Sunday, October 26, 2014

Browned Butter and Maple Syrup Muffins

Nothing is more comforting than maple syrup and butter, especially on a Sunday morning when you are ready for a relaxing day spent with family. Maple Syrup and butter remind me of weekend mornings with my family and smelling pancake or waffle batter that my mom was about to make into delicious pancakes or waffles topped off with yummy butter and maple syrup. It is a scent that reminds me of home. As a kid, I drenched my waffles and pancakes in syrup and loved every second of it. These muffins are super simple and delicious. They will remind you of what breakfast should be and will make your taste buds happy. Browned Butter is something I have recently discovered and it is so delicious and adds a lot of flavor to what you are baking.
Maple Syrup and Browned Butter Muffins: Makes 12
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of light brown sugar 
1 tbs of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of milk
1/3 cup of browned butter (recipe to follow)
3/4 cup of maple syrup (plus a little extra)
1 large egg
First, preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin wells with liners. 
Then, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined. 

Next, you need to brown the butter. Start with 7 tbs of unsalted butter. Cut it up into pieces and place into a sauce pan on medium high heat. 
Next, let it melt.
Once it melts, whisk it/ stir it until you see that it has become dark in color and you will see brown "flakes". 

Then, take it off the heat.
Next, you mix the milk, the browned butter, the maple syrup, and the egg until combined.

Next, add the browned butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix just until combined. 
Then, fill your muffin liners about 3/4 of the way full.
Then, add a little squirt of maple syrup on top of each batter filled liner and swirl it on top. 
Then, bake the muffins for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Then, let them cool and enjoy! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Pie

Call me basic or cliche, but I love pumpkin everything in the fall: pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin patches, and best yet, pumpkin pie. One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving and fall was eating pumpkin pie as a young child, that was probably what created my obsession with pumpkin. I love sharing my love of baking with the world, and now I am going to share (even more deeply than I already have) my love for pumpkin. For this recipe, I made a homemade crust, which I have never done before so that was something I was excited and nervous about at the same time. It came out buttery and delicious and dare I say it: BETTER than that store bought pie crust that we all love. Just another recipe that has shown me that homemade is always best and is always filled with love and passion. Maybe you can share this recipe with your family on Thanksgiving or anytime that you are in the pumpkin mood. The whole time I was baking this pie, my whole apartment smelled like delicious pumpkin and cinnamon. This pie is everything a pumpkin pie should be: creamy and delicious.
First you need to make the yummy, buttery crust. This sounds like a hard task, but it really isn't too difficult! Here is the recipe:
Pie Crust: 
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 tsp of salt
8 tbs of cold butter cut up into small pieces 
4 tbs of ice water
First, in a bowl mix together the flour salt and the sugar. 
Cut the butter up into small pieces, 
Using your fingers (or a pastry blender), mix the butter into the flour mixture, until the pieces are pea sized and yellowish in color. This should take about 4 minutes.
Next, add the ice water and mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix! 
Shape the dough into a flat, disk shape. 
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. 
After 30 minutes, take the dough out and shape it to your pie pan. Do not bake the dough before you bake the pie! They bake together. 

Next, we make the pie filling: the best part. This part is also pretty simple and it makes a yummy pie. Here is the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Filling: 
3/4 cup of sugar
1 can (15 oz) of pure pumpkin ( I use Libby's because I think it is yummy)
1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp of salt
2 large eggs
1 can (12 oz) of evaporated milk 
First, milk the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a bowl. 
Next, beat the eggs. 
Then add the eggs into the sugar mixture and mix them until combined. 
Then, add the can of pumpkin to the mixture and beat until well combined. 
Then, slowly add the evaporated milk and mix until it is well combined. 
Then, pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust. 
Then, bake the pie in the oven for 15 minutes at 425. Then, after the fifteen minutes, bake it at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Let the pie cool for 2 hours and then refrigerate it. 

Then, enjoy this beautiful pie! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I told you my favorite fall activity is baking caramel so of course I had to make some again. I also love the flavors of caramel and apples mixing together. The aromas and the fall flavors create such a delicious treat. Who doesn't love enjoying a caramel apple? There is nothing better than apples in the fall. They seem juicier and more delicious. This cupcake combines a bunch of my favorite flavors and it turns into a very yummy dessert. For this cupcake I made a spice cake as the base and added cinnamon sugar baked apples to the batter. I then made homemade caramel sauce and filled the cupcake with the caramel and more of the apples. I then topped the cupcake off with a vanilla and caramel buttercream. This cupcake is one of my favorites that I have made so far. It is a little messy and may take a while because there are so many components.
I made the baked apples first because they take a while and you need them for lots of components of this dessert. This recipe is super easy and you could eat the apples all by themselves. Here is the recipe: 
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apples: 6 servings
1 tsp of butter
2 tbs of brown sugar
3 tsp of sugar
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
6 large Gala Apples 
3 1/2 tbs of water 
First preheat the oven to 350 and grease a baking dish with the butter.
Slice the apples using a apple cutter. 
Then peel the skin off of them with a knife. 

In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, the sugar, the cinnamon, and the ground cloves. 
Put 1/3 of the apples in the baking dish and sprinkle 1/3 of the brown sugar mixture onto the apples. 
Then put another 1/3 of the apples in the baking dish and add another 1/3 of the brown mixture on top. Repeat this two more times. 
Bake the apples for 30 minutes. Then take the apples out and pour the water on top and let them bake for another 15 minutes. 
For our cupcakes I chopped up the apples so they would fit inside the cupcakes. If you were just making the apples alone you could leave them in slices. 
Next, I made my favorite part: the homemade caramel sauce. I love this recipe and I use it all the time. 
Caramel Sauce: (depending on how many cupcakes you make you may want to make more of the caramel, it just depends on how much caramel you want) 
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of heavy cream
6 tbs of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
a dash of salt
First, in a sauce pan on medium high heat, mix together the water and the sugar, but just until it is combined. Do not over mix! You wont mix it again until you add the other ingredients.

Then, it is a waiting game. First the mixture is clear:
Then, it becomes yellowish in color: 
When it becomes dark amber in color that is when you add the cut up butter, the heavy cream, and the vanilla. You want to take it off the heat and whisk it until it is combined. 

Then, add as much salt as you prefer and pour it into a glass container and put it into the refrigerator. 

Next, I made the cupcakes. This cake is everything you would want in a spice cake. It has the perfect combo of sweet and that fall spice flavor we all love. Here is the recipe: 
Spice Cake Recipe: Serves 12
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs 
1 1/3 cup of all purpose flour 
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder 
pinch of salt 
1/2 cup of milk 
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves 
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
Then, add the eggs and the vanilla and mix until combined. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves. 
Slowly, mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. 
Fill the cupcake liners halfway full ( I filled mine way too full when I made them oops) :) 
Then put some of the apples inside of the batter. 
Bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Next, carve out a hole in the middle of the cake, don't cut too far down or the caramel will leak everywhere. 

Next, pout come of the caramel sauce into the hole. 

Next, add some of the apples to the hole. 
Next, I let the cupcakes cool and made the vanilla caramel buttercream. I love a simple buttercream. It is so perfect to top a cupcake with. The perfect Icing on Top :) 
Vanilla Caramel Buttercream: 
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbs of milk
salt (depends on your preference) 
Caramel Sauce 
Beat together to powdered sugar and the butter and salt until combined. Then add the vanilla extract and the milk and beat until combined and fluffy. Then, add as much or as little of the caramel sauce as you would like. 
Next, ice your cupcakes. I also added more apples and caramel sauce on top of my cupcakes for more flavor. 

Next, enjoy these yummy treats!