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Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprints are a well known baked good and are just as celebrated as the chocolate chip cookie.Every family has their own version and many have their grandmother's original recipe tucked away.Its surely a nostalgic cookie for many and this recipe version still stays true to its simplicity.

Thumbprints as many of you know, are a simple molded baked cookie that overall becomes fancy.It utilizes the basic technique of creating an indentation by pressing the thumb in the center of each cookie to later fill with your an option of jam or jelly.These cookies are a budget friendly baked treat along with being flexible when needed.Almost everything in this particular recipe can be optional,although these cookies can be quite fragile when first handle.Furthermore,it is an inexpensive treat that any beginner baker could achieve and overall will impress everyone with its appearance.


 Although, thumbprints do have their charm. It's actually what they have on the inside, is what counts.So for my own version, I went with creating a peanut butter and jam thumbprint rolled in chopped nuts and filled with three different jam flavors. To then, create a buttery peanut flavor cookie with the sweetness of fruit jam.So overall this is where you have the options to become imaginative with a recipe and see what you might come up with in your own experience.However,if your not a risk taker,then I suggest you test this recipe first and slowly ease yourself into new ideas. 

Overall,a recipe is just a loose guide to help you along the way to create your own unique treat.There is never mistakes, just experiences.


Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter or margarine,softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg yolk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1 cup finely chopped nuts
About 6 tbsp jelly or jam (any flavor)

1.Heat oven to 350.With my kitchen aid stand mixer on medium speed, I creamed together brown sugar,shortening,butter,peanut butter, vanilla and egg yolk.


2.Then I stirred in the flour and salt,until combined.Then I shaped 1 inch balls, 3 dozen. 


3.In a small bowl,I whisked the egg white with a fork,slightly.With my kitchen aid chopper,I poured in 1 cup of raw almond and chopped them finely.Placing the nuts on a large plate.Then I dipped each cookie ball into the egg white and rolled each into the nuts.Placing each cookie on the ungreased cookie sheet and pressing gently with my thumb to create a indentation.



4.Then I place each cookie on the ungreased cookie sheet and pressing gently with my thumb to create a indentation.


5.Then I baked the cookies for 10 minutes, until light brown.Once they were ready to take out of oven,I quickly and gently remade the indentation, if needed.I also let the cookies cool slightly before placing them on the wire rack.Once placed,I filled each cookie with about 1/2 tsp of jam.Using blackberry,blackcurrant and fruit medley. Then I let them cool completely. 

Pineapple Upside Down Muffins

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The nostalgic Pineapple Upside Down cake has become a sample size, on the go muffin. The delectable, moist spice cake with a sweet, caramelized fruit topping that we all know and love has been wonderfully captured inside a delicious muffin. 

A muffin recipe that is simple for any beginner baker to create as well as contains common everyday pantry ingredients. A super quick recipe that can be modified to any ones liking and can be easily doubled for a bigger crowd.A muffin recipe that I definitely recommend, because I know once anyone takes their first bite, they will remember how much they have missed this cake. 


So go on and see for yourself.Just remember, that to create a perfect muffin is to never over mix the batter as well as to mix the dry ingredients well.So take the chance and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Pineapple Upside Down Muffins


1/4 cup butter,melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup crushed pineapple,drained
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 /2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
 1 tsp baking powder
 1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs,beaten
 1 cup buttermilk 
(buttermilk substitution- 1 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice,sit for 5 minutes)
 2 tbsp butter,melted

 
1. Preheat oven to 375F.I greased a 12 cup muffin tin with shortening.Then I spoon in 1/4 cup of melted butter evenly into each cup.Then I sprinkled in the brown sugar over the butter and arranged the crushed pineapple in the mixture,setting it aside. 


2.Using a large  bowl, I mixed together all the dry ingredients. In another bowl,I whisked together the eggs with the buttermilk and the two tablespoons of melted butter.

 
3.Then I made a well in the dry ingredients and poured the wet ingredients inside.Then I quickly folded it in using a rubber spatula,making sure not to overmix.  


4.Then,spoon in the batter into the prepared muffin cups and baked them until done 20-25 minutes.Lightly golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.


5.I let the muffins cool before removing them.Once cooled I set the muffin pan upside down on a cookie sheet to gently release. Ready to serve warm.

Celebrate Easter With These Cuter Then Ever Treats

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Join in, an celebrate this weekend with this lovable Easter bunny.A perfect cake that any beginner baker could quickly and easily create for their own family gathering.
 

So partake in the fun and see how simple it is to make your own unique rabbit.All you really need to get started,is to have a cute bunny cake pan such as Wilton's easy release and of course a cherished recipe.However if you are torn among the recipes you love, then I highly recommend the classic yellow cake with butter cream frosting.A nostalgic cake that suits to any special occasion and should simply be a vital part of every home bakers kitchen.It is an incredibly versatile cake for any frosting,filling,cake pan or decoration that you desire.A yellow cake is simply old fashion, yet elegant as well as modern.


Therefore, when this recipe comes together, you will have a beautiful, bright spring time cake that is deliciously moist and sweet, along with a creamy vanilla frosting.Then to top it all off you will have the great opportunity to decorate your very own Easter rabbit.Which of course will vary to what I have pictured above.Although, to give advice to a home baker to another home baker, I highly recommend using shredded coconut for a bunny cake, since its such a efficient way to highlight the idea of fur and is excellent with hiding any flaws that may occur with frosting.An not to mention its also quite delicious with yellow cake.So see for yourself and be surprised how impressed your guest will be.



Now, if your just not into to making a cake this year and want an even simpler Easter treat.Then creating these delicious spring time egg nests are a perfect choice. They are a quick, no bake treat that any beginner could make and are great for children to participate in.Overall, you will have an impressive treat that includes very little work to make. So go on and try these ideas this Easter weekend.

 Also,If your like me and love both of these ideas.Then be sure to incorporate the bunny cake and egg nests to create a spectacular Easter display.Just remember,the recipes are super simple to follow and  to put together. Plus the decorating is super fun, since you get to test out your skills and learn new techniques along the way. So join in on the baking and have a great Easter weekend.


 Happy Easter!! Home bakers



Easter Bunny Cake
Adapted From Women's Day Desserts 
Yellow Cake with Fluffy Vanilla Butter cream

Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter,softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs,room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk

Butter cream

Whites from 4 large eggs,room temps
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter,softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract


1. Using my kitchen aid mixture with the flat beater attachment.I creamed together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. 


2. Then I blended in the eggs,one at a time and added the vanilla,baking powder and salt to the mixture.


3. Then I added the flour, alternating with the milk.Beating till smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. 


4. Then I greased the Wilton Bunny Pan with cooking spray and poured the cake batter into the pan,using a rubber spatula.


5. Then I baked the cake for about 25-30 minutes until the cake was golden brown and a toothpick came out clean.I let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turned the cake out on my cake board.

6. I refrigerated the cake overnight(covered) and decorated the cake the next day.

Fluffy Vanilla Butter cream 


1. On low-med, I put the egg whites,sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler.Using my electric hand mixer,I beat this mixture on low speed for 15 minutes over simmering water (not boiling).


2. Once the 15 minute passed, I removed the top of the double boiler and poured the egg white mixture into my kitchen aid mixer bowl.I continue to beat the mixture until thicken and cooled(5 minutes) 


 3. Once cool to the touch I began beating in the butter,a little at a time.Then lastly I added in the vanilla,until well blended.


 4. Then I creamed the mixture until it was smooth and thick. The frosting will look greasy,curdled, or separated at first,but beating overtime will incorporate the mixture.It will be right when the frosting is spread without any separation in the mixture itself. 

 
Decorating 


1. Using an offset spatula,I frosted the bunny cake with vanilla butter cream.For the bunny face I used junior mints for the eyes,black shoe string licorice for the whiskers and mouth and used a jelly bean for the nose.Then I dusted the entire cake with shredded coconut to resemble fur.Then I let it set for the frosting to firm up.



Mini Egg Nests 


1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispie Spring Edition Cereal

Decorative:
Mini eggs
Jelly Beans 
Easter sprinkles
Green butter cream frosting


1. First, I greased a few mini muffin tins with cooking spray, then I set them aside.


2. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat.I began melting the butter.


 3. Once the butter was completely melted,I added in the miniature marshmallows and vanilla.stirring quickly with a wooden spoon


4. When the marshmallows were melted down,I added in the cereal and vanilla,stirring quickly and making sure the cereal is coated well.

5. Then I removed the pot from the heat and with greased hands I began quickly taking small hand fulls of the cereal mixture and pressing them into the greased mini muffin tins.Then I proceeded to indent each with my thumb to create birds nests.Once all the cereal mixture was used,I let them set before decorating.


6. Once cooled, I began decorating the nests with green frosting, mini eggs,jelly beans, and sprinkles.

Note: There was leftover vanilla buttercream frosting from the bunny cake.So I used the rest of the frosting to decorate the egg nests.I dyed the frosting with Wiltons icing gel coloring (leaf green)  and placed it in a piping bag with a small piping tip.

Pixel Perfect Valentine's Day

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Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Here is a day not just for the couples of the world anymore.This is a day to show the ones that you love how much you appreciate them.You truly don't need the store bought card,the candy,the flowers.All you need is to put in the time with your friends,family or partner.
 
Although, a gift is always a nice gesture and if your someone that still needs a little something as a gift.Then I suggest as a foodie to go with the homemade route and create a sweet treat you can all share.

If you love this idea then I recommend creating these resistible homemade red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting. A recipe that can be given as a romantic gift or to share with family and friends.Homemade will always be personal and will fit any occasion that you need.
 
It's really a win,win situation to make a homemade gift.This recipe for example can be adapted to any way you see fit.Change this,change that or keep it how it is.You can decorate a cupcake any way you want to make any day special. Plus it's also an excellent recipe for children to get involved in to help celebrate Valentine's day together.


 So go on and try this cupcake recipe. It's always fun to decorate anything and no one is ever disappointed with the results of receiving a treat.Remember the way to any ones heart is always through their stomach.

Pixel Perfect Red Velvet Heart Cupcakes

Adapted From Martha Stewart's Red Velvet Cupcakes
Made about 24 mini cupcakes and about 21 standard cupcakes

2 1/2 cups cake flour or all purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs,room temp
1/2 tsp red gel paste food color
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (replacement 1 cup 2% milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheated the oven to 350F.Lined a standard muffin tin(12) and a mini muffin tin (24).Had a second standard tin lined for any extra batter.


In a large glass bowl,I sifted in all purpose flour,cocoa and salt,then gently whisked them together.


Then with my kitchen aid stand mixer,on medium speed.I mixed the sugar and oil,until combined.Then I added the eggs,one at a time,beating thoroughly after each.Then I added the food gel and vanilla.


Then on low speed,I added the flour mixture in three batches,alternating with two additions of the buttermilk.Always beginning and ending with the flour mixture.


In a small bowl, I stirred together baking soda and vinegar,making sure that it foamed.Then I added the mixture to the batter and mixed on medium speed for 10 seconds.


Then I filled the standard and mini cupcake tins,each three quarters full.Then I baked them, until toothpick inserted in center came out clean.About 15-20 minutes.Then I placed them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting

6 cups powdered sugar
120ml butter or margarine softened (or two 1/3 cups)
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbsp milk


With my kitchen aid mixer,I creamed together the powdered sugar and softened butter on low speed.Then added the vanilla and 2 tbsps of the milk.I gradually creamed in just enough of the remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. 


Note:If frosting is to thick just add a few drops more and if to thin add a small amount more of the powdered sugar.Also if more frosting is needed for example not all the cupcakes can be frosted,make a second batch with the measurements cut in half like the original recipe.  

Coloring Frosting


I scooped about an even amount of frosting into 6 small bowls,coloring each with food coloring gel.Here I used my Color Swirl 3 Color Coupler Kit.Which includes disposable piping bags,large star tip and three interlocking couplers to join three piping bags for individual colors.

Here I added three colored frostings into each piping bag and piped each cupcake.Then once the first three colors were completely used.I began with the second set of three colors to frost the remaining cupcakes,using new disposable piping bags.Then each cupcake I decorated with a variety of sprinkles,including silver peals,rainbow sprinkles etc.Then I topped each with large pixel hearts and two bite hearts.
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