Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Icing

I finally gave in to my pumpkin craving! Curse all of you other bloggers for posting delicious pumpkin things so early, it does things to a girl's ego.

So I went on a mission to find canned pumpkin (because I'm actually kind of a snob and roast my own for purees during the holidays).I thought finding pumpkin would be pretty easy, because I think canned pumpkin has like a 5 year shelf life or something. I went to TWO local grocery stores and they tell me

"We don't have any pumpkin because there was like, a shortage or something..."

What!? A shortage or something? You've got to be kidding.

So yes, I traveled 20 minutes to Target to get pumpkin because...

They weren't like having a shortage or something.

For the Coffee Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
15 oz can pumpkin
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of a tube pan, bundt pan,  8x11 baking dish or 2 8 inch pie pans (the choice is yours!)
In your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and spices. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix on low speed, then medium speed until combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
Combine the Streusel ingredients in a medium bowl and sprinkle over the cake batter.
Bake the cake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

Brown butter icing:
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
whole milk

Place your butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt until browned and fragrant (about 3-4 minutes). Check the butter often. Pour the butter into the powdered sugar and combine with a whisk. Add just enough milk, starting with one tablespoon at a time until you have a pour-able icing.

Drizzle over the cooled cake and shovel pieces into your mouth.

This makes it feel one day closer to Fall!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Halloween Link Party!

I know you're all thinking "Halloween!? But its August" Well, my very best friend Amy over at Crafts, Cakes, and Cats and I are planning a Halloween Link Party for October 1st. And come on people, that's only a month away!

We are looking for other bloggers who want to participate with a fun homemade Halloween Craft, Recipe, Cocktail, anything really! We will take all of the submissions (links) and link them at the bottom of our blog post (asking you all do the same) and have one fun virtual Halloween party! Since we are new to the blogging scene we are looking for as many bloggers as possible to participate!

Please comment on this post or email me at to get started!

Have a great night!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Compost Cookies

So... I know the word "compost" isn't very sexy.

...I know you're all thinking "yum, I've been dying to try that Compost Steak" or "Oooh, there's not much better than some Compost Coffee!"...

But I will change your mind. And see, I can't call them "potato-chip-chocolate/peanutbutterchip-pretzel-oatmeal-graham cracker crust-coffee ground cookies. That's even LESS sexy.

So stick with me and your mind will be BLOWN...

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I begged you all to go out and buy the Momofuku Milk Bar cook book? Well, let me give you just one more reason to buy it...

For the Dough:
(makes 15-20 cookies)

2 sticks, room temperature butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup graham cracker crust
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons ground coffee
2 cups potato chips
1 cup mini pretzels

  1. Combine the butter, sugars and corn syrup in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 7 to 8 minutes (this might seem like a long time, but trust me it creates the perfect chewy inside with crunchy exterior).
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder/soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than a minute. Do not walk away from the machine or you will risk over-mixing. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
  3. Still on low speed, add in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, graham crust, oats and coffee. Mix just until incorporated, 30 seconds or so. Add the potato chips in whole and slightly crush the pretzels by hand. YOU WANT THICK PIECES. Be careful not to over-mix.

  1. Using a 1/3 cup measure, portion out the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Pat the tops of the domes flat. Wrap the sheet tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week. Do not bake the cookies from room temperature, they will not bake properly.
  2. Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Arrange the chilled dough 4 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crack and spread. Check after 15 minutes, they should be very faintly brown on the edges yet bright yellow in the middle. Give them a little extra time if this is not the case.
  4. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to an airtight container.

The best part about these cookies is you can add in or take away anything you want. The options are endless.... everything but the kitchen sink! Hey, that's a good name for them!

Enjoy! (with milk...duh!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Are you drooling yet? Because I am.

What do you get when you mix sweet honey, with crunchy walnuts and crispy Phyllo dough? Amazing.... I mean, Baklava.

And as impressive as it presents itself, its rather easy to whip up. Just devote a little love and time to this baby and she will be all yours. Or I guess you could share.

You will Need:
1 package Phyllo (Fillo) Dough
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon quality cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup Honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons quality vanilla

  1. Remove phyllo dough from freezer and place in your fridge 24 hours before making the Baklava. Remove and set on the counter 1 hour before baking.
  2. Toss together the chopped walnuts and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a 13x9 pan. You want your sheets of phyllo to generously fill the pan but if it is much bigger, trim the edges with a knife.
  4. Butter the top sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then grab it and the un-buttered sheet underneath and place in the pan butter side down. Press lightly. Repeat this twice more so you have six sheets of phyllo in the pan, three of them buttered. 
  5. Brush the top sheet with butter and sprinkle evenly with nuts. Next butter two sheets of phyllo and place on top of the walnuts. Add more walnuts, then two more buttered sheets. Continue this pattern a couple times until you are out of walnuts.* 
  6. Top with 6 more buttered sheets of phyllo (as though you started in the beginning) and brush the top with melted butter. Cut a diagonal patter in the baklava using a sharp knife (you will cut corner to corner). 
(*or to save time and energy, no one will blame you for buttering every sheet of Phyllo)

Bake for 45 minutes or until very golden.
With 10 minutes left of baking, combine the butter, honey, water, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.

Once you remove the baklava from the oven, drizzle half of the sauce all over the top. Allow it to absorb for 1 minute. Drizzle over more sauce until you think it is thoroughly moistened.
Allow the baklava to cool, uncovered, for several hours.

The baklava will be sticky, sweet and divine. You can enjoy with coffee, tea, water, alone, standing up, outside.... anywhere. Just make this, please?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Palmiers (Elephant Ears)

These are the easiest cookies you will ever make. And probably the most impressive. They take only 3 ingredients and bake up in less than 10 minutes! The fun part is you can add any filling you want, shoot make them savory if you like.

I'll make this intro short and sweet because I'd really like to get back to binge eating these cookies...

(makes about 16 cookies, but easily doubled using 2 sheets of pastry)
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl mix together your sugar and salt. Sprinkle 2/3 cup sugar on a flat surface. Gently unfold puff pastry and sprinkle remaining sugar mixture onto the top. Pushing in so it sticks.
  • Gently roll (with a rolling pin) the pastry to a 13 x 13 inch square.
  • Now fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway towards the middle. Fold each side again so they meet exactly in the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as if closing a book. You will now have six layers.
  • Slice the dough into 3/8 inch slices (that's in-between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch). Place cookies sliced side up on a baking sheet and bake the cookies for 6 minutes or until caramelized.
  • Flip the cookies over and bake for 3-4 minutes more until both sides are caramelized. Transfer to a baking rack to cool... and try not to eat all of them.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I love August! Not only because its my birth month but it also means Fall is right around the corner! Which is my favorite time of year! Hay rides, apple picking, crisp weather, changing leaves and definitely anything Halloween! 

I'm getting started a little early this year on fall recipes for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I'm impatient and wish it was Fall NOW.

And what says Autumn more than a caramel apple? A tart crisp apple with chewy caramel. Mmm... Plus these are way easier to eat.

So here they are...

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup Apple Mush (recipe to follow)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Mush:
Rinse and core 2 apples. Place them in an ovenproof baking dish with a 1/4 inch of water and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove the apples from the oven and let cool slightly. Remove the peel and smash the apples with a potato masher. Measure out one cup and set aside.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine.
  2. Crack the eggs in your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Whisk slightly to break the yolks. Add in the oil, apple juice, vanilla and cooled apple mush and mix on low to combine. 
  3. Pour the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, with the mixer on low until incorporated but not over-mixed. Scoop into your cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full to create a nice dome. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans after 15. The cupcakes are finished when lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool.

Start the caramel:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Once your butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar until it is completely coated in butter. Add in corn syrup, continuously stirring and the condensed milk. Stir to combine and slowly pour in the heavy cream. 
  2. Boil the caramel, stirring for about 20 minutes until the temperature reaches 248 degrees. It is very important to use your thermometer. 
  3. Remove from heat and gently stir in the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a bowl and continue to stir until the caramel starts to firm, about 2 minutes.

Using a knife, frost each cupcake with the cupcake. Sprinkle warm caramel with nuts if desired, work quickly and use your freezer to help set up the caramel and prevent dripping. Continue until all cupcakes are frosted. Top each with a Popsicle stick to give the final "Caramel Apple" look and ENJOY!

Happy Fall y'all!!!