Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mountain Dew Cupcakes

I originally found this recipe via Pinterest. And of course, with a few co-workers who love Mountain Dew, I knew I had to make them. Mountain Dew cupcakes and buttercream? I had to do it. I have adapted the recipe from the site, All Things Cupcakes. I only made a couple small changes. I think they are more lemon/lime flavored than Mt. Dew, but they are flavorful, sweet and moist. And simple...

Here is the recipe:
Mountain Dew Cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened, not melted
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup Mountain Dew
1/4 cup of lemon and lime juice (juice from 1 lemon and 1 lime)
Zest from 1 lemon and 1 lime
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Beat butter on medium for 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar and lemon, lime zest. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, Scrape sides of bowl in between additions
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl (set to low for this step_.
5. Add the Mountain Dew, lemon/lime juice, and lemon extract . Mix until combined.
5. Scoop into cupcake papers about two-thirds full. I use my large cookie scoop and it's always just the right amount, with this recipe, use a heaping scoop full.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.

Mountain Dew Buttercream

1 cup butter softened (not melted)
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Mountain Dew
Juices from half of 1 lemon and half of 1 lime.
Zest from half a lemon, 1 lime
neon green food coloring (yellow and blue work if you don't have green)

1. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment (trick: use a whisk to sift it)
2. Beat butter at medium-high speed until creamy
3. On low, add half of the sugar.
4. Add the Mountain Dew, zest, and lemon extract . Beat until combined.
5. Add food coloring to the desired color.
6. Gradually add remaining sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. At this point, if it is too dry, be sure to add a little more Mt. Dew if you want.

I garnished some of mine with a little straw...just for a little something fun! Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apples Galore!

My husband grew up in Apple Country! So, when we moved to the South, we missed fresh, crisp, amazing Washington apples. After my Hubby mentioned that to his mom, she sent us a box of apples. Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith. OH, so many apples! What to do! We ate a lot of them. We still are! But some were sacrificed for other things, like apple pie and apple butter. I made a fresh pie, and three frozen ones. Then I made two batches of apple butter. It is yummy, but using the granny smith made it a little too tart for my liking. But it was so simple. So, I wanted to share the recipe with you! I found it at Betty Crocker.

Here it is:
12 medium Granny Smith or other cooking apples, peeled and cut into fourths
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice ( I used was so good!)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 Mix all ingredients in 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
2 Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 10 hours or until apples are very tender.
3 Mash apples with potato masher or large fork.
4 Cook uncovered on low heat setting 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick. Cool about 2 hours.
5 Spoon apple butter into container. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shortbread Candy Bars

I decided I wanted to make something "halloweenish" for my small group. I found this recipe in my Everyday Food Magazine. You can find it online here as well.

These are so rich. Shortbread, chocolate and candy. I put reeses pieces and reeses peanut butter cups. The PB cups melted quite a bit, but after they cooled for a while they were better. I think next time I will stick to the pieces. But you can put anything on these and it would be delicious. I also made 32 bars instead of 16 because of how sweet they were. My small group loved them! So did the Hubby.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until golden brown and firm, 30 to 35 minutes.
Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Strawberry Jam

I have memories as a kid of my Mom making homemade strawberry jam. We would have waffles for dinner with fresh strawberries. Then ice cream for dessert with still warm jam poured over the top. Since I live across the country from my Mom, I can't have her make me jam anymore. So, I made my own. I thought it would be really hard. I was surprised. It is a lot of work, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I burned myself several times, and made a huge mess in the kitchen but, I am glad I did this. This is how I made my jam. There are other ways, but this is how I did it.

1 Package of Pectin
4 Pints of Strawberries
7 Cups of Sugar
10 8oz jars

* Wash jars, lids and bands. Dry off bands.
* Wash, and cut stems off of strawberries

* Mash strawberries with potato masher (the recipe said do one cup at a time, I did like 4 cups! Oops!). You should have 5 cups total mashed.

* Add the pectin to the strawberries and place in large sauce pan

* Bring the strawberries to a rolling boil (where the boiling doesn't stop even if you stir it).
* Quickly add the sugar, stirring constantly. Bring back to roiling boil. Boil for one minute

* Meanwhile boil water. Pour some over lids in small sauce pan. Pour rest into glass jars to get them hot. If you don't, they will break.

* After minute of boiling, pour water out of jar, and ladle in jam. Leave some room at top.
* Place lid and rim on jar. Do not tighten the rim all the way.
* Let jam cool and seal. The jars are sealed when they "pop" and you cannot push the lid in.
* I saved some for ice cream! :) ENJOY!

Finished Product

My Mess!

A little hard work pays off!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sweet Cherry Pie Stars

The other day at the grocery store I walked by the cherries. Then I turned around and stood in front of the cherries. All I could think about was making a sweet cherry pie. My summertime favorite. So I bought them.

About a year ago, I bought a pie mold from Williams Sonoma. I hadn't tried it, so I thought today would be a good day to try it with cherry pie. While they are delicious, they are from "pretty". I think next time I would cut the cherries up in 4th's not in half. It was hard to fit the filling in the small spot for dough.

ANYWAYS! I will definitely make these again. Maybe I will try Apple Pie next time. I did cheat, I used refrigerated dough. I didn't have the energy today to make my normal crust, I just really wanted cherry pie.

First things first, I had to pit all the cherries. Thankfully, I have a contraption to do it for me...4 cherries at a time! Then cut them. I used the recipe I found at Smitten Kitchenfor the filling.

All you do is cut the dough with the pie mold. Then you place the dough in the mold, fill it with cherry goodness and add a top piece of dough. Close. Freeze for 30 minutes, then bake for 10-15.

Sweet Cheery Pie Filling:
4 cups pitted fresh cherries (about 2 1/2 pounds unpitted)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (adjust this according to the sweetness of your cherries)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits

1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Coarse sugar, for decoration

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Stir together the cherries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon and almond extract gently together in a large bowl.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My good friend is getting ready to move. We are having a girls night to say goodbye to her. So I found out from her hubby that she really likes chocolate chip cookies. I also happen to know that she loves all things cupcakes (because really, who doesn't?). So, I found this recipe to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. And I must say, each bite tastes like cookie dough. This was also my first time making cupcakes from scratch..I know...I am awful. The box mix is so good, and so easy. But these were pretty simple, for as many steps that there were.

The first step, making egg-less cookie dough (the recipe is down below). This is for the middle of the cupcake. You should really do this the day before because they need to freeze overnight. You don't include egg (because it's bad to eat raw egg) or baking powder or soda. I was going to just use my own cookie recipe, but I didn't. I used this, and I am glad I did. The dough doesn't bake.

The next step, making mini chocolate chip cookies for garnish. I ALWAYS use the Toll House recipe. It's classic. It's good. I like it. I am sure there are better recipes out there, but this is my go-to, and the husband LOVES my choc. chip cookies. So I just baked 24 mini cookies. I used my smallest scoop to make 2 cookies. Some of them were still a bit big. Just store these until you are ready to garnish them.

Then I made the cupcakes themselves. Again, the recipe is below. These were much simpler than I thought.

After they were done, I frosted them with a Brown Sugar Buttercream frosting. Soooo good!!

So here is the original recipe(s) for you! I found this at Beantown Baker

Egg-less Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - from Picky Palate
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins.

Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth.

Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into balls. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes - from The Cupcake Blog - makes 24
1 batch egg-less cookie dough, scooped and frozen
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two muffin pans.

Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Measure out milk and vanilla together.

Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined. Repeat, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.

Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full. Drop one frozen scoop of cookie dough into each cupcake. Do not press the dough down at all.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until edges start to turn golden.

Brown Sugar Frosting - adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake
Printable Recipe
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.

So, grab a glass of milk, and enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coconut Cake

My husband's Admin. Assistant loves Coconut cake. So, for Admin Appreciation Day, I made her one.

I guess, it was a hit. My husband's co-workers all loved it. And his assistant, wanted the recipe. I wish I could say that I came up with. That I was the creative master-mind behind this recipe. But I am not. I found it here. One of my favorite blogs, Bake at 350. I did change one thing, I used two 9" round pans. I was worried the frosting would come off, but it didn't! So enjoy!!

Coconut Cake

1 box white cake mix
1/4 c. oil
3 eggs
1 carton sour cream (8 oz.)
1 (15.5 oz) can creme of coconut


8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.)
4 TBSP milk
Angel Flake coconut

Lightly grease a 9 X 13" pan. Mix cake ingredients and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Beat cream cheese with the powdered sugar and milk. Spread over cake and cover with coconut. Store in refrigerator.