Valentine Sprinkle Cupcakes

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day! I know there are a lot of differing attitudes surrounding this holiday, but really, I don’t care…I LOVE IT.

While we should share our love on the daily, it’s not a bad idea to spread a little extra love and appreciation on this day, Cupid’s Birthday (probably). Plus, I get to bust out all the pink and red and glitter and SPRINKLES! These mini cupcakes are an unapologetic celebration of all things sweet and saccharine that is Valentine’s Day. So, share a cupcake, give a Valentine, make a date with your love or your very best pals. Basically, just let your favorites know their your fave in the form of butter and sugar and sprinkles.

PS, can we talk about how Funfetti is NOT Rainbow Party Chip? Personally, I prefer the latter but don’t really know what those little rainbow chips are, cause they are definitely not sprinkles. Have you made this distinction? If so, discuss.

Sprinkle Cupcakes

Adapted from this recipe.

Makes about 48 mini cupcakes.

1 stick (4 ounces) softened, unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

5 tablespoons sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 mini muffin tins with paper liners.

In the bowl of a mixer (or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter until creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture resembles a crumble topping. Add in the eggs and beat for 2 minutes until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Gradually add in the milk and vanilla until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles. Using a small cookie scoop or spoons, fill each mini cupcake cup about 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven, one pan at a time, for about 15 minutes or until the cupcake tops spring back to the touch. Cool on a rack completely before frosting.

Whipped Buttercream

Adapted from this recipe.

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 cup milk

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup softened, unsalted butter

sprinkles for decoration

In a saucepan whisk together the sugar and flour, whisk in the milk until smooth, add the salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, beat the butter in a mixer (or using a hand mixer and mixing bowl) until creamy. Add the cooled flour mixture and vanilla. Beat until a smooth frosting forms (the mixture may look greasy or curdled at some point, just keep whipping it!). Spread or pipe onto baked and cooled cupcakes and decorate with additional sprinkles.

Guest Post: Roasted Peach Biscuit Sliders

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HEY! I’m away out west and as a special treat, Megan agreed to kindly do a guest post…so, without further ado!
RoastedPeachSliders1I feel so lucky to get to do a guest post on Cindy’s blog! But the truth is, I just feel so lucky to know Cindy in real life. It seems like just yesterday that she popped over and we went out to eat on the hottest day ever. My opening line might’ve had to do with the fact that we were getting brunch at a place that Guy Fieri featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives… I mean, I did say that it wasn’t a selling point that that frosty-tipped, ring-wearer approved, but still…
RoastedPeachSliders2
I knew we’d be friends fo lyfe based on the fact that we both ordered the brisket sandwich and that she didn’t judge me for being totes a sweaty mess. Anyhow, since Cindy’s the bomb, I thought I’d share a breakfast shortcake slider that I find to also be the bomb, of the edible variety. I mean, gotta share the love for mini sandwiches, right?
These little sliders are pretty much roasted peach shortcakes eaten all sandwich-like. You could take these on the road! No big deal! Shortcakes of the fast food variety! You could pack up the components and bring them to a brunch party. OR you could just invite your neighbor to come up and have one or two while you chat about dogs, beards, and awkward birthdays. Mostly, just make these all Sunday-brunch-like, ok? Drink a bellini, it’ll be peachy!
RoastedPeachjusttheBiscuits3
Vanilla Spice Biscuits (makes 8)
Recipe adapted from Take A Megabite’s Mom
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cream of tarter
2 T sugar
1/4 t nutmeg
1 vanilla bean*
1 stick (8 T) butter, cold and cut into squares

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the egg and the milk in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tarter, sugar, nutmeg, and the seeds from a scraped vanilla bean. Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using two forks or a pastry blender until there are no pieces bigger than a pea.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Turn the bowl over on a lightly floured surface. Knead a little if the flour is trying to jump ship. Add more flour if necessary.

Pat into an inch high dough round an cut out using a biscuit cutter, placing the biscuits on the prepared baking sheets. Use up all the dough, even if you have to have one silly-shaped biscuit hanging out in the middle.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden. Serve topped with roasted peaches slider-style!

*If you don’t have a vanilla bean handy simply add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients!
Roasted Peaches (makes 8 peach patties)
2 peaches

juice from 1 large or 2 small lemons

2 T sugar
4+ oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup honey, for drizzling
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425F. Cut each peach in half, and remove the pit. Slice each half into two “patties”horizontally. Arrange slices in a single layer in a baking dish. Toss peaches with lemon juice and sugar. Roast until peaches are tender, 20-25 minutes, flipping party way through cook time.

Serve each peach “patty” on vanilla spice biscuit with crumbled goat cheese, honey, and walnuts. Eat two immediately.

P.s. Feel free to use as many peaches as you want. This recipe is totally open to adaptation.

Whisky Cherry Chocolate Soda Floats

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Happy Birthday, USA!

It’s Independence Day, stateside, and we have plans to swat mosquitos whilst leisurely bike riding. There will be cocktails, and grilled foods, and pups, and sparklers, and probably some other pyrotechnics.

Good, explosive, summer fun!

In celebration I made these easy soda floats including good, old American Whisky. We have TWO sauces, one deep, dark chocolate sauce with bitter notes from espresso, and one bright, sweet, and complex double cherry sauce. Both sauces benefit from a little of the whisky, making these floats decidedly adult. I used George Dickel Whisky in these floats — with it’s caramely notes and buttered popcorn finish, it’s a good match for the vanilla-chocolate-cherry situation, but really any booze you prefer will definitely do!  These floats combine fiery whisky, rich chocolate, creamy vanilla, tart-sweet cherry, bubbles, and a bit of smokey salt — making these floats hit all kinds of flavors…kinda like an explosion…kinda like fireworks…see what I did there?

Anyway, I hope my fellow American’s are celebrating their independence in style, sipping drinks with pals, sharing meals, lounging like pros, and of course, hopefully lighting at least one thing on fire…like ya do. {Oh, and be safe…duh!}

Whisky Cherry Chocolate Soda Floats with Smoked Salt

This recipe is an easy, assembly job, just make the syrups ahead of time, layer with ice cream, and top with soda!

I used George Dickel Whisky, which was provided to me by their nice PR rep, Joseph. I was not compensated for using George Dickel in this recipe, I just liked it, and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Whisky Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)

Whisky Cherry Sauce (recipe below)

Vanilla Ice Cream

Soda Water

Whisky

Whipped cream

Smoked Sea Salt (optional)

Layer sauces and ice cream in glasses. Add a shot of whisky and top it off with soda water. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of smoked salt.

Whisky Chocolate Sauce

Liberally adapted from The Perfect Scoop

You can use all sweetened condensed milk here, all maple, or even corn syrup if you prefer. 

1 cup water

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 ounces chopped chocolate

2-4 tablespoons whisky

1/8 teaspoon smoked salt

In a saucepan whisk together water, espresso, cocoa, condensed milk, and maple. Heat over medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted and combined. Whisk in the whisky, to taste, and salt. Cool completely before using.

Whisky Cherry Sauce

I used two kinds of cherries, sour and dark. I like the sweet-tart situation, but use whatever you like or have on hand. 

1 cup sour cherries

1 cup dark, sweet cherries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons whisky

In a saucepan heat cherries and sugar over medium high until cherries release their juices and sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, bring to a boil, and simmer a few minute (5ish) until the juices become syrupy. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.

Whipped Cream

You probably don’t need a recipe for this, but here it is anyway!

1 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons confectioners sugar

In a mixing bowl using a whisk or electric mixer, beat cream and sugar until medium peaks form. Serve immediately.