Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins are quite possibly the most perfect breakfast food.  I've made these muffins a few times, and they always turn out delicious.  These muffins are not overly sweet, but tender and full of juicy blueberries that pop in your mouth.  The secret ingredient, yogurt, also keeps them on the healthier side.

Blueberry Muffins
makes approximately 18 muffins

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups yogurt (I used low fat vanilla)
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh is best, but frozen are ok)

Preheat oven to 375, and either spray muffin tins or line with wrappers.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.  In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, eggs and extracts together until combined.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until almost mixed.  Add the butter and the blueberries and continue folding; batter should be still lumpy.  Portion into muffin tin and bake for 20-23 minutes.

Enjoy while still warm!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gourmet Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples are totally impressive & not quite as difficult to make as you'd think!  I wanted to share these Caramel Apples I made:

They're kind of like a Samoa (or Caramel Delite) apple - caramel, toasted coconut, mini chocolate chips, candied pecans & a drizzle of chocolate.

The beauty of caramel apples is that you can make them however you want to suit your tastes.  I also made some with mini M&Ms that I didn't get a picture of, but they were super colorful & fun!

Tips to make the process as easy as possible:

  • Have all your toppings ready before you start to dip.
  • Work quickly, one apple at a time.  Dip, then apply toppings right away.
  • Place finished apples on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Beware of wax paper!
  • Let the caramel set up for several hours before you move them around.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rose Cake, Revisited

I love making this Rose Cake!  I gave it a bit of a new look this time by using a different piping tip.  I also knew I didn't want to pipe a Happy Birthday message directly onto the cake, so I made a fondant circle cutout to set on top.

4 Layer Red Velvet Cake with my favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Another delicious cake... Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

I started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and while the taste was perfect, it wasn't sturdy enough to stand up to the peanut butter buttercream.  I'm still looking for a chocolate cake recipe that will bake up pretty & sturdy!

I torted the layers and filled them with the peanut butter buttercream.  I used a chocolate frosting for the writing and decorating for the ultimate spin on a peanut butter cup, in cake form!

Peanut Butter Buttercream
adapted from Wilton

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening (you can use all butter if you wish)
3/4 cup peanut butter*
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Cream butter, shortening, and peanut butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth & creamy.  Add vanilla and mix until combined.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until it is completely mixed in.  At this point, the mixture will be very dry and crumby.  Add the cream slowly, and as it combines, turn the mixer up to medium and let it beat for 1 or 2 minutes, until fluffy.  You may need to add a bit more cream to get it to a thin spreading consistency.

I used a double batch to fill and ice this cake.

*I used 1/2 cup peanut butter & 1/4 cup Nutella & I highly recommend you do the same!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Creme Brulee Cake

 Creme Brulee Cake
4 layer Caramel custard Cake, filled and iced with Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream