Kamis, 23 Oktober 2014

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Soft sugar cookies!! That is the new phenomenon. I like them, but I'm more of a oatmeal raisin cookie person. & nbsp; My daughter Gabi, she loves 'em & nbsp;and & nbsp;Lexi is still loyal to chocolate sandwich cream cookies. & nbsp;But I have a foodie confession to & nbsp;make? & nbsp;I found a homemade version of soft frosted sugar cookies and now I'm torn!! This recipe is so "melt in your mouth and sip a cold glass of milk delicious"!! I ate three while frosting them and then I ate three more later that evening during family movie night.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Yield: 2 doz large cookies


For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer or hand mixer, & nbsp;combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for & nbsp;one (1) & nbsp;hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. (Do not overbake!) Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To frost the cookies, place the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired. Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies. (If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to keep it workable.) Top with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container.

Note: The frosting does thicken really quick as you can see by the pictures but don't worry, it taste great.

Source: adapted from Hostess with the Mostess

Rabu, 22 Oktober 2014

Homemade Cinnamon Buns

I wanted to sneak in one more foodie post before the end of this year. For some reason, I only make cinnamon buns on Christmas day for breakfast along with scrambled eggs and cheese, hash browns and bacon. And usually, I take a shortcut and just buy one of those prepackaged tubes of dough, pop open the canister and follow the directions on the tube. & nbsp; But this year, inspired by Ree Drummond and other bloggers, I decided to make my own version of homemade cinnamon buns. Why did I wait so long? These cinnamon buns were so soft and delicious. They vanished in seconds, the girls and the hubby each had second and third servings and even though I was trying to be good, I have to admit I also had one and half servings and then went back later on and ate the other half of the cinnamon bun.

I suppose I was intimidated by making cinnamon buns at home but I'm here to let you know that it was simple and not time consuming. A little planning does go a long way because of the time necessary to let the yeast rise and the dough cool but it is definitely worth it. & nbsp;I'm happy I made these and look forward to making them again on New Year's day!

Cinnamon Buns

1 quart whole milk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Plenty of melted butter
2 cups sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, (Note: dough is easier to work with if it's been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly or a pastry brush. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don't worry if the filling oozes as you work; it is a bit messy & nbsp;but who cares. & nbsp;When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you're finished, you'll wind up with one long gooey log.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One "log "will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into & nbsp;several round cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pan. Rolls should barely touch, don't overcrowd.

Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don't overbake.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing's moisture and flavor.

Glaze Ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl. & nbsp; Transfer the pan to a wire rack and top the rolls with 1/2 cup of the glaze. & nbsp; Let cool for 30 minutes then top with remaining glaze (optional) and serve.

Devil's Food Cupcakes

I should rename this blog the Gabi blog because all recipes come from her, I'm just the baker. & nbsp; Though, I must admit she did not like the dark chocolate truffles, she thought they were too bitter for her taste, she did love & nbsp;eating these cuppies. & nbsp;These Devil's Food cupcakes were incredible, and combined with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made our taste buds pop, pop, pop. & nbsp;To Gabi's credit, she does help out when I bake. She gathers all the ingredients and she & nbsp;hulled the strawberries (she ate more than she hulled).

Now back to these sinfully rich and decadent cupcakes. & nbsp;Devil's food cupcakes with strawberry SMBC...DELICIOUS! & nbsp;Because the cake itself was rich, I thought the SMBC was a good pairing. Not overly sweet like buttercream using powdered sugar. & nbsp; Very moist cake, very chocolatey and 24 cupcakes gone in three days! Sad when you think we only have four people in our home!! But so worth it..These would be great for Valentine's day with some champagne, don't you think?

Devil's Food Cupcakes
Yield: 24

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 and 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together the cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. & nbsp;Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. & nbsp; Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined.
Reduce mixer speed to low. & nbsp; Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. & nbsp; Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full (I never follow that rule btw). & nbsp; Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer & nbsp;cupcake pans & nbsp;to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. & nbsp; Make the frosting below.

Lots of butter on Gabi's princess plate!

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1½ cups fresh strawberries (4 oz.), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 large egg whites
1¼ cups sugar
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

To make the frosting, place the strawberries in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved. The mixture will feel smooth between your fingers.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. After you have added all the butter switch to paddle attachment and & nbsp;continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth, about 3-5 minutes more. Blend in the strawberry puree until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. & nbsp; Frost your cupcakes, using either a wide open tip or an offset spatula for that rustic look.

Congratulation to my G-Men on their Superbowl win!!!!

Selasa, 21 Oktober 2014

peach cherry pie for Pi day

& nbsp;

It's March 14 and I have one thing to say - & nbsp;I remembered Pi Day! Every year I completely forget about Pi Day, honestly, I forget every food holiday except Thanksgiving. But this year I remembered because I had to bake a pie for a special event I was attending, so I made sure to take at least one picture.

For those of you who still have no idea what I'm talking about, pi & nbsp;is a Greek letter that stands for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It starts with 3.14 (hence March 14) & nbsp;and then continues infinitely without repeating. Anyway, enough about math, I can't stand math. Now back to pie not pi. This pie was made for an event that I'm attending, an auction to raise money for literacy awareness. The pie has not been baked yet because the event will be held on 3.15, hence, why you see the pie in a aluminum pie plate. It will be given away to a lucky bidder. & nbsp;I'm hoping this pie taste good because it sure does look good. And I hope it gets a lot of bids to raise money. I used frozen peaches and cherries because obviously they are not in season yet but I'm pretty certain, this pie tastes outta this world. Maybe the winning bidder will let me taste a slice?

Peach Cherry Pie
Ingredients for the Pie
Yield: 1 pie serves 12

For the pie filling:
3 cups peaches (sliced)
2 cups cherries (stemmed, pitted, and cut in half)
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt

For the pie dough:
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) & nbsp;unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1-2 tablespoons vodka or water, cold

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat. Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the butter into thin sheets, combining it with the flour. Use a bench scraper (you could improvise if you don't have one) & nbsp;to scrape the rolling pin and to bring the mixture back into a pile as necessary. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated into the flour. Mixture will be very flaky. Return mixture to the bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the butter.

Remove from freezer and add the buttermilk. Use a spoon and then your hands to stir the mixture until it comes together into a ball. If mixture is too dry, add the water or vodka a tablespoon at a time. Divide the dough in two and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least & nbsp;one hour.

When ready to roll out, let the dough rest at room temperature for five minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough 13 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pie plate. Fill pie with desired filling (filling below). & nbsp;Repeat with the second disk of dough. Cut dough into strips & nbsp;and make a lattice over the filling. Brush with egg wash but only the lattice and crust portions of & nbsp;the dough, not the filling.

Directions for the pie filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the peaches and cherries with sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt. Pour pie filling into prepared pie & nbsp;crust (see above). & nbsp;Place on foil-lined baking sheet in lower third of oven. & nbsp; Bake until fruit bubbles and crust browns, about 1 1/2 hours. If topping begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool 6 hours.

Cook's Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone I know loves chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I prefer oatmeal raisin cookies. They are my absolute favorite cookies with tons of raisins! Now, back to these delicous cookies. I saw the recipe in my Cook's Illustrated magazette, yes, I said magazette. It's my opinion that C.I. is a cross between a magazine and a booklet. Anyway, you know these cookies have to be delicious and one of the ingredients incorporated into the recipe is brown butter. How can you go wrong with brown butter? & nbsp;Cooks Illustrated takes a portion of the butter in this recipe and browns it to enhance the depth of flavor in their cookie. It works. They also amp up the flavor by using dark brown sugar.

Cook's Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Heat & nbsp;ten tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl.

& nbsp;Stir remaining & nbsp;four tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted. & nbsp;Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about & nbsp;thirty seconds. Let mixture stand for & nbsp;three minutes, then whish for & nbsp;thirty seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking & nbsp;two more times until mixture is thick and smooth. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about & nbsp;one minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using, I did not), giving dough a final stir. Arrange cookie batter & nbsp;two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10-14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving. Serve with a cold glass of milk!

Senin, 20 Oktober 2014

November Favorites

Every month I scoured the blogosphere looking for what I think are the best recipes for the month. I'm a visual person, so if its appealing to my eyes and screams try me, then its a good choice. November is a month to give thanks and appreciate what you have. I think every month is a good time to give thanks and pay it forward. & nbsp;We don't get to where we are in life by ourselves. Family is important as is having friends and if they love you and support you even when you make silly choices then everything else will fall into place. & nbsp; I want to wish all my & nbsp;blogosphere friends a Happy Thanksgiving. May & nbsp;you find yourself surrounded by family and friends and feel their warmth and love always. The holidays were meant to be shared. & nbsp;

November is a great month of food holidays. Peanut butter month, raisin bread month, we have doughnut day, cake day and mousse day. & nbsp; I've rounded up some beautiful recipes and photos by fellow food bloggers to share with you all. Enjoy!

Cinnamon glazed doughnuts
Doesn't looking at these doughnuts by blogger Taste and Tell & nbsp;get you in the mood? To bake doughnuts! & nbsp; Look at how soft they look. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, is this picture talking or what? & nbsp; Homemade doughnuts taste very & nbsp;fresh, almost silky in texture, light. Make this for breakfast over the weekend and enjoy with a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling  & amp; Lemon Buttercream Frosting recipe pictures
Vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd filling and lemon BC frosting
November 10th is National Vanilla cupcake day! Be still my heart for cupcakes are my & nbsp;passion These cupcakes by Live Love Pasta & nbsp;blogger are definitely on my to bake list. & nbsp; If you look at the frosting you can see vanilla bean specks and the taste of lemon curd..YUM!!!

Peanut butter fudge

In my home, we do not make any dishes that contain peanut butter or tree nuts because my daughter Gabi is anaphylatic to these ingredients. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy peanut butter outside of my home when I'm away from my little girl. & nbsp; Look at these peanut butter fudge candies, how could I resist one or two or three? The two flavor combo is delicious and thanks to Recipe Girl you can make them at home for your family, after all November 20th is peanut butter fudge day!

Mango Yoghurt Parfait1
Mango Yogurt Parfait

I love parfaits! I like that I can just grab a glass or cup outta the fridge, take a spoon and start eating without mess or fuss. November 25th is Parfait day and these from blogger 4th Sense Cooking are exactly what I would like to eat. & nbsp;Besides, anything that includes mango and yogurt as ingredients is like taking a vacation to an island paradise, a healthy one, sorta!!

Fraisier-Strawberry Bavarian Cake

One look at this Fraisier Strawberry bavarian cake and you know & nbsp;you're going to experience something akin to nirvana. Seriously!! & nbsp; Look at it, cream, sponge, strawberries, what's not to like. November 26 is Cake day and November 27 is Bavarian day so I combined the two by featuring this awesome photo and delicious recipe. Classic dessert from a great blogger, Berry Lovely

What better dessert to make to accompany your Thanksgiving day meal? Pumpkin mousse is celebrated on November 30th but why wait? Give your guests other options besides pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie (both my favs) with this creamy and velvety pumpkin mousse. The decadent dessert comes from Spoon Fork Bacon blogger. One of my favorite bloggers. I think I'm addicted to anything with the word bacon in it. We might even name our future puppy Bacon! Just saying.

And the finale to our November favorites roundup, is this delicous homemade raisin bread from blogger Delishhh . & nbsp; Yup, this bread sure looks delishhhcious! & nbsp; Especially when you bake it at home and the aroma of cinnamon hits the air and you drizzle maple syrup all over it with a dollop of butter or cream cheese. Or you eat it plain with a cup of Chai latte.

My First Apple Pie

If you ask me which is my favorite pie, my answer is always Apple. I love, love apple pie. I recently told my husband that I could sit down with a glass of milk and polish off an entire pie by myself if its apple. & nbsp; The sad truth is that I've never baked my own pie. I don't even own a pie plate so I went to the dollar store and bought one of those cheapy dollar aluminum pie plates to bake my pie in. Now, I think I will invest in a pie plate. & nbsp; I think the problem is that I'm intimidated by making the pastry dough but looking around at all my food blogging friends, I felt encouraged to make my own pie for the Fourth of July. And I did just that. It was pretty easy, the hardest part was actually waiting for the pie to cool down.

Apple Pie
Yields: & nbsp;1 9 inch pie

Pie crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.

Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie. This was actually not that easy to do!!

Apple Pie filling:
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
7 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used Pink Lady apples)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of 1 lemon and toss. Stir in the sugar mixture to evenly coat the apples.

Set aside. Roll out chilled dough into 2 circles and use 1 round to line a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the other round. Pour the apple and sugar mixture into the pie pan lined with dough. Dot with the cubed butter. Take your second pie crust round and lay it & nbsp;over & nbsp;the apple filling. Cut four slits on the top crust to allow for steam to escape through.

Trim the overhanging dough and crimp edges. & nbsp; I had extra pie crust left over, so I used a flower shaped cookie cutter and made little flower garnishes. Bake pie for & nbsp;35 -45 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let rest 20 minutes before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream or not.

Sources: & nbsp; Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen, the queen of pies!!!!!!!!