Archive for the 'Dessert' Category

Margarita Cupcakes

Hubs and I went up to a friends’ house over the weekend for a little barbeque.  When I asked my friend what I could bring, she said she had everything covered for appetizers, drinks and dinner.  So I figured I would bring dessert.  Obviously, my choice was cupcakes.  I have been wanting to make Margarita cupcakes for quite some time now, but all of the recipes I come across use white cake mix.  I feel like I’m cheating when I use those and like I don’t deserve the compliments when people like them.  Annie of Annie’s Eats recommended these and promised that they would be worth it.  They certainly were.  They were delish and everyone loved them.  Next time when I have more time, I’ll figure out a way to make them from scratch!

Margarita Cupcakes
Confections of a Foodie Bride by Shawnda

9 oz. margarita mix
3 oz. tequila
¾ oz. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
white cake mix
3 egg whites
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. lime zest
1 recipe lime buttercream frosting (recipe below)

Mix together the margarita mix, tequila and Grand Marnier in a large glass or spouted bowl. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of this for the cupcake batter and drink the rest as a treat while you are baking.

In a stand mixer, add the margarita mixture (1 ¼ cups), cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, and lime zest. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 2 minutes (the batter will still be a bit lumpy).

Spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting for the cupcakes.

Lime Buttercream Frosting
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. lime juice
green food coloring (optional)

Add all ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until combined. Turn the speed to medium-high until the icing is light and fluffy. Use water to thin the frosting if necessary (I used about 2 tbsp). Add the icing to a pastry bag or use a spatula/knife to frost the cupcakes.

Wilton I – Cake 1 (Class 2)

I am so excited to be taking Wilton cake decorating classes.  I’ve been admiring the work of so many other food bloggers, that I just had to join in the fun.  We were assigned the rainbow cake.  I took liberty with the writing at the bottom because I was just so proud of myself :).  I was also really excited to try the Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that I saw on Katie’s blog.  I’m really not too please with the way my icing (the blue) came out. I think my buttercream was too thick, so it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.  Better luck next time.

Rainbow detail
The inside yumminess.

Cinnamon Rolls


I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a while now. Yesterday, I was watching the always informative and entertaining, Good Eats and wouldn’t you know it, Alton was making cinnamon rolls (and explaining the science of yeast of course). Plus, my friend Nikki was hosting the Master Baker Challenge, so I decided to give it a whirl and I have to say, they came out pretty delish!

Cinnamon Goodness pre-frosting

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from Alton Brown

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

Frosted Deliciousness

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
  • Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky.
  • Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you.
  • Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
  • Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge.
  • Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough.
  • Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls.
  • Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
  • Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls.
  • Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
  • While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.
  • Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
  • Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake – Light Style

I didn’t think so, but it can be done… LIGHT cheesecake! This cheesecake has only 9 grams of fat and 225 calories per slice. I know that’s not exactly LIGHT, but for cheesecake? Oh yes.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake
from Self Magazine

2 tbsp slivered blanched almonds
Vegetable oil cooking spray
6 chocolate wafers (I used TJ’s Cats cookies bc I had them on hand)

15 oz (1 3/4 cup) part-skim ricotta
8 oz lowfat cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
1 large whole egg
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp almond extract (or to taste)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp amaretto (if desired) – I did not, only bc I didn’t have any
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp instant-espresso powder
3 tbsp bittersweet chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350˚.
  • Toast almonds on a small baking sheet for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from oven; reduce heat to 325˚.
  • Coat an 8″ springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan in foil to prevent seepage.
  • Process chocolate wafers and almonds in a food processor until fine crumbs.
  • Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsp crumbs onto bottom of pan (just enough to coat bottom lightly). Shake pan to distribute evenly. Reserve remaining crumbs.
  • Filling: Puree ricotta in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg, egg whites, almond extract, flour and salt; puree until smooth.
  • Whisk amaretto, if desired (or same amount of hot water), 2 tbsp hot water, cocoa powder and espresso powder in a bowl until well combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Stir 1 cup plain filling into chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  • Pour remaining plain filling into prepared pan.
  • Drizzle chocolate filling in a circular pattern over plain filling. Using a knife, make circular strokes to create swirls in the plain filling.
  • Add 1 inch hot water to a shallow baking pan; place springform pan in baking pan.
  • Bake until cheesecake is firm around the edge and slightly soft in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan. Remove foil; let cool on a rack. Chill 6 hours or overnight before removing sides of pan.
    (I did not do this bc I am, and when I say I am, I mean Marcelo is a piggy and wanted a taste. It chilled for about 3 hours and I removed the pan with no problem.)

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