Monday, May 8, 2017

homemade hostess cupcakes

 the goods:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

3 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 ounces marshmallow fluff creme (1 and 1/4 cups)

chocolate ganache:
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/2 cup chips)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup muffin tin. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk together water, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips together until smooth. Add sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in flour mixture alternating with sour cream (beginning and ending with flour), until incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among prepared cups. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool cupcakes in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling: Combine water and gelatin in a large bowl and let sit until gel softens, about 5 minutes. Then microwave for 30 seconds until mixture is bubbling around the edges and gelatin dissolves. When slightly cooled, whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth. Refrigerate filling until set, 30 minutes. Transfer 1/3 cup marshmallow mixture to pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.
To make the ganache, add heavy cream and butter to a large microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave until butter is completely melted. Add chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and is smooth. Stir in corn syrup and allow to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
When cupcakes are cool, insert a paring knife about 1/4-inch away from the edge of each cupcake at an angle. Proceed to cut a circular cone shape out of each cupcake. Cut the point off each cone to create a flat lid. Using a small spoon, fill each cupcake with marshmallow filling, then add the lid. Lightly frost with chocolate ganache. Let set, then pipe swirls on top with reserved marshmallow filling.

Monday, March 6, 2017

s'mores rice krispy treats

the goods:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 cups mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rice krispy cereal
2 cups golden grahams cereal
3/4 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

In a large bowl, combine rice kristy cereal, golden grahams cereal, and chocolate chips. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Turn burner to the lowest heat possible and add the marshmallows, stir until almost completely melted, then stir in vanilla. Continue stirring until marshmallows are completely melted and smooth.
Lightly grease a 9x9-inch pan. Pour hot marshmallows over cereal and stir to combine. Dump directly into the prepared pan. Lightly grease your hands and press krispies into the pan. Allow to cool and set, at least 20 minutes.

Monday, January 23, 2017

andes mint brownies

the goods:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Andes mint baking chips
a box (4.67 ounces Andes mints candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter until completely melted. With a wooden spoon, stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, hand beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat well. Fold in Andes mint chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes.
While brownies are baking, unwrap all the Andes mints. When brownies are finished, remove from oven and immediately place all the unwrapped candies on top of the brownies. Let them sit for 5 minutes and then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolates over the entire brownie. Let brownies cool for about an hour (you can also pop them in the fridge), then cut into squares and enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

caramel apple cake

the goods:

3 fuji apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
3 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
1/4 cup apple cider
3/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

apple cake:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups homemade apple sauce

caramel sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream

caramel buttercream:
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel sauce

1 bag toffee bits

Homemade apple sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine apples, apple cider, apple juice, brandy, butter, honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cover the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15-to minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a potato masher. Chill sauce to room temperature.
Apple cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-inch cake rounds and line the bottoms with parchment paper, then butter parchment. dust with flour and knock out the excess flour. Whisk together the flour baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy, 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture to the bowl in 3 parts, alternating with the applesauce (beginning and ending with flour). Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds to combine. Divide batter among prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through bake time, until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 20 minutes. Then turn cakes out onto racks, remove parchment, and cool completely.
Caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water. Stir the mixture gently, turn the heat up to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, stop stirring, and allow mixture to boil. Take caramel to 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until it turns a rich caramel color if you don't have a thermometer. Remove from heat and add butter and cream. Stir until combined. Cool to room temperature and store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Caramel buttercream: In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce speed to low and add butter and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add 1/3 cup caramel sauce and continue mixing until combined.
Cake assembly: Place one of the cake layers on the cake base and level off the top (mine were already pretty level). Pipe a circular border around top edge of cake. Spoon a thin layer of caramel inside the border. then top with more buttercream to seal it in. Add another cake layer and level off top. Pipe another border of buttercream, fill with a thin layer of caramel and top with more buttercream. Add final cake layer, upside-down. Cover with a thin layer of buttercream all over entire cake (crumb coat) and place in the fridge to set, 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and finish frosting. Press toffee bits into side of cake on bottom half and top with caramel sauce on the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, October 24, 2016

pumpkin chocolate cupcakes

the goods:

chocolate batter:
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar
1 and 1/3 cups buttermilk
4 egg yolks (save whites for pumpkin batter)

pumpkin spice batter:
2 cups (scant) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 egg whites
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar

vanilla bean buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
2 vanilla beans, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
Make the chocolate batter by combining the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Whisk together, then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, vanilla, brown sugar, buttermilk, and egg yolk. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. Set aside.
Make the pumpkin batter by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk together, then make a well in the center and add egg whites, pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, and granulated sugar. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. Set aside.
Using a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon), drop a dollop of chocolate in the bottom of each paper liner. Next, drop a dollop of pumpkin batter on top of each chocolate layer. Continue with another dollop of chocolate and another dollop of pumpkin until all the cups are filled and the batter is used up.
Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat the butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and salt while continuously beating. Add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Scrape the bowl down and whip for 1 minute more until light and fluffy.
Frost cooled cupcakes with the vanilla bean frosting and serve.

Monday, August 15, 2016

caramel churro chex mix

the goods:

4 and 1/2 cups rice chex cereal
4 and 1/2 cups corn chex cereal
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cereal in a large heat safe bowl. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over cereal and stir until cereal is coated. Spread cereal on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for about 5 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake for 3 more minutes, until cereal turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely, then break up and store in an air-tight container.

Monday, July 4, 2016

american flag cookie cake

the goods:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup blueberries
2 cups strawberries, hulled, and halved
1 can whipped cream

Beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer one medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar, and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture while mixer is on low speed. Beat until completely combined, about 1 minute. Transfer dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking sheet with cooking spray. Press dough evenly into baking sheet, forming a slight edge on all sides. Bake until edges are very lightly browned, 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons cream; beat 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and tablespoon of cream. Beat 1 minute. Spread in a thick layer over cookie.
Arrange blueberries in a square in the top left corner of the cookie. Arrange strawberry halves in parallel horizontal lines, leaving about an inch between each row. Then squirt whipped cream stars in between each strawberry row. Slice and serve.