Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spiked Apple Crisp Shooters

Do you like apple crisp? Do you like alcohol? Then you will LOVE these. Honestly, you can't even taste the alcohol....which may be a dangerous thing, because this is definitely something you may find yourself reaching for again and again. Maybe that's why it was created to be in shooters; that way it is pre-portioned for you and the only one to blame for over indulging is yourself ;). 

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that it just LOOKS pretty. 


And what better night is there to overindulge than New Year's Eve? Hey, those resolutions don't start until tomorrow! 


No one can say no to the mixture of apple crisp, butterscotch and alcohol! Although mine weren't technically served while the apple crisp was still warm, they were no less delicious!

Happy New Year!

spiked apple crisp shooters
{recipe from Betty Crocker}

Ingredients
  • 4 medium tart apples, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Oatmeal Cookie Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon butterscotch schnapps
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • caramel topping, if desired
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray bottom only of 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2.  In a large bowl, toss apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 cup schnapps. Spread in pan.
  3. In medium bowl, mix melted butter and cookie mix. Spread on top of apples.
  4. Bake 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl with electric mixer, or using stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat whipping cream, 1 tablespoon schnapps and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. To serve, alternately spoon warm apple crisp and cream mixture into small glasses. Top each with caramel topping, if desired. Serve immediately.






Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Cupcakes

Merry Christmas everyone! This short post is mainly for Christmas cupcake decoration ideas, but it will also include a recipe for chocolate buttercream! All the major decorations were made out of marshmallow fondant (my recipe can be found here).
I won't lie, making the mistletoe leaves was a pain in the butt. If you have a cutter in that shape things will go much faster! I had to hand shape them because they were too small to try and hand cut. Once I had a system down though it wasn't so bad.
The tree cupcakes were very simple! A swirl of caramel frosting, fondant star on top (I had a star cutter :D so that was easy to do!) and then colorful round sprinkles! Voila!

Below is the chocolate frosting recipe. In case you were wondering about the recipe for the cake portion or the caramel frosting just follow these links:
Hot Fudge Cupcakes
Caramel Frosting (I just used food coloring to dye it green for the trees)

Merry Christmas everyone! 

chocolate buttercream frosting
Makes 3 3/4 cups
{recipe from food.com}

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions 

  1. Place butter in bowl and beat until creamy. 
  2. Add powder sugar and cocoa powder; mix well.
  3. Gradually add milk, mixing after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cut-Out Cookies

What's Christmas without some good ol' cut-out cookies? I must say, I'm a little bit of a cut-out snob. I can only happily eat my mother's recipe for cut-outs. I think it's because they are a sour cream cut-out recipe so they are light and airy versus the regular sugar cookie cut-out. Don't get me wrong, any kind of cut-out is delicious, but these are AMAZING. I can eat them with or without the frosting; even just minutes after they are out of the oven...yum. I am salivating just thinking out it!
I highly recommend doing these with a group of friends or family. This recipe makes A LOT of cut-outs. Like 60 or more depending on the size of your cutter. I'm sure everyone has the same excitement at the start of making cut-outs....they look like utter perfection, but slowly as time passes and you are STILL frosting, they slowly get a little less professional looking and a little more....shall we just say "rushed?" So yes, definitely a good project for a large group. Oh, and if you plan on making lots of colors and intricate designs on your cut-outs you will most likely need to double your frosting.
hoards of cookies....



Here is the step by step process:

Once the dough is made, flour your countertop.

Then knead dough on floured surface until not sticky, adding flour as necessary. You can divide the dough if that is easier (this is only a quarter of the batch).

Roll out dough to 1/8" to 1/4" inch thickness. I usually like mine at 1/4" thickness.

Flour your cookie cutters and start cutting out shapes! I find it easiest to set all the cutters on the dough at once and then remove them all one by one...helps to make the most of the dough!

Then pop them in the oven to bake! An important thing to note about these cookies is that to get them at the perfect texture, they shouldn't really be browned at all....not even the bottoms. Basically do not overbake them and be sure to take them off of the cookie sheets less than a minute after leaving the oven. I mean, they won't be completely ruined if the bottoms browned, but they just will not be as soft as they normally would be.
You are looking for them to look like the one on the far right! In case you were wondering, these were made for someone as a gift for their dentist, hence the teeth!

Then decorate them however you want!










In case you were wondering how those dental cut-outs came out....


Good luck and happy baking!

sour cream cut-out cookies

for the cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Using an electric mixture beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually combine dry mixture into butter mixture until blended. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. The next day, roll out dough onto a flour surface. Roll in 1/8" - 1/4" thickness- add more flour as necessary. Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut out cookies. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 - 10 minutes. Carefully remove from cookie sheets and place on wire rack to cool.

for the sour cream frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Use food coloring to dye and frost cookies as desired.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Apple Kuchen

This kuchen is just beautiful. And it tastes delicious. It is so soft and flakey, it practically melts in your mouth. The cream on top just puts it over the top. I really would expect no less from The French Laundry. I still regret not planning far enough in advance for our honeymoon and missing a chance to eat there!




I wish I had some more right now. I am just drooling remembering the deliciousness.





Really though, do yourself a favor and MAKE THIS KUCHEN!

apple kuchen with hot cream sauce
for the cake

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk or light cream
2 to 3 apples
Cinnamon sugar (optional; mix 1 tablespoon sugar with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon)
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round spring form pan. 
  2. Beat butter, sugar, and egg until mixture is fluffy and lightened in texture, about 2-4 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients and milk alternately to creamed butter mixture. Do not overbeat. Mix until just combined.
  4. Peel and core apples. Slice into 1/4-inch wedges.
  5. Spoon batter into pan and level with offset spatula.
  6. Press apple slices, core side down, into the batter, about 1/4-inch apart. Work the apple slices in a circular pattern, like the spokes of a wheel.
  7. Sprinkle cake with cinnamon sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Set on rack to cool.

for the hot cream sauce

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Directions

  1. Combine cream, sugar, and butter in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, immediately reduce heat (to prevent scorching) and let simmer 5 to 8 minutes until slightly thickened. 
  2. Sprinkle warm kuchen with powdered sugar (if desired) and pour hot cream sauce over kuchen.