A fun treat for Easter: Easter Nest.


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I hope you guys had a great Easter with your family, and for my non Christian friends, i hope that you had a great passover. I had a wonderful time in company of the whole family. We had a very good brunch. And no, I did not cook, which was fine with me.

I wanted, nonetheless, to share with you a recipe that I made yesterday for our weekend treat. I don’t know what the weather looked like on your side of the world, but yesterday it was just awful here. Cold and rainy. So guess what I did to entertain myself? cook;-)

I wanted to make something fun for the upcoming Easter so  i settled for  cupcakes. Fun cupcakes. Here it is:

 

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 6 Tbsp of butter,
  • 2 large eggs,
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk,
  • 2 Tbsp of vanilla extracts,
  • 1/2 cup of milk.
  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, the salt and the baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg at a time beating well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 times, alternating with the milk ( 2 times).
  6. Beat well until well combined, but do not overbeat.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake holes. I used a straight cupcake tray and cook for 15-18 for normal size cupcakes or until they are cooked ( when inserting a toothpick, it should come out clean)
  8. Let the cupcakes cool before decorating with the frosting.

Ingredients for the frosting and the decoration:

  • 12 ounces of Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of easter eggs  of your choice ( i like the Cadbury)
  1. Place the cream into a small bowl and place it in the microwave to cook for 1 minute.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips that you would have placed into another small bowl. Let the cream melt the chocolate by NOT MIXING. Leave it alone for 1 minute.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add butter and mix well again.
  5. Let the mixture rest until it has cooled down ( about 1 hour or less if you place it in the fridge).
  6. Fill a medium-sized ziploc bag with the frosting. Cut a small hole at the end of the bag and drizzle the frosting on the top of the cupcake making it look like straws of a nest.
  7. Place a few Easter eggs on top of the frosting.
  8. Place the cupcakes in the fridge to cool for a few minutes before eating, or the frosting may fall.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Snowglobe Cupcake


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Yesterday I hosted a birthday party for a sweet girl named Mckenzie. Her mom wanted to host a tea party/ cooking class as her birthday party. Because it is much more fun to actually eat things you made yourself, i planned a small finger food menu for them to make. We made savory things as well as desserts… We had to have sweets, right??? it was a tea party after all. The theme of yesterday Cooking Class was Winter wonderland so I tried to come up with recipes and desserts that would reflect that theme.

Cupcakes are always a favorite. Children as well as adults love cupcakes so I really wanted to make cupcakes with them as well. The problem, however, is that sometimes what the simplest cucpake decoration can become tedious and frustrating. Believe me…’

I also wanted the cupcakes to follow the winter theme of the cooking class. With this in mind, I searched my coobook, and the internet for a decoration that would be fun and yet not to difficult. The idea that i am using today comes from the book ” Hello, Cupcakes” from Karen Tack.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:

  • 1 recipe of vanilla cupcake
  • 1 recipe of vanilla frosting
  • 6 chocolate graham crackers cut in half
  • 4 square of almond bark chocolate flavored coating
  • 12 white gum drops
  • 12 black gum drops
  • 1 fruit roll up
  • clear sprinkles
  • blue sprinkles
  • small tubes of frostings of various colors from Cake Mate

1 Bake the cupakes according to directions mentioned below. If you do not have time, it is fine to use the box cake mix. I use that sometimes. I prefer the vanilla mix from Betty Croker. Follow directions, but bake the cupcake for 15 minutes if using a Demarle cupcake pan.

2. Prepare the frosting.If you do not have time, you may use the Whipped cream   Frosting from Betty Croker. 

3. Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave for 60 sec. or until completely melted and free of lumps.

4. Place half of a graham cracker on a plate, and with a pastry brush, brush the graham crackers to coat it and to glue the cupcake on it.

5. Lay the cupcake on its side on the graham cracker, with the bottom of the cupcake facing you.

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6. Spoon the vanilla frosting on the flat part of the cupcake and with a knife, make it smooth and flat.

7. Cut the white gumdrop in half, and press the gumdrop completely flat to make the head and the body of the snowman.

8. Cut the gumdrop to make the hat.

9. Place the cupcake flat and sprinkle clear and blue sprinkles to make it look like snow.

10. With scissors, cut a very small strip of the red fruit roll up and use it to make the scarf.

11. With various colorful cake mate frosting, draw the eyes, and buttons of the snowman.

C’est tout!!!

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Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 6 Tbsp of butter,
  • 2 large eggs,
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk,
  • 2 Tbsp of vanilla extracts,
  • 1/2 cup of milk.
  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, the salt and the baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg at a time beating well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 times, alternating with the milk ( 2 times).
  6. Beat well until well combined, but do not overbeat.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake holes. I used a straight cupcake tray and cook for 15-18 for normal size cupcakes or until they are cooked ( when inserting a toothpick, it should come out clean)
  8. Let the cupcakes cool before decorating with the frosting.

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Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 6 oz of cream cheese at room temperature,
  • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature,
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla,
  • 1/2 cup of powder sugar.
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese.
  2. Then add the sugar and finally the butter at little at a time.
  3. If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Praline, Pecan and Vanilla Cupcakes


As a board member of the The Little Theatre of Spartanburg, I tried to help whenever I can. Since the SLT hosted a reception to thank the sponsors of the Little Theatre, I offered to help. It was an hour reception before the Show Honky Tonk.  After listening to all the different fares that would be offered that evening, I decided to bring in cupcakes. Easy…But I wanted the cupcakes to reflect the theme of the party so I looked up the word Honky Tonk. The word Honky Tonk is defined in Wikipedia as ” rough establishments, mostly in the Deep South and Southwest, that served alcoholic beverages to a working class clientele. Honky tonks sometimes also offered dancing to piano players or small bands, and were sometimes also centers of prostitution.”

So I started thinking of Southern desserts and thought of divinities, pecan pies and thought of making a Praline, Pecan and Vanilla Cupcakes.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes or 24 small cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes: 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp of baking powder, 3/4 cup of sugar, 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature, 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract.

Turn the oven to 350. In a bowl, mix together the flour and the baking powder and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter and the sugar  until the butter is becoming very fluffy. Add one egg at a time in the butter mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla extract also and beat well. Add the flour into 3 additions beating on low-speed. Beat just enough until no traces of flour remain. Do not overbeat!!!

Place the dough in a plastic bag, cut one end and fill the cupcakes. Cook in the oven for 15-18 minutes for the big cupcakes, 13 for the small and 10 minutes for mini cupcakes.

For the frosting you need to make a vanilla cream cheese frosting, and a caramel.

Cream cheese frosting: 8 oz of cream cheese, 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature, 1 tbsp  of vanilla extract, 3/4 cup of sugar.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese, the butter, the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and mix until it is well combined. Set aside.

Pralines and caramel: 1 1/2 cup of pecans, 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar, 4 tbsp of heavy cream.

Turn the oven to 375, place the pecans on a silpat and cook for 10 minutes until they are toasted and are becoming a dark golden brown. Keep 1/2 cup for decoration, and break the other cup of pecans in small pieces.

In a small saucepan, place the cream and the brown sugar, and cook until it is bubbling and the sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup of pecans pieces into the caramel and stir to coat them with the caramel.

Empty the  caramel into the small round flexiform and place it in the fridge for the caramel to cool. When the caramel is cold, empty it into the cream cheese frosting. With a spatula, fold the caramel into the frosting slowly but do not combine! You should see streaks of white and brown. Using a spoon, scoop the frosting onto the cupcakes and place 1 pecan half on each cupcake.  Fini!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!