Advertisements
Archive | The Cakery RSS feed for this section

Christmas Comes Early: Irish Cream Mini Cupcakes

19 Nov

I may have a soft spot in my heart for Bailey’s…and a hollow leg to store it in…

So let’s be honest with each other. And admit it.

We’ve both had moments where, it’s say…a Tuesday morning…and its time to leave for work…and a thought pops into your mind…Man, I wish it was socially acceptable to put a splash of Bailey’s in my a.m. coffee.

If at this point you’re saying “That’s never happened to me,” think back to the holidays and STOP LYING.

Irish cream is delicious. Just admit it already. It’s Christmas in a glass.

So to get around the apparent “frowned upon” factor of drinking on the job (insert ‘frowned upon’ Hangover movie reference here), I make irish cream cupcakes.

In bite size form.

It’s like Christmas. In a cupcake. Bite size.

Amaze sauce.

You’ll need a mini cupcake pan for these. Luckily, I have one because I have every kitchen item available and yes I know my having so much kitchen stuff really cuts down on what I can put on my wedding registry. But since I’m not registering for anything anytime soon…back to cupcakes.

You could make a full-size cupcake, but these are just…cuter.

irish cream cupcakes

Without frosting they’re naked. But I still dig it.

baileys cupcakes

Improvements? These could only get better if served with a batch of homemade Bailey’s.

Funny you should mention that…

So I wish you happy baking & bailey’s-ing, and happy freaking holidays. (Even though it’s November.)

I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday,and I can’t wait to post about it. So I hope you enjoy some early Christmas cheer with an irish cream cupcake.

And please, cakerypapery reminds you, always cupcake responsibly.

Irish Cream Cupcake Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup irish cream liqueur

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (or more…) irish cream liqueur
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the irish cream. Mix until smooth, but don’t overmix! Line cupcake pan with paper liners, and fill each one 2/3 full. Bake in the oven (one pan at a time) for 15 minutes, or until just slightly golden brown.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Add more confectioners’ sugar or irish cream if needed to give frosting the desired consistency.

Advertisements

Halfway Homemade: Mexican Cheesecake

24 Sep

Okay, I made another Sandra Lee-esque recipe. Shame rattle. 

Sandra Lee must want to spite me, because I have never gotten so many compliments on my baking at work before. Like, ever. And this is about the least scientific thing I have ever made.

It takes just five ingredients. One of them comes in a pop-open can. But it tastes amazing.

Be warned: it will make your house smell of cinnamon buttery goodness and you most likely will not be able to contain yourself from taking a bite.

You layer together crescent rolls and cream cheese, then top with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Instant cheesecake. In just about 30 minutes. It reminds me of a fried cheesecake, like you would get at a Mexican restaurant.

I imagine this served with vanilla ice cream…some sort of raspberry drizzle…a sprig of mint on the side…champagne…conversation about how swell life is…sigh.

Mexican Cheesecake Recipe:

  • 2 packages Pillsbury butter crescent rolls
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Smooth the edges together to eliminate any puncture marks. Mix together cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the crescent roll. Unravel the second package of crescent rolls, and place on top of the cream cheese layer. Brush melted butter on top, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

You can also make this a day in advance–layer together the crescent rolls and cream cheese mixture and refridgerate. When you are ready to bake, just top with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Mini Monkey Breads

12 Sep

So several things that I am prejudging myself on here.

First, I try to avoid making recipes that have an animal in the name. Like, duh.

Second, I don’t like recipes whose consumption method is prime for hand contamination. I’d rather not get Ebola or a tapeworm, thankyouverymuch.

And third, I canNOT stand Sandra Lee, so anything that resembles a recipe she would feature on “Semi Homemade” makes me want vomit. Do you think she “tablescapes” the governor’s mansion?

But I will make an exception for monkey bread. Because it is delicious.

And I made it in mini, individualized portions, which eliminated issue 2 above. And…I can always mitigate issues #1 and #3 with a large glass of wine. Just like Sandra Lee would do.

Monkey bread is super easy and super delicious. It’s five ingredients. The recipe calls for sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. Plus Pillsbury biscuits.

Like I said. Start with these, semi-homemade.

Then you chop the biscuits into 6 pieces each, and toss with sugar & cinnamon.

Press the pieces together into the pan.

Glaze with melted brown sugar and butter.

And bake.

Omfg yum.

I used a mini-bundt pan for this monkey cake, but you could easily use a large muffin tin as well.

Mini Monkey Bread Recipe:

1 can Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut the uncooked biscuits into 6-8 pieces. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and toss with the biscuit pieces. Press biscuit pieces into lightly greased pan, about 5-6 pieces per tin. Mix together melted butter and brown sugar, and pour over biscuits in pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes in pan, and then remove.

For a full-size monkey cake recipe, visit the Pillsbury recipe page.

Don’t knock over the homemade pickles!

4 Sep

Have you ever been in a pickle? What about up to your elbows in pickles? What about cleaning up a mason jar of homemade pickles that you knocked over on your way out to the pool in the middle of the night and then rearranging the remaining ones so no one knew a jar was missing because you were in high school and heaven forbid  you got grounded over the pickles? Yea…didn’t think so.


July & August is pickle time at my parents’ house. Lots and lots of pickles. Straight from the victory garden. My dad grows almost everything in his garden. The cucumbers, hot peppers, garlic, dill…it goes on.

You start with nice, clean Mason jars.

Add garlic.

Hot peppers.

More spices.

Dill. And more dill.

Then pickling cucumbers.

And brine.

Seal the jar, and refrigerate for two months. In the end, it’ll be a delicious jar of dill-ness.

(I would so get invited to the collective, because I would bring pickles.)

In Pursuit. Of a Suit. And Margaritas.

30 Aug

I need a new suit. And not the interview kind. The swimsuit kind.

You see, I’m going on this trip. To Mexico. With my dad. To scuba dive.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Or so I thought. Until I put on my BC (the vest part of scuba gear) in my bikini and basically flashed my immediate family in our backyard.

Not. Cool.

Also not cool? Stripping off a full body covering of wet neoprene after a dive and flashing the ENTIRE DIVE BOAT. I’d like to avoid that, please and thank you.

Apparently, my “tanning” swimsuits are not, um, actually meant for swimming. (Perfect for lounging, drinking margaritas, and ensuring minimal tan lines though.)

So now I’m on the hunt for a swimsuit that has enough coverage that I don’t risk exposing myself to Jorge the dive guy, and lacks enough coverage so I can still get a tan. And…my current willingness to pay for said swimsuit is max $40 as I will ruin it with a week of saltwater, sunscreen, and Mexican sun. Easy, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Given how challenging this sounds…when I thought about it this past Sunday…we decided to make frozen margaritas instead. Yum.

And by “we” I mean Big Kev and by “decided” I mean that I mentioned margaritas incessantly until one appeared.

And then we broke the blender. But that’s a story for another day.

Luckily, my margarita was already mixed. Yeah, luckily…

Big Kev’s Frozen Margarita Recipe:

  • 1 can frozen Bacardi margarita mix
  • Tequila
  • Triple sec
  • Superfine sugar
  • Key Lime juice
  • Ice

Pour the frozen Bacardi mix into a blender. Use the mix container to measure 1 can of tequila and 1/2 can of triple sec. Add both to the blender. Add in some superfine sugar and lime juice to test. Blend together with ice.

Homemade Happy Hour

25 Aug

Do you ever have those times where you just wish there was a place that served bottomless chips and salsa, alongside bottomless margaritas? It would be even better if said place had a happy hour that didn’t require you to drain your bank account.

And don’t lie…I know I’m not the only one.

So I really like doing happy hour at home, on my porch. I’ve got a sweet glider swing and the weather is amazing lately. Plus, I can have as many margaritas as I want when I’m at home.

The problem issue is, I’m a bit of a salsa and margarita snob. I haven’t ever found a grocery-store jar salsa that I really like—they are all either too chunky, too watery, or too full of artsy things like “mango” and “jicama.” And as for margaritas, I have a recipe that I like, but I’m always open to suggestions, as long as I’m not going to end a) stinking drunk or b) with heartburn.

(Personally, I can’t decide if I prefer a or b.)

Which is why this salsa is pretty much perfect for me. It’s a restaurant-style salsa, not too chunky, not too spicy, just right. It was also served with a margarita that I didn’t have to make, which clearly upped the delicious factor.

The restaurant-style salsa recipe is pretty simple. Canned whole tomatoes, some Rotel, garlic, cilantro, onion, cumin, lime, and a jalapeno. You just blend everything together in a food processor, and you’re done.

Make sure you buy good, quality tomatoes, as these are the base for the salsa. Look for whole Roma tomatoes, or, San Marzano tomatoes taste amazing when you really want to splurge.  And yes, not all canned tomatoes are the same.

As for the margarita, I have no idea on the exact ratio of ingredients, but I do know its tequila, gran marnier, lime juice, and simple syrup. These are cp-bf’s specialty, so I just leave the mixing and magic to him.

Plus, the salsa makes a big enough batch that I was able to fill up three smaller mason jars with it, and still have some leftover. Which was perfect, as I had a housewarming party to go to last weekend. Yet another great easy and inexpensive DIY present.

Restaurant-Style Salsa:

  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) Rotel tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all the ingredients in a 12-cup food processor. Squeeze in the lime juice. Pulse the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings as needed.

You do need to use a larger food processor, as this makes a decent-sized batch. If you don’t have a 12-cup processor, you could pulse the ingredients in batches and then combine together in a large bowl.

If you want your salsa to be less spicy, remove the seeds and veins from the jalapeno before using.

(and in the spirit of honesty, I first saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman.)

Eggs Benedict, aka Eggs Delicious

24 Aug

A few weekends ago I went to visit one of my biz school girlfriends in her hometown of Chagrin Falls, OH. Jessica and I are both into anything delicious, which usually means anytime we see each other its guaranteed to be a food bender. With intermittent fancy drinks mixed in.

This past visit was no different. High points included homemade crab cakes with sirracha mayo, waffles topped with peaches and fresh maple syrup, mimosas, margaritas, and eggs benedict.

Did I mention the eggs benedict?

Quite possibly my favorite breakfast dish. Of. All. Time.

You start by making some hollandaise.

And maple-glazed canadian bacon.

Then poach your eggs.

(This looks grosser than it really is.)

Layer it all on an english muffin.

And enjoy.

Just try not to think about how you are having carbs loaded with bacon topped with a poached egg topped with buttery egg sauce. You can always go running tomorrow.

Don’t even bother asking me for the recipe…because I will openly admit I did not contribute a single thing to the construction of this meal. Hey, I can’t cook all the time, right?

Many thanks to the lovely Johnson family for a great weekend and some amazing eggs benny.