February 28, 2010

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup oil or applesauce (I use applesauce)
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup wheat germ or oatmeal
Walnuts or Pecans, optional
Grease 12 cup muffin tin or two 7x3 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In one bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, soda, salt, and sugar. Mix in beaten eggs, oil (applesauce), and mashed bananas. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour into prepared pans.
Muffins..Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes
Bread....Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


February 25, 2010

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Recipe from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Cupcakes Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with liners or a mini pan with 24 liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture slowly alternating with the milk, beating on low speed until just combined.
Fill each cup about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool about 1 hour.

Caramel Drizzle

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Pinch salt

Caramel Instructions:
In a saucepan, cook the granulated sugar over medium heat until it begins to melt around the edges. Stirring with a spoon, cook until the sugar is melted and has turned golden amber. Carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow & steady stream. Stir constantly until smooth. Add the salt. Let the caramel cool before using.

Caramel Salted Buttercream

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup granlated sugar
Pinch salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter

For the Buttercream Frosting:
In a metal bowl, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Set the bowl over simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is about 160 degrees. Using a mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the salt and the butter. If the frosting seperates, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 the caramel drizzle and beat until combined.

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream.  I topped my cupcakes with caramel drizzle & salt

February 23, 2010

Get your craft on Tuesday

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February 22, 2010

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins

A friend of mine sent me the link to a blog : Culinary Adventures of a New Wife: Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins with a recipe for Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins. Two of my favorite flavors...Blueberries & Lemon, how could I resist? They are very moist & have great flavor.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Muffins
Adapted from Baking with Dorie and Recipe Girl
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
½ stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
zest from 1 lime (medium to large size)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1½ Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup of fresh blueberries
coarse sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Add sugar and zest to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, rub zest with sugar until sugar is moist and fragrant.
4. Using an electric mixer, add butter to sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in applesauce, ricotta, then egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Carefully fold in blueberries.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
7. Place on wire rack to cool."


February 21, 2010

Sewing Pin & Safety Pin boxes

The Girl Creative
Someone gave us Starbucks Hot Cocoa for Christmas this year.  I couldn't wait for them to be empty so I could use them to hold my pins & safety pins.  

Supplies needed:
 Tin of your choice
 Spray paint (I used Oil Rubbed Bronze & Cream)
 Sandpaper or a nail file
 Acrylic paint
 Paint Brush

1. Wash & dry the tins. Put them on newspaper or a piece of cardboard.

2.  If you are going to use an undertone, start with that spray paint first. Spray the lid & bottom. I used
     Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Let it dry for about an hour
3.  Using the lighter spray paint, paint over the undertone.  Let it dry about 2 hours.
4.  Take the sandpaper or a nail file and distress the edges of the lid.
5.  Using acrylic paint & brush,  label each tin & decorate.

6. Put a magnet in the lid so pins will stick to it

7. Enjoy!

Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

We were invited to our friends to watch the UFC Fight last night, about 3 hours before the event.  Everyone shows up with food to share, anything goes.  I almost always make cupcakes, cream puffs, something chocolatey. I decided to make mini cupcakes.  After last night I realized I really need to buy the pan that makes 24 mini's, my pan makes 12 at a time..so it takes a long time. I made 3 dozen then used the rest of the batter to make regular size cupcakes.  Being short on time I frosted them and then dipped them in 3 toppings.  I used Williams Sonoma Pearly Sugar Crystals (they look silver in the picture against the chocolate frosting).  I used rainbow non-pareils, and chocolate jimmies.  Everyone loved that they were bite size and easy to pop in your mouth.  

February 20, 2010

Not everything I do has to do with Cupcakes....

I had a piece of left over pine from this project : Hutch & Cabinet  and decided it was the perfect piece to use for a Queensize headboard. I went to Home Depot & bought two pieces of 1.5" x 1.5" x 96" for $1.87 each.  I stained it and then put three coats of matte varnish.   (dresser & end table from Ikea)

Also pictured are the two lamps I spray painted last month.  One with Rustoleum Camo Green & the other with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.

February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday James!

Wishing our friend, James..a Very Happy Birthday!
Looking foward to celebrating with you tonight!

James requested "chocolate"
Dark Chocolate cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate frosting
topped with orange & red jimmies (and blue disco dust but it's hard to see it glisten in my photos)

February 16, 2010

Get your Craft on Tuesday

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February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

            Dark Chocolate cupcakes, Cream filled with chocolate frosting
Cream Filling:
6 Tbsp softened, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream

Add all 4 ingredients & beat until fluffy. Fill decorator bag with Wiltons' Bismarck tip #230 with the cream filling.   Insert tip into cooled cupcake & fill.

1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp softened, unsalted butter

Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until steaming. Turn off heat. Add chopped chocolate and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Spread the top of each cupcake with the frosting.

Cupcake recipe:

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. Heat oven to 350°F.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 22 to 25 minutes for regular cupcakes, 13-18 minutes for mini-cupcakes. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Makes 30 regular cupcakes OR 96 mini cupcakes

February 8, 2010

Valentine's Day - Chocolate Cut out Cookies

I've been searching for a chocolate cut out cookie that was full of chocolate goodness. I think I finally found it.   I topped them with royal icing.

Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl.
2. Put butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or overnight.
3. On a lightly floured (I use confectioners' sugar so the cookies don't dry out & it doesn't leave marks on the cookies) work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, quickly cut out shapes from dough (if dough begins to soften, chill it in freezer 3 to 5 minutes). Reroll and cut scraps. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Brush flour from shapes.
5. Bake cookies until crisp, about 9 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Cookie can be stored betwween layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

February 7, 2010

Amy Butler Bag

I usually only blog about my own creations but I felt I needed to share my sisters handiwork. My sister, Brie   purchased a pattern for the Amy Butler Bag.  I asked her to make one for me so I can give it as a gift to someone (won't mention names because that person may be a lurker on here). She completed it today and sent me this picture.  I'm in love! It's going to be hard to give this one up as a gift & not keep it for myself.     Thanks Sis.. you make my life easy!

February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to my biggest FAN

Today ....
 is the Birthday of my #1 Fan
my biggest supporter
without him I could not create what I do
and would not be who I am

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Juls
May it be the best one yet!

For his Birthday
I made Coconut Pineapple Cupcakes (see previous post)
Chocolate Candy Bar cupcakes
Dark Chocolate cake with Chocolate Buttercream
Crumbled candy bars on top
(Cookies N' Cream, Hershey's, Reese's PB Cups & Peppermint Patties)

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