Chocolate Cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream, topped with a pretzel.
My grandparents gave me the Cooks Illustrated Baking Book for Christmas, and this is the first recipe I made from it- and it’s a winner. (Of course it is, it’s America’s Test Kitchen!) However, being me and a food blogger, I couldn’t just let the recipe be as is- I had to change it up a bit! The original recipe calls for the butter and sugars to be creamed together. Well, I’m a bit lazy and didn’t want to drag out the stand mixer, and I knew I would need to make the frosting as well, so no stand mixer it was. I melted the butter on the stove and stirred in the chocolate and sugar.
I then mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt), mixed in the wet ingredients (sugar, butter, and cocoa alternated with a mixture of milk and vanilla), added eggs, and bam! 2 bowls and a measuring cup, 7 minutes, and we have a cupcake batter, which is baked for 20 minutes. It’s just as easy as a cake mix!
The buttercream is the same frosting used for my death by peanut butter cookies, and is just as easy to make! I wanted to make some chocolate covered pretzels for the cupcakes, but again… got lazy and didn’t want to walk to the store to get melting chocolate, so I just stuck on plain pretzels. They’re just as good!
Taste breakdown: The cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and moist- no dense or dry cupcakes here! The frosting is sweet, but not too sweet. The trick is to use salted butter, add a dash of salt, and to use just enough confectioners sugar to add body, but not too much to make the frosting too sweet.
The recipe is originally for a two layer chocolate cake, and will make around 17 cupcakes.
Make these for your NYE party, or blaze ahead into the new year enjoying cupcakes and sweets! (All in moderation, of course.)
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe we’ve reached the end of 2013 already? It’s been a crazy year for me, with taking a semester off school to work at Disney, leaving Disney earlier than expected, starting a food blog, and changing my major junior year of school. Wow!
Of course, my favorite was starting my blog!
I had a wonderful, crazy Christmas with both sides of my family, and working as well on christmas day. 🙁 But that’s how things are when you work at an urgent care doctors office. People don’t stop getting sick on Christmas!
My favorite gift was my gift to myself (with the help of christmas money!): A Canon Rebel EOS t3. I’ve decided it’s time to invest in my blog a little bit to help grow PDK, so I’ve been researching for a few months and the rebel seems to be my best bet. I love it! I’ve been snapping pictures all day of my puppies, mom, Brian, and of course, food.
Thank you all for visiting my blog, trying my recipes, and giving your feedback, (especially when you’re pointing out typos- I really do appreciate that.) you have all made 2013 and my first 7 months of 9 months of blogging wonderful.
I hope all of you are having an amazing christmas, however you are celebrating. I hope you’re having a relaxing day amid the hustle and bustle of the season and are remembering the true reason for the season.
Unfortunately I am working at my “day job” today, but afterwards I will be going to my grandparents home for dinner and exchanging presents. I celebrated with my mom’s parents going to church and exchanging presents.
I sincerely hope that you all have an amazing day and safe travels to those who are traveling!
Need a last- minute Christmas recipe that’s simple and unique? These blondies will do the trick!
So I have a confession: I don’t like eggnog. Like, at all. I tried it once last year at a Christmas party for a club I was in, and I thought it was disgusting. Fast forward a year, when I’m a food blogger and well… I just felt the need to put eggnog in something. So! Blondies it is. For the record, I love these blondies!
These are incredibly easy to make, and can be made in less than 30 minutes. With all of the last minute preparations being made for Christmas, these will fit in nicely between preparing for cookie swaps, picking up some last minute stocking stuffers, and fighting everyone else at the market for a turkey.
I took SomethingSwanky’s no-fail fudgy brownie recipe, and made some changes. Most notably, swapping out the cocoa powder for more flour. I removed one egg, and added in 6 tablespoons of eggnog (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons). They’re soft, creamy, and full of flavor. My dad texted me at 5 AM on his way to work saying they were “AMAZING!! But too amazing for an (almost) 50 yr old dude.” Yes, that was an exact quote.
Side note: He’s not almost 50 anymore- his birthday was Saturday! We had a great party at the Babe Ruth birthplace and naturally his parents and brothers told embarrassing stories.
With Christmas coming so soon, a simple dessert to break up all those cookies is in order, and this is perfect for all those non cookie or chocolate lovers!
Simple Blondies with eggnog flavor, perfect for the Holidays!
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons eggnog (6 tablespoons)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
Mix together butter and sugars. Add in egg and vanilla.
Mix in eggnog.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix into wet ingredients.
Pour into a 9x9 pan (if using glass pan, spray with non-stick baking spray before adding batter) and bake for 25 minutes or until edges are pulling away from pan and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out nearly clean.
Well, that was quite a long break from blogland… Unfortunately, while I do consider Pixiedustkitchen a job, I am first and foremost a student (WITH THREE SEMESTERS LEFT I CAN FINALLY SEE THE END) and finals week took up the majority of my time.
I’m a bit behind on the Christmas posts, can you believe that Christmas is in 7 days? I certainly can’t. I’m not even done with my shopping yet! Life is busy though, and I’m sure that you’re all behind on things just like me, so today I present an easy, last- minute cookie that can be made in less than an hour and looks incredibly festive!
To make these sugar cookies, I took the dough for my mothers famous chocolate chip cookies, took out the chocolate chips, and nearly doubled the vanilla extract. An incredibly easy dough base for these cookies!
We’ll then divide the cookies into two bowls, dye one green and the other red. You’ll need more dye than you think you will! I used nearly two teaspoons of each, but I advise you to mix in the dye slowly until it’s the shade you prefer.
The dough does need to be chilled, but because we have already dividied it in half, it only needs to chill for 30 minutes. Why do we chill dough? For a few reasons:
It keeps the cookies from spreading as much when they are in the oven. Warm dough makes thin and flat cookies, while chilled dough will create thicker, poofier cookies.
It helps bring the flavors together. Similar to wine or cheese, dough that has “aged” sliglhty has better flavors. This is also why carrot cakes and pumpkin treats are better on day two!
After the dough as chilled, we’ll roll them out into tablespoon sized balls, and roll the tops in sprinkles. Who doesn’t love a good cookie covered in sprinkles? The cookies will then bake for 7 minutes. The middles will look underdone when you pull them out of the oven, but that is okay. They will finish baking as they set up and cool, and this results in soft and chewy cookies. If the edges are starting to turn brown, the cookies are done and definitely need to be pulled out of the oven. Set the cookie sheet on top of the oven and the cookie cool slightly before moving to a wire cooling wrack.
To make cookies that are half red, half green, take 1/2 tablespoon of red cookies, and 1/2 tablespoon of green cookie dough, mash them together, and roll into balls. I rolled the cookies in a variety of christmas colored sprinkles before baking.
The cookies are light, buttery, and perfect for your Christmas cookie platter!
It’s FINALS WEEK here at my school, and so I have had almost no time to bake bake while studying. My friend Miss Messy was nice enough to guest post for me today! I can’t wait to see what she has for you.
I decided to share something cheery and Christmassy today. Who can’t be happy with the smell and flavour of Christmas?! I made these when I’d handed in some essays recently, because I finally had the time to make something with yeast.
I love baking bread, I think it is my favourite thing to bake, but unfortunately it takes so long.
These would be delicious for a weekend breakfast near Christmas, and I realized these could easily been made into an overnight recipe.
If you place them in the fridge after they’ve been shaped for their second prooving and bake them in the morning they will come out just as well. You could even make them on Christmas eve for Christmas morning.
I have no excuse not to make them now.
This is a pretty adaptable recipe, you can use the base dough recipe with lots of different toppings.
For the first time I’ve translated one of my recipes into cups as Faith’s an American blogger, but if anyone would like me to translate it to grams, just let me know!
For the Rolls: 5½ cups plain flour 2¼ tsp dry yeast 1¼ cups milk ½ cup butter ⅓ cup granulated sugar 2 medium eggs 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest ⅓ cup orange juice For the Glaze: 1½ cups powdered sugar 1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest 2-3 tbsp orange juice
For the Rolls: 5½ cups plain flour
2¼ tsp dry yeast
1¼ cups milk
½ cup butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
⅓ cup orange juice
For the Glaze: 1½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2-3 tbsp orange juice
In a large bowl combine two cups of flour and the yeast.
Combine milk, butter and sugar and heat in the microwave for until milk is slightly warm and butter just starts to melt.
Add the milk mixture to flour mixture and stir.
Add the eggs, orange juice, and orange zest, and stir until combined.
Gradually add in the remaining flour, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, and is just slightly sticky to the touch.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and let rise for one hour in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 180C. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll each one into a 10 inch rope.
Tie each into a knot and tuck in the ends, place on the baking sheets, cover with clingfilm and let rise until nearly doubled.
Bake 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
For the glaze whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice in a small bowl until well mixed. Brush over the rolls immediately after removing from the oven.