White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting: Sweets for Your Sweetiepie Week!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to another themed week of goodies: Sweets for Your Sweetiepie Week!!!

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Our lovely team of rock star bloggers have put their heads together to ensure that you have a recipe to make for your loved ones this Valentines Day!

If you’ve been tuning in for a while, you know that I get amped up over any holiday and V-Day is no exception. I love an excuse to give out hugs, tell people I care about them, and most importantly to binge on chocolate and wine. This year I am in class all night, so my celebration will have to wait until the weekend. Luckily, my class is Human Sexuality, which is the most exciting class you could have on Valentines Day. ūüėČ I’m hoping we talk about something upbeat like fetishes or swinger parties, and not erectile dysfunction or supernumerary nipples.¬† Ok wait, both of those topics are great too.¬† I guess I’m super excited for class!¬† Maybe I’ll become a sex therapist?!

Anyway, I made these treats so we could enjoy ourselves all week long!

Jonathan is not a huge dessert fan, usually because he claims they are too “sweet”. But his favorite sweet to indulge in is white chocolate. We were recently at a party with a make-your-own-cupcake bar (GENIUS) and I spotted Jonathan helping himself to a few different varieties, which inspired these White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting.

Can you think of a better combo than white chocolate and raspberry? I cannot.

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 oz. white chocolate¬†bar
  • 8 oz. white chocolate chips (a smidge more than 1/2 bag)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a cupcake pan or use these adorable cupcake wrappers for V-day!
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Cream together butter and sugar.  Add the vanilla and eggs until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the 4 oz. white chocolate bar and milk.¬† White chocolate has a funny way of melting, which is to say it doesn’t melt well.¬† It gets kind of runny and chunky, but pay that no attention.

Ghirardelli FTW!

Ghirardelli FTW!

Slowly combine the flour mixture with the butter and sugar mixture until smooth.  Try not to whip the crap out of your batter because it will harden your cupcakes.  Nobody wants a cement cupcake.  Be GENTLE!

batter

Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture to the batter until creamy.  Then add your 8 oz. of chocolate chips.

The extra white chocolate chips tossed in at the end really give this recipe an extra oompf of creamy white chocolate flavor!

Double white chocolate intensity

Double white chocolate intensity

Pour the batter into the greased cupcake pan.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before moving to the frosting stage.

For the frosting you will need:

  • 1 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp raspberry jam

Whip together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, whipping cream, and pinch of salt until it looks like frosting (about 30 seconds on high).

frosting

Then add the raspberry jam and mix it into the frosting with a rubber scraper. ¬†If you are lucky, your friend Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s¬†Head will send you a giant jar of delicious homemade raspberry, cranberry, and cherry jam for you to use in this recipe. If you aren’t lucky, you will walk with your head hung in shame to the grocery store to get sub par jam.

Thank you, Jeanne!

Thank you, Jeanne!

If raspberries are in season, it might be fun to make a raspberry compote to use in the frosting instead of jarred jam. I didn’t do this because raspberries were $4 when I created this recipe.

Spread the frosting evenly over the cupcakes and top with fresh raspberries or sprinkles.  These cupcakes were divine and got the stamp of approval from the hubby and my coworkers!  Num!

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

What are you making for Valentine’s Day this year?¬† What are your plans this holiday?

-Mads

Please check out the rest of the sweets on other blogs throughout the week! These bloggers are fearless bakers and make me drool on a daily basis. I hope you find something you want to make for your sweetheart!

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Gnocchi and Pesto Soup

Hello hello!

I’m back from my honeymoon to Belize! ¬†It was absolutely fabulous and relaxing in every way possible. ¬†Pictures and posts about that will be up shortly. ¬†In the meantime, I’ve returned to a life of cooking for myself…life is hard.

Which brings me to my next point, this week is SOUP WEEK!

Gnocchi and Pesto Soup...a spin off of the classes potato and vegetable soup

Gnocchi and Pesto Soup…a spin off of the classes potato and vegetable soup

14 bloggers have come together to warm your bellies and your hearts through a week of soup recipes!  I hope you are as excited as I am!  As usual, there is a GIVEAWAY on one of the blogs listed below.  Enter for your chance to win Le Creuset!

When creating this recipe, I wanted to incorporate all of the stick-to-your-ribs goodness that we all crave during the winter months. ¬†I think my body went into major hibernation mode this winter because all I wanted was mac n’ cheese, pizza, and hot mashed potatoes. ¬†The result was an additional 8 pounds (holy hell) that I am still trying to work off. ¬†Damn the winter!

“Winter” is also a relative term. ¬†In California, it means that we will be shaking in our boots in 50 degree weather, but it’s -10 in Minnesota today. ¬†Either way, my body is feasting like a bear in survival mode to live through the chill. ¬†ūüėõ

Where was I? ¬†Oh yes, stick-to-your-ribs. ¬†To start, I used my absolute favorite bold garlicky pesto recipe. ¬†This recipe is something my family has been making for years “by feel”, but I finally wrote the ingredients down and posted the recipe here.

Presto Pesto!

Most of the potato soup recipes I’ve used in the past and the ones I’ve seen online are fairly similar. ¬†You start with the mirepoix (fancy term for onion, carrot, and celery), then add potatoes and boil with your liquids. ¬†The twist on this one is the addition of gnocchi and pesto for extra winter tummy-warming heartiness.

Secret ingredients for that extra OOMF!

Secret ingredients for that extra OOMF!

For the soup portion of the recipe, you will need:

  • 4 russet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package potato gnocchi
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pesto (store-bought or homemade…please do yourself a favor and make homemade)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for topping
  1. Make sure the onion, carrot, and celery are all chopped to roughly the same small size.  A uniform size ensures they cook evenly in the pan.

    Mirepoix.  I love saying that.

    Mirepoix. I love saying that.

  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute onion, carrots, and celery until slightly softened and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add potatoes and garlic, sautéing for a minute or two.  You just want a little bit of brown on the edges for extra flavor.
  4. Season the veggies with salt and pepper, then add the broth.

    If you don't have a big enough pot (I didn't), just use two!  Also, if you prep your veggies the night before, your potatoes will start to oxidize and turn purple in the fridge.  Don't be like me.

    If you don’t have a big enough pot (I didn’t), just use two! Also, if you prep your veggies the night before (like me), your potatoes will start to oxidize and turn purple in the fridge. Don’t be like me.

  5. Bring to a boil until potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes).
  6. Give the broth a quick taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender in batches), blend the soup until it’s nice and creamy.Blending away!
  8. Add the gnocchi and continue over medium heat until the gnocchi is completely cooked (about 3 minutes).photo
  9. Add the heavy cream and stir until combined.

    BTW, it is incredibly difficult to pour with one hand and get a picture of the pour with your other hand.  That's why this picture is not focused correctly.  I need a soux chef/photographer!

    BTW, it is incredibly difficult to pour with one hand and get a picture of the pour with your other hand. That’s why this picture is not focused correctly. I need a soux chef/photographer!

  10. Do a final taste test to make sure the seasonings are correct.
  11. Pour into your bowl and top with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of parmesan!IMG_5320

As far as soups go, this recipe was very easy and the taste was fantastic!  You want to eat this.

What are you making to keep warm this winter?  Did you suffer from the hibernation feed-me-all-the-things feelings this winter?  

-Mads

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Please check out these other bloggers over the course of the week.  These women create some of the tastiest recipes and most entertaining stories on the internet.  (Links to soup posts will become available throughout the week.)

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

One Kitchen Many Hearts: Secret Santa

Happy holidays, my fine internet friends!

It’s time for another One Kitchen Many Hearts (OKMH) post from my sisters around the internet:

OKMH pic

Top left to bottom right: Me, Kirsten, Megan, Jeanne, Allison, and Kat

The holidays at our house were¬†filled with family, holiday ham, presents, and Christmas jammies. ¬†It has also been filled with runny noses, which did not bring out much holiday cheer in myself or my husband. ¬†But nothing could have warmed my heart more than opening my Secret Santa OKMH box from my friend Jeanne (aka Inside NanaBread’s Head)!!!

Guess who?

Guess who?

There were squees of delight happening all over Twitter and Facebook when I found the box in my apartment.  The package arrived right after finals week had destroyed me, so the timing was perfect.

When I opened it up, my jaw about fell off my face.

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Can’t you feel the love spilling out of every inch of this box and through the computer screen? ¬†I mean, really. ¬†There was so much care an attention paid to the details of this box that I wanted to fly to Texas just to give Jeanne a hug!

Somehow she remembered that my previous Christmas was void of any real decorations, so she MADE ME A TREE FULL OF HAND CRAFTED ORNAMENTS.  My heart grew 3 times that day.

Josie ran over and instinctively knew there was something in the box for her.  I thought she was charging over to eat the ornaments, but she simply grabbed the squeaky toy meant for her and went about her business.  It was hilarious!  I wish I had a better picture or even a video of that moment, but alas, this is all I have:

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I immediately put the ornaments up.  They are all adorable, but here are some of my absolute favorites:

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Love penguins? An owl holding a Christmas tree? Josie the pug? ¬†C’mon! ¬†Too cute!

Jeanne also found some goodies that were perfect to warm up our holiday season:

Nums

Nums

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This gingerbread candle is amazeballs and has been burning every day since we got it! I highly recommend this scent as a holiday gift.

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I painted my nails Christmas red.

She also included a homemade batch of the best gingerbread cookies in the world. ¬†Jonathan doesn’t usually like desserts (wha?), but he was asking for these cookies like crazy.

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Jeanne made our Christmas extra Christmas-y this year, which was really the best gift I could have asked for.  Without snow on the ground and my family close by, it was really special to have some new traditions to start with my new family.

Thank you, Jeanne!

What was your favorite gift this holiday season?  What is your favorite tradition for Christmas?

-Mads

p.s. Check out what I gave Megan at Wanna Be a Country Cleaver.  To sneak a peek at what the other ladies got, visit Tenaciously Yours, Decadent Philistines Save the World, and Comfortably Domestic.

 

COOKIE WEEK: Glazed Honey Lemon Cookies

Hello interwebs,

The holidays are upon us, which means that it’s time for another Cookie Week celebration!

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A few of my blogging friends have banned together to bake cookies and raise awareness and $$$ for Cookies for Kids Cancer.¬† Through the Glad to Give program, each cookie that we exchange raises cash to help treat children with cancer.¬† Isn’t that fantastic?

Let’s be real, I was going to make the cookies anyway, but now I can feel better that the goodness from those cookies is going to other places besides just my hips.¬†¬†If you want to participate, it takes just a few clicks to enter the # of cookies you exchanged this year on Glad to Give.¬†¬†

To prepare for Cookie Week, I made a list of 5 cookie recipes that I’ve never tried before.¬† I felt so adventurous, so alive!¬† But let me tell you, these glazed honey lemon cookies were the best. ¬†Jonathan has requested them daily since we finished them off.
The recipe comes from Taste of Home Cookie cookbook.  You will need:

7 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp lemon rind

1/2 tsp lemon extract (or juice from the lemon you just zested, eh?)

For the icing (you might as well double this icing recipe, right?):

1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp lemon zest

Cream together butter and sugar.  Then beat in the egg.

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Who can tell me the difference between regular honey and clover honey?

In a separate bowl, combine the honey, yogurt, and lemon zest.

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Unappetizing? Perhaps, but the smell is divine!

In yet another, separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. ¬†I don’t have a picture of this step because I’m not on top of it. ¬†Please imagine a bowl of dry ingredients in your head. ¬†Not entertaining enough? ¬†Oh, perhaps that’s why I forgot to take a snap of it. ¬†Moving along…

Add the dry ingredients alternatively with your honey mixture to the wet ingredients.  Your batter should look and smell like heaven right now.

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I always use a cookie scoop for the next step.  I held out on getting a cookie scoop for years, but it is SO worth it.  Please go out and save yourself a whole bunch of time and effort by buying a cookie scoop.  *end rant

Now take your freckled and fuzzy arm and scoop some cookies!

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My batter was runny, which made for pancake-like cookies.  Delicious delicious pancake cookies made from unicorn tears.

While the cookies are in the oven, mix together your icing ingredients.

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When your cookies have had some time to cool, ice those puppies up!  Get messy!  Get funky!  Get durtay!

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Naked cookies need icing love.

I topped mine off with a little extra zest because I’m zesty and bold. ¬†And it made them look much cuter.

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Stay tuned for the rest of Cookie Week!  There are giveaways, stories, and more COOKIES!!!

Comfortably Domestic–Decorated Shortbread Cookies (plus a King Arthur Giveaway)
Inside NanaBread’s Head–Dark Chocolate Turtle Thumbprints
Bakeaholic Mama–Bacon Maple Sugar Cookies
Wanna be a Country Cleaver–Homemade Mint Oreos
Tenaciously Yours–Colossal Cookies
Comfortably Domestic–Gingersnaps Reboot
Decadent Philistines Save the World–Sesame Plum Thumbprints
Bakeaholic Mama–P-town Toffee Cookies
Munching in the Mitten–Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

What are you making this holiday season?  What is your absolute favorite holiday cookie?

-Mads

Beer Week is *hiccup* here!

Hello beer lovers, beer drinkers, and beer stinkers,

Some local Californian brews I drank *for testing purposes only*

I’m here to tell you that Beer Week is in full swing on the internet! ¬†My bloggy friends have teamed up for another week full of delicious beer-filled recipes and brewery tour guides. ¬†From maple ale ice cream to Oktoberfest shenanigans to pumpkin beer bread, this week of beer truly has it all.

I decided to try another home deep-frying adventure because everything tastes better deep-fried.¬† Let’s be honest.¬† So I made Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with a roasted poblano slaw.

Roasted Poblano Slaw Buddies

I grabbed what was on hand to make a sauce for the slaw.  I had no idea how it would taste, but the end result was a creamy slaw with a bite of garlic and hints of the savory roasted pepper.  YUM!

Creamy poblano sauce

Slaw:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2-3 Tbsp. lime juice (throw some zest in if you’re feeling frisky)

1 small clove garlic

5 Tbsp. cilantro

1 roasted poblano pepper–skinned and seeded

Combine in food processor until creamy.  Add to cabbage until desired consistency.  I kept mine on the creamy side to pair it with the crunch of the shrimp.

After you grill/roast the poblano, simply tent the pepper in foil for about 5 minutes until the skin has steamed. Then it is much easier to scrape off the skin with a knife.

Next up were the shrimpies!¬† Make sure your shrimp are peeled and deveined.¬† Sometimes the butcher will do this for you, but it doesn’t take too much skill to do it at home.

Pat those shrimpies dry with a paper towel before you start this shenanigans.¬† I almost added a picture of this step, but I discovered that pictures of raw shrimp are really unappetizing.¬† I’ll spare you the gory details.

Beer Battered Shrimp:

1 cup Flour

1/4 cup Cornstarch

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Season-All Season Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 cup Panko (I also added 1/2 cup Wheat Germ for extra crunch)–set aside for dunking later

Mix ingredients through pepper together in one medium bowl.  Set aside.

Mix panko and wheat germ (optional) in another bowl.  Set aside.

Dunking bowls

Dunk each shrimp in the flour bowl only and shake off excess flour.  Set the shrimpies aside.

Then choose the beer of the day.¬† I went with a light wheaty beer because I really don’t like hops.¬† Who’s with me?¬† I also thought it was cute that the bottle had a shark on it…I wanted to stick with a nautical theme. ūüôā

Great White Beer from Lost Coast Brewery

Add about 1/2 a bottle of beer to the flour mixture.  Add a little at a time.  You want the batter to resemble a thick pancake batter.

Drink the other half.  This step is important!

Then set up an assembly line.  Dunk the shrimp into the beer batter.  Shake off the excess.  Then roll the shrimp around in the panko.  Shake off the excess.

Dip it, dunk it, drop it, rock it, roll it, grab it.

Once your oil reaches at least 375 degrees, add about 6 shrimp to the pan at a time.  Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping partway through.

Such an exciting moment to capture on film!

Place cooked shrimp on a paper towel-lined plate to remove extra oil.

Assemble the tacos!!!!

Slaw + shrimp + salsa = Pure unadulterated heaven

This dinner was rated an 11/10 from the whole family.  I get that the whole family is only myself and Jonathan, but we said we would make this again in a heartbeat.  There were no leftovers.  I about passed out in the first bite.  Make these.

What’s your favorite thing to make/eat with beer?

-Mads

Check out the other fabulous Beer Week posts here:

Inside NanaBread’s Head–Dark Chocolate Espresso Stout Cake

Comfortably Domestic–Brewer Biography and Black & Tan Brownies

Tenaciously Yours–Oktoberfest Prost!

Munching in the Mitten–Pumpkin Beer Bread

From My Sweet Heart–Beer Pretzel Caramels & Beer Orange Caramel Sauce

Climbing Grier Mountain–Pale Ale Shrimp Po’ Boy

Country Cleaver–Schnitzel and Dumplings

Decadent Phillistines Save the World–Spicy German Mustard, Ale-Soaked Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Maple-Ale Ice Cream