Raw Chocolate with Berries and Nuts

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Making your own chocolate is probably one of the easiest thing to make in the whole wide world. And the good part is….it’s actually good for you. Obviously in moderation because fat is still  fat no matter how healthy, but at least you don’t have to feel guilty when indulging. I have used maple syrup to sweeten it and coconut oil instead of cocoa butter. And I thought since the holiday season is coming up it might come in handy to have some healthier options on hand.

So here we go, pretty straight forward and you can add anything you like, nuts, seeds and dried fruits of choice.

Makes 1 large bar

           

Ingredients;

1 C. Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup

1 C. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1 C. Organic Cacao Powder, Raw plus 2 tbsp.

1/2 tsp. Organic Pure Vanilla Extract

Dried fruits and nuts

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Method;

Melt the coconut oil by putting it in a glass bowl and placing in a hot water bath. Or melt it simply by leaving it at room temperature or near an oven or heater.

Add the cocoa powder , maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beat very well to combine.

Get a plastic container and lightly oil it, I use a Tupperware dish because it’s flexible and I can just flip out the chocolate when it has set.

So place the mixture in the Tupperware container and sprinkle with whatever nuts and berries you have chosen. Leaf in the fridge to set overnight or if you’re in a hurry put it in the freezer for about an hour.

When ready to serve or eat, flip out the chocolate and break into large pieces for serving.

You have to store this chocolate in the fridge because it will melt at room temperature.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about these healthy  Bounty Bars

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Halloween Donuts

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GUESS what…it’s almost HALLOWEEN….

I just love Halloween and in all seriousness I was the first to celebrate it with my family in the town we currently live in. Nobody knew what it was when I first moved here, they had heard about it, but that’s about it. Even in Germany they celebrate it more than here and it’s just around the corner.

When I lived in the States I just became hooked on Halloween. I don’t think I will ever go a year without celebrating it.

Now 14 years later, we have a lot of Halloween props and candy in the stores and it has finally settled in. I’m very happy about it and so is my daughter.

For the past 5 or 6 years my daughter has always had a Halloween party for her and her friends, they all dress up and do fun and scary stuff. They all love it and it gives me a great excuse to cook and bake crazy food. So, …here we go

Makes 6 Donuts

Pre heat oven to 350° F

Needed: Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

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Ingredients;

1 C.All Purpose Flour

Remove one tablespoon and replace it with Corn Starch

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

1 large egg at room temperature

1/3 C. fine Caster Sugar

6 tbsp. Buttermilk

2 tbsp. melted Butter

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

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Method;

Sieve the first four ingredients very well together.

In an other bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir in to the flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Grease your doughnut pan or oil spray. Divide the batter between the holes.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Insert a tooth pick to test if they are done. If it comes out dry they are ready. Remove them from the oven. Let cool completely before icing.

For the icing I have used confectioners sugar with natural food colours

and a Halloween Sprinkle Mix

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The icing has to be thick or it will absorb into the doughnuts.

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Caramel Sauce, dairy free and refined sugar free

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The last couple of weeks we have been indulging in “nice cream” every evening after dinner. It’s so good… frozen bananas, a little bit of cocoa, sweetener, blitz and done.

But I was missing something, something sticky on top so I came up with this caramel sauce, it’s dairy free and refined sugar free. So much better for you than the store bought junk.

It’s quick to make but you do have to let it cool about an hour or so before using. It’s great on pancakes and french toast too.

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Ingredients;

1 C.  Coconut Blossom sugar

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp honey

3/4 C. coconut cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of Himalayan salt

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Method;

Place the coconut sugar, honey and butter in a pan over a medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the coconut cream and keep stirring until it has fully combined. Turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes until it has thickened.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and salt and stir well. Pour the sauce into a bowl or jar and allow to cool. The mixture may thicken a little more once it cools.

Store in a sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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How about pouring this over French Crêpes. ?

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Apples and Blackberries with an Almond Cookie dough Crumble

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Serves 6

 

A friend of my mothers had a cabin in the woods in Germany where we stayed a couple of times. A beautiful place with an amazing view over the forest. You could literally get lost when you went for a hike. Some of the forests in Germany are really dense and finding your way back can be a challenge. Especially if you’re picking berries along the way like me….. it is  best to take someone along who knows what they are doing.

The good thing is that you can easily pick enough wild blackberries to make a pie or crumble in these forests. The flavour of freshly picked berries is just simply the best.

We sometimes skipped lunch all together and just ate crumble. This is the one that we made most often. Apples and Blackberries, such a wonderful combination, with a golden crispy topping that will make your heart melt. An Almond Cookie Dough crumble, my oh my…

Pre heat oven to 350° F

Ingredients For the Filling;

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and core removed, cut in medium dice

2 Jonagold apples, peeled and core removed, cut in medium dice

1 1/2 C Fresh Blackberries frozen,  or use ready frozen ones

1/4 C Coconut blossom sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. Flour
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Ingredients for the Crumble;

1 1/2 C. Oat flour

1/2 C. regular spelt flour

1/4 C. cold Butter, cut in to small cubes

1/4 C. Almond butter

1/4 C. Coconut blossom sugar

1/4 C. Maple Syrup

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

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Extra;

1 tbsp. butter for buttering the oven dish

Method;

Place all the ingredients for the filling in  a bowl and toss together gently try not to break the blackberries. Coat evenly with the flour.

Butter an 8×8″/ 20x20cm. oven dish lightly with the butter and place all the ingredients for the filling in it.

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For the crumble; place all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix thru with a wooden spoon and then use your hands to form crumbs by rubbing your hands together. Place the crumble on top of the fruit.

Put the oven dish in the middle of the pre heated oven

Bake for about 45 minutes turning the dish half way, until the bubbly and golden on top.

Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream,  crème fraîche or ice cream for an incredible dessert.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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No bake White Chocolate Cheese Cake with Raspberry Swirl.

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Prep time: 20 min plus refrigeration

Makes 8 servings

I am very excited about this cheese cake, the only sugar it has is that of the 3 ounces of white chocolate. The base is healthy and the rest of the cheese cake too. But you really can’t tell, it is super smooth and silky. And no baking!

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Ingredients Crust;

1 C. Oats

1/3 C. nuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts with no skins

10 medium medjool dates, stone removed

2 tbsp. Agave syrup

1 tbsp. Coconut oil

1 oz. white chocolate

Ingredients Filling;

7 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

2 1/4 C. Greek Yoghurt 2 % fat, at room temperature

1/3 C. Xylitol or 2 tsp. Liquid stevia or sugar of choice

4 oz. white chocolate

6 Gelatine leafs (4.5″x3″) , (11.5 cm x 7.6 cm)

Ingredients Raspberry Swirl;

1 C. frozen raspberries

1 tbsp. Xylitol or 1/4 tsp. Liquid stevia or sugar of choice

1 tbsp. water

1 gelatine leaf (4.5″x3″) , (11.5 cm x 7.6 cm)

Method;

Start by making the bottom. In a food processor blend together the oats, medjool dates and nuts. Add the agave syrup and coconut oil until crumbly consistency.

Line an 8″/ 20cm. spring form with baking paper. You need to line the sides of the ring too.

Cut a long strip of baking paper. Oil spray the ring of your tin so the paper will stick easier.

Place the crumbly bottom mix in the bottom of your tin. Press firmly to cover the entire bottom. Place in the freezer. Meanwhile put one ounce of white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and melt at 20 second intervals. White chocolate burns easily so be careful.

Remove the spring form from the freezer and spread with a thin layer of chocolate, this will act as a protection film to ensure that the crust does not get soggy. Place in the refrigerator.

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Method for raspberry swirl;

Soak one gelatin leaf in cold water for five minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, place the raspberries, the xylitol or sugar of choice and the tablespoon of water.

Bring to a slow simmer and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Squeeze out the gelatin and add it to the raspberries. Mix it through and let it cool slightly before pureeing it in a blender. Set aside.

Method for the Cheese cake filling;

Soak 6 leafs of gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave at 20 second intervals stirring each time.

Squeeze out the gelatine leafs and place them in a sauce pan over low heat with one or two tablespoons of water. Melt the gelatine.

In a bowl mix the cream cheese until smooth, add the yogurt a bit at a time. Mix well while adding the xylitol or sugar of choice. Add the gelatin, pouring it into the filling mix, stirring at the same time.

Mix the cheese cake filling into the melted white chocolate , one teaspoon at a time . This is a bit tricky so you have to mix fast and keep adding to form a smooth filling. Once you have about half a cup, add the rest of the cheese cake mix. Combine thoroughly.

Pour the half the cheese cake mix in the spring form on top of the crust. Pour half the raspberry sauce over the yogurt. Make swirls with a knife. Repeat with remaining filling and sauce.

Set in the refrigerator over night.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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Smoothies Galore

Since I post all my Smoothie Creations on Instagram on almost a daily bases, I thought I’d let you know about it and share some with you.

I am very passionate when it comes to making my healthy breakfast drinks, mostly smoothies and sometimes Smoothie Bowls. I try to make them as beautiful as I can and it has become a real sport for me.

I try to challenge myself to be as creative as I can be. Here are a few of my creations, they are tremendously beneficial to your health and will keep you full until lunch for sure.

Be sure to try at least one out, I’m telling you once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.

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Green:Spinach-Banana-Flax, White:Banana-Protein-Oat and Purple:Raspberry-Banana, each layer with soy milk and Stevia (2 servings)

    1. Blend 1 Cup Spinach, 1 banana, 1 tbsp Flax seeds with 1/2 – 1 cup  milk of choice.
    1. Blend  1 Banana, 2 tbsp Oats and 1 scoop vanilla protein with 1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice.
  1. Blend 1 cup frozen Raspberries, 1 Banana and 1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice.

Add Stevia to each mixture to sweeten. Hold your jar or glass tilted and fill with the different layers.

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Brown: Chocolate Chia Pudding-Stevia, Purple: Berries-Banana-Stevia-Soy milk, Pink: Raspberry-Banana-Pomegranite nice cream (1 serving)

    1. Soak overnight 1/4 Cup Chia seeds & 1 -2 tsp. cocoa with 1 cup  milk of choice.
    1. Blend  1 Banana, 1 tbsp Oats, 1 scoop vanilla protein with 1 cup Berries add  1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice.
  1. Blend 1 cup frozen Raspberries, 1 Banana, 3 tbsp Poms seeds and 1/4 cup milk of choice.

Add Stevia to each mixture to sweeten. I have poured some melted chocolate over the rim of the jar and let it set in the fridge for half an hour.

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White: Skyr yoghurt, or yoghurt of choice

Purple: Berries-Banana-Stevia-Soy milk, Pink: Raspberry-Banana-Soy milk

    1. Blend  1 Banana, 1 tbsp Oats, 1 scoop vanilla protein with 1 cup Berries and 1 cooked beet,  add  1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice.
  1. Blend 1 cup frozen Raspberries, 1 Banana, and 1/4 cup milk of choice.

Add Stevia to each mixture to sweeten.

Layer the yoghurt and the coloured smoothie layers like above.

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White: Soy Yogurt, Purple: Blueberry-Flax-Banana-Protein-Soy Milk (2 servings)

Mix 1 cup Yogurt with some Stevia and divide between two cute bottles.

Blend 1 cup Blueberries, 1 banana, 1 tbsp Flax seeds, 1 scoop vanilla protein and some milk of choice. Pour over the Yogurt.

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White: Coconut milk Chia pudding , Green: Spinach-Banana  Soy Milk & Protein, Pink: Raspberry-Strawberry-Banana Smoothie (1 serving)

    • Soak overnight 1/4 Cup Chia seeds & some Stevia  with 1 cup  coconut milk .
    • Blend  1 Banana, 1 tbsp Oats, 1 scoop vanilla protein with 1 cup Spinach add  1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice and some Stevia.
  • Blend 1/2 cup frozen Raspberries, 1/2 cup Strawberries, 1/2 Banana and 1/4 cup milk of choice with some Stevia.

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Pear, Lemon, Banana, Stevia & Spinach with Almond milk (3 servings)

  • Blend 2 peeled pears (core removed), 2 tbsp. flax seeds, 1  1/2  cups spinach, 1 banana, juice of 1 lemon, stevia with 1 cup almond milk .

For daily posts please follow me on Instagram

  www.instagram.com/thecookingspoonblog

P.S. Use any kind of milk you like and swap Spinach for Kale, Stevia for Xylitol etc…

…and always use cracked Flax seeds for better absorption.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

Orange Blossom Peach Tart, with a thin Vanilla Cheese cake layer.

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The end of Summer is approaching, and I am frantically freezing Cherries, Strawberries and sliced Peaches . Basically fruit hoarding.

Last Christmas I made a Peach dessert and it was such a treat in the middle of winter.

Beside all the freezing and canning, I am also making a lot of fruit desserts.

I came up with this one because I had bought too many Donut Peaches.

My Donut peaches, who win the first prize for cute peach names as far as I am concerned, were starting to look a little too ripe. I still had puff pastry in the freezer so I came up with this little treat and I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet but it turned out great.

The fun thing about this tart is that it has a thin layer of cheese cake under the fruit. I mean……hello?

Ingredients;

8 squares of Puff Pastry, (12.5 oz/360 gr.)

4 large juicy Peaches or 6 Donut Peaches

1/2 tsp. Orange blossom extract (optional)

Cheese cake layer:

1/2 C. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

1 large egg at room temperature,

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

Glaze:

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. warm water

plus;

1 egg beaten for brushing puff pastry

1 tbsp. sugar for sprinkling over border.

Method;

Pre heat oven to 425 ° F/ 220° C with a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Pre heating the baking tray ensures a crispy golden tart bottom.

Peel the peaches, cut in half and remove the stone. Lay them with the flat side down and cut into slices lengthwise.

Put them into a bowl and add the Orange blossom extract. Leave to marinate while you prepare the puff pastry.

Lay out a piece of baking parchment and place 6 squares of puff pastry on it in a rectangular shape. The slices overlapping each other a little bit, press them together with your index finger. The rectangle should be about 14″x 9″.

In a small bowl beat 1 egg and brush the border with a pastry brush.

Cut the remaining 2 squares into strips and place them around the rectangle to form a border pressing very gently so it sticks to the beaten egg. It should have a “picture frame” shape.

In a bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and add the beaten egg, vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Spread evenly over the puff pastry without covering the border. Now place the peaches over the cheese cake layer in three rows going down lengthwise. Brush the top of the border with the remaining beaten egg. Sprinkle the border with remaining sugar.

Place the peach tart with the parchment paper on top of the baking sheet in the oven. Lower the temperature to 360 °F/ 180° C. Bake for 40-45 minutes turning half way.

Remove from the oven. Mix the glaze and brush over the peaches. Cut in to squares, and serve as is or with whipped cream or maybe some vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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NOTE:

I the Netherlands puff pastry comes packed in squares but the rectangle size you want to end up with is about 14″x 9″. But you can make it any shape or size you want. You could even make individual tarts.

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French Crêpes.

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Makes approx.  18 Crêpes

Bonjour mes amis,

Crêpes have the reputation of being difficult to make but are actually very simple. Whether you want to make a special breakfast in bed, or you’re looking for a different kind of summer dessert that doesn’t involve turning on the oven, these Simple French Crêpes will prove to be a real crowd-pleaser!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to filling them, from drained in chocolate sauce, filled with bananas and drizzled with caramel, to filling them with ham ragoût and cheese. I could go on for a while but you get the picture. The secret to a  good crêpes is in the batter, it has to have the right proportions of ingredients and it is best when the batter is chilled for at least an hour or even overnight. This gives the gluten time to do its work, create air bubbles and give the batter a smoother silkier texture.

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Ingredients;

2 C. plain Flour

3 Eggs

1/8 tsp. salt

2 C. whole milk

3/4 C. water

1 tbsp. sugar (omit for savoury crêpes)

1 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract (omit for savoury crêpes)

More butter for frying the crêpes

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Method;

Start by sifting the flour into a large bowl. Make a little well in the middle of the flour and crack in the three eggs. Beat the three eggs with a fork and start working in more flour as you go.

Switch to a hand beater and start adding the milk a little at a time incorporating and mixing until smooth as you go. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Alternatively you could use a blender. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Bring back to room temperature before frying the crêpes

Heat a 8″ skillet on medium high heat, add 1/2 tsp. butter and swirl the pan to cover the bottom. Now add just under a 1/4 C. of batter ( 3 tablespoons), again swirling the pan quickly so the batter covers the entire surface of the pan. Cook for about two minutes until golden underneath,  lift crêpe slightly with your spatula to check. Pour an other 1/2 tsp butter over the crêpe and flip it over, cook for an other one to two minutes. Slide on to a plate and cover with foil. Continue this way until you have used up all your batter. You could keep your crêpes warm in a very low oven. Enjoy with your favourite topping.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

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NOTE: I freeze leftover crêpes, wrapped individually and take them out as I need.

Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Orange Blossom Peach Tart, with a thin Vanilla Cheese cake layer.

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Macadamia-Cashew Bars

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There is just something so great about indulging and not having to feel guilty about it. Although these do have a lot of calories because of the nuts, but at least they are good for you.

I was very sceptical a few years ago when I stumbled upon the whole “raw”movement. I tried it for a month or two to give it a fair judgement and although it’s not for me, I do admire people who can live that way.

I found it hard to follow and I missed cooking too much. The great thing I discovered were the raw desserts. I mean, they really are the business, again, very calorie rich but also very rich in flavour and nutritious at the same time.

I guess what really works for me is to take the best from various life styles and put them all together.

Makes 16

Ingredients;

Base:
1 cup of pitted dates – soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
2/3 cup of almonds
2/3 cup of walnuts
2 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp coconut oil

Cream top;
1 cup cashews, soaked in  water overnight
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked in water overnight
1/2-1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/2 cup coconut oil
dash of salt
dash of vanilla

Fruit top:

2 C. mixed berries or other fruits of choice

Method;

The Base:
Into a food processor add your dates, and pulse for 10 seconds.
Add the rest of your ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds,  until combined. Don’t pulse for too long or your mixture will end up in one big lump.
Transfer your base into your 8×8 tray lined with baking parchment  and pat down evenly. Put in the freezer to set!

Cream base:
Into a blender add your  nuts,  1/2 cup coconut water, coconut nectar, oil, salt and vanilla. Blend till smooth. Add more coconut water to get a good consistency.
Put on top of the Base layer, and then freeze.
Let it sit in the freezer for about two hours before cutting in to squares and decorate with a variety of fruits.

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Summer Cupcakes

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These little Summer Cupcakes were so much fun to make. Don’t they look cute?

The most work were the slippers, but even that I did watching tv, so you can image it couldn’t have been that difficult if you can do it without looking.

My daughter came home from school one day and told me she had signed me up for baking for the Schools annual BBQ, Yeeaaaahhhhh…. No, seriously I don’t mind. I have always been assigned to baking for school because they know I love it so much. Especially baking for kids, they are always so super enthusiastic.

My Daughter helped me tremendously with this project, as she is becoming quite a baker herself. (so proud of her).

Ingredients;

1 C.  Spelt Flour or All Purpose Unbleached Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

2 tsp.  Baking Powder

½ tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt

2 tsp.  Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract

3-4 tbsp.  Milk

½ C.  unsalted butter or margerine at room temperature

3/4 C. Caster Sugar, Organic Coconut Sugar or Xylitol

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Method;

Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place paper cupcake liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a piece of waxed paper. Stir the vanilla into the milk. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar beating until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until the batter is light and creamy, and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the liquid ingredients in 3 additions.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the top of the muffins springs back when lightly touched, and a wooden toothpick inserted in the cakes comes out dry.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely before decorating.

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The decorations are made out of fondant, strips of candy mats for the blankets and a bit of colored icing sugar for the sea.

Enjoy!

Myra Xo

Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out these French Crêpes.

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