Saturday, July 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes




This might be the best cupcake recipe I've ever tried. The cake is a bit crumbly and loaded with chocolate chips and the frosting is a little salty and not too sweet, and covered in a chocolate drizzle.



This recipe is adapted from the original recipe from The Cupcake Bible. I was ready to make these cupcakes and realized I was out of eggs, so I improvised. I mixed 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a separate bowl. Feel free to use an egg, which I think will result in a much more moist cupcake. 



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
(makes 10 cupcakes)

1/4 cup peanut butter 1/8 cup (1/4 stick)  butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg (you can substitute 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat Oven to 350.  Line muffin tin with 10 muffin cups. Beat together peanut butter and butter on medium until well blended. Add brown sugar and egg (or cornstarch mixture) and beat well. Mix flour, baking soda and baking powder in separate bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture alternately with milk, at low speed until blended. Gently fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into muffin cups and bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Frosting 
(makes 1.5 cups)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons milk

Beat Butter and peanut butter in electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla until blended. Slowly add milk until texture is smooth. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with melted chocolate**. Top with chocolate chips.



**To drizzle chocolate on cupcakes: Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl, stirring every 20-30 seconds. Do not overcook! Place melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and snip off the corner of the bag (making a very small opening). Gently squeeze bag over cupcake to form drizzle pattern.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes



Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes

6-8 red potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion - finely diced
6 tablespoons ranch dressing mix (2 packages)

Chop potatoes and finely dice onions. Throw all ingredients in a zip-lock bag and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture out onto a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes.




Southwest Eggrolls


Southwest Eggrolls

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package Kirkland precooked chicken breast strips (16 oz)
1/2 cup minced green onion
6 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup diced jalapeno peppers
1 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 1/4 shredded Monterey Jack cheese
30 eggroll wrappers

Heat 3 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender. Finely shred chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.

Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each eggroll wrapper. Secure eggrolls with a bit of water to seal them shut. Arrange eggrolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Freeze uncooked ones to reheat as an easy snack!

Serve with ranch or avocado ranch as a dipping sauce.













Adapted from AllRecipes.com, Southwest Eggrolls.

Snickerdoodles

I'd never had Snickerdoodle Cookies before, and seeing as they are the boyfriend's favorite, I decided to give it a try. 

These cookies were delicious fresh out of the oven when they were soft and and melted in your mouth. But the next day they were a bit too hard and crunchy for my taste.

Solution? Eat them immediately :)

 

Snickerdoodles
1 stick salted butter  (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 tbs milk
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder


Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 F°. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Next, add milk, egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add in flour, 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and baking powder. Mix until dough forms. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to make your cinnamon sugar mixture. Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Press down on dough with a fork in a crisscross pattern to flatten. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.


Adapted from HowSweetEats

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fourth Of July Cupcakes






Fourth of July Cupcakes

Ingredients: 
Cupcakes
White frosting
white fondant


Supplies:
Wilton piping bags
couplers
decorating tip
star shaped cookie cutters
silver edible glitter
paint brush


Bake cupcakes; allow them to cool completely. Separate your frosting into 3 bowls. Dye one red, one blue, and leave one white. Place each frosting into it's own piping bag. Do not overfill. Twist the tops of each of the three bags closed; trim the bottom of each pipping bag off with scissors. Place all three bags into a fourth bag fitted with a decorating tip at the end. Make sure all three colors are placed evenly in the bag, and twist the bag closed at the top. Test your frosting until the appropriate color combination comes out. It is best to use a bigger decorating tip for this, so that the colors can all be visible and don't get mixed together. Squeeze your decorating bag to frost your cupcakes, moving in a circular pattern  around the cupcake.



For Fondant Stars: Roll out fondant with a lightly flour dusted rolling pin. Cut out shapes with star cookie cutters and decorate with silver edible glitter.





Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to get rid of Jalapeno Burns on Hands


In making Southwest Eggrolls this Saturday for Mother's Day, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As I do with most cooking projects, I began by washing all of my veggies and chopping them all. I finely diced my red bellpepper, then I de-seeded and diced my jalapeno pepper and then I quickly chopped my green onions. I got lazy when it came to the fresh parsley and threw it in the food processor for a quick chop.

I threw the red peppers and green onions in my pot with a bit of vegetable oil and began to stir them. Once they were hot enough I added my precooked chicken to the pot followed by the jalapeno peppers, parsley, and all of my spices.

As I was stirring the mixture, I realized my hands were getting extremely hot over the hot pan, so I rinsed them off with some soap in some cool water. The pain stopped, only to return about 15 seconds after I removed them from the cold water. I began taking more frequent trips to rinse my hands, trying to remember if I had burned them on something.

It was time to take the eggrolls of the heat and add the cheese and begin filling them into the eggroll wrappers. As I was spooning the hot filling into the eggroll wrappers and rolling them up, my hands were ON FIRE. I had to stop between rolling each eggroll to find relief in the cold water of the kitchen sink. Finally my boyfriend had to take over the rolling of the eggrolls as it was too much pain to bear. I grabbed my go-to frozen green beans out of the freezer and clutched them for dear life between my hands to stop the burning. 

After about 20 minutes of the pain, I had my boyfriend Google "hands burning after cutting jalapenos." Only to yield about 34,800 results. Apparently this is a common thing. 

Thousands upon thousands of posts and people in the same pain as me. I tried EVERY remedy I could find.

***I have starred the ones that I found to be most helpful.

Rubbing alcohol: Absolutely no relief whatsoever.

Vinegar and olive oil mix: This just smelled bad and provided no relief.
 
***Sour cream: This was like heaven. I put some sour cream in a bowl and just soaked my hands in it. It was so cool and calming and felt as though it was pulling the burn out of my hands. Only problem was, as soon as the sour cream started to come to room temperature, the throbbing pain would come back.

Milk: In between sour cream batches, I would rinse my hands in milk. The fridge cold milk was so soothing but only temporary.

Cold water: This was my go-to at the beginning, but after soaking in the ice cold sour cream, this provided absolutely no relief. I stuck my hands under the faucet to rinse off the sour cream at one point only to endure SEARING pain to my hands. I jumped back at the burn from the hot water. I stuck my elbow out to test the water. Ice cold. My hands were now so cold from all the remedies that cold water wasn't cold enough.

Ice water- At points I would put ice cubes in a bowl with some cold water to soak my hands when the sour cream wasn't cold enough. I would soak them for a few seconds and then remove them, only to have to soak them again when the pain came back 5-10 seconds later.

Hot water: people online raved about this, claiming that the hot water would remove the pain. Apparently it would open up your pores so the jalapeno juice could come out and the pain would be gone. right? WRONG. do not try this. My hands were already burning and then to put them in hot water felt like I was sticking my hands in fire and leaving them there. HORRENDOUS PAIN. I do not recommend this.

Vinegar and baking soda rub: no relief. just smelled bad.

Olive oil: just felt greasy and was room temp. so it was not cold enough to sooth my hands.

Lime juice: did absolutely nothing

Lime juice and water: not cold enough, felt like nothing

Lotion: My hands were raw at this point and rubbing in the lotion just felt uncomfortable.

***Olive oil and sugar scrub: I saw this somewhere around hour 3 of the pain and it seemed like it had potential. The explanation behind it was that sugar could remove the capacin from your skin. The heat in peppers is quantified by the amount of sugar needed to neutralize the heat. I figured I'd give it a try. This felt like rubbing sand paper on a burn, but was oddly soothing. I could literally feel the heat leaving my hands. I tried this at about 3-4 hours in so I don't know if it was already getting better from time passing, but for me this really helped REMOVE the heat and for an extended period of time. I did this scrub about 4 or 5 times and each time would give me longer periods of relief.

***Bag of frozen green beans: I used a bag of frozen green beans to rest my hands on for the last 1-2 hours of pain. My hands were raw and sore and this helped. (Ice pack would work just as well)

In the end, I would recommend the olive oil and sugar scrub to remove the capacin from your hands, and I would recommend the cold sour cream for soothing your hands, and an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies for relief. These proved to be the most helpful to me. However I'm pretty sure time is the only true cure to this. Mine lasted almost exactly 6 hours until I felt complete relief.

Next time I am using gloves and chopping my jalapenos in the food processor!

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