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“ice cream stroke”

we were blessed with some wonderful interns at work recently. unfortunately two of their internships ended this past friday, and we just had to celebrate them and their hard work with this week’s lazybird treat. so, when i asked them to give me a list of their favorites here is what they said;

bisciuts

cinnamon rolls

anything with nutella, peanut butter, or cheese in it

croissants

funfetti

the obvious choice to me was funfetti. i LOVE funfetti and always have. typically at lazybird bakery we make things from scratch or at least some part of the recipe from scratch. this time i decided since funfetti already existed, we would give you a recipe on how to assemble something rather share a recipe.

so, i thought i was a genius until i googled my idea and was quickly slapped in the face when i found out that people have been baking cupcakes in ice cream cones for a while now. :( oh well, at least this way there were already plenty of testimonials. so here’s how to create ice cream cone cup cakes.

box of ice cream cones

cake mix

funfetti frosting (comes with the cutest sprinkles)

mini muffin pan

something to pipe frosting with (bag or cookie press with tip)

preheat oven as directed on box.

mix cake as directed on back of box. poor mix into cones a little past where the cone widens at the top, just a hair. if you over fill you will make quite the mess in your oven. place cones filled with batter into mini muffin pan. carefully place pan in oven on middle rack and bake as if you were making cupcakes. once baked, carefull take out of oven and let cool. your cake should rise just about the cone.

once completely cooled, fill piping bag with desired frosting and decorate to look like soft served ice cream top with sprinkles and ta da! cupcakes that look like ice cream cones! please enjoy and have lots of fun!

-b

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“i might need a moment alone with this cupcake”

thanksgiving shout out month continues with the sweet potato, still topped with traditional marshmallows….but swap the casserole for a cupcake!

first of all, thank you daren and granny for passing on this recipe! daren has already won a work contest with this recipe….so i knew it would be a success!

it was a huge hit at the office. one co-worker had eaten three before some had even picked up their first…all the while muttering to himself, “man! this is a good freakin cupcake.” then as another coworker took their first bite he stood right next to her….staring intently….waiting for her reaction and when she wasn’t quick enough to respond he said…”it’s pretty freakin good, huh?!”

just like the cranberries from last weeks post, i also tend to pass on anything sweet potato…but this is definitely an exception. i had two for breakfast myself! usually the process of baking kills my appetite….i’ll eat a sample (usually what i photograph) and am then happy to pass the rest along to my coworkers….hoping they will all be gone by the end of the day. i ate one last night….while i was baking….just to make sure the marshmallow was a good idea. i ate another one after photographing it this morning…..and couldn’t resist snagging another one after setting them out at the office….eek! i really can’t get enough of this cake…the spices are perfect….still lingering on my taste buds as i write. the cake is light and fluffy and…dare i say it?!….moist. this is definitely something you need to bake for yourself immediately.

the original recipe is actually a sheet cake with a cream cheese frosting….but i have been wanting to top a cupcake with a marshmallow ever since darci’s and my NYC bakery adventure when we discovered the s’more cupcake at ChickaLicious…and what makes more sense than sweet potato and marshmallow?!

ingredients:
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons butter extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
marshmallows to top (from wednesday’s post)…you made these already right?! if you didn’t….the lazy way is to substitute with store bought…and i promise not to judge :)

begin by peeling your sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks and boil until tender. drain, mash and set aside.

preheat your oven to 350ºF.

in your stand mixer cream together eggs, sugar and oil. add in butter extract, vanilla extract and mashed potatoes.

sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices…mix until all ingredients are well blended.

line your muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and fill with batter two-thirds of the way (as your cupcakes will rise). bake for 15-20 minutes till your buddies pass the clean toothpick test. remove from oven and let cool.

after oven has cooled down, move oven rack to highest position and set to broil. place marshmallow on top of your cupcake and return to oven. it only takes a couple of minutes for mallows to melt and brown on top so keep a close eye on cupcakes while under broiler. after about 30 seconds, once you see marshmallow are just beginning to melt and spread out, pull out of oven and lightly press marshmallow down and wiggle around in a circular motion with your fingers to help it spread out towards the edges. return to broiler and let sit for about another minute till tops of mallows are golden brown.

that’s it! next step is letting the cool down and then devouring them!

enjoy!

-L

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sneak peek wednesday!

what goes with thanksgiving….and marshmallows?!?! stay tuned to see!

but until then you can get started on your marshmallows…it may be too cold for campfires….but it’s cold enough for hot cocoa!

ingredients:

3 1/2 packages of unflavored gelatin (found with jello mixes at the store)
1 cup of cold water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
about a cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
flavoring to taste….up to you – i used vanilla….but almost all of the extracts would be yummy as marshmallows: mint, coffee, almond?!?! go crazy!

start by greasing up a 9 x 13 in. metal pan…bottom and sides and then coating it with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

mix half a cup of your cold water with gelatin in your stand mixer or heat safe bowl and let sit to dissolve.

in a medium sauce pan mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining cold water. time for you to bust out your candy thermometer again! clip thermometer to side of sauce pan and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. once sugar is completely dissolved increase heat to medium and bring to a boil without stirring. once mixture reaches 240°F (soft ball stage) remove from heat and add to water/gelatin mixture. mix on medium to high-speed until mixture has tripled in volume.

in a separate bowl mix egg whites till they form stiff peaks. (let me just say, my hand mixer lost its mixers in the moving catastrophe 2010 so i had to beat those suckers by hand….which gave me a deep appreciation for old school bakers – pre-technology) once you have stiff peaks add in to your fluffy mixture with flavoring and coloring of your choice and mix until just combined.

pour out your sticky fluffy mixture into metal pan and spread to edges – by picking up your pan and shifting it from side to side. your rubber spatula won’t want to help you out much…as the sticky fluffy mixture will stick to everything you touch it to…fingers included.  sift 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar over the top. transfer to fridge to chill for at least 3 hours – 1 day.

once mallows have set, you can remove from pan pretty easily. use a knife to run around the edges of the pan and starting with one corner lift and let the block of mallows drop out of pan on to a cutting board. cut into 1 inch squares…or smaller if you prefer and you’re done! plop into some hot cocoa or invite yourself over to a friend’s house who owns a fire pit and enjoy!

OR stay tuned for friday’s post for an even better idea!

-L

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“oh, yeah”

this month is thanksgiving shout out month so we’re paying respect to traditional thanksgiving sides or desserts. this week is a side spruced up and sugared up…and turned into a dessert….the cranberry. i’m starting to look obsessed…but smitten kitchen is again the blog to thank for this recipe.

cranberries are a side that i pass on when it comes to thanksgiving dinner….however….in the form of a coffee cake…”please pass the cranberries!” i was pleasantly surprised with how tasty this crumbly cake was…just the right amount of bitter to contrast the right amount of sweet-fluffy-crumble….add a little vanilla bean…even better! (unless you’re on a tight budget….then ax the vanilla bean…those little guys are pricey!)

ingredients:
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups fresh or thawed cranberries
1 3/4 cup sugar – this will be divided read recipe carefully
2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
confectioners sugar for dusting

equipment:
9 in circle cake pan
mixer
food processor
parchment paper

gulp….as i wrote down the ingredients….i got that sinking feeling…that realization that i actually messed up my measurements. sigh. well….i’ll tell you what i did wrong in a second….but let the record show, that even with my goofs….it turned out mighty tasty….so maybe happy accidents?!?!

the “correct” instructions

start by preheating your oven to 375°F. generously butter your cake pan. add parchment paper to the bottom to the pan and butter as well. set aside.

split vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a paring knife. add to food processor with sugar and pulse until vanilla bean seeds are mixed through all of the sugar. transfer to bowl and set mixture aside.

pulse cranberries with half a cup of the sugar/vanilla mixture until cranberries are finely chopped…be careful not to purée this mixture.

sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. beat 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of sugar/vanilla mix (remember to leave 1/4 cup aside for crumble top) beat until fluffy. add in eggs one at a time. at a low-speed alternate mixing in flour and milk until all ingredients are combined.

pour out half the batter into pan and spread evenly. scoop out cranberry mixture onto batter, leaving about a half-inch border. scoop out remaining batter and spread out (carefully) to edges.

mix your remaining sugar/vanilla with tablespoon of butter and flour until mixture has formed small balls, crumble over top of cake.

bake cake for about 40-50 minutes until toothpick can be inserted and come out clean (except for that cranberry filling). the top should begin to brown and the edges will begin to pull away from pan. cool in pan for 30 minutes on top of a wire. remove from pan and cool completely, with crumb side up.

“happy accident” instructions

• forget to set aside that last 1/4 cup of sugar (for crumble top) and add it all to batter. which means ultimately you will need another 1/4 cup for crumble top
• use a whole cup of milk instead of a half cup….i really have no excuse for this mistake….i had the instructions right in front of me and somehow completely misread it. however, other bloggers complained about the batter being a little too thick….and i didn’t have that problem (obviously) so this mistake worked out for me and the cake tasted great.
• i also forgot the confectioners sugar dusting. as i was drifting off to sleep i remembered that i forgot….and almost set a reminder on my phone to do it in the morning….but didn’t….so there you go….if i don’t write it down…it doesn’t happen.

all in all i thought this was a success. as someone who isn’t wild about cranberries….i am very happy with how this treat turned out…and i may have even scooped out all the filling that stayed behind in the pan…with my finger….instead of sending it to the sink….maybe i do like cranberries?!

next time i would probably use the whole vanilla bean as the vanilla wasn’t a prominent taste and a little extra vanilla is usually a good idea. but…vanilla beans are also quite pricey….so maybe i would just add vanilla extract to the batter.

happy turkey month friends! enjoy!

-L

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funnel cake friday

“embarrassingly delicious”

well, it’s the last friday of the month, which means it’s the last day of fair food september. it’s been a charming experience and we’ve picked up a few new skills to keep in our back pockets. we have no complaints over here. so let’s just dive right in and go out with a bang. what would an entire month devoted to fair food be without the beloved funnel cake?

funnel cake

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

2T sugar

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups canola oil (for deep fryer) or

2 cups canola oil (for stovetop)

equipment needed

canola oil

deep fryer or sauce pan if using stove top

this is the easiest recipe I think ever followed. If you are using a deep fryer, follow the specific instructions for heating and for how much oil to use. my fryer says to pour no more than 4 cups oil into the fryer. let it heat up for 8 minutes and then you are ready to go. if you are using the stovetop, in a deep skillet pour 2 cups oil over medium-high heat. to test the temperature drop a pinch of flour into the oil and if it sizzles and cooks right away without smoking you are ready to go!

while your oil is warming up, in a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients. in a large bowl blend your egg and milk together. once blended slowly add all dry ingredients while mixing at the same time until smooth, just like pancake batter. however i noticed that the mixture was pretty thick and when you pour out the batter through a funnel you want it to pour out in a steady stream, so I added about 1/4 cup more milk. follow the recipe first and if it seems to be too thick, then add the milk and mix again.

using a candy funnel pour your batter, into the hot oil. funnel cakes usually have a crazy shape to them. the best way to fry the batter is to make a spiral into the oil followed by zig zagging your batter on top of the spiral. this gives funnel cake it’s signature doughy spiderweb appearance. as far as cooking time goes i didn’t keep track of the time. I just watched my funnel cake turn golden brown, making sure to keep the dough fully submerged.

remove dough safely from the oil, with tongs or metal slotted spoon, top off with powdered sugar and you’ll have a taste of the state fair in your very own kitchen.

enjoy,

b

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it’s a taffy pull!

 

“keri’s filling just popped off”
“oh no! you’re kidding me?”
“she just left to go to the dentist”
“i said don’t bite! aw man, so much for hard candy at work”

what an adventure this has been. there have been mistakes, burns and emergency dental appointments (sorry keri) but after many many tries….i finally succeeded at the salt water taffy.

disclaimer: if you’re an adult…your teeth aren’t as strong as they use to be….proceed with caution. the emergency dental appointment happened on a batch (gone wrong) that was heated too much and turned into hard candy….i feel like it’s natural to bite down on candy even if you’re told not too…so if you have had work done to your teeth…and want that work to stay intact…be careful…or just steer clear completely :)

i have never attempted to make candy before….but it seemed simple enough…so i went out all confident…bought my first candy thermometer and collected about five or six different recipes. all the recipes were very similar…all calling for the same ingredients, only slight measurement differences here and there. i finally settled on a recipe i found on this blog (that i just discovered and am kinda falling in love with)…i picked the recipe mostly because of the beautiful photography (as i’m a sucker for things well designed and displayed) ms. humble also pointed me in the direction of LorAnn candy oils, which i learned are essential.

as the oils weren’t immediately accessible, i began to do my trial runs with some cinnamon oil i had on hand. for the first batch…i followed the directions precisely…heating the candy till it reached 260°F. i poured it out, let it cool and began pulling it…until it got so difficult that either i would lose my grip and hit myself in the face or it would break apart. hmmm….this did not seem right. will it soften as it cools? no…it will not. this first run ended up turning into a large hard candy cinnamon blob. also…halfway through this trial run….i distinctly remembered my father’s advice to NEVER directly touch the cinnamon oil to your skin…and to be very very careful with it. unfortunately i didn’t remember until my cheek started to tingle and feel very flushed. sure enough i had been careless with the oil and must have touched my face….i’m just thankful i didn’t touch my eyes…eek!

after this disaster of a trial run…i was sure i had done something wrong. i checked through all my recipes…and nothing seemed off. upon further inspection of my candy thermometer i noticed that there are different levels marked off: thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack and hard crack. 260°F fell into the “hard ball” range. i decided i should experiment more with the temperature instead of the ingredients.

the most helpful tip i found was to drop a spoonful of your candy mixture, while it is heating, into a bowl of cold water. the candy mixture will harden into its final consistancy so you can tell if you’re at a good stage to stop heating or not. my go-to temperature ended up being 250°F.

salt water taffy
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted – extra for coating pans and hands
1 teaspoon salt
flavoring oil & color

i went with apple, strawberry cheesecake, mint chocolate-chip, marshmallow and vanilla (would have done cinnamon too, if it hadn’t been so mean to me) you only need about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of oil.

equipment
shallow heat safe pan, or marble slab
candy thermometer
medium-sized sauce pan with lid
metal spoon
kitchen shears
wax paper

grease or butter shallow pans or marble slab and set aside. if you are making multiple flavors, prepare multiple pans.

in your saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, water, salt and melted butter over medium heat. stir until all the sugar has dissolved. let mixture come to a boil and cover with lid for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and clip on your candy thermometer and heat to 250°F (that’s just my opinion….feel free to experiment with different temperatures). Remove from heat and stir in flavoring oils and color.

pour out candy into buttered pan or marble slab and let cool.

once cool enough to handle, grease or butter your hands and begin to pull taffy until it has a smooth satiny appearance. i laid down wax paper so that anytime the taffy started to get too sticky to manage, i could lay it down on the wax paper and then regroup. i also alternated between flavors. i pulled one flavor for about five minutes and then let it rest in the fridge while i started in on the next flavor, and alternated this way until i was ready to cut and shape the candy. when you are ready to cut, butter some kitchen shears and cut away…wrap with wax paper and then you’re done! i ended up with about 80 pieces per batch…but this really depends on the size you cut the taffy to.

again…careful with the dental work….but enjoy!

in the event that you have read this whole post and are concerned about keri’s tooth….rest assured….she was back from the dentist in about 45 minutes….it was free….and she said it didn’t hurt….but seeing the tooth without the cap was a bit shocking and she doesn’t recommend it.

-L

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sneak peek wednesday

i feel like i needed a lab coat, gloves and beakers for this fair food treat. there’s been experiment after experiment….but i may have figured this one out…with only a few casualties. (note to self: cinnamon oil and direct skin contact do not mix well) this is my favorite fair food treat….wait and see!!

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