April 22, 2010

Raisin Bran Muffins

I found the recipe for these from Joy the Baker's blog. There one can find all kinds of yummy and funny things.

These ones are yummy, and funny considering the name makes you think they're all healthy. Hmmm... Anything with 'bran' in the name must be good for me. I shall thus eat three of them right now.

Four must be better than three. It's all that bran, baby.

Coated with sugar, but still bran.

Raisin Bran Muffins

2 3/4 cups Raisin Bran Cereal
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, stir together cereal, flour, sugars, salt and baking soda.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If baking muffins right away, let the batter sit on the counter for 45 minutes so the cereal can soften. If baking throughout the week, store batter in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. When ready to bake, spoon batter into lined muffin pans. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick insterted in the center comes out clean.

I'm thinking about adding a little mashed ripe banana to the batter, and replacing the oil with applesauce to make it a little healthier. And cranberries! Yes, cranberries combined with bran can probably save the world from anything imaginable! Or at least my world in the wee hours of the morning.

That's good enough for me.

April 21, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I'm a blueberry girl all the way. Anything with blueberries tend to be a hit in my book. Unfortunately, my husband is quite the opposite and thus anything I make with blueberries end up being eaten only by me.

Did I say 'unfortunately'?

Because it's not so unfortunate to end up eating this crumb cake all by myself. With some vanilla ice cream.

Definitely not unfortunate.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon zest or 1/2 tsp lemon extract
3 cups blueberrries, fresh or frozen

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, adding extracts with the last egg. Add half of the flour mixture while mixing on low speed. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Then add rest of the flour mixture and mix.
4. Spread batter in the pan and smooth the top. Spread 3 cups of blueberries on top. Then sprinkle crumb topping over the blueberries.
5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until cake is firm. Cool cake in pan on wire rack. (Or just dig in right away and pile some vanilla ice cream on top like I did...)

Crumb Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbsp butter, melted

1. Combine dry ingredients and mix in melted butter with your fingers until coarse crumbs form.

April 20, 2010

Pastry Cream

Perfect for fruit tarts, cream puffs or cream pies. Yum.

Pastry Cream

2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a heavy saucepan, stir together milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg with an electric mixer. Stir together cornstarch and sugar and mix them into the eggs until smooth. Whip until color becomes light yellow or white. When milk boils, drizzle it into the egg mixture while mixing. Be careful not to cook the eggs!
3. Return the mixture into saucepan and slowly bring to boil, stirring constantly.
4. When mixture boils and thickens, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter until melted. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before use.

Note:  I actually just used a total of 4 yolks instead of 2 yolks and one whole egg since I had a bunch of them left from making angel food cupcakes. I also doubled the recipe. Good use for all those yolks. The substitution is 2 yolks for 1 whole egg.

I folded some whipped cream into half of the pastry cream and used it for my cream puffs. The leftover pastry cream I used to make a strawberry banana cream pie... I can taste summer coming!

Original recipe:

April 18, 2010

Cream Puffs

Since I made some Angel Food Cupcakes the other day, I was left with 12 egg yolks. 

I would never throw them away. Never ever.

My mother taught me better than that.

So I decided to make pastry cream. A big batch of creamy deliciousness. One can do a lot of things with pastry cream, but I decided on making cream puffs, since my better half is so fond of them. 

Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 whole eggs, room temperature
Vanille extract, optional

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slowly heat water, butter, salt and sugar in a heavy saucepan until the mixture boils. Decrease heat to medium and add 1 cup of flour. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Take off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
2. Using a wooden spoon or a mixer, beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix until a sticky dough forms. You can add some vanilla extract if you'd like. This can decrease the possibly eggy taste.
3. Drop spoonfuls (about 1-inch diameter) of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. (You can poke a small hole on the side of the shells with a toothpick right when they come out of the oven to prevent deflating. I've never had to do this though). Let the shells cool.
4. Split and fill the shells with pastry cream or pudding filling. 

Pudding Filling

1 pkg (3.5 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
12 oz whipped topping

Mix together pudding mix and milk. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate. 

April 13, 2010

Angel Food Cupcakes

How cute are these?!? Perfect for a summer party or a picnic when you want something light and refreshing.

Angel Food Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups egg whites (approx. 12 eggs), room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper bake cups. Sift confectioners' sugar and flour together three times. Set aside.
2. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites. Beat on high speed. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Gently fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Fill cups with batter 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from tins and place on cooling racks to cool completely.

I ended up with 36 cupcakes from one batch.

These are great plain or topped with your favorite whipped topping and fruit or berries. I used a mixture of whipped topping and vanilla pudding and then just added some sliced strawberries. 

Original recipe from:

April 8, 2010


These are dulce the leche filled cookies that one can find from South America. That's all I know, and I won't pretend to know anything else about them.

What I do know is that these are yummy!


1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 tsp lemon zest

1 (11.5 oz) jar dulce de leche, or you can make your own
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks one at a time, adding extracts and zest with the last egg yolk.Fold in the flour mixture, forming a crumbly dough. Press into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hr. ( I had to add just a little bit of water to get it shaped, but it was still quite crumbly. It'll be ok!)
3. Roll out the dough (if still too crumbly, add a little water) to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out small round cookies and place them on the parchment paper 1/2 inch apart. Continue pressing the dough together, rolling it out and cutting.
4. Bake until set, not browned, for 7-10 minutes (mine only needed 8 minutes). Remove cookies immediately to cool on a wire rack.
5. Spread some dulce de leche on the underside of a cookie and top with another cookie. Roll the sides with coconut and dust powdered sugar on top.

Original recipe:

Note: Adding water may be against the rules but they still turned out great. Who said I was going to follow any rules anyway?

Thanks to my dear friend Corinne for inspiring and helping me to make these!

April 6, 2010

French Baguettes

This is by far my favorite bread recipe. It's really easy using a bread machine, and it makes awesome sandwiches, garlic toast, dipping bread for soups, etc. Would make great bruchetta too!
I make this almost every day. That's how easy it is.

French Baguettes

1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Italian seasoning (optional)
1 egg white
1/3 cup water
Cheese (optional)

1. Place ingedients into a bread machine pan in the above order. Select Dough cycle and press start.
2. Once cycle has finished, let the dough rise for about 30 minutes in the machine or a well-oiled bowl.
3. Punch dough down. Roll into a 12x16 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Cut the rectagle into two 8x12 inch rectangles. Sprinkle italian seasoning on the halves, if desired. Roll up each half tightly, beginning at the 12 inch side. Place on a greased baking sheet. Make deep diagonal cuts across loaves. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes until doubled.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.. Brush loaves with egg white and sprinkle with cheese if desired. Place them in the oven and throw a 1/3 cup of water onto the bottom of the oven at the same time. (This trick will give you a nice crisp crust)
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Once done, move the loaves on a cooling rack right away to maintain crispiness.

I'm sure this recipe would work just fine without a bread machine. The reviews at allrecipes.com have instructions for making it without one.

Recipe modified from

April 3, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

This goes perfectly with some yummy pancakes or waffles, right on time for a lazy Sunday morning.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, buttermilk, butter and cornsyrup. Bring to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle liberally on your waffles and enjoy!

Recipe modified from

Classic Waffles

Perfect for breakfast, with some buttermilk syrup, fresh fruit/berries and whipped cream.

Classic Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp white sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Set aside. Get your waffle iron ready
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla. Pour in the flour mixture and beat until blended.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly fold them into the batter.
4. Now just cook away on your waffle iron, until golden and crisp!

Recipe modified from

I know, I know. That's a lot of whipped cream on that waffle. It's all about the balance, and I did have a lot of fruit there too. Unhealthy whipped cream + Healthy fruit = A well balanced meal!

April 1, 2010

Rolled Sugar Cookies and Icing

I have completely lost it now.

A lot of you know I love baking, but I do have other things in my life that should get done.
Such as laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking, feeding, diapering, bathing, grooming the dog, walking the dog, showering the dog slobber off of me after walking the dog, etc.

Instead of doing all that, I decided to use my 'spare' time on this.

Hours later my hand, and my brain (why, I do not know) were exhausted and I thought to myself: They better taste good.

Oh, they did.

Here are the recipes.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp imitation butter
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla and lemon. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  • 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • 3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Recipe modified from:

Sugar Cookie Icing


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • assorted food coloring


  • 1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and lemon extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  • 2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Frost away!

Note: You may need to tweak the amount of corn syrup and milk, depending how thick or thin you want the icing. 

Recipe modified from:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and exercise all that butter off of my buttocks.