Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Here in California we are under a statewide Shelter in Place directive. There’s only so much house cleaning I can do to pass the time. So now it’s on to baking. I decided to bake some treats for my elderly mother and her neighbors and make little treat boxes for them. These carrot  cake cupcakes were one of the items I made for them.

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots, or more to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can finely crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners. Set aside.
  3. Place flour in a bowl. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sprinkle in ground ginger and cinnamon. Whisk thoroughly until combined. Set aside.
  4. Add sugar to a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs until mixture is smooth and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Heat butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until just melted but not too hot. Whisk into the bowl with the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, and raisins. Stir well.
  6. Stir flour mixture into the carrot mixture until no dry spots remain.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared cupcake pan. Carrot Cake Cupcakes 1
  8. Tap the pan against your counter to let any big air bubbles rise to the surface.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting, at least 40 minutes.

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar to form a smooth frosting. Spread evenly over the cooled cupcakes.Carrot Cake Cupcakes 3
  2. Garnish with grated carrots. (optional) Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cranberry Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Macadamia nut shortbread

Hello everyone! I hope this new year brings you much happiness. I’ve been taking it so easy these days that I almost missed posting a recipe for this month! I made these shortbread cookies for part of my annual holiday cookies and fudge gift boxes last month. But you don’t need a special occasion to make these. Any day is a good day for cookies! This recipe makes 24 cookies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (mix together until creamy.)
  3. Add flour 1 cup at a time until all of the flour is well incorporated with the butter and sugar.
  4. Mix in white chocolate, cranberries and macadamia nuts. The dough will be very thick.
  5. Form 1 1/2 inch balls (flatten them if you wish) and place them on cookies sheets. NOTE: These cookies do not expand so you can place them about one inch apart.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes (for moist center) or until you see the edges turning brown. Cook 12 minutes if you like a harder shortbread cookie.
  7. Let cool on cookie racks and store in air tight containers.

M&M’s Pudding Cookies

M&M Pudding Cookies3

Here’s another cookie recipe that I made for my treat boxes to give out this Christmas. Who can resist M&M’s and white chocolate chips? I’m not sure if the pudding mix is for added flavor or to make the cookies soft and chewy. Either way, these cookies are a sweet treat. Next Christmas, be sure to put some out for Santa! You can most certainly switch out the M&M’s candy colors to suit other occasions to enjoy these cookies all year long.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 box (4 ounce size) vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup green and red M&M’s
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until fluffy; scrape side of bowl.
  4. Beat in dry pudding mix. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until smooth. Beat in vanilla.
  5. On low speed, gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended.
  6.  Stir in chocolate candies and white chips until blended.
  7. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto lined cookie sheets. M&M Pudding Cookies1
  8. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
M&M Pudding Cookies2

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you need to make a large batch of cookies? Do you like dark, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips? Have I got a recipe for you. Toss those ready made cookie dough tubes. You can make your own triple chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  These cookies will have a crispy bottom and a soft center. Just the right amount of chewy and crispy.

Now you may be looking over the recipe ingredients and are thinking that’s a lot of sugar and butter!  Just remember this recipe will make 5 dozen cookies or more depending on how generous you scoop your dough.  That’s 60+ cookies! Feel free to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. Just don’t forget to save some for yourself!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 sticks of salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare baking sheets using a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter, granulated sugar  and brown sugar. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in flour and baking soda until mixed well. If using an electric mixer, stop at this time.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
  5. On your prepared baking sheets, drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls or using a cookie scoop. Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies 1
  6. Bake 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown. The centers will be soft. Cool for a minute before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to completely cool. Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Balls

Chocolatw Raspberry Truffle Balls

Although I like to make scratch recipes, sometimes taking a short cut and making something semi-homemade works best for me. These truffle balls would be fun to make with kids and since I’m a kid at heart, these were great fun for me to make. To be honest, I did not care for the raspberry gummy candies. Next time I will use a different type of candy. But others in my family loved them. So, it’s all a matter of preference.  This recipe yields 24 truffles.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 box your favorite chocolate cake mix
  • 24 raspberry jelly candies (I used Haribo Black and Red Raspberry Gummies)
  • sprinkles for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt butter in the microwave until in liquid form.
  2. Combine melted butter and chocolate cake mix. Be sure to mix well.
  3. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter into your hand and flatten.
  4. Place raspberry gummy in the middle of the flattened circle and enclose with chocolate batter.
  5. Roll into a ball between your hands.
  6. Roll the chocolate truffle into sprinkles.
  7. Set onto wax paper.
  8. Place in refrigerator to allow to firm and dry. Serve after chilling for one hour.

Cranberry and Pistachio Bark

Cranberry and Pistachio Bark

I had planned to make nine different cookies for my Christmas goodie boxes this year. But getting sick right before Christmas ruined my plans. I was able to make four differents cookies but I had to stop there. My ambition was there, but my energy level was exhausted by then. Since I had a ton of extra chocolates not being used now, I  decided to try my hand at making a chocolate bark. Surprisingly simple to make and quite tasty to boot.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided (1 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, place dark chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Microwave on half power in 30 second intervals, stirring between each time, until melted.
  3. Place white chocolate chips in a separate bowl with remaining coconut oil. Repeat microwave directions until chips are melted.
  4. Spread dark chocolate out on prepared sheet pan. Cranberry and Pistachio Bark 1
  5. Drizzle white chocolate over dark chocolate. Use a butter knife and drag through drizzles to make a pretty pattern. (Yeah, I know mine isn’t dragged or pretty. But I was sick!)Cranberry and Pistachio Bark 2
  6. Sprinkle with pistachios and dried cranberries. Chill until hardened. Break into small pieces and serve. Cranberry and Pistachio Bark 3

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello everyone! I know I’ve been missing in action lately. I had every intention of blogging my Christmas goodies prior to Christmas. But alas, the week before Christmas I came down with the worst cold I have had in years. So I was lucky enough to get through the holiday and get my Christmas goodie boxes out to the family and friends. I just didn’t have the energy to blog afterwards. Here are my red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting. They came out really well considering it felt like everything I baked or cooked this Christmas was on autopilot due to all the cold medicine I had flowing through me. This recipe makes 30 cupcakes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 ounce bottle of red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 package (6oz total) Baker’s White Chocolate bars
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cup powdered sugar

CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 f degrees. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color, vanilla and vinegar. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Red Velvet Cupcakes 1
  3. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt chocolate according to package directions.
  2. Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add melted chocolate, vanilla extract, lemon juice and powdered sugar. Beat for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pipe onto cupcakes and garnish with sprinkles of your choice. Red Velvet Cupcakes 2