Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Orange Marmalade Ricotta Cupcakes

I’ve been wanting to try these cupcakes for a while, but wasn’t sure if they were a summer cupcake or a winter one.  The fresh orange ingredients made them seem rather summery, but the ricotta made them seem a bit wintery.  In the end, I think the combination makes a great fall cupcake.  The ricotta turns them into little pound cakes, but orange ingredients give them a fresh, light taste.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup orange juice
⅔ cup ricotta cheese
⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons orange marmalade, divided
⅓ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs

Marmalade Buttercream:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice

orange zest for garnish, if desired

Directions:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

Place the cake mix, orange juice, ricotta, ⅓ cup marmalade, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.  Spoon or scoop batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it almost full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.

Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 15 to 20 min­utes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.

Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of marmalade in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir until it thins out, 3 to 4 minutes.  Alternatively, microwave maramalade in 10-second increments until it thins out.  Brush it over the tops of the warm cupcakes.  Lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips.  Place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Place the butter and orange marmalade in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 30 seconds.  Add 2 cups of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and beat on low until the mixture is combined, about 30 seconds.  then increase the mixer speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute longer.  Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and garnish with orange zest, if desired. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Source: Cupcakes: from the Cake Mix Doctor.

Advertisements

White Russian Cupcakes

This cupcake brings back such a nice memory of when BK and I were dating.  On one of our first nights out, we went to a hotel bar and he downed white russian after white russian after white russian.  It secretly cracked me up…he is such a guy’s guy, and there he was, downing a sweet creamy drink like it was the best thing he’d ever tasted! It made me smile then, and still.  Later on, he discovered that Pierogi Mom also loves white russians, and they have shared a many.

This cupcake is extremely light and delicious, both in texture and because of the simple whipped cream topping.  I happened to have some coffee flavored sugar a friend made for us and it added a nice crunch when sprinkled on top, but regular or sanding sugar would likely be nice as well.  Finally, you might be tempted to skip the brush of Kahlua on the tops after baking, but don’t…it adds a nice concentrated flavor burst.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup whole milk
4 large eggs
¼ cup vodka
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
finishing, sanding, or regular sugar, and/or coffee bean for garnish, if desired.

Kahlua Whipped Cream:
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Kahlua

Directions:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake cups with paper liners.  Set the pans aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, milk, eggs, vodka, ¼ cup Kahlua, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.  Spoon or scoop ⅓ cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full.  (You will get between 22 and 26 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.)  Place the pans in the oven.  Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 17 to 20 min­utes.

Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.  Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining 2 tablespoons Kahlua.  Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners.  Lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips.  Place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.  Place a large, clean mixing bowl and electric mixer beaters in the freezer to chill for 1 minute.  Remove the bowl and beaters from the freezer.  Pour the cream into the bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the cream has thickened.  Stop the machine, and add the sugar and Kahlua.  Beat the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Frost cooled cupcakes with whipped cream.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Source: Cupcakes: from the Cake Mix Doctor.

Tangy Lime Delicious

Hi, my name is the little kimchi pierogi and I’m a key lime pie lover.

  • I grew up in Florida and we had a key lime tree in our backyard.  I mean, I never really stood a chance.
  • One summer day long ago, Pierogi Mom and I baked key lime pies from each of her three different recipes.  We had a taste test, picked our favorite, and threw out the other recipes.  They are forever dead to us.  (And yes, it was a glorious day.)
  • I convinced BK we needed key lime pie at both our rehearsal dinner AND our wedding.

So now you understand.

Before I thoroughly confuse you, this recipe is NOT for key lime pie.   But the relationship to it is what caught my eye.  I’m never motivated to make an entire rich, sweet pie for just BK and I.  It’s a lot of work that will only lead to us eating too much and getting sick.  That is the beauty of this recipe though: it’s a quick fix that yields a little ramekin of lime pudding that is similar to key lime pie filling.

I was on high alert for these to be too sweet…such is the downfall of many a similar dessert.  But with every bite, I decided that it was firmly in the “just right” camp.  If you are someone that neeeeeeeeeeds that meringue or whipped cream on top of your key lime pie though, I would suggest adding some whipped cream on top of these after cooling.  You could also try cutting down on the sugar a bit or adding a pinch of salt.

One caution: Don’t be like me and decide (without checking) that your all-purpose flour is self-rising.  It is not.  Take 10 seconds, check what kind of flour you have, and make the substitution if necessary.  It will be a well-used 10 seconds of your life.  Really.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
shortening for greasing baking cups
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest (from 2 limes)
⅓ cup self-rising flour*
⅔ cup low-fat milk
½ cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes or a bottle)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease four 1-cup ramekins (or ovenproof coffee cups) with a little shortening.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites; beat the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on medium-high speed (or use a whisk) until soft peaks form.

Combine the 2 tablespoons of butter, the sugar, egg yolks and lime zest in a separate mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes, until creamy and light.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the flour, milk and lime juice into the sugar-egg yolk mixture until well combined. Gently fold in about a third of the beaten egg whites to lighten the mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Divide the batter among the ramekins; bake for 25 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and the pudding has just set. Serve warm.

*Can substitue ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ⅙ teaspoon salt, mixed well.

Slightly adapted from “Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking for Kids and With Kids,” by Lucy Broadhurst, via The Washington Post.

Peaches and Cream Bars

The other day, BK came home from a stop at his parents’ with a huge bag of beautiful, ripe peaches.  They had done the pick-your-own thing at a nearby farm and ended up with about 70 million pounds of peaches that the two of them couldn’t finish.  Ding!  These peaches and cream bars were a perfect thing to make.  They are cobbler-like and have an obscene amount of butter.  In other words, they are delicious!  With the last days of summer approaching, they are a perfect Labor Day treat to take advantage of the soon-to-be-gone produce.

Ingredients:

Crust and Topping:
3 cups all purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 pounds peaches, pitted and sliced thin

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add in a few at a time.  Mix until the butter is evenly combined and the mixture appears crumbly.  (I go old school and use a fork, but a pastry cutter works great also.)

Take out 1½ cups of the mixture and set aside.  Press the remaining mixture into the prepared pan.  Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Add in the sour cream, flour and salt.  Fold in the sliced peaches.  Pour over the cooked crust.  Take the remaining 1½ cups of the dry mixture and sprinkle over the top of the peaches.  Bake until the top is lightly browned and the filling is set, 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen via Taste and Tell.

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I obviously have a thing for fruity summer drinks, and really, really enjoyed the strawberry lemonade I made earlier this summer.  I also have a thing for cupcakes (who doesn’t?).  They are tiny, delicious, easy to make and come in tons of different flavors.   This recipe combines two of my favorite things and results in something that is absolute fabulousity!  I made them for Lil Sis and she is begging me for more.  The fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and lemon curd give them a huge taste.  And, I swear that even though they are cupcakes and not a cold beverage, the flavors cooled me off on a hot summer day.

I know there are those that look down on using boxed cake mix.  So I’m just going to say this: yes, scratch is usually better.  But mix is fast and easy and if you use good ingredients and homemade icing, it will taste almost as great.  Plus, sometimes you just need a cupcake in a bad, bad way and don’t have time to measure lots of stuff very carefully.

Ingredients:

For cupcakes:
1 package white cake mix
1 (3 ounces) package strawberry jello
1 cup mashed fresh strawberries (1 ½ cups whole=1 cup mashed)
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
4 eggs

For lemon-cream cheese frosting:
½ cup crisco
½ cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons lemon curd
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
1 tablespoon milk, if needed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, jello mix, mashed strawberries, oil, milk, and eggs.  Beat on low speed until just blended, about 1 minute.   Scrape bowl and beat 2 minutes more on medium speed. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  Pour batter into cupcake liners — fill almost to top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back lightly when touched.  Cool completely.

Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and combine.  Sift together powdered sugar and salt and slowly add to creamed mixture.  Add lemon juice, lemon curd, and coloring and mix well.  If the frosting is too stiff, add milk.

Frost your cooled cupcakes and garnish however you please.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Adapted from Cupboard to Cupboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiked Italian Ices

Are they a drink?  Are they a dessert?  I think they are probably both.  But one thing these grown-up flavored italian ices definitely are is delicious!  I made them for a BBQ we had and they were a great treat at the end of the night.  Cold and light, sweet and fruity, but with a kick.  They are super, super easy to make, and that plus the fact that they aren’t that big means you can make and everyone can try a couple different flavors.  They are completely portable and you can easily halve, double, etc., the recipe.

The ices keep well in the freezer, but I’d recommend covering them as the directions specify, otherwise they start to evaporate.  I also made a few that were virgin for the expectant mothers and they were delish as well.  Only difference is that they freeze a bit harder, but in the hot summer sun, no one minded!  Finally, I cut the sugar way down from the original recipe…I’d recommend starting with the amount below and tasting before you add more.

Mojito Italian Ices

Ingredients:
½ tablespoon finely grated lime zest, plus 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 9 to 10 limes)
1 ½ cups water
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup chopped fresh mint, plus extra mint for garnish
¼ cup light rum

Directions:
Puree lime zest and juice, water, sugar, and mint in a blender. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Stir in rum. Divide among twelve 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with mint sprigs.  Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.

Strawberry Daiquiri Italian Ices

Ingredients:
1 pound (4 cups) strawberries, rinsed and hulled, plus extra for garnish
⅔ cup light rum
½ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Pinch of coarse salt

Directions:
Puree strawberries, rum, water, sugar, lime juice and salt in a blender until smooth. Divide among fourteen 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with strawberries.  Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.

Margarita Italian Ices

Ingredients:
⅔ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 9 to 10 limes), plus extra lime wedges for garnish
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup tequila
¼ cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur

Directions:
Heat sugar, water, and juices in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Let cool.  Stir together citrus syrup, tequila and Cointreau in a pitcher. Divide among twelve 3-ounce paper cups. Freeze on a rimmed baking sheet for at least 5 hours. Garnish with lime wedges.  Ices can be frozen, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2011.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Chantilly Cream

There is really not a lot to say about strawberry shortcakes.  They are delicious.  They are simple.  They are a perfect summertime dessert.

I’ve tried many a recipe and this is probably the best.  The biscuit is very simple to make and is perfectly balanced between a traditional biscuit and a dessert biscuit with just a hint of sugar.  But really, who am I kidding?  The recipe had me when I saw there was heavy cream in the shortcake.  I’ve never seen that before and its wonderful.  So, go find yourself some strawberries and make yourself this dessert that is a true celebration of summer.

You can make the shortcakes a day in advance, simply wrap them in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.  The Chantilly Cream can also be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated, but it will lose some of its thickness the longer it sits.  Lightly whisk before serving to restore to original consistency.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
grated peel of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons  cold unsalted butter
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the shortcakes, combine the flour, salt, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and the lemon peel in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and add it to the dry ingredients.  Using a wire pastry blender or the paddle attachment to an electric mixer, or two knives or a fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is pea sized.  Add 1 cup of the heavy cream and stir until the dough comes together.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Pat or roll it out to 1 1/2 inches thick.  Cut the dough, using a cutter or round glass,  into 2 ½ inch circles.  (The original recipe is for 8 servings, but I like my biscuits a bit taller, so I usually get 6 out of this.)  Place the dough circles on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.  Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon heaving cream and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.  Bake the shortcakes until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

To make the Chantilly Cream, whisk or beat 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl until soft peaks form. The cream should hold its shape but still be satiny in appearance.

To serve the shortcakes, heat them in a preheated 300 degrees oven for 10 minutes if they are no longer warm.  While the shortcakes are baking or heating, rinse, hull and slice the strawberries.  If they are not naturally sweet enough, add some of remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired sweetness is reached.

Cut the shortcakes in half horizontally.  Place the bottom of a shortcake on a dessert plate  and spoon some fruit and then some Chantilly Cream on top.  Place the second shortcake half over the cream and serve immediately.

Adapted from A Passion for Desserts.

%d bloggers like this: