I know I have not been around much, at all
, but that does not mean I have not been a busy bee in the kitchen. Truth is that I have been making all kinds of new delicious things, I just have not been able to share them here, with all of you lovely people. Now that daylight is lasting a little bit longer I hope to be able to snap more pictures and get back to this blogging thing.
Now onto these delicious cupcakes. Much like Jen over at Beantown Baker think this my new go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. I will admit that I do not always let the batter sit for a full hour, but either way I have never had these cupcakes turn out anything but extraordinary. This topping combination might just have to be added to my favorites list. It is basically a coconut cream cheese frosting with a hard candy coating. The hard candy coating makes these cupcakes a little messy to eat, but honestly what cupcake is not messy. Until next time my friends…stay sweet.
Almond Joy Cupcakes
Almond Joy Cupcakes
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
Chocolate candy melts
Sliced or whole almods (for topping)
Flaked coconut (for topping)
For the Cupcakes
To prepare the cupcakes, In a heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and cocoa powder.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the granulated sugar, butter, and water, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
- Whisk the milk, egg, extra yolk, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined.
- In a bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until blended. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
When ready to bake the cupcakes, Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and line standard muffin tins with 16 paper liners.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Set on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
For the Topping
- Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add shredded coconut and vanilla, mix again. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
- Pipe topping onto cooled cupcakes. Use a knife to smooth out the topping.
- Place chocolate melts in a microwave-safe bowl and melt and stir until smooth. Dip cupcakes into chocolate and then quickly sprinkle almonds and/or coconut on top.
~Yields approximately 16 cupcakes
Cupcake recipe as seen on Beantown Baker
Print This Recipe
Frosting as seen on Your Cup of Cake
Believe it or not, but I have been making soft pretzels since the 7th grade. I started with a recipe not to far off from this one in my Home Economics class and have been trying many different recipes since. I still go back to that original recipe every now and again, because it is simple and requires no rise time, but I also enjoy changing it up and trying new recipes. Some day I hope to take pieces from each recipe and combine them together to make the ultimate soft pretzel recipe.
The one thing that I do not like about soft pretzels from most chain stores is the butter that they are drenched in before and after baking. It is not the butter I have an issue with, I happen to enjoy the taste of pure salted butter, but it’s the greasiness of fake liquid butter that just makes my stomach cringe. I would much prefer having a “naked” pretzel to dip in warm nacho cheese or mustard. The nice thing about making your own pretzels, you get to make them how YOU like to enjoy them. I really do hope that you make these soon so that you can savor the flavor or warm baked pretzels from your own home.
Soft Pretzel Bites
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 1/2 cups (22 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
Pretzel or Kosher salt (optional)
1 – In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the water, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed for 10 seconds. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter. Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
2 – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
3 – Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an wide 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
4 – In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Slice each rope into 1-inch pieces. Place a lightly damp towel over the pretzel pieces to prevent them from drying out while you roll and cut the other pieces.
5 – Using a slotted spoon lower a handful of the pretzel pieces into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds, flipping them around in the water with the spoon a couple of times. Remove the pretzel pieces from the water using the spoon, drain as best you can, and place them on the baking sheets. If desired, brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle with the pretzel/Kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 10 – 12 minutes. If any melted butter remains, simply brush the pretzels with it before serving. Serve warm.
Leftover pretzels can be reheated in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 – In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
2 – Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps of flour remain. Stirring constantly, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the shredded cheese until all of the cheese has melted. Add a pinch of salt, if needed. Serve warm. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals.
Recipes as seen on Smells Like Home
Print This Recipe
I am always on the look out for new dinner roll recipes to try. Not that I haven’t found the perfect one yet, but because every one is perfect in its own unique way. I prefer a sweeter roll to be served alongside ham, a sturdy crusty roll with pasta, and a soft melt in your mouth roll with poultry. With that being said I think you can understand my need for multiple dinner roll recipes.
This particular roll has a slightly crisp exterior and a soft yet chewy interior that is great for scraping up the last few bits of extras left on your dinner plate. I think that these rolls would also make great slider buns for BBQ meats or chicken salad. Honestly, a little bit (or a lot if you prefer) of butter will do these rolls enough justice that you will want to make them time and time again.
French Bread Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
2 cups flour (white or whole wheat)
In a 2 cup measuring cup, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
In stand mixer bowl combine 2 cups of flour, salt, oil, and the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides, and forms a ball. Turn mixer on low, using the dough hook, and let mix for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can knead it by hand for about 5-8 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Press dough down, and form into 16 balls of dough. Roll into round balls, and place on a lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise for about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes. Brush with melted butter while hot, if desired.
~Yields 16 dinner rolls~
Recipe from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Print This Recipe
I am a huge fan of macaroni and cheese and have always wanted to find a great stove top version. I have seen this recipe popping up on many blogs lately and decided that it was worth giving a try. I have never tried the macaroni and cheese at Panera, actually I was unaware that they even had macaroni and cheese on their menu. That being said, I can not rate this recipe based on having tried the original. Since the recipe came right off of their website
I would assume that it is pretty close to their original recipe.
Since I was making this recipe as a side dish and only my husband and myself were eating it, I decided to cut the recipe that you see below in half. There was more than enough for us both to have some at dinner and then enough that we were both able to have some for leftovers the following day. I have probably mentioned before that I am not a fan of leftovers. Most things just do not taste the same, or even half as good, the second time around. I will admit though that this mac and cheese reheated nicely. I was expecting the sauce to separate and be gloppy on the noodles but it wasn’t, and the taste was actually pretty good. Speaking of the taste, you are probably wanting to know just how delicious this mac and cheese really was. Well friends, it was good. Thick, creamy, cheesy, and perfect in almost every way. One thing I must mention is when the recipe says serve immediately, you might want to go ahead and do that. The sauce thickens very quickly after being taken off of the heat and once that sauce has thickened it is much harder to enjoy.
Macaroni and Cheese (Panera Style)
1 pound pasta shapes, such as shells
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1½-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
4 ounces white American cheese, finely chopped*
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
*White American cheese is available at the deli counter in most grocery stores.
1 – Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain well. Return to the stockpot off the heat.
2 – Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook until light golden brown, whisking constantly, about 1½-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Stir in the salt, mustard, and hot sauce. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
3 – Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time, mixing until fully melted before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, pour the sauce over the pasta in the stockpot. Mix well until the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Serve immediately.
~yields 6-8 servings
Recipe as seen on Annie’s Eats
Print This Recipe