fat bottom

fat bottom

Saturday, October 31, 2009

trick or treats!

so it's started... making cupcakes for little man's school... i had flash forwards to bakesales, and birthday parties and the "hey mom, i told the teacher you'd make 3 dozen cupcakes for my class" and i'll reply "okay, when do you need them by?" and then he'll say "today for lunchtime"...
but you wanna know something... i can't wait!
so jack was having his first ever school party, a halloween party... and of course i had to make some cupcakes, actually when i asked the little guy what he wanted to bring in to share, he replied "cupcakes mah"... reminded me of that scene in "wedding crashers" with will ferell... ha ha ha!
so there are so many great ideas for halloween themed cupcakes, from ghosts, cute little witch hats, mummy's and all sorts of creepy crawlers... i was on cupcake decorating overload...
so i had to decide... i wanted to do something cute, and i knew they were going to be munching on all sorts of sweets, so i didnt want to make cupcakes that were smothered in candy... so i went with a simple ode' to a halloween classic... the candy corn... it's as halloween as pumpkins... cute aren't they...
and here they are in one of my awesome cupcake couriers... i love these things...
happy halloween and happy baking everyone!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

i finally gave in...

call me un-american, but i am no fan of apple pie... there i said it... should i be shipped off to canada for my disloyalty... well, as long as you guys don't turn me in i think i'll be alright... it's not that i hate apple pie, it's just not something i crave... now, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, even chocolate cream pie that's a whole other story... i guess i'm just not a fan of baked fruit... for me, fruit should be fresh, cold and crisp... well i guess that's not totally the truth... i'm a sucker for strawberry pie, and banana cream pie...
but anyways, back to apple pie...
my hubs has been asking me to bake a apple pie for months, and i mean MONTHS... but i admit that i just kind of used my "selective hearing" when it came to this subject... but there was nothing i could do when he bought home some apples, unsalted butter and shortening... i couldn't say no then...
so... if i was going to make apple pie, i was going to make it right... maybe then it would satisfy the hubbys craving and i wouldn't have to bake one again for a loooong time... so i went with dorie greenspans recipe for both the crust and the pie... and the results... flaky, buttery, spicy, gooey and well... pretty darn good...
now if you wondering if i have a new found fondness for apple pie... well... kinda...
maybe it's because it was really tasty, or maybe it's because i made it from scratch and i had a new appreciation for its simplicity yet complexity... i don't know... but i guess i could be up to making this again...

crust ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces, frozen
6 tbsp (or more) ice water
2 1/4 pounds assorted apples (such as Pink Lady, Pippin, and Golden Delicious), peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/2 tsp (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs or white bread crumbs
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbsp milk (for glaze)
raw sugar
directions for the crust:
1. blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor
2. add butter and shortening; cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal
3. add 6 tablespoons ice water and blend just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry
4. gather dough into ball, divide dough in half and flatten each half into disk.
5. wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours.
6. butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish
7. roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured work surface to 12- to 13-inch round and transfer dough to prepared pie dish and press dough onto bottom and up sides of dish, allowing overhang to extend over sides about 1 inch
8. roll out second dough disk between sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper to 12- to 13-inch round; transfer dough to baking sheet
9. refrigerate both crusts while preparing filling

directions for the filling:
1. position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F
2. combine all apple wedges, 1/3 cup sugar, quick-cooking tapioca, grated lemon peel, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg in large bowl; toss to blend
3. let stand at room temperature until some juices form, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes
4. place crust-lined pie dish on rimmed baking sheet
5. sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over bottom of crust and transfer apple filling to crust, mounding filling slightly in center
6. dot filling with butter cubes
7. brush crust edges lightly with water
8. remove top parchment sheet from second dough round, invert dough round atop filling; remove second parchment sheet
9. trim dough overhang on both crusts to 1/2 inch, press crust edges together, then fold under.
10. using tines of fork, press on crust edge around rim of dish to seal decoratively, using small sharp knife, cut six 1-inch slits in top crust, then cut out 1/2-inch circle from center of top crust to allow steam to escape 11. brush top crust lightly with milk, then sprinkle with raw sugar
11. bake pie 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake pie another 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden, apples are tender when pierced, and juices are bubbling thickly through slits in crust, covering crust edges with foil collar if crust is browning too quickly
12. transfer pie to rack and cool to lukewarm or room temperature

happy baking everyone!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


well... i woke up this morning and it was the definition of a fall day... a chilly, grey, blustery day... i was almost tempted to put the heat on... but i opted for a nice comfy over sized cardigan, and... boo... socks... i hate socks... i never wear them... i will wear flip flops until there is snow on the ground...

but anyways... whats a girl to do on a day such as today... for me, it can only be one thing... i'm in the kitchen baking something... i mean come on, whats better then warming up the house with some fresh baked goodies... it makes me feel like a kid again, coming home from school or track practice, tired and cold, but you walk in the door and all of that goes away with one wiff of that indescribable smell... mom's home baked treats!

i went with a nice fallish cupcake... banana pumpkin... yummm... and topped them with a lavish amount on vanilla bean cream cheese frosting... i was going to go with a cinnamon sugar frosting, but alas, i was out of ground cinnamon...
the cupcakes came out a little more on the dense side, more muffinish then cupcakey... but they were still delish... the pumpkin added such a wonderful flavor but didn't overpower the banana... not that that would have happened, because there were big chunks of banana in every bite (i dont like to overmash my bananas)... and lets be honest... anything covered in creamcheese frosting is amazing...

banana cupcake recipe
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
wet/fat ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted and browned unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups smashed bananas (as smashed as you like)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 lrg. eggs
2 tsp rum or vanilla extract
1. preheat oven to 350 and line 12 cupcake tins
2.in a medium bowl sift together all dry ingredients
3. make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients
4. using a wooden spoon, incorporate together, but do not over mix
5. divide batter evenly among the tins and bake until done, about 17-20 minutes, and cool on wire rack
happy baking everyone!!