What's Up, Cupcake? Menu

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Praline Apple Bread

Fall is approaching and our apple tree is in full bloom.  I'm determined to make good use of it this year os I've already begun baking some new apple recipes.  I had some great success last year with a few and am looking forward to remaking them, but this was a new one I tried that will be added to the collection.  The bread almost has a cake texture to it, but the glaze just soaks in to make a wonderful subtly sweet flavor.

Praline Apple Bread
Recipe from My Recipes
Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3/4 lb.)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1/2 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway.

2. Beat sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla at low speed with an electric mixer until blended.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter. I ran out of pecans so I omitted this last step but if you love a nutty fruit bread I highly recommend including them.  I also love to make a loaf for us and a loaf for a friend - in this case a neighbor. So I filled one mini loaf pan and used the rest in my regular loaf pan.  This will cut back on baking time slightly so just make sure you check on the bread so that it doesn't dry out.

4. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil in the last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

5. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a 1-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread; let cool completely (about 1 hour).

Option to freeze:  Cool bread completely; wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I've been in the mood for breakfast treats recently.  Maybe it's all the talk of back to school? I feel left out though, since I'm not in school anymore.  Instead, I decided to make some muffins. I nice little sweet pick-me-up with a cup of coffee, or an afternoon snack.  The lemon is so refreshing and I love the little crunch of poppy seeds.  This recipe was so easy to make and whipped up exactly one dozen muffins.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker
(Baking time was slightly modified)
Makes 12 muffins
Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.

2. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until the two are incorporated - the sugar will have a nice lemony scent. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, quickly stir to blend. Lumps are ok as you don't want to overmix the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds until incorporated into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups (I just used a large cookie dough scoop).

3. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool slightly before removing the muffins from the pan.  Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

What's a better, refreshing, summer dessert than strawberries and cream?  Well, these cupcakes were a perfect combination of the two flavors.

I followed the recipe exactly from Brown Eyed Baker.  You can find it here.

These recipes turned out beautifully - both in looks and taste.  They are a delicious summer dessert that uses fresh strawberries - though you could make them out of season with thawed, frozen strawberries.  The meringue frosting was so easy to make, following her directions to a T.  Hopefully you'll get the chance to make these delicious cupcakes.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Crochet Baby Blanket

While I haven't been doing a lot of sewing at the moment, I have been getting in some quality needlework projects.  A very good friend of mine is about to have her first baby... a boy.  She's big into the ocean theme as her hubby does spear-fishing in his spare time.  I was throwing her a baby shower so I decided to dive in (har har har) to the theme and go with blues, greens, and yellows (the house where we had the party was going to have yellow linens so I incorporated that color to the theme).

Well, I found these adorable, customizable tags on Etsy, and instantly ordered them up for her cupcakes and favors.  A small chocolate shop just opened down the street from me, so I had them prepare little boxes of sea salt caramels (again, with the ocean theme).  I made sugar cookies and vanilla cupcakes with blue frosting.

As for her gift, I crocheted my first baby blanket.  It's made out of super-soft, Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky.  It was so nice to work with and because it was such a thick yarn, the project came together really fast.  I made it in about a month but could have finished it long before if I just had time (and if we didn't have a minor heat-wave... I hate working with yarn in ridiculous heat).  I added the scalloped border on two sides instead of all four, just because I liked the finished look.  The pattern was a free one that I found on Ravelry, linked here.

It was a really easy project. Essentially just double crochet's for the entire length, but into the back of the previous row's stitch.  I watched a video and off I went.  And the final scalloped edge was so easy too. I almost omitted it because I didn't really want a feminine frill to it, but I think it works.

Oh, and I haven't mentioned it, but when I met up with Miss Crayola Creepy, she convinced me to sign up for Instagram.  I'm really new to it, and am just trying to remember to take pictures and load them up, but it's pretty fun.  Please feel free to follow me on it and I'll follow you back. My username is whatsupcupcake.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sweet Treats Saturday: Brown Butter Crispy Treats

Rice Krispy treats always make me think of the summer.  Though I never limit them to just one time of year... in fact, the reason this recipe is such a long time in coming is because I thought I had already shared it.  Apparently I hadn't, so I instantly whipped up a batch to share with you.  Let me just tell you, they were delicious.

They're so easy, taking under 10 minutes to throw together... no baking required, just one large pot and a large baking dish.  That's really all it takes.  A little arm action to get everything blended and you're done.

Brown Butter Crispy Treats
Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

4oz (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1 10oz bag of marshmallows (regular or mini)
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 cups rice crispy cereal
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Butter or grease a 9x13" pan.

2. Melt stick of butter in a large pot, stirring until the butter starts to foam and develop a golden brown color.  You should smell a nice, nutty scent off of the butter.  Keep an eye on it because it'll burn fast.  As soon as your butter is a caramel color, turn off the heat and pour in the marshmallows and vanilla.  Stir until melted - you may need to turn the heat back on to low, especially if you used regular size marshmallows.

3.  As soon as the marshmallows are smooth, pour in the rice crispy cereal and sea salt.  Stir until combined then pour out into your baking dish.  Flatten with your spatula or hands (careful as it may be hot).  You can also take a lightly greased sheet of wax paper and press down on the top, but I didn't think it was necessary.

Let cool, cut, and enjoy!

This post will be participating in the following Linky parties:

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Vacation and a Meetup

Ahhhh vacation. Just what you need to get your creative juices flowing again, right?  Well, I think so.  It helps when you get to meet up with a fellow blogger along the way.

The hubby, dog, and I took a road trip to Southern California.  We had good, quality time with friends, family, and Mickey Mouse.  We went to Disneyland, road all of the rides at the new Cars Land in California Adventure, and just had some quality rest and relaxation.

On the way home, we stopped by Santa Barbara for lunch with a girlfriend, and then a little past that, met up with the lovely Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy.  When I knew we would be driving the coastal route home, I sent Erin a note to see if she would be interested in meeting.  I was in the middle of my sewing rampage and had huge plans!  Well, by the time we met, I was such a bum and hadn't made anything in weeks.  But I still couldn't wait to meet.  If you remember, I featured her back in March and love reading along with her blog.

It was so great meeting up with her! We had some ice cream at this super-cute place called Doc Burnstein's, and chatted about sewing idols, blogging, meetups, and life in general.  Oh, and she brought me a sewing book that I've had my eye on for a while, Famous Frocks.  So sweet! (I was totally lame and not prepared, but I see something exciting for her in the near future. ;)) Time flew by and I was sad to leave, but we had to get back on the road to get home.

Now, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to get back into my sewing space.  I haven't had time just yet as I'm prepping for a baby shower that I'm throwing this weekend, but I can definitely see some sewing taking place immediately afterwards.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...