Sunday, July 13, 2008

vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

i needed to make some cupcakes for my friend's baby shower and she likes white cake and white frosting. so i looked all around to find a recipe that wansn't too airy or too dense. and i wanted to do a cream cheese frosting. so i found this recipe on cupcake bakeshop.

i adjusted it to fit the ingredients i had on hand.

3 Vanilla Cupcakes
20 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3/4 cup (1-1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-2/3 cups vanilla sugar (i just used regular sugar)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2-2/3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (i didn't have this so i just doubled the vanilla extract)

1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
3. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

For the frosting:
Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

peanut butter and jelly bars

i found this recipe on one of the baking blogs, bake or break, that i subscribe to on my trusty google reader. they are originally from martha stewart's cookies. they are easy to make and not too bad if i say so myself.

1 cup butter, softened, plus more for preparing pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pan
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 & 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups strawberry jam (or other flavor)
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9x 13 baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed of an electric mixer. Mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and peanut butter, and beat about 2 minutes or until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and mix.

Transfer two-thirds of dough to pan and spread evenly. Spread jam on top of dough. Crumble remaining dough on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden. Rotate pan half-way through baking. Tent loosely with foil if bars are getting too dark.

Cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges to loosen. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 3 dozen bars.