Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vodka Amaretto Cupcakes

1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. vodka
2 Tbsp. amaretto
1/2 c. milk

1 stick of butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
3-4 Tbsp. amaretto

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.

To make the cupcakes: In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter.

Add in the egg and egg white, one at a time. Mix between additions.

Add in the vanilla, vodka, and amaretto. Mix.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, and ending with the flour mixture.

Scoop the mixture into the cupcake pan until about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake 17-19 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure the insides are baked through.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Make sure the cupcakes are cooled completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat the butter until creamy.

Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined.

Add amaretto 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency.

These cupcakes are amazing, and I will be making them again. Definite crowd pleaser.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: www.bakedperfection.com/2011/01/white-russian-cupcakes.htmla

Friday, March 27, 2015

M&M Cookies

3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3.4 oz. vanilla pudding mix
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. mini M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix.

Add in the pudding mix, soda, and salt. Mix.

Add in the flour, and beat until just combined.

Stir in the M&Ms.

Scoop dough onto prepared sheets using a cookie scoop or tablespoon. Line them about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9-11 minutes. They should just start to be turning golden around the edges, but still soft in the middle.

Cool 3-4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack.

These cookies are fantastic.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://cookiesandcups.com/best-mm-cookies/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Asparagus & Spinach Quiche

Pie Crust (9 inch):
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Pie Crust
1/3 + 1 Tbsp. shortening
3-4 Tbsp. cold water

Quiche Filling:
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
15 spears of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
5-8 oz. fresh baby spinach
salt and pepper
5 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. feta, crumbled
1/4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 tsp. chives

To make the pie crust: Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all the flour is moistened and can stick together.

Gather the pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready, roll pastry on lightly floured surface into a circle larger than the pie plate. The crust needs to slightly fold over the sides when placed in the pie plate. Press the dough firmly against the bottom and side of pie plate. Just don't stretch it too much. Stick the pie plate with dough into the freezer while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

To make the quiche filling: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the asparagus and spinach. Cook until the asparagus gets tender, but don't over-cook it. Season with salt and pepper as it is cooking. The spinach will wilt.

Transfer the spinach to a colander, and press with a spoon or paper towel to get any liquids out. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pie crust from the freezer. Place asparagus and spinach on the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle with the chives. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the greens.

Dinner is ready
Bake for 45 minutes or until the quiche is set and golden.

Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

I could not stop eating this quiche.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/asparagus-spinach-feta-quiche/

I used good ol' Betty Crocker to make the pie crust.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bean and Bacon Soup

Vegetables cooking
8 oz. bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 c. carrots, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 c. chicken broth
45 oz. Great Northern beans
salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. tomato sauce

Cook the bacon in a soup pot. When cooked and crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onion and carrots to the bacon grease. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
Vegetables, broth, and beans

Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add in the broth and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Bean and Bacon Soup
Remove half the soup to a food processor (or blender, or use an immersion blender). Process until smooth. Return to the soup pot. Stir together. Add in the tomato sauce and cooked bacon. Add salt and pepper as needed. Stir and heat for about 5 minutes more or until heated through.

The canned version of this was my favorite growing up. This homemade version is pretty spot on. I'll be making it again.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/homemade-bean-bacon-soup/

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guinness Brownies

1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. Guinness
2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 c. flour
2/3 c. Hershey's cocoa powder

5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. Guinness
1/4 c. confectioners sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 9x9 baking pan, then line with parchment paper.

To make the brownies: Mix the oil, Guinness, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the butter and mix. Add in the eggs and mix completely.

In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake 35-38 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To make the ganache: Add the chips, butter, and Guinness in a microwave safe bowl. Melt about 30 seconds. Whisk. Melt for another 10 seconds. Whisk until smooth.

Add in the confectioners sugar. Whisk again until completely mixed.

Pour and spread over brownies. Cut into bars.

Delicious. Guinness and chocolate is such a winning combination.

Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/2015/02/27/guinness-chocolate-brownies/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven 375 F.

Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas, sugars, egg, oil, and vanilla.

Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups evenly.

Top make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter (I usually grate mine) until evenly distributed. Sprinkle over the muffins.

Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/banana-muffins-recipe/