Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes inspired by Crumbs Bakery

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 pound cream cheese
1 pound unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rainbow sprinkles or other decorations

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a small bowl. Then, with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour.
4. Fill each cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center of the cupcakes spring back when touched. Cool completely before frosting.
5. To make the frosting cream together the butter and cream cheese until totally smooth. Then add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Frost each cupcake then place the sprinkles on a plate and roll the sides of the cupcake in them.
Makes about: 36 cupcakes

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza Dough

Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. 
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.

Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size. (you can also leave the dough sit for 8 hours. I made mine before heading to work and finished it when I came home.)

Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.

Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its 450 degrees. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like.

Bake it for about 10-15 minutes (or more depending on your oven) until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist. I also put the oven on broil for about 2-3 mins to give the cheese a little more browning.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Makes enough for one small/medium pizza.
4 roma tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Splash of white wine (I used a riesling)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Poach the tomatoes for one minute only, and then drain them. As soon as they are cooled off enough that you can touch them, peel them. The peels should come right off. If they don’t, make a slit in the skins.

Drain and dry the pot. Put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and let it heat completely before adding the garlic and stirring it for a minute with a wooden spoon. Add the red pepper flakes and stir it for anther minute. You do not want the garlic to brown. Put the peeled tomatoes in the pot, along with the wine, sugar and salt. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon or a knife.

Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down. Carefully taste without burning your tongue and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Peach Cupcake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24 to 28 cupcakes
3 cups cake flour (*you can also substitute half of this with whole wheat flour as well)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped smallish (I went for a 1/3-inch dice)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 28 muffin cups with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla. Gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (I’ve used dark brown sugar and it tastes just as delicious!)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Monday, May 28, 2012

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
I like to grate the carrots by hand — actually, that’s a lie, I don’t enjoy it one bit — because I want it very finely grated for a soft batter. The food processor works, too, but the pieces are a bit thicker.
Makes 24 cupcakes (or one two-layer cake, instructions at end)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 24 cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.
Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.
To make a carrot layer cake: Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Ingredients -

1½ cups of cake flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups applesauce
1 stick of real butter
2 eggs
1 ½ cups apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces. (I used granny smith ones)
12 sugar daisies with green leaves attached.
1 cup white frosting***
pastry decorator bag and tips of your choice
To Make the Cupcakes:
Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter, the eggs, and the apples to the mixture.
Using a mixer, beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
Turn to high speed and mix for about 2 minutes more.
Scrape and beat again for about 1 minute more.
Pour the batter into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick that has been inserted into the center comes out clean.
Set on a cooling rack until the cupcakes are completely cool.
Fill your pastry bag with vanilla frosting and attach the tip of your choice. In a circular motion you will fill the cupcakes to the top with white icing.

***To frost these, I used the same frosting at the Oreo Cookie cupcakes, but I think they would be better with a lighter frosting such as a Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting.
Here's the recipe for that:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar1/4 cup cornstarch1/2 cup powdered sugar2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate and Oreo Cookie Cupcake

Chocolate and Oreo Cookie Cupcake

Ingredients -
1 ¾ cup flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
1-½ teaspoon baking soda
1-½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
30 Oreos
For the Oreo Frosting:
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup warm water
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line muffin pans with paper liners.
Split the Oreos in half and put an Oreo, cream side up, in each liner. (Use remainder for cookie crumbs or single chocolate cookies)****
Sift the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add the flour mixture to the large bowl. Beat two minutes on medium. Stir the boiling water in.
Pour batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
Bake 23 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool.
Makes about 30 cupcakes

****With the Oreos at the bottom of the liners, they may get stuck when you try to peal the paper off. Either use the tin(ish?) style liners for the cupcakes, or drop the half cookie into the cupcake batter once it's poured!
Beat water and shortening together. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually and beat until creamy. Add the vanilla; beat well. Add water a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Fill the piping bag about half full and frost the cupcakes, adding more frosting when needed. Unused frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

6 servings
•PREP TIME: 45 minutes •TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 5 minutes Recipe by Rozanne Gold

•1 7- to 8-ounce red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
•2 garlic cloves, halved, divided
•1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
•3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
•3/4 cup drained mild Peppadew peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
•1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
•1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
•1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
•8 ounces medium shell pasta or gemelli
•ingredient info
Look for panko at supermarkets and at Asian markets. Ground ancho chiles are available in the spice section of supermarkets and at Latin markets.
•Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 11/2 garlic cloves to boil in small saucepan. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.
•Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.
•Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor. Add Peppadews and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove; then add cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Blend until sauce is smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.
•Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8-cup baking dish (or 6 individual dishes). Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot. Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
•Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes (15 for individual). Let stand 10 minutes.