What’s Next on my Plate:

Hawaiian Mahi Mahi rolls stuffed with mango and macadamia nut stuffing

Æbelskiver (Danish Filled Pancakes)

Chicken Canzanese with Polenta Cakes

Lillet Poached Pears with Thyme & Pepper

Triple Lemon Baked Doughnuts

Hasenpfeffer
(German Braised Rabbit Stew)

Pesto Goat Cheese Chicken Cordon Bleu

Halloween Zombie Cupcakes

Oct 30th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

(Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate + Vanilla Frosting, Creepy Eyeballs)

Ingredients
for the cupcakes
1 cups boiling water
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped fine (I use a food processor to make almost a powder)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini-white chocolate chips

for the chocolate frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the vanilla frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the decorations
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam for the blood
16-20 “bloodshot” gumballs or “jawbreakers” for eyes
equal number of “eyeballs” (from Wilton)
white or red candy melt to “glue” the eyeballs together
a small flat pastry tip to make the “bandages”

Directions
First make your eyeballs as these will need to harden. These can be made up to a week ahead of time (and I don’t think that anyone will really eat these anyway). Using melted white or red candy melt and a food-grade mini-paint brush, attach an eyeball to each of the eyes. Place them upright (I used a mini-muffin tin) until the chocolate has hardened.

Next make your cupcakes. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla and the mini white chocolate chips. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture, ending with the flour.

Fill the lined muffin cups three-quarters full, being careful not to overfill. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While your cupcakes are cooling, make your frostings. For the chocolate, sift together the confectioners sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the cocoa-powdered sugar mixture a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract; beat until fluffy. For the vanilla, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste and salt; beat until fluffy.

To Assemble: using a knife or small spatula, spread a generous layer of the chocolate frosting evenly over the cupcakes. Let chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Then, using a piping bag and the flat piping tip, pipe on vanilla layers on top of the chocolate, making them look like bandages. Let chill for another 20 minutes. Drizzle with a little bit of the seedless strawberry jam (as “blood”) and affix one, two or three eyeballs to each cupcake. Chill for another half hour, at minimum, before serving.

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Blood Orange Margaritas

Oct 29th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

Ingredients
3 ounces fresh squeezed blood orange juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice (reserve one wedge for the glass)
1 part Cointreau
2 parts tequila
ice
blood orange slices to garnish (optional)
black rimming salt or sugar (optional, plain rimming salt will do as well)

Directions
Spread a small mound of sugar or salt on a small plate. Moisten the outer rim of a margarita or martini glass with a lime wedge, then dip the rim into the salt/sugar to lightly coat. Set aside.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine orange juice, lime juice, Cointreau and tequila. Shake to combine. Strain into a glass (add more ice, or crushed ice, if you like). Garnish with a blood orange slice and serve immediately.

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Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oct 29th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

Ingredients
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 generous cups white chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

In a small bowl combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil and egg. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and stir into the wet ingredients. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are well distributed but don’t overmix.

Using a small disher, drop 2-3 tablespoon balls of batter onto the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 1/2 to 2 inch between each cookie. Gently flatten. Bake 10 minutes or until the cookies are completely set. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Harvest Moon Cupcakes

Oct 28th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

(Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes with Extra-Chocolately Buttercream Frosting and Chipotle Lollipops)

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
1 cups boiling water
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped fine (I use a food processor to make almost a powder)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves

For frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

You will also need: orange and yellow sanding sugar and lollipops

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla and spices. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture, ending with the flour.

Fill the lined muffin cups three-quarters full, being careful not to overfill. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Sift together the confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, salt and chili powder. Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the cocoa-powdered sugar mixture a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract; beat until fluffy. Frost cupcakes and garnish.

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Maple-Walnut Apple Crisp

Oct 26th, 2014 by Kat | Comments Off

Ingredients
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats (do not use instant)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
7 cups MacIntosh apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour, sugar, oats, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives (or your fingers) until mixture is crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Combine apple and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, with or without ice cream.

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