29 March 2011

Coffee Break

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There's usually a high demand for pastry around my house due to a certain sweet tooth that rules the roost.  While this is usually fixed by a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies, I occasionally am summoned to make something that can replace the most that most important, first meal of the day.  Donuts and muffins are usually too much for me first thing in the morning, but this coffee cake full of nuts and whole wheat flour ALMOST convinces me that I am getting some nutrition with my breakfast.  Regardless, it is so moist and nutty that I not only found my self snacking on it more than I had planned, but found a clean cake dome within 36 hours.  
If you are expecting company or are looking to indulge someone (like yourself) with a non-protein and fiber rich breakfast someday, make this coffee cake. It'll rock your morning socks off.  

09 March 2011

Hummingbird Cupcakes With Pineapple Flowers

Pin It I had never really heard of hummingbird cake until a few days ago, but I was instantly hooked when I looked at the recipe and saw the flavor combo.  A dense, fruity cake with subtle coconut and nutty flavors create a great springtime treat.  Besides, these babies are topped with cream cheese frosting... can't go wrong there.  For all of you italian creme or carrot cake lovers, these are for you!
I made the flowers out of dried pineapple chips that I made by slicing pineapple very thin, baking for about an hour in a 200F oven, and let sit overnight in a muffin tin.  Very easy and very perfect for little hummingbird cupcakes.  
Recipe for Hummingbird Cake:  
makes about 12 large cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
11 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
2/3 cup crushed pineapple (I used leftovers from making the flowers_
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350F.
In an electric mixer, combine butter, vanilla, and sugar until incorporated and smooth.  Slowly add the eggs one at a time until thoroughly mixed.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and whisk together gently.  Slowly add dry mixture into the wet ingredients.  Be careful not to over mix!  Finish up by folding in the banana pineapple, walnuts, and coconut.  Scoop into greased muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes at 350F, or when toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool and frost with cream cheese icing.  Garnish with pineapple flowers if desired!
Cream Cheese Icing:
8oz cream cheese
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp vanilla extract (I always use a lot!)
5 cups of powdered sugar (or more or less, depending on preference)
 Beat cream cheese and softened butter until smooth.  Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar slowly until desired consistency. Frost cupcakes with knife or pipe for a more professional look!

08 March 2011

Day Off

Pin It equals hikes with digby and hummingbird cupcakes
all is good.

06 March 2011

Hostess with the mostest!

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I'm sure you all know the classic Hostess creme-filled chocolate cupcakes that you can get at the grocery store.  While I've never really been a fan of that type of thing, I thought it would be fun to recreate them in a real butter, real cream, non-preservative filled kind of way.  I just used a simple devilsfood cake recipe and filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with chocolate frosting.  
If you've never filled a cupcake before, let me tell ya... it couldn't be easier.  There are a couple of different ways to do it, but I usually just take a paring knife and cut a small x in the top (don't go all of the way through!).  Then, just pipe the frosting (or jam or whatever you'd like) into the center with a piping tip.  To finish up, just frost the tops as usual.

04 March 2011

Spring is in the air!

Pin It I might be jumping the gun a little bit with this recipe, but I just got this new bundt pan and wanted to make something light and spring-y.  I found this recipe for a Blueberry Lemon Bundt from Martha Stewart and had to try it.  While it might be a little summery, it was awesome and did not last long.  After all, it's healthy enough to eat anytime of day, right?

Elvis Cupcakes!

Pin It I've rejected the cupcake phenomenon for awhile, but sometimes it's hard to resist because they are really a perfect way to make individual sized cake loveliness.  Also, I have been neglecting my banana eating habit and had a few overripe nanners that needed a place to go.  I could have made banana bread, but instead I made ELVIS CUPCAKES!!
Banana Cupcakes with a Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
(in my new cake dome- thanks, mom!)
So easy and SO GOOD.

For the cupcakes:
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease 12 cup muffin pan (or use liners).
2.  Combine bananas and buttermilk until creamy and smooth.  Mix in butter, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Whisk together to evenly distribute.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over mix, but not leave any flour lumps.
5. Scoop mix into muffin pan (I use an ice cream scoop!) and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating half way through.
In the meantime, make the peanut butter buttercream!
 In a kitchen-aid mixer (or with a hand mixer), use the paddle to cream together the peanut butter and butter until well combined.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream until desired consistency (might not need the entire 1/4 cup of cream).
When the cupcakes are cool, spread the buttercream on top and enjoy!  If you are feeling extra crafty, you can pipe the frosting on top with a large star tip. 
Voila!  Elvis time.