Chocolate Chai!

This Chocolate Chai Recipe is one I have been dreaming up in my head for over a year and I finally took an afternoon to give it a try. Yes, I know! A year is way too long!! Spicy Chai Tea paired with dark chocolate and creamy warm milk is just what the cold February days call for. Try a mug and let me know how you like it!! πŸ™‚

Serving: 1 delightfully delicious mug

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Milk(I prefer using whole milk for this recipe!)
  • 1 Chocolate Chai or Regular Chai Tea Bag
  • 1 tbs Coconut Sugar or Preferred Sweetener!
  • 1 oz Dark Chocolate (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground Clove
  • 1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • Dash Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Bring milk to slight simmer on medium low heat. Turn off heat and allow tea bag to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove Tea Bag!
  2. Return to medium-low heat and add the Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cloves, and Nutmeg. Whisk until chocolate is melted and spices thoroughly blended and drink is hot. Add Vanilla and whisk slightly!
  3. Pour into your favorite mug and thoroughly enjoy!!

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Schwarma… It’s whats for dinner!

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Schwarma! A funny name for aΒ  Savory wrap made by Middle Eastern street vendors. I found this recipe several years ago and after adding my own all-American touch to this dish(Ranch dressing ;), it became a smashing dinner hit! Super quick and simple. Choose between chicken, steak, or Lamb depending on which is preferred! I choose to make my own flatbread but if you want to speed up the dinner prep, grab a package of premade flatbread at your local grocery story!

  • 1 1/2 lb cooked Chicken, steak, or Lamb seasoned to taste! (I use lots of garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt, & pepper!)
  • 8 (6-inch) Flat/pita breads, warmed
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 onion, thinly diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly diced
  • Ranch!!

Directions

To assemble the schwarma, Thinly shave/slice meat, spread each flat bread with a tablespoon of plain yogurt, and layer with onion, tomato, and cucumber. Pile on the meat, and dress with Ranch dressing. Repeat with remaining flat bread and ENJOY!!

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Say what?! It’s National Donut day!!!!!!!

Or is it “doughnut” day? Regardless of how you spell it, I will admit… I β™‘ DONUTS!! πŸ˜‰ Glazed, sprinkled, chocolate, or plain, they are definitely delicious. So y’all, this post is dedicated to those round sweet things with the hole in the middle! Grab a donut or three and enjoy. Happy National Donut Day! πŸ˜€

Favorite Donut: Lamar’s Long John from Kansas City, MO! About the size of my head and filled full of white fluff. πŸ˜‰ What’s your favorite donut??

All photos credits go to pinterest. πŸ˜‰

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes!

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So, who wants to join me for a Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake?! πŸ™‚ It had been literally weeks since I baked anything new and I had this recipe going through my mind. So the weekend found its way to me and I found myself in the kitchen! From my posts y’all probably know I have a weakness for a couple few things; coffee, cupcakes, and cream cheese icing. πŸ˜‰ Strawberries are in season and it had been quite some time since I baked cupcakes so it only seemed natural to combine the two and add a few of my favorite things to the mix. πŸ˜€ For the frosting I made a slightly cream cheesier icing with a bit of salt and topped it off with lightly toasted graham cracker crumbs. The result, simply delicious! Y’all will have to give it a try for yourself and see! πŸ™‚

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Yields 24 cupcakes

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter{softened}
  • 4 oz cream cheese{softened}
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract{optional}
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries diced

Icing

  • 1 stick butter{softened}
  • 6 oz cream cheese{softened}
  • 3 cups powder sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract{optional}
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350Β° Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper!
  2. Cream butter, 4 oz cream cheese, and sugar in an electric mixer on high-speed for 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each egg. Stir in Vanilla & almond extract and scrape sides.
  4. Turn mixer on low and slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time and salt until completely combined!
  5. With a rubber spatula, gentle fold in strawberries. Place 1/4 cup batter in each muffin cup. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean!
  6. Allow to completely cool while you make the icing!

For the icing:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on high for 3 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl and mix for another minute!
  2. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with graham cracker crumbs!
  3. Enjoy!!

 

Granola Girl bakes :: Strawberry Cheesecake cupcakes

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Β  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!-Ps 119:103

Nathanael’s famous Ice Cream Sandwiches

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One of the 10,564,245 blessings of having so many siblings is there is always somebody to bake when your in need of a sweet treat! πŸ˜‰ I have a sweet tooth. Okay, it’s a HUGE sweet tooth! When Nathanael{age 10} said he wanted to make Chocolate Chip Ice cream Sandwiches I doubted whether he would really follow through and make them. He planned and searched allrecipes for the “perfect” chocolate chip cookie recipe and I still doubted. He double & triple checked our ice cream supply{yep, I was still a little doubtful}, he patiently waited for Friday to come and then he conquered! Needless to say, IΒ  was shocked. πŸ˜‰ And a little more than slightly surprised by how exquisite these cookies looked. But proof is in the bite, right? Well, they tasted even better than they looked! Bravo Nathanael! πŸ™‚ So, today’s recipe is brought to y’all by Nathanael. I think he is a keeper! πŸ˜‰

Yields 12-13 extremely large Cookie Sandwiches!

Original Cookie recipe credits go to AllRecipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 gallon Vanilla Icecream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Slightly soften icecream and scoop a healthy scoop onto 1 cookie. Then top it off with another cookie!
  6. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place back in freezer and allow soft icecream to harden!
  7. Gather your favorite people and ENJOY!!

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“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him.”
Psalm 34:8-9

Cherry Almond Biscotti

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Twas the day before thanksgiving and all through the house… there was a lovely aroma of Cherry Almond Biscotti! πŸ˜‰ Now, I have to admit, I was never a HUGE biscotti fan but when my mom showed me the recipe and asked me to make it I was eager to give it another try. I have to say, I now love Biscotti!! So, I sit here with a lovely cup of coffee and aΒ  piece of crunchy sweet biscotti while I post the recipe. πŸ™‚ Makes for a delightful afternoon! The combination of dried cherries & almonds are just perfect! Whether you Dip it in chocolate, or dunk it in coffee, eat it with icecream, or just by itself, y’all are sure to love this biscotti recipe!

Recipe source: Allrecipes
Original recipe makes 32 biscotti
  • 1 3/4 cups dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Stir dried cherries and amaretto liqueur together in a saucepan over medium heat until the amaretto comes to a simmer; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid for later use.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together onto a sheet of waxed paper. Beat butter with 1 cup sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat 3 eggs into butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, blending in each egg before adding the next. Stir reserved cherry liquid and vanilla extract into the wet ingredients.
  4. Beat butter with 1 cup sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat 3 eggs into butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, blending in each egg before adding the next. Stir reserved cherry liquid and vanilla extract into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir flour mixture into the wet ingredients a little at a time to form a smooth dough. Gently fold cherries and almonds into dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, divide in half, and form each half into a log 12 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Gently press the logs with your fingers to flatten to a thickness of 3/4 inch. Transfer loaves to the prepared baking sheets, brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tablespoon white sugar.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the loaves are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Transfer loaves to wire racks and cool for 20 minutes. Use a sharp knife to slice each loaf on the diagonal into 16 pieces. Transfer the biscotti to baking sheets. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  7. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes; flip biscotti and bake until crisp and lightly browned, about 8 more minutes.

Granola Girl Bakes :: Biscotti 6

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Cinnamon Roll Espresso Cupcakes

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes :: Granola Girl bakes 18

Have I mentioned my family has the ability to consume extremely rich food?! πŸ˜‰ It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and was FREE for me to get in the kitchen & experiment! The first time in a couple of weeks but what will I make? Dessert for sure! Not really in the mood for a fruity dessert today, perhaps chocolate and caramel but, than again, I have a dessert planned for that combinations that requires a few more ingredients from the grocery store. Then it came to me, Cinnamon Roll Espresso Cupcakes!! πŸ™‚ I know, cupcakes again. But they happen to be my favorite! πŸ™‚ A rather sweet combination of vanilla cake and buttery cinnamon-swirl, with a rather delightful espresso glaze, and top it off with an extremely cream-cheesy icing! Sprinkle a little cinnamon and call it a cupcake! πŸ™‚ My sister said they were “indescribably delicious!” πŸ™‚

Original recipe credits go to bakingdom.com with a few minor tweaks from me.

Yields 24 delicious cupcakes!

Cinnamon SWIRL

  • 1/2 cup butter {melted}
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

FOR THE CUPCAKES

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter{room temperature}
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Coffee Icing

  • 4 tbs butter {softened}
  • 2-3 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs (15 to 30 ml) espresso or rather strong coffee
  • 8oz cream cheese {at room temperature}
  • 1/4 cup butter {at room temperature}
  • 4 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir all of the ingredients together until combined. Set aside!
  2. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake papers!
  3. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl, making sure there are no streaks of flour remaining.
  4. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter in each of the paper liners in the prepared muffin pan. Make a small well in the middle of each cup of batter with a toothpick, Stir the filling to make sure the butter is combined, then spoon a scant 1 teaspoon of the filling into each cup. Use a toothpick to swirl the filling and batter together.
  5. Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to each cup and repeat the filling/swirling process.
  6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the icing: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla until combined. Add the espresso until desired consistency is reached (I only used all 4 tablespoons). For more coffee flavor, add more coffee, but you may need to add additional confectioners’ sugar to keep a good consistency.
  8. Ice the cooled cupcakes with the coffee icing. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then pipe on cream cheese icing!
  9. Enjoy!! πŸ™‚


Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes :: Granola Girl bakes

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A little German Bakery….

I was reading through my “about Granola Girl” for the first time in a long while yesterday and completely forgot the section that said “I hope to share… pictures of food tasted & tested along the way!” Well, I will have to fix that! πŸ˜‰

Am I the only one who thoroughly enjoys trying new bakeries & coffee shops? πŸ™‚ Take a drive down the old country road, past the peach stands and a few sheep farms, through the hill country, and the very very tiny town of Albert where only a old-fashioned dance-hall stands and you will find yourself in the Fredricksburg, Texas! Well known for its German settlement, Fredricksburg draws tourists from around the world and me! πŸ™‚ I enjoy strolling the main street, looking into shops, and eating a delectable German pastry from my new favorite find, the Old German Bakery & Restaurant! Pastry of choice? The Cherry Cream Cheese Danish! Tart cherries, cream cheese center, a slightly sweet Danish dough, and they must share my love for crumb topping and glaze because it has both!! πŸ˜‰ So, if you find yourself driving down the old country road, past the peach orchard and the sheep farms, through the hill country and the very very small town of Albert, pick up a Cherry Cream Cheese Danish! Or you can come visit ME and I’ll take you. πŸ™‚

German Bakery Granola Girl Bakes

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“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Psalm 34:8

 

 

Raspberry Swirl Cupcakes {Video}

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Okay, so I have a bit of an obsession with cupcakes… does it show? πŸ™‚ And I have been dreaming up this cupcake the last week… tart raspberry, lemon, a bit of orange, all baked into a sweet pound cake base and topped of cream cheese frosting. Yes, I know what your thinking, “wow, that sounds rich!” but the flavors kept on going through my mind and I knew I had to give it a try!Β  It is quite strange for a dessert to sound good to me that doesn’t contain a large amount of chocolate but this one did! So, with a few kidlets by my side, I set out to concoct the dream cupcake yesterday! πŸ˜‰ It was well worth the time and effort and the Raspberry Swirl Cupcake has now taken 1st place on my “favorite cupcakes” list! A decadent moist cake with a punch of summer flavor!

Side note: If you not a huge raspberry fan, leave it our! The younger crowd wasn’t too fond of the idea of raspberry so I didn’t put it in their cupcakes!

Yields 24-30 delightful cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) salted butter{softened}
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese{softened}
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • Β The zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • Raspberry Preserves

Icing

  • 2 sticks butter{softened}
  • 1 pkg cream cheese{softened}
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 6-8 cups powder sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. With mixer on low, add flour and salt in two additions, beating until just combined.
  2. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or lightly butter and flour tins to prevent sticking! Scoop a mounding 1/4 cup batter into each cup, dollop about a tbs raspberry preserves per cupcake and swirl with a knife!
  3. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out almost clean, 15-18 minutes.
  4. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Then cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In the mean time prepare the icing! Beat butter, cream cheese, milk, almond extract, & vanilla until combined. Slowly but surely add in the powdersugar
  6. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe icing on thick and finish up with a small dollop of raspberry preserves.
  7. Enjoy! πŸ™‚


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‘Tis Peach Season!

Peaches are fresh here in the Texas Hill country! Take a drive down the old country road and you will see peach orchard after peach orchard and peach stands full of fresh fruit ripened to perfection, icecream, and even cobbler. πŸ™‚ Needless to say, I am enjoying the peach season immensely! Keep your eyes open for aΒ  peach recipe on my blog {very soon} but until then, whats your favorite peach dessert? πŸ™‚

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peaches“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3:1