Saturday, October 29, 2011

Glazed Donut Muffins

There are boundless recipes swirling around the internet of homemade donuts.  Have any of you tried your hand at them?  For some reason, I feel a bit intimidated by the thought of making my own donuts.  Maybe my lack of extra "play time" these days in the kitchen is cutting in on my adventurous spirit.

But then, I see this recipe for donut muffins.  I can totally do muffins.  My kids called them cupcakes.  I can totally do cupcakes and anything cupcake-like.

These were yummy.  And pretty.  And easy.  Yep--totally doable!!

Glazed Donut Muffins
Adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen (via Pinterest)

4 tbl. unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
For the Glaze
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, canola oil, and sugars till smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until just combined. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour until batter is thoroughly combined.

Spoon batter into cups, filling the cups, and smooth tops. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.

Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.

To make the glaze, In a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.

When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip a second time and allow to harden.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Peach Freezer Jam

I realize that I am posting this recipe long after peach season is fact, this year, it seemed like it came and went before I even had the chance to take in peach season.  A fact I mourn, actually.  I think that I got so busy getting the kid back to school and the fall activities launched that I failed to stop and smell the peaches.  Sad.

However, I did take the time to buy several pounds of fresh peaches, most of which ended up in this freezer jam.  Now I guess I will enjoy peach season into the winter.

So, I will share it with you and you can pin it, saving it until next year when peaches come back on the scene in all their beauty and juiciness.  Ohhh, I can't wait!!  However, if you are extremely anxious to bring back the flavors of summer to the doldrums of winter, you can use frozen peaches--just thaw them before making the jam.

Peach Freezer Jam {No Cook}
Recipe adapted from Mrs. Wages

*You will need freezer containers, found in the canning section of most grocery stores

4 cups diced peaches (about 4-5 large peaches), peeled, and 1 cup of them crushed
1 cup sugar
1 packet of Mrs. Wages No Cook Freezer Jam Pectin
3 tbl. lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, stir 4 cups peeled peaches, 1 cup sugar and 3 tbsp lemon juice until well blended.  To crush the peaches, I removed about 1 cup from the large bowl and processed it until smooth in my food processor (you could also use a potato masher) and then added the puree back in.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Gradually stir contents of Mrs. Wages Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin into the peach mixture. Stir 3 minutes longer.  Ladle and store as directed on package.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Two years ago, I gave birth to my last little baby, my little manny, Brecken.  I love how he completes our family and how he keeps us all hoppin'.  He is so different from the other two, much ornerier and sillier.  (Ok, is it just me, or do those two words just look weird when typed out??)


What a blessing my little Brecken is to me....he will be IS the child that will test me and try me in ways that the other two would never think of, yet he is as charming as a cupcake.  Charming, I'm telling you.  Those big blue eyes and silly grin melt my heart every time.

So, Happy Birthday, little Brecken!  I hope that you enjoy your cupcake birthday!  These cupcakes were perfectly moist and the flavor combination was amazing!

{Sharing the Birthday Love over at This Chick Cooks!}

Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream
Cupcakes from The New Best Recipe from America's Test Kitchen
Frosting from Gimme Some Oven

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg yolks , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

1/2 tsp. almond extract
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, vanilla, and almond; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Caramel Buttercream

1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla (just start with a tablespoon or two), stirring with a whisk until completely smooth.  The mixture will bubble up and splatter a bit as you add in the cream.  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.  Turn off the mixer, and then add caramel. Beat frosting on low to combine, and then increase to medium-high and beat until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate if not using immediately (or to harden the frosting a bit).