Friday, October 31, 2008


I am not a creative person but these came out so cute and were so easy!!! Somebody told me they looked professional!!! I got the idea from and it was so easy! All you need is cookies split in half, Hershey Kisses, and red gel (and cupcakes of course!) I made peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate frosting and they came out delicious!

After the cupcakes have cooled frost them and keep the extra frosting. I first placed the hershey kiss down and then used a little extra frosting on the edge of each cookie (like glue)to stick them into the cupcake and had the kiss slightly touching the cookies. I left some space between the back of the cookie and the rest of the cupcake. I put them in the fridge over nite and they succesfully made the metro trip this morning!

(Source: Peanut Butter& Co. Cookbook)


1 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tspn. baking powder
1/2 tspn. salt
1 C. light brown sugar
6 Tbs. ( 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tspn. vanilla extract
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 large eggs
1/2 C. milk ( it says whole I used 2%)


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12-15 muffin cups with paper bakin cups.
- In a large bow, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a seperate large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the peanu butter and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then add milk. Slowly add the flour mixture and combine until batter in uniform - do not over mic.
- Fill muffin cups with batter until amost full (I did mine a little less and got 15 instead of 12). Bake for 20 minutes or until the cucakes sprin back when lightly touched.



2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk (I used regular milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


- In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar. ( I used more milk)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers: Pizza Time!!

I LOVE pizza, I am from NY it's in my blood, and I could honestly eat it every day! So that is why I was so excited when the October Daring Bakers Challenge was announced! I do not like to cook but this was an exception! The recipe made 6 balls and I have only used 3 so far: 1 regular cheese pizza, 1 carmalized onions, mushroom and goat cheese pizza, and 1 calzone type pizza filled with onions, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese.

My pizza did not come out round and were a little thin but were still good, for the rest of the dough I might actually take the 3 balls and make 2 pizzas instead of 1. But were still yummy!! Check out the rest of the Daring Bakers!

If anyone would like the pizza recipe - let me know! It is very long!!!!

Just plain cheese pizza - the sauce was actually really good (I am not a sauce fan!)

Carmelized Onions with mushrooms and Goat Cheese!

My attempted "Calzone"

The ingredients were cooked when I put them into the dough and were too hot so it fell apart right away and I had to flip it over but it was still delicious!



1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground paprika


In a medium bowl, Mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth. Stir in oregano, garlic and paprika.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Perfect Fall Muffins!

The other day I was randomly looking at recipes online and printed out a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, well when my officemate picked the recipe off the printer to give it to me she said that I could make them anytime that she was in the office. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie and am kind of ambivalent about pumpkin in general but I decided for the good of the office I would give these a try. These were a HUGE hit, with one person saying "I think it was the best thing you baked. And that's saying something." Other people disagreed with that statement but said they were still excellent. And even though I am not a huge fan pumpkin fan I am a huge fan of these.

I made 2 batches - regular size and minis - and they were excellent; very moist and delicious. I also used mini chocolate chips, I only put in 1/2 C but next time might throw in some extras if using the mini chips again.



3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cherry Love!

I love Comstock Cherries and have made them with Devils Food Cake before but one of my officemates kept suggesting that I make a cherry pie for work and after weeks of these friendly reminders I finally did make one, except work didn't get it!

I didn't really have a recipe to work off of so I took bits and pieces and winged it. The crust I liked but didn't love, it was a little rubbery and I can't figure out if it is something I did or the recipe itself. I also have way too much strudel topping left over - need to come up with some ideas on how to use it.

I followed the recipe for the crust then added 2 cans of Comstack Cherries and then topped it off with the streusel topping. I baked it at 425 for about 30 - 40 minutes, I waited until it was bubbling all around before I turned off the oven and let it sit in the oven for a little bit.

It was yummy piping hot with some vanilla ice cream!



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons brown sugar


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, yogurt, and brown sugar.
- Press mixture firmly into a 9 inch pie pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.

(Source: Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until large, moist clumps form. Unused streusel can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update and Cute Boxes!

I made the Lemon Cupcakes again but this time I left them in for 18 minutes and they didn't deflate!! They weren't super high but at least they weren't concave!

October is a very busy month for birthdays for me and since cupcake stores are all the rage in DC I decided to make my own, package them, and give them as gifts. Look at the cute boxes I got at Target!! I filled each box with regular size and mini Devils Food Cupcakes with Mint Frosting and the regular size Lemon Up Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese frosting. Though they weren't as pretty as the cupcake stores I think they tasted better and were big hits!! Happy Birthday to all October Birthdays!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Better Late Then Never...........

I am a little behind and just got to September's Daring Bakers Challenge, I was also inspired by all the great Daring Bakers!

Some of the crackers came out too thick and honestly, they were just okay - not great.....I will probably throw them in some soup and see how they work. After a few days they tasted better because they were a little harder. Since everyone else has posted the directions I am not going to but if you would like the recipe just let me know and I will forward it on. I made whole wheat crackers with sesame seeds.

I made a Black Bean and Hummus Dip which was great! I first didn't add the garlic (shopping mishap) but once I added the garlic it was great!

Black Bean and Chickpea Hummus


1 cup canned black beans, drained
1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
salt and pepper to taste


Place black beans, garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, water, and garlic into the bowl of a blender. Season with curry powder, salt, and pepper. Cover and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mint Love and Cupcake Obsession

Washington D.C. has a slight obession with cupcakes and stores keep popping up everywhere...I actually don't think some of them are that good but I recently had a devils food cupcake with mint frosting and it got me thinking are mine better then these $3 a piece cupcakes? I already love my Devils Food Recipe and I just needed to find a good Mint Frosting recipe and I think I is very minty!!!

Note the recipe below NEEDS to be doubled to make enough icing for all of the cupcakes!



1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. shortening
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. pure mint or peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops green food coloring (optional)

Combine all ingredients in the order listed in small mixing bowl. Beat until spreading consistency. Additional sugar may be needed if frosting is too thin.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons.....

Make Lemon Cupcakes and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting!!

Awhile ago I was browsing the internet and came across a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting recipe and I knew I just had to make it; however, I didn't know what the cupcake itself should be!! So I turned to my fellow Daring Bakers who came to my rescue, thank you to everyone for their help and I am definitely going to make all of the suggestions!! I especially have to thank Fran from Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie for the delicious and super easy Lemon-Up Cupcakes!

I learned a very important lesson when making these cupcakes: if you take them out of the oven too soon they deflate!!! When I walked out of the kitchen they were nice and puffy but when I came back in they were all deflated but with enough frosting you couldn't tell! They were still delicious and all of the guys in my office loved them. P.S. Happy Birthday to my officemate!

The recipe calls for 18-23 minutes; however, I took them out at 15 minutes (the box said to!!) so I recommend leaving them in closer to 18 so they don't deflate! Also, the frosting recipe can be halved for these cupcakes - I have the rest in a container in my fridge! O I also cheated and used the bottled lemon juice, I just don't have time to squeeze the lemons, and it worked out great, and I used Fat Free Cream Cheese too!

A little deflated!!

Icing makes them look all better!!!

(Source: Apple Peaches Pumpkin Pie )

- 1 box Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix
- 1 stick of Butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 box lemon instant pudding
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix according to directions on box, adding the pudding and substituting the lemon juice for 1/4 c of the water. Beat according to the instructions on the box. Batter will be thick. Scoop into 24 cupcakes. (I use an ice cream scoop.)
Bake 18-23 minutes until light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (About 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups confectioners' sugar


Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading. Makes about 3 2/3 cups.