Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bananas Foster Cupcakes


It's really a shame that these cupcakes are so homely because they're some of the best I've ever made.

Moist banana cake, Brown Sugar Cinnamon frosting, and Rum caramel sauce.  

A perfect, magical combination! Make sure to use fresh brown sugar, and whip it long enough, so your frosting isn't gritty.

The Rum Caramel Sauce can be made up to a week ahead of time to save time. Just store it in the fridge and warm it up slightly before drizzling over your frosted cupcakes. 


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Hot Shortbread Bites


Has everyone been glued to the Olympics these past few days? I think they're the only thing getting me through this terrible Winter. We still have at least 6 weeks of probable snow left and I can't remember ever feeling so stir-crazy for so long.  I feel especially bad for my kids being cooped up.  I mean in winter at least I can still do my favorite activities. (Baking, reading, and bubble baths.)  But bike riding, tree house building, and bug-hunting are kind of out for my kids.  Somebody tell me it's going to end!  I don't even bother checking the weather anymore.  I'm not sure my soul can take any more.

I've been distracting myself from the cold with lots of Valentine's baking this week, and these are one of my favorites. These are yummy little shortbread cookies, but I think they'd be equally delicious if you just added Red Hots to your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Also, prayers for an early Spring are much appreciated.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


My six year old is upset this week about a certain shape.  A heart to be exact.

According to him, it looks nothing like an actual "heart", which has ventricles, arteries, and connective tissue.

Personally, I'm fine with a symbol of love that doesn't include graphic diagrams of my insides, but apparently I'm the crazy one.


It's hard having a kid that's so literal.  What am I supposed to get him now for Valentine's day? A box of candy with human organs drawn on the outside?

He would actually like that, is the scary thing.


Concerning brownies though,

I took these to my cute girls I teach at our church and they went crazy for them! What's not to like about milk chocolate chips, fresh raspberries, and cheesecake anyways?  Oh, and brownies of course.    

You can even cut them into heart shapes if you want.  

Other organs are fine too.
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Red Hot Krispy Treats


I'm not usually a big fan of Red Hots. I'm kind of a wuss in that way.  But I do love them in other treats. If you've never tried putting them in ice cream for example, I totally recommend it.  When they're combined with other ingredients they mellow out and transform into something perfectly sweet and cinnamony.  Plus something about Valentine's day always makes me want to play with Red Hots.


That's normal right?  To want to set things on fire round about Valentine's day?


Just kidding.  ;)

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


I love February because pink is everywhere.  After 4 months of winter it's just a nice little reminder that the world is not all drab and gray.  This raspberry cheesecake ice cream is probably totally inappropriate for a day with a 20 degree high, but it's so pretty I don't even care.  I'm pretty proud of this one.  For a super cheesecakey flavor, I added cream cheese and cheesecake pudding to my normal ice cream base and then mixed in some raspberry pie filling and homemade graham cracker pie crust.

Ice cream perfection, I tell you.

Like any good ice cream it takes a couple days to make, so if you want it tomorrow you better start now!  :)

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dark Chocolate Donuts


Does anybody even care that it's Groundhog's day?  Why are we not all celebrating by eating hot dogs? Did everyone realize without me that ground hog is actually disgusting?

Or am I supposed to be watching the Superbowl?  I might be from Colorado but the second grade bully used to wear Bronco's jerseys basically every day so they've been my nemesis for awhile now.  I just can't support that kind of thing.  Plus horses have never been my favorite.

Can we just talk donuts instead?

A baked donut will never be a fried donut.  But that doesn't mean they can't be delicious.  Mentally prepare yourself for a little round cake with a hole in the center, instead of a crispy fried donut and these will wow you.  These are SO easy and only take 30 minutes from start to finish. This is the kind of treat you can whip up on a whim and not have to spend the entire day cleaning the kitchen afterwards.


The donuts themselves are dark and not super sweet, so the ganache glaze compliments them perfectly. I tried to put a clear glaze on a few and there was an uproar.  Point taken.

If you have kids they love to decorate their own donuts.  Read: They like to dump as many bottles of sprinkles as they can on top of their donuts.

You will need a donut pan to bake these in.  I bought mine at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon, but I've also seen them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and store likes Walmart and Target.

Now back to your chip dishes people!  May the best team win.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cordial Cherries


Happy February!  This might be the first year ever I am ahead of the game and ready to post holiday treats before said holiday actually occurs. 

Ok, actually these are from Christmas, but whatever.

Pretend I'm cool.

These cherries are so pretty but they're kind of a pain in the butt to make.  Just being honest there.

They do make a great Valentine's day present if you have a significant other who loves cordial cherries. My husband for example, could probably live off of them along with sunflower seeds and beef jerky.

That makes the hassle alll worth it, right?

The recipe has multiple parts but can be spread over several days.  Be aware that some of the steps require freezing ingredients for several hours or overnight. The cherries are delicious as soon as you dip them, but it can take up to a week for the centers to liquefy, so if that is important to you, you may want to make them well in advance.

You will need a food-safe paintbrush and a candy mold.  If you want, you can skip that entirely and just dip the cherries by hand using a toothpick, but I love the nice professional look that a candy mold gives.


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Friday, January 31, 2014

Soft Orange Rolls


For Christmas this year we surprised our kids and drove to Colorado to visit my parents.  I thought for sure my 6 year old would figure it out because he's pretty knowledgeable about geography and he can read, so I figured once we hit Denver and signs started popping up all bets were off.  Turns out though that Minecraft turns you into a Zombie that loses all sense of time and direction and glues your face to a screen for 6 hours straight.  Seriously interesting and disturbing phenomena.

Anyways, the kids were completely shocked and excited when we got there.  One of the first things I did was open the refrigerator, because that's the polite way for a house guest to enter a home.  (I hope you learned that in Martha 101.)  A can of Pillsbury orange sweet rolls stared at me from the top shelf and I immediately knew my brother was there.  That kid eats orange rolls like no tomorrow.  Ever since he was in high school he's baked them on Saturday morning and eaten at least half a can. Orange rolls will forever remind me of him.

We had a great Christmas with my family but I have been craving orange rolls ever since. I adapted these from my basic cinnamon roll recipe and they turned out great.  They are so soft and so orangy. Next time I may use a non-cream cheese frosting just because I feel like orange rolls need a less tangy/sweeter frosting, but that's just a personal preference.

Happy last day of January!

  Can I get a "Hallelujah"?

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Caramels


Who needs store-bought candy when you can make your own?

Just kidding.  I'll take a box of See's chocolate any day.

Rum raisin please. 

But sometimes it is fun to make your own- especially for Valentine's day or Christmas.  For this recipe you will need a strong stirring arm (be ready to stir for half an hour or so) and an uninterrupted period of time.  Caramels need lots of attention, so send your kids hunting for snipes or something. You will also need a candy thermometer and access to google to check the elevation of where you live.  (More details on that are in the recipe below.)

Full disclosure- I have made these several times without using a thermometer.  I am totally not recommending this, but it can be done if you're in a bind.  This is the trick: Watch for when you run a spatula through the middle of the pan and the caramel stays separated for just a second before running back together.  You should be able to see the bottom of the pan.  If you've never done caramels before you may want to follow this up with a cold water test just to double check that your caramel is ready. If you take it off the heat now you'll get a fairly soft moldable caramel that can be wrapped around pretzels or pressed into the insides of chocolate.  If you continue to cook for another few minutes or so you will get a slightly firmer caramel that is better for eating by itself.

Good Luck!
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Christmas Sugar Cookies


Nothing says Christmas like sugar cookies, right?  I've posted this sugar cookie recipe before, but I wanted to share these ones all decked out for Christmas.

It completely frustrates me when I see piped cookies online but there's no information on what tips were used.

I'm not a tip aficionado.  I can't just look at a design and know which tip created it.  So to be nice, all the tips and techniques I used are listed below so you don't have to get angry and eat a bag of mini Starbursts like me. 

I mean, hypothetically of course.

That's never happened.

I may not be a piping expert, but I love doing these buttercream-piped sugar cookies. They are so versatile and fun. You can change them for any season, holiday, or party.

Looking for a Halloween Version?  How about 4th of July?

Summer?

I even have a Baby Shower version.

Don't worry, a Valentine's Day version is totally coming.  

Happy Sunday!

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