Tag Archives: baking

a berry nice girl

It’s been a while since I graced this blog or coworkers’ bellies with yummy treats.  I know I’ve said it before, but baking is so therapeutic.  It’s precise, like culinary chemistry, and the payoff is usually something delectable.

This past week, my team had an intern whose last day was Friday.  I told him he could pick his favorite flavor and I’d come up with a cupcake for him and the team.  Strawberry shortcake he said — so strawberry it was!

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of chopped strawberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, around 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Then add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined.  Add chopped strawberries, folding to avoid mushing the fruit.
  4. Fill lined cupcake pans 3/4 of the way with batter.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Frozen strawberries, pureed with sugar (to your taste depending on how sweet the strawberries are)
  • 2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups of confectioner sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.  Beat in 1/3 cup of the strawberry puree and vanilla extract.  Add the confectioner sugar one cup at a time beating until well combined.  Frost the cupcakes and garnish with fresh strawberries.

The frosting is nothing short of amazing.  It literally tasted like ice cream… and I would know!  I licked the spoon the night I made it.  Did I feel guilty?  NO I DID NOT.  Make these cupcakes, you will run right down to Boston to give me a big hug and kiss.

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the great cookie off


Do I have your attention?

If you’re thinking what the hell is bacon doing in Katie’s great cookie off post, then you and I are not cut from the same cloth my friend.   In my world, bacon is always an honorary guest at any of my parties.

For anyone who knows me personally, you’ll know that I cook to decompress.  I’m also an accountant and it is now my busy season.  Let’s hear it for 9/30 year end businesses!  As a numbers girl, I would stereotypically throw myself into the zone of exact measurements and precise timing.  At the height of my busy season, my fellow auditors and I have decided to have a cookie off.  This time last year, we did a chili off and I managed to nab the win.  I’ll share that recipe once we’re in the heart of winter and I start craving warm, meaty chili.

This year, I decided to load an extra challenge on my plate, which was to bake gluten free.  One of our team members has celiac disease and can never enjoy any of my baked goods.  Boo urns.  I figured this was the perfect arena to showcase my potential science project.  Immediately, I was giving myself headaches about rice flour and xantham gum.  Enter, Joy the Baker.  Joy’s adapted recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook includes a simple flour free peanut butter cookie loaded up with bacon!  The bacon immediately grabbed my attention… as did the absence XANTHAM GUM!  Cue the hallelujah chorus.

This morning after my anticipatory trip to the gym, I immediately got my 6 slices of thick cut bacon into my skillet on medium heat until crispy.  Once done, I put them on a paper towel lined plate and waited until cool enough to handle before chopping.

In the meantime, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I creamed together 1 cup of smooth peanut butter with 1 cup of half granulated sugar and half packed brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.  The brown sugar is so nice in this cookie because it gives a maple syrup like caramelization that pairs very nicely with the bacon.  After 2-3 minutes, I added 1 extra large egg and 1 tsp of baking soda.  Fold in bacon and roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets.  Make criss crosses on the balls to flatten and in the oven they go.


Chop up your cooled bacon

The smush

10 minutes later, you’ll have golden brown, very tender cookies.  Allow to cool before you remove them from your baking sheet.  Eat one for quality control, then into my tupperware they went for tomorrow’s work day.

I also snuck in some salted chocolate chip cookies for the boy’s return tomorrow.  Will post about those and the results of the cookie off next time!