Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes & A San Diego Wedding...

Maren's daughter, Laurin recently was married to the ever-so-handsome Josh! The Red Velvet Cupcakes were a huge hit at the reception. I thought it would be fun to share some pictures and a fabulous recipe!



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

2 sticks butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Strawberry Pie

A simple classic!


Scrumptious Strawberry Pie!

2 (8 inch) pie shells, baked

2 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin


In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and corn starch; make sure to blend corn starch in completely. Add boiling water, and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mix, and stir until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

Place strawberries in baked pie shells; position berries with points facing up. Pour cooled gel mixture over strawberries.

Refrigerate until set. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Thank you to Victoria Romney for this recipe!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Peanut Butter-Toffee Cheesecake Brownies

Add pizazz to a brownie mix! This is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion!

Peanut Butter-Toffee Cheesecake Brownies

1 box Fudge Brownie Mix
1/2 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup water
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
1 bag (8 oz) Heath® milk chocolate toffee bits
1 cup Hershey's® milk chocolate baking chips
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 13x9-inch pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water and eggs 50 strokes with spoon. Spread batter in pan; set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add milk and peanut butter; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the toffee bits. Spoon mixture over batter; spread evenly.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are light golden brown. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate 40 minutes.
5. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and cream uncovered on High 40 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake layer. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.