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1  COOKING / Dessert / Peanut butter cupcakes and oreo truffles! on: March 22, 2009 06:35:35 PM
This weekend I made peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter cream frosting and added a dollop of strawberry jam! I got the recipe for the cupcakes and frosting from Martha Stewart's website. They were good cupcakes, but tasted more like a pb sandwich than a true cupcake! Good with a glass of milk though, and my BFF who is a peanut butter lover LOVED them!

Over Christmas I decided to make the oreo truffles everyone has been raving about, but didn't post pics because they didn't look that great! I made them again last week and tried to do a nicer job this time, dipping them in semi-sweet chocolate and then piping a detail with milk chocolate.

Thanks for looking!
2  COOKING / Dessert / What can you tell me about red velvet cake? on: February 28, 2009 02:38:15 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm getting together with some old friends from away this week who have been dying to try my cupcakes. I was thinking of making red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese, as that seems to be what goes together...but what can I expect when I made this red velvet batter?

I've never had red velvet cake, so, in other words: what does it taste like? Is there any other frosting that would work better? Is there anything I should know before plunging into this foreign recipe?
3  COOKING / Dessert / Lemon curd tarts and banana muffins! on: February 23, 2009 09:26:12 AM
I wanted to try making lemon curd tarts ever since I tried them at a local cafe. They turned out very well, and were so delicious and rich.

My boyfriend requested that I make him some banana muffins while I'm home for spring break, so I added photos of those too. I don't normally like them, but they were delicious just out of the oven with butter inside. Yum!

4  COOKING / Dessert / Monkey Bread on: January 30, 2009 12:36:35 PM
Today is my boyfriend's birthday and he didn't want me to bake anything - he wanted a DQ ice cream cake! I had the urge to bake and was disappointed when he wanted something bought for his birthday, so I made monkey bread.
For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a cinnamon pull apart loaf with pecans. I first heard about it in a Kanye West song and wondered what it was so I googled it...best decision ever! The recipe I found on Martha Stewart's site doesn't include a glaze, and I wanted it to taste like sticky buns, so I found a glaze recipe on the food network. It was worth it - the bread is delicious!

Here is a picture of it:

Close up of the topping:

We dug in pretty fast!

Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try:

Monkey Bread -  makes one 10-inch Bundt cake
    * 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, plus more for pan and bowl
    * 1/4 cup warm (110 degrees to 115 degrees) water
    * 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch for yeast
    * 1 envelope dry active yeast (scant tablespoon)
    * 3/4 cup warm (110 degrees to 115 degrees) milk
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 large egg
    * 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    * 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    * 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
    * 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    * 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    * 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    * 2 tbsp whipping (35%) cream
    * 1 tbsp maple syrup
    * 2 1/4 tbsp butter
   Put the warm water and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl; sprinkle yeast over top. Let the yeast soften and dissolve, about 5 minutes.
    Place shortening, milk, sugar, salt, and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add yeast mixture to shortening mixture, and beat to combine. Slowly add flour. Knead on medium-low, 1 minute. Transfer dough to the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place, 20 minutes.
   Lightly coat a 10-inch Bundt pan and a medium bowl with shortening; set aside.
   Make coating: Place melted butter in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts.
   Then make the glaze. Put the dark brown sugar, cream, maple syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to just a simmer until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.
     Pour a third of the glaze in the bottom of the bundt pan. Cut dough into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll into balls. Coat in butter, then roll in nut mixture, and place in prepared pan, alternatively with a third of glaze (pouring glaze on the bottom, middle, top of the loaf). Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate, and let cool 20 minutes more.
5  COOKING / Dessert / Cupcakes: sunflowers and chocolate fudge! on: January 10, 2009 10:31:46 AM
I'm sure most of you are familiar with Hello, Cupcake! I got the book over Christmas and tried the sunflowers for a BBQ my boyfriend and I held at our house. Here are some pictures:

The green frosting is a little messy, because I became pressed for time and had to have someone else do that part!

Last night I decided to make some cupcakes from scratch. I used a recipe for a chocolate fudge cake from Toba Garrett's "The Well Decorated Cake", and I just poured the batter into muffin tins instead of cake pans. The recipe was amazing. Once it was all whipped up, it looked and tasted like chocolate mousse. The cupakes are delicious - rich and fudgey! Definitely better than the boxed stuff I've been using.
Here are the chocolate fudge cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese icing!

Thanks for looking. Hope you like them!
6  COOKING / Dessert / Jagerbomb cupcakes? on: January 10, 2009 10:15:59 AM
Hi everyone,
My friend is looking for a recipe for jagerbomb cupcakes for a friend's birthday. They could either include jagermeister and redbull in the actual recipe, or could just be somehow decorated in the theme.
I have looked online and found a few recipes, but the only decent recipe is vegan and from Ireland and I'm not quite sure about some of the ingredients...
Can anyone help us out?? Thanks!!
7  COOKING / Dessert / Vanilla bean cupcakes on: January 06, 2009 12:49:09 PM
Earlier this week I was looking for a recipe for vanilla bean cupcakes. I finally found one, and I wanted to share. The vanilla bean cupcakes are scrumptious, and the icing is like eating a cloud. It tastes quite similar to the filling used in whoopie pie cookies.

Here is how I made the cupcakes:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut length-wise
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

    In a small pot, heat the milk and vanilla bean together until the milk just boils. Remove from heat and let cool for about 1 hour. Then remove the vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the milk. Discard the remaining bean pod.
    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Alternately add the flour and milk mixture until well combined.
    Divide batter into about 20 lined or greased cupcake wells. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the middle cupcake comes out clean.
    Cool on a wire rack and then ice.

For the frosting, I used a recipe for french vanilla buttercream, which basically tastes like a cross between whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

1 1/2 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons of flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp of pure vanilla extract
6 Tbsp whipping cream
1 1/4 lbs of unsalter butter, at room temp.

    Heat milk and sugar in a pot on the stove until sugar dissolves. Add flour and salt and pour into a bowl. Cover with saran and place in the fridge for 30 mins to cool.
    Whisk in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and add the cut-up butter and the cream. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated. Slowly increase the speed to medium high level on the mixer until the mixture begins to thick.
   It takes at least 7-9 minutes for the butter to be completely incorporated, but I whipped it for about 15 minutes total.
8  COOKING / Dessert / Icing dilemma: 1M swirls cracking on: December 03, 2008 02:24:30 PM
Hi everyone,
A few months ago I started teaching myself how to decorate cupcakes and cakes, and I have been having a problem with buttercream icing. Whenever I try to make the 1M swirl as shown here, http://www.wilton.com/technique/1M-Swirl  the edges always end up cracking as the icing comes out, but they somehow get smoother as I move the piping bag towards the middle of the cupcake.
I want them to look more like fluffypants' swirl shown here, https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=257056.0  but while using homemade icing.
It may be a far fetched question, but can anyone offer any advice?
Thanks  Smiley
9  COOKING / Dessert / New to cake decorating and craftster! on: November 27, 2008 06:19:00 AM
Hi everyone, I'm new to Craftster and the world of cupcakes/cakes...I've been baking for a long time but recently got into cake decorating. Everything is a cake mix, with Wilton's recipe for buttercream icing. Here are some pictures of my newest attempts, let me know what you think!

My very first attempt at decorating cupcakes

First attempt at a gum paste calla lily (it dried faster than I thought and so the edges cracked)

First attempt at a cake (I know it is very loud, in terms of color, ha ha)

Second round of cupcakes. I think these ones are much better!

Any tips/suggestions?
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