Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Halloween!


I hope everybody had a great Halloween weekend. I know it is too late for you to make these cupcakes for Halloween, but I think they are great for any fall event. They would be great at a Thanksgiving potluck or even with Thanksgiving dinner. If you ask Zack....they are even good for afternoon snack :)

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg. In separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, pumpkin puree, both sugars, and eggs. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Makes 15 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar 1 cup at a time; mix until smooth.

These cupcakes are all packaged up for a party.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

Cute and delicious.

I have wanted to make these cheesecake cupcakes for a LONG time. I don't know why it took me this long to make them, but I am glad I did. They delicious and loved by everybody who tasted them and super easy to make. You really could use any cookie instead of Oreos. My mind is racing with the possibilities. I used the Halloween themed Oreos just since it is October; I think they would be adorable with the red filled Oreos that come out in December. I may even try making them again with Chips Ahoy cookies. I halved the recipe when I made them and got 18 cheesecake cupcakes. I have posted the original recipe below.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes Recipe
recipe from: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat

Makes 30

Ingredients:
42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Cake Pops

Scary good.

This past weekend we went to our friends' John and Leslie's. We don't get to see them as frequently as we would like so it was a real treat. I was lucky enough to spend part of the afternoon taking photos of their adorable six month old daughter in her Halloween costume. The other part of the afternoon Leslie and I attempted to make cake pops. I say attempted because it was not as easy as it looked. I brought over a prepared cake and some leftover maple buttercream. We put the cake in the food processor with some frosting to ensure it would combine nicely. I guess I was not paying attention to how much frosting I added because we ended up with a sloppy wet mess! We ended up having to bake another cake to compensate for all the frosting. The lesson here: pay attention when adding your frosting to your cake when making cake pops .

I am not going to post a recipe or directions in this post since I have made all sorts of cakeballs and pops and of course there is the master, Bakerella. We decided to go with monster eyes and pumpkins. I found the eye sprinkle at target in case you are looking. To create the texture on the monster eye pop, we dipped it as normal and then added the sprinkle. When it was dry I used my finger and "painted" on some more melted green chocolate. To make the faces on the pumpkins we melted some black colored candy melts, put them in a ziplock bag, cut the corner off the bag, and then drew the face.

Stay tuned this week for an Oreo Cheesecake recipe!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caramel Popcorn (a.k.a my new favorite treat)

Beware...people will fight you for this!


Earlier this year our friend John turned 30 (which I mentioned in earlier posts). To celebrate this momentous occasion, his wife hosted a great party and his mom, Sue, made this AMAZING caramel popcorn. I already thought his mom was pretty great, but the fact that she created the tastiest popcorn I ever ate just put her over the top. Lucky for me (and you) she shared the recipe.

This popcorn is not only delicious, it is easy to make, and super affordable. I bagged the popcorn in cute little cellophane bags that had skeletons printed on them and tied it off with an orange Halloween ribbon. I think this would be perfect to give out as a favor for a party or even in a big cauldron to share.

Caramel Popcorn

4 bags buttered and salted popcorn, popped (remove any unpopped kernels)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil over low heat 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.

Place the popcorn into a turkey roaster pan coated with cooking spray. Pour caramel over popcorn. Bake at 250ยบ for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes with a spatula coated with cooking spray. Let cool before serving.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Candy Corn themed Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Easy, Cute, and Delicious!

I love Halloween. I always have and I am sure I always will. I actually hate being scared and refuse to watch scary movies or go to haunted houses, but I love the decorations, the dressing up, the pumpkin patch and all the other things that go with Halloween. To get into the holiday spirit Zack and I went to the pumpkin patch this weekend (which is always fun) and I started making Halloween Treats. Chocolate covered pretzels are pretty much universally loved by all my friends and family. Candy Corn on the other hand is not. I enjoy the cute Halloween Candy, Zack won't touch it. So what did I do...I decided to make candy corn colored chocolate covered pretzels and it was a success. I am not going to post the how to here since I have posted it here: White Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Instead I will just post a few extra pictures. Stay tuned for more Halloween Treats!

Here they are all bagged up and ready to be gifted. Now you can see these treats featured on Rosie Snow on the Road.



This was an idea I had with pretzel rods. I dipped the rod in each color, starting with the white chocolate and letting it cool between each color. They did not come out quite as cute as I was hoping, but they still tasted good.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

French Toast Muffins

Talk about a breakfast muffin.

I recently came across a blog and it was love at first site, Framed Cooks. I swear, everything featured on this blog is amazing and the pictures are fantastic. I immediately added it to my google reader feed and stared just about every other post to go on my "Must Bake/Cook" list. Immediately these french toast muffins jumped out at me. I love french toast and it just seemed the perfect beginning of Fall recipe. These were definitely best warm out of the oven, but were still quite tasty the next day. I think they would be for brunch, or for Thanksgiving morning when family is in town and you just don't have time to whip up french toast to order :)

French Toast Muffins
recipe from Framed, originally from Food.com

French Toast Topping

3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
6 slices cinnamon bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Muffins

1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all the french toast topping ingredients in a medium bow and set aside. Combine 1 cup milk, melted butter, 1 egg, and vanilla extract in another medium bowl. Combine all remaining muffins ingredients in a large bowl. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until mixed.

Spoon batter into a greased or lined 12 cup muffin pan. Soon French toast topping evenly over batter; press down slightly. Baked 20-25 minuted or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Immediately brush muffins with maple syrup. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over glazed muffins. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.