things i love tuesday

baking cookies. which is good since that's all i've been doing lately.

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things i love tuesday

baking bread. these challahs may be braided a bit wonky but they smell AMAZING.

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like a dream(sicle)

i said it was going to be the first thing i made from baked explorations. it had to be. there's almost nothing i love more than orange and vanilla.

the recipe was fun. making the curd filling with orange soda was a little bizarre. so bubbly. so so bubbly. and the crust didn't come out the first time so i had to remake it. but i wasn't happy with the crust while i was making it so that was fine. the recipe calls for orange zest in the crust. between that, the curd filling and the orange whipped cream - too much orange. so i thought it would be nifty to put a vanilla bean in my normal crust recipe. um, yeah. good plan.

shawn actually shouted out while serving it. i asked what was wrong and he said "tartgasm." nice.

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bananas foster fritters. orange creamsicle tart. nutella scones. tomato soup cupcakes with mascarpone frosting. those are just a few of the recipes i flipped out over while flipping through baked explorations at the book store last night.

so i bought it. an i went to bed thinking about the creamsicle tart. i'm betting that'll be the first thing i make from it.

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baking weirdness

our friend jason has convinced shawn that i should bake this. since i'm less convinced, i baked a variation of this, an upside down apple pie. it tasted good but i forgot to put a cookie sheet under the pie in the oven and my house was filled with apple pie scented smoke. also, the pecans all stuck to the pie plate so there was some reassembly involved. i may make it again. because as i said, it was tasty.

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i made the BEST cupcakes i've ever made. light, fluffy moist chocolate cake. rich and delicious nutella frosting. true story.

for the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. place 12 cupcake liners in one muffin pan.

2. sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. whisk to combine them well. add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. gradually beat in the water. blend in the vinegar and vanilla. whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.

3. bake for 20-22 minutes - until a toothpick comes out clean. cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then cool completely out of pan.

for the frosting

  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. cream the butter in a stand mixer. add the cream cheese, then the nutella and mix until well blended. mix in the vanilla.

2. add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. 

3. frost the cupcakes.


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tastes like fall

for the first time in years, we actually seem to be having a fall. i swear that as long as i can remember we've gone from 90 degree weather to snow in the blink of an eye. so, although i'm not quite ready to let go of summer and start wearing socks, i am enjoying the cooler weather.

tuesday night i felt like baking. i had no plan so i just kind of threw these cupcakes together. and they were extra tasty. and tasted perfectly fall-like.

maple pecan cupcakes with brown sugar buttercream frosting

for the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup maple syrup (preferably grade b)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. prepare one cupcake pan with liners.
  2. sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. cream the butter on medium with a mixer until fluffy. add the maple syrup.
  4. add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition.
  5. with the mixer on medium, add the buttermilk and vanilla, then the dry ingredients. scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well blended.
  6. fill the liners 3/4 full and bake, until golden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes
  7. cool on a rack completely.

for the frosting:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup well packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  1. in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
  3. raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.
  4. add the corn starch and powdered sugar and mix completely.
  5. frost the cupcakes.


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