Apple Fritters

This is where I start to sound a little crazy, but I woke up at 430 a.m. this Saturday morning because Paul's alarm went off for work (yes he works very early, and yes he had to work on a Saturday). Yesterday, I bought a $5 vegan cinnamon roll from Cinnaholic in Berkeley, because I was really craving one, then decided I would give 2/3 of it to Paul to take to work. So after my few bites were finished, I decided I wanted MORE and proceeded to scrape together everything in my kitchen (walnuts, fruit, sugar, yeast, etc) and make apple fritters (and blueberry, chocolate chip, and glazed doughnuts...)

Four hours later, I had my apple fritter and upon taking the first bite knew it was totally worth it!

My giant breakfast apple fritter

I know, a little crazy, but really I had nothing better to do that early anyway.

blueberry crumble doughnut bites, chocolate chip doughnut,
apple crumble doughnut bites, maple glazed doughnuts and holes

chocolate chip doughnut with vanilla bean glaze
I used Mark Israel's, owner of The Doughnut Plant in NY, basic yeast doughnut recipe and at 4:30 in the morning I only had enough milk for my cup of coffee so I substituted water for milk in the recipe. For the fillings I used either diced apple or blueberries mixed with cinnamon, brown sugar, a bit of melted butter and crushed walnuts.

But the glazes are what I was most excited about! They turned out so good and are what satisfied my craving for more Cinnaholic. I made one vanilla bean frosting, and by adding maple syrup to it, a maple frosting too.

Vanilla and/or Maple Glaze

4 cups confectioners sugar
6-8 tbsp water or milk
2-3 tbsp vanilla paste
~ 3 tbsp good quality maple syrup (if making a maple glaze)

In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and 6 tablespoons water or milk; stir well. Add additional liquid to reach desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla paste and or maple syrup. The amount of vanilla and maple syrup can be adjusted to taste.


Mini Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

I made these for a Super Bowl party, but why not make them for your man for Valentines Day? Just tell him it's a "manly cupcake." I'm sure it will go over well and no matter what they are DE-licious, such a fun concept and a great excuse to pair beer with dessert.

I originally saw this on a wonderful blog, Dying for Chocolate and kept the recipe the same except for substituted vanilla paste (which is like a thick vanilla extract but with incredible flavor and beautiful specks from the ground vanilla beans. It can be substituted for vanilla extract or vanilla bean in equal amounts.)

Guinness Cupcakes
Amy Berman, Chef, Co-Owner, Vanilla Bake Shop

  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate (4 1/2 Baker's squares)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake papers in pan and set aside.
Bring stout and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil. Add unsweetened chocolate chunks to hot stout/butter mixture. Whisk until chocolate melts. Turn heat off and let cool. Add sugar to chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
Sift flour, baking soda and salt.
In a mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sour cream on medium speed.
Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and combine on medium-low speed until incorporated.
Slowly add flour mixture in thirds to chocolate mixture with whisk attachment until just combined.
Fill cupcake pan about 2/3 of the cup full.
Bake for 18-24 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cupcake.
Let cool on wire rack before frosting.
Guinness Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/2 whole scraped vanilla bean & 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract (I substituted 1 tbsp vanilla paste, or do 1 tbsp vanilla extract, or 1 whole scraped vanilla bean)
  • 1 Cup Guinness

In a sauce pan, simmer Guinness on low heat for 10-15 min, until stout becomes reduced and thicker in consistency. Similar to a syrup ( Mine boiled down to about 1/4 cup but was not syrup-consistency, it was still very thin.)
In a mixer, cream the butter for 1 minute. Slowly add the powder sugar in thirds, alternating with a little milk each time till mixture is creamy.
Add vanilla. Slowly add reduced Guinness a little at a time. Taste test to desired flavor. You may not use all the Guinness reduction. (I used ALL the Guinness!)
Frost the cupcakes and enjoy them with a cool (but not cold) Guinness!


Cheezy Mix

I am determined to find the ultimate snack that involves Cheez-its, chocolate and peanut butter. And for now, I've found it. I am also sortof determined to find a good name for it. And for now, Cheezy Mix will have to do. This is partly inspired by a very delicious snack, Muddy Buddy Mix, which I always add extra peanut butter and chocolate to when I make it for road trips.

Cheezy Mix

  • 5 cups Cheez-its
  • 1-2 handfuls peanuts (optional)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Place the cheez-its (and peanuts) in a large bowl
2. Place the white chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a large microwavable bowl. Heat for 15 seconds on high. Stir. Heat for another 15 seconds. Stir. As soon as the mix begins to melt, stir it all together until it melts on its own- This may take one more 15-second round in the microwave.
3. Pour mixture over cereal. Stir until evenly coated. Pour the mixture into a large Ziplock bag.
4. Add the powdered sugar to the bag. Seal the bag and mix it all up. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.