Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Cookbook in Action

i finally made some cookies from my new favorite cookbook, and they were delicious.

first up, sugared almond cookies. i made these at the request of my mother, who isn't such a big fan of chocolate but loves nuts and poppyseeds.

they're sort of a shortbread-y cookie, with almonds and poppy seeds. after making the dough, you form it into rolls in saran wrap and refrigerate it.

then you slice the dough, brush on some beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. the dough isn't that sweet, so the sugar is mandatory.

i ended up using a mixture of regular white sugar and sparkle sugar (which, of course, makes everything better).

perfect for tea and coffee!

next, crinkle top cookies. these are a nice, lightly chocolaty cookie, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. just like i like 'em.

they've got extra leavening (in this case, baking soda), so they puff up quickly then collapse, hence the crinkliness. again, quite tasty, and you know i love me some chocolate!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Giveaway: Win $75 Gift from All Modern

one of my favorite craft blogs is dollar store crafts, and now they're giving away a gift certificate to all modern! i'm so excited... i hope i win!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cookie Filled Cupcakes

they look like normal, unassuming cupcakes.
but they have a surprise inside them...

cookie dough!

these are so simple, and so decadent. just make your cupcakes as normal, but put a bit of frozen cookie dough in the batter before you bake them, like so:

you must freeze the cookie dough, at least 2 hours, or else the dough will bake and you'll have an odd crispy mess in the middle instead of a bit of cookie dough.

i'm not gonna lie, i used a chocolate cake mix for these and frozen break-n-bake cookie dough. i broke my own rule and used off-brand cake mix, and i paid the price for it. the cake part wasn't that great, sort of dry, but the cookie dough more than made up for it.

and i topped these with a ganache made with one part (1/2 cup) cream and two parts (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips. at first, i was thinking i should have used milk chocolate, but the semisweet was perfect. the cupcakes were quite sweet, so the semisweet ganache added a good contrast in sweetness and texture.

i was inspired by recipes on and this is an easy recipe that is easily adaptable, and the possibilities are endless! i had some more break-n-bake dough so i made more cupcakes with yellow cake mix (name brand this time) and ganache topping... so good. just imagine the flavor combinations with this cake, cookie, and frosting/topping combination!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lemon Cupcakes

mmm.... lemon cupcakes... cue the mouth-watering. i decided to make these as a thank you for somebody who let me swim in his pool while he was at work. i wanted something summery, a bit light, and not too decadent. these fit the bill! and boy, was it easy. how easy was it? well, i'll tell ya.

to make these cupcakes, you'll need:
  • 1 box yellow (or white, i guess) cake mix, plus whatever it calls for on the box
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding
  • lemon buttercream frosting (more on that later)
that's it! just add the lemon pudding mix to the cake mix and then prepare the cake as directed. i guess you could just use a lemon cake mix, but i think this method makes a better cupcake. they're a bit dense and extremely moist. and, i think the lemon flavor would be too overwhelming with a lemon cake mix when you combine it with the lemon buttercream frosting (i promise, it's coming).

the batter will be quite thick, but don't worry. it's fine. here's the batter in the cups. see how it isn't settling down:

and when they come out, they fall a little bit, so this recipe probably isn't good for a full sized cake.

but it's great for cupcakes- more frosting! i sort of 'spackled' the dips with frosting to make a flat (ok, slightly rounded) surface to pipe on.

here they are all piped up.

so, what did i frost these puppies with? quite possibly the crown jewel of this whole project: lemon buttercream frosting.

i took this simple buttercream frosting (that i've used before) and added lemon juice. at first, i just added it after the sugar, substituting 2 tbsp lemon juice for the 2 tbsp milk, but the frosting was a little dry. so i added the 2 tbsp milk as well, and it was perfect!
but a word of caution: lemon will curdle milk if they're added together, so make sure you mix in the milk or lemon juice completely before you add the other one, otherwise you might get some nasty results.

you could just use canned buttercream or white frosting, but really, this lemon buttercream frosting really makes these cupcakes shine. my mom said these are her favorite cupcakes of mine so far, largely due to the frosting. so, make the darn frosting!

so, here's some of the cupcake carnage.

it's so good!