Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

So, I was asked to make cupcakes for a birthday party, and I was very excited to have my first professional assignment.  I wanted to make something that everyone could enjoy, and vanilla seems like the one thing most people can all agree on. There are certainly some out there who don’t like vanilla, but they don’t have to eat my cupcakes now do they! 😉

This is a delicate cupcake that is perfect for any occasion. Paired with a simple icing made of confectioners sugar, milk and cream cheese… it is really just a delightfully simple cupcake.

So, you will need…

*Makes 16 cupcakes

  • 1 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla Bean, ground
  • 1 3/4 C. Cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 C. Butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 C. Sour Cream
  • 1/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 2/3 C. Milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla, clear

Frosting

  • 2 C. powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 C.  Milk, more if needed
  • 1/4 C. Cream Cheese

Mix all together using a hand blender. Add more milk if needed.

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare cupcake pans.
  2. In a  small bowl combine the vanilla bean and sugar, let sit for a while to allow the flavor of the vanilla bean to infuse the sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl mix cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla bean sugar to the flour mixture until well combined. You should be able to smell the delicious vanilla!
  5. Add butter and mix until crumbles form.
  6. In a small bowl whisk eggs. Then add sour cream, canola oil and vanilla, mix until smooth.
  7. Add egg mixture to flour mixture until combined.
  8. Slowly add milk until well mixed.
  9. Fill prepared cupcake pans so that each cavity is half full. Believe me they will rise!
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 -17 minutes. Tops will not turn golden brown, so don’t over bake my little bakers!
  11. Cool completely before icing.

So that is all, these are very tasty and great for any occasion.Remember, the tops should be a lovely white gold color, not any darker!

Happy Baking!

 

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White Double Chocolate Stout Cookies

My day started with building a fire in the fireplace, drinking my coffee while making a batch of  Double Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. Things were perfect and everything smelled good. Then I figured, I couldn’t waste the rest of the stout, it is too damn yummy! But, alas, it was entirely too early to start drinking, yes, there is a too early. So… Cookies were the next obvious step. I wanted to offset the chocolate with a salty aftertaste to really highlight the beer flavor. Pretzels seemed boring, so I just threw some good old coarse Sea Salt in with some white chocolate chips. It was a complete experiment turned awesome for these cookies are amazing. Even my good friend, who is the ultimate “All American” eater loved these. He is a Chocolate Chip cookie kind of guy, so this is so far out of his box, they must just be that good!

They are dense and delicious, not for the faint of heart. I baked mine for 18 minutes for a softer cookie, but you can bake them for a few more minutes to get a good crisp cookie. Either way you can dip them in some nice cold milk… or a nice glass of beer!

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 C. Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 C. Butter
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 6 oz Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3/4 C. White Chocolate Chips

Here was my process…

First Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with Parchment.

In a large bowl wisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy, roughly 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg, beat until combined. (I like to use a hand mixer when working with cookies, it is way more fun! But feel free to use your stand up mixer.) Add sugar mixture and stout to flour mixture and either mix by wooden spoon or mixer until everything is happily married.

Fold in White Chocolate Chips and Sea Salt with spoon.

Spoon mixture onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Bake on 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.

Enjoy warm with some milk, or cool with some beer. It is really up to you my little bakers!

Happy Baking!

Delightfully Sinful Brownies

Brownies… they are just so damn good. I tried a few “healthy” brownie recipes and I really, really tried to make a delicious yet health conscious brownie. I gave up for today. Today, I made this completely sinful, buttery, moist and downright amazing brownie. It is another must on your baking bucket list.

Image

So, you will need…

  • 2 cups sugar (1 cup white, one cup brown)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Here was my process…

First preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Next melt butter. Then I mixed all the ingredients as they are listed above. I mixed everything together until a beautiful gooey batter formed. If the batter seems too thick add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. If you want to use a 9 by 13 greased pan, bake for 30-40 minutes. Once cooled dust with powdered sugar to make them pop!

This is a truly easy recipe, and it is definitely fool proof. It isn’t for the fair weather brownie eater!

Happy Baking!