September 28, 2016

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES



We finally have fall temperatures.   This past weekend was still hot.

Cudjoe and I played 18 holes of golf on Sunday, and it was as hot as mid-August.

But Sunday evening a "cold" front came through with a little bit of rain, and fall has arrived.

Now it is time for pumpkins, caramel apples, and all things fall!


I bought these cute little pumpkins at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia on our trip to Gettysburg and then Philadelphia last week.

The only things I bought on our vacation were a bag of these cuties and a cookbook.

If you are a foodie, this market is a great place to spend some time. However, be warned, it is very busy and very crowded.  We were there, however, during the lunch hour; so, there you go.


I made carrot cake cupcakes and frosted them with cream cheese frosting.  Pretty straightforward stuff here.

They are a perfect treat for fall, and while cakes seem to be more popular now than cupcakes, I still love cupcakes best.

This is an old recipe that I have from a cookbook that was a fundraiser from a church I belonged to many years ago in my hometown.

I have made it often, but it has been many years; so I grabbed this tried and true cookbook and made them on Sunday and refrigerated the cupcakes and got around to frosting them yesterday, photographing them and posting today.

This is a recipe for a 9 x 13 cake; however, I made cupcakes instead.

If you would like to make these sweet treats, this is how I made them:

Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Carrot Cake

(Slightly adapted.)

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups raw shredded carrots 
1/2 cup chopped nuts 

1.  Beat sugar and oil.
2.  Add eggs and cream well.
3.  Sift flour, soda, cinnamon and salt together and add to wet ingredients.
4.  Fold in carrots and nuts.
5.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean.

Immediately dump cupcakes out and let them cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
2 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of shortening
5 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1.  Cream butter, cream cheese, and shortening together.
2.  Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time on low speed, adding in milk about halfway through.
3.  Mix in salt and vanilla.

If you feel you need more milk, add it one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

Place a decorating tip in a decorating bag, and pipe on frosting.  Add pumpkin to top.

Serve to family and friends!!








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September 15, 2016

FOOTBALL CUPCAKES




Football season is here, and for all you football fans, I give you these cute and semi-easy Football Cupcakes.  (And I say semi-easy because when I decorate cakes or cupcakes, I tend to make a big mess in my kitchen; so the clean-up is challenging!)


They would be great to take to your next tailgating party or fun for your own family.


I made them for friends.  The recipe made 18 cupcakes, and I gave them one dozen and kept one-half dozen for Cudjoe and I.

They were very moist and delicious.

I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough frosting on each cupcake because the top of each cupcake wasn't entirely covered in frosting, and I like my frosting to cover the entire cupcake, but they were truly perfect.


I used the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix, and made my frosting from scratch.

I then piped the frosting on.  You can find these cupcakes on several sites on the internet.  No big secret or magic here; just a little cupcake decorating fun.

I modified the cake mix directions by substituting one cup of milk
instead of water.  You can also substitute butter for the oil.  I often do that, but did not this time.

FOOTBALL CUPCAKES

Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature

Mix the ingredients together following the directions on the cake mix box to make cupcakes.

(I made 18 cupcakes and baked them at 325 degrees F for 17 minutes.)

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1 stick of butter (room temperature)
4 cups of powdered sugar
4 tablespoons of cocoa
A pinch of salt
4 - 6 tablespoons of milk 
(I used heavy cream and milk)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

In a stand mixer, whip butter, add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, add in cocoa, salt, milk and vanilla.  Beat until the right consistency to pipe onto cupcakes. 

WHITE FROSTING

2 tablespoons of butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons of Crisco
2 - 4 tablespoons of milk, or until right consistency to pipe on to cupcakes.

Using a pastry bag and decorating tips, decorate cupcakes.

Serve to family, friends, and football fans!!
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September 5, 2016

BROWN SUGAR, SOUR CREAM DIP



Cudjoe was looking through the refrigerator last week, and saw brown sugar and sour cream; and it reminded him of a dip he had eaten at a B & B in Maine many years ago.

He told me it was sour cream, golden brown sugar, and vanilla stirred together and was served over blueberries.


 It got him thinking he would like to make some; so, the next trip to Kroger, he picked up a small package of blueberries.  We also stopped at Flamm Orchards and bought fresh peaches for a peach cobbler I was making for our annual Labor Day Fish Fry - which we celebrate on the Sunday before Labor Day :)

So -- Sunday morning, he asked me to taste the dip he made with one of the peach slices that were ready to go into the cobbler.

Well . . . it was super delicious.  And you know my favorite part, super easy.

I made more of this dip this morning and ate blueberries, peaches and brown sugar, sour cream dip for breakfast.

It is truly inspiring!


This is how I did it:

3/4 cup of Sour Cream
4 teaspoons of Golden Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

Scoop sour cream into a bowl, stir in the brown sugar and vanilla.  Serve over fresh fruit.

Amazing!


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