My hope is to inspire you to get in the kitchen and have an adventure. Make something you have never tried before.  Push yourself to make something you have always been intimidated to make but most importantly to have fun and make memories!


Desserts

Homemade Basics: Perfect Pie Crust

I have been making pies for about 15 years now, and it has taken me about that long to find a no-fail pie crust recipe.  Pie crust can be very intimidating for most people.  I find it kinda like making biscuits – if you don’t make them on a regular basis, they never turn out the same.  I have no real answer for the biscuit question because for some reason, mine suck no matter what!  My grandmother can make some biscuits – hers are amazing! However, I did not get that gene. Don’t worry – I am determined to be able to make delicious fluffy biscuits and I will not stop until I do!  If you have a biscuit recipe, I would love to try it!  You can e-mail it to me on my Contacts Page. 
 
OK – back to the pie crust!  This recipe always turns out great.  I may not make a pie for (gasp) 6 months or so, but when I do, I use this recipe and it always turns out the same.  I have a pie date with a friend this weekend, and I am so excited to teach her about this recipe.  I am still trying to figure out what type of pie I will make. There are so many choices!  I am really leaning toward chocolate for some reason.  Whatever pie I decide on, I will make sure to share it with you guys!  
 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons granulated sugar – if you are making this crust for a savory pie omit the sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
2-5 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Directions
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.  Pulse the dry mixture twice to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles sand.  Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water .  Pulse until just combined.  Continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time while pulsing until a dough ball forms.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Sprinkle Cookies

 
 
Sprinkles!!  Need I say more!  These cookies are amazing!  The dough is a little different than my normal sugar cookie dough, but it is still just as good!  I usually use all powder sugar in my normal roll-out sugar cookie recipe (which I will post soon!) but this recipe calls for granulated sugar, the end result is just as delicious!  The sprinkles make this cookie amazing!  It adds just enough without being too much!  These cookies are perfect for the Holidays!
 

Ingredients

  • For the cookies:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the glaze:
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (you could use vanilla instead but make sure it’s clear)

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 
 
 

December has begun and what better way to start off this Holiday Month than with these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.  Red velvet is one of my favorite cake flavors!  These days you can make just about anything red velvet and these whoopie pies are no exception.  I have made whoopie pies in the past but I must say these are by far my favorite.  They are perfect for your next cookie swap!  I promise they will amaze every time!

Ingredients

For the whoopie pies:
3 cups All-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (2 oz.) bottle of red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
 
For the cream cheese filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably clear so your filling will remain white.

Directions
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

My Favorite Chocolate Frosting

 

I titled this post as “My favorite” to let you all know that out of the different variations I have tried that this one (in my opinion) is tops!  If you remember last week I did this with “My favorite” pizza crust recipe because well out of the 5 or so recipes I have tried over the years this one screamed out to me and is my very favorite one.   I am hoping that you trust my taste buds and give these recipes a try!

The reason this particular chocolate frosting recipe is “My favorite” is that the flavor was so creamy and the texture was so silky.  It’s not over-the-top sweet or too chocolaty it has all the great quality I want in a chocolate frosting.  You could pair it up with any cupcake flavor imaginable and it would be the star of the show!

Funfetti Cupcakes

 
 
 

Raise your hand if you love funfetti ::I do I do::  These cupcakes are so cute and fun to make!  Just like with the Whipped Vanilla Buttercream I was really surprised by their light and airy texture.  You don’t need a special occasion to whip these bad boys up!

Not sure if you have notice some changes going on around here!  I am in love with the new logo!  I am also in the process of having a new site designed.  I can’t wait to show you all!  I would say it should be up and running within the next couple of weeks.  Again, I can’t thank all of you enough for all your support.  If I had to ask one thing of my readers it would be to post some comments!  Have you made one of my recipes?  Post in the comments how it turned out and what you thought.  Have a question about ingredients or preparation instructions?  Ask them in the comment section of that specific post.  I know that I have readers out there so I would LOVE to hear from you!!!  I have also added some social media to the site.  I have a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account!  I would love some followers!

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

 
 

There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe my love for this frosting!  It’s so light and fluffy!  I would have never expected such a light and airy texture from a buttercream!  Now, I will say that you do spend about 4-5 minutes whipping it into perfection but let me tell you it is totally worth every minute!  I decided to follow Annie’s idea and create funfetti cupcakes to pair with this frosting.  Next time I think I will use this frosting with strawberry cup cakes…no wait coconut!  The possibilities are truly endless!  I will be posting the recipe for these funfetti cupcakes soon!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioner sugar, shifted
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
 
Directions
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.  Mix the butter on medium speed until creamy.  About 2 minutes.  Add the confectioners sugar to the bowl and mix on low then medium low speed until well combined.  About 2 minutes stopping to scrap the bowl as needed.  Add the salt, heavy cream and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed until combined.  Turn the mixer to high speed and mix until light and fluffy.  About 5 minutes.  Yields enough frosting for about 24 cupcakes.
 
Barely Adapted from:  Annie’s Eats
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