Posts filed under: ‘Snacks‘




BRUNCH: Banana Pecan Belgian Waffles

I’m breaking my tradition of posting brunch inspired recipes on Saturday nights because I finished out my last day of the weekend this Monday with a day off from work.  I spent Saturday managing the many patrons attending a long week of performances of the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Lets talk about Martha for a minute, because I for one, having seen bits and pieces of her repertoire many times over the years I’ve been working in theatre, strangely knew little about her.  I knew only that she basically invented modern dance– which as a kid who studied tap dancing for (cough) fourteen years thought modern dance was just ballet without shoes.

Martha Graham is often mentioned with other great artist like Picasso– because they both invented and redefined their art– turning traditional form on its head.  She invented her own technique which is widely studied today and only at the tender age of 75 did she reluctantly retire from performing.  Her choreography can be severe, stressed, and emotional, and always includes eccentric costuming and makeup. Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, and Oscar De LaRenta designed many costumes for this week’s performances (see above).

Martha Graham has little to do with waffles, in fact I’m sure when you are a professional dancer you steer clear of waffles, carbs, and this blog in general. I did feel a little inspired with my plating and adding a carmel head dress as it were.

So here is a great addition to your brunch menu. Banana Pecan Waffles…ohhhhh I sigh just thinking about them. I actually had one this morning, though I made this recipe about a week ago…These waffles freeze well too.  So if you are serving breakfast for a small crowd or just treating your self this Sunday or Tuesday morning, don’t worry about all that extra batter going bad in your fridge throughout the week.  I’ve managed to comendere my boyfriends waffle iron for the last couple weeks, so when I had a minute I pressed the remaining batter into waffles and threw in a gallon size freeze bag, and have been indulging, with the help of my toaster ever since.  ALSO, thoses chocolate stout waffles, from my last brunch post freeze even better!

Banana Pecan Waffles from GroupRecipes.com

Ingredients:

2 c Flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp sugar

3 eggs

2 c buttermilk (2 c milk with 2 tsp vinegar)

1/3 c sour cream

1/4 c canola oil

3/4 c ripe mashed Bananas

1/2 -3/4 c chopped pecans

Combine dry ingredients (flour, powder, soda, salt, and sugar) and set aside.

Mash bananas.

Beat eggs, sour cream, buttermilk and oil.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Fold in Bananas and Pecans, careful not to over stir.

 

Pour about 1/3c batter on to iron.  Cook for 3-5 minutes. Follow the directions on your waffle iron.

Fresh bananas, whipped cream, and some caramel I had hanging around my fridge made for a fabulous finish. (my carmel topper wilted shortly after this picture…) maple syrup or agave nectar work just as well.

Add a comment March 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

In time for Valentines Day these are a great homemade, but really easy to make confection for someone you are sweet on. But first, I want to mention the event I made these for and my favortie, absolute favorite organization: VDay.

When I was in college studying theatre and wondering “What the hell am I gonna do after I graduate?!?!” I auditioned for a play,  and got the chance to be on stage in a neighboring college’s production of The Vagina Monologues.  I was also studying Solo Performance Art and quickly learned about the controversial play’s author Eve Ensler.  I ended up doing a presentation on Eve and her work.  I was astounded how she choose to use her piece to help others.  To this day I don’t think any other playwright has written the rights to their work in such a giving and original way.

Each year (to this day) Eve allows college and community organizers to perform The Vagina Monologues, free of royalties. Proceeds from the performances are donated to a local organization who help to end violence against women and girls.  I soon decided that it was odd the the super progressive, funky, eclectic and very eccentric college I attended didn’t do their own annual production of TVM.  So the following year I produced and directed the first of 2 VDay events during my college career.  Currently there are 1500 schools across the country who participate, raising millions for non profits in their communities.  4,000 events will take place this year around the world, and VDay has evolved too.  Organizers can present many plays and films including The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and  a Prayer, Any One of Us, and films: What I Want my Words to Do to You, and Until the Violence Stops.  There are book clubs for young girls, and teach-ins for the issues that VDay spotlights each year: Haiti being this years spotlight Campaign. There are V groups for men too, because violence doesn’t just affect women. VDay involves many amazing women and men who are all committed to ending violence and they use art to spread this transformative message.

Ever been on a stage? I’m sure you can attest to a metamorphosis feeling of being an actor, storyteller, or having seen a great piece that really changed your life. One of my favorite plays I’ve ever seen, is aptly called Metamorphoses— a pool of water instead of stage? A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  And thats theatre– art really.  My story with VDay doesn’t really end.  I made a brief but powerful connection to one of the Campaign Directors at the West End Theatre the year I first produce The Vagina Monologues, the next year I was interning and amoungst all the volunteering I still do for VDay whenever I can, and especially when they need a theatre nerd backstage.  And that Campaign Director, Shael well I was there when she went into labor for her daughter Aela, and every year I make her birthday cake.  Its our thing.  And its always been my excuse to show a little V-girl what cool lady’s can do for the people who are special to them. 

I hope to make the world a great place one cake at time, and VDay, aside from being all over my professional resume has been at the heart of how I want the world to be: happy, safe, amazing, accepting of everyone, for everyone.  When violence is no longer perpetrated against women and girls– we are all ladies and gents safe, happy, accepting, progressing. We’re better. Better People, Better Friends, better family, better lovers, better artists. GOOD.  If you want to get involved: be in a play, become or wake up that activist in you, reach out, open up, raise funds for a good cause, get educated, educate, become apart of a heart beat, a backbone of people who want the world to be a better place, be an artist, inspire, lead, be an example to the next generation of people, make the world better for your own kids, then go to VDay.org. You’ll find a performance or film screening near you and organizers always need help, so reach out and jump in. Make a donation if you want.

On to a really easy recipe just in time for VDay.  Save the cash on store bought chocolates and make these for your sweetie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles:

Start with a package a Nestle’s mini morsels.

Omit the eggs and levening agents. Walnuts are optional, and you are good to go.

Combine 3/4 c sugar, 3/4c  brown sugar, 1c  butter and 1 tsp vanilla

Add 2 1/4c flour and 1 tsp salt.

Its like a fluffy cloud of buttery sugar!

Fold in chips.

and you are ready to start scooping.

I recommend a cookie scooper, although my plastic one broke after a batch of these.  I think a more heavy duty metal scooper is best and they come in all shapes and sizes. 

Of course try to get these as uniform as possible, scooping and rolling the truffles in your hands. Chill in the refridgerator for about an hour or longer before you dip in chocolate.

In a double boiler or microwave gently heat 1 c (more if you need) semisweet chocolate chips. I recommend adding 2 tbsp butter or shortening to thin the chocolate for a really thin consistency.  Use a plastic fork with the 2 middle tines removed. Dip chilled truffles and allow to set on wax paper.

I like to finish these off by placing them in mini cupcake cups or candy cups for display.

Of course you can doctor these but using vegan butter and chocolate.  I haven’t seen mini vegan chocolate chips, but chopping up your chocolate always works.

2 comments February 8, 2011

The Rocky Road…

From the beginning this website has been about me taking my life experiences and using them to interpret or influence my endeavours in the kitchen.  Most of the time I hope I’m uplifting, though I worry sometimes that I sugar coat things, as I’ve rarely used this space to get all too personal.  Tonight however I found myself cooking up a recipe from a rather sour encounter.

After a Long day at work, and may I say I LOVE my new job, I decided, though totally exhausted to head to the gym, blow off some steam in preparation of getting a good nights sleep.  I decided to do a quick grocery run before heading home on the subway, and though a bit on the pricey side I thought the convenience of the Whole Foods market on the lower level of my theatre far out weighed leaving my cabinets bare until the weekend.

I should say Whole Foods is not one of those places I’ve been to frequently just based on proximity but it’s always been my go-to place for the random baking items that no other store carries: Match green Tea Powder anyone? So having the opportunity to drop in at my convinience now that I work at Columbus Circle is just another perk of my new position at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

I was on the look out for vegan white chocolate chips– I’ve heard they exist, though I have yet to find them. Instead found myself perplexed by the fact that I could not find plain old dutch processed cocoa powder. There were lots of natural cocoa powders of which I already have an abundance so I turned and started to look in the baking aisle.  I noticed as I walked, a women with a large cart, an additional push cart strapped to the front of her shopping cart– no doubt to carry her groceries home.  She was sifting through the large rack of extracts and spices, as I proceeded to pass her.  No doubt she was taking up a lot of room as I skimmed the shelves next to me as I tried not to disturb her when I passed.  I bumped her purse as I passed, gently though and immediately said quite audibly “I’m sorry” and proceeded to the cake mixes.  Immediately I was met with “YOU STUPID F*cking uncivilized B*TCH! Next time you should start with EXCUSE ME!!!…..explitive explitive explitive.”

My mind draws a blank.

REALLY?!!??! I couldn’t believe that someone would accost a perfect stranger like that even in New York City and trust me I’ve had crazy-people encounters.  All over being nudged in the Baking aisle?? My beloved and sacred baking aisle?!?!

Before I left my favorite aisle, I gently reminded the women that I had apologized immediately when passing her. I proceeded to try and continue shopping though even with a list in front of me I was too stunned to remember what I needed or what I had in my fridge.  What a crap way to finish your day!!

I spent a few minutes thinking about what I would say if I had it to do over again, like “How do you seriously berate a perfect stranger and then have the audicity to call them uncivilized”  I hate situations like this.  I just don’t have the ability to zing people with equally nasty words, and even when I’m upset I just don’t call people names. You feel totally powerless, when someone projects their garbage on you. Or at least I do. I can’t help but feel like I must have done something terrible if it illicted such a nasty exchange.

But I decided instead that if I had that chance to say what I wanted that I would say that if she’d taken a breath she might have realized that we were both in the baking aisle, and that that we actually have something in common.  Which allowed me to refocus enough to shop, as a blog started to form.  I ended buying a bunch of chocolate. I was probably craving it for the sense of euphoria it gives you when yo eat it. Lavender chocolate, valrhona cocoa powder, dutch processed cocoa powder, and double chocolate stout. I also walked out with a rocky road brownie. I thought the chocolate craving would undoubtedly be satisfied, and the name was appropriate for the end of my night.

Rocky Road bownies (I made this one up)

4 eggs

3/4c granulated sugar

3/4c brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

5oz. 60% c0coa chocolate, or bittersweet chocolate (I used

1/4 c double chocolate stout

3 tbsp valrhona cocoa powder

1 1/4c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup of the following for the topping:

melted semi sweet chocolate

marshmallows

nuts, I used pecans, walnuts or almonds work

I also added white chocolate chips.

Combine Valrhona chocolate powder and flour and salt.  Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degreesIn a double boiler melt 5 oz. chocolate and butter.  Watch carefully not to burn. Set aside to cool to room  temperature, but not harden.

Combine sugar and eggs and beat on medium.  Add cooled chocolate, then chocolate stout and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Fold in dry ingredients.

Spread into a square pan 8″-10″ wide.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately spread 1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips on stop.

Let them sit for a few seconds before spreading with a knife.

Add marshmallows, chopped nuts, and white chocolate chips.

Melt 1/2 c semisweet chocolate in a microwave.  Place in a cake decorating bag, or plastic sandwich bag. Be sure chocolate is cool enough so that the bag doesn’t melt.  Drizzle melted chocolate over toppings.  Allow to cool before slicing.

1 comment February 7, 2011

BRUNCH: Red Velvet Donuts

My friend Chrissy always ends a week on her blog with at + / -.  The ups and downs of her week. So I figured I’d list a few…

+ I began planning a birthday cake due for Friday.  The design would be all purple and black with a tiara on top

+  My long awaited appointment to have my braces removed is set for Thursday

– Being a night owl and working long days at work caused me to be pretty exhausted throughout the week.

–  I finish a beautiful birthday cake…and then I knock the tiara off the table where it was drying…Another all nighter with no sleep to fix it, and up for work the next day.

– 19″ of snow hits the city and my dentist appointment gets cancelled.  Another week of braces.

+ Finish all my work and get to leave early just in time to make it home for the birthday cake to be picked up.

– Girl who order the cake never shows…or calls, or responds to my text/ calls.  I’m out the (be it small) amount we agreed upon for the price…NOT OKAY!!

I’d definetely say the minuses out weighed the positives….Except for one little detail of this week.  Wednesday as you well know was my dad’s birthday.  A man who doesn’t always love the spot light on him, especially when it comes to birthday celebrations or getting gifts, got the best gift, from me.

+ I put my name in at work to receive tickets to a highly anticipated show to come in April, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis…and I won them!!  Strangely enough I found out I got the tickets on Wednesday so instead of just placing a quick “Happy Birthday” phone call, I got to let my dad know he’d be going to see 2 of the greatest this spring.  A great highlight for the week.

On to breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got this recipe via email from my boyfriend’s aunt, Aunt Penny a seasoned baking and candy making pro.

Red Velvet Donuts with Buttermilk Icing

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp NATURAL cocoa

6 tbsp unsalted butter

3/4 c buttermilk or 3/4 c milk w 1 tsp vinegar and set it aside for a few minutes

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 tbsp red food coloring

combine dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, powder, and cocoa…no sugar is rarely considered “dry”) set aside.

I should mention that your cocoa should be natural, dutch processed is too dark and you won’t have a red cake.

With a hand mixer or upright cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, then buttermilk,

then vanilla, then food coloring.

Add dry ingredients.

Now to make “cake” donuts, and as you can see by the recipe this is really just  cake batter, you need either a donut pan–like a cupcake pan, OR you can get your hands on one of these spiffy new donut makers made by sunbeam.

I got a donut maker for Christmas, a rad present from my boyfriend.  I also received a deep fryer so traditional donuts are to come.  For about $30 you can have a specialty donut maker, that works alot like a waffle iron.

Plug in you donut maker and spray the cavities with nonstick cooking spray.  Close the lid and wait for the “ready” light to blink.  The easiest way to evenly distribute the batter is to use a piping bag.  I used a plastic disposable, because frankly I couldn’t begin to tell you where any of my cloth reusable ones are. Using plastic is not a great idea since it can melt if it touches the hot metal, but if your careful it will make do.

Squeeze a circular tube of batter into the donut trays. Shut the lid. About 5 minutes later you have perfect little donuts. They don’t get prettier than this.

For the icing mix 2  1/4 c powdered sugar with 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.  I drizzled using a plastic sandwich bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner, or you could just dip the donuts.  Next time I do these I’m going to add a little softened cream cheese to the glaze for that extra tangy zip.

6 comments January 30, 2011

Indian Summer S’mores

Summer is over ahhhh!!!!! and I feel like a barely enjoyed it.  I still long for the freedom of an elementary schooler having nothing to worry about except making friends at day camp.

Now we enter what is traditional known as Indian Summer.  Not so long ago I got to spend my uninfringed upon summers at a camp my family shared on Lake Bomoseen in VT.  My great grandfather had bought this humble lot of land in the 1940’s when few people inhabited the area and even still its not over run with tourists. I learned to swim on the sharp slate shore and spent my evening braiding my sunsoaked lake dampened hair by the fire in a big baggy sweat shirt. At that point in my life we’d come up with all sort of methods for roasting marshmellows. The patience required waiting for those hot coals to form along the fire’s edge and the persistence in finding the perfect long stick to roast with was scientific.  Many years later my family still tries to spend a week or two on Bomoseen though the family camp is no longer ours.  This time of year was my favorite as there were always a few weekends right as school began that my parents and me, and my brother would sneak back to the camp and enjoy the changing late summer weather for an evening or two.  It is definetly the best time for pie, leaf peeping, and marshmellow roasting.

So a recipe for wishing you had more vacation /beach time or time round the fire.  I’m already wishing I had more time to do absolutely nothing (I’m up to my elbows in a wedding cake as we speak ahhhh!!!)…and this recipe is another excuse to use that chef’s torch.

S’MORES Cupcakes

I’ve tried lots of S’mores cupcakes recipes out there.  I like the one in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The one big mistake I’ve made with those was I decorated with chocolate frosting, then shoved pieces of graham crackers and marshmallows on top…Graham crackers get mushy really quickly.  If you still want a cool presentation cover the back of the crackers with melted chocolate– this way they won’t fall over when they soften.  I’ve also tried Natalie’s recipe for S’mores cupcakes from Bake and Destroy.  She’s reinvented the wheel a couple times and the variations are all good.

I decided to go after Martha (Stewart) though for a couple reasons 1. I’m on a mission to make my Cupcakes book look more and more seasoned and dog earred. 2. Her frosting seemed really interesting (and came out amazing)– plus you burn it wiht a torch and 3.  I attempted her French Macarons recipe this labor weekend and couldn’t be more pissed at how craptastic the came out!! I’m less pissed at Martha, and more pissed at my impatience in not allowing those egg whites to come to the proper stiff consistency… but more to come with that later.

S’mores Cupcake

You need:

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 1/3 c graham flour (wtf graham flour?? see below)  I substituted 1 package of crushed graham crackers– it works out to 1 1/3 c exactly though its a bit different then the flour.

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 c (2 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp

2 c firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 c honey

6 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

For topping Chocolate Ganache and Marshmellow Frosting…(this is where it gets fun!)

Alright first off : graham flour– what is this anyway? Well i came across a passage in one of those “Answers to completely unimportant questions” books– the one people have on their coffee tables or better yet bathrooms, and discovered that once upon a time circa turn of the century there was a Reverend withthe last name of Graham, who preached that you could with stand the evils of deviant behaviour such as alcoholism or drug abuse by eating a healthy vegetarian diet.  A company promoting their wholewheat flour named their product after this preacher, which is now most noteable when eating a particular cracker– the graham craker. So Graham flour is really jsut a wholewheat flour.  Bob’s Red Mill brand has an array of flours and meals and I often find myself staring at the large selection of their products whenever I’m in a large grocery store that carries the full assortment.  Rather than buy one more specialty thing (seriously i have lavander extract in my kitchen right now) I thought I should go with whats already in my pantry so Should you not have graham flour substitute with crushed graham crackers.

Combine your dry ingredients: all purpose flour, graham cracker crumbs/ flour, powder, salt and cinnamon and mix.

In a separate bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.  Add honey and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Divide batter into lined cupcake trays and bake at 350 approximately 25 minutes.  Recipe yeilds apprx 24 cupcakes.

Ahhh so this frosting is really interesting.  So typically you’ll find most s’mores cupcakes topped of with Marshmellow frosting.  Usually this consists of butter, vanilla, Fluff and confectioner’s Sugar. It is absolutely devine, and a complete disaster in terms of stickiness…think cotton candy.  This recipe is another take on marshmellows– more along the basis of homemade marshmellows. Its pretty easy too.

1 envelope of unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup cold water

1/4 water to boil

1 c sugar

Combine gelatin and cold water in a mixing bowl– preferably to a standing mixer.  Let rest for apprx 5 minutes — or until gelatin is soft. Meanwhile combine 1/4 water with sugar in a sauce pan over medium-high heat and stir.  Once combine place a candy thermometer in pan.  Brush sides of pan with a wet pastry brush assuring sugar crystals don’t form.  Sugar will thicken and begin to boil.  Heat until sugar reaches the soft ball stage 238 degrees F.  Carefully pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture while whisking.  Its recommended you whisk by hand for about a minute as mixture cools, then use electric mixer.  Beat at medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form (not dry peaks).

Martha says it takes about 8-10 minutes.  I feel like it took about 15-20, maybe it wasn’t soo long, but it felt like it.  Use immediately as frosting will harden.  I also recommend you double the recipe if you intend on being able to cover all 24 cupcakes generously.  i ran out after the first dozen– which were for a colleague at work, so I improvised with the last 12, using a little of the remaining frosting and then adding a good ole marshmellow on top.  Holding 3-5 inches away use butane chef torch to singe one side (or all sides) of frosting.  A real marshmallow burns very easily so take heed.

Add a comment September 9, 2010

The Spectrum 8 and the Joy of Brownies

My favorite movie Cinema is not in New York City, though there are quite a few great ones. I like the Spectrum 8 in Albany, not far from my home town.  Whenever I’m home and especially on Christmas Day my brother and I make a point to go see a flick.  Its nice to avoid the mall cinemas, especially at holiday season, and this little indie joint has great atmosphere.  They screen your standard blockbusters, as well as more obscure films.  For instance we saw Sherlock Holmes on Christmas, which was really great.  I can’t wait for the sequel where I’m sure that great chemistry between Robert Downey Jr and Jude Lude will surely have steeped a bit more.

Speaking of chemistry lets get to a recipe.  The Spectrum 8 has a great snack bar.  They offer movie-goer-favorites like buttered popcorn and generous amounts of candy, but are great because they pop their popcorn in real corn oil and butter–not flavorcal (eek!) and also have a selection of fresh baked goods (YES!) and other indulgent yet wholesome goodies.  They have selection of wonderful brownies, so without further adieu.

Homemade Brownies from none other than The Joy of Cooking

4 oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate

1/2c (1 stick of butter)

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until smooth.  Set aside and let cool, though chocolate should not harden.

4 eggs at room temperature

2 cups of sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 c flour

Beat eggs and salt, gradually add 2 cups of sugar, vanilla.  Combine chocolate with egg sugar mixture with a few swift strokes.  Do not mix till uniform!  Fold in 1 c flour and 1 cup chopped nuts.

Bake in a well greased cookie sheet or pyrex dish at 350 degrees.   Bake 25 minutes.

4 comments January 29, 2010

Buck Eyes

Before I announce the give away winner…and post a new video blog…and a second give away just in time for christmas I figured my favorite christmas recipe needed to be common knowledge.

This is what I think of when I think of the quentessential christmas cookie.  Maybe because it was always on the platter of assorted Holiday goodies when I was a kid.  Truth be told buckeyes are not really cookies.  More of a cross between a peanut butter cup and a truffle…and ohhh so delicious.

This is my grandmother’s recipe, she was quite the baker back in her day.  And if my childhood lessons with Nana in kitchen weren’t reason enough for me to take up cake decorating, it was most interesting to find out that my great aunt Betty, my grandmother’s sister, was a cake decorator herself.

Buckeyes

1  1/2 c Peanut butter

1/2 c butter

1 box (14oz) Confectioner’s (10x) sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c chocolate chips

1 tbsp crisco

Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and sugar.  Kneed into a dough or mix in your counter top mixer with a dough hook.  Roll dough into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. For  best results use a small cookie dough scooper to achieve consistency in size. Chill on a cookie sheet for 30-60 minutes.

Melt chocolate and crisco (in a doubleboiler, in the microwave, or on very lower heat stirring constantly.)

Screwer doughballs with tooth picks.    Its best to pour chocolate into a drinking glass for dipping.  Holding toothpick, dip into balls into melted chocolate, about 2/3 of the way.  The “buckeye” is the yellowy center of the peanut butter peaking out.  Place each dipped buckeye into small candy cups or mini cupcake liners and chill.  These are a great addition to any holiday cookie assortment.

Or try the dipping method from the oreo truffles from a few posts past and use a plastic fork breaking the two middle tongs off. This allows you to toss the candy  in the chocolate.  I actual drew a little dot– for the buck’s eye with red chocolate just to change it up a little.



Add a comment December 22, 2009

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting is featured on some of the most popular cakes namely Carrot Cake and Red Velvet.  I’v noticed recipes for Cream cheese frosting are routinely searched for on this blog so I figured it was high time I included one.  Its so easy to mix up and its totally hard to resist not sticking your finger in the bowl nonstop.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 block (8 oz) cream cheese at room temperature.

1 stick (1/2 c) butter

2 lbs of powdered sugar (apprx 7 1/2 c)

1 tsp clear or pure vanilla extract.

Mix cheese, butter, and vanilla till smooth then add powdered sugar. Cream cheese frosting is typically a little softer than buttercream.

Heres a couple of notes on this frosting.  First of all I’ve made this with light cream cheese before and was pleasantly surprise with my results. The consistancy is a little thinner, but whips up and is really fluffy.  I still recommend using clear vanilla to keep the color less muddy, so that should you choose to color your frosting, your more apt to achieve the color you want.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing, decorated like Snow Globes, from the Book "Hello Cupcake."

Add a comment December 15, 2009

Every freaking time…

league_of_their_own

You know that scene.  The part in A League of Their Own.  When they post all the team lists at the end of tryouts.  And all the girls go running to the bulletin boards and then jump away one by one excited they’ve just made it.  Then the coach starts to talk welcoming everyone to the league…until everyone uncomfortably notices there’s still a girl staring alone at the board.  The coach is stern and says

“If you don’t see your name, you’ll have to go home. I’m sorry!”  

Just then another girls gets up and goes to the poor forelorn girl at the bulletin board and calmly says “Can you read?”

The first girl shakes her head no.

“What’s your name?”

Stuttering “Ss Sh Shirley Baker.”

Then they happily find Shirley Baker listed as a Rockford Peach.  

:Sigh:  I cry every Freakin’ time.   I see that scene.  Its over.  My frostings melted.

DSCN0415

Me and some of my closest gals at Yankee stadium in August.

The World Series is here and I’m a Bronx resident so I figured a baseball themed recipe would be good.  Lets hope the next few games are not tear-filled for us New Yorkers.  Its rainy today in the Bronx but hopefully the game will go on.  After all CC Sabathia is pitching.  If I had to pick a favorite yankee, well it’d probably be him.  He’s a giant! 

DSCN0417

“Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks…” Carmel Corn it is then.

I’ve been searching all over the internet for different recipes and they are all about the same.  Your main ingredients are Popcorn (of course) brown sugar, butter, corn syrup,  vanilla, salt.  Easy enough right?  Now Cracker jacks have peanuts in them and anyone whose come to New York and hasn’t stopped to get a bag of roasted peanuts on the street is missing out!!  But I didn’t have peanuts in the house so I did the next best thing.  Peanut Butter.  I’ll refrain from vulagrity on this site, but WOW this popcorn is $#@*&$ GOOD!!!!!

DSCN0771

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Ingredients:

4-5 quarts of Popcorn.  I made mine fresh on the stove…I don’t own a microwave, but plain popcorn, air popped, or in the microwave works.  Refrain from using that movie theatre butter kind of popcorn you’ll be adding enough real butter soon enough.

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2 stick of butter (1 cup)

2 c light brown sugar

1/2 c light corn syrup

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Melt these in a sauce pan, bring them to a boil.  Stir frequently.  Add:

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt ( I added 2 because I was using unsalted butter)

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I added 1/3 peanut butter.  One of the recipes I referenced at allrecipes.com said to boil this mixture for 4 minutes without stirring.  I was worried about burning so I couldn’t help myself but to mix.  Pour mixture over popcorn.  I burnt some of my kernels…I removed the good stuff, then tried to get some of those dud kernels to pop, but then my cat got her paw caught under the fridge.  How?? I totally had a freak out and left the kernels burning on the stove while I searched in vain for a flashlight.  The kernels burnt and my cat came walking out of the kitchen a few minutes later having freed herself.  She’s a bit of a princess sometimes…

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Needless to say I had more carmel than I need, but I’m going to attenpt to reuse the carmel peanut butter on candied apples later this week.  Mmmm. I love this time of the year!!

After you mix thoroughly you need to bake your corn.  Bake in a casserole dish and stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so for 50-60 minutes.  Then flip you dish over on to a sheet of parchment.   So that you can actually break the pieces apart.  You could just skip the casserole dish and bake on a parchment lined baking pan. If you want to use this recipe for some DIY holiday gifts, get colored cellophane bags and place baseball (ha! pun intended) size balls of carmel corn inside. Tie with a bow!

Or pull this straight out of the oven tonight and tune in to Game One.  Heres to CC and the Bronx Bombers tonight!

1 comment October 28, 2009

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