Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taste of Summer

Ahhhh. Finally summer! To be honest I'm not sure what my favorite part of summer is. Wether it's the freedom, the nicer weather, or the food. Oh my, so many potlucks, BBQs and picniks! Well to kick of the summer I had a group of friends over to swim and eat. Unfortunately, the weather was not the best it could have been so the swimming was minimal but the food was fantastic. Everyone brought something from these gorgeous local field strawberries....

To these perogies.

And incase you all were wondering what I made. It was these pink lemonade cupcakes.

I don't think anything tastes more like summer than lemonade and pink lemonade? All the better! The cupcakes were great. Very sweet with a bit of sour which came mostly from the icing and a really nice spongy texture. Typically, I'm not one to decorate my food because I can never seem to find icing tips or other little additions. Luckily, my friend brought over her icing tips and these pretty paper parasols to add a little extra to the cupcakes. And finally, for those of you who wish to try the recipe here it is:

Source: Simply Sweet Bake Shop
Yield: 9 Cupcakes

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 c. thawed frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1/4 c. buttermilk
Pink food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.
3. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.
4. Scoop batter into liners (fill about three-fourths full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting (see below).

Lemonade Buttercream:
3 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. pink lemonade concentrate
Pink food coloring

1. Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemon juice, and a few drops of food coloring to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.
2. Turn the speed to med-high until the buttercream is fluffy and uniformly pink. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

I will definitely be making these again. Maybe in cake form? yummm. Hope everyone is having a great start to their summer and I will be talking to you all very soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

First off, happy Father's Day to all dads out there. This year our Father's Day started off with a 5K run to raise money for our town's hospital and later on the day some family came over for the pretty meal you see bellow.

Sadly, I had nothing to do with this meal so I have nothing to share other than, the salad my grandmother made was delicious! I will do my best to recreate it some time. For any of you that may be checking back every once and a while for a post, I'd like to apologize for not posting much lately. I have a very busy week ahead of me but then I should be back to posting more frequently.

Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

More cookies? Yes, of course! Actually, these are props for a play tomorrow but they're edible, homemade and delicious.

The request from the friend using this prop was just chocolate chip cookies. Honestly, I was disappointed I was kind of hoping to make some interesting flavored cookie. Oh well another day I suppose!

Here's the recipe I used from 'Handle the Heat'.

In the end these were great. It only just occurred to me that I hadn't made chocolate chip cookies for a couple months! These cookies certainly fixed the problem of a lack of chocolate chip cookies. The recipe made A LOT and I made huge cookies. They also had a nice soft texture with super crunchy out sides. The cookie was also very nice and buttery.

One unexpected twist. Typically, I use semi-sweet chips for my cookies but we bought milk chocolate by accident. Still needing some darker chocolate the rest of the semi-sweet was used up and the remaining chocolate was milk chocolate. The taste overall? Heaven. I'll definitely be mixing the two chocolates more in future chocolate chip cookies.

I really could write about these cookies late into the night but they are making me hungry and I really must sleep.

Sweet dreams ;)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Deep, Dark Chocolate Cookies

Alright so I was definitely in a chocolate mood. Not just a sugary, creamy milk chocolate but a dark almost bitter dark chocolate. These cookies were perfect. I brought them to a birthday party with a bunch of kids who thought the cookies tasted just like only cocoa. So fair to say they weren't popular there butttt all the parents loved them, one parent ate so many his wife has cut him off from dessert for a week.

So for any one who wishes to try these here's therecipe from the blog Abbey Cat Chat. The only thing I did differently was to add about 3/4-1 tablespoon of extra cocoa powder and used milk chocolate chips to offset the darker cookie.