Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Pecan Pie!

Happy almost Thanksgiving!!! I hope each of you little turkeys are spending time with family, preparing your stomaches for the biggest meal of the year, and gearing your minds for the yearly Black Friday fiasco.

Because I love Thanksgiving (and eating) so much, I've decided to share my favorite Pecan Pie recipe with you! This little goodie has been plucked from the Loveless Cafe cookbook (an iconic Nashville restaurant with the most delicious Southern cooking you'll ever eat) and tweaked by yours truly. It really is the best pecan pie I've ever had, and I get compliments on it at every family/friend gathering. Here's the gold, ladies and gentlemen...

Loveless Cafe Pecan Pie

  • 1 (10-inch) baked pie shell
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecans (halves/pieces)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown suger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375. Place pecans in the pie shell and place shell on a baking sheet.  Whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Whisk the melted butter into the egg mix.  Pour mixture over pecans. Bake for 35-40 min, or until puffed and firm in the center.  (NOTE: sometimes this pie turns out a little more runny than I'd like, so I add 1 tbs of cornstarch to the filling mix to firm it up!)

Happy baking, and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Fall Yall!

Well, well, well... Here we are again, another fall!  The leaves have changed and are falling, the weather is getting colder (I had a photoshoot yesterday morning at dawn, and about froze my TAIL off) and football season is in full swing! Fall is definitely my favorite season.  SO- what better way to celebrate my favorite season than with my favorite cupcake??? Here it is, Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting... quite possibly the most "fall" thing you've ever tasted.  Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 standard muffin cups with paper baking cups.

Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine pumpkin and buttermilk in medium bowl, mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice, nutmeg and ginger in separate medium bowl.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with pumpkin mixture, beating well after each addition.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling two-thirds full.  

Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Cool cupcakes in pans on wire rack 15 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.  

While cooling, prepare cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 box of 10x Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, mixing on medium speed until the frosting is light and creamy. Pipe with a pastry bag onto cupcakes.

Well, there you have it! Fall for your tastebuds :) 

Happy Cupcaking!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pairing Chocolate with Wine...

I went on tour to California in July, and played a few shows at some wineries in Temecula and NapaValley.  When I was at Leonesse Cellars Winery in Temecula (NOTE: this is the best winery in the entire world. Period.) our host Joel showed us how to pair a rich Port wine with a cocoa-dusted dark chocolate truffle (found at Trader Joe's).  It was truly delicious.  I wanted to post this tutorial video so that you could all try it at home... a perfect light dessert on a cold fall night!

Click on the title above, or view the video via youtube here: Pairing Chocolate with Wine

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cake Batter Martinis???

Seriously?!? A drink that tastes like one of my favorite things in the world? Sign me up, PLEASE!

I present to you: Cake Batter Martinis, from the brilliantly sweet blog How Sweet It Is.

Might become my dessert tonight.  Find the how-to here:

And let me know what you think of it...

Bailey's Cupcakes? I think so...

Was going through my favorite cupcake blog and stumbled upon this recipe... haven't tried it yet, but I am VERY much intending to! Chocolate Chip Irish Creme Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream...

Check it out here: Bailey's Cupcakes

Happy cupcake-ing! New recipes to come :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I want these pretty little things....

Aren't these beautiful??? They would make any attempt at a cupcake look more complicated...

So glamorous. More on the expensive side ($11.99 for 12) but worth it if you wanna make a big impression.... So glamorous, so beautiful. Perfect for a wedding- can't you just imagine a tier of cupcakes wrapped in these??? Yep- I want them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

They sure do look delicious, don't they? They are fabulous. Unfortunately, I did not create this recipe.  I wish I could take credit, but I've got to give a hat's off to Martha Stewart for this one- I've got her cupcake cookbook and am in LOVE with many of her recipes, this being one of them.  So while I didn't actually dream up this little decadent dessert, I had to share them with you- after all, you can't perfect perfection...

A little note I'll tell you before I even give you the recipe- the recipe makes 30 cupcake-sized cheesecakes.  I don't know what kind of living situation YOU have, but I've just got a roommate and a boyfriend, so there was no way we could eat 30 cheesecakes (or rather, no way we SHOULD.) So I split the recipe in half when I made mine, and still had more than enough to share.  Also, the next time I make these, I might add a little more sugar to the cheesecake mixture, and maybe a little lemon juice as well- yall know how much I love lemon, and think it would do a fabulous number on the taste of the cheesecake.  Now not too much lemon, mind you- just the juice from a couple slices. Taste as you go, or else you'll end up with lemon oreo cheesecake, which doesn't sound appealing.

This recipe is similar to one of the recipes I posted early on- Cookies & Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. However, these are straight cheesecake, no cake involved.  They are very easy and cheap to make, keep well in the fridge for several days, and taste like you spent a lot of time an money on them.  A very unique and simple dessert idea for a party!

There, now that we've got all THAT settled... here is the recipe!

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

  1. 42 Oreos (30 left whole, 12 coarsely chopped)
  2. 2 pounds of cream cheese, room temperature (I use 4 boxes of Philadelphia cream cheese)
  3. 1 cup of sugar
  4. 1 tsp of vanilla
  5. 4 large eggs, room temperature (lightly beaten)
  6. 1 cup of sour cream
  7. A pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Happy Cheesecake-ing!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

You poor, POOR little cupcake addicts. I have neglected you for so long! I apologize for the delay, I had anticipated being able to give you a constant stream of decadent cupcake recipes, but creating my debut album pulled me away from the kitchen and into the studio... for like a year and a HALF. But, great news!! It's done. The album is done, and ready for listening... and if you ask me, it's fantastic cupcake-baking music. :) You can find the album on iTunes at or purchase the physical copy on my merch site, at Ok, enough of that. Onto the baking!!!

This is one of my favorite recipes... if you love GirlScout ThinMint cookies, you'll LOVE these little babies. And the best part about it is the simplicity... the cupcakes come from brownie mix, and the icing is quick and easy to make!

Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes
  • a box of brownie mix (my favorite is Duncan Hines, dark chocolate brownies)
  • anything the brownie mix requires (usually just eggs, vegetable oil, and water)
  • 1.5 sticks of salted butter, softened
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • about 2 tbs of Hershey's cocoa powder
  • about 2 tbs of heavy whipping cream
  • a few drops of peppermint extract
Preheat oven to temperature on brownie mix box (350* or 375*). Line a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners (I prefer to make these cupcakes in mini cupcake size because the brownies are so rich and heavy, they're better in a smaller size!)

Follow directions on the back of the brownie mix box, pour into cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). (My trick for pouring the batter into the liners is using a plastic cup- some people use an ice cream scoop, but it's easier for me to pour from a flexible plastic cup- but be careful, the liners fill up fast!)

Bake. For timing, my mini brownie cupcakes usually take about 22-25 minutes to bake, but the timing differs on the type of mix. Dark chocolate brownie mix takes about 22 minutes, milk chocolate brownie mix takes about 25 minutes. Just watch them carefully, they will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the brownie cupcakes are baking/cooling, assemble the frosting- using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the softened 1.5 sticks of butter in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Then, slowly add the 3 cups of powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. If the frosting is getting too clumpy or sticky towards the end of the sugar additions, add the heavy whipping cream. Otherwise, wait until all sugar is added before you add the heavy whipping cream. After you have a good vanilla base for the frosting, start adding the cocoa powder. I usually put in a couple of spoonfuls, then taste- if you like a rich chocolate, add more cocoa. Once you get a good chocolate frosting base, start adding a few drops of peppermint extract, then taste. Be careful not to add too much peppermint extract, that stuff is STRONG!

Frost the brownie cupcakes once they have cooled, and for an extra oomph in presentation, chop Andes mints in half and stick one in the frosting on top of each cupcake.

Take THAT, GirlScout ThinMint cookies!!!

Cheers, loves...