Monday, June 23, 2008

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting!

Need I say more than the title??

I saw Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) make this on the Food Network a couple of weeks ago & have been waiting for a reason to make them. So when Matt said it was his co-workers birthday yesterday I knew I had the perfect cupcake to make. They are UNBELIEVABLE. I seriously could have eaten the whole bowl of frosting myself. The frosting is super creamy & the peanut butter has a light creamy taste, it's not too overpowering. They're seriously awesome cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

Barefoot Contessa

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 tablespoons brewed coffee (I didn't use obviously)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup good cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended. Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frost each cupcake with Peanut Butter Icing and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired (I didn't add chopped peanuts, I wanted it to just be creamy).

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I only used 4 T because that's what I had left from the stick & a half from the cupcakes & I didn't want to open another stick of butter. Believe me, I didn't miss the 1 T in the taste)

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Another thing to do with Rhodes Rolls!!

I was looking at the Food Network website a few days ago & they have a special section titled Paula Dean's 50 favorite recipes. I was browsing & trying to think of something to make for Sunday dinner dessert, then bam! I saw a picture that looks much better than my pic, but you get the idea. She calls it a coffee cake, but I think it's more like a cinnamon roll casserole or monkey bread. It got rave reviews & was all gone by the end of the night & we only had 5 people eating & one was Madeline! I can't stress enough how easy this recipe was to make.

Notes: I didn't add pecans because we think Maddie's allergic to them. It really does need at least 8 hours to rise.

Ultimate Coffee Cake

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

16 to 18 unbaked frozen dinner rolls

1 (3-ounce) package regular butterscotch pudding mix, not instant

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

The night before place frozen rolls in well greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls. Sprinkle brown sugar over pudding mix. Sprinkle chopped pecans over brown sugar. Pour melted butter over all. To prevent the dough from forming a hard crust while its rising overnight, cover with a damp towel or tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature, about 8 to 10 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn pan over onto a serving platter to remove. Serve by pulling apart chunks with forks.

French Chocolate Granola

I saw this recipe on another cooking blog & thought healthy granola with a little chocolate? That's my idea of health food! ;)

French Chocolate Granola
(from The Picky Apple food blog)

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup raw almonds, chopped

½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

6 Tbsp. mild honey

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive)

½ cup, or more, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used the Giradelli bittersweet chips in the baking aisle)

Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend.
In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, whisking occasionally until the honey is loose. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.
Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely.
When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate, and stir or shake to mix.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bread Pudding

I had a bunch of croissants sitting in my refrigerator & I've been trying to figure out what to do with them. I've never made bread pudding so I decided to try it for the first time with the croissants. I adapted a recipe from by using the croissants instead of bread. I haven't tried it yet, but my taste tester (Matt) said it was delicious.

Bread Pudding

3 cups bread cubes (sub: croissants)
4 cups scalded milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Butter an 8x8 inch glass baking dish. Soak bread in hot milk for five minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, salt, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into the baking dish.
Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place baking dish on towel inside roasting pan, and place roasting pan on oven rack. Fill roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 60 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
While pudding cools, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large saucepan. While stirring, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir 3 minutes more. Spoon over warm bread pudding.

Father's Day Recipes

For Father's Day yesterday I made an awesome egg casserole in the morning & then slow cooker (thanks to a 1 pm church time! :)) bbq ribs with twice baked potatoes, salad & banana cream pie for dinner. Everything turned out great & I got the casserole recipe @ my favorite website

Country Breakfast Casserole
Submitted by: Kristin
Prep Time: 15 MinutesCook Time: 50 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 15 MinutesYields: 8 servings
1 (16 ounce) package
breakfast sausage
1 chopped green onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 (2.64 ounce) package
country gravy mix
6 slices bread, cut into 1 inch
2 tablespoons melted butter
paprika to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 11x8 inch baking dish.
Brown sausage in a large skillet; drain fat.
Combine sausage with green onion and spread evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Top with shredded cheese. Whisk together eggs, water, milk, and gravy mix; add mixture to baking dish. Arrange bread squares evenly on top. If desired, drizzle melted butter over bread, and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside 10 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

4 pounds pork spare ribs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Catlemans BBQ sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:Put all ingredients in slow cooker on low for 8 hours.