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Maple Cupcakes

MAKE THE MAPLE CUPCAKES

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.  [This time, I made mini-cupcakes.]

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening until ribbon like.  Turn the mixer to low and stream in the maple syrup.  Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is nearly uniform in color, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg yolks and egg, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated.  Stream in the milk.  Stop the mixer; add the rest of the flour, then turn the mixer on until just combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottoms of the bowl and fold in the walnuts.

Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full.  Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Note:  These cupcakes take longer to bake than traditional cupcakes due to the maple syrup.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the cupcake pan, and then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE MAPLE FROSTING

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth.  Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

Add the sugar and the maple syrup and beat until smooth.  Be careful not to overbeat the frosting or it will lose structure.  (At this point, if you want to, you can tightly cover the frosting and refrigerate it for a day.  Let it soften at room temperature before using.)

ASSEMBLE THE CUPCAKES

There are many ways to frost a cupcake.  If you have a pastry bag, simply fit with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough to cover the cupcake in a big mound.  If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake.  You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes.  Top with whole toasted walnuts.

Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Bring cupcakes to room temperature before serving.

Note:  I used pecans (for pecans were what I had!) rather than walnuts.

 

 




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oh yes!

This is definitely a KEEPER!

I should have doubled this recipe – for we DO like these cookies.

The recipe made about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

FILLED PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup honey roasted peanut putter

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

For the filling:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, both sugars, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Pour oat mixture into peanut butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of batter on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between each one. Using your finger, pat dough down so they form small flattened circles. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely on cookie sheet.

While the cookies are baking, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter until light and airy, about 5 minutes.

On a work surface, place half of the cookies upside down. Whisk the filling to lighten it. Dollop 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each upside down cookie.  Place second cookie on top of filling and press together until filling just comes to the edges.  [I just spread some filling on a cookie –  then placed a second cookie on top and lightly pressed the cookies together.]

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sparks flew!

The burner in our top oven ‘frazzled’ and ‘sparked’ in the midst of some cookie baking.  Jim Ranft (Ranft Appliances in Seguin, Texas) said that this generally happens when there is a drought and/or the ground around the house is too dry and the electrical connection isn’t ‘grounded.’  Who would have ever thought ???

Lemon Bars

Posted on

When our children were young, seems as though I was making lemon bars every weekend (surprisingly the kids liked them).  We love this dessert!

LEMON BARS

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

Pinch salt

2 sticks butter, at room temperature; plus more for greasing

Filling:

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9″x13″x2″ pan.

Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan.  You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.  Bane for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice.  Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Walnut Date Bread

WALNUT DATE BREAD

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1 cup chopped pitted dates

2/3 cup walnut pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry cream cheese, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Generously oil a 9″x5″ loaf pan and dust with flour.

Place butter, baking soda, boiling water and dates into a heatproof mixing bowl.  let cool.  Mix in walnuts, sugar, egg yolk, flour and vanilla extract.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan onto rack to cool.  Slice and serve with strawberry cream cheese and freshly brewed tea.

ENJOY!

Bakers of bread rolls and pastry cooks will not buy grain before eleven o’clock in winter and noon in summer; bakers of large loaves will not buy grain before two o’clock. This will enable the people of the town to obtain their supply first. Bakers shall put a distinctive trademark on their loaves, and keep weights and scales in their shops, under penalty of having their licences removed.
1635 law introduced by Cardinal Richelieu

I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman:  subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert.  Delicately made up, not highly rouged.  Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.  ~Graham Kerr

Five Flavor Pound Cake

Peanut Butter Cookies

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth or chunky)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup chocolate chips

For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, baking power, and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until fluffy.  Add the sugars and beat until smooth.  Add the egg and mix well.  Add the milk and the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.  Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Place sprinkling sugar (a tablespoon) on a plate.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion.

Using a fork, lightly indent with a criss-cross pattern but do not overly flatten.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Do not overbake.

Cook the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute; remove to a rack to cool completely.