Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘muffins’

I’m not letting the chips fall where they may.

There are so many things I want to accomplish in this adorable little life I’m living.

Learn how to surf.

Master the art of cooking pasta. (You may think it’s simple, but for me, it’s not. I’m a baker. Not a cook.)

Muster up enough courage to sing at a karaoke bar. (Liquid courage is not out of the question on this one…)

Move to another city, state, town, planet…somewhere. Anywhere.

Learn another language (or six). Italian would be awesome. French would be even cooler. Maybe I’ll master some ancient African language. I can’t imagine it would ever come in handy…but you never know.

Make one of those really awesome melted crayon paintings you see on Pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. (and you know you want to make one too.)

I want to sew a dress, knit a scarf, patch some jeans…something domestic that would put my dusty sewing machine to good use.

Learn how to swing dance. I can’t imagine that being rhythmically tossed around like a doll is a bad time.

Publish something. Whether it be a cookbook, novel, or a children’s book…I want my words out there, in print. There’s something so official and wonderful about it.

I want to be able to spell “Wednesday” without having to think of it as wed-nes-day.

Same goes for Feb-RU-ary.

And finally, bake a cupcake with chocolate chips that don’t sink to the bottom.

Well wait just a doggone baker’s dozen minute here…I just did that!

I made banana chocolate chip cupcakes. I put some Tiger Butter buttercream on top.

For those of you who don’t know what tiger butter is…it’s my favorite candy in the fudge category. Peanut butter and chocolate. I’m all about it. You should be too.

Fresh out of the oven, they fit the description of a muffin. A perfectly warm, melty, banana scented muffin. I would not judge you if you decided to nix the frosting and try to get away with having these for breakfast. They have bananas! It could work.

Told ya.

That’s something I seriously considered. In fact, I’ll probably whip these up as muffins in the future, but for the sake of the blog and the fact that I do love buttercream and decorating cupcakes, I moved forward. I’m glad I did.

These are seriously the bomb.com. Even when they’ve cooled, you get a perfect amount of banana flavor. Crazy. I was worried they’d come out too…potassium-y. It’s a thing.

Oh and the secret to having the chocolate chips not fall to the bottom? Lightly coat them in flour before you add them to the batter. Who knew?!

Well actually…Google knew.

These week’s theme for the Event Blossom party kits is Jungle Safari! Check out what Kim did with the other great stuff in this wild kit here.

This theme was the main reasoning behind the banana flavor this week. Jungles have animals. One of the animals you can find in the jungle is a monkey. Monkeys eat bananas, and so do I. Hence, this cupcake was born.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Tiger Butter Buttercream

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 ripened bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.

3. Beat butter on high until light and smooth.

4. Beat in sugar until fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla until combined.

6. Beat in bananas well. Make sure it’s completely incorporated.

7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the half and half. Beat until just combined.

8. Toss the chocolate chips in a little bit of flour. You may use a ziplock bag and shake it around or be fancy and toss ’em around in a bowl.

9. Fold the chips into the batter.

10. Fill cups 3/4 full and bake for approx. 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

11. Try one without frosting. I dare you to tell me it isn’t amazing.

Tiger Butter Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1. Beat butter until fluffy and pale yellow. About 2 minutes.

2. Beat in powdered sugar in increments, until desired consistency begins to form.

3. Add vanilla.

4. Transfer half of the buttercream to another bowl.

5. For one half, add the cocoa powder until completely combined.

6. For the other half, add the peanut butter until completely combined.

To create the swirl effect

3 pastry bags (or ziplock bags)

1. Put a small amount of each frosting in its own bag. Cut the corner off the bottom.

2. Cut the corner off of the third bag, and set up with desired decorating tip.

3. Place both of the frosting bags in the third bag, so the cut-off corners are feeding into the third bag’s tip.

4. Gently squeeze the bag, and do a few test runs to make sure it comes out even.

Voila! Gorgeous decorating that will impress anyone.

Bon appétit!

Fall-ing in love with pumpkin spice

Ohhh man, I’m excited.

It is fall.

Now I actually really hate the dry air, the Santa Anas (if you live in the Orange County area you probably feel my pain), and cold mornings that somehow turn into afternoons that make me sweat off 50 lbs. Fall is the most bipolar season of all.

But there are a few reasons why I LOVE fall:

1. The beginning of fall means that winter and the holiday season are only a few short months away.

2. Halloween. Everyone loves wearing clothes they would never consider any other night of the year and consuming crazy amounts of alcohol while doing it. *college life*

3. Scarves. It’s too hot in the afternoon to wear them, but it’s just cold enough in the morning to justify it. Same goes for…

4. Coats! I just got them dry-cleaned the other day. I’m ready! 😀

5. Thanksgiving. Great food, football, friends, family, and wine. And pie. Pie is its own delicious category on Turkey Day.

6. Pumpkin-spice things. Lattes, cupcakes, cookies, pie (mmmm…pie) and…

MUFFINS!

Oh yes, my friends. Pumpkin-spice cream cheese muffins. This is real. Not a figment of your pumpkin-spice-loving imagination.

These are everything you want in a breakfast pastry. Or dessert. Or lunch. Or snack. Or…

just eat them. They’re good. Even better on day 2.

Muffins are tricky. If they’re too dry, they’re gross. If they’re too moist, they’re gross. If they taste like flour…you get the picture. So let’s do a little check before I present this recipe to you.

Moist? Check.
Pumpkin-spice-y? Check.
Cinnamon-y? Check.
Streusel-y? Oh yes. Check.
So good that I’m making up words? Check.
Sweet cream cheese accompaniment? Check, check, checkedy check check check.

These are not for anyone who doesn’t or only “kind of” likes pumpkin things in the fall. These are for people who await the return of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte like a dog awaits his owner to come back from the store. Sad? Perhaps. Don’t care? Def.

The combination of pumpkin and cream cheese could be described as fall’s PB&J (although PB&J is good any time of the year). It’s true though. There are a ton of other fall-friendly flavor combinations – apples and cinnamon, caramel and pecan, cranberry and almonds, brown sugar and basically anything, and so much more.  But pumpkin and cream cheese is the epitome of fall-flavored, soul-comforting, stay-inside-if-it’s-raining-to-watch-an-old-movie-and-eat-delicious-food flavor combination.

Fall and winter are the ultimate comfort food seasons. Your taste buds will be jumping for joy for the next few months. Your pant size…not so much. But that’s what this time of year is for. Getting fat. If we all do it together then it’s not an issue…right? (I hope so.)

When it’s cold and you have nothing else to do, bake these muffins. Then put on a coat, wrap a scarf around your neck, and bring them to your friends so you can enjoy the pumpkin-spiceness together.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

*side note* The layout for the recipe is a little different this time due to the different steps you have to take at different times. Just go with it. 😉

Muffin:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp of pumpkin butter (you can find this at Williams-Sonoma)

Cream Cheese Filling:

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Prepare the cream cheese filling –>
a. Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until evenly executed. Add vanilla and combine until smooth and even in color.
b. Place mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and form a 12-inch log. Wrap it up, and freeze for AT LEAST 2 hours (possibly more).

2. Prepare the streusel –>
a. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans until even.
b. Add melted butter and vanilla and mix with a fork until the mixture separates and forms crumbs.

3. Muffin time!
(preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your muffin pan!)
a. Whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda until well combined.
b. Mix sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs, salt and vanilla until well combined. Do not over mix. Gently add pumpkin butter.
c. Using a rubber or wooden spatula, fold dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Again, do not over mix. Muffins are finicky like that!

4. Assembly…mmm…
a. Slice cream cheese log into 12 1-inch pieces.
b. Fill prepared muffin pan 1/4 full.
c. Place a slice of the cream cheese in the center of the batter.
d. Fill the pan until it reaches about 3/4 full. (If you have extra batter, feel free to fill them up. Huge muffins never hurt anyone.)
e. Sprinkle streusel on top of each muffin. Add just enough to cover the top of the muffin, and press lightly to make sure the crumbs are secure.

5. Bake the muffins for 20-23 minutes or until the muffins reach a golden brown color.

6. Allow them to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

7. Eat the muffins and feel the warmth of fall. Share them if you feel so inclined.

Awwww yeahhh…it’s as good as it looks.  Scouts honor.

Bon appétit!

Blueberry muffins with a side of youthful wisdom.

I might be young, but I’ve learned a lot about life during my twenty-something years on this planet.

It’s true

I’m pretty wise.

Sort of.

Kind of.

(I have a lot to learn)

But I am wise!

And I will admit, I do a lot of stupid things. Like spill a cinnamon, sugar, and lemon extract mixture all over the kitchen floor because I was too busy trying to watch The Office, text, and generally distract myself from real-life as much as possible. I think I tried too hard.  It worked, since I was then busy cleaning cinnamon off the floor.

Ohh Life, you throw so many curveballs.

Allow me to share some of my wisdom with you:

– First and foremost, make sure you have some good friends. Or a good friend. It’s about quality, not quantity. You’ll see who is a true friend during the toughest times of your life.

– Don’t ever apologize for something you truly love. For example, I will never apologize for loving N’Sync and Spice Girls. Yes, I said “loving” as in that love lives on in my heart. Oh, you think you’re funny and start to play “Bye, Bye, Bye” as a joke? This girl is ready for her solo…bring it on.

– Remember to brush your teeth.  I always remember.  But I highly dislike it when people don’t.  It’s just gross if you don’t. Really.

– Learn the difference between the words “there” “their” and “they’re.” It’s important in life. People won’t necessarily think you’re smart, but they definitely won’t think you’re illiterate. Important.

– Life gives you a zillion lemons. And when I say “a zillion”…I really mean a bazillion, times 8,000. It’ll knock you right off your feet, and leave you lost, sad, and confused.

Okay, that was a little heavy…but there is good news!

When life gives you lemons…

…you make blueberry muffins! That’s my philosophy, anyway.

These are good muffins. And when I say “good”…I really mean good. Serve ’em warm, with the lemon-cinnamon butter. It will make you happy.

If you’re already happy, well, congratulations!  Have a muffin. 🙂

They’re a-maz-ing right out of the oven.  I’m not exaggerating.  Unfortunately I was the only one around to enjoy them.  Well, Kitten was there..but she had her own dinner plans.

Yes, I’m wearing Christmas pajamas in August.

Yes, I am an adult and I own Christmas pajamas.

I just told you not to apologize for things you love!  And I love my Christmas pajamas.

🙂

Blueberry Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup room temp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan.

2. Cream butter, sugars, and salt together until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4. Add the baking powder, mix until incorporated.

5. Combine water and condensed milk in a small bowl.

6. Add milk mixture alternately with flour, beating well after each addition.

7. Fold in blueberries, making sure to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.

8. Fill muffin papers full. The batter is pretty thick, so it won’t rise too much.

9. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cinnamon-Sugar Lemon Butter

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature.
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp flour

1. Combine all ingredients. Store in refrigerator.

Bon appétit!