Friday, January 30, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes


OK, so I've been having a thing for cupcakes lately. I went and tried all the red velvet cupcakes in the immediate 5 mile radius. And then I decided that it was really expensive to buy cupcakes from cupcake bakeries. Especially when red velvet cupcakes (fast becoming one of my favorite cupcake flavors) were easy to make. I found this recipe from New York's famous Magnolia Bakery online, and I have to say, it's delicious! I absolutely love it, and I think it's loads better than the cupcakes I've been buying. I used 1 oz of food coloring paste and diluted it with 4 tablespoons of water, which worked out just fine. The cupcakes were more effort than the usual box of cake mix or going to the bakery, but totally worth it.

The recipe online came with a vanilla frosting of some sort, but I love my red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, so I included a recipe for cream cheese frosting as well. I have to say that I didn't get up to the suggested 5 cups of powdered sugar. I used maybe 2 1/2, and only because my husband wanted it sweeter. Enjoy!

RED VELVET CUPCAKES

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Adapted from Epicurious

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Delicious Creamed Corn...

One of our favorite sides at a Lawry's Restaurant is the creamed corn. I found this recipe off of the Lawry's website. I'm debating trying it out for Thanksgiving. It really seems easy enough...

Creamed Corn
(from Lawrysonline.com)

1½ tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups fresh, frozen or canned whole kernel corn

Melt butter in heavy saucepan; add flour and salt, stirring to blend. Slowly add whipping cream, stirring constantly until thickened. Add sugar and corn, heat. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Holiday Recipes

Here are two of my most highly requested holiday recipes. While they are mainly for use between Thanksgiving and Christmas, who says you can't use them at other times of the year?

1. Stuffing
I was looking everywhere for this recipe from my friend Ethan, when I finally found the printout stuffed in a Thanksgiving-themed magazine. While the holidays are over, this stuffing is great for chicken as well. It's my absolute most favorite stuffing.

Macadamia Nut Stuffing

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
8 cups bread cubes
3 Tbsp. celery
3 Tbsp. parsley
3 Tbsp. chives
2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. clove (ground)
1/3 tsp. bay leaves or 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/3 tsp. mace

Saute onions in butter until transparent. Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and moisten slightly with stock or chicken broth.

This recipe makes a lot of stuffing. 1/2 to 3/4 of the recipe is more than enough to stuff a 10-12 lb. turkey. Don't make the stuffing ahead of time. As soon as you have moistened it, you should put it in the turkey and put it in the oven.

2. Sweet Potatoes
I made this sweet potato recipe last Thanksgiving and everybody LOVED it. My cousin looked for it and couldn't find it. So here it is. Some caveats: I sliced the potatoes in half instead of keeping them whole as the recipe instructs. I also didn't bother with the pastry bag - while they probably didn't look as pretty as in MSL, the marshmallows covered that up and no one seemed to know the difference. Instead of the pastry bag, I carefully spooned the mixture back into the shells. It was lots easier.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
from Martha Stewart Living (Nov. 2005)
Serves 12

14 sweet potatoes (each about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 6 Tbsp. cold unsaled butter, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
40 large marshmallows, halved crosswise

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake until soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack.

2. Cut a lengthwise slit in potatoes almost all the way through, leaving about 1 inch at each end intact. Scoop out flesh, leaving a 1/2 inch border on skins. Put flesh in a medium nonreactive bowl, then transfer half to a food processor. Process until smooth; return to bowl. Stir in sour cream, 6 Tbsp. softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer sweet potato mixture in batches to a pastry bag fitted with a very large round tip. Pipe mixture into 12 of the potato shells, dividing evenly; discard remaining 2 shells. Filled shells can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day. Just before serving, top with remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, the sliced butter, and pecans; arrange marshmallows on top. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until hot and marshmallows are golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.

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Yummy Roast Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

I saw results of this recipe on The Food Section, and tonight, I tried it. This recipe is surprising good, and so easy to make. Here it is again. I used a cut chicken instead of just chicken breasts. I used pearl tomatoes and not cherry, and I used a mixture of dried majoram and rosemary (The Wednesday Chef used rosemary and said it was fantastic). I also coarsely minced the garlic cloves since I didn't have a press. SOOOO TASTY!

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Roast Chicken
Serves 4

24 ounces whole cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stemmed
1/4 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, and none for garnish)
4 bone-in chicken breasts (10 to 12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon marjoram in a large bowl to combine.

2. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, arranging the tomatoes in a single layer on the sheet around the chicken. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes.

3. Transfer the chicken to plates. Spoon the tomatoes and juices over the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon marjoram and serve.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

4th of July: 2 Recipes to Share!

Joel and I had friends over yesterday to watch TV and fireworks yesterday. Everyone loved the sangria and I loved the rotini salad that I made. So here are the recipes to share.

Sangria
(This is an approximate recipe - I've never bothered to actually measure out what I'm doing.)
1 bottle (750 mL) of red wine
1-2 cups of brandy, or to taste
1 liter of orange soda
2 cups frozen berries (plus any other fruits you'd like to add)

Mix all together. Chill.

Rotini Salad
1 box (16 oz.) rotini
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. capers
1 can artichoke hearts (quartered)
12 oz. cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1 cup finely chopped basil
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.

Prepare the dressing by combining pasta cooking water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and peppers. Mix well and set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients, pasta, and dressing; toss gently. Serve warm or cold.

The original recipe that I worked off was off the Barilla box, but I didn't really want to add tuna, and I HATE olives, so I doctored the recipe a bit, and it was so tasty!

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