Happy St. Patty's DAY!
Here's a re-post for Rainbows, why does it have to be all about the green? Isn't life all about finding the gold at the end of the rainbow?

Somewhere over the RAINBOW

The Wizard of Oz is still one of my favorites but, as a kid it was like... THE FAVORITE!  When I would visit my older cousin and her husband in the summer, they would play dress up with me. I was Glenda *the good witch*, she was Dorothy, and her husband was Toto. Oh they loved me so much to put up with that kind of funny business.

Anyway, I was on a rainbow kick this week with rainbow heart cookies, and a rainbow swirl cake.
The first time I saw the cookies at Diamonds for Dessert, I knew I HAD to make them. They are just so cheery and delightful. I made some bigger ones where I sprinkled sugar on before baking too.

Heart Shortbread adapted from Diamonds for Dessert with a few different steps
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
food coloring

-Cream the butter and sugar then add in the egg.
-In a seperate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
-Add half your dry mixture to the butter mixture.
-Pour the milk and then add in the rest half of the dry mixture
-Divide the dough into five equal pieces. Take one piece of dough, add two to five drops of food coloring until you get your desired color. I used neon and regular food coloring.

-Knead the dye into the dough. Repeat with different food coloring. 
I used this handy tool to knead in the color.
-Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc, then chill them for 45 minutes. 

-Then between two pieces of plastic wrap roll them out to the desired width between the plastic wrap on a flat work surface *1/8 inch?*
-Preheat the oven to 325ºF
-Toss the discs in the freezer for 30 minutes or more.
-Then take out one flat disc at a time and cut the shapes as quickly as possible-place then on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Having the dough frozen was much easier to handle and they kept their cut shape better.
-Bake each color batch for about 10 15 minutes depending on the size. 
-If you want the cookies crunchy after cooled, place back in the oven covered by foil, and bake for 5-10 more minutes and then let cool again.

The rainbow cake is a little less involved at I saw a super inspirational version here at one of my favorite blogs Almost Bourdain. She made this cake with her little girl which I think is super adorable and such a smart and fun baking project to do with kids.
You make your favorite vanilla cake recipe or if you want to make it REALLY easy, pick up a box of white cake mix. Divide the cake batter evenly into separate bowls and add food coloring to tint as desired.
The pour each color into the cake pan(that has been buttered and floured) one at a time, tap the pan on the counter a couple times to spread after each color addition. And when adding the new color, pour directly into the center of the last color. I started with purple first and it's the outer later at the bottom of the cake.
I topped mine with a fluffy cloud of meringue frosting that I made HERE. I also thought it would be pretty to coat in white buttercream and cover in finely grated, dried, unsweetened coconut.

Stay Cute 


Salted Thai Iced Tea Oreo Ice Cream
Toasted coconut Cupcake
Cardamom Whipped Cream Frosting

This is my entry for the...

I haven't been able to do a fun project like this in a while, so when Stef at Cupcake Project posted for the 2015 Ice Cream Cupcake contest, something inside me just got all crazy and obsessed. I tried to ignore myself, but I started loosing sleep over it....and caved. 
Let's talk about Thai iced tea, isn't so delicious and addicting!!!! I know!!!
Get the leaves and you can make it for yourself ALL THE TIME! :)

So here's what I did...

2 sticks soft butter
5 egg whites
2 Tbs coconut extract
3 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut ground in food processor
1 cup milk

-Preheat to 350, and line pan with cupcake liners
-In Separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients except sugar
-Beat butter and sugar until fluffified
-Slowly add one egg white at a time
-Add coconut extract
-Add half your flour mixture
-Add half your milk
-Repeat with flour and milk
-Bake 20 minutes for regular size cupcakes

1 1/2 organic whipping cream
1/4 cup Thai iced tea leaves
1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes
1/2 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crushed mini Oreo cookies

-Chill mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer
-Heat cream while constantly mixing until hot, lets not burn the cream
-Take pot off heat and whisk in Thai tea, steep ONLY  5 minutes
-Strain twice
-Stir in 1 tsp sea salt flakes
-Chill in freezer for half hour
-Whip Thai cream mixture in electric mixer until soft peaks
-SLOWLY add condensed milk, and vanilla
-Whisk until firm peaks
-Pour into a semi-shallow baking pan
-Stir in crushed Oreos
-Cover surface with plastic wrap and freeze for 6-8 hours

1 cup organic whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbs Powder sugar
dash of Cardamom
cardamom to lightly sprinkle on top

-Chill mixing bowl, whisk, and cream
-Whip cream in electric mixer until soft peaks
-Add vanillas, sugar and cardamom
-Whip until stiff peaks



Heavenly Lemon Christmas Cut Outs

These are one of my all-time favorite cookies for Christmas! I have never posted them?! Oh My.
They have the perfect heavenly buttery crunch and hint of lemon. It must be the powdered sugar.
My Isaak had so much fun mixing, rolling, cutting, decorating, and EATING!!!

Lemon Cut-Out Recipe:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 egg yolk, room temp
1 Tbs. fine lemon zest
2 1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp. Maldon salt flakes, crushed

Frosty Lemon Glaze Recipe:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp water
-Whisk all ingredients, spread with offset frosting spatula.

-In a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, lemon zest, and egg yolk until fluffified.
-Add flour and quickly mix-don't over mix
-Gather in a ball and make two discs. Wrap in plastic and chill in fridge for 20 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 375
-Take each disc out and roll-flouring your surface well. Roll out to thickness of two pennies stacked.

-Place on Silpat or parchment paper.
-Bake 5-7 minutes, you don't want much browning on the bottom or tips
-Mix up your glaze
-Let cool on a baking rack, frost and decorate. I like using dark chocolate sprinkles from India Tree. The lemon and chocolate contrast is delish!


Pumpkin Spice Donuts 
with Salted Caramel Glaze:
A must-make for Autumn

So here's the deal, these are REALLY good-OKAY. If you're into the salty-sweet combo thing, you are going to be addicted to these little things. Just a little warning, I don't want you to go off the deep end before Halloween comes around next week. :)

Here's the check list to make it easy on yourself (I hate those marathon baking days-no fun). Planning your baking projects makes it less stressful for you and your outcome will be much more delish.

-Buy or borrow a mini doughnut pan if you don't have one, and a pancake batter squeeze bottle that has a wider nozle.
-Shop for ingredients you don't have.
-Make the caramel and store at room temp. ahead of time
-Make Caramel Frosting ahead of time
-Make Donuts
-Glaze and decorate donuts
-Eat and Share

The Caramel Recipe:

1 Cup natural cane sugar
1 Cup heavy cream, room temp
2 Tbs. salted butter, room temp
1 Tbs. quality vanilla

-Heat sugar in a heavy-duty pot on medium heat. Stir toward middle gently as the edges melt with a wooden spoon. It's okay if little rocks form, try to crush them with your spoon.

-Continue to stir until the sugar is smooth. The trick is to get the sugar as dark brown *like an old penny* as possible without burning it. Keep a close eye.

-When the sugar is completely dissolved and the color you want,
Add half the cream and stir fast with a whisk. It's going to bubble up so be prepared with an oven-mit over your hand. Your goal is not have the sugar glom up into a big chunk so work fast.
If it does "glom up". Just heat and stir until mostly dissolved with the rest of the cream.

-Then when all is smooth, add the rest of the cream and keep stirring on medium-low heat.
-Add Butter and Vanilla, Stir while heating and get as much sugar dissolved as possible.
-Strain the hot caramel through a strainer into a storage container.

The Salted Caramel Glaze Recipe:
1 Cup caramel
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
4 Tbs milk
2 tsp Maldon salt flakes-crushed

-Whip all ingredients until light in color and creamy
-Taste IT, you will be AMAZED!

Mini Pumpkin Spiced Donuts:
-Preheat oven to 350 and spray donut pan with natural baking spray or a coconut oil.

2 Cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs Pumpkin Spice
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 Tbs ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cardamom
pinch of cayenne

-Whisk all the dry ingredients together, set aside

1 Cup cane sugar
1 can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil

-In a stand mixer, mix wet ingredients
-Add in the flour mixture
-Taste to see if you need to add more spice, add more spice.
-Pipe batter into the pan and bake 10 minutes.
-Let cool, then glaze them, then decorate,
I decorated with sprinkled Maldon salt flakes, India Tree orange sugar, white ball sprinkles, and chocolate vermicilli.

Enjoy and keep it spicy until next time!


Heart-Healthy HotCakes
Lemon and Olive Oil Pancakes

Isaak, my almost-three-year-old, loves making pancakes. We whip up a batch together several times a week, so they need to be healthy.

I thought I would share some things I do to make pancakes healthier without making them too heavy and boring.

-Mixing flours:Using half whole wheat flour and half buckwheat flour, for example.

-Organic Arrowhead Mills pancake mixes- Oatbran, Buckwheat, Buttermilk, Wholewheat. I go for these when I want quick pancakes. I also mix them up and do half and half.

-Using olive oil in the batter-which also gives them a lovely glowing golden brown color.
I just found out that coconut oil, while being healthy, is not on the Heart-Healthy list. They actually say to stay away from it if you have heart problems.

-Quality vanilla for flavor.
-Lemon juice for flavor.
-Almond milk in the batter, or 2% milk.
-Sprinkling some raw oatmeal to the batter.
-Using all organic products: flours, eggs, milk, real maple syrup.
-Using a low fat yogurt and fruit as toppers. We like apricot, vanilla, or lemon yogurt
-Sprinkling lemon juice on pancakes, gives them a punch.
-Plum Oragnics or a low-sugar fruit puree instead of syrup.
-When Isaak was younger, I would put just a couple tablespoons of honey in the batter and then just give him the plain pancake for a snack.
- And lastly, using very little butter and syrup.

Share your flapjack tips as a comment or on my Facebook page. I would love to see what you do.

Just for fun... read, Hey, Pancakes! Isaak and I love this book, it's super cute.

Enjoy your pancakes in Life!