Chew This! Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column features my “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes” which when served in gold wrappers and a huge strawberry on top of each for garnish, makes one glamourous dessert! These were so fun to develop and my taste testers loved these! Do not worry about the champagne in these – the alcohol bakes off – while leaving a special “bubbly” flavor. Feel free to replace with white grape juice if you so desire. These are perfect for baby showers, birthdays or just an everyday celebration!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains information on where I buy the lemon sugar that I feature so often in my recipes.

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_37f30710-8ac4-5f04-b1a7-75f7f6c097d9.html

Enjoy!

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Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

I am a huge fan of cupcakes! I love making them, eating them – but not decorating them… I am not the World’s Best Decorator by any means – I think it is because my focus is always on the eating of the dessert – and less on how it looks. Regardless, the perfect garnish can hide some imperfections – like the sliced banana garnish I use for these!

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart. You can Google her version of the recipe and see what changes I made. I added more cupcakes to the total amount baked, changed some of the measurements and added some flavorful ingrediants. I am always looking on how to improve a recioe – and in this case – I have done it!

Instead of making banana bread next time you have some ripe bananas to use – make these moist and delicious cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

For the cupcakes…
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
4 ripe bananas, mashed 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting…
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Lightly spray cups with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. 

Next, add in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, mashed bananas, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. 

Gently fold everything together, being very careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold until all the white streaks of flour have disappeared. 

Next, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins. This batter makes 18 cupcakes and you need to fill them each 3/4 of the way full to the top.

Pour a small amount of water into the remaining 4 empty cupcake cavities. 

Place in preheated oven for exactly 27 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted and cooled unsalted butter with the honey, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in enough powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You’ll want a frosting that is thick, ice cream consistency, but yet easy spreadable. 

To frost the cupcakes, divide the frosting evenly between the cupcakes, and frost accordingly. 

Enjoy!

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Chew This – Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! Please pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” today – or become an online subscriber – and let me know what you think of my newest column! I am beyond excited to share this recipe with everyone. Every time I eat, or make, Devil’s Food cake – especially cupcakes – I think of my Great Grandma Flora. These cupcakes are a family favorite and I think they will quickly become a personal favorite for you as well. Try them – and let me know what you think. 

On a side note – send me an email and let me know YOUR “earliest” childhood memory and how old you were. I write in my column that in the photograph I was two years old – I may have actually been less than that. Maybe a year old!? True story – I remember. 

  
Old-Fashioned Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting 

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_6479f8fd-636e-539b-86a6-4027ed8e6366.html

Enjoy!

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Here is a photograph that took place during one of MY earliest memories. I was less than two years old…

  
From left to right and down: Grandpa Junior, Brett Doubman, Jim Doubman, Troy Doubman, Flora Doubman, Barbra Doubman, Jamie Doubman and Blaise Doubman (me). 

Karen’s Molten Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is dedicated to my “Blaise the Baker FAN OF THE YEAR 2015”. It is a recipe for delicious and foolproof molten chocolate cake – in cupcake form! The instant coffee granules and extra splash of pure vanilla extract really gives these cakes that unmistakable rich chocolate flavor.

Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature before starting. You will want to save this one… Perfect for the upcoming Holiday season AND easy to make ahead.

If making ahead – bake and allow to cool. Wrap each individually in aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to reheat, place cupcakes, still in foil, into preheated 200 degree oven for about 15 minutes. 

  

  
Karen’s Molten Chocolate Cupcakes 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup white granulated sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the unsalted butter, and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. If hand-mixing, beat about 75 strokes after each egg addition. 

Next, add in the white-all purpose flour and salt. Mix well.

Gently stir in the pure vanilla extract and instant coffee granules. 

Finally, add in the melted chocolate and stir just until combined together.

Divide the batter evenly between all 12 cupcake cups. 

Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes exactly. Once baked, remove cupcakes carefully, and allow to cool slightly – but not too long. Cut into and eat. 

Enjoy!

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Photo credit: Karen Wirima

Chew This – Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am so excited to be sharing this “Chew This!” column with everyone! This one was a labor of love that involved quite a few people, and several recipes (that I narrowed down) and honestly – it was such a fun experience! Special thanks and shout out to Patricia McDaniel, Lisa Perry, Donna Cronk and, in passing, Charlene Perry and Catherine Winters. We may never know what happened to Catherine, but we do have some inspiring recipes.

The angel food cake with bitter sweet icing (original spelling) was a huge hit – as was my Jell-O red velvet cupcakes (which have appeared here before – but with different frosting). Such an interesting history presented itself with this column… And last but not least, thank you to YOU (the reader). Without you – I would not be able to do any of this…and words can not describe how much you all mean to me.

Thank you xo

Blaise the Baker Chew This Angel Food Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mrs. Byrd Winters’ Yellow Angel Food Cake with Bitter Sweet Icing AND Jell-O Red Velvet Cupcakes

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_40b907d8-5be3-11e5-92ee-f3cdaaeb29dd.html

Drop me an email and let me know what you think! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

Enjoy!

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Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

Late last night, I had a craving for red velvet (thanks to my friend Monica Holland and our new “Nutffles” red velvet addiction. More information here – http://nutffles.com/) and I had to whip out one of my Grandma Barbra’s old recipes for “Jello” red velvet cupcakes. Yes, they call for a boxed mix…and no, they are not from scratch, but they evoke good memories of days past for me. The recipe holds a special place in my heart, and I hope after making these the recipe will give you good memories as well.

Red Velvet Cupcakes Blog

Jello Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cake…
1 package Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.9oz package of Jello instant chocolate pudding

For the cream cheese frosting…
1 stick of unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla
Whole milk (to possibly add for desired consistency)

The frosting recipe is a spin off of my “Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting” minus the lemon, with the addition of vanilla. See the “original” recipe here… https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/lemon-cream-cheese-frosting/

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake wrappers and spray each cup lightly with non-stick cooking spray. (This helps the cupcakes remove themselves from their wrappers.)

Whisk together the cake mix according to the packaged directions. When adding the water though, make sure the water is HOT. (I usually add milk to cake mixes, but this recipe my Grandma noted needed to be “HOT water” so that is what I use.)

Once thoroughly whisked, add in the package of Jello instant chocolate pudding, and whisk to combine.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans.

Bake them (one pan at a time) in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove them and allow to cool completely.

Next make the frosting.

Start off by bringing the butter and cream cheese to room temperature! This is a very important step. If you do not bring the butter to room temperature, you might have bits of butter throughout the frosting, and the cream cheese will have “graininess” – you do not want this…

Once the ingredients are at room temperature, combine the unsalted butter and cream cheese. Blend together with hand mixer for about 4 minutes.

Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend together.

Add the vanilla extract.

Blend with hand mixer and beat for 5 minutes.

Depending on your desired consistency – you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of whole milk to the frosting. I like my frosting super thick – not everyone does though… Make it to suit your tastes.

Fill a pastry bag with most of the frosting. I find it easiest to invert the bag into a drinking glass, fill it with frosting, and then shake the frosting to the bottom – then cutting a small slit into the corner to create a slit. You do not really need a “tip” – just a pastry bag.

Once the bag is filled with most of the frosting, dive right into the middle of each cooled cupcake and fill them slightly with the cream cheese frosting.

Do not overfill the cupcake – it will explode. Trust me! Just a little squeeze should do it.

After that, frost the cupcakes anyway you like.

I generally squeeze the rest of the frosting on all 24 cupcakes, and “smash” the frosting down to create a “homemade” appearance.

The rest of the frosting in the bowl can be used on top of the cupcakes for even MORE frosting, or eaten as a snack. I generally save any leftover frosting for snacking.

Enjoy!

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Lightning Fast Desserts

There is nothing I love more than making desserts from scratch…expect maybe aside from eating them! 😉

I love taking the time to ensure that everything is done correctly and I love seeing (and tasting) the final outcome! In making desserts from scratch YOU control the quality of the ingredients – which I love.

BUT – I know that everyone does not have the time to make homemade desserts from scratch, so I am going to share FIVE of my favorite “lightning fast desserts”! TWO of these desserts have already been featured on my blog and they are the recipes for my “Any Flavor Chip Fudge” (which has just been updated) and my “Turbinado Peanut Butter Cookies”. You can find them here…

Fast blog

Lightning Fast Fudge recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/fudge-favorite-chocolate-fudge-and-favorite-peanut-butter-fudge/

Lightning Fast Cookie recipe https://blaisethebaker.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/peanut-butter-cookies-with-turbinado-sugar/

The other three recipes I am going to share are super simple and super delicious! I have made them a LOT over the years, and I hope that you will to. They are…

Lightning Fast Biscuits and Jam

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough lightly for about a minute.

Roll the dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is approximately 2 inches.

Bake at 425 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 14 minutes exactly.

Top with your favorite jam and serve!

Makes about 6 large biscuits.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Banana Bread Cookies

2 overripe bananas
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl with a fork or potato masher.

Add the oats and walnuts and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 12 cookies.

Enjoy!

Lightning Fast Cupcakes

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 can room temperature soda

Any flavor of cake mix and any flavor of soda will work! Experiment! Try them all! My favorite though is chocolate cake mix and “Coca-Cola” – so delicious!)

Combine cake mix and soda and whisk together until smooth.

Pour the batter into a cupcake paper lined tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes exactly.

Let them cool completely and then frost as desired! I really like “frosting” them with whipped cream!

This makes 12 regular size cupcakes.

Enjoy!

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Vanilla Almond “Wedding Bell” Cupcakes

I have never been a fan of weddings…but I’ve always been a fan of wedding CAKE! There is just something about a wedding cake that (when done right) is moist, delicious and has that “something something” that you can not quite figure out. Well…I think I have figured it out, and it could not be anymore simple!

I interviewed a wedding cake professional to uncover the “secrets” to wedding cakes. She told me that there are basically three secrets to a delicious wedding cake. Those secrets are…

1. ALMOND EXTRACT Almond extract, when added to the cake batter (any flavor of cake – but especially vanilla) brings out that “wedding flavor” that a lot of wedding cakes have. She says that the “almond extract” trend dates back to the 1970’s when bakeries first started adding it to wedding cakes – for unknown reasons.

2. UNDERBAKE Underbaking the cakes let them have a delicate and yet moist crumb when completely cool. Most people do not know…but cakes continue baking in their pans until completely cool. She recommends underbaking only about 2 minutes. Any longer and the center will be runny – do not eat a runny cake! (Unless it is a “molten lava cake” which is an entirely different story…)

3. MILK NOT WATER Adding MILK instead of water, will give the cake a little more “taste” than if it was made with water. Check for milk allergies first though of course, before doing this step.

If you follow these steps – you will be baking like the professionals!

Vanilla Almond “Wedding Bell” Cupcakes

Wedding Cupcakes Blog

I made cupcakes today that followed these steps – and a few of my own. I made just a typical “white” cake mix but added the egg WHITES only. I also added about a tablespoon of almond extract, followed by some “candy batter bites” that I found at Hobby Lobby that I just HAD to try.

I underbaked the cupcakes by about 2 minutes and let them cool completely in their pans.

For the frosting, I used just the typical “chocolate buttercream” frosting, but whipped it for awhile by hand with a whisk. I’m sure you could use an electric mixer…but I prefer working by hand for this.

I frosted the cupcakes after they were completely cool and then decorated them with edible glitter and edible pearls. I included a “tasting fork” on top of each cupcake – but that part is optional.

I am still working on this recipe and will post it completed, once I am satisfied with it. Using a cake mix is not ALWAYS a bad thing… That was an “extra tip” from the wedding cake baker I talked to. She said almost 80% of the time…they use what everyone else uses to make their wedding cakes. A boxed mix.

I admit that I am not the biggest fan of boxed mixes and store bought frostings…but once in awhile, it is fun to experiment and see how you can “improve” the original!

Enjoy!

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