Ali’s Samoa Cupcake

 Posted by at 6:00 am on April 10, 2015  No Responses »
Apr 102015
 

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I love when I am challenged to come up with a new recipe, especially for those I love. I work with Alison at Cardio Barre, she is one of our fabulous instructors. She, like many of the rest of us have an obsession with Girl Scout Cookies. I made sure to stock up, did you?!? So challenge accepted!

Ali’s Samoa Cupcake

1 box dark chocolate cake mix

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup toasted coconut

4 tbsp. butter

4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup brown sugar

pinch of Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and whole milk. Batter will be thicker. Scoop batter into paper liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Ganache: Heat 1 cup heavy cream until just before simmering. Pour over 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine the chocolate, until smooth; set aside.

Caramel Sauce: In a small skillet, melt butter and sugar, stirring to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from the heat and add the 4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream, and vanilla. And whisk to combine. Set aside to cool.

To assemble the cupcake, frost the cupcake with a medium piping round tip, leaving a hole in the center to place the caramel. (see picture below)IMG_6877

Then drizzle with the chocolate ganache, more caramel and top with your toasted coconut. Perfection if I do say so myself.

Happy Baking!

 

 

Italian Breakfast Casserole

 Posted by at 6:00 am on April 8, 2015  No Responses »
Apr 082015
 

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Lately I’ve been obsessed with breakfast for any meal, whether it’s lunch or dinner…. in fact my family loves it as dinner. So at least once a week, we have breakfast for dinner.

I found this recipe online, and tweaked it a bit, because some of the things I didn’t have on hand. It’ still turned out delicious, and my friends who had lunch with me all asked for the recipe, and I’ve made it a bunch of times since then.

Italian Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg. crescent rolls (I got the flat one for pizzas)

Ham slices to cover

Salami slices to cover

1 small onion, sautéed

2 cups fresh spinach

8 eggs

½ cup roasted red peppers, sliced

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese

Place your crescent roll on the bottom of a 9×13 lightly buttered dish. Layer the ham slices to cover the crescent dough followed by the salami slices to cover.

In a skillet, cook the diced onion until soft, about 2-3 minutes on medium. Add the roasted red peppers, and spinach. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.

Place the cooked onion mixture on top of the meats, in a single layer. Then mix together the eggs, pouring over the veggies. Top with all the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

 

Recipe adapted from Kevin & Amanda.

My top 10 sugar cookie tips

 Posted by at 6:00 am on April 3, 2015  No Responses »
Apr 032015
 

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Have you ever searched Sugar Cookie recipes on the internet? Trust me, there are millions of recipes that can pop up. How do you know it’s tried and true? That the recipe is exactly what you want? Well, first, I’d tell you to make one of my cookie recipes. You can find one here, and here, or you can buy my cookie book, 101 Gourmet Cookies which has quite a few awesome sugar cookie recipes. Ha! But here are my favorite tips for making the best sugar cookies. Ever. My goal is for you to have an awesome baking experience. Because that’s how it should always be. Right?

Sugar Cookie Tips

1)   Sour cream in recipes makes for a nice soft cookie.

2)   Cream of tartar gives more of a chewy texture.

3)   Don’t over power with flavoring. A hint of vanilla or almond extract or emulsion does the job. Simple is the best.

4)   Baking powder causes the cookie to rise and become fluffy. Baking soda cause some rise, but not as much.

5)   Soften the butter to room temperature. Don’t rush to microwave, because warm butter will cause flat greasy cookies. Do the finger print test.

6)   Make sure you chill your dough. Some do it before rolling out, some after.

7)   Minimize the amount of using the dough, cutting and moving around. It will get warmer and your cookies will not turn out they way you      want.

8)   Roll your cookies to 3/8-1/2” thickness. Too thin, and the cookies will be crispy. Too thick, and they will not cook evenly.

9)   Rotate your baking sheet 180 degrees half way through baking time.

10)  Use real butter. Gives better flavor and texture to the cookie. Unsalted is best, but (gasp) you can use salted too.

 

HAPPY BAKING!

One Skillet Chicken Picatta on Studio 5

 Posted by at 10:08 am on March 31, 2015  No Responses »
Mar 312015
 

 

I usually appear on Studio 5 with a sweet treat in tow- and this time it was a little bit different. I was able to do a favorite go to meal that my family loves. And I have a few I like to keep the ingredients on hand for such a night, when I’m tired or have a million places to be. This meal takes less than 20 minutes start to finish. And it’s healthy, for the most part, and delicious. Did I mention that all 4 kids + the hubby loves it.

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You can get the recipe here and watch the segment! Thanks for another great adventure in the Studio 5 kitchen.

 

 

A new recipe: Choco Cherry Cups on Studio 5

 Posted by at 8:52 am on March 31, 2015  No Responses »
Mar 312015
 

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I made this recipe especially for Studio 5. You can watch the segment here. Fantastic sugar cookie variation, with lots of flavor, and it’s super pretty. I love pretty food.

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Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Cherry Cups

Cookie cups:

½ cup softened butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract or emulsion

1/3 cup sour cream

Pinch of salt

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

2 cups flour

Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add the eggs, extract, and sour cream, until combined. Then add the dry ingredients, and mix until all ingredients come together. Using a small cookie scoop, place a tbsp. into a mini muffin baking tin. This recipe will make about 24 mini cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 1-2 minutes in the pan. Use a small spoon to press the center of the cookie down, making room for the cream cheese filling. Cool completely before removing the cookie from the pan.

Cream cheese filling:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup sour cream

½ cup powdered sugar

Cream together the ingredients listed above until nice and fluffy. Scoop a small teaspoon sized amount into the middle of the cooled cookies. Top with cherry pie filling and drizzle with melted chocolate for garnish.

 

Vintage Thumbprint Cookies on Studio 5

 Posted by at 12:29 pm on December 18, 2014  No Responses »
Dec 182014
 

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I had so much fun on Studio 5- and I’m sharing with you one of my favorite cookies, the Thumbprint cookie, very classic, usually filled with jellies or jams, or even a maraschino cherry like my mom did. (I still make them for my kids too.)

The best thing about this cookie, is you can be creative and customize your fillings to whatever you want. Raspberry and white chocolate. Chocolate peanut butter. Apricot and pistachio… oh, and how about Salted Dulce de Leche? I know. You could go on and on and on.

 

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It would be fun to make some and have a cookie making party with your kids, or even your friends. Simply bake the cookies a head of time and have them cooled and ready to fill. Perfect! Place all the fillings in little bowls with spoons, and you’ll be the coolest person on the block.

 

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Can’t resist a photo of myself with my cookbook, 101 Gourmet Cookies. You can find it for purchase here, and here.

 

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Salted Dulce de leche Thumbprint Cookies (NEW) with variations
2 sticks or 1 cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 flour
Dulce de Leche (found in most supermarkets in the baking or ethnic area)
Coarse salt
Beat together butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and flour. Mix until dough comes together to form a ball in the middle of the bowl. Do not over mix this dough. Chill dough, covered for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Remove dough, and shape into small 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet and gently press in the middle of each ball with your thumb. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees, until cookies are soft, but lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place the Dulce de Leche filling in a Zip lock bag, sealing the end. Place in a bowl of hot water. This will allow the filling to warm through.
When your cookies are warm, but not too hot to handle, snip off the end of the filling bag, and fill the cookies, about 1 tbsp. per cookie. You will have enough filling for your batch. Then sprinkle the coarse salt over the filling, before it sets.
Variations:
Raspberry and White Chocolate: 1 cup raspberry preserves, 1/4 cup melted white chocolate. Place 1 tbsp. raspberry preserves in the middle of each cookie, top with a drizzle of white chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter: 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, 1/4 cup melted peanut butter, 1 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/3 cup heavy cream. Heat the cream and pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 1 minute. Stir to combine. Place 1 tbsp. chocolate in the middle of each cookie, drizzle with melted peanut butter and crushed roasted peanuts.

Apricot Pistachio: 1 cup apricot preserves, 1/2 cup chopped pistachios. Place 1 tbsp. apricot preserves in the middle of each cookie, top with crushed pistachios.

 

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

My brothers’ Pumpkin Scone recipe.

 Posted by at 6:00 am on September 16, 2014  No Responses »
Sep 162014
 

My family are food lovers, just like me. We enjoy yummy recipes, and my brother made these delicious scones and I wanted to share them with you for a while.

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze

Yield: 12 scones

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour

7 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

6 Tablespoons cold butter

½ cup canned pumpkin

3 Tablespoons half-and-half

1 large egg

For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:

1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

2 Tabelspoons milk

For the Spiced Glaze:

1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

4. To make the powdered sugar glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone.

5. To make the spiced glaze, while the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving.

Happy Baking!

Roasted Cinnamon and Rum Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

 Posted by at 1:13 pm on September 8, 2014  No Responses »
Sep 082014
 

New Recipe. Did you see my pic on Instagram? Do you follow me yet? Well you should. But a warning: I post tons and tons of food pics. I am not responsible for your weight gain.

Yum. This cake literally left me speechless. I am so happy with the end result. And it’s starting to smell and taste like fall around my house. How about yours? IMG_4617

Roasted Cinnamon and Rum Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

Pinch of roasted cinnamon

1 tsp. rum extract or dark rum

Pinch  of salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. roasted cinnamonIMG_4612

In you 9″ round cake pan, melt the butter, add the brown sugar, rum, pinch of salt. Then gently mix together. Top with sliced apples (I leave the peels on- but you can take them off if you’d like) in a pretty arrangement (see photo) until all apples are placed. IMG_4613Then in a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and powder, and stir to combine.

Then add the wet ingredients, vanilla, sugar, milk, eggs, and roasted cinnamon. Stir until just combined. Do not over mix the batter. Pour batter on top of the sliced apple and caramel mixture. Place in the oven preheated at 350 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes, until knife comes out clean when stuck in the top of the cake.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully, flip cake onto your serving plate…. channeling Julia Child all the way. If any apples stick, just simply put them back into place and serve warm (my favorite way), with a scoop of ice cream for sweetness.

IMG_4620Look at how much cake has the rum caramel soaked in! Perfect ratio of cake to topping. Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

Sour Cream Blueberry Cake

 Posted by at 6:00 am on August 11, 2014  No Responses »
Aug 112014
 

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I’m so excited that my next cookbook is ready to be released. You may have even seen it on store shelves this last week. 101 Gourmet Cakes is a great from scratch recipe book with so many cakes. There’s one for simply any occasion. And how you decorate it, depends on what you want. This Sour Cream Blueberry was for my niece in-law’s baby shower. It’s so simple, yet elegant. No one wanted to cut into it. I love using berries that are in season for baking. IMG_3748

So my sister-in-law finally cut it. And it’s so rich and creamy. The frosting is from here. And the cake recipe is from my new book 101 Gourmet Cakes- Simply from scratch. Have you checked it out yet? It’s a great addition to my 101 Gourmet Series. I’m so proud of how it turned out.

What do you think of the cover?101 Gourmet Cakes_2x3

It’s so pretty. But better yet, it’s filled with amazing recipes. Happy Baking!

P.S. You can get it at Barnes & Noble, Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Amazon.

 

Butter Beer

 Posted by at 6:00 am on July 13, 2014  1 Response »
Jul 132014
 

IMG_3832There are three parts to this recipe. But each step is easy, and really makes this drink amazing. Very similar to my experience when I traveled to Florida with my husband and we stood in line, or I should really say, I stood in line to get THE drink. Worth the wait.

I’ve tried several recipes, and each of them had great parts to it, but this is my recipe. And you’ll be so glad you have it.

Butter Beer

Cream topping:

1 pint heavy cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. rum extract

Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sugar and extract and set aside.

Basic drink base:

2 liters Cream soda

Caramel Base:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Pinch of salt

1 tsp. rum extract

Whisk together the butter, sugar and water until hot and bubbly, over medium heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cider vinegar, heavy cream and salt. One the caramel has cooled, add the rum extract.

Layer your 10 oz. tumbler or cup with 1/3 cup caramel sauce, fill remaining cup with cream soda til 3/4 full then top with the cream mixture.

Happy Drinking!