Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cherry Yogurt Cupcakes with Cherry Chocolate Frosting

While deciding what to eat for dessert at my parent's house this weekend, I realized I had not made a cupcake recipe this week. Since I have no idea what ingredients my mother had, I decided to peruse. I found the perfect ingredients to tweak an earlier cupcake recipe: G√Ęteau au Yaourt avec Glace de Chocolat. Since I'm not using the same ingredients, adding something, and using a completely different frosting, it's considered a different cupcake! Just ask my husband, he agrees this cupcake is different since it has a different taste to it. Instead of plain yogurt, which tasted... plain.... I used vanilla yogurt which added flavor to the cupcake. The first recipe was like eating moist flour: there was no flavor, wonderful aroma, or happiness in the cupcake.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Homemade Beef Brisket

After watching too much Man V. Food on the Travel Channel, I wanted to make something that he eats. Granted, I am not making a "smoked for 15 hours, then smoke again" brisket, but I'm making do with what I have. The brisket came out so unbelievably juicy, and it falls apart! You will NOT need a knife to eat or serve this meat!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Makes: 4-6 servings

1 beef brisket - 4-5 lbs
1 medium sweet onion
3/4 whole garlic
6-8 carrots
6-8 red skinned potatoes
12-16 mushrooms
2 cans of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup
3 bay leaves
4-5 tbsp dried thyme
3/4 C water
5 dashes of Tabasco sauce
8-10 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
4-5 tbsp pepper
4-5 tbsp salt

1. Wash all vegetables! Washing the inside of an onion will keep down the strong smell and eye stinging.
2. Chop vegetables. Onions: 3 inch pieces; garlic: peeled, whole - not minced; carrots: 2-3 inch pieces; potatoes: quartered, or smaller if you want; mushrooms: quartered
3. Put the Golden Mushroom soup in a large bowl.
4. Add the bay leaves, thyme, water,  Tabasco, Worcestershire, pepper, and salt to the soup and mix until incorporated.
5. Add the vegetables to the soup mix and mix until the vegetables are smothered in the soup.
6. Cut the brisket along the grain of the meat. Cut into 4 or 5 strips.
7. Put half of the vegetable mix into the crock pot.
8. Lay the brisket strips on the vegetables, leaving enough room on the sides and in between the beef to let moisture mingle.
9. Lay the rest of the vegetables on the top of the beef. Make sure every part of the beef is covered in vegetables.
10. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
11. Serve when the meat is as pink as you like.

It sounds like a "meat and potatoes " kinda meal, and it is! This is a very dense meal, but trust me when I say you'll be begging for more!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cola Cupcakes, Root Beer Cupcakes, and Orange Soda Cupcakes

While researching frosting recipes, I found a recipe for cola recipe, which led to a cola cupcake recipe. Of course, I had to try it! The recipe also said to interchange other sodas, so I did. I tried regular cola, root beer, and orange soda. Since the recipe is chocolate based, I chose these flavors because the cola and root beer are rich and flavorful, and the orange would be a nice added flavor. I liked making this recipe because it involved marshmallows, and marshmallows are just plain fun! The cupcake recipe is found here and the frosting recipe is found here.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

I was in a baking mood yesterday, so instead of playing World of Warcraft, I decided to bake! Did I happen to check that I had all the ingredients? Um... No. I made 2 trips to the grocery store, and my husband made one. Whoops. But the cupcake recipes that I am making today look and sound absolutely amazing! Except for one, which I won't eat at all: this recipe. I do not like peanut butter. No, I'm not allergic to peanuts, and yes, I like peanuts. But tis recipe sounded intriguing, so I decided to hold my nose and try the recipe. I found the recipe here, and made no modifications. I do suggest when assembling the batter to put less on the bottom than you would think.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Applesauce Carrot Cupcakes

I was asked to make a dozen cupcakes everyday this week for the teachers of a local Vacation Bible School. Unfortunately I was unable to due to work and time constraints, but I did promise to make carrot cupcakes for my friend to do with as she pleases: teachers, parents of the kids attending VBS, or whatever. I really enjoyed making the first carrot cupcakes, but this recipe had to be different! And it was! This recipe was fun and tasty! Nothing I had to do different with this recipe, everything went great! I found the recipe for the cupcakes here, and the frosting is from my own personal collection of frosting recipes, found here.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 32 cupcakes

3/4 C butter, at room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 C applesauce **
3/4 C shredded raw carrots
3 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 C chopped walnuts
1 1/2 C raisins
** I used original applesauce, instead of unsweetened or cinnamon.

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Peel the carrots and chop of the ends.
3. Shred the carrots with a food processor
4. Beat the butter and sugar together.
5. Add the brown sugar.
6. Add the eggs.
7. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
8. Combine the applesauce and carrots and set aside.
9. On a low speed, continue beating the sugar mixture and add the flour mixture and applesauce mixture alternating, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
10. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
11. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
12. Fill the cupcake liners to about 1/2 inch from the top.
13. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
14. Let the cupcakes cool before frosting.

For the frosting, I used the Original Cream Cheese Frosting recipe and added 6 tbsp of spiced rum.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Also known as: The Generic-No-Named-City Cream Pie Cupcakes
Just for my brother-in-law, this recipe has a different name, as he is NOT a fan of Boston.

This recipe was rather easy to bake. Assembly? Not so much. But, I always have a solution for you! And this one makes a very pretty delivery. As you can see from the recipe, this cupcake is supposed to be cream-filled, but the cream WOULD NOT thicken. I attempted to fill the cupcakes, but the cupcakes soaked up the cream because it was really thin.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 regular cupcakes

2/3 C whole milk
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on low heat until it's hot, about 150°.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thickened and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl if necessary.
5. Mix in the vanilla.
6. On a low speed, mix in the flour mixture, until just completely mixed.
7. Mix in the hot milk and mix for about 30 seconds. --- The batter will be thin.
8. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
9. Fill the cupcake liners with batter up to about 1/2 inch from the top.
10. Bake for 16 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
11. Cool before filling and frosting.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Makes: 2 C filling

1 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C sugar
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour **
1 tsp vanilla extract

** I ended up using about 12 tbsp flour total to thicken the cream. Do not attempt unless you KNOW for a fact the cream is TOO THIN, because refrigerating the cream will thicken it a bit.

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on low heat until it's hot, about 150°.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until creamy.
3. Continue whisking and pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture.
4. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, and continue cooking, stirring with a wooden spoon only. 
5. Reduce the heat to low and cook at a gentle boil.
6. Remove the pan from heat and strain the cream through a streamer.
7. Stir in the vanilla.
8. Transfer the cream to a smaller bowl, put plastic wrap on top of the cream, and poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to let the steam escape.
9. Refrigerate for 2 hours. This will help thicken the cream.
10. Use a pastry bag or the Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator to fill the cupcakes. --- See the note at the bottom
11. Refrigerate or serve right away and then refrigerate any leftover cupcakes and ingredients.

This recipe tells me to cut out a cone of the cupcake and fill the whole, then replace the cut out cupcake-cone. I didn't do that, I used the decorator to fill the cupcakes, which didn't work so well. So, I put some cream on the plate, unwrapped the cupcake from the liner and placed the cupcake on the cream and served with a fork.

For the frosting, I used this recipe here (use the glaze recipe) which came out fluffier than usual, possible due to the extra chocolate I added (I love chocolate).

Top the cupcakes with glaze after they have been filled with the cream.

Banana Butterscotch Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Glaze