8.29.2011

Oh, the shame...

So, I totally suck at blogging lately.  Time eludes me, children take up my every waking moment, my home business is picking up steam at a rapid rate.

I'm so very lucky, and so very sorry all at the same time.  I promise to do better.

In the mean time, here are a few of the treats I've made lately.






Thanks for reading.  :)

6.28.2011

Waiting and Weddings and Water, Oh My...



I feel like I've gone on hiatus again and I have no real reason other than Summer hit and we've been spending so much time outside in the yard with two tiny nudists!  The splash pad is out, the pool's going up, and the sunscreen's aplenty!

I've also booked myself silly for a couple of months with weddings and teacher's presents and birthdays. 

In celebration of my procrastination in posting and my crazy schedule, enjoy this chocolate orange crepe cake. 

I made it for Big Daddy for Father's Day,  He wanted a cake that tasted like a Terry's Chocolate Orange, and this is what I came up with.   After two unsuccessful "crepes", I got the hang of things. 

Chocolate Orange Crepe Cake

1 Box French Vanilla Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 Large Orange
1 t. Orange Oil (I used LorAnn's)


Prepare cake mix according to directions, only substituting the oil for melted butter.  Add the zest of your orange, as well as all of its juice.  Stir to incorporate.

Add orange oil and stir again to blend. 

Heat a medium sized skillet or frying pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. 

Once heated, measure out approximately 1/2 cup of batter and pour into pan.  Tilt pan back and forth until the base is fully coated and let set until the top of your 'crepe' appears dry.  Using a long spatula, flip the cake over and cook for another 15-20 seconds. 

Place on a wire rack and once cool, place a sheet of wax paper on the top.

Continue with remaining batter until it's all gone.

I filled and topped mine with a chocolate buttercream and a few squares of a Lindt chocolate orange bar to round out the flavor combo.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 C Cocoa, sifted
1/2 t. Vanilla
6-8 C Icing Sugar

Beat butter until light and fluffy.  Scrape down bowl and add cocoa, vanilla, and icing sugar.  Beat until desired consistency is reached. 

Place one crepe on a serving platter, cake round, plate, etc, and frost generously.  Keep alternating crepes and frosting until you place the top one.  Here's where I added the chocolate squares. 

You could, in theory, frost the whole outside of the cake as well, but I liked looking at the layers.  So there.

Cut, enjoy, and try not to think about how different it feels to be eating tiny thin layers of cake rather than a large chunk. 

Totally different, totally awesome!


6.12.2011

Makin' Whoopie(s)...


Recently, a friend of mine asked if I could make 150 cupcakes for his upcoming wedding. 

Heck, yeah!

After a little Facebook back and forth, he and his bride-to-be decided they wanted a low key dessert and asked if I'd make some whoopie pies.

Double heck yeah! 

I'd never made them before but have been bookmarking recipes to try for ages.

All he gave me to work with were their wedding colors and the flavors they wanted. 

Blue and white, and straight up chocolate and vanilla.

This first batch is the classic chocolate whoopie cake with a vanilla bean buttercream icing that I split in half and tinted blue. 

I rolled some whoopies in blue sugar pearls, some in sugar crystals, left some plain, and rolled the rest in white sugar crystals. 

I've got a batch of vanilla whoopies cooling that I'll fill with the same icing, some chocolate ganache, and I'll tint a vanilla batch blue tomorrow.

These are as most recipes promise, moist, decadent, and addictive. 

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Slightly adapted from Whoopie Pies


1 C All-Purpose Flour
2/3 C Cake and Pastry Flour
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Room Temperature
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Milk


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together your flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter, shortening and sugar on low speed until just combined.  Increase your speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.  It will be light and fluffy.

Add in the egg and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk and beat on low until well incorporated.

Repeat with remaining flour and milk and beat until combined.

Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop batter on baking sheet about two inches apart.  The batter will spread so you don't want them touching.  

Bake for about 10 minutes each or until pies spring back when gently pressed.

Remove from oven and cool for about five minutes on parchment lined sheets before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

After they've cooled, you can fill them with whatever you'd like; buttercream, ganache, marshmallow creme, cream cheese icing. 

I used my standard buttercream recipe and piped the filling on one half of the pie, sandwiching it with another, pressing down gently until the frosting reaches the edge.

I then rolled the edges in the sprinkles and pearls.

Buttercream

1 Cup Butter, Softened (I use salted to cut some of the sweetness.)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (Or vanilla, I'm still hooked on my paste..)
1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream (Optional.)
6-8 Cups Icing Sugar
Food Coloring (Optional, I use Wilton Gels.)

Beat butter in your stand mixer (Or by hand, work with what you've got...) until light and fluffy. 

Add vanilla and whipping cream and beat about 1 more minute.

Slowly add your icing sugar until you've reached desired icing consistency; nobody likes inhaling that stuff or covering your floor with it. 

It's at this point that you can add your color, mixing until combined.

I shared this trial wedding batch with the neighborhood.  Good thing too or we would have eaten them all here. 

I'm pretty sure my boys will have permanent chocolate and icing mustaches. 

Long live the whoopie!



6.09.2011

M.I.A

Ug.  Sorry I've been absent!  I feel like a piece of me is missing. 

I'm still reading everyone, I just haven't been able to catch a moment to write or post anything.

Big Daddy hurt his leg pretty badly last week and I've been doing EVERYTHING..  It's almost like I've got three babes in the house and the big one needed more attention than the two little ones. 

I've got cookies to post, cupcakes to talk about, ME business.  You know?

I promise to get one off in the next day or so. 

Don't leave. 

I'll make it worth your while to come back.

Thanks for sticking with me. 

x

5.29.2011

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes...



Who doesn't need a sugar fix every now and then?  (Or constantly..)

These cupcakes will cover all of your necessary needs.  Be prepared, though, for sugar withdrawl once the days nears its end. 

I discovered the original recipe while stalking doing my daily reading over at Kristan's blog, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  She's a riot.  If you think it, she says it.  It's a beautiful thing.  Like these cupcakes.   

She got her cupcake recipe from Tidy Mom, and I altered it ever so slightly to use what I had on hand.  (I basically just used a different cake mix..)

I made them for Oliver's first birthday party and there was nary a cupcake left when it was over.

So, splash a little cold water on your face, take a deep breath, and go big or go home. 

Cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker Confetti Cake Mix
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1 cup water
3 eggs
24 whole Oreos (I used 12 Original and 12 Golden)


Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin tins with papers.  Place an Oreo in the bottom of each one. 

In your mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, melted butter, and water. Blend on low speed for about one minute. Increase speed to high and beat for another minute.  Top the Oreos with batter, filling your liners about 2/3 full. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until cupcake tops spring back when touched lightly. 

While your cupcakes are cooling, you can make your filling.  Yes, filling!

Filling

3/4 of a 16 Oz. Jar of Fluff (Marshmallow Creme)
1/2 Cup Softened Butter (I used salted to cut some of the sweetness.)
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Whipping Cream

1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar

In your mixer bowl, beat Fluff, butter, cream, and vanilla on medium until smooth.

Slowly add the icing sugar and increase speed to medium-high.  Beat for about a minute.

Refrigerate filling until cupcakes are done cooling.

Once your cupcakes are cooled, you can fill them with the marshmallow filling.  I used a long skinny piping tip to inject the filling, but if I were to make these again, I'd use the cone method to get more in there. 



Icing

2 Cups Butter, Softened (Again, I use salted to cut some of the sweetness..)

1/4 Cup Whipping Cream
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
7-8 Cups Icing Sugar

Again, in your mixer, beat your butter, whipping cream, and vanilla until smooth and well blended. 

Slowly add in your icing sugar (so you don't have a mushroom cloud of sugar) and mix on low for a few seconds.  Once almost blended, turn up to medium and whip until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Once blended, fold in about 10-15 finely crushed oreos.  (Folding ensures the cookies don't just turn your icing grey, and finely crushing them ensures that everything will pipe smoothly with no clumping.)

Pipe (Or slather) the icing on your cupcakes.  I drizzled the tops of mine with more marshmallow filling before serving.

Keep any uneaten cupcakes in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. 

5.28.2011

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes...

Not the best photo but it's the taste and smell that count!



We do a lot of side dishes here.  Oliver needs finger foods and Gabriel needs variety.  (Big Daddy just needs food.)  They're the two easiest little people to feed.  They love their veggies, and Mama's potatoes never go astray. 

I must warn you, neither recipe is short on butter or garlic, so obviously, you can adjust according to personal taste. 

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
(Feeds 2 and 2 little people)
(Printable Recipe)

4 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes; washed and poked
2 Cloves Garlic; minced, pressed, or grated
Approx. 1/3 Cup Butter
1-1 &1/2 Cups Breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Begin by microwaving your potatoes for approximately 10 minutes. (My microwave has a tater setting.)  Set aside for a few minutes until they're cool enough to handle while you prepare your garlic.

I use a small rasp to grate my garlic and set it aside. 

In a decent sized frying pan or skillet over medium heat, melt your butter and soften your garlic.

Add potatoes and allow them to absorb some of the butter, keep it all moving around the pan to coat evenly.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over the potatoes until well coated and continue frying until cooked.  (Test firmness with a fork.)

Before removing from heat to serve, toss with parmesan. 

Make sure whoever you'll be making out with eats this too.  Otherwise, you'll reek of garlic alone.

We all know it's more fun to stink of garlic as a family.

5.24.2011

Cookie Dough Brownies...(Crownies)



You can seriously add cookie dough to anything to make it better.

Kids don't like spinach?  Add cookie dough.

Having a rough day?  Have some cookie dough.



Cut your arm?  Put some cookie dough on it.

Car won't start?  Yep, cookie dough.

Because cookie dough makes everyone feel better, enjoy these. 

Brownies are good, but add cookie dough?  Better. 



"Crownies"
(Printable Recipe)
(Cookie Dough)
Recipe from Hershey

1 C Shortening or Butter (I rarely use shortening, but in this cookie, it keep them moist and from burning)
1 C Packed Brown Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 & 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 C AP Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 C Chocolate Chips (I used Hershey's Chipits.)

Cream together shortening and sugars.  Beat in both eggs and vanilla. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and add it gradually to the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside.

Brownies
I cheated this time and used a Duncan Hines Decadent Milk Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix.

~Follow directions on box, spreading blended brownie mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and top with spoonfuls of cookie dough.  Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. 

I'm not gonna lie, I let these rest for 4 minutes and cut into them.  I brought a few over to my neighbours, but mostly risked burning off the tip of my tongue for a taste. 

Once they were mostly cooled, though, we turned them into brownie sundaes.  Gross.

Don't do it.

You won't like these topped with ice cream.

AT ALL.

Seriously.

Do it.

5.17.2011

Cinnamon Roll Cookies...


After the Blogger Fiasco of last week, I got discouraged when my Strawberry Chiffon Pie draft/post disappeared.  Then, I found these.

Normally I tinker and fiddle with recipes, but for this one, I used the sugar cookie recipe over at Picky Palate dead-on. 

It was perfect, moist, flavorful, easy to work with, and tastes AHMAZING when slathered with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies
(Recipe from Picky Palate)
(Printable Recipe)
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Softened Butter
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Sour Cream
6 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Filling
12 Tablespoons Softened Butter (You'll use about 2 per oval, which will total 12 TBSP.)
1 1/2 Cups Packed Light Brown Sugar, divided into 1/4 Cups
1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon, divided

(Not gonna lie, I used ZERO measurements for the filling, I just sprinkled and slathered until I was satisfied these cookies would oooooooze butter and brown sugar.)

Frosting
8 oz Softened Cream Cheese (I used Philly)

1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
2-4 Tablespoons Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla (I used Vanilla Bean Paste, mostly due to my current obsession..)


1. With your mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until you've produced a uniform, well combined dough.

2. In 2 separate batches, place the dough in plastic wrap and form into a disc shape.  Chill for at least 2 hours for best results.

3. Once chilled, cut each disc into thirds and roll into an approximate 1/8 inch thick oval, about 12 inches X 5 inches.   (I worked with 1/3 at a time and put the rest in the fridge so it would stay firm.  Soft dough=sad dough.

Spread each rolled piece of dough with 2 Tablespoons softened butter, 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.  (Again, no measuring, just slapped it on!)

Starting from the long end closest to you, roll into a log shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch pieces of dough then placing onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.

4.  To prepare frosting, beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth, slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until desired consistency. 

Frost cookies then place in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Makes at least 6 Dozen cookies. 

Like it states on Picky Palate, these cookies are just a little bit better after they've chilled in the fridge for a bit. 

Most of mine didn't make it there. 

Or get frosting. 

Or even completely cooled. 

I'm linking this up at Tea Party Tuesday.  :)

5.09.2011

A Lemonade Birthday...


Every year, Big Daddy gets to choose what type of birthday cake he'd like and this year was no different.  He'd already decided that lemon was the flavor and then I showed him this.

It's like Shelly over at cookies and cups lives with me, or at least hears our cravings while I'm showing BD EVERY delicious thing she makes. 

I only made a few changes to her original recipe, nothing major, just played around a little to make sure I'd be able to feed all the hungry, salivating mouths that were waiting for it!

BD's parents were here for the week and we also had one of their cousins join us, so rather than just the 2 grown-up and 2 teeny mouths we normally feed, I had a whole lot more!  The general concensus is that it's the best cake I've ever made.  Thanks Shelly!

Lemonade Cake
(Recipe slightly adapted from cookies and cups)
(Printable Recipe)

Cake:
1 Boxed Lemon Cake Mix (Like Shelly, I used Duncan Hines)
4 Eggs
1 1/4 C Milk
1/3 C Vegetable Oil
2 T Frozen Lemonade Concentrate (Keep remaining in freezer, you'll use it again!)

Blend all ingredients together in your mixer for 30 seconds on low and after scraping down the bowl, beat on medium for 2 minutes. 

Pour into greased and floured cake pans and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean. 

Cool completely in the pans.  Once cool, level the cakes so that they're all flat on top.

~Instead of using the glaze the recipe called for for the cake layers, BD wanted it to be like a "poke" cake

1 Pkg. Lemon Jello
1 C Boiling Water
1 C Cold Water

Mix according to directions on box and once cake is cool, poke it all over with a fork and pour lemon jello all over. 

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. 

When cake is ready, make your icing.

Lemonade Cream Cheese Icing
1 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese (I used Philadelphia)
3/4 C Butter
3 T Frozen Lemonade
1 t. Vanilla Bean Paste (I used this rather than liquid vanilla because I just got it and am OBSESSED!)
5-6 C Icing Sugar (Until your desired consistency is achieved)

Beat cream cheese and room temperature butter and blended and fluffy.  Add lemonade and vanilla and mix until combined. 

Slowly add your powdered sugar until well blended and spreadable. 

I spilt my layers in half to make a four layer cake but you don't have to, two is fine.  When you're all set, remove your cakes from the fridge and frost as desired. 



Enjoy!!

4.29.2011

Don't Call My Name, Alé-fredo...

Creamy, cheesy, garlicky?  Yes, please!

I had a dream about this the other night.

No, really!  It came to me in a dream, I had to make it in real-life. 

I often play around with cream sauces and pasta, but this one was a concrete recipe in my head when I woke up hungry.

It must be because I've been considering making a video for the Real Women of Philadelphia competition. (God help us all..) I also won a brand new Kraft/Philly Real Women apron from Sweetopia

It's like, a sign. 

A potential $20,000 sign.

Too bad I hate being in front of the camera.  I'm perfectly comfortable being behind it. 

Alas, since I probably won't have the cojones to make a moving pictorial of myself, I'll share my recipe here, with you.   

*Warning:  This isn't really a heart healthy/low-cal sauce.  At all.  That might be what makes it soooooo good though.

Chicken Alfredo Farfalle
1/4 C Butter
1 Tub Philadelphia Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese (The not-in-a shaker kind.  Reserve a little for garnish.)
1 C Shredded Mozarella Cheese
1 Clove Minced Garlic (I grate mine with a rasp since I don't have a press and tiny fingers like to reach up on my counters to grab knives sight unseen..)
2 cooked, chopped, boneless skinless chicken breasts
Chopped Green Onion (For garnish and extra flavor.)
Box of Farfalle Pasta


Cook pasta according to directions.  While it's boiling, prepare your cream sauce.

In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. 

Add cream cheese and stir until melted and creamy.  Stir in whipping cream until all ingredients are blended and smooth.

Dump (classy term, right?) all of the cheese in and stir to coat.  Sauce will thicken as it cooks and all of the cheese melts, you can now cook over medium-low heat until it's done.   

When the sauce has thickened, toss in the chopped chicken just until heated through. 

Top cooked pasta with a generous serving of sauce, top with green onion and cheese, and slather on gut enjoy!


4.26.2011

Hiatus and Happy Easter...

I know Easter is over but there's still time to get a batch of these suckers out of your system since I  knoooow you got some this past weekend.

We got back yesterday from a wonderful, too-short weekend with my parents, grandparents, and great-grandfather.  Obviously the Easter Bunny found us and the boys had an amazing time. 

I had Mini-Eggs for breakfast. 

Don't judge.

I made this cupcake last month as an "Easter Cupcake" trial and what better time than five days ago to post it?  Ha!

As per usual, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe for the cupcake batter. 

About 30 minutes before baking, or overnight, freeze your unwrapped Creme Eggs.  I used the minis so I wouldn't be in a Creme Egg Coma.  (It's a real thing, swear!)  You'll also want to make sure the liner filling and baking happen rather quickly as you don't want your egg to melt. 

Fill your liners with batter, about 2/3 full, drop in a creme egg. 

Bake as per directions.

While my cupcakes were baking, I made my frosting.  I chose a cream cheese frosting since I thought I'd already be borderline flatlined from the creme egg cupcake, buttercream might be too much. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pkg. Cream Cheese  (I use Philly)
1 Cup Butter
4-6 Cups Icing Sugar (Depending on how stiff you want it to be)
Yellow Food Coloring (I used Golden Yellow Wilton)
1 T Vanilla (I used Clear Wilton Vanilla)

Beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla, beat again. 
Add icing sugar and mix until you've reached your desired consistency. 
Remove half the icing and put yellow food coloring in the mixer bowl with the rest of the icing. 
Beat it until blended.

To achieve the dual colored swirl, carefully fill your piping bag with half the yellow and half the white.  (It's easiest to spoon it in while on its side..) 

Pipe your swirl and top with another creme egg. 

With any luck, your eggs stayed intact on the inside.  A thicker batter might be more ideal for this particular concoction, but mine fared pretty well!

Don't make these again until next Easter.  Your friends will hate love you!

4.18.2011

Blog Award and STILL Linking...


I got this fantastic award from Trish over at Sweetology and I couldn't be more proud and honored!  It's my very first as a food blogger and it truly means a lot.  Go check out her blog, there are tons of goodies over there, plus, she's pretty rad!

As part of the award, I'm required to tell you 7 things about myself. 

Well......

1) I am the mother of two HILARIOUS boys, Gabe's 2 & 1/2 and Ollie is going to be 1 next week.  They are two of the funniest people I have EVER met!

2) I can bust out every single word to Baby Got Back (Dance Party included).  My kids think I'm AWESOME!!

3) My parents are probably my biggest fans.  Thanks Guys!

4) I will celebrate my 3rd wedding anniversary next month to a wonderful Air Force man. 

5) I will be 31 in August and still need to snuggle with my (2.0 Version) childhood hippo.  I get a little twang of panic when my boys want to cuddle with him.  His name is Herman.

6) I've never been outside of Canada except for "State Drive-throughs" while on vacations as a youngster.  I have the itch to travel.

7) I wear flip-flops year round.  It's unhealthy.  Or so my Mom says..

~I, in turn, would like to share this award with some of my favorite bloggers!

Cookies and Cups is amazing.   She's funny, makes ridiculously delicious treats, and doesn't give two hoots about the calorie count!

Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen is hilarious.  Not only has she posted a picture of herself playing Twister with her son and pointed out her sweets laden "baby", she is an absolute riot.  Her goodies are gorgeous, her stories are funny, you'll have a blast over there!

Adryon from Adryon's Kitchen drops the F Bomb.  I dig that.  Her food always looks impeccable and I love her story.   Go check her out and you'll be hooked!

Farrah from Farrah's Kitchen was one of the first wonderful people to comment on my new blog.  Since then, I've had the pleasure of back and forth commenting and her dishes always looks fantastic!

Manni from iBake Cakes does some crazy fondant work and is a fellow Canadian.  Her treats always look impressive and so beautifully crafted.  She's got plenty of helpful tips and you won't leave disappointed!

Amanda from i am baker has the biggest heart!  Her cakes and treats are so beautifully crafted, it's inspiring.  I dare you to go look at some of her stuff and not want to re-create it. 

Buns In My Oven bakes with Nutella, which has practically been a food group since I was but a wee one.  Her recipes are amazing, everything looks delicious, and she's just all around awesome!

Haniela's blog never ceases to amaze me.  More often than not I am sitting here with a dropped jaw.  Delectable treats, beautiful photography, and stunning results will have you going back daily. 

Thanks to all of these ladies for keeping me on my toes and continually inspiring me, thank you to Trish for nominating me, and thank you to you, if you're reading. 

4.17.2011

Trifecta...

The Holy Trinity...

 Armed with only a severe sweet craving, some cookie dough, brand new cupcake liners from my mama, and willing participants, I set to work. 

 As usual, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe, filled my liners appropriately, and stuffed half with chocolate chip cookie dough as per a previous post, 6 with peanut butter cookie dough, and left 6 plain.

Once cooled, I frosted the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes with the cookie dough frosting from the same post, topped the peanut butter cookie cupcakes with the same frosting, only adding peanut butter to the icing and drizzling with peanut butter.


I then topped the plain chocolate with my whipped cream cheese frosting and leftover sponge toffee shards. 

A mixed dozen went to a lady I'd made a deal with on kijiji; offering her a dozen cupcakes of her choice for a dozen mason jars, in which I plan on making cupcakes and brownies.  Six went to my lovely neighbors, who are more than happy to be my guinea pigs, and six stayed here.  Our 6 are gone, lovingly devoured by my husband and babies. 

Cupcakes don't last long around these parts, guess I'm doing something right.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg. Cream Cheese
1 C Butter
1 t. Clear Vanilla
4-5 C Icing sugar

~Whip butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. 
Add vanilla, beat again.
Add icing sugar, whipping until incorporated and at your preferred consistency.  (I like to pipe mine.)

4.14.2011

Letting Go and Linkables...



While I work at creating printable links for all of my recipes, I thought I'd share a picture of this sexy beast. 

It was a special order for a co-worker of my husband and, I'm not gonna lie, it was hard to let go of.  I reeeeeeeeally wanted to keep it and eat the whole thing.  With a fork.  No plates, knives or napkins required. 

A moist, 4 layer, spiced carrot cake, topped with a whipped vanilla cream cheese frosting.  It was topped with roasted, sugared walnuts.  (I could have done without the nuts, but wouldn't have complained while it was getting in mah belleh.)

Enjoy.  With your eyes.  That's all I'm doing too. 

4.11.2011

Peanut Butter Butter Tarts and Beautiful Boys...


Always in the mood for peanut butter, and frequently thinking about my mother's butter tarts, I decided to blend the two. 

Mine will never come close to Mom's, but I made these my own.  Rich and sweet, they bring back memories of my childhood.  Even now, at 30, I still ask her to make them when we're going to be together.  There's just something about baked goods from your mother that can't compare to anything else.  I'm convinced there's a little extra love baked in when she's making something for me.  I hope my boys feel the same about me and my baking when they grow up. 

The smell of sugar and warm chocolate, baking cakes or brownies, chocolate chip cookies and butter tarts.  I hope that in 30 years, when they're sitting in their homes, they smell something sweet and think of me; about the love that went into everything I made. 

Pâte Brisée (Short Crust Pastry)
Recipe Adapted Courtesy of Joy of Baking
(Printable Recipe)


1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon White Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 Cup Ice water

~The recipe on Joy of Baking called for the use of a food processor.  I have one but it just wouldn't work for me.  Go figure, two babies, why should anything be easy?  If you prefer the processor method, see the attached link. 

In a bowl, mix flour, salt, and sugar.  Cut in (I used a pastry cutter but you could use two butter knives) the chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, or small peas. 

Pour 1/8 cup of the ice water into your mixture and blend with your hands until the dough holds together when pinched between your fingers.  (You may need to add a little more water; I used almost the whole 1/4 Cup.)

 Gather the dough into a ball and then wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk.  Put it in the fridge for at least an hour to chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After your hour is up, place your dough on a lightly floured surface (I placed mine between two sheets of wax paper; less mess...  I'm all about less mess!) and roll it out until it's about 1/4" thick.  Cut it into 12 4" rounds.  (Make them big enough to fill your muffin tin cup; this allows maximum fillage!) 

Once you've filled your muffin cups, cover and put back in the fridge for half an hour or so while you make your filling. 

Peanut Butter Filling

1/3 C Butter (I used Salted, just personal preference)
1 C Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1/4 C light cream (half & half)
1/3-1/2 C Peanut Butter

*Optional additions of raisins or nuts

With an electric or hand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar.   Beat in your eggs, one at a time and then add your vanilla. 

Stir in the cream and peanut butter until mixture is smooth. 

*If you're using nuts or raisins, place a spoonful of them in the bottom of each shell.

Fill your unbaked shells with filling and then place in a 375° oven for 15-20 minutes or until shells have nicely browned and filling has set. 

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Share. 
If you dare.

4.08.2011

Sass and Sponge Toffee..


Sometimes it just hits me.  Tonight, it was while I was cleaning up after supper; vaccuuming, picking up the tornado of toys, doing dishes, wiping yogurt and ketchup off of the dinner table and high chair.  I'm a mom.  Of two boys.  2 and 1. 

It hit me like a smack in the face.  I'm the boss of two little people.  They look to me for guidance (maybe I should stop eating dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or at the very least, share it.) and reassurance.  I host a wicked dance party.  I am a teacher, a jungle gym, a housekeeper, a bo-bo kisser, a potty trainer, a restaurateur, a hugger, a kisser, a pony, a locator of lost items, and a cuddle partner.  I am a jack of all trades.  I am a mother. 

After a particularly hellish day full of sass and tears, I remind myself of that.  Of how lucky I am.  Of how great they are.  That I AM teaching them (note to self: easy on the f-bomb), I AM doing an alright job. 

Enjoy these non-hellish chocolate covered sponge toffees.  Super easy to make, it won't even cut into your dance party time. 

Promise.

Sponge Toffee (Also called Angel Food Candy)
Recipe adapted from:  Allrecipes.com
(Printable Recipe)
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Dark Corn Syrup
1 T White Vinegar
1 T Baking Soda
1/2 t Vanilla

3-4 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Butter a 9 x 13 in. baking dish. 

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar.  Cook, stirring until all sugar is dissolved. 
Heat without stirring until the mixture reaches 300° on a candy thermometer.  If you don't have one, remove from heat when a small bit of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. 

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.  Mixture will expand and become light and airy. 
Explosion of delicious!

Pour into buttered pan but don't spread it, it probably won't fill the dish.
Yes, YES!

Allow it to cool completely before breaking into pieces. 
Yummy without chocolate too!

Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler and dip your sponge toffee pieces in the chocolate.

Place on wax paper to set.  (I refrigerate to set quickly and then store in covered containers.)

Boys and Bacon...

Chicken Crescent Roll Pinwheels and Garlic Spaghetti


No matter how many times I open one, or how old I get, the *POP* of the Pillsbury can gets me every single time.  I always think I'm ready, but I'm not.  It doesn't matter if I dig the tip of the spoon in slowly, which, let's face it, only prolongs the agony, or if I jab it in fast.  The explosion of dough makes me jump. 

I've been on a "let's incorporate crescent rolls or biscuits or wiener wraps into every other meal" kick lately.  Mostly because they were on sale at the grocery store, but also because it's so friggin' easy and delicious and EVERYONE will eat it. 

I had a little helper in the kitchen for this particular concoction.  Always eager to help, Gabe pulled his little foot stool into the kitchen and got the party started.  Daddy had taken Oliver out on the town, so it was just the two of us. 

Before we did anything, we prepped our bacon.  Bacon tastes good with everything, doesn't it?  I think it's a scientific fact.  I bake our bacon.  It saves my stove top from needing to be scrubbed and it just tastes better.  (In my opinion.) 


My Bacon Boy.. 
While we waited for the bacon to bake, I poached two chicken breasts which would be shredded.  I also rolled out the dough and spread it with a delicious layer of cream cheese. 

It was time to chop the bacon but G had other plans...


Full slices would be better Mom...
The chicken was ready so we started to shred it.  Of course, my man helped!


Happy Helper!

To our dough, we also added green onion and cheese.  Everything needs cheese.  Cheese and bacon. 

And Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

And Pepsi. 

Back to the meal..


Tell me this isn't a big ol' pile of delicious...

Once we piled our dough with everything we wanted, I rolled it up and put it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm it back up.  I then cut it into about 1/2" rounds and placed them on a baking sheet and into a 350° oven for about 13 minutes. 

My delicate placement method...Keep in mind, I had 2 year old help.

I paired our delicious meal with a side of garlic spaghetti and everybody ate happily.   I have no doubt that this wouldn't have tasted nearly as good had I not had my gorgeous helper in the kitchen. 


xo Gabe (and Mommy..)

4.03.2011

Ruffles and Nuggets..

After our delicious multi-course meal and cheapo dessert from last night, I knew I'd get my ruffle cake done today.

After some cursing at my lack of a) a cake stand with domed top, b) a proper leveling tool, and c) a serious lack of eyeballing cake layering skills (due to being poked, prodded, and pulled on by two little people) I got the beauty layered and crumb coated. 

I cheated a little with this cake, I used a boxed French Vanilla cake mix and my own tried and true chocolate cake recipe

Tonight for supper we had a regal sampling of chicken nuggets, french fries, meatballs and gravy, and capped it off with my five layer ruffle cake. 



Not bad for my first time!

For the frosting, I tweaked (by eye) my standard buttercream.  Again, I'll attempt to list it out..

I needed a lot to fill layers, crumb coat, and ruffle so I doubled my usual cupcake amount. 

Buttercream

1 Lb Butter
2 T Vanilla
6-8 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2-2/3 C Heavy Whipping Cream
(Food Coloring if desired, I used Wilton Gel in Teal)

Whip butter until almost white, add vanilla. 
Add half the powdered sugar, whip well.
Add whipping cream until incorporated. 
Add more powdered sugar until you've reached your desired consistency. 
Add color.

Frost!  (I ruffled, but clearly preference is key. )


Enjoy, we're all in a sugar coma!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...