This October has been a really busy month for my business. The increase in business is a huge blessing - no complaints from me. I feel like I'm living the dream. Doing what I love - baking cupcakes, cookies and cakes and getting paid for it! What could be better?
Ok, so I admit that I could probably use a little more sleep - these long days in the kitchen are exhausting. The whir of my Kitchen Aid mixer can be heard almost continuously between the hours of 7:00 am until about 10:00 in the evening. There are times when I've heard it for so long that I just have to turn it off for a few minutes just to get have some peace and quiet in the kitchen. (Such a mom thing to say.)
A cookie recipe that doesn't require an electric mixer is a welcome change. A bowl, a whisk and a few simple ingredients - cooking at its finest.(and quietest) I found this recipe for Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies on sallysbakingaddicition.com and it was just the recipe that I needed to give my mixer a rest. I love the roughly chopped dark chocolate on top of each lightly spiced pumpkin cookie. This is Fall - all wrapped up in a cookie.
Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons (86 grams) pumpkin puree
1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (90 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven. Press chocolate onto the top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.
If that doesn't put you in the mood for Fall - maybe this pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend - will.
I hope that you have a fabulous Fall weekend.
Halloween is one week away and you know what that means ----
I am already trying to put up my best defenses against the sugar bomb that will inevitably explode on my living room floor next Friday night around 10:00.
The thought of Snickers Bars and Hershey Bars and Twix bars is already got me craving chocolate. Isn't it a moms prerogative to share in the bounty that comes home in the trick or treat bag? (Don't judge me - you know you do it too.)
This year I have a plan though. I am going to turn that yummy candy into cupcakes. (That makes it better, right?)
For the Cake:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Cut a hole in the center of each cooled cupcake.
Stir in chopped peanuts.
Fill each cupcake hole with nougat filling.
Top each filled cupcake with caramel buttercream.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
What's better than eating a snickers bar on Halloween night? Eating a snickers cupcake the next day. :)
I can't believe that I've never blogged this recipe before. Peanut butter and chocolate cakes are one of the most frequently requested cakes that I make.
You can't really go wrong with this flavor combination. Rich, dark chocolate cake layered with smooth, creamy peanut butter buttercream, topped with a sweet layer of chocolate ganache and decorated with a sprinkling of Reese's peanut butter cups.
I made this one for a birthday party and I forgot to take the pictures before I put the writing on the top so just pretend like it isn't there.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
1 cup butter
3 cups brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup cocoa
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups brewed coffee
1 1/3 cups sour cream
To make buttercream, combine 2 1/2 cups sugar and 10 egg whites and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar in bowl of standing mixer. Heat over double boiler, whisking frequently until hot to the touch.
Place bowl on mixing stand and beat with whisk until light and fluffy.
Seriously - best peanut butter buttercream EVER!!!
Spread warm ganache over the top of the cake - allowing it to drop down the sides of the cake.
The chocolate peanut butter combination is a classic. I have a feeling, I am going to be making even more of these cakes in the future.
Dinner is served - some assembly required.
I love taco night. No need to worry about pleasing everyone's taste buds. Everyone creates their own individual taco and everyone's happy.
I've made lots of fish tacos - You could say that I'm slightly obsessed with them. I have a lot of fish taco recipes that I love and I wasn't really looking for another but when Cook's Illustrated publishes a recipe for Fish Tacos - I just can't pass up the opportunity to try it. And as you might imagine - it did not disappoint.
Grilled Fish Tacos
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup orange juice
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds fish filets (I used flounder)
1/2 pineapple, sliced thin
1 bell pepper
Remove fish and pineapple from grill.
Place bowls on the table and let your family start to create the perfect taco. As for me, it's fish, peppers, avocado and salsa - pineapple on the side.
The battle seems to be brewing over Starbucks most popular seasonal drink. (Did you catch that little play on words?) At 300 calories and 11 grams of fat for the smallest size latte, it's hard to argue that drinking a pumpkin spice latte is worth it. My suggestion is to avoid the delicious beverage all together and eat your pumpkin spice latte instead of drinking it. After all, isn't it better to sink your teeth into your 300 calorie snack?
The browneyedbaker.com figured out how to get all of the delicious flavors of the popular drink into a super moist, extra delicious, pumpkin packed cupcakes - complete with whipped cream topping.
Seriously people - ditch the pricey drink and go with the cupcake version. Same great pumpkin spice appeal - but without the artificial flavors.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
4½ teaspoons espresso powder or fine coffee grounds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream
Whisk together the pumpkin, both sugars and the vegetable oil until completely combined, making sure to break up any chunks of brown sugar so no lumps remain.
Divide the batter between the baking cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
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