Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread and Orange Cream Cheese Heaven!

There have been a lot of birthdays at work recently! My friend does not like sweets which posed a challenge for me so I decided to make a Gingerbread Cake (in the spirit of the holidays) with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (WOW!!!). I followed the exact time the recipe said to do it for, which I never do I always go a little less the first time, and it came out a little dry in my opinion. However, the birthday girl loved it and even non gingerbread fans really liked it so I call this a succesful recipe!! The recipe calls for a 9 in square pan but I used my rectangular pan and it was great!

I had some left over cream cheese frosting so I added that to this recipe and changed around the recipe a little bit. This is the Original recipe but here is what I did: I used 2 packages of Cream Cheese (plus my other left over cream cheese), roughly 2-3 tablespoons of butter, roughly 2 teaspoons of orange zest (I didn't measure it but zested roughly 1/2 an orange), 6 tablespoons of orange juice, and 2 1/2 C. of confectioners'sugar. This has to be one of the best frostings I have ever made! It was delicious and I don;'t think you can screw it up!

(Source: allrecipes.com)


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup hot water


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Greased and flour one 9 inch square pan. I used a regular rectangular pan.
- Cream together the sugar and butter or margarine. Add egg, and beat well. Mix in the molasses.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; add the hot water, and mix well.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for one hour. Allow to cool in pan and serve.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

For my friend's birthday I decided to make my first attempt at Red Velvet Cupcakes. They were good, a little too chocolatey I think, but the Cream Cheese Frosting was amazing! I didn't realize that you needed 1 oz. of red food coloring and the food coloring variety pack is only 1/4 oz; however, after 5 stores I finally found a 1 oz container! I made both minis and regular cupcakes and everone loved them!

Next time I would use a little less butter in the frosting and it has been a busy week so I can't remember if I used a little bit of milk or not but I think I might have used just a touch!

(Source: allrecipes.com)


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.

(Source: on the comments page of the Red Velvet Cupcake recipe)


1/2c. of unsalted butter (softened)
2- 8oz. packs of cream cheese (softened)
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract.


Cream the butter and cream cheese together and then add the powedered sugar and vanilla.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Minty Delicious Bars!

I love Andes Mints and a few months ago I made Brownies with them but when I found this recipe it seemed like a perfect December recipe to me, I always associate mints and chocolate with the Holidays. These came out soooooooooooo much better then I could have expected, it somehow got around the office that I had them and people were randomly stopping by the office for them. These were excellent!!

The only caveat I would say is that the recipe says to bake the first part for 12 to 15 minutes; however, I think mine were in for almost 30 minutes...just keep checking on them and make sure they don't get hard and are still soft! I used just a regular rectangluar pan.

(Source: cooks.com)


1 c. butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate; set aside to cool. Beat sugar, eggs, peppermint and flour, add chocolate mixture. Pour into a greased 10 x 15 inch pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes; do not over bake. Allow to cool.


6 tbsp. butter
3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring
3-4 tbsp. milk

Mix butter, sugar, peppermint and food coloring. Add enough milk to make desirable spreading consistency. Spread over cooled base. Chill for 15 minutes.


4 oz. chocolate chips
4 tbsp. butter

Melt chips and butter. Allow to cool. Carefully spread over filling. Chill. Cut into squares. Makes 30.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Peppermint Patty Cupcakes!

I love chocolate and mint together!!! For my officemate's birthday this week I decided I wanted to try and make a Mint Cream Cheese Frosting; unfortunately, I couldn't find a recipe for it so I combined different ones and made one up. I hate cooking because a lot of times it is just a pinch of this and a pinch of that but baking is very precise and so I was a little nervous on making this recipe up. However, everyone loved it - even the non cupcake lovers. They were Devils Food Cupcake and with the Mint Cream Cheese Frosting they tasted like a Peppermint patty and they were perfect for a December birthday!!

I have to apologize the recipe below is not exact measurements on sugar or milk. But you can play with it and see. I remembered the next day that I did have a regular mint frosting recipe that I could have used but o well it turned out okay!

Mint Cream Cheese Frosting


- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar - totally play this by ear because I didn't measure it
- 4-6 tablespoons of Milk


Beat cream cheese, butter, and peppermint together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and milk. Beat until creamy. Add more icing sugar or milk as needed for easy spreading.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thankful for Desserts!

Thanks to traveling for work and visiting my family in NY I am a little behind. Also, I apologize for all the nice comments that were left for me that I didn't respond to yet....the past few weeks have been super hectic but nothing like baking to help me relax!

I made the desserts for Thanksgiving dinner and I made Cheesecake, correctly this time and it came out delicious!!! I also made an Apple Oatmeal Crisp, which I didn't try but it looked delicious and it wsa interesting because there is a crisp layer on the bottom and on the top! (Read the note below). I topped it off with some homemade whipped cream, which came out fantastic this year. I think it is because I made a huge batch, five times the amount!

It might not look pretty but it tasted fantastic!

(Source: allrecipes.com)


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan.
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly.
- Place half of crumb mixture in pan. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture.
- Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and top with remaining crumb mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


- I didn't think an 8 inch square pan would have been enough for Thanksgiving so I put it in a rectangle pan and used 6 apples and did all the ingredients at 1 1/2 times EXCEPT for the Sugar

(Source: allrecipe.com)
I did the recipe times 5


1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar


In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.