My 4 year old step daughter came to me the other day and asked if we could make ‘little cakes’. In big-girl terms, she wanted to make cupcakes! Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I scoured the internet for some inspiration for a yummy treat my 4 year old could help me make. I ran across this recipe on All Recipes. It was posted by a woman named Celeste. And let me tell you… KUDOS TO HER!
The cupcakes are so easy to make… and INCREDIBLY beautiful =) I hope you enjoy making them too!
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 egg whites
- 8 drops red food coloring
- 2 drops raspberry candy oil
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- Beat the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and egg whites together on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes, until smooth. Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with white batter; set aside.
- Stir 4 drops of red food coloring into the remaining bowl of batter to make the batter pink, stir in the raspberry oil. Pour 1/3 of pink batter into a resealable plastic bag and set aside.
- Mix more food coloring into the remaining bowl of pink batter until it is an orange/red color and pour the batter into a resealable plastic bag. Cut a corner off the bag, stick the open tip into the center of each cup of white batter and squeeze in about two tablespoons of red batter.
- Cut the corner off the bag with the pink batter, stick the open tip into the center of the red batter and squeeze about 1 tablespoon pink batter into each cup.
- Bake the layered cupcakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Here is what you get!
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Have you ever heard of beignets?
Beignets are a kind of French donut that are very popular in New Orleans. It’s pretty much a deep fried dough dredged in powered sugar. Only problem is that they can take a while to make.
Now, do you ever have left over biscuits? You know, like those kind that are refrigerated in cans? Well, a simple way to make beignets is by cutting up your left over biscuits into chunks, deep frying them in hot oil and dredging them in powered sugar. Takes less than 3 minutes! AND you aren’t wasting those left over biscuits. =)
There was never a time in my life when I *didn’t* want peanut brittle. My Aunt Anna would ship me some every year for Christmas because hers was one you just couldn’t beat.
Then, as though the brittle gods wanted my addiction to grow, my Chef in school introduced me to the world of other brittles. Cashew brittle, pistachio brittle, almond brittle! Just about any nut you can think of can be made into brittle! But my new favorite would have to be sesame brittle. It’s rich and nutty, crunchy and delicious!
The following recipe is for my Aunt Anna’s peanut brittle, but any nut can be substituted. And if you want to try sesame brittle, Use 1/2 the amount you would use for nuts (ex: the recipe calls for 1 cup peanuts; you’d use 1/2 cup sesame seeds). I also found out, you can get an amazing sesame brittle by splitting your amount in half and using half white sesame seeds and half black!
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup light corn syrup
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup water
-1 cup unsalted peanuts
-2 tablespoons softened butter
-1 teaspoon baking soda
Grease a large cookie sheet (or several aluminum pie tins) and set aside. In a heavy saucepan (2qt), bring to boil over medium heat, sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Stir ONLY UNTIL SUGAR IS DISOLVED. Add peanuts. Set candy thermometer in the pan and let mixture cook until temperature reaches 300 degrees (or until a small drop of the mixture dropped into really cold water separates into brittle threads).
Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter and baking soda. Pour into cookie sheet.
**For thick brittle, leave as is. For thinner brittle, using 2 forks to lift and pull mixture as thin as wanted. CAUTION: MIXTURE WILL BE VERY HOT! Allow to cool and break into pieces.
Every year until I moved out, my grandma and I would start baking 2 weeks before Christmas. We bake hundreds of cookies, cakes, pies, candies, and chocolates. One of the most memorable of the confection traditions was her fudge. Sometimes she made it marbled, sometimes with peppermint pieces throughout, but without fail it was creamy and delicious everytime.
I recently learned that she adapted this recipe from one she found in a magazine long before I was born, but to me it is as much of a family recipe as any other.
-3 cups sugar
-3/4 cup butter
-2/3 cup (5 1/3 fl. oz. can) evaporated milk
-1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
-2 cup marshmallow creme
-1 tsp. vanilla
Combine sugar, butter and milk in heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil. Stir constantly. Boil 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir constantly so you don’t scortch your fudge base. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until they melt complete. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Cool at room temperature and cut into what size/shape pieces you like (we usually cut it into diamond shapes). Makes approximately 3 pounds.