Sunday, July 27, 2008

Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes

Happy Birthday!

In honor of my boyfriend's birthday I made him these delicious red velvet cupcakes. It is hard to believe, but he really does not like birthday cake. Somehow red velvet became one of the few cakes he actually enjoys. I found these cup cakes on Joy the Baker, and thought they would make the perfect birthday cupcake. I also paired them with Joy's Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. The cake was good, but when paired with the frosting it became an amazing cupcake. I brought eight of the cupcakes into work assuming my boyfriend and I could not eat all 21 that I made ( we easily could have). After the first eight were devoured, my coworkers were distraught when I did not bring any in the next day. Needless to say these were great cupcakes and definitely beat the cherry cobbler I made for my boyfriend's birthday last year.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 - 3 Tablespoon(s) red food coloring (depending on how bright you want them)

Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with the milk and red dye in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until just incorporated.

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until the cakes a pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove cupcakes from muffin tin and let cool on a wire rack. Frost with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk, depending on desired consistency

Cream the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter, beating for 1-2 minutes, or until incorporated. (Be sure that the two are at room temperature. Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.) Add the brown sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated. Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

S'more Cookie Bars

Better than being around a campfire!

Now don't get me wrong, I think making s'mores around the campfire can be a ton of fun, but why go through the hassle of planning a camping trip or finding firewood if you can bake up a batch of these beauties without all the trouble. I saw this recipe on Baking Bites and could not wait to make them. I followed her recipe with the exception of using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and they were amazing! I brought these into work on a Sunday when there were only 7 of us there (I am an auditor so I often work weekends) and by Monday morning there was only one left. These are definitely going to be a "go-to" dessert going forward.

S'more Cookie Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 7 full graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 super-sized (5 oz.) dark chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. Two 5 oz. Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the chocolate layer.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is most easily done by putting the second half of the dough in a gallon size freezer bag. Use your palms to flatten it out, and then use scissors to cut down both long sides of the bag, so it will open up book-style. Open it up carefully, and the dough will stick on one side of the bag. Then place the bag, dough side down, on the other three layers. From there peel the bag up ad spread the dough where it is uneven.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars

Makes 16 cookie bars.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Frozen Lemonade Pie

It does not get much easier!

I went home with my boyfriend for the fourth of July to visit his family. His parents have a fourth of July Party every year in which his mom serves up a feast and they end the night with a fireworks show. To do our part, my boyfriend and I made a Frozen Lemonade Pie which we saw on Down Home with the Neely's. We served the pie at the party and it was a big hit. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures before serving the pie so the pictures do not do the pie justice. This is definitely going to be a go to summer dessert in out house.

Frozen Lemonade Pie

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 (12 ounce) container whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, keep frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the melted butter. Press firmly on bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool completely.

In a medium bowl, add chilled sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping and fold gently. Add frozen lemonade and continue to gently fold. Do not let the mixture become soupy. Pour mixture into the pie crust and freeze overnight. Garnish with lemon peel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Foodie Blogroll!

I joined the Foodie Blogroll! The Foodie Blogroll is the first of its kind and is one of the fastest growing online communities for foodbloggers. With over 1500 members spanning the globe in less than a year, there is a reason for its popularity. It is the first blogroll created just for foodies. The blogroll is all about building the best community online for foodbloggers! Check out the icon on the lower right hand side of the page to link to the blogroll.