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Heat Wave!!

Due to the recent rise in temperature and extremely nice weather I have been a little slow on my baking. Yesterday I made chocolate covered pretzels in 80 degree weather, that was interesting! Anyways I thought that the pretzels would hold up a little better than the solid chocolate lollipops. I am also going to try to make some regular lollipops soon. Also wanted to post this recipe for cinnamon cupcakes that I recently used, tasted pretty awesome.

Cupcakes
3 ½ c cake flour
2 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) butter, unsalted, diced, at room temperature
1 c whole or low-fat milk (divided use)
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Method
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Icing
2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cupcake Method

1. Place muffin liners into a muffin tin. (pray lightly with non-stick cooking spray).
2. Place 1 ½ TBS of cake batter into the muffin liners.
3. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of filling onto the cake batter that was placed in step 2.
4. Place 1 ½ TBS cake batter over the filling; smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
5. Drag a toothpick through the filled muffin liners to distribute the cinnamon filling.
6. Bake at 350°F for 18-20.
7. Cool completely and pipe on icing.
8. Sprinkle the icing cupcakes with coarse sugar and cinnamon if desired.

I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately. I am trying to find that perfect recipe to use for them. Also some of the things I have been making are now are available through Etsy from a new company called Apple Barrel Designs which I mentioned in my last post. I have been using butter cream icing to ice my cakes and cupcakes. I finally got a mixer which makes it a ton easier to bake! I will post the recipe I use I got it off of the Wilton’s website. I am falling in love with the Wilton brand. Seems that everything they have makes baking easier for everyone. With the right tools and patience anyone can do this! I am also going to post some pics of some more products that have been added feel free to go and visit our Etsy Shop and like us on Facebook!

Buttercream Icing Recipe (Wilton.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

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Just wanted to let everyone know that a new biz called Apple Barrel Designs is being launched. We are still working on products but are very excited! Posting a few pics of the products we have so far just in time for Easter!!

Also I decorated my first cake and I am pretty happy about it.

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Update

I have been baking my a** off. Excuse my language but I think I may be gaining weight due to over-baking! Although I recently joined a website called Sparks People and it is helping me keep those calories down, and providing some healthier recipes for my baking escapades as well. My latest adventure has been chocolate cupcakes. I have always been told practice makes perfect so I am perfecting a chocolate recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com. I also have been trying to find the perfect icing recipe for creating beautiful cupcakes. I made a delicious strawberry icing yesterday but I am finding that all of my icings come out too runny. They do not spread well and are hard to craft a beautifully iced cupcake with when my icing is running down the side. My newest creation turned out great, not too pretty though so I did not take a picure but I will share the recipe.

Berry Banana Cake/Cupcakes

Simple, White Cake (you can use a box cake-mix or your own favorite recipe, this one worked best for me it was easy and light)

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/-3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C)

Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and mix. Add vanilla, mix. Combine flour and baking powder in a seperate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well, stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 min. or 15-20 min. for cupcakes.

Yield 12 cupcakes or 9 by 9 pan ( I used a pie pan)

Let cool.

Strawberry Icing (from Marthastewart.com)

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

Pinch of coarse salt

3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Microwave strawberries 4-1/2 to 5 min. You can either use a fork and mash them by hand or use a food processor. If you do this by hand strain out the chunks. In seperate bowl cream together butter and salt until butter is light and fluffy. Continue mixing and add confectioners sugar until well blended. Add vanilla and 3-4 tablespoons of the strawberry puree. Add more or less sugar and puree depending on desired sweetness and strawberry-ness!

In a seperate bowl mix together one box of instant banana pudding mix with 1-1/2 cup of milk. (The box will call for 2 cups of milk, only using 1-1/2 cup makes the pudding thicker so that it does not soak into the cake mix.

Next, take a knife and cut out a bowl shape in the top of the cake or in cupcakes. Pour in pudding mix. Refrigerate 10-15 min, or until pudding settles. Add icing and enjoy. Optional: Use fresh strawberries and bananas to decorate the top.

Sucess At Last!

    So my first few weeks of baking have not went so well. First I tried making peanut butter cookies. These were simple out of the package add water and eggs and boom! cookies, right? Not. I made two batches, burned the first terribly, the second came out just a little overdone. So my next step was no-bake cookies. These are pretty tough to mess up and I have been making them for quite awhile so they came out perfect. I used an easy recipe using KornFlakes and peanut butter. The Reeses brand seems to be the best. Its got that extra sweet pizazz. As I type this my first sponge cake is in the oven. I am not sure how it will turn out. I chose the sponge cake because it was the only one that did not require milk or butter. Which I currently have neither of due to the blizzard that has my entire town basically closed down. Thanks mother nature! I also chose to make icing out of some frozen strawberries, I hope it turns out deliciously but I am definately not getting my hopes up. I will post the results and if its not too awful a picture of the finished product.

Ok so the sponge cake turned out pretty awesome. I am not a real big fan of sponge cakes in general because they usually lack in flavor which is why I chose the strawberry icing. It was low in suger so its great for my 2 year old to eat and not get all sugar buzzed out! I also love it because it holds together well and we were able to cut it into little cute hearts just in time for V-Day! ❤

Ohh BURN!

So first week of learning to bake has not been too sucessful. Pretty much everything I have touched as far as food has turned to a crisp! I even burned two batches of peanut butter cookies in a row. This I blame on this new invention called multi-tasking, darn you motherhood… the next week shall bring new sweets and hopefully less crispy as well. Wish me more luck apparently the last week I havent had much…

The Making of a Baker

In the past when I thought of myself the word baker never came to mind. I have spent the last year attempting to “find myself” only to end up more lost now than I was when I began my quest. I began thinking of course I should do something I enjoy. Now anyone who knows me will tell you im not the “homemade” kind of person. I am more of a hamburger helper kinda gal. Then I realize who ever just became an amazing cook over-nite? I doubt that’s how it works. So im thinking to myself that I absolutely love eating sweets, I also love presenting something I am proud of to other people, and of course I want to be my own boss. So now I begin a new quest. Not of finding myself but of finding the baker inside myself. I have decided to document my experiences in this blog. I must say I have never made a homemade cake, I make cookies but they are usually less than extraordinary, and I have no experience making candy of any sort. Well here we go, wish me luck!

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