Malasadas

My grandfather is Portuguese, from the beautiful island of Madeira, also known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. He has been such an inspiration to me throughout my entire life. Even though we live far away, all the chances I have had the privilege of sharing with him have been filled with great wisdom and life-long lessons. I have been lucky enough to visit his home town Monte and even enjoyed some of their annual festivals. In light of Carnaval, my mom and I decided to make a recipe that my grandpa would make for us when we visited and are so delicious and are actually common during this time of year as well. The online recipe we found was pretty close to my grandfather’s! Happy Carnaval and please enjoy these pictures from the !

IMG_1030 IMG_1149 IMG_1157 IMG_1172 IMG_1200 IMG_1334 IMG_1383 IMG_1488 IMG_1500 IMG_1696 IMG_1747 IMG_1830 IMG_2188

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Molasses syrup for topping

Directions:

Mix the warm milk with the yeast and sugar and let rest for half an hour. Once it has started to bubble, pour into flour and salt mixture.

IMG_7951

Add eggs one at a time.

IMG_7952IMG_7962IMG_7953

Fry them in hot oil until they are golden brown all around.

IMG_7971IMG_7970

Serve with molasses syrup and enjoy!

IMG_7968

Strawberry Heart Pocket Cookies

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, my sister and I got together to bake these yummy, adorable, easy cookies! My sister took some amazing pictures that you will see throughout this post. Enjoy the post, enjoy the cookies, and enjoy Valentine’s Day with all our loved ones!

Ingredients

  • 1 package pie crust
  • strawberry jam
  • sugar for garnish
  • milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 370 F. Cut heart shapes from pie crust.

LQP-9667

Put a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the middle of the heart.

LQP-9676LQP-9678

Top with another heart slice. Press the sides with a fork.

LQP-9688LQP-9703

Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

LQP-9714LQP-9719

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

LQP-9779LQP-9783

Happy Valentine’s Day!

LQP-9806

LQP-9811

LQP-9835

LQP-9839

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Also, in light of Valentine’s Day, we made these pink chocolate chip cookies. They were quite easy to make but I think I made them a little bit too big. Oh well, more cookie in every bite! Props again to Laura Quintero Photography!

Ingredients

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) strawberry cake mix, like Duncan Hines
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder.

LQP-9740

Set aside. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla by hand.

LQP-9744LQP-9753

Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to form a dough- stir vigorously until all of the pockets of dry cake mix are gone.

LQP-9755

Gently mix in the chocolate chips.

LQP-9763

Drop rounded balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet. Make sure the balls of dough are taller than they are wide. Bake for 10 minutes – do not let the cookies get brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes; they will be very soft at first. As they cool, the tops may settle down; press them down gently with your fingers if they are not sinking much. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

LQP-9848 LQP-9865

Blueberry Shortbread Bars

Have some blueberries in the fridge? Or any berries for that matter?  Mix up this incredibly quick and easy 4-ingredient recipe and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar plus an extra 2tbsp
  • 100g cold butter, cut into several chunks
  • 150g fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F). Combine the plain flour and caster sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Press about two-thirds of the shortbread mixture onto a lined baking tray or loaf pan. Be sure to press it in firmly to help it hold together. Scatter the blueberries across the shortbread, and sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumb-like shortbread mixture.

IMG_7819

Top with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and bake for around 30 minutes, until the shortbread is light golden brown and some of the berries have released their juices. Allow to cool completely, and then cut into squares with a pizza cutter.

IMG_7820

Berry Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Making this cake was quite nice but the lemon glaze didn’t quite end up looking like the original picture but it was still delicious and the combination between the lemon and the berries was awesome! Also, the flour over frozen berries was a total life hack! Enjoy!!

Ingredients

Cake
    • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
    • 3 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup raspberry, 1 cup blackberry, 1 cup blueberry)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Glaze
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (not melted! the butter should still be able to retain its shape!)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt and combine thoroughly.

IMG_7686

In a separate large bowl, add together the softened butter, sugar and lemon zest and mix, using mixer, on high setting for about 5 minutes until even consistency is reached and the mixture reaches lighter color. Add eggs, vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and continue beating until well-incorporated.

IMG_7687

Now we’ll be adding flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in 3 gradual steps, instead of dumping all of flour at one time. If you dump all of flour mixture into your butter mixture at one time, it will be more difficult to stir and you won’t get a smooth texture. So, we’ll be adding flour and kefir (or buttermilk) in 3 additions: With your mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture, beating just a little until all is well combined. Then follow by 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk). Add second 1/3 cup of flour mixture, beating with mixer just to combine. Follow by 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk), beating just to combine. Finally, add third 1/3 cup of flour mixture, followed by final 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk). Again, beat just enough to combine. Make sure to have your mixer on low speed while adding flour, otherwise flour might fly around your kitchen. Make sure to not overmix or overbeat, use mixer just to combine the ingredients.

IMG_7691

In a separate bowl, combine berries with 2 tbsp of flour. This is supposed to prevent berries from clumping together and sinking. Note about using frozen berries: I did make this cake with frozen berries without defrosting them. It’s important that, if using frozen berries, they should not be clumped together, each berry should be separate (I freeze fresh berries by lining them on a cookie sheet). So you can use both fresh and frozen berries, and in either case you toss them with flour before adding to the batter.

IMG_7688IMG_7692

Using spatula, fold berries into the cake batter, trying not to squish the berries.

IMG_7693IMG_7694IMG_7695

Spray your cake pan with a Baking Spray with Flour (which works great for bundt pans). Pour batter gently into prepared pan.

IMG_7697

Bake for at least 60 minutes (depending on the oven, it could be as long as 1 hour 15 minutes), until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Mid-time through the baking, turn the pan around in the oven for even baking.

IMG_7700

Remove the pan from oven, let it cool for 40 minutes on wire rack. And here is my way of releasing the cake from the bundt pan, which proves successful each time I use it: After your bundt pan cooled off for 40 minutes, place the bundt pan in the freezer for 30 minutes – it will still be quite hot to the touch (even after 40 minutes of cooling), so use kitchen gloves to handle the pan. Remove the pan from the freezer after 30 minutes, invert the bundt pan and let it sit inverted for a bit to let the gravity do the work (it could take as little as half a minute or as long as 20 minutes, depending on your bundt pan). Then, gently lift bundt pan and your cake should be released

Whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and butter until very thick and very white. Spread this lemon juice frosting over the top of the cooled cake like shown on the photos.

IMG_7714      IMG_7720

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

Super Bowl Sunday! In preparation for the game, we had a huge menu for appetizers and snacks for the game but we couldn’t forget about the dessert! This cake was so delicious and the combination of the strawberries and chocolate chips were wonderful and the cake itself was very soft and fluffy. Enjoy (and what a game!!)

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling the top of cake
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9×3-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the side of the springform pan or square pan with butter or cooking spray.

IMG_7593

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

IMG_7596

In a separate large bowl, combine butter, Greek yogurt, and 1 cup sugar and, using electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – no more than 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, mix in the egg, beat until light and fluffy. Then mix in milk, vanilla. Keeping the mixer speed low, mix in the flour mixture, gradually, just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips into the batter.

IMG_7597IMG_7598

Transfer batter to springform pan.

IMG_7599

Arrange strawberries on top of the cake, cut sides down and close together.

IMG_7600

Place chocolate chips in spaces in between.

IMG_7602

Bake cake for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and the tester comes out clean. In the last 5-10 minutes of baking, you can take the cake out of the oven and sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top, pressing them lightly into the top of the cake (the top of the cake will already be baked and a bit crusty) – it will make for a nice presentation. Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, to allow chocolate to melt a bit and look even nicer!

When the cake is done baking, let it cool (still in the baking pan) on a wire rack. After cake has cooled for about 40 minutes, release the cake from the springform pan. At this point, if the cake is cool enough, you can slide your hand under the cake, between the parchment paper and the bottom portion of the springform pan and move the cake with the parchment paper attached to its bottom onto a cake plate easily.

IMG_7607

IMG_7620IMG_7625

Notes

Storage tips: Because strawberries tend to make any desserts overly moist, this cake is best kept refrigerated. When refrigerated, it keeps very well for at least 1 week, and tastes just as fresh! It tastes pretty good cold, and you can also microwave it for 10 or so seconds to melt the chocolate chips.

Freezing tips: This cake freezes very well. Cool the cake completely. Tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap, make sure it’s airtight. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are surprisingly soft and quite healthy! These are great to have for when you have cravings and are trying to watch your weight.

Ingredients

  • 1 c instant (quick-cook) oats (measured correctly)
  • ¾ c whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c honey
  • 6 tbsp fresh raspberries, diced
IMG_7418
Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla.
IMG_7421
Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
IMG_7424IMG_7428
Fold in the raspberries.
IMG_7431
Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.) Bake at 325°F for 13-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

IMG_7434 IMG_7437  IMG_7439

Notes

It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and whole wheat flour correctly, using the spoon-and-level method described in the links above. If scooped from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.

To make your own instant oats, pulse 1 cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor 5-8 times.

Melted unsalted butter or melted margarine may be substituted for the coconut oil. Regardless of which is used, be sure that the egg is at room temperature before whisking it in. A cold egg added straight from the fridge would rapidly cool the fat source, resulting in small blobs of semi-solid coconut oil or butter.

If the cookies are still really flimsy after cooling on the baking sheet for 15 minutes and threaten to break apart, let them cool completely on the baking sheet. That won’t let them crisp up too much, and they’ll still stay soft for an entire week!

Chocolate Caramel Oat Bars

This recipe is for caramel lovers only! A whole bag of caramel goes into these bars and that’s what makes them so amazing! The chocolate and oat crunch just add to the caramel goodness so grab some friends and enjoy making and eating these together!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 stick; I use salted butter but unsalted may be used)
  • 3/ 4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 35 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used Kraft Caramel Bits which are wrap-free (!) and you can use the entire bag)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt, optional and to taste, if you prefer salted caramel sauce
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Lining your pan is highly recommended for ease of cleanup due to the stickiness of the caramel; set pan aside. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 90 seconds. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, optional pinch salt, and stir until combined. Mixture will be quite thick. Add half of the mixture to the prepared pan (just eyeball it), and smooth it with spatula or the back of a spoon, to create an even, smooth, flat layer; set remainder aside.

IMG_7331

Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes, make the caramel sauce.

IMG_7332

In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the caramels, cream, and heat on high power in 60-second bursts to melt caramels, stirring after each burst. It will likely take about 4 to 5 minutes total to melt; heat until mixture can be stirred smooth. Alternatively, combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously, until mixture can be stirred smooth. Optionally stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste, for salted caramel sauce; set sauce aside.

IMG_7334

After 10 minutes, remove pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle with the chocolate.

IMG_7333

Slowly and evenly pour caramel sauce over the chocolate.

IMG_7337IMG_7338

Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-brown sugar mixture over the top.

IMG_7339

Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes (I baked 16 1/2), or until edges are lightly browned and center is bubbling slightly.

IMG_7340

Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving, giving the molten caramel time to firm up. This can take up to 4 hours, or overnight, at room temperature. You can speed it up by placing pan in fridge with a sheet of foil over the top to prevent fridge smells. If you don’t wait for bars to cool completely, they’ll be a literal hot mess. They’ll taste fine (don’t burn yourself), but they won’t slice neatly with clean cuts. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

IMG_7397  IMG_7399    IMG_7403

Blueberry Muffin Cake

This cake really does taste like muffin, no joke! I was having a rough day and I really just wanted to make a cake. My sister helped me out and we worked on this cake for quite some time while watching the CFB Championship game. It was a lot of fun but the cake didn’t look quite as nice as the original recipe did. But that just drives home the purpose of Baking with Friends: that the process itself is what is so enjoyable about baking, the cake may come out pretty or ugly, tasty or nasty, but either way, the important part you will remember later on was how much fun you had in the process. So grab some friends, make this cake and let me know if yours didn’t fall apart in the end! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries (I didn’t have enough blueberries so I mixed in some raspberries as well)

Buttermilk Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Oat Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (I didn’t use these but you can!)

Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with flour to fully cover the pan.

IMG_7262

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour and buttermilk, alternating each, until all incorporated.

IMG_7258

Finally beat in the lemon zest before turning the mixer off.

IMG_7261

Use a spoon the stir in half the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top.

IMG_7263IMG_7266

Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.

IMG_7279

DO NOT try flipping the cake any earlier than 20 minutes, or the cake will stick. Promise! Waiting 30+ minutes is safer.

IMG_7286IMG_7287

Once the cake is cooling on the rack, mix the oat crumble. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and pinch with your fingers to blend the ingredients and break into small pieces. Sprinkle the mixture over a baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 5-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet before proceeding.

IMG_7277

For the glaze, whisk the buttermilk and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle the oat crumble over the top of the cake before the glaze dries.

IMG_7283IMG_7288IMG_7289

Not too shabby and absolutely delicious!

IMG_7290  IMG_7292

Blueberry Oat Greek Yogurt Pancakes

This year I’ve started to include pancakes on my blog because I absolutely love breakfast so I wanted to start sharing some of my favorite recipes in that category. The second breakfast recipe this year are these delicious pancakes that I made for Saturday brunch.  They were really delicious and I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and a nonstick griddle to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, butter and eggs.

IMG_7185

Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.

IMG_7186

Add blueberries and gently toss to combine.

IMG_7187IMG_7188

Lightly coat a griddle or nonstick skillet with nonstick spray. Scoop 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles appear on top and underside is nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook pancakes on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer; keep warm in oven.

IMG_7190

Serve immediately with maple syrup.

IMG_7192

%d bloggers like this: