Funfetti Cake

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“You should try and make homemade funfetti cake!” “OK!” This is verbatim how the conversation with my good friend MaryKate and I went down. Didn’t have to ask me twice!

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MaryKate and I had this conversation about a month ago now, but it wasn’t until this past weekend where I had a chance to write out a recipe and get to baking. Last Saturday it rained all day, morning to night. My absolute very favorite time to bake is early on Saturday mornings. Despite going to bed at 2am the night before, I woke up at 7am (I’m a psycho, I’m aware). I made breakfast, made tea, watched an episode of The Pioneer Woman in bed and then got to baking on my perfect little rainy Saturday morning.

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Only good things happen on weekend mornings. And this cake was a result of that. The funfetti came out extremely delicious and indulgent. It’s slightly more dense than the light and fluffy from a box mix, but I prefer that. Slather on some homemade buttercream frosting and you have yourself a fun little cake.

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Funfetti Cake with Buttercream Frosting
yields 9x13 cake

Cake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla imitation
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil  
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (like these, not these), some reserved for decorating

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla
3 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13 cake pan, spray with cooking spray and coat with flour, set aside.

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter until fluffy, about one minute on high. Scrape the sides and beat for a few more seconds. Add in egg whites. Combine wet ingredients (milk and extracts) in a liquid measuring cup. With your mixer on low, alternate wet and dry until fully combined. Add in your sprinkles and mix on low. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Once cake has cooled, time to make the frosting. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all frosting ingredients until smooth and desired consistency.

Flip your cake out of it’s pan, top down, and on to a serving tray. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake in big swoops and sprinkle with extra sprinkles!

Cake stays good in the fridge for up to a week!

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Annie

Lite Bite: Asian Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies

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Asian Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
serves 2 (with leftover veggies)

Ingredients:
2, 4 oz Wild Caught Salmon Filets, boneless, skinless
1 lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 lb. baby carrots or veggie of your choice (broccoli, sweet potatoes or bok choy would be great
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1/2 tsp. agave or honey
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
sesame seeds

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet arrange veggies and salmon so everything is on an even layer. Season the salmon and veggies with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl whisk coconut aminos, almond butter, agave, ground ginger and garlic powder. Brush 1/2 of the sauce over the salmon and veggies. Bake for 10 minutes, then brush with remainder of the sauce. Bake for another 5 minutes.

Divide among plates, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

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Annie

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Perfect CCCs

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Celiacs and lactose rejoice! Perfect CCC’s free of dairy and gluten are here and just as perfect. I quote my father when I say, (my very non-lactose and non-gluten free father) “These gluten-free and dairy-free cookies are the (insert bomb emoji here).”

Coconut oil replaces the butter and dairy-free chocolate chips are used in replacement of the original stuff. I use gluten-free flour for a 1:1 swap for all purpose and they come out great! Just make sure to chop your chocolate up so you get specs of chocolate throughout, and you must sprinkle with flaky Maldon salt to get the Perfect CCC signature touch!

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Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Perfect CCCss
yields 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2  cup melted coconut oil (measures 1/2 cup as a liquid, not solidified)
1/2 cup olive oil (use a basic, not fancy olive oil)
3¼ cups gluten-free flour (i use this brand)
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
12 ounces, Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips, roughly chopped (key step)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted coconut oil and olive oil into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

In two batches, add the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture. I use wooden spoon to incorporate. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the dairy free chocolate chips.
*I roughly chopped my chocolate chips, so I could get more chocolate in each bite. I also love those little shavings of chocolate sprinkled through the dough! 

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I get 8 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt and any extra chocolate bits leftover from chopping.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

And if you want all the butter and gluten, look no further.

Thin Mint Brownies

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I teased these brownies on my Instagram a few weeks back, but I was saving them to share until St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know if the fact that the Thin Mint box is green or that when you think of mint you associate the color green, but when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day themed treats, several mint chocolate recipes come up.

A mint chocolate St. Patrick’s themed recipe I remember from growing up is when my sisters and I used to make little ice cream sandwiches from a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream between two Thin Mints. You would then wrap them individually in foil and freeze. The snack idea came from a March issue of the American Girl magazine, maybe circa 2000? Did anyone else get the American Girl magazine? Does anyone else associate mint chocolate with St. Patrick’s Day?

These brownies are insanely fudgey, but that’s how I like them. If you can’t do the mint chocolate thing, try my Perfect Fudge Brownies by themself!

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Thin Mint Brownies:
yields 9 brownies

Ingredients:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 sleeve of Thin Mints, roughly chopped (16 cookies)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until fully melted. Stirring between each 30 seconds. Make sure to scrape the bottom to keep from burning. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. With a wooden spoon, stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Fold the flour, cocoa powder and salt into the mix.

Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan. Evenly distribute 1/2 of the chopped Thin Mints over the top. Repeat with the other half of the batter. I use a butter knife to help spread the batter over the cookie layer. Finish by distributing the rest of the chopped cookies over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Support your co-workers daughter or your neighborhood Girl Scout and pick up a box of thin mints this week! Grab some Samoas while you’re at it for a batch of my Samoa Popcorn.

Annie

Samoa Popcorn

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Girl Scout cookies, you can’t, not, love them. My top three are Samoas, Thin Mints and Trefoils. Yours?

With it being peak Girl Scout cookie season, I wanted to repurpose the coveted cookies. I’m taking the flavors of Samoas, and actual Samoa pieces and turning it into a decorated popcorn recipe. With the Oscars this Sunday, it will be the perfect snack at my watch party!

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My sister, Kathleen and our two best friends Jillian and Taylor get together for almost all award shows (and pageants), especially the Oscars. I never do as well as I set out to, when it comes to actually seeing Oscar nominated movies, but you can bet I’ll be in front of the TV Sunday evening filling out my ballot and snacking on all the appropriate snacks. Exhibit A, this Samoa Popcorn.

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Are you watching the Oscars this Sunday? Hit up your local scout before the big show, so you too, can make this popcorn for your viewing and tastebud pleasure!

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Samoa Popcorn
yields 6-8 cups

Ingredients:
6-8 cups air popped popcorn (I used 1/2 cup kernels and 1 tbsp. coconut oil, prepared in my Lekue popcorn maker)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips*
2 tsps. coconut oil
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
5 Samoas, roughly chopped

Directions:
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Pop your popcorn and evenly distribute on your prepared cookie sheet.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt your semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tsp. of coconut oil in 30 second intervals. Stirring well between each interval to keep the chips from burning. Once melted, set aside. I did 30 seconds, another 30 seconds and then about 10 seconds at the end. In another microwave safe bowl, do the same with the butterscotch chips and 1 tsp. of coconut oil, then set aside.

Toast your coconut in a small sauté pan, over medium heat. Stirring often, until light brown. Don’t take your eyes off of it, this happens fast. Once light brown, take off the heat and set aside.

Now it’s time to put it all together. Using a small spatula or spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the popcorn. Repeat with the melted butterscotch. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the popcorn. Finish by evenly distributing the Samoa cookie pieces. Let sit until the chocolate is hardened, about an hour. Break up the big chunks of popcorn and serve!

*you can use melted caramel instead of butterscotch chips, but I just really love butterscotch and prefer the way it hardens on the popcorn.

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Annie

My Oscar Ballot is from Studio DIY!