Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Baking

I really didn't think I'd have time for holiday baking but i made some today and I'm really glad. EVERYONE I know keeps asking for my pumpkin bread, including my mother-in-law, so I made yet another loaf of it. You can find the recipe HERE. I did add something to it to make it more festive tho....some red & green food coloring swirls! I think it's looks pretty cool.

I didnt really have the time to make cookies like I usually do so I decided on a holiday cupcake. I asked my hubby, KC, "If you were a holiday cupcake what flavor would you be?". To which he replied "ummmmm". Eventually we decided on something with cream cheese frosting & crushed candy canes on it, and then he suggested hot chocolate flavored cupcakes. I was thinking mint so I put the 2 together and made mint hot chocolate cupcakes! 

Mint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 packet of your fav hot chocolate mix (I obviously used mint)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside. 
Heat milk in saucepan on low and whisk in hot chocolate mix. be careful not to add the milk when it's too hot to your batter!
With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. 
On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk/hot chocolate mix; end with remaining flour mixture. 
Mix just until incorporated. 
Bake 22  min per batch. 

I whipped up cream cheese frosting and added some crushed candy canes and some holiday sprinkles. After taste testing them, they are yummy! Just a hint of the mint flavor, just enough if you ask me. I really like the idea of adding the powder mix to the milk, it was a cool way to change the flavor.

I hope you all did lots of great holiday baking (And eating!).

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

So I held my 2nd Disney meet up, now dubbed Mouse Traders NYC, this past weekend. The turnout was small but you KNOW I baked something to bring along!  I wanted to use my mickey mouse cookie cutter & sprinkles so I was looking for an easy cookie. I thought of shortbread then wondered if I could make pumpkin shortbread.....low & behold I found a recipe! I kinda combined 2 but here's pretty much what I did...


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice or cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
additional powdered sugar, to top the cookies (optional)

1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in flour and salt. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla and spices. Beat until everything is mixed well. The dough may end up to be a bit sticky.
2. Scoop shortbread dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top. Place in plastic wrap or parchment paper, wrap and refrigerate for several hours until dough is more firm (can refrigerate overnight).

3. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4.Flour surface and roll out cookies, adding flour as needed to make it workable. Gently move the shapes to the cookie sheets. 

Refrigerate the cut out cookies for 10 minutes, it will help them retain their shape when backed. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned on the edges. Immediately move cookies to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then sift powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies, if desired. 

I let them cool, frosted some with cream cheese frosting and added my mickey sprinkles to it. The rest I dusted with the powdered sugar. 

They turned out YUMMY. Hubby wasn't to into them, but he doesn't really like shortbread much. I LOVED them with the frosting and liked the leftovers even better dipped in some coffee. NOM. 

The meet up peeps seemed to like them too! Happiness all around! 

Now let's see if I even have time to bake cookies or anything for Christmas this year since this is a super duper busy month for me. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Real life gettin' in the way!

The lack of updates are killing me! I really wish I had the time to bake weekly like I had been doing, or at least bi-weekly but ,alas, real life gets in the way. I recently got hired at a discount department store a few blocks from home and it's a full time gig so time has been scarce for me. It also isn't helping that everyone I know, friends & family alike, all want my Pumpkin Bread and I have already blogged that! :)

I am hosting a 2nd meet up in NYC this coming Saturday for Disney Geeks like me and I am planning on making some frosted sugar cookies shaped like mickey heads. Planning on it, that is, if I can get my Thanksgiving cooking done first. Thankfully we are headed to a friends house and all I need to bring is the now infamous Pumpkin Bread and some candided yams.

So happy Turkey Day everyone- eat lots of goodies for me!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Pumpkin Spice Drizzle!!

Let me start with saying - These are WICKED AWESOME! Moving on....

we got hubby a pumpkin to carve this year but he wasn't into it, so instead we cooked that baby up and pureed our own pumpkin. So now I will be making pumpkin stuff forever, but it's my absolute favorite flavor so i'm good with that. Onto the goods....

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (I used half fresh half canned)

Yields 24 cupcakes.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

I topped these awesome little spicy love cakes with my first attempt at homemade cream cheese frosting....which turned out really tasty!

I also had a bag full of Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses my BFF brought to me when her & her family visited from Florida in October. I thought they would make an awesome glaze/topper to these cupcakes so I had hubby help me do some unwrapping so i could melt them down.

I added a touch of cream to them and they turned into a nice consistency for drizzling. I think these cupcakes are pretty darn purdy!

They are quickly becoming one of my favorite things I have ever made. They aren't too sweet and the frosting makes them just right. I really enjoyed these and hope someone out there in blog land will make 'em!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

This proved to be a bit of an adventure. The cupcakes were fine but I'm fairly new to the homemade frosting game so trying out caramel frosting proved difficult. But i can't do things easily. I wanted to either make some caramel frosting or something with brown sugar in it, i just felt it would go well with the cupcake.'s how it went. 

Apple Cupcakes


3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature (45g)
3/4 cup Apple Sauce, smooth (I subbed apple butter because its what I had)
1 cup Apples, diced
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg, room temperature
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Salt
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together
  • Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined
  • Beat in half of the applesauce until just combined making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl
  • Combine half of the remaining flour, followed by the rest of the applesauce
  • Mix in the last of the flour and beat until just combined
  • Fold in the diced apple
  • Divide the batter among the cupcake papers, filling each till about 2/3 full
  • Bake until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed or a toothpick comes out clean, about 18 - 20mins
  • Cool for about 10mins before removing cupcakes from pan and cooling on a wire rack

Caramel Frosting


1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the brown sugar, butter & water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. (Brown sugar should be packed so tightly in the cup that when you dump it into the saucepan it will retain its shape). Turn the heat to medium-high and melt the butter and sugar together, stirring constantly. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for one minute before removing it from the heat. While the mixture is still warm, add the vanilla and then stir in the powdered sugar under it reaches the frosting consistency you desire.

Sounds easy right?! NOT! 

The first try at it I didn't boil the mixture long enough and it ended up really grainy. Tasty but grainy and I couldn't use it. I tried adding water, heating it again, adding powdered sugar, etc. But in the end I ended up with super sweet caramel in a bowl. 

Take 2 went much better. 

I had just enough brown sugar to make another batch and I boiled that sucker for like 4 minutes, using a whisk to make sure it was all dissolved and not grainy. Then it was so warm I wanted to cool it down in the fridge....and it got super hard! So I heated it a bit before it went into the piping bag and all was well. It was tough to pipe tho. 

I piped it into circles but the color of the frosting made it look kinda like poo on the cupcake (sorry it did), so I opted to smooth it out with my trusty offset spatula. It made it look much more like an actual caramel apple anyway.  

I left them at room temp for the day so we could try one after dinner.

YUM! They look a little iffy but the flavor was great. The cake is super moist and the pieces of apple were tasty and perfectly cooked. The frosting really made it taste like a caramel apple. They went great together. 

Would I make it again? The cupcake yes...the frosting- if I'm feeling a bit crazy maybe, otherwise I'd make some cinnamon vanilla frosting next time. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

This is my now infamous (at least around anyone who knows me & esp. to hubby, KC) pumpkin bread. I am obsessed with pumpkin! I have made pumpkin everything- including cream sauce (yum!). This is easy and really yummy but not too heavy or sweet.

*Please note I halfed this recipe this time since I was making one loaf to bring to my father-in-law since he was having shoulder surgery. It makes 2 HUGE loafs, you could even make it into 3 medium sized loafs. Just be warned it makes a lot!

3 cups sugar
3 1/3 cups flour
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 tspn baking soda
2/3 cup water
1 tspn of cinnamon
1 tspn nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves ( maybe 1/8 tspn)
15 oz can of Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

Grease the bottom and 1/2 sides of loaf pans.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt & spices together in a bowl.
Beat sugar and oil until well combined. Add in eggs.
Add flour mixture & water alternately ending with flour mixture.
Beat in pumpkin until all is well combined.
Pour into pans.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 60 minutes/1 hour.

Cool completely and then enjoy!

It went over really well with dad-in-law & mom-in-law as well. It travels well and is a great fall flavor.

I am so excited it's pumpkin coking season again!!!! I love fall flavors so much!

My next baking adventure.....caramel apple cupcakes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Megaman Cupcakes

It was a very close friend's birthday this past Sept 29th. He is one of those friends that goes out of his way to make you happy, and does all kinds of exceptional things for you. He always does these crazy extravagant things for hubby & me so I needed to try and at least do something unexpected and special for his birthday.

I haven't worked with fondant much since KC's Metal Gear Cake and it was time for me to work on my skills some more (lol). So Andy's favorite video game ever is Megaman so it was a natural thing for me to make these cupcakes out of. I have never made anything this tiny in fondant either, so it was a challenge for sure.

Lucky for me KC found a few great 8 bit pictures fr me to use as stencils. This is where I started....

 The blue one is Megaman and the red (I used only the head) is Protoman. We have no printer ink at the moment so KC hand traced the stencils for me on the pc screen (Thanks Hunny!) and i got to work coloring the fondant.

 The beginnings went well. it was weird to work with things so small but again- trying to challenge myself.
Here's some step by steps as I worked.

There are 3 rows because I was going to do a third Megaman head in a different position but these proved to be almost TOO challenging so I gave up at 2. The Protomen went much better than i expected. I was able to cut them all out with little problem. Then I got to the Megaman one. Yeesh. It literally took me about 3 hours the 1st day, then I put them away for a day and spent about 4 hours the next working on them.

Getting that white center right was the hardest some point in my trials I came up with the guy below who I renamed "MonkeyMan". 

Finally the day before Andy's birthday I worked on them again and finished them all up and got them to a place I lied them at. I cut out some circles for the other cupcakes in matching fondant colors and then I actually had to bake said cupcakes they were going on. 

I made another version of the Cookie Dough Cupcakes from last month...with peanut butter cookies inside instead of chocolate chip. Andy loves peanut butter so I had to make the switch. 

They turned out really well. The only addition to my recipe i would make is pushing the cookie down further in the cupcake so it's more centered, but they came out just great otherwise.

I frosted them with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting and got a little sparkly with some of the circles and then positioned them in a way I liked, ready to be put into a container and taken to the birthday bash.

I will always want to make them more perfect, it's in my nature, but I was really happy with them. They transported great and I got out the god old video camera when we did the reveal....

He loved them! All the hard work was def worth it.....when you get this reaction from something you baked for someone you love- you can't beat it.....

Happy Birthday Andy, we love you lots!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cookie Dough Cupcakes- The Sequel

I really was unhappy with the way the first batch came out. I am trying to get over my need to overfill a cupcake so....the sequel was born! Much unlike lousy Hollywood sequels, mine came out ten times better!!! I made one minor change to the recipe and filled the cups less and they came out AWESOME!

The change: less cocoa powder. I used only 1/4 cup this time and it balanced out insanely well.

These are going to become a regular recipe for em that I plan to tweak and try in other flavor combinations, I'm slightly too excited about it!

I also plan to put some mini chocolate chips in the frosting when I make them again, to add to the chocolate cookie aspect. I am also in love with this frosting recipe and can't wait to make more in other flavors!

Here's the original version of the recipe. remember 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, not 1/2. Half makes it feel too much like a devil dog, which is good if thats what you want.

One last thing...I am so excited it's fall and I can being my yearly Pumpkin fest! I LOVE pumpkin and plan to make a BUNCH of things with it!

Business, Business, Business

So I ordered some really cheap (i.e pay only shipping fees) business cards and post cards! What do you think?

Being jobless and looking has been vicious and it just reaffirms that this is what I'd really like to do, bake for people, feed them and see their faces when I bake them yummy things that make them smile! So...I am really going to make an attempt to get this going! Even if it just ends up getting me some internet followers, at least I'll be baking things that other people can try out and if that makes one person happy, I'll be happy! I bake for myself now and being able to share it with people would be great. It makes me happy when I can create something delicious.

So if you know anyone who likes baking and might wanna follow a blog- tell them! 
If you know anyone who might wanna swap links with me - holla at me! 
If you read this blog and haven't comment at all- just say HI, I'd love to know you're there! 

And if there is anyone you know who wants an awesome cake, cupcake or cookie- I can guarantee I can bake you something you will LOVE!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Fur Babies.

I haven't been much on the baking, or the cooking front, for that matter. I have been mostly just throwing food on my foreman griller and (Gasp!) buying desserts out! In my defense there is a really good cupcake/bakery nearby. The reason for this is that about 3 weeks ago we adopted 2 of the sweetest kittens ever!

We went out for the night to a comedy show thrown by a friend and were wandering the neighborhood because we were early. We came across a strictly cat clinic with a window to the caged cats they had. Most of them were boarded overnight or whatever, but there was one cage that said "Adopt Me" and it had 2 little kittens in it! KC & I have been talking about getting new pets eventually and that we wanted them to be 2 kittens that grew up together, preferably related. Well these little furrballs answered every wish we had. Turns out they were twins, and 3 months old. We were there when the place was closing so we couldn't play with them or anything, but they told us to come back in the morning if we wanted them.

We were back there before they opened.

In about 15 minutes we had our 2 new babies and were headed home!

Naming them was hardest. We were told they were both boys so we tried to find famous brothers names, but nothing stuck. Eventually we decided on Moss & Miso.

Moss is for a character in a british sitcom called IT Crowd and Miso is after a character in the video game Katamary Damacy.


They already have gotten big. They are sweet and fun. An awesome mix of mushy and playful. They went for their first check up this past Tuesday and we found out some crazy news.....

They are both girls!!!!! 

Luckily their names aren't too gender specific so we are keeping them, esp. since we got to really like the  names and they fit them both. So "The Boys" became "The Girls". 

They are time consuming because I could pet them all day long! But I promise to get my cooking and/or blogging back on ASAP! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cookie Dough Cupcakes & My First Homemade Frosting

Just an FYI- Sorry I haven't been around, I have been sick and on antibiotics for the past 2 weeks and finally feel like a person again, enough to bake. I barely even cooked dinner, we ate a LOT of take out this month. 

This recipe was found by my darling husband, KC @ . It was one of the few requests he has ever made for me to bake so yesterday we baked. I finally feel like myself again, and it turned out GOOD!

Chocolate Cupcakes (from
Makes 12
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

1 package pre-made cookie dough 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated.

This made a really nice batter, one I am going to hold onto for future chocolate cupcake needs. 

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Place a ball of frozen cookie dough on top of each cup (do not push it in). 

Don't over fill them, like me. I have this problem with over filling cupcakes...I just need to buy another cupcake pan I like and use the darn thing.

Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake (but not in the cookie dough) comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 They didn't turn out like the picture because of the over fill BUT they were a really cool idea and so I am just gonna have to *twist twist* make them again and fix it. :)

Now for the frosting. I have never made my own before. I have made glazes and creams but for some reason, never frosting. But for my hubby I made some.....and now I'm hooked.


Makes 1 dozen cupcakes worth.
1 stick unslated butter, softened
4-6 cups Confec sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tspn vanilla

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. 

It came together after 4 cups. And it was YUMMY! KC LOVED it.

So then it was time to play with piping the frosting. I have done it before so it was more what I wanted to do with it, and as you will see I did a few things just to try 'em out.

Kc even frosted a few pretty well for the first time ever frosting. So of course this was dessert last night and I had to take a picture of the inside too.....

Next time the cookie will be all throughout, I promise. And there will be a next time I assure you.

Oh and the leftover break-n-bake cookies...too easy to leave 'em just chocolate ship for me.....

They were yummy for a pre-made/doctored up cookie.

And now if i can only break the addiction to my Kindle and the ease with witch you can get ebooks, I'd be baking and blogging more.