Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

from Coconut and Lime

I don't eat doughnuts regularly, but when I do I tend to partake in the kind that have jelly on the inside....especially of the munchkin variety. These were pretty good--I would rate them a 6.5 out of 10. The cake part was very different than I am used to. It was very moist and actually kind of tasted like a doughnut. The husband told me that they taste exactly like jelly doughnuts. Now whether he was being honest or just boosting my confidence remains to be seen. You make them and let me know!


1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

good quality red jelly (any flavor--i used raspberry)
powdered sugar ( i used regular sugar)


1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Grease and flour or line 8 wells in a cupcake pan.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg, vanilla, zest and milk beat well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until the batter is light and fluffy.
5. Fill each well 2/3 of the way filled.
6. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of cupcake comes out clean.
7. Cool on a wire rack and take a small corer, knife or melon baller and scoop out some of the center of the cupcake.
8. Fill with jelly (I just spooned it in).
9. Sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Darling Friend and Her Darling Blog

A Dining Darling

One of
my very best friends has a blog of her very own. I will allow her to introduce herself:

I’m not a Food Expert, I just like to eat it. I also like to read about food, imagine great new recipes I can cook up, restaurants I need to visit, and fantasize about the kitchen I would have if I won the lottery. You better believe that there would be a Cuisinart Stand Mixer in that kitchen, and if they had one in pink, even better!

I am unabashed about my love of all things cupcakes, tea, and wine. I like red wine the most and am lucky in that it doesn’t turn my teeth and lips purple. If you try to call me at 10:00pm on Wednesdays, when Top Chef is on, I will most likely not answer my phone. I love comfort foods, and especially like finding lowfat alternatives for comfort foods.

Come eat with me!

So be sure to scope out her blog and follow her as she discovers the wonders of the food culture in Baltimore...

Lemon Sqaures

Normally, I am not a huge fan of lemon flavored things, but I have been a lover of lemon squares for as long as I can remember. However, I have never had them from scratch, my mom always went the boxed route. So, the other night I got the desire to bake something and as it turned out, lemon squares were the perfect choice for two reasons: 1) I already had all the ingredients in my kitchen and 2) I would be seeing my Jackie the next day and if anyone loves lemony treats, it's Jackie...

Speaking of Jackie...she alerted me the other day that she has a recipe to put up on my blog. So keep an eye out as she will be my first official guest blogger.

Now onto the luscious lemon squares....


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
4 eggs
Zest and juice of 2 lemons, separated
powdered sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

2. Add the cubed butter to the flour and using your hands, combine the butter with the flour until you’re left with a crumbly mixture.

3. Press this mixture into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes or until just turning golden on the edges.


5. In a new bowl, combine the zest of 2 lemons and 1 1/4 cups of white sugar and rub them together until the zest is incorporated into the sugar.

6. Whisk or beat in the eggs and add the lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and whisk them in.

Once the crust has finished baking...

6. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is set and doesn’t wiggle.

7. Remove the lemon bars from the oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY before sprinkling with powdered sugar and cutting.

These were absolutely delicious!! And I kind of wish I had one right now.

P.S. Did you notice that picture taking skills have improved? Well, not entirely. More like my photo touch-up skills have improved, especially for the pictures of the final product....mmmm, i'm salivating...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine's Day Surprises

It seems that I have found myself with A LOT of free time on my hands lately. It's been almost 2 months since I graduated and I have yet to find a job--not even so much as an interview. I have turned to baking in order to distract myself from the unfortunate circumstances. I keep on applying and I keep on baking...I have all the time in the world.

Valentine's Day was this past weekend and I decided to make special treats for some of my lovely lady friends. Two of these ladies live on the West Coast so they only received cookies, but the ladies who live in my area received cookies AND cupcakes. Then I gave Tim the leftovers to take into work. And everyone got a handmade card (well, except for Tim's co-workers). I spent last Tuesday baking 2 dozen cupcakes and 9 dozen cookies.
I present you with the fruits (sweets) of my labors:

Valentine Cupcakes:

Basically, I made a standard white cake mix. The twist, however, is that I added 2 tbsp. of sprinkles because I LOVE funfetti cake!!! Then I iced and decorated them in a special Valentine's way:

P.S. I found the cutest cupcake boxes in the world, but more on that later...

Valentine Sugar Cookies:

I'll be the first to admit that cookies are not my forte, but I decided to give them a whirl anyway. They aren't my best work. They were supposed to be heart shaped, but I got in a fight with the rolling pin and decided just to plop them on the baking sheet and go from there.


2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat again until well combined. Then beat in eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture.
4. Refrigerate dough for 3 hours.
5. Drop onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned.
6. Allow them to cool completely and then ice them.


2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
3 or 4 tablespoons of water
few drops of food coloring

1. Mix the sugar and water together until desired consistency is reached.
2. Spoon or spread (depending on consistency) over completely cooled cookies.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies


12 oz. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
seedless raspberry jam
1/2 tsp. shortening


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Set aside. In a heavy small saucepan melt 4 ounces of the white chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer about 30 seconds or until softened. Add the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and melted white chocolate chips until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in the 4 more ounces of white chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough from a rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks. Cool completely.

4. Melt the raspberry jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam atop each cookie. In a heavy, small saucepan combine the 3 ounces white baking bar and shortening. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle each cookie with some of the melted mixture. If necessary, refrigerate cookies about 15 minutes or until chocolate mixture is firm.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Now here are the little packages I put together for my ladies:

And these are the cards I made :)

All in all, I think everyone enjoyed them...except Kate because she still hasn't gotten hers. All in good time, even though that makes for stale cupcakes, haha!!