Oh it was so dreamy..
The filling phase.. the waaaaiting is the harrrdest part!
Tom Petty, you're so right!
By the way, I filled it with brown sugar whipped cream, AND a ribbon of caramel.. just a hint.
One of the first things I learned when we moved to the South is that it's pronounced "Praw-leeen" not "Pray-leen." I know! Total mind blow. Anyways, for some reason, I've recently been on a Pralines and Cream kick. It started with the ice cream.. then one night as I was polishing off my bowl of ice cream, it dawned on me... " I need this in a cupcake." I wanted sweet cream, toasty nuts with brown sugar, and a glorious ribbon of caramel, WITH cake. And so, here it is, my little tribute to the "Praw-leen."
This is what you need:
For the Pecan Crumble:
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
2 tbs- brown sugar
2 tbs- butter
1/2 tbs- cornstarch
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
5 cups confectioners’ sugar-- I ended up using closer to 3. These cupcakes are SWEET!
P.S. I cheated and used yellow cake mix from a box. There are so many steps to this, I had to cut a corner somewhere.
I also bought a jar of Hershey's caramel sauce rather than making it. LAZY!
First up, make a batch of yellow cupcakes.
While cupcakes are baking you can make the pecan crumble mix. Mix together the nuts, brown sugar, corn starch, and butter in small bowl. Toast up mixture in a small frying pan on medium heat stirring occasionally for five to ten minutes. Let cool. Pecan mixture should harden together. Just break up the pecan mixture until its all broken apart and in a crumble like state.
When the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the filling and frosting. The frosting made just enough for 24 cupcakes. I used every last drop though. It couldn't hurt to add a bit more whipping cream and butter.
In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream and 2 tablespoon butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool completely
In a large bowl, beat remaining 1 cup butter and brown sugar mixture at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
Now fill the cupcakes.
As I was filling the bag of icing, I drizzled caramel in the bag in layers. I even filled a couple cupcakes with JUST caramel. SINNER! The tastier cupcakes had less filling in them. It was almost too sweet when I jam packed it with filling.
Then frost the cupcakes however you desire. I was excited to use my new jumbo round tip and keep it simple. Garnish with the pecan crumble and drizzle with caramel.
Enjoy! These were really delicious.
Okay, for real though, grilled cheese and fries has been my favorite meal since I was 3 years old. Why on Earth have I waited til the end of Grilled Cheese Month to do a post on this?! I told Albin we needed to have a grilled cheese night to celebrate this important month.
Here's the lineup...
Gruyere and Granny Smith on Sourdough-- this is the perfect mix of flavors. Tart, cheesy, sharp. I'm in love.
Artichoke Grilled Cheese. guh this was amazing. This one was a show stopper for me.
I spread cream cheese on the inside of each slice of bread. The filled it with parmesan cheese, a bit of sautéed spinach and artichoke hearts. (Pictured below without spinach)
I am just sorry I didn't take prettier photos of these beauties. They were delicious.
Oh Better Cheddar, you cheesy, delicious, New Orleans goodness. How did I ever get along without you? The first time I got a taste of this stuff was at a friend of ours house. They are definitely New Orleans locals and they knew just who makes the best Better Cheddar: Langenstein's
! I told Albin we HAD to figure out how to make this incredible spread. So now we make it nearly every time we entertain. It's so addictive.. and disappears fast! We had it at our last picnic
and I just can't get enough. Be warned, it's not the prettiest stuff in the world, but it is incredible. If you love cheese half as much as I do, you are in for a treat!
Now that we are leaving New Orleans, this cheese dip on steroids will be accompanying us wherever we go. This one goes down in the family recipe archives.
Makes about 2 pounds.
1 lb. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 lb. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped, (white and green parts)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Homemade Creole Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, mix together the first 4 ingredients with enough Creole mayonnaise to get the consistency of a cheese spread.
Homemade Creole Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 ½ cups.
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp. Creole mustard, homemade or store-bought, or any coarse, grainy brown mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 teaspoon yellow prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Pour 1/4 cup of the oil in a blender. Add the egg, Creole mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, yellow mustard, salt, and Tabasco, and blend. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of oil in a steady stream with the blender running.
**Recipe adapted from Langenstein's
The other night a craving struck. It had to be satisfied. I needed those soft, buttercream topped Lofthouse Sugar cookies from the grocery store. But going to the store looking like I did was out of the question. So I made them myself.. and you know what? They came out pretty good! I know sugar cookies are about the easiest treat you can bake.. but I've never made the soft kind before. I think the addition of sour cream is what brought these cookies from whatevs to fabulous! Totally doing these in every color for every season now. I made mine in Green since I'm all in the St. Patty's Day spirit over here! Too easy!
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time. Gradually add in the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt until everything is incorporated. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Step 2. Preheat oven to 350* Roll chilled dough into 1 1/2" balls and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake for 10 minutes, cool on wire racks.
Step 3. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and 2 Tbs of the milk until very smooth. If needed, add another Tbs of milk and if desired, add food coloring. Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies and immediately add sprinkles.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature.
Feels so good to be organizing and labeling everything! Clean slate for the pantry.
I love how a simple change like these jars, a fresh coat of paint, or a small new accessory can change your whole feeling about a room. Simplifying feels good.
Nesting. Spring Cleaning. Busy Lizzie.
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas
(garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon
2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil +
extra to drizzle on top
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (more or less
cumin, to taste (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to
paprika, for garnish
fresh parsley, for
1. Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive
oil, and garlic in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add several
tablespoonfuls (about 1/4 cup) of water until you reach the desired
consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cumin (optional). Place in
a serving bowl and garnish with paprika and parsley (both
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
Same as above, except
add 1 whole roasted red pepper. (You will probably not need to add any
water because the roasted red pepper will be very moist.)
about 2 cups.
You know something? I don't like strawberry pastries, cake, sweets, or ice cream. There. I said it. Love strawberries, just not the dessert varieties. Usually. That is, until, I made strawberry frosting from scratch. Now I get it. These yummy yellow cupcakes go great with this strawberry frosting. It's creamy and delicious, and not overpowering at all. Such a perfect little sweetheart treat!
- 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a food processor; puree thawed strawberries, set aside. In a mixer, using a paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined.Add vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of strawberry puree. (You can use the remaining puree later.) Mix until just blended. Don't over mix. Consistency should be dense and creamy, almost like ice cream, not airy.
** This recipe makes enough frosting for a dozen cupcakes.
If you're going to a holiday party and want to bring something a little more special, grab one of these delicious treats. They won't disappoint. At the very least, make SURE you stock your pantry with black truffle oil this year. It is a must have staple I tell you!! All of these are tried and true goodness.
I rarely cook anymore. When I was pregnant, cooking made me sick. Now that I have a baby, I don't feel like I could put a meal together un-interrupted.. maybe I'm just uninspired. But cruising through some of my favorite blogs has me in the mood.. to eat, and to prepare.
These are on my copycat list.. I am committed to doing my annual holiday baking day!
Well, I'm off to go plan my baking day and dream of chocolate rivers...
This stuff is like candy crack. It is highly addicitve. We're talking fistfuls. It's a sweet and salty combination that is so tasty. It's perfect for cuddling up and munching on during a spooky movie.
You need 18 tbs. of popcorn kernels, or 2 bags of microwave popcorn.
16 ounces of white chocolate almond bark
1 bag of candy corn
You can also add Reese's Pieces or peanuts. Both are delicious.
-Make your popcorn and put aside in the largest bowl you have. You really need the room to mix it. I ended up putting it all in a large pot, my biggest bowl couldn't handle the task. I also salted the popcorn just a tad.
-Toss in the candy corn and sprinkles.
-Follow instructions for melting the chocolate.. careful not to burn it.
-Pour over popcorn mixture and mix together until everything is easily coated.
-Add more sprinkles.
-Spread mixture out over wax paper and let dry. Then break apart into pieces and enjoy.