High Rise Sour Cream Streusel Muffins

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I don't have a whole lot to say about these. I don't make muffins very ofte
n, not sure why. I guess I always consider them only for breakfast. And, since I don't vary my breakfasts too much from my Greek yogurt or overnight oats, I don't see subbing them in. But for some reason these drew me in. I guess since it's been awhile for me and muffins, this was a good starter.

I found this via Cookie Madness. These are a nice muffin base, allowing you to add in whatever the heck you want. I added a dark brown sugar streusel topping with I think was much needed. Warm out of the oven is best. They didn't keep that well. I thought they got pretty tough in the day or two following=/. But certainly right out of the oven is incredible! They taste like the best cinnamon coffee cake you've ever eaten!

Overall, I don't feel compelled to ever make these again. I made half the recipe for 12 muffins.

Okay, boring post. Sorry! Trust me tough, better ones are coming real soon!

High Rise Sour Cream Muffins

found here

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (12.5 oz)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. If you’re using a dark (darker than silver) muffin pan, use 400 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in vanilla, eggs, salt and baking soda. Fold in the sour cream, then fold in the flour and any add-ins you choose (see below).

Divide batter evenly between the muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes at 450F or about 23 minutes at 400F. Remove from oven, let cool. Remove from pans. Make 24

Also, I won a giveaway over at Chocolate Moosey!

She was h
aving a Nescafe Coffee Giveaway and I won! I got this nice Nescafe mug and 5 boxes with 6 different coffee types in each.

They are individual sized packets perfect to add to 6 oz of water (and of course a heavy dose of white chocolate mocha creamer he he!) My mom gave up coffee for Lent so they were all left for
me to enjoy! I've never drunken coffee regularly before, but now I'm becoming an addict! Of course when I run out I can quit cold turkey, right? I hope!

Trash/Monkey Munch/Puppy Chow... Whatever!

Friday, February 26, 2010
I always oogle this recipe as it floats around. It's funny because it's so simple and really just a quick snack to make. We never really have Chex Mix in our house and have never had an inclination to buy it, so the opportunity to make this never arose. But I made it a point to try this, and it actually happened!

I first heard this called trash in my family, so I am forever tied to that name. It's funny, the first time I saw this at a family party, I thought it looked disgusting. It was called trash and I'd never seen anything like it. Can you blame me? I was probably 10 years old. Now I'm obsessed!

The only bad part about making this was I keep eating it! I may not be able to make this again after how crazy I went eating it. Maybe a once a year thing. Yes, I went that crazy for it that I have to limit myself!

But honestly at least make it once and you'll be in love<3

1/4 cup butter
1/2 smooth, creamy peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla(I forgot to add this, as usual. Honestly I forget vanilla in almost all my recipes!)
9 cups Chex Mix (Or any generic brand resembling it)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I'm pretty sure I was close to 2 1/2 he he)

Microwave the butter, peanut butter, and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. I did 30 and 30 so I could stir it in between and not burn it. Then an extra safe 30 seconds to fully melt it.

Put the chex in an extra large bowl so you have room for stirring. Pour the chocolate/pb mixture over your chex until fully and evenly incorporated. Then add your powdered sugar in until it covers all the chocolate.

You can wait a minute or so for the chocolate to settle/harden, or just dive in like me!

Pioneer Woman Pizza

Sunday, February 21, 2010
I had first had this pizza at a family party at my aunt's house. I scarfed it down immediately and was in love. She told me all about her pioneer woman cookbook and that she used her recipe. So it inspired me to do it myself; make homemade pizza!

I wasn't able to work in the olive as well as I hoped, but it didn't matter in the end.

This honestly was the best homemade pizza dough ever! So so so so so so easy! I don't even have a stand mixer. All this was done by hand. I am so excited about this new recipe and will be using it all the day. It was a huge hit!

I am now a huge
Pioneer Woman Fan! Anyone try her cinnamon roll recipe? It looks incredible, especially the glaze with the coffee!!!

Pioneer Woman Pizza Dough

The Pioneer Woman Cooks


4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon yeast

1/3 cup olive oil


Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

For my toppings:
I had store bought pesto and smothered it all over. Maybe a little too much because it leaked over the sides, but amazingly the dough didn't get all soggy! Then slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato slices. DELISH! Also, I probably could have cooked it another minute or so, but it was still good!

MSC: S'mores Cupcakes

Thursday, February 18, 2010
Oh geez these are late!!!! Please please please forgive me=) Also, I should make mention of that fact that I skipped last month's cupcake. It was total coconut and no one in my family can stand it so I couldn't justify buying three different forms of coconut to use in a cupcake I wouldn't eat and then have the leftover ingredients sitting around laying in waste. So, okay on to this month's: S'mores!!

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about these. I don't really like, (let's see how shall I put this), chocolate or chocolate pairing type cupcakes. For s'mores of course it's all about that chocolate, even in a small amount. But I was interested in trying these!

I had one big issue though. These came out pretty toasted, meaning on the verge of burnt! I was freaking out, my mom said they were kind of bad (don't worry she was very polite and I was asking her to be honest!), yet my dad said they were okay. So I waited until the next day and I tried one. Not bad. Definitely passable, and without ganache or frosting yet. So that day after school I ganache-d and frosted them. And I'm bringing them to a party tonight, so we'll see how the reviews are. I can't wait to try them all put together!!

This was the night I made them after some time to cool. At this point we thought they might have been a tad burnt=/ It's amazing what some resting time can do, though. By the next day the had gathered more moisture, solving the dry crumb issue I had noticed.

The good thing about posting this late is that I got to read the reviews from other people's blogs to get some tips and pointers. And I definitely picked up that the marshmallow frosting in the book was not the way to go. Incidentally, Martha has another marshmallow frosting recipe on her website that worked fantastic and tasted amazing! It wasn't overly sweet at all. It piped beautifully and I didn't have to feel too rushed in my piping. This marshmallow frosting was amazing! It will for sure be my go-to frosting if I need something in the marshmallow realm! So fluffy (which I hear the other recipe lacked) and was not overly sweet like I would have expected.

Marshmallow Frosting
(I halved the recipe and only used 3 eggs because it's all I had. It worked out just fine and gave me enough for 18 cupcakes or so!)

From Martha Stewart

3 large egg whites
1 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I forgot to put this in!)


Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.

I was really scared to pipe these. I have never piped before but I really wanted to go with a nice presentation. I used an extremely old pamper chef tool we had lying around and it worked fabulously!

Added: No one at the party found them burnt (yesss!). And I just loved these! They are may favorite out of Martha's collection, but I'm super glad I made these because they were just soooo fun and cute!

Check out what are club will be doing in the months to come over here and also see the blogroll to drool over everyone else's cupcakes!

The Mardi Gras King Cake

Saturday, February 13, 2010
I think it's appropriate to start this post by saying, BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE!!!!

And I'm so proud of this baking creation. I worked with yeast. It had TWO rising times. I kneaded dough. I made two fillings. I fold and wrapped the dough. I poured a glaze over it. (Which I have some unexplainable fear of doing. I guess I'm afraid it will spill everywhere and look like crap. Good news, it worked perfect!) I made my own colored sprinkles. And I ate a fourth of this in one sitting. Yepppp. It was darn tootin' good!!!!

These directions look very intimidating and long. (About three printed out pages for me) But it's most little helpful side notes added in at each step to make things go easier. Yeah, I could take all the fluff out but I think it's really helpful. Especially at the dough roll into itself part, you're given hints and tips which I really liked. The dough was surprisingly super easy to work with. I had no issues at all with it! I wasn't sure if my berries thickened well enough, though, but it came out just fine.

Now there are berry fillings and there are nut fillings, but from what I've read from around the web the berry and cream cheese filling is supreme. Although i haven't had the nut filling, I give this one 10 stars! Or 5. Whatever scale you wish to use. This will be something I make every year I've decided. And I might make the dough again but for something else.

Okay, so now it's your turn to try. I've made this easier for you so go ahead and start! Note: There's one 1 hour rising time and one 1/2 hour rising time. You can make your fillings during the first one and take a shower like I did for the second hehe. You can make the glaze during the cooling time. Also, I let it cool for quite a bit before trying, (maybe like 45 minutes?) and the middle was slightly warm when I took a bite. It was DIVINE. Nom nom nom!

Mixed Berry & Cream Cheese King Cake
found from
What We're Eating

For Dough:

2 tbsp butter

8 oz sour cream

5 tbsp sugar, separated into 4 & 1 tbsp

salt - two finger pinch

1 package (7g) active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees)

1 egg

3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

oil - doesn't matter what kind, just for your hands and the bowl

For Filling:

8 oz frozen mixed berries

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt (a pinch)

6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

2 oz sour cream,

1/3 of a beaten egg

1 tbsp lemon zest

For Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp butter, melted

4 tbsp milk

pinch o' salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start the dough. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter, 4 tbsp sugar, and salt. Stir. Once the butter has melted, add the sour cream and heat to luke warm, about 105 degrees. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and 1 tbsp sugar, then stir. Allow the yeast to sit for about five minutes, until it has been activated. If the yeast does not become active, toss out the mixture and start with a new packet of yeast.

Once the yeast is active, whisk in the warm butter and sour cream mixture, the egg, and 1 cup of flour. Whisk until smooth. Using an oiled wooden spoon, begin mixing in small amounts of flour until you form a soft dough. This will generally take about another 2 cups of flour, just go by touch. You don't really want a sticky dough, but a slightly sticky dough is okay because you can knead in more flour as you go, whereas it's much harder to add liquid. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. With oiled hands, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

Place the ball of dough into a large well-oiled bowl, then flip the dough so all of the surface area of the dough is oiled. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and a hand towel, then set the bowl in a warm (about 80-85 degrees is best) draft-free area and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I find an area around the preheating oven is usually the best warm and snuggly environment for the yeast.)

While the dough is rising make the filling. Place the frozen berries, lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the berries for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the berries have broken down and the liquid will thickly coat the back of the spoon. It may be necessary to assist some of the larger strawberries in the breakdown process by smooshing them with a spoon.

While the berries are simmering away, add the softened cream cheese and 1/8 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Cream the mixture together until smooth. Add in the sour cream, egg, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly blended. Set the cream cheese mixture aside. Once the berries are finished, transfer them into a bowl to cool for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, refrigerate the berries until the dough has finished rising, so they have more of a chance to firmly set.

Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it out onto a lightly floured long piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin (a smooth-edged glass will work in place of a rolling pin in a pinch). Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches long and 7 or so inches wide. Gently lift all the sides of the rectangle to make sure the dough is not sticking to the parchment paper, this will be important when you go to roll up the cake.

Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the outside of the dough.

Next, evenly spread a thin layer of the berry mixture over the cream cheese layer. You may not need to use the entirety of the berries. Roll the cake up, in a jellyroll-esque fashion, starting by rolling the unfilled border of the dough closest to you over the filling, and carefully begin to roll the dough up into a log. When you have only a few inches left, take the unrolled part and complete the log by gently lifting and pressing the remaining part of the dough up on to the log, so it's seam side-up. Carefully press on the seam to ensure a solid bond.

Very carefully work the two ends of the log together to form an oval, then press the doughy edges together to completely seal the cake into an oval. Slide the parchment paper that the king cake is on, onto a large movable surface, such as a large cutting board or a sheet pan. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then place the sheet pan, parchment side down, on top of the king cake to form a king cake sandwich.

Trying not to smash the cake, quickly flip the sandwich over and lift off the top cutting board or sheet pan. Gently peel back the parchment paper, and voila!, the king cake is transferred to a parchment-lined sheet pan, seam side down, and ready for its second rise and the oven.

Recover the cake with greased plastic wrap and a hand towel and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes. Bake the cake at 375 degrees in the upper 1/3 of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Immediately transfer the cake to a cooling rack after removing it from the oven. This is most easily done by sliding the parchment paper onto the rack directly from the sheet pan. Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes before icing the cake.

Once the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, melted butter, and milk until smooth. You want the icing to be able to drizzle easily but not just run right off the cake, so if the icing is too thin, just whisk in more sifted powdered sugar and if the icing is too thick whisk in a touch more milk.

After the cake has had a chance to cool, remove the parchment and move the cake to whatever platter you wish to serve it on. Drizzle the icing evenly over the cake and allow it to ooze down the sides. Before the icing has a chance to set, sift on rotating strips of colored sugar. King cake is fantastic eaten warm or at room temperature.

I Want New Stuff!

Friday, February 12, 2010
That title honestly makes me sound horrible. ButI don't really have all the latest kitchen gadgets or supplies like some people. I have older appliances and kitchen equipment, and for the most part, I'm okay with it.

However, I have been looking around to see whats out there that's new and exciting!

I've seen everything from new kitchen stools, to food processors, to kitchen carts, to new bake ware.

Yet after all these probably more practical items, all I can think about getting is an ice cream maker! After I saw this Deni Ice Cream Maker with a Candy Crusher I got really childish and thought, "gimme gimme gimme!". I've seen so many ice cream recipes out there and felt left out. But no more!

As soon as it's in my possession I will tell you all how good it's been to me=)
Already I'm imagining the ice cream possibilities I'll have with it!
Pomegranate Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Nutella Ice Cream
Coffee Ice Cream
Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Key Lime Frozen Yogurt

And ice cream sandwich possibilities will be endless! Ohhh I'm sooo excited!

Doughnuts and Dip

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
How's my week been you might ask?
Here's a quick recap:

Monday: Snow Cancellation
Tuesday: Snow Cancellation
Wednesday: Snow Cancellation

Thursday: Snow Cancellation
Friday: Snow Cancellation

Yeah. It's been rough and strenuous. But it's left plenty of time for baking and such things. That does leave me with a lot of goodies sitting around to stare at... Ahhh temptation!

I also made a stop at Pittsburgh's best breakfast place in town. Hands down. D
e Luca's Restaurant is my favorite pancake place ever. They have a fantastic menu with some of the best seafood options for a diner since they're lucky enough to be located right next to Pittsburgh best seafood markets. And they have a million other good eats with an extensive breakfast and sandwich menu. But they're pancakes are the best best best I've ever had. I got the cinnamon bun pancakes with a warm gooey apple cinnamon topping! My mom got the supreme banana split sundae pancakes. They have a mound of ice cream, whipped topping, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, cherries, candied pecans and all on buttermilk pancakes! Of course I tried some=)

Here's a few little things I've cooked up:

Doughnuts (I only made 1/4 of this recipe, so 2 mini doughnuts haha)
from Culinary in the Desert

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, olive oil and vanilla.

Pour into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Evenly divide the mixture between the wells of a 12-hole miniature doughnut pan. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove and carefully turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick, but fluid icing. Dip top half of doughnut into the icing.

So I didn't take any pictures of this=( But this is my most favorite version of buffalo chicken dip EVER. I enjoy steaming hot, warm, and even straight from the fridge cold! Serve it with some blue corn chips and I'm a happy camper.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 lb shredded chicken breast

1/2-3/4 cup hot sauce

1 cup ranch dressing

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese

2 generous cups of cheddar cheese

Get out a 9 X 13 baking dish.
Quickly grill chicken on your George Foreman, 3-5 mins. Shred your chicken well.

Saute the shredded chicken with your hot sauce until juices are absorbed and the chicken is heated through. Add cream cheese and ranch dressing. Once the cream cheese is pretty well melted in, pour contents in the 9 X13 dish. Even dump the cheddar cheese over top.

Cook for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling, so probably less would be okay. Allow to cool for 10 mins. It WILL be hot!

Lemon Sour Cream Walnut Cake

Sunday, February 7, 2010
I made this minutes after our power came back on.

It was a SMS recipe not too long ago, and I book marked it in hopes to someday make it. Now usually when I do that, it gathers dust in my queue. But not this time. I made sure I got around to making it within the same year!

It was pleasingly good! I didn't really have that high of expectations for it, but it deserves more credit. It was a real nice treat to have and I super glad I made it! The walnuts make this thing. WALNUTS! Sorry, I just really really loved the walnuts in it=)

There's not much to say about it. The glaze was money, though. Super, super good. Plus, it was easy to put together. And, it was gone the next day!!

What could be better than lemon on a cold day?

Lemon Walnut-Sour Cream Pound Cake
The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy
found here

The cake:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

The Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 1 1/2-quart loaf pan.

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, sugar and zest, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, almond extract, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two batches, alternating with the sour cream. Do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the walnuts, saving some to sprinkle on top.

3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a rack for glazing.

4. For the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice and heat to a high simmer. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until reduced by half.

5. Using a pastry brush, brush the hot glaze on the still-warm unmolded cake. Brush again, if desired, after 10 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

The pound cake keeps well wrapped in plastic wrap for 3 to 4 days at room temperature. For longer storage, freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 1 month. Defrost still wrapped at room temperature.