Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Apple Pie

I've officially become the queen of procrastination. I'm about to post a bunch of recipes from Thanksgiving that I just haven't gotten around to blogging about because I'd rather spend my time lounging in sweat pants, watching Netflix, and pretending that I don't have some sort of work to do. Take this as an apology though, will you?

I'd never made apple pie before, but my step mom, Jeannie requested it for Thanksgiving. So I tried it out. Did I succeed?

What you'll need:

  • 2 pre-made pie crusts (I just used store-bought. I had a lot of pies to make that day)
  • 3 lbs. apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg
-Peel, core, and cut the apples into decent sized chunks and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Set aside
-In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the apple mixture and cook until apples are tender but still hold their shape (this should take about 6-8 minutes).
-Sprinkle with the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and toss until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
-Lay one piece of dough in a 9 1/2 inch pie pan. Add the apple mixture, mounding slightly. Chill pie for 15 minutes then add other crust on top, slit on the top, brush top with egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar. 
-Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool completely before covering.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate (For One)

I've been bedridden for the past week because I have mono. Now before you start chastising me and telling me to stop kissing so many boys, just stop. I've heard them all at this point! Mono sucks. If you've had it, you know that the only cure is lots of rest and fluids, but you poor sucker, you're going to have symptoms for about six weeks. So I've been sleeping, force feeding myself tea, and cuddling with this thing!

Isn't she cute?! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Screw having a boyfriend, all I need are my dogs to cuddle with. Seriously.

And. Well. Maybe this. I definitely think I need this in my life. 

This creamy, white chocolatey, pumpkiny monstrosity was everything I ever dreamed of and more. In a rooster mug. I know, I must have a death wish because there is absolutely nothing healthy in there for me, but just take a second. Look at it and tell me you don't want it in your life. 

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate (for one)

What you'll need: 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
- Over medium heat, mix together the cream and milk and let simmer until hot, but not boiling.
-In a separate bowl, pour the chocolate chips and set aside. Once the dairy mixture is hot, pour over the chocolate chips, then stir until completely melted.
-Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin spice, then pour into a mug, top with whipped cream and additional pumpkin spice, if desired and enjoy.

And boy, did I enjoy it. Ruby definitely wanted some too and wouldn't leave me alone. So yes, to close this post there are going to be some more pictures of my dog. Why not?!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Caramel Corn Cupcakes

I think I've finally reached the point of insanity.

I reached that point today. Long gone are the days where I was satisfied by plain old chocolate cupcakes, or if I was really in the mood to go crazy, confetti cupcakes. I've cliff dived into a sugary ocean that will definitely end my life by losing a foot to diabetes. The worst part? I wouldn't have it any other way.

I mean, you've got to be pretty grateful that I'm addicted to making cupcakes. I could be addicted to sweet black tar Mexican heroin. But the point is, I'm not. I just really like sugar. So much that I was willing to make caramel cupcakes, caramel frosting, then top these monstrosities with caramel corn, candy corn, and white chocolate chips.

 I'm not totally to blame for these creations. I found them on The Cake Blog and Chelsea helped me actually make those. So if anyone is to blame, it's these enablers... Just kidding. I think.

Could anyone resist?

Caramel Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup (optional)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line muffin pans with 24 liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set the bowl aside. In a measuring cup, mix together milk and vanilla then set aside.
-In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in between additions. Add caramel syrup (if desired. It makes the cupcakes super caramely. I have an iron stomach for sweets, so I love it. I can't make any guarantees though).
- Add in flour mixture and milk mixture alternating until all combined. Pour batter into liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

For the frosting:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
-Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Lower heat to medium-low then add cream and brown sugar. Mix and let cook until the sugar dissolves which should take about two minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat, then add vanilla. Let sit for ten minutes.
-Pour mixture into bowl, add powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined.

The actual website created a whole recipe for the topping of the cupcakes, but I was lazy. I just kinda threw some store-bought caramel corn, candy corn, and white chocolate chips on top of the frosted cupcakes. I also put a little salt on the cupcakes in attempt to counteract the sweetness. You know. I basically made up stuff as I went along and I guess it ended up working out.

In conclusion, I might've lost my mind to this baking addiction... But I don't think I'd have it any other way.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcakes

I realize that Minnesota didn't get much of a summer. It was cool and rainy for the first half of the summer and only the last two weeks of August had heat (and it was plenty, especially since I'm now living in a dorm.) I also know that summer is Minnesota's chance to really enjoy the weather. I'm aware that it's not fall yet (we still have two more days until it's official), but I am ready for fall... These cupcakes just made me a little more excited.

I've only recently discovered the amazingness of all things pumpkin. As a picky eater, pumpkin had always scared me- especially pumpkin pie because let's be honest... That just doesn't look natural. In the past few years I've been a little more brave in my cuisine ventures (which really isn't saying much. I sorta started eating vegetables. I'm awful, I know). But now that I've been introduced to pumpkin, I don't think my love for it will ever end... Especially if chocolate and marshmallow can be involved. 

I found this recipe on my favorite food blogger's website. If you haven't checked her out yet, you really should. Everything she makes is just kinda amazing. Plus this idea of pumpkin and s'mores is just too amazing. 
 These cupcakes made me excited for the prospect of fall. It's my favorite season, and the Minnesotans who still want it to be summer can suck it. I mean. I don't know. Fall is all about nostalgia for me. I used to spend a lot of time on my grandparent's farm when I was younger. My grandma did quite a bit of baking whenever we visited and my grandpa sometimes let us have a fire and grandma would let us make s'mores. It's just all about nostalgia and I'm apparently in a very rambly mood today.

Just look at them. They're even filled with chocolate. Don't even tell me that you don't start drooling at the sight of them. 

Cupcakes (I doubled the recipe from the original website so these will yield 24 cupcakes)-

What you'll need:
  • 2 2/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk
Fudge ganache frosting:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
Marshmallow frosting:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 12 piece muffin tins with liners. 
- Mix eggs and sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Add in vanilla, butter, then the pumpkin puree. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, then pumpkin pie spice. Mix in milk until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 16-18 minutes. 
-Allow cupcakes to cool then core the cupcakes or make a dent in the center of the cupcakes.

To make the ganache:
-Melt cream and chocolate over a double boiler and mix until smooth. Allow to cool slightly then fill the middle of the cupcakes with the ganache. 

To make the frosting:
- Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heat proof bowl and place over a double boiler. Mix constantly for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the eggs whites are slightly warm. 
-Remove from heat, add vanilla, then beat mixture for 6-7 minutes until the frosting stiffens and is glossy.
-Top cupcakes with frosting and feel free to torch them if you'd like. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

No, I didn't stop at the raspberry white chocolate muffins. My crazy, lonely brain decided I needed to do more... And I had some bananas lying around. So, oops.

Can anyone ever really resist a good banana muffin? I mean, it's like banana bread. If you don't like it, you're a Communist (not that being a Communist is bad, and if you are... Hooray for you! I should stop rambling now and get on to the recipe!)

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/3 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
To make:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
-In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
-Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Fold in chocolate chips.
-Pour batter into liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.

Enjoy all your muffin glory.

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

I HAVE BEEN ABANDONED. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic. In reality I'm home alone this weekend because my mom is in Las Vegas for five days to celebrate my aunt and uncle's 10th wedding anniversary. I was left home alone with a stocked kitchen. Unfortunately, the raspberries in the fridge were starting to get soft. I was bored. So this happened.

I have no other excuse except boredom. But I mean, come on. My mom left me alone. She should have expected this, right?

All the messy glory.

What you'll need for the muffins:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
What you'll need for the crumble topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
To make:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line one 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
-Prepare the crumble by whisking together the flour and sugar, then drizzling the melted butter and mixing until coarse crumbs are formed. Set aside.
-In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together vegetable oil, egg and milk until well combined.
-Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir with a large wooden spoon. Fold in raspberries and chocolate chips evenly, then pour into the liners.
-Bake for about 18-20 minutes then let cool on a wire rack.

Cooper gave these muffins his stamp of approval!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cupcake Chaos

I don't exactly have a recipe to share, but I just wanted to post some pictures from my baking adventure today with my little sisters. Emily is 7 and Alaina is 3- they freakin' rock my world. Being a big sister is the best thing in the entire world and I don't know what I'd do without them.

These girls have always wanted to bake with me, and since the weather is mild and I currently have no life today was the perfect day to make it happen! I decided I'd let them have fun and make these cupcakes as crazy as they wanted. I bought a ton of food coloring, a box of cake mix, sprinkles, and stuff to make frosting. The girls were ready to make their very own tie dye cupcakes. If you don't know how to make tie dye cupcakes, they're pretty simple; all you need to do is separate white cake batter into various bowls, squirt and mix some food coloring in them, then layer the batter and bake!

First you might want to test the cake batter out, you know... Just to make sure it's edible. Alaina did a pretty awesome job of this. 

I don't know if you can tell, but Em was really excited to dye our cake batter!

I'll gladly take that "coolest sister on the entire planet" award any day now... Alaina says I deserve it.

Emily was my happy and focused helper. 

I was super impressed with their work. Look at all those colors!!

Those girls are just lucky that they're cute and didn't have to deal with the aftermath of our baking. I think my hands are going to have dye on them for the next three years.

Our assortment of sprinkles and our buttercream frosting! (always made with 1 cup butter, 4 cups powdered sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla!)

Our cupcakes were so pretty! Definitely ready to be frosted!!!

They were super focused on their sprinkles.

 Alaina's prized cupcake.
Emily's prized cupcake.

 Alaina's way of helping me clean up included licking the beater and eating all the sprinkles she could off of the counter. I think she has the right idea.

They might be nothing but chaos, but they look kinda cool on the inside. That's all I have for today!

Chocolate Wasted Cake

So, I'm going to be completely honest with my readers (even if there are only a few of you guys. You still matter)... Right now I'm going through and awful breakup and all I have any desire to do is sob, eat chocolate, and get wasted. Unfortunately, I haven't reached the legal drinking age and my appetite is screwed up so chocolate isn't an option, but that wouldn't stop me from abandoning my crying for a little while to create this monstrosity.

Meet the chocolate wasted cake. It is everything that you've dreamed of but have also feared because it has seriously potential to put you in a diabetic coma by just sniffing it. I'm not even kidding. 

I made this cake a couple of weeks ago with my friend, Dylan (pictured above, staring at my camera like a creep). He's been supportive and understood my desperate need to bake and not talk about all the crazy crap that I've been dealing with. I'm really happy he came over, and we had a lot of fun making this. It might have been a bad idea to let him choose this recipe and then send him home with half a cake (he later even made his own version!).

So let's get chocolate wasted, everyone.

What you'll need (for the cake):
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
What you'll need (for the frosting):
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Melted chocolate to drizzle on cake (I had issues with this, because I got distracted...)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • chocolate chips for side of cake and chocolate candies, chopped,  to top the cake with
To prepare the cake:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then set aside.
-In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla.
-Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
-Pour even amounts of batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely before decorating. 
To make the frosting:
- In a bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla into the mixture until smooth.
- Place chocolate chips in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. 
-Remove chocolate from heat and slowly mix chocolate into frosting mixture. 

Dylan was hard at work to place chocolate chips all around this freaking cake.

To assemble the cake:
-Frost the bottom layer of the cake, place the next layer on top and continue to frost.
-Place chocolate chips on sides of cake, then chocolate candies on top. Drizzle cake with melted chocolate.
-Dig in and try to not lose a foot to diabetes.