I Am Baker

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Um, have you noticed?  I am putting zucchini in everything.  I can’t say I am sorry though, because everything I am making is so darn delicious!!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

 

This one is a favorite so far, as it is over-the-top chocolatey.  Everything is rich and creamy and moist and amazing.  It’s pretty much the best cupcake to ever be made in the history of all the cupcake making world.

I wish someone could just slap me when I am being so overly dramatic and pompous.

Forget I just said that.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

 

Since I have been baking with zucchini so much lately, I thought I would write  a little poem about it.

And now, Poetry with i am baker.

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

 

Zucchini

You grow fast

and have hardly any flavor

Yet I love you

and your green innards.

Pretty good huh?

Don’t worry.  I will stick to baking.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 cups finely grated and drained zucchini
  • 3/4 - 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcakes pans with liners. (Yields roughly 26-28 cupcakes)
  2. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. With a whisk gently sift ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and oil. Mix by hand. Batter will be fairly thick. Add in grated zucchini and chocolate chips and fold in with spatula. Batter should loosen up a bit with the moisture from the zucchini.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill up cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed mostly clean.
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Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

 

Some things worth mentioning:

This is a one bowl cupcake recipe.  One bowl.  I LOVE that.  I dislike dishes.  A lot.  One bowl!  Well, excluding the bowl you beat the eggs in.  Darn it.

I used this Chocolate Frosting recipe for the cupcakes.  Using an ice cream scoop, I just dropped a dollop on each cupcake.  It’s my new favorite way to decorate!

These suckers are rich.  RICH I TELL YOU.  Make sure you have milk and loose fitting pants near by.

http://iambaker.net/white-zucchini-cake/

 

This recipe was adapted from a cake recipe, and I am making it into a cake today! It’s my son’s birthday soon and we are having a big party tomorrow… his request was Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and White Zucchini Cake with Strawberry Frosting.  (Ok, so I added the zucchini request in there, but he will love it!)

I am also make these Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Cookies and these Snickers Zucchini Cookies and this Peanut Butter Buttersctoch Pizza.

I just hope there is enough food.

I Am Baker

blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s to the garden I go!

And come back with loads of zucchini.  And then bake with it.  It’s in my blood people.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

Finding new ways to use all the zucchini has proved to be much more fun than I thought!  I mean, eating cake everyday isn’t such a bad gig in life.

Add in blueberries and buttercream and you can officially chalk me up as satisfied.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

I found this recipe over at allrecipes.com and it is officially labeled as Blueberry Zucchini Bread.  I studied the ingredients and thought, there is no way I can pass this off as bread!  Why not just make it in an 8-inch round cake pan and see how it goes.

It went.

Right into my belly.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

This cake is moist!  Like amazingly so.  I popped my cake into the freezer right after baking only because I wanted a nice clean cut.  But I do recommend eating when it is still warm and the zucchini bits are lounging around the bursting blueberries in a delightful way.

Because this recipe is technically designed as a bread, this cake is pretty dense.  Densely packed with deliciousness that is. ;)

I am in full-on cheesy mode today.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)
  • Lemon Buttercream
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Lemon Buttercream
  7. Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined.
  8. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy.
  9. Fold in zest*.
  10. *If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest.
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Cake recipe adapted from allrecipes.com and frosting recipe from food.com.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

I would really love to try this cake with raspberries, as my love for blueberries has inadvertently excluded all other fruit on my little baking blog.  Maybe even a berry medley!  Oh yeah.  Definitely.   Off to bake!

I Am Baker

Giant Sugar Cookies with Pink Buttercream

Somedays just call for obnoxiously big cookies covered in pink frosting and sprinkles.

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

I have been fighting the impending-winter-blues.  It’s almost a brain sabotage if you will.  The summer has been so lovely with so many blessings and so many adventures and I just can’t seem to enjoy the beauty in the moment, I have to go and dwell on winter coming.

Darn my silly tendencies and inability to just relish the moment!

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

Anyway, in a somewhat pathetic attempt to live in the moment and make amazing memories with my babies, I made these cookies.  Well, we made these cookies.  They (my sweet kiddos) are quite good at the art of sugar cookie dough, and even better at licking the spoon.

That is the true reward right?

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

 

I used my favorite (and seriously amazing) sugar cookie recipe and then a new recent love, this Cherry Frosting.

The combination is, it’s… well.

I need a moment.

Done.

It’s amazing.  I love it.  I want to eat all of it all the time ever.

And then head back to school for grammar lessons because, well, obvious.

Giant Sugar Cookies with Pink Buttercream

Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 1-½ cup butter or 3 sticks(I use unsalted)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Cherry Buttercream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

    Cookies
  1. In a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in 3 eggs, the extracts and mix until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly (about a cup at a time) add flour to butter mixture and combine. (You can use a mixer or not, just depends on how strong you are.)
  4. I usually just mix ingredients until they are combined, if you over-mix this dough it will get tough.
  5. Put dough in some Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. (If your dough is sticky, add more flour, up to 1 cup.) When you are ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. (325 for convection)
  6. Roll dough out, use a 4-inch round cookies cutter to cut out cookies, and bake for 6-8 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. The cookies are better when slightly under-done, not golden around the edges.
  7. Cherry Buttercream
  8. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  9. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
  10. Top with Rainbow Sprinkles.
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Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

When I was a teenager I went to visit my aunt in Idaho and there was a bakery in the mall there that sold a cookie like this.  It was a sugar cookie with pink frosting.  I cannot remember the exact flavors, other than it was sweet and wonderful and brilliant.  I was trying to recreate that feeling and look, and just happened to recall that lovely pink cherry buttercream , so went with it.

I honestly had no intention of covering these in sprinkles, but it just seemed right.

Giant Frosted Sugar Cookies!

Can sprinkles ever be wrong?

I Am Baker

White Zucchini Cake

It is full-on zucchini season here, and I have no less than (and not even kidding) 50 zucchini’s to use up.  That is a tease and a warning, all wrapped up into one.

I decided to try and re-do my white zucchini cake with yellow zucchini, then cover it in gobs of chocolate frosting of course.  The moisture and delicate flavor in zucchini always make cake amazingly moist!!

White Zucchini Cake

Will you indulge me for a moment?  I would like to share a little story with you.

As I was standing in front of my KitchenAid® mixer it occurred to me that I should add blueberries to my cake.  But then I thought about all the other blueberry desserts I do (seeing as it is my favorite fruit and all) and how they are probably the least popular theme on my blog.  It seems I am the only one who love blueberry brownies and blueberry pizza and rustic blueberry tart and blueberry pie muffins.

So I abandoned the idea.  Then it turned into “that” time of day where everyone says, “Mom, I am hungry.”  “Mom, I lost my ipad.”  “Mom, the snakes are missing.”  “Mom, Olivia is eating something brown.”  “Mom.”  “Mom.” “MOM.”

And I was on my last nerve.

White Zucchini Cake

But, as I mentioned, I was standing in front of my mixer and it was on low and it was in the process of combining the butter, cocoa, milk and sugar I had added.  Chocolate frosting was in my immediate future, and that seemed to make things bearable.

Then it was all five kids in front of me at once.  And then my husband came home.  And then it was not bearable anymore.

Intuitive to the child-induced twitch that had me unable to see out of my left eye, my husband gathered up the kids and said, “When you are done with that cake, come and get us and we will have dinner.”

And they left.  And I had a moment to breath.  And so I took my time in frosting that white zucchini cake.  And I decided that the blueberry idea I had earlier was not such a bad idea after all.  And then I took my sweet time in adding blueberries, one at a time, all lined up just-so, all around the cake.  Then I did another row for good measure.

And we ate dinner and all was right with the world.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

White Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup drained (mostly dry) finely shredded zucchini
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of table salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8in baking pans.
  2. In mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 2-4 minutes. You are looking for a light and fluffy sugar mixture.
  3. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Alternating as you go, add the flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and zucchini, folding in by hand.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes.
  5. Frosting
  6. Add room temperature butter to mixer with paddle attachment and cream for 1 minute.
  7. Add in cocoa, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix on medium speed. You will be mixing that for a total of 3-5 minutes.
  8. After about 30 seconds, turn mixer to low and add in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. You can use more or less cream to reach your desired consistency. When I am using the icing to do a rough frost (like in the images with the recipe) I will use all the heavy cream so my frosting is very creamy and easy to spread.
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I love (and I do mean love) the little bittersweet burst of flavor from the blueberry in contrast with the rich buttercream, but if you want to save time, feel free to throw them onto the center of the cake and call it a day.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

So let me tell you a few things about this cake.  It is moist.  As in, probably the most moist cake I have ever made.  The cake melts in your mouth, and the frosting and blueberries put it right over the top.  I am talking amazing.

Like one of my Top 10 Desserts EVER amazing.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

If you do not have yellow zucchini you can swap out green zucchini.  If you do not want green flecks, you can simply peel the zucchini first.

The moral of the story with this cake is this: Make one and all the noise in your life will be dulled for a moment.  And your taste buds will be happy.  And your belly satisfied. And your heart full.

#socheesy #icanthelpmyself

I Am Baker

Banoffee Pie (and win a $100 Gift Card!!)

I have developed a newfound respect for all things U.K. lately, but most especially when it comes to food. The food traditions there date back much further than in the U.S., and it is fascinating to me how these recipes have been passed down for hundreds of years! Banoffee Pie! One specific recipe that seemed really interesting is the Banoffee Pie. A Banana + Toffee Pie! I had heard of a Banoffee Pie, but never experienced one.In my research, I would compare this pie to an American Apple pie in terms of adaptations. There are vast variations, modifications and differences in recipes. Each family seems to have a preferred style and texture that often varies from the next!

Banoffee Pie!Using a traditional base recipe, I simply modernized the look a bit by adding a (very American!) whipped cream swirl with sprinkles on top then drizzled in more caramel. I also used high-quality ingredients in my recipe, one of them being a Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar from Tate + Lyle®.

This made a huge difference in the flavor of my toffee pie, and had everyone begging for more. Upon looking into it more, I discovered that Tate+Lyle® Sugars has graced Britain’s finest tables, including those of royalty, making it an integral part of England’s epicurean history for over 130 years.

So basically this means the Queen and I are friends right? Since we are eating the same sugar and all. ;)

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 12 ounces fine shortbread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Pie
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup Tate + Lyle® Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare 8-inch springform pan.
  2. Crust
  3. In a bowl, combine shortbread crumbs and 4 tbsps melted butter with a fork. Press mixture into springform pan.
  4. Pie
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup Tate + Lyle® Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar over a low heat, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil for about a minute, stirring all the time for a thick golden caramel. (It took about 6 minutes for the mixture to come to a boil.) Spread the caramel over the base, cool and then chill for about 1 hour, until firm or until ready to serve.
  7. After pie has chilled, you can add the banana's. Slice banana's into 1/4 inch slices and place over the top of the pie. This can be done in concentric circles or just piled on, as the banana's will be covered with whipped cream.
  8. Whipped Cream
  9. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. (about 1 1/2 minutes) Beat in confectioners sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat.
  10. Place whipped cream in pastry bag and pipe out swirls onto the chilled pie, then cover in chocolate jimmies. (sprinkles)
  11. Drizzle with caramel sauce if desired.
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Banoffee Pie!

The final result of this dessert is nothing short of amazing.  That rich buttery toffee filling paired with the buttery shortbread crust then covered in the light and airy whipped topping is phenomenal.  I can completely understand why this dessert is so popular and has been for so long!

And something that I know is important to so many people is the value in quality of product.  Tate+Lyle® Sugars are Fairtrade Certified, so your purchase means fair prices and opportunities for small scale sugar cane farmers to invest in their communities for a sustainable future. (Learn more about how Fairtrade makes a difference: http://goo.gl/Am8VfU)  

We have such a huge focus on ‘farm to table’ and sourcing our ingredients here that finding this out about a British brand really makes me want to support them!  

 

Banoffee Pie!

These delightful British sugars are available at Walmart. Watch for their new Tate+Lyle® Gourmet Flavored Beverage Syrups that are coming soon in Fall 2014 for brightening up coffee and tea time! Like their Facebook Page and join their email list for inspiring recipes and special offers from Tate+Lyle® Sugars. Now available at Walmart.

Just a note: If you are anything like me, you want to serve up a nice big slice of pie to your friends and family. I do not recommend that with this pie! Just a sliver will do! Anything bigger and you may have a few sugar comas on your hands. ;)

Now for the fun, would you like to win a $100 GIFT CARD TO WALMART?

Simply answer in the comments below, “Have you ever eaten a traditionally British food?”

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/6-9/6

Be sure to visit the  Tate + Lyle Sugars® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

I Am Baker

chocolate zucchini cookies

Every now and then I get an idea for a recipe.  Usually it is simple as thinking about it, googling it, finding a previously published recipe, making it into my own, and getting on with my day.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

That was not the case with these cookies.  I really wanted to find a zucchini cookie that was not too ‘cakey’ and that actually had a significant amount of zucchini in it.  I wanted it to be full of deep, dark, rich chocolate.  And I could not find it anywhere!

And after quite a bit of testing (it all involved chocolate so I am definitely not complaining) I finally found a recipe we all loved!

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

It has three kinds of “chocolate.”  Cocoa, milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate.

The combination is pretty darn tasty.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

Concerning chocolate chips in cookies, I have to share something that I have been doing lately.  Instead of adding all of the chocolate chips to the dough, I reserve a handful then add individual chips to the top before baking.  This helps people to identify what the cookies is should the chips not naturally be on the surface.

As you can see above, it is easy to see that there are two kinds of chips in the cookie!

triple chocolate zucchini cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or bittersweet)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (fine table salt)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup grated and drained zucchini

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate for 30 seconds. If chips are not melted, return to microwave in 10 second increments until mostly melted. Stir frequently. When melted, set aside.
  3. Using a grater, finely grate a medium sized zucchini. This should yield about 2 cups of zucchini. Place zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeeze vigorously, removing most of the liquid. You should now have about 1 cup of drained shredded zucchini. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Sift together with a whisk. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer, add in butter and sugars. Mix for about a minute, or until mixture is fully combined and starts to fluff.
  6. With stand mixer (or hand mixer) on low, add in egg and vanilla. Combine fully.
  7. Pour in melted chocolate and mix completely.
  8. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  9. Remove bowl from stand mixer (or remove beaters) and fold in zucchini and milk chocolate chips by hand.
  10. With an ice cream scoop (or large spoon) drop balls of dough onto cookie sheet, about 8 per sheet. Leave 2-inches between each ball of dough. (I did not flatten cookies at any point)
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
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One thing about zucchini recipes is people often refer to “small” or “medium” sized zucchini.  Since we tend to grow them huge around here, what exactly does that mean?  In my mind, a medium sized zucchini is about a foot long and has a larger girth than a golf ball.

I would consider a small zucchini (like what you buy in the grocery store) to be about 6-8 inches long and the girth of a half-dollar.

My preference in all zucchini consumption?  HUGE zucchini that rival baseball bats.  Not even kidding.

Also, I usually leave the skins ON, as I prefer for people to see the zucchini and know what they are in for.  If you want to be more ninja-like in your baking, simply peel the zucchini.

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

 

These are one of the best cookies I have ever had, zucchini or not.  The depth of flavor is going to be heaven to any chocolate lover.  And the fact that there is so much zucchini in there makes you feel good about what you are eating.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cookies!

If any of these cookies make it to day 2 or 3, be sure to pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds before nibbling.  (Love that you can see the milk chocolate and dark chocolate right next to each other in this picture!  I was mid-bite, but had to share)  There is something about the warm, oozing chocolate bits that make your eyes roll up in your head.

#trustme

I Am Baker

blueberry pie muffins

I have quite a few blueberry muffin recipes on my blog.  Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins and Blueberry Breakfast Cake and Blueberry Banana Banana Bread with Brown Butter Glaze.  (not to mention all the other blueberry recipes and desserts!)

Blueberry Pie Muffin!

 

I had honestly thought there was no need to add a new blueberry muffin recipe here because you can’t (and shouldn’t) mess with perfection.

But, as is often the case, I was wrong.

There is a unique step in this recipe which involves making a “pie crust” crumb and then topping the muffin with it.

Blueberry Pie Muffin!

 

I was skeptical, because it adds a good 30 minutes to the prep time.  In this fast-paced world, who has time to let crumbs cool?

Well, I did it.

And I am so glad I did.

They add a texture that isn’t like other crumbs.  It isn’t bursts of sugar.  It isn’t flour-y clumps.

But let me tell what it is:

Buttery.  Crisp.  Firm, yet tender.  Flakey.  Golden.

Blueberry Pie Muffins!

 

That unique step is totally worth it.  (I can’t wait to try these on other muffin recipes!)

blueberry pie muffins

Ingredients

    Pie Crust Crumb
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Muffins
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (12½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh blueberries, picked over

Instructions

  1. For the Pie Crust Crumb:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a cast iron skillet.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on low speed until well mixed. Add the butter and water and paddle on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
  4. Spread the clusters in skillet. Bake for 10 minutes. When done the crumbs should still be a little moist to the touch; they will dry and harden as they cool.
  5. Let the crumbs cool at least five minutes before adding to muffins.
  6. For Muffins
  7. Heat oven to 425 degrees. (400 in convection oven)
  8. Prepare two muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. (or goop, recipe below)
  9. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
  10. Mix sugar and eggs together in stand mixer until combined, about 45 seconds.
  11. Add in butter, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until until just combined.
  12. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the flour mixture. Once mostly combined, gently add the blueberries into batter.
  13. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (approximately 1/4 heaping cup batter).
  14. Sprinkle top of muffins with pie crust crumble, about a teaspoon per muffin.
  15. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes.
  16. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
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Adapted from a periodic table blog.

How to Make Pie Crust Crumbs!

 

Here is how my crumbs looked directly out of the mixer (on the left) and then after they had cooked and been crumbled. (right)  To crumble the pieces I used two forks and just separated as many big bits as I could.  They cooled enough to use after about 10 minutes.

(Snacking right out of the oven is not advised.  I totally did it anyway and the burnt tongue was worth it.)

If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can brown crumbs on a cookie sheet.  You may need to cook for about 10 minutes longer and to break up crumbs half way through baking.

Blueberry Pie Muffin!

 

It’s been awhile since I made muffins and did not use cupcake liners.  Not using liners is something I should do more with breakfast muffins, as it allows the edges and sides to develop a nice crust that you just don’t achieve with cupcake liners.

More golden buttery flakey awesomeness.

You can butter or spray your pans or use my homemade goop, which is just homemade pan release.  It works great!

Blueberry Pie Muffin!

 

At the end of the day, I totally consider myself a blueberry muffin snob… they have to be amazing to earn my seal of approval… and these did.

That crumb adds such amazing texture and the recipe is seriously delish!  They are subtle perfection.

 

I Am Baker

“marry me” cookies

I saw these delightful creations on the Cooking Channel website and knew I had to try them.  The official name is, “I want to Marry You Cookies” and they are from the genius mind of Melissa Stadler.

"marry me" cookies!  So good, they will propose!

 

Her recipe includes pretty much every favorite ingredient of mine.  Sugar, (da) brown sugar, oats, chocolate, white chocolate… I get happy just thinking about it.

And she is right, they are downright delicious!  What makes them amazing is her method; she uses one saucepan!  It’s quite inventive.

"marry me" cookies!

 

I think I was impatient and didn’t wait long enough during cooling times, so my cookies are a bit flatter than hers.  In all the pictures I have seen these cookies are puffed up and thick, so I will stress that you should follow the directions better than I did!

I also opted for a good quality semi-sweet chocolate chunk.  It really makes a difference in my opinion, as I love the deep rich cocoa flavor among the sweet (oh so sweet) sugary cookie dough.  You could even go more pure with your chocolate selection, and find something over 60% cacoa.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Then there is that white chocolate.  I love white chocolate with a passion in my soul, and what it brings to this cookie is nothing short of confection perfection.

“marry me” cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until melted, over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes. (Do not skip this step. You can also transfer the mixture to a different bowl so that it is no longer being heated from the pan.)
  3. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
  6. Chill dough until it is firm enough to be hand rolled, about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
  9. While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. (Do not overbake)
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Recipe just barely adapted from Cooking Channel.

"marry me" cookies!

 

Now, since I am already married, I will need to harness to power of these cooking into other notable pursuits.  Maybe convince a husband that my new home office is a little bit higher up on his honey-do list than he previously thought.

Or rewarding some thoughtful and well deserving kids.

 

"will you marry me" cookies!

Or even just for me, as a treat for making it through another week. ;)

I Am Baker

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Yesterday, three of my boys left.  My husband took our oldest and second oldest (Colton and Parker, respectively) to Canada fishing.  This is an annual trip for him, but the first ever for Parker.  Colton is already a veteran with one year under his belt!

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

As I mom I am torn when these events come up.  As a wife I get it, a hunter and fisherman is who I married.  I know Chad’s passion lies in the great outdoors and that for him, fishing and hunting is soul refreshing.  He is a true hunter/gatherer!  Him leaving for days and weeks at a time to pursue angling dreams is ok with me. (mostly, with five kids it come sometimes get tough alone)  Heck, I love that his passions are so rudimentary in their core.

But as a mom there is something entirely different going on.

Those are my babies, not being babies.

Those are my sweet angels, learning how to forage and survive in remote back country.

My babies, becoming men.

And I just don’t know if my heart can take it.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

My tradition for the annual trip is that I make my Monster Cookies.  This is one of Chad’s favorite cookies, and the rest of the guys on the trip always seem to enjoy them too.  But this year I left the baking down to the very last minute (bad mom), as in I literally had 3 hours to get the cookies prepared, baking, cooled, and packaged for the trip.

So I asked them what flavors they wanted.  Chocolate Chip!  Peanut butter!

Ok.  I can do that.

Granted, I will be baking through a blurry haze with all my mommy-hood blubbering, but whatever.

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (I set my convection oven to 325) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Remove bowl from mixture and fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden.
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Recipe slightly adapted from bag of Guittard Chocolate Chips.

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

 

The kids loved the cookies and I hope every time they eat one they are reminded how much mom loves them.  I have plenty to keep me busy while they are gone, with a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a very precocious 5 year old princess-in-training.

But I sure will miss my babies.

So if someone can send me a large shipment of cheap wine and romantic comedies that would be great.  This is going to be a long week!

I Am Baker

cherry limeade cake

After having recently made these Cherry Limeade Cupcakes, I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  Maybe ‘thinking’ isnt the best world.  More like obsessing.  It is by far one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and now… it’s a cake.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

A simple cake adorned with cherries.  It really is simple too; easy to assemble, easy to bake, easy to decorate and so easy to eat.  As a matter of fact, this is the second Cherry-Limeade Cake I have made in 3 days.

It’s that good.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

As if the cake itself being awesome wasn’t enough, that frosting.

At a very weak moment in my life I may or may not have piped it directly into my mouth.  Like, 13 times.  Give or take.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting!

 

The combination of the tart lime cake and the sweet cherry buttercream is enough to make you weak in the knees.

So just sit down while you eat it ok?

limeade cake with cherry buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Remove from mixer then fold in lime zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
  7. Transfer cakes tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the each cake.
  9. Let cakes cool completely and dry before topping with cherry frosting.
  10. Frosting
  11. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  12. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
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Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

The main difference between the cake and the cupcakes was texture;  I found the cake to be a bit more dense.  I also added an additional tablespoon of lime juice to the cake.

A couple tips for success:

It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature before assembling and baking.

Don’t over mix cake batter!  (Not speaking from experience or anything, ahem.)

Make sure the lime juice is fresh squeezed.

Brush the lime juice onto the cakes while they are still warm.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

I absolutely insist that you make this cake immediately.  Well, not immediately immediately, but sometime in the near-soon future.  Of just call your bestie and tell them to make it for you.  Besties are good like that. :)