Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas 2018

My daughter and I were able to make a Gingerbread House this year.  It's not always easy to find the time during a busy holiday season, but we did and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  

As you can see we love white.  We love that winter wonderland feeling.  

Friday, June 1, 2018

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes for Nonna Maria

Happy Birthday to a Special Nonna.  Only special cupcakes will do.

Dark Chocolate Oreo Cookie Cupcakes
Birthday Confetti
Moist Vanilla Cookies and Creme
Vanilla Cannolli Cupcakes

Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes are so versatile.  It's endless what flavors you can come up with a good base recipe.  These are my two favorite recipes.  The chocolate cake is 100% from scratch and the vanilla cake uses a cake mix and scratch ingredients to get the perfect vanilla cupcake. 

My favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.

Rich Chocolate Cupcake
Preheat Oven 335-350 degrees, line cupcake tins with paper

Wet Ingredients
1 3/4 very hot strong coffee
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter

2 large beaten eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Put all wet ingredients in a sauce pot and heat until very hot and sugar, chocolate and butter are all smooth and dissolved. This is crucial that all ingredients are thoroughly dissolved and cohesive.  

Cool slightly and put into a mixing bowl with whisk attachement.  Turn on mixer on low speed and add beaten eggs, vanilla and continue to beat.  You want the mixer moving so as to not cook the eggs while in warm wet ingredients.  

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt

sift these ingredients and add slowly to mixer, beat until well incorporated.  

This is a runny batter.  Line your cupcake tins with paper liners and fill 3/4 full.  Bake at 335-350 degrees check in 15 minutes for doness.  Depending on your oven it can take much longer than 15 minutes.  Cupcake should spring back one touched on top.  If using a larger muffin size cupcake it will take longer.  

Once they are cooled I like to fill mine with American Buttercream and top with a spoonful of ganache.  They are super moist and delicious.  

American Buttercream

4 sticks soft room temperature butter, unsalted
8 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T. heavy cream

With whip attachment beat butter until light and fluffy, add vanilla and slowly add powder sugar and cream in intervals.  Then whip until everything is creamy and light.  Turn your mixer to lowest setting and beat for another 3 minutes to take out some of the air from buttercream. This will give you a smoother buttercream.  You can easily half this recipe.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 T. strong coffee
1 T. unsalted butter
pinch salt

In a sauce pot heat cream, coffee and butter to a very warm temperature. Butter should be melted.  Add chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.  Mix with a whisk or spoon and stir until melted and smooth.

Vanilla Cupcake
preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 vanilla or yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer add all ingredients and beat for at least 5 minutes until smooth and incorporated. 
Fill prepared cupcake tins that are lined with paper to about 3/4 full.  Check cupcakes in 15-20 minutes for doneness.  They are done when touch they spring back.  You might have to adjust time.  Everyone's oven cooks slightly different.  

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Celebrating Alivia's First Birthday Bash!!!!!

Alivia had an Alice in Wonderland Party Theme
I made Alivia an Alice in Wonderland Cake.  

Made her a buttercream cake to smash!!!!

She enjoyed every minute!

Had a great time celebrating my Great Niece Alivia Alexandria Rose.  She turned one on April 5, 2018.  She is such a sweet little girl.  Her personality is angelic and she loves everyone.  She is such a happy child.  Her smile melts my heart.  Happy Birthday Angel Girl.  Your my baby cakes.  Love you so much!!!!!!  We had a tough past year in the family and you made  the pain and hurt go away.
Made gum paste cake topper

My daughter made gum paste clocks and keyhole
Edible Gum Paste Skeleton Keys

Edible Lace for Cake

Made mini cheese cakes for party

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Greek Cinnamon Paximadia

Recipes is for Cookie in the middle.  Looks like a biscotti

Found this wonderful recipe on Good Housekeeping, no less.  Its a Greek traditional cookie.  It's our version of Greek Biscotti.  Lots of Cinnamon!!!! Love these.  Taste just like Yiayia's.  Only thing I did different was not use shortening.  I use butter instead.  I never use shortening.  

Greek Cinnamon Paximadia
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Recipe source: Good Housekeeping

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat margarine or butter, shortening, and 1 cup sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed.  
Gradually add baking powder, baking soda, and 3 cups flour and beat until well blended. With wooden spoon, stir in remaining 1 cup flour until soft dough forms. If necessary, add additional flour (up to 1/2 cup) until dough is easy to handle.  
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. On lightly floured surface, shape each piece of dough into an 8-inch-long log. Place 2 logs, about 4 inches apart, on each of 2 ungreased large cookie sheets. Flatten each log to 2 1/2 inches wide.
Place cookie sheets on 2 oven racks and bake logs 20 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking. In pie plate, mix cinnamon with remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
Remove cookie sheets from oven. Transfer hot loaves (during baking, logs will spread and become loaves) to cutting board; with serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Coat slices with cinnamon sugar.
Return slices, cut side down, to same cookie sheets. Bake slices 15 minutes. Turn slices over and return to oven, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks, and bake 15 minutes longer or until golden. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

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