Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Extravaganza Cupcake

Today we have a guest blogger.  I hope you enjoy it!

Hi everyone,  my name is Ireland and I am Merlot's neighbor.  I am a 4th grader at San Elijo Hills Elementary school.  I really wanted to learn how to make buttercream and swirl it on cupcakes.  I am asking Santa for my own Kitchen Aid Mixer so I can do this at my house.

Today I came over to make to make these cupcakes.  They have a surprise peanut butter cup in the middle.   We picked this recipe because we had a lot of Halloween candy left over.  We put one Reese's on the bottom and covered them with chocolate cupcake batter.   While they were cooling, we made the buttercream.  We whipped the butter super duper fast and then added a ton of powdered sugar and peanut butter.  We swirled it up high and drizzled the cupcakes with chocolate.  We cut up Reese peanut butter cups into pizza slices and placed them right on top to finish them off.

We brought the cupcakes around to all our neighbors and they LOVED them!  My little brother was like "yum, yum, yum, yum!"

Hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as we did!







Chocolate Cupcakes - Adapted from Glorious Treats
Yield: 24 standard sized cupcakes
Ingredients:
2 Cups Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Eggs, room temp
1 Cup Milk - We used 2%
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Cup Boiling Water
24 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (small size, not mini)

Directions-
  1. Line muffin tin with paper liners and put one peanut butter cup in the middle of each liner. Heat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
  4. Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
  5. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  About 1/4 cup per cupcake.
  6. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-22 minutes.
  7. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream - Goddess of Baking
Ingredients:
3 Sticks Butter, unsalted and room temperature
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
5 1/2 Cups Confectioners' Sugar, sifted
6-8 Tablespoons Heavy Cream - I used about 4 tablespoons milk

Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy. 
  2. Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
  3. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. 
  4. Add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy
  5. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  6. We also drizzled the cupcakes with chocolate.
  7. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Do you love butter?  Do you love brown sugar and vanilla too?  Silly questions?  Well if you said "heck yes!" to any of those questions, then you will love these cookies.  

This post is actually for my 4 year anniversary of Goddess of Baking.  A lot has changed in the last four years since I started this blog.  This whole thing started while bored in biology class my senior year of college.  Since then, I have worked 3 totally different jobs, traveled the world, moved back to San Diego, bought a house, became an aunt to little Ben, and married the man of my dreams.  In the four years, I baked in four different kitchens, but have settled into my new kitchen nicely.  I now work for a catering company and get to be around food all day.  Its pretty cool.  I worked planning weddings on the side for 5 years and now I work on the catering sales side of weddings.  I hope you have enjoyed my blog over the years, and I am going to keep the recipes coming in hot from now on.  Thank you to all my family and friends for all the support me and I hope you have all enjoyed reading my posts.  

Enough about me and back to the cookies...

If you like butter, and you like brown sugar, then you will love this cookie.   





It was crunchy on the outside and yet still chewy and gooey on the inside.



Enjoy with a large glass of milk, and try not to eat the whole stack.


Just one more for good measure. 



Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies - Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen
Ingredients:
14 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
1 3/4 Cups Packed Light Brown Sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for rolling the cookies in
2 Cups Flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Large Egg +1 Egg Yolk, room temp
1 1/2 Tablespoons Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar, for rolling the cookies in

Directions:
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes.  Be sure to not over cook the butter, it is a very fine line between browned butter and burnt butter.  If you are a browned butter newbie, here is a good guide -  How Sweet Eats
  2. Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the browned butter and 1 3/4 cups brown sugar until combined and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  6. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll one heaping tablespoon of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet).
  7. Bake cookies until tops are puffy and slightly cracked, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
  8. Enjoy!!

Recipe Note: Use fresh brown sugar, as older (harder and drier) brown sugar will make the cookies too dry.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pecan Pie

This weekend my husband and I hosted Friendsgiving at our house for 14 of our close friends.  I figured that now that I am a wife, I should probably figure out how to cook a turkey and host a large dinner party.  I love hosting parties, but the turkey part made me nervous.





It was a crazy week at work but I planned well and I managed to get all my shopping and preparing done by Friday.  I bought a 15 pounder turkey and used Alton Brown's Roast Turkey recipe.  I was a little nervous as this was my first attempt to ever cook anything bigger then a chicken breast or a steak.  My husband and I had to look up videos on youtube on how to get the innards out of a turkey, yes a little embarrassing.  After brining the turkey for about 16 hours, we roasted it to a perfect golden brown and gobbled it all down.  Still learning how to carve a turkey though, hopefully ill do better next year.


We had a huge feast of delicious food that all my friends helped out with.  
Dinner was a great success!


(I may have gone a little Pinterest crazy with the place settings)


We took a break to make room for pie.  I made this pecan pie and my friends brought an apple pie and a pumpkin pie.  I love fresh whipped cream, so I put a pint of heavy whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar into the Kitchen Aid mixer for a few mins until soft peaks formed.  Then voula, fresh whipped cream to put on top of your pie! Super easy and much better then the canned stuff.

The pie recipe is from The Pioneer Woman and if you use store bought crust, you can get this pie in the oven in less then 10 minutes.  I was a little overwhelmed with all the other cooking I had to do that I skipped making homemade crust this time and used Pillsbury crust.  The recipe is perfectly sweet and again, very easy!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.




What are some of your family traditions for the holidays?  Fried turkey?  Turducken?
 What kind of pie or desserts do you make?



Pecan Pie - Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Yield - 1 Pie, about 12 small slices
Ingredients:
1 Unbaked Pie Crust, homemade or Pillsbury
1 Cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Teaspoons Vanilla
1/3 Cup Melted Butter (unsalted)
3 Whole Eggs, beaten
1 Cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans - I think I used about 1.5 Cups of Pecans

Directions:
  1. Roll out your pie crust and put into your pie tin/pan.  
  2. Next, mix (you can use a fork or a whisk) the sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
  3. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
  4. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
  5. NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes; sometimes it takes 75!
  6. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.
  7. Enjoy with your family and friends!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Yesterday I went to a farewell lunch for one of my good friends who is moving to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.   I have worked for her coordinating weddings for the last five years and we became great friends.   I knew that I had to make her something delicious so I decided to make her these cookies.  We had a nice lunch by the beach with some of her other girlfriends and we all enjoyed these cookies.  We will miss you Andrea!!

In all honestly, I started out making another type of peanut butter cookie but had a little kitchen mishap.  I started out making Reese's overload cookies from Crazy for Crust.  I was using my brand new mixer and forgot to wash the bowl before putting in all the ingredients.  It wasn't until the end that I noticed the dough had turned black in some places.  After rubbing the inside of the bowl and my finger turning black, I realized the bowl had a thin layer of grease that was now mixed into my cookie dough.  Whoooops!  I had to throw away this batch and find a new recipe to make.  I washed the bowl twice, just to make sure all the grease was gone and started on this recipe.  

I was already running late to this lunch and didn't realized you were suppose to refrigerate the dough for an hour.  I only had about 10 minutes max to refrigerate the dough so that what I did.  The cookies still turned our great, even without refrigeration.  I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did!

Big thank you to my good friend Reese Foster who took some of these photos for me!  I had so much with the photo shoot and thanks for helping me in the kitchen!!  










Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies - Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 2 Dozen
Directions:
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (1 stick)
1/2 Cup Light brown sugar, packed
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Creamy (or chunky peanut butter - I used creamy)
1 Large Egg - room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 1/2 cups Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (about 8 Reese’s Cups)

Drizzle: 1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter


Directions:
  1. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 2 minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. 
  3. Switch the mixer to medium speed and beat in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter until combined. 
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  5. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a soft dough is formed. 
  6. Beat in the milk on medium speed. Once mixed, beat in the peanut butter cups until evenly disbursed. The dough will be very thick and sticky. 
  7. Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.  (This is ideal but if you are in a rush like I was, you can skip this step, or refrigerate for as long as you have)
  8. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, or use an AirBake pan. Set aside.
  9. Drop rounded balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoons of dough each, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake each batch for 10-12 minutes. 
  10. The cookies will not have spread much, so gently press down on them with the back of a fork or spoon. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. As the cookies are cooling, melt the peanut butter. Drizzle over cookies. Allow peanut butter to set for about 10 minutes. 
  12. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Oreo Rice Krispies Treats

Last week my husband and I were invited to our Halloween block party.  I wanted to make a sweet treat to bring with us, like the kids need more sugar.  I found this recipe and wanted to make it with Halloween Oreo's instead of regular ones to make them more festive.  This recipe is super fun because it combines two delicious childhood favorites.  I don't think ill ever make plain Rice Krispies Treats again after trying these.  Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Happy Halloween




Oreo Rice Krispies Treats - Adapted from Chef-in-Training
Yield: 18 Rice Krispies Treats
Ingredients:
6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
22 Regular Oreos, chopped (I used halloween oreos)
5 Cups Mini Marshmallows (or 1 bag)
3 Tablespoon Butter - unsalted
White chocolate for drizzle, optional

Directions:
  1. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray - Or line pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, pour measured Rice Krispies Cereal.
  3. Chop and mash Oreos. You can do this by putting them in a ziplock bag to help keep the mess under control. You want the Oreos to be a variety of sizes from chunky to finely crushed.
  4. Add Oreos to Rice Krispies cereal and stir to combine.
  5. In a medium sauce pan, heat butter and marshmallows together over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they melt together.
  6. Pour melted marshmallows over cereal and oreos and use a spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to quickly combine all the ingredients.
  7. As soon as all the cereal is combined, spread mixture into the prepared 9×13″ dish. Use the spatula to press the mixture around the dish, and flatten as needed.
  8. Let sit until completely cooled. NOTE: When the rice krispies treats and cooled I drizzled mine with some white chocolate and let it set until it hardened for a pretty finish.
  9. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

While walking the isles of the grocery store, I came across the new Toll House Delightfulls - chocolate chips filled with different flavors.  I decided I would buy a bag of the caramel filled chocolate chips and use them in a recipe.  When I stumbled across the recipe for these cookies I wanted to make them with caramel bits like it calls for but after an unsuccessful shopping trip, I figured I would substitute some of the caramel bits for the caramel Delightful chocolate chips along with a few caramels cut up into small pieces.   

These cookies turned out amazing.  I am always nervous about sprinkling too much salt on top but I am getting better at it.  I passed these out to the neighbors and they were gobbled up immediately.  One of the neighbor kids tried to pay me a dollar for the cookies I gave to this family.  I just ran away...

The Toll House Delightfulls are bigger chocolate chips then normal, but I didn't think they added much flavor to the cookie and I didn't see any caramel in the middle when it bit into it.  If you are going to make these cookies I would recommend trying to find the Kraft caramel bits - I think you can get them at target, not 100% sure on that though.  If not, cutting up caramels work too.  About 10 or 12 caramels (made for baking) is about all you need.

Hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we all did!  










Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies - Adapted from Two Peas And Their Pod
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
2 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter - room temperature
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg - room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips - I used 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate chips and 1/2 Cup Toll House DelightFulls - Milk Chocolate filled with caramel
1/2 Cup Kraft Caramel Bits - I could not find these so I cut up about 6 caramels into little squares
Sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.   I like to use my AirBake pans that do NOT need a baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking soda and sea salt together. Set aside.
  3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and caramel bits. Form cookie dough into tablespoon balls and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.
  5. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown around the edges. 
  6. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
  7. Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snickerdoodle Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Birthday's are big at my work.  I am responsible for keeping the list of birthday current with my fellow employees, getting birthday cards, making sure they all get signed, and getting a cake.  After an unsuccessful trip to the grocery store to get a cake, I figured I would just make one.  I asked my co-worker what kind of cake she wanted and we browsed my Pinterest page to find something that looked delicious.  This cake was the winner.  I am a huge fan of cinnamon so I was very excited to get home to start baking.  The cake turned out great, everyone loved it.  I work for a high end catering company so most of my taste testers were chefs and people with a passion for food.  I think the buttercream was my favorite part.  It has a different texture then a typical buttercream because of the brown sugar but the flavor was divine and was a perfect compliment to the snickerdoodle cake.  I think ill start making different cakes every month for my co-workers.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!







Snickerdoodle Cake - Adapted from Always With Butter Blog
Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cup Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Cup Butter (2 sticks) - unsalted and room temperature
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs - room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven 325.
  2. Butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans
  3. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside
  4. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  5. Add eggs one at a time then add vanilla
  6. Alternating, add dry mixture then milk in three batches
  7. Divide up the batter into the two pans.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Let the cake cool completely before frosting

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream
Ingredients:
3 Sticks Butter - unsalted and room temperature
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar - packed
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3-4 Cups Powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Milk or Half and Half
Directions:
  1. Cream the  butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on high speed
  2. Add the powdered sugar and then the vanilla and half and half and beat until light and fluffy
  3. Frost the cake
  4. ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Fall is finally in the air in Southern California.  It was a pretty hot summer and I am glad to be back to wearing boots and sweaters, sipping hot cocoa on a cool night, and cuddling with my new husband under a blanket.  Well its not that cold yet, but a girl can dream (the high temp today is still 78 degrees). Anyway, I made these granola bars to get into the fall spirit, but I was too anxious and I did not read the recipe all the through.  I only baked mine for 20 minutes, instead of the full 40 minutes.  The flavor is delicious but my bars were falling apart.  I will definitely make these again soon and I will post an update.  I brought some of these to work with me and made everyone try them.  My husband brought them to his work too and shared them with his coworkers.  Everyone loved them even though they were pretty crumbly.  I am a cinnamon fanatic so I added more cinnamon to the recipe, and when I make these next time I am going to add nuts and white chocolate chips.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars - Adapted from Hip2save
Yield: 16-18
Ingredients:
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup ground Flaxseed (optional but if you have it in your pantry it adds great nutritional value to the bar, then you don't feel so guilty when you cannot stop eating these...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey (I like to buy local organic honey from the farmers market)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Optional Additions/Substitutions:
White Chocolate Chips
Nuts - Almonds, walnuts, pecans

Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats and flaxseed and set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix honey, pumpkin, coconut oil, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. 
  4. Add wet ingredients to the oatmeal and stir. Add in chocolate chips. 
  5.  Press the mixture into the pan and flatten it really well with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and press down with a spatula again. 
  6. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until brown.  (I was too excited and forgot this second bake time... Whoooops!)
  7. Let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. Makes about 16-18 bars. I like to cut them and store in a Tupperware container with parchment paper to keep the bars separated.
  8. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Stuffed Cookies

I AM BACK!!

After about a 6 month hiatus, I am back baking and blogging.  I started a new job in July, got married in August then went on a two week honeymoon to Thailand & Cambodia in September.  Now that we are back and things have calmed down, I finally have time to blog again.  I made these cookies way back in April but I am just getting around to posting them.  They were such a hit that I actually made them twice in about a weeks time.  My husband's family said these were the best cookies I have ever made.  I am a sucker for anything dark chocolate, and salted caramel is one of my new favorite flavors.  This recipe combines both of those delicious flavors into my dream cookie.   I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!!



Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Stuffed Cookies - Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 14 - 16 big cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2  Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg, room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Flour
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 1/2 Cups Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels - or store brand
16-17 Rolos - about two rolls
Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:
  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. 
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. In a separate medium size bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. 
  5. Slowly add to the wet ingredients. Stir in the milk, then fold in the dark chocolate morsels. The dough will be thick and very sticky. 
  6. Chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  8. Take 2 Tablespoons of chilled dough and split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball of dough. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal down the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and 18 caramel candies. 
  9. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
  10. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Enjoy!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Hello all! My name is Reese and I am taking over the Goddess of Baking blog today. I work very closely with Merlot and when my niece's first birthday was coming up, I knew where to go for her one of a kind cupcakes! We decided to have a baking party at her house where we whipped up these magnificent Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. I knew they were good, but once I brought them out at my niece's party, they were an instant hit! The icing is light, fluffy and full of real strawberry flavor, with a hint of lemon (thanks to Merlot, I know what a mircoplane can really do!). Also, the cake is a perfect compliment to the flavorful icing. Compliments to the chef - yet another group of satisfied bellies!

My cupcake holders came in handy for this great picture I snapped before all the cupcakes were claimed. We will DEFINITELY be making these again!

Thank you for letting me take over for the day and I hope you enjoyed my post!

Reese



Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes - Adapted from The Cake Blog
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients for the cake:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
3 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Lemonade Powder Mix (I used Country Time)
1 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (about 1 lemon)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder and lemon zest, set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating starting and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Strawberry Lemon Frosting

Ingredients for the frosting:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Strawberry Puree (from about 3-4 big strawberries)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

Directions:
  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree and lemon zest.
  4. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with tip 1M to decorate cupcakes.
  5. Enjoy!