Saturday, July 30, 2011

Red Wine Sangria Cupcakes

Hello friends, for brief while I thought I would launch a new blog where I would investigate "Can it Cupcake?" An exploration of turning things that are not traditionally in cupcake form, into cupcakes! The idea has legs, but I'm not finding the time to maintain two blogs! So I'm going to merge it back into my baking blog here! Sorry for recycling posts! In the end it will make this blog more exciting with more inspiration!

So in case you missed it on Can it Cupcake, here is the Red Wine Sangria post!

I made these cupcakes in honor of Cinco de Mayo. I've seen a lot of margarita cupcakes or Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes, but I hadn't seen sangria cupcakes! These are chocolate red wine cupcakes with a pineapple ring layer, triple sec orange frosting and topped with lemon lime zest!

Sangria cupcake

Fancy! But for as fancy as these sound I think they could have come out better. I don't recommend halfing the chocolate red wine cupcake recipe, it requires weird measurements to half and they came out kind of dense. The pineapple on the bottom could have also cause that, I was a bit worried it may be too juicy. But the frosting is amazing!

So here is the recipe with full measurements that should yield around 24 regular sized cupcakes!

Red Wine Sangria Cupcakes

For the cupcakes
Adapted from We Are Not Martha

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 cup boiling water
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup red wine (I used a Spanish cabernet sauvignon, for no particular reason other than it was a Spanish red wine and I liked the bottle)
3 cans sliced pineapple rings (my can had 10 rings)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans with wrappers
  2. Drain the pineapple slices, and cut as pictured below then place in the bottom of each wrapper
    Pineapple base for Sangria cupcakes
  3. In a heatproof bowl combine cocoa powder and chocolate chips and pour in the boiling water. Quickly mix to combine and until chips are melted
  4. In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
  5. Then beat in each egg one at a time until well combined.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  8. Alternate adding the chocolate mixture and wine until all is well combined.
  9. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups right over the pineapple
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean
  11. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 - 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completly
For the Triple Sec orange liqueur buttercream frosting

1 package powdered sugar (16 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 tablespoons Triple sec
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  1. Cream the butter in a mixer
  2. Add all other ingredients and start mixing on slow, increasing speed as ingredients begin to blend together
  3. Use more or less milk as necessary to achieve desired consistency
  1. Frost cupcakes once completely cool.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lime zest and mix together
  3. Sprinkle zest over frosting and you have sangria cupcakes!

Bi-sected sangria cupcake

Pineapple bottom on sangria cupcake

Lemon lime zest

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mexican Cocoa Brownies

Hello all! I apologize for not having posted in awhile, I was on vacation for a weekend in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!

And in honor of my Mexico vacation, I give you Mexican cocoa brownies!

Fudgey Mexican cocoa brownie

I didn't get the cocoa in Mexico though. I actually made these before I even left, I wanted to bake something easy and sweet, but special, so I used my Mexican cocoa from Savory Spice Shop! Mexican cocoa and chocolate is special because it's cocoa combined with almonds and cinnamon, very tasty. But if you can't find it in stores, I've found you a substitute! *Measure out the 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and add 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

The recipe makes two 8 x 8 pans, or one 9 x 13 pan I'm sure, but since it's just Dave and I in the house I halved it and made one 8 x 8, and added some cinnamon extract for fun.

Mexican Cocoa Brownies
adapted from Savory Spice Shop

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Mexican cocoa (or see substitution above*)
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon extract (optional)
  1. Line and butter a 8 x 8 inch square brownie pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter
  3. Beast in sugars, oil and syrup until blended.
  4. Stir in eggs one at a time until blended.
  5. Stir in cocoa, flour and extract until blended.
  6. Spread evenly into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool in pan before cutting into bars!
Mexican cocoa brownie

Nearly 1/3 didn't even make it to morning

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ginormous Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Delicious, chewy chocolate chip cookie (cake) for 4th of July bbq!

Cookie cake for 4th of July

I used my special cookie cake pan and this recipe from bakerella. I have a giant bag of white and blue M&Ms that I used as well, I had no red...but it didn't affect the taste. ;op

If you don't have a giant cookie cake pan, I'm sure you can use a normal round, or any shape for that matter, metal pan and have a giant cookie that tastes just as good!

Ginormous Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Adapted from bakerella

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup M&Ms, chocolate chips, your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and the sugars using a mixer until fluffy.
  5. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  6. Add the flour and mix until combined.
  7. Stir in your M&Ms
  8. Transfer cookie dough to the pan and spread out evely until the bottom of the pan is covered.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes (Note: I really think this depends on your pan. The recipe I followed used a very shallow pan and specified 8-10 minutes. Cookie cake instructions specify 30 min and that's what worked for me. Let the depth of your pan be your judge)
  10. Remove and cool.

Awesome cookie cake

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blackberry Plum Potpie

I bought a Martha Stewart Living magazine with a piece all about pies. I've decided this will be the summer of the pie, and I shall make them all.

Dave helped choose the first pie, and it turned out to be a good one because you don't even have to make and roll out crust. It's a potpie, which means you put the filling right in the pie dish then cut out puff pastry for the top crust. Blackberry plum potpie, yum!

Freshly baked blackberry plum pie

Blackberry Plum Potpie
From Martha Stewart

For the crust
1 package (14 ounces) thawed frozen puff pastry, chilled (Note: Phyllo dough is NOT puff pastry)
All-purpose flour, for baking sheet
1 large egg white, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Coarse and fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

For the filling
1 pound 4 ounces black plums, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges (about 4 cups)
6 ounces blackberries (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Unfold pastry on a very lightly floured baking sheet, and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness.
  3. Set a 9-inch pie plate, upside down (do not press down), on 1 side of pastry, and cut around plate using a sharp paring knife.
  4. Remove dish. Cut five 3/4-inch-wide strips from scraps. (I only had enough for 3, clearly I'm not Martha)
  5. Brush round with egg wash (do not let drip down sides)
  6. Adhere strips to surface, and brush again with egg wash.
  7. Cut out a 2 1/2-inch hole in the center of pastry round using a biscuit cutter.
  8. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  9. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  10. Mix together plums, blackberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, five-spice powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  11. Pour filling into pie plate, and cover with parchment-lined foil. (I didn't know what parchment lined foil meant... I layered the parchment paper and foil and covered the dish, parchment side down)
  12. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  13. Bake pastry crust on top rack and filling in bottom third of oven for 30 minutes.
  14. Transfer crust on baking sheet to a wire rack (it should be golden and cooked through). Let cool slightly.
  15. Continue to bake filling until starting to bubble in center, about 30 minutes more.
  16. Remove from oven, uncover, and top with pastry crust.
  17. Bake pie until bubbling vigorously in center, about 10 minutes more. (If the crust looks like it's getting too dark, cover it with tin foil!)
  18. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

See the blackberries?

First slice of blackberry plum potpie

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summertime Smore Bark

Where ever you're going this weekend, make some of this! It's super easy and quick, plus it makes you look good when you turned up at the party with something homemade.

It's smore bark! Summer = smores + not turning on my oven. Perfect!

Chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers

Not that it really requires a recipe, but here it is anyway!

Smore Bark
Adapted from hippie hippe bakes

About 9 Hershey bars
Handful of mini marshmallows
About 2 graham crackers
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler until it's nice and smooth
  3. Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet and spread around with spatula until it's pretty much of even thickness
  4. Evenly distribute the mini marshmallows
  5. Break up the graham crackers and distribute them over the melted chocolate as well
  6. Give the marshmallows and graham cracker pieces a little press as you go so they adhere to the chocolate
  7. Done! Go do something else

Waiting for smore bark to set

Well, mostly done. You can leave the bark in progress at room temperature until it sets, or pop it in the fridge. Once it's hardened again, break it up into rough pieces and eat!

I wrapped some up in a fancy take out container box to give away.

Smore bark in takeout container

Smore bark!
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