Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

Red, white and Blue Cupcakes Close Up If you’re looking for patriotic cupcakes for your next party, these Red, White and Blue Cupcakes are a perfect treat! They’re a great addition to any Memorial Day or 4th of July celebrations.

Summer brings many opportunities for get-togethers: cookouts, picnics, backyard BBQs and pot-lucks with celebrations of holidays, birthday parties, family reunions…the list goes on. My family has a 4th of July party/family reunion every year. Each family brings a side dish or dessert to share along with lots of burgers and hot dogs from the grill. There are games for the kids, corn hole, swimming, beer, lots of visiting with family and lots of food. At the end of the night we light our own fireworks. A fun all-American celebration.

As we celebrate America’s birthday, a delicious addition of Red, White and Blue homemade cupcakes straight from the kitchen is always fitting. These yummy cupcakes are perfect for the dessert table at the get-togethers. These homemade cupcakes are super moist as well as fun red, white and blue colors to celebrate America!

Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes Recipe

Red, white and Blue Cupcakes Overhead

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 C. flour
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 3 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 lg. egg whites
  • 1/4 C. water

Decorations:

  • white frosting (any kind you like, I used Whipped Vanilla)
  • red and blue food coloring gel
  • sprinkles and flag cupcake liners

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. and prepare muffin pan with paper baking cups.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer and mix together. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg whites and mix together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl and combine together until well mixed. Add the water to the batter and mix together on low speed until it is all well combined.

Divide the batter equally into 3 separate bowls.

Use the red and blue food coloring gel and color 2 of the bowls of batter, to have a red, white, and a blue batter. I used about 2 butter knife tips of food coloring, you can add more to or less for desired color.

Spoon a little of each batter into your cupcake liners, filling about 1/2 way full.

Bake at 350° F. for 17 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting, simply use a premade white frosting. Add the frosting to a piping bag.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes. I used the round piping tip Wilton #12. Add sprinkles and other holiday decorations to cupcakes.

What a fun way to enjoy dessert to celebrate America! These can easily be made for graduations by making the batter school colors.

Enjoy!

Red, white and Blue Cupcakes Inside

Butter Pecan Cookies with Buttercream Swirls

Butter Pecan Cookies 3Butter Pecan Cookies

Yield: 12

Ingredients

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C. butter, softened
  • 1/4 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. finely chopped pecans

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3/4 C. butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, if desired

Directions

Butter Pecan Cookies 1

Cookie preparation:

Preheat oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then set aside.

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix until blended.

Shape dough into 1-inch size dough balls. You may roll them by hand or use a small scoop. Roll them in a beaten egg white, then roll in pecans.

Place on a greased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Gently flatten cookies. Bake in a 300° F. oven for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from baking sheet onto cooling rack, completely cool before frosting.

Buttercream frosting:

Beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until creamy. Add food coloring, if using. Use a piping bag to add a swirl of frosting to the top of each cookie.

Butter Pecan Cookies 2

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are soft and fluffy with plump raisins, a mixture of spice flavors, and a sweet glaze on the top. Make these homemade hot cross buns for your Easter traditions.

Hot Cross Buns 5

A sweet bread with all my favorite flavors paired with juicy raisins all together in a little roll. It’s topped off with a sweet sugary glaze to finish off the flavors.

Traditional homemade Hot Cross Buns. Easy recipe using raisins and cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Perfect for Easter

The most significant part of the hot cross buns is the cross itself baked into the roll. Perfect for Easter….but really delightful any time of the year!

I love making bread at home so I’m looking forward to making these more often! You really can’t beat homemade breads and buns! My favorite part is while they are still warm, splitting the bun in half and smearing butter on both pieces. It instantly melts and tastes so so good!

The hot cross bun is not too heavy so its great enjoyed as a side with dinner, or for breakfast! Or anytime really….I’m snacking with one right now as I write.

Homemade Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients for Homemade Hot Cross Buns

  • 3/4 C. milk, warmed
  • 1 pk dry active yeast, 2 1/4 tsp if using bulk
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 C. flour, divided within recipe (plus extra for work surfaces)
  • 1/2 C. raisins

Ingredients for the crosses

  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/3 C. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the glaze

  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. water

Directions for Homemade Hot Cross Buns

  1. In a medium mixing bowl or a stand mixer combine the warm water and the yeast. Mix until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and egg to the bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, melted butter, baking powder and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on low speed with the dough hook.
  4. Add the remainder of the flour and the raisins and continue to mix. The dough will start to form a ball and pull away from the sides.
  5. Remove dough, form into a ball and place in bowl that has been lightly greased with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or plate and sit to rise for 1 hour. The dough will double in size.
  6. After dough has risen, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and press it down flat to take the air out. If dough is a little too dry, add a teaspoon of water and work it in.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into small balls by rolling with your hand against a surface using a circular motion.
  8. Place the 12 dough balls onto a lightly greased baking tray or use parchment paper in a 3 x 4 formation. Leave some space between the buns so they can rise more to touch each other.
  9. Let rise for 15 minutes before adding the crosses.
  10. While the buns are rising, prepare the ingredients for the crosses.
  11. In a mixing bowl, add the water, flour, and vanilla, and whisk together. It will have a thicker wet consistency, holds it shape, but thin enough to pipe.
  12. Transfer the flour mixture into a piping bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off.
  13. After the buns have been rising for 15 minutes, carefully pipe the flour mixture across each buns in both directions to form a cross. The cross will bake into the buns.
  14. Bake at 425° F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  15. While the buns are baking make the glaze by bringing the sugar and water to a boil in a pot. Simmer until a syrup is formed.
  16. Glaze the buns as soon as they come out of the oven and let sit to cool.
  17. Ready to serve. Best if served the same day or the next day.

Hot Cross Buns 2

Decorating Easter Sugar Cookies

Shaped Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together on high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix again until just combined. Cover bowl tightly with film wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. When dough is chilled, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut out cookie with desired shape and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely before decorating.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. meringue powder, sifted
  • 6 C. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract, optional
  • Water
  • Food coloring, if desired

Directions:

  1. Whisk meringue powder and powdered sugar together in a bowl. Stir in extract (if using).
  2. With a kitchen faucet turned on very low, slowly add water while stirring until icing reaches the desired consistency.

To test consistency:

  • Drizzle some icing with your spatula into the bowl of icing
  • The drizzles should “melt” back into the icing in 5-10 seconds
  • Less than 5 seconds – it’s too thin; add sifted powdered sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time until correct consistency
  • More than 10 seconds – it’s too thick; add water until correct consistency

Adding Color:

Lastly, stir in food coloring, if using. Divide the icing into bowls with 1 C. in each. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of icing for the black. For dark pigments, you may want to make the icing a day in advance for a brighter color. Stir day-old icing vigorously to re-incorporate.

Turquoise

  • 2 drops royal blue
  • 1 drop green

Dusty Rose

  • 1 drop red
  • 1/4 drop brown

Gold

  • 2 drops yellow
  • 1/2 drop red

Bright White

  • 4-8 drops bright white

Green

  • 4 drops green

Black

  • 4-8 drops black

Putting it all together

Decorating Easter Egg Cookies

  1. Use an offset spatula and spread Turquoise icing over cookie then let the icing fully dry.
  2. Use a #3 tip and pipe Gold icing in diagonal lines. Then pipe lines in the opposite direction to form X’s.
  3. Use a #3 tip and pipe Bright White dots onto the lines where they cross and let icing fully dry.
  4. Use a #2 tip and pipe Dusty Rose dots onto the middle of the diamond shape the lines form.

Decorating Easter Bunny Cookies

  1. Use a #3 tip and pipe Bright White icing onto bunny face area.
  2. Use a #2 tip and pipe Dusty Rose icing onto bunny ears and let icing fully dry.
  3. Use a #3 tip and pipe Bright White Icing to create bunny cheeks.
  4. Use a #2 tip and pipe Dusty Rose icing to create a bunny nose and let icing fully dry.
  5. Use a #3 tip and pipe Bright White dots on top of bunny cheeks, 2-3 dots per cheek.
  6. Use a #3 tip to pipe Black dots for the bunny eyes and let icing fully dry.

Decorating Tulip Cookies

  1. Use a #3 tip and pipe Gold to outline each of the petals and let icing fully dry.
  2. Use a #3 tip and fill each outlined petal Gold and let icing fully dry.
  3. Use a #3 tip and pipe Bright White dots onto the base of the left petal.
  4. Use a #2 tip and pipe Green onto the stem of the tulip.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Spring is in the air!! We’ve unseasonably warm weather here in Indiana the past few weeks.
With Spring on the way, it’s time to think of the next upcoming holiday, Easter is in April this year. Have you seen all the bunnies, carrots, and egg decor out in stores?! One of my favorite dessert recipes that pairs great with Easter and spring is carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist, delicious, and have an Easter spirit about them that make them perfect for the holiday, but anytime of the year as well.

We have enjoy having meals with family for Easter and what perfect way to have carrot cake for everyone with Carrot Cake Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting …decorated cute for Easter.
Now I am pretty crafty but I am no artist when it comes to cake decorating, but these are simple to do and look cute!

I will share with you some simple decorating tips for simple Easter themed cupcakes below. Anyone can do!!

Not making them for Easter? That’s ok! A little bit of chopped pecans around the edges of the frosting is perfect!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Clabber Girl baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

For the frosting
8 oz  cream cheese – at room temperature
1 stick butter – at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, and eggs and whisk together. Add the applesauce, carrots, and vanilla and stir together. Then add the dry ingredients from the previous bowl and mix all together until well combined. Add the chopped nuts and stir in.

Prepare a standard sized muffin tin with paper liners of your choosing for the cupcakes. Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test batter with a knife to make sure it comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Once cupcakes are cooled is time to add the cream cheese frosting. In a medium mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Using a hand held mixer, mix together the ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until it is all mixed in.

Top the cupcakes off with the frosting by piping it on or with a knife. Decorate your cupcakes.
Simply roll the edges in the frosting in chopped nuts or decorate with some Easter themes like shown below.

Recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Serve or store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

For Easter Decorating tips:
Bunny ears:
Regular size marshmallows
Pink sprinkles
Using a pair of kitchen shears, simply cut a marshmallow in half at an angle. The part that was cut open will be slightly sticky, dip that part in the sprinkles for the center pink part of bunny’s ears. Arrange them beside each other on top of the cupcake.
I added shredded coconut on top of the frosting to give a “furry”look.

Carrots:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Orange Candy Melts

Put a small amount of shredded coconut in a small bowl and add a few drops of green food coloring and stir around.

Melt the candy melts and put in a plastic ziplock bag. At one corner of the bottom of the bag, cut a slit and use it as a piping bag.

Line a pan with parchment paper.

Place a little dab of coconut on the paper and using the plastic bag as a piping bag, squeeze out the melted chocolate into a carrot form. be sure to go over the coconut slightly with it so that the chocolate sets up and the coconut will stick to it.

After you have made several that you need, place in the freezer for final set up.

When you are ready to add to your cupcakes, simply remove from paper and place at the top of the cupcake.

Nest of Eggs:

Green Icing Pouch with Tip
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Simply Pipe the green icing onto the cream cheese frosting using the flower tip. Add the Cadbury mini eggs on top.
These carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are packed full of so much flavor you will love them from the first bite!

Kids Activity: Irish Soda Bread Biscuits

Being a mother of two young (active) boys, I’m always looking for activities to do with them during the cold months. As a family, we don’t usually do anything special for Saint Patrick’s Day, but we love to cook and bake together. This Irish Soda Bread Biscuit recipe is really simple and not too complicated for children between the ages of 4 – 10, with minor assistance. I found that this activity was rewarding to them! This baking experience gave them a boost of confidence that they were able to make something for the family, “all by themselves” to eat. Along with this confidence, they also learned “why”, “how” and “when” to do certain steps:

Examples –

  • “How” to identifying measurements – 1 cup, 1 ½ cup, Tbsp. and tsp.
  • “Why” and “When” to add dry and liquid ingredients
  • “How” and “Why” you infuse dried berries before mixing
  • “How”, “When” and “Why” to set the oven temp
  • “Why” and “How” do you grease or line the baking sheet
  • “How” and “Why” do you knead the dough
  • “When” to take biscuits out of the oven

Kid friendly items to have on hand before starting:

  • Step stool (for reaching)
  • Paper towels (for spills)
  • Oven mitts or kitchen towels (oven transfer use)
  • 2” biscuit cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric mixer
  • 1 – large spoon for scraping sides of bowl

Irish Soda Bread Biscuits Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. raisins, rinsed in hot water and dried
  • 1 c. dried cranberries, rinsed in hot water and dried
  • 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds, optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. buttermilk

Steps –

  1. Make sure all ingredients and utensils are out and ready for easy access. (Wash those hands!)

  2. Fully submerge raisins and cranberries in a bowl of warm water. Leave them set for about 2 minutes to infuse.


  3. Drain water from the infused raisins and cranberries. Transfer to folded paper towels to remove any remaining water.
  4. Let your child locate, measure, add and mix all dry ingredients.

(We chose not to add caraway seeds)

  1. Add prepared raisins and cranberries to dry mixture. Mix raisins and cranberries until fully coated in dry mixture.

  1. Add eggs and buttermilk until thoroughly combined.


  2. Spread 2-3 Tbsp. flour on to a prepared surface. Remove dough mixture from mixing bowl and knead for about 3 minutes on prepared surface.


  1. This recipe states to roll dough to a ½ inch thickness. We wanted a higher biscuit, so we decided to roll out to a 2-inch thickness instead.

  1. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, show your child how to place the cutter each time in order to use most dough the first time around (you’ll need to repeat this step with the additional dough from the first set of cut outs).

  1. Transfer cutouts to your prepared baking sheet. Place biscuits in a 400° F. pre-heated oven. Bake biscuits for 10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

  1. Using oven mitts or kitchen towel, help your child safely remove biscuits from the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes. We recommend eating them warm with butter!

Yield: (10) 2-inch round biscuits.

 

Strawberry Cupcakes – a Valentine’s Day Special

This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make something extra special and came up with these strawberry cupcakes. I used a cake recipe from a 2002 Clabber Girl cookbook and converted it to cupcakes. When the cupcakes come out of the oven, be prepared for a sweet strawberry smell that will fill up your kitchen and attract family from other rooms. Make sure you get the cupcakes onto a cooling rack so they can be filled and topped with frosting quickly or you may have a few plain cakes missing!

I love finding old recipes from our vault and updating them for the modern kitchen! These cupcakes would be great any time strawberries are in season. The cupcake filling isn’t necessary, and the cupcakes would still be really good without it, but it does add a special touch for celebrating Valentine’s Day. I made twice as much filling as I needed and ended up freezing the filling. It was similar to a homemade ice cream!

Strawberry Cupcakes with a Strawberry Purée and Whipped Cream Filling and Pink Buttercream Frosting

  • Prep time: 60 min + 30 min wait time
  • Cook time: 15-20 min
  • Yield: 30 cupcakes

Strawberry cake batter:

  • 2 3/4 c. cake flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3 oz. strawberry gelatin (one small box)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. strawberries, puréed in 1 1/2 Tbsp. orange juice

Cupcake filling:

  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. strawberries, puréed in 1 Tbsp. orange juice

Pink buttercream frosting:

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring

To prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

Whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside. In a separate bowl, cream sugar, butter and gelatin. Add eggs and beat well. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to the creamed mixture. Add vanilla and puréed strawberries.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until the center tests done. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before piping in filling and topping with frosting.

To prepare the filling:

Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in sugar, vanilla and strawberry puree.

To prepare the frosting:

Beat butter for 2 minutes until it turns a light yellow color. Add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream until desired consistency. Add in food coloring until you reach the desired pink color.

Strawberry Cupcakes Step-by-Step Instructions

To prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

Whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream sugar, butter and gelatin.

 

 

Add eggs and beat well. Use a spatula and scrape the sides of the bowl.

 

To purée the strawberries, I added sliced strawberries and orange juice to my blender. I pulsed it for a few seconds and it was just the right consistency. The orange juice will help to blend the strawberries, if your berries are very juicy, you may need less orange juice.

Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to the creamed mixture. I poured 1/3 of the flour, then 1/3 of the milk and repeated until everything was incorporated, scraping sides in between additions.

 

Add vanilla and pureed strawberries. Make sure the batter is fully blended without over beating.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pans. I used a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop the batter and pour into the cups. This also helps to make sure you have the exact same amount of batter in each cup for even baking.

Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until the center tests done. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before piping in filling and topping with frosting.

 

To prepare the filling:

Whip cream until stiff peaks form. When you lift your beaters, you should be able to see the imprint from the beaters in your bowl.

 

Fold in sugar, vanilla and strawberry puree. I used a spatula to fold everything in and wasn’t too thorough, so that the mixture would have some red streaks in it.

 

Put a piping bag into a liquid measuring cup and fill the bag with filling. This will help to get the filling down into the bag without messing up the top.

 

Use a butter knife and slit the top of each cupcake once it is completely cooled (approximately 30 minutes). Pipe the filling into each cupcake. Wipe away any excess before frosting.

 

To prepare the frosting:

Beat butter for 2 minutes until it turns a light yellow color. Add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream until desired consistency. Add in food coloring until you reach the desired pink color.

Use the measuring cup trick to fill your bag again. This recipe makes more than will fit in a standard piping bag, so I just frosted in 2 batches.

Garnish with a sliced strawberry, if desired.

 

 

Gingerbread Loaf with a Spiced Icing Glaze

Nothing says Merry Christmas than the smell of freshly baked gingerbread, am I right?? What if you could have a moist, flavorful loaf filled with all that gingerbread-y goodness and drizzled with a spiced icing that is irresistible? Then do I have the recipe for you! This gingerbread loaf with a spiced icing glaze is not only festive and delicious, it’s also incredibly easy. Mix, pour, bake, enjoy. Not too challenging, right? Christmas can already be stressful enough, why bake something overly complicated. I want easy and tasty out of my holiday desserts and this one takes the cake…I mean loaf.

Christmas time is here and you know that means?? Holiday baking! Oh yeah! This time of year is arguably my favorite. Final exams are almost over, the holiday is just around the corner, and it’s a time of year when I can get back in the kitchen baking with Momma Crawford. One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending time at home, cooking and baking with my mom. Christmas music can be heard on the radio as we dance and groove around the kitchen, mixing batters and fixing up casseroles. It’s something fun I always enjoy around the holidays!

Since this recipe is so easy, it’s a great one to get your kids or grandkids involved with! Make it an afternoon they won’t soon forget. Gingerbread loaf, hot cocoa, and Christmas specials: now that sounds like a great time to me!

Gingerbread Loaf with a Spiced Icing Glaze Recipe

Ingredients

For the loaf

½ cup white sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1 c. molasses

½ c. apple sauce, unsweetened

2 ½ c. all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. allspice

1 c. hot water

            For the icing

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1 Tbsp. eggnog

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground ginger

 

Directions

For the loaf. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy, and pale in color. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Add in the molasses and apple sauce and beat until well combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg until combined. Blend the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until combined. Stir in the hot water (carefully!) until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for 1 hour until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan before serving.

For the glaze. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger until incorporated. Drizzle over the loaf before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge when not using.

Egg Drop Soup with Roasted Turkey

egg-drop-soup-1It’s November and Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays, is on the horizon.  Any excuse to get together with family and friends and cook a ton of food and eat is my favorite holiday.  However, I think one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! I absolutely love leftover turkey sandwiches on white bread with mayo, salt, and pepper. But, once I have had my fill of those, I usually still have leftover turkey to cook with.  Which brings me to the recipe I have developed to share with you. Egg Drop Soup with Roasted Turkey.

 

I have a deep love and fascination with Chinese take-out food. A few months ago, my favorite Chinese restaurant closed permanently. After getting over the initial shock and grief, I am on the search for a replacement. Sadly, I haven’t found one yet. But, in the meantime, I’ve been biding my time recreating some of my favorite dishes at home.

 

Egg drop soup isn’t something I usually order but, I have begun making it home to compliment my Chinese take-out inspired meals. It is surprisingly easy to make. The broth is usually flavored with ginger, garlic, and peppercorns. I have added star anise to mine to enhance the flavor a bit more and bring in some notes of Chinese 5-spice.

 

Cornstarch is an important staple of this recipe. It is whisked into the broth to ever so slightly thicken and give a little body to the finished soup. It is also whisked into the eggs allowing them to remain delicate and soft once they hit the hot broth.

 

Turkey isn’t something that you traditionally find in Chinese take-out cuisine but, since it is that time of year, I have been looking for ways to add it to my Chinese take-out at home. And, it goes surprisingly well in this soup. The star anise really compliments the turkey and rounds out the soup in a delicious way. I hope you enjoy!

Egg Drop Soup with Roasted Turkey

6 c. chicken stock
3” piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. whole black peppercorn
2 star anise
2 dried bird’s eye chilies, or serrano
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 c. leftover roasted turkey, shredded
1 c. green peas
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. cornstarch + 1 tsp. cornstarch

Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, black peppercorn, star anise, bird’s eye chilies, and soy sauce.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Allow stock to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Strain the broth into another saucepan and return to the heat. Bring back to a low simmer. Add the roasted turkey and green peas.

Scoop out about ½ cup of the broth into a small bowl. Whisk it together with 1 Tbsp. cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour back into the saucepan and stir.

In the same small bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 tsp. cornstarch until eggs are completely beaten and cornstarch is dissolved.

Holding a fork over the saucepan, gently pour the egg cornstarch mixture through the tines, allowing it to form ribbons. Let the egg “set” for about 10 seconds and then stir to break them up as you like.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Once again, I am enjoying the many flavors of fall! Don’t you just love all the flavors of fall!!? Fall time is when we harvest some of my favorite vegetables! Sweet potatoes! I love them prepared so many ways! From sweet recipes to savory recipes, sweet potatoes are delicious so many ways. Definitely as a favorite with this Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potato recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 1

This recipe with the garlic and Parmesan brings in some savory flavors to blend with the sweet potato sweetness. It’s an easy side dish packed full of flavors.

Fall is when sweet potatoes are dug in the garden. It’s always nice to use fresh produce that we have grown to prepare different recipes and enjoy!

Raw Sweet Potatoes

These Garlic and Parmesan roasted sweet potatoes are well liked in our house and are a great side dish paired with any meal. Especially in the fall season, when we mostly think of having sweet potatoes.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
3 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled or skins on, cut into cubes)
1/2 of a small onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on if you prefer). Chop the onion. Place the onion and cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add the olive oil, pepper, and garlic powder to the bowl and mix coating the onion and sweet potatoes well. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 3

Be sure to give these Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes a try as a side dish this fall! Add them to your Thanksgiving feast!