Archive | June 2012

It Finally Came!!!

It has been an exciting week (for me) here. I received my much desired Cornflower Blue KitchenAid stand mixer!! It was an early birthday gift from my Nana. She knew I wanted one, as we discussed it at my brother’s birthday earlier in the month. I had mentioned that they had been on sale the week before, so we checked to see if it still was (is wasn’t 😦 ); so she told me to keep an eye out for the next time it was on sale anywhere and she would give me a check for it then. I was soooo excited!! I have wanted this exact one since…I don’t know when, but I wanted it! With all the cooking and baking I do for the family, it was only going to make my life easier.

Well, over the last few weeks I had been religiously checking for this coveted item to be on sale. On Father’s Day I struck Gold! I found it on sale, with Free shipping! WooHooo!  We were going to lunch that day at Nana’s, so I could tell her about it then.

While we were preparing lunch for the Dad’s we started talking about cooking, which led to baking, which led to Nana asking if I had found my mixer on sale yet. I told her I had…and the rest is history, as they say. So, without further ado, here she is 🙂

I was waiting for the UPS truck like a child waits for Christmas morning! After ordering, it took less than four days to get to me.  I highly recommend EverythingKitchens.Com…They are expedient, and you don’t pay tax on your orders (unless you live in Missouri) and free shipping on most items…you really can’t beat that. Plus, there are often coupon codes available for $ off a certain amount (google it 🙂 )

Anyway, I had to try it out, and my Mom bought me a Simply Sweet magazine chock full of cupcake recipes. After some deliberation between my mom, sister and I,(and my mom had some really ripe bananas that needed to be used) we decided that I would make these:

The perfect combo of two delicious desserts!

Banana Pudding Cupcakes! (Recipe here) The perfect combination of two of my very favorite things! I have loved Banana pudding all of my life, and I am not talking the artificially flavored banana pudding, I am talking about the fresh ripe banana slices layered with Nilla wafers, vanilla pudding and whipped cream. Creamy goodness in a bowl. When I saw this recipe, I knew it had to be made. Everyone in my family loves banana pudding, so I knew they would go fast 🙂

While the recipe calls for the Store-bought Nilla wafers, I opted to find a recipe for them and make them fresh. This is why I LOVE Pinterest. It makes it so easy to find a recipe for something, and has fast become my go-to for ideas 🙂 I quickly found the recipe and whipped up the cookies and then set about making the cupcakes. FYI, after making them, I decided that making the filling first (after the cookies) would have been the best way to go about making all of the various pieces of this cake. It has to cool completely before using.

These cupcakes are delicious! They are everything I was hoping they would be. They smell divine while baking. The cake is something like banana bread but sweeter and more tender. With the addition of the banana curd filling and whipped cream topping and the cookie…OMG….I was in Heaven! Definitely a delightful twist on a classic dessert, and I think would be a hit at the next Summer barbecue 🙂 A word of warning….These are addicting…Friends will be asking for the recipe, asking for you to make more, even offering to buy the things needed to make more, just so they can shove their faces full again and again. Yeah…they are that good. Hint: these need to be refrigerated, and they are super this way as well as freshly made.

For more finger-licking deliciousness…Stay Tuned….

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Banana pudding Cupcakes

For the Banana Cake:

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

2 tsps. lemon juice

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat (or regular) flour

1 1/2 tsps. baking soda ( I used half baking soda/baking powder)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 tsps. vanilla

cupcake liners

vegetable cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine mashed bananas and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

3. Combine flour, baking soda/powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and banana mixture.

4. Place paper liners in 2 (when I made them I ended up with 36 cakes, so if you have 3 pans you might want to prepare for that many if you have three pans) 12 cup muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray ( i didn’t do this….sorta forgot 😉 ); spoon (or scoop) batter into cups, filling 2/3 full.

5. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely.

For the Banana curd:

Makes 2 cups

4 large ripe bananas, peeled

4 tbsp. butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

4 large eggs

1. Mash bananas in a large bowl with  a fork until creamy

2. Combine mashed bananas and the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. (Do not boil.) Cool completely.

Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For the Whipped cream topping:

1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled

2 tsps. vanilla

1/4 cup powdered sugar

(To top all of the cupcakes I ended up with I increased all the ingredients by one half, I had a smidge left over)

1. Beat whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

2. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Homemade Nilla wafers recipe found here

Putting it all together:

1. Prepare the Banana Cake as directed.

2. Insert the end of a wooden spoon or dowel into the center of each cooled cupcake to create a hole. Fill a zip-top freezer bag with Fresh Banana Curd. Use scissors and snip off about a 1/4 of an inch off one corner of the bag. Insert bag into hole in cupcake. Squeeze gently until curd comes out of the top of the cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

3. Frost each cupcake with approx. 2 tbsp of the Fresh Whipped Cream, using a piping bag (or another zip-top with the corner cut off) and a round piping tip (or none at all) pipe a swirl of cream onto each cupcake. Top each with a vanilla wafer and slice of banana (if desired) just before serving.

 Recipes adapted from Simply Sweet magazine.  Enjoy!!

Wow…..

It has been a while since I posted! I can’t believe I have been such a slacker. To my followers, I apologize! Dieting does not make for fun cooking (at least not for me :() However, I have made some really delicious cupcakes that I wanted to share with you. I am sure that most of you know something about Pinterest. Well, I love that site! I think I may have mentioned this before, but I really do! And not just for food ideas either (although it is a foodies’ paradise!) There is all kinds of loveliness on there 🙂 There are so many things I want to do now; there just isn’t enough time in the day or money in the bank to do them 😦 Anyway, Pinterest is where I found the idea for these cupcakes, and while the original recipe didn’t work well for me at all, after a few tweaks to the ingredients, I had these adorable, delightful cupcakes.

These cupcakes are sweet for sure, but the flavor profile is exquisite! Rich and decadent cupcake with a light, fluffy frosting and to top it off a fresh-baked itty bitty chocolate chip cookie 🙂 These were fun to make and even more fun to eat, lol.

I had found this cupcake a few weeks ago, but didn’t have any (real) reason to make them until this past week. A good friend of mine likes to have all of us Mommies come over for lunch to talk and to let the kids (all together I think there were 14 kids o_O) run around and play together. Well, when this happens we all contribute a little something. I, of course, said I would do dessert, which everyone was absolutely fine with XD. I guess I am starting to get a reputation, hehehe…

Well, after I said that, I had about 2 days to decide what I was going to make and in the mean time I had promised to make cookies for Goldilocks and the three Bears. I knew I had everything to make chocolate chip cookies and I also knew that I wanted to experiment with this classic cookie recipe to get exactly the kind I like. Just FYI, I like them crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and perfectly full of flavor.

These cookies, I am happy to say, fit the bill. I mean, they were just perfect! At least for me 🙂 Anyway, while I was making them I was still pondering what I was going to make for our playdate. It hit me that I had the above cupcake pinned on one of my Pinterest boards and I immediately knew that I was going to make that.

Like with every recipe I try, I follow it to the letter. I had read through the comments and saw that there were several people who had issues with the cupcakes “falling”, “exploding” and just not coming out in general. Obviously there are people out there that don’t follow recipes well, or just don’t like to (my father is one of those). So I went ahead and attempted the recipe as written. I don’t know how to fix things unless I can see what is truly wrong.

I mixed everything together, scooped it into some really cute cupcake wrappers and popped them in the oven. Everything was looking (and smelling) all right, except the cupcakes seemed to be a little flat on top. I thought, that’s ok, I can work with that, they are getting frosted after all. Well, they weren’t quite done when I checked them the first time, and when they were “done” they had sort of spread over the top of the cupcake pan, sort-of pancake style…not so pretty… but they hadn’t “fallen” in the middle like others had complained of. At least, they hadn’t YET. I left them to cool a few minutes before I dumped them out of the pan. When I came back into the kitchen, I no longer had cupcakes. I had these ugly, hard, bowl looking things that, get this, didn’t even taste very good! I was SOOOO disappointed!

But, I also knew I could fix them. I knew I had just enough of everything I needed for one more try, besides, I had already made the frosting and the mini chocolate chip cookies…. So, I changed (and added) a few ingredients to fix the problems I had with the original recipe, scooped it into (more) cute wrappers, popped them into the oven, crossed my fingers and prayed! If these didn’t come out, I was going to have to come up with something else entirely and it was already 10pm.

18 minutes later, I had some beautifully rounded, delicious smelling white chocolate cupcakes. That DIDN’T fall. I was dancing around the house, I was so happy they came out…Silly, I know, but I think I was a little delirious.

Once they cooled I frosted them, topped them with mini chocolate chips and mini cookies and Voila! Dessert made for a Queen 🙂 They were definetly a hit, My hubby scarfed down two of them and told me they were incredible. Before you think he was just saying it to please me, He is always honest and tells me if he doesn’t like something or if it isn’t good, or as good as it could be. He knows I want him to tell me so I can fix it; makes sense, right?

Anyway, I posted a couple of recipes that I have mentioned in previous posts and there will be more over the next few weeks (as long as I don’t get completely distracted again, lol) So….Stay Tuned…..

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Please read Bakers notes at the bottom

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

1/2 cup Shortening

1-1/4 cups Brown Sugar

3/4 to 1 cup Malted Milk powder

2 tbsp Chocolate Syrup

1 tbsp Vanilla extract

1 Egg

2 cups All-purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1-1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

1 cup Milk Chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl beat butter, shortening, brown sugar, malted milk powder, chocolate syrup and vanilla until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add egg, fully incorporate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chunks and chips.

3. Scoop by rounded tablespoons and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased (or parchment lined) baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to coll completely.

Bakers Notes:

I like to use a half and half mix of butter and shortening because it makes a cookie that is nice and crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. This is also why I use half soda, half powder.  For this cookie you can use all shortening/ soda, but not the other way around as the cookie wont come out right. Also, I like the taste of malt a lot, as does everyone in my family. If you choose to, you can drop the malt to as little as 1/2 cup, but I found that you could hardly taste the malt in the cookie. That really just depends on your taste 🙂 You can also make these cookies larger as was called for in the original recipe : 2 inch balls/scoops, 3 inches apart, 12-14 minutes. I like them smaller, they last longer and are a better size for the kids. Enjoy!!!

Adapted from TasteofHome

 

Strawberry White Chocolate Scones

Strawberry White chocolate Scones

1 cup of diced fresh Strawberries

1 cup White Chocolate chips

1/2 cup light cream ( i just use half n half)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

6 tbsp cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place diced Strawberries on paper towels to absorb the excess juice. Combine cream and vanilla in a small pitcher and set aside (refrigerate)

3. Combine Flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest, and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in Strawberries and chocolate chips until mixed. Create a hole in the center of Flour mixture. Pour cream mixture into the hole and quickly stir together until just mixed. Let dough rest for 2 minutes.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer dough to baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch round. Use a serrated knife and cut the round into 8 wedge-shaped pieces. Separate the pieces, leaving at least a 1/2 inch in between each. 5. Bake in preheated oven until tops are light brown and crusty, 16-18 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 20 minutes before serving Note: I made the dough into a rectangle and cut it into 12 pieces.The first time I did the round with 8 and the scones are huge. So that is your choice as far as how far you want them to go.

Glaze

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp of lemon zest

2 tbsp of cream

whisk until smooth, may need to add more sugar for desired thickness.

Enjoy! They are delicious!!

Loosely adapted from All Recipes