1. Friday, December 27, 2013

    Honey Dearest

    Anonymous said: Hi, I am interested in the Vintage mailbox on your site, but cant purchase it without using PayPal, do you have a shop in Lancaster?

    Hi, are you referring to my etsy site? I don’t have a store in lancaster, but you’re welcome to purchase from my online store here… https://www.etsy.com/listing/161702181/vintage-mid-century-modern-cast-iron?ref=pr_shop And, I only use papal. thanks for your interest!

  2. Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling

    another birthday down. hooray! i made these cupcakes on monday for my oldest brother and they were a huge hit. new family fave. when i first saw the recipe on Sweetapolita (she’s like my baking idol!), i couldn’t wait for the perfect opportunity to try them. first of all, chocolate malt is amazing alone… add marshmallow to the mix and it only gets better. we’re talking insane people. these cupcakes are truly special.

    i made a few alterations to the original recipe with incredible results. for the marshmallow filling, i just used a jar of fluff along with the butter and sugar. in the original recipe, she uses toasted whole marshmallows which sounds totally amazing. i was in a hurry and had to whip these up fast. another time saving trick… i did not carve out little holes for the filling. I just pushed the tip of a pastry bag down the top and squeezed the filling. it worked like a charm with the perfect amount of filling. and one more thing. i can’t stress enough about using the best quality chocolate. i prefer Valrhona, Scharffen Berger or Droste cocoa. it makes all the difference.

    Chocolate Cupcakes
    adapted from sweetapolita

    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups granulated sugar
    3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I like Valrhona, Scharfen Berger or Droste)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup hot water
    1/2 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
    1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
    Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to over bake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

    Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting
    Frosting for ~18 cupcakes
    1/2 lb butter (2 sticks or 1 cup) at room temperature
    1 cup confectioners’ or powdered sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/3 cup malt powder or (ovaltine powder)
    4 oz Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted (i used Scharffen Berger)
    1/4 cup whipping (35% fat) cream

    In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Add vanilla and malt and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute. Best used right away, but once piped, keeps well at room temperature. *Note: Frosting will become a slightly richer brown tone a short while after making. If you are using a malt powder or ovaltine that is not brown in color, you can add an extra 3 oz, or so, of melted chocolate.

    Marshmallow Filling        
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1/4 lb butter (1 stick, or 1/2 cup) at room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    7 oz jar of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream (or Marshmallow Fluff)
    pinch of salt

    Combine butter and sugar in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, on low until blended (about 1 minute). Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes. Add marshmallow cream and salt, and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute until fluffy.

    Once cupcakes are cool, fill pastry bag with the filling and using plain round tip, push the tip slightly down the center of the cupcake and pipe the filling just until it starts to come out the top.

    Fill another pastry bag fitted with large tip, pipe the chocolate frosting on top in a swirl pattern. top with malt balls and chocolate sprinkles. enjoy!

  3. Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Meyer Lemon Blueberry Cake

    a few weeks ago i came across some lovely meyer lemons. a whole bag in fact, for $1.98 (wal-mart if you must know. don’t judge). i bought two bags. actually, i’ve since gone back and bought another because they’re not in season for much longer. i love meyer lemons. they’re a little sweeter than regular lemons but still tart and a little more round. wikipedia tells me they’re a cross between a regular lemon and mandarin orange. so lovely.

    last friday night, i really wanted to bake and decided on a quick loaf of lemon yogurt cake. i’ve made this cake of ina’s at least 4 or 5 times. it’s so delicious. i threw some frozen blueberries in there to change it up a bit. with zest in the cake, lemon syrup and glaze drizzled on top, i’d say there’s plenty of lemon going on. i mean that in the best and sweetest possible way. oh, and talk about moist!

    i have plans to make meyer lemon curd very soon. and probably this gelato while i’m at it.

    have you ever tried meyer lemons? do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

    can’t forget my instagram shot with coffee. follow me! @desireecarroll.

  4. Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Candy Cane Hearts

    are you left with lots of candy canes from christmas, like me? this is a great way to get rid of them and be all extra festive on this valentine’s day. i saw this clever idea floating around blog land last year and finally got to try it. it’s super quick and easy. you pop the candy canes in the oven for 2-3 minutes and pinch them together. use for hot chocolate, brownies, cupcakes, or ice cream. any treat, really! happy valentine’s day! enjoy.

  5. Monday, February 13, 2012

    Valentine’s Sugar Cookies

    i love sugar cookies. like, really really love them. but not just any old sugar cookie. it has to be soft and chewy with butter cream frosting on the top. you know, like the lofthouse cookies from the grocery store? this recipe meets all three of my requirements and is the best sugar cookie i’ve ever had. not kidding. i’ve been making these for a few years now and is always the most requested cookie at christmas time.

    this is the first time i’ve actually made these into shapes. i have to admit, it wasn’t very easy since the dough is really soft…but i’m sure with more chilling and more sprinkling of flour, it can be done. instead, i just pressed a little bit of dough out onto parchment paper and then cut the hearts out one by one. it was still time consuming, but i was determined to have my hearts no matter what. i also chilled each tray for 15 minutes in the fridge before baking just to be sure the hearts would keep their shape. it definitely helped. they’re not perfect, but good enough to make me happy.

    after plenty of cooling, i whipped up some frosting and went to town. i tinted it the slightest shade of pink and sprinkled with cute little hearts. these cookies are ridiculously good. you might just need to trust me. happy valentine’s day everyone!

    Soft Chewy Sugar Cookies
    adapted from food.com

    1 cup butter softened

    2 cups sugar

    3 large eggs
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice  (or 1 tsp. lemon extract)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    5 tablespoons sour cream

    4 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Directions:
    Sift flour, baking soda and salt. set aside. Cream butter and sugar for a few minutes in stand mixer. Add the eggs, lemon, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until creamy. add sifted dry ingredient a little at a time. Mix until well blended. Chill for several hours or overnight. Once chilled, roll into balls and flatten with bottom of sugar coated glass. Bake at 350°F just until the edges start turning color. Time will vary depending on how large and thick you made your cookies. It is important not to overbake if you want the texture to remain chewy and soft. Cool and decorate as desired.

    Frosting for Sugar Cookies
    source: food.com

    2 -3 tablespoons butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar, divided
    1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4- 1/2 cup half and half, divided
    additional cream or powdered sugar if needed
    food coloring if using

    Beat together butter, vanilla, 1 tablespoon cream, and a half cup powdered sugar; stir in a few drops food coloring - The color should be somewhat darker than desired, because it will lighten up as you add more cream and sugar to the frosting.

    Add alternating portions of 1-2 tablespoons cream then a half cup powdered sugar; beating after each addition until well blended. Continue adding and beating in portions of cream then powdered sugar until you have incorporated all the ingredients; stir in additional cream or powdered sugar if necessary. You may vary the amounts of cream and/or powdered sugar to achieve desired frosting amount and consistency - Your choice of a nice and thick frosting, a very thin glaze, or anything in between is possible.
    Spread onto cooled cookies.

  6. Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

    we celebrated my little sister’s birthday this weekend so now i have more cupcakes to share with you! she requested chocolate with cream cheese frosting. her fave.

    there’s really no better way to spruce up simple cupcakes than with pink coloring and lots of sprinkles! these were a lot of fun for me and i purposely went heavy on the sprinkles. just looking at them made me giddy :)

    Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    For the cake: 
    2 1/4 cups
    sugar
    1 3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup
    plus 1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking soda
    1 teaspoon
    salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup
    buttermilk or whole milk
    1/2 cup
    vegetable oil (i used pure olive oil, not extra virgin)
    2 teaspoons
    pure vanilla extract
    1 boiling water

    For the frosting:
    3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    12 oz. cream cheese, softened
    4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffins cups with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla into a mixer and beat on medium speed, 2 minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in the water. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the frosting or it will lose structure. You can frost with a pastry bag and the largest tip you can find or your preferred method.

  7. Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Valentine’s Day Garland

    i saw this cute idea in the february country living and finally got around to making it today. it literally only took 10- 15 minutes! now, i don’t know about you, but that’s my kind of craft! you just punch two holes in the cards, thread some twine and whalah! cheap, easy and super adorable valentine’s day garland.

  8. Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Cherry Cola Cupcakes

    january and february are my busiest baking months of the year. oh, and i can’t forget to throw december in there too. it seems like every other week, we’re celebrating someone’s birthday, plus valentines day.

    last week, it was my dear sister-in-law’s birthday that we celebrated. she wanted me to surprise her with a new cupcake flavor. after some pinterest browsing, i eventually narrowed it down to either cherry cola or tiramisu. i thought the cherry cola cupcakes sounded really fun and festive. don’t worry, the tiramisu cupcakes are now in my “baking queue” and will probably make their debut later in march.

    i used my favorite chocolate cake recipe and adapted it to meet all of my cherry cola cupcake wants and needs. the cake is moist and chocolatey with a delicate flavor of cherry cola. the frosting is a cream cheese, butter cream with a trace of cherry cola. all topped off with a bright red maraschino cherry. they were delish. but most importantly, the birthday girl approved and loved them!

    Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes

    For the cake: 
    2 1/4 cups
    sugar
    1 3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup
    plus 1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking soda
    1 teaspoon
    salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup
    buttermilk or whole milk
    1/2 cup
    vegetable oil (i used pure olive oil, not extra virgin)
    2 teaspoons
    maraschino cherry juice
    1 cup cherry cola

    Maraschino cherries with stems

    For the frosting:
    3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    12 oz. cream cheese, softened
    4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    2 tablespoons cherry cola

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffins cups with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and cherry juice into a mixer and beat on medium speed, 2 minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in the cola. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.Add the sugar and the cola and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the frosting or it will lose structure. You can frost with a pastry bag and the largest tip you can find or your preferred method.

  9. Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Happy (Belated) New Year!

    hello, friends! as usual, i’m behind the times and a month overdue, but hey, better late than never :)

    in an attempt to be more organized this year, i got a new calendar and notepad. and pens! this fruit calendar by Rifle, is hanging in my kitchen, where i happen to be the most. it’s cheerful and pleasant to look at.

    how cute is this zebra notepad? i mean, come on! right? such a fun way to start the day. delightful.

    and last but not least, the pens. muji pens are my fave. black gel-ink 0.5mm to be exact. they write perfectly smooth and they’re cheap. i’m a sucker for a good pen.

  10. Sunday, December 25, 2011

    (Source: annnniegirl, via eli-sabeth)