Sunday, June 7, 2015

strawberry cupcakes

I have neglected this blog so much that's it's now coming back and biting me in the butt. I wanted to make strawberry cupcakes this week, and I knew I had a really good recipe that I was sure I was going to find on my blog by typing strawberry. Guess what?! I didn't blog about the cake I had made with that recipe.

So I searched on my Pinterest boards (nope) and my RSS feed (nope) and finally found it by googling a couple of key words from the original recipe and picking the links from blogs I love.

So there, I'm blogging about it so next time I type Strawberry Cake in my search engine, this page will pop up!

This was the first time I had made this recipe into cupcakes and it was just as good as the cake layers. They dome nicely, brown nicely and the recipe yields about 29 cupcakes using my bigger scoop.

They are nice and moist and the strawberry flavor is awesome!

Strawberry Cake
recipe adapted from Sweetapolita
2 x 9 inch layers or over 2 doz cupcakes

2 cups white sugar
1 (3oz) package of strawberry gelatin (JELL-O)
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 small jar strawberry puree baby food (about 1/2 cup)

Grease and line two 9″ round pans or put liners in a cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix vanilla and milk together. Combine and whisk dry ingredients, adding to creamed mixture and alternating with milk/vanilla until just combined. Blend in strawberry puree. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake in 350 F for about 25 minutes for cake or 18-20 minutes for cupcakes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes, then inverting onto wire rack to finish cooling.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

I don't typically like eating cupcakes, but even I have to admit that these cupcakes were really, really good!

The cake part is a brown sugar flavored cake with some chocolate chips added to the batter. The frosting is also flavored with brown sugar and has flour and salt in it for that cookie dough texture and taste. We were big fans of this frosting.

I ran out of counter space and clean dishes to make the chocolate chip cookies from scratch, so I used half of a store bought cookies to top the cupcakes. A sprinkling of mini chocolate chips, and these turned into an impressive looking treat, that's really quite easy to make!

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Recipe slightly adapted from: Annie's Eats
Yield: 24 cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

Cookie Dough FrostingFor the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

intense flourless chocolate cookies

I made crack pie for Easter dinner dessert and found myself with an insane amount of egg whites left over. Instagrammers suggested meringues or angel food cake, but I wasn't feeling it. These cookies did jump up at me after a quick web search.

A simple one bowl and whisk cookie. Powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt get combined in a bowl, then egg whites and vanilla get added in. Finally, chocolate chips add another punch of chocolate.

Intense Fourless Chocolate Cookies
recipe via I heart eating

3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large egg whites
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar with cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in the vanilla and egg whites just until the batter is moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheets. Leave enough space between each cookie for them to spread (about 2 ½ ” of space between each cookie).

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked.

Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Comments on the blog post I found the recipe on were mixed. The recipe didn't turn out for some people. They were saying the batter was really thin and the cookies spread out all over the baking sheet. Figuring I would have to play with the measurements to get the batter right I was not very precise with my measuring of dry ingredients but I used precisely 120 g of egg whites, which should be the equivalent of 4 large egg whites. My batter was quite stiff and kept its shape when I scooped out tablespoon-sized mounds on my baking sheet.

My cookies baked in 10 minutes and kinda stuck to the parchement paper but I used a thin spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. I got 24 cookies out of this recipe.

I personally loved these: they are intensely sweet and chocolaty, with a thin crisp shell, kinda like the top of a brownie, with a chewy/gooey center. My husband wasn't a big fan, had a few bites while the cookies were still warm and threw the rest of his cookie out.

I will make these again and play with flavoring. Mint extract would be awesome, so would espresso powder. I also want to try sprinkling crystallized ginger on top. I think it would cut the chocolate a bit and then, maybe, you'd get to eat more than one!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

pineapple sweet rolls

This was the very first recipe that caught my eye when I flipped through Joy Wilson's Homemade Decadence.

After weeks (weeks!) of craving pineapple anything, I finally got up early enough to make this and not have to wait until dinner time to eat it! 

Made the simple yeast dough with the addition of pineapple juice in the stand mixer that gave it its last gear :(  

Once the dough is mixed and kneaded, it has to double in size. So we relaxed next to the fireplace for an hour and half. Not really. I did other things... 

Then, the dough has to be rolled out 1/3 thin in a 10 in square. I had so much dough, that without even rolling it out, it stretched into a 10 inches square, but it was a good inch high! I rolled it out some but my counter was not big enough to handle this much dough, so I ended up with a 14 x 18 rectangle that was much thicker than needed. I trimmed off some of the dough to even out the edges. So I had enough dough to make 4 small plain buns on top of the 8 rolls and the scrap ends.

I had too much melted butter, and not quite enough filling. Once rolled, I trimmed off the edges and cut the log in 8 portions. They were massive. I fit all 8 of them in my 9x13 pan, but decided against that plan since they had to rest for another hour and were going to get bigger then, then even bigger as they baked. So I baked 6 rolls plus the ends in the 9 x 13, 2 of the bigger rolls I have ever seen in a 8 x 8 pan along with two buns and 2 buns in 2 ramekins.

That's a whole lot of dough I just cannot resist eating! 

So next time : 1.5x the filling. Split the dough in half to make two logs to be cut in 6 portions each, bake in 2 9x13 pans. Also, replace pecans with macademia nuts? Otherwise, super awesome breakfast rolls! 

These rolls were so good! Recipe available in Homemade Decadence!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

brownie batter dip

I made this quick dip to bring to my niece's birthday party a little while back. Not as chocolaty as a straight up chocolate dip, and not as cloying as frosting, it really did taste like brownie batter and made for a different little dessert.

I served it with store bought marshmallows (gasp!), pretzels, apple slices and princess sugar cookies.

Brownie Batter Dip
recipe source: Stick a fork in it

8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until smooth.

Add additional powdered sugar or milk if needed, until the desired consistency is reached.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

chocolate chip cookies

Seems I haven't posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe in a while. So this is the Jacques Torres/New York Times recipe I'm currently using! This one uses both cake and bread flour and needs to chill for 24 hours before being bakes, so plan ahead, or keep the portioned dough balls in the freezer for when the craving strikes!

I make my cookies smaller, 2-3 tbsp of dough per cookie, and this recipe yields 4.5 doz. For softer cookies, bake in a 350 F oven for 12 minutes. For a crisper cookie outside with a chewy center, bakes for 12 minutes at 375 F. They get nice and golden brown at this temperature too!

Chocolate chip cookies

An altered version of a recipe by The New York Times adapted from Jacques Torres

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a large bowl; set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla.
Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them.
Scoop cookies into 2-3 tablespoons balls, press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
Place 12 mounds of dough onto baking sheet and bake until pale golden brown but still soft, 12 minutes.

Monday, December 29, 2014

toffee squares

This is one of my favorite super easy treat to make. It's quick, only three ingredients and has that salty-sweetness thing going which I love.

So easy, I let my kids make it! They love to smash an entire box of Ritz crackers. I leave the crackers in the sealed inner bag and let them squish all they want. Next, they get to stir in an entire bag of skor toffee bits and a can of sweetened condensed milk.

I pour the whole thing in a greased 8 x 8 and bake it for about 25 minutes in a 350 F oven, until it's golden brown. Let cool, cut into small squares and enjoy!

Easy-peasy, according to my children.