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Jam ‘N Cream Muffins June 27, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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goodness hiding inside

I have still been making my way through my Taste of Home Cupcakes and Muffins magazine. I had some cream cheese left over from the previous post and decided it would be perfect for this recipe to use up that cream cheese. However, I found the amount of cream cheese called for in the original recipe to be insufficient. There must have been a typo because they tell you to put 1 Tablespoon in each muffin. There is no way to get 12 tablespoons of cream cheese out of 3 oz. of cream cheese. At least not for me! So, I upped the cream cheese.

You could change the type of jam to your favorite kind but the strawberry was excellent.

muffin unscathed

Jam and Cream Muffins

Adapted from Taste of Home Muffins and Cupcakes Magazine

Filling Ingredients

1 – 8oz package cream cheese

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 – 1/3 cup strawberry jam, stirred until smooth

Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another small mixing bowl, beat the egg, milk, brown sugar, buttter and almond extract. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon half of the batter into greased muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture and 1 teaspoon jam. Top with the remaining batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen.

jam n cream inards

Cupcakes and Pupcakes! June 27, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Desserts.
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Way back in September, my husband and I bought our first home together. It was a newly built home so we had a lot of landscaping to do (and we still do). We have always wanted a dog so, in February, we adopted a wonderful European Golden Retriever named Staccato. He had been returned to his breeder due to family issues and we were allowed to adopt him from the breeder. We could not ask for a better dog. We did not have a fence at the time, but planned to build one in the spring when the ground was not frozen. We were finally able to get it constructed this June. In celebration, we decided to have a dog party.

Dog party 1

(Staccato is the big, white, pretty boy on the left)

Staccato (he was bred by a music teacher) has a lot of dog friends that he plays with regularly, so we invited them all over (with their humans, of course) for a party. At the height of the party, we had nine dogs playing in the yard, all their respective people and a baby. Fun was had by all and the dogs behaved quite nicely.

We served hot dogs, puppy chow and other “potluck” foods. I also made these cupcakes with a funny little mound of chocolate frosting on top. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about what it was supposed to look like!

cupcake

The dogs got some treats from Three Dog Bakery and some “pupcakes” that my mom made. They are muffin-y cupcakes with apples, whole wheat flour and other dog friendly items. They are frosted with cream cheese. If my mom gets me the recipe, I will post it here. The dogs loved them, although I was told that they were a little bland for the human palate (they are completely edible). I didn’t get a chance to have one since I was eating my tasty chocolate ones!

Yummy Dog Treats

*DISCLAIMER*

I know that most people know this, but DO NOT give these chocolate cupcakes to your dog! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. In small dogs, just a little can kill them so make sure you keep these away from your dogs. They are, of course, perfectly delicious for humans!

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Recipes from the Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking recommends having all the ingredients for the cake at room temperature (68-72 degrees). I forgot about this, so I gently warmed my buttermilk in the microwave, softened the butter in the microwave, and put my eggs in warm water for 10 minutes. Then, it was all at room temperature!

They also suggest the variation of using half white sugar and half brown sugar. I did not do this, but would be interested in knowing what it was like. I thought it would be good to add some espresso powder or instant coffee to the buttermilk/vanilla mixture to add a little more depth and color to the cupcakes.

This cake was perfectly delicious without frosting. So, if you are feeling lazy, calorie conscious (although I wouldn’t recommend eating cake if you are), or don’t have the ingredients for frosting, feel free to simply dust with powdered sugar and eat it.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Whisk:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened (nonalkalized) cocoa

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

In a separate bowl, sift together:

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

In another bowl combine:

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixer bowl, beat until creamy (30 sec):

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 – 5 minutes.

Beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time.

Beat in the cocoa mixture. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl.

Scoop into cupcake pan with liners (I always spray mine lightly with cooking spray so they don’t stick). This makes between 12-18 cupcakes, depending on the size of pan you use. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and they spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan about 5-10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Frost when completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Use cold cream cheese and room temperature butter.

In a mixer bowl, beat until blended:

8 ounces cold cream cheese

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (they claim this is optional. I used it and it was awesome)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Add one-third at a time and beat just until smooth and the desired consistency:

2 – 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

If the frosting is too stiff, beat for a few seconds longer. This keeps for 1 week refrigerated and 3 months frozen.

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars June 4, 2007

Posted by Sarah in Baking.
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choc rasp al bar 1 2560x1920

I haven’t been posting lately because it is the end of the school year (tomorrow is our last day!) and I have been trying to wrap things up at work so I can have a great summer full of cooking at the camp!

Last Friday, it was my turn to bring treats to work for the people that had birthdays in May and I chose to make these. I don’t remember if the recipe I tweaked came from Food and Wine or Cooking Pleasures magazine, however, the original recipe called for pistachios and fresh raspberries (which would also be good, but I didn’t have any). I also added espresso powder because I thought the chocolate flavor needed to be enhanced. These do not use any eggs and are quite fudgy and delicious.

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Chocolate Almond Raspberry Bars

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, cut up, softened
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (you could also use fresh)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray (or oil of your choice) or line the pan with foil or parchment and spray (if you care about being able to cut and get them out easily).

Toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes, until the are light golden brown.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, 1/3 cup toasted almonds, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture.

Press the remaining mixture into the pan. Arrange the frozen raspberries over the crust. Sprinkle with reserved 1 1/4 cups chocolate-flour mixture, then the remaining almonds. Press mixture down lightly.
Bake 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Place chocolate and oil in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high 30 – 50 seconds, stirring once. Drizzle chocolate over the cooled bars. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Slice into 36 pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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