Blueberry and Cherry Muffins

I took a pretty long hiatus from baking this winter. Maybe it was my new job or moving into my new apartment and never really unpacking all of my kitchen stuff, but for whatever reason, I stopped baking until about a week ago. I forgot how much of a rush I got off of cooking and baking and how much it helped with my stress. After a stressful Saturday, I decided I needed to bake something. With limited ingredients, I made these wonderful muffins, and they were pretty delicious too!

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Blueberry and Cherry Muffins:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup cherries

Streusel Topping

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Makes about 14-20 muffins.
  2. Prepare streusel topping by whisking together sugar, flour, cinnamon and oil. Mix until topping has sandy texture, then set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest, then set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy on low medium (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each egg. Then, add sour cream, milk and vanilla.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Fold in blueberries and cherries.
  7. With an ice cream scooper, divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with streusel topping.
  8. Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min, to test, insert a tooth pick into the center to see if it comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool in the pan for about two minutes. Then, place on cooling rack for about ten minutes. Muffins are great to eat while they are still warm.

 

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Spring Fling Cake

Spring is finally here in Colorado, at least until today! But, what better way to celebrate the first few days of spring than cake? I first tried this cake at the Market in Larimer Square and I just love it! I adapted a recipe from Paddle Attachment,. Check out her photos step by step guide; it’s really helpful.

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For the cake:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Apricot jam and water to coat the fruit

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. I use baking spray with great results.

2.  Grate the zucchini with the “fine side” of your grater. In a large mixing bowl, add the shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and vanilla and mix on medium to combine.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet with the mixer set on low. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

4.  Pour the batter evenly into the baking pans and bake for 35 to 50 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the center. Cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.

5.  Cool the finished cake on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pans and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 cups cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1  cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1.  Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium high until creamy and smooth (3 minutes or so). Add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix until combined.

2.  With the mixer set to low, gradually add the powdered sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until well combined.

Assemble the Cake:

I used strawberries, blackberries, mangoes, kiwis, and mandarin oranges, but you can us whatever fruit you want.

Directions:

1.  Cut the cooled cake layers in half lengthwise, making four layers.

2.  Spread even amounts of frosting between the layers and place fruit on top frosting with fruit.

3.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.

4.  Arrange the fruit in circles over the top of the cake, starting near the center.

5. I placed sliced strawberries around the sides of the cake, so I didn’t have spend a lot time frosting the cake.

6.  Melt some apricot jam and tablespoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Using a pastry  brush, lightly brush the melted jam over the fruit on the top of the cake.

 

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Day 260-262-The Present Cake

I made this cake for a wedding shower. Even though I love the way fondant looks on a cake, I absolutely hate the taste and there really is no easy way to peel it off. So, I tried to make a combination of the fondant and buttercream. I wish I could have the gotten the edges straighter, but I did not have time.

 

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Days 198 to 209-Baking is Addicting!

Even though, I wanted to post every day. I have been baking and pet sitting more than usual lately. Here are all the photos from my recent creations:

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A first birthday part. Strawberry cake with Lemon buttercream.  (Above)

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Mango French Macarons with Pineapple filling.

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Maple Bacon Cupcakes (also known as “The Spring Break Cupcake”from 2 Broke Girls) and my inspiration for the cupcakes. Chocolate Stout cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese frosting topped with Caramelized bacon.

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Two tiered cake for a retirement party. The top layer is a Strawberry cake with Nutella filling and Italian butter cream. The second tier is butter cake filled with caramel and macadamia nuts with almond Italian buttercream.

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Captain America cake for a seven year old’s birthday party. White cake with American buttercream.

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Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with White Chocolate buttercream and Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes with White Chocolate buttercream for my boss’s baby shower decorated with Peeps.

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Chocolate cupcakes with Strawberry buttercream.

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Gluten Free Lemon Butter Cupcakes (adapted Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix) with Raspberry Cream Cheese frosting. One day I will master gluten free baking!

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Traditional Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.

I am back on track with Project 365, and more than half way through the Project. Anyways, hopefully everyone is enjoying spring!

Day 197-Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

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I know I am a little late in posting this recipe, but better late than never. On St. Patrick’s day, I made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (Recipe courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker).  I ran out of fondant and nothing to decorate the cupcakes, so I quickly made sugar cookies cut with a four leaf clover cutter.

Ingredients:

 Cupcakes:

Whiskey Ganache Filling:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:

Directions:

1.  Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.

3.  Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the  whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

5. Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Day 196-Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For the past couple of months, my friend and I have been in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. We want the cookie to be thick, chewy and soft, and at this altitude, it has been difficult. These are the best one’s I have made, so far.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream butter and sugar on medium for about three minutes.
  3. Mix nutmeg, vanilla and egg to butter mixture.
  4. Add the rest of ingredients and stir only to combine. Do not over mix.
  5. With a spatula fold in chocolate chips.
  6. With an ice cream scooper, drop batter onto pans and roll into perfect balls.
  7. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, but overnight works best.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes.

Day 195-The Walking Dead Finale

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In celebration of the Walking Dead finale, I made this cake. Who doesn’t enjoy I nice blood splattered cake?

Although I enjoyed the Season finale; it was a little anticlimactic, but the cake was delicious, so that is all that matters!

I don’t think I posted this recipe before, but anytime I want create a new cake recipe, I always start with the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe and adapt from there.  Also, don’t judge me for my use of instant pudding mix in the cake; anytime I decorate a cake, I always add pudding mix for stability.

Lemon Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of two lemons
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/4 cup dry pudding mix

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar, then eggs. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest and juice.
  2. Alternate flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour; beat slowly after each addition. Do not overbeat.
  3. Fold in pudding mix.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased and floured cake pan, two 9″ pans.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes or until cake tests done.

 

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Day 169-Put Down the Cupcake?

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Most people who know me, even just a little, know that I have a small, okay large, obsession with cupcakes. I even have a tattoo of a cupcake and it is one of my nicknames. I know that whoopie pies, pakes, and macarons are popular, but is there really anything better than a cupcake?

I feel like I can make a cake with the same ingredients as a cupcake but it would not taste and/or look nearly as good as a cupcake. I found the most delicious cupcake recipe from Domestic Ingenuity. You can find the recipes on her site. fully recommend trying this recipe; adding the Reese’s cup to the cupcake just adds a whole new layer and flavor that is complimented by the peanut butter frosting.

To answer my title question, you never put the this cupcake down!

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Day 123-French Macarons

On Saturday, I made French Macarons for a charity dinner for Haiti. I take no credit for the recipes; I used Pastry Pals’ recipe . It is an amazing recipe and she has trouble shooting pictures. The only thing I do not follow on her recipe is whipping the egg whites by hand; I use my mixer. Also, I filled these with Italian buttercream.