Cheesecake Carrot Cake Muffins With Streusel Topping

Cheesecake Carrot Cake Muffins With Streusel Topping

Cheesecake Carrot Cake Muffins With Streusel Topping



I hate carrots. No; really. I do. Fine, I just kind of hate carrots. I totally can’t stand raw carrots. As for cooked and savory, I only like baby carrots cooked with a ton of salt and butter. Rather like a crunchy orange salt and butter delivery system, one might say. I DO however, love carrot cake. Go figure. I also dislike zucchini but love zucchini bread. I would wager the obvious reason is that the veggies add moistness but don’t leave behind a lot of their icky poo flavors. Yes, I’m 51 and just said “icky poo”. Just shush. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know not to expect normality in any way, shape or form.

Long story short, I wanted carrot cake. But I’m too lazy to make carrot cake. So, when I realized I had a bag of the funky orange sticks taking up room in my veggie drawer and no intentions of actually using them for the cake I had envisioned, I had to improvise. When I noticed that I hadn’t done a muffin recipe in a while, that made up my mind. Carrot Cake muffins it was! And what, I hear you saying, is the best part of carrot cake? Certainly not the carrots! πŸ˜› It’s the cream cheese frosting. So i used what few working brain cells I have left and I came up with these. Carrot cake muffins stuffed with a creamy cheesecake filling and then for total overkill, just because I could, I topped them with some streusel I had in the freezer. Because the world would be a happier place if everyone had streusel all the time AND no freezer is complete if it doesn’t have a bag of streusel in it just waiting for times like this.

These turned out darn tasty. I know…wonderfully descriptive today, aren’t I? But really; they are. The muffins have just enough batter to hold together the carrots, raisins, pineapple and nuts. Then there is a creamy center, reminiscent of a good cheesecake. All of that is topped with a crunchy streusel. What more does on need in life? Fine, you can get a cup of coffee or tea to go with them. But seriously… that’s it. Your breakfast or mid afternoon snack will be complete with just those two things.

You know the drill…. πŸ˜€

Don’t let the long ingredient list throw you. This is pretty quick.

Cheesecake Carrot Cake Muffins With Streusel Topping

  • Streusel-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts (optional; sometimes I use nuts in my streusels, sometimes not)
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Muffin-
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts (easily toasted by placing in a layer in a baking dish and toasting at 350 for about ten minutes; just until lightly browned)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil, like vegetable
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots (It will take about 4 large carrots)
  • 1 8 ounce can pineapple tidbits in juice, well drained (Use the lid to press down on the pineapple to get excess juice out so you don’t end up with soggy muffins)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease or line with liners 12 muffin cups. You will have a bit of batter left, so use it for one jumbo muffin or another couple of regular sized ones.
  2. Make your filling and streusel and set both aside- for the filling, beat together all the ingredients in a small bowl until creamy. Simple as that.
  3. For the streusel, in a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until you have chunks ranging from pea size up to nickel sized.
  4. For the batter, in a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients- the eggs, honey, oil, vanilla, carrots, pineapple and raisins. Stir well.
  5. In another bowl, whisk to combine all the dry ingredients- the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda and salt.
  6. Dump the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet one and stir JUST until combined. Don’t over stir. You’ll end up with tough, tunnely (yes, tunnely is now a word) muffins if you do.
  7. Fill each muffin cup with just enough batter to cover the bottom. Then top that with about a tablespoon of the cheesecake filling. Then, cover the filling with a healthy dollop of the muffin batter. You want to end up with filled, but not overflowing muffin cups.
  8. Sprinkle streusel over the tops of each muffin, gently pressing down to get it to adhere better.
  9. Bake at 375 until the muffins are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted through the side comes out clean (it’s fine if there is some cheesecake filling on the pick, just no loose muffin batter itself), about 20 to 24 minutes.
  10. Let cool in the pan for a minute or two, then gently pull them out (I use a spoon) and set them on a rack to finish cooling.

Cheesecake Carrot Cake Muffins With Streusel Topping 2

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Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (Recipe Redo)

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread



Both times I posted this, I debated for weeks, WEEKS I say, as to whether it should be called pumpkin cranberry bread or cranberry pumpkin bread. I walked the floors, I lost weight from not being able to eat, I didn’t sleep for days at a time! Why, you ask!? (Pretend you asked) All for YOU! Yes, YOU, dear and faithful reader! All two of you. For this show of love, I believe I should have multiple boxes of Godiva truffles sent to me, along with large cars, house and land deeds and cold, hard cash.

I am redoing this recipe for two reasons- 1) because the original photo I took sucked donkey toes. I mean, we’re talking really really bad. Then, there is 2) which is that as good as the bread was back then, it could still be better. Now however? It’s awesome. It can’t be better. It is pumpkin cranberry (cranberry pumpkin?) nirvana. You eat this and angels weep, but only because they don’t have any. It has the perfect blend of squashy pumpkin flavor and tart sweet cranberry flavor, all mixed up in a perfectly moist bread redolent of warm Autumn spices and a touch of orange for zing.
This is a very easy bread to make. No chopping of this ingredient, dicing of this one. It uses canned pumpkin and canned cranberry sauce. Both of which also add incredible moistness as well as flavor to this.

You know the drill… git to cooking.

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce (use a good quality brand; I have found over the years that the cheap store brand ones use more sugar then fruit and it shows in the taste. I prefer Ocean Spray )
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or use cooking spray on one 8 inch and one 9 inch loaf pan. You can use both 9 inch pans if that is all you have, but you will have much flatter loaves and you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Over the years, I have found this to be the best combination.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk well. Set aside for now.
  3. In another bowl, combine the vanilla extract, orange zest and juice, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree, oil and egg yolk. Mix well until it is relative smooth. You’ll have lumps from the cranberries of course.
  4. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones all at once. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine them together JUST until mixed. You don’t want a bunch of flour of the bottom of the bowl, but don’t over mix it. That causes tough bread.
  5. Divide between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops and bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, no loose batter, about 45 to 60 minutes. The 8 inch pan will probably finish before the 9 inch.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully invert it into your protected hand and then re-invert it onto the rack. Let cool for about an hour before attempting to cut.

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Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

 

 

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake



Growing up in Chicago, places like apple orchards weren’t exactly on the list of weekend getaways. When my dad lived in one of those old hotels in Hyde Park, this one called The Saranac, he used to take me to The Museum Of Science And Industry or maybe The Field Museum when I visited him. On rare occasions during the Summer, we might head out to the Indiana State Dunes and spend the day getting sunburned…I mean, playing in the lake. Nahhh, I mean getting sunburned. Nobody worried about sunscreen back then. By all rights, none of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s should have any skin left. I remember a sunburn I got when I was 17 that left me the color of a Coke can and blistered. My dad wanted me to go to the ER, but I refused.

But I digress. Imagine that. Me. Going off on tangents.Β  As I was saying, there were no orchards in the middle of Chicago. Since living in KY (half my life now, actually), and raising my kids here, it has never failed to make me a bit jealous when my kids would go on field trips to apple orchards or “pick your own pumpkin” spots. It was always just so…. southern to me. In a wonderful way, mind you. So when the idea to go to an orchard with the boys popped into my head, I ran with it. The one we went to is so cool. The apples were fairly well picked over this late in September, but we still got some. But there was also a huge play area that Joshie and Jordan loved, a cafe that we hope to eat at next time and tons of homey apple and “countryish” products at a store there. I hate that it took me until I was this ancient to discover orchards!

So what did I make with what apples we got? Not a darn thing. We didn’t get enough to spare for anything but out of hand eating. It was just coincidental that I had made this cake Saturday.

This is one awesome coffee cake, if I do say so myself *preens a little* It’s a tamer version of a crumb coffee cake. I stuffed this with apples, cranberries and cinnamon chips, as well as a crumbly mixture on top and in the middle. This is ultra moist due to the apples with a lovely flavor due to, well, all the varied ingredients. This is such a perfect Autumn cake. Typical of many coffee cakes, this is even better in the days following baking it, as opposed to fresh from the oven. The flavors need time to meld and then it is spectacular. The recipe was very loosely based off of one I got from a yahoo groups newsletter over a decade ago. Anyone else remember those groups fondly!?

This is a tiny bit more involved than “throw and dump”, but nothing you can’t handle. Trust me.

You know the drill….

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

  • Filling/Topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted, finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of either fresh apple cider or (preferably, if you have it) boiled cider**
  • 2 1/4 cups of peeled and chopped apples (about 4 small apples)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked for 20 minutes in 3 tablespoons hot water, then drained
  • 1 bag Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips (you COULD make this optional, because I know these can be hard to find, but please try to find them!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a tube pan. Alternately, spray it with a flour/oil baking spray such as Bakers Joys Or Wiltons (which is my favorite) Set aside
  2. Make your filling- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts. Add in the melted butter and mix until it is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, in a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar. beat on low speed with a hand mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Combine the buttermilk and apple cider/boiled cider in a measuring cup.
  6. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl with the butter, starting and ending with the flour (1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour,Β  remaining buttermilk, remaining flour), beating on low speed JUST until combined after each addition.
  7. Gently fold in the apples, cranberries and cinnamon chips.
  8. Spoon half the batter into the prepared tube pan. Evenly top with half the crumb mixture, then the other half of the cake batter. Then top with the last half of the crumb mixture. Gently pat it down to help it adhere to the top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, no loose liquidy batter. Let it cool in on a rack in the pan for about ten minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the sides of the pan and around the center hole. Do this a couple of times just to make sure it’s completely loosened.
  10. Carefully (use pot holders and/or a towel. This is till gonna be hot) invert the pan over your (protected) hand (works even better if you can use two hands and someone else does the inverting and shaking. Don’t ask me how I know this. Ahem.) and carefully shake the cake out. Invert it immediately back onto the rack to finish cooling.
  11. Let cool until completely cool before slicing, about two hours. Like I said above, this is even better the next day.

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**If you want to make your own quickie version of boiled cider (boiled cider has a much more intense apple flavor than regular cider, so is worth the trouble.), take 1 cup of fresh cider and pour it into a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat a bit and continue boiling until the cider has reduced down to about 1/4 cup. Let it cool before using.

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Spice Apple Coffee Cake

 

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle



The idea for these scones came into my head around the beginning of June. But I knew if I put up this combo of flavors in the middle of what turned out to be an unbearably hot Summer in many places, no one would give them a second glance. And these deserve to be glanced at. Well, they deserve to be eaten, but it’s ok to look at them first. They aren’t the worlds prettiest baked good, but what scone is?

So I waited until the weather cooled to make them. They are a perfect breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee or a great afternoon snack when the “hangry’s” are making you growl. πŸ˜› All the flavors in here meld so well into the flaky, buttery scone.

When I first thought of them, I had no plans for a glaze. But they looked naked. So it occurred to me what goes well with both apples and bacon? Maple, of course. I was a little worried about the cheddar part, but it actually works great. I mean, everyone loves maple and apples, and who doesn’t smear their bacon through the syrup on their plate, right? Well, the cheddar can be our new secret cause it’s darn good!

These go together quickly. Mix it up and pat it out. You can do the typical wedge cut with these or, as I did, just use a biscuit cutter.

You know the drill…. πŸ˜€

Mrs. Cupcake, who just finished a lovely lunch of a scone and some tea.

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons chilled salted butter, sliced thin (yes, salted. I know I usually use unsalted, but I wanted to try the salted with this being a savory scone.)
  • 8 ounces bacon, fried until crisp, cooled and crumbled
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped apple, about 2 small apples (peels on or off, your choice. I left them on)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (plain old table syrup like Mrs. Butterworth or Log Cabin is fine)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets or line with silicone mats.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold butter; just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Whisk together the heavy cream and the egg. Pour this all at once into the center of the flour/butter mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix it, getting all the dry flour off of the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Dump the bacon, apple and cheddar into the dough. Stir well to combine. Dump it all onto a lightly floured board or counter and gently knead it a handful of times, just to incorporate the add ins. It may seem dry, but the moisture from the apple and the bacon will soften it up within just a minute or so.
  6. Pat the dough into a large circle of about 3/4 inch thick. Then either use a sharp knife to cut it into wedges or use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Cut as closely together as possible if doing that, because when you reroll the scraps to make more, they can get tough. I got ten scones using a biscuit cutter.
  7. Bake at 375 until golden brown and firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a minute, then let finish cooling on a rack.
  8. For the glaze, simply combine the powdered sugar, syrup and cream. Whisk until creamy and relatively lump free. Either drizzle over the scones or dip the tops of each scone in the glaze, depending on whether you want a light or heavy coating.

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Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Bacon, Cheddar & Apple Scones With A Maple Drizzle

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam



I remember when I first started canning about 15 years ago. I thought I owned the world. To be able to create jams, jellies and preserves in flavors no store would ever have; to feel so danged “Earth Mother-ish”. It was empowering in its own weird way. The first thing I ever made was orange marmalade. It was, yet again with me, a case of not even realizing I had picked something that experienced cooks/canners don’t like to do and that the inexperienced canners balk at. I have a habit of that. Same thing happened the first time I made croissants not long after I started baking with yeast. I found out later that many experienced home bakers don’t like to attempt croissants because they can be touchy. I’ve always been like, “This sounds good… I want to make it” and I give it a try. Usually things go well. I suppose ignorance really is bliss, ehh? This particular jam is a favorite in my family. My son Jordan has to be stopped from just eating it out of the jar as dessert and my husband, who is diabetic, loves it even though it’s so NOT good for him. If you like the classic mix of strawberry banana, you will love this jam. And contrary to what you may think, home canning isn’t difficult at all. If you can mix, stir, ladle into jars and then boil sealed cans, you’ve got this. I will say what I say every time I post a canning recipe, however. Steer clear of recipes/web sites/blogs that tell you it is just fine and dandy to do things like seal your jars by turning them upside down or just putting a lid on and letting the inner heat seal them, etc. These methods are NOT safe. You’ll run into people who will say, “Oh, my gramma/great gramma/gramma 35 generations ago did it this way and everyone was just fine.” They’re wrong, plain and simple. We have no way of knowing how many illnesses, “Oh, she has a stomach virus” or even deaths back in the day were from food poisoning. Seal your cans the correct way and you’ll have tasty food that is safe. Here’s a wonderful site to check out if you’re new to canning- Fresh Preserving . It will guide you along in easy terms and make you see how simple this really is! You know the drill…. git to cooking. Erhmmm, canning. This makes about 8 half pint jars.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

  • 4 3/3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 1/2 containers strawberries and 3 to 4 medium bananas)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1 box pectin (the powdered kind, not the liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter to help prevent excessive foaming
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 3/4 cups sugar (yes, this is the correct amount; jams take a fair amount of sugar to set properly and are NOT diet food πŸ˜› )
  1. Prepare your jars as directed in the above link and set your lids in a bowl of bowling water to sterilize them.
  2. Stem your strawberries. Crush them and measure out exactly 3 1/4 cups of the mashed berries (if there is any left over, which is doubtful, just find another use for them). Mash the bananas and add exactly 1 1/2 cups of them in a large pot along with the mashed strawberries. Stir in the lemon juice and the vanilla.
  3. Stir the powdered pectin into the pot with the fruit. Make sure you have your sugar measured and at hand.
  4. Add the butter and bring the fruit/pectin mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can’t be stirred away), stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the sugar all at once. Still stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil Once it gets there, boil for a full minute. Immediately remove form the heat and skim off any foam that has collected on top. Let the pot sit for five minutes, stirring about once every minute to help make sure the fruit doesn’t settle, but stays suspended throughout the mixture.
  6. Ladle into the prepared jars; wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean hot, wet cloth. Cover with the lids and process in boiling water for ten minutes. Remove form the water and let cool, set on a clean towel. You’ll hear a satisfying “ping!” as each jar seals.
  7. Label and store in a dark, cool place.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam 2 Β  Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With A Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping



After I made these, I was talking with a dear friend about deep frying, doughnuts and the lack of good doughnuts even in her neck of the woods; New York City. Now, of all places in the states, wouldn’t you expect the most well known city around to have good doughnuts? But according to her, nope, not really. Add in that she has a strange fear of deep frying and homemade doughnuts simply aren’t happening for her. Mind you, these are the first ones I’VE made since I made these delicious ones. But I still don’t have a deep frying phobia. I fry chicken…wait, I don’t deep fry that… I fry potatoes… wait, I tend to roast them… ok, so maybe I don’t deep fry but once a year or so myself.

These were totally worth the trouble though. The doughnut itself is only mildly sweet. The draw with it is the crispy outside and that tender, fluffy inside. It also has a light lemon flavor. But then, ahhh, but then, you have a filling of creamy lemon curd and after that, they are coated in a crunchy, divinely scented lemon vanilla sugar. You want these.

Obviously, these take a bit more time and effort than some of the things I post, like cookie bars or quick breads. But I have faith in you. You’ve got this.

Also, you will probably have some lemon sugar left. Do NOT toss it. You can use it in tea, baking, even as a sugar scrub if you add a bit of olive or coconut oil.

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With A Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

  • Doughnuts-
  • 2 tablespoons water, about 115 degrees
  • 1 package (not a full strip) dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to between 112 to 117 degrees
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (it doesn’t make it taste almondy; just is a complement to the lemon)
  • vegetable oil or some other neutral oil
  • Filling-
  • One batch of lemon curd (you may not use it all. You won’t mind that.) Your best bet is to make this a day ahead of time, so it has time to chill and finish thickening up
  • Topping-
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • zest from two large lemons (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • beans scraped from 3 vanilla beans (if you have no vanilla bean, you can either omit this or carefully sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract over the batch of sugar, making sure to mix well)
  1. Make your dough first. Pour the yeast into a small bowl. Pour the two tablespoons warm water over it, stirring to combine. Let it sit until it is starting to bubble and foam, about five minutes. In a small In the bowl of a stand mixer (as I have said before, you can always do any yeast dough I post by hand with a heavy spoon or with a good hand mixer), combine the yeast mixture, 3 cups of the flour, butter, warm milk, egg yolks, sugar and flavorings. Use the dough hook on low speed to combine, scraping the bowl as needed, until you have a soft sticky dough, then turn the mixer up to 2. Add in more flour, a quarter cup at a time, until you have a tacky, only slightly sticky dough that has come together in a ball around the hook.
  2. Dump the dough into a oiled bowl, turning so both sides are oiled. Cover and let rise in the bowl until about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. While the dough rises, make the sugar topping. In a medium bowl, simply combine the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds (or extract). Stir well and let sit. When you use it, the mixture will have hardened some due to the moisture in the lemon zest. Just use your hands to stir it around.
  4. When the dough has risen, punch it down and then dump it out onto a lightly floured board or counter.Β  Roll it out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles of desired size (I used a 2 inch diameter cutter) and lay them on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Let rise until slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
  5. While they rise, pour about 2.5 inches of oil into a heavy duty pot (I used my dutch oven). Heat slowly to 350 degrees.Β  When the oil is ready, carefully drop two to four doughnut rounds (don’t crowd the pot; use good judgment based on the size of pot you used) into the oil. Let cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Watch your oil temp and adjust as needed. Too low and you have greasy doughnuts. Too high and the outside browns before the inside cooks.
  6. As they finish, transfer them to a rack set over a cookie sheet to cool.
  7. When cool, carefully roll each doughnut in the lemon sugar until coated then scoop some lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a simple hole style tip.Β  Push the tip into the middle of each doughnut and squeeze some lemon curd into the middle. Serve with extra lemon curd for dipping if you so desire… and believe me, you’ll desire.
  8. If you want them to be more thoroughly coated with the sugar mixture, roll them in the sugar while still slightly warm, and don’t fill with the lemon curd until they are cool. Then, when cool, roll them one more time in the sugar and fill with the lemon curd.
Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

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I simply could NOT resist adding this one in here, too, hehehe

I simply could NOT resist adding this one in here, too, hehehe

Easy Amish Sugar Cake (Recipe Re-do)

 

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake



I’ve always wondered what makes some recipes winners and others total flops. I’ll post something that tastes wonderful and even has a decent photo and it will get two shares on facebook and not a lot of notice.Β  Then, another time, I’ll post something that, while good (not like I’m going to post crap), is fairly simple and nothing exciting, just homey food. And suddenly it will get 90 bazillion shares on facebook and a ton of people will come here to the blog to see it. Have I ever mentioned that all of you confuse me sometimes? πŸ˜›

This recipe falls under the second category. It is simple, tasty, homey and as easy as can be. But is certainly isn’t exciting or some earth shaking cuisine and I have come to realize that many of you prefer the recipes like this one.Β  This is by far my most pinned recipe on Pinterest and always get a lot of shares on facebook when I repost it there. All this with sub par photos, lol. I originally made this one for the blog in early 2012. Like I said, it is tasty and simple. You get a slightly crispy top and edges and a tender inside. part of the topping sinks to the bottom and you can a wonderfully buttery, yet crisp and sweet bottom crust, too. It’s a wonderful breakfast cake as well as a great treat for the family and an after school snack. it takes ten minutes tops to get this into the oven and about 3 minutes for your family to have it devoured πŸ˜€ It also is one of those simple cakes that most of you will already have all the ingredients for. So what are you waiting for? Go… make your house smell amazing and make the kids and spouse love you even more than they already do. Cause you’re just that good!

You know the drill…. git to cookin’

Mrs. Cupcake…. who is going to have another slice of this cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (more like 1/4 cup if you’re doing this in one larger pan)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon (you’re sprinkling it on, so use the amount that makes YOU happy)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two 9 inch cake pans. You can also, as I did this time, use a 10 inch cast iron pan. You may end up using a bit less melted butter for drizzling at the end though, plus plan on a longer baking time by about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. Dump in the egg, milk, vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons melted butter.
  4. Stir just until well combined and smooth. Don’t overbeat.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pan or pans. Sprinkle with desired amount of brown sugar, then the cinnamon. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the tops of the cakes.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm and crackly looking and the cake is a nice golden brown color.
  7. This is best served warm but it’s still good cold and reheats nicely.

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Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

 

 

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread



As much as I love making yeast breads and other good stuff that are yeast raised like sticky buns , my first love will probably always be cornbread .There is just something so homey about a good wedge of cornbread, be it plain or doctored up, as this version is. You can eat it by itself; and contrary to popular belief, you really should be able to eat it plain, without soaking it in something to relieve dryness. If it’s that dry, you did something wrong when baking it.

On the yeast bread front, I’ve put my sourdough starter out to come to room temp somewhere in the vicinity of 43 times in the last month. Then, I get involved in other things, put it away and say I’ll get to it the next day. If starters could be sentient, mine would have the worlds largest inferiority complex. “What? She doesn’t want me again? Was it something I did… said? Do I smell funny? Wait… I’m supposed to smell funny.”

With this bread, I took the recipe I have up in here for honey cornbread and played with it. I traded the plain butter for browned butter because you can never go wrong with brown butter, used maple sugar in place of the regular and added in a pint of blueberries.Β  This one is perfect for breakfast. Just serve it withΒ  yogurt and a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re good to go. It’s actually almost cake like enough to be a good fit for dessert too, if you’re the nontraditional sort, as I am. One of my favorite desserts is a piece of cornbread with butter and maple syrup. Try it sometime. πŸ™‚

You know the drill…

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have maple sugar, sub 1/4 cup regular sugar and add in 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring when you add the eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed if needed to make it pourable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Then, brown your butter- place the butter in a small pot. Melt it over medium high heat, swirling it frequently. Let it keep cooking until it turns a nice golden brown, then immediately pour it into a measuring cup or bowl to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, cream, milk, honey and browned butter. Whisk well. Add in the eggs (and maple flavoring if that’s what you’re using) and whisk well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir just until barely combined. gently fold in the blueberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20Β  to 25 minutes.
  7. Best served warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup. But that may be a bit of bias on my part. πŸ˜€

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DSCF1534

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

 

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Cinnamon Sticky Buns



I always get confused when I see how nervous some people are about the idea of working with yeast. I mean no disrespect by that. I also get confused by at least 948 other things every day. It’s just that I started making yeast breads and pastries when I was still a fairly novice cook. Now I’ll look at recipes that seem pretty straightforward and they’ll have warnings about “Once you master this, you can move on to harder things like danish pastry and croissants”. Hmmmm… one of the first things I ever made were homemade croissants. I didn’t know that, as a beginner, I wasn’t supposed to be able to make them or that I was supposed to be scared to even try. I could read, therefore I could bake.

Point being, that’s what I want for all of you. If you can read and have any cooking ability at all (I qualify that because if opening a can of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee is beyond your skill level and you only come to blogs to send the recipes to your mom, I make no promises πŸ˜› ), you can make yeast raised baked goods with no problem. They take a little more patience is all and a little more with certain things, like the temps of liquids. Too hot and you can kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t activate at all. But all you need is an instant read thermometer and you’re good to go. Bake enough and you won’t even need that. You’ll be able to test the temp with your finger and know if it’s right.

I first made these sticky buns in about 1990 or so and have been making them ever since. More or less. It occurred to me the other day that I have never made them for my husband and he and I have been together over seven years. Seven years with no sticky buns!!? What was I thinking?! So it was time. And I am so glad I did. Tender, slightly sweet pastry with a buttery, sweet and cinnamony filling, all smothered in a sticky, teenie tiny bit chewy glaze. These are wonderful fresh out of the oven. These are wonderful room temp. These are just wonderful; period. These are done with a stand mixer and I’ll give directions that way, but you can always, always do yeast doughs by hand.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚ and no fear is your motto!! Well, that and “I’m going to eat a pan of sticky buns all by myself!”

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

  • dough- 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (between 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to about 120 degrees
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 5 to 6 cups flour (it will vary each and every time due to weather, humidity, moisture content of the flour, etc)
  • filling-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • glaze-
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (whichever you prefer; I like to use dark)
  • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup (this provides the “sticky” part; don’t omit it. Corn syrup is NOT the same thing as HFCS)
  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
  1. Sprinkle the 2 packs of yeast over the warm water. Let sit for 3 minutes or so to dissolve. When you go to get it, it should be bubbling and foamy. If not, your yeast may be dead and you should probably use different yeast. Better to do that than waste an entire recipes worth of ingredients.
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla extract and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on low just long enough to combine. Add in the yeast and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Change over to the dough hook and beat until smooth.Β  Add in 2 1/2 cups more flour. Beat until it is a shaggy mass. It may still be somewhat sticky. Add in another 1/4 cup of flour at a time if needed and beat to incorporate. You want a final dough that is SLIGHTLY tacky, but doesn’t leave dough on your fingers when you press into it. This batch took a full six cups of flour for me. Other times, I’ve used about 5 to 5 1/2 cups.
  3. Turn your speed up to 2 or 3 and let the dough hook do the kneading work for you. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes; work that gluten! πŸ˜›
  4. Turn dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat both sides, then cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise. Let the dough rise until it is about doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, make your glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and combine until totally mixed and no streaks of butter show. Divide mixture between 2 9 inch cake pans, using your fingers to pat it all the way across the bottoms of the pan. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Set aside and start your oven preheating to 350 degrees.
  6. When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Roll it into about a 24×12 rectangle. Don’t stress if it’s not perfect.
  7. Break up the 1/2 cup softened butter and scatter it across the dough. Use your fingers to spread it all over the dough, right to the edges. Sprinkle with the 2/3 cup sugar and then the cinnamon.
  8. Roll the dough tightly from a long end into a cylinder. Trim off the uneven edges (trust me; you’ll have uneven edges) and do what you want with them. You can bake them up in a small pan or I have heard that dogs adore raw dough. Go figure. Cut the dough into 16 pieces with a sharp knife. Lay the slices in the prepared pans, 8 per pan. Let rise again until just about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes or so.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops of the rolls are golden brown and you can see the glaze bubbling around them, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes to set the glaze somewhat, then invert the pan onto a rimmed plate or serving dish.
  10. These are best warm and fresh, but if you don’t use them all, just wrap them tightly and store on the counter. You can reheat them easily in the microwave. For the record, you can let them rise in the pan, then freeze a pan for another time if two pans is too much. Just wrap the pan tightly with foil and freeze. When you want to bake them, let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw and bake them as directed above. They may take a bit longer is all.

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Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins



I realized a few days ago that I haven’t done a muffin post in a while. GASP! Forgive me!? I mean, my blog IS called From Cupcakes To Caviar and what are muffins (in my world anyway) other than cupcakes without the frosting? Because Lord above knows that they aren’t healthy when made by me. I’m the only person alive who can take what should be a wholesome breakfast style food and make it into a caloric mine field, sure to clog your arteries and send you into a sugar coma. I like to think of this ability as one of my finer, more endearing qualities, along with my innate ability to make stuffed animals talk,Β  charm old people with my politeness and toss and turn in bed so much that my husband can’t sleep. Ok, so maybe that last one isn’t so endearing.

I have been craving fresh fruit lately and am knee deep into a huge orange phase. I can’t get enough of them. This usually hits me about this time of the Winter. Unfortunately though, about the only fresh fruit WORTH eating are the orange varieties. The rest are all shipped in from places like Mars or Venus, not to mention who in their right mind pays 5 bucks for like 25 blueberries in a carton so small an ant couldn’t make a home in it?

So, since I was craving blueberries (in January. Don’t use me as a food role model) and citrus, and knew I needed to make some nice healthy muffins *coughcough*, I combined the ideas, just using frozen berries. But then I totally blew the calorie budget (and I have a really really really really high budget. Call me the Donald Trump of calories.) on a cheesecake filling. But it’s so worth it. These are moist, tender blueberry muffins, with a lovely citrus edge, then you break one open and there lies a creamy cheesecake-ish filling. You can thank me later. For now, go make muffins. And don’t get involved in playing Monster Busters on facebook and forget your muffins and slightly overcook them. I…ummm… heard of someone who did this once. Yeah, that’s it. Heard of someone.

You know the drill…. πŸ˜€

This makes 24 muffins so feel free to cut it in half. I make a lot so that we have some to give away but if that’s not your thing, just make half. Or make them all and freeze half for another time.

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen blueberries
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup blueberry or other berry preserves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  1. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, blueberry preserves, teaspoon each of orange and lemon zest and flour. Stir well to combine and then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange and lemon zests. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a large measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter and extracts. Stir just until combined; it will still have lumps.
  5. Carefully fold in the frozen blueberries.
  6. Fill the prepared muffin cups half full. Add a dollop (about 2 teaspoons or so) of the cream cheese mixture on top of the muffin batter. Use the rest of the batter to finish filling the muffin cups to the tops of the cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the tin for about a minute, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

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