Tag Archives: baking

I Bake: Banana Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffins

Well, that’s probably the longest title for a muffin recipes ever.  This is a recipe from one of my VERY few cookbooks.  I’m not big into buying cookbooks because it’s just so much more convenient to find  a perfect recipe online. But Baked is an exception. I may have mentioned the book before, but my favorite things about it are: the design (check out the preview of the book on Amazon), it’s full of deer motifs, every recipe has a giant picture, and there are TONS of tips of the trade inside.

So I totally failed at taking photos of the actual muffins I baked, but they pretty much look like the photo below.  (And the only reason I failed is because one of our sneaky dogs grabbed 7 of them off of the cooling rack while I ran an errand.  Oh and the other 5 were devoured a little too quickly by actual human beings). But yeah, these are so so good and the espresso powder adds that little extra flavor burst.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Baked
Yields 12 muffins

4 medium over-ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups), mashed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2  cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour  (I used half wheat and half all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder **
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a mixer, combine mashed bananas, sugar, and butter. Mix until well blended. Add milk and egg. Slowly add the flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

**Espresso grounds are not that same as instant espresso, pleassssee don’t substitute – you won’t get the same flavor!

Hello, cake.

I haven’t ever been much of a cake-maker.  I’ve made a couple small individual cakes to go with cupcakes, but that’s about it. I remember making them as a teenager and the middles always caved in, so I figured I sucked at cakes.

A few weeks ago I had a girl ask me to do a Hello Kitty cake and red velvet cupcakes for her sister’s baby shower. I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of freaked out. I was like “yeah…I can do that!” {I hope!}.  I always do a ton of research when I’m baking something new, so I think I found a great white cake and icing recipe that I can use from now on.  Another new-ish thing to me was using fondant.  I’ve used it very briefly before just to cut out some heart shapes for cupcakes.  Anyways, here’s how it all turned out, I’m hoping she will send me a photo of the cupcakes and cake all set up together soon!

Some things I learned: having your AC go out during baking is not fun, and frosting will not be your friend at this point.  Need more kitchen space. Need more fridge/freezer space.  Everything always takes longer than you plan. Red velvet cupcakes are better days later.  My handwriting is not pretty, hence fondant letters.

Day 13 & Some Cookies

Today’s photo challenge was kind of weird: A photo edit that you like.   So I interpreted as my favorite ways to edit my photos. And that would be 1) My favorite Lightroom preset, and 2) washi tape strips!  Here’s an example:

I almost always quickly edit all my photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (I’m no fancy pants). I have a bunch of “presets” I can use to quickly click and edit photos, but my most used/favorite edit is called “Afternoon Delight“, which adds a touch of goldenness/rustic-ness to photos, which I love. Oh and washi tape strips from Pugly Pixel are my favorite ways to add text to photos 🙂

Anyways, some other things I wanted to share….some lovely friends of mine got married this weekend, aren’t they cute? Adrien (da man) has been a friend since I was in high school, and his new wife, Jen, and I have become friends since they started dating.

I helped them with some wedding stuffs, Jen did a ton of DIY and I was happy to share ideas and thoughts. But I also helped put together a cookie bar for them. Here were the results!

Since I only have one little cake stand, I decided it would be best/cheapest to just make some more. I picked up a set of white dishes at Goodwill ($10 for maybe 18-ish plates) and some glass candlestick holders from Goodwill and the dollar store.  Glued em together and voila!  I spent less than $20 and made 3 stands with 2-3 plates on each and could have made a few more 🙂  And if you’re wondering, I made chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and chocolate salted caramel cookies.  We also had milk at the table. Perfection!

I Bake: Lemon Lime Bars

These bars are SO yummy! If you are fan of lemon bars (as I know a lot of people who are) you will definitely love these. Even better (to me at least) is that the graham cracker crust has coconut in it…YUM! I love anything with coconut.

Lemon Lime Bars
Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Yield: 24 bars

Graham-Coconut Crust
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15-17 crackers)
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Lemon Lime Filling
11 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1″ pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream

Make the Graham-Coconut Crust:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking pan or spray it with nonstick spray.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.

Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut and the brown sugar, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the melted butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.

Put the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.

Make the Lemon Lime Filling:
Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Put the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon, and lime juices, and lemon and lime zests in a large, clean metal pot. Whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the cooled rust. Use a rubber spatula to press the curd through the sieve.

Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Wrap the pan in plastic (do not let the plastic touch the filling) and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Store bars tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Look at those layers! YUM!!!

Black & White Cupcakes

I showed you my Black & White Cupcake Inspiration the other day, and my most favorite photo was this one.  Which helped with my mental health, because I suck at making decisions, especially when I can probably make about 80 different types of b&w cupcakes….and just having to decide on ONE? So hard. So I ended up making quite a few 🙂

For these cupcakes, since I was more focused on the prettiness of them, I just used white and dark chocolate cake mixes (boxed).  I used this recipe for the chocolate frosting, and my go-to buttercream frosting recipe can be found in this post.  I wish my chocolate frosting had been darker, hopefully I’ll be able to perfect that next time.

Yum. Not only were they pretty, but they tasted delicious too (so the guests said).  I only  had 4/50 left over 🙂

Black & White Cupcakes: Inspiration

I’m baking cupcakes for my sister’s birthday party tomorrow night and we’re doing a black & white theme for her party, so I thought it would be awesome to do a few different black and white cupcakes.

I kind of already had some visions for what I was going to do, but I was browsing the web this morning to see what other cute ideas I could find.  And now, of course I have too many things I’d like to do, so we’ll see what I come up with 🙂

From left to right:
1. “Hostess” cupcake.  So cute & love the idea of white cream in the middle (we actually had cream filled chocolate cupcakes at our wedding).
2. Dark chocolate cupcakes.  They look so rich and yummy.
3. Black & White cupcakes with hearts.  Just so cute!
4. Oreo cupcake. Love the look of the crumbled cookie on the white frosting.
5. Black and white cupcakes. I love all of these and they look so good together.
6. Black & White cupcakes with fondant. I probably wouldn’t make something with fondant, but they are so clean and CUTE!
7.  Hi Hat Cupcake.  This one is super awesome; I’d made the chocolate super dark!

All of those cupcakes look amazing don’t they!? Well, I have much to think about…so we’ll see what I come up with.  Which ones look the best to you?

I Bake: Cotton Candy Cupcakes

I know, doesn’t that sound absolutely amazing?!  So, I toyed around the idea of making cotton candy cupcakes starting a few months ago when planning a baby shower for Morgan and baby Jack. Steph & I found the idea somewhere online, and since we were planning a vintage baseball themed baby shower for her (which was this past weekend, yay!) it definitely fit the bill and sounded perfect!

There’s a few different recipes you can find online, but I didn’t really follow anything…I just kind of messed around with a few different versions of the cupcake to what suited best for this baby shower.  Since she’s having a boy, I obviously decided we had to go with blue cotton candy. I researched a few different ideas for flavoring as well.  Cotton candy flavoring does exist, however, I only found a couple brands online and all the reviewers said it didn’t really taste like cotton candy at all – so I nixed that idea.  I also found some cotton candy flavored crunch online, that I ended up buying to see what I could do with them.

Here’s a little recipe; it’s super simple since I used a boxed cake mix 🙂

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Ingredients:
I box vanilla cake mix
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2+ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Cotton candy (Flava Puff is a great store-bought brand)
Cotton candy crunch topping (I found mine on Ebay)

Prepare cupcakes using directions on your cake mix box. Optional: add 1/2 cup of cotton candy crunch topping to the batter before baking. Bake according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.  In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 2-3 minutes.  Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed per your liking.

OPTIONAL: add 1-2 ounces of your cotton candy to the frosting to give it the yummy cotton candy flavor. I only used blue cotton candy for mine, but pink would be cute for a girl as well. Or, mix the blue and pink together for purple. Pretty! If the color of your frosting isn’t  deep enough, add a little gel food coloring until you get your desired color.

Top your cooled cupcakes with your frosting, and decorate with either cotton candy or the cotton candy crunch topping.

Tip: The cotton candy will start to wilt/melt if sitting on the cupcake uneaten too long.  Make sure you top with the cotton candy just moments before you devour them 🙂

Vanilla cupcakes with cotton candy crunch, topped with plain buttercream frosting and blue cotton candy.

Vanilla cupcakes with blue cotton candy frosting: I added some white sugar pearls for some extra cuteness. This frosting is so good!

The inside of the cupcake with the cotton candy crunch in the batter.

My other favorite way to make the cupcake was to use the blue cotton candy frosting and top with the cotton candy flavored candy bits. I ended up not using them to top the cupcakes because of the purple and pink bits; but it would be totally adorable for anything else!!!

Hope you try them, they are so good. Enjoy!!!