Friday, August 26, 2011

Rolo Cupcakes

These turned out delicious. 
The cupcakes were perfect. 
The frosting was perfect. 
The little caramel center in the cupcakes was perfect. 
I'm making them for every special occasion for the rest of my life.
Rolo Cupcakes
  • 1 18.25 ounce box of Devil's Food Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines)
  • 1 5.9 ounce box of Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 24 frozen Rolos (freeze for at least 2 hours)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer combine all the ingredients. Beat together until smooth and well-combined, about two minutes on medium-speed. OR combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand-mixer.
  3. Divide the batter evenly amongst the liners- approximately 3 tablespoons per cup.
  4. Gently push a frozen Rolo into the center of the batter and smooth the surface to cover the candy with batter.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch.
  6. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. The middle of the cupcakes might sink- that's okay.
Caramel Buttercream
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 cup caramel syrup
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream the butter in a stand-mixer, or with an electric hand-mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt, and caramel syrup and combine well.
  2. Begin adding in the sugar; mix well after each addition.Add more sugar if the frosting is too creamy.Once all the sugar has been added and thoroughly mixed, frost the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with extra Rolos.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Take them out of the fridge and bring to room temperature one hour before serving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Favorite..

For recipe ideas.

For a bad hair day.


For a bad day.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

For a laugh.
Making Franc wear clothes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

In terms of my home/personal-life, I feel accomplished. I know my way around the kitchen, my house is always (relatively) clean, and I've managed to find, fall in love with, and have a great life with the best person I've ever known. Do you understand what that means? That means after years of dating weirdos and nose-pickers, I've managed to seriously win the dating jackpot. Cha-Ching $$ :) I have a great relationship. Possibly the best relationship in the entire world! But that subjective.
2009
August 13th is our two-year anniversary. Two Years! That is 730 days. 17,520 hours.  1,051,200 minutes. OVER A MILLION MINUTES!  Can you believe Michael and I have already been together for two years? Or.. Can you believe Michael and I have only been together for two years? Some days it feels like time is flying by. Sometimes I can barely remember what life was like before him, and I'm okay with that because the sun shines a little bit brighter with someone like him in my life. Happy Anniversary, lovah!
2011
Oh, and what does cheesecake have to with any of this? It's his favorite dessert.


White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreos)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons raspberry sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap foil around the bottom of a 9" springform pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, tablespoon of sugar and butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan.
  3. In a double-boiler, melt the white chocolate with the half and half, stirring occasionally until smooth. Alternatively, microwave in 30 second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the chocolate and half and half is smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and light. Add 1/2 cup sugar, beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in vanilla and the melted white chocolate. 
  5. Pour half of the batter into the pan, then spoon three tablespoon of raspberry sauce over the batter.
  6. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, and spoon the remaining raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl the jam with a knife to create a marbled-effect.
  7. Place the pan on a jelly-roll pan, fill the pan with some water to create a water bath. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until filling it set (it should still be jiggly in the center). Then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour. 
  8. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight) before removing from the pan. 
  9. Garnish with extra raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries, white chocolate curls, or whipped cream before serving.  
Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. 
  2. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick, 
  3. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good 'ol Apple Pie

Apple Pie
  • 1 recipe pastry for 9" double crust pie (Pillsbury Pie Crust)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 8 granny smith apples
  1. Place one crust into the bottom of a 9" pie pan. Place in freezer.
  2. Peel, core, and slice all the apples. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour; add water, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Mound the apples over the frozen pie crust. Cover the apple with a lattice crust. Slowly (and carefully!) pour the butter/sugar mixture over the pie, allowing it to drip into the holes between the lattice. Be sure to pour slowly so there is no overflow. Glaze the top of the pie with the last tablespoon of the butter/sugar mixture.
  6. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Bake on a cookie sheet to prevent any messes in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, cover the edges of the pie with tin foil to prevent over-browning, and continue baking for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours.

Crab Ceviche

Shrimp ceviche makes me a little squeamish. What!? Raw shrimp!? What!? It cooks in lime juice!? What!? That doesn't sound legit! 
But crab ceviche... totally my thing. Whenever we have a barbecue I request (i.e: demand) that Ronnie & Tiffany bring a giant bowl. I had a serious craving this morning and decided today was the day that I would make it for myself.
Meet my breakfast and lunch.
Crab Ceviche
  • 1 (8-ounce) package imitation crab meat, flaked
  • 2 large tomatoes (or 3-4 small), chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (seed the jalapeno if you want a mild ceviche)
  • 2-3 limes, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • little shake of garlic powder
  • couple dashes of Frank's Red Hot*
Throw everything in a glass or porcelain bowl (preferably not metal or plastic). Chill for one hour. Eat with corn tortilla chips, wheat thins, or lavosh. 

*You can use a couple teaspoons of olive oil instead of Frank's if you prefer the way ceviche tastes without it. It's delicious either way.

Brownies


Our two year anniversary is coming up. Can you believe it? Two years! That's 8% of my life! And when you put two years into perspective in percentages.. it doesn't seem very significant.. oops.
But two years! In those two years, I've probably baked 2 million cookies, a thousand cupcakes, and 40 quick-breads. But do you know how many batches of homemade brownies I've baked in that time? Um, none. Until now.
Dense, fudgy, fab. I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!

Brownies
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cake flour*, sifted
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8" square baking dish, preferably glass.
  2. Combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds,stir, then microwave an additional 15 seconds, stir until completely melted.
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until just blended.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes (longer if using a metal pan). Do not overbake. 
  5. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
* Do you ever have cake flour on hand..? I don't.
1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour minus two tablespoons of the flour, plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
So for 3/4 cup cake flour called for in this recipe, measure out 3/4 cup of all purpose flour, then take out 1 1/2 tablespoons of it, and replace that with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch.