Biscoff Crunch

 

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Just like Pinterest, Biscoff cookies are all the rage at the moment.  When Biscoff first started popping up all over the food blogs, I was in the middle of packing and moving cross country, but I was lucky to find a jar at Hannaford’s in Watertown.  It was definitely love at first taste.  After moving here and while shopping at the commissary the other day, I saw packages of Biscoff cookies and I was over the moon since I’ve been dying to make Picky-Palate‘s Biscoff cookies.

 

The original recipe called for 20 cookies finely crushed and 20 more for the extra crunch.  I only bought one package of cookies, but the crunch is still very much there.  DH even commented saying they’re better then Girl Scout Cookies!  That’s saying a lot, especially coming from him.  I won’t be posting the recipe here, but definitely check out Jenny’s amazing blog Picky-Palate.
Biscoff Crunch

Jubilee Cupcakes

We’re pretty much settled in and slowly getting back into the groove of things. A few homecooked meals here and there, but nothing too exciting to post about. Earlier this week, I popped into Jubilee Cupcakes on South Hill and was surprised how delicious their cupcakes are! The store itself is cute with beautiful chandlier’s hanging and the girl behind the counter was amazingly nice!


I purchased their Red Velvet, German Chocolate, Elvis and Macon Bacon. Their Red Velvet was THE BEST I’ve ever had! The cake was moist and frosting wasn’t overwhelming sweet. Elvis was also amazing and I want one right now. It’s banana cupcake with a chocolate filling and topped with peanut butter frosting with a chocolate swirl. The king himself would be proud. I didn’t try the German Chocolate, but the Macon Bacon was quiet interesting… I’m not a fan, but the bacon itself was pretty good.

I couldn’t find the address for the South Hill one, but check out the one in Tacoma anyways. The cupcake business around Tacoma/Lewis/Puyallup is building up and its fantastic for me, but not for my body. Oh well.

Jubilee Cupcakes
2510 North Proctor Street
Tacoma, WA 98406 | 253.503.0709
Website

Hello, Cupcake

We’re living out of a hotel. Still. It’s been almost 3 weeks! The last time I cooked was almost 2 months ago and the last time I baked was on Thanksgiving Day, so bare with me while I post old recipes and reviews. The thing is… We bought a house. I feel like a grown up! Anyways, usually it takes about 90 days for a house to close, but the people have rushed it for us and we’re really hoping to move in before Christmas. Now, that would take a miracle! If we aren’t able to move in by the holiday, we should be in before the new year so there’s still a silver of hope. Even if we were to move in, no real cooking will be done since we still need to purchase a refrigerator and would need to call transportation to bring our goods!

Anyways, DH is on leave for 10 days and every day we drive to look at our house and then just explore the area. Today, we went out to Tacoma and checked out Hello, Cupcake before heading out to Puyallup to turn in some paperwork. The shop is so adorable! The decor is simple and cute. They have a small selection of cupcakes to choose from, which makes the decision making a lot easier. I went with a Carrot cupcake and a Mocha cupcake which DH has yet to eat!

The carrot cupcake was really good! A little too much frosting imo, but the cake itself was moist and every flavorful.

Hello, Cupcake
1740 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

Confetti Cupcakes

I made these back in July for DH’s 28th birthday. The cupcake itself was moist and delicious, but the almond extract was a little overpowering, so I wouldn’t put as much as the recipe suggests.

Confetti Cupcakes
Original recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
up to 4 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream

Method:

To Make Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 muffin cups with paper liners or cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together until combined and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites to the bowl and beat until combined. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated. Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to fill each baking cup 2/3 full of batter. Bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Then frost if desired.

To Make Frosting:

In a large stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Gradually add 3 cups of powdered sugar on low speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

If your frosting is too thin, add remaining sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Festive Easter Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a great Easter whether you celebrate it or not. We don’t celebrate, but the FRG held an Easter potluck on Friday for the families and I brought 4 dozen cupcakes. 2 dozen was Vanilla Bean Confetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting, some decorated with sprinkles. And the other 2 dozen was just a white cake mix and I layered it with Easter colors with pre-made Fluffy White frosting decorated with pastel candy corn and speckled m&m’s.

The cupcakes at the potluck were not a hit mainly because just about everyone that came after me brought cupcakes! The next day my friend invited me to an Easter dinner and the cupcakes were a huge hit with the kids! The confetti cupcakes went very well with the adults. Then again, I did bring S’more Cookies :)

Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract)
1 cup milk
Sprinkles (optional for the Confetti)

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla bean paste. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Mocha Chip Cookies

This post is over a month or so late, i know! Been feeling pretty unmotivated in cooking up new recipes, let alone baking. I made these cookies a little before Valentine’s, hence the v-day m&m’s. The coffee was pretty intense and the first day, I ate 5 cookies! I seriously could not sleep that night haha The cookies were still pretty good after a few days, up to a week. Then when it got closer to my anniversary, I did send my husband some and he said they were delicious! What he didn’t know was that the cookie was weeks old.

So, if you’re feeling a little sluggish, this coffee + chocolate cookie is a great pick me up!

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Lovin the Oven

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup m&m’s

1. Whisk the flour, coffee, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

2. Beat the butter in a mixer until lightened. Add granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until blended.

3. Turn mixer speed down and add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Add chocolate and mix until evenly blended in.

4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for several hours to overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 350. Drop a heaping tablespoon full of dough onto sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Rustic Double-Crust Apple Pie

When I was living in California, my friend Jenny suckered me into making pies and due to time, we never did get around to it. Last Christmas, I vowed to myself that I was going to make apple pie from scratch, but I feared of messing it up somehow. I did make the filling which smelled delicious and eventually made the crust and let it sit in the fridge for a few days. When it came time to finally put the whole piece together, it actually went really well. My husband, who generally doesn’t help, came and helped me roll out the dough and cut the lattice and everything (except the clean up of course). After pulling it out of the oven, I was surprised to find the whole process so easy and was so proud of us both for accomplishing this task together!

The flavor of the crust was really buttery and delicious. I think next time, I would bake the bottom crust a little longer and the whole pie longer as well. I didn’t exactly get the nice golden brown crust I was looking for. The filling? Absolutely DELICIOUS!! Perfect combo! Not too sweet and not too tart. Though, I felt like it was missing something… I can’t pin point it, but a spice I’m sure.

After creating this, I feel like I can pretty much tackle any pie! :) Will have to look into making some more, but hopefully my husband will be there to help.

Rustic Double-Crust Apple Pie
Recipe from Pies, Pies & More Pies by Viola Goren

Pastry Dough

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cold heavy whipping cream

Filling

1 stick unsalted butter
3 Granny Smith Apples and 4 Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I squeezed a lemon over mine to avoid browning)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Egg Wash

1 egg yolk with 2 tsp of water.

Prepare Pastry In an electric mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar and butter until texture is sandy. Add egg yolk and cream, mixing until dough forms. Shape into a thick round, wrap with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide chilled dough into two pieces, with one piece about twice as big as the other. Return smaller piece to fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick and cut into a 12-inch round. Wrap dough loosely around rolling pin and transfer to 9-inch pie pan. Trim edges and freeze for 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 340F. Line chilled pie shell with parchment paper and fill with baking weights (or raw beans). Bake until crust is dry and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake until crust is golden and baked through, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Prepare Filling In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon, cook for about 10 minutes, until apples are soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Transfer apple pie filling to baked pie shell and even out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out smaller piece of dough into a 10-inch round. Place dough on top of filling and crimp edges to seal.** Cut out shapes to make slits on top to vent. Brush with egg wash and bake until top crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

** We lattice weaved ours.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

This year, I have decided to give out homemade yumyums to my closest family and friends. I was a little torn in what to make and I knew for sure that I wanted to make something completely brand new. So the next few days or so will be all about my Christmas yumyums.

To start off, I made these Candy Cane Kiss Cookies which turned out fabulous! I love the kisses alone, but as a cookie? It’s double the goodness! My dough became very very crumbly and I kind of had a hard time making it in a ball. They baked beautifully and didn’t expand too much. Though the recipe called for you to put the cookies in the freezer, well… I didn’t have much space to begin with, but appearance wise, it still looks good to me.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
Recipe from Recipe Girl

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped Candy Cane flavored Hershey’s Kisses
granulated sugar
additional, unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses- about 30

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In large mixer bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy (2-3 minutes). In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and beat, scraping bowl often until well blended (1-2 minutes). The mixture will be a bit crumbly. Stir in chopped Kisses.

3. Shape dough into ¾-inch to 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. They’ll crack a little around the edges, so just use your fingers to kind of hold the cookie together while you set the kiss inside.

Oreo Cupcakes

Today was a bittersweet day. Chinese school is coming to an end and of course we have to have a party. Some of the kids are not coming to summer school, so this may be the last time i see them unless some come to class tomorrow which is the official last day. To end the term, i thought i should go out with a big bang… make myself remembered. What better way than these Oreo Cupcakes right? I originally saw it on Foodgawker and knew i had it saved. The original recipe is from Annie’s Eats and the only thing i changed was by adding oreo crumbs to the frosting.

I mean, everyone loves Oreos right? This cupcake is oreo half (cream side) on the bottom, oreo chunks in the batter, oreo crumbs in the frosting and sprinkled on top and lastly, an Oreo half to top it all off. Can we say Oreo Coma?! On the plus side, this cupcake is not painstakingly sweet like I initially thought it would be. These will make your life complete.

Oreo Cupcakes
Original recipe from Annie’s Eats

For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, broken into quarters

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 cup Oreo crumbs (optional)

For garnish:
Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in oreo crumbs.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.

Marionberry Cheesecake Bars

Did you know that when i first decided to start a food blog, it was mainly more cooking than baking? Then i moved back home (good ole sunny Southern California) and it became more baking than cooking? For the past 8 months, i’ve stuck to mainly baking cookies. I’ve ventured out making madelines a few times, cake and cupcakes a few times, blondies a few times, but I always come back to the cookies. Except this time i decided to make bars. Cheesecake bars to be exact. I was surfing my favorites on Foodgawker the other night for some kind of a motivation and my belly were eyeing up these babies from Zoomyummy. She used Raspberry, but i think you can use whatever preserve/jam your little heart desires. The shredded coconut is optional and its easy to change up to your own personal taste. My mom LOVED these!! She didn’t say that because she’s my mom… she really meant it. She’s usually very picky about the sweetness in my goods, but this one was just right. My friend Jenny says they’re better than the S’more Cookies which was rated the highest of all my other yumyums.

Marionberry Cheesecake Bars
Original recipe from Zoomyummy

Crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup oraganic cane sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp

Filling:
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups oraganic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
2 TBsp all-purpose flour
1 cup marionberry fruitspread
1 cup shredded coconut, optional

1) In a large bowl combine the chopped nuts with the flour and sugar.

2) Add butter and using your fork, combine the mixture until it looks like crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of crumb mix.

3) Press the crumb mix into the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan.

4) Bake at 350F oven for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden.

5) Combine cream cheese with sugar using your electric mixer. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add the almond extract and make sure you scrape down the sides.

6) Add 2 TBsp flour and mix again.

7) Pour cream cheese mix over the hot crust and spread it evenly.

8) Put in back into the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Remove.

9) Pour the preserves/jam over the hot cream cheese mix, spreading it evenly.

10) For the topping, mix the shredded coconut with the reserved crumb mix. Sprinkle evenly on top of the cream cheese/preserve layer.

11) Bake for another 20 minutes or so. Remove and cool pan on wire rack. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before cutting. Store leftovers in fridge.