Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Spice Macarons with Caramel, Sea Salt, and Choclate Ganache

It has been awhile, I know! I actually took quite a break from baking during the getting ready for the wedding, and the post-wedding, then got back into it. I took lots of pictures on my phone to update this blog...and then didn't back them up and my phone broke! Ooops! So we jump back in, with a NON-CUPCAKE recipe. Crazy, I know!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Macarons with Caramel, Sea Salt, and Choclate Ganache


100 grams egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
It really pays to measure exactly!
35 grams granulated sugar
200 grams sifted powdered sugar (I didn't sift, it seemed to be okay)
120 grams sifted almond meal (Again, I didn't sift!)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Caramel (I melted down some Werther's caramels, but you can make your own if you're ambitious!)
This was all I could find at WalMart!

Dark Chocolate Ganache (Heat 3 oz heavy whipping cream until just boiling, pour over 4 oz of chopped dark chocolate and stir until smooth. Refrigerate until solid enough to spread.)
Mix until the cream and chocolate are together.

I added a little cream to get the caramels to melt better.

The more you chop the chocolate, the less you have to stir!

Sea Salt (the recipe called for smoked sea salt, but I used regular.)


1. Beat the egg whites until they are frothy and white.
Go, go, Kitchenaide!

2. Add in the granulated sugar, and beat for 7 minutes. The meringue should stay in the bowl if you hold it upside down! Don't be afraid, just try it!
3. Fold in the dry ingredients. (You should have them all in a bowl, then add in little bits at a time, and mix together with a spatula) When you're done it should be thick and heavy, like porridge.
It should fall off your spoon in clumps.

4. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper, and the pipe the mixture onto the sheets in blobs about the size of a quarter. Leave space between them, they will flatten out some.
Waiting to be baked.

5. Let them sit for 20 minutes before baking.
6. Preheat the oven to 285 degrees.
7. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
That bottom ledge when they are done is called the foot.

8. Let them cool all the way before making the macaron sandwiches!
9. Spread the caramel on one macaron, add the sea salt. Put the ganache on another macaron, then press together into a sandwich!
Caramel and Sea Salt

Chocolate Ganache

**I had my macarons sliding all around. I would recommend letting the ganache and caramel be as cool as possible before making the sandwich, so they stick together the best.

A tasty macaron-which!

**Make these the day before you want to eat them, let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. The macaron absorbs moisture from the filling and you get a nice chewy inside!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cherry Coke Cupcakes!!!

Cherry Coke Cupcake Recipe

These cupcakes were a huge hit! In fact, I think only the chocolate wine cupcakes I made last fall beat these out as my favorite yet! I wish I had made double the recipe...although my belly is happy I didn't, since it needs to fit into a wedding dress in less than two months!I got the basic recipe for these cupcakes from Cupcake Project.
The secret ingredient is coca cola extract, I bought the same Kool Kola extract as the original recipe, found ehre:, but I think any extract used to make soda would work. In fact, I think I'm going to buy some sasparilla extract for my next cupcake adventure!
Yield: 11 cupcakes (true, a dozen would have been a nicer number, but the recipe didn't quite make 12)
  • 1 C cola (The original recipe used Whole Foods brand cola, I used Coke Zero.)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C canola oil
  • 2 tsp Kool Kola extract
  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 jar of maraschino cherries (the original recipe put 4 cherries in each cupcake, I put 4 in some, and 3 in some, because I only bought one jar and it wasn't quite enough for 44 cherries!)
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy. (I whisked in the Kitchen-aid mixer!)
  3. Mix in the Kool Kola extract, flour, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined.
  4. Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top.
  5. Drop 4 cherries with stems removed into each cupcake (I put them in a square pattern).
  6. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Coke Frosting
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C powdered sugar (add more if you prefer a thicker frosting)
  • 1 tsp Kool Kola extract
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter.
  2. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until the mixture looks like frosting.
  3. Mix in extract.
  4. Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.
If you like a lot of frosting, you might want to double this recipe. It made just enough for me to pipe a light layer of frosting on each cupcake.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Persimmon Cupcakes and Cranberry Icing

I saw persimmon's in the store, and since I've never eaten one before, decided I had to buy them and find a way to use them. Of course, I always think of cupcakes first :)

Apparently you can substitute persimmon into any recipe that uses pumpkin. I based my recipe off of Cupcake Project's recipe.
Persimmon Cupcake RecipeYield: 8 cupcakes (The original yield was 12, but I halved the recipe, and here are the updated amounts.)
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup persimmon pulp (the insides of 1 seeded over-ripe persimmon)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, then mix in eggs, persimmon pulp and orange juice until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean. (I baked mine for 28 minutes, but they were a little overdone. I would recommend checking at 20, and every few minutes after until they are ready).
Cupcake project lists a persimmon frosting recipe as well if you follow the link above, but I decided since cranberries were aplenty at the grocery store, that I should make a cranberry frosting, I based my recipe off a basic royal icing recipe.

Cranberry Icing

1 large egg white
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 3/4 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cranberry mixture

To make cranberry mixture, take approx. 1 cup fresh cranberries, and boil on the stove with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar until turns into a jelly. Cool.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.

Hand mix in the cranberries. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Now, these aren't technically cupcakes...more like cinnamon rolls baked in a cupcake wrapper...but I count them anyways :) And they have an apple cider glaze on top. Mmmm.

I made these for my birthday this year, and they were good! Better if you heated them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds, otherwise the dough was kind of hard. Tasted good, but I like them warm and a little mushy!
The recipe was taken from Cupcake Project via Paul Deen.
The original recipe says the yield is 24, that's how many I made, but I probably could've gotten another 4-6 out of the dough fairly easily.

Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon (.5 oz) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar2 teaspoons salt6 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 eggs¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Filling Ingredients
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup loosely chopped pecans (I only used 1/2 cup)
2 cups finely chopped tart apples (I didn't measure the apples, just cut up two regular sized green ones)

In a small saucepan or a microwave oven, warm milk to about 110 F. (I don't have a thermometer, so I just guessed and warmed it in the microwave but didn't let it boil)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the milk.
Add salt and two cups of flour and beat for two minutes.
Beat in eggs and butter.
Stir in the remaining flour a half cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about five minutes).

(Here I tried to use my regular hand mixer, and it made a messss! I changed my mind after dough got stuck all up onto the base of the mixer, and put it in my bread maker to knead instead. Definitely knead by hand or use a kneading attachment for your mixer if you want to avoid my mistake! Or throw it in a bread machine through the kneading cycle like I ended up doing.)

Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with a towel. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 40 minutes or until approximately doubled in volume.
Roll out dough into a long rectangle about 1/4” thick.

Brush with about half of the melted butter. (I poured it on and rubbed it in with my hand)

To make the filling, in a medium-sized bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, and apples.
Spread the pecan/apple mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch empty on all sides.

Roll dough over itself from back to front along the long side of the rectangle to form a log. Slice the log into 24 even pieces.

Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners and place each piece of the log in a cupcake liner. If they don’t fit, fold the ends together to make a “C” shape. The pieces should come to about the top of the liners. (It was easier for me to get the dough into the cupcake liners before I put them into the tin.)

Cover the cupcake tins and set in a warm place to rise for another 40 minutes. (I skipped this step entirely, and it didn't seem to matter)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Evenly distribute the remaining ¼ cup of melted butter over the tops of the cupcakes. (I also skipped this step, thinking they had plenty of butter on them already.)

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Apple Cider Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon apple cider

In a medium-sized bowl, mix powdered sugar and apple cider until fully combined.
Drizzle over cupcakes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Mini Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

This recipe was taken from Cupcake Project and I noted the changes I made when baking.

The Pumpkin Pie Filling RecipeI modified this recipe slightly from the original, because I didn't have sweetened condensed milk at home.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (I used the Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie mix in a can, which is basically puree with the spices pre-added)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Here I substituted 1/3C of Evaporated Milk)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (instead of adding more spices I just added 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (left out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (left out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I did still add this)
  • 2 egg whites

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture.

Pie Crust Recipe

Here is the recipe from Kitchen Parade with Cupcake Project modifications, and my own:

  • 18 T ice water (This was where the Kitchen Parade recipe said 2-4 T)
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Stir together 1 cup of flour, sugar, and salt. With hand-held pastry blender, cut 1/2 of the butter into the four until butter is dime-sized. (I cut the pieces into tiny cubes of butter.) Add the rest of the butter the same way. Lightly stir in the remaining flour. Add water one T at a time until the dough just sticks together. (I also used 18 T of water) Wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

The Streusel Topping Recipe

  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 T butter, chilled
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (I left the nuts out)

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend in the cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the chopped nuts. This made almost twice as much as topping as I needed. Unless you want a ton of topping, you might consider cutting this in half.

Putting Your Mini Pies Together

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. You will not be baking at this temperature. However, you want to make your oven nice and hot. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. I made about 30 cup-pies with this recipe. I baked the 24 and then the extra six. If you have 3 tins at the ready you can do it all at once. Also, I expect the number you will get to vary depending on the intricacies of dough thickness and pumpkin pie filling height.

(I only have one cupcake tin, so I did 12 at a time and just spent all morning baking!)

Remove half of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3 1/2 inch diameter circle cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. If you don't have a cookie cutter that width, see if you have a glass you can use or you can experiment with different widths. Press the center of your circle into the bottom of a cupcake liner and work the rest into the bottom of the liner and up the sides. It should come about 3/4 of the way up the side. I experimented with different heights and found this to be the most pleasing to me, but higher or lower won't destroy anything. Repeat the same procedure with the other half of the dough.

(I used the bottom of a wine glass as my cookie cutter and it worked fine. As with anytime you are dealing with dough, make sure to have lots of flour available. If you're having trouble rolling things out, more flour! Put it on the surface you're rolling on, the rolling pin, the dough, and your hands. If things get too sticky, add more flour!)

Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the pie dough cups. Each cup should be slightly more than halfway full.

Lower the oven temp to 375. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the streusel topping over each cup-pie. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the pie is set (doesn't wiggle around when you touch it.)

The Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Swirl

I topped each cup-pie with a small swirl of vanilla bean buttercream frosting. (You can use any buttercream frosting recipe that you're comfortable with)

I made a maple buttercream, and just substituted maple syrup for the vanilla bean paste.

**also feel free to serve these with a mini-scoop of vanilla ice cream!**

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rogue Dead Guy, Mexican Cheese, and Bacon Cupcakes

Rogue Dead Guy, Mexican Cheese and Bacon Cupcake Recipe

This recipe is basically the same as the one found here: Beer Cheese Cupcakes
Yield: About 24 cupcakes (the original recipe yielded 18)
  • 1 cup beer (I used Rogue's Dead Guy Ale because it was what I had in the fridge that I was willing to part with for baking, not drinking, purposes.)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar (I probably should have bought some really sharp real block of cheddar, but I had some pre-shredded Mexican cheddar mix in a bag leftover from a taco potluck so I just used that)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (I didn't measure this very accurately, so I have a feeling I was closer to 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tb vanilla extract (I didn't have enough left in my bottle, so it was about 1/2 the recommended amount)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Heat beer and butter in a large saucepan on medium-high heat until butter is melted.
  2. Add cheddar.
  3. Remove from heat, and whisk in the sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Mix the sour cream mixture into the beer mixture.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.
  7. Fold flour mixture into the batter.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 fill.
  9. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean.

Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (I ended up only using about 3 cups, I liked the consistency and it wasn't too sweet, still pretty cheddary at this point)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup bacon bits (I made my own by cooking it in the microwave and cutting it into pieces. I only had 3 strips of bacon left in my fridge, so it wasn't a whole cup. More like 1/2 cup. It was also maple flavored bacon.)
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Add grated cheddar.
  3. Slowly mix in powdered sugar.
  4. Stir in bacon bits.
  5. Frost and enjoy!
I usually pipe my frosting onto the cupcakes, but with the chunks of cheese and bacon, I just used a knife instead.
Ryan's response: Pretty kick-ass cupcake. I think that's pretty good. He said pretty much you taste a lot of cheddar, unless you take a bacon-bite!
I thought they were an interesting (in a good way) cupcake. Maybe not my favorite since I'm a chocolate-lover, but definitely a great cupcake if you're in the mood for something not so sweet, and a great combination of flavors!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wedding Cupcake Trial #1: Wine and Cheese Cupcakes


Pinot Noir and Goat Cheese Brie Cupcake

I've been baking cupcakes for quite awhile now, but now I have a real reason to document what I bake throughout my trials. I'm getting married!! And it's my intent to bake my own 100 cupcakes and giant cupcake (for us to cut during the reception). This might be a lofty ambitious goal, but with the help of my lovely bridal party, and some extreme organizational skills on my part, I think it will be a great way to save money and share my love of cupcakes and baking with my wedding guests.The first trial is a recipe I am trying from Cupcake Project, and it can be found here: Wine and Cheese Cupcakes and the Chocolate Wine Ganache.

Yield: 21 cupcakes (the original recipe said 16, so who knows?)
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C salted butter, room temperature (the original recipe calls for unsalted, but salted was what happened to be in the fridge)
  • 4 oz Goat Milk Brie (the original recipe called for Camembert, but Trader Joe's was lacking in the cheese selection, so I substituted, the package was actually 4.4oz, but by the time I removed the rind I figured it was 4)
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C dry red wine (The original recipe used a Shiraz, but I happened to have a Pinot Noir that's been sitting around at home forever and used this instead. You will use about half a bottle of wine.)
  • 1/2 C walnut halves (originally the recipe had 1C, but I'm not that huge a walnut fan so I cut it in half)
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. (I would beat the butter for 2-3 min, then add the cheese, then the sugar, not all at once)
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Alternately mix the dry ingredients and the red wine into the butter mixture until just combined. (I started and ended with dry ingredients)
  6. Fold in the walnuts.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

Red Wine Chocolate Ganache Recipe

This recipe should make enough to easily frost 12 cupcakes.
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped into a few pieces
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 2 oz red wine (I used the same Pinot Noir that I used for the cupcakes)
  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 10 seconds and then remove and stir.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the chocolate is all melted.
  4. Slowly pour in the wine and mix thoroughly.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until it hardens enough to easily spread (about 10 minutes).
  6. Spread on cupcakes.
My ganache didn't set in the fridge like I had hoped, so I upped the chocolate to 3oz, and put it in the freezer.

This is what happens when you leave it too long in the freezer...

I think the ganache will look better if I don't accidentally freeze it first!

Overall here is our rating:
Easy to Peel off Wrapper
Better than a Regular Chocolate Cupcake
Cupcake doesn't have much wine taste
Ganache has a noticeable wine taste
Ryan would probably like a cream cheese chocolate frosting or a buttercream frosting more. The ganache was too strong for his liking, although I loved the flavor.