Friday, December 23, 2011

VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE...yup another one!

Ok, So I've change my mind AGAIN about my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe...the other recipe I was using has not really been working out for me lately! Not sure why!
BUT I've found another- Usually I like to use butter in my cakes, but the canola oil really worked in this one and it's not greasy at all.
I hope you like it as much as I do. The cake is delicious!!!! And the recipe is super duper easy!

This made about 18 -24 cupcakes depending on the size liner you use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill your cupcake pan with your liners.

Here's what ya need:
3 large eggs (room temp)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of canola oil
2 teaspoon of madagascar bourbon vanilla
1 cup of milk
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

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

In your mixer add sugar, eggs and beat until combined.
Next with your mixer on low add the vanilla and canola oil. Use your spatula and scrape down the sides so you get all that goodness mixed in! 
Add the milk.
Lastly, mix in the the flour until everything is well combine.
Fill your cupcake liners and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let sit for a few minutes (about 10 or so). Frost when completely cool!


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Thursday, December 8, 2011

I told ya I was busy...

Here are a few things I've been working on in last few months or so...!
How about you??? Any favorite recipe' of your work?? Let's see!

My Cousin's wedding cake <3

Some fun cuppy's for a black and white galla birthday party!

My son's birthday cake

My daughter's dance teacher's birthday present!

Irish Dance Shoe cookies for my daughter and her friends who competed
at the New England Oireachtas

A special birthday cake for my nephew

other side

A few cookies to go along with it too :)

Chili pepper cake for a friend

Everyone seems to be having babies!!! These are baby shower fun.

Cookies for a bake sale my daughter's dance school hosted

And in between all this...CUPCAKECAMP NEW HAVEN took place in October..WOW!!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes (another one!)

HI there!I haven't been here in a while..I know.. life has been so busy but I PROMISE to try to get at least one recipe up a week..and hopefully a christmas giveway of some of my favorite holiday cookbooks!!
I've found that finding that perfect vanilla cupcake recipe is really tricky! How about you? Do you have a favorite? If you do post a link from your blog or website in the comment area of this post,so we can all try it out!
Here is the vanilla cc recipe that I have been using lately. I've been playing around with it a bit, fiddling with the amounts of vanilla and sugar. 

This is a picture of the holiday cupcakes that I made last weekend-- for a bake sale that my daughter's dance school hosted.
Here's what ya need:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1  large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract (I like madagascar bourbon vanilla, it's yummy!)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 1/2 cups of flour (I use king arthur)
3/4 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees AND line your cupcake tray.
This made around 12-18 cupcakes for me. Depending on the size of your tray.

*In a seperate bowl whisk together your dry ingredients, flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In your mixer,cream the butter and sugar together, next add the egg and egg yolks (The eggs should be room temp).
Now, slowly add your dry mixture interchanging with your buttermilk.
Mix until all ingredients are blended.

Fill your cupcake liners  and bake for about 20 minutes (maybe a min or two longer) or until a toothpick inserted to the cupcake comes out clean. The top of the cupcake will have a yellowy-gold-ish color. (Lovely description)


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chocolate Chili Frosting or Fillng

One of my sister's friends asked me to make a cake in the shape of  a chili pepper (for a HOT and SPICY 40th Birthday Party)...the flavors she wanted for the cake included: Chocolate Cake with a Chocolate Chili Filling. At first I thought this idea might be rather disgusting..but during one of our trips to Cape Cod my son (the adventurous foody) decided to try out Chocolate Chili Ice Cream and it became his new favorite flavor.
SO I gave it a go and it turned out pretty tastey...lip smacking, fire burning tastey. The combination of the sweet rich chocolate and the chili really works. First you get the chocolatey goodness taste then.. a few seconds later you get that little kick..that spice in the back of your throat. It kind of catches you off guard...and then your lips start burning a little!!! Ha.
Ok so I took a classic chocolate frosting recipe, that I use all the time- from which my mom gave me (It's from one of her very old Bon Appetit Magazine's) and kicked it up a major notch in the heat department.

Here's what ya need:
2 (1 ounce) unsweetnened chocolate baking squares
1 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares
1 cup of butter (unsalted)
4 cups of powdered sugar (I use a little more)
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup of milk
2 teaspoon of vanilla (one will work just fine)
4 tablespoons of Chili Powder (you might want to start off with 2 or 3 tablespoons and work your way up...depending on how hot you would like this to be)

Melt the chocolate squares in the microwave. (I usually put  it in for 25 seconds at a time stirring in between- Be CAREFUL the bowl will get hot) Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
Mix the butter (in your mixer) until creamy.
Next add the melted chocolate, sugar, chili powder (*start off small!),cocoa, and vanilla and milk...mix away until you have a nice thick frosting constistancy. *I would start off with the lower amount of chili powder..maybe 2 tablespoons and work your way up until you get the heat you are looking for.
You can then taste your frosting to see if you would like to add more chili powder.

Good Luck..have a glass of milk handy :)

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Sweet Homemade Granola

I love granola! It has a sweet nuttiness, it's more like a healthy candy for me. I like my granola to have a little crunch to it. But not too crunchy. The perfect granola for me has a semi-crunchy (not painfully crunchy) exterior and soft interior. Does that make sense? Basically, I don't want to break a tooth eating it!!
I use to make granola all the time. Around the time when my days started to be filled with millions of things, I happen to find a brand at the grocery store that I really enjoyed. EVEN though it is ridiculously expensive I bought it anyway, to "save time".
When I couldn't find it last week at the store... I decided that I was better off. Why spend $5 on a tiny little bag of granola when I can make it? I made sure to set some time aside for this sweet treat so that I could make a bunch- so that it would last...and by the way it is SO MUCH cheaper!!! However, it didn't last long because everyone at my house can't stop eating it!! That's how good it is! No one seemed to bother with my grocery store granola!
Not only does this disappearing granola taste delish it's pretty healthy too! PLUS I love using local ingredients whenever I can. This recipe happens to call for honey.  I was able to use the delicious honey that my husband brought home from a co-worker-- who is beeee a beekeeper (haha!) and own Brown's Honey Bunny Farm in Greenwich.
The possibilities are endless with this recipe..I think I say that a lot. But it's true. You can add ingredients to this and make it your own! Last week I used this recipe to make sweet granola and peanut butter granola (by switching out a few ingredients). My son & husband are huge fans of the peanut butter granola and I'm head over heels for the sweet granola. (Thank Goodness..I'm not so great at sharing my favorite foods!)

Here's what ya need:
2 cups of rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free..that's what I had in my cabinet)
1/4 cup of special k cereal broken up
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla
3 tablespoons of olive oil (yum)
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
handful of shelled pumpkin seeds
** if you want you can also add: 
handful of semi sweet mini chocolate chips
handful of  dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 325 (300 if you have a dark pan) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper... trust me on this one..parchment is the way to go. Oh, and you probably want to set a little time aside for this one. Maybe a half hour. You will want to be near the oven to turn over the granola and watch it so that it doesn't burn! (I burned a batch yesterday..whoops)

First Mix the honey, brown sugar, vanilla and olive oil in a bowl. Mix well make sure all of the sugar is dissolved.
In a separate bowl mix together the oats, special K, salt and cinnamon.
Next, add the oats to the wet mixture and mix together well. Make sure you coat all of the oats with the mixture. You are probably going to have to use your hands at some point to make sure the oats are coated well... it will get a little sticky and messy!!
Now place your oats onto the cookie sheet. I like mine granola a little clumpy, so I squeeze some of the oats together.
Place in the oven and let cook for 10 mins.
After ten minutes, take your pan out of the oven and over your granola with a spatula - THEN, add your slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds.
Put back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Then take out of the oven, again. Turn the granola over one more time.
Place back into the oven and let it bake for about 10 more minutes. (keep an eye on it)
Let granola cool completely...(it will be HOT!)
Then mix in the chocolate chips and dried cranberry's.

SO YUMMY!! Don't forget to share!!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Zucchini Quiche

As far back as I can remember, summer was always about family, good food, the lake and cape cod.  My mom and my grandmother are both two of the best cooks I know. Whether it's a full meal or something sweet, they know exactly what they are doing. It's funny how so many of my childhood memories revolve around food!
I remember my grandmother making delicious fresh food, from tomato salad with tomatoes from my grandfather's garden, fresh tomato sauce with beans, eggplant parm, friday night homemade pizza, to fried squash flowers...the list goes on. I remember the phone calls we use to get -- they went a little something like this..."Kelli, I made some zucchini quiche today..." (or whatever she had worked on that day) Which most of time meant, I haven't seen you in a while, so please come visit. My grandparents house was never air conditioned (until recently) --but somehow when you sat down at the table, the room seemed so much cooler than anywhere else on a hot day.
I am not sure if this classified as a true quiche.  It's more like a combination of an omelet and a quiche. When you take your first bite you will taste the delicious fresh slices of zucchini, the sweet pieces of onion, and the saltiness from the parm. All of the ingredients work so well together..and fill you up like a mini meal. It tastes so good - you'll defintely want another piece!
Most people I know use a crust when making their quiche's. This recipe is exactly how my grandmother made it... so it's always been  a "quiche" to me. My grandmother has so many recipes, this is one, of a very few, that I have exact measurements for. I can't say that it has been passed down for generations, because it calls for good old Bisquick as an ingredient! That doesn't really matter- what matters is that is tastes really good and brings back good memories of summer treats at her house.
This time, I will be bringing a plate to her.

Zucchini Quiche- can't get any easier than this.. and feel free to switch ingredients in and out!!

3 cups of  zucchini sliced (I used one large zucchini from my garden)
1 chopped onion, ("big" is what the recipe says..I used half of a large red onion..she always used white)
1 cup of Bisquick
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil (I use olive)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients. Put in well greased pan (9x9-in the picture I used 10x10 it was a little thinner than what my grandmother makes- but it worked.)
Bake in oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

Busy trying out new things!

Usually before I make a cake... I sketch out a little something to go by...


(chocolate cake filled w/ whipped cream/custard combo and fresh bananas)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie with a cookie crust...

Two flavors that absolutely go together perfectly...
chocolate and peanut love love them!

What do you think about an oreo cookie crust filled with a creamy peanut buttery mix??
Hmmm? Sounding good?
How about drizzling a little peanut butter and chocolate ganache or hot fudge on top??
Sounding better?? Drooling..well...I AM!
This pie is crazy good and peanut-buttery!!
It's so rich that you only need a sliver.

That's's easy, quick and everyone will love it. It's that time of year where we all get together for outside parties..and this pie is the perrrfect quick dessert.
I promise!!

Here's what ya need:
2 packs of oreo's--about 27 cookies
6 tablespoons of butter (melted)

1 cup of creamy peanut butter
8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1 container of cool whip (or any brand of whipped topping)
Pretty Top:
chocolate ganache (or hot fudge from a jar)
About 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
(2 ziploc sandwich baggy's)

First Make your crust...(so super easy)
Ground up your oreo's in a food processor then add your melted butter, and mix together.
Place into your pie plate and form.

Place pie plate in the oven for a about 7 minutes at 350. Take out and cool.

Next in your mix mixer the cream cheese and peanut butter..until fluffy.
Then add the sugar and vanilla and mix until creamy.
Next, add the cool whip (or whatever whipped brand you like to use) mix until light and fluffy. Don't forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
It should look like this...
Next, put the mixture into your pie crust and smooth out.  

I used leftover ganache to drizzle over the top of my
pie...but feel free to use hot fudge! If you don't feel like making your own ganache..grab a jar of hot fudge, put some in a little baggy (about 2 tablespoons), warm it up in your hands and then cut a little piece off the bottom corner of the baggy and there you have it folks..a piping bag! Drizzle across the top of your pie to make it look pretty. Do the same for the peanut butter. 

This recipe has endless possibilities...
What's that you say? You don't have time to make your own crust...just grab one of those premade's at your grocery store!!
If you want to cut the peanut butter flavor down a can put a layer of cool whip over the top of the pie before you drizzle the hot fudge and peanut butter!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pampered Chef Cookbook Giveaway

I thought I would do a little "giveaway"! I love all of my pampered chef products. My baking stone is my absolute favorite. I bake my favorite cookies & pizza on it all the time. There is just something about that magical always bakes evenly & makes everything taste soo good!
My sweet friend Jessica is a pampered chef consultant (click to contact her!). She gave me this fabulous little cookbook called "dinner in your Deep Covered Baker" to give away to you!

It has some really great recipes in it..including BBQ Bacon stuffed-Meat Loaf (bacon and meatloaf? YUM!), Buffalo Chicken  Lasagna, Morroccan White bean Turkey Chili...the list goes on! There are 40 different delicious recipes in this little book! Do you want to win it?? All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know what your favorite pampered chef item is or which one you would REALLY like to have! Easy!
(for shipping purposes please only enter if you are in the U.S.)

I'll pick a random winner on Tuesday May 31st!

FOR SOME REASON... blogger has not been working properly and I can not post.  Madhura.. you are the winner  please email your address so that I can get this book out to you!! Thanks for posting!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super-dee duper-dee busy!!

caramel brownies for teacher appreciation day!

baby shower cake...before the finishing ribbon

 baby shower cuppy's

 baby shower cookies!

 last minute first communion cake and cuppy's

 first communion cookies

 jack and jill wedding shower cake

more posts soon!!! and a great giveaway!! keep checking back!

Friday, April 15, 2011

More cookies!

I'm having some guests over tonight...I thought I'd surprise them with these little cookies! Wait 'til you see them all wrapped up!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some Spring/Easter Cookies

Here are some pictures of some fun sugar one's on the way (bunnies, eggs, crosses)!

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Some easter-ish treats! Buttercream peeps!

mini vanilla cupcakes with little buttercream chicks on top!
how to video coming soon! check back!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Champagne Cupcakes

What could be better than taking your favorite beverage (my personal favorite) and turning it into a cupcake? I wasn't exactly sure how the two would mesh..but it worked out pretty well.

Champagne...sweet & bubbly & always ready for a celebration...I guess you could describe a cuppy that way too!
For this cupcake I chose to make a champagne flavored cake, filled it with my twist on a zesty raspberry compote and topped it with a very sweet champagne frosting...
(I am sure you could just as easily make this with strawberry compote as well! YUM)

Here are all 3 steps:

Here's what ya need for the cuppy's:

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbps of all purpose cake flour
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbps of all purpose (reg) flour (i only use king arthur)
3  tsp of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup of sweet champagne
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees...get your cupcake pan ready..(put those liners in) This makes about 18-20 depending on how big your liners are.

First things first, in a clean bowl beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Cover and put in fridge.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. (You want this to be REALLY light & FLUFFY..let it go)

Sift your flour,salt, & baking powder together.
Add your flour mixture to the butter alternating w/ your sweet bubbly champagne.

Lastly, take about a 1/4 of your egg whites and blend into the batter to lighten it up a bit. Then go ahead and fold the rest of the egg whites in.

Fill your cuppy liners about 2/3 the way full and they are ready to bake!!!

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean!

1 cup of butter (room temp)
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
4 or 5 tablespoons of champagne (start off w/ 4 --room temp also)
3 1/2 -4 cups of powdered sugar

Beat butter and  half of the sugar until fluffy. Next add vanilla and then champagne slowly... you don't want an explosion...gradually add the rest of the sugar. You may want more or less sugar or champagne..depending on your taste and how you like the consistency of your frosting.

Raspberry Compote:
1 cup of frozen raspberries
2 tablspoosn of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemoncillo
1 tablespoon of cornstarch whisked into a tablespoon of water

I know it sounds crazy..but I ran out of lemon juice... and the next best thing was the homemade lemoncillo I had hanging around! It worked for me! If you don't have it..just use a tablespoon of lemon juice and you will be good to go!

Heat the raspberries in a small pan over low heat.
Add the lemoncillo and sugar.
Once the sugar has mixed in and dissolved and the raspberries are thawed out, turn up the heat and cook until it begins to bubble.
Make sure to keep stirring so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once it starts to bubble stir in the cornstarch and water mixture.
Remove from heat and let cool.
(mine seemed to be a bit seedy..which worked out fine..but the second time around I strained the mixture before putting them into the cuppy's)

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Here is another one of the vanilla cupcake recipes that I LOVE to use. It's quite simple!
All you need are a few easy ingredients and you are ready to go! I stumbled upon this while searching for a great vanilla cupcake recipe~ I am pretty sure this is from magnolia...

Here's what ya need:
4 large eggs (room temp)
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups of self rising cake flour
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour ( I love king arthur brand!)
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of millk
I found that these rise up and get a great dome on top. They are a little denser than a box mix, as most "real"  homemade cakes are---but they taste delicious!!

Here's how to make them:
Cream butter and sugar..but not too much. Add the eggs, scraping down the sides after each egg.
Mix the flours together (sift if you would like, sometimes I just use a whisk)
Add the flour and milk alternating in 3 batches.

Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way..then bake for 20 -25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you touch the top of the cupcake it should spring back... let them cool!


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Short version of shamrock cuppy's

Ok... if you love these cuppy's as much as I do...then You are going to LOVE that they are SUPER easy to make, even more. You are going to want to make these babies for everyone!!

Here's the short version..because I didn't take pictures during the baking process-- this time-- next batch I will update this post!

Make your favorite vanilla cupcake batter.
Put about 1/3 in a separate bowl and add green food coloring. (Mix it, of course!)

Next, pour your green batter into an 8x8 greased baking pan. Cook would cook any test: insert a toothpick if it comes out clean- it's done.

Now, the green cake needs to cool! I have to be honest and tell you that I could NOT I stuck mine in the freezer..which was not really a good idea. Had I been patient and waited for it to cool..I would have gotten more shamrocks out of my cake. The fridge is probably a better idea-- if you can't wait!!

Once your green cake has cooled-- flip it out of the pan onto a cutting board. Next,take a mini shamrock cookie cutter and cut shamrock's out of your cake. You will need at least 12.(they need to be small enough so when your cupcakes cook- the batter will cook over the shamrock...or the top of your shamrock will toast in the oven) 

Line your cupcake tin...

Take the regular cake batter and just coat the bottom of each liner. Place a shamrock, facing front, in each cupcake liner. Push gently, to make sure the shamrock is in there good. Now fill your cupcake liner to about 2/3 full AND BAKE!
** make sure you keep the shamrocks facing front-- when you bake, when you take them out of the oven, and when you cool...because once they are cooked you will not be able to see the shamrock inside. You will want to cut across the shamrock cupcake dividing it so that you have a print on either side of the cupcake. If you cut the wrong way, you will just cut the shamrock in half down it's center.

That's about it! I will come back to this and post picture's and explain a little better soon!
Post your comments!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hey it's March!!

In honor of March finally arriving...and to keep the creativity flowing...throughout the entire week...(I"ll be making a TON of cupcakes this weekend!) I thought I would try these babies out...
vanilla cake w/ a surprise shamrock inside..topped with delicious buttercream!
CUTE right????
 Happy MARCH!

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