Things I Made a Year Ago

Things I Made January 2015

Hey guys, ‘suuup? Let’s catch up. As trusty readers know, in January 2015 I started doing these monthly posts in which I review all the yummy things I made in the same month the year before. Because I’ve really enjoyed making these posts so far as they remind me of delicious recipes I may have forgotten about (oh right, I made that too! Let’s make it again tomorrow…) I’ve decided to keep doing it in 2016.

So, let’s see what I made exactly a year ago, shall we? January 2015.

(Btw… OMG IT’S 2016! I have 26-year-old memories! When did that happen?)

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Anyway, January 2015. Just four recipes. Well three, as the post about the beaten butter method is really more of a how-to post. I also wrote a little post about keeping healthy – which I haven’t included in this overview – but which may be worth a read if you’re interested in how I can maintain a baking and desserts blog without having to buy larger jeans all the time, or if you’d like to know more about my overall treat-and-dessert philosophy.

Oh, and if you’re interested, you should know that I have eaten a lot (lot, lot, lot) of store bought chocolate chip cookies lately. Baking is not really a thing when caring for a little peanut who happens to be the least fussy baby in the world but who does need to be put down for naps about every hour 😉

(although I did make a cute little blood orange cake with blood orange glaze the other day, following this recipe by Annie from Annie’s Eats. Yay!)

But moving on…

1. Emergency Dessert: 3-Ingredient, 5-Minute Fruit Mousse

The first thing I made in January 2015 was this delicious and easy fruit mousse. I have actually put this in my emergency-dessert recipe file, because it’s so fast and you don’t need weird ingredients to make it. Just frozen fruit (which I always have on hand because I use it in my oatmeal), sugar, and an egg white. You take the fruit (I used frozen raspberries), throw it in a food processor, add the egg white and sugar, and blitz into a light, fluffy mousse. So easy! And it just takes 5 minutes!

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

The Tough Cookie | Caramel Apple Cupcakes | thetoughcookie.com Yes, cupcakes! Caramel apple cupcakes: fluffy cupcakes flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, filled with homemade caramel apple sauce, and topped with a generous swirl of caramel buttercream, to be exact. And baking is about being exact, right?

I made these delicious cupcakes almost four months (!) ago. When Baby Boy was due in six weeks, fall was in full swing, and I had just made a batch of German caramel buttercream for my Battle of the Buttercreams 2.0 series. Which reminds me, I still haven’t posted about Swiss buttercream yet… Soon guys, soon! Taking care of my beautiful, precious, perfect little boy has proven to be a lot more time-consuming than I had originally ‘planned’. Yeah… I guess was a bit naive…

I read this funny blog post about parenting the other day for which parents were asked to describe parenthood in six words. The answer that really made me laugh?

“I am NOT in charge here”. Haha 😉

Anyway, you’re probably not here to talk about parenting, so let’s talk cupcakes. This is really a fall inspired recipe, but really when have you ever not been able to buy apples at the supermarket? Apples are a year-round fruit, right? So I guess caramel apple cupcakes are a year-round cupcake. Go make these now! 

The Tough Cookie | Caramel Apple Cupcakes | thetoughcookie.com Start by making the caramel apple sauce. It’s really easy and really yummy. It’s like apple sauce, but with a lot (LOT) of caramel. Basically, you cook up a quick caramel, add some delicious homemade apple sauce (unsweetened) and blitz in a blender until it’s smooth and perfect.

Caramel + apple sauce = caramel apple sauce.

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Awesome Whole Wheat Pancakes with Oats and Cinnamon

The Tough Cookie | Whole Wheat Pancakes with Oats and Cinnamon | thetoughcookie.com Argh, it’s one of those days! Those days when I don’t know what to write in a post besides “this is delicious” and “I wish I had a plate of these pancakes in front of me right now”. While both of these statements are very true, they hardly make a post. I guess I have food blogger’s writer’s block? Is that even a thing? I’m sure it is, because I’m suffering from it right now. That, and pancake cravings!

But you know what, I’m going to give it a go anyway. If I can write a thesis, I guess I should be able to write a blog post, right?

So um, let’s see. I first made these whole wheat pancakes for the Rocking Rebel, when he was really hungry after working out and, naturally, wanted pancakes. Who doesn’t, after working out, right? Anyway, as the two of us were kind of fantasizing about a perfect world while we were rummaging in the kitchen, we decided to try and make healthy pancakes, using whole wheat flour and oat flour. Because perfect world = pancakes you can eat all day long without ever feeling guilty.

So yeah, this is kind of a healthy recipe. And don’t worry, I haven’t gone over to the dark health-freak side, I’ll be back with a recipe for buttercream soon 😉

Besides, the resulting healthier pancakes were delicious! And yes, I wish I had a plate of these in front of me right now! And while they are not Gwyneth Paltrow kind of healthy, they’re healthy enough for the Rocking Rebel and me: no added sugar (unless you’re like me and top the pancakes with powdered sugar), no white flour, good buttery fats (because butter ain’t all bad!) and less gluten because of the oats.

So, what do you need to make them?

The Tough Cookie | Whole Wheat Pancakes with Oats and Cinnamon | thetoughcookie.com For starters, you’re going to need some familiar pancake making ingredients, like milk and eggs. And a bowl and a whisk. No mixer involved. You don’t need to rest the batter. You just throw stuff together in a bowl, whisk, whisk, whisk, and bake.

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Glaze

The Tough Cookie | Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Glaze | thetoughcookie.com Okay, enough with the chocolate already! I just realized that I’ve posted three chocolate recipes in a row. And while there’s nothing wrong with chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, variation is the spice of life, right?

So I give you: pumpkin muffins with maple glaze! I made these back in October, when pumpkins were everywhere. But you can still make these now, I guess. I mean, I for one wouldn’t say no to a pumpkin muffin or two right now. Or in high summer, for that matter… And there’s always canned pumpkin, right?

Right!

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch of Yum. I’ve told you guys about Pinch of Yum before. They mostly post savory, healthy recipes. And while those are very yummy too, I’m always magically drawn to the baking recipes. Especially when there’s pumpkin involved. And maple glaze. And an ice cream scoop.

The Tough Cookie | Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Glaze | thetoughcookie.com This recipe is easy, guys. It’s the best. You just throw stuff together in a bowl, whisk, and divide the resulting orange batter over a muffin tin with an ice cream scoop. I love the ice cream scoop trick! It makes everything so delightfully easy. And not messy at all! Also, using the ice cream scoop to plop the batter into the muffin cups ensures that the resulting muffins have a gorgeously rounded top. And we all love round when it comes to muffin tops, right?

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

The Tough Cookie | Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread | thetoughcookie.com Hey guys, I seriously considered posting a healthy recipe today. After all, it’s January and everyone always seems to want to work out and lose a few pounds this time of year. However, in my humble opinion, January is usually the most depressing month of the year, which actually makes it the worst time of year to start a new work out program and the best time of year to snuggle up under a blanket with a book or a new Netflix series (hellooo Luther!) and a whole lot of chocolate.

Are you with me on this? Good. Because this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread deserves your full attention. It has an intense chocolate flavor and is loaded with dark chocolate chunks and chips. And there’s zucchini in there, too. So it’s kind of healthy…?

Anyway, how did I come up with this recipe? Well, I didn’t. I found it in its original form at  Sally’s Baking Addiction. It has actually been on my to-bake list for quite a while – ever since Sally posted it in June – and just before Baby Boy was born, I finally found the perfect excuse to make it!

The Tough Cookie | Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread | thetoughcookie.com You see, about two months before I gave birth to Baby Boy I had this ambitious plan to fill my freezer with three months worth of frozen dinners. You know, homemade chili, pasta sauce, stews… things that are easy to freeze and to reheat, so there would be no need for real cooking in those hectic post-delivery days. While I was scouring the web for easy freezer meal recipes, I came across several blogs that stressed the importance of ‘breastfeeding snacks’: snacks for hungry breastfeeding moms. As I was planning on breastfeeding, I decided that I really needed to fill my freezer with snacks, too. This chocolate zucchini bread in particular.

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