Bridal Shower Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

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This is it guys, I’ve made it!

I just made my first batch of cupcakes for a client!

Granted, it was one of my good friends… but she still chose to ask me to make the cupcakes for her best friend’s bridal shower instead of buying them from a cupcake shop! I was so honored and flattered!

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She said that I could make whatever I wanted and she needed 2 dozen.

My Classic White Cupcakes were to-die-for, so I revisited that recipe for a sure-fire yummy hit. I wanted to do something new and fun, given the time of the year I was thinking light and fruity.

STRAWBERRY!

Doing a strawberry cupcake gave me a pretty pink color that wasn’t overpowering, and it’s a pretty safe flavor that most people would love to gobble up!

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I found the recipe for Sprinkles famous Strawberry Cupcakes on Martha Stewarts website here and decided to go for it.

I used my vanilla buttercream frosting recipe that was provided on my Chocolate Cupcakes post.

I made an extra cupcake (a baker’s dozen) so that I could taste the cake and make sure I was giving a quality product and oh my this was so so good. I can’t wait to hear how they went over. And I decorated them so beautifully, if I do say so myself!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Prep: 15 minutes     Yield: 1 dozen

Ingredients

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

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Enjoy!

Banana Berry Oat Muffins

Ahhh the rotten banana conundrum.IMG_6080

Why oh why do I keep buying so many bananas knowing that I eat them so infrequently?

Maybe because when I go to the grocery store at this point in the season, we have like 1.5 options when it comes to fruit.

Seriously the produce section is pitiful, pathetic, horrible, disgraceful, and pissly. It makes me so so sad.

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Therefore, I buy bananas. And they spoil (or should I say ‘ripen’). And then I need to think of something to make with them to avoid wasting food. How I hate wasting food. Wasting food = flushing money

So here I am making some banana muffins. I used the Basic Banana Muffins recipe from the Taste of Home website and tried to add some extra flare to make them slightly more exciting. I added some whole grain oats and some whole dried mixed berries (from Costco- blueberries, raspberries, and cherries).

These muffins smell so amazing as they are baking, and they are really pretty good.

Banana Berry Oat Muffins

Prep: 10 minutes     Bake: 20 minutes     Yield: 1 dozen

IngredientsIMG_6081

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole dried mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, cherries)
  • 1/3 cup whole grain oats

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, mash the bananas. Add egg, oil and vanilla; mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full.
  2. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

Enjoy!

French Silk Pie

IMG_6076Yum yum yum.

Spring is here, and when I think of spring desserts, I think PIE.

I haven’t made pie since the holidays (pumpkin and pecan), but I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE French Silk Pie and I had never attempted one of my own before so here we are.

This pie recipe turned out just like what you can buy at a restaurant, it was delicious.

Creamy with rich flavor, it set up nice, and I wished there was more. I also wish I had more pictures, but these will do. Please share your own if you make this recipe!

I found the recipe on Taste of Home’s website here. The recipe follows with some of my minor tweaks.

French Silk Pie

Prep: 40 minutes     Bake: 10 minutes     Chill: 6 hours     Yield: 8 servings

IngredientsIMG_6059

  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Whipped cream and chocolate curls, optional

Directions

French silk pie filling.

French silk pie filling.

  1. Put refrigerated pie pastry in pie pan. Flute edges.
  2. Line shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes. Remove foil; bake 2 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. *I would have loved to have added pie weights to prevent bubbling, however I did not have this! You can poke tiny holes in the bottom to alleviate some of the bubbling before baking.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Cool to lukewarm (90°), stirring occasionally.
  4. In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  5. In another large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.
  6. Pour into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Enjoy!

Liebster Award!

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I was just nominated for a Liebster Award!!!

What is this you ask?

“The Liebster Award is an award given to rising bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

I was nominated by the wonderful Lee from NoWheatNoWay! I have to thank you Lee for the nomination! CHECK HER OUT!

It is an honor to receive any recognition as a blogger, and what a fun, spirited award to be a part of! I am honestly still shocked when I get any likes, views, comments, or followers, and am so so appreciative of anyone that takes the time to even glance at my posts!

When nominated for a Liebster Award…there are a few rules:

1. You must thank the person that nominated you

2. Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator

3. Pass on the award to 11 new recipients

4. Pose 11 new questions to your bloggers

The Questions:

1. What do you like most about blogging?

My fellow bloggers! The food they create, and the beer they brew and drink! I love exploring the blogosphere looking for new ideas. I am ALWAYS inspired! I love sharing my triumphs and my disasters, and getting feedback from my followers ( I still can’t believe I have followers) J

2. Describe your blog in three words.

Baking, brewing, yummm

3. What is your profession or what are you studying?

I teach special education preschool and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job <3 I am so blessed to work with these amazing kiddos! I get to laugh and sing and dance around like a buffoon everyday and they think I am so cool. It’s the best.

4. What has been your all time favorite post to write or favorite topic to blog about?

My favorite topic to blog about is obviously BAKING! And I think my favorite post was my English Muffins! I was SO. PROUD. I had never attempted anything like this and they turned out beautifully and they were so delicious. YUM… I may have to make some more soon…

5. What is your favorite TV show?

THE WALKING DEAD, MAD MEN, BREAKING BAD… Basically AMC rocks my socks off. I also love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Workaholics…

6. Favorite film of all time?

I will have to stick with Nightmare Before Christmas on this one. I have watched it so so many times, though Moonstruck would be a close second… followed by Wayne’s World…

7. Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m pretty athletic. I don’t think people would expect that from me because I am usually a girly girl, but I played sports my whole life and I get super competitive and intense. Oh… and I usually win ;)

8. If The Doctor came right now where would you like to go in all of Time and Space?

I would go to Middle Earth and live in Rivendell…

9. You can only eat three things for the rest of your life, what are they?

CHOCOLATE, MUTTER PANEER, and… does BEER count?

10. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Just. Keep. Blogging. Blog about what you love. Be passionate. Stay inspired. Keep fresh. And be INVOLVED in the blogging world! The more you explore, the easier it is to stay motivated. Be generous with your comments and share the love!

11. What can we expect to find on your blog in the near-future?

I swear… we WILL brew beer eventually. It is half of our name for Pete’s sake. Expect a new brew in the next two months and blogging about its progress!

MY NOMINEES!!!

Cook, Dine & Tinker

Hip Hip… Cakes

Food Flavor Fascination

Maggiesonebuttkitchen

The After School Chef

Brown Paper Belle

Jenna Makes Things

Sabhskitchn

Kat’s in the Kitchen

Paint Chips & Frosting

Twee-tea-licious

My Questions:

1.) What are 3 ingredients you could not live without?

2.) What is your favorite thing to blog about?

3.) What is your favorite post you have ever made?

4.) What is your least favorite post you have ever made?

5.) Why did you start blogging?

6.) What advice would you give a beginning blogger?

7.) What is your career / what are you going to school for?

8.) What is your favorite band of all time?

9.) Share something unusual about yourself :)

10.) If you could be anyone from Middle Earth, who would you be?

11.) What is on the horizon for you? What can we expect to see in your blog?

Thank you again Lee from NoWheatNoWay! I can’t wait to read everyone’s answers to my questions!!! Happy blogging!

Sur la Table swag and an update

 

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Last month, I was so fortunate to have won a giveaway on the wonderful Uni Homemaker ‘s blog!

To commemorate her 100th post, Anne generously gave away a $50 Sur la Table gift certificate to one of her existing or new readers! There were many many who commented, liked, followed, and shared… AND I WON! Yay!

Here is what I got with my winnings:

  • Pearl Cake Stand
  • Le Creuset Heritage Soleil Loaf Pan
  • Pyrex Glass Measuring Bowl (can you believe I didn’t already own one?)
  • Poppy kitchen towel
  • Floral vintage-inspired kitchen towel

Of course, I contributed a little of my own funds for the entirely unnecessary (but man are they pretty) kitchen towels. I am a sucker for things that make me smile, so naturally I had to own these kitchen beauts.

I am so excited to start using my new goodies!

A HUGE THANK YOU again to Anne at Uni Homemaker !

As for the update portion of this post…

I have baked several things in the last week, I just have not gotten around to posting them yet, so look for them soon!

Soon to come: french silk pie (yum), sausage crescent squares (yum), and lemon meringue pie (yum, but fail).

STAY TUNED!!!

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BAGELS!

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We got about 9 inches of snow last night, so I was gifted with a wonderful

SNOW DAY!

Snowed in with nowhere to go and nothing to do…What better way to spend my unexpected day off, than by crossing a challenging item off of my Baking Bucket List!

I pulled out my brand new Baking with Julia cookbook and was thumbing through it and came across her recipe for

BAGELS

Let me tell you, this recipe is 3 1/2 pages long. I knew I had my work cut out for me. And I resolved to do it the old fashioned way, with a wooden spoon and hand kneading. Phew, I got my workout in for the day, it’s tougher than I remembered.

My bagels aren’t the smoothest, or most beautiful bagels that I have ever seen, but they are delicious! They are soft and moist in the center, and nicely browned on the outside. Plus you can season them however you’d like! I used garlic salt and kosher salt on the first batch and on the second I used garlic salt, kosher salt, and a cajun spice mix. I can’t wait to have one for breakfast with some cream cheese smear and a coffee. Mmm.

I typed out Julia Child’s recipe below (yes, it took me quite a while). They are really very yummy, and I am proud to have accomplished the feat of making these babies from scratch. Enjoy, and please report back if you decide to try making some bagels of your own! I’d like to know how to smooth them out to make them prettier :)

BAGELS

Inactive: 5 hours     Bake: 35 minutes     Yield: 10 bagels

Ingredients

Creamy yeast

Creamy yeast

Bagels

  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 2 1/4 cups tepid water (80-90 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper (optional)
  • 6 cups (approximately) high-gluten flour, bread flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour

Water Bath

After the 1 hour rise!

After the 1 hour rise!

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Directions

Brush the inside of a large bowl with some melted butter; set aside. Reserve the remaining butter for coating the top of the dough.

Mixing and Kneading

  1. Whisk the yeast into 1/4 cup of the tepid water. Add a pinch of sugar and let the mixture rest until the yeast has dissolved and is creamy.
  2. Pour the remaining 2 cups water into a large bowl and add the shortening. Add the yeast mixture along with 2 tablespoons sugar, the salt, and the black pepper, if you’re using it, and stir with a wooden spoon to mix.
  3. Stirring vigorously with the wooden spoon, add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stopping when you have a soft, sticky dough that is difficult to stir. (You will probably use almost 6 cups of flour, but the dough will still be soft and sticky-and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be). Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Add additional flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the work surface.

*Can use an electric mixer

Rise

After the refrigerator!

After the refrigerator!

Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the buttered mixing bowl. Brush the top of the dough with a little melted butter, cover the bowl with buttered plastic wrap, and top with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in bulk.

Chilling the Dough

  • Deflate the dough, cover as before, and refrigerate for 4 hours, or, if it’s more convenient, overnight.

*At this point, the dough can be well wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days

  1. When you’re ready to make the bagels, position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. If the bagels are to bake on a stone, preheat the stone too and generously dust a peel with cornmeal. If they will bake on baking sheets, brush the sheets with vegetable oil (or spray) and dust them with cornmeal. For added flavor, use one or all of the suggested topping ingredients in combination with cornmeal to dust the peel or sheets.
  2. While the oven preheats, fill a stockpot with water and bring the water to a rapid boil.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets or trays with kitchen towels. Rub flour into 1 of the towels and place both sheets close to your work surface.
Ready for the boil.

Ready for the boil.

Shaping the Dough

  1. Deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half; cover and chill one piece of the dough while you work with the other. Cut the dough into 5 equal pieces; work with 1 piece at a time and cover the remaining pieces with a towel.
  2. To form a bagel and develop the gluten cloak that will give it its structure, draw up the dough from the bottom, stretch it, and pinch it at the top. Keep pulling the dough up and pinching it until you have a perfectly round, tightly packed ball of dough with a little topknot or pleat at the top. Turn the dough over so that the knot is against the work surface and plunge your index finger into the center of the dough. Wiggle your finger around in the hole to stretch it, then lift the bagel, hook it over the thumb of one hand and the index finger of the other and start rotating the dough, circling your thumb and finger and elongating the hole to a diameter of 2 to 2 1/2 inches. Put the bagel on the baking sheet with the floured towel, and cover with another towel. Shape the remaining 4 pieces of dough.

Water Bath

Boiling!

Boiling!

  1. Add the sugar and baking soda to the boiling water. With a large slotted skimming spoon or slotted spatula, lower the bagels, one at a time, into the boiling water. Don’t crowd them-the bagels should swim around in the water without touching one another; it’s better to boil them in batches than to cram them into the pot all at one time. The bagels will sink to the bottom of the pot when you put them in, then rise to the top. Once the bagels have surfaced, boil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side, flipping them over gently with the skimmer. Remove the bagels, shaking the skimmer over the stockpot to et ride of some of the excess water, and put them on the baking sheet with the unfloured towel, keeping the smoothest side of the bagel up.
  2. Keeping the smoothest sides up, transfer the bagels to the peel or prepared baking sheet. (Work quickly, because the wet bagels have a tendency to stick to the towel)
After the boil, ready for the oven!

After the boil, ready for the oven!

Glaze

Whisk the egg whites and cold water together until the whites are broken up, then push the glaze through a sieve and brush each bagel with the glaze. Try not to let the glaze drip onto the baking sheet or peel, or it will glue down the bagels. Don’t worry if the bagels look wrinkled-they’ll smooth out in the oven. Brush with another coat of glaze and, if you’re using a topping, or more than one, sprinkle it, or them, evenly over the bagels now.

Baking

Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

  1. Put 4 ice cubes in a 1-pint measuring cup and add 1/4 cup cold water. Put the bagels in the oven and immediately toss the ice cubs and water onto the oven floor (or into the hot pan). Quickly close the oven door to capture the steam produced by the ice, turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the bagels remain in the oven for 5 more minutes. Open the oven door and leave the bagels in the oven for another 5 minutes. Transfer the bagels to a rack and cool.
  2. Before baking the next batch of bagels, be certain to bring the oven temperature back to 500 degrees F.

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Enjoy!

Homemade TWIX Bars

IMG_6028Need I say more?

My staff and I had a VERY challenging week at the ol’ preschool, so I was looking for the perfect sweet treat to get us through our Friday, AND to show my appreciation for them coming back to fight another day!

It’s a tough job guys, really it is. I would REALLY lose my mind without my paraprofessionals.

I needed CHOCOLATE, and had seen homemade Twix bars before and could not get them out of my mind.

I came across a fabulous blog called High Heels & Grills whose recipe for Homemade Twix Bars seemed just perfect, so I gave it ago.

Let me tell you it IS pretty dang perfect.

My staff ate these up (and so did I), and they even took some home to share with their families!

I will definitely make these again, they were simple and really hit the spot.

Here is the recipe as it was posted, my notes will follow.

Homemade Twix Bars

Prep: 15 minutes     Bake: 35 minutes    Inactive: 2 hours     Total: 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

The dough, poked with a fork, ready for the oven!

The dough, poked with a fork, ready for the oven!

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)

Directions

Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9×13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour – at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan.
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork – allowing steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges – about 30-35 minuts.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
Caramel Layer

My layers are poured, ready to go in the refrigerator to set!

My layers are poured, ready to go in the refrigerator to set!

  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
Chocolate Layer
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments – stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it.
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.

My bake time for the crust was slightly longer, but I find that to be true on most recipes, so it may just be my oven.

I did NOT need to use shortening in my chocolate, it was thin enough to pour and spread. I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips.

I would remove the Homemade Twix Bars from the refrigerator for at least one hour prior to cutting. I kept mine in the refrigerator overnight, then tried to cut and ended up cracking the chocolate and making a bit of a mess! Softening the chocolate may help this.

You can also cut the crust and caramel layer and dip in the chocolate to resemble an actual Twix bar more closely!

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Enjoy!

 

Irish BOOZE Cake

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I know, I am a little behind in posting this delectable Irish treat, but better late than never!

Especially when it comes to this irresistibly rich and perfectly boozy dessert!

My dad brewed his own Irish Stout for St. Patrick’s Day, so of course I wanted to incorporate it in to the traditional family meal of corned beef and cabbage somehow, and what better way than mixed with chocolate in a cake!

I came across a food blog called Food Babbles which posted this amazing Irish Car Bomb cake recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen, and it was just too perfect to pass up!

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Jameson with my whiskey ganache.

 

It has all of the elements of the Irish Car Bomb beverage:

Irish Stout beer, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Isn’t the point of St. Patty’s day to get your drink on? This cake is the perfect compliment to whatever you find yourself sipping on.

Irish BOOZE Cake

Ingredients

Irish stout and butter with cocoa.

Irish stout and butter with cocoa.

Cake

  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness, I used my dad’s home brewed Irish Stout)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache

Chopped chocolate for the ganache.
Chopped chocolate for the ganache.
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (I used Jameson and at least doubled the recipe- add to taste)

Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8″ cake pans with parchment circles on bottom. (I also sprayed with nonstick spray)
  2. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  4. Add the stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the two cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake until tester inserted in center come out clean, about 10 minutes longer. Cool completely on rack.

Ganache

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

  1. Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth.
  2. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature and until thickened a bit.

Frosting

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

SAM_0489

Enjoy!

Baked Apples

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Last week, my theme for my preschool class was “Our Healthy Bodies”. We talked about things that we do to make our bodies healthy, happy, and strong (and also things that make our bodies sad and weak).

Apple Smiles

On Friday we did a snack craft where we made APPLE SMILES!

I bought a big sack of red apples and encouraged my kiddos to gobble them up!

Apples and beer.

Apples and beer.

 

However, even after my 30 students ate their snack, I still had 6 apples left over! These red apples aren’t my preferred choice in apple for snacking consumption, so I decided to bake them in to something more delicious!

Now, I will apologize for my horrible attempt at documenting the ‘recipe’ I created.

Honestly, I sliced the apples, then sprinkled my ingredients over the top without measuring. My recipe below is my best attempt at recreating this dish (with some slight changes) that would create an even better outcome!

It was delicious.

Baked Apples

Prep: 20 minutes     Bake: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Phew, done peeling and chopping.

Phew, done peeling and chopping.

  • 6 red apples
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain oats

Directions

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray shallow glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Peel and slice apples.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, toss apples in mixture to coat evenly.
  4. Pour apples in to baking dish, cover with slices of butter.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

Enjoy!

French Baguettes

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My mom just bought me Baking with Julia

baking-with-Julia

A cookbook that every aspiring baker must have in his/her collection, and one that, as my mother says, I will cherish my whole life.

While I was waiting for the delivery of this little culinary masterpiece, I managed to work up quite the appetite for some homemade bread. I mean just look at that beautiful cover photography! 

However, I just could not wait for Julia’s recipe to arrive, so I decided to go ahead and make a Baguette recipe I came across online. I know I know, I built you all up for a Julia Child recipe review, but I’m afraid I must let you down. 

 I promise to try hers soon. And many many many other things.

The recipe I did try is from the Cooking Channel TV website, titled Homemade French Baguettes which can be found here and is posted below.  

It was very easy to follow and quite quick for a yeast recipe! 

Baking with the ice underneath creating a beautifully crispy golden crust, with a moist and light center. Yum.

May not be Julia Child, but these baguettes are delicious nonetheless.

French Baguettes

Prep: 15 minutes     Inactive: 1 hour     Bake: 20 minutes
Before kneading

Before kneading

Ingredients

  • 2 envelopes dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Canola oil, for greasing bowl
  • Cornmeal, for dusting pan
  • 3-4 ice cubes
Directions
  1. Combine the honey, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until the yeast is activated and begins to foam, 5 minutes. 
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook and slowly add in the yeast mixture. Gradually add 1 cup warm water and mix until the dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet (you may not need all of the water). If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 2 to 6 minutes. You can do the thumbprint test: press in the dough with your thumb and it should bounce back when it’s ready. 

    Punching down the dough.

    Punching down the dough.

  3. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest in a warm environment until doubled in size, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  4. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baguettes by making a flat rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go, until it’s about 12 to 14 inches long and 2 inches wide. Fold and seal either end to round. Flip seam-side down and place on a sheet pan or baguette pan that has been dusted with cornmeal. Score the tops of the loaves, making deep diagonal slits 1/2-inch deep, cover with a dishcloth and let rise in a warm environment until they have doubled in size, 25 minutes. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and position your oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. Place an oven-safe (non-glass) bowl or pan on the bottom rack. 
  6. When your bread has doubled for the second time, remove the towel and quickly and simultaneously, slide the sheet tray with the baguettes onto the middle rack while carefully throwing the ice cubes into the bowl on the bottom rack. The ice will create a burst of steam that will give you a nice crispy crust. Quickly shut the oven door so no steam escapes. Bake the baguettes until golden brown, 15 minutes. 

*Cook’s Note: If you have a glass window on your oven, place a towel over it when throwing the ice in, hot glass can shatter if ice touches it.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!


Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

Enjoy!