Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let the backlog begin

Oy. It's been a while.

I've been super busy with school, work, and life in general.

But that doesn't mean that I haven't been baking and creating. Oh no. I just haven't had time to pop it up here. Although I really should. So I will.

Let the backlog begin!

I haven't done much cooking since my accidental omelette. There's been one exception, and that was breakfast a few weeks back. I'll post it. Promise. I have made several cupcakes and yummy pies, though. And those I'll post for sure.

When? Well, soon... you know... after this post sometime...

So... what to start with? Umm... how about my butter pecan cupcakes!

I originally made them for Valentine's Day for the husband and the girls at work, but you can change the frosting colour and candy toppers to match any holiday. Or lack thereof. They're the perfect treat for a fall day, with a chai latte or apple cider. Can you say yum?

Needless to say, they were all gone pretty quickly, so I think they went over well :)

Hmm... looks like I should use the husband's camera for these pictures... they'll turn out a lot better.

Butter Pecan Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting


  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Frosting (taken from Darla at http://www.bakingdom.com)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 lb. (about 4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F°.
Line 21-24 muffin cups with liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a second bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add in half of the flour mixture and half the milk, beating until smooth slowly. Add the remaining flour and milk, and beat until blended.

Fold in the pecans.

Fill the muffins 1/2 full. Bake for 24-28 minutes until the cakes spring back when pushed lightly with a finger.

Set to cool.

For the frostingIn a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.

You can decorate the cupcakes with candy or frosting, or both.
I'll have a fabulous apple pie for you next!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Accidental omelette and some butter tarts

I had promised the husband butter tarts. About two months ago... if not longer.

Finally, I remembered to grab all of the ingredients and set out to make some home-made butter tarts. Sounds easy right? Well apparently, not for me.

Let me start out by saying that baking is my thing. I'm pretty darned good at it. Cooking on the other hand... not so much. I'm not so bad that I can't boil an egg or make toast, but that's pretty much the limit of my abilities. I can make a variety of polish food (pierogi, barszcz, golombki, etc.... more on that another time), but aside from that, I can't really cook. That's the husband's department (I'll make sure to post some yummies he makes me every once in a while). Anyway.

I start to make my tart dough for these little butter tarts. Everything is going splendidly until... I have to separate two eggs. What was going through my mind I never know. It's times like this that I thank myself for prepping my ingredients BEFORE mixing things together. I crack my first egg... and plop the whole thing in the bowl. How that was supposed to separate the yolk I will never know, but there I was, face to face with an egg shell and no separate egg bits. Crap.

I managed to separate out the yolks I needed, and put the unused whites in the fail bowl. After mixing up my dough, I had a dilemma. What was I going to do with the extra eggs? Hubby had made me an egg sandwich for breakfast, but it was lunch time, so I figured I'd try and make a fail-omelette. I've never made an omelette. I can barely make scrambled eggs without messing up. And yet, here I was, heating up the pan, cutting up some brie, to try and make an omelette. Guess what?


I somehow managed to make a perfectly cooked omelette!!!!

Yeah, I'm super proud of myself :)

Anyways, the butter tarts are now sitting pretty on the cooling rack, almost ready for their first taste test.

These tarts are actually a Scottish recipe in an old-fashioned tart pastry... yum :D

After they cooled, I gave the hubby the first tart to try. He ate three.

Successful butter tarts are successful :)

English Butter Tarts
Makes 12 butter tarts


  • for the shortcrust pastry
    • 125g butter
    • 100g icing sugar
    • a small pinch of salt
    • 255g plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • zest of 1/2 a lemon
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 2 tablespoons cold milk (or water)
  • for the filling
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup corn syrup (golden syrup makes a richer filling)
    • 75g butter (room temperature)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
    • 3/4 cup of raisins (optional)

Cream together the butter, icing sugar, and salt. Slowly add in the flour. When the dough has a breadcrumb-like consistency, add in the egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla. When all of the ingredients are combined, add in the cold milk (water). Gently mix the dough by hand, forming a ball. Cover the dough with cling wrap and put it aside in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add in raisins and mix until combined. Set aside for use.

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Roll out your chilled dough to about 1 cm in thickness (I found it easiest to grab chunks of dough to roll out bit by bit). Grease your tart pans or muffin pan. Press each rolled out piece of dough into the pans. Fill each tart shell with one tablespoon of filling. Pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes (mine took 14 minutes because my oven always takes a bit longer to bake things). Bring out onto a cooling rack, and enjoy!