Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Give Thanks For Caramel Cake

Now it would be an understatement to say I had difficulties with this cake. First, I tried making the optional caramels. I had read how others were having issues with the cooking times and temps turning the caramels into a rock hard block. Wow were they right! My block of "caramels" could have been used as a deadly weapon. Hahaha. Instead of wallowing in my mess, I decided to move on to the syrup part of the recipe. I'm sorry, did I say syrup? I meant paste, or at least that's how mine turned out. Everything was going fine until I went to add it to the cake batter. I go over to the pot of cooled down syrup and there is a cloudy, hard, paste. WHAT?! So I warmed it up and it resumed it's liquid form, but only long enough for me to add it to the batter and frosting. Which leads me to the frosting debacle. Although I really wouldn't call this a true frosting since it was not smooth or easy to work with like a regular frosting. The moment I added the syrup to it, the whole thing turned oily looking. Thankfully, adding the cream transformed it into somewhat of a frosting, but not a very spreadable one. While all of this was going on my cakes were baking up nicely. The two square cakes I decided to make turned out beautifully. So golden and perfect.

Oh, and did I mention how very very sweet the frosting was? Too sweet to cover an entire cake. So I only used it as the middle layer in the cake, then covered the cake in a vanilla cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Sorry, but that frosting was just not going to cover my entire cake.

I would like to thank our hosts this month for such a learning experience. So thank you to our host Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity, and her co-hosts Brownie of Brownie and Blondie, Jenny of Foray into Food, and Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go.


By: Shuna Fish Lydon

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)

2 eggs, at room temperature

splash vanilla extract

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk, at room temperature

Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:

So the GF changes to the cake would be:

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum

1/2 - 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I'm going to check)

I'll let you when I get the cake finished, how it turns out and if the baking powder amount needs to be raised.

- Preheat oven to 350F
- Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
- Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
- Sift flour and baking powder.
- Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
- Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.
- Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
- Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)

- In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
- When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.
- Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}
Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Cook butter until brown.
- Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

By: Alice Medrich
- makes eighty-one 1-inch caramels -
1 cup golden syrup
2 cups sugar
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure ground vanilla beans, purchased or ground in a coffee or spice grinders, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks, softened
A 9-inch square baking pan Candy thermometer
Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil. Combine the golden syrup, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon before using it again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 305°F. Meanwhile, combine the cream and ground vanilla beans (not the extract) in a small saucepan and heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot.
When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until any thickened syrup at the bottom of the pan is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. Then cook, stirring constantly, to 260°f for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F; for firmer chewy caramels.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using it. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight until firm.
Lift the pan liner from the pan and invert the sheet of caramel onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the liner. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.
Fleur de Sel Caramels: Extra salt, in the form of fleur de sel or another coarse flaked salt, brings out the flavor of the caramel and offers a little ying to the yang. Add an extra scant 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt to the recipe. Or, to keep the salt crunchy, let the caramel cool and firm. Then sprinkle with two pinches of flaky salt and press it in. Invert, remove the pan liner, sprinkle with more salt. Then cut and wrap the caramels in wax paper or cellophane.
Nutmeg and Vanilla Bean Caramels: Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the cream before you heat it.
Cardamom Caramels: Omit the vanilla. Add 1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed cardamom seeds (from about 15 cardamom pods) to the cream before heating it. Strain the cream when you add it to the caramel; discard the seeds.

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure!
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Pretzels and a Birthday

Have you ever just had one of those cravings and nothing but that certain food would do? Well I was having one of those moments this week. Pretzels. Chewy, buttery, and fresh from the oven is what I was craving. But where would I find a good recipe? Of course! Pretzels are what started The Daring Bakers. So I went to both Lisa and Ivonne's blogs, La Mia Cucina and Cream Puffs In Venice. Well, I was obviously meant to bake up some pretzels because when I went to Ivonne's page there were the pretzels. Turns out November is The Daring Bakers birthday month!

So I pulled out all the ingredients and got to work making some delicious pretzels. Since I don't like to eat a lot of white flour if I can help it, I did alter the recipe a bit. Instead of 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, I split it into half white flour and half whole wheat flour. Sooo good! Feel free to follow the original recipe though as it is written below. Or follow this link, Hot Buttered Pretzels, over to Ivonne's page and the original post.

Hot Buttered Pretzels
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.

For the dough:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
1 cup warm water (you may need a little more)

For the pretzel topping:
1/2 cup warm water

1 tsp. sugar
kosher salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1.) Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Work the ingredients together until you can form a ball. If the dough is very dry, add a bit more warm water until it comes together. The dough will look messy, but don’t worry about it.

2.) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading by pushing the dough away with the heel of your hand, and then folding it back in onto itself. Push the dough away again and then fold back in. Continue this motion, working the dough until it’s smooth. This should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a mixer with your dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes).

3.) Once the dough is done, sprinkle some flour on the dough and put it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour. It will rise considerably.

4.) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5.) Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.

6.) Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long rope that’s roughly 24 inches in length. (Don’t make it too long or your pretzels will be too thin.)

7.) Taking hold of the ends of the rope, cross the rope over itself to form a circle with about 4 to 5 inches on each end that are sticking out. Twist the ends over themselves and secure each end on either side of the pretzel.

8.) Carefully dip the pretzel in the water and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

9.) Sprinkle the pretzels with the kosher salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

10.) Put the pretzels in the oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the trays and bake for an additional 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the pretzels so that they don’t burn.

11.) Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush them with the butter. Keep brushing them with butter until you’ve used it all.

12.)Serve the pretzels warm with plenty of mustard or another condiment of your choice.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Je t'aime Pizza Tina

Ham and mushroom pizza, mmmmm :) Next to my morning, afternoon, and evening pain au chocolat in Paris, this pizza is what I dream about. Now when you think of Paris, you probably don't immediately think of pizza. Well you should. There was this cute little Italian place across the street from my hotel on Avenue Bosquet, Pizza Tina. It was a small, family owned restaurant, like most places in Europe.

Now usually I'm not a meat-on-my-pizza kind of girl, but that night I thought, why not. How many times will I get to eat pizza in Paris? Honestly though, I'll probably get to go there a few more times before I hit old age. Yea! So I pulled up the pizza dough recipe from last month's DB challenge and I got down to business. Only this time I made it with whole wheat flour.

For some reason the whole wheat flour made me think I could eat a few extra pieces. Or it could have been that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Either way, I went on a long walk after I had consumed a whole 8 pieces! Did a pig just snort? Hmmm, nope, just me :) And as you can see from the pictures I made more than just ham and mushroom. I also made a tomato and shitake pizza and a couple of onion and mushroom pizzas (not pictured).

So if you are ever in Paris near Avenue Bosquet, do stop by Pizza Tina. You'll dream about their pizza long after you leave there. And stay tuned for my next baking adventure!

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Shouldn't you be scarier?"

"Angel of Death?" "You're too cute to be the Angel of Death." "Shouldn't you be scarier?"

These are the responses I received from my co-workers this morning. Completely overlooking the fact that I was carrying homemade truffles. Which I had spent 2 days making for them. Honestly, no imagination. So on to my truffles. I decided to forgo the traditional bat shaped, pumpkin shaped, ghost shaped cut out cookies and instead made some amaretto truffles. Yum :) After looking through several recipes for truffles and deciding there just was not enough amaretto in any of them or chocolate for that matter. I decided to piece together my own recipe, although mine closely resembles one of my favorite truffle recipes from Joy of Baking. So here is my version. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!!!

Amaretto Truffles

8oz. of semi-sweet chocolate (or whatever is your favorite)
1 handful of white chocolate chips
1 & 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 Tbs. of butter
1 tsp. of vanilla
1 bag of milk chocolate chips (again, whatever is your favorite)
3-4 Tbs. of Amaretto (yes I did say 3-4 tablespoons)

- Cut up your blocks of semi-sweet chocolate. It melts easier when it's not in big chunks. Melt in a microwave safe glass bowl for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.

- In the meantime heat your heavy cream, butter, and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Once the butter has melted and the cream has started to boil, remove from the burner. Slowly whisk it into your bowl of almost melted chocolate. Whisk until you have a smooth bowl of chocolate goodness :)

- Let your bowl of chocolate sit out until has cooled off a bit. About 15-20 minutes. Now cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night.

- When you are ready to make the truffles, use either a spoon or a small cookie dough scoop. I prefer the scoop. I scoop out about 10 balls at a time. That way I can form more at a time between rinsing off my hands. Take the ball of chocolate and either form a ball with the tips of your fingers (works best for me) or roll it between your palms. Place completed pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet.

- When you have all of your truffles formed, place the tray in the freezer for about an hour to harden up. About 10 minutes before you take them out, melt your milk chocolate chips. With a spoon dip the truffles in the melted chocolate and coat completely. Set the coated truffle back on the tray and repeat with the rest of the truffles. I also decided to forgo the chocolate shell on half of my truffles and instead used black and orange sprinkles.

- Place the tray back in the freezer for about 20 minutes to let the shell harden. Once they have set-up you can decorate the outside of the truffle with orange tinted white chocolate. Simply fill a pastry bag with the white chocolate and attach the smallest frosting tip you have. Now pipe on ghost faces or write out 'Boo'. Make spider webs. Decorate until your heart is content. Place the finished truffles into small candy liners.

- Now feel free to consume your finished product. Or give away as Halloween treats.
Happy Halloween everyone! Stay tuned for my next baking adventure ;)
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pizza! Pizza! My First Daring Bakers Challenge

Seriously, who doesn't love pizza? Obviously by my excitement you have figured out that my first challenge as a Daring Baker was pizza. Such an exciting challenge! This month's host was Rosa from Rosa's Yummy Yums. Again, thank you Rosa for such an awesome pizza recipe. Several years ago I attempted making pizza, and let's just say it was not so great. So I was pretty excited to have another shot at it. And I even tossed it in the air!

The recipe makes six 9-10 inch pizzas. It's a two day process, and on the second day I made three pizzas. For my first pizza I went with baby bellas, red onions, and mozzarella. The second pizza was tomatoes, red onions, baby bellas, green peppers, and mozzarella. And my third pizza was a cinnamon sugar pizza with white chocolate cream cheese icing. Mmmm :) Now besides having to make the dough, I also had to come up with a sauce. I've never really liked pizza sauce out of a jar, so after browsing many sauce recipes I decided to just give it a go. Surprising things happen when you decide to make up your own recipe. I threw together some tomatoe paste & sauce, some wine, seasonings, garlic, and voila a delicious pizza sauce was made.

I hope everyone enjoys this recipe as much as I did. Happy pizza-ing :)

Basic Pizza Dough
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter)

4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled

1 3/4 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Instant yeast

1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)

1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)

1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup

Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.
NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure. Truffles for Halloween.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pain au chocolats et Croissants

Ok, so I know I won't officially be a Daring Baker until next month, but like many before me I decided to try out some of their previous challenges. This of course meant picking one of the most daring, in my opinion, recipes for a baker. And I am speaking of croissants. I can still smell them, which I know is weird seeing as they were made yesterday. For someone who has never laminated dough before, I have to say it was scarier sounding than it actually was. The whole process just fascinated me. Anyways, the recipe I chose to follow was the one on Brown Eyed Baker's site. Her pictures were so mouth watering and tempting me to try them. And so I had to. Right? Right. She mentioned how enormous hers turned out, so I decided to cut the dough into smaller triangles thinking they would turn out smaller, more normal sized croissants. Nope. They were still monster size croissants. But they were soooo good. And obviously I also made some pain au chocolats because if you couldn't tell by my blog name I am obsessed with them. My love for them started before I even went to Paris. (sigh/looking a bit misty-eyed) Excuse me for the emotional moment ;) So since I am not at home writing this and have forgotten my pictures, I will be posting them at a later date. So stay tuned for my croissant/pain au chocolats pictures.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The little cupcake that could

Well I'm finally getting around to posting my cupcake results from the Morton Pumpkin Fest. For my first baking contest I'd say I did pretty freakin fantastic. Especially with how many people entered and three prizes in each division. While I didn't place, I did get Honorable Mention. And that is something to be proud of. Since this contest, it's made me even more excited to bake and find new challenges. So enjoy the pictures and the recipe, and stay tuned for my next baking adventure.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Vanilla Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups of flour
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of baking powder
¾ tsp. of salt
1 ½ tsp. of cinnamon
1 ¼ tsp. of ginger
½ tsp. of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup of dark-brown sugar
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 sticks of soft butter
4 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a large-sized bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Then add the pumpkin and mix until completely incorporated.

With a small cookie dough scoop, fill the cupcake liners with 2 ½ scoops each. Bake until the tops are nicely rounded, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. About 20 minutes. Place cupcakes on wire racks and let cool. Then frost with vanilla cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Vanilla Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces of cream cheese
1 ½ tsp. of cinnamon
1 stick of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups of powdered sugar *

Cream butter and cream cheese in a mixer on medium/high for 30 seconds. Turn it to low speed and add cinnamon and vanilla. Keeping the mixer on low/medium slowly add the powdered sugar.
Now you are ready to decorate your cupcakes. So put your favorite frosting tip on your pastry bag and start frosting :)

*(If you prefer a sweeter frosting, feel free to up the powdered sugar to 3 or even 4 cups.)

Frosts about 24 cupcakes

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pumpkin Cupcake Countdown

2 days and counting until the annual Morton Illinois Pumpkin Festival! Am I excited? I'd say so.  This will be my very first baking contest. Exciting! And it really is the perfect first contest for me. Why?, you may ask. Well fall is my favorite time of year, Halloween is my favorite holiday, AND I love love love cooking with pumpkins. Yes, they can be a lot of work to cook and scoop out the pumpkin pulp, but it's so much fun. And it tastes so good :)
So stay tuned for my pictures at the festival and my recipe. Yum :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day As A Blogger

Well, this is my first blog post. I'm a little nervous, but a lot excited. I love food, and I really love baking! Especially when I get to share my results :) So how did I come to have this blog? Well, while browsing for some new recipes I found an interesting blogroll. So we'll see if they accept me into their world of food blogging. Fingers crossed! Stay tuned for my first food post.