Thursday, March 29, 2012

Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting


I ran across a recipe for churro cupcakes online and immediately thought of the yummy fried pastry, rolled in cinnamon sugar, and filled with warm gooey dulce de leche that one of our Argentinian friends made for us.  For Argentinians, they just aren't churros unless they are filled with dulce de leche.  I can agree to that one.  I had my fair share of dulce de leche when I visited Buenos Aires two years ago with my husband to visit his family.  I think they put it in or on just about anything.  It's good stuff.  One day I will try to make some myself, but for now I will continue to buy it at the store.  As a busy mom, recipes need to be kept easy.

So anyway, I knew that if I made churro cupcakes, they had to be filled with dulce de leche.  I had some left over from my recent recipes, so it worked out good.  First I picked out a recipe for the cupcakes.  I chose one from Bakingdom- http://bakingdom.com/2011/05/churros-cupcakes-dulce-de-leche-sauce.html.  But I didn't want a cream cheese frosting, so I chose a mascarpone frosting from Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/313528/mascarpone-frosting.  You can't go wrong with Martha.





Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting

by The Sweet Chick
Prep Time: 20-30 min.
Cook Time: 14-16 min.
Keywords: bake dessert cinnamon dulce de leche mascarpone cheese cupcake

Ingredients (18 cupcakes)
    FOR THE CUPCAKES
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 (1 stick) cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
    FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    FOR THE FILLING
    • 3/4 cup dulce de leche
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    FOR THE FROSTING
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    Instructions
    To make the cupcakes
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined then stir in the vanilla. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the butter mixture and gently stir in until barely combined. Add half of the milk, mixing until just combined. Repeat these steps with the remaining flour mixture and milk, ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
    Fill each muffin cup with 2 tablespoons of batter. I used a measuring spoon. Bake the cupcakes for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then dip the top of each cupcake into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat it. You really have to smush them in there to get it to stick. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before filling.
    To fill the cupcakes
    Combine the dulce de leche with the sour cream and mix well. The sour cream makes the dulce de leche less sticky and easier to pipe. Put the mixture into a piping bag or a thick plastic bag with the edge snipped off. Make a hole in each of the cupcakes, making sure you do not go all the way to the bottom. I used an apple corer. It worked quite well. Then pipe the mixture into each cupcake and fill to the top.
    To make the frosting
    With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone, cinnamon and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately. After frosting the cupcakes, sprinkle a little bit of the left over cinnamon-sugar onto the frosting.
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    I made a good match with these recipes.  The cupcakes were a perfect blend of cinnamon and dulce de leche.  And the frosting was like eating a cloud from heaven.  It was well worth the extra money for the mascarpone cheese.  Just looking at this picture makes me want to lick the screen.  I will go compose myself now.


    Cupcake recipe by Bakingdom
    Filling recipe by The Sweet Chick
    Frosting recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Biscoff Chocolate Chip Scones

    #biscoff, #chocolatechip, #scones, #breakfast, #dessert, #snack, #bake

    I needed something to go with my coffee.  What better than a scone?  Heck, what better than a scone with Biscoff and chocolate chips?  Nothing that's what.  These scones are so light and fluffy, you really don't feel guilty eating them.  Well, as long as you don't think about it too much.  I've made these before with maple syrup, but I think I like the Biscoff flavor better. 


    Biscoff Chocolate Chip Scones

    by The Sweet Chick
    Prep Time: 10-15 min.
    Cook Time: 15 min.
    Keywords: bake breakfast dessert Biscoff chocolate chips

    Ingredients (12 servings)
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 6 tbsp cold butter
    • 1/3 cup Biscoff spread
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut up butter and add to flour mixture. Add Biscoff spread and chocolate chips. In a separate bowl mix eggs and milk until blended and add to the flour mixture.
    Drop by spoonful on cookie sheet and shape into triangles by hand. No need to be perfect.
    Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until tops are golden
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    These scones are so easy to make and whip up in a few minutes. They are great with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate or a nice tall glass of milk.

    #biscoff, #chocolatechip, #scones, #breakfast, #dessert, #snack

    Yay!  My recipe was featured on Tasty Kitchen!!


    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Maple Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats


    It's Maple Syrup time in New England right now.  This is one of my favorite times of the year, so I was inspired to make a special treat.  I have used my dad's maple syrup in different desserts and dishes this past year, but never in a Rice Krispie Treat.  Let me tell you, they sure were a treat and they were gone fast when I brought them to a party at the sugar house.


    Since my dad makes his own maple syrup, my kids get to experience the whole process from start to finish. First my dad goes around and taps all the maple trees.  That means drilling a hole and inserting a tap.  Then he hangs all the buckets to collect the maple water.  He even taught my daughter how to drink maple water straight from the tap.  It has a slightly sweet taste.  Here she is a few years ago.


    After the water is collected, comes the real fun.  We take the water to the sugar house and place it in a big boiler to boil the water down to its syrup form.  The syrup is a beautiful golden color.  And the smell in the sugar house is amazing.  The syrup is then canned and stored, ready to be used for crepes, desserts, whatever you wish.  There is nothing like real maple syrup. 






    Maple Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats

    by The Sweet Chick
    Prep Time: 15-20 min.
    Cook Time: 5-10 min.
    Keywords: no bake rice krispies maple syrup chocolate chips
    Ingredients (about 12 servings)
    • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
    • 1pkg (10.5 oz.) mini marshmallows
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
    • 6 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 bar (4 oz) Ghiradelli white chocolate
    Instructions
    In a large sauce pan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir until completely melted.
    Remove from heat. Add maple syrup and stir until all incorporated.
    Add chocolate chips and carefully blend into the Rice Krispies mixture. Some of the chocolate may melt.
    Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan or a cookie sheet and spread it evenly with a piece of waxed paper.
    Place in fridge to cool.
    When cooled, melt white chocolate bar per directions on package and place in a piping bag or Ziplock bag with tip snipped off. Drizzle the melted chocolate in diagonal pattern across the Rice Krispie treats.
    Place the treats back in the fridge to cool.
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    These treats are so light and with just of hint of sweet that you don't realize you have eaten the whole batch till it's too late.  And you still don't feel guilty afterwards.  Of course, the other people around you may be a little upset.  But hey that just means you will have to whip up another batch.  

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Snowman Marshmallows

    This is actually a project I did in January, but since we have just started getting snow here recently, I thought it would be appropriate.  My daughter needed to take something to school for her Discover and Share that had a winter theme.  So I thought snowmen marshmallows would be cute.  I found a recipe for homemade marshmallows at http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/homemade-marshmallows/.  It looked easy, albeit perhaps messy.  But, hey, with two small kids, it's always messy here anyway.


     First I tested the recipe to make sure they would taste good and come out okay.



    Homemade Marshmallows
    by My Baking Addiction

    Ingredients
    • 3/4 cup water, divided
    • 3 (.25 oz.) packages, unflavored gelatin
    • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

    Cooking Directions
    1. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with plastic wrap and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spray another piece of plastic wrap to cover the top, and set aside.
    2. Place 1/2 cup of water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and sprinkle gelatin on top of water to soak.
    3. While gelatin is soaking, combine 1/4 cup of water, corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil the mixture hard for 1 minute.
    4. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture and beat on high for 12 minutes with electric mixer, until the mixture is fluffy and forms stiff peaks. Add in vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
    5. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking dish, using a greased spatula to smooth the top. Cover the candy with the piece of prepared plastic wrap, pressing it down lightly to seal the covering to the top of the candy.
    6. Allow the marshmallow candy to rest for 4 hours or overnight.
    7. Mix together cornstarch and confectioner's sugar in a shallow dish. Using oiled scissors or an oiled kitchen knife, cut the marshmallow candy into strips, then into 1 inch squares. Dredge the marshmallows lightly in the cornstarch mixture and store in an airtight container.   

    I did use clear vanilla extract as she suggested to keep the marshmallows pure white.  Let me just say one thing though, the smell of the hot corn syrup mixture combined with the gelatin as it is being mixed is very off putting.  It smelled like manure in my kitchen and I was very afraid of what these marshmallows would taste like, but have no fear, the smell does go away and does not affect the taste. 


    The first batch I made, I just cut them into squares.  Okay, very large squares.  Here is my assistant dredging them in cornstarch and confectioner's sugar.


    And here she is taste testing for me.  She gave them her seal of approval.  They really were quite good.  Much better than the store bought ones.  They are lighter and fluffier.


    The real test for me, was to have some with a cup of hot cocoa.  Yep, they were delicious in my book too.  So then I knew I would make more and shape them into snowman for the kids.  At first I was going to cut the marshmallows into circles and stack them up on a candy stick to make the snowmen, but when I went to get my circle cookie cutter, I found a snowman cookie cutter and went a different route.


    I then when to the store to see what kind of candy I could find to decorate with.  I found mini M&M's for the buttons, some sour candy strips for the scarves, and orange slices for the nose.  I had some black glitter gel for the hat, eyes, and mouth and I used cookie icing to glue things together. 
     
    I cut small triangles out of the orange slices to make the carrot nose.


    I cut the sour candy strips in two lengthwise for the scarves and even fringed the ends by making small slits with a sharp knife.


    Here is the completed project.  The black icing didn't spread as well as I thought, so I just ended up using the black gel for the hat, eyes, and mouth.  I think they came out pretty well.


    My daughter was excited to see them.  I made girl ones and boy ones for her classmates.


    The kids really did like them and they tasted good.  I will bookmark this recipe to do again next year.
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