Waffles of insane greatness

I’ve made these awesome waffles before, yet decided to update and repost. These are my husbands favorite. They are crunchy on the outside, nice and soft inside, and have fantastic flavor. So for his recent birthday, I decided to revamp the recipe. I did use most of the ingredients, but had to up the flour a bit and used vanilla bean paste instead to up the vanilla flavor. They were perfect!

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used a full cup)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
Butter and syrup, for serving

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.


Lemon cream cake with vanilla bean frosting

We were invited to my aunt and uncle’s Derby party and needed a dessert. I thought a lemon dessert would be nice and refreshing. I had recently seen this recipe and thought it would be perfect for the party! It was a hit. The cake is quite moist, the filling is to die for and the frosting is perfect. Definitely make this for your next get together. It’s impressive and delicious!

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
For the cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Zest of ½ a lemon
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:
4 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese, cold
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp. lemon extract
Zest of ½ a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

For the frosting:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For the candied lemon slices: I omitted this
1-2 whole lemons, preferably organic
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Directions:
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour the edges of 3 8-inch round cake pans and shake out the excess. Set aside. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the lemon zest to the bowl of the mixer with the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the lemon and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
To make the filling, combine the mascarpone and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Blend in the lemon extract and lemon zest. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe out the mixer bowl and fit with the whisk attachment. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Mix about a third of the whipped cream into the lemon-mascarpone mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain and the mixture is evenly blended.
To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the bowl and add in the salt. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 minutes.
To make the candied lemon slices, wash and dry the lemons thoroughly. Use a sharp serrated knife to make very thin slices of lemon. Poke out any seeds in the slices with a toothpick. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon slices to the mixture so that they are in a single layer (none overlapping), reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer about 20 minutes, turning the slices at least once so both sides are candied. Remove from the heat. Store in a container with the syrup until ready to use.
(Level cake layers if necessary.) To assemble the cake, place one of the layers on a serving platter. Top with half of the lemon-mascarpone mixture and smooth in an even layer. Place a second cake layer on top of the filling and top with the remaining filling. Place the final cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the vanilla bean frosting. Use a pastry bag with a decorative tip to pipe accents on the cake. Garnish with the candied lemon slices.


Funfetti cheesecake cupcakes with cake batter cream cheese frosting

The title says it all. This dessert has cheesecake, cream cheese icing, cake batter and cake all in one. It’s awesome! I needed some desserts for our Easter celebrations and knew there’d probably be a lot of fruit flavored ones as spring always brings, so I’d thought I’d go in the other direction. Glad I did! These are incredible.

Enjoy!!

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Ingredients:
Confetti (or Funfetti) cake batter, use your favorite homemade or boxed version)-I used homemade
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins with liners.
Spoon cake batter into each tin until it is about 1/2 full. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Spoon one spoonful over the top of each cupcake. Bake for about 15 minutes or until set.

Cake Batter Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick salted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Baker’s Mystery Flavor (you could omit this, I omitted as my bottle I ordered didn’t arrive in time. Darn you smart post!!)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup white cake mix (MIX–NOT BATTER)

Directions:
In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and extract(s) on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cake mix and beat on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. If frosting is too thick, mix in a bit of heavy cream or milk until desired consistency is reached.
Once cupcakes are cool, frost generously. And decorate as you wish!


Chocolate orange pound cake

Yum yum yum! This pound cake is crazy good. I tried a bit of it to make sure it was ok for guests and omg so good. This was easy to make and was perfect for a breakfast treat or snack for our guests visiting! Definitely a hit!

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate pieces

Directions:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan and dust with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
On a clean cutting board or counter, place the granulated sugar. Add the orange zest. With a bench scraper or the back of the spoon, work the zest into the granulated sugar, creating a fragrant and orange flavored sugar. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and cream cheese. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl and make sure that the butter and cream cheese are evenly mixed. Add the citrus zest to the butter and cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On medium speed, beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract.
Add dry ingredients all at once. Beat on low speed until dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate pieces.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once or twice during baking. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.
Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to four days.


Glazed donuts

I am so in love with my donut pan. It is so incredibly easy to whip up a pan of donuts for breakfast. I prefer, and have to, the healthier donuts I made, but H wanted some “real” donuts, so I searched online for a perfect donut recipe. Sure enough, Nicole’s blog came up with a fantastic donut. I did use my own glaze of powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla but top as you like!

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
2 cups all-flour flour
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup skim milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup canola oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Stir the dry ingredients together. Add the egg, vanilla, and milk then whisk together for 1 minute. Add the oil and continue to whisk until well combined.
Grease the muffin tins. Fill each 2/3 of the way. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool completely before icing. Yield: 30 doughnuts.
Top or glaze to your liking!


Secret heart cupcakes

As soon as I saw these cupcakes, I knew I had to try them! And omg are they ever cute! Definitely make for your Valentines Day celebration!
Keep close eye on the direction of your cupcake so when you bite in the heart is facing you. If not, when you bite in all it will look like is a rectangle. I put a heart in the front to indicate it.

The cupcake recipe below is from where I found the cupcakes but I chose to top them with my favorite marshmallow frosting. Top however you’d like!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💘💗💘

Enjoy!!

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Ingredients:
Cupcakes and the hearts:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
the seeds from half a vanilla bean
1/4 t. salt
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
red food coloring

Buttercream below cupcake recipe

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Mix the butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 90 seconds, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets well combined. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth. Finally, alternate between the flour and milk, beating on med-high speed until the batter is light and creamy.
Pour a little more than 1/3 of the batter (about a cup and a half) into a smaller bowl. Add red food coloring until you get your desired pink or red color. Pour the batter into a non-stick (or lightly greased) 8×8 baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes (mine only took 10 mins)until the edges of the cake start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely. Once the sheet cake is cool, loosen the edges away from the pan with a knife and then invert the pan onto a cutting board. Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a dozen cake hearts that are small enough to fit into an average-sized cupcake pan.
Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the remaining batter into paper-lined cupcake tins, so they’re about half-full. Put one heart into each tin and press it point down into the batter. Keep all the hearts facing forward in the pan. Cover with another teaspoon of batter and bake for 24 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Keep the cupcakes facing forward so you get the right cross-section of the heart when you cut or bite into the cupcake (to get the full heart effect). So keep all the cupcakes facing forward as you move them from the cupcake tin to a cookie sheet for cooling/frosting. After frosting, put heart candy on them (or some other decoration) that can also face forward so you know which way to cut the cupcake in order to see the heart shape inside (if you cut the heart in the wrong direction you just get a rectangle shape—not very romantic!).

Marshmallow frosting:
2 sticks of butter ( at room temp.)
1 cup of confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 7 ounce tub of marshmallow cream

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
Beat in one fourth of the sugar until fluffy, then repeat with the remaining sugar.
Beat in vanilla, then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

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Strawberry cream cheese tart

Our NYE dinner was a great meal, so I know there had to be a great dessert. So I immediately knew to check out Annie’s Eats! Sure enough I found a great tart that while has a lot of steps is quite easy to make. And boy was this great. Everyone raved about it!

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
For the crust: (I used pre made as it was 82 degrees here today. Too hot to roll out dough! )
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the ganache:
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. milk or cream

For topping:
Fresh strawberries, sliced (approximately 12 oz.)
Melted bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, for drizzling (optional)

Directions:
To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.) Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan. Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. If there are still bits of unmelted chocolate, microwave in 10 second intervals, whisking in between, until the ganache is completely smooth. Whisk in the butter. Spread the ganache in a thin even layer over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Allow the ganache to set before proceeding.

To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and milk or cream. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled ganache in the tart shell.

Starting from the outside and working toward the center, place the sliced strawberries in concentric circles slightly overlapping each other. Gently press the berries into the cream cheese mixture to help keep them in place. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.


Irish cream and pistachio fudge

H’s work was having another potluck, this time for Christmas, so I needed a couple new fun desserts. I just saw this recipe and had to make it. They love the boozy desserts, anything over the top sweet and indulgent, so these fit the bill perfectly. But for me, it was the ease of the recipe that made me want to make it. This came together quickly, chilled and then it was time to cut and sample! Excellent. It does make a lot as you cut them into small pieces so be warned!!!

ENJOY and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Ingredients:
36 ounces white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Irish cream liquor,  plus 3-4 tablespoons
1/3 cup salted pistachios, chopped

Directions:
Line a 9×9 pan with foil paper and lightly grease it.
In a sauce pan, at low heat, pour in all of the ingredients except pistachios. Stir constantly until chocolate has almost melted.
Turn off heat and continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Add pistachios and pour evenly into prepared pan. Let cool until set. Remove fudge from pan and peel off the foil paper. Cut fudge into small squares.


Sugar Cookie Biscotti

As my readers know I love biscotti. I love them with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, I love how easy they are to make and I love how many different flavors you can make as biscotti. But I love buttery, almond flavored sugar cookies at the holidays even more. But sugar cookies, the cut out kind, are a pain to make sometimes. So I decided to take my favorite basic biscotti recipe, use almond extract in the batter instead of any other addins, and top with an almond glaze. I used this recipe with almond extract, about a tsp to tsp and a half, then topped with a half cup to a cup of powdered sugar mixed with a tsp to tbsp of water (add a bit at time to get a glaze consistency), add in a small bit of almond extract and mix well. Dye if desired and drizzle on cookies. I do find that with sugar cookies they are best made a few days ahead. The almond and butter flavors deepen and are oh so good. The same is with these biscottis. Make them a few days in advance and then they are perfect!

ENJOY and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Crostini with Figs, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese

Each year at our holiday party, any appetizer made with goat cheese is highly enjoyed. I try to find new ways to use goat cheese in my apps each year and this year I stumbled on this recipe. This was easy to make and very very good. I don’t normally like figs, but with all the other strong flavors the figs worked very well together. These were enjoyed by all!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:
12 1/2-inch slices of baguette
Olive oil
6 Tbsp goat cheese, at room temp
4 slices of prosciutto*
4 figs, thinly sliced
Honey, for serving
Pinch of salt

Directions:
Heat broiler.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Tear prosciutto slices into thirds.
Spread 1/2 Tbsp of softened goat cheese on each crostini.
Arrange prosciutto and sliced figs on top.
Just before serving, lightly drizzle with honey and sprinkle salt over top.
Serve at room temperature.


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