Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mini Donut Muffins

Yeah, you read right. Mini Donut MUFFINS! Thanks to Stumbleupon, I came across these little delights that I just had to bake right away! 




So I did. And it was a pure success.




My favorite part? Dipping the tops into melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Mr. Sweets thought there was too much sugar on the top. But really, when is there ever *too much* sugar on anything?!





Makes approx. 22 

Muffin Ingredients:
  •  1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg......I found this to be too much so I would put about 1/2 tsp instead
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 cup All-Purpose (Plain) Flour

Top of Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Margarine/Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon


♥ Preheat oven to 190C / 375F

♥ Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine or butter, and nutmeg in a large bowl

♥ Stir in the milk

♥ Mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined

♥ Fill a greased mini muffin tin half full (because I'm an optimistic kind of girl!) of the batter

♥ Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden

♥ While the muffins are baking, melt the 1/4 cup margarine or butter in a small bowl

♥ In another bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon

♥ Once the muffins are done baking, dip the tops of them into the butter, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture

♥ Let cool if you can resist trying one right away! 



Smooches!! xoxo

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mini Smurf Cupcakes


I went shopping. And I spent way too much. Story of my life? How about yours? I just *had* to have all of the baking stuff that I bought. I could not live with out them.

Or at least I told myself that when they were being rung up. Oops. 



Mr. Sweets wanted me to bake him more cupcakes for his class. It just so happened that I had bought a mini cupcake tin and really wanted to try it! 

So, chocolate cupcakes it was. With a very sweet buttercream frosting dyed sky blue. 



Little smurf-like cupcakes. Yum. 
Mr. Sweets even helped pipe a couple! They aren't displayed here because um, he needs practice.


Smooches! xoxo

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Award!

Wow well this is exciting news! SweetHarts Cakes & Bakes has given me the blog award of Versatile Blogger! 




So the way it goes is that I give the award to other blogs that I like! So here's a list of those I am loving right now! 




And now for part 2 of receiving this award! 7 things about myself since I'm super interesting! ;)


1. I am a full-time student, and although I love it, I am finding that I am loving baking even more! 

2. I am engaged to Mr. Sweets, and we are getting married next year! :)

3. I love to bake because I love making people happy from seeing something pretty and enjoying its delish taste too! It keeps me baking :)

4. I am not a scientist. I don't know how baking powder and baking soda work. I just want to be able to cook and bake easily without worrying about the scientific details! That's why most of my recipes are fairly easy! 

5. I love all things pink and pretty and mini! I am the ultimate girly-girl! 

6. Starting this blog and being on Twitter has definitely opened many doors for me, including having so many more views than I have ever had! So thank you, everyone!

7. Finally, I love all of you! Thank you for reading my blog and enduring my sillyness!!


Phew that was difficult coming up with 7 things! 

Smooches!! xoxo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mr. Sweets' Ginger Cupcakes

Firstly, I'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to my Grandmother! Happy Birthday!

Secondly, I apologize in advance. 

Mr. Sweets, well...he just loves to pipe cupcakes now. He finds it relaxing.

The results? Not so relaxing for the eyes...

Delicious nonetheless! 

So, enjoy these fun pictures of Mr. Sweets' attempt at piping cupcakes! 




See that bottom one? On the left? 
We ran out of icing. So Mr. Sweets used a spatula.

Mr. Sweets' friend says not to let "spatula boy" near the cupcakes anymore!




A smiley ginger face that is sure to make any child happy! 

Or scared...




And finally...I thought he was going to do really well. I did.

Then I saw the swirls go in the middle.

Mr. Sweets is very entertaining and creative, in case you haven't noticed! ;)



P.S. Do you like my new mini cake stands?




How about my zebra cupcake holders? It's the New Jersey in me...


Smooches! xoxo

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grilled Vegetable Panini

Okay, so it's not really a panini, but it's still toasted bread so um, that counts.

Semantics. 




Can I ask you a question? 

How do you feel about Mozzarella Cheese?

Do you gobble it up once you open a package of it?

Am I just crazy?




I love fresh vegetables. Especially ones that have so many colors! It's like a rainbow that you're about to devour!

But there is no pot of gold. :(

I told you I was crazy.

Anyway!




You know what else I like?

Olive oil. It's so rich and perfect and makes everything 100 times better. 




And lastly, I *love* bread! Why must I love all the unhealthy things? 

Oh well, we only live once! 



Time to eat a rainbow!




Remember my Garlic Knots? They went great with this Grilled Vegetable Panini! If you're not into Garlic Knots, how about trying some fries (chips) or some chips (crisps)?


For two...adjust according to how many of your loved ones you are serving this rainbow panini to!


Ingredients
  • 1 Baguette...I used Tiger Bread
  • 4 teaspoons of Ricotta and Red Pepper Pesto, or any kind of Pesto you want! 
  • Lots of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 of a large Red Onion
  • 1/2 of a Red Pepper
  • 4 thin slices of Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • 4 thin slices of Zucchini (Courgette)

~ Preheat your oven to 180°F/350°C

~ Slice your baguette in half or quarters, whatever you want

~ Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto on each side of the baguettes

~ Sprinkle mozzarella on both sides of the baguettes

~ Place baguettes on a baking sheet 

~ Fry the red onion, red pepper, eggplant (aubergine), and zucchini (courgette) in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides

~ Divide veggies among the baguettes

~ Place baking tray with the baguettes into the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly toasted, up to 10 minutes



This dish was seriously impressive. Mr. Sweets and I gobbled it up faster than the Garlic Knots!


We will definitely be making this dish more often! 


Smooches! xoxo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Snickerdoodles

I found out today that British people are deprived.




Deprived of the deliciousness known to all Americans as Snickerdoodles.




I can't imagine a life without cinnamony-sugary goodness in the form of a cookie. 

Sometimes I wonder why I live here. Will I forget about Snickerdoodles?

No chance.

It's Snickerdoodle week at The Java Cupcake! Everyone head over there to see some delicious Snickerdoodle cookie, cupcake, and other unique recipes!

While you're there, check out my Guest Post !

For now, I'm going to enjoy these.




Recipe from here! 
Makes over 27 cookies 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Cinnamon

~ Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

~ Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and eggs in a large bowl

~ Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl

~ Mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture

~ Chill dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes

~ Mix the 3 tablespoons of sugar and the 3 teaspoons of cinnamon together in a small bowl

~ Roll 1 inch balls of the snickerdoodle batter in the palms of your hands, then roll it in the cinnamon sugar mix until fully coated

~ Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes!


Voila! You British people are no longer deprived! 

And you Americans...you know you want to bake a batch!


Smooches! xoxo

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Don't Eat It All

Hey everyone! Okay, so recently I've been getting questions about eating all of these baking treats that I make and post on my blog. So I wanted to clear it up so you all don't think I'm the size of a whale right now! 

I bake about once or twice a week, depending on how much there is from what I bake. I do advance posting, so you'll see that I'm baking Snickerdoodles one week, but the blog post doesn't post until the week after. This is so I don't become a whale!

I also give most of my treats to Mr. Sweets to take to his co-workers and occasionally to my neighbors, which is why I may bake up to twice a week, so that his co-workers have enough to eat. I keep a few cookies or cupcakes for myself, and give them all away. I know it may seem like a waste, but I'm trying to write a Recipe Book, so this is the best way to go about it. 

I hope that I've cleared it up!! No, I am not the size of a whale from eating unhealthy batches of cupcakes 3 times a week! And no, I'm not a skinny minny either! Never have, never will be. I just like to give you, my amazing readers, something to read a few times a week! 

Smooches!! xoxo

Monday, June 20, 2011

Berry-Lemonade Cupcakes

My new Twitter friend, KitschenBakery, came up with a Lemonade Cupcake challenge, and lemme tell you, it definitely was a challenge for me! Check out her blog for her delicious sounding recipe!

My original idea for this recipe was to make a berry cupcake, fill it with lemonade cream, and top with a delish buttercream frosting!

Well, disaster struck and my cream was way too thin to use inside the cupcake! So, I adjusted. I just made a berry cupcake with lemonade frosting!




I used frozen berries because they've been sitting in my freezer for ages. Blackberries, raspberries, black and red currants...are you drooling yet?




 I am a lover of all things pink and purple and pretty. I couldn't believe the color that came from the berries in the cupcakes!! How pretty are those?!




 The only way to top off such pretty cupcakes is to add some lemonade icing and a frosted blackberry! Too much sugar? Never!! I really hope I'm not diabetic one day...knock on wood!




Everytime I look at this picture, my mouth waters. 




The basic vanilla cupcake recipe comes from a lovely book called Perfect Cupcakes.

Makes 6 pretty cupcakes!


Cupcake Ingredients:
  •  3/4 cup/90g all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup/60g/3ish tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup + 3 teaspoons sugar (or 13 teaspoons of sugar, but that's a lot of counting!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup/85ml milk
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries or whatever berries you want!

Lemonade Buttercream Icing Ingredients:
  •  1.5 cups/240g confectioners' (icing) sugar
  • 1/2 cup/4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy (double) cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Frosted Berries
  • 1 egg white
  • Superfine sugar...I used regular granulated but I do wish I had superfine!

Cupcakes

~ Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C
~ Prepare a 6 cup muffin pan with liners
~ In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
~ In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer (I used my handheld blender thingy) to cream together the butter and sugar
~ Beat in the egg and vanilla
~ Mix in the berries! There will be chunks but trust me, it really goes well in the final product!
~ Mix in half of the flour mixture
~ Mix in the milk and the rest of the flour
~ Pour the batter into the cupcake liners!
~ Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool


Icing

~ In a medium bowl, warm the water for about 30 seconds, or until hot
~ Add in the sugar and warm for another 20 seconds...this makes a "simple syrup" so that the sugar is dissolved into the water and it's not just sitting at the bottom!
~ Add the lemon juice and stir
~ Add the confectioners' (icing) sugar and butter
~ Mix it all together! My suggestion is to use a spatula to stir in the icing sugar first before using an electric mixer. Otherwise you'll be covered with sugar dust like I always am!
~ Add in the heavy (double) cream and mix until you get the consistency you want! 
~ Add more confectioners' (icing) sugar if you want it a bit thicker!
~ Chill for about 30 minutes
~ Once chilled, pour on top of your cupcakes!
Frosted Berries

~ Whisk the egg white in a bowl until it's foamy
~ Put sugar in a little bowl
~ Spread the egg white all over the berries you wish to use
~ Roll the berries in the sugar
~ Place the frosted berries on a piece of parchment paper of you aren't using them right away! Otherwise, place on top of your cupcakes!

I used the frozen mixed berries for the Frosted Berries, but I recommend using fresh berries for this! The fresh ones will be much drier and more able to handle the sugar! The frozen berries were delicious nonetheless!

These cupcakes seem to be better when they have been in the fridge for about 10 minutes! They are super moist and sweet, which is my favorite combo!




So, what do you think? I hope you try them! If you do, take a picture and share it with us!

I enjoyed them so much that I almost ate all of them. I had to practice self-control and give some to the neighbors! I need to fatten them up anyway! Mr. Sweets too. He needs to gain some weight to make me feel better. ;)


Smooches!! xoxo

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garlic Knots

Where I grew up, there was this restaurant that made the best garlic knots. 

Have you heard of them? Not many people have.

I could eat an entire plateful. And so will you.


I'm sure Mr. Sweets just loves kissing me and my garlic breath!


Remember how geometry wasn't my strongest subject?

Point proven.

Ladies and Gentleman, I present Garlic Twisty Bread Things!



Hopefully yours will be aesthetically pleasing.

Mine? Well, they were just delish.


Recipe from here!

This recipe makes 40 garlic knots.  If you think 40 is too much, use part of the dough for garlic knots, the other part for pizza!


Dough Ingredients:
 
  • 1 3/4 cups / 415ml Warm Water (115°F)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon  Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar (yum!)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups / 750g All-Purpose (Plain) Flour


Garlic Coating Ingredients:
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley 
  •  Sea Salt to taste

~ Combine water, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, and active dry yeast in a large bowl. Mix to dissolve yeast.

~ Add the Flour and mix! I used my hands. Messy messy!! 

~ Cover with a tea towel, and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in volume, about 1.5 hours. I put mine in the oven...it wasn't on, of course!

~ Catch up on one of those Lifetime movies...I love those. I always end up crying. Do you cry at Lifetime movies? No? Have you no heart?! Juuust kidding :) 

~ Once doubled, chill the dough for about 20 minutes

~ Put about 1/4 cup of flour in a little bowl 

~ Take the dough out of the fridge

~ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

~ Oil a large cutting board, a rolling pin, and your hands. 

~ Grab some dough and roll it out to a rectangle-ish shape, about 1/2" thick

~ Slice the rectangle with a pizza cutter in 1/2" slices

~ Rotate the cutting board so the slices are horizontal

~ Throw some flour all over them and the cutting board!

~ Roll the first strip back and forth to form a fake snake. Speaking of snakes...do you remember Jake the Snake? That was so sad about Macho Man. Snap into a Slim Jim! 

~ Tie it into a knot! Like you do your shoes. Or a pretty ribbon. Or tie it into one of those twisty bread things, because I couldn't tie it into a knot!

~ Once you put your twisty bread things on the parchment paper, cover the baking sheet with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes

~ In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200C/400F

~ Take the towel off of the garlic knots and bake them for 12-15 minutes, or until golden

~ While the garlic knots/twisty bread things are baking, on a low heat, cook the oil, butter, and garlic in a saucepan. Then add the parsley at the end!

~ Once the garlic knots are done, brush them with the garlic coating!

~ Devour. Instantly. 


Smooches!! xoxo

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mini Spinach-Artichoke Puff Pastries

I'm quite proud of this recipe because I randomly came up with it one day. Truth be told, it was an inspiration from these Spinach Artichoke Swirls that Mr. Sweets and I love (I'll post the recipe one of these days). This is a simple version of the Swirls!


Are you a fan of spinach like Popeye and I are? How about artichoke? My Momma makes the best artichoke that I can't even come close to replicating. I think she should write a guest-blog on here of her artichoke masterpiece!



Puff Pastry is one of life's little treasures. Its sweet taste that crumbles in your mouth...delectable. 

I have no words for this creation...because my mouth is stuffed full of them!


1 roll of puff pastry chilled...I got the buttered kind this time, but I don't recommend getting it. Try to find plain puff pastry
1 cup cooked spinach...more if you want to have softball-sized biceps!
3 artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Cheddar cheese
 
~ Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C
~ Cook the spinach in boiling water until it is soft 
~ Drain the spinach and add to a medium-sized bowl
~ Add the artichoke hearts to the spinach and mix until combined
~ Using a circular pastry cutter, cut out as many circles as you want in your rolled out puff pastry
~ Place the circles on top of a greased baking sheet
 
~ Spoon the spinach-artichoke mixture on top of the puff pastry. Try to center it as much as you can
~ Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top! 
~ Bake until the puff pastry is poofed up and golden! It should take about 20 minutes


Prepare to make this dish many times in your life...

Smooches! xoxo

Kindle

Hey everyone! I know you enjoy reading my website on here for free, but in case you're ever traveling and want to see my latest blog post on your Kindle, you can purchase a subscription for very cheap here!  

It's only available on the US Amazon website! I have no idea how to put it on the UK one but once I find out, I will let you know! {Edit: it is also available on the UK Amazon!}

Thank you for all of your support!! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Tart

It's still Spring, right? My uncle, Scott, said that when he thinks of Spring, he thinks of something lemony and raspberry-y. So he asked me to make something combining the two! I found a great recipe here that seemed so perfect for this request! Here's to you, Scott!




Lemon zest...mmm...not so "mmm" to actually zest. A pain in the bum, actually! But seeing it piled on top of one of my favorite ingredients, sugar, made me very happy!


What do you see in the lemon curd? A bowtie? A swirly thingy with wings? Is my imagination too "out there"?


Who doesn't love raspberries and sugar mixed together?? Not only is it pretty, but it's very tasty because it has the best ingredient in the world (sugar)!


Mmmm raspberry sauce covering a beautiful lemon tart

Um, I got over-excited and poured too much raspberry sauce on the tart. Not so pretty but delicious nonetheless!

This recipe has 3 parts!!

Lemon Curd

Zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick of butter
4 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the tart, I used ready-made shortcrust pastry
~ Pulse the lemon zest and sugar in a food processor
~ Cream together the lemon-sugar mixture and the butter in a bowl 
~ Add 1 egg at a time to the mixture and mix until combined
~ Add the lemon juice and salt and mix mix mix!

~ Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat on low until it reaches 175 °F...it will poof up and thicken!
~ Pour the heated mixture into a bowl, cover with clingfilm so it touches the lemon curd, and refrigerate until it is completely cool

~ Bake the pastry according to the directions in the box! 


Raspberry Sauce

1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
~ Blend together the raspberries and sugar
~ Pour through a sieve unless you like the seeds! Hopefully they won't grow inside you. There was an episode of Grey's Anatomy where a guy inhaled a tree seed and a tree grew inside his body. Crazy, I know! We all know Grey's represents real life!! ;)

~ Pour the lemon curd into the pastry shell
~ Pour the raspberry sauce on top!


This was a hit at the girls night!! I hope you enjoy!

Smooches! xoxo