Category Archives: Baking

Fiesta!

Happy Cinco de Mayo all! Who doesn’t love a holiday that encourages margaritas and tequila? Usually, a bunch of my friends and I get together and have a little fiesta together, which also allows for us to avoid the crazy bars which are jam packed. Its hard to have fun when you’re bumping elbows. Last year however, I got the excitement of celebrating this wonderful holiday down at my school, pre graduation, post finals, and had a great cookout with my fellow classmates (miss all of you girls by the way!). This year, I continue to grow up, and last weekend was my friends bachelorette party. The theme was wonderful, “fiesta”, in honor of her mexican heritage and the pre cinco de mayo festivities we had to participate in together. It was a pot luck style celebration, pre bar, and I had the honor of providing the desserts, of course. So what better dessert to bring to a bachelorette party, and a cinco de mayo party, than alcoholic cupcakes! And what better alcohol to use other than tequila. So to the kitchen I went to create the perfect margarita cupcake to start off an amazing night. Now I have never been a fan of the classic margarita mix, but I have such a weakness for any fruit flavored drink, so I knew I needed to incorporate that into the cupcake as well. So here it is, the wonderfully delicious strawberry lime cupcake with a lime tequila frosting, just in time for your own fiesta tonight! Cheers all!

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Strawberry Lime Cupcake
(Makes 24 cupcakes)

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
5 egg whites
4 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c. coconut milk, or regular milk
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, diced.

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg whites and mix for 2 minutes. Beat in lime juice and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, alternating with coconut milk, and scraping down the sides as needed, until well blended. Fold in fresh strawberries. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 of the way full, and then cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely then frost!

Lime Tequila Frosting

1 c. butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp tequila (if you want non alcoholic, just replace this with more lime juice, or milk)

Beat butter, lime juice, and tequila until creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until a thicker, spreadable consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with some fresh lime zest or a fresh strawberry.

Enjoy!
And congrats to my friend Christine on her next chapter in her life. I am so happy to be sharing this exciting event with you 🙂

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The Best Part of Waking Up

Happy weekend readers! I don’t know how the weather has been for all of you, but here in Maryland, Sunday consisted of rain, rain, and then a lot more rain. Most people get a little down in the dumps when its cold and wet outside, but I always look at it as an opportunity to slow me down. For those who know me, I have a serious problem sitting still. It’s something that drives me boyfriend, and me from time to time, crazy. He tells me that I vibrate. No matter what we’re doing, I am always thinking of what to do next, where to go, how to occupy myself, and when all of those questions are exhausted, I’m tapping my foot, bouncing my leg (thanks grandma for that restless leg syndrome I so wonderfully inherited), or some sort of fidgeting. In the past, gloomy days like today have given me the worst type of cabin fever, but over the years I have learned to take advantage of them. I am so busy moving and doing, that when I have to be inside, I have learned to stop and breathe. This morning I woke up and immediately thought, what is something that I have wanted to do, but haven’t been able to sit still for and do… and doughnut holes popped into my head. A few weeks ago I happened upon the most delicious looking image of doughnut holes on Pinterest and immediately book marked the recipe. It was a picture of chocolate doughnut holes from Smitten Kitchen and they made me instantly drool. The only problem, I am not a huge chocolate fan, especially not for breakfast. So I did some experimenting this morning standing in front of a pan full of hot oil, and made these delicious apple doughnut holes. Some i rolled in cinnamon sugar, and some I covered in an apple glaze, and both were just delicious, and the perfect start to a rainy day. Although making your own doughnuts is not as easy as running to the nearest donut shop, who wants to get hold and wet over a dozen doughnut holes!

Apple Doughnut Holes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 apple, medium, peeled, cored, and grated/shredded
vegetable oil for frying

In a mixer, mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt). All in eggs, milk, and butter and mix until a dough forms. Fold in apple shreds. Heat about 2 inches deep of oil in a pan to 350 degrees (Use a candy thermometer to monitor and maintain this temp during the entire cooking process). Drop dough into the oil, about a tablespoon at a time, and let cook on one side for 2 minutes, then flip over and cook for another two minutes, until the balls are an even golden brown. It is best to cook about 3-6 at a time. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels and let drain for a few minutes and cool. When cooled and drained, roll in cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon), or glaze with the apple glaze.

Apple Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp milk
1 tbsp apple juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add in milk and apple juice and mix using a fork until all powdered sugar is dissolved. Stir in cinnamon. Roll doughnut holes in glaze and coat as desired. If you think the mixture is too think for your liking, add more apple juice 1/4 tsp at a time until desired consistency, but remember, a little bit goes a long way and you don’t want to get it too runny!

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The heart of the batter.

When thinking about my first post to put up here, I spent hours contimplating whether it would be about one of my kitchen mess ups, like the countless times I’ve attempted to make bread, and it just won’t rise (feel free to leave me some tips in this area! I need all the help I can get) or to just jump in and try some spectacular new meal challenge, such as taking on risotto, which my friend can just magically whip up so effortlessly (its the best damn risotto I’ve ever ever eaten). Instead, I decided to stick to what I know. Baking.

So today I am going to share with you my most demanded cupcake recipe. Cupcakes are what made me get started with that Kitchen Aid mixer. But long before I could even reach the knobs to turn on an oven, my great grandma first introduced me to the joy of food. Most summers, my parents would pack up our old Toyota, and drive the 8 hours to a town in Ohio and visit my family for a mini vacation, and we always stayed at my great grandma’s. I don’t remember much, just that she always kept her Christmas tree up in her basement, lights and bulbs and all, and that she had the most fantastic garden I have ever seen. I call her to this day great grandma with the garden, because she grew everything she ate, and loved to garden. But my most fond memory of visiting her adorable little home is her apple butter. Every morning for breakfast I would sit at the table with my grandpa and dad and eat a piece of toast with her homemade apple butter on it. And it was the best damn apple butter. So obviously I still find any excuse to use apple butter on or in anything. And I only use locally made apple butter, just because I have become a snob about it thanks to great grandma with the garden.

So here is my loved Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, inspired by Great Grandma with the garden.

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 15oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper baking cups in 24 cupcake cups. Combine together flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set to the side.
In your mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition, and scraping the bowl as needed. Beat for an addition minute or two until nice and creamy. Beat in the pumpkin and the vanilla. The mixture may look a little chunky or not well blended, thats perfect! On low speed, mix in flour mixture, alternating with milk, beating until well blended.
Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 18-23 minutes, or just until the edges turn golden brown. Allow cupcakes to cool completely until icing.

Apple Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup apple butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
8 oz powdered sugar

In mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in apple butter and cinnamon, beating until combined and scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat for an additional minute until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar a little bit at a time, beating until combined and fluffy, but spreadable. Either pipe or spread on top of your cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

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