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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cupcake Recipes

By request, here are the recipes for the cupcakes shown in the previous post.

Fluffy Coconut Cupcakes

2 C self-rising flour, sifted
1/2 C unsweetened dried coconut
1 C superfine sugar
1 C buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp natural coconut extract
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted

Coconut frosting
2 1/4 C confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 C unsweetened dried coconut
1/4 C plus 1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp natural coconut extract
2 TBSP hot water
unsweetened dried coconut, lightly toasted to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine the flour, coconut, and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the combined buttermilk, eggs, coconut extract, and butter into the well and mix until combined.

Divide the mixture evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 12 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cake. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, combine the confectioners' sugar and coconut in a bowl. Add the butter, coconut extract, and enough hot water to make a spreadable frosting. Decorate each cake with a thick covering of frosting and sprinkle with toasted coconut. So yummy!

Beehive Cupcakes

3/4 C plus 1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 C soft brown sugar
3 eggs
1/3 C honey, warmed
2 1/4 C self-rising flour, sifted

3 egg whites
1 1/2 C sugar
2 tsp light corn syrup
pinch of cream of tarter
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
yellow food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 15 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the honey and flour until combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the marshmallow frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tarter, and 3 1/2 fluid ounces of water in a heat proof bowl. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Beat for 5 minutes with electric beaters, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla and beat with beaters for 4-5 minutes, or until stuff peaks form. Add the coloring, drop by drop, and beat until just combined.

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round nozzle, and pipe the frosting in circles around the cake to resemble a beehive.

Pecan and Orange Cupcakes *hubby's favorite!

1/2 C unsalted butter, softeneed
3/4 C superfine sugar
2 eggs
3/4 C ground pecans
3 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 C self-rising flour, sifted
1/2 C milk

Cinnamon frosting
1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 16 standard (or 24 mini) muffin cups with paper liners.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground pecans and orange zest, then use a metal spoon to gently fold in the flour alternately with the milk.

Divide the mixture evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 50-60 minutes (40 minutes for minis), or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the cinnamon frosting, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl with 1 1/2 TBSP of hot water. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water, and stir until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat. Decorate each cake with frosting.

*recipes taken from cupcakes by Christabel Martin

I know some of these sound like a lot of work, and they were, but all three are definitely worth a try. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Housewarming Cupcakes

My husband and I recently bought a house and along with that (other then LOTS of work) came a housewarming party. I decided to go with a dessert theme and make a few different kinds of cupcakes.

The biggest hit were the coconut cupcakes. They are best when made mini size because they are quite sweet.

The Beehive cupcakes were fun to make -

And fun to eat -

Pecan and Orange Cupcakes -

*recipes posted upon request!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine Fortune Cookies


1/2 C flour- If you have bread flour, use it.
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine. Place in a container and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Spoon 1 teaspoon batter onto a greased baking sheet; spread evenly to make about a 3" circle. (You can also use parchment paper and draw your circles so you know how big to make them.) Bake at 400° for 5-6 minutes or until the cookies are brown just around the edges and a little toward the centers. Remove from the oven. Let sit for a few seconds before removing from pan. Working quickly, loosen edges of cookies with a spatula, and turn over.

Place fortune along the center of 1 cookie. Fold cookie over so the edges meet; press edges together.

Gently pull the ends of the cookie down over the rim of a small bowl (or jar); hold for a few seconds or until set. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies.

I found these were hot to work with so if you have latex gloves to wear while folding over the cookie and placing it on a bowl, I would recommend it.

Once cookies are cooled (a minute or so), you can dip them in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles!

I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips for contrast-

with pink and red sprinkles for Valentine's Day-

I found it was easiest to spoon the chocolate over the cookie and then sprinkle the sprinkles on top (as opposed to dipping them in the sprinkles - too messy).

Packaging these yummy cookies might have been my favorite part. There were so many cute "take-out" boxes at Michael's to choose from.

I found the recipe for these over at Our Best Bites. Check them out for other great food ideas.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vintage Scarf

This past Christmas I received my new favorite "crafty" book from my sister-in-law Beth. It's called Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. She also wrote The Creative Family which I hope to be purchasing soon.

After pouring over this book several times I decided to make the doily scarf first for my lovely friend Jennifer, who had a birthday at the end of January.

This time, I only have photos of the finished product. Next time, I will document each step. My favorite blogs are those that post photos that show me what the product is supposed to look like along the way. It just helps.

Doily Scarf


Fabric 1: (1) 6.5" x 63" for the scarf front - I used wool

Fabric 2: (1) 6.5" x 63" piece of cotton for the scarf back - I used a stretchier material because I loved the look of the fabric (yes, I am an amateur sewer!) but I did find it was hard to keep it from puckering because it was so stretchy. I will try cotton next time.

Doilies: (4-6) no larger then 5" in diameter

Buttons: (4-6) of any size

Embroidery needle and embroidery floss

Working with the scarf front, place the doilies evenly across the length of scarf. Pin the doilies in place. Machine stitch the doily to the scarf piece by stitching 1/8” in from the edges of the doily, keeping the fabric taut and flat as you go. I found this to be much easier then I thought. Just keep turning the fabric as you sew around the doily and it’ll be done in no time.

Using embroidering floss, sew a button to the center of each doily, tying off the floss on the wrong side of the fabric.

Lay the scarf front flat, with the buttons and right side facing up. On top of this, lay the cotton back, right side down. Both right sides are now facing each other. Smooth the cotton piece over the wool. Use pins along sides every 4”-6” to hold the pieces together.

Beginning in the middle of one long side of the scarf, begin to stitch a seam. Continue around all four sides of the scarf, stopping 4” before you come to the original starting point and leaving an opening for turning the scarf right side out.

Trim all four corners, being careful to avoid cutting too close to the stitching. Turn the scarf right side out through the opening. Use a chopstick or pencil to gently push out the four corners until they are distinct points. Press. Stitch around the entire scarf, ¼” from the edge, closing the opening of the scarf.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let the Fun Begin!

After many weeks of planning, visualizing, and designing, I am finally able to go live with my blog!

I LOVE to bake and try new recipes, it is one of my favorite things to do. Crafting comes in a very close second. I have been making people thank you's, "just to say hello", and birthday cards for as long as I can remember. It has slowly evolved into many other paper crafts, quilting, knitting, and some crocheting and stained glass.

I am so excited to post and share my adventures with baking and crafting with you. I have quite a few blogs (almost ready) to post with past projects and baked goods, so make sure to watch for those.