Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Hazelnut Truffles

This truffle is a good, good truffle. I played around with a few recipes, tweaked my own a little and came up with these beauties. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Hazelnut Truffles

2C semi sweet chocolate
3/4C Nutella
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1T vanilla
2C milk chocolate
Sea Salt, Cinnamon Chips or White Chocolate

Melt semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler and stir in Nutella. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir till it's "fluffy". Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and chill in the fridge for 2 hours (to firm up). Roll into 30-50 balls (depending on the size truffle you desire) and place on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Melt milk chocolate and dip your truffles. Line on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (as I did mine) or drizzle with melted cinnamon chips or white chocolate... whatever you like! Allow to set and then arrange in little papers or a box. These are delicious and make a nice gift.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peace, Love, Joy, Gratitude, Appreciation and Awards

I have been awarded two precious blog awards from two VERY precious people and it is time for me to thank them and pass this gift along. This past year (and a half) has been the toughest of my life. We are nearing the end of December and I see light and I feel such thankfulness for having experienced what I have experienced and so abundantly grateful for bloggers I have come into contact with that the following 2 awards are easy to pass on...

My first blog award ever was rewarded to me by Tracy of Sugar Crafter and I was so touched because Tracy is such a creative and genuine person. We have become "blogging pen pals" and send one another little baking goodies and recipes each month. Thank you Tracy for your lovely blog, for awarding me this honor and for our new friendship.

The idea behind this award is to "spread the love" so I am thrilled to award some of my favorite bloggers with the "One Lovely Blog Award" and the rules are as follows:

1. Link to the person who awarded you
2. Award some of your favorite bloggers
3. Comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been awarded and...
4. Spread some joy!

In no particular order, I'd like to award:

Becky of Vintage Mixer for having a truly lovely blog. She is also a truly lovely person. She not only cooks and posts excellent recipes, she dines and enjoys good food and good company which I so appreciate and admire. She loves and supports her talented husband and has become a friend of mine quickly. We live in the same city and have the opportunity of getting to know each other in person. She and I have what we call "a special connection".

Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod for having a very impressive blog. She really takes this seriously and is committed to her blog. It is an excellent resource and you can always count on a wonderfully delicious dish (or Maria's specialty... cookies!!!). Maria and I also live in the same city and have the opportunity to spend time together and become friends. How lucky am I? We have spent some good times together and I am so thankful for her.

Heather of Bebe and Alice for her generous spirit and incredibly beautiful blog. She does not cook... this is an eco-friendly-reduce/reuse/recycle-insanely talented blog! She is a brilliant seamstress/designer and I am floored by the things she posts. She is also one of the most precious people I have come to know through this whole Twitter/Blog world. Plus she likes Charlie and Lola so... we were a hit from the get go!

Barbara from Barbara Bakes for her genuinely scrumptious blog! Barbara is a computer smartie and assists me with my pathetic lack of computer skills, she is a cook among cooks and posts amazing dishes as well as baked goods. Yes, yes... we live in the same city :) Again, I have come to know Barbara and am a better person because of it. She is so great to be around! How is it that SLC got so many incredible foodies? I do not know but I am blessed because of it.

Ladies, thank you for making a difference in my life and for your friendship. You all have such wonderful blogs and personalities! I am thankful for each of you.

My second award was given to me from Barbara (Barbara Bakes) and is the Lemonade Stand Gratitude Award. Thank you Barbara! I told you I was a better person for having known her! The rules are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Nominate 10 nominees and link to them
3. Comment on their blog to let them know they have won
4. Link back to the person who awarded you and...
5. Share how you have come to have an attitude of gratitude

In no particular order:

1. Cristie from The Table Runner
2. Holly from PheMomenon
3. Susan from She's Becoming Doughmesstic
4. Becky from Vintage Mixer
5. Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod
6. Heather from Bebe and Alice
7. Jamie from Life's A Feast
8. Tracy from Sugar Crafter
9. Krista from The Double Dipped Life
10. Monica from Life to the Fullest!

How I have come to have an attitude of gratitude would fill this entire post. I am grateful. I am grateful to be my husbands wife, my daughter's mommies, my parents daughter, my sister's sister, a woman, a friend, free and most of all grateful to be loved and to love because He first loved me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brunch and Cookies (shortbread with cranberries and pumpkin seeds)

We have a lot of wonderful food bloggers here in Utah. I have connected with a fantastic group and had the opportunity to dine with some of them yesterday. Holly (PheMomenon) arranged a holiday cookie swap and had an idea to make it a brunch date at The Wild Grape Bistro, which Maria (TwoPeasandPod) arranged. What a treat! I got to meet 3 new friends; Kalyn (Kalynskitchen), Dara (CookinCanuck) and Chris (Melecotte) as well as catch up with my dear friends Cristie (TheTableRunner), her sweet daughter Candace (ALittleblog), Barbara (BarbaraBakes) and Becky (VintageMixer). You can not go wrong with a group like this. We all cook, we all know how to eat and we all brought cookies! Let's not leave out fun conversation either. I have to hand it to The Wild Grape Bistro as well. They had us all set up at a nice table, had a very capable server handle our group, served us delicious food, treated us to a treat and allowed us to climb and crawl all over the restaurant to take photos of the cookies and food! This is the second time our group has met there and we are all very impressed. Let's get on with it, shall we? The food:
Drooling yet? From the top: "The Grape" Salad, Fruit and Yogurt Plate, Brioche French Toast, Blue Corn Waffle, The Grape's "Benedict". All gorgeous and all delicious! Onto the cookies:

Once more, from the top (I linked to each blogger above so I will just mention names now... be sure to check out these amazing blogs!) I want to allow them to post their own versions of our day so in order of cookie appearance: Dara, Cristie, Candace, Maria, Becky, Chris, Barbara and Holly. Kalyn opted to not bring cookies as she is on a restricted diet and mine are to follow...

Shortbread with cranberries and pumpkin seeds

2 1/3C flour

1/2t salt
1C unsalted butter (room temp)
2/3C sugar

1t vanilla
3/4C dried cranberries

3/4C pumpkin seeds

Cream butter until very smooth (2 minutes), add sugar and beat until very creamy, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine well. Add cranberries and pumpkin seeds and combine. Halve the dough and form 2 logs (on sheets of plastic wrap). I like to make mine square but have made round as well as rectangle logs before. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325 and unwrap one log at a time. Slice each log into medium thin slices and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

These cookies are festive with the red and green colors as well as being crisp and buttery... just as shortbread should be!

Yesterday was a great afternoon with talented and interesting foodie friends. Check out The Hive for a complete rundown soon! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Perfect Fondue (for cheaters)

This fondue is delicious! This fondue is easy! This fondue gets oooh's and ahhh's whenever it is served and this fondue makes a fun holiday get-together. I have taught this fondue in classes and I promise you... you're gonna love it.

3T olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1 large can cream of mushroom soup (yeah, that's right!)
1/3C milk
1/3C beef broth
8-10 ounces shredded fontina cheese
1T kirsch (cherry liqueur)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and add garlic. Saute' slightly and add soup, stir and add milk and broth. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and stir the cheese in 4 parts, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Add kirsch and season.

You are done! The sauce should be thick so it will cling to your food and if you are using an electric pot, transfer the sauce from the pan to the pot now. If you are using a pan set, place the pan over heat now.

I like to serve seared beef and chicken along with raw zucchini, carrots and mushrooms. Tear up a french loaf and you have a complete fondue dinner in less than 45 minutes.

Cream of Mushroom: I know, I know... it seems strange but it is incredible in this fondue! It replaces corn starch and butter.
Kirsch: Kirsch is a cherry liqueur and is used in most fondue (dessert and non).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks...

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! I like to maintain a heart of gratitude always but there is no denying the feeling of thankfulness that surrounds this time of year. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Mine is a family rooted in tradition (by that I mean, my family cringes and gets resentful when presented with any form of change). We eat at my parents house, my mother and father cook the exact same meal, every year, I bring exactly the same appetizers and desserts, every year, we gather at the same time and watch the same movie, every year (National Lampoons Christmas Vacation). After we are stuffed, napped and happy, we pour over "the ad's". Look out! We are girls who hit Black Friday with a vengeance (and coffees and smiles and excitement)... 5am-10pm, every year. We go shopping, all day, just the girls (men and children stay home to have "movie day" and veg all day, eating leftovers and watching as many movies as possible in the time we are gone). The upcoming 2 days are 2 of my happiest all year! I adore Thanksgiving! I love cooking, I love eating, I love recognizing where our blessings come from, I love my family, I love Chevy Chase, I love shopping for people I love, I love life! I love this blog and I wish you all a wonderful holiday weekend... thanks for spending time with me. I make a chocolate dessert every Thanksgiving (yes, I try a new one each year... but it's still chocolate). This is the one this year:

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie~

10 ounces room temp butter

1 1/2C powdered sugar
1/2C ground almonds
1/2t salt
1/2t vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2C flour

Cream butter and add sugar and ground almonds. Mix in salt, vanilla and eggs. Add flour. Roll in plastic wrap and chill 4 hours. Roll out, weight and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool completely and cover bottom with 2/3C Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread).

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2C butter (I KNOW!!! crazy!)
1 egg
3 egg yolks

4T sugar

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl, over a pan of simmering water and cool to room temperature. Melt butter and set aside. Stir egg into chocolate then gently add yolks. Stir in the melted butter, then sugar. Pour over Nutella and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Serve with a dollop of fresh cream.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cinnamon-Cocoa Macarons

So you joined MacTweets... now what? Well, you have to make macarons and actually post them (good, bad, ugly or footless). Let's start off with this: I am excited to be a part of this group. I attempted macarons once before and they were a joke... a pathetic joke. I wrote them off and swore to never try again. Enter Jamie (Lifes a Feast) and Deeba (Passionate About Baking ). They make lovely, dainty macs and they decided to share the love and knowledge with us... us sad mac-wishers who are alone and afraid out here. They generously gave tips and detailed explanations of mac making, they even enticed us all with a club. The idea is to join, learn, decide on a flavor and make your own macarons, then post about your experience, link to the mactweets site and share with others. I joined. I really want to get this mac thang down :) Was today a success? Was today a failure? I am going to sit, comfortably, in the middle... today was a so-so mac attempt and I will try again!

I decided to use the basic shell recipe and add cocoa. I filled the center with a cinnamon butter cream and snapped a few photos. Please be brutally honest and tell me what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pioneer Woman visits SLC

Last week (Wednesday November 4) I had the privilege of attending a book signing for The Pioneer Woman's new cookbook 'The Pioneer Woman Cooks-Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl' at The Kings English Bookstore right here in Salt Lake City. It was quite an evening! Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) was speaking at The 15th Street Gallery at 7PM and signing books immediately following. Several of us Utah food bloggers made plans to show up early (we knew it was going to get crazy), get a spot in line, have some dinner and enjoy the evening. We met at 4pm and ended up being the first group in line! We decided to get take out from Mazza and had a picnic style dinner, together, on a blanket right in line (by the way... thank you Mazza for great service and excellent food!). Our dinner party consisted of Cristie from TheTableRunner (she's front right bottom corner in the green sweater) Maria from TwoPeasAndTheirPod (she's front left bottom corner in the black jacket and green shirt) Barbara from BarbaraBakes (she's upper left corner in the black coat) and myself (I'm upper right corner in the black sweater). We just noshed on a little appetizer sampler and sandwich while we waited happily in line and chatted with other girls anxiously awaiting Ree.
It started to get chilly! We were finally let into the gallery at 6:50PM and thrilled to be in the front row! The gallery was packed and busting at it's seams. Wall to wall women (with a few men sprinkled throughout) squeezing in as tightly as they could to hear this "accidental country girl" talk. Ree arrived and that room came alive! Women were whistling and screaming like mad! It was kind of funny but I am sure Ree is honored to have such a warm response from her readers. She spoke about 25 minutes, answered questions, told jokes, did impressions and entertained the crowd beautifully. She is a real jewel. She is sweet and confident but not in a self righteous, proud way... she is humble and gracious. I am in love with her cookbook (which made #1 on the New York Times Best seller's List! Woo-Hoo!... well deserved), I think she is a smart woman, a loving wife, a caring mother and a very down to earth fun person! I thoroughly enjoyed everything about her that night.

After she spoke, she made her way to the bookstore to sign books. We were all given tickets, while waiting in line so our group was allowed in first ("A" tickets). We all got our books signed, chatted with Ree and Missy a bit, snapped photos and had a nice time.
We were told that we would not be allowed to snap any photos with Ree, that there were too many people and there wasn't time. Ree took the time to stop, chat, sign books and take a photo with each and every person who had a camera. I thought that was very kind and speaks volumes for her character. She really is a sweetie!

After the signing, Barbara and I met Becky from Vintage Mixer at Gourmandise (The Bakery) for dessert. We had a nice late visit and treats. I feel very blessed to know the women I have mentioned in this post. I had the opportunity to have dinner with them, as well as a few other great gals, last week and attend a food photography class and we are planning other get-togethers as well. They all have great blogs as well as great personalities. They are all unique, beautiful women with wonderful food knowledge and skills and I am loving sharing these experiences with them.

If you do not yet have the cookbook... go get it! I made the Chicken Spaghetti for dinner tonight and it is delicious! The pictures are gorgeous, the stories are fun and the food is to die for! A+ for the book, A+ for the book signing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apple Butter

I posted a while back on jam. My first attempt, in fact. It was a lemon-blackberry and it was tasty, easy and I might be hooked. I decided to try pumpkin butter last month... a winner again! I opted not to post as pumpkin butter seems to be pretty standard. Today I made apple butter... this is a recipe I made up and it is wonderful! I recommend you make it this month. It is such a delicious fall spread and would make a lovely hostess gift for Thanksgiving. I added cherries to avoid the butter tasting too applesauce-like. Use your creativity!

Start with 7-10 fresh apples of your choice.
Peel and finely dice your apples and place into a deep pan.
Add additional fruit of your choice, water, sugar,cinnamon, and any additional flavoring you may be using and bring to a boil.

Once your mixture is boiling, turn your heat down and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the liquid to reduce by about half.You want the apples to drain of their white color and crispness. At that point, add vanilla and simmer another 3 minutes. Transfer everything to a food processor and pulse several times to mash your fruit up really well into the consistency you desire.

Transfer your butter into canning jars (I love the Ball Elite series... they are so cute) and turn upside down to seal. Allow to cool on your counter and then refrigerate.

Apple Butter Recipe

7-10 apples (peeled and finely diced)
1C cherries (or fruit of your choice)
2T cinnamon syrup
1/3C sugar
1/4C water
1/2t cinnamon
2t vanilla

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creamy Spinach and Fontina Soup

5T olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 small yellow onion
5C chicken stock
2C fresh spinach
2C shredded fontina cheese
1C milk
1/2C cream

Combine minced garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse to combine and finely chop onion. Heat a heavy bottomed soup pot with olive oil and add onion mixture. Saute 5 minutes (until onion is translucent) and add half of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, add salt and pepper and add remaining stock. Bring to another boil. Meanwhile, pulse spinach in the processor until it is very fine and then add it to the soup pot. Simmer 5 minutes and gently whisk in cheese (in 3 parts). Either transfer mixture to a blender or use your emulsion blender to smooth out. Return to pot and add milk and cream. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently and enjoy.

This is a delicious soup I adapted from the restaurant Tin Angel, in downtown SLC. Theirs is one of my favorite soups ever and I wanted to try making it myself. It's close but not quite what theirs is! This soup is creamy and warm and delicious served with a crusty baguette. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Ever Review and Giveaway!

First things first; I am STOKED to be reviewing this product and honored that they would trust me to do so. Second; If I hated this product, I would still review it and be completely honest about it. Third; I LOVE this entire line and am willing to prove that by giving three readers the chance to win a bottle of syrup. Now that that is all out of the way, I give you... Sonoma Syrup Co.

Sonoma Syrup Co. is a California based company (duh!) and creates handcrafted, artisan simple syrups as well as vanilla and almond extracts. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners at the Winter Fancy Food Show, in San Diego, January 2008. They were a company I was specifically seeking out, at that particular show. I wanted their line on the shelves of my up and coming (now sunk) gourmet food shop. I had read about them, done my research and it was time to taste! As expected, everything was delicious! Their packaging is simple and gorgeous to boot. As far as I am concerned, you can not go wrong with this product line.

Let me get to the flavors and uses... as for simple syrups, their classic syrup is as good as it gets. They add a bit of vanilla and it really kicks it up a notch (just ask Mary Malouf of Salt Lake Magazine... she stopped by my shop, picked up a bottle and fell in love)! They have a pomegranate simple syrup that makes my mouth water as I sit and type. Delicious! Used in cocktails, iced tea and sparkling water, it truly brings out a flavor you can not imagine... it's intended to replace "grenadine" and makes for a much better Shirley Temple than any old cherry flavoring I've ever tasted. Keeping in the fruit line, they make a lemon, a lime and a tangerine as well. All terrific and all unique! They have a new release and I am here to tell you that it blows the others out of the water! It is their new, Acai Black Currant. It has less sugar, more juice and is amazing! These syrups go beyond "mixers" and "sweeteners", they are so tasty drizzled over fresh fruit or yogurt, they enhance your baking and are soooooo good served alongside cheesecake! Next in line we have the cinnamon syrup. I have posted about this syrup before (I used it in a cinnamon butter cream). It's killer! I have used it in frosting, in tea and in... are you ready? Cider! Can you say mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? It makes fresh pressed cider so fallishly perfect! They make a vanilla hazelnut that is so good in a cup of coffee, a vanilla bean, a white ginger and a lavender that absolutely make your tea and all of these can be used in your baking to your hearts content! I am giddy over these syrups! Can you tell? I am not done yet...

Extracts. Yes, yes... they are exquisite! The vanilla extract is great, the almond extract is the best I have ever used but there is another: vanilla bean extract "crush". It is all of the wonder of their original extract with the addition of split and scraped vanilla beans! All of the seeds! It's divine! You have not baked until you have baked with this extract.

Last but certainly not least, they make breakfast syrups! Two to be exact: Strawberry Vanilla and Pomegranate Maple. Pour these on french toast, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, you get the idea... make your family (and yourself) happy!

I have only positive, loving things to say about this company and all of their products. They are generous people who go out of their way to make sure their customers are happy and I enjoyed working with them. I was on 'Good Things Utah' in February and wanted to highlight their "crush" during my spot (I made creme brulee')... they were delighted and made sure I was stocked with extra cases in time for the hungry customers. They have also informed me that, since the closing of my shop, people have contacted them directly, to make sure they can get the things I am no longer selling (I might add that customers have expressed a sadness at the loss of my shop to the nice people at Sonoma Syrup.... that makes my heart smile... thanks). Check out their site, let me know if you have any questions and I am still selling a few items so, if you are interested, contact me!

The giveaway:

I have 3 bottles to give. The new Acai Black Currant, Vanilla Bean infused simple syrup and Pomegranate simple syrup are the flavors. If you want one, all you have to do is comment and let me know what you would do with your bottle. What will you bake, create or add these syrups to? What flavor sounds best? Just let me know and I will choose the 3 most tempting, yummy comments next Monday (November 2) and send your bottle to you! Have fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sea Salt Caramels

I have been looking for a good caramel recipe. It's been tough but I found a keeper! It's sweet and salty and chewy soft. Be patient with it and you can't go wrong. It's a great fall treat... let me know your thoughts and results if you try your own!

Combine and boil the follow ingredients until they reach a warm chestnut brown:

1 1/2C sugar
1/4C corn syrup

1/2C water

Combine in a small bowl:

1C heavy cream
5T butter
1t sea salt

Add to boiling mixture. BE CAREFUL! When the cream hits the boiling mixture, it will really boil and STEAM!!! Don't worry, just be cautious and stir, stir, stir! Add:

1t vanilla

Continue stirring until the caramel reaches 248 on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pour into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with oil. Cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour, remove and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half and roll each half into a log. Sprinkle with
more sea salt (the more the better for me!!) and slice each log into 8 pieces. I also like to cut the square into mini squares to resemble a store bought caramel. Wrap individual caramels (whatever the shape) in parchment paper and twist tie the ends.

This caramel is also excellent for dipping apples!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lemon Blackberry Jam

There has been a lot of talk of jam lately. I, personally, had never made jam before and... to be honest... the task seemed daunting. Also, I have always considered pectin "yucky." Things changed yesterday. I have been reading a bit about jam making and found a few recipes that require zero pectin (score!) and then I noticed my dear friend Susan of She's Becoming Doughmesstic (note: she is a contributor on this blog) recently made jam. Could it be that simple? She made it seem like nothing. Did I dare try? I did! I did dare! The result... fabulous, dark, not overly sweet, delicious lemon blackberry jam.

4C blackberries
3/4C sugar
3/4C lemon sugar (see below)
1/4t almond oil
1/2t vanilla

Process berries in a food processor until crushed but not completely pulverized. Combine sugars and berries in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce thickens (approx. 5 minutes), stirring frequently and remove from heat. Add oil and vanilla and mix well. Divide mixture among desired jars and turn upside down, while still hot, to seal the jar. Refrigerate after opening, otherwise store in a cool dark place.

Lemon Sucre' side note: I had a bag of lemon sugar, from France, and chose to use that as my citrus in this recipe. To make your own, combine one cup of sugar and the zest of one lemon. Shake together and add it to the fruit. It will also keep up to 2 weeks, in an airtight container.

This recipe could even use 1/2C of each sugar (in my opinion). I plan on attempting a blackberry/peach and a raspberry/plum next...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

The Cast:

2C all purpose flour
1/2C dark brown
6T granulated sugar
1 1/4t cinnamon
1/2t ginger
1t nutmeg
1t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1t salt
1C old fashioned rolled oats
3 eggs (room temp.)
3/4C vegetable oil
2t vanilla
2C grated zucchini
brown sugar for the top

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease and flour a 9x5" loaf pan. Stir together the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add oats and combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and (in a separate bowl) combine the eggs, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry well and stir to combine. Add the grated zucchini and mix without over mixing! Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake 60 minutes and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a rack and cool at least 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm, as toast or as an amazing french toast!

I doubled the recipe and used 2 pans. The first: my Le Creuset loaf pan ( I have this pan in dark brown, which the website does not list. I love this pan! Everything turns out beautifully in it! The second: my Cuisinart loaf pan ( This is also a great pan, with great results.

This bread is delicious and easy! It is a fantastic french toast, after 3 days in your pantry. I love it served with a pat of warm butter and also with pumpkin or cinnamon butter. Those recipes to follow! Enjoy~

Pumpkin Butter:

1C unsalted butter, softened
4T canned pumpkin
1/4C granulated sugar
1t cinnamon
1t pumpkin spice

Cream all ingredients together until very smooth and serve out of a decorative bowl or mold into desired shape and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Cinnamon Butter:

1C unsalted butter
1/4C granulated sugar
2T cinnamon

Cream all ingredients together until very smooth and serve in a decorative bowl or mold into desired shape and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Notice the different loaf shape between each pan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Martha's One Bowl Cupcakes With A Little Somethin' Somethn'

Happy Fall friends! This recipe sort of hit me this morning, I had a little time to spare, thought I would try it out and... mwa-ha-ha-ha! It's alive! If you have an addictive fall personality like I do (signs would be but are not limited to: massively baking with pumpkin and cinnamon, drinking cider till you are ill, whipping up soups every week, planning Halloween costumes months in advance, being thrilled each and every time the weatherman says the temperature will be below 60 degrees, going on drives through the mountains to see the leaves change, etc.), make these this week! The "somethin' somethin'" is a Pumpkin Hershey's Kiss in each cupcake center as well as a wicked good cinnamon butter cream frosting. You are gonna love 'em and they are going to feed your fall fix!

Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2C all purpose flour
3/4C unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2C sugar
1 1/2t baking soda
3/4t baking powder
3/4t salt
2 eggs
3/4C buttermilk
3T vegetable oil
1t vanilla
3/4C warm water

Somethin' Somethin' (part one)

18 Pumpkin Hershey's Kisses (unwrapped)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin tins. Combine dry ingredients and add; eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water. Fill tins 2/3 full and bake 20 mins (rotating after 10 minutes). After first 10 minutes, remove tins and place a kiss in each center, pressing down on each candy. Return to oven an additional 5-8 minutes. Remove and cool 10 minutes in the tin and completely on rack.

Somethin' Somethin' (part two)

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

1C unsalted butter
3-4C powdered sugar
1t vanilla
1/4C cinnamon simple syrup OR...
1T ground cinnamon

Cream butter for 5 minutes and add powdered sugar slowly. Add vanilla (and sugar as needed) and cinnamon, cream another 3 minutes and pipe as desired.

Can we discuss this simple syrup? The company who makes it is Sonoma Syrup ( and they are absolutely fantastic! I sold their products, in my shop, and am utterly impressed by them. I met the owners at the Fancy Food Show in San Diego last year and HAD to have their stuff on my shelves! Their vanilla (pictured in the first photo) is HANDS DOWN the best vanilla I have ever baked with, the cinnamon syrup made this buttercream... well... wicked good and makes cider incredible. They have many flavors of simple syrup as well as several impressive extracts. Check out their site and contact me if you would like anything. I am still selling vanilla, cinnamon simple syrup, vanilla hazelnut simple syrup, regular simple syrup and a few other flavors.