Tag Archives: Holiday

Delicious Rum Raisin Cupcakes

This past week was my parent’s Anniversary and I wanted to make something different for them. My father’s favorite ice cream flavor is Rum Raisin, and flowers just seem to be a staple for anniversaries. So, naturally I combined the two to come up with a Rum Raisin Cupcake Bouquet! Naturally!

I did use Bobby Flay’s Recipe for this and it is a phenomenal recipe. This will be making an appearance at Thanksgiving for sure!

 

Rum Raisin Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

Buttercream Icing:

1 1/2 Cups Golden Rum 8 Ounces Butter, Softened
1 Tablespoon Sugar 4 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Cup Golden Raisins 8-9 Cups Confectioners Sugar
2 Teaspoons Rum Extract

Cupcakes:

2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1 1/4 Sticks Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 1 Cup Buttermilk, Room Temp
1 3/4 Cup Sugar 3 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Rum Extract 6 Egg Yolks, Room Temp
3 Egg Whites, Room Temp

Directions:

Buttercream

1. Bring rum and cane sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and add in the raisins. Set aside for 4 hours or more. I started the cupcakes at this point. 

2. Strain the raisins and finely chop them. Set the raisins aside for the cupcakes. Bring the strained rum to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce it to a 1/4 cup. Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely before you add it to the buttercream. 

3. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer at medium speed with a whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of confectioners sugar and continues whipping. Then add in 3 more cups of the powdered sugar. Add the cooled, reduced rum mixture and rum extract. Continue adding the powdered sugar until you achieve the texture and flavor you desire. The thicker, the easier to pipe and mold. 

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 1/2 cups cane sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg together. You can use a sifter to make the mix even lighter. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter (cooled slightly), buttermilk, oil, vanilla, rum extract, and yolks in a medium sized bowl. 

2. In the mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs until they they are light and fluffy. Add in 1/4 cup of cane sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. Set the egg whites aside. 

3. In a separate mixer bowl (or clean out the egg white bowl), add the flour mixture. Gradually add in the butter mix, while stirring at medium-low speed. 

4. Using a spatula, fold in the egg white mix. You will notice a drastic change in texture. Then fold in the cooled raisins. Spoon them into cupcake tins with liners. Fill the cupcakes 3/4 full and bake for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Frost with the butter cream!

Rum Raisin Cupcake Steps

 

They came out fantastic! There are definitely a few steps to make these, but it’s worth it!

 

What is the craziest flavor of cupcake you have made?

Soft and Sweet Ginger Cookies

I went on a bit of a Cookie rampage last weekend and made just about every kind of cookie you can think of. Well, there may be a few more…

For the patriots game, my family got together to watch the game and enjoy some good eats and I decided to bring a cookie. These little delectables really hit the spot too. I love ginger cookies because after just 1 or 2 they seem to satisfy the sweet tooth and this recipe has been by far my favorite.

Soft, Chewy Ginger Cookies

 

Ingredients:

2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Softened Butter 1 Cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water 1/4 Cup Molasses

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and salt together in one bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, water and molasses. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.

3. Form the dough into 1 inch dough balls and roll each one in white sugar to form a light coating. Place them on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil.

4. Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes and then allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They are quite doughy when removed from the oven and they need a chance to cool and become more solid before moving them.

Ginger Cookie Collage

 

I LOVED these cookies. They really turned out great.

 

Caramel and Toasted Coconut Holiday Cookies

Caramel & Toasted Coconut Holiday Cookies

This past week I had a meeting with some coworkers and my urge to bake something led me to bringing a batch of cookies to the meeting. I put these guys out on the table and they were demolished in minutes with people asking me for the recipe. So, I figured I would have to share them with you all, especially since they were requested to be at our next meeting.

I have to admit, they were a little time consuming to make. I’m talking a few hours total. And they didn’t come without some frustration. One cookie may or may not have been thrown across the kitchen. But, I think I have knocked out a few sources of frustration in this revised version. 🙂

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups All Purpose Flour 2 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanille Extract

 

For the Topping:
3 Cups Sweetened, Shredded Coconut 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
15 Ounces Soft Caramels 8 Ounces Dark Chocolate
3 Tablespoons Milk

Directions:

1. In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then, in increments of 3, add the flour mixture into the butter mix. Once well mixed, add in the vanilla extract and milk.

Coconut Cookies Step 1

 

2. Once mixed, divide the dough into halves, form each shape into a disk and wrap in seran wrap. Refrigerate the dough for an hour.

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3. When the dough has chilled, roll one of the disks out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into stars and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue until all of the dough is complete.

Coconut Cookies, Step 3

 

4. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The cookies should come out only slightly browned but cooked through. You do not want to cook these cookies too long or else they will break apart when you are putting the caramel topping on them.

 

The Topping

1. Spread the coconut flakes out on a tin foil lined cookie sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Be sure to stir them frequently to avoid them burning. Coconut does burn easily. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oven and set them aside.

Coconut Cookies, Topping

 

2. In a double broiler, melt the caramel along with the milk and salt. Stir it frequently until all of the caramel has completely melted. Then add 3/4 of the caramel to the toasted coconut. Stir until well mixed.

Coconut Topping, Step 2

 

3. Carefully spread the coconut mixture onto the cooled cookies. I found using a fork worked best. If the caramel becomes hard to work with, try placing it over the heat and melting the caramel a bit more. Patience is key at this step.

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4. The hard part is done. With the remaining caramel, put a dab on the top of each cookie and place a bit of fresh coconut on top. Then melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it on top. You should then let the cookies sit out for a bit in order for the caramel and the chocolate to harden. And whelah!

Coconut Cookie Complete

 

I have to say, they really did come out delicious. Fortunately, I will be making these again. I have a meeting this Friday to bring them along to and then of course, our next company meeting after the holidays. But I’m definitely going to come up with some other fun options to bring along. Holiday cookies are one of my favorite things to make.

 

Do you have a recipe that takes a lot of effort but is worth it in the end??

Cape Cod French Toast and Patriotic Cupcakes

Yesterday, I woke up early on Cape Cod and packed everything up to head back to the main land in hopes that I would miss all the traffic and to have a full day to get some things done. But, I didn’t miss the chance to try out a new Mary Lou’s Coffee. This time, I tried the Girl Scout Cookie Coffee, which tastes like a thin mint.

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It was a lot sweeter than I expected, and I didn’t have them add any sugar or milk to it. Next time, I’m sticking to my Peanut Butter Wonderful.

Oreo didn’t really mind the flavor change…she just wanted a taste and really had her begging eyes going.

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When I got back to the house, I unpacked and started to whip up some french toast for the holiday. The refrigerator died while we were away so ingredients were at a low. They were also squished into the smaller fridge in the basement, which made searching for ingredients a bit of a workout. I was hoping to come up with something a little red, white and blue…but couldn’t find the blue portion.

Cape Cod French Toast

 

Ingredients:

6 Slice Health Nut Bread 4 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 1/8 Teaspoon Allspice
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 1/4 Cup Almond Milk, Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Cape Cod Cranberry Jam

 

Directions:

1. In an open dish, mix up the eggs, cinnamon, almond milk, allspice, and vanilla. Dip the bread into the mix, covering it on both sides.

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2. Heat up the skillet to medium heat and cook the toast on both sides for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

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3. Heat up the tablespoon of Cape Cod Jam for 3o seconds (It is a local jam made of cranberries and basil, substitute it for any cranberry based jam). Drizzle it over the french toast and top with whipped cream if desired. ENJOY!

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The small bits of nuts that are in the bread added a lot of texture to the french toast that really made it fantastic. The Cape Cod Jam isn’t too sweet and really balanced the whole thing out. I was a little nervous about the basil portion of it but it turned out great.

 

Dessert

Maggie was heading to a BBQ with some friends and she was responsible for bringing dessert. We both headed to the supermarket to pick out some fun sweets but ended up coming home with a little project…Red, White and Blue Cupcakes. Super easy but super festive!

Memorial Day Cupcakes

 

 

Ingredients:

White Cake Mix Food Coloring
White Icing Festive Sprinkles

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Directions:

1. Just mix up the cupcakes according to the box directions. After it is well stirred, separate the mix into three even bowls. Add red and blue food coloring until you get the color you like.

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2. In the cupcake pan, with the covers, first put a spoonful of red, then white, then blue batter. Bake according to the directions on the box.

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3. When the cupcakes are cool, frost it and top them off with the sprinkles! Finito!

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Maggie and I filled them up a bit high…and ended up making 12 cupcakes out of the batter that calls for 24…Whoops.

They were delicious though and just a fun twist on the traditional cupcakes. You could really do this for any holiday. Think green! for St Pattys day. Haha.

Brent and I ended up hiking to work off the french toast. Brent hadn’t been to Noon Hill before and it’s a nice little hike to a fairly high summit.

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The puppies were sufficiently tired and ready for a nap when we got back. It’s such a nice little hike. The map says it is only 1.3 miles, but I would disagree. I’m leaning towards more like 2 miles.

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What is your favorite holiday dessert??

 

 

 

 

New Year’s 2013, Egg Nog Pancake Style

New Year’s came and went. I was still getting over my cold, or maybe it was still creeping up on me as we were heading out to Boston Emerald Lounge. I sucked down some dayquil and headed out to meet a whole bunch of my friends that I hadn’t seen in YEARS. Literally. So. Much. Fun.

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On New Year’s Day, I popped up and made some festive pancakes for the family. Egg Nog Pancakes. They were unbelievably light and fluffy.

Egg Nog Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 Egg 3/4 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
1/3 Cup Egg Nog 1 Cup Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Water

Directions:

1. Beat the egg. Then add in the Vanilla Yogurt, and Egg Nog.

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2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Then add it into the wet mix. Add in the water as well.

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3. Preheat the skillet to a medium heat. Wait for the pancake to bubble slightly and flip it over. It should rise a bunch.

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For the topping, instead of the normal berry topping that I whip up, I took some chunky applesauce and heated it up a bit. That was the topping for this guy. It was good without the syrup, but also fantastic with it.

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The applesauce topping was fantastic. Bacon had his serious begging face on.

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Bacon apparently had a fun night of partying too, because the two of us crashed on the couch shortly after pancakes.

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I feel like that’s what just about everyone was doing. Just watching football and recovering.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a packed day of wedding venue appointments and some solid gym time to get to. Exciting!!