Monthly Archives: September 2011

Irish Car-Bomb Cupcakes

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So for those of you that aren’t familiar with an irish car-bomb: It’s a drink with half a glass of Guinness and a shot of half Bailey’s half whiskey dropped into it. If you don’t drink it fast enough it will curdle. These cupcakes definitely do not curdle, and they are probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve baked to date. They were so moist and delicious. I’m normally not a cupcake fan, but these made me rethink cupcakes. They do not have large amounts of alcohol in them, and you can taste it, but not to a point where it’s too much. My mother, who despises alcohol, actually loved these cupcakes. I highly recommend them.

Stout Cupcakes

Ingredients 

  • 4 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 12 ounces of Guinness Room Temperature (1 Bottle)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate, large bowl, whisk eggs and yogurt.
  4. Whisk in Guinness and vanilla.
  5. Beat in the dry ingredients a third at a time. (If you do it all at once the cocoa powder flies everywhere)
  6. Add butter, and mix until batter consistency.
  7. Pour batter into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan until liners are 2/3 full.
  8. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. (10-15 minutes)
  9. Remove from pans and let cool. Then ice.

Bailey’s Icing

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons softened butter
  • 4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 5-6 Cups Confectioners Sugar

Directions

  1. Beat butter.
  2. Add half Bailey’s
  3. Add sugar a few cups at a time.
  4. Add remaining Bailey’s and beat until icing consistency.
  5. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

My Notes…

If you want to make a really car-bomby cupcake you can soak the cupcakes in Jameson Whiskey before  icing. I didn’t do this because Jameson is expensive! But to do so you need to wait until the cupcakes have cooled. Then use a fork to poke holes into the tops of the cupcakes. Use a basting brush to brush Jameson over the tops of the cupcakes. Speaking of expensive, dutch processed cocoa is! I used a blend, and I think it worked really well. These cupcakes were very smooth and chocolatey. So I really think using the blend was a good idea. I’m sure you could also use Hershey’s and it would be just as good. I think these would be a great St. Patrick’s Day treat. I’m also planning on making them for a Halloween party with a little orange food coloring in the icing.

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Apple-Brie Quiches

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Apple-Brie Quiches

I made these for a football party. I thought they sounded amazing, but they ended up tasting pretty bland. It might have been the type of apple I used (Gala) but next time I think I would use different fruit. They weren’t hard to make, but I was disappointed with the flavor.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 30 mini phyllo shells
  • 1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces of Brie, cut into thirty squares

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Divide apple among the shells.
  3. Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells).
  4. Place a Brie square in each shell.
  5. Bake until the egg is set, Brie is melted, and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges. About 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

My Notes –

The phyllo shells I used were pretty small, so I think 4 eggs would have been enough. Also because they were so bland I ended up salting and peppering them after they cooked. I think a tangier fruit would have been better, maybe a berry or mango. I think raspberries would have been good. Maybe some fresh basil would have been a nice addition as well.

Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookies

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Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookies

I made these because I had lots of dried cranberries left over from the summer salad. They were okay. I would say they aren’t worth the calories, but I think if tweaked a bit they would be much better.

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cups white chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, mixing will.
  3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

My Notes –

I really wanted each bite of cookie to have cranberry and white chocolate in it. It did not. I think if I were to make these again I would use a cup of the white chocolate chips. I really like the white chocolate and cranberry combo, so I might look for other recipes involving these two.

Pumpkin Pasties

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Pumpkin Pasties

I made these for a Harry Potter party I went to (don’t judge, it was fun). I found the recipe somewhere online. Technically I guess these would be called Pumpkin Turnovers. I wouldn’t say it was a difficult recipe, but it was time consuming. It made a ton of little pasties. I had a lot of filling left over also. They were super tasty. I highly recommend them if you like to bake.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 lb can of pumpkin (I couldn’t find this, so I bought a larger can and measured out 16oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1   2/3 cups evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 9oz pie crust pastry (enough to make two pies. You could make your own if you’re super ambitious. I just used some from the freezer section)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. Mix all the ingredients (except the pie crust pastry) and place in a casserole dish. (I used a 9×9)
  3. Bake the filling for 15 minutes.
  4. Keep the oven door closed and reduce temp to 350°F and continue to bake for 45 minutes until knife comes out clean.
  5. Let filling cool.
  6. Cut pie pastry into circles approximately 4″ in diameter. (I used the top of a drinking glass to make the circles)
  7. Spoon filling into middle, fold over to make a crescent shape and use a fork to crimp edges.
  8. Slice 2 small slits on top for venting.
  9. Place on greased baking sheet (or parchment paper on top of baking sheet) and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until crust is light golden brown.

My Notes…

Like I said, tons of filling left over. You could easily use three pie crusts. Since it made so many, I froze several, and they came out still tasting great. Try not to overfill the pastries or they will pop open. The closer the filling is to the corners the better they taste. I also sprayed the tops with butter-flavored Pam. Totally a cop out for brushing them with melted butter, but you could do that too.

It’s all about Balsamic

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It’s all about Balsamic

Last night a friend was coming over for dinner before the Elton John concert. She and I are both trying to be healthier (I know you wouldn’t know it from my previous recipes), so I found this low-cal, low-fat balsamic chicken recipe. The chicken was amazing. I really enjoyed it and it was very easy to prepare and cook. But I also tried to make my own balsamic vinaigrette for a salad to go with the chicken. This was my first flop. I hated it. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly which may have been my problem. But if you like balsamic chicken, this recipe is great. And the salad is my absolute favorite salad. I ate a whole plate without dressing. The chicken would be great with pasta or on a salad.

Balsamic Chicken

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. Whisk ingredients together in a small-medium bowl. Marinate chicken for at least ten minutes.
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high.
  3. Cook chicken for about 7 minutes on each side.
  4. Pour in the left over marinade and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.

My Notes…

I used two large chicken breasts cut in half. They worked perfectly and cooked evenly. If you’re going to cook more than two chicken breasts you might want to make more marinade.

My Favorite Salad

  • Mixed greens and spinach
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Pecans
  • Feta Cheese

Notes… I’ve also had it with strawberries and mandarin oranges, but I really love it without those two. Any vinaigrette would be delicious with it.

 

My Attempt at Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cracked pepper to taste

My notes…

I used dark balsamic vinegar. A. Because I couldn’t find white in Meijer. B. I used dark for the chicken. The vinaigrette never mixed no matter how hard I tried. The oil and vinegar just stayed separated, so when I tried it on my salad it just tasted like olive oil. Who wants an olive oil salad. Maybe it would have worked had I used the white, but I can say I will probably not try this again, or just buy balsamic vinaigrette at the store.

Chicken Chili

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This is off the chicken cans from Sam’s Club. I absolutely love this stuff. It’s so easy to make, and it freezes and lasts for weeks. Perfect for the upcoming cold days of fall and winter. I do recommend using the Sam’s Club chicken though. Other canned chicken I’ve tried is just not as good. You could also easily shred or chop up your own chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans drained chicken
  • 1 large jar of white beans (I use a 48oz jar, you could use less)
  • 1/2 jar of Salsa (I use Hot)
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups Colby-Jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (optional topping)

Directions

– Heat until hot and cheese is melted

My Notes…

Best thing about this recipe is you can also add whatever you want. If I have corn I toss that in. Sometimes I chop up an onion and toss that in. Sometimes I only put in one can of chicken broth. It really depends on my mood. You can also put it in the crockpot to heat. It’s just soo easy and delicious.

Coconut Dream Bars

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This is a recipe I tried right after making the Sweet Potato Pie. I had some extra coconut, and I knew if I didn’t use it soon I would have to toss it because it would get lost in my freezer. This recipe is literally right off the bag, but I really liked them. I’m fairly certain they’re not good for you, but still very delish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (melted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and butter until particles are fine. Use low speed on mixer.
  2. Press into bottom of ungreased 13″ x 9″ pan. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.
  3. Beat 1 1/2 cups brown sugar with eggs just until blended. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  4. Spread over partially baked crust. Bake 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. When cold, cut with sharp knife.