Monday, November 28, 2011

Pineapple Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake


When it comes to sweets, my boyfriend isn't exactly a big fan. This makes it really difficult to get him to choose a birthday cake...So I took it upon myself to find one I thought he might be slightly excited about. He doesn't like icing or overly sweet chocolate cakes, so most of my go-to favorites won't do. I was browsing through epicurious.com and just happened upon the PERFECT cake. He loves pineapple, gingerbread, and pumpkin, and this cake has all three! It doesn't even have icing - just a sweet syrup and chunks of pineapple on top. This cake was excellent and I would definitely recommend it for a break from tradition this holiday season since it has lots of warm, holiday flavors.

Ingredients:
Topping:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tsp molasses
1 ripe pineapple, peeled

Cake:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 baking dish.

For the topping, combine sugar, butter, pineapple juice concentrate, and molasses in a heavy small saucepan. Bring to a boil for about a minute over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves and syrup is smooth. Pour the syrup evenly into the prepared pan.

Cut the pineapple into 1/2 inch rings. Place the slices close together in the syrup in a single layer.

For the cake, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, molasses, and pumpkin. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in 1/2 cup boiling water. Pour batter evenly into the pan on top of the syrup and fruit layer.

Bake about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 45 minutes. Place platter over pan and invert. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift off pan.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cookies


Since my last post, I have moved up to Boulder and am once again job hunting, it has snowed heavily twice, I am now 23, and Halloween weekend came and went. Definitely a couple weeks of ups and downs, but these cookies definitely were a delicious up! They are some of the fluffiest cookies I have ever made, and the chunks of cinnamon chips make each bite full of pumpkin/cinnamon flavor. If you love fall-flavored treats, you have to try these cookies!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 2/3 cups cinnamon chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a cookie sheet or two.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin and egg and beat until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Pour in the cinnamon chips and beat until combined.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on to the greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are browned.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raspberry Lemonade Bars


Wow, it has been way too long since my last post. I usually do the majority of my posting over the summer, but this summer was different considering I moved 1,000 miles away and still do not have a kitchen of my own. My aunt and uncle have been kind enough to allow me to use their baking supplies while I stay with them, so I finally made something!

I really like these raspberry lemonade bars because of the not-so-tart flavor compared to regular lemon bars, but mine did not turn out the best...The middle ones were super squishy and ended up melding together after a couple days. Thankfully, the outside ones were cooked all the way and tasted really good! However, I think the custard layer is too thick for my liking, so I'm going to alter the recipe to include less wet ingredients. This will also hopefully allow all of the bars to be cooked through. Let me know if it's a success!

Ingredients:
For the crust:
18 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

For the raspberry lemon layer:
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
3 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
4 large egg whites
2 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil and grease.

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the flour and salt and mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the raspberries to a fine mesh sieve and press the fruit through, mashing with a spatula, to extract as much juice and pulp as possible, straining out the seeds. Add the egg whites and eggs to the dry ingredients and mix well to blend. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the crust and bake until the center is just set and not longer jiggles when gently shaken, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nutella Oatmeal Cookies


I have officially moved to Colorado! I'm not sure how much baking is going to be happening in the first couple weeks of being up here, but I do have a yummy cookie recipe to share that I made a couple weeks ago. I actually made two different types of Nutella cookies in order to use up an old jar and make way for a new one, but these cookies were so much better than the others that I won't even waste your time with the other recipe. Oatmeal always makes the best cookies!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the egg, vanilla, and Nutella and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined.

Scoop out dough using a small ice cream scoop and bake for 7 minutes. The cookies do spread quite a bit, so make sure to place the dough balls a couple inches apart.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Streusel Bars


Lemon is the flavor I crave the most. It's fresh, sweet, and tart and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Since this blog focuses solely on the sweet, here is a fantastic sweet recipe I recently made that is basically a bar version of blueberry coffee cake.

If you have some blueberries lying around that need to be used up, please do not hesitate to make this delicious treat. My family has not stopped eating it since it came out of the oven, and I don't think it has a chance of making it through the weekend.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, separated
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups blueberries, room temperature


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x13" baking dish with foil and grease the foil.

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut up the butter into tbsp-size pieces and place the pieces in the bowl with the dry mix. Using your hands, mix the butter pieces into the dry ingredients. Measure out two cups of the streusel topping and set aside. Blend the egg white into the remaining streusel mixture and press it evenly into the bottom of the greased pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Let the mixture stand for five minutes to thicken.

Sprinkle the blueberries over the baked crust and drop spoonfuls of the lemon filling on top. Spread the filling as evenly as possible. Bake 7 minutes.

Take the bars out of the oven and sprinkle the two cups of set aside streusel mixture over the lemon filling layer. Bake 25-30 minutes until slightly bubbling.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Stout Brownies


I bought chocolate stout to use in another cupcake recipe, but I wanted to use it in a second recipe as well since I knew I wouldn't be drinking it by itself. I found this brownie recipe a while ago, and they came out even better than I thought they would!

The flavor of the stout is lost in all the chocolate and peanut butter flavors, but I think it helped give the brownies a perfect fudgy consistency. I absolutely love nuts in my brownies, so I added in some pecans and used extra crunchy peanut butter. You can tweak the recipe if nuts aren't your thing. Stay tuned for a cupcake recipe using more of the chocolate stout!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate
7 tbsp butter
3.4 oz chocolate stout
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup extra crunchy peanut butter


Preheat oven to 320°F. Line an 8"x8" baking dish with foil and grease the foil.

Melt the semisweet chocolate and butter in a bowl using the microwave by heating the ingredients in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, and sugar together. Add the cooled melted chocolate-butter mixture, eggs, and chocolate stout. Stir just until combined. Add the chopped pecans and stir gently until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Place the peanut butter in a cup or small bowl and microwave for 15 seconds to make it easier to spread. Dollop the peanut butter on top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to marble the peanut butter into the brownie batter. Bake for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pistachio Cupcakes


Ah, the infamous green cupcakes. Let's just say that having a lot to drink and then eating a green colored food item is not the best idea in the world. One of my friends made this mistake, and the "green cupcake" story has lived on ever since. However, these cupcakes are perfectly fine to consume when sober, or maybe even a bit tipsy.

I'm not sure if the infamous cupcakes were pistachio flavored, but there are few flavorings to use in green cupcakes that sound remotely appealing to me. So, I decided to go with the delicate flavor of pistachio. Since I added chocolate chips to the cupcake batter, the chocolate flavor almost completely overwhelms the pistachio flavor. However, you can really taste the pistachio flavor in the whipped cream frosting, which is super light and not too sweet. Go ahead and omit the chocolate chips if you want a cupcake with a very prominent pistachio flavor.

Ingredients:
1 box white cake mix
3.5 oz instant pistachio pudding
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup club soda
4-6 drops green food coloring
2 cups chocolate chips

Pistachio whipped cream frosting:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp powdered sugar
3.5 oz instant pistachio pudding
4-6 drops green food coloring


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Beat together all the ingredients for the cupcake batter, except for the chocolate chips, in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed for about two minutes.

Fill the cupcake liners with batter about 2/3 of the way full. (This gave me 36 cupcakes.) Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown. Cool.

To make the frosting, whip the milk, whipping cream, and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. Add the package of instant pistachio pudding and food coloring into the frosting and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate.

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