I started this blog a few months ago with every intention of blogging as I bake, but life got in the way and documenting my baking escapades fell to the way side. So, today I am sitting down and catching up.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I can’t seem to bake with enough pumpkin! Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, four-teared, elaborately decorated pumpkin cakes (okay, not really). But really. I love this time of year, and I love pumpkin. And I have a raging sweet tooth. What better way to satisfy it than with spiced pumpkin cupcakes topped with a tower of maple buttercream? I’m probably the only one in my family that can consume exorbant amounts of sugar without a second thought, but these little beauties will be making an appearance on the dessert table of our family Thanksgiving gathering anyway – even if I am the only one who eats them. 🙂
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cup sugar
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
1 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp. cake flour
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line your muffin cups.
Blend the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Pour into lined muffin tins, until 2/3 full.
Bake for thirty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.
Ingredients for Frosting:
1 cup softened butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. maple extract
1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk
Cream butter and maple extract together until smooth. This is easily done with a stand mixer, but it can also be done with a hand mixer. Just prepare yourself a little bit by building up your forearms in advance. Maybe lift some weights or arm wrestle your super buff, fitness trainer neighbor. You’ll thank me.
Add powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, blending well after each addition.
Once all the sugar is added, beat on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Around 4 or 5 minutes you will notice the icing becoming fluffy which means you’re almost done. Add 1-2 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream or whole milk to reach desired consistency. Pipe one towering pile of buttercream on each cupcake and consume. 🙂
I have never been a fan of scones. If they’re not done right, they can be dry and crumbly and have little flavor. I had a roommate in college who loved to bake scones, but they always came out hard as a rock and definitely not very tasty. So, I stayed away from them. Until, that is, I came across this recipe. Lemon. Blueberry. Melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. I couldn’t NOT try them! And I am oh so glad that I did! They have been been a staple breakfast item in my home for some time now. I even bring them to brunch get-togethers, baby showers, and the occasional breakfast at my mothers. They are always a hit! And, as I bask in the glorious light of everyone’s compliments, imagining myself as the master and queen of all baked goods, the little angel on my shoulder reminds me that the recipe is not a Jessica original, and I share the source of my knowledge with the world. 🙂 enjoy.
Makes approximately 10 scones.
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tblsp. sugar
1 Tblsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
zest of 2 large lemons
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
5 Tblsp. of cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. of water, for egg wash
sugar for sprinkling
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Beat egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest together. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or pair of butter knives, cut it into the butter until you have a pebbly mixture the size of peas.
Pour the egg and cream into the butter/flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Very gently, fold the blueberries into the dough, being careful not to crush them.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat out until it is approximately 1 inch thick.
Using a biscuit cutter (or, if you’re like me and you don’t have a biscuit cutter, just use a upside-down water glass), cut out circles and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until they are nicely browned.
Serve warm, and store any leftovers in an airtight container.
I always feel like I’m cheating when I don’t bake absolutely EVERYTHING from scratch. But this recipe just seemed too tasty to pass up! And to this day, I’m glad that I gave it a try. Perhaps one of you more savvy bakers can tip me off on how to make a buttery, flaky biscuit from scratch. But until then, this will just have to do! I have made this dessert a number of times, now, and my family always gobbles it up and requests more! It’s so easy to make, and if you’re ever in a pinch and need a quick dessert, this is a must!
1 tube crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup powdered sugar
4+ tbsp. heavy cream
splash vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Set aside.
Pop open crescent rolls and unroll, leaving the crescents in rectangles. Lay the crescent rolls together on an ungreased baking sheet, lining them up width-wise.
Press edges together to even them out and seal any holes. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture down the center of the dough to be about 2-3 inches wide (At this point, feel free to add blackberries, raspberries, or almonds to the filling. Get creative!).
Cut 1/2 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Fold 1/2 strips up over the filling, alternating sides, to create a braided pattern. If you have access dough when you reach the ends of the danish, just fold them in as best as you can.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until filling is set and crescent dough is a golden brown. Cool before removing from baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream to create icing. Drizzle atop the danish once it has completely cooled. Slice into desired amount of slices, and enjoy!
Chocolate. It’s a wonderful thing. It may, in fact, be my favorite thing in the whole world. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme. But if I come across a chocolate recipe that I have not yet tried, it’s difficult for me not to drop everything and start baking! And, if you haven’t guessed already, that’s what happened to me today. Instead of paying bills and running errands, I baked 24 beautiful chocolate cupcakes with a decadent salted caramel frosting! They turned out beautifully. Now, my next challenge is not consuming them all in one sitting. 🙂
Makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.
2 1/4 cups flour (for these, I used all-purpose flour. But you can substitute cake flour if you wish)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsp. lemon juice)