Tuesday, December 28, 2010

8 tiny reindeer

This post is inspired by the books "What's New, Cupcake?" and "Hello, Cupcake!" by the ever creative Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

First of all, Merry Christmas! I have been neglecting this blog lately because of my school issues, but will be beginning a "regimen" for my New Year's Resolution. My dear darling boyfriend bought me The Golden Book of Desserts and I will be working my way through that as well as recipes from the above mentioned books.

The school issues, however, are the real reason I am going to be able to keep up with this better. I am no longer a music major! I have decided to switch to Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. In other words, I can pretty much do what I want with my future. We'll see where that leads...

Now lets get real. This is a cupcake blog. It's time for some tiny goodness.

Yes! Those ARE tiny chocolate cupcakes in the shape of reindeer!! I was amazed at how simple they were to put together.

1 box chocolate cake mix
buttermilk* check your cake mix recipe to see how much water it requires, and replace the water with buttermilk.
2-3 eggs* again, depending on the mix
2 cans of chocolate frosting
jumbo marshmallows
mini marshmallows
mini m&ms

1. First, bake your cute little chocolate cupcakes and let them cool.

2. Take the jumbo marshmallows and secure a mini marshmallow to the flat end using chocolate frosting. I squished my mini marshmallows for a cuter snout.

3. Secure the jumbo marshmallow to the cupcakes using chocolate frosting, and chill in the fridge or free.

4. After the cupcakes are nice and cold, melt the remainder of the chocolate frosting in a bowl.

5. Dip the cupcakes into the melted frosting one by one, being careful not to let any parts fall off. I found it difficult to get the frosting to cover the entire cupcake, so I drizzled some of the bald spots with my spoon.

6. After dipping the cupcakes, let them dry slightly and place a mini m&m on the nose.

7. Break pretzels into antler shapes and press them into the sides of the head, poking holes for eyes.

8. You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bagel time!

Bagels are my favorite breakfast food to get at a restaurant. That's a hard race to win, since I subscribe to the thought that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether it's the Bagelicious(Everything bagel, muenster cheese, egg, bacon, no ham) from Boone Bagelry , the Cinnamon Crunch bagel with hazelnut spread from Panera Bread Company, or a simple McDonald's Bacon Egg and Cheese bagel, I'm sold.
I received an email from my subscribtion to AllRecipes' baking newsletter with a recipe for Boiled Bagels, and I knew I had to try them.

Boiled Bagels


4 1/2 cups flour
2 packets active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

Do it:

1. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with yeast. In a separate bowl, combine water, 3 tbsp sugar, and the salt. *To be the right temperature for the yeast to rise, the water needs to be about 110 degrees F. This is just a little warmer than body temperature.

2. Beat with a mixer on low for about 30 seconds, then scrape the sides and mix for another 3 minutes.

3. Form bagels slightly smaller than how you want them after completion, and set them aside to rise (covered) for 15 minutes, at least.

4. Place bagels on a greased baking sheet. I found it less greasy to sprinkle cornmeal on the baking sheet. At this point, go ahead and start your pot of water boiling.

5. Broil the bagels on high for 1:30 minutes, flipping once.

6. Boil a few bagels at a time for 7 minutes each, flipping once.

7. After they are boiled, bake them for 20-25 minutes.

I came back to this recipe a few weeks ago, and tried a few variations:
Blueberry: Make a dough ball, and place about 1.5 tsp of blueberry preserves per bagel. Carefully swirl the dough to incorporate the jam, then broil, boil, and bake as directed.

Cheddar Garlic: Add garlic powder and shredded cheese to the top before baking.

Chocolate Chip: Add about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips before forming bagels. (amount can be easily adjusted)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crêpes pour mon homme

Bonjour! Today was convocation day, so I decided to take this morning easy and hang out with my man. He had a gig last night, and I wanted to make something special to congratulate him.

I have no pictures, because I left my computer in my dorm, but I can share the recipe for....

Crepes!!!! Yumyumyum.

I have waited so long to make them because I was afraid of them. Little paper thin pancakes with the fewest ingredients.... I didn't think it could work. Lo and behold, it is one of the simplest and easiest breakfast/lunch foods I have ever made. Ever.

Here's the lowdown.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Mix together all the wet ingredients.

2. Add all the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth.

3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan on medium.

4. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter into the frying pan, let cook until you can see the very edges turning brown.

5. Flip, cook until browned on both sides.

6. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

This will give you about 8 basic crepes. Here's the awesome thing about crepes: You do whatever you want with them! I added the sugar and vanilla to my recipe because I wanted sweeter crepes. You can leave those two out if you decide to put more savory and salty things on them instead.

I, however, had a few Fuji apples on the verge of going bad, so I made a glorious apple topping.

  • 2 apples, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Adjust as desired.

1. Heat butter in frying pan.

2. Dump everything else in, cook for about 5 minutes.

To serve the complete dish, put the apple topping in a line in the middle of the crepe with a bit of honey and butter, and roll burrito style. Serve with coffee or juice.

I literally teared up when we ate these, they were so satisfying and delicious.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nacho Libre Cake

Hey! It's August! According to my sister it's also Nacho Night at the church. She wanted a Nacho Libre themed cake, so I happily obliged.

Here's the inspiration:

Homework before beginning your nacho cake:

Encarnacion song.

So, I went and put on my stretchy pants and began to frost the cake my sister had so kindly prepared from a white cake mix with blue food coloring added.

When you are a baker, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in the kitchen. Is for fun.

I started with a crumb coating. For those of you who are as clueless as I was last week, that is a thin layer of basic white icing, meant to help you end up with a cleaner finish with your prettified icing.

Beneath the clothes, we find a man... and beneath the man, we find his... nucleus.

After I finished the crumb coating, I mixed a little over a cup of white icing with 4 or 5 drops of blue food coloring. Now, I do have the neon food coloring pack, so that may make a difference.
I then covered the entire cake with the blue.

These are my recreation clothes.

I then mixed a little icing, maybe 3 tbsps, with 2 drops of neon green and 2 drops of red food coloring to make that lovely Latino glow. I filled in where the skin shows through his mask on my cake.

I was wondering if you would like to join in my quarters tonight... for some toast.

I then added grated chocolate for the eyebrows by folding a piece of paper in half and tapping it out of the side to make a relatively straight line. After adding white and black for eyes, this is where I stood:

That's where I fell in love with this cake and knew I had to finish.

Red icing piped around the eyes, nose, and mouth area, and a darker tan (add a tiny bit more red) for the lips, and we have a finished luchador.

Comment with my luchador name:

o o x x o o X o X X x

More recipes coming soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Earl Grey Cake with Lemon Buttercream

I haven't written in a while, and I feel bad about that. Mostly because I haven't baked enough to satisfy my soul. I just got some bad news about my job and I want to bake a batch of cupcakes or make some cookies or some ice cream. To suffice, I will share with you my Earl Grey Cake recipe. It was originally a recipe for Earl Grey Cupcakes, but I wanted to make a cake.
Tangent: Buttercream. I didn't think I liked it. Making my own changed my mind entirely.


Anyways, I got the recipe from Patent and the Pantry. (here's a link to her recipe, I changed a few things) I also did this recipe entirely by hand, using electricity only in the baking part. Therefore if you want to use a mixer, don't worry about the fork. That's just what I used instead.

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream.

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
3 bags of tea

mixing bowl
3 layer cake pans

1. Preheat to 350. Grease your cake pans and set aside.

2. Beat butter until creamy, add sugar and cream until fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each one until it is fully incorporated before adding the next.

4. Heat milk until warm, but not boiling, and steep one of the bags of tea in it.

5. Beat in half of the flour with the remaining two bags of tea.


6. Add milk and the rest of the flour until combined.

7. Distribute evenly among your three layer pans.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

9. Cool thoroughly.

Lemon Buttercream
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon

1. Cream butter until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar gradually until fluffy.

2. Zest the lemon into the mix, and add the lemon juice. Stir until smooth.

Transfer one of the cake layers to a serving dish or cake platter, securing to dish with a dab of buttercream underneath. Frost cake, adding a few slivers of lemon peel as decoration.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pantry List

Two posts in one day? Well, I didn't write the day before yesterday, so this is making up for that.

Things you should always have in your kitchen so you can make food impulsively:

1. Sugar. White sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, you will use it all. It's number one on the list because it's used in almost everything I make.

2. Flour. All purpose, self-rising.

3. Eggs. Keep at least 4 in your fridge.

4. Butter.
Unsalted stick butter. I keep at least 2 sticks.

5. Vanilla. I admit, I use vanilla imitation because it's cheaper, but I know some people who swear by real vanilla extract, especially when making ice cream.

6. Salt. You probably already have this in your kitchen, but it's used in almost everything.

7. Chocolate chips.
With the ingredients I've listed thus far, you can easily whip up a batch of awesome homemade chocolate chip cookies. These are also good to keep just in case you want to make anything coated in chocolate. I'll explain how to melt chocolate in a future post.

With these ingredients, you should have no problem baking whenever you want to. See you at Harris Teeter!

Not so guilty pleasure

Yesterday my darling boyfriend came over. It had been a long day, and he had just finished playing a wedding gig. We were both exhausted, and it was hot. Too hot to bake. I realize that the name of my blog is Caroline's Cupcakes, and I haven't actually posted any cupcake recipes... but they will come. For now, Blackberry Sorbet from the Joy of Baking website.

This is beautiful. Do not wear your favorite white shirt. You will stain it. We ate a quart by ourselves in less than fifteen minutes. "Ooohhh..." he whined. "You're making me fat."
That's when I looked at the ingredient list and realized that no, I was not making him fat. His gut is his own fault. Or the cupcakes. Or... the cookies.

But not the sorbet. I wouldn't call it healthy, no, but it's not awful for you.

Here's how it's done:
(again, I substituted lime juice for the lemon juice the recipe calls for. I liked it a lot.)

1 cup of water
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 pound frozen (unsweetened) blackberries
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice

small saucepan
heatproof container
food processor/blender
ice cream maker *
the joy of baking website has instructions for how to make sorbet without an ice cream maker. Pretty interesting stuff, though I haven't tried it.

1. Boil the water and sugar just until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into heatproof container and chill in the freezer/refrigerator. When it is not hot to the touch, I consider it chilled enough to work with.

2. Place frozen blackberries into blender. Add lime juice and the simple syrup you have been chilling. Blend until smooth.

3. You can either stop here to strain the seeds out, or keep the seeds in like I chose to. It's a question of personal preference.

4. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions.

5. When it is solid, you can either eat it right away or store it in a covered container in the freezer. If you do choose to store it, however, leave it in the refrigerator a good 20 minutes before serving so that it is soft enough to scoop.

This was absolutely incredible. The sorbet in the picture was a deep burgundy color, but ours turned the color of dark, almost black red wine. Gorgeous. It is so easy I think I'll be making it for the next summer dinner party I have.

Yum. Excuse Everett's face. He was in shock.

If you make any recipes from this blog, comment and let me know how it goes!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The best brownies you will ever eat.

Last Sunday, I rear-ended a Camaro on 321. I got home and threw everything on my bed and ran into my kitchen. My room still looks like a clothes-eating monster had diarrhea. Explosive diarrhea.

However, I made these brownies. Taken from the website Recipezaar, they are called "Whatever Floats Your Boat" Brownies.

They are ridiculous. Seriously. You probably have almost all, if not all of the ingredients you need to make these. So do it now.

Here's what you need:


1/2 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
mix-ins of choice


8x8 pan
parchment paper *optional

1. Preheat your oven to 350. You can grease your pan or line it with aluminum foil, BUT I'm about to preach about my baking secret. Parchment paper. I discovered it this past fall when working on coconut meringues. It works wonders with baked foods that you eat with your hands. I lined my 8x8 pan with it. Takes a bit of origami to get it to fit. Totally worth it. Things bake more evenly and peel right off. You actually get to EAT all your brownies rather than having the usual stuff frustratingly stuck to the pan. So use parchment paper. Let us pray and then the service will be dismissed.

2. In your mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter and cocoa powder. This will look like mud. Delicious butter mud.

3. Add sugar and mix until blended. This will look like mud as well. Delicious, glittery butter mud.

4. Add one egg at a time and stir until blended.

5. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt just until you can see no more white.

6. This is where I added chocolate chips, but you can add whatever you like. Use 1-2 cups. I used a cup of chocolate chips and then sprinkled more on top in the middle of the baking process.

7. Pour and spread into pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. I always check my baked goods obsessively, being at high altitude and such. Adjust the time as needed.

8. Using the fork/toothpick/knife test, you should come back with a few crumbs on your utensil. Unlike most baked goodies, don't wait for a clean fork.

9. Gorge thyself.

These are seriously the best brownies I have ever had. I loved them. Everett ended up with half of his first one on his face because he inhaled it. They are wonderful either hot or cold, but they won't last very long before being eaten.

Guess what! This recipe can be doubled! Bake in a 9x12 pan and add 5 minutes to the baking time.

Excuse me. I think I need to go make a batch of these.

*no pictures due to the fact that these were eaten within 30 minutes of being taken out of the oven. They're brownies. Use your imagination.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to make a burger.

For those of you who have never tried to make your own burgers, you are truly missing out.

Honestly I really just wanted to post a picture that my friend Zachary Stirewalt took.
Our arrangement/deal is as follows: I make food, he helps(sometimes), we both eat, and he shoots my food. Awesome? Yes.

Anyways, how to make a burger. First of all, buy ground beef. Zach and I are broke college students, so we used relatively inexpensive meat. We used 93/7 meat, but it's a question of personal preference.

We bought roughly two pounds of meat for two people. Twas kind of a lot, but we ate it all. We then mixed it with dry onion soup mix. I was told to use this by a co-worker, but forgot on my way home how much to use, so.....I just used one whole packet.
Mix this in a bowl with the ground beef. Zachary used his hands, but I was too grossed out to touch the stuff. Add an egg to keep it moist and together.

We made ours about 4 inches wide and slightly less than an inch tall. They were monstrous. Not monstrous as in huge, monstrous as in rather deformed and scary.

I was excited. We had onion rolls rather than burger buns, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, ketchup, etc. YUM.

Zachary then cooked the burgers in a skillet with some olive oil because that was all we had. Are you following the theme here?*

The reason you aren't seeing the big burgers is because we barely did before they were in our bellies.

These are the two baby burgers that Zachary made for himself:

Glorious! And yes, they are slightly pink. And yes, they were so good he forgot to put anything on them besides cheese.

Those of you who have never done this, try it. Making your own burgers makes them taste so much better. You barely feel your arteries clogging at all!

*cheeeeepity cheap cheap cheap!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What I did today

Peach Sorbet!

Here's what happened. My lovely boyfriend bought me a bag of peaches from a truck by the side of the road, and they smelled incredible.

Mmmm... brings back childhood memories of wishing that THIS was real.

Anyways, it is HOT here. Super hot. We mountain people aren't used to this. So I bought an ice cream maker. Bought it from WalMart and got the last one. I have tried twice before to make frozen treats and failed miserably, my roommates finding the soupy dishes in the sink where I left them to go pout. This time, I knew it would be different. I knew that it had to work. I just knew it.

So I found this recipe. Regrettably, I didn't photograph the actual steps, but you can figure it out. Pretty simple.

I adapted it from this recipe from AllRecipes.com. I put a tiny bit more sugar and used lime juice instead of lemon juice, only because I had a fresh lime I'd been dying to lose.
1/2 cup of water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
4 medium (very)ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

small saucepan
and the most important part, an ice cream maker!

1. Combine water, sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool, then transfer to blender.
2. Add peaches, blend until smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions given with the maker.
3. After it is to the desired consistency(I'm impatient so mine was kind of slushy), pour into another container to put into the freezer.

I put blueberries in mine and ate it with an Earl Grey cupcake, the recipe for which I will post soon.
Here's the finished result!