Monday, June 28, 2010

Cupcakes and a Return

Can you tell that I've been busy?!  Since June 15 I have worked all but 2.5 days.  Thus, my absence.  At the beginning of June, I started teaching a college girls' Bible study (it's on a weeknight, which I can be at more often than Sunday mornings).  I've been wanting to make cupcakes and decided this was the right time to try a fun recipe out!

One of the best cookies, in my opinion, is the snickerdoodle.  And it has translated well into other why not a cupcake?  I saw this recipe from Recipe Girl and decided to give it a whirl! 

Other than not cooking properly for some reason...seriously, the cupcakes from the same pan all cooked differently...these were great!  I have a liking for icing and this one was great.  Try them out sometime! 

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (from Recipe Girl)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Smart Balance)
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk (I used skim)

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (I use 50% 1/3 less fat, and 50% fat free)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp. sugar + 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 28 muffin tins with paper liners. (I made 24 full cupcakes and 24 mini)
2. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk, beating until combined after each addition.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined or greased cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes (mine were perfect at this point.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

5. For Frosting:  Blend cream cheese and butter. Add sugars, vanilla and ground cinnamon. Spread onto cooled cupcakes, or scoop into piping bag and pipe on the frosting decoratively. If you don't have a piping bag, you can just use a zip-loc bag and cut the tip out!  Place sugar-cinnamon mixture in a fine sieve and sprinkle it lightly over the cupcakes.
Yield: 28 full-sized cupcakes

Recipe Source: cake adapted from Martha Stewart (frosting is from Recipe Girl)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When You Feel Scrambled Have Some Eggs

When we arrived back from our trip to help my brother move a few weeks ago, I didn't have much to offer in my kitchen.  When that happens, one of the best my eggs.  I haven't made scrambled eggs in ages because I usually do omelets so that I can add some yummy veggies to my dinner. 

So, before I fixed my omelet, I made my parents some scrambled eggs...cheesy at Daddy's request!  Alongside we had tomato basil bread from Panera (perfect when toasted!) and fresh peaches.  It is such a simple dinner and is healthy.  You could surely add some chopped veggies if you wanted.  I may have to try that sometime. 

Scrambled Eggs (serves 2)
3 eggs

In a bowl, crack your eggs.  Pour the mik into the bowl until the milk swirls around the yolks.  The sprinkle each yolk with salt and pepper.  This really puts the right amount of seasoning in there.  With a fork, whisk the eggs until the yolks are broken and well mixed.  You should have a mixture that is a pretty yellow color.  Then sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture.  Lightly whisk.  Meanwhile, heat a skillet on the stove to medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  pour the egg mixture into the skillet.  Let it sit for a minute.  Then take a plastic spatula (metal will scratch and ruin your pan!) and push from the edge to the middle. 

This is what makes your scrambled eggs scrambled and not an omelet!  Don't worry if it looks patient.  It will soon look just firm enough. 

Be careful not to overcook, the eggs can easily get rubbery.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Whole Wheat Wonderful

Sometimes I like to try and substitute whole wheat flour for regular AP flour in my baking. 

This can be difficult to do because a lot of the stone ground flour is thicker and sometimes lends a flavor that doesn't work well for most cakes and cookies.  However, several months ago I won the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook.  I have been really wanting to try a recipe in it, and finally tried a recipe a month or so ago.  I did the whole wheat oatmeal cookies.

I made some adjustments to the recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients, but they turned out GREAT!  Can't wait to try more recipes from this cookbook!  Maybe soon...I just got a Krups waffle maker at a thrift store for $6...looked it up and it's $52 online!   

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I'm LOVING the Smart Balance mix these days!)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 1/3 cups oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (called for traditional...I used white whole wheat, it's not as strong)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups of your choice of add ins...dried fruit, chips, candies, etc

Preheat to 350 F.  Cream butter, sugar, soda, powder, salt, spices, and vanilla together.  Beat in the gg.  Add the flour, oats, and add-ins.  Stir until mixed.  Place dough on pans.  Bake for 14 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges and soft in the middle.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Baby Food

Back in March we had a baby shower for one of the other residents.  She has since had the baby and is back to work...that shows how delayed I am in posting this!  I decided to take one of the most typical but enjoyed shower quiche.  (Obviously the theme was baby!).  I found this recipe on and it was really good.  The pictures are lack-luster, so you'll just have to trust me! 

Mini Cheese Quiches 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup AP flour
1 cup shredded white cheese (suggested Monterey Jack)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Add flour and beat until blended.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  (The recipe suggests pre-dividing into 24 balls)  Press balls into the bottom and up the sides of mini-muffin tins.  Sprinkle a teaspoon of cheese on the bottom.  Meanwhile, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Spoon this mixture over the cheese using a tablespoon.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden.  Allow to stand for five minutes before serving.  Enjoy!