Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

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Ok so the caption says Spring on the photo!  Technically it’s Spring here in MN.  However, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that it included the state with 10,000 lakes.  Today I think we may have hit 30 degrees, but it’s cold out.  There’s a ton of snow on the ground.  The kids actually had Spring pictures at school this week.  I wasn’t sure if I should dress them in a sweater or go for the “warm outside look even though it’s not”!!!!

Anyways, I had some extra time on  lunch break today so I decided to make the Lemonade cupcakes I had sitting in my cupboard.  I usually try to do these kinds of baking fun stuff when the kids are home, but I went against that today and made them alone.

These were home made, just not home made in the real sense.  I made them at home but the mix came from a box!!  And so did the frosting!!  Sometimes a girls has to do what a girl has to do.  And I’m not a trial and error kind of person when it comes to baking AT ALL.  Some day maybe, but I’ll leave that to my other cooking/baking buddy (if she ever finds herself back on here again uh hmmmm..).  I’ll do it with cooking and trying new dinners, but not this.

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These are super pretty, super Springy, super easy.  How can’t they be..Just open the box, follow the directions and you have your house smelling good!

I used a box of Better Crocker Pink Lemonade Cake mix.  Used the ingredients on the back of the box.  Filled my pipping tool with store bought whipped frosting and tried my hardest to get it on there half way decent!!

For those of you that live in the warmer parts of the country/world, Happy Spring.  For those of us that are here in MN or any other state that is cold enough to keep snow on the ground until June, well happy Marchember!

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Betty Crocker Box cake mix

Pretty Purple Cupcakes

I had a box of vanilla cake mix and some butter cream frosting sitting in the cupboard.  I have been making cakes and frosting home made lately but really just wanted to practice more at piping the frosting onto the cupcakes!!

So there was no magical  ingredient or website to link back to!  Just me trying to get it right.  And I’m a bit proud that these looked not too bad..

Grab a box of your favorite boxed cake mix and a tub of your favorite frosting!!

I added a bit of red and blue to get a pretty purple cupcake.  Nothing fancy. but I love practicing piping!  I get a bit nervous and frustrated at times, but I think it turned out pretty good.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies

Oh how sweet are these cookies  that I found on Brown Eyed Bakers site!  I was nervous, as always with adding the frosting to the cookies, but I was ready to give it another try!

Brooklyn has been telling me lately that she wants to spend more time with me.  Since we both love to cook we decided to put our best effort forth in making these cookies.  Hoping that we can, first make them taste good and second come close to looking as good as Brown Eyed Baker does.  Thanks to her my grand daughter and I got to spend some awesome quality time baking awesome cookie!

Apparently I didn’t buy enough chocolate sprinkles so we used some pretty colorful ones too!!

I sure take my hat off because I’m not sure I could begin to know how to come up with a cookie ingredient just by taste.  Dinner?  Sure, but for cookies or desserts, I turn to these awesome blogs for my help.

Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Bake Time: 18 minutes

For the Cookies:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate sprinkles

For the Chocolate Icing:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 tablespoons whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside. Pour the chocolate sprinkles into a small bowl; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Once it is mostly incorporated, slowly increase the speed back to medium-high and beat for another minute or so until a dough forms.

3. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball, and then roll it in the chocolate sprinkles and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing your cookies about 1½ inches apart on the baking sheet. Make a slight indentation with your thumb (or the back of a melon baller – my favorite tool for this task) on the tops of all the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, then make a deeper indentation in the middle, and bake for an additional 8 minutes. The cookies should not brown much at all around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate icing for the filling. Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Add more powdered sugar or milk to achieve the desired consistency.

5. Once the cookies are cool, pipe some frosting into the middle of each cookie (or you can spoon it in). Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

I was so pleased with the taste of the cookie.  Way to go Michelle.  She did what she was trying to do in my opinion!!!  These taste awesome.  Reading her post, she says she’s trying to get as close to the bakery that makes these cookies.  I have no idea what they taste like, but what she has here, is pretty dang good to me (and my family who keeps asking if they can have more!).

You’ve got to try these for sure.  The flavor of the cookie…I can’t come up with how it tastes, but it’s a very good thing!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Brown Eyed Baker

Strawberry Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Today I’m ready to give my piping skills yet another try.  I ran to Michaels and got more bags and two new tips.

I watched the video from My Baking Addiction to make sure that I got it right this time (which may mean nothing at all!!)

I found a vanilla cupcake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and some Cream Cheese Frosting from a Martha Stewart recipe.

First I started with the cupcakes.  I followed her directions but only changed the Vanilla to Strawberry Extract.  I added a bit more after tasting it with 1 1/2 tsp.  Just another dab!  The cupcakes appeared to turn out ok.  I’ve left them to cool completely before even starting the cream cheese frosting.

For the Cupcakes:

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 20 to 24 minutes

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract – I used Strawberry Extract (about 2 tsp)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

When making the frosting I added a bit of red food coloring to match the strawberry flavor of the cupcakes.  The topped with a bit of sprinkles.

Frosting:

  • Yield
    Makes about 2 cups
  • Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine

I’ve done a bit more baking and becoming a little less afraid of attempting new things.  The true test is when the family comes home and tries them.  If I get the thumbs up or the “it’s pretty good”.  Then I know I can try again!

I will say I am having fun expanding my horizons in the kitchen from just breakfast, lunch, dinners.  I may have some failures and I may not have my own recipes, but I am having fun!!

They taste really good.  I do think that the frosting wasn’t as thick as I’d hope to have it be for piping.  But it’s Craig’s favorite kind so it’s good either way!

 

Happy Wednesday!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Cupcakes – Brown Eyed Baker

Cream Cheese Frosting – Martha Stewart

Snickers Cupcakes

I’ve been on quite a blogging break, I believe last time I posted I was planning my wedding. Now I’ve been married for more than a year and we recently welcomed our first child, a sweet baby boy. I’ve been cooking and baking all along, just didn’t take the time to post. My goal this year is to get back into posting. We are named Two Girls Cooking after all, it’s not fair that one girl’s been carrying the blog by herself!

I have been on leave at work and I decided I wanted to bake a sweet treat before I go back later this week. I bookmarked these Snicker’s cupcakes a while ago, I’ve been meaning to make them ever since. There have been a couple times I had the mini snickers on hand, but they never lasted long enough to be made into cupcakes!

These were very simple and fun to make. I liked that they use a boxed cake mix, but dress it up a bit. I also loved the fun surprise of having the snickers baked into the center. I even got to use the big icing tip that Patricia gave me as a birthday gift to try to make them look as good as they do on My Baking Addiction. They aren’t quite as pretty, but I’m still proud of how they turned out. I’m not usually a big fan of a lot of frosting, and while this is rich, I’m really enjoying the carmel buttercream. I think I can probably find some other recipes that it would work well with too!

– Jodi

For the cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Snickers Miniatures

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and water.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans.
5. Gently push a frozen Snickers Miniature bar into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method
1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped Snickers bars and a drizzle of caramel of caramel syrup. Makes 24-30 cupcakes.


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I love strawberries, so when they go on sale I tend to lose my head and buy too many.  This week I found myself with 4 lbs to use up. While I don’t mind just eating a handful as a snack, I wanted to get more creative to use them up before they go bad. Today I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, My Baking Addiction, I just had to try.


I decided to just use a box mix for these vanilla cupcakes to save time. Normally I’m not a big frosting person, I’ve never been the type that could just eat frosting out of the bowl. This frosting is so tasty, it might be the exception for me. It tastes almost like strawberry ice cream. It is a bit soft, but keeping the cupcakes in the fridge does the trick.

from My Baking Addiction

1/2 cup whole strawberries
1 stick unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, slightly cold
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
22 ounces of confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1.4 pounds)

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In a medium bowl beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the cream cheese and beat until combined. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not over mix or frosting will incorporate too much air.


Next time you want something other than the traditional chocolate or vanilla frosting, give this one a try. I know I will be making it again!  🙂

– Jodi

P.S. What’s your favorite way to use Strawberries?

Holiday Treat Extravaganza!

It’s been quite a while since my last post. I don’t want you to think this is due to a lack of baking though. In fact, I’ve been baking and cooking so much I haven’t had time to post it all! There was the Cheese Ball, the Peanut Butter Kiss cookies and the dipped pretzels. Those I do every year because they are favorites around here, my sister’s been asking for weeks for the kiss cookies. My mom loves these spritz cookies, so I always make a double batch. That’s a whole lot of spritz! I use the recipe that came with my cookie press, and they come out great every time. They’re like a little crisp sugar cookie.

Spritz Cookies
1-1/2 cups butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
(Makes 6 dozen cookies)


Preheat oven to 400° F. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make a smooth dough. Do not chill. Place dough into Cookie Press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown on bottom. Remove cookies from sheet and cool.
I then frost them with a very simple icing and decorate: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp almond extract until smooth. If too dry add a little milk, if too runny add a little powdered sugar.

Each year I also use the holidays as an excuse to try out a bunch of new sweet treats too. Here’s a couple for you to try out.


Toffee Bars
These are very thin crisp bars that have a light toffee flavor and a milk chocolate top. I was hoping the toffee flavor would be more obvious because I love toffee, but they are still tasty and very simple to make.




1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 bag milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350, grease a jelly roll pan. In a medium bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in flour. Press mixture into pan and bake for 15 minutes. Immediately after removing pan from the oven place the chocolate on top and allow to melt. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the surface with a spatula.  These are easiest to cut while still warm.


Chewy Caramel Oatmeal Bars
These were a new one, but have been such a hit they are gone already! I will be making another batch this week for sure. The recipe calls for a bag of caramels, but I felt ambitious and used homemade caramel from this recipe instead (told you I’ve been busy!). These are rich, so I cut them small before serving.


2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted,
1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz bag caramels
5 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Press half the mixture into a 13X9 baking pan. Bake for 10 min, then sprinkle the chocolate chips on the baked crust. Microwave the caramels and milk on high for about 3 minutes or until caramels are melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Sprinkle remaining half of oat mixture on caramel layer. Bake for 20 minutes, cool completely and cut into bars.

Oreo and Nutter Butter Truffles
The Oreo version of these Scott’s sister made last year and I loved them. So when I went to look up the recipe I found it along with a variation with Nutter Butter cookies. Oh yum! I won’t repost the recipe, just click the link above. You’ll be glad you did! 🙂


I think I’m almost done making holiday treats, and I’ll definitely share if I do make some more.

One last thing I wanted to share was the holiday treat Scott cooked up for me this year. He surprised me with a trip to New York City last weekend. How exciting!! I’ve always wanted to see the city all lit up for the holidays, especially the big tree in Rockefeller Plaza. So we headed east with plans to see the tree and skate on the rink on Saturday night. We saw the tree (it was gorgeous!) and waited in the long line to skate, and I will admit I got a bit impatient… “let’s just skip this, we can come back tomorrow or something”. He was adamant, we were skating and doing it now. After a couple turns around the rink, I found out why. He led me to the center of the ice, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Oh wow! I, of course, said Yes!
We had a great time the rest of the weekend and did find time to do one other thing I always wanted to do in NY- stand outside on the plaza for the Today show. We set the DVR at home before we left just in case, and we were on (see clips here)! Just behind Matt Lauer and Al Roker (I shook Al’s hand!). We also had our picture taken for their blog. We had an amazing trip, a memorable proposal and what a sweet guy! 🙂


Happy Holidays!
– Jodi