dulcis serenus

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Day off October 17, 2013

Filed under: cake decorating,candy,cookies,novelty,nuts,white chocolate — dulcisserenus @ 2:09 am
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Occasionally I spend my day off baking, and my favorite of baking-days-off are spent with the Purma twins. They’re three, and amazing! Today we made Halloween bark and ghosts out of paper plates. It was an awesome afternoon. (Sorry for any fuzzy picture: the twins seem to never stop moving)

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First Birthday Celebration October 20, 2011

The The Peanuts’ first birthday was last month and there mom has covered pretty much everything from the party onher blog, except for the cupcake recipes.  That was my job, and quite honestly, I’ve been slacking.  I posted right before the party about the Caramel Corn that I made, but never made it around to telling you about the amazing cupcakes.  We decided that we wanted to make three different cupcake toppers for the party: one with pictures of Ellisa, one with pictures of Hudson, and one with one of the first pictures taken of them together.  Since we were being so ambitious with the toppers, we decided that we needed three different cupcakes to go with them: Peanut Butter Cup with White Chocolate Peanut Butter frosting, a peanut butter cup tucked in the center, and chocolate jimmies on top; Double Chocolate with Cream Cheese Chocolate Ganache and white pearl sprinkles; and Orange with Cream Cheese frosting and circus peanuts.  The Double Chocolate and Orange are modified versions of my favorite cake recipe, but the Peanut Butter Cup was one that I tried for the first time, and I have to say that I was impressed.  It was like eating a giant peanut butter cookie.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup milk

18 full-sized peanut butter cups

frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups about half  full.  Place one peanut butter cup on top of the batter, pressing it in slightly.  Cover with more batter filling the cups about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

frosting:

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as you work.

Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Slowly add in the white chocolate.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

8 Tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1 Tbls vanilla

2 eggs

frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

8 Tbls butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

8 oz milk chocolate chips

3 Tbls heavy cream

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

frosting:

In a double boiler, combine chocolate chips and cream.  Heat on medium heat until melted, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until evenly combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the melted chocolate.

Orange Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

8 Tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup orange juice

zest of two oranges

1 1/4 cups flour

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbls vanilla

2 eggs

frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature

4 Tbls butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and orange zest.  In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

frosting:

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until evenly combined.

 

Because everyone loves a truffle… February 14, 2011

…and because it’s Valentine’s Day; I give you truffles cups.  I’ve been making truffles for Valentine’s Day for about eight years, now, and each year they have changed and evolved.  I used to make the traditional truffle, you know, dark chocolate ganache rolled into truffle-sized balls and covered in cocoa powder.  While those are lovely and delicious, they are also messy to make and eat.  So, I decided that I needed to find a better way to make the truffles I loved.  About five years ago I tried making truffles in cute, little heart-shaped molds.  They were gorgeous to look at, but took way too much time.  Finally, two years ago I had an epiphany: truffle cups!  Yes, truffle cups: mini muffin liners filled with chocolate-y goodness!  Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?  They are easy to make, easy to eat, individually portioned, and most importantly, easy to fill with things.  Things like peanut butter, or bits of caramel, or raspberries…mmm…raspberries.  This year I made four different types of truffle cups: my standard Myan truffle (milk and semisweet chocolate flavored with cinnamon and cayenne), milk chocolate with sea salt, chocolate peanut butter (equal parts peanut butter and powdered sugar are a delectable little ball in the center), and White Chocolate Raspberry.  No matter which you choose to make, the process is the same and you won’t be able to eat just one.

Here’s what you need:

1 package white chocolate chips

half and half, about a 1/4 cup or so

24 raspberries

24 mini muffin liners

Here’s what you do:

Place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water to make a double-boiler.  In the bowl place the white chocolate and a splash of half and half.  Mix to combine.  Melt the chocolate over low heat.  While waiting for the chocolate to melt, line a mini muffin tin with 24 liners.  Then, in each liner place one raspberry with the stem side down.

Once your chocolate is melted, slowly add more half and half.  About a tablespoon at a time, until you reach a thick but velvety consistency.  You want to be able to easily stir it, but when it falls back in ribbons, you want them to remain on the surface before settling back into the ganache.  This will be about 1/4 cup of half and half, but it depends on what type of chocolate you use.

Using two teaspoons, scoop the white chocolate ganache over the raspberries, just covering them.  As the ganache settles, the top of the raspberries will peak through just slightly.

Place completed truffle cups in the refrigerator until they are set, about an hour or so.

 

Cake Mix Cookies January 21, 2011

I had a very eventful holiday season with tons of baking (I promise some recipes soon) and lots of traveling.  It has taken me a while to get back into the groove of being home again, but I think, today, I’m finally there.  I was sitting at my very messy desk earlier thinking about how I should clean it sometime in the foreseeable future when I was suddenly struck by the urge to bake something.  Since baking is my favorite procrastination activity, I searched out something to make.  Let me tell you that our house is not lacking in sweet treats to eat.  This week was my birthday and, thanks to the wonderful man in my life, I have not one but two birthday cakes in the fridge.  However, I still felt the need to bake something, so I went for a tasty treat that is, not only easy to make, but as far from chocolate birthday cake as I could get.  I first made Cake Mix Cookies in college when I didn’t have a lot of money or spare time to spend on baking.  They are so super easy, versatile, and taste amazing.  The basic cookie recipe is: a cake mix, oil, and eggs.  That’s it.  Nothing more needed to have a great, and tasty cookie.  However…why stop there?  Why not add in a few more things to make these cookies even more amazing?  Some chocolate chips?  Sure.  How about some nuts or fresh fruit?  Definitely!  The combinations are endless.  I think this is my favorite, though.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a lemony cookie filled with white chocolate and little bits of fresh cherries.  The first bite is just heavenly.

Here’s what you need:

1 boxed cake mix (lemon)

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

1 cup add-ins (1/2 cup white chocolate chips plus 1/2 cup, or so, quartered fresh cherries)

Here’s what you do:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, and eggs.  I start out with a whisk to get things going and finish with a wooden spoon to make sure everything is well combined.   Next, mix in your choice of add-ins until they are evenly dispersed throughout the batter.  Spoon onto a cookie sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  The plain cookies will take about 10 minutes, but ones with fresh fruit will take closer to 15 minutes.  Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for about a minute and remove to a wire rack to cool.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

 

 
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