Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘brown sugar cinnamon’

Blueberries: an essential part of a not-so-balanced breakfast.

I have something to say.

It’s very important.

Are you listening?!

Good…

I, Kate, the baketress of Irvine, California…am getting slightly cupcaked-out.

They’re still my favorite. It’s not getting old, at all. But this blog needs a little variety every once in a while. So maybe I should say Sugar Therapy is getting a little cupcaked-out. It really doesn’t matter how I say it, because…

I made cookies! (yay!)

Baking cookies baffles me. They’re so easy. How can something so delicious, so popular, and so sweatpants-stretching be this simple?! It’s a mystery I’ll never solve, I’m sure.

You can go ahead and file these under That’s it? or No no no, there must be more to it…, or…

Cookies for breakfast.

(You have some strange categories…but I like your style.)

These brown sugar blueberry cookies are perfectly acceptable for your morning meal. Why? Because these cookies are basically blueberry muffins in 3-bite form. (Or one bite if you’re feeling like an oinker…and you have a big mouth..)

The cookies are so simple that I’m pretty sure it took longer for me to get the ingredients out than it did to actually put them together. Let’s do some math:

11 ingredients + 1 bowl + 1 oven + maaaybe 45 minutes of your day = bomb.com breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner.

I should have been a math major.

Sometimes life gets complicated, and in a world of ups and downs, the best prescription is a simple recipe that will give you blueberry satisfaction in the blink of an eye. I looked at the ingredients in my cabinet, and voila! Best bfast evah.

Make these cookies and give them to everyone you know. That is, if you can manage not to eat them all before you reach the front door…

Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies
makes about a dozen cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
2/3 cup blueberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet.

2. Beat butter, sugar, and egg until combined.

3. Add vanilla and combine.

4. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and milk and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

5. Gently fold in blueberries.

6. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to chill.

7. Once the cookie balls are on the sheet, sprinkle with granulated sugar.

8. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, and let cool on a wire rack.

9. Eat.

Bon appétit!

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Cinnamon-sugar-coated clarity

I just bit into this cupcake.

This is my breakfast. This is happening.

You can’t stress about too much when you’re having a cupcake for breakfast. I mean, come on.

Like really, I can’t. I’m not lying!

I would never lie to you. You know this. Our relationship has become far too deep and meaningful for me to do stupid things like that.

Before I took this ginormous bite, though, I must admit, I was a bit of a stress basket. I’ve got a lot going on.

That’s how powerful this cupcake is. It de-stresses you. Boom. Magic cupcake.

After I took a deep breath after my bite, I had a moment of clarity. My life, despite some of the less than favorable events that have taken place over the past few weeks, is pretty great.

Why, you ask?

Well, my friend, let me tell you. I have an oven, which means I can make things like that magical Cinnamon-Sugar Cupcake up above. I have an iced coffee in my hand, which, duh, is awesome. I’m in good health…which I mean, obviously rocks. And last but certainly not least, I have the BEST people in the world by my side.

So as I stuff my face with this dessert-breakfast-extravaganza and take a giant sip of my coffee, I’d like to thank those awesome people.

Thank you, to the person who calls me in the midst of her insanely hectic schedule to check up on my life and “live vicariously through me.” This girl lets me vent like a madwoman, and then manages to make me laugh and remind me that even in the worst of times, there’s always Glee.

Thank you, to the friend who lives states away but still remains as close to me as a sister. She accepts me despite my biggest of flaws, and also shares my fondness of vegetarianism and blood orange vodka martinis.

Thank you, to the person who shares my love for Drake concerts, Mascato, and Laguna Beach, and can laugh with me about things no one else would understand, regardless of how often we are able to see each other.

Thank you, to my mother who emails me to get drinks after work just because we both need to laugh and relax, because we both know that if we didn’t have each other, we’d be…crazy. Which we already are. So really we’d just be…crazier? You don’t have to understand, which is why our relationship is so unique and awesome.

Thank you, to the most ridiculously charming person I’ve ever met who not only appreciates my sarcasm, but has seen me for an umpteen number of days in a row now and still hasn’t gotten sick of me, my oddball sleeping habits, or the copious amounts of sushi we eat. ❤
I could so go for a veggie factory roll right now…

And thank you, to the friend who can only be described as my sister-soul mate. We’ve stood by each other through every decision we’ve ever made, regardless if it seemed irrational or crazy to others. This girl supports me in every way. In particular, my baking and this blog!

…which leads me to a very exciting announcement for Sugar Therapy!

For the next ten weeks, Sugar Therapy will be teaming up with Event Blossom, a wholesale wedding favor company based in Southern California. They just launched their new Mod Party Kits, and they are awesome! I’ll be coming up with new cupcake recipes for each kit and posting about them weekly.

Look how cute the cupcake wrappers are for the Blue Baby Shower theme!

I’m okay with things that make my stuff look even better. 😉

This is big news, people! I’m moving up in this little baking world!

Be sure to check out Kim’s blog for Event Blossom. She’s a fabulously talented writer, fantastic cook, and one of the most fun people I know. How do I know this? She’s that sister soul mate I was talking about! (I know, you’re jealous.)

I made Cinnamon-Sugar Cupcakes this week.

Moist cinnamon cake with a creamy cinnamon-sugar buttercream, topped with a simple brown sugar cinnamon crumble? Oh no she didn’t!

Well actually yeah. Yeah, I did.

These babies were a huge hit. It’s a ST original, too. 🙂

*patting myself on the back*

So for the next few months it’s going to be cupcake central at this blog, which is totally fine with me since I haven’t dabbled in the cupcake world since the Grapefruit Cupcakes!

Yeah, I’d say this is long overdue.

Cinnamon Sugar Cupcakes

3 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk (whichever kind you prefer – I used 1%)
1/4 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. It should look airy, like a buttery cloud.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition.

5. Reduce speed to medium-low and add vanilla and beat until combined.

6. Add sour cream and beat until combined.

7. Alternate adding milk and the flour mixture, making for three separate additions of each. Beat until just combined between additions.

8. Fill muffin pan 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.

9. Enjoy the amazing aroma of cinnamon baking. Set cupcakes on a wire rack to completely cool before frosting.

Cinnamon Sugar Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 heaping tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Beat butter on high speed until light and airy.

2. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy.

3. Add vanilla and beat until just combined.

4. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until evenly distributed.

I’m a bit of an over-froster sometimes, so I ran slightly short of frosting. If you frost cupcakes like I do, increase each ingredient 1/2 – 1 cup.

5. Frost. Decorate. Use the Party Kits and show them off to your friends and family!

I’m so excited about this project. It’s going to be so fun, and just wait until you see the cupcake accessories. They make even the snooziest of cupcakes look fun and festive!

Bon appétit!

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all the fantastic moms out there! I’m very thankful for mine. I know it hasn’t been a picnic raising me but I personally think I turned out pretty darn okay. 😉 Love you Mom. xoxo

Saturday mornings: cartoons, PJs, and a pancake for one.

Ahh, Saturday morning.

As a kid, it was all about Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and that show with the sharks? Does anyone know what show I’m talking about? It was that show about 4 guys who were transformed into sharks…and they like, fought crime, or were criminals, or something…?

Okay well that’s going to bother me all day, but for the sake of this blog (and your time) I’ll move on.

My point is, cartoons were the bees knees during childhood. They represented the glory of what is Saturday morning. You could sleep in, stay in your jammies til noon, and then jump on your bike and ride to your friend’s house to see if they could play. Or in my case, run next door where your best friend lives and basically just assume she’s available to play house, or go to the pool, or Rollerblade, or whatever the heck else we did as kids to keep ourselves occupied.

Jessica and I had so much fun. Aww, memories. ❤

But what I’m really leaving out (and what is one of the most important parts of Saturday morning) is breakfast! Duhhh.

Weekdays are about quick, on-the-go breakfasts: Pop-Tarts, a bowl of cereal, toast — things that don’t take a long time to eat. There isn’t an opportunity to really enjoy the meal.

Enter: Saturday morning breakfast! Homemade breakfast. Come on, that’s a highlight of life. You can’t deny that.

Now, please note that I do not like breakfast foods at breakfast time. I’m not sure why. I just don’t. I’d rather have a waffle for dinner than a bowl of pasta any day of the week. But every once in a while, there’s an exception. For example, this morning.

My Saturdays aren’t what they used to be. I have this thing now, where I provide labor in exchange for money. Also known as a job. And I usually work the PM shift on weekends. Therefore, Saturday mornings are incredibly precious to me. When I got home this morning, I had the house to myself. I love having the house to myself. The TV is mine. The couch is mine. And most importantly, the kitchen is mine.

Well I still have to share the house with Kitten, but she’s feel exceptionally lazy today.

So in the midst of this wonderful solitude, I decided today was a breakfast day. And I wanted a pancake.

One giant pancake. Singular. Uno.

So that’s what I made! It’s inspired by Joy the Baker’s “Single Lady Pancake,” but the recipe is all my own. (I love the title of her recipe! So cute.) I’m not considered a “single lady” anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a little selfish “me” time with a pancake and cup of coffee, while watching the episode of New Girl I missed last Tuesday. (Which, by the way…was not funny. I was very disappointed.)

I used to make variations of this for myself last year when I lived in the apartment. It’s a delicious, wonderful, simple way to start the day. I highly recommend it.

I don’t even have a lot of pictures to show you, because I wanted to eat it ASAP.

I dislike cold pancakes. Gnarly.

But on the realz, this hits the spot. It’s like, good for the soul or something. Your inner pancake soul.

It’s a thing. I swear.

Be selfish. Make a pancake.

Pancake for Me, Myself, and I
a Sugar Therapy original – yay!

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons apple cinnamon instant oatmeal, uncooked (or plain oats)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp orange juice
3 tsp vanilla extract

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together. That’s flour, oats, sugars, baking powder/soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla, and oil together.

3. Add orange juice and whisk until combined.

4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, whisking until just combined. The batter should be pretty thick.

5. Heat a griddle or pan on medium heat. (That’s a strange sentence…but just do it.)

6. Pour batter onto the pan and allow the pancake to cook until you see some bubbles form on the top. Flip the pancake. Hopefully it’s a beautiful golden brown. That’s the goal.

Note: I am the WORST pancake flipper in the history of pancake flippers. I get nervous. Sometimes I burn my pancakes because I’m too hesitant. Don’t be like me. Just flip it, you can do it!

7. Add syrup. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Spread some jelly on there. Or be like me, and keep it simple and spread a light layer of non-dairy butter on there. So. good.

The best part about this recipe is you can add and subtract. Not a fan of orange juice? I’d try some apple instead. Want banana pancakes? I like the way you think. Want some crunch? Add walnuts! And of course, you can never go wrong with a handful of blueberries.

Be innovative. Be selfish. Enjoy your Saturday morning.

And let me know if you can remember the name of that shark cartoon.

Bon appétit!

Doughnut be sad any longer, I’m back!

Dear Baking Mojo,

You have been a bit of a biotch lately. It has really annoyed me.

It annoys me almost as much as this spellcheck wanting to correct “biotch” to “biotech.”

Really though, what was your issue? You disappeared for a long time. I tried to use you several times, but whatever I made came out so…un-Sugar-Therapyish. You would show your face for a second, but when I would start to whip up some cookies, you were nowhere to be found, and therefore, neither were the cookies. What the eff, man? Even Thanksgiving pies were mediocre at best, thanks to you.

Now, I realize I’m being a little harsh, Mojo. I know we’re not in the amazing kitchen we used to bake in. The oven we loved to hate so much isn’t with us anymore. All the counterspace? Yeah, a pipe dream. My collection of salt and pepper shakers that cheerily graced us as we sang along to whatever playlist I chose aren’t out anymore. That kitchen was mine ours, and I’m just as bummed as you are that I can’t buy dish towels or display my favorite cookie jar.

But you know what, my darling? We need to get over it. Stop hiding behind those cotton candy clouds, and join me in the bright, buttercream world we used to live in. The blog is called Sugar Therapy…hellooooo. I can’t live my life effectively without you! And let’s be honest, you can’t live without me either, because, well, you’re my baking mojo.

You really came through for me yesterday. I mean, we made doughnuts for the first time, and it was wildly successful! When I opened that deep fryer from Santa this past Christmas, I had doughnuts on the mind, hardcore. You seemed pretty hesitant, but the other day I was in such a good mood that I made you comply…and look at what came out of it! Delicious, cakey, yeasty doughnuts.

Let’s keep it up.

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. If you ever disappear like that again, I might have to replace you with basket-weaving.

P.P.S. Just kidding, I would never basket-weave. But seriously don’t ever f&%*$#@ leave me again.

…xoxo.

Homemade Doughnuts
Recipe closely followed from Pioneer Woman.

1 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (also known as one package)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan. Make sure it is not too hot.

2. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

3. Pour the dry yeast into a medium-small bowl, and pour the milk mixture over it.

4. Stir it gently, but then walk away! Don’t touch it for 10 minutes and watch how gross it starts to look.

5. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. You may do this in the microwave in small increments of 10-15 seconds. You don’t want the butter to melt all the way, because it will be too hot for the next step. Instead, melt it about 80% of the way and stir it until it melts down. It works the same way that melting chocolate does.

6. Add the eggs to the butter and stir to combine.

I must interject. My beautiful stand mixer was faulty. One day it started sparking, and I feared for my life, so I turned it off. Saddest story of my life. 😦 So I had to use a hand mixer. It is a WORKOUT, so if you have a stand mixer…I beg of you…use it! Because my right arm is comparable to that of Hulk Hogan’s.

7. Set either a stand mixer (wahh) or a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment to medium, and beat the butter/egg mixture while slowly pouring in the yeast mixture.

8. Keep the mixer going for a few minutes until the ingredients are combined.

9. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, combining well after each addition.

10. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and then beat the dough for 5 minutes.

11. If needed, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl, then beat again for about 30 seconds.

12. Set the bowl of dough aside for 10 minutes. Don’t mess with it, let it be.

13. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours, or if you prefer/if it makes it easier, overnight.

Have some wine, take a breath, and pat yourself on the back for using that wimpy hand mixer for this project.

The next day…..

14. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness.

15. Using a handy-dandy doughnut cutter, cut circles in the dough, and transfer them to a lightly floured baking sheet. Put the doughnut holes on there, too.

16. When you reach the point where you cannot possibly cut another circle, cover the baking sheets with a dish towel and store them in a warm place.

Since this kitchen is a bit of an igloo, I turned the oven on for about 2 minutes, turned it off, let it cool slightly, and placed the sheets in there. Worked perfectly.

17. Allow the doughnuts to rise for an hour. Don’t touch them. Again, just let it be.

Now, like I said, I used a deep fryer. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a large pot. But make sure you keep track of the temperature!!

18. Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, gently place the doughnuts, about 3 at a time, in the oil. They cook extremely quickly. It should only take about 45 seconds to a minute for each side.

19. Remove the doughnuts from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, allowing oil to drip off. Place the doughnuts on several layers of paper towels, wait a few seconds, and flip over to a dry part of the towel. You’re just getting rid of the oil that you definitely don’t want in your doughnuts.

20. Continue until all of your doughnuts are fried. Fry the doughnut holes, too, but be aware that they require about half the time to cook.

Now, while these are so good warm and plain, you better do something with them. Powdered sugar? Chocolate? Cinnamon-sugar? Sprinkles? Nuts? Whatever!

If you plan on going the cinnamon-sugar route that I did, put the sugar mixture in a ziplock bag. Place a few slightly warm doughnuts in the bag, and shake. Boom. Instant deliciousness.

If you plan to go the glazed doughnut route, make a simple glaze with confectioners’ sugar, milk, some vanilla, and a sprinkle of salt. Submerge the doughnut in the glaze, and set on a wire rack to set.

The possibilities are endless. They’re freaking doughnuts, for Pete’s sake. Just eat some and pretend your thighs don’t care.

Bon appétit!

Good things DO happen after 2 a.m.!

"Nothing good ever happens after 2am." <-- Lies! (as of now)

What do you do at 2:16 am?

Watch  a movie?

Read a book?

Watch infomercials?

Seriously consider buying the products from the infomercials? (No?  Just me?)

Question life’s purpose?

Or the ever-so-popular….sleep?

Yeah, I usually sleep.

But lately, my mind doesn’t shut off at a decent hour.  So I do all of the above things.

(But let me be clear…I have not purchased a ridiculous infomercial product from television………yet.)

And after all of that, I make brown sugar!

Yes, I said make brown sugar.

It couldn’t be easier, honestly.

You need 3 things:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp unsulfured molasses
fork

You put the ingredients in a bowl…

Mix them all together with the fork…

And voila!  Brown sugar.

I’m not kidding. That’s it.  Add a dash of vanilla if you feel so inclined.  It turns out SO soft and fresh – I really think it’ll be difficult for me to justify ever buying brown sugar from the store now.

Now.  What to do with this delicious homemade treat?

Brown sugar cookies!

“Um, Kate, that sounds boring…”

Shh.  Just, shh.  Do not be fooled by its looks and spiritless name.  It’s simple.  No frills.  It is a tasty cookie.  A verrrrrrry tasty cookie.  And in the end, that’s really all that matters.

Perfectly sweet, perfectly buttery, perfectly soft, yet still perfectly crispy.  I am in love.

I’ve made sugar cookies before.  And I was quite clear to state that they’re not my fave.  These are different.  Brown sugar cookies totally own regular sugar cookies.  I might even put them up there with chocolate chip! <– (got carried away, but they are REALLY good!)

Make. these. now.

Brown Sugar Cookies

14 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a shallow dish (i.e. pie dish, small casserole dish, etc.) combine 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and the granulated sugar using your fingers until it is evenly combined. Set aside.

3. Melt 10 tbsp of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted, continue cooking the butter, swirling the pan constantly until it reaches a light brown color and has a slight nutty aroma (this should take about 2-3 minutes).  Remove the butter from heat and transfer the butter to a medium to large heat-proof bowl. Stir in the remaining 4 tbsp butter until completely melted.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

4. While that cools, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.

5. Add the rest of the brown sugar and salt to the melted butter until completely combined.

6. Add egg and yolk and combine until completely incorporated. Add vanilla.

7. Fold in the flour mixture until completely combined. Do not over mix, just combine until you can no longer see flour.

8. Roll the dough into balls slightly larger than 1 inch. Lightly roll the ball of dough in the sugar mixture and set on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

9. Bake for about 10-13 minutes. They will have a slightly cracked top with golden sides. Don’t over bake these, you’ll regret it. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes.

P.S. I hate when I use the term “don’t over bake.” It’s so obvious. But I’m just trying to emphasize how important it is that these are soft.

I also cooled them on paper towels, not a wire rack. Why? Because I don’t want that air to circulate around my cookies, making them all crispy and crunchy and no fun.

I love crispy cookies too, but they have no business butting in on my beautiful soft cookies!

Bon appétit!