Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

/ Sunday, October 11, 2015

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Ift's that time of year again when you walk into a store and start to wonder if the next holiday isn't Halloween but Christmas. I had to do a bit of shopping this weekend and a few stores already had lights strung up on plastic evergreens, and inflatable santas poking out between the isles.
So when I decided to make something pumpkin this weekend I thought it would be super easy to find the pumpkin puree, as fall is now upon us and pumpkin spice is pretty much a staple. I spend twenty minutes walking around the store finding it absolutely no where. Eventually I wound my way to the baking section for the fourth time and found it on the bottom shelf. It's mid-October and the pumpkin puree is on the bottom shelf while the santa cookies greeted me when I walked through the door.

But enough of my complaining, lets get to the good stuff! This week I made Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles and they were amazing. Also for an added bonus, the dough had no egg in it so go ahead and eat all you want!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

From (with edits): Sallys Baking Addiction

For the Cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice.
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Melt the butter in the microwave. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in white chocolate chips. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll each of the dough balls generously in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under baked. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out. Remove from the oven and press a few more white chocolate chips onto the tops, if desired.
Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.

So hopefully you have better luck finding pumpkin puree than I did, but believe me these cookies are worth whatever trouble they put you through! 

Until next week!

Coconut Steam Buns

/ Sunday, October 4, 2015

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There's something about cold weather that makes you want fresh warm bread and Chinese take out. Just saying, I have more than one white takeout box in my fridge right now. So, along with the Japanese water cakes, I whipped up a batch or two of steamed coconut buns! I haven't used a steamer to bake in a while (over a year...?) so I thought I'd give it another go.

These buns are super simple with a 1:2 ratio of coconut milk to self rising flour. Just throw it all in a food processor with a bit of salt and you're good to go. (More in depth recipe follows of course.)

I thought the buns turned out nicely. They just have a hint of coconut that really gives them a different, but great, flavor. I would definitely eat them as dinner or breakfast rolls with honey or butter, as they are pretty bland by themselves.

Steamed Coconut Buns

Yields: 12
From: The Little Things

For the Buns:
1 14oz can of full fat coconut milk
2 empty coconut tins of self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Pour the coconut milk into a food processor. Use the empty tin to measure out the self-raising flour. Add the flour and salt to the food processor and process until a smooth dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a large roll. Cut out 12 equal parts  and place these balls into double paper muffin cases. (I used silicone muffin liners.)
Place muffin cases in a single layer into a steamer over a large pot of simmering water. Cover and let steam for 12 minutes.
Best served warm.

That's it for this week! Until next!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Brownie Batter Chili Frosting

/ Monday, September 21, 2015

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Hey again! How long has it been... 2 months? ... or something like that at least. My summer got crazy and when school began I was kepts super busy. But things have gotten back in the swing of things so I'm exctied to start blogging again.

Prostart Culinary has started up agian, and I'm happy to announce I'll be working on perfecting a Japanese Water Cake made with tea and mint extract! I'm going to have to do A LOT of experimentation though because my first attempt at the recipe was a complete failure. Once I start working on it again I'll be creating a post about it so stay tuned!

This week however I have a bit of a different cupcake recipie, the frosting is made from brownie batter... need I say more?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Brownie Batter Chili Frosting

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup Guinness extra stout beer
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
5 tbsp sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture and continue to beat until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brownie mix
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
chocolate chips (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the dry brownie mix and cocoa powder and continue to beat for another 2 minutes until smooth. Add the vanilla and milk and beat again. Add the powdered sugar slowly, then beat on medium speed for another 5 minutes. If the batter appears too thick, add another tablespoon of milk, and if it's not thick enough, add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments until you get your desired consistency.

Load the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of frosting on each cupcake and sprinkle on some chocolate chips.

Strawberry Pie

/ Thursday, July 16, 2015

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Here, finally, is the long overdue post I hinted at in my previous one. Needless to say, this pie was gone in less than 24 hours... I'll let that speak for itself.

Strawberry Pie
From (with edits to): Joy the Baker

For the Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold milk
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture. Some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes; some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold milk. Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the Filling:5-6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in fourths (or halves depending on how large the strawberries are, you don't the pieces very large)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl toss together strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and ground ginger. Toss until all of the cornstarch has disappeared into the strawberries and let rest for 10 minutes. The strawberries will begin to produce juice.
For Assembly:1 large egg, beaten
granulated sugar for topping
On a well-floured surface, roll the bottom crust 1/8″ thick and about 12″ in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan by: folding the circle into fourths, setting it in the pie plate, and unfolding the crust. Pinch the edge, folding over when necessary so the edge of the dough is almost even with the edge of the pan.
Spoon filling into pie crust.
Roll out the top crust in the same manner. Use a pizza slicer to slice the dough into 1-inch wide strips and weave the crust strips on top of the pie. (This can be a little tricky but you can totally do it, or give it a quick google search if you want more instruction! The lattice is totally optional; feel free to do whatever you wish for the top crust.)
Brush the egg wash over pie crust, then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the cherry filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, at least 4 hours, before serving. 

 Adding whipped cream makes it all the more heavenly...

I had a friend stop over yesterday and we made these amazing dulce de leche sandwich cookies, but I have to get pictures of them before they are all eaten! (I've taken to hiding things under all the bread in the highest cupboard in our kitchen, but even then they disappear.

Until next week!

Maple Rosemary Bacon Cupcakes

/ Monday, June 22, 2015

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"Did I hear you right? Bacon... Rosemary... Cupcakes?"
It's about the reaction you hear from everyone, followed by a
"This is actually amazing."

I got the whole crazy cupcake idea from watching too much TV (what can I say, I like cooking shows). Shows like Cupcake Wars were my inspiration for this amazing treat (that and the Internet of course).

I've been doing more baking than blogging recently, this recipe was actually from last week, I currently have a strawberry pie in the oven right now that I might make a post about later this week.  I've just been really behind on editing photographs recently, so my food photos have been getting lost in the mix.

See, I'm trying to put together a portfolio to send to colleges in hopes of getting into a BFA program for photography! But, it's a ton of work, and the editing process has been very extensive.

Maple Rosemary Bacon Cupcakes with Candied Pecans
Makes 12 cupcakes
Adapted from: Twigg Studios

For the Bacon:1/2 lbs. bacon
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, pulled apart into small chunks
1/2 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle rosemary. Fry in a meduim sized frypan until crispy. Cool to room temp.
For the Cake: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tbs.  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbs. maple syrup
1/2 cup milk

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and maple syrup. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, beating until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until the cupcakes are lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
For the Frosting:200g butter, room temp
250g icing sugar
3 Tbs. maple syrup
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the icing sugar. Stir in maple syrup. If frosting becomes too thick, add a bit of milk.
For the Pecan Topping:1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup sugar
Toast pecans in a small pan until golden. Remove pecans from pan, and set them side. Place sugar into the pan and allow it to melt. Stir pecans into melted sugar, then remover from heat to cool. Once fully cool, place on top of cupcakes.

I'm now going to pull out my strawberry pie. Until next week!

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