Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

 

My youngest child started Kindergarten this year. He also turned six the first of this month. If you’re a parent, you know what it’s like to see your littlest being not so little anymore. You are torn between being so proud of their accomplishments and teary eyed because the last little baby is gone. For me, that’s a definite gone. No more babies here. I’m 50 and at this age, I can’t imagine starting over, no matter how tempting it may be. As it is, when Joshie (also known as “Boo”, “Boo Berry”, Boo-Boo”, “Boo Of Boo-ness”, “Joshie Of Joshie-ness” and “Berry Of Boo-ness”…. hey, what family doesn’t have weird endearments for each other? Quit laughing at us. :-P ) graduates high school, I’ll be in my 60’s! YIKES!

When Josh started school, one of the first things he “learned” was how to sit in class (a way I don’t agree with by the way because it promotes back pain and bad posture, but that’s neither here nor there right now :-D ). It’s called “Criss Cross Applesauce”. My older kids are quite a bit older than he is (think mostly grown and married) and I don’t recall them sitting that way or certainly not having what Urban Dictionary calls “the pansy name for sitting cross legged” for it, lol. So now any time I use applesauce in any way, that phrase pops into my head. That is though, preferable to what used to pop into my head- “pork chops and apppppleeesauceeee” from an old Brady Bunch episode. Yes, yes I am old, thankyouverymuch.

On that note, as I totally show my age…. this bread is quite yummy. Very homey, the perfect breakfast bread or after school snack. It’s moist, sweet, but not overly so, with a nice touch of spice. The cinnamon sugar topping as well as the walnuts inside the bread adds a wonderful bit of texture to this to keep it from being one dimensional. This makes 2 loaves, but it’s easily cut in half, though why bother doing so? The loaves aren’t huge and it lasts a fair amount of days wrapped well :-)

You know the drill… :-)

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened applesauce (one 24 ounce container)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • For the topping- 2/3 cup sugar combined with
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch loaf pans with a flour/oil baking spray; that or grease and flour the pans. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt and spices.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Add in the eggs, beating well. Add in the applesauce and vanilla, beating on low speed (this will splatter otherwise) until well combined.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and either on low speed with the mixer or using a sturdy wooden spoon,  combine until mixture is just combined. A few small lumps are fine, just no apparent floury areas. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.
  5. Divide between the two prepared pans. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the loaves, gently pressing down. If you don’t use it all, just store it in a small container. It’s great on toast or even in coffee.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes then carefully invert onto a rack to finish cooling. You WILL lose some of the topping. Just scoop it up and sprinkle it back on the bread.

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Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies




 

I was going through the blog the other day, contemplating redoing some old recipes, using photos that don’t make me cringe. I mean, really, I’m not going to set the world on fire even now with my mad photography skillz but at least now I don’t alternate between hysterical laughter and wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork. Then though? Oh…my….gosh. I sucked.

When I was going through though the recipes though, something occurred to me. I do not have even ONE plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here.

Well, guess what? I STILL don’t have one plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here. I’m tellin’ you; it’s impossible for me to leave a recipe alone! And while I realize that 900 other bloggers have gone the stuffed cookie route, I’m still hanging onto that possibility that there are one or two of you out there who don’t visit many other blogs, but love me for my special type of charm. Plus, my cookies are different. Please don’t ask me why because I don’t have a valid reason. Just trust me on this. k? We’re cool?

As for a plain recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’ll get to it. Someday. Maybe.

That title up there? It is not entirely accurate. At least not for me. I changed it up mid way through and stuffed some of mine with peanut butter filled Dove chocolates. Point being… these are easy to vary. Grab your favorite piece of filled chocolate and bury that sucker in dough.

The cookie part of this is based on Jacque Torres recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I changed it up to the point that the basic home baker who doesn’t have a large variety of flours and ingredients can do it. I also cut down on the amount of chocolate in the dough, as even were I not stuffing these, I would have found it too much. But, having tried the original, I can tell you honestly that I didn’t taste a difference. I think the main thing with his is the resting time and the usage of the 2 flours, which I still adhered to.

You know the drill… git to cookin’ :-)

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (if you happen to have cake flour, use 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour instead)
  • 1 2/3 cup bread flour (no subs)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (I used dark brown)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • a bag or container of your favorite chocolates (I used a mix of some sea salt caramels I bought at Costco a while back and two different varieties of Dove chocolate, the peanut butter and the salted caramel
  •  sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Use a strong hand mixer on high or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and beat well.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture just until combined.
  5. Use a heavy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and fold in the chopped chocolate.
  6. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with either silicone mats or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  8. Scoop out dough portions weighing about 2 to 3 ounces (that is big enough to totally enfold the chocolate so it doesn’t ooze out everywhere). Flatten the dough somewhat and press a chocolate piece into the middle, then close the dough over it. Roll it in your hands for a second to make sure it is sealed.
  9. Bake at 350 for 16 to 20 minutes (it will vary depending on the size of the dough ball and your oven) or until golden brown and mostly firm on top.
  10. Let cool on pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired when still a little bit warm.

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Creamy Pumpkin Maple Flan

Creamy Pumpkin Maple Flan

Creamy Pumpkin Maple Flan



Have I ever mentioned that I keep my husband around in spite of some near fatal flaws? Well, if I haven’t… I do. I’m a sweetheart that way. I mean, this is a man who claims to not like doesn’t like sweets and is married to a blogger who makes mainly sweets. he also doesn’t like wings, which I adore, won’t eat mushrooms… which I adore… hates Bleu Cheese…which I adore…prefers white wine whereas I prefer red… and so on. You seeing a pattern here?

But the worst sin of all? He does NOT like desserts that are creamy. Unless they are ice cream, in which case all bets are off. But desserts like this cheesecake flan or this coconut flan tend to fall completely off of his radar. Some weird justification of “I don’t like the texture”. WHAT!?! What’s not to like? Creamy, silky, smooth… did I mention creamy? When I’m not looking, he probably doesn’t enjoy sunsets, pictures of cute kittens and babies or shows like “Little House On The Prairie” either. It’s all been a lie! A lie, I say! *Sobs and goes to eat his share of the flan*

That said, his not liking the type of dessert I most frequently reach for does have its benefits. I get to eat what would have been his.

This is why I keep him.

This flan is so perfectly seasonal. Pumpkin and spices combine with a subtle hint of maple and all of that is based in a creamy, silky smooth flan.  Add in the sweet caramel topping and it’s Heavenly.

You know the drill…. :-)

Creamy Pumpkin Maple Flan

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (they only come in one size; I believe it is 14 ounces)
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (you can find this at any well stocked grocery store. I buy mine at Trader Joes)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Start a kettle of water to boiling.
  2. Combine the regular sugar and the water in a small pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up to a medium high and cook, with NO stirring, until the caramel is a medium brown color, about 10 minutes. Do NOT walk away from this to tend to the kids, vacuum, take a nap, whatever. Stay near it and just work on the rest of the recipe and check it frequently.
  3. When it is ready, pour it onto the bottom of a deep 10 inch round pan that you have placed inside a larger pan. I use a cake pan.
  4. For the flan part,  in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and maple sugar. Beat well at low speed with a hand mixer. Add in the pumpkin and spices and beat at low speed.  Add in the eggs and the yolks and beat until combined.
  5. Add in the cream and sweetened condensed milk and whisk (trust me… don’t continue to use the beater. Don’t ask how I know these things.) until it is thoroughly combined.
  6. Use a fine mesh strainer and strain this through it into the pan with the caramel. The straining isn’t absolutely necessary but it prevents you from having any fibrous parts in the custard and makes it much smoother.
  7. Carefully place the whole pan into the 300 degree oven. Carefully (again), pour the boiling water into the large pan surrounding the flan, being careful not to splash it into the flan itself. You want it to come about halfway up the side of the cake pan.
  8. Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes or until a butter knife inserted off center comes out clean. The center should still be jiggly, but not loose; rather like when you wiggle set jello.
  9. Cool for about 60 minutes, then put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or so.
  10. Place a large plate over the flan and invert it onto the plate.
  11. Serve. Sing my praises.

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 

This is going to be one of my shorter, less wordy posts. I know…ME… not long winded. What can I say? We all have our days… or in my case, our brief moments. It’s been a long difficult day, I’m totally pooped and I have a headache. But I lurves you all enough that I wanted to get this recipe up before the end of the day anyway. See how good I am to you? :-P

You know the drill… :-)

Love you all!!!!! <3

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple slices in juice, drained and (you will use about 8 of the slices), slices lain on a paper towel and patted dry
  • 6 Maraschino cherries, drained (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get out a 10 inch cast iron pan (you can sub a ten inch cake pan, but a cast iron pan is more traditional).  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream or with the vanilla. Also set aside. :-D
  3. Melt 1/2 stick of the butter in the cast iron pan. Just toss the butter in the pan and shove it in the oven for a couple of minutes. When it is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Lay the pineapple slices around the outer edge of the pan. You should be able to fit 6. Use 2 more, broken in quarters, in the spaces in between each slice.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining stick of butter and the sugar. Beat at medium speed with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes; until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Transfer over to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula- alternately fold in the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture (flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour), mixing well after each addition.
  7. Spoon the batter over the pineapple slices and smooth it out.
  8. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Immediately run a butter knife around the edges of the cake and then invert the pan onto a plate large enough to hold the cake. If any of the fruit sticks to the pan (if you are using a well seasoned pan, it shouldn’t, but…) just lift it out and place it on the cake.
  10. If you actually have any left over, cover well and store at room temp.

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Rich And Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

Rich & Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

Rich & Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

I thought I would give all of you a break today from the now constant inundation of pumpkin this, salted caramel apple that, maple whatever and bring you something rich and decadent, yet bright and refreshing and anything but heavy. Lemon goes with any season and custard still has a bit of a cold weather feel to it, so this works in all worlds. Plus, it’s so darn good!

I remember when my brother, sister and I were kids, we used to make homemade custard. or at least we thought we were making homemade custard. I’m not quite sure what it really was. Steve was the first to try, I believe. And to his youthful credit, it was….edible. If nothing else, it was sweet and as I’ve mentioned before, that was about all that mattered to us as kids. If it had sugar, we ate it. I shudder when I recall us eating *gags a bit* peanut butter sandwiches in which one of the bread slices was heavily coated with sugar when there was no jelly in the house.

But the custard…ahh yes, the custard. Overly eggy with strands of scrambled like eggs throughout, usually somewhat weepy and curdled from overcooking and with no real flavor but eggs and sugar. But we ate it.

To this day though, I absolutely love custard of any type. Vanilla flan style, chocolate, citrus like this one; you name it, if it has cream in it, I’ll eat it :-D

This one is incredibly easy and fairly quick as baked desserts go. You can also eat it while still warm if you want. I personally prefer custard chilled because I love the texture it gets when cold, but the choice is yours. This is rich, creamy and bright with the fresh taste of lemon; a perfect dessert when you want something easy and non chocolate.

You know the drill… :-)

Have I mentioned today how much I lurves all of you for coming to my little corner of the world? <3

Rich And Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks (save those whites and make some meringue cookies or something!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Very lightly butter 5 8 ounce ramekins and place them inside a deep baking pan. Start a pot or kettle of water to boiling
  2. Warm the cream in the microwave just until warm to the touch, not hot, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a mixer on medium speed (you can also just whisk this, but it takes longer), beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla until it is thick and pale colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk or beat (low speed) the cream into the egg mixture, beating constantly. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest and beat well.
  5. Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. Set the pan on the middle rack of the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the pan holding the ramekins, making sure not to let it splash into the ramekins. Carefully push the pan in and bake the custard at 300 for about 30 minutes. You want it mostly set but the center third of them should still be a tiny bit jiggly looking. It will set more as it cools.
  6. Serve warm (just above room temp) or chill.

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Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte



Do you see the difference in the name there in comparison to a certain company that makes a pumpkin spice latte? That, my friend, is because this one has *GASPS* actual pumpkin in it, first and foremost. So the name reflects that. You have no idea how irked I was the first time I got the big name companies pumpkin spice latte and realized that there was no pumpkin in it. What a gyp!

So I, like 14,382 other bloggers, created my own version. Yeah, yeah, I know. This is ubiquitous online and I’m just one more hack posting it :-P But ya know what? There may actually be one or two people besides my husband and kids who don’t read a ton of food blogs and just read little old me cause I’m special or something. Work with me here. I’m having a low self esteem day. Tell me I’m special. Maybe buy me some roses, take me out to dinner and a movie and tell me I have purty eyes. So this is for the people who may not have seen this on those other 14,382 blogs.

When you’re done doing all that (I like dramas or documentaries and prefer Italian or Indian food, btw), make this latte. Well, make the latte syrup and THEN make a latte. The syrup will last weeks in the fridge. Pour it into a squeeze bottle or just put it in a covered container. And if you live in my household, keep it away from the 19 year old, who seems to think he needs 1/2 cup of this in one cup of coffee that is then covered with 3 cups of whipped cream.

You know the drill… get to cookin’. Or, erhmmm, simmering…and latteing.

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. In a medium pot, whisk together all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then immediately turn down to low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Now you can either strain this if the sight of the spices in your cup will bother you (I can be pretty anal, but I don’t strain it. The spices settle to the bottom and don’t cause any issues.) or just store this, covered, in the fridge without straining. Either way, refrigerate it..
  4. To make a latte, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of this per cup of coffee; less if you only want lightly sweetened, more if you’re working towards a restful diabetic coma. Add cream and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Thank me… preferably with big bills or that dinner and a movie.
  5. You’ll notice mine is rather light colored. I was drinking it later in the day so cut the amount of coffee in half for this one. Expect a stronger coffee color in a typical cup.

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Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

 

We didn’t have a whole lot of luck with our tomato plants this year. It was such a wet, unseasonably cool Summer that they didn’t stand a chance. They would get decent sized and green, but few got enough sun to finish ripening. Out of about 12 plants, we got enough tomatoes for one session in the dehydrator, which we ended up eating like candy  and enough for this batch of chutney. I can sincerely say that this chutney was worth the wait for ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been canning for about 17 years or so now. I tend to stick to jams, relishes and chutneys. One of these days I’ll branch out and do pressure canning. I have the canner, just not the motivation or expendable cash. I keep saying that if I come across some fantastic sale on meat, I’ll can some, but who ever finds a fantastic sale on meat nowadays? Most of us are instead practicing meatless dinners a time or two a week because it’s so darned expensive to buy meat of any kind.

Is it horrid of me that I am enjoying this chutney so much that I keep going over to the bowl of it that is in the photo and snagging bites? Hehe This has a wonderfully unique taste in comparison to other, fruitier chutneys I have made in the past. You have the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the bite from the peppers and garlic, the tang of the vinegar…. all melded together into a textural delight. Darn, I’m just soooo poetic today :-P

This has a decent amount of ingredients, but nothing hard to find and it all just goes into the pot together and cooks down, so it’s a fairly low maintenance recipe. I say again, as I’ve said before about canning recipes, practice safe canning, please. Do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s ok to just ladle the food into a jar, put the lid on and go on as if that’s sufficient for sealing. It’s totally NOT good enough. Even if the can seems to seal, you don’t know that it’s vacuum sealed, nor that any possible bacteria were killed. Never take that chance with your own health or that of your family. It’s too easy to do it right. :-) Here’s a link to show you how to properly can if you’re new to it. If you want to make this but don’t want to can it, you can also freeze portions of it. Just thaw when you’re ready to use some.

Water Bath Canning

This chutney is wonderful with any Indian or Thai dish, as well as with any fattier cut of meat. The acidity of the chutney helps to cut the richness of the meat. It’s also great just off a spoon, but I am also a wee bit offbeat :-D

Spicy Tomato Chutney

  • 5 lbs tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I like to leave them in fairly decent sized chop. They add a nice look to the finished product.)
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (non iodized)
  • juice and zest of one small lime
  • juice and zest of one small orange
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles (use more or less as desired, depending on how spicy or not you prefer it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (same chop idea here as for the garlic. Chutney should have texture, not be smooth.)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Put all ingredients into a large, deep pot and stir well to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once it gets to a boil, turn your heat down to a barely medium setting (I do this at 4 on an electric stove) and let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Cook until it has reduced to about half of it’s original amount and has become thick and rich looking, about 2 hours. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at all, lower your heat a tad and make sure you’re stirring enough. Keep in mind that it will continue to thick a LITTLE bit even after you can it so don’t get it too thick during cooking. You want a product that is about the consistency of a loose preserve.
  4. Can as per the above directions (I got 4 1/2 pints out of this), leaving 1/4 inch headspace and boil in a water bath for ten minutes. When done, remove to a towel and leave undisturbed until cool. Check your seal and if any jars didn’t seal, store them in the fridge. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite a long time.

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Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

 


I think we all know by now that I tend to be late on trends. I am ornery, I am contrary, I am too darn independent for my own good and every time a food gets trendy, I mentally fold my arms over my chest, stick my nose up in the air, give a silent “hmmpphhh” and walk off until it’s no longer trendy. Which of course is a case of biting off my nose to spite my face (on THAT note, you know how most sayings got their starts in something that actually happened at one time? Well, I want to know who the heck bit off their own nose to spite their face and how the heck they even did that! What? That’s the way my mind works. I never claimed it was pretty in my head!) because then, by the time I come off my high horse and try something, everyone else is already bored with it.

But I think I may have gotten this one in under the wire. I am still seeing incarnations of “Magic Cake” all over the place. You can see different flavors everywhere you look. Except for one flavor. Snickerdoodle. I looked and looked to make sure and no one else had a Snickerdoodle Magic Cake. Woo to the Hoo for being first at something!

What is a Magic Cake, you ask? In theory,  the thin batter bakes up into 3 distinct layers. I say in theory because I tried twice and mine didn’t separate. Mind you, I used cream in this instead of milk thus the liquid that is fattier could have had something to do with that. But you know what? That’s ok. This is good as it is and I wouldn’t change it just to get layers. Layers, schmayers. Pahhh! Who needs ‘em?! I ended up with a nice thick custardy layer that has a smidgen of a cakey layer on top, all of this flavored with the cinnamon sugar taste that makes you think of Snickerdoodles.

You know the drill…. :-)

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, lightly warmed
  • 3/4 cup flour, whisked together with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for dusting the top of the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a small bowl, at high speed, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cream of tarter until stiff peaks form, about five minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, at high speed, beat together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and creamy looking.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture. Now, use a whisk to slowly whisk in the warm cream (trust me; don’t use an electric beater. The mixture is soupy and will splatter EVERYWHERE.), then mix in the butter and finally, fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour this into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is a nice light golden brown and the top is firm but still jiggles some when shaken, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan until completely cooled (I refrigerated mine because I have a thing for chilled custards), then carefully use the foil to lift the whole thing out onto a board to cut into serving sized pieces. Dust with the powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture. Serve.

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting



I waited as long as I could. But it was time…. time for a pumpkin recipe. :-D it occurred to me as I was contemplating what to make that for a blog named From Cupcakes To Caviar, I don’t have many cupcake recipes on here. Yes, yes, before someone brings it up, I am well aware that I don’t have any caviar recipes on here. Guess what? I never will. :-P I just liked the way the name sounded when I created the blog and it was simply meant to denote that the blog will have everything from the simple to the fancy in it. Buttttt, as I was saying, I realized when mulling over pumpkiny goodness ideas that I don’t have many cupcakes on here. !!!! That had to be rectified immediately. So pumpkin cupcakes it was. But I didn’t want to do plain cupcakes; oh no, not me! So I decided on using brown butter in them. When I went to see if that had been done before, I found a bazillion variations lol. So rather than beat a dead pumpkin, I used the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Two Peas And Their Pod because I knew if it came from there, it would be good. The only thing I did differently was in the matter of spice. I like pumpkin desserts that are heavy on the warm Autumnal spices and their recipe was a bit light for my tastes, so I used quite a bit a little bit more. I also used more vanilla and dark brown sugar rather than light because we enjoy the more caramelly flavor it lends.

These are some delicious cupcakes. The cupcakes part is just dense enough without being heavy and with the additional spices and extra vanilla I added, it tastes like Fall. When I was trying to decide what to do for frosting, I wanted to vary a bit there too. I didn’t want cinnamon or cream cheese or caramel or any of the other “normal” flavors. We all know by now that I don’t do normal well in any aspect of my life. So I chose a combo of maple and honey; both flavors I love but both flavors that can be a bit one dimensional on their own. I knew it would need a bit of tang though, what with 3 sources of sweetness, so I added some sour cream. You could probably sub a thick Greek yogurt if you wanted to. The frosting is quite lovely if I do say so myself. Sweet, but not cloying with a touch of tang from the sour cream and a nice maple and honey flavor.

This all comes together fairly quickly; the long list is mainly spices, so don’t cringe…  you know the drill :-)

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

  •  3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Maple Honey Frosting-
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (preferably grade B as it has a stronger flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 15 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Melt your butter in a medium sauce pot over medium low heat. Stir occasionally as it cooks until it turns a lovely medium brown color and has a nutty aroma. Immediately take it off the heat and pour it into a medium sized bowl to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla and eggs to the cooled brown butter. Whisk to combine. Dump the flour mixture into the butter one and stir just until it’s combined. Don’t overbeat.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling them about 3/4 full. bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the pan to a rack to cool completely. While they cool, prepare your frosting- In a large bowl, on high speed, beat your butter for about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until it is light and fluffy looking.
  6. Add in 4 cups of the powdered sugar and with the mixer OFF (unless you want to have a face full of powdered sugar), stir it around a bit to mix in the sugar a bit. Turn the mixer on low and beat until well combined. Snatch a bite of the butter/sugar mix out of the bowl and enjoy, because it’s one of Gods gifts to us hehe
  7. Add in the rest of the icing ingredients, except the last bit of powdered sugar. Beat at high speed for about 5 minutes. Yes, you read that right. When you first add the ingredients and beat it, it will look soupy. Keep beating and it will come together and thicken. If it isn’t thick enough for piping after five minutes, add the last 1/2 cup of sugar and beat on high speed for about another minute or two. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes.
  8. When ready to frost, stir the frosting a little to loosen it and pipe or spread the frosting on each cupcake. If you have any extra, it can be refrigerated, covered. It’s strangely appealing on bagels and would also be great all melty on top of a waffle or pancakes.

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Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

I generally don’t like sweet corn breads, so when I do make them, it makes the dinner time conversation rather interesting.

Russell (using a really bad Mark Lowry Voice -) “Sugar in the cornbread is cake! When you take a bite of cornbread, it’s supposed to suck 90% of the moisture out of your body!”

Jordan- “If this is cake, can I have whipped cream on it?”

Joshie- “Oooo… cake! Can I have ice cream with it?!”

Yeah… my family is strange. They are also unused to cornbread with sugar. You see, I’m a Yankee by birth and a Southerner by long time geography (well, part genetically too, if that can be genetic :-P ) and that whole birth thing being the case, one would assume I use a ton of sugar in cornbread. Nahhhh. I’m fine with a touch, if any. I am also enough Southerner at this point that when I see people put sugar on a bowl of grits, I am hard pressed to not walk up to them, say “bless your heart, honey. You’re not supposed to do that”, then hog tie them and drag them behind a mule drawn carriage until they learn the error of their ways. So far, I’ve resisted. But I make no long term promises.

All of that said, I liked this cornbread. Would I want sweet cornbread every time? No. But I was pulled in by the words cream, honey and butter in the recipe.  I mean, everyone loves those words… and by everyone, I mean I me.  There are very few things that can’t be made better with copious amounts of cream and butter. Except maybe liver. There is no hope for liver. And eggplant.

This IS a pretty sweet cornbread. It’s also buttery, rich, tender and moist and quite tasty served with a half cup pat of butter on it. This comes from one of my favorite cornbread cookbooks, The Cornbread Gospels. This book is cornbread lovers nirvana. It’s 358 pages of different corn breads and also ways to use said cornbread, plus a few go-alongs. This particular recipe isn’t one you’d serve with something like chili. In my humble opinion, chili needs an unsweetened cornbread. But this was wonderful with the roast chicken we had for dinner and will be wonderful later my favorite way, which is gently heated, put in a bowl with a ton of butter and some maple syrup. YUMMY!

You know the drill… :-)

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed for easier mixing
  • 2 eggs
  1. Butter either a medium (9 or 10 inch) cast iron skillet or a 9 inch square pan and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the cream, milk, sugar, honey and butter. Whisk well. You will probably still have some butter pieces; that’s fine.
  4. Beat the eggs into the cream mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan, drizzle with some extra honey if desired and bake at 400 degrees until it is golden brown and slightly pulled away from the edges of the pan, about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve warm… or room temp… or reheated with butter and maple syrup. :-)

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