Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies

Now that school is in full swing, I have not had too much time for experimental baking. At the moment Betty Crocker has been supplying me with baked goods. In attempts at procrastinating in my school work tonight, I came across this recipe. I have not made these myself yet but and they sound delicious. I personally have never seen anything other than chocolate whoopie pies. These are definitely going on my "make for tailgating" recipe list. Lets hope they go good with a nice pumpkin ale. :)

Whoopie Pies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 Tbs. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop tablespoon sized balls of dough, making sure to press down any points or jagged edges. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

To make the frosting, mix butter and sugar. Then add in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat on high speed for about 2-3 minutes. Spread frosting on the flat side of one half of the pie and place another pie on top.



Original Recipe courtesy of Home. Made Simple.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oreo Cheesecake Pretzel Bites

So kind of a funny story, the guys in my lab are slightly obsessed with any sort of candy, cake, cupcakes, treats, whatever they can get their hands on. So they started a jar, we've dubbed "The Cookie Jar", and they put their spare change in it. When it adds up to a few dollars, I take it and buy something to make them treats. This is the first time trying this but it worked pretty well. This week I made them Oreo Cheesecake Pretzel Bites. These are super easy to make and absolutely amazing.

I did my recipe to taste using the original recipe as a guide. I personally found I liked a little more cream cheese as well as more dough in general on the pretzels.

Ingredients:
7-10 oreo cookies
2 oz. cold cream cheese
24-30 pretzels
1 c. chocolate chips
chocolate sprinkles

1. Grind up the oreos in a food processor/blender.

2. Mix the ground up oreos with the cream cheese. After a few minutes of mixing, this will turn into a nice dough.

3. Place a ball of the dough in between two pretzels.

4. Melt chocolate chips in a pan.

5. Dip pretzel bit into chocolate and then dip into chocolate sprinkles.

6. Place on a nonstick surface and let cool (I put them in the fridge for about 5 minutes to harden the chocolate).

7. Stuff face.



Original recipe courtesy of Picky Palate.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kitty Litter Cake

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday and around this time of the year I start hunting around for new Halloween baking ideas. I have come across some great decorated treats but I think this is by far one of the best Halloween cakes I have ever seen. Behold! The Kitty Litter cake!

UPDATE: The cake has finally been made!



I want to make this so bad just to see the looks on peoples faces.

Recipe courtesy of best-chocolate-recipes.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Mac and Cheese

I always used to eat the Kraft Mac and Cheese in the blue box and if you actually followed the recipe on the back, you ended up with watered down noodles in a yellow liquid. So I decided to modify the recipe and came up with a very not good for the arteries recipe.

Two boxes of kraft mac and cheese
1 tbsp seasoned salt
8 oz. salted butter
1/2 c. milk

1. Cook the pasta until soft

2. In a large bowl mix the packets of cheese and the seasoned salt. (I usually do the seasoned salt to taste). Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and pour onto the cheese salt mixture.

3. Next add the butter and milk and let set for a few minutes so the butter melts.

4. Stir until everything is mixed. Let set for another 5 minutes or so. The sauce should become very thick.

5. Serve and be prepared for major food coma afterward.

Margarita Cupcakes

Now that football season is in full swing (GO GATORS!), it is time for alcohol infused treats. For tailgating this past Saturday, I made Margarita cupcakes with tequila. These are amazing and taste just like the real thing. Below is the original recipe, but I tried making a few modifications which actually turned out quite tasty.

For the cupcakes, it is okay to use lime juice instead of lime zest, but the lime zest is a little bit stronger than the juice.

I wanted to add a little more alcohol to this recipe, so I added a few splashs of tequila to the frosting.

Cupcakes:
1 c. liquid Margarita mix
1/3 c. tequila
¾ ounce Grand Marnier (optional)
1 box white cake mix
3 large egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs. lime zest (I used 2 Tbs.,chopped fine)

Lime Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (salted butter works okay too...think of it as the salted rim of the margarita glass)
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lime zest
splash of tequila (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together all of the alcohol in a small bowl. Measure out about 1 1/4 cup for the recipe and save the rest for drinking. (I tossed the whole thing in the recipe and it tastes great).

3. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, lime zest, and the 1 1/4 cup of booze. Blend for about 2 minutes...the batter will be slightly lumpy.

4. Spoon batter into cupcake liners (3/4 full), and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until when a toothpick is inserted into the center it comes out clean.

5. For the icing, place the butter into a large bowl and beat until it is fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, lime zest, and tequila (optional). Mix until its thick and creamy.

6. When the cupcakes are cooled, frost with the desired amount.

7. Stuff face with cupcake.



adapted from Bunny's Warm Oven: Margarita Cupcakes