Monday, April 28, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes


Hello all! My name is Reese and I am taking over the Goddess of Baking blog today. I work very closely with Merlot and when my niece's first birthday was coming up, I knew where to go for her one of a kind cupcakes! We decided to have a baking party at her house where we whipped up these magnificent Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. I knew they were good, but once I brought them out at my niece's party, they were an instant hit! The icing is light, fluffy and full of real strawberry flavor, with a hint of lemon (thanks to Merlot, I know what a mircoplane can really do!). Also, the cake is a perfect compliment to the flavorful icing. Compliments to the chef - yet another group of satisfied bellies!

My cupcake holders came in handy for this great picture I snapped before all the cupcakes were claimed. We will DEFINITELY be making these again!

Thank you for letting me take over for the day and I hope you enjoyed my post!


Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes - Adapted from The Cake Blog
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients for the cake:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
3 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Lemonade Powder Mix (I used Country Time)
1 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (about 1 lemon)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder and lemon zest, set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating starting and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Strawberry Lemon Frosting

Ingredients for the frosting:
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Strawberry Puree (from about 3-4 big strawberries)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree and lemon zest.
  4. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with tip 1M to decorate cupcakes.
  5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Loaded M&M Cookie Pie


The spring holidays are officially over but (if you're like me) the sweet tooth is here to stay. All of the left over Reese's, M&M's, Cadbury eggs and so on are beginning to get tiresome, so I found a quick and easy way to use up unnecessary candy. This Loaded M&M Cookie Pie is the perfect answer to my/your "problem."

This recipe is great for any left over holiday candy - not just Easter - but Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day as well! The best thing about it is that it only takes 30 minutes to make (including prep AND bake time!). It's very quick and easy and was (as usual) a huge hit. 

Adapted from:
Yield: One Pie - about 8 slices
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick), melted
1 Egg, room temperature
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 1/3 Cups Flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips - I used mini chocolate chips
1/2- 1 Cup M&Ms, divided (I used peanut and peanut butter but all flavors are ok!)
6 or more individually wrapped small Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (or whatever candy you have laying around)
6 or more Rolo (or other mini/bite-size candy bar) - I didn't add these

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch pie dish very well with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait about 5 minutes before adding the egg so you don't cook it. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; do not overmix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Add about 1/4 cup M&Ms and stir to combine; reserve remainder.
  7. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Evenly add the remaining M&Ms to the top of the batter, pushing them down slightly to anchor.
  9. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups and Rolos (or candy of your choice) into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.
  10. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools. Allow pie to cool in dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Pie is meant to be on the soft and under baked side in the center while edges are crisper.  In general, if you prefer more well-done cookies, bake a few minutes longer. Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  11. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crunchy Peanut Butter M&M Cookies


Easter is only a few days away and I am sure if you are like me you are trying to plan out a menu.  I am not hosting Easter but I am responsible for desserts.  I made these cookies last week for a test run and they were a huge hit.  They are a soft cookie but have a nice crunch from the peanuts and M&M's.  The peanut butter flavor really comes through and I liked having the mix of peanut and peanut butter M&M's in the cookie.  I will be making these again if I can keep my hands out of the M&M bag for a few more days!  Hope you all have a great Easter.

Happy Easter!

Yield: About 3-4 Dozen Large Cookies
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter - I used smooth Skippy and added the chopped nuts for the crunch
¾ Cup Butter - Unsalted and room temperature
2 Eggs - room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1-2 Tablespoon Hot Water (I used one)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts - I used dry roasted and unsalted
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter M&M's
1/2 Cup Peanut M&M's

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the peanut butter, butter and eggs until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, baking soda and hot water and mix again until well blended.
  4. Stir in flour just until combined. Add the peanuts and M&M's.
  5. Drop with an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop onto prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 375° about 10-12 minutes or more depending on size.
  7. Enjoy!