Wednesday, August 27, 2014

White Russian Cupcakes *The Cupcake Abides*

White Russian Cupcakes
As seen on HelloGiggles.com


This recipe was first posted on HelloGiggles as part of my Cupcake Girl column.

Photo by Robert Giglio
What you’ll need 

•   2 ¾ cups sifted flour (1 ¼ cups cake flour and 1 ½ cups all purpose flour)

•   3 ½ teaspoons baking powder, just a tad less is good.

•   1/2  teaspoon salt, just a tad less is good.

•   4 egg whites

•   1/2  teaspoon cream of tartar

•   1 ½  cups sugar ( ¾ cup granulated, ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar)

•   3/4 cup butter, softened

•   1/4  cup milk

•   1/4 cup vodka

•   1/2  cup Kahlua

•   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat egg whites until foamy with cream of tartar. In a separate bowl, cream butter and add sugar.  Blend egg mixture into this bowl. Combine milk, Kahlua and vodka, set aside. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture, a small amount at a time. Blend in extract. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool.


Now for the Kahlua buttercream frosting!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2-3 cups powdered sugar, by taste/texture

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Kahlua, or Kahlua to taste

Mix it up! Frost cupcakes and garnish with cocoa powder. 

Cheers!!! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When Life Gives You Leftover Lemon Jelly ...

Lemon Linzer Torte Cookies 
With Leftover Lemon Drizzle

A couple of weeks ago, I made Lemon Drop cupcakes for my HelloGiggles column. I had leftover lemon drizzle and decided:

When Life Gives You Leftover Lemon Jelly ... 
... You make Lemon Linzers! 

Best decision I ever made.  



Ingredients for the cookie dough: 
I used this recipe as a guide, but tweaked it ... 
PS If you are OCD, you are going to hate this thrown together recipe ... 
Sorry. 

3/4 cup butter, softened 
1 cup sugar 
1 to 2 egg whites 
1 teaspoon lemon zest 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Pinch Clove
Big Pinch Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Vanilla, Almond or Arak extract 

Cream butter and sugar. 
Beat in egg, lemon and extracts. 
Add dry ingredients and spices. 
Roll out dough over flour and cut into shapes of your choosing. Remember, the cookies will be made into sandwiches. Pair each cookie with a mate and cut hole into half of the cookies. (See above image.)
Bake on greased baking sheet at 350 until cookies are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Apply lemon jam (recipe below) as the center of the cookie sandwich. The cookie with hole in the middle atop a regular cookie, the jam visible in the center hole (See above image).
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Enjoy!

For the Lemon Jam 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon vanilla

Use a double boiler (or use a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water): melt the butter in the top bowl. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended and pour into the top bowl. Cook and whisk constantly (to prevent the egg from curdling)over the simmering water. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes pale in color and thickens to the consistency of sour cream (about 10 minutes of steady whisking or 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer if there are any lumps (strainer step optional). Keep the cooked lemon mixture off the heat, and stir in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator for 2-6 hours.

About the Linzer ... 
We fell in love at the Hungarian Pastry Shop in New York.

I attended a summer session at Columbia University in June. While I was in the neighborhood, I found myself returning the to the Hungarian Pastry Shop in Morningside Heights. It is an adorable little bakery cafe with a European vibe ... and staff. I had Linzers before, but here is where I fell in love. 

This Linzer Torte — a cake — is named after the Austrian city Linz.  Like the cookie, it is a jam filled dessert topped with powdered sugar. This cake is often referred to as the oldest in the world, with a known recipe dating back to 1653! The little cookie version of the confection, which is often referred to in the U.S. by the same name, is actually called a Linzer Sable. So, I hope you enjoy my Linzer Sable recipe! 




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lemon Drop (YES like the martini!!!) Cupcakes

Lemon Drop Cupcakes
As seen on HelloGiggles!


This recipe was first posted on HelloGiggles as part of my Cupcake Girl column.

That lemon drizzle ... 

•   2 ¾ cups sifted flour (1 ¼ cups cake flour and 1 ½ cups all purpose flour)
•   4 ½ teaspoons baking powder, just a tad less is good.
•   ½  teaspoon salt, just a tad less is good. Do Not Exceed ½ teaspoon.
•   4 egg whites
•   ½  teaspoon cream of tartar
•   1 ½  cups sugar ( ¾ cup granulated, ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar)
•   ¾ cup butter, softened
•   ¾  cup milk
•   ¼  cup vodka
•   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•   juice from half a lemon
•   1 tablespoon lemon zest

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat egg whites until foamy with cream of tartar.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and add sugar.  Blend egg mixture into this bowl.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, a small amount at a time.
Blend in extracts, lemon parts and vodka.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Allow cupcakes to cool.

For the Lemon Vodka Buttercream 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vodka, vodka to taste
Whip it all together!



For the Lemon Drizzle 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 teaspoon vanilla

Use a double boiler (or use a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water): melt the butter in the top bowl. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended and pour into the top bowl. Cook and whisk constantly (to prevent the egg from curdling)over the simmering water. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes pale in color and thickens to the consistency of sour cream (about 10 minutes of steady whisking or 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer if there are any lumps (strainer step optional). Keep the cooked lemon mixture off the heat, and stir in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator for 2-6 hours.

Add buttercream & top with lemon drizzle! 
Cheers!
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