these are good.
cup granulated sugar
cup light brown sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon almond extract
cup mashed ripe bananas
cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
oven to 350. Cream shortening and sugars together. Add eggs,
extracts and banana and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine
flour, powder, soda and salt. Alternate dry ingredients and
buttermilk and add to sugar mixture. Bake in lined cupcake pan for
15 - 20 min. Yield: 18 cupcakes.
Chocolate Butter Cream
cup butter (room temperature)
tablespoon butter flavor shortening
teaspoon vanilla extract
Hershey's Special Dark coco powder
cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk (as needed for texture)
butter and shortening until fluffy. Add exact and coco, mix well.
Add powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing in between each
addition. Add milk as needed to achieve a fluffy whipped
Ice cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
These are good! I made these cupcakes this weekend for company, and
they were so delicious I ended up making another batch due to high
demand. To whip them up yourself, follow this (slightly modified)
recipe from recipe
from the Joy of Baking.
Dark Chocolate Cupcake:
cup Hershey's' Special Dark cocoa powder
cup boiling hot water
1/3 cups all purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
heat oven to 375. Combine boiling water and coco powder in a blow
and stir until smooth. Set aside and let cool. Combine flour,
baking powder and salt in another bowl and set aside. In an
electric mixer, whit butter until fluffy. Add sugar and combine
well. Add eggs and combine well. Add four mixture and cooked
chocolate, alternating. Mix until just combined. Filled lined
baking cups in a muffin pan. Bake for 16 min or until a toothpick
inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Makes 12-16
the Almond Buttercream:
stick of unsalted butter-room temperature
cups confectioners' sugar
an electric mixer, whip butter until fluffy. Add confectioners'
sugar and extract and mix until smooth. Add milk, as needed until
light and fluffy.
cupcakes, ice and enjoy!
Any day is
an excellent day to have a few friends over for tea, so here is a
new recipe to try and hopefully a little motivation to invite
some of your girlfriends over to hang out and chat.
just what I did yesterday. I am lucky enough to have some pretty
wonderful friends here in Asheville, and some of the ladies I know
happened to have time to hang out on a Thursday afternoon, so I
invited them over to my place. (Doesn't my new
table runner look awesome, btw, not bad for previously being a
pile of scraps!) I served Lemon Blueberry Scones, raspberry thyme
tea and espresso. I also tried out a new-to-me kitchen item that I
are so many recipes that I wanted to try that call for buttermilk,
but I never want to buy it by the half gallon because I will use
one cup of it and waste the rest-until now. I spotted this little
retro looking can in my grocers baking aisle. It's powdered
buttermilk! Just add some of the powder to dry ingredients in any
recipe that calls for butter milk, and add water, as directed, to
the wet ingredients---presto! No more wasted buttermilk. I thought
it was neat and I have no idea why I didn't learn about it
sooner…anyway. Here is the recipe for the scones:
cups flour + more for berries and counter top
teaspoons baking powder
tablespoons butter, cold and chopped into small chunks
cup buttermilk or 3T cultured butter milk poweder+3/4 cup of
cup blueberries frozen blueberries, rinsed and thawed
of one lemon
the oven to 375. Combine dry ingredients + lemon zest in a mixing
bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Make a well and add water and
eggs. Mix lightly until just combined. In a separate bowl, sprinkle
blueberries with four and toss to coat. This will help prevent your
dough from turning blue. Add berries to dough and fold together.
Turn out on floured surface. This dough is super sticky -- dont be
alarmed. Carefully pat it into a circle about ¾ inches thick. Cut
like a pizza into wedge shapes and carefully transfer to grease
cookie sheet. Bake for 25 min. Cool and glaze.
cups confectioners sugar
table spoons of butter
an electric mixer until smooth. Add water if needed to thin.
Drizzle over cooled scones. Enjoy!
request, here is a recipe from the
Living Annual Recipes for a pretty easy dessert that is sure to
impress and will be perfect after a heavy rich meal like Christmas
Bombe with Raspberry Sauce
(16- ounce) package of frozen unsweetened peaches, thawed and
(8-ounce)carton sour cream
gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
In a food
processor, process peaches until smooth. Add sour cream and
grenadine; process until well blended.
peach mixture and ice cream in a mixing bowl; beat a low speed with
an electric mixer until well blended. Pour mixture into an 111 cup
mold (or bunt pan, or jello mold, or any large bowl with an
interesting shape) that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover
and freeze for 8 hours or until mixture is firm.
before serving, using the tip of a knife, loosen the edges from the
mold. Invert mold onto chilled serving plate. Wrap a warm towel
around the mold for 30 seconds. Shake gently and slowly lift
off mold. Return Bombe to freezer.
with raspberry sauce, raspberries and mint. 12 servings
1 (16 ounce) package of frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
¾ light corn syrup
¼ Grand Marnier
Process raspberries in food processor until smooth. Strain out
seeds if desired. Stir in syrup and Grand Marnier.
of baking is underway!
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter
variation was created on behalf of my husband who loves the flavor
combination. For starters, I followed this classic from the Joy of
(170 grams) unsaltedbutter, room temperature
(105 grams) light brown sugar
(100 grams) granulated white sugar
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(185 grams) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line
two baking sheets with parchment paper.
bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter
and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Beat
in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat
to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and
salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until
incorporated. Fold in the chopped peanuts, if using. (If the batter
is too soft to form into balls, place in the refrigerator for about
an hour or until firm.)
batter into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Transfer the cookies to the
prepared baking sheet, placing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then,
using the tines of the fork that has been dipped in white
granulated sugar, make a crisscross
cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are
lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place
on a wire rack to cool. Can be stored at room temperature, in
an airtight container, for about a week. Freeze for longer
than making the fork tine cross design, I dipped the bottom of a
drinking glass into a bowl of granulated sugar and used it to
flatten the cookies into discs.
finishing touch, I melted dark chocolate chips in a double boiler
until smooth and dipped the cooled cookies half way in the
Stewart' Bullseye and Spiral Cookies
found this recipe in the
NY Daily News. It's a new recipe from Martha dahling and it was
a little complicated, but the cookies are good and pretty neat
dozen, depending on size
cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg white, for brushing
tablespoon pure vanilla extract
cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work
Dutch-process cocoa powder (optional)
food coloring, in various colors
sanding sugar, chopped nuts, or chocolate sprinkles, for topping
butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until
pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add whole eggs and salt, and mix
well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add flour a little at a time,
mixing just until incorporated.
Divide dough into equal portions (1 for each color). For chocolate
dough, add cocoa powder (¼ cup flavors half a batch); mix well with
an electric mixer on medium until cocoa is incorporated. For tinted
dough, start with ¼ teaspoon food coloring; mix well. For
darker colors, gradually add more in tiny amounts. Wrap each
portion of dough separately in plastic, and press flat to form into
rectangles. Chill 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Dust a piece of parchment with flour. Roll out each piece of dough
to ¼- to ½-inch thickness, to make the spirals; use thicker layers
for bull's-eyes. Use a bench scraper to trim dough edges to make
TO MAKE BULL'S-EYES: With your hands, form
chocolate dough into a ½- to 1½-inch-thick log, for center; chill
20 minutes. Place log on edge of rolled-out dough brushed with egg
white. Roll log inside sheet of dough; cut dough where it joins.
Pinch and press gently to seal. Chill 20 minutes, then repeat
rolling and chilling to add other layers. To decorate outsides of
cookies, spread desired topping on a baking sheet, brush dough with
beaten egg white, and roll log in topping.
TO MAKE SPIRALS: Measure and trim 2 or more colors of dough to the
same size. Brush tops of layers evenly with egg white to help
layers stick together, then stack layers. Starting at short end,
roll up dough. Gently pinch and press edge of roll to seal.
Decorate with toppings, if desired (see step 4,
Roll each log in parchment; twist ends of paper closed. To help
logs keep their rounded shape, set each in a cardboard paper-towel
tube sliced open lengthwise. Chill logs, seam side down, 90
minutes, or up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350. Cut 15 inches of dental floss (or a double
thickness of thread). Let logs soften at room temperature 10
minutes. Remove parchment. Wrap floss around log and pull through
to make ¼-inch-thick slices.
Place slices on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating
sheets halfway through, until firm but not browned, 12 to 15
cool on sheet on a wire rack several minutes, then transfer cookies
to rack to cool completely.
There are about a million variations of buckeye candy recipes on
the web. This is my mom's version that I have made since I was a
kid. As an Ohio native, these little guys are a Christmas
staple for just about everyone I know from home. By dipping the
peanut butter bon-bon 3/4 of the way in the melted chocolate, you
end up with the finished product that looks like the nut produced
by the official state
tree and is also a nice shout out to mascot of The Ohio State
½ sticks butter, softened
lb creamy peanut butter
lbs of confectioners' sugar
12 oz bag
of chocolate chips
stick of paraffin wax
butter, peanut butter and confectioner' s sugar thoroughly.
Roll into 1 inch balls and chill on a cookie sheet for several
hours. Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in a double boiler.
With a toothpick or bamboo skewer, dip peanut butter balls in
melted chocolate and place on a wax paper lined cookie
sheet. Refrigerate leaving on waxed paper until
Hello Lovelies! It's that time of year again...when my Christmas
cookie baking is in full swing. I bake a lot for the holidays
because a) a really enjoy it and b) cookies make wonderful and
inexpensive gifts. I have been asked several times this year for
some cookie recipe sugestions, so I am making a three part series
all about it. I started this years baking off with three recipies
I'd like to share:
Martha's Idea Sugar Cookies
Let's face it, no one does baking quite like Martha, dahling.
And although some of her recipes can get a little fussy, her
ideal sugar cookie recipe is a classic. I've used this recipe
for years and it always gets rave reviews.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Yield: about 2 dozen
I always let my dough rest in the refidgerator over night to be
sure it is easy to work with. This recipe was orginally published
in The "Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook" cira
2003. You can find a copy
here at Amazon.
And, naturally, you've got to decorate these lovelies with
Martha's Royal Icing recipe.
1 box confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
5 tablespoons meringue powder, or 2 large egg whites
Yeild: 2 1/3 cups
I use egg whites rather than meringue powder because that is
normally what I have on hand. After your cookies are iced, let them
sit out a bit before storing and the royal icing will become firm
Betty Crocker Thumbprint Cookies
Ahhh, Betty Crocker, oh how I love thee. I can always turn to
you for tried and true recipies likes these
tumbprint cookies. So delicious and festive, these buttery
short bread cookies are topped with a touch of jelly for flavor and
color. I like raspberry jelly, but you can choose your
Here is the recipe as it appears from Betty:
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup finely chopped nuts
Yield: about 3 dozen
I made a modification to this recipe and skipped the nuts and
egg wash. Rather, I rolled the chilled dough and use a small daisy
shaped cookie cutter to cut-out the cookies. Then I pressed the
center with a mellon baller, to give a nice round uniform dish, and
baked according to instructions.
Aunt Baby's Checkerboard Cookies
And finally, from Oprah, Aunt
Baby's Checkerboard Cookies. A pretty combination of chocolaty
and buttery flavors (really how could you go wrong with that),
these cookes are pretty simple to make and look lovely on a cookie
plate. Because of their square shape, they also pack and ship well
in the mail.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 envelope) nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or shortening , softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs , well beaten
2 Tbsp. cocoa
Note: For more colorful cookies, substitute red or
green food coloring for cocoa.
Sift together flour, dry milk, baking powder, and salt. Set
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and stir in vanilla.
Gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten
eggs, blending until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well
blended. Divide dough in half. Stir cocoa into one half, blending
well. Shape each half into a rectangle, about 2" x 2" x 6". Tightly
wrap in waxed paper. Chill at least 30 minutes.
Unwrap dough; cut each rectangle into quarters, lengthwise.
Alternately place dark and white quarters side by side to form
checker design. Rewrap in waxed paper and chill slightly.
Slice dough into 1/8-inch pieces and place on ungreased cookie
sheet. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.
Yield: about 5 dozen
as seen on the gypsys
I am always up for an adventure in the kitchen and a new
ingredient was given to me by my cousin Lindsey and her husband
Gino as a hostess gift for a recent visit. Lindsey brought me this
fabulous gourd from her local grocery store. I find it delightful
that she saw this crazy thing and knew I would love it----I guess I
am just a fancy gourd kind of girl.
The gourd first served as a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving
dinner table, and did a lovely job. After I put the fall things
away and hauled the Christmas stuff down from the attic, Mr. Gourd
suddenly looked out of place in the dining room. My husband and I
contemplated what to do with him next; should we dry him and keep
him for next year? Could we make some sort of percussion
instrument out of him? And then we began to wonder….could we
eat that guy? Make him into a pie? A soup? Can we roast him?
After a little online research we found that Mr. Gourd was a Turk's
Turban Gourd and was not only edible but billed as
delicious-and that was all I needed to hear. I washed him up and
took a knife to him.
After removing the top of the gourd, I was left with the lovely
bowl shaped bottom. Just as I would prepare any other squash for
roasting, I scraped the seeds and the stringy innards out with a
melon baller, lightly coated the inside of the gourd with
olive oil and turned it upside down onto a cookie sheet-then
roasted it in a 400 degree oven for 30 min. I did the same with a
large butternut squash.
In the mean time, on the stove top, I tossed three coarsely
chopped carrots, five chopped ribs of celery, and one chopped
medium onion into a large soup pot with some olive oil and cooked
them up until soft. I added to that 2 cups of chicken broth and
Once the gourd was roasted, I used and ice cream scoop to remove
the flesh from the inside of the 'bowl', removed the flesh from the
butternut squash as well and added both to the pot.
Have I ever mentioned that I really like my immersion blender? I
really do. It is a fun kitchen tool to use, and if you have never
had one, you really don't know what you are missing. I didn't have
an immersion blender for years and now I am not certain how I ever
lived without one. Anyway, next I used the immersion blender to
make a smooth puree out of the vegetables in the stock. Added milk
to thin and the following spices to taste: salt, cinnamon,
allspice, cloves. And tada! Soup.
Using the gourd shell as a soup tureen for serving made a lovely
presentation and this hardy delicious soup was filling dinner when
served with whole wheat rolls. I enjoyed this so much that I think
I will save the seeds from Mr. Gourd, plant them in the spring and
see if I can grow a whole
crop to decorate with and eat next fall. Talk about a gift that
keeps on giving!
The Thanksgiving prep has already started at my house and I
can't wait to sit down with family and friends to enjoy some
turkey. In the mean time, I am getting a head start on the big meal
by making the dinner rolls in advance. The classic Southern Living Annual
cook books are always wonderful. Published since 1979, these books
are chalked full of classic tested recipes that never
disappoint-another great feature, they are organized by month, so
it is never hear to find the perfect recipe for the season.
For my Thanksgiving feast, I will be serving the Light Wheat
Rolls featured in the November section of the
1987 edition (page 254). The rolls are also pictured on the
back cover of the recipe book (as seen above). I selected this
recipe because it is pretty straightforward, the rolls look pretty
and you can partially bake, then freeze them, and complete the
baking on the morning of your dinner, saving a lot of kitchen time
on the big day. Enjoy!
Light Wheat Rolls
2 packages dry yeast
1 ¾ cups warm water (105 to 115)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter (divided)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; add sugar
and salt to the yeast mixture. Melt ¼ cup of butter; cool to
lukewarm. Add butter, egg and whole wheat flour to yeast mixture,
stirring well; gradually stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until
smooth and elastic (about 5 min). Place in a well greased bowl,
turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place,
free from drafts until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down, divide in half, and roll each portion into a
14 x 16 inch rectangle. Cut dough into 12 (7x1" strips). Roll each
strip into a spiral; place in well greased muffin pans. Repeat
process with remaining dough.
Brushed with melted butter; let rise un-covered in a warm place,
free from drafts for 40 min or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 400
for 12 to 15 min; brush again with melted butter.
Note: Rolls can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Bake at
400 for 8 min; let cool and freeze. Let rolls thaw, and bake at 400
for 5 to 7 min.
to order your own copy of the latest edition of the Southern Living
Annual Cookbook, check out
Filled layer cakes are delicious and you can come up with some
wonderful flavor combinations. Filling a cake is not much more work
than simply icing a layer cake, so once you are committed to
layering, you might as well go the extra step and make your cake
For my spooky dinner party, I prepared a red
velvet, raspberry filled round cake with cream cheese
icing. It was delicious! To make this cake yourself, first
begin by baking two 8" round red velvet cakes. Let the cakes cool
for about 10 minutes in the pan and the transfer to a wire rack to
cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, make your cream
cheese icing and set aside. Once the cakes are cool, trim the tops
with a serrated bread knife, to make them even. Then place once
cake, trimmed side down, on to your cake plate or stand.
Fill your pastry bag with icing and using any large tip to draw a
circle around the edge of the bottom cake.
Now you are ready to add your filling. I used a good quality local
raspberry jam from filling. Spoon a liberal amount of your filling
of choice into the icing circle:
Place the second cake on top of the first, cut side down.
Next apply a "crumb coat," a thin layer of icing that keeps crumbs
where they belong-on the cake-not the frosting! Once the cake is
coated, place it in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours,
until the crumb coat is firm.
Now you are ready for the final layer of icing. I use an icing
spatula that I keep in a glass of hot water while I am icing. The
hot water heats up the metal spatula, making it easy to spread the
icing and create a nice smooth finish on the cake. To keep with the
spook theme, I used black gel icing to create a spider web design
on the top of the cake and perched a paper cut our spider on the
Filling and layering a cake is easier than you may think. Give
yourself plenty of time to allow for cake cooling and icing setting
and you will be impressed with the results!
Red velvet is delicious cake and fun for many special occasions,
especially Halloween. Check out these devilishly delicious
This trio of treats from Meghan's
Cakes and Cookies, Brain Cupcakes straight from the mad
scientists' lab of Salt
Says, and Dracula's Bites from
Parenting, are all excellent examples of how creative you can
So hit up this classic red velvet cake recipe from the Joy Of
Baking and whip up some spooky holiday fun of your own this