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Posts tagged ‘glaze’

Eurotrip, via cupcakes.

Let’s take a vacation.

Seriously.

To Europe.

It’ll be fun!

We’ll start in Rome and see the Colosseum, visit the good ol’ Pope at the Vatican, and throw a couple coins in the Trevi Fountain while we wish for an amazing dinner in…

Naples! Where we will obviously stuff our faces with the best pizza made on this Earth, drink really good wine and chat with the locals.

I hope you speak Italian…I know “buongiorno” “ciao” and “grazie.” That won’t get us very far. I’m 100% positive we’d get that “dumb American” look from locals if all we said was “hello” “goodbye” and “thank you” with that eager “excited” look on our faces.

We’ll stop in Venice for a gondola ride and have an Italian man sing to us while we, once again, drink really good wine, eat some amazingly fresh pasta, and finish the evening with either a cannoli or gelato (or both, duh.)

We’ll throw Florence in there too, because, well, it’s Florence and it’s beautiful. Must I justify it? Didn’t think so.

Our next stop will be in Ireland, where we’ll see landscapes greener than Kermit the Frog, and tour giant, beautiful castles. We’ll have a debate about how the interior of our future vacation-home castles will look — keep the stone walls or have an unexpected switch to a modern feel? (Hey, it could happen!)

Not too far from us will be Dublin, where we’ll spend the evening visiting pubs and engaging in Irish debauchery. They’re crazy. It’ll be a bloody good time, you see.

Clearly we’ll have to visit Spain. We can’t pass up the opportunity to see that incredible architecture! We’ll see flamenco shows, run with some bulls, and eat flan and churros until we pass out. ¡Ay dios mio!

Next stop, London! Museums, museums, museums! We’ll get super cultured and by the time we get back to the states we’ll be able to be snobs about it. “Oh, well, whenever I go to London I must visit the British Museum to see the Egyptian antiquities. The trip is simply incomplete without it!”

And finally, we’ll bring our trip to a close in Paris, France. Ahh, Paris. What better way to conclude than in the City of Lights? We’ll visit the Louvre, have a picnic by the Eiffel Tower, play hide-and-seek at Notre Dame, stroll the Palace of Versailles, enjoy a cabaret show at le Moulin Rouge and take a sip of water from a few of the Wallace Fountains.

But of course, the most important part of the Paris trip – dessert.

Um, duh.

Chocolate soufflés, creme brûlée, cream puffs, eclairs, macarons, tarts, chocolate pots de creme, and crepes. And don’t you dare forget breakfast! Fresh croissants, pain au chocolat, and the best brioche our tastebuds will ever enjoy.

All of the above will be devoured at a fancy little table outside a French bistro, accompanied by cafe au lait, schmoozie French music, and lots of laughter.

Okay, so, when do we leave? Now? Cool. I’m already packed. (I knew you’d come with me!)

Until our plane leaves, though, maybe we can have these cupcakes to hold us over.

French Fruit Tart cupcakes, that is. Ooh la la!

Trying to come up with a way to make these a reality was a bit of a challenge, but man oh man, they definitely work.

It’s an almond cake filled with custard (which, by the way, is infused with Grand Marnier), topped with strawberries, kiwi, and an apricot glaze. Talk about de. lish. us.

Oh, and homemade whipped cream…which is always a winner.

OH, and a blueberry. Which really doesn’t have that much significance, but really helps with the aesthetics. 🙂

OHH!        …just kidding, I don’t really have anything else to add.

And of course, the cupcakes look magnifique in the Parisian Party themed cupcake wrappers from Event Blossom! I love these, especially the striped one. Make sure to check out Kim’s blog for more info on how to use these fun kits!

Très chic, oui?

French Fruit Tart Cupcakes

Almond Cupcake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 pinches of salt
1 “shake” grond nutmeg (when I say “shake” I mean out of the container. No measuring. It’s just to enhance the almond flavor)
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp almond extract

1. Set oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg together until evenly combined. Set aside.

3. On medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated.

5. Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until combined. Continue beating mixture on high for an additional 20 seconds.

6. Alternately, add flour mixture and milk until all ingredients are well combined.

7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake for 18 minutes. Cool completely.

Custard

3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups milk (any kind – I used 1%)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 heaping tbsp flour
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp Grand Marnier

1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a medium heatproof bowl.

2. Sift the flour and cornstarch together and add to egg mixture. This will form a thick paste that looks questionable but will ultimately taste delicious, don’t worry.

3. Heat milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Once the milk comes to a light boil, remove from the heat and slowly add it to the egg mixture. Whisk constantly to avoid curdling. Add liqueur and mix until combined.

Now, be a smart cookie and strain the custard NOW, not later. I was a dummy and didn’t do it until later…which let me tell you, is annoying and takes for-freaking-ever!)

4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it begins to boil, whisking constantly. Once it reaches a boil, continue to whisk until it thickens.

5. Remove the custard from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. You may store this overnight in the refrigerator if you don’t plan on using it right away.

Apricot Glaze

1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp water

1. In a small saucepan, heat jam and water over medium heat until it melts.

2. Pour the glaze through a strainer to get rid of any chunks.

Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 heaping tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

1. Beat cream on high until soft peaks form.
2. Add sugar, beat on high until it starts to become stiff.
3. Add vanilla, beat for another 30 seconds.

BAM. Whipped cream.

That was all pretty simple, right? Now on to the assembly…

The assembly…

With either a cupcake corer or a small knife, cut a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Put the custard in a pastry bag (a ziplock bag will work fine, too) and put a small amount in each, stopping when you feel resistance.

Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each filled cupcake.

Cut strawberries and kiwi into thin slices. Place them on the cupcake in any which way you desire. Coat the fruit with the glaze. Top with whipped cream and that blueberry I mentioned earlier!

Bon appétit!

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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!

Moms rock. So do these cookies.

I have so many things to tell you.

If you were here, I’d hand you a cookie, pour you a glass of wine and explain why I’ve been missing.

You’d give me a hug, hand me a cookie, and pour me a glass of wine. We’d talk for hours. We’d eat more cookies. We’d laugh, we’d cry, we would have a moment. And we’d eat more cookies. …and drink more wine.

Oh, how I wish I could invite all of you over and have this happen. It’s just not possible. I don’t have enough sugar for that many cookies.

But you are here, in a “there” sort of way. And I love that. So, thank you.

You know who is here in a “here” sort of way? My mom. She’s always here in a “here” sort of way. She would be even if she was on a different continent. She’s always there for me. Err…here for me. You know what I mean.

So what does one do when you’re slightly broke, and trying to save for a trip to Hawaii that’s happening in a month? Bake the cookies she’s been asking you to make since you started your blog, duh!

She loves these lemon cookies. And I love her. It works out.

I propose a toast. To moms – they somehow manage to unconditionally love their children despite the stupid crap they do, while having husbands and dealing with girl friend drama, and working 9-5 M-F, cooking incredible dinners, and somehow still remembering that an adorable set of salt and pepper shakers will make their daughter’s day better. (Oh, is that just me?) Moms rock. Cheers! *clink*

Love you, Mama!

Lemon Butter Cookies
adapted from The Cookie Bible

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt

Additional sugar for top of cookies

1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and light in color.

2. Beat in egg until fluffy.

3. Beat in flour, lemon juice, lemon peel, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated.

4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. (I left mine overnight)

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

6. Roll out firmed dough to 1/4″ thickness on a well-floured surface. Do not forget to flour your surface, rolling-pin, and hands!!! The dough softens up fairly quickly.

7. Using a 3″ round cookie cutter (or the lip side of a drinking up) cut the dough, and transfer the cutouts to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with additional sugar. (I used raw sugar, but that’s just my preference. Feel free to use granulated sugar.)

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom edges of the cookies are golden brown. The top of the cookie will be pale.

9. Cool for about a minute on the baking sheets and then transfer the cookies to wire racks.

10. Eat! ………………unless………………

……………you want to add a glaze! These cookies are amazing with or without the glaze, but I prefer with because it adds a lil sum’n sum’n to them. 😉

Easiest Lemon Glaze (Ever)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water

1. Whisk ingredients together until completely blended.

2. Taste it. If it’s too lemony for you, add more sugar. If it’s not lemony enough, add more lemon juice.

3. Drizzle on cookies.

4. Eat.

What? A broken one? What does one do in this situation?!

Dunk it in my coffee and eat it, of course! (darn, right?)

Happy Mom’s Day 🙂 xoxo