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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

7.16.12

A wee cake dedicated to the Muthler family. Happy birthday, Genevieve.

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Great Friday or greatest Friday?

Basic chocolate chip cookies (too flat, but still tasty enough) and cream cheese pound cake — because I was drooling over pound cake at the store but decided it was silly to buy one when I had all the ingredients at home (I used cake flour this time around). Nom nom nom.

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3.7.12

My former coworker Shirley posted a recipe for key lime cupcakes on her awesome blog last month, and I couldn’t wait to try them. I whipped up a batch to take to work to celebrate our redesign (before/after PDFs here; I did the page on the left, our last with the old styles).

I’m not really into cake, but I looove the lime flavor of these. I made the cupcakes a couple of days before I frosted them, so I managed to convince myself it was OK to have them for breakfast.

Shirley’s recipe follows. My only tweak was to add another lime to the frosting. And they only took 15 minutes in my oven.

Key Lime Cupcakes (makes 24)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 8 key limes
2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 graham crackers, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup tin with cupcake papers.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and zest and juice. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of yogurt mixture.

Divide evenly among cupcake cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.

Frost the cupcakes. Crush the graham crackers, then sprinkle over the frosted tops for garnish.

Key Lime Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese (1 bar), room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest and juice of 2 key limes
1½ cups confectioners sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Whip the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer. Add the other ingredients, and mix slowly, then faster, until combined.

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Happy birthday, Andrea! I am sorry you’re 2,000 miles from your husband but selfishly thrilled to see you every day for six weeks!

This cake recipe is super tasty and also makes quite a bit of batter (I made two round layers for our cake and an extra square layer that didn’t bake well and ended up in the trash). Two-thirds of the frosting recipe was plenty. Yum!

Also, I need an offset spatula, stat.

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We do a lot of eating in the newsroom. We bring food to wish someone well on his/her last day, to welcome new folks, to celebrate birthdays, or sometimes for no reason at all.

We’ve been doing A LOT of eating lately. My latest altar offering, for Sarah’s last day, was these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Ingredients:
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1.5 c. light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
2/3 c. water
15 oz. all-natural canned pumpkin
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Place sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and buttermilk in a bowl, beat until blended. Add pumpkin and water, beating at a low speed just until combined.
4. Add flour mixture and beat until fully incorporated, do not over beat. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Spoon batter into cupcake pans lined with baking cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops are firm and spring back if touched.

I sadly found myself without any cinnamon, so I just added some more nutmeg and allspice. I got 24 muffins and a mini loaf out of the recipe.

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Behold, the best cookies I’ve ever made:

That’s probably not saying much, since I don’t make cookies often, but these mint chocolate chip cookies were truly tasty — maybe it was my new silicone baking mat, or the fact that my oven and I were finally getting along. Or maybe it was the secret recipe: the one on the bag of chocolate chips.

Make these, and you’ll be happy.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup salted butter – softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package (10 oz.) Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips
2-2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.
2. Stir in Andes Baking Chips and then flour. Chill approximately one hour in the refrigerator.
3. Measure out approximately 1 oz. of dough. Form a ball and slightly flatten.
4. Bake at 350° for approximately 8-10 minutes.
5. Cool on pans for two minutes before transferring to wire racks.

The recipe says it’ll make four dozen, but I used my cookie scoop and got three dozen.

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Inspired by Sandy, I baked this cake for the holiday.

(I used a white cake recipe and cream cheese frosting.)

Unfortunately, I did not take great photos. But you get the idea. And it was a hit in the newsroom, where one co-worker said it was “red, white and blue-licious.” Hooray, America!

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