Category Archives: baking

Cranberry Blueberry Pie

Growing up I hated pie. Looking back, I really have no idea why, because it’s definitely a favorite now..but I just was not a fan as a child. I regret this now because my mother was pretty much the Queen of Pies. We had apple and cherry trees on our property as well as tons of wild blackberries, so pies were one of her favorite things to make with the over abundance of fruit.
Cranberry Blueberry Pie | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I would help her pick everything, but had very little interest in the whole pie making process and now that she lives in Florida she doesn’t have much interest in baking, so this was one of the first pies I made on my own! (Have to say I was pretty proud that the lattice turned out!). The crust recipe is my mothers and is perfectly flaky. The combination of cranberry and blueberry is absolutely perfect for the holidays and was definitely a favorite on Thanksgiving! Enjoy!
Cranberry Blueberry Pie | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Cranberry Blueberry Pie
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 pie crusts (recipe below)
  • 16 oz frozen blueberries
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tb cornstarch
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ts lemon zest
  • 1 egg, plus 1 Tb water – for egg wash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Combine all filling ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Set aside the filling to cool a bit.
  5. While the filling is cooling, roll out one layer of the crust into a 12-inch circle. Fit to a 9-inch pie pan, cutting off excess edges if necessary, leaving about an inch of overhang.
  6. Roll out the other half of the crust and cut into strips, approximately 1 inch wide.
  7. Remove the cinnamon stick and pour the filling into the pie dish. Criss-cross the lattice strips over the top.
  8. Brush the lattice and edges of the pie crust with the egg wash.
  9. Bake for about an hour, until filling is bubbling. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover with foil when it’s at the desired color.
  10. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Notes
Pie filling recipe from Bon Appétit

 

Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
4 cups flour
1 3/4 cup shortening
2 Tb sugar
2 ts salt
1 tb white vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup cold water

1. Mix together flour, shortening, sugar, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together vinegar, egg, and cold water.
3. Mix the two bowls together until just combined and separate into two balls.

Turkey Pie Crust Cookies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
You should have leftover pie crust from your lattice, which is perfect for pie crust cookies! I like to brush them with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking them. Aren’t the turkeys adorable?!!

Butternut Squash Bread

No matter how many different times or ways I make it, I just can’t get my boyfriend on board with butternut squash. At least weekly I try to convince him of a new way he might want to try it, but he’d usually prefer some broccoli (how does that even make sense?!?). Scaling squash recipe to make enough for just me usually leaves a lot leftover…

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Since I love pumpkin bread so much, why not try butternut squash bread??! I was surprised to find that this might even be better than pumpkin bread in it’s own way. It’s very moist and perfectly captures all my favorite flavors of fall!

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If you’ve got some extra butternut squash leftover from Thanksgiving, I highly recommend giving this bread a try! I think it would be awesome with the addition of some fresh cranberries!

Butternut Squash Bread
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 ts kosher salt
  • 1 ts cinnamon
  • 1 ts pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the squash, eggs, coconut oil, water, and sugars. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the butternut squash mixture and mix until just incorporated, then add in the chopped walnuts. Take care not to overmix.
  4. Pour into prepared load pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Notes
adapted from My Baking Addition

 

Honey Beer Bread

Much to my dismay, it’s still in the high 80s here in Southwest Florida. It’s pretty hard to get in a Fall mood when it still feels like summer, so I was pretty excited when we got a ‘cold front’ this past weekend with highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s! It was so nice to open up all the doors and windows and finally have an excuse to make soup and bake a loaf of Honey Beer Bread!

Honey Beer Bread | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I made butternut squash soup over the weekend and decided somewhat last minute that I really wanted fresh bread to go with it. This recipe is a perfect last minute bread since you don’t have to wait for it to rise. Plus it’s delicious the next morning with blueberry jam!

Honey Beer Bread | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

You can also experiment with different beers to give it a little bit of a different flavor…just preferably no Natural Ice…bake with beer you would actually drink! 😉

 

Honey Beer Bread

Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 1 Tb baking powder
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 12oz bottle of beer
  • 3 Tb honey
  • 4 Tb unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the honey and beer and mix until just combined.
  3. Pour into greased loaf pan and top with melted butter.
  4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown.
Notes
*I recommend putting a baking sheet on the rack below the bread to catch any dripping butter.[br][br][br]Recipe from Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Coconut Pineapple Bread

I have to say, the minute I tried this bread I was hooked! Just as soon as I start a recipe box, this will be one of the first recipes to go in it, because I definitely plan on making it over and over. If you’re starting to feel a little sad that summer is coming to an end, this would be a great last hurrah. Your house will smell like heaven!

Coconut Pineapple Bread from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

The addition of Greek yogurt makes the bread very moist, but be sure to drain the pineapple very well or it could get soggy. My boyfriends first question when he took the first bite was “How did you make it so moist?!?” I really enjoy it toasted a bit to add a slight crunch on the outside.

Coconut Pineapple Bread
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (use coconut or pineapple for extra flavor)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, very well drained
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350. Spread 1 cup of the coconut on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 6-8 minutes. Butter and flour or spray a 9×5 loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and Greek yogurt alternately. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold the pineapple and toasted coconut into batter. Spoon into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup untoasted coconut.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover with foil halfway through baking to avoid overbrowning.
Notes
adapted from Martha Stewart

 

Gooey Turtle Brownies

I don’t make brownies often, but when I get in the mood for them, I need them stat. Especially when I’ve had “one of those days”…you know, the ones where you walk in to an awning and give yourself a black eye? Oh, you’ve never done that?? Welllll, back to the brownies..

Gooey Turtle Brownies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

I had planned on making regular brownies, but my boyfriend had the brilliant idea of turtle brownies. It may have been his best idea ever.

Gooey Turtle Brownies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

I cheated a bit and used store bought caramels, but I’m sure homemade caramel would be absolutely wonderful on these. They’re very decadent, but in a very, very good way. I recommend a big glass of milk!

Gooey Turtle Brownies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

I think I only technically ate two brownies from this batch. They still disappeared quickly because I found myself cutting off a sliver every time I would walk by them…oops!

Dirty Turtle Brownies
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • ½-cup butter
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flower
  • 1 bag caramels
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a double boiler, melt together the butter and chocolate, then set aside and let cool.
  3. Beat together the eggs and salt until light and foamy, then gradually add in the sugar and vanilla while still beating.
  4. With a few swift strokes combine the chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar. Before the mixtures becomes uniformly colored, gently stir in the flour.
  5. Pour half of the batter a 9×13 in pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. While that is baking, melt the caramels and half-and-half in a saucepan until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
  7. Pour half the caramel mixture over the baked brownies, followed by the rest of the brownie batter.
  8. Bake for another 25 minutes, then top with the rest of the caramel mixture. Let cool before cutting.
Notes
Brownie recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking

Banana Scones with Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle

I’m pretty picky when it comes to eating bananas. Once it has spots, it’s just too sweet and….banana-y. This means that if I don’t eat them within a day or two of buying them, then I’m going to have to find another use for them. I decided to do something a little different last week and make scones with some of my leftover bananas.

banana scone

The scones themselves aren’t very sweet so I decided a glaze or drizzle was a must. I already had some Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams on hand (perfect for pretzel dipping) and I knew it would be perfect for these! I think regular peanut butter would also work great, or even Nutella!

banana scones

Although I love banana bread, these are a great alternative, and so easy to grab and go in the morning.

Banana Scones
make approx 12 scones

Scones:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tb brown sugar
2 ts baking powder
½ ts salt
1 ts fresh ground ginger
1 ts cinnamon
2 bananas, very ripe
5 Tb cold butter
½ cup buttermilk
2 ts vanilla

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle:
2 Tb Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
2 ts powdered sugar
3 Tb half-and-half

Scones:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Mix in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the butter is the size of peas.
3. In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas, then add in the buttermilk and vanilla.Fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, taking care not to overmix. The dough will be very sticky.
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two pieces. Form both into circles, and cut into 6 wedges each.
5. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Drizzle:
1. Heat peanut butter in the microwave until a little softer. Mix in powdered sugar and half-and-half and stir until creamy.
2. Drizzle liberally over scones and let set.

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I think I’ve found my favorite cookie recipe! I made these while my mom was visiting and we absolutely loved them. I think the only downside to this cookie recipe is that it doesn’t make quite as many as the recipe I usually use. I definitely will double the recipe next time so I have more to share!

I decided to make these with browned butter and highly recommend doing so! It really added an amazing depth of flavor to them, and now I want to go back and make all of my favorite cookie recipes with browned butter!

You could make these without pecans and have a wonderful chocolate chip cookie, but I personally love the addition of pecans. I’ll admit that I totally forgot about my first batch of pecans, and they got fried. I played it safe by lightly toasting the second batch, and they turned out perfectly!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 10 tbs butter, melted and browned
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, kosher salt, and baking soda, and set aside.
  3. Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugars. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to come to room temperature before whisking in the vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips and pecans.
  5. Drop cookie dough onto the baking sheets, leaving a couple inches between. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and store in a cookie tin.
Notes
adapted from The Messy Baker

 

They’re also FABULOUS with a scoop of ice cream…2013-07-15 20.07.58-2

 

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Coconut Bread

Yesterday was probably the “laziest” day that Paul and I have had since moving in together. We slept in until 10 (as compared to are usual 7) and basically laid around watching movies on Netflix for most of the day. It was rainy and we just needed to veg out on the couch. Sometime in the early afternoon I decided I needed to be “productive” and bake something.

I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen last week and it seemed like the perfect thing to bring us out of a lazy Sunday slump. Between browning the butter, and the smell of the coconut bread baking, this made the house smell AMAZING. The smells alone put us in a better mood!

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You don’t have to brown the butter for this recipe, but I highly recommend it, because browned butter makes everything better! This is excellent fresh out of the oven, but I also enjoyed it toasted this morning. Paul may or may not have eaten some with ice cream…

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Coconut Bread
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons browned butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
  3. Butter and flour a bundt pan or 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Notes
from Smitten Kitchen

 

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I’m Still Here!

I realized today that it has been a LONG time since I’ve posted on here…oops! It’s been a busy, busy time with some big changes…

I Moved! My boyfriend and I finally moved in together! We’ve been taking our time getting settled in and have a long list of things we still need as well as changes we want to make. One thing we’ve both really enjoyed is the fact that we actually get to see each other every evening and enjoy dinner together. We’ve had a lot of fun making up weekly menus and cooking together at night. We even bought a houseplant last week, which means we REALLY live there, right?? 2013-06-29 20.13.06-1

The label described it as a “Plant of Steel”…definitely sounded right up my alley since I seem to have a bit of a black thumb.

I got a promotion! It has required a LOT of learning on my part, some of which I’ve really had to figure out on my own, but I’ve really been enjoying it so far! Plus I love that I no longer have to wear a uniform, so I get to have a bit of fun picking out a work wardrobe 😉

My kitchen got a little more colorful.. My boyfriend said he’d get me a Kitchenaid if I got the promotion…and I did!!! It was perfect timing since this beauty went on sale at Target right after. So far I’ve made pretzel rolls, cookies, key lime pie, and pizza dough…and I have a TON of recipes bookmarked for the future that I plan on sharing!2013-06-11 19.53.43-2

If you have any favorite recipes that you use your stand mixer to make, please share! It’s time to put it to work!

Instagram Recap {Week 6}

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coralCoral, Pearls, & Stripes

whoopiePiping the Strawberry Whoopie Pies

tbtOld picture with my wonderful Valentine 🙂

tervis Stopped by the Tervis store to pick up a gift for Paul..I want them all!

seahorseMy favorite seahorse necklace 🙂

crinklePaul’s mom made these Strawberry Crinkle cookies and I couldn’t stop eating them! They’re so good and soooo easy!

ftmyersBeing a tourist on Fort Myers Beach

vdayHit the clearance jackpot at Target! Although the heart shaped treat pan would have been nice to have when I was making whoopie pies…grrr! At least I know I’ll totally use this stuff year round!

wineHow could I pass up a wine names “Fancy Pants”?!?!?!

smores    Chilly night in Florida = time for S’mores!!