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!