Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coconut Toffee Cupcakes

Source: Kitchen Worthy

Coconut Toffee Cupcakes
Yields a baker’s dozen.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup low fat (2%) milk
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup milk chocolate toffee bits (such as HEATH English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits)
2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Allow butter to soften. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, cream butter then add sugar and continue to cream until it is light in color. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, etc.) and the milk, alternating. Try to make the flour your last addition, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the coconut and the milk chocolate toffee bits.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until their are stiff. Fold them into the batter. Put in muffin pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Cool and frost with cream cheese icing - sprinkle with toffee bits.

Cream Cheese Icing


4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract

Salted Chocolate Almond Caramel Cookies

Source: Elle's New England Kitchen

Salted Chocolate Almond Caramel Cookies
makes about 35 cookies, more if you make them smaller--about 4 doz. or so

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped almonds (I used lightly salted almonds)
3/4 cups Caramel Bits
1 bag chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips, 11.5 oz bag)
kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, and you just want to dip your fingers in and eat it as is.
When you get past that crazy good urge, add the eggs and vanilla, then mix well.
Add the dry stuff to the creamed stuff, and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Mix in the nuts, caramel bits and chocolate chips.
I used a 3 tbsp ice cream scoop to drop them on parchment covered baking sheets. You don't have to--but if you do make them that size, bake for 12-13 minutes. If you make them normal sized--rounded teaspoon sized--bake those for 9-11 minutes.

***Sprinkle them before baking with a good pinch of the salt!
Let them cool on the sheet for 3-5 minutes. If you don't, the caramel bits on the bottoms will stick to your spatula. Trust me.
Remove to a cooling rack.

Chocolate Honey Cupcakes with Roasted Peanuts and Honey Vanilla Buttercream

Source: Love & Olive Oil

Chocolate Honey Cupcakes with Roasted Peanuts and Honey Vanilla Buttercream
Makes 12 cupcakes.

3/4 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, finely ground

For Frosting:
2 large egg whites
3/8 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the soy milk, oil, sugar, honey, and vanilla extract until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in peanuts. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in soy milk mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not overmix).

Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). For mini cupcakes, fill each with 1 tablespoon batter. Bake 18-20 minutes (or 10-12 for minis), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

To make buttercream, combine the sugar, honey, and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, 7-10 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like melted marshmallow cream. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high speed until mixture is completely cooled and stiff peaks form, about 6-10 minutes. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, on low speed, mixing well after each addition. If at any point mixture looks separated or curdled, stop adding butter. Increase speed to high and beat until mixture smooths out again. Reduce speed, and continue adding remaining butter. Beat in vanilla and food coloring (if desired). Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting

Source: The Novice Chef

Vanilla Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from: Joy Of Baking

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Zest of 1 med lemon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
In your stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla paste and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl combine together flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

Fill cupcake liners with batter and bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool on baking rack. Once cooled, frost cupcakes with desired frosting.

Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from: Love and Olive Oil

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons fresh blackberry puree, strained
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds only)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

In your stand mixer on medium beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add blackberry puree, vanilla bean, and extract and mix until well incorporated. Add remaining confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Once you have added all sugar, beat at a medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Homemade Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Source: Amanda's Cookin'

Homemade Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

1 package quick-acting active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp bulk quick acting yeast, I use SAF instant)
1 1/3 cup milk (105 to 115F degrees)
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour or whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
coarse salt

Dissolve yeast in warm milk with sugar in electric mixer bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour, oil, and salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, scraping dough from side of bowl, until soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven 400 degrees F. Punch down dough in center and fold over a few times. Prep a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pinch off 1 inch balls of dough and quickly roll in palm of hands. Put 3 balls to one muffin cup, brush with melted butter; sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake until crust is light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from pan. Store loosely covered.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Source: Hot Polka Dot

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.
Adapted from Piece of Cake's Strawberry Cupcakes.

2 1/4 cup cake flour (or substitute)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup strawberry puree
4 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
Juice from 2 lemons for glaze
1/4 cup powdered sugar for glaze

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set them aside.

Stir together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt either with a whisk or with a stand mixer on stir speed. Add the butter and mix on low speed until it's well blended and resembles course crumbs. Add the strawberry puree then mix on low speed then increase the speed to medium and beat it for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites and milk then, with the mixer running, add it to the batter gradually in 2 or 3 additions making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake them for 20 – 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. While they're baking, make the lemonade glaze by stirring together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Cool the cupcakes on cooling racks for 5 – 10 minutes then poke holes in them with a fork. Spoon the lemonade glaze over each one, making sure it soaks into the holes instead of just rolling off.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Piece of Cake's White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

1 250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature
4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

With an electric mixer blend together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on low speed at first then medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix it until it's just combined.

Refrigerate the frosting until you're ready to use it. Once the cupcakes are cooled spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and frost away. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yellow Butter Cupcakes

Source: simple bites

Yellow Butter Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups so that each is about two thirds full.

Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely.

Frost with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days.

Dark Chocolate Frosting
From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.

Frosts 24 cupcakes, generously.

24 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon boiling water
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Turn off heat; stir occasionally until chocolate has melted completely, about 15 minutes. Set bowl on countertop, and let chocolate cool to room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl; stir until cocoa is dissolved.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Beat in cocoa mixture. Use immediately or chill until ready to use. Bring frosting back to room temperature and beat until smooth before using.
To Decorate

1. Spoon Method. Dollop a generous amount of frosting onto the top of the cupcake. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently rub it in a circular motion into the frosting to make a indention. Frosting will squish out the sides and cover most of the cupcake. Place a few mini eggs in the ‘nest’.

2. Piping Method. Place your tip of preference on the piping bag and starting about 1/2 inch from the edge of the cupcake, pipe a ‘nest’ in the middle of the cupcake.

Alternatively, place frosting in a ziplock bag and snip off one of the corners with scissors to create a makeshift piping bag. Squeeze out frosting onto cupcakes to create ‘nests’. Decorate with mini eggs.

Key Lime Pie Bars

Source: My Baking Addiction

Key Lime Pie Bars

For the crust: (you can always use pre-made)
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 2/3 of a sleeve)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, coconut and sugar; add butter and blend well. Press onto the bottom of a nine inch springform pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes; cool on wire rack.

For the filling:
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup key lime juice (I used Nelly and Joes Key Lime Juice)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. DO NOT BROWN! Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Cut into 16 bars; garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut.


Source: The Little Kitchen

(from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010 Cookbook, published 2009)

1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed)
6 (6-inch) sub rolls

1. Mix the oil, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper and pepper flakes in a large bowl.

2. Take 2 Tbsp of the oil mixture and place into another bowl and set aside.

3. Prick the chicken breasts with a fork all over on each side. Cut into 1 1/4 inch chunks. Add to large (first) bowl of marinade. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes and no longer than 3 hours.

4. Whisk together mayo, vinegar and lemon juice with the 2 Tbsp of oil mixture set aside earlier.

5. Remove the chicken and thread onto metal skewers.

6. Heat your grill for 10 minutes on high.

7. Clean and oil your cooking grate. Place the skewers on the grill, turning frequently. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

8. Remove from grill and allow chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes.

9. Grill the rolls on grill for a few seconds each. Remove quickly or they will burn.

10. Remove the chicken from the skewers directly on the rolls. Drizzle with mayo sauce mixture.

Almond Joy Cookies 2

Source: Sprouts & Sparkles

Almond Joy Cookies 2


3/4 cup Almonds, roasted and salted
1 1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk (14-oz can)
1 package (16 oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips


1.Reserve 20 almonds; set aside. Chop remaining almonds. In medium bowl, stir chopped almonds, coconut and milk until well blended. Refrigerate mixture 25 minutes for easier handling. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften.

2.Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, knead cookie dough and cocoa with hands until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside.

3.For each cookie, press 1 rounded tablespoon dough into 3-inch round. Place 1 tablespoon coconut mixture on center of each round. Wrap dough around filling, pressing edges to seal; shape into a ball. Place balls 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press each ball with fingers into 2 1/2-inch round. Press 1 whole almond on each cookie.

4.Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until puffed and edges are set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

5.In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 10 to 20 second, stirring every 10 seconds, until smooth. Place in resealable food-storage plastic bag; cut small tip from corner of bag. Drizzle chocolate over cookies. Before storing, let cookies stand at room temperature until chocolate is set. Store in airtight container.

Almond Joy Cookies 1

Source: Perry's Plate

Almond Joy Cookies 1
from Mom's Big Book of Cookies by Lauren Chattman

2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 15-oz can sweetened condensed milk
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (or almond meal), plus about 24 whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on top of a double broiler. Combine the chocolate with the rest of the ingredients (minus the whole almonds) in a large bowl and stir. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto well-greased baking sheets, leaving 3 inches between each cookie. Place a single almond on top of each cookie.

Bake until set, 12-15 minutes. Let cookies stand for 5 minutes, then carefully remove them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store at room temperature. Makes 24 cookies.

Caramel Filled Cookies

Source: Open Mouth Insert Cookie

Caramel Filled Cookies
adapted from Culinary in the Desert

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat) - or use entirely all-purpose
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (my favorite is King Arthur's Double Dutch)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
48 Rolos (or substitute peanut butter cups or plain caramels)

Sift together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bow. Set aside.

Combine the butter and sugars, beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first before adding the second. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated (I recommend doing this by hand with a big wooden spoon; the dough is pretty soft so it shouldn't be too hard on your arms). Scrape dough into a plastic bag and chill for at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Divide the dough into quarters, and work with one section at a time. Divide a quarter into 12 equal pieces of dough and roll into balls. Make sure you have unwrapped all the foil from your Rolos! Seriously!! Poke a hole in the center of each dough ball and insert a Rolo; shape the dough around the candy so that it is completely covered, and then roll between your palms back into a ball. Dip the top of each cookie in additional granulated sugar, if desired, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, sugared side up. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until the tops are firm and cookies are set, approximately 12 minutes. If you feel like the cookies are a bit too puffy looking you can press them down a bit right after they come out of the oven, but don't push too hard! You don't want to squish the caramel out. Let sit on the pan for a few minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Makes 48 delicious cookies

Honey Beer Bread

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Honey Beer Bread
(Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
4 Tbsp. (half stick) butter, melted (**You can double this if you’d like**)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (I recommend popping your honey in the microwave for a few seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in!)

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. (Use a pastry brush to spread it around if you’d like.)

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately.

Baked Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Baked Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey-BBQ Dipping Sauce
(Adapted from Love and Olive Oil)


1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or breast tenders
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour

Honey-Barbecue Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
3 Tbsp. honey


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and lightly spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl or shallow dish, season the flour with salt and black pepper, and lightly beat the eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

If using chicken breasts, prepare by putting one breast in between two layers of plastic wrap. Pound to an even thickness of approximately 1/2″. Remove plastic and slice into strips.

Dredge tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and then coat the chicken tenders with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.

Bake chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once part way through the cook time.

To prepare sauce, whisk together honey and barbeque sauce in a small bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ali’s Tip:

There’s a reason why restaurants offer you about 500 sauce options whenever you order chicken fingers. It seems everyone has a different favorite! So to provide a few more options, here are a couple other simple sauce recipes you can try…

Apricot Sauce

2/3 cup apricot preserves
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. ketchup

Honey-Mustard Sauce

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
2 Tbsp. honey

Basil Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste

"Empty Tomb" Marshmallow Delights

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Marshmallow Delights
by Wendy Weisenburger and found on

1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
8 large marshmallows
1/4 cup butter, melted

Separate rolls into eight triangles. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip each marshmallow into butter, roll in cinnamon-sugar and place on a triangle. Pinch dough around marshmallow, sealing all edges. *Make sure to seal well or all the marshmallow will escape.

Dip tops of dough into remaining butter and cinnamon-sugar. Place with sugar side up in greased muffin cups. It helps to use jumbo muffin tins so that the juice doesn't overflow.

Bake at 375 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. Eat warm.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: That Winsome Girl

Best Chocolate Cupcakes
from Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
yields 12 cupcakes*

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted**
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

*I made 6 regular sized cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. I baked the mini cupcakes for 13 minutes and the regular sized cupcakes for 22 minutes.

**I used King Arthur Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa for the deepest, darkest, most chocolaty experience!

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
adapted from Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
yields about 1 1/2 cups*

1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk and salt until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Spread onto cooled cupcakes or pipe with a decorator bag and preferred tip.

*Since I like a heaping swirl of frosting atop my cupcakes, this was only enough frosting to frost half the cupcakes (24 mini cupcakes). I would suggest doubling this recipe is you plan to generously frost 12 cupcakes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lasagna Bolognese

Source: Cook, Eat, Shoot

Lasagna Bolognese
From Mario Batali
Serves six to eight.


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound veal, ground
1 pound pork, ground
4 ounces pancetta, ground
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 to 1 pound fresh pasta sheets, about 7 by 4 inches, or dried lasagne noodles blanched for 6 minutes and refreshed
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Oil for brushing

Cooking Instructions
Ragù: In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and sweat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are translucent. Add veal, pork, and pancetta to the vegetables, and brown over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together. Add the tomato paste, milk, wine, thyme, and 1 cup water, and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 11/2 hours (if the ragù becomes too thick, add a little more water). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Béchamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the flour, and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until it is just about to boil. Add the milk to the butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until the sauce is very smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat and season with salt and nutmeg.

Assembly: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with melted butter or oil, and layer in the following order from the bottom: ragù, pasta, béchamel, and grated cheese (saving about 1 cup béchamel for last topping), making 3 to 4 layers of pasta, finishing with ragù, béchamel, and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled over the top. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes, slice, and serve.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Source: Coconut & Lime

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into bite sized pieces
pizza dough, below (with or without the garlic/pepper)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
8 oz smoked Gouda, shredded
3 oz mozzarella, shredded

for the barbecue sauce:
1 large shallot
12 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground chipotle
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the barbecue sauce: Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer on the lowest setting until heated through. Allow to cool.

For the pizza: Place the chicken in a resealable bag with about 1/4 cup of the sauce. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Heat oil in a skillet. Saute the chicken until just cooked through. Mix the two cheeses together in a small bowl. Spread about 1/4 cup of sauce on each pizza. Top with the cheeses then onion and chicken. Follow the pizza directions for baking. Sprinkle with cilantro prior to serving if desired.

Yield: 2 pizzas


Black Pepper & Garlic Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 oz active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon freshly coarsely ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil

coarse-grain cornmeal for dusting
olive oil for greasing the bowl
mozzarella cheese and/or a combination of mozzarella, asiagio and Parmesan
assorted toppings (pictured: green olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, onions and pepperoni)
pizza sauce


Pour warm water into a small bowl. Add sugar, and sprinkle in yeast. Stir the mixture until the yeast is dissolved. Let yeast stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. At the same time, soak the garlic in the olive oil. Microwave the oil (with the garlic) for 15 seconds after at least 10 minutes of soaking. Discard the garlic or use it in the sauce.

Place the flour the bowl of a stand mixer. Add salt, olive oil, black pepper and yeast. Using the dough hook and mix until the dough becomes a fairly smooth ball. At this point you can fold the dough onto itself a couple of times if you'd like. Coat the inside of a medium bowl with additional olive oil, and place the dough in the bowl, smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Remove plastic wrap, and use your fist to push down on the center of the dough. Fold the dough in half four or five times. Turn dough over, folded-side down, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the warm spot to rise again. Wait until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500. Place 16-inch (or larger) pizza stone on lowest shelf position, for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough and transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough in half, and knead each half four or five times into a ball. Place one of the dough balls back in the oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Lightly flour a clean surface, place the dough ball on top, pat into a flattened circle, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let rest 5 minutes*. Begin to flatten and push the dough evenly out from the center until it measures about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Leave a 1/2 inch border of unflatted dough around the edges of the circle. Lift the dough off the surface, and center it on top of your fists. Rotate and stretch the dough, moving your fists until they are 6 to 8 inches apart and the dough is several inches larger. Then place your fists under the inside of the outer edge, and continue to stretch the dough until it reaches about 12 inches in diameter. The dough will drape down over your forearms. Start over if the dough tears or gets to thin. Do this carefully, preserving the raised edge. Sprinkle cornmeal all over the surface of a pizza peel or parchment paper.

Place the pizza dough into a circle on top of the cornmeal-dusted peel. Distribute pizza sauce on the dough, leaving the 1/2 inch of raised dough bare. Sprinkle with cheese and toppings. Slightly tilt the peel (or a parchment paper covered upside down baking sheet), and place the front tip of peel on the back side of the stone. Slide the pizza off the peel (or slide the pizza with the parchment paper off of the baking sheet), centering it on the stone as best you can. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Repeat with remaining dough.

I like to cool the pizza for a minute on a wire rack before serving. This helps the cheese set up a tiny bit so it doesn't pull off when you slice it. Using a thick sauce helps with that as well.

*Even thought it is tempting, especially if you are hungry, don't skip this step, it really helps the dough maintain elasticity so it doesn't tear when you stretch it.

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks with Herbed Tomato Sauce

Source: Coconut & Lime

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks with Herbed Tomato Sauce

For the mozzarella sticks:
9 oz package low moisture mozzarella sticks*
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups matzo meal or bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel

For the sauce:
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon minced oregano
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the mozzarella sticks: Pour the eggs into a shallow bowl. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow bowl and stir in the spices. Dip each stick into the egg then the bread crumbs then into the egg and then the crumbs again. Arrange the double coated mozzarella sticks in a single layer on a tray or plate. Cover loosely in foil. Refrigerate one hour or until the sticks are very cold. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, turning once. If frying in batches, keep the sticks in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them. If you have problems with cheese oozing out during the frying process, roll them in bread crumbs again prior to frying. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

For the sauce: While the mozzarella sticks are being refrigerated, start the sauce. Heat the olive in a saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and cook through.

*I don't normally buy mozzarella sticks (aka string cheese) but the package I had was a lower fat variety and there were 12, .75 oz, sticks in the package. You could also cut a block of low moisture mozzarella into sticks.

Note: If you'd rather bake than fry, bake the sticks for 7 minutes in single layer on a baking sheet at 350.

Chocolate Cake with Coconut

Source: 2 Stews

Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake)

This recipe is for 2-9 inch layer pans or 30 cupcakes. I made half of the recipe for a 2 layer 6 inch cake.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour and line with parchment a 9 inch cake pan or line a muffin tin with cupcake baking cups.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into lined muffin tin. Bake 30-35 minutes for cake and 20-25 minutes for cupcakes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 30 cupcakes or 2-9 inch layer cakes.

Chocolate Almond Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Break up the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream until just boiling and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted. Stir to combine evenly and stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Let sit at room temperature until thick and creamy, but not too firm to spread.
Makes about 2 cups.

Meringue Frosting With Coconut

2 cups sugar
2/3 cups water
6 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1-1 1/2 cups shredded coconut for the top and sides

Combine the sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. When the syrup reaches 240 degrees, pour 1/4 cup of the syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, drop by drop, beating at high speed. Gradually add the rest of the syrup in a fine stream and beat for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is cool. Beat in vanilla extract. The mixture should be glossy and thick, but not dry.

Makes about 6 cups.

Place one layer of the cake on a serving platter. Spread an even layer of the ganache on top. Place the second layer on and frost with the meringue frosting. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and lightly pat on the sides.


Source: Coconut & Lime



For the coconut:
5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
food dye

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups hot buttermilk
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
pinch salt

for the marshmallow:
1/4 oz. unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/8 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the cream filling:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt


For the coconut:
This step can be done the day before you want to assemble and serve the cupcakes.
Place the coconut and a few drops of dye into a resealable plastic bag. Shake to evenly distribute the dye, adding more as needed to reach the desired color. Pour the coconut into a large bowl.

For the cake:
This step can be done the day before you want to assemble and serve the cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar cocoa, and instant espresso until smooth.

In large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Alternate the chocolate mixture and the dry ingredients until well blended. Fill each well of the cupcake pan(s) 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the marshmallow:
In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water. Allow to seep for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/8 cup water. Bring to a vigorous boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed for 1 minute. Add the salt and vanilla and beat for 12 minutes. Quickly spread on three sides of the cupcakes (bottom/indented side up) and form to make a dome. Roll in coconut. Brush any coconut off the bottom. Place, plain side down on a try and allow the coconut to set up before filling.

For the cream filling:
In a small pan, mix flour with milk and boil until thick. Cool. Beat until fluffy and add other ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 1 hour. The cream should be cold and rather stiff when you pipe it into the cake, the act of piping will soften it a bit so do not be tempted to let it warm up before filling. By this time, the marshmallow on the cupcakes should be firm enough that it is safe to fill them. Pipe cream into the center of the bottom of each cupcake.

Yield: about 10 cupcakes (depending on pan size)

Note: I used this dessert shell pan I found. It has a little indentation on the top. I just filled that tiny dent with marshmallow. It made perfect sized (and round!) cakes. If you don't have the pan, I would make regular cupcakes and coat the bottoms and sides liberally with marshmallow, leaving the "top" free of marshmallow and sort of shape it (after the coconut) into a dome manually.

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting/Filling & Brown Butter Frosting

Source: Zucchero Dolce

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting/Filling & Brown Butter Frosting
Makes a 2-4 layer 9" round cake.

Caramel Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.

Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and becomes a deep brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using immediately.

Caramel Cake (aka - Burnt Sugar Cake by Nancie McDermott)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup Caramel Syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the caramel syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Frosting

3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup Caramel Syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the caramel syrup, butter, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.

Brown Butter Frosting
(enough to fill and frost 1 6" 2-layer cake)

2 sticks butter, browned
1 pound powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup caramel syrup
Pinch of Kosher salt (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Brown the butter, pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, and set aside to cool. Wait for it to cool completely.

Pour the cooled brown butter into mixer bowl (paddle attachment). Add about 1/3 of the powdered sugar, and beat. Add the caramel syrup, and continue beating. Add half the remaining powdered sugar, and beat. Add the 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of heavy cream, and beat until smooth. Add more cream if you'd like the frosting to be softer, and more powdered sugar if you'd like it to be stiffer. Add salt if desired.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Re-whip the frosting right before use.


Be sure the cake layer are completely cool. Cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. Place one layer of cake on your plate, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. This is a thin layer - the frosting is very sweet, so you don't want too much. Repeat with the remaining layers and frosting. Chill for an hour. Frost outside with Brown Butter Frosting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Toffee Pecan Brownies

Source: my kitchen addiction

Toffee Pecan Brownies
(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

1/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
(I like the flavor of this stuff, but any cocoa powder will do)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
3 eggs
(The other recipe calls for 2 eggs + 2 yolks, but I only had 3 eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup toffee bits (I used Heath bits)
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper that extends up beyond the edges (this will be key when taking the brownies from the pan). Spray lightly with baking spray or lightly grease and flour.

Whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso powder, and boiling water until the cocoa and espresso are dissolved. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the butter and canola oil. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Add the flour and salt, and use a spatula to gently incorporate into the batter. Stir just until combined. Add the toffee bits and pecans, and fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan (using the parchment paper to lift) and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.

Peppery Cheese Bread

Source: Fake Ginger

Peppery Cheese Bread
from Taste of Home

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil, milk, and mustard. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in cheese.

Transfer to a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the pan to a wire rack.

Sugar Doughnut Muffins

Source: Fake Ginger

Sugar Doughnut Muffins


3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar, for rolling
1 tsp cinnamon, for rolling


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
4. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine.
5. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.
6. Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl.
9. When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar.
10. Cool on a wire rack.

Blueberry Muffins

Source: Fake Ginger

Blueberry Muffins
from AllRecipes

Pretty close to Starbucks' Blueberry Muffins. The taste was right on but it just wasn’t as light and fluffy. I’m thinking maybe cake flour next time...
Makes 8 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Clone of a Cinnabon

Source: Fake Ginger

Clone of a Cinnabon
adapted from AllRecipes

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 packet dry active yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large mixing bowl. Mix in sugar, margarine, salt and eggs. Add flour slowly until combined. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size.

Once dough has doubled in size, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat over to 350.Roll out dough to a 16 by 21 inch rectangle. Spread butter evenly over dough and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Cover and let rise until doubled. (Or refrigerate overnight and allow to rise in the morning.)

Bake rolls in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. While rolls are baking combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Spread frosting oven warm rolls before serving.

Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Source: Fake Ginger

Parmesan Pull-Aparts
from Gourmet

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-ounce package)
1 teaspoon mild honey or sugar
2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F), divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoon for sprinkling
1 1/4 cups grated (with a rasp) Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/3 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
1 tablespoon water

Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) Whisk together flour (2 1/2 cups), cheese, and salt, then mix into yeast mixture along with remaining 1/3 cup warm milk at low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.)

Scrape dough into center of bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoon flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down dough (do not knead) and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Arrange rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.) Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes.


Source: Fake Ginger

adapted from Progresso: Soups & More

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz carton), heated
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko crispy bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Vegetable oil for frying

Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in rice and wine; cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup broth; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed. Add remaining 1 cup broth; cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed.

Season with pepper. Stir in butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Spread onto cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm. (Mixture can be refrigerated overnight.)

On cookie sheet, shape rice mixture into 12×8-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows to make 24 squares. Shape rice into balls.

Place flour and bread crumbs in separate bowls. In another bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Coat each ball with flour, then dip into egg mixture and coat with bread crumbs. Place coated balls on unlined cookie sheet; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Line platter or shallow pan with paper towels. In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches vegetable oil to 350°F. Fry 8 balls at a time 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. With slotted spoon, remove balls from Dutch oven to towel-lined platter to drain. Serve hot.

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Pasta

Source: Fake Ginger

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Pasta

chicken pieces (I use one big breast and that’s plenty)
1 pack Italian dressing mix
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese
cooked pasta, for serving

Place chicken in slow cooker. Pour all ingredients, except cream cheese, over top. Cook on low for about 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken; add cream cheese and cook for another 30 minutes or until everything is combined. Serve with pasta.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Source: Homemade by Holman

Triple Lemon Cupcakes
Cake and Icing Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Tartlette
Lemon Curd Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 T lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin tin with liners. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Add sugar and lemon zest to mixing bowl or stand mixer and rub zest into sugar with your fingertips until well distributed and fragrant. Add the butter and cream cheese to the sugar and beat until light and creamy, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each egg. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk, once incorporated, add the next 1/3 of the flour mix, followed by remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour, beating each addition until just incorporated. Add lemon juice, beating until just incorporated on low speed.

Transfer batter to muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. I use a cookie scoop to evenly fill the muffin tins. (It also makes it easier to get the batter into the muffin tins without spills and drips all over the pan.) Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Curd:
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 1 T lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
5 T unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Combine everything but the butter in a sauce pan and whisk together. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the sides of the pan often until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the lemon curd and cover with a lid. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest

Beat together butter, cream cheese and lemon juice on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add lemon zest and increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth.

To assemble:
Use a paring knife to cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with lemon curd and pipe into the center of each cupcake. Fill a second piping bag fitted with a large star tip with frosting and pipe a swirl onto the top of each cupcake. Garnish with lemon candy slices (I cut each fruit slice in half so they wouldn't overpower the cupcake) as desired.

Monkey Balls

Source: Whisk Kid

Monkey Balls
Makes about 15

Sweet Dough
1 package instant dry yeast
1/2 c water at 110F
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c milk, warmed
1/3 c butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1 egg, beaten and at room temp
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 to 4 c flour

Combine the yeast, water and sugar and let set about five minutes until the yeast is activated. Mix in the milk, butter, egg and salt, and begin adding the flour in about 1/2 c increments until it hold together. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead about fifteen minutes, adding more flour as needed. Place into a well-oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. Make filling (below) while the dough rises.

After the dough has risen, dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Gently flatten the dough with your fingers to redistribute the air slightly. Pinch off a walnut-sized ball of dough, then flatten into a round. Fill with about a 1/2 tsp of filling (below) or sprinkle the center with cinnamon and sugar. Fold up edges into a ball shape, pinching seams to seal. Set on a lightly floured tray and cover. Repeat until all of the dough is gone, then place the formed monkey balls in the fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours.

After the dough has rested, place it in an cool oven, along with a small boiling pan of water. Wait half an hour for the dough to warm and rise slightly. Meanwhile, heat oil to 365F and prepare a cooling rack by resting it upside down on a pile of paper towels to soak up excess oil.

After dough has risen for the final time, gently move two or three at a time to the hot oil. Fry about a minute on each side, then remove to cooling rack over towels, flipping after about 15 seconds to a clean area. Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy!

Monkey Ball Filling
It's completely fine to simply fill the balls with a dry mix of cinnamon and sugar, but I used the following combination. What can I say - I was channeling my inner Paula Dean!

1/4 c butter, softened
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter until slightly aerated and add the cinnamon and brown sugar. Beat until light, about five minutes, then add the vanilla. Whip briefly to combine, then use.

Caramel Pecan Cupcakes

Source: Joelen's Culinary Adventures

Caramel Pecan Cupcakes
recipe inspired by AllRecipes

3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.

Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar and vanilla until blended.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large, separate bowl. Gradually stir into the chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Slowly stir in the warm water.

Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Caramel Frosting
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as necessary
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter in small saucepan. Add brown sugar and 1/3 cup cream. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in confectioners' sugar a little at a time until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream at a time until consistency is as desired.

Coconut Lime Chewy Sugar Cookies

Source: Rock Recipes

Coconut Lime Chewy Sugar Cookies

The kids and I were treated to the enticing scent of these great cookies baking as we arrived home from school the other day. Spouse had been experimenting with a variation on the chewy sugar cookie recipe that has become a standard at our house. Judging by the number that have been devoured in the past 2 days, I'd say the experiment was a success.


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lime, finely minced
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.

4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lime juice and lime zest.

5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut.

6. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.

7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.

8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Sausage Pasta Casserole

Source: Fake Ginger

Sausage Pasta Casserole
adapted from Lobster and Fishsticks

1 pound pasta
1 pound Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
small baguette
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon parsley, minced

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to package instructions until a dente.

In a large pan, cook sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is cooked through. Pour in tomato sauce and add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in mozzarella until melted.

When pasta is cooked, drain and add to tomato sauce. Stir too combine. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish (lightly sprayed with oil).

Slice baguette into fairly thin pieces. Combine butter, garlic, and parsley. Spread a decent amount of butter on each baguette piece and arrange on top of pasta.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and turn on broiler. Broil for only a couple minutes until your bread is golden and crispy. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Source: Fake Ginger

Strawberry Cupcakes
from Good Things Catered

2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cupcake pans.

Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.

In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in berries.

Fill cupcake pans 3/4 way. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries

Use a mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach a slightly stiffer consistency then you wanted. Blend the strawberries into the mixture. The strawberry juices should thin out your buttercream a little bit, add more powdered sugar if needed.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Sugar

Source: lululu at home

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon and Sugar
makes 2 loaves

2 sticks butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 loaf pans.

Cream butter, sugar and eggs in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

Combine sour cream and vanilla. Add to butter mixture.

In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually, add flour mixture to sour cream mixture, stirring until just combined.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Pull half of the cake batter into 2 loaf pans. Sprinkle half of topping over. Pull remaining batter over toppings. Finish with remaining topping.

Bake at 350F until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 45 mins.

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Muffins

Source: lululu at home

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
(makes 12 regular size muffins)

2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp powder sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped into very small pieces

For Cream Cheese Mixture
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat over to 350F. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin liners.

In a small bowl, mix together with a spoon the cream cheese mixture ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

In a big bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and egg until incorporated.

Use a spatula, mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold together until combined. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tins, filling them no more than 1/2 full.

Scatter a few pieces of strawberry on top of each one.

Top it with a tsp of cream cheese mixture, a tbsp of muffin batter, and finally a few more pieces of strawberry.

Bake the muffins for about 25 mins, until they're light golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 mins.

Puddle Cookies

Source: Stone Soup

Puddle Cookies
makes about 9 giant cookies
Inspired by Heidi from 101 cookbooks

I made mine generously giant sized like Heidi – if you’d prefer a more modest cookie, by all means use smaller spoonfuls.

1 1/2 cup (5 oz) roasted & chopped nuts – I used hazelnuts
2 cups (9 oz) icing (powdered or confectioners) sugar
1/3 cup (1 oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 160C (320F).

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.

Spoon into 2 tablespoon piles on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Leave heaps of space between – they’re really going to spread.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until they have puffed up and cracked on top. Cool on the tray.