Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tea Cakes

Book Club Meeting #3

The third book in our book club series is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  I could write a 1000 words on why I loved this book, but I'll save my discussion about it for tomorrow night.  My girls are coming over for some appetizers, dessert, and great dialogue and debate about the book.  I decided to get a head start on the baking and prepare dessert tonight.  I may make some brownies as well tomorrow, but for now, I will share the tea cakes I made.  I bought this pan last weekend at our "Gift Card Date Night."  I think they turned out cute, but I'm not thrilled with the recipe for the petits fours that came with the pan.  They taste fine, but they don't really wow me.   I topped the cakes with a rose flavored icing that I think makes up for the cake part being simply acceptable.  I may try using a different petits fours recipe next time.  We'll see.  I'm curious to see how these would turn out with a brownie recipe. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Keylime Cupcakes and Brownies

Old College Friends

We spent the evening last night with our college friends, whom we do not get to see nearly enough.  We had a great time telling old stories and reliving the "glory" years.  Makes me feel old when I think that we've been out of college for eight years!  We had pizzas, beers, and a dessert.  It was a great time, and I miss my friends already. 

I found this recipe online for Keylime Cupcakes.  Considering Matt's favorite dessert is Keylime pie, I thought he might like these.  They were the perfect amount of lime flavor...very subtle but delicious! 

Last weekend, Matt and I had a great "date" night where we used up all of the gift cards we've been neglecting since LAST Christmas.  We had a great time going from store to store using up every gift card we had.  My favorite one to use was the Williams Sonoma gift card.  I bought this brownie pan...its sooo cute!  I used the Martha Stewart Fudge Brownie Recipe from her Baking Handbook.  The brownies turned out very chewy and extra rich.  Perfect!

Sorry I didn't put them on a prettier plate, but we were in a rush to get out the door.  I think next time I make them I'm going to wrap them in aluminum foil and make a wrapper like a real chocolate bar.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Roasted Banana Cupcakes

A Day Off

I had planned on having a baking and cleaning day on Saturday, but my plans got foiled as we lost electricity for over twelve hours!  Therefore, I'm using my day off as a day to clean and use up food that is about to expire.  I had two bananas left over that were turning pretty brown.  I thought I'd make banana bread, but I wanted to try something different.  I found the Roasted Banana Cupcake recipe from my Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Book.  Halfway through preparing the batter, I realized I had broken the cardinal rule of baking and cooking...checking for all ingrediants before starting.  I had no sour cream!  After checking with some friends and googling, I substituted a tablespoon of vinegar and a cup of milk for the sour cream.  It must have worked because these cupcakes are delicious!  Topped with Cinnamon Honey Icing, they are to die for!  Can't wait for Matt to come home and try one!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Butterfly cupcakes

Happy 5th Birthday, Kate!

My girl, Kate, turns 5 on Sunday.  I cannot believe she was born five years ago!  Insane.   Unlike last year, where she refused to be four, she is quite excited at turning another year.  She was very specific about what type of cupcakes she wanted...chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing,  pink sprinkles and butterflies.  I hope this satisfies her requirements.  I'm not super thrilled with the way they turned out.  I tried to be cute with the roses, and I'm not convinced that it wouldn't have looked better with just piping the icing on in a swirl.  One thing I can be sure about...they are delicious!  I used Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  YUM!!!  Matt, who is feeling slightly better by the way, went back for seconds...and thirds.  I guess that's a good sign!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Green Flower Cupcakes

Happy Birthday, Chrissy!

So, my very fashionable and awesome work friend, Chrissy, has a birthday on Saturday, and I thought I'd make some cupcakes to bring to work to celebrate another awesome year of Chrissy!  Since Chrissy is one of the most stylish girls I know, I thought the cupcakes should match.   I'm hoping they taste ok, as my usual taste tester is currently in bed sleeping and shivering with what I think may be the flu.  My poor husband.  He hardly ever gets sick, but when he does, it gets REALLY sick. 

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. 

After lots of searching, I have decided that the chocolate icing recipe off of the back of Hershey's Cocoa is the best.  Hands down.

Side note:  My coworker and bestest work buddy just sent me a g-chat saying, "Your blog is false advertising.  You work until 9 in the evening.  It should say 'Therapist by night, amateur baker by later that night.'"  So true.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kate's Cupcakes

 Kate Date

I've been promising my girl, Kate, for quite awhile to have a cupcake and ice cream making party.  I figured we'd do it before work starts again for the year.  Kate arrived early with her apron and chef hat in tow.  She also brought some small silicone cupcake wrappers.  I've never used them before, but they were great.  I may get myself some!  We baked confetti cupcakes (another box of my sister-in-law's $.29 cent score), which we died pink with food coloring.  We also made chocolate ice cream with my ice cream maker.  It was a fun day, and I can't wait to do it again.  Thanks, Kate!

Chef Kate

Matt helped her decorate.

Kate, showing off her creations.  Not too shabby!

Of course, Kate is a girl after my own heart.  She took a bite of the cake, but demolished the icing. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

101 Things to do with Cake Mix

My sister-in-law scored a bunch of boxes of cupcake mix for $.29 each!  Since I don't usually use cake mix for my cupcakes, I thought it would be the perfect time to pull out my 101 Things to do with Cake Mix cookbook.  We are heading to my friend, Jeff's, for the evening, and will bring these delish things along.  They sort of remind me of TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes. 

I started with the Yellow Cupcake Mix, inserted peanut butter cups inside before baking, then melted peanut butter chips and spread on top.  Finally, I topped it all with homemade chocolate peanutbutter icing. 

I had to cut into the cake to show you the delicious middle...and so Matt and I could have a taste!

ETA:  Last night, Jeff gave me an unprompted, and uncomfortably long & silent hug. I was confused as to what he was doing, until I smelled the peanut butter on his breath.   He was a happy man.