Suburban girl dropped in the Cities, cooking as much as possible and learning along the way.

Category Archives: Dessert

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Well, it HAS been a while, hasn’t it?!  I’m getting settled into my job, so I have the time to update this more regularly.  My lovely friend Kristen was moving out of her apartment today, and I offered to bake her some cupcakes as she had recently bestowed upon me some of her incredible handcrafted pottery.

As for the roses, well, they’re from my sweet boyfriend, surprising me out of the blue.

In order to craft a cupcake worthy of Kristen’s taste buds, I searched through her pintrest and found a mocha cupcake recipe to use as a base for these babies.  They’ve been well received and as for my own opinion, they’re my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever made or eaten.

The honey in the frosting complimented the flavor of the chai tea within the cupcake, the cake itself was moist and flavorful but not overpowering, and the aftertaste was pleasant.

The cake was adapted from Sweet Revelations Mocha Cupcakes and the frosting was from Eats Well With Others.

Lets get started!

Ingredients

CUPCAKE:

  • 3/4 cup hot and strong chai tea
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature (Hint: I stick my butter from the fridge into the microwave for 18-20 seconds and it’s perfect for creaming)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (Hint: I cheat and stick cold eggs in really warm water for 5 minutes, it’ll bring them right down to room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash of ground ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk (Hint: I use 1 cup regular milk (2% or whole milk work best) and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and it works about the same.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (USE IT I PROMISE IT MAKES THE CAKE MOIST AND DELICIOUS AND THE TASTE ISN’T AFFECTED AT ALL.)

FROSTING:

  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt

Directions

To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake trays with 24 cupcake liners. (I used leftover valentines liners and some shiny metallic ones.)
  • Once the tea has steeped long enough in hot water, add the cocoa powder to the cup, stir well, and set it aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger. Set it aside.
  • Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract together and (you guessed it) set it aside.
  • Cream the butter, salt, and brown sugar together in a large bowl.  Once sufficiently creamed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the cream mixture and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and whisk until smooth. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, whisking again. Add the second 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture, whisk well. Finally, add the final 1/3 of the flour mixture and whisk until it almost looks velvety (or, y’know, combined).
  • Add the chai tea and cocoa mix to the batter, mixing well.
  • Add the mayonnaise and stir it in. (TRUST ME, OKAY.)
  • Fill each of the cupcake liners evenly with the batter. (I used about two spoonfuls to fill each of the liners.) (HINT FROM MY GUY: If you come up a bit short, if you fill the empty cupcake nooks (without liners) halfway with water, it will help the rest of the cupcakes baked evenly.)
  • Pop the trays in the oven for 16-18 minutes.  I would suggest doing a single tray of 12 at once so the oven doesn’t get crowded and not distribute the heat properly.
  • They are done once a toothpick can come out clean after being poked into the cupcake.

To make the frosting

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, cream, honey, cinnamon, and salt until smooth and slightly thick. (It will be a bit less thick than buttercream frosting, but still a substantially thick frosting.)
  • Frost the COMPLETELY COOLED (very important that they are COMPLETELY COOLED) cupcakes with the frosting, either using a spoon (warning if you use a spoon the lure of eating all of the frosting before it hits the cake will intensify), piping bags, or a knife to spread the frosting on the cakes.

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ENJOY!

This recipe should make 24 cupcakes, but I’m not going to bother telling you a serving size because really, who can just eat one cupcake and call it a serving?

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What do I do when I have an extreme desire to bake, but nothing I’ve made previously is cutting it?
CREATE A NEW SUGAR COOKIE THINGY!  I built it around Sally’s Baking Addiction Funfetti Cookies, seen here.

Lets get started!

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups spoon & leveled all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (absolutely necessary)

For Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • Approximately 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions

To make the cookies:

  • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until it is fairly smooth and lump-free.  Add the sugar and continue beating until it is well incorporated.   Add in the egg and vanilla, scraping the sides and stirring.
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar and combine.
  • Add the mixed dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly so as not to make it too difficult to mix.  The dough will be a thicker cookie dough.
  • Form the dough into 15 golf ball sized balls and chill them for at least two hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the dough is chilled, grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper and place the cookie dough balls on them.
  • Flatten the cookies slightly.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 or 9 minutes, but not any longer.  The cookies won’t look done, but take them out anyways.  Let them cool on the hot cookie sheets for at least 3 minutes before moving to a drying rack or plate.

To make the glazes:

  • Add all of the milk and powdered sugar into a small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Separate 1/3 of the glaze and mix in the cocoa powder with the 1/3 until well incorporated.

To glaze the cookies:

  • Once the cookies are cool, dip them in the plain white glaze and let the glaze dry.
  • Dip a fork or pronged object in the cocoa glaze and drizzle over the cookies.
  • Let dry.

Congratulations, you’ve made double glazed sugar cookies!  My friends, the lovely taste-testers, claim they taste like cookie versions of donuts.  Let me know what your taste-testers think!


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Hi, y’all!  Sorry I’ve been away, I got bit by a crabby tick which got me sick for a week, and I’ve been working my patootie off to make some more money before I move in on Thursday to my apartment!  I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls for AGES when a lovely friend of mine notified me about this amazing recipe from Recipegirl.com and I simply HAD to try it out.  I was not disappointed whatsoever, and it was much easier to make than I’d originally thought.

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I tweaked Recipegirl’s recipe slightly to make the pancakes fluffier and the cinnamon filling thicker, but otherwise it’s the same.

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Lets get started!

Ingredients

CINNAMON FILLING:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted but not boiling
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

PANCAKE BATTER:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

To make the cinnamon filling:

  • Grab a small bowl and mix together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.   Pour the sugary mix into a quart-sized ziplock bag and set it aside.  Tip:  I set mine upright so all of the filling ended up in a corner of the bag.

To make the topping:

  • In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat and add the cream cheese.  Whisk until almost smooth.  Dump powdered sugar into the pan, whisk and add in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.  (You’ll heat it up later when you’re ready to eat the pancakes.

To make the pancake batter:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and lemon juice in a small cup to create a faux buttermilk.  Add the milk mixture, egg, and oil to the dry ingredients until the batter is moistened like normal pancake batter.  Small lumps are fine.

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To cook the pancakes:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-heat and run a small amount of butter over the surface.
  • Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or cup to spread the batter into a circle (about 4-inches in diameter).
  • Reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner. When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling.
  • Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a regular cinnamon roll). Make sure not to get too close to the edges, or it’ll fall into the pan!
  • Cook the pancake until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom.
  • Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over.
  • Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon.
  • Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling.

Before eating:

  • Re-warm the glaze briefly, if needed. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.

ENJOY!

The recipe makes about 8 four inch pancakes, and the serving size is two pancakes.


German Chocolate Cake (From Scratch!)

What’s a girl to do when she craves coconut, chocolate, and pecans?

Make german chocolate cake, of course!

After much searching, I found a great recipe in my Taste of Home magazine and set about creating this deliciousness.

To make this cake, it should take about 30 minutes to prepare the batter and thirty minutes to bake it.  You can use the baking time to make the frosting and icing, or to wash the dishes.  Whatever floats your boat!

The recipe will make enough for 12 people.

Lets get started!

Ingredients

CAKE BATTER:

  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

FROSTING:

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

ICING:

  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate

Directions

  • Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening (about 20 seconds at a time so as not to burn the chocolate) ; stir until smooth; drizzle over cake.