Monday, March 28, 2011

cinnamon swirl cupcakes

Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1 stick butter
1 TB vanilla

1 TB high quality cinnamon (I like Saigon)

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except the cinnamon in a medium bowl for 30 sec on low, then on medium for 2 minutes. Put 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl and mix in the cinnamon.

Fill the cupcake liners with 1 TB batter. Layer 1/2 TB of the cinnamon batter in the middle of each cupcake liner, then layer another TB of the regular batter on top. Using a toothpick or a butter knife, swirl the batters together.

Bake for 17 min. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack. When completely cool, top with buttercream frosting.

Buttercream frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks of butter, at room temp
1 TB light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Sift (or whisk) the sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with a mixer on high until light yellow, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, drizzle in the corn syrup, vanilla, and the vanilla bean paste. Reduce the mixer to low and add half of the sugar and mix well. Add the other half and mix well. Using the mixer on low speed, blend in the cream. Return the mixer to high and whip until light and creamy (3 minutes).

I like to use a frosting gun to decorate the cupcakes, Its fast, easy, and looks so nice! You can also sprinkle some cinnamon on the top of the cupcakes for a little decoration.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

beef stew

(this photo really sucks, I should stick to stealing them.)

Beef Stew

5 russet potatoes
3 large carrots
4 TB butter
1 TB minced garlic
1 pkg beef stew seasoning
2 cups water
2 cups leftover roast, shredded*

Peel & chop vegetables. Place 2 of the chopped potatoes into a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer until they start to fall apart.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large soup pot. When it begins to bubble, add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots- saute for about 10 minutes or until golden. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.

Mash or puree the small pot of potatoes. Stir the seasoning into the water, and pour into the puree. Stir in the roast, and add to the large soup pot. Reduce heat to low- simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve in bread bowls or with bread.

After dinner Danny told me that this was the best beef stew he has ever eaten. I usually make it in the crock pot and I just use stew meat- but today I had leftover roast and didn't plan enough time ahead to dig out the crock pot-so I have learned my lesson and will make it like this from now on!

* I love making a large roast and then using the "leftovers" for this soup- (among other dishes) it makes such a delicious stew, and saves time!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the best potato cheese soup ever

The only thing I enjoy about the colder weather is making soup- we never seem to want it in the summer. I had this for lunch today after raking leaves out in the cold for an hour, and it really helped to warm me up!

This recipe could easily be doubled for a crowd.

(I stole this photo)**

Potato Cheese Soup

6 potatoes
4 TB butter
1 TB minced garlic
2 TB chicken stock base/bullion*
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups half & half
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
crumbled bacon (optional)

Peel & chop potatoes. Place half of the potatoes into a small pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer until they start to fall apart.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once bubbly, add the garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the larger potato chunks. Saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover with water and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.

Mash the smaller potatoes, leaving the water in the pot. Stir in chicken bullion, salt and pepper. Add mixture to larger pot. Set heat to low. Stir in the half & half. Slowly add the cheese and stir until melted. Simmer for 5- 10 minutes- add more salt & pepper if desired.

Garnish with bacon and more cheese. Serve with bread.

*could be substituted for vegetable stock bullion
**I never seem to take photos of the food I make, just the desserts.

Monday, July 12, 2010

homemade oreo's

Homemade Oreo Cookies

(and NO, I absolutely do not use Crisco in the filling! Blech!)


1 pkg Betty Crocker cake mix- devil's food, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate.
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together the cake mix, egg and water with beaters on medium until combined. (will be sticky) Portion out with a cookie scoop and roll in sugar. Bake for 17 minutes at 350. Let cool completely. Make filling.


1 -8 oz pkg cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 stick butter, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 TB heavy whipping cream

Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium until smooth. Add the sugar in two additions, mixing well. Add the vanilla. Beat in the heavy cream, and whip on high until light and fluffy. (try not to eat it all. It's so hard, I know.)

Line up half the cookies on the counter upside down, and using cookie scoop, portion out filling onto each overturned cookie. Take the other half of the cookies and sandwich on top of the filled cookies. Store in the fridge. They taste best slightly chilled, in my opinion.

Makes about a dozen, which is perfect for the two of us to share.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

pb&j shortbread cookie bars

I found this recipe blog a few weeks ago, and I really like her style!

I made these tonight for dessert, and they were heavenly! Soooooo good!

Original post here.

PB&J Shortbread Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup jam of your choice
1 cup powdered sugar
4 TB heavy whip
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350. Combine butter and sugars mix on low until creamy. Slowly add the flour and the salt, mix until just combined. Place dough in a buttered 8x8 pan, gently pat down. Melt the peanut butter and the jam in the microwave for about 25 sec. Pour peanut butter over dough, spread out with a spatula. Swirl jam over the peanut butter. Using a butter knife, swirl the 2 together. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.

Combine the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla and beat on low until combined. Whip on high for a minute. Drizzle over cooled bars.

Thanks Picky Palate!

Monday, May 31, 2010

german chocolate cookies

German Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 TB vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream sugars and butter on low until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Beat in the vanilla. Add the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool. Make the topping.
Makes almost 3 dozen small cookies.

Coconut Topping

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (1 12oz can)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup butter
1 TB vanilla
3 cups coconut
(1 cup chopped pecans) optional

Mix milk, sugar, eggs, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook for 2 minutes. Take off of heat, stir in vanilla and coconut. Let cool.

(this is a full recipe- you will only use half. I like to freeze the leftovers for another batch later on. I do it so that I don't waste half a can of evaporated milk. Feel free to half it!)

Chocolate Frosting *this recipe has been halved*

1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
one half of 1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Beat cocoa and melted butter on low. Alternately add the sugar and the milk, mixing well after each addition, ending with the milk. Beat in the vanilla.
(from the Hershey's cocoa package)

Assemble the cookies:

Put a dollop of the topping on each cookie. Drizzle the chocolate frosting on top of the coconut. Store in the fridge, but they taste best at room temperature. Keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

Monday, May 24, 2010

lemon coconut cookies

Lemon Coconut Cookies

1 pkg lemon cake mix (betty crocker is the best)
1 egg
1/3 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 350. Combine all in a medium bowl and beat on medium high until fluffy. Using a cookie scoop, portion out onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until light brown on the bottom. Let cool. Make filling.

Coconut Cream Cheese Filling

2 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 cup butter, at room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
1 TB vanilla
3 TB heavy whipping cream
2 cups coconut

Fill cookies:

place about 2 TB of filling on the bottom of a cookie- sandwich with another. Keep in the fridge, but they are best eaten at room temperature.