Vanilla Cupcakes

P1020988cupcake

Moist, simple cupcakes topped with a creamy vanilla frosting. Perfect for New Year’s!

P1030003cupcake

These cupcakes take no time to make and you can decorate them with any sort of sprinkles you want.

P1030016cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1 and a half cups flour
1 and a half teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
sprinkles, for decorating

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the cups of a standard (12 cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla and set aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of dry ingredients, followed by the milk-vanilla mixture, then add remaining dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffins cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
5. For frosting, mix ingredients together with an electric mixture. Mix up to 1/2 cup more sugar or more milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency.

December Recap

December is almost over and I can’t believe it will be 2013 so soon! Here’s to another great year!

Oat Bars. Perfect for breakfast or dessert.

bars1

Crinkle Cookies.

P1020635crinkle3

Holiday Bark.

P1020379bark1

Apple Cider Buttons.

P1020718cider1

Maple Nut Bars.

P1020747pecan1

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

P1020775maca1

Butterscotch Bars.

P1020828butterscotch

Classic Whoopie Pies.

P1020866whoopie

Back to regular posting on Monday 🙂

Holiday Favorites

Can you believe it’s Christmas eve?! Today I will be heading over to my parents house for a delicious Christmas Eve dinner (tacos) and I will be spending the night so I can wake up Christmas morning for pastries and gifts! Can’t wait!

I took this fun holiday survey from Julie.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Favorite Holiday Cookie

Chocolate chip. Is that holiday?

Favorite Holiday Movie

The Holiday

moviesss

Favorite Holiday Tradition

Opening 1 gift on Christmas eve. Or going to the movies Christmas day.

Favorite Holiday Breakfast

The marzipan butter ring from a bakery in Santa Barbara. Amazing!

bfast

Favorite Holiday Meal

This year we are having prime rib which is going to be delicious!

table

Favorite Person to Shop For

My boyfriend. He’s so easy to please!

pic

Favorite Way to Open Presents

Everyone has to take turns!

stockings

Favorite Tree Topper

Good ole’ star on top.

tree

Favorite Holiday Song

Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire

Classic Whoopie Pies

P1020880whoopie

Wow, these pies are so good! Thick, fluffy cookies stuffed with a marshmallow filling. I’m on a serious marshmallow kick lately. They are just so good.

P1020866whoopie

The filling is made with a mix of marshmallow cream, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. I could eat the filling on anything!

P1020868whoopie

The cookies are made with buttermilk and cocoa. They are super soft and cake-like and have a great chocolate flavor.

P1020876whoopie

Want to make them festive for the holidays? Just add some holiday sprinkles!

P1020887whoopie

Classic Whoopie Pies
Makes about 16 cookies

1 recipe Creamy Filling (see below)
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Creamy Filling: In a large mixing bowl combine one 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream, 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until firm.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl stir together flour and cocoa powder; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg, buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
3. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture.
4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2.5 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes. Let cool.
5. Spread 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookie. Enjoy!
From: Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication Dec. 2012

Butterscotch Bars

P1020828butterscotch

These cake-like bars are filled with butterscotch chips and have a delicious layer of chocolate on top.

P1020819butterscotch

They are sprinkled with pecans and taste amazing!

P1020838butterscotch

Someone wanted to try them.

P1020831butterscotch

P1020827butterscotch

Butterscotch Bars

1 cup butter
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until blended.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing on low speed until smooth. Stir in butterscotch chips. Spread evenly into 13×9 inch cake pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven until set and golden, about 35 minutes.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot bars. Return to oven until chocolate melts, about 2 minutes. Spread chocolate evenly over surface. Sprinkle pecans on top. Let cool. Enjoy.
From: Bars & Squares

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

P1020776maca2

More cookie recipes for the holidays! This cookie is chewy, fluffy and full of white chocolate chips!

P1020775maca1

It is also full of macadamia nuts which give this cookie a delicious crunch.

P1020805maca4

These cookies take very little time to make. It’s 1 bowl and super easy to put together!

P1020790maca3

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour
1 12-ounce package white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, white chocolate chips and nuts.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon, 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Let cool, enjoy!
From: Better Homes & Gardens “100 Best Cookes” 2012

Maple Nut Bars

P1020747pecan1

These bars taste like pecan pie! The shortbread crust is so buttery and delicious and the topping is gooey and crunchy.

P1020752pecan2

The maple syrup give these bars a unique twist. The topping is full of hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans.

P1020756pecan3

Make these, you won’t be disappointed!

Maple Nut Bars

Crust
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups flour

Topping
3 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup sliced hazelnuts
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. On low speed, beat in flour until thoroughly blended and crumbly. Press evenly into 13×9 prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until golden around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Topping: In a bowl, whisk eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup and melted butter until smoothly blended. Whisk in flour and baking powder. Mix well. Stir in hazelnuts and walnuts. Spread evenly over warm crust.
3. Return to oven and bake until topping is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Enjoy!

From: Bars & Squares