Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Day Before Halloween!  I thought this would be a good recipe in case anyone was still looking for ideas for Halloween snacks.

I used this frosting to top my Pumpkin Cupcakes.  According to Mr. T it's what made the cupcakes.  It's pretty basic but sometimes that's all you need.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
(adapted from Baked)

3 cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth with no visible lumps. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

Add the powdered sugar, syrup, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add cinnamon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crock-Pot Chili

I love chili, Mr. T loves it more.  To me nothing says fall more than chili.  It's the perfect thing to eat when the air starts to get cold.  (of course cold is relative depending on where you are)

There are different styles of chili depending on the part of the country you are.  I was raised on chili with tomatoes, ground meat, and beans.  Topped with sour cream, cheese, and red onion if you like.  It's a little thicker.  Everyone likes eating their chili a different way, because of this I tend to set up a "Chili Bar" so everyone can just go through the line and pick the toppings that they want.

Crock Pot Chili:
(Inspired from the Publix Chili Seasoning packet)

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
2 cans pinto beans (or kidney beans)
1 seasoning mix packet
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

Brown ground beef or turkey in a skillet.  Add worchestershire sauce and seasoning packet and mix, making sure that all of the meat is covered in spice.

In the crock pot add the cans of beans and tomatoes (undrained).

Add the meat to the pot, stir to combine, and let cook for a couple of hours.

As I said I love to set up a chili bar so everyone can make their chili how they like it.

Here's what I add:
red onion
bell peppers
sour cream
corn chips
fresh tomatoes
chopped jalapenos

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

It's Fall!!!  That means that it's time for pumpkin and pumpkin treats.

These cupcakes are light and full of flavor.  I brought some into work for my coworkers and everyone said that they were a success.  I'm thinking about adding these to my menu for Thanksgiving this year.

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
(adapted from David Leite)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. 


Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl.

Add the eggs 1 at a time to the mixer, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures; beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until smooth. 

Divide the batter equally between the cups, about ¾ full.   

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on racks completely.


Serve with your favorite frosting!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

One of the desserts I made this past weekend was Whoopie Pies.  I never grew up eating them but I've seen them a lot on different blogs.  I've seen red velvet, chocolate with peppermint, pumpkin, and chocolate with Peanut Butter Cream Frosting.  

I decided to go with the peanut butter frosting for the workshop this weekend.  They were a big hit, which always makes me happy, especially when it's the first time I've made something.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies:
(Martha Stewart)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; set aside. 

Add butter, shortening, and sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the flour mixture, then the milk and vanilla; beat until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture. Beat together, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. 


Drop 12 slightly rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes; switch the positions of the baking sheets, and rotate each one. 

**Note: they spread once they start cooking so be prepared for giant cookies from a little bit of batter.

Remove from oven; let cookies cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a wire rack; let cool completely. Repeat the process with remaining batter. 


Spread 1 tablespoon of butter cream on flat sides of half the cookies.


Top each with one of the remaining cookies, flat side down, and gently press together.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Peanut Butter Buttercream

I did a small catering event for my mom this weekend.  It was a two day painting workshop that she was teaching.  I provided lunch for both days.  One of the days I make chocolate whoopie pies with a peanut butter frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
(Martha Stewart)

2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Fine salt (optional)

Cream peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed. 

On low speed, mix in sugar until combined, then beat mixture on high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.

I really like this frosting.  It's not too sweet, which the older I get the more I appreciate.  I would not skip the salt, I think it adds another layer of flavor.