Tag Archives: baking

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies

As a choc-oholic, sugar cookies often get overlooked in my household. Most of the ones I’ve had have been pretty flavorless and disappointing, to be made only during the holidays when you bust out the cookie cutters and cover the festive cookies in frosting. So, when Smitten Kitchen posted a link to her confetti cookies on facebook, and I saw all the rave reviews and comments, I was pretty intrigued. What could be so great about a sugar cookie?!?! Don’t get me wrong, bonus points for sprinkles…but it’s still just a sugar cookie!! The recipe has been in the back of my mind since then and I figured now would be the perfect time to put a spin on them and make Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies.

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I found these adorable red, white, and blue star sprinkles at TJMAXX the other day, and I LOVE how festive they make these cookies! Plus the cookies themselves are so easy- you can even throw them together in a food processor! If you need a last minute recipe idea to take to a party, these are perfect AND they travel well. We’ll be spending the 4th on the boat, so easy to pack is a rather important detail for me! I might even be re-creating these around the holidays; they would make such a colorful addition to my usual selection of Christmas cookies!

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which was adapted from King Arthur.

If you’re using a food processor, you won’t need to soften the butter and cream cheese first. If using a mixer, you’ll need to soften both before you mix the dough.

Yield: 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ts baking powder
1/4 ts baking soda
3/4 ts salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 ts
1 cup red, white, and blue sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.

To make in a food processor: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in your food processor, then pulse a few times to blend. Add butter, cream cheese, and sugar and blend mixture until all is incorporated. Add egg and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms into a clump, scraping down as necessary.

To make with an electric mixer: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. If dough is too soft to roll into balls by hand, let chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

Both methods: Roll 2 inch scoops of dough into balls, then drop into a bowl of sprinkles, gently rolling to coat them evenly. Place on parchment lined baking sheets with at least two inches between each cookie. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2-inch tall. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the bottoms begin to brown. You do not want the entire cookie to brown, so they will still look underbaked, especially compared to chocolate chip cookies. Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack to let them cool for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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What will you be making for the 4th, anything fun and festive?

Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies

Can you believe that November is almost over?!?! I feel like Halloween was just a few days ago and I’ve only had time to bake a few different pumpkin treats! I’m not usually a big fan of blondies (I mean..what’s the point if there’s no chocolate?!), but I needed a quick and easy pumpkin recipe a few days ago and these Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies from Brown Eyed Baker were the perfect treat!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I think I might have to change my mind about blondies because these were AH.MAZING. The pictures definitely don’t do them justice. They’re super moist and pack a lot of pumpkin flavor with a great balance from the butterscotch and white chocolate chips.  Plus they’re perfect if you need a quick treat to bring to a potluck or over to a friends house: just mix everything in the stand mixer, bake, and cut!

Are you a blondie or a brownie fan?

Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper to make removal easier.

In a medium bowl, whish together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and whisk until the egg is completely incorporated, followed by the pumpkin puree.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin and fold together until combined. Fold in the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 35 – 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Can you believe October is halfway over?! The “pumpkin window” is way too small, I don’t have nearly enough time to make all the pumpkin flavored things! I have two priorities this time of year, that I HAVE to make:
1. Pumpkin Bread (of course!!) and
2. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

We had a potluck at work and I knew that whoopie pies would be the perfect thing to bring. They’re like a cupcakes, but way easier to take somewhere and maybe even a liiittle bit better! I like to make them on the smaller side, that way you don’t have to feel guilty if you reach for a second! I like to stick them in cupcake wrappers before putting them in containers so they don’t get messy and are easier to serve.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

What’s your favorite pumpkin treat you have to make every year?

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

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Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin followed by the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a small cookie scoop to drop the dough 1 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and cookies are firm when touched.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
To make the filling: beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined. Add the powder sugar a little at a time, then add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Since I’ve started making ice creams, I’ve found myself with a LOT of egg whites I need to use up. I’m not a huge egg fan, so egg white omelets are a rarity, which means I’m always on the search for fun new recipes to use them up with. These flourless fudge cookies are one of my new favorite ways to use them up – they’re quick and easy to throw together, don’t make TOO many cookies, and they’re even better with ice cream sandwiched between two.

Flourless Fudge Cookies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

They’re VERY rich and fudgy so a glass of milk (or ice cream, of course) is highly recommended!

Flourless Fudge Cookies

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2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ ts salt
1 ts espresso powder (optional)
1 cup dutch process cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
2 ts vanilla extract

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir. The dough will be soft and batterlike. If it’s still very thick, add another egg white.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes, until they have spread and are somewhat shiny with a slightly crackly top. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for a few minutes before eating.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Do you have any favorite egg white recipes??

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Growing up, my brother asked for a Mississippi Mud Cake almost every year for his birthday. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had a Mississippi Mud Brownies and WOW are they addicting! I can only make them once in a blue moon, or I will eat them all, so when my coworker requested brownies for her birthday I knew these would be perfect…partly because I knew they’d be a hit, but mostly I really wanted to eat one and then make sure the rest of them were out of my house stat!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

The brownie is fudgy, moist, and dense — a perfect balance to the fluffy marshmallows. Top that off with a very thin, crackly layer of fudge icing and a sprinkling of chopped pecans and you get what just might be the best brownie ever. I think it may also be the only brownie that I prefer nice and cold, but that’s just me.

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Print Recipe!

Ingredients
For the Brownies:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ ts salt
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 ½ cups miniature marshmallows

For the Icing:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ ts vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Directions
For the Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line an 8x8in baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl. mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, and salt until blended. Mix in the melted butter until combined, following with the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until no clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Spread the marshmallows evenly over the top, then return to the oven for another 4 minutes, until the marshmallows are slightly puffy. Move from the oven, to a wire rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes, while you prepare the icing.

For the Icing:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, whisk in the milk and cocoa powder, and cook until thickened – about 1-2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the frosting is smooth, then immediately pour over the top of the brownies. Smooth out the icing, then top with chopped pecans. Wait until the brownies have cooled completely before removing from pan and cutting.

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake

I’m pretty picky when it comes to bananas. Once they have a single spot on them any chance of me eating them is pretty much gone…they can either go into a smoothie or a baked good. This means a LOT of banana bread, muffins, scones, etc. I usually try to stick with things that are somewhat healthy that I can eat on my way out the door in the morning, but sometimes I want something a little more decadent.

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

This coffee cake is probably one of my favorite banana recipes. It’s ridiculously moist and flavorful. It’s got plenty of banana flavor, but not overwhelmingly so. I’ve tried many different combos and never get tired of it.,,if you really want to amp it up, I recommend chocolate chips instead of the blueberries 😉

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

 

 

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • For Topping:
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 Tb cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
  • For Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 ts baking soda
  • 3/4 ts baking powder
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tb buttermilk
  • 1 ts vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups overripe bananas, mashed (approx 3 bananas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a springform pan or 8×8 metal baking pan.
  2. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Cream the sugar and butter together, then add the egg and beat until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk, then add the dry ingredients and blend well.
  5. Spread half the batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half the blueberries and half the topping. Repeat with remaining batter, followed by remaining blueberries and topping.
  6. Bake about 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool coffee cake in pan on a rack, remove outside of pan if using a springform.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream

Blood oranges are kind of a new discovery for me. Every year around this time Honeybell oranges are everywhere in Southwest Florida. Fruit stands, grocery stores, and the farmers market are ALL about the Honeybells, so I was surprised when I spotted bags of Blood Oranges at Target last week.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I’m pretty much obsessed with blood orange soda and love it as a cocktail mixer, so I knew the first thing I had to make would be cocktails. The obvious choice being Margaritas. Can you say awesome?!! I did scale down the recipe a bit though…I’m not going to say we couldn’t have had the whole pitcher, but it was probably best that we didn’t!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Last week was a long, busy week. We had a surprise corporate inspection, which of course means STRESS, but I’m very happy and relieved to say that we did very, very well. I knew I wanted to make cupcakes to bring in for my coworkers and of course the blood oranges were calling to me!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I love the combo of chocolate and orange, plus the deep red juice makes a perfect pink frosting…so perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Oh and this is somehow the first cupcake recipe I’ve posted??! Kinda sad when cupcake is in the name, but I promise there will be more to come!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 2 1/4 ts baking powder
  • 1 1/4 ts salt
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 ts vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 ts pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 standard muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, orange zest, and warm water. Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full Baking for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, cook the orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Cream the butter, vanilla, and reduced orange juice until smooth. Add two cups of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, add more powdered sugar if necessary, a little at a time.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with buttercream and decorate as desired.
Notes
One-bowl Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

 

Raspberry Jam Crumb Bars

Last week I got the strong urge to bake lemon bars. I honestly can’t tell you why…I’ve never made lemon bars, and I’m about 95% sure that I’ve never actually had one either. Yet I had the very strong desire to make some!

Raspberry Jam Crumb Bars | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

So Friday I made the trip to Target to grab some lemons…about an hour of Target wandering later I had pretty much forgotten about the lemon bars and found myself buying some yoga pants, peppermint chapstick, and a jar of raspberry preserves to make these jam bars. I should have known better than to think I could go to Target and actually leave with the items I intended to buy!

Raspberry Jam Crumb Bars | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Nothing against lemon bars, but I’m SO glad I went with these! The raspberry flavor really shines and I LOVE the crumbly texture of the base and top which are similar to almond shortbread. If you had some caramel just laying around I think that would be amazing in place of the jam…maybe even with some chocolate 😉

Raspberry Jam Crumb Bars
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cubs unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (7oz) almonds, finely ground
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup jam of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 11 x 7 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixtures resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Press half the crumb mixture into prepared baking sheet. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and use a large spoon or spatula to press dough evenly into pan. Make sure the dough is firmly packed with no holes or cracks.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Spread the jam over cooled crust and scatter with remaining crumb mixture.
  6. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until the topping begins to turn light golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before lifting out of baking dish and slicing.
  8. Bars are best served at room temperature.
Notes
Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook