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Friday, April 29, 2011

Apple Pie

  I decided one of the other treats I was going to make for my in-laws would be pie. I was going to make pear pie, but apparently the idea of pear pie to them was ridiculous. So I decided to go with old fashioned apple pie. I was a google maniac trying to find THE BEST apple pie...pretty sure I found it!! It didn't last long! I was in such a rush making other treats that I only had the chance to take one photo, and it doesn't do it justice.
 Also, while we are on t he topic of pies, I have been reading a lot about cupcakes going "out of style" and pies are "in"...what are your thoughts on this??? I for one, do not like being told what is in and out....ESPECIALLY with my food! How does a cupcake go out of style? I mean, really? There aren't many things in this world as cute and fun as a cupcake. I am actually stoked that pies are "in" again..heh, I didn't realize they were "out", but whatever! But pies are old fashioned and delicious, so of course I am happy people will be making them more! I just don't see pies taking over and cupcakes disappearing from Earth..they are nothing alike, so in my opinion, one can't replace the other!

Ok rant over!

I served this pie warm and a la mode!

- 1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 TBL all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water (minus 1 tsp)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 8 Granny Smith apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla

- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- peel and cut your apples and place on bottom pie crust, form a mound shape
- melt butter in sauce pan, stir in the flour once melted
- add water,sugar(s), cinn, nutmeg,and vanilla
- bring to a boil, then simmer
- pour over apples, save a little for the top of the pie...after pouring on apples, do your lattice work or just    put top pie crust on but work QUICKLY because the mixture crystalizes quickly (hence, my pie..again, this picture does not do this pie JUSTICE, it was AMAZING!)
- bake for about 45 minutes


Monday, April 25, 2011

Whoopi Pies

 Whoopi pies are super-duper, they really are. Actually, ANYTHING with marshmallow Fluff, is super-duper. These turned out almost red. They weren't supposed to be! I wanted to make cute pink whoopi pies, because everything is better pink....BUT as I was adding the pink coloring, I thought after baking that they wouldn't be the cute pink I desired, so I decided to add a drop of red to make sure. Well, apparently it was too much :( Oh well,now I know next time to just stick with the pink!

- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pink food coloring ;)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk

-heat oven to 350, lightly spray cooking sheets
-stir together flour, baking soda and salt in bowl, set aside
-beat egg,oil and sugar with mixer
-add the vanilla and pink coloring
-by hand stir in the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients
-drop spoonfuls on sheet, about 10 minutes, depending on the size
-fill with fluff filling!!!

Marshmallow Filling:
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1/2 tsp vanilla

-just mix together until fluffy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Scones

 Soooo, my in laws are coming in this weekend and I could NOT figure out what to make them! The last time I cooked home made manicotti for them, my father in law told me it tasted like, "an onion burrito"..ummm thanks! I was pissed at first, but then after time I realized they just like blander food than I do..(super bland Irish food..heh) My mother in law LOVES scones and has them everyday with her tea/coffee. I myself have never really eaten a scone? Maybe from starbucks...I don't know. But if you ask my husband about them, he says they are hard and tasteless.
So I made them...and let me tell you, they are delicious?!?? Pat even ate one and said "these are the best scones I have ever had...and my mom is probably going to hate them because they ARE  NOT TASTELESS"...oh man. So I am not really sure if they turned out the way scones are supposed to or not??? All I know is they are pretty damn good!

-1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup butter(room temp)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup raisins

- first mix sour cream and baking soda and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients
- mix butter and sugar
- beat the egg and vanilla
- add to butter and sugar
- stir all dry ingredients together, and add to the butter mixture
- add the sour cream&baking soda
- fold in raisins

Have you gotten the point not to over mix???

- turn dough out into lightly floured surface,knead briefly. Roll or pat down dough into a 3/4 inch thich round, cut into wedges and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet (i lightly buttered the sheet first)
I sprinkled sugar on top of them as well ;)

-bake 15 to 20 minutes!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Cupcakes!!

 I can't even handle how cute these are!! I have been stocking up at Michael's and AC Moore since Easter decorations were out like at least a month ago,probably two...they don't play with their holidays. To make these, I used the Billy's Vanilla cupcake recipe and the Billy's Buttercream recipe that I used for the cotton candy cupcakes(just obviously without the cotton candy in the icing), it really is my favorite vanilla cupcake. Then I just went to town decorating! My favorite are the baskets in the plastic...ohh and the little chicks(they are clearly not edible)

Makes about 30 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream

Colored sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Makes enough for 30 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Caramel Shortbread Brownie Bars

 Caramel is certainly in my top 3 favorite snack flavors. Patrick, however, doesn't "like" it...I find it absurd. But since he doesn't like it, I rarely make things that are super caramel-y. I think I am going to just make them anyway from now on. He actually doesn't even eat most of the things I make anyway! CRAZY TALK, I know. So anyway, I made these super delicious bars. I was very pleased with them.

This is what they SHOULD look like...

This is what MINE looked like (again because I am impatient and cut them while they were hot...heh..I also used the wrong chocolate so mine were flatter..still just as yummy though!)

(makes about 24)

  • 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 12 ounces individually wrapped soft caramels, such as Kraft
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 10 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • - Cut 1 cup butter into chunks. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and the butter chunks. Whirl until dough comes together. Press evenly over the bottom of a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until top feels dry and is just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • -Meanwhile, unwrap caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl with milk. Cook in a microwave oven on full power (100%) for 1 minute. Stir mixture, then cook and stir at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes longer. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cooled crust and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
  • -In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water), stir chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup butter often until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and, with a whisk or a mixer on medium speed, beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.
  • -Pour chocolate mixture over caramel layer and use a knife or spatula to spread level, completely covering caramel.
  • -Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the chocolate layer comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oreo Truffles!

 EASY. SO EASY! I will definitely be making these again! They took basically no effort at all and were so so yummy.

You could even make these into Easter truffles, by using white bark and coloring pastel colors ;)

1 (1 lb.) pkg. Oreo cookies (don't use double-stuffed)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
16 oz. chocolate bark

1. Break Oreos slightly and add them, cream and all, to a food processor or blender.
2. Grind until Oreo crumbs resemble something like coarse coffee grinds.
3. Dump Oreo crumbs into a bowl and add cream cheese and vanilla.
4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat Oreo mixture until well mixed. You can also do this by hand.
5. Cover and refrigerate about 45 minutes to an hour.
6. With your hands, shape into small eggs (about 1 1/2" long). Place eggs on waxed paper and refrigerate another hour.
7. When ready to dip, melt chocolate bark. 
8. Spear each Oreo egg with a toothpick and dip in white chocolate. Allow the excess to drip away. Place gently on waxed paper.
9. Let sit 15-20 minutes to set. Decorate with drizzled chocolate as desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. They taste even better the next day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

 Omg. This isn't the first time I have made the delicious cookie dough filled cupcake. It was however, the first time that I decided to make cookie dough truffles and add them to the top as well. So you have the cake with a cookie dough ball stuffed inside, icing, and another cookie dough truffle on top. Heaven. The best part is there are no eggs, so you don't have to worry about getting salmonella and pooping your pants from indulging in the ever so delicious cookie batter! That's a plus!
 I don't know how many calories are in this bad boy, and I don't want to know!

I made the cookie dough filling/truffle balls first because you have to let them chill before forming the balls because they are so sticky. Oh and another thing I have learned with this recipe is you can fill the cake pretty high in the liner because they don't get all crazy big.

(makes 24)
- 3 Sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips

- 8 TBL unsalted butter, room temp
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup choc chips
- package of chocolate melts

- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 TBL milk
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling/truffle directions:
As I stated, I made the dough balls first. Combine butter and sugar and cream until fluffy. Add flour, condensed milk and vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips.Cover, put in freezer for about 45 minutes.
Roll out the balls..I rolled out 24 and put them in the fridge. With the remainder, I made the truffles. Do do so, just melt the chocolate melts, and dip! Once dipped, I added those to the fridge as well and started working on the cake.

Cupcake directions:
 Preheat over to 350 F. Line cupcake pans. (makes 24). Combine butter and brown sugar about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.

Combine the dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add to the butter/sugar mix, alternating with the milk, starting with the dry ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients.

Add vanilla, then fold in chocolate chips.

Add batter to the liners and bake for about 18 minutes. (depending on your over anywhere from 18 to 20)

When finished baking, take out and let cool completely. Once cool, cut a cone shape out of each cupcake and fill whole with a cookie dough ball, and then add the top back to the cupcake. They might look a little weird, but you won't be able to tell once the frosting is on, don't worry!!

Mix butter and brown sugar. Add the confectioners' sugar, the the flour. Add the salt, then milk, then vanilla.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie!

 Just sharing my most favorite smoothie recipe. No biggie. I drink this pretty much every day for lunch.

(makes about 2)

- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup of ice
- pineapple juice (I just eye ball it...I probably use a 1/2 cup though)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Easter Carrot Cakes Balls/Pops

  These are so freaking cute!!! I used a carrot cake box mix, and made homemade cream cheese frosting. Food colored some white melts and sprinkled coconut on top!!!

 -Make carrot cake as directed on box

Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz soft unsalted butter
- 4 oz soft cream cheese
- 2 cups confect. sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla

- Mix cream cheese and butter, add sugar, then vanilla

You make these the same as the chocolate cake pops I posted last week. I am being lazy and don't feel like retyping it!'s one of those days!

I would recommend keeping these in the fridge after making until enjoying because of the cream cheese...mine were pretty soft and needed to be..

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

 First let's start of with the fact that I want this

I think it is going to be added to my wishlist...I am already hinting around the fact that I NEED a red old fashion pop corn maker for my kitchen..hint maybe once I get that, I can then get a cotton candy would be heaven, really.

 Cotton candy makes me really happy. It's fluffy, cute,and pink! (Although I had forgotten how gross and annoying it gets on your fingers after eating a few bites...I hate being sticky,blah)..Anyway, so I made cotton candy cupcakes! I used my go-to buttercream cake and frosting's seriously the best cupcake in the world, in my opinion. I added cotton candy to the icing and then on top of the cupcakes. If you are SUPER serious about cotton candy, it would also be quite delicious to add cotton candy flavoring to it! I had only thought of that AFTER I started making them, and I don't have cotton candy flavoring just laying around...although I probably should?

 I became very irritated while making these cupcakes. I bought these cute liners from Michael's Craft store, I was thinking to myself, WOW these would be perfect for my cotton candy cupcakes! WELL, they weren't. Upon opening them, I noticed they were very thin, and I questioned whether or not to put a liner inside these cute pink liners. I read the box and it said just to fill with batter-BIG mistake. After taking the cupcakes out, they looked greasy :( wah wah. Cupcake aesthetics is more important to me than actual taste sometimes, so that really put me in a nasty mood. The SECOND thing to piss me off is that the cupcakes look way darker in my photos than they did in real life. I feel like the cotton candy-ness was not captured, haa. We can blame that on my location, "Dreary Erie". I usually take my photos in daylight because they look best, but since it was dark and snowing when it should have been pretty and sunny, my photos paid the price.

 So other than my two complaints, they tasted delicious, and I knew they would. It' not my favorite recipe for nothing.

Buttercream Cupcake
-1 3/4 cup cake flour
-1 1/4 cup flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 TBL bkg powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter,room temp)
-4 large eggs(room temp)
-1 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla (i use a little more)

350 degrees,20 to 25 min.
 A mixer with a paddle attachment really does wonders with this recipe, it makes them perfect!
-Combine all dry ingredients
-Add cubed butter to dry ingredients and mix until covered
-Whisk eggs,milk and vanilla separately,add in 3 parts to butter/flour mixture, mix well

Since I use this recipe a lot, I have really figured out how it bakes..I like giant cupcakes, so I fill them 2/3 full...if you do not want them so big, only fill about half way!

Best Buttercream Frosting(with cotton candy added)
-2 sticks of unsalted butter(room temp)
-6 to 8 cups confectioner's sugar
-1/2 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla

-start by creaming the butter(mix well)
-once creamed, add sugar, I usually use 7 cups..add gradually
-add vanilla
-then add milk (you can use more or less milk depending on how you want your frosting to be)
-in this case, add a cup or so of broken up cotton candy
-and pipe cupcakes!

*Ok, now I am not implying any of you would do this, BUT I DID..DO NOT add cotton candy to tops until you want to serve, or eat them! I wasn't thinking and put the cotton candy on top right away last night, and was planning on giving them to people today, and the cupcake sucked up all the cotton candy :(( Just a little pointer!*

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cadbury Creme Cupcakes

 I love Easter time...for two main reasons. #1, I LOVE pastels...and #2, I LOVE candy. My candy taste is equivalent to what a five year old would like. The thought of a cadbury creme cupcake is very exciting to me.
 A few notes about this cupcake though, it is HEAVY, messy and definitely not the prettiest cupcake I have ever made, HOWEVER, they are amazingly delicious(obviously if you even like cadbury creme eggs to begin with).
 I bought 12 cadbury creme treats..The batter recipe makes around 18, so you can either buy more eggs, or just have a few extra plain cupcakes..that's what I did.
 And the ganache frosting, seriously, it's amazing. I made the ganache frosting before I even started the cupcakes, because I chose to use a whipped ganache, which has to be chilled before using.

Ganache Frosting Ingredients:
- 16 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
 -2 cups heavy cream

- Place chocolate in bowl
- Heat heavy cream on stove on medium to high until it boils
- Remove and pour over chocolate, stir
- Cover with foil for 5 minutes
- Uncover, stir well, cover with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for an hour
- After an hour, mix until peaks form, and then decorate!

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
Cadbury Eggs (frozen overnight)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Mix butter until pretty smooth
- Add sugar and beat well
- Add eggs
- Mix in all other ingredients.

Add a little batter to the cupcake liners, then place egg in the middle. Pour more batter on until egg is almost covered.

Bake for 20-25 minutes...I only baked for 20 but, honestly, they could have used a few more minutes.

Take out and let cool them cool completely before adding icing.

Again, not the prettiest, but worth making for sure!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cake Pops!

So cake pops are another one of those treats that I never made because they seemed way too intense! Surprisingly, they were easy. Easy...yet tedious. Tedious, because I am the most impatient person in the world! I'll explain..

All you need is:
Cake mix
Candy melts
any decorations
styrofoam block

I used a devil's food mix, and a fudge frosting.

The first parts are WAY easy...

1) Make the cake mix.
2) Let the cake mix cool for at least an hour
3) When it cools add frosting...use your hands and mix well...The recipe I read said to use 1/3 Cup of frosting...I however, found that I used almost the whole can
4) Mix well, form into a giant ball
5) Refrigerate, I did over night

I didn't get to take pics of the first few steps, bc I forgot! Oh-well. ;)

6) Take mixture and roll into balls
7) Melt some of the coating, dip the stick in coating, then insert into ball (helps keep the stick on the cake)
8) Put back in fridge for about 10 minutes
9) Take out of fridge and let it sit for a few minutes
10) Melt the coating, and dip!

Now here are a few things I ran into....
-I made some of the balls way too big, and some way too small..medium size is best, like an inch and a half
-Some of my balls fell off the stick...probably because they were too big
- Let the coating sit for a few minutes before you start dipping the balls....this was my major problem..I am so impatient and immediately started dipping! When you do this, the coating is too runny and melts everywhere, making a mess and ruining them!(pics..and you should have SEEN my kitchen!)

Next time I will probably use a homemade recipe and make them even better! So for my first try, I say, not bad! For being box mix they taste really good too!!!