Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

What did you do today?

Lemon Curd Filling

Here's What You Need:

1 1/2 Lemons, Zested and Juiced
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 T Butter
4 Egg Yolks

Here's What You Do:

1. Make Cupcakes and Let them Cool

2. Put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on low low heat for about 10 minutes -- at least until everything is melty and lemony and incorporated. Stir almost constantly.

3. Take your pot off the heat and stir the curd (gently -- don't break your arm off) as it cools. 

4. Use a piping bag and pastry tip to pump your cupcakes full of lemon curd. Or just eat the lemon curd. Because it's delicious even though "curd" is on the list of worst words for awesome things ever.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Peach Shortbread Bars

When I'm stressed or bored I really like to bake. Something about the warm oven and focusing on something else for a while {in this case, slicing peaches and browning butter} helps me to relax and reimagine my life as something that's really, really good.

And so yesterday, when I was at my Maximum Stress Threshold, I started to brown a cup of butter over the stove. I picked peaches and breathed in their summery smell. And I dove into yet another amazing recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

 What she doesn't mention -- or at least something that was true for me -- is that these are a lot better the next day. For breakfast. Or lunch. Or, you know where this is going...any time. They're better when they're cool than when they're piping hot. At least that's what I thought.

Peach Shortbread Bars

Here's What You Need:

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 3/4 C All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Large Egg
2 Sliced Peaches

Here's What You Do:

First off, if you have time, brown the butter. Put it in a pot and stir it until it boils, gets clear, and then browns. Careful not to burn it too much. Then pop the butter into a container (I used tupperware just fine, but if you have a glass dish or pyrex measuring cup, that might be better -- don't want anything to melt...) and then put the butter in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350, or thereabouts. Grease up your 9x13 pan.

Then get out a medium-large bowl and mix up the Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt. Use a pastry cutter to blend in the (now cool) butter and the egg. The mixture will be crumbly

Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Arrange peach slices over the top. Then top with the rest of the crumbly mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. If you need to eat it hot, pop a scoop of vanilla ice cream on there. Or wait for it to cool and for the peachy flavors to sweeten up. You'll love it.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Yesterday I baked what I thought was going to be a beautiful buttermilk bundt cake, full of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries...

Not so. This is what happened instead:

Right at the clutch moment, the cake stuck to the sides of the pan and basically imploded. I tried cutting the cake into pretty pieces and arranging them artfully:

Which started out alright, but ended up like this:

A Very Sad Lump of Cake
So today I got back on the horse, and after a long nap I tried again. I washed berries:

I measured and sorted:

I mixed a new batter:

And this time, I baked the cake at 325 for 90 minutes. Choirs of angels were singing from inside my oven, so I knew this is what would happen:

The cake released perfectly. Oh, did I mention that I greased the heck out of the pan? I did that too.

And then I drizzled lemon glaze over the top.  Yep. Feeling 100% better about life right now.

Glory Hallelujah

Buttermilk Bundt. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Here's What You Need:

2 1/2 C Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1 t Salt
{Sift together in medium bowl}
2 C Sugar
1 C Butter
Lemon Zest from One Medium Lemon
3 Eggs
1 t Vanilla
3/4 C Buttermilk
2-3 C Berries!

Here's What You Do:

1. Grease your bundt pan. Grease it again.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture, then 1/2 the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture, then the rest of the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredient mix. Basically alternate, mix, alternate until it's all in there.
4. Coat your berries in about 1 T of flour. Carefully add them to the batter.
5. Spoon the batter into your GREASED UP bundt pan.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan, and turn the heat down to 325. Bake for another 50-60 minutes (I checked every 5 minutes for the last 15 mins, just to be sure). The cake is not done until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: If you under bake this cake, you will have a pile of delicious cake crumbs, like I did on day 1. Just let it cook all the way.

Juice from that naked lemon that you zested.
1 T butter
Enough Powdered Sugar.

1. Melt the butter in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk in the powdered sugar until you have the consistency that you like. Voila!

You should make this cake immediately because it says, "Summer," and even if it flops, it's delicious.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blueberry Boy Bait Preview

You are going to die. Assuming you like blueberries. Also assuming that you're a human (the spam-bots that roam this blog have little appetite for lightly sweet summer cakes).

This deliciousness is equal parts awesome name and awesome taste, and I promise that you can do almost nothing better with a basket of berries.

More pictures and a recipe forthcoming!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Check it out

My friend OG sent me this lonely orange shout-out this morning. My first fan e-mail! I'm so flattered.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to ruin a perfectly lovely cake

Carefully Measure Three Cups of Amazing Fruit

Prepare a Batter with Butter, Vanilla and Lemon Zest. Add Berries and Good Karma.

Bake to Perfection.

Attempt to Take the Cake Out of the Bundt Pan.

Cry. Wail. Sob. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fairy Cupcakes

This is definitely one of my favorite projects to date: Tinkerbell Cupcakes for a perfect fairy birthday party. I think birthdays should be special, especially when kids are little and things are still magical. Here's my little piece of magic.

I piped out the white chocolate outlines of these wings, then let them cool on a board covered with wax paper. Then I filled the fairy wings with gelatine and edible pearlescent glitter and let them dry for two days. They might not have needed that long to dry, but I wanted to be careful. 

I also made these little Tinkerbell wands, which took a ridiculous amount of time, but look how cute they are. 

Okay here's a whole bunch of pictures. I got kinda crazy with the camera.