Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lemon Meringue Cupcake

My favorite pie is lemon meringue. When I came across this recipe I was so excited to try them. They were exactly what I had hoped for. The only thing I would do differently next time is put more lemon curd in the middle.


Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Recipe Source: BeantownBaker.com

Lemon Curd
24 Yellow cupcakes 
Marshmallow Frosting
Recipes Follow...
Lemon Curd
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (3 to 4 lemons)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1. Combine the lemon zest and the sugar and mix until combined. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and zest mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice, salt and cornstarch. Mix until combined.

2. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (approx. 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.

Yellow Cupcakes
1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 3/4 cups GranulatedSugar
4 Eggs
2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cups Milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla.

3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cupcakes are golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.
To assemble cupcakes:
Once cupcakes have cooled completely, use the cone method to remove part of the cupcake. Discard cone. Fill cavity with lemon curd.

Marshmallow Frosting
4 Egg Whites
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.

3. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, be careful not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beef Stew, Slow Cooker

This is the perfect Sunday dinner. So good, warm and filling! It does take a little time to brown the meat but the flavor is totally worth it.


Beef Stew, Slow Cooker
Recipe Source: MelsKitchenCafe.com

5 lbs Boneless Chuck Roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 medium Yellow Onions, finely chopped
1-6oz can Tomato Paste
2 cups Beef Broth
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Bay Leaves
3 1/2 cups Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups Red Potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
2 Tablespoons Minute Tapioca

1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until the oil is hot. Cook half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. Don't cook it all the way through – just get it brown on all sides. Toss the meat in the slow cooker and follow the same process with the second half of the meat. Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.

2. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour it into the slow cooker over the meat.

3. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place the tossed vegetables on one side of the foil. Fold the foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker. Stir the tapioca into the slow cooker. Place the foil packet of vegetables on top of the stew, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours. 

4. When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that will escape as you open it!). Return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew. Serve.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Better Than....Cake

This is a really simple cake. It doesn't take much work and it tastes delicious. We had it with strawberries on the side. Its so good!


Better Than....Cake
Recipe Source: AllRecipes.com

1 pkg Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 -14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
6oz Caramel Ice Cream Topping
3 Skor Bars, chopped
1-8oz container Cool Whip, thawed

1. Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan and cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, make sure you don't go through to the bottom.

2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and combined. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits, then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.

3. Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more Skor bar chunks and caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve.

I shared this at
Totally Tasty Tuesdays
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I found this recipe when I was looking for something that tasted like cinnamon rolls without making cinnamon rolls and that is what these were described as. I have to say, I didn't think it was true after I made them. But they do taste like snickerdoodles and I love me a snickerdoodle. They are soft, chewy, cinnamony, and the icing on top just makes them better.


Snickerdoodle Blondies
Recipe Source: WellSeasonedLife.com
2 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Cinnamon Mixture
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Icing
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Milk
1/4 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. In a small bowl Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream the softened butter, light brown sugar and sugar until blended. Add one egg at a time, then add the vanilla. Spoon half of the batter into the pan and spread evenly.

2. Make the cinnamon mixture in a small dish. Sprinkle evenly on top of the batter in the pan. Place teaspoon sized dollops of the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon mixture so it is covered. You will be able to see some of the cinnamon mixture peeking through. Bake for 25 minutes.

3. Let cool for one hour. Combine all ingredients for the icing and drizzle it over the top.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baked French Toast

Are you ready for my new favorite breakfast. It is delicious. My husband doesn't think its an appropriate breakfast because its so sweet, but I think the crunchy sweet topping is the most delicious part.


Baked French Toast

1 loaf Sourdough Bread
8 Eggs
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Topping:
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup cold Butter, cut into pieces

1. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter. Tear bread into bite-size chunks and place evenly in the pan.

2. In a medium bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight.

3. In a small bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Cover and put in fridge.

4. When ready to bake, take pan and bag out of fridge. Remove wrap and evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

These are our favorite enchiladas. My kids love black beans so this is the perfect dinner for us. They are so good we have them all the time.


Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Recipe Source: MelsKitchenCafe.com

Filling:
3 cups cooked, shredded Chicken
2-4oz cans of Green Chilies, drained
1-8oz pkg. Cream Cheese, softened & cubed
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Sauce:
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Onion, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1-7oz can Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 cups Cheese, shredded
8-10 Flour Tortillas, soft taco size

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and green chiles. Mix well. Add the chicken and black beans. Mix together and set aside.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix well. Continue stirring for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk the mixture will become smooth. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce and sour cream.

3. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the chicken/cream cheese filling. Top with a couple tablespoonfuls of shredded cheese for each enchilada. Save at least 1/2 cup cheese for the top of the enchiladas. Roll the tortillas up and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling enchiladas until the dish is full. Pour the white sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the enchiladas are bubbling, hot and lightly browned.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Since I have gotten my bundt pan I have been trying to find recipes that I can bake in it. When I found this one I knew it was meant to be. Its rich and delicious. Moist and chocolatey. Pretty much everything I look for in a chocolate cake that I want to make again, this has.


Chocolate Bundt Cake

Cake:
1 cup Cocoa Powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
7 1/2oz Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup Boiling Water
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/4 cups Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups Brown Sugar, packed
5 Eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Ganache:
6oz Ssemisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Heavy Crea

Cake
1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Grease your bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. In small bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium until smooth and creamy. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated.

3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream. Begin and end with the flour, beating until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until there are no white streaks, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Ganache
In a glass bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cake. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, about 15 minutes.

I shared this at
A Themed Bakers Sunday
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lasagna

Let me start off by saying, I have never even had the desire to make my own lasagna. My mum used to make her own lasagna and then I think she realized that she could by Stouffers and it tasted just as good as what she was making and it was so much easier. But the other day I thought I would attempt it and let me tell you, it was totally worth the effort. SO much better than the store bought frozen kind. 


Lasagna
Recipe Source: AllRecipes.com

1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 cup Onion, minced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1- 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2- 6oz cans Tomato Paste
2- 6.5oz cans Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
9 Lasagna Noodles
16oz Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 lb Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. In a large stock pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. In a large bowl of lightly salted  really hot water soak noodles for 30 minutes. Drain noodles. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. Assembly... Spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with a third of the ricotta mixture. Top with a 1/4 of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. To prevent sticking, spray foil with cooking spray.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

White Chocolate Minty Fugde

I was looking for a sweet treat for a family get together and I found this recipe. I love white chocolate and the peppermint just made it better. Its a little rich but I still couldn't stop eating it.


White Chocolate Minty Fudge
Recipe Source: TasteofHome.com


1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Sour Cream
12oz White Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 - 7oz jar Marshmallow Creme
1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Bits
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract

1. Line a 9 x 9 square pan with foil. Grease the foil and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, sour cream and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil. Continue to cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees, approx 5 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the white chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted. Add in peppermint candy and extract, stir. Pour into lined and greased pan. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

4. Use foil to lift the fudge out of the pan. Gently peel off foil, cut and serve. Keep refrigerated.
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