I'm not Irish, but with the holiday it gives me an excuse to bake up some Irish Car bomb cupcakes! Since Cupcake Camp Columbus 3 I'd have to say this is probably my most requested cupcake. I'm not much of a drinker but the flavors come off so mellow (exact opposite on the actually drink I'm assuming lol). There are several recipes for these circling on the web but I'd have to say I adapted mine from Smitten Kitchen. Hopefully when you have some time you give these cupcakes a try!
With Valentine's Day a week away I've been keeping busy putting together a list of cupcake flavors to offer this year. Remembering what I made last year made it pretty simple what to keep and what to get rid of.
I did a Cherry Chocolate cupcake last year that was pretty but lacked something special about it (totally imo), yet I couldn't walk away from the flavor combo all together.
I adore Cherry Cordial Candies ( the non creamy kind). I remember going to Anthony Thomas with my dad picking out chocolate for my mom. She never fancied the 2 or 3 that came in her box but I was always there to make sure they weren't wasted! That got me thinking " Make candies? Or make a inspired cupcake". I think you know what route I took! To add to it, lately I've been terribly obsessed with Hi-Hats. I find them so fun to make, and the finishing product always looks amazing, no matter what. With that said I decided to fuse the two!
Rich chocolate cake, stuffed with Cordial cherries, Cherry vanilla-y Marshmallow Meringue and dipped in chocolate?! Yes please!
I'm not going to lie, I'm burnt out and throwing in the towel :( Getting sick really threw me off on my determined will to finish 12 days of cookies, but 8 sure isn't bad huh? With filling orders, gift wrapping and entertaining my brothers now that they are in town I just can't swing it anymore....Now before I abandon this I will post my very last efforts ( and delicious I might add!). I'd like to think Santa would understand. I'm a busy busy girl lol.
I'm a big Toffee fan, though so horrible for your teeth I love it so. Martha Stewart hit this recipe dead on. If you love Heath bars or any chocolate/toffee combo you will LOVE this. Super simple to make, and super tasty!
Makes 16 squares
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars plus 1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars (about 10 ounces total)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk to combine flour and salt into a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Using plastic wrap, press dough into prepared pan. With plastic on dough, chill 45 minutes.
3. Pierce dough all over with a wooden skewer. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown and center is firm, about 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat finely chopped toffee bars and cream in a saucepan, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour over shortbread in pan; sprinkle with coarsely chopped toffee. Let cool slightly. Cut into squares. Let cool completely.
Keeping things moving along, I'm hoping to at least make it to 10 lol! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my mom wasn't the "typical" mom growing up and doesn't bake. Growing up if we had any baked goods in the house it was either another family member, or store bought which I guess drove me to want to learn for myself I suppose lol. I recently had a conversation with my mom about my 12 days of cookies attempt and baking. We had a laugh or 2 about a shortbread cookie she baked ( one of the 2 memories I have of her baking when I was growing up) that she never bothered to roll out and baked up like edible paperweights lol. We bring that up a lot when we need a good laugh. But the second memory is what triggered me to bake today' cookie. Blossom cookies! I was in girl scouts at the time and wanted to take cookies to share with my troop. After tearing though pages and pages of recipe the classic peanut butter blossoms were the winning recipe for me. Not too difficult to mess up right? Somehow we managed to put the kisses on DURING the baking and the kisses melted on the spot. I love my mom dearly but it's best she not head down the baking road for a while lol.
After chatting I realized I wanted to add those to my 12 days, but with a twist! Hershey always knows when i need that twist. I found these candy cane kisses 2 years ago at Target and have been hooked on them ever since. My original plan was to color peanut butter cookie dough green and red to have a more festive appeal; But the idea of peanut butter and candy cane didn't sound too hot. This base for the recipe came from a peppermint bark cookies I made 2 years ago while making cookie care packages to send to the troops ( friend of my dad gave us the idea) It's got a nice soft crumb to it and very chocolaty! Just perfect for these type of cookies. I'd highly suggest you try these :)
So to the Recipe:
Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms
1 3/4C Flour 3/4C cocoa powder 3/4C granulated Sugar, and a little extra for rolling 3/4C Light brown sugar 1/2tsp. Baking soda 1/2tsp. Baking powder 1/4tsp.Salt 1C butter, softened 1 egg 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 bag of Hershey Candy cane kiss candies ( frozen)
Method:( with oven preheat to 350 degrees)
1. In a med sized bowl, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined and light in color 2. Add the egg & vanilla until well incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of bowl. 3. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cocoa powder. Add to butter mixture slowly, on medium speed, stop once all is well combined ( be careful not to over mix) 4. Take a small scoop or a spoon full of dough and form 1 inch balls. Roll balls into granulated sugar and Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Once the cookies are cooled but slightly warm to the touch, lightly press candy cane kisses into the center.
Hope everyone is having a splendid pre Christmas week!!
So with me getting sick it has pushed me back dramatically in the 12 days completion. On top of that My actually Holiday orders week is finally here and leaves me with very little time to get caught back up! So in light of that I am going to make Day 6 a repeat of a cookie I made last year but never blogged about.
Now I don't know about you, but since my journey though culinary school, I've developed a liking to a lot of things I didn't normally like ( raisins, bananas, pumpkin flavored things, the list is pretty long). In this case it would be Meringue! Growing up I never liked it on pie, Didn't like any aspect of it really. It wasn't until we made a torte in school that had a disk of meringue with ground hazelnuts and almonds folded into it did I finally turn around and give it another try. Whats so nice about meringues is the simplicity of them. The break down is fairly simple, very minimal ingredients ( egg whites, water and sugar), and can be modified into some of the most amazing flavors. in this case it was peppermint with a touch of chocolate.
Few things to remember while making:
1.If the double boiler method isn't your thing, you can whip your egg whites room temperature ( they will whip at their best at room temp), with a pinch of cream of tartar and slowly add your sugar. But It might not come out as shiny as you'd like in the finished product and has potential to have sugar granulates still in the final product.
2. Easy on the extract! Egg whites are very delicate. I used Loreann peppermint oil ( can normally be found in candy making isles in your local baking supply store) which wasn't as harsh when it came time to adding the flavoring.
3 large egg whites 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract Red gel-paste food coloring
Chocolate: 1 cup chopped chocolate pieces 1 tablespoon shortening ¼ peppermint extract 1 cup crushed peppermint candies
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; secure corners with masking tape. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip (such as Ateco #22). Set aside.
2. Make meringues: Put egg whites and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract.
4. Using a new small paintbrush, paint 2 or 3 stripes of red food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with 1 to 2 cups meringue. Pipe small (3/4-inch-high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time.
5. Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
6. When meringues are completely cooled, prepare chocolate dip: Spread crushed peppermint candies in a shallow dish. Set aside. In a small saucepan , combine chocolate and shortening. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract.
7. Dip the bottom of meringues in chocolate, then dip in candy. Place on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate is set.
I'm terribly behind now! The unfortunate thing about having school age children are the school age germs that come home with them... I've been feeling like crap :(
But after a few days of rest, lots and lots of tea I finally started feeling well enough to bake! Yay!
Day five was inspired by my strong love of Starbucks. I started getting Frappachinos in high school, rain, snow, sunshine, everyday was the perfect day to have some Starbucks! As I got older I branched off to the hot holiday drinks, and the love affair grew even more. One visit I was insanely hungry and decided to buy a pastry ( which i hardly ever do there). Without thinking I just picked something out of the case, and espresso brownie for later, and a cranberry bliss bar to go with my coffee. I've been hooked ever since.
I've been looking for a way to re-create them for years and finally found a recipe I like! I still think something is missing from it... maybe some orange zest or something, but it's pretty darn good! The brown sugar base is very cake like which is really nice. and the studs of cranberry and white chocolate, yum! It's defiantly worth playing around with! To the recipe:
Cranberry Bliss Bars:
Bars: 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1 1/4 cups brown sugar 3 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon powdered ginger 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped 6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, ginger, and salt and mix well. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate. Pour the batter into the greased pan, using a spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until completely smooth. Spread on the completely cool cake. Sprinkle the top with cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp of milk, powdered sugar, and vegetable shortening. Gradually add more milk until the icing has a thick but drizzly consistency. I used closer to 2 tablespoons. Put the icing into a small piping bag and Drizzle the icing on top in vertical motion.
Nothing warms my heart more than a smile from my son. He ( like all children) has his moments, but he is truly the sweetest child I know. No matter how tired or stressed out I am, All it takes is a little smile and I have all the strength I need to get through the day!
Almost everything I bake, he gets to sample. He may not like everything ( hardcore chocolate lover, Step aside Lemon bars!), but he loves to taste. If you were to ask him what he'd want me to bake 99.9% of the time he'll ask for chocolate chip cookies. I've been known to mix and freeze lots and lots of cookie dough just so he'll never be without. And around this time of year, he'll defiantly expect it lol. There are so many recipes out there, it's hard to pick a favorite. At the moment I'm loving Martha Stewart' recipe, but decided to try a different recipe this time around.
This particular recipe( found by fellow blogger Lovin' From the Oven) is fantastically chewy and packed with LOTS of Chocolate( Who wouldn't love that?). I ran out of White chocolate chips so I replaced them with bittersweet chocolate wafers I've had stashed for good measure. I'm certain with the white chocolate they would still be just as amazing! This also makes a lot of dough so I'd strongly suggest cutting it down to get the amount best for you, even the chocolate if you don't want so many chips. On to the recipe!
Grandma's Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 12 doz
9 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp salt
3 cups white sugar
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups Crisco shortening
2 cups softened butter
4 tsp vanilla
60 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
12 oz white chocolate chips
12 oz milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Mix flour mixture (flour, baking soda, salt) with sugar mixture (sugar, shortening, vanilla, eggs). 3. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and stir. 4. Form into walnut sized balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 11 and a half minutes. Let them cool on pan for 3 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to completely cool.
I guess you could say I'm a starving artist in a sort. I've always enjoyed baking and creating desserts for friends, family, etc. I believe baking found me rather than me dream to be where I am now. In 2004 I decided to take my at the time "Self taught Hobby" seriously and enrolled in culinary school. After graduating in 2007 I'm just trying to find my place in the market & open my own bakery in the near future.I'm also a mommy to an Amazing 5 year old boy, and love striving to be the best mommy I can for him!