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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Pumpkin Pancakes (Gluten Free)

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On Thanksgiving, I tried this gluten free pumpkin pancakes recipe, and I was surprised how much I loved it, plus my gluten loving friend was wowed by these pancakes . I have also made these vegan by using chia seeds instead of eggs. This recipe is from Cookie and Kate, and I only made a couple of changes, but it’s definitely a must try and making the oat flour is pretty simple.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs or 2 tablespoons soaked chia seeds.
  • 1 cup oat flour (Add about two cups of old fashion oats (not instant) to a food processor and mix until preferred consistency. I made the flour a little chunky.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, milk, coconut oil (or butter), lemon juice and maple syrup (or honey). Beat in the eggs. (If your coconut oil goes back to its solid state like mine did at this point, just warm the mixture for short 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, until it is melted again.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix! Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface of your pan with coconut oil, butter or cooking spray. If you’re using a non-stick electric griddle like mine, you might not need any oil at all.
  5. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
  6. Once the underside is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  7. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.

Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted this photo on one of my Project 365 posts, but did not have time to post the recipe. I am new to gluten free baking and I feel like I am relearning how to bake again! This recipe is very easy and is easily adaptable. I saw a version of this recipe on Facebook, unfortunately, I did not save the recipe, so I had to work off of my memory.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup of nut butter ( I used peanut butter)

  • ¼ cup honey/maple syrup (you can use more or less)

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • ½ cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with silicone pads or parchment paper.

  2. Combine nut butter and honey.

  3. Add egg and stir until everything is smooth.

  4. Stir in baking soda, salt, nutmeg and vanilla bean paste

  5. Fold in chocolate chips

  6. Using an ice cream scoop, drop cookies dough on lined baking sheets.

  7. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes

  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes

  9. Let stand on baking sheet for five minutes, then move to cooling rack.

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.