Hello everyone! I’m back (hopefully for a while) from my unexpected hiatus! I haven’t baked in 2 months, which is outrageous really. What have I been doing? Things like this:
But it’s Cinco De Mayo so I made some cupcakes for the office! I’ve been wanting to make these Margarita cupcakes for a while so I was really excited to finally do it. Let me tell you, they are delicious.
The recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker and I followed it almost to the letter. The only thing I did different was stir in the dry and wet in one batch (I find its easier to not overstir this way) and dripped some lime juice over the warm cupcakes before brushing them with tequila.
I also decided to make them mini because 1. I love doing “shot” cupcakes with alcohol and 2. I’ve found people are more willing to eat them because they’re small, rather than cutting a cupcake in half or thinking it’s too much of an indulgence.
These are going over pretty well. About half were gone before lunch time so I’d call them a success.
Man, February was a crazy month. So of course I decided to end it with a coffee muffin – because coffee makes everything easier. So what’s been crazy? Well, my chinchilla and I have been bonding. I trained her that crawling all over me means she gets a pellet. So she’s decided to stop hating me which has led to adorable pictures like this:
I’m pretty much becoming a crazy chinchilla lady. But I mean come on, she is the absolute cutest. But anyway, muffins.
I don’t like cake-y, super sugary muffins because I eat them for breakfast and I don’t need all that sugar in the morning. These muffins are actually perfect. Not super sweet but full of flavor. The mint cools it down and chocolate and coffee are my favorites. These are super crumbly and have a nice crunchy layer on top and moist center. You can also make these as coffee-y as you want by just adding extra coffee powder. Really – delicious.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp instant coffee (I used Starbucks Via)
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup milk (any kind)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup mint m&ms - chopped
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Place butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and melt. Stir cocoa power and espresso powder into melted butter while warm. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
- In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
- Add butter mixture and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Batter will be thick. Stir in m&ms.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. Cups will be heaping with batter.
- Bake for 19-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool muffins completely on a wire rack.
Hi everyone! I’m back from an unexpected week off. I knew the olympics were going to take over my life but I could never have been prepared for how much. Seriously, I stayed up until 2:30 Saturday night watching Norway Curling and then woke up early for Figure Skating. It was all very stressful and important to me. Norway is actually giving me a heart attack in curling right now and have to play a tie breaker game to determine if they are in the finals or not. Unacceptable really.
On top of that, I brought home a new pet! Meet Daisy my adorable new Chinchilla.
Getting her up and running has been a handful, but I think she’s settling into her new home pretty well.
So I had intentions to bake last weekend, but then I spent the whole day on Saturday and Sunday taking care of this little guy and watching Team Figure Skating and ski jumping. Two weeks every two years I get to just stop everything and watch a whole bunch of sports and it’s amazing.
But here are some amazing pretzels I made. I ate them with some Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower soup (recipe is hanging out on my pinterest). I hope everyone enjoys!
- 4 cups (1 pound 1 ounce, by weight) bread flour
- 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder (preferably) or sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup hot tap water
- 2 teaspoons SAF or instant yeast
Ingredients for pretzel boil:
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or sucanat
Ingredients for toppings:
- Coarse sea salt, kosher salt or pretzel salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted, mixed with 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (or 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, malt powder or sugar and yeast. Set the whisk aside and switch to a sturdy wooden spoon.
- Stir in the milk and tap water until a soft dough forms.
- Turn onto a generously floured surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed to keep the dough from adhering to the counter. You do not want a firm dough… it should be fairly slack, a little tacky and soft, yet smooth.
- Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.
- Line two 11×13-inch baking sheets with silicone or teflon pan liners. These pretzels have a tendency to stick to parchment. If you don’t have silicone or Teflon pan liners, generously grease your pans. Set next to your work area.
- Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Use a bench knife to cut the dough into four equal pieces. Cut those pieces in half again, then once more, yielding 16 pieces. Roll the piece like play-dough until you have a snake of dough about 8 inches long.
- Transfer the dough pieces onto the lined baking sheets, being sure to leave generous amounts of room between pieces and rows. They will expand both as they rise and again as they boil and bake.
- When you have dealt with all the dough, cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy looking, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (enameled cast-iron, tempered glass, etc…) When water boils, add the baking soda and sugar.
- Gently lift the pretzel rods one at a time into the boiling water. (You can boil more than one at a time, but be sure not to crowd the the pan as they will expand as they boil. Let simmer for about 45 seconds, flip the pieces and simmer for another 45 seconds-1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to drain and return each piece to its place on the pan. Continue until all pretzels have been boiled and returned to the pan.
- Sprinkle with coarse salt then use a sharp knife to make a couple of shallow, diagonal slashes in the top of the dough.
- Place pans in oven and bake at least until golden brown (at least 20 minutes), but you can bake until they are deep brown. It’s up to you!
- Remove the pans from the oven and brush the pretzels with the garlic butter. If you have leftover garlic butter, you can place the pretzels in a large mixing bowl and toss with the remaining butter.
- Serve warm or room temperature. I like mine with classic yellow mustard.
The Olympics start this weekend and oh man am I excited. The Olympics mean I take to twitter and lose almost all my follows because I spend 2 weeks live tweeting and getting ridiculously patriotic. Sport of choice for this olympic cycle? Curling. Now I should be rooting for USA because amurica but for curling I’m all for Noway. How can I not when they look like this:
Look at that. Look at their outfits and how fabulous they look. Of course I’ll also be watching the heck out of some skiing and ice dancing (Because every ice dancer from the US and Canada train like 30 minutes from my house in Michigan. And also because Ice dancing is amazing). I genuinely cannot wait.
In honor of this hopefully amazing winter olympics I decided to attempt to decorate things and made some curling cookies! The decoration is only mediocre because I totally looked up how to use this kind of icing AFTER I kinda failed, but they’re still awesome. And the cookie is tasty!
- 3/4 cup butter - softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
For the curling cookies I made 25 large cookies and 50 baby sized. Then decorated them with this icing dyed red, blue and yellow.
I’ve made S’more cookies before but I think I finally perfected them with this recipe. At least, the people at work seem to think so. These cookies truly were awesome. Flavorful, chewy, and the marshmallow was just cooked enough to stay soft but not be at that weird melted point that happens if you put them in the oven for too long.
Featuring a secret chocolate surprise under the marshmallows to really make these smore cookies sing. I also used my homemade graham crackers in the dough and everything was delicious. The only thing I would have changed (which I put in the recipe) is how long I chilled the dough. See how these suckers are flat as a disc?
I chilled the second half of the batter while the first half cooked and it definitely helped the flatness of it, but I wish I chilled it all a bit longer. Still these are awesome. 10/10 would make again.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used my homemade graham crackers
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cooled brown butter Learn to brown butter here
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 15 - 20 marshmallows (depending on how big you make your cookies)
- 3 Hershey bars
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon.
- In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- While waiting cut marshmallows in half and put a piece of hershey chocolate on each marshmallow half. When 8 minutes are up remove cookies the oven. Push a marshmallow half and hershey piece in the center of each cookie.
- Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
- This made me 30 cookies but I make larger cookies than most.