Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cupcake Blog

I was featured on The Cupcake Blog! It's an adorable blog devoted to cupcakes.  There are posts about different flavors, varieties, and fun decorations. I get a lot of ideas from here. 
She posted my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes, originally posted here. And look, 9 people shared it on facebook, and 6 people tweeted it. I feel famous! haha She also posted:
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes originally posted here.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes originally posted here
I'm also excited that my bff Madeleine was featured on The Cupcake Blog! 

If you are new to my blog, welcome! Feel free to look around and follow me! It makes me feel so loved. :)

a famous friend

So CelebrityWeddingReporter . com wrote an article about if Kate Middleton will wear a headpiece at her Royal Wedding: 
 And guess who was in it? My friend Holly!! Check out the article hereShe looks fabulous. 
And obviously, Holly looked even better in real life at her beautiful wedding!! YAY, love it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cake Batter Crispy Treats

How amazing does these sound? Yup, they taste that good! 
Taste: Sweet, and marshmallow-y. YUM
Texture: Like regular rice krispies treats, but with crunchy sprinkles
Would I make these again?: YES. They are SO easy, and different from the norm. But I would make 2 batches (it didn't make that many), and put in less sprinkles. Sprinkles look fun, but don't taste that great. I would probably use funfetti cake inside, and only put sprinkles on top.
Cake Batter Crispy Treats
From: How Sweet It Is

3 tablespoons butter
1 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows
1/4 cup yellow cake mix
6 cups rice krispies cereal
1 1.75-ounce container of sprinkles (I may or may not have read that as 11.75 oz, whoops!)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish (any size will do) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I find spraying a knife with nonstick spray helps to cut them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pizza cookies - delivery!

A couple weeks ago, i am baker decided she wanted to give away 10 dozen cookies to families or individuals who could use a little pick-me-up. She opened up her blog to nominees, and received over 165! The entries were all heartfelt and some tear-jerking. 

From Lora
I would nominate a family in our church whose 5 year old son, Owen, is battling leukemia. It's been a long road for them (since August) and they could definitely use a pick me up! They also have 3 other children under the age of 10 (Owen is 5)
From Joanna

From Joy
I would love to send some cookies to my daughter's boyfriend when he returns (safe and sound!) from a year on the front line in Afghanistan. We are grateful for his service and what better way to show it than with cookies!
From Shannon

Read more in her post
She just couldn't narrow the nominees down so decided to ask for volunteers. Bakers would be matched up with a nominee and send them cookies . Which is where Kelly and I came in! We decided to sign up because how hard is baking cookies, when it would go to someone in need? 

So here was the nominee we got paired up with:
"This is so sweet of you! If I won these cookies I would send them to my Dad. My dad works in the flooring industry he is self taught in the trade and works very hard. He is now the head of a flooring company and his job is very stressful because simple mistakes cost lots of money to fix. He has had a lot of health problems due to the stress of working this job. He would like to quit his job but is waiting until after I get married in October so he can help pay for some of the wedding. After October he is planning on switching from his flooring job to making brick fire oven pizza. (It's amazingly good!) Right now my dad is having a hard time because a few people in our extended family do not support his idea of switching careers, and they tell him quite often. I would like to send him some "pizza" cookies just to let him know that I support him and to give him some encouragement." - Jaclyn

"Pizza" cookies aren't really in our usual repertoire of baked goods, but we decided we'd give it a try. And I'm really happy/excited with how they turned out!! 

These pizza cookies stretched our baking skills, and were a lot of fun to make! We packaged them up in pizza boxes, and sent them on their way! Hopefully to put a smile on someone's face! Oh, and we included this with a little handwritten note on the back:
Found: flickr
Sugar cookie recipe: from i am baker
Royal icing recipe: Annie's Eats

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

This weekend is the start of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in DC! Hope you have plans to either enjoy it, or steer clear of the city and the traffic! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

The second recipe I made for Kim's bridal shower dessert table were these cupcakes! They were really delicious! 
Taste: Sweet and exactly like chocolate chip cookie dough!
Texture: Moist, and the buttercream wasn't too runny like mine normally is.
Would I make this again?: Probably not, just because there are so many other cupcakes recipes I want to try. But they were really fun to make and eat! 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Found: Annie's Eats
Yield:24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract

For decoration:
Tiny chocolate chip cookies
Mini chocolate chips

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Homemade Marshmallows

I have been meaning to make marshmallows for the longest time, so a bridal shower seemed like the perfect time! This was one of the two recipes I made for the bridal shower dessert table. Marshmallows are surprisingly easy, fast, and fun to make! And you can add whatever color/flavor you want! 
Taste: Great taste of vanilla
Texture: Very springy and fluffy! I loved squishing them, and the boyf wanted to jump in them.
Would I make this again?: Yes, for sure! It was so easy, and there are so many variations I could make! I would love to try strawberry, almond, etc. 
Springy, Fluffy Marshmallows 
From: Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined. Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

Do ahead: Marshmallows keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

Green Dessert Table

This past weekend we had a bridal shower for a good friend from high school. Kelly was in charge of food, and I was in charge of the whole dessert table! One of the wedding colors is green, and the bride-to-be loves dinosaurs, so that was our theme. I am so happy with the way it all turned out! 
- Marshmallows: made by me! See recipe here.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes: made by me! See recipe here
- Meringues: from Balducci's
- Macarons: from Michel Patisserie
-Candy: from Georgetown Candy Bar
- Dinosaur Cupcake Toppers: Etsy, TheBirthdayHouse

** Kelly created a fabulous food table for the bridal shower. Check out her post here!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

weekend wishes

I hope everyone has fun plans, especially since it's supposed to be great weather this weekend! I'm excited for my weekend, it has a lot to do with this:

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I made dinner with the girls last night, and it was delicious! 
Taste: SO good! cheesy, meaty, oniony.
Texture: melty and warm
Would I make this again?: Yea! It's easy to make, and would feed a big crowd.
Sour Cream Noodle Bake
From: Pioneer Woman

1-¼ pound Ground Chuck
1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
½ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
½ cups Sour Cream
1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
½ cups Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste)
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck of the Irish

Found: Four Star
Found: Sprinkles

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St Patricks Day Eve

Speaking of Smashing Magazine, they have a forum where artists all over the world submit calendars every month. It's really fun to look through, and maybe you'll find a great desktop background for the month! Here are some of my favs from 2011: