Friday, May 20, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Earlier this week I said I was trying to cut back on the baking, add in some "healthful" recipes, if you will.  Well, this morning I went to my usual Friday morning boot camp workout class.  And now I hurt.  I decided I sweat enough this morning to justify copious amounts of sugar this afternoon. 

Anddddd when the husband came home for lunch and said this guy from work's girlfriend was in culinary school and always sent treats to work for the guys, I felt a challenge coming on. (Not that I'm competitive or anything)

Conversation that took place over lunch:
Hubs:  This guy I work with has a girlfriend in cooking school and she keeps sending him to work with samples for us.  
Me: What did she make?
Hubs: Some sort of piece of chocolate?
Me:  Truffles?
Hubs:  I don't know. A round, soft ball of chocolate rolled in powdered chocolate.
Me: (rolling my eyes) That's a truffle. 
Hubs: They were really, really good.
Me: (Death glare)
Hubs: I mean, not nearly as good as anything you've ever made. Obviously.  Maybe you could make something for me to take to work.

Good save, Hubs. Good save. 

Moving on...recap from every other post I've written: I love all things with cinnamon.  That's all you need to know.

So today, I'm very excited to present:

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes!!!

Yes, yes. I've finally made them and I couldn't be more thrilled.

I used Martha Stewart's Snickerdoodle Cupcake recipe with a few of my own added touches and my own cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

To start, batter was delicious. That's always a good sign.  Second, right after the cupcakes came out of the oven, I quickly dipped the tops in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Warning: cupcakes are very hot (obviously), be careful and don't burn your fingers, but try to do it while they're still warm so the sugar sticks.
I also tried experimenting with filling the cupcakes.  I was going for a "cinnamon swirl filling" so I mixed butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to pipe into the cupcakes.
This turned out to be slightly disastrous for reasons I won't go into, so I filled four and called it quits.  I need to invest in some squeeze bottles for this task. 

Then topped with my absolute favorite cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Oh, delicious yum.

Did you notice my new pink cake pedestal? I love.

If you love cinnamon even the slightest bit, make these.  And now I'm off to the hubs work to take those men some cupcakes!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (makes 2 dozen)
adapted from Martha Stewarts Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, room temp
1 3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup milk

Sugar mixture:
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cinnamon Cream cheese frosting:
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together flours, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
2.  Beat together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.
3.  Slowly add in flour mixture, alternating with milk.  Mix until fully comined.
4.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Dip in sugar mixture on plate.
6.  Allow to cool on wire racks.
7.  For the frosting, with whisk attachment, beat together butter and cream cheese until combined. Add vanilla.  Begin adding powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency.  Add cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined.
8.  Frost and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011's what's for dinner!

I know the blog is called "My Pretty Pink Mixer" and the majority of my recipes spotlight her...

due to giving up my other blog (RIP Food For Fuel) that highlighted more "healthful" meal recipes and because of my ever expanding waistline from baking so much...I've decided to start blogging some "delicious and healthy meals from start to finish" on here, as well. (Name that Food Network Star quote)

Sorry, pink mixer. I still love you.

Tonight's dinner menu includes HEB's finest "Original Rotisserie Chicken" alongside a Warm Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad.

I went a little crazy at Costco the other day and ended up buying a year's worth of sweet potatoes.  My thought process for this decision...
"I like sweet potatoes. I like baked sweet potatoes.  This box of sweet potatoes is really cheap.  Much cheaper than buying them individually at HEB.  I should definitely buy this 10 lb box of sweet potatoes."
Sweet potato, anyone?

So naturally, I've been trying to find new recipes to use up my sweet potatoes, besides my standard baked sweet potato medallions, sweet potato fries, etc, and found this recipe from Everyday Paleo.

Potatoes+bacon+spinach=yes, please.

Apples and spinach are a household staple around here.  Leeks, on the other hand, are not. I've never bought a leek (other than in pre-made spinach, potato, and leek soup) so I actually had to google "how to cut up a leek."  Thank goodnesss for Google

I used my hand-held mandolin to slice up 3 small sweet potatoes and followed the "you-tubed" instructions on how to clean, cut, and slice a leek.  

Now the good part.  Coat your sweet potatoes in a little coconut oil (or olive oil) and bake.  While they're baking, start frying the bacon. Oh, delicious yum.

Now remember when I said "I don't have a 'splatter screen' because I don't make bacon that often." I'd like to take that comment back and invest in one now.  I hate grease on my stove...even more hate grease on me. That is all.

Fry it up. Add the leeks. Toss. And enjoy!

I kind of "halved" the recipe.  Same amount of spinach (or more), 4 slices of bacon, 1 leek, and 3 small sweet potatoes.  I made the entire dressing recipe but only used part of it---and didn't have dry basil so I used fresh.  

Even the hubs was a fan.  But what's not to like about sweet potatoes and bacon?  


Warm Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

3 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive)
1 apple diced
8 strips of bacon, sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
6 oz fresh baby spinach

1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
pepper to taste
dash of cayenne
1 tbsp dried basil

Toss sweet potatoes in coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.  Meanwhile, fry bacon in pan.  Add sliced leeks and cook for 4-5 more minutes.  Pour bacon/leeks over spinach and toss, allowing the spinach to wilt.  Add baked sweet potatoes and chopped apple.  Pour dressing over and toss and serve. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Triple Threat Chocolate Cookies

As we all know (or should know), I'm not a huge chocolate fan.  In this household, I like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips...and a little cinnamon.  So you might as well just give me a snickerdoodle.  However, I'm probably one of few people like this.  I'm pretty sure most people love chocolate.  And this cookie is for them.

Way back in February when we bought our house (!!),  a family friend, who happens to be a real-estate lawyer, looked over all of our closing documents to make sure they were all legit.  Since he's a family friend and all, he did all of this work for free, however, I intended to pay him with cookies. (Obviously)

When asked what his favorite types of desserts were, his daughter said "anything with chocolate." Thus, I made this cookie but tweaked it to be more intensely chocolate-ly.

These cookies are jam-packed with cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 60% dark chocolate chips.  Whoa. Intense.

To be honest, after trying this dough, I thought I may have turned a new leaf and started to like chocolate.  Then I ate a snickerdoodle blondie and resumed my old ways.

Sidenote: I forgot to take pictures of these cookies before dropping them off at my parents for them to deliver to said lawyer-friend.  But, I have an amazing mother who so graciously snapped a few pictures for me and my obsessive self so I could blog about them. Thanks, mom! :) 

Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from RecipeGirl

1 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12 oz) package 60% cocoa chips (I used Ghiradelli)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cream butter and sugars together until smooth.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. 
3.  In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix together with whisk.
4.  Slowly incorporate into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
5.  Eat some dough.
6.  Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.