Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mushroom Cupcakes

The piped out white chocolate spots that I flipped over on top of the cupcakes so the flat side was facing up

The shower was fiesta themed so I used colors that fit in with the rest of the decor

My friend Taryn showed me some adorable mushroom cupcakes from her nieces "Alice in Wonderland" themed birthday party and I completely fell in love. So when it was time for her to co-host a baby shower last week she asked me if I thought we could make some for the party. I love a challenge and I thought they would be great for the blog so I said of course. Although the ones she showed me were adorable she mentioned they didn't taste very good, so I first off wanted to make these super moist and use a fresh buttercream for the icing so that they would be cute and taste amazing. I thought about how to make the spots on top for a few days and finally settled on using the white Candy Melts that you find in the baking section of the craft store and melting them down to make smaller spots, this worked perfectly! The theme for the shower was fiesta so we wanted the colors to match the flowers and decorations so we decided on green, blue, and orange... but you can use whatever colors you want. Lastly we did two sizes- mini and regular to really push home the mushroom look, since no mushroom looks like the other :-) And we used chocolate and classic yellow cake so that everyone was happy. In the end these cupcakes turned out to be super cute and a huge success!


Chocolate cupcakes:
Yellow cupcakes:
Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp butter extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbl heavy whipping cream
  • food coloring of your choice
  • 1 pkg of white Candy Melts for decorating
  1. Cupcakes: Mix and bake your cupcakes following the directions on the back of the package. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Spots: Melt the package of white candy melts in a microwave safe bowl according to the directions on the back of the package. Scoop melted chocolate into a piping bag and pipe out different sized round chips on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Let them cool completely. Place to the side.
  3. Make your icing: Cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Add vanilla and butter extract. Gradually add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time - beat well. Icing will be dry at this point, add the whipping cream until you get the texture you want. (should be nice and fluffy) Separate your icing into three bowls and color accordingly. You can make which ever colors you like or you can always just make one color.
  4. Ice each cupcake. Take your cooled candy spots and gently pull them off the parchment and place tip side down onto the top of each cupcake, this way the flat side of the spots are facing up. place as many spots on your cupcakes as you like. These are best if they are server right away. ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Mast Brothers

The life of a mariner is one given over to wanderlust—the quest for adventure, crossing unseen horizons to secure precious goods—only to bring them back to their home port. This same love of adventure and curiosity defines the brotherhood of Rick and Michael Mast. They share a fiercely independent spirit, leaping into the unknown and trusting that they’ll find the answer through endurance and dedication to their craft.

They began their voyage in their apartment, using a homemade machine to process cacao beans. Over time they cultivated their creation, sourcing beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Each bar is handmade with incredible reverence for the process and history of chocolate. They are bound in ornamental papers and golden foil like a collection of rare books. Each bar offers its own story of flavors, and no two are exactly alike.

The Mast Brothers are now planning to navigate the mighty Atlantic, sailing to the Dominican Republic in search of beans and a deeper connection with the folks who grow them. Before they begin the next chapter, The Scout spent time with Rick and Michael documenting their story. Photo by Mindy Best.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Crust rolled out and placed in dish

Cut and crimped the corners, check out Taylor praying I drop the pie on the floor

Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust

Beans with parchment before baking for 10 min


Ready for the oven

Voila! Blueberry crumble pie!

Bonus blueberry cobbler... equally amazing.

To continue my blueberry baking binge I had to bake a blueberry pie. I came across a recipe a few years ago on Martha Stewart's show which was recently re-aired while she was on vacation to fill time on her new show. What attracted me to it was the fact that it was not only a pie but it was also a crumble, yum. After making the pie, I completely fell in love, it might be one of the best pie's I have ever tasted. The crust was perfect the filling wasn't too sweet, and the crumble makes it completely irresistible. I have no doubt that you will love this pie. A happy surprise when I went to bake the pie was that my pie dish was too small to fit all the filling (I used an 8-inch), so what is a girl to do? Well, I was not about to let all that amazing filling to go waste so I grabbed a small cobbler dish and poured the extra in there and crumbled half the crumble topping on top to make a small cobbler - granted it didn't have the crust, but who cares, it was amazing.

Rebecca Charles came up with the original recipe which I altered a little since I believe it might not have been typed up correctly on Martha Stewart's site (she has 4 tsp of cornstarch and the feedback on the post was that it was much to watery so I made it with 4 tbl... much better) I also changed the crumble a bit to add light brown sugar since I prefer it's flavor to dark but you can use either. I found this crust to be one of the best I have ever used and it was very easy to make, I will absolutely be using it again. The best part of this recipe is that you can watch Martha and Rebecca make it here, this way you can see step by step how to make this pie.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2) sticks unsalted butter cut into cubes

  • 6 cups blueberries about 3 pints
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbl cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of pepper
  • extra flour and butter for the coating the pie dish

  1. Crust: For the crust in a food processor (or a bowl, to mix by hand, combine the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl. add the cold water and work by hand until the mixture comes together.) combine flour, salt, and cold butter- pulse until sand like texture. Add water while pulsing until mixture comes together. Remove from the bowl or food processor (be careful not to over mix) onto a lightly floured surface. Work into a 1 inch thick disk and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.
  2. Crumble: Combine flour and sugars in a food processor (or bowl) mix until combined add chopped cold butter and mix (with a pastry cutter) or pulse until the mixture forms a crumble, being sure not to over mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Filling: in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients using the back of your spoon, crush about 20 percent of the blueberries so the jice mixes with the cornstarch and thickens the filling.
  4. To make the pie: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch pie tin; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place in the pie dish, trip off excess and crimp edges (the crust will shrink in the oven once baked so don't cut off too much, I cut off enough to fold a little under to make larger crimps) Use a fork to poke holes around the sides and bottom of the crust, chill until firm, about 20 min. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or baking beans. Bake until the crimped edges are firm, about 10 min. Remove the parchment paper and beans, and bake until the bottom is firm, about another 10 min. Fill the crust with the perry mixture, spreading evenly, and top with the crumble. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake until the filling starts to bubble, 1 hour to an hour and 20 min depending on your oven. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars

sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, egg, and butter before it gets blended to be the crumble

Crumble mixture- half for the bottom of the pan, half for the crumble topping

Blueberry mixture

Pour your blueberries on your crust and spread evenly

Crumble your topping over the layer of blueberries, bake and you are done!

Look out it's blueberry season! That means I went on a blueberry baking binge. As you know I live in Dallas, Texas and some of you might have heard that Texas is known for it's fabulous blueberries. A few years ago a few friends of mine read about Blueberry Hill Farms in Edom, TX on Style/Swoon, the place looked like fun so we loaded up in the car and headed east to pick some blueberries. Little did we know that Edom turned out to be a great little town with fun shops and a great local cafe called The Shed- if you stop here I suggest you order either a piece or the entire Lemon Ice Box pie and take it home to enjoy all week.
Blueberry season lasts through the end of July, I recommend going early so that you don't bake in the Texas sun. I was able to pick a full basket and then I bought another pre-picked bag in the store to bring home and freeze so that I could use them all year. Freezing is easy, first lay your blueberries flat on a baking sheet on a paper towel don't cover and place in the freezer for a hour, remove the berries from the tray and place them in a plastic ziplock freezer bag and return to the freezer. I like to take a cup out at a time and let thaw in the fridge or on the counter to use in my cereal and oatmeal throughout the week. To kick off my blueberry baking binge I began with Blueberry Crumble Bars, these are amazing and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy them. You should be able to get about 36 small bars or about half of that if you do larger squares.

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch

Preheat your oven to 375 and grease a 9x13 pan.
  1. In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup of sugar, 3 cups of flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Uses a for or pastry cutter to blend in butter and egg. Doug will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the pan.
  2. In another bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the berry layer.
  3. Bake in the oven for 45 min, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
These are great stored in the fridge and served cold as well.

Here are some of my photos from my visit to Blueberry Hill Farms...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Triple Salted Chocolate and Caramel Cupcakes

I'm sorry everyone for not posting a new recipe yet this week. Things at work have been a little crazy so I have fallen behind on my posts. Here is a little taste of what is coming, hopefully these can hold you over a few more days...

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