than store bought – you just can’t beat the freshness and flavor.  i made a few other cracker recipes before, homemade wheat thins and homemade cheez-its.

i will say the texture of these crackers aren’t as crispy as what you typically think of for crackers.  they are a little bit crumbly – maybe like a savory shortbread cookie.  i think i was supposed to bake them a little bit longer and they would have been more crispy.  still they are absolutely delicious.  the parmesan and basil flavors shined!

p.s. how cute is this bag above.  it is actually a reusable snack bag.  a while ago, i got a bit annoyed using so many ziplock bags to pack our lunches.  so i did a search online for reusable sandwich bag options. there are a lot of different reusable sandwich and snack bags on etsy but these are the best.  they are made by snackaby.  unlike other ones that are made from cotton fabric and nylon lining, these are made of proprietary material and laminated cotton that makes them dishwasher safe and super easy to clean.