Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So if making the red velvet cuppycakes weren't deadly enough...I decided this afternoon I wanted to try the ever so raved about HI HAT CUPCAKES. These were featured on Martha Stewart on cupcake week, and so I used the recipe from her website, which I believe is from the book, "Cupcakes".

I made about a dozen regular sized cupcakes, and made minis with the rest of the batter...if I only knew then what I know now, I would have only made you'll read why later.

The cupcakes turned out great.

It was on to the icing. This requires about 15 minutes total of electric mixer strength in the arms...OUCH! My arms are still burning. PLUS...I had my 16 pound baby in the other arm half the time trying to do this while holding her...she was a bit fussy! Anyways, I think the icing turned out ok....not sure if maybe it should have been a little stiffer, since I ran into problems later on.

I went ahead and frosted the minis, and then the regular cupcakes....aren't they cute?! They reminded me of little Dairy Queen ice cream cones!

Then it was off to the fridge while i melted the chocolate dipping sauce.

I also think the chocolate could have been a little thinner, but didn't want to add anymore oil as these little puppies were going to be packed full of enough fat and calories...

After letting the chocolate cool for 15 minutes, I grabbed a mini that had been setting in the fridge all this time, and dunked it in the chocolate. Out came an oozing dripping glob of marshmallow-y goop falling off the cupcake and almost back into the bowl of chocolate. Hmmm? So it was into the freezer with the cupcakes.....

The freezer helped a little...but the icing swirls still softened up when I dunked them into the chocolate sauce....too bad, because the swirls made for a cute cupcake! So the tops look like one big mound, instead of a tall Dairy Queen swirl mountain!

So, even though I was not completely satisfied with the final look of the cupcakes, I was happy that I was atleast able to get them covered in chocolate!

And as for the taste...holy cow! SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR! I split a big cupcake in half and could hardly get one half was so sweet. DELICIOUS...but very sugary and sweet! That is why I wish I would have done ONLY minis. Now I know!

We have playgroup tomorrow, so I'll be taking a plate of minis to share with the girls..and all the big ones and what ever is left of the guessed it...are going to the hangar with my husband for the marines!

I think next time maybe I'll try these out with just plain old buttercream icing that I use on all my regular cupcakes. Then that way they won't be so sweet. And, I think they would freeze harder so that i could get a prettier chocolate coating! But I won't be making these again for a while. The sugar from just eating half of one of these is going to keep me up for days!!!

Red Velvet Cuppycakes

I made some red velvet cuppycakes from scratch yesterday. I have been wanting to make them for a while now....and since my friend Alaina and her husband were coming back in town, I thought I'd make some up for them!

I used Paula Deen's recipe from food network for my first go round.

They were really yummy...and even though I only had 1 ounce of red food coloring when it called for 2 ounces, it still tasted fabulous...maybe they weren't as RED as they shoudl have been, in fact they were almost a deep hot pink instead. But if that's the only downfall to this be it! I think these cuppycakes rocked! They rocked SO MUCH, that i had to send them to work with my husband today so that I wouldn't eat them all up!
I did send some home with Alaina when she stopped by last night on her way home from the airport to pick up her little Chaquita...who I picked up from the airport earlier since she came in on an earlier flight! My kids were so excited she was staying at out house for a few hours. They love her to death.
Here she is resting on the cushion of our couch... poor little thing was jetlagged! Ha Ha!

Monday, April 28, 2008

TWD #2 Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

For my second week with Tuesdays with Dorie, the recipe was Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake chosen by Caitlin of

I have to admit that when I first saw the recipe for this week, I turned up my sure didn't appeal to me at all. So I wasn't planning on participating. My husband had just gotten home Thursday, and we were busy having family time...but Monday night I had to run to the store to get milk, and decided that if I could find figs, I'd give it a try. Sure enough, there were the figs, so I grabbed the ricotta cheese and went home.

I have never bought or even eaten figs before so this was me taking a leap of faith....trying something new!

I didn't have any fluted pans, so I just used a 10 inch springform pan.

When the cake was in the oven it really smelled delicious, much to my surprise! Even though I had read all the comments about it being too sweet and some people cutting out some sugar, I went ahead and followed the recipe..minus the butter on top. I have a sweet tooth, and decided that I'd decide if it were too sweet.

The texture threw me for a loop when I inserted the knife to check for doneness. It was more spongey than I was expecting. It probably isn't the most attractive cake due to using the springform pan, but I was happy it even turned out decent!

I wasn't even sure where to begin on decorating I just sprinkled some powdered sugar on it and tossed a few figs on top for a 'garnish' and called it good. I added a dollop of whip cream on my first piece of polenta and ricotta cake. It tasted to me like a sweet cornbread. I didn't care for the figs, but liked how the Lite Whip Cream balanced out all the sweet flavors. My husband even had a bite and gave it a thumbs up. He was sleeping on the couch with our son when I woke him to try it, so I don't know if he was too tired to really give me an honost answer, or if he just said "Mmmm" so that I would leave him alone so he could go back to sleep.

Overall, I was amazed at the end result. I honostly will probably NOT make this again, but I'm proud of myself for trying it out!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Little Mermaid Cupcake Cake

Here is a Little Mermaid cupcake cake I made for a gal I know on base. Her daughter was having a pool party so what easier way to have cake then have a cupcake cake! No plates, no knives, no forks...just grab one and go!
I used a plastic Ariel cake topper and just piped on her mermaid tail? (is that what it's called!?)
I was pretty happy with how it turned out...I was sort of dreading having to freehand Ariel, but was so excited when I found I had the topper.
The cupcake cake is made up of 24 marble cake cupcakes and buttercream icing.
Happy Birthday Eilish!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This week was my very first week joining Tuesday's With Dorie! I was so excited when I first read about this group! I ordered my book and have been stalking the postman for it's arrival! So when I got the recipe, I wanted to make it right away!

So, you might be wondering why the title includes the words "WRINKLE FREE"...well, that would be because I left out the raisins. I'm not a big fan. At least not incorporated in my food. I'll eat raisins plain, but not in my breads, or cake! So there you have it.

Shredding the carrots (organic), I think, was the most time consuming part of the whole recipe, but fun, nonetheless. My son checked in on me from time to time to see if there was anything he could do to help.... but it always seemed like there was a more interesting part in THE BEE MOVIE that he was watching, so he never stuck around for long! He just likes to dump and stir things anyways.

So. I knew i didn't want to make a big 9 inch I pulled out my 6 inch pans instead. Then I prepped my cupcake pan for the leftovers. (I made 9 cupcakes after filling 2-6 inch pans)
I watched the batter like a hawk and noticed that the middles were sinking as it got close to the end....but I just figured I would cover up the sink hole with some icing!

Which brings me to the next part...the icing. I added a full 4 cups of powdered sugar and still thought the icing was fairly thin. But I didn't want to add any more sugar, so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes before I put it on the cake.

I slathered on a layer of icing between the two 6 inch cakes..with a spinkled layer of coconut for some added flair! Then I iced the entire cake with the rest of the icing, which ended up being the perfect amount after swirling some on my 9 cupcakes. I had big dreams of decorating the cake and making it pretty, but ran out of umph, and mommy time, so i just threw on some coconut flakes and called it good. My kids were ready for some attention, and I was burnt out.

My husband has been gone for two months doing some military training, so I am freezing the cake and we'll cut into it when he gets home this week! He loves him some carrot cake, so I'm anxious to see what he thinks! He will be the true judge!

I hope to have more creativity with next week's recipe! This was so much fun!

Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings


For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins

I attempted another gluten free recipe today. I figured that since I had accomplished a cookie recipe, I should try something different. So...I went for muffins. I got this recipe off a blog on here. I really need to start giving credit here but when i look for recipes online, I usually copy and paste them onto a Word document for later reference, and I don't always remember where they came from!

I digress...

So I am very happy with this recipe, although, I was not able to find all the different types of flour it called for, and so I just substituted gluten free all purpose flour for whatever I didn't have.


3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)
No need for a mixer with this recipe.

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2 Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso and vanilla.
3 Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
4 Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

5 Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gluten Free Experiment

Here is the result of my first gluten free recipe experiment....ok, so it's actually my second attempt, but my first recipe failed miserably and was not worth taking a picture of.

I have to admit that for the few ingredients that this little cookie contains, they actually taste pretty darn good! Yay me!

I have more recipes I am dying to try, but since it's late and I should really be taking advantage of this time by cleaning my house, doing my dishes, or even better yet, SLEEPING, I should hold off 'til tomorrow. And I think I'll go for some sleep. Cleaning can wait!


·2 cups peanut butter
·2 cups white sugar
·4 eggs, beaten
·2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
·1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheet.

2. Combine peanut butter, eggs, and sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon dough by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 5 to 10 minutes before removing.

My Little Baby Pineapple!

So this really doesn't have anything to do with baking, but I wanted to share it on here.

It's been approximately 18 months since I brought home my "mommy" pineapple from the commissary and ate it.....lopped off the top, let it sit in water a few days before planting it in a pot....and then later planting it outside our house.

I noticed a week or two ago it was starting to sprout a baby!!!! So the other day I saw that it was growing above the plant and thought it was so cute I had to take some pics of it!!!! In a few more weeks I will be able to enjoy this yummy juicy little pineapple! Maybe, just maybe, I can find a great recipe with pineapple in it and take it to the next level!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

Ok, so I tried Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes. I made a quick partial batch today and they turned out pretty good! The icing is really rich and creamy...but it was a little softer than I would have liked when I iced the cuppiecakes so it smooshed down a little and didn't have a nice crisp edge on the I being too critical? I should have chilled it a little first! But still super delicious!

I've got a cookie recipe I might try soon. I've got a busy week coming up and some company, so we'll see what all I get done!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cupcakes Everywhere!!!

Today was a fun baking day! My daughter and I were in the kitchen all afternoon, fighting over the oven time! She picked out a cookie recipe to try on her own, and I pulled out a stack of cupcake recipes I've been wanting to try....and, since I was able to make a run to the commissary this afternoon, I finally had all the ingredients to make them!

I started with CHOCOLATE CHERRY DR. PEPPER cupcakes. I got them off a discussion forum. And, since my husband LOVES Dr. Pepper, I thought I'd give them a try. (Even though he won't be home for a few more weeks!)

I even made little minis! Aren't they cute!? My daughter put on the little maraschino cherries for me! Oh, and my son put one on as well! My big helpers! These were really yummy! My favorite part was the meringue-like icing and the cherry on top!
Here is the recipe:

2 ¼ cups of Dr. Pepper
2 cups of sugar
2 ½ cups of cake flour
2 eggs
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
½ cup of maraschino cherry syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
pinch of salt
1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
¼ cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325ยบ. In a medium size sauce pan bring Dr. Pepper & cherry syrup to a boil. Place chocolate and butter into a bowl and pour hot Dr. Pepper over, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk mixture till smooth. Stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sour cream. Add flour in 2 parts alternating with the eggs and whisk till smooth. The mixture will be runny… but tasty. Fill cupcakes cups and bake approximately 15-20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean
7 Minute Cherry Frosting:
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup of maraschino cherry syrup (you may need more)
2lbs confectioners sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Throw everything into a Pyrex bowl ….. except don’t use all of the cherry syrup here. Start with ½ and beat with a hand held electric mixer for 1 minute . Place bowl over a pot of boiling water (be sure not to let the water touch the bowl… just the steam) and beat on high for 7 minutes adding more cherry syrup as needed to obtain desired consistency. Be sure as you are beating that you are also scraping down the sides of the bowl. DO NOT let the mixture set over the bowl as your frosting will soon turn into a large meringue cookie. See this couldn’t be easier! Oh yeah, don’t forget to top your cupcakes with a cherry!
**I halfed the recipe and it made 12 regular cupcakes & 24 minis!
I also frosted up a leftover KING SIZE Cupcake to resemble an ice cream cone...
Oh but that's not all, oh no, that's not all....

I continued on with my cupcake madness and tried out Billy's Chocolate Cupcakes that I saw on a blog around here somewhere....
These were pretty good. REALLY chocolate-y!
I still want to try out BillyReece's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes, but not sure if I'll make it to those yet tonight, or if they'll have to wait until another day...

But I'll have to say I think today was a pretty successful baking day...I think I'll be popping in at some friends houses tomorrow to get rid of them all now.....otherwise my baby fat won't be coming off as quickly as I'd like!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Girlie Cuppiecakes

I made some cuppiecakes for a friend of mine. Her two daughters have close birthdays, so she is having a double party and asked me to make these. I also got to try out my King Size Cupcake pan and I love them! They are huge, so I made each birthday girl a special "King Size" treat!

Below are the King sized cupcakes. I made pink & purple fondant number picks to put in them...

This picture of the final product turned up a bit blurry, but I'll try to snag a pic of them at the party!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cinnamon Chocolate Scones (minus the chocolate)

I found a recipe in one of my recipe books for these yummy cinnamon chocolate scones....only I forgot to add the chocolate chips in at the end. I KNOW! How could I have possibly forgotten to add the most important ingredient? I'm blaming my mommy brain. I'm sure I must have gotten distracted during the mixing process. Anyways, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

My 3 year old son even helped out! He loves to use my cookies cutters, so he was my scone maker. He did an excellent job!

They turned out very puffy and biscuit looking, but they taste amazing! I might even drizzle some chocolate over them, or do a half dip, since I didn't get that in before the baking process!

Here is the recipe:

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients minus chocolate chips. Cut in butter. Blend until course and grainy. Add milk. Mix until almost combined. Fold in chocolate chips (don't forget now). Do not overmix.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the Dough 10 times to bring it together and smooth it out. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a one-inch thickness. Cut into desired shape, and place on ungreased sheet pan. Knead the scraps together just until combined, then roll out again.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with honey and jam.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

German Chocolate Oat Chip Cookies

I had this cookie recipe saved on my desktop for a while and wanted to try it out. I found it online and people were just RAVING about it. So I gave it a try.

It's a quick dump and stir recipe that would be perfect for a last minute cookie fix, but I didn't think it was all that great! Don't get me wrong....the cookies were good, but I guess I just had higher expectations from the reviews:

1 box german chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup oats
Mix together and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
I have some scratch cupcake recipes I'm dying to try out but that will require a quick trip to the commissary, so those will have to wait for another day...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I'll Dip Anything in chocolate...well, almost anything!

So last night and this morning, I was playing around in the kitchen with a few fun ideas. I was melting chocolate left and right! I dug out some wooden skewers I had laying around and impailed some marshmallows on them, and then, of course, brought on the chocolate!!!
While I was waiting for the chocolate to melt down, however, i whipped up a batch of rice krispie treats so that I could continue my chocolate dipping experiment in a part two session in the morning, after they had set overnight.

So, when the kids were settled and playing together after breakfast, I created some fun stuff with the rice krispie treats! I even brought out the Marine Corps mold and was elated when I saw it would lay perfectly on a RK treat cut out with one of my round cookie cutters! I had way to much fun with this!
Thankfully, a friend of mine up the street called me and invited me over for lunch. Although the lunch date didn't work out, I told her I'd stop by in the afternoon with some goodies! I brought a plateful of marshmallows & rice krispie treats for her and the family! She mentioned I could bring over goodies ANYTIME!

Boy, is she going to regret telling me that! Hmmmm, what can I make tonight???????

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chocolate Dipped Oreos

So I made some of the chocolate dipped oreos this morning with my new mold! I did the baby feet mold. So cute! I can't wait to do these for a baby shower! They are really big...and a lot of chocolate, but oh so good!
I have another mold with hearts on the top instead of feet. I think those will be fun for Valentine's Day!