Monday, September 28, 2009

Cookie and Cheesecake Cupcakes

Lately I've had time to try some new cupcake recipes and wanted to share a couple that I think are definite keepers. Both of these cupcake recipes came from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

If you enjoy making cupcakes this is by far the best cupcake cookbook out there. I have many cupcake cookbooks, and this is the one I continually go back to again and again. I haven't been disappointed by any of the recipes.

The first cupcake is a snickerdoodle cupcake. I was attracted to this recipe because my kids love snickerdoodle cookies so I figured a snickerdoodle cupcake would be just as yummy....and it was a big hit with my family.

The cake is basically a vanilla cake with lots of cinnamon. The recipe recommended using Seven Minute frosting but I chose to use my Marshmallow Buttercream recipe that I used in the S'more Cupcakes instead. I like the Seven Minute frosting but it doesn't last long and has to be eaten the same day that it's made, so it wasn't a practical choice for me.

Pictured above is a mini raspberry cheesecake cupcake. Our raspberry bushes are producing their second round of raspberries for the season so I was looking for something to use them in when I came across this recipe. These mini cakes are the perfect size to indulge in with out feeling guilty. Fresh raspberries are pureed in the food processor, strained through a fine sieve, and marbled through the cheesecake. I added my own touch of whipped cream and a raspberry on top.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's Football Time Again!

I was reminded that it was football season when I went to work today. Not being a big football fan myself I guess I was a little oblivious to the people around me as I was sitting in the Indianapolis airport wondering why everyone was wearing a Colts jersey. Then when I got to Chicago and went into our lounge, there it was on the big screen TV.... football! No one was really watching it though, two people were asleep on the couches and one guy kind of seemed to be watching while listening to his Ipod at the same time.

I was reminded again later when I visited my sister's blog and saw the most adorable pictures of my niece in a Packer cheerleading outfit. Most of my family members are huge Packer fans and so I guess they figure they better indoctrinate my niece while she's young. The first thing I noticed in the pictures is that she has grown so much! She doesn't look like a baby anymore. It's been a while since we've been out to visit my family, and seeing how much she's changed made me miss her even more.

So whether your a football fan or not, I thought you'd enjoy seeing these pictures of the cutest little Packer fan, even though she might not know it yet! Too see more Madelyn pics click here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Proof of the Pie is in the Eating

This post is dedicated to dear, sweet Esme. On more than one occasion she has been so kind as to bake a pie and leave it on the doorstep for my husband who she thinks is pie deprived, and well, she's probably right. Not only are her pies delicious they are much appreciated and enjoyed by Keith.

I am not a pie-loving person so I don't make as many pies as I do cakes and other pastries. My kids are not too fond of pies either, except for apple pie which Ethan claims to be the only kind of pie that he likes.

So, Esme here is my proof that I really do make pies. I've averaged a pie a month for the last couple of months, not bad when you consider all the other baking that happens in my kitchen.

In early August I made a blackberry-peach pie (above) out of fresh blackberries and peaches from the farmer's market.

And now that local apples are in season again, Ethan has been bugging me to make him an apple pie. I finally got around to it, and I enjoyed baking it in my new Cuisinart convection oven that I received from Keith and the boys for my birthday. It turned out perfectly golden brown and the aroma in the kitchen was heavenly. Keith and Ethan gave it two thumbs up!

Thank you Esme for your thoughtful pie-giving self, and for inspiring me to make more pies!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Honey of a Birthday Cake

For my birthday on Friday, I received this lovely beehive cake and mold from Steph. I can count on one hand the number of times that someone has made me a birthday cake (not including all the cakes my mom made me as a child), so having a homemade birthday cake is a very special treat. This cake was not only delicious and enjoyed by my whole family, but it was also a very thoughtful gift as well.

The cake was a honey glazed spice cake and the recipe came from Martha Stewart . I first fell in love with the cake and mold when it was featured on the cover of Martha Stewart Living magazine over a year ago. I had completely forgotten about it until a couple of days ago when Steph surprised me with it. Thanks, Steph for making me such a special birthday cake!

This is what the Nordic Ware mold looks like.