Sunday, September 12, 2010

German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes
I love homemade coconut pecan frosting! Who needs the cake?!? Anyway, I sliced German Chocolate cupcakes in half and sandwiched the first layer of frosting in between. I added the top half and piped a border of my other favorite frosting - Hershey's homemade chocolate frosting - and plopped another nice big spoonful of coconut pecan frosting in the center of that.
For the ones I was taking to work, I layered in plastic cups with a lid. You can see something similar in a previous post, found here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

Red Velvet with Cinnamon Buttercream
Straight from the pages of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking comes Red Velvet Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing. Moist tender cake topped with my favorite vanilla boiled buttercream frosting, to which a hint of cinnamon was added. This made a lot of cupcakes! The recipe said it made a triple layer cake, and you can never have too much cake! I added a cinnamon red hot "glued" with melted chocolate to the bottom of a chocolate chip and perched in right on top.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
YUM! Love this frosting! It reminds me of an orange creamsicle. I've been struggling to find a cream cheese frosting that I am perfectly happy with. The flavor of this one is the best so far! It has some orange juice concentrate added to the rest of the ingredients. The frosting sits on top of a ginger carrot cake with fresh carrots and plump raisens.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cupcake Challenge - Banana Split Cupcakes

Banana Split Cupcakes
I remember summers when I was in junior high - I think I was around 12 or so. Back in the day when you could stay out somewhere until the street lights came on and your parents did't have to worry that you had been abducted, or worse. Old enough that I was trusted to roam the neighborhood and wander down to the "shopping center". I don't think we had "malls" yet. Anyway, during the summer, when it stayed light outside until 8:45 pm or so, my friend Nancy and I would walk towards the shopping center, and stop on one of two corners before we actually got to JJ Newberry's. We stopped at either Carl's Jr. or 31 Flavors, aka Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. At Carl's Jr. we got ice tea and onion rings. At Baskin Robbins we got Banana Splits. Either way, you can't lose! Very fun times, and what I immediately though about when I read that the theme of the Hoosier Homade's Cupcake Challenge this week was Summer Fun! Of my two summertime treats, I thought a banana split cupcake seems way more appealing than a than and onion cupcake. Done deal.

So, I made a moist banana cupcake and filled it with fresh strawberry cream. I have recently discovered a WONDERFUL boiled vanilla bean buttercream frosting, so I piled my filled cupcake high with that, topping it off with chocolate ganache, chopped nuts and a cherry! My co-workers loved me this week . . . .

So wish me luck in the Cupcake Challenge! Its my first one!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spiced Apple Cupcakes

Spiced Apple Cupcakes
Moist spice cupcakes are filled with cinnamon apples, and are topped with cream cheese frosting and a light dusting of cinnamon sugar. They smelled wonderful while baking, and taste even better.
I also took some pint mason jars, split the cupcakes, layered them with cream cheese frosting, and closed the lid. I think this would be a great way to ship cupcakes to my son in Chicago, my friend in Washington . . . wow - i can send them all over now!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Well, this is true . . . because I don't remember my mama ever making banana pudding! Having said that, THANK YOU Paula Deen . . .this truly is delicious. I have never actually had banana pudding before so I don't really have anything to compare it to. I think I expected the typical pudding texture, but this was a light, fluffy bite of goodness. Although the recipe uses a box of vanilla pudding, the taste is all banana. And one thing I especially like - if you want to make this NOW you don't have to wait for brown-speckled over ripe bananas. Use the bananas at the ripeness stage you like them. Paula's recipe can be found here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Even I am impressed with these! Root Beer cake with boiled vanilla buttercream frosting. Dee-licious! The cake has the most tender crumb I have baked in a long time. A taste of root beer, but not overpowering. I had also made a root beer glaze to drizzle over the top, but that was overpowering, and it went down the sink. But the frosting - WOW - tastes like vanilla pastry cream. I couldn't stop stealing frosting from the bowl! I will definintly be making this frosting again. More work than typical buttercream . . . but so worth it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes - MS Cupcake Club - July 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
The goal of the Martha Stewart Cupcake club  is to make and bake all the 175 cupcake recipes in the
Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. Each month, one member of the club is selected to choose the cupcake the rest of the members bake each month. This month's recipe was chosen by Bella Baker. A blogroll of all the members is posted, and you are invited to visit the sites and see all the delicious creations!

The July selection for the MS Cupcake Club is Flourless Chocolate cupcakes. I added a topping/filling of raspberry puree, and topped it with raspberry buttercream, a fresh raspberry, and a chocolate leaf.

These did not crack and sink in the middle as I expected them too. They actually had a nice domed top, which level to flat as they cooled. Most people complaind they DID fall - well, they are supposed to. No telling why mine didn't. They taste wonderful, though!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peach Crunch Cake with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise

Peach Crunch Cake with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise
I have made this before, but not as a COW. It is one of my easiest and favorite recipes! Five ingredients total, and you make it right in the pan. This recipe is given in a previous post, which you can find here. This time I made Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise to drizzle over the top. I used a cake mix (Bettty Crocker) that had pudding in the mix, and I think I prefer the mix without pudding (Duncan Hines) for this recipe. It seems like this one didn't rise as much.
I love using little plastic cups to package these in. SO easy! Here they are, packaged and ready to eat . . .

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tarts & Tassies

Lime Tarts & Lemon Tassies
Its a citrus extravaganza! Sorta easy and sorta not. I will make the Lemon Tassies again, for sure. The lime tarts - probably not. Just because I think I would do a larger chessecake type tart. These sunk in the center, and you really didn't get a lot of lime-ness. The Tassies filled with lemon curd were delicious! And much more filling per bite. They are a winner!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Easy Cheese Danish

Easy Cheese Danish
These were tasty! "Easy Cheese Danish", courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. In half of them I added rasperry jam to the cheese filling, and the other half I added lemon curd. Hard to choose which I liked better - they were both good! They are not sweet, sticky Danish, so I think the addition of the fruit made them a little tastier than if I had follwed her original recipe, which you can find here. And, unlike a lot of the reviewers of this recipe, I had no problems with the cheese filling being too loose, and running out. Be sure you read through the reviewers comments, because you will pick up some good tips. There are a least 2 recipes for icing, if you would like to drizzle that on at the end.

This would be a fun recipe to make with kids - it is super simple. Think about sprinkling some raw surgar crystals on top the egg wash before baking, too. I meant to do that, I even had the sugar out, and then forgot! Another nice thing is you can prepare these the night before, and then bake them off in the morning if you are making these for company, or as a holiday breakfast. Give yourself that extre time to squeeze some fresh OJ!

Whoopie Pies - but just for ME!

Whoopie Pies by Guest Baker, Laila
These were just so cute, I had to share! They were delicious bites of goodness with a sweet cream filling.
(I am saying “were” since they no longer exist – yum!)
She even cut them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter before filling them. I think they are absolutely gorgeous!   She can bake for Edible Delectables anytime.

It’s not very often someone bakes for me . . .so I was really happy to see these coming to my desk. (She really made them for a school project but I am pretending they were just for me!)

Thanks, Laila!
Now, what are you making next week???


Monday, May 31, 2010

Brownie Pops!

Brownie Pops
BONUS! I made an extra goodie this week - Brownie Pops! I will take them in to work on Wednesday, since tomorrow I alradt have raspberry and lemon danish ready to bake before work.

I used the Wilton Brownie Pop silicone pans to make these, and although I have read numerous reviews with people complaining that the pop didn't release from the pans, I had no problem. I sprayed them with Pam, and they popped right out! After they cooled, I dipped them in melted peanut butter chips. I then dipped half in chocolate jimmies, and the other in Turtle sprinkles (just because they matched!). I think these would be really cute dipped in white chocolate, and the topped with pink, blue or yellow flowers or sprinkes for a baby shower favor.

These were fun to make and wrap, and I will definitly do them again!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Congo Bars vs Congo Bars

Congo Bars 1
The battle of the Congo Bars! So many recipes - what's a Libra to do?! Bake more than one, I guess!
Congo Bars 1 are the version found on Bakerella's site. They seem to be a cross between a Blondie with choholate chips and a chocolate chip bar cookie. But these are nice and chewy. I made her "hand mixed" version. Mine have milk chocolate chips and pecans.

Congo Bars 2 have toasted coconut, toffee chips, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. They seem to be a little more dense than Congo Bars 1. This recipe version can be found here on the Treat a Week Recipes blog.

Congo Bars 2
 So, who will reign supreme? Let the testers weigh in . . . .

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fudge Marble C*O*W

Ok - we are back to COWs! If you have been with me from the beginning you'l know that is Cupcake of the Week! I am so happy to be past the nightmare brownie adventure. This week it is a yellow and chocolate marble cupcake, filled with a rich fudge filling. Gotta have my favorite homemade Hershey's frosting piled hig on top! A few chocolate sprinkkles, and Voila! YUM!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Candied Lemon Peel

~ Happy Birthday, Rhonda! ~
Like last year, Rhonda picked her favorite flavor for her birthday. Lemon cake with wedding-cake frosting. I took the liberty of making fresh lemon curd from scratch to use as a filling, and I also made candied lemon peel for garnish. I love the lemon curd - I could eat that straight. And the candied lemon peel was easy and tasty too. I baked the cake using a Wilton recipe. Very odd texture to this cake, but a good flavor. I added 1/3 cup lemon zest to it so it would be sure to be lemony. Success! Great lemon flavor, but I am still trying to find a scratch cake that I am happy with the texture of. At least no one minds that I am practicing! And I have another year to perfect the lemon recipe. . .

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Olive Garden Lemon Crunch Cake

~ Before I go any further, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! ~
I was trying lemon recipes in anticipation of making a lemon cake for Rhonda's birthday. I found this recipe in Todd Wilbur's More Super Secret Restaurant Recipes cookbook. I am not impressed. Not very lemony at all, all though it does look like the restaurant version. But at $6.95 a slice, I'll pass!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pineapple Crunch Cake

This was another version of my Peach Crunch Cake. I was trying it with another fruit. After it was baking I though, hmmmm . . . I should have sprinkled some coconut on the bottom! Ah well, too late.

I think the peach was better.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Death by Chocolate Upside Down Cake

This is VERY RICH! The frosting goes through the cake and ends up on the bottom of the pan. Cut pieces of cake and scoop the frosting off the bottom, or invert the cake onto a board.
I packaged these in individual plastic cups with lids, since I was transporting them to work for ny co-workers.

For the Cake:
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package German chocolate cake mix
1-1/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
3-1/2 cups (about 1-pound) powdered sugar
1 cup butter, melted
8 ounce package cream cheese,
3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch pan.
Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over bottom of greased pan.
In large bowl combine cake mix, melted butter, water and eggs at a low speed until moistened.
Beat 2 minutes at high speed.
Spoon batter evenly over coconut and pecans.

In another large bowl combine powdered sugar, margarine and cream cheese and beat until smooth and creamy. Spoon evenly over batter to within 1 inch of edges. Sprinkle with chocolate chips,
Bake at 375° F for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

** Learn from me! **
I spent a long time making sure the batter I spooned on top of the coconut and pecan layer was nice and even, completely covering the coconut and nuts. I think now, though, it would be better to leave the batter in blobs.That way, the blobs of frosting can melt down between the cake and really get to the bottom of the pan.
One more thing - if you're putting this into plastic cups, be sure to let the cake cool completely first!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
This week's COW was supposed to be Nousha's pick, which was "Peanut Butter-Frosted Double Chocolate Cookies". Well, sorry Nousha . . . I threw them out. Not good at all! So, I took the liberty of choosing something similar in their place. My pick was "Peanut Butter Cup Brownies". And although this recipe was selected from the book, I did tweak it considerably because frankly, I have not been impressed with any of the recipes we have made from this book during our Great Brownie Adventure.

So dissapointed in fact, that I am ending our adventure here and now. Beginning next week we will be going back to Baker's Choice (mine!) for our weekly goodies. I apologize to those of you who didn't get to pick a recipe from this book - but believe me, everyone will thank you! I hope you enjoy this last stop on the trip.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cookie Dough Shots (safe to eat!)

Cookie Dough Shots

This was my entry for our 1st Annual "Cookie Baking Contest" at work this week. Don't worry, the recipe is "safe". It contains NO eggs, and is made specifically to be eaten raw. It will not bake into cookies even if you tried. You can add globs to homemade vanilla ice cream though! I had little condiment cups (Solo) and I used a small ice cream scoop to fill them. And, no, I didn't win, but they were delicious!

You can try it yourself - this is the recipe I used:

This makes about 30 scoops (a tablespoon or so)
1 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips ( I used about 1 cup of mini chocolate chips)

1.  In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light in color.
2.  Add pudding and combine well.
3.  Stir in vanilla and milk.
4.  Add baking soda, and flour 1/2 cup at a time until combined.
5.  Stir in chocolate chips.
6.  Store in fridge or freeze small scoops in the freezer.