Thursday, September 30, 2010

OMG Amazing Cupcakes!

I love cupcakes that are meant to look like other things. These cupcakes get extra high marks because they are amazing creations without the use of any (or extremely little) fondant! Check out these beauts:

Oreo panda cupcakes found on twitter by @StephanoGuerrera

Cupcake bouquets are pretty popular but I love this one for the different flowers and great use of colors: Bouquet by LoveLane Cupcakes

Perfectly simple apple by Coco Cupcakes

These are giving me a hankering for breakfast: Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes by Christy of from glitter to gumdrops

Hope you enjoyed these amazing cupcakes!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing

I hardly ever say this because I'm always trying new recipes, but I think I've found my favorite cupcake recipe! My favorite flavoring is pumpkin and these cupcakes take a full can of pumpkin and tons of pumpkin pie spices, yum. And this recipe keeps the light airy consistency of a cupcake instead of veering into dense muffin territory- which is always a danger when baking with pumpkin. The salted caramel thing is something I've stayed away from because, hello, salt in my dessert? No thanks! However, after trying this very mild (on the salt) icing recipe I think I can see the benefits of adding the salt. Anywho here are the pics of the final product:

What is that new prop you ask? I bought a cupcake stand from whitneysmith on Etsy and am loving it for showing off my cupcakes. Check out all her amazing handmade ceramics here: Whitney Smith Pottery

Recipe (Adapted from Smells Like Home)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/3c + 3T sugar
3c cake flour
3t baking powder
1 1/2t baking soda
1 1/2t ground cinnamon
1 1/2t ground ginger
1/2t ground nutmeg
1/4t ground cloves
3/4t salt
1/4t freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (you can make buttermilk
from 3/4c milk +3t white vinegar-let sit before using)
1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree

Preheat to 325F.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and pepper.

Add eggs to the large bowl one at a time, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating until all of each mixture is incorporated. Beat in pumpkin until smooth. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then cool fully on racks.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing

3 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3T vegetable shortening
1T vanilla
2 1/4 lbs powdered sugar
1/2c caramel topping (like for ice cream)
1/4t Kosher salt

Cream the butter and shortening in a large bowl. Add vanilla, salt, and caramel topping and combine well. Add powdered sugar until the consistency that you desire has been reached.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

OMG Amazing Cupcakes

Today I have 2 sets of amazing cupcakes to share with you all. First aren't actually cupcakes, but they are cake in a small form so check out this collection of cake pops. Since the Bakerella blog has gotten so popular and she has even published a book on her cake pops, everyone on the web is getting into them now. I haven't tried to make them, but perhaps I should give it a try! Here are some cake pops by Bakerella herself:
From her book, Cakepops
from her blog, Bakerella
From her blog, Bakerella

And some from peeps around the web:
Picture from Cupcrazed on Flickr
Another picture from Cupcrazed on flickr
Picture from Vanilla and Lace Blog

The second awesome cupcakes of the week are these amazing Under the Sea Cupcakes from You can see all the cupcakes here on her Flickr account. Worth a look!


Totally random, but I saw this rainbow while I was at the recycling center:

See, it is good to recycle!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Day of Fall!

My calendar says "Autumn Begins" today and those words couldn't make me any happier! As an addition to the fall-inspired goodies I've been baking lately I have made Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies for this wondrous occasion! And, if I do say so myself, they are pretty friggin delicious! I also celebrated the beginning of fall by buying 4 bags of Halloween candy and setting out all my Halloween/Fall decorations. I've already been burning a pumpkin candle for a few weeks so hopefully with that and all the pumpkin baking my place should smell less like Baloo and more like Fall. Here are some pictures of the cookies:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies (recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction):

2c flour
1 1/2c old-fashioned oats
1t baking soda
1 1/2t cinnamon
1t pumpkin pie spice
1/2t kosher salt
1c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1c packed brown sugar
1c sugar
1c pumpkin puree
1 lg egg
1t vanilla extract
1c white chocolate chips
1c dried cranberries

Preheat to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture, combine until all ingredients are just incorporated. Stir in white chocolates and cranberries.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. cool on sheet for 2 minutes, then cool on racks fully.

I was hoping this recipe would be a good one for deployment packages in the fall, but they are pretty flimsy so I don't think they will travel really well. That being said, they are like thanksgiving dessert in your mouth with the pumpkin and cranberry- sooo amazing! Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baking Frenzy Weekend

My hands hurt. Seriously, I made meringue by hand and beat down bread dough and zested lemons and now my hands are killing me! Only a crazy baller weekend of test driving 4 new recipes could lead to such awesome injuries. On Saturday my friend Ali had a ladies night wine tasting and sleepover (I went home so Baloo wouldn't be lonely but the other ladies stayed the night). For the evening munchies I made white chocolate champagne cupcakes to go with the wine tasting theme. I forgot to take pictures of these though, whoopsies. And for the ladies in the morning I made pumpkin cinnamon buns because I'm on a pumpkin/fall kick. I think I bought the wrong kind of champagne for this recipe. Is said to buy a sweet variety, but I just grabbed one with a pretty label (my usual wine purchasing method). The cupcakes turned out a little more bitter than I would have liked but the white chocolate chips in the cupcake paired with the super sweet icing worked out well. The pumpkin cinnamon buns were really good right out of the oven and after having been reheated in the microwave the next day. Some of the edges were a little dry, so I guess I need to work on my bread making technique! Here is the pumpkin dough being cut before the last rising:

And the finished product:

For my own dinner Saturday night I made healthified stuffed shells from a recipe off of the eat better America website. These were delicious, probably could use more cheese, but I am a cheese fiend so maybe that's just me. Here is my dinner from Saturday night:

On Sunday I made Apple Pie Cupcakes, a twist on the all American favorite to go with another all American favorite: Sunday football! I brought these babies over to Kristine and Loi's house for some football watching munchies. Too bad the Giants lost horribly and I forgot to enter my pick for Survival Fantasy Football this week so I'm already out in week 2. At least the cupcakes were fun to make and yummy! Here are the cupcakes on their way into the oven:

And after baking:

Finished product:


Champagne White Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe altered from Gimme Some Oven):

2 3/4c flour
3t baking powder
1t salt
2/3c butter
1 1/2c sugar
3/4c champagne (sweeter the better)
6 egg whites
1c chopped white chocolate chips


Powdered sugar
1c + 1T butter softened
1/2t vanilla
3T champagne
1c melted white chocolate

Preheat to 350F. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate adding flour and champagne until all ingredients have been added and the mixture is smooth. In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Then fold in the remaining egg whites. Stir in white chocolate. fill the cupcake liners to about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes.

For the icing, beat 2/3c butter until smooth. Melt white chocolate with 1T butter. Add melted white chocolate to the butter and beat until smooth. Mix in champagne and vanilla. Add powdered sugar until the icing reaches desired consistency.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns (recipe from Back to the Cutting Board):

1 pkg dry yeast
1/4c warm water (~100F)
3c + 1c flour
3/4c canned pumpkin puree
1/2c milk
1/4c butter, melted
1T sugar
1 1/4t salt
1/4t nutmeg

5T sugar
5T brown sugar
3T flour
2 1/2t cinnamon
3T chilled butter, cut in small pieces

3/4c powdered sugar
1T milk
1/4t vanilla

Dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand for 5 minutes. Add 3c flour, pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes for until the dough is smooth and elastic,adding the 1c of remaining flour as you go. (Next time I'm using my dough hook attachment to my mixer and just adding the 1c of flour while it kneads for me.) Place the dough inside a large bowl that was sprayed with cooking spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm (85F) place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and let rest for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl combine the filling ingredients until nice and mealy. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12x10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough. Starting at the long edge, roll up tightly avoiding air pockets. Pinch the ends to seal. Cut the roll into 1 inch slices. Place the slices in a 9in baking pan coated with cooking spray. cover and let rise for 25 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375F and then bake for about 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. In a small bowl stir powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

Healtified Stuffed Shells (recipe from Eat Better America):

16 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean ground turkey
Italian seasoning
1/2t fennel seed
1/4t salt
1/4t pepper
1 med onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1c fat-free cottage cheese
1/4c fat-free egg product
2c pasta sauce
1/4c Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook and drain pasta according to package (cook extra shells in case of breakage). Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook turkey with Italian seasoning, fennel, salt, and pepper over medium heat for 8-10 minutes stirring continuously until turkey is browned through. In same skillet, cook onion and garlic over medium heat for 6-8 minutes stirring occasionally until onions are tender. Stir turkey, cottage cheese and egg product into the onions. Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about 1T of mixture into each shell to fill. Place in baking dish. Spoon pasta sauce over shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until hot.

Apple Pie Cupcakes (recipe adaped from Alpineberry):

2 1/4c flour
2 1/4t baking powder
1t cinnamon
1/4t salt
18T unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2c sugar
4 lg eggs
1/2t vanilla
1/2t lemon zest
1c whole milk

3T butter
1/3c sugar
3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2t cinnamon
1t vanilla
powdered sugar

To cook the apples, place butter and sugar in a a large fry pan over low-med heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add apple slices and cook for 8-10 minutes or until apples are slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat to 325F. Sift flour, baking powder, and slat into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and beat in vanilla and lemon zest. On low speed, add the flour mixture until barely incorporated. Add the milk and mix until just smooth.

Add the batter to the cupcake liners, filling to about 2/3 full. Top with the apples. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

For icing, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in vanilla and cinnamon. Add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Ice cooled cupcakes.

Phew, sorry for the huuuuge post, hope you enjoy the recipes!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dragon Hat

Recently my friend, Krista G., requested that I make a few items for her as baby shower type gifts. Krista has been easily my best friend/customer and I love her requests because they are usually for things that I haven't made yet so I get to start new projects. This time around she asked for a dragon hat for the baby of a couple that loves going to Renaissance Festival etc. This project was so much fun from deciding on a neat scaly fabric to making the whole project come together to look like a dragon (and not like a fish as earlier test runs did). Anywho, the final project was completed last week and delivered yesterday and it was a success. Here is the finished product:

Thanks so much Krista for requesting awesome things and being such a great customer!

P.S. I hope everyone enjoys their last weekend of summer, Wednesday is the first day of Autumn. And remember to talk like a pirate on Sunday, arrrr.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OMG Amazing Cupcakes!

If you couldn't tell from reading my blog, I'm more of a recipe experimenter than a decorating experimenter when it comes to my cupcakes. I've done some fun stuff with fondant (I once made a zebra cake for my friend Sarah's birthday) but I really don't like how it tastes so I have let the decorating part fall to the wayside. So, when I saw these amazing Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes (easily my favorite animated movie and the new one wasn't so bad either) by Three Baking Sheets to the Wind I had to share them with you all:

(picture by Ali of Three Baking Sheets to the Wind)

Check out her blog to see the original post and a close up of all the cupcakes. Also, I think I'll have to post some amazing cupcakes every week because there are sooo many out there!

More Pictures of My Booties on Babies

So, obviously I don't have my own baby to dress up in all the baby accessories and whatnot that I make. I think Baloo would look handsome in some soccer booties, but then he would most definitely eat them. In addition to the previous post about baby Hannah, I was super excited to find out from my friend, Amy, that there were more pictures of actual babies wearing my booties. You can see the super cute Brewer twins wearing their Baby Soccer Booties to their big brother's soccer game here: SOCCER! Thanks for posting pictures, I love it!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

Phew I've been busy lately! I haven't posted much since Christine's wedding, whoopsies. Well I tried the most delicious recipe the other day. It was so delicious that I made it again this weekend and have been distributing them amongst my friends. I loooove pumpkin and all things Fall/Autumn in general so I decided to get things started a bit early this year. The original recipe was for pumpkin chocolate chip bars from Bake at 350, but I also made pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with dark chocolate icing and spiced cream cheese icing. All were delicious but I think I would like just plain muffins next time, the recipe is a bit dense for cupcakes. Here are some pics of the different goodies:

Here is the recipe from Bake at 350:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins/Bars/Whatever Pan you have around

2c flour
1 1/2t cinnamon
3/4t ginger
1/2t allspice
1/8t cloves (you can also leave this out-I usually do)
1t baking soda
3/4t salt
1c unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4c sugar
1 egg
2t vanilla
1c pumpkin puree
12oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease/spray/line your pan. (This recipe will make 2 8x8 pans or 24 muffins)

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in pumpkin puree. It will look curdled, no worries.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into pan. Bake ~30min for bars ~18min for muffins. Cool completely in pan.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baby Hannah with her Soccer Booties

I love to see the stuff I make on the little nugget recipients. the soccer booties I made awhile back were for one of my teammate's daughter, Hannah. I asked them to take some pictures of her wearing them and they totally delivered in spades! Here are just a few pics of her cuteness:

Hopefully that adorable face helps me sell some more booties on Etsy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just a New Jersey Girl and a Montana Man

They’re goooing to the chapel and they’re goooonna get maaaaarrrrried… Christine and Ben are officially Mrs. and Mr. Kroll! The wedding was this past weekend (Labor Day) and couldn’t have been more fun. I was so happy to see everyone I knew and excited to meet those of you I didn’t know. On Friday us ladies went and got our nails and toes done at May’s Landing Nails. Jen Jayne was super sweet and brought over mimosas for us to enjoy while getting pretty. Then we had the rehearsal dinner that evening at JoAnn’s down the street from St. Vincent’s Catholic Church. I was happy to finally see some of the boys arriving in NJ.

Saturday was the big day! I was awakened at about 7am by excited squeals and chatter from all the bridesmaids getting their hair and makeup done in the Furgione house. I headed over to Lauren at Textures (thanks for the info Linds) and got my hair did. Once everything was set and ready I headed over to the church with the Jaynes and witnessed the ceremony. I did my Genesis reading (half miked) and managed not to trip on the bridal runner, phew! Christine looked so gorgeous in her dress and everything was beautiful.

After a little sword arching, those of us not in photos went back to the Furgione house for some mingling. I managed to be the only one not drinking who spilled on people, awesome. After mingling and some college football, we all headed to the cocktail hour/ reception at The Ram’s Head. I was so happy to see my college friends, Houston friends, and Navy boys! The reception was wonderful; Christine and her mom did an excellent job on the planning and organizing of this part especially.

After some dancing, the garter and bouquet toss, and cake, the reception was, sadly, over. The party, however, was just beginning. We shuttled/ limoed over to Atlantic City and kept things going all night (or at least 5am for me).

I can’t even describe how much fun it was to celebrate with Christine and Ben. All I can say is, I was up for nearly 24 hours and I still wish the day had lasted longer. Congratulations, Krolls, enjoy visiting the Mouse!