Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

So with Summer fast approaching I have been wanting something lemony. When I was pregnant with my youngest son Conner, I crave all things citrus. If I had known about these cupcakes I would have gained more than 20 pounds during my pregnancy. Its a good thing I didn't. These cupcakes are THE BEST cupcakes I have tasted in quite a while. They are now my favorite at the moment. The cake is moist and dense but light at the same time. The frosting is so good you could eat it by its self. This recipe was featured on Bestbites and they got the original cake recipe from Martha Stewart.

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1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter
3 c. cake flour (has to be cake flour or the recipe won't work)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
1 c. buttermilk


Preheat oven to 325 & line muffin pans with cupcake liners. I used pink foil from breast cancer event because that is what I had.

In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter & sugar on a medium speed setting for 5 mins. Don't skimp on this step. You want it to be really fluffy for the recipe to work. It should look like the photo below.

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While butter & sugar are mixing, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set all that aside. After the butter and sugar are done mixed and is really fluffy, add eggs one at a time with the mixer still running. Allow the eggs to be fully mixed into the batter before adding the next one. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice, & lemon zest.

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With the mixer on a low speed setting, alternate the flour mixture & buttermilk. Start & end with the flour mixture. Make sure it gets fully mixed into the mixture.

Using a standard cookie scoop, place about 2 scoops of batter into each muffin cup. Fill these almost to the top. The cupcakes won't really rise that much because they are more like a pound cake than a traditional cupcake.

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Bake about 20-25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. You don't want to over bake these even by a second or they will start to lose their moisture. I baked mine for 20 mins and they came out fantastic.

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Lemon Buttercream Icing Recipe

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1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks)
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp coconut extract or fresh coconut juice (totally optional)


Beat butter, lemon rind, and lemon juice in an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating to spreading consistency.

I added the coconut to give the recipe a little bit sweeter taste. It was a little bitter to me. If you like how it tastes feel free to skip the coconut or add whatever other flavor you would like. Maybe even some strawberry juiced would be really good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mini Cinnamon rolls

So in the mornings I am always looking for fast breakfasts that are filling for my boys because we are always so rushed to get out the door for school. This recipe is also great as a side for brunches or just as a yummy snack. I found this recipe over at picky palate.

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Recipe adapted by me =D

One can Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits at least 10

5 tablespoons softened butter

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

5 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tsp of vanilla extract or any flavor you would like to add

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. This will help keep clean up easy.

2. Unroll biscuits onto a clean countertop and press out with fingers to about 3 inches wide. Spread each biscuit with 1/2 tablespoon of butter then top evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Starting at the bottom of each round, roll up jelly roll fashion with seam side down on countertop. Use a sharp knife and cut 1/2 inch slices and place onto prepared baking sheet. I cut 6 slices per biscuit making 60 small cinnamon rolls. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until light brown and cooked through. Remove from oven.

3. Place powdered sugar, heavy cream, & extract into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over hot rolls. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

The icing for this is so versatile. You could add orange juice tsp at a time for an orange flavor or you could melt some cream cheese and stir it into the frosting for that kind of flavoring. You really can do whatever you want with the frosting. Also get creative with the filling for the insides of the cinnamon rolls. You could add nutella or a little jam. Whatever you want to do you could.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake & Chocolate Frosting

So who doesn't love chocolate? I do and especially during those fun times of the month where you want to bite everyone's head off and you want to just surround your self with chocolate and consequences be darned! Well this is one of those recipes that require a lot of work and dishes but are so worth it in the end! This cake is the moistest chocolate cake I have ever tasted and the icing even though I messed it up was really yummy! The recipe was featured on Best Bites & comes from Cook's Illustrated. So not my original recipe but to good not to share. I guarantee that you will impress anyone that you make this for!

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12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (very soft)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsley chopped
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
1 3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks


Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round by 2 inch high cake pans with butter ( I didn't use butter, I used non stick spray); dust pans with flour and knock out excess. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate ins melted, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar to chocolate and stir until glossy, 1-2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

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Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/4 C sugar, increase speed to high, and whis until fluffy and lightened in color, 2-3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about 1/3 of flour mixture; followed by half of buttermilk mixture mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds.) Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated.) Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25-30minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting, 45-60 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

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16 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp table salt
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream


Melt Chocolate in heatproof bowl set over a saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Increase heat to medium; add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and stir with heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4-5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture, and cream to clean bowl of stand mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.
Place mixer bowl over ice bath ( a big bowl with ice all in it) and stir mixture constantly with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against sides of bowl, 1-2 minutes (frosting should be 70 degrees). Place bowl on stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth. If the frosting is to soft just let it sit in the fridge until its a little more set.

* Don't make the mistake that I did and not get enough heavy cream. I had a cup of heavy cream so I just put 1/4 of milk figuring it wouldn't hurt it. Wrong. It did not get whippy at all. It just stayed a liquid. So I added a little over a cup of powdered sugar to the icing and it hardened it up and actually ended up really yummy. So it was a awesome mistake to make.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pineapple Upside down cake

So after watching an episode of Desperate Housewives and watching Bree make that perfect pineapple upside down cake my husband and I both were craving one. I have never made one so I figured what a great time to try. Then I realized most recipes call for a 10 inch round circle cake pan. Of course I looked are crappy BX here at Chievres and they don't carry really any baking supplies or cake pans =( I always have to order from so I went and ordered the cake pan but then I decided to look on the economy here in Belgium and they had a 26 Centimeter round pan. Not sure if that is 10 inches or not but it looked like it so I decided to just go with it. Everything was perfect until time to flip it and a few of the pineapples stuck to the pan even after I sprayed the crap out of it with cooking spray. So I peeled them out of the pan and stuck them on the cake and waalah. You can't really tell that even happened to it is a pretty forgiving cake. My husband loved the cake and its one I will make again probably.

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  • 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 stick butter
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 T. rum (optional)
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice


1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the brown sugar & butter until its smooth.
3. Pour into a well greased or cooking sprayed 10 inch round cake pan.
4. Take pineapple slices and put them on top of caramel as in the picture below. You can also put cherries in the middles if you so desire.
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5. Set the cake pan aside and onto the cake.
6. Mix flour, baking powder, & salt in a small bowl and set aside.
7. Mix butter in a stand mixer until nice and smooth. Then add sugar and cream together until its nice and fluffy looking.
8. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the rum and vanilla and mix well.
9. Add half the dry mixture and mix until combine.
10. add the pineapple juice and it might splatter so mix and lowest setting.
11. add the rest of the dry mix and mix well.
12. Pour over the pineapple caramel mix and spread over it very very carefully.
13. Put into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 mins. Check to make sure it is done by sticking a toothpick and making sure it comes out mostly clean. Let sit for 10 mins and run a knife around the edges and then flip.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Taquitos

So today is Cinco De Mayo. I do not really celebrate this holiday but I figure it was a good excuse to make some yummy Mexican food. I had to make the trek to Chievres Air Base today where the commissary is anyways. So I got all the supplies to make the Taquitos and when we got home my hubby opened the back of the Xterra to get our groceries out and kaplow the salsa verde I was going to use fell on the gravel and splattered all over the road. So I made a few adjustments to the recipe and I hope you will try this because it was fantastic. I did not have a lot of time today so I bought Swanson Pre Grilled chicken and then just shredded it and it was super yummy. If you have the time you can grill your own.

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1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese ( I used the low fat and I used all of mine to make it more creamier)
1/4 C green salsa (I used Red Mild Salsa)
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro ( I couldn't find fresh so I used a jar found in the spice section)
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken ( I didn't have a lot of time so I used pre grilled chicken)
1 C grated pepperjack cheese

Small round flour tortilla
cooking spray
melted butter


Heat oven to 425.

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

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If the tortillas start to crack heat them for 10 or 20 seconds in the microwave and then place under a damp paper towel or rag and that should help with that.

Once you have rolled the tortilla place seam down on the cookie sheet. Once you have all that will fit take the melted butter and brush it over the tortillas.

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Bake for 15-20 mins. Keep a close eye on them because they cook fast.

Take them out and enjoy with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.