Life’s a Peach – Cottage “Cheater” Pie

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I have a confession to make … I cheated. I know, how could I do this to you? What was I thinking?

I was thinking that I’m on vacation for the 3 days I can get off from 2 retail jobs, and I had no desire to ship up the ingredients or take out the time and patience I needed for homemade crust. That’s right folks, it’s a fake – store bought Pillsbury dough boy pie crust

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I don’t normally stoop this low to find a filthy wanna-be crust from the local Gravenhurst Sobeys store, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

For those of you that think better of me, I have a great pie crust reciepe thanks to my other mom (aka goddess Jennifer, Jills mom) as seen in the (link to other pie recipe) pie recipe.

Now that that’s off my chest, I’d like to talk about my love of peaches. You can ask anyone, I fucking love peaches. The Body Shop makes a peach body butter that I douse myself in after every shower so I smell like a fresh peach. When we were driving through Croatia, I’d always stop at a fruit stand for peaches, and they were always so fricken fresh and juicier than Beyoncé’s ass.

Ontario peaches can’t really compare, but they’re all I have.

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Juicier than Beyoncé’s ass

So after 2 Caesars and a beer I decided to start slicing for my pie on the dock while I simultaneously taught my techno peasant mother, bless her soul, how to use my fathers Blackberry as the Apple employee in me cringed a bit.

The pie itself was fairly simple, even for a day drunk like myself:

Adapted from Cooks.com (http://www.cooks.com/recipe/446oe9uw/open-face-peach-pie.html)

1 store bought crust (hide your head in shame as you purchase your soulless accessory to homemade murder)

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1 basket of peaches (8-10 peeled and sliced)
1 cup of sugar (I did a partial cup of white sugar and added in some brown sugar for a real caramelized feel)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 Spearhead Hawaiian Style Beer (for your baking enjoyment)

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Preheat your oven to 375F
Cut/peel up your peaches. Unroll our filthy store bought crust onto a 9″ pie crust plate. Toss in your peaches and maybe arrange them like so because it looks pretty

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Mix up everything else except the eggs and beer. Take a sip of the beer. Place the dry crumble on your pie. Take a sip of your beer.
Whisk up the eggs and pour evenly over the pie crumble. Take a sip of your beer.

Place the pie in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Finish your beer and several others while you wait. Alternatively you can have a photo shoot with your puppy.

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When it’s done and your house smells better than Christmas morning, you can pull it out and let it sit in the window to cool down.

Then, it’s vital that you pop out your second Spearhead Hawaiian Style and start to drink that as you cut your first slice.

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The Skinny Bitch “cleanse” cupcake – Strawberry Tofu Coconut

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It feels like opening a time capsule, looking at this blog right now. I’d like to say I blame it on my travelling, or my lack of money and being too poor to afford groceries – but I confess, I’ve been too god damn lazy.

My case of the lazies has left me with a mountain of laundry, a thick layer of dust around the house and a pile of dishes and take out trays that would envy any frat house.

But I couldn’t hold back my urge any longer … I had to bake.

After the copious amounts of strawberry shisha I had in Istanbul, and the obscene amount of alcohol I consumed, I figured it was time for a break from the booze (yah…. I actually said no to a free shot the other day, who am I?) and time for a fresh summer/good-for-you-ish bake.

I tried these last summer when I bought the Skinny Bitch recipe book, they turned out better this time.

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Adapted from Skinny Bitch, by Kim Barnouin
Makes one dozen cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (they recommend almond milk)
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (I just used 3 teaspoons vanilla instead)
1/3 cup silken tofu
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh strawberries

Icing
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons coconut milk
3 – 4 cups of icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line 12-cup muffin pan with cups.

In a large bowl, drop the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir it up.

In another large bowl, whisk the oil, milk, sugar and extracts until it’s nice and thick.

In a food processor, mix the tofu and strawberries until nice and creamy.

Now add the strawberry mixture to the wet ingredients until it’s all mixed up. Then pool in the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.

Pour in the batter, about 1/2 – 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove, and place on a wire rack to cool. Now you can start on your icing.

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Make sure the butter is room temperature. Throw it in a Kitchen Aid mixer and beat it up for 5 minutes. Add in the milk, then slowly add in the sugar one 1/2 cup at a time.

Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing onto them and garnish with a fresh cut strawberry, a sprinkle of dried coconut and a mint leaf.

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Disclaimer: If you’ve never put fresh mint, coconut and strawberries on top of your ice cream, you need to stop what you’re doing and shove your face in a bowl of that.

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Let them eat Pizza!

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You know that feeling when literally all you want in your life is a good slice of Pizza?

If you’re anything like me, that feeling is a constant.  Like when Ellen DeGeneres decided to order a pizza at the Oscars last night? Yeah, I would have been all over that. Seriously, no time for selfies — must. eat. pizza.

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The stars aligned yesterday; I finished the 30 day yoga challenge at my studio, had a pretty free day for the first time in what felt like forever and it was Oscar Sunday (a bigger deal than Superbowl Sunday in my house), so I decided I would make up a big Sunday night dinner…of pizza (duh). I figured that if the celebs wouldn’t be pigging out then someone should, and that someone was me.

BUT THEN Ellen went and did that little bit about pizza during the show — it’s like I have ESPN or something

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…actually Chatelaine posted a picture of a “Tuscan Margherita” pizza on their Instagram yesterday morning that I saw on my way home from Yoga (so literally at my most-hungry) and from then on I could not imagine eating anything else, hell I just wouldn’t stand for it.

I wandered pretty aimlessly around the grocery store, picking up every item that could conceivably be delicious on pizza: artichokes, prosciutto, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, arugula, parmesan cheese, spinach…you name it, it was probably in my cart. But dude, epic pizza was going to be had, there was no doubt.

I settled on two kinds of crusts (both from Chatelaine, aka my bible): Cauliflower (hailed as “THE BEST CRUST EVERRR”) and a regular gluten free rice crust (no yeast or any pre-baking required). I flicked on the pre-Oscar show (you know, all three hours of it) and went to town:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (adapted from Chatelaine):

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
Olive oil (optional)

Start by prepping cauliflower — wash and remove stems and leaves from one head of cauliflower, and chop the florets into chunks. Toss into your food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll end up with a puree and that just will not fly.

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Place the “riced” cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for eight minutes. One large head will produce 2-4 cups of riced and cooked cauliflower — I doubled the recipe, but still have a bunch more. If you don’t feel like making a zillion pizzas, the leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (to avoid stickage — don’t skip this step, the crust WILL stick to your pan and you’ll never get your pizza).

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, beaten egg and mozzarella. Then add oregano, minced garlic salt, mix well. Transfer that onto your cookie sheet, and pat out into a nine inch round. Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and let cool (to allow crusts to become a little more solid).

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Once again, I didn’t fully read the instructions. Partially because I was doing like 80 things at once, partially because I had moved into that point of being so hungry I would have happily eaten the raw dough. But this is what Chatelaine wants you to do to make the pizza:

Add all your toppings (sauce, cheese, etc.), then place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (a few mins) — to that end, toppings need to be precooked since you’ll only be broiling the pizza for a few minutes.  OR do what I did and just throw all your toppings on and bake for another 10 mins or so…it was still pretty delicious.

I topped one pizza with:

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Olive Oil
Prosciutto
Goat Cheese
Fresh Arugula

And the other with:

Tomato sauce
Mushrooms
Sundried tomatoes
Artichoke hearts
Mozzarella cheese

I’m not going to lie — I was skeptical about this crust, but it turned out prrrretty delicious (the one with the tomato sauce was especially delish) — the best part of all this is you can totally wing it and put on as much stuff as you want, and in whatever combinations you so desire.

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While I was doing that, I was also making a slightly more standard Gluten Free Pizza Crust (also from Chatelaine…they’ve literally never done me wrong):

1 cup white-rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1  egg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

Position rack in lower third of oven and set oven to 425F. Place a large baking sheet or pizza pan in oven to heat (I used a pizza stone — if you don’t have one, you should totes get one, they’re awesome and totally multi-purpose).

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper about 12 × 12 in. and place on counter, coat lightly with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, tapioca, cornmeal, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Separately, whisk egg with oil, honey and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl and then add to flour mixture and stir (I found using my hands to mix made things way easier).

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Divide dough in half and place 1 portion between the two pieces of parchment, oiled sides touching dough. Roll dough into a 9-in. round so crust is fairly thin (about 1/3 inch). Remove dough from parchment to a cutting board and repeat with remaining dough.

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Remove hot baking sheet from oven, place on a heatproof surface and flip both rounds onto sheet. Top each with your favourite toppings.

IMG_0954I topped one of the rounds with:
Olive Oil (just a drizzle)
Pears (one, very thinly sliced)
Caramelized onions
Brie Cheese
Fresh Thyme

And the other with:
Pesto
Artichoke hearts
Chopped Spinach
Mozzarella cheese

Bake in lower third of oven until crusts are golden around the edges and toppings are cooked, about 15 min.

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Let me tell you, it was good. Not just “good considering it’s gluten free”, but actually good. The cold pieces I just ate for lunch were even outstanding (none of this soggy crust bidness here).

Maybe don’t try to make four pizzas at once (your kitchen will suffer), but definitely give these babies a try for your next Pizza night.

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Piece (of Pizza) out. (Ugh, sorry I had to. My puns are almost as good as Ellen’s, riight?)

Coo Coo for Cookie Butter and Cupcakes

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Before I start this post I should say two things:

1) Sorry for the 2+ month-long break. Our bad. Shit got in the way (shit being actually having to work) — Won’t happen again.

2) I am the best sister ever.

Now that that’s out of the way — it was my little sister’s 19th birthday a few weeks ago. So obviously a significant birthday such as that deserved a significant treat.

This girl is OBSESSED with Speculoos, the dutch cookie butter. Like, I’ve seen her eat it straight from the jar. Remember that slogan “Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs”? Cocoa puffs wouldn’t know this kind of “coo coo” if it slapped it in the face.  So obviously making Speculoos cupcakes was pretty much a no-brainer.

The problem with living in a gluten free house and trying to make something with Speculoos that everyone can eat is that Speculoos is inherently not gluten free. It’s literally a spread made from crumbled-up cookies…’nuff said.

So clearly I’d have to get a little creative if I was going to be able to make GF-Speculoos cupcakes. But alas, I’ve come to enjoy a challenge when it comes to baking, so I was all:

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This recipe is not exactly easy and wasn’t a quick bake, but daaaayum they turned out pretty well. And I pretty much felt like a total balla when they came out and I could legitimately be like “I MADE EVERY SINGLE PART OF THESE. YOU AIN’T EVA TASTED ANYTHING THAT IS SO FROM SCRATCH!”

Sorry, too excited.

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Without further ado, HERE’S HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN:

FIRST I had to make the Speculoos spice mix:
(from Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays)

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5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch ground white or black pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground or crushed anise seeds
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Whisk together and then store in an air-tight container

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SECOND, make the Gluten free Speculoos cookies:
(also from Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays)

3 cups Gluten-free All purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp Speculoos spice mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brownsugar

1 extra large egg, room temperature
tapioca flour, for dusting

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Mix flour, spice, salt and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add egg and stir until combined, then add flour mixture and blend well. Dough should be stiff but pliable. Divide in two, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for about an hour (much longer and it’ll get too dry).

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Roll out dough (a little at a time) between two sheets of wax paper so that it’s about 3 mm thick. Bake untilbrowned around the edges, 12 – 15 mins.

I decided to go as simple as possible as far as the cookie shapes — also it was like 9:30 when I finally got around to getting these little assholes in the oven and I had lost the ability 

to give anymore than a single fuck (and I had already put that one fuck towards actually caring enough to bake the cookies), so yeah. 

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I did about 30 of the cookies in tiny little circle shapes to use as cake toppers and the rest I did in circles that were probably just a little bigger than your standard oreo — mostly because I was being lazy and wanted to have to cut out the fewest number of cookies without them being impossible to get off the counter.

THIRD, make the Cookie Butter Spread (adapted from the Passionate Baker):

250g of Lotus Biscuits/ homemade gf “Speculoos” cookies
1/4 cup of soft light brown sugar
150mls of full fat coconut milk
25g of vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Crumble up the cookies, combine them with an assload of brown sugar, some coconut milk, and a few tablespoons of shortening — you may want to add some more cinnamon to taste.

Using a food processor, blend together cookies and sugar. Add in coconut milk, shortening and lemon juice and beat until smooth.

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I should note that yet again, I failed to completely read the recipe and decided to just throw it all into my food processor and try to beat the shit out of it instead of first mixing the sugar and cookies which would have actually made my life easier. So like, do that.

(Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 months)

FOURTH turn all of this into Speculoos Cupcakes
(adapted from The Diary of a Cake Maker):
makes about 15 regular-sized cupcakes

80g butter
140g Cookie Butter
190g brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g all-purpose gluten free flour (for flour’s like Bob’s Red Mill, you’ll need to add some Xanthan gum to avoid crumbliness — check the package for the right amount)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60ml milk

*This part was tricky because I’m not used to weighing my ingredients, but I have to say, when working with gf flour it’s definitely the way to go since they’re not the same weight as regular flour

Pre-heat your oven to 350F

In a mixer (gotta love the Kitchenaid), blend butter, cookie spread and sugar until smooth and fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs. Mix well and then add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Sift half the flour mixture into the cookie butter and sugar mix and mix well. Add half the milk and mix. Then add remaining flour, blend well, and add remaining milk.

Fill cupcake cases until they are about 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 mins.

FIFTH make the Cookie-butter frosting — I don’t have an exact recipe, I pretty much just go by taste/consistency. If you want them to be more cookie butter-ish then just add more cookie butter, it’s as simple as that.

1/2 cup of butter
1/3 cup of cookie butter
1 tbsp of coconut milk (I had leftover from making the spread, if you don’t have any handy, milk will do the trick too)
3-4 cups of icing sugar

Beat the shit out of the butter, add in cookie butter, beat more. Gradually add in icing sugar and then coconut milk. Keep adding icing sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.

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Frost the cupcakes using an icing bag with a pretty large tip (the bigger, the better, amirightladies?), crush some of the remaining cookies in a bag, sprinkle over icing and press in one of the little baby cookies you made (if you haven’t eaten them all already).

TAH-DAH

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It sounds insane (it kind of was), but if you spread it (heh heh, get it?) over a few days/nights/whatever it’s not that bad.

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This is how you do 19.

All that being said, if you don’t need to make these badboys GF, don’t. Buy the Speculoos from your local fancy-pants store (for like $8/tiny jar…sucker) and skip right to the cupcake/frosting portion of the recipe.

Hungover and Hangry Muffins

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It’s fairly well-known by all who know me, or at least who have ever encountered me around a meal time, that my mood is heavily dependent on my satiation levels.

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In fact, I pretty much live in a constant state of hunger.

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But like sometimes it’s worse than others (which is why I generally always have food on me, and if I don’t, I’m on the lookout).

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Jennifer Lawrence gets me.

Literally, if you want to convince me to go to something (a meeting, a party…whatever), food will generally do the trick.

I have no shame.

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What can I say — I just really like food.

But when I can’t find food, or for whatever reason can’t eat, things get dangerous.

Remember that scene in that Hulk movie with Edward Norton (drool) where he accidentally says “You won’t like me when I get hungry” when’s he trying to warn the Spanish dudes that he’ll become a big green monster when he gets angry? Yeah, I really related to that.

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So I woke up Sunday morning after a big unofficial University reunion party and was feeling a few things: the need to assert my domestic prowess, the overwhelming urge to feed my ailing (ahem, equally if not more hungover than me) friends who had crashed on my couch, and serious, serious hanger. I might have also still been a little drunk.

I’m not a big egg-eater, and had no bacon or really any breakfasty-foods for that matter and kind of wanted to avoid having anything that was going to be like crazy-town bad for me. What I did have was very ripe bananas and a penchant for peanut butter (but like when don’t I have that…am I right?)

Oh and I was also feeling the pressure to contribute to this 12 days of baking business — I’M NOT A FRIGGIN MACHINE. But apparently I do actually bake enough that this might be realistic-ish.

So I went prowling the interwebs for something I could make with the small amount of random ingredients I had (granted I pretty much have all the peanut butter in the world) and that I wouldn’t feel like a total fatty for eating (eating muffins while trying to get rid of one’s muffin top is not exactly a recipe for success — so. many. puns.).

Peanut Butter-Banana-Chocolate Chip-Craisin Muffins
As adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction (Hi, Sally)

Yield: About 15 muffins

MUFFINS

2 ripe large bananas, mashed with no chunks
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup yogurt (really whatever kind you want, Sally suggests plain greek yogurt, but I used vanilla Astro Lite — because that’s all I could find in my fridge)
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk — I used lactose-free skim and it worked fine)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (non-oily natural style apparently works too)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I used 1 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cups buckwheat flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

OPTIONAL

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (or regular — WHO CARES IT’S CHOCOLATE)
1/3 cup Craisins (if you’re feeling a little wild…or undercaffeinated…or still a little drunk…or just really fucking hungry)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Mash bananas in bowl of a stand mixer, then mix in maple syrup, yogurt, sugar, milk, peanut butter and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gently pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and combine (be careful not to over-stir, this will cause your muffins to become dense — WE LIKE AIRY MUFFINS ROUND THESE PARTS). Fold in chocolate chips and/or Craisins. Pour mixture into a lined muffin pan (you can also just grease the tin if you’d prefer not to use liners), ensuring that each one is at least 3/4 full.

Bake for 5 minutes at 425, then turn down the oven to 350 (leave the muffins in the oven!) and bake for another 12 minutes or so (you should be able to insert a toothpick into the centre and have it come out clean).

Pop 1/4 cup peanut butter into the microwave for between 30-45 seconds and use a spoon to drizzle over top of the fresh-from-the-oven muffins.

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These badboys should last you about 3 days (covered, at room temperature) but can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Say bye-bye to Hanger.

*I literally was so hangry while making these muffins I couldn’t be bothered to take any pictures of my process. In fact, I ate a few before bothering to take any pictures of the finished product. It was bad y’all.

Butter, Spice and everything nice.

ImageYou know how the moment Fall rolls around, everyone goes bananas over pumpkin-spiced anything? I have the same reaction to winter…except with Gingerbread.

So last week, even after making three batches — yes, three — of my favourite gingerbread cookies, my gingerbread cravings had still not subsided. Between daydreaming about Liam Hemsworth (omgash Hunger Games) all I could think about was gingerbread. So in honour of Day 2 of our 12 days of baking (we never said twelve consecutive days, y’all…we have jobs and stuff), I made these gingerbread cupcakes.

The first gingerbread cupcake I’d ever tasted was from the Flour Shoppe, my cupcake mainstay back when I lived in Ottawa. And let me tell you, it was heavenly (as is like everything else those geniuses make, man I could go for one of their chocolate chip pancake cupcakes about now…). I was also inspired by a conversation with some coworkers a few weeks ago about Starbucks‘ gingerbread loaf — which is basically perfect. The spices, the moist-ness (sorry if you’re one of those people who abhorre the word “moist”- haterz gon’ hate), the sweet, but not too sweet frosting, the candied ginger. IT’S FREAKIN PERFECT.

Clearly the bar was pretty high.

My mom gave me Martha Stewart’s book of cupcake recipes for my birthday this year, one that had been almost completely neglected in favour of my obsessive-compulsive internet browsing. So when I set out on my quest to make the perfect Starbucks loaf-clone, I turned to Martha.

Oddly enough this recipe doesn’t use any baking powder of baking soda — believe me, I was concerned. It does however use more butter than I care to admit… but like you’ll work it off when you start your New Years resolution, right? But they turned out really well! Granted, they are pretty dense cupcakes but they are suuuuper delicious.

“Just like Starbucks” Gingerbread Cupcakes as adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 22 cupcakes (24 small-ish ones)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg. Meanwhile, use a stand mixer to cream together butter, sugars, molasses and vanilla. Then add eggs,one at a time. Slowly pour flour mixture in and mix well. 

Divide evenly into lined-cupcake pans — Martha says it’ll make 22, I stretched the batter out to 24.  YOLO.

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Snack hack: use an old ice cream scoop to help portion out your cupcakes. The little scraper function? Amazeballs.

Bake 25 minutes rotating halfway through.

Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before icing.

Buttercream frosting (I pretty much wing the recipe for this every time — just go based on look and taste, you’ll know when it’s right)

3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
4-6 cups icing sugar (or however much you need)
2 tbsp vanilla (or to taste)
2 tbsp milk

Beat the shit out of the butter, like seriously, get your mixer going as fast as possible and let it go for like 3 minutes…at least.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and start gradually adding in icing sugar (about 1/2 cup at a time). Once the mixture has come to about the right consistency add a splash of milk (2 tbsp-ish) and the vanilla, mix well. Add in as much icing sugar after that to make sure the icing is your desired consistency.

Use an icing bag with a plain round tip to pipe out about 2 tbsp of icing onto each cupcake (these badboys are rich, so you really don’t want to go too nuts with the icing, but the sweetness is a really nice and much-needed balance to the cake).

With that lovely Starbucks gingerbread loaf in mind, I cut up some candied ginger and used small cubes to garnish the cupcakes.

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Mmm tastes like the holidays. Fuck. Yeah.

Red Velvet “Go Nuts” Coconut Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

On the first day of baking my oven gave to me…

I had this brilliant idea to do the 12 days of baking. Not as if I bake every other day or anything like that, but Christmas is the sweet time to be naughty about my diet and nice to my baking cupboard.

Sometimes my mind works like Oprah and I just want to yell “YOU GET A COOKIE, YOU GET A CUPCAKE, EVERYBODY GETS A BAKED GOOOD!”

Bulk Barn employees get their holiday bonus from me. They have the best Christmas sprinkles.

I also have a confession… I forgot my boss’s birthday, so I felt very inclined to bake something sweet for him to make it up. Our company colours are red and black so I thought, “why not bake some delicious red velvet?”

Icing

Red Velvet Cupcakes
adapted from the Cooking Channel

1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups canola oil
1 cup coconut greek yogurt
2 tablespoons red food colouring
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

* I used coconut yogurt instead of plain and apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar — turned out pretty well!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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In a mixer, combine the sugar with the eggs, oil, yogurt, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla.

Then add the dry ingredients — flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.

Put your pretty paper cup liners into a muffin pan and divide the batter evenly among the liners, only halfway to avoid overflow. I made one dozen cupcakes and two dozen mini cupcakes, or you can make two dozen regular size.

Bake thoroughly for 20-25 minutes. Until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let them cool completely before you decide to start icing them. Make sure your cat doesn’t lick them either.

IMG_6987Cream Cheese Icing: (Adapted from Food Network)

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a mixer until it’s nice and frothy. Slowly add the icing sugar half a cup at a time, then add the vanilla.

Add a little more icing sugar if you’re feeling like stiffer icing (which, who isn’t?)

I piped the icing through a jagged pump, you can also just use a plastic bag and cut the tip — just the tip.

Ta da

And there you have it! Some like it Red “hot” Velvet coconut cream cheese cupcakes.

Stay tuned for the other 12 days of baking!