Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Chocolate Coconut Snowman Cupcakes

As you know, I love to bake and can never resist a new baking project.  I received a box full of wonderful baking supplies from ShopRite for use in some holiday baking, as my December installment of goodies for the ShopRite Potluck blog panel. Yay for sugar, flour, coconut, vanilla, nuts, and oodles of chocolate! For the first project using the new box of baking supplies, I made some chocolate coconut cupcakes, because the coconut from ShopRite seemed a perfect surrogate for snow, which is always in my thought this time of year.  Last year, at this time, of course, New York was paralyzed by the big blizzard!  At any rate, I created some lovely chocolate coconut cupcakes that were deliccious, using a vanilla buttercream under the top layer of coconut.  And for a seasonal twist, I added fondant snowmen to some of the cupcakes for decoration. What coudl be cute?  Happy Holidays!

Sasha's Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups ShopRite's all purpose flour
1/2 cup ShopRite's unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup ShopRite's granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp ShopRite's vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter
3 cups ShopRite's confectioner's sugar
1 tsp ShopRite's vanilla extract
2 T heavy cream
Dip in ShopRite's sweetened shredded coconut
Fondant snowman, created using fondant and gel food colors to dye the fondant.

Combine the dry ingredients for the cupcakes in a bowl.  Beat the egg and oilve oil with the sugar and vanilla.  Altnerate adding the dry ingredients and the milk until combined.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full in a silicon cupcake tray and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beat the butter until smooth for three minutes in a stand mixer.  Beat in the vanilla and confectioenr's sugar until it forms a smooth frosting and slowly add in the heavy cream.  Frost the cupcake with a spatula and dip in shredded coconut.  Top with a fondant created snowman and serve.  Happy holidays and here's for some pretty white snow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Ricotta, Pomegranate & Honey Dessert Eggrolls

I made these delicious dessert eggrolls after making a similar recipe in my recent Chinese dumpling class.  They are really good as long as you learn how to roll the eggroll wrappers, which os actually quite easy.  The only problem is that the recipe makes a whole batch of them so they're really better for a dinner party when you have  large group to serve so the extras don't go to waste, since they don't hold up.  This is a fun take on a chinese eggroll and you can vary up the chocolate and fruit in the filling to make your own creation.

Sasha's Dessert Eggrolls
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
eggroll wrappers
1/2 cup fo confectioner's sugar

Mix the ingredients for the filling (the ricotta, pomegranate, chocolate chips and honey).  Place a large dollop in the center of an eggroll wrapper.  With the corner facing you, roll on a diagonal, folding in the sides to make an eggroll.  At the end of the rolling process, seal the tip with a couple drops of water. Then pan fry the eggrolls until brown in canola oil.  Using a strainer, dust with the confectioner's sugar before serving warm.
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