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 😉

Vanilla Heath Cupcakes

It is Mother’s Day (this will past after it’s over though!!), I’m not feeling very well.  Brooklyn and I had to stay home from my brother’s house because we are sick, so we decided to give another try to increase our piping frosting on to cupcakes.

I watched so many videos on You Tube this past week and even today as I was frosting the cupcakes and yet I become so frustrated.  I blame it on the $5 piping set that I buy at Target.  The bags are too small.  I try to follow the directions and twist the bag, but it always flows out of the top of the bag.  Which I end up eating!

I will say that this round turned out much better than the last time I tried.  I just don’t understand the reason why I can’t do what I’m seeing on a video.  I just don’t.  It looks so easy to do.  Yet when the frosting comes out of MY bag, it sure doesn’t look how it supposed to!!

I found the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from “Brown Eyed Baker” and just added a half of bag Heath candies.  I used the Buttercream Frosting that I used on my “Lemon Cake”.  Both of them tasted wonderful.  It’s not the food itself, it’s my dang technique.  I am going to keep on trying until I get it.  I’ll make frosting and practice over and over until I get it the way I like!

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

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.

Buttercream Frosting

Basic Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

I’ve grown confidence in just baking alone, but this…..this still scares me!

Cupcakes = great!

Frosting = great!

Frosting skills = still not so great.

Don’t stop this from trying the recipe though!  That is worth the effort.

One day I’ll get it. One day..

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking  ; 0

Source

Brown Eye Baker

Brickle Drop Cookies

I haven’t baked much since the holidays are over so when I went to the store this weekend, I saw a bag of Heath Toffee bits, I thought I’d give them a try.  The recipe looked very similar to chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve gotten those down without being afraid of burning or failing!

These were pretty easy to make and pretty good as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks of butter – I used organic unsalted butter), softened

1 cup sugar                                                    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar              2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract                                    2 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp salt                                                    1 pkg (80z) Heath bits of brickle toffee bits

3 eggs

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until blended.  Add eggs and beat well.

3.  Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to butter mixture until blended.  Stir in toffee bits.

4.  Drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.   Cool lightly; remove to wire rack (I don’t have one yet!).  Cool Completely.  Makes about 8 dozen cookies.

 

 

I warmed some caramel in the microwave and poured it over some of the cookies as well.

Nothing too difficult for these.  It made quite a bit of cookies.  And I ate quite a few more than I should have as well.  I think I can have a few cookies more than I’m supposed to in moderation on some days.

Happy Monday!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking Blog

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

 

I’ve mentioned before that Brown Eyed Baker is one of my favorite blogging sites I go to almost every day.  She never fails to give a great dessert!

When I saw these on Pinterest I knew I had to make them.  I didn’t care if I failed, if my picture was less than perfect…I just new I had to try these.  And let me tell you, these are so good.  These are really good.  If I had all of the ingredients on hand right now, I’d make them again.  I don’t care if they have sugar in it that I’m not supposed to have, I loved these.  Did I say that again!!

These were a huge hit in our house.  They were gone within two days if not sooner.  When you compare my picture to Michelle’s, you’ll see that her cookie dough is much lighter than mine.  I’m not sure what I did differently.  It could be the lack of photo skills that I have (my goal is to get a better camera this year).  But does it really matter when you make something that you really, really like?  The answer would be NO!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Yield: 32 brownies

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes

For the Brownie:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Cookie Dough:
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups mini chocolate chips

1. Prepare the Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, with enough to hang over all four sides. Butter the foil. In a medium glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in the melted chocolate until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and mix just until combined (don’t over-mix). Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and both sugars. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Spread the cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about an hour. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (my favorite way to slice brownies!) to cut the brownies. Store the brownies in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from RecipeGirl.com)

I will be making these again.  I will not be using the “all things in moderation” sentence in my head for these!

Pataricia – Two Girls Cooking

Christmas Baking 2012

2012 Xmas Baking

I have said this time and time again.  I cannot bake.  I don’t enjoy it (though I’m really trying – I am), I typically have to start over at least, at least once.  And this time is no different than any other.

But it’s Christmas time and Santa needs cookies to eat right?  Oh and there’s this other little matter called a cookie exchange that I’ve been invited to.  Caleb played football and now basketball on Saturdays.  You get to know the parents.  Well there is a boy that was on his football and now basketball team.  I sit by his mom every Saturday.  Two Saturday’s ago she told me about this cookie exchange that she’d like to invite me to.  I sit and wonder if I had this terrified look on my face because that’s exactly how I felt.  Me?  To a cookie exchange?  The first thing I did was text my other Two Girl, Jodi and told her I’d pay her to bake me 5 dozen cookies.  She gladly agreed if I would watch her new little bundle of joy.  And though that thought sounds much better than me in the kitchen baking, I decided to give this a try.

For some odd reason I thought that I needed to bring a dozen of 5 different kinds of cookies.  So today I gave it some thought and started to put a list together.  I went to my favorite baking site www.browneyedbaker.com and started searching.  It’s not hard to find something on her site.  She does this well.  She can bake.  Her pictures are amazing.  I even wonder to myself who the heck eats all of this sugary food that she bakes almost daily.  On her site I found these four recipes:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, Toffee Pretzel Bark, Peppermint Bark and Home made Peanut Butter Cups.  The fifth recipe I got from a friend from work on the Betty Crocker site.  They are called Caramel Fudge Turtle Cookies.  When searching on the site I found the Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies.  Since the family prefers white chocolate, I’m going to give this one a try for now.  If it works, then I’ll try the Turtle ones as well.  Hey, if I’m baking, I may as well go all out!!

In the mean time, I send an email to Mary asking her about the cookie exchange (since this is my first time – and hopefully not the last time) needing more information.  She got back to me and told me that I need to make one type of a cookie and 4 1/2 dozen on eight different plates.  Still, I’m in a panic.  What if I can’t do this?  What if these other ladies have these fancy cookies decorated beautifully while mine are either made by Jodi or store bought!!!

Then I remember I made cookies last year and put them on our blog.  They were THE softest cookies I’d ever made.  So I looked up the recipe on our site and combined it with the Betty Crocker recipe.  The Betty Crocker recipe calls for the bag of sugar cookie mix (and I can still fall back on that if this home made dough doesn’t turn out).

Craig comes home from work…asks what I’m making.  He too, knows that this is a rough subject for me.  He tasted the first batch with the Wheat Flour.  Gave me that look and asked me what was in them.  When I told him apricots, he said he didn’t’ like them.  However, and I say, however….when the second batch comes out of the oven with the All Purpose Flour, he tastes one…then takes two more.  And that’s before I even put the white chocolate no them!! <big smile on my face>

Here’s the recipe that I have for the Softest Sugar Cookies on our site (under Softest Sugar Cookie):

1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 tsp.  baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/2 cups  granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp.  ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla

4 cups  flour

MIX sour cream and baking soda; set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Blend in nutmeg, vanilla and sour cream mixture. Gradually add flour, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 30 min.

 

HEAT oven to 350ºF. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 min. or just until centers are set and edges are lightly browned. Let stand on baking sheets 3 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

From the Betty Crocker site I added the dried apricots and used the orange extract and  1 bag of white chocolate chips instead of the chocolate.  The nutmeg in this cookie mix just pops in your mouth.  You can smell it before it’s even in the oven baking.  (Wow did that really come from my mouth)!

I’ll admit, I tried to substitute All Purpose Flour for Wheat Flour.  Why?  Because I do not know any better, that’s why.  I baked a batch, let them cool, tasted them, and realized that I should not have made that change without first checking with someone who knows what they’re doing.  So I just pulled the second batch out of the fridge and have the oven warming to start this over again.

Cookie dough with wheat flour

Here’s to family fun and tons of baking for this Christmas season!  Wishing me luck on my baking adventure!

Yay! I did it!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking.