Archive for the ‘food’ Category

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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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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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.

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

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.

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

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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Sometimes you just need to give in to the hoopla and host a royal wedding watch party, complete with girly favors ….

themed snacks

… and an arts & crafts project inspired by the bride-to-be.


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Kevin is officially a pilot select in the United States Air Force!

Such wonderful news warrants an extra special cake:

The logo was a bit of work (found a stencil online and used it on the fondant, which I colored with icing tint) but completely worth it. I was so happy with how the decorations turned out, I wasn’t too upset that the cake was completely lopsided.

Congratulations, Kevin! We’re all so proud of you. (:

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Yesterday I made a birthday cake with fudge frosting and sugar pearls. Oh, and I put the birthday girl’s face on it. (:

I’m having mixed feelings about this cake recipe. I didn’t eat much yesterday, though, so I’m going to try it again and see. I think I might this yellow cake recipe next.

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I ran across this Bakerella post last month and had to try it out. I love a good project, and it was perfect for the Super Bowl. (:

I got most of my supplies at Michael’s but couldn’t find any little footballs there. I finally found something similar at HEB but didn’t feel like investing another $16 on cupcake decorations that would have immediately ended up in the trash, so I went without. Still super cute, though!

Cupcakes: best birthday cake
Frosting: easy buttercream frosting (+ green icing color)

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Made some absolutely scrumptious cookies for a co-worker’s birthday yesterday:

Key lime meltaways. I upped the lime juice by a tablespoon and then threw in a little more powdered sugar before adding the flour mix. Wonderful flavor and powdered sugar goodness! 🙂

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I felt like doing some easy baking last night, so I looked for something simple I could make with ingredients I already had on hand. I found a recipe for lemon-butter bars in an old cookbook.

I wasn’t thrilled with the end result: warm and sweet, but not very lemony at all. But don’t they look cute? (:

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