Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back To School Cupcakes

I made these for our Back To School Celebration, and they were divine!!

Lemon-Kissed Buttermilk Cupcakes with the World's Fluffiest Cream Cheese Frosting
from Brooke McLay

  • 2 cup(s) of sugar
  • 1 cup(s) of water
  • 3 tbsp. of cornstarch
  • 1 juice of a single lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 pound(s) of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 zest of a single lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking powder (**double if baking at an altitude below 5,000 feet)
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) of flour
  • 3/4 cup(s) of buttermilk
  • 6 cup(s) of powdered sugar
  • 1 jar pre-made lemon curd (available in the jelly section of most grocery stores)
  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together 1/2 c. sugar, water, cornstarch, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together 2 sticks of butter, eggs, and the remaining granulated sugar until very light a fluffy.
  3. To the creamed mixture, add lemon zest, vanilla bean seeds (discard pod), salt, baking powder, flour and buttermilk.
  4. Beat batter together just until well mixed. Be careful to not overbeat the mixture!
  5. Spoon batter into a standard-sized muffin tin which has been lined with paper cupcake liners
  6. Bake cupcakes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or just until the centers have set and spring back to the light touch.
  7. In another large bowl, spoon the cooled cornstarch and lemon juice mixuture made in Step 1.
  8. Add 2 sticks of butter, the PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE and 4 cups of powdered sugar to the cornstarch mixture. Beat with an electric mixer until frosting is very light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar by the quarter cup, if a thicker frosting consistency is desired
  9. Spoon frosting mixture into a large plastic, zip-top bag, snipping off the corner of the bag so the frosting can be easily piped onto the top of the cupcakes.
  10. To complete cupcakes: Scoop a small amount of cake from the center of each cooled cupcake. Place a scoop of lemon curd into the center of each cupcake. Pipe cream cheese frosting over each cupcake.
  11. Serve immediately, or store well-covered in the fridge for up to three days. Enjoy!

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Ham Braid

Ham and Swiss Braid
4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
2 pkg. quick rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Cup water
1/4 Cup dijon mustard
2 T. butter
1 lb. thin sliced deli black forest ham (I used diced honey ham)
1/4 Cup mayo (I mixed in some mustard,too)
1 C. shredded swiss cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 C. chopped dill pickles
1/8 C. chopped jalapenos from a jar (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a mixing bowl, combine 3 C. flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a microwave dish, heat water, mustard and butter to 120-130 degrees (butter will be melted). Add to flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be stiff). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (if by hand 6-8 min.) or use kitchen aid to knead.

Roll dough into a 14X12 inch rectangle on a piece of parchment. Arrange half of the ham down the middle of the dough. Brush with mayo if using. Top with cheese, pickles, jalapenos (if using) and remaining ham. On each long side, cut 3/4 inch wide strips about 2.5 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across the filling. Pinch the ends to seal. Cover with a moist towel and let rise about 15 min. (it will not rise much. I do however let it go for about 45 min if I have time.)

Brush with egg. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.

*my kids LOVED this! My 5 year old said "Mom, I just can't stop eating this!" Ü

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

S'more Bars

I stole this recipe from my cousin, Lisa's blog. It is so good I had to share the recipe! I hope you like it too!

S'mores Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham crackers)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 king-sized milk chocolate bars

1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows) *I used a whole jar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and/or line an 8-inch square baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. Place chocolate bars over dough (2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate if necessary to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick).

5. Spread the marshmallow fluff over the chocolate.

6. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles or panels and laying them together).

7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
(I put chocolate chips on top because I am JUST that desperate for more sugar, calories, and deliciousness.)

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