Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients
2 cups creamy peanut butter (not the all-natural variety)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
Heat oven to 350° F.

1.Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.

2.Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. With a fork, press the dough to a ⅜-inch thickness, making a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie.

3. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges are set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Recipe via Real Simple

Carrot cake

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This carrot cake recipe is probably one of the easier ones out there. Simple ingredients, quick and moist.

The recipe yielded enough to make a “carrot cake loaf” as requested by my husband for his birthday and one 6″ round. I cut the 6″ round to make it a tiered cake and layered a vanilla buttercream.

Carrot cake recipe courtesy of anna and blue paperie

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups finely grated peeled carrots (I used 1 lb via the food processor)
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped (optional)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour two 6-inch diameter cake pans with 1 1/2 inch high sides.
Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl until well blended.
Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat until blended. Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Divide batter between pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean about 30-40 minutes.
Cool cakes in pans on rack for 15 minutes.
Run a small knife between pan sides and cakes to loosen.
Turn pans upside down and gently pat to remove.
Then place cakes onto racks; cool completely.

Smashed

Smash cake:

smash cake n. a celebratory cake intended to be destroyed, especially by a child. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

I started baking smash cakes in partnership with my photography friends. All cakes are homemade, custom and made with love.

Here’s to a successful 2013.

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Linzer Cupcakes

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For the cake portion of the recipe use your go to vanilla recipe whether that be a from scratch recipe or a boxed recipe.

Linzer Style
Inspired by the Linzer torte cookie, this confection sandwiches fruit preserves between layers of cake. Follow these easy three-step directions:

1. Slice: With a sharp knife, remove the top from each cupcake. Use a small (1½-inch) cookie cutter to stamp out a favorite shape.

2. Sweeten: Place a small spoonful of preserves in the center of each cupcake. Sprinkle the tops with confectioners’ sugar.

3. Assemble: Holding it by the edges, carefully place each top on the bottom portion of the cupcake.

Carrot Cupcakes

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A perfect snow day calls for a perfect recipe. Martha Stewart’s Carrot Cupcakes from her book Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I’m specifying as I’ve noticed that the online recipes vary from her book with ingredients and preparation.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Carrot Cupcake:

1 Pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup buttermilk*
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

* I substituted buttermilk for the following : Measure 1 3/4 tablespoon cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk. Whisk to combine and let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, until curdled and then stir.

** fun fact: I made my substitute buttermilk and accidentally used the entire 1 cup instead of the 1/3 cup that the recipe calls for. Was questioning myself as to why the batter was on the thin side. Ding ding ding ding. Turns out it made the carrot cupcakes SUPER moist. Sooo moist my husband states “wow, I’ve never had a carrot cake/cupcake so moist” I would recommend sticking to the 1/3 cup buttermilk but if you end up doing what I did it they are still edible.

Icing:

Recipe calls for Cream-Cheese Frosting, however I made mine with homemade vanilla frosting.

Cream-Cheese Frosting- makes 4 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) unsealed butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Vanilla Frosting- makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalaried butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium- high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. After every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, the return to medium. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together carrots, eggs, buttermilk*, sugar, oil, vanilla and raisins (optional). In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

3. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with a mound of frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and, if desired, garnish with toasted coconut.

#cupcakethursday 8.2.12

Candied. Bacon. Cupcakes.

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Candied Bacon

1 pound bacon slices or thick-cut bacon slices. (I used low sodium)
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

Preparation

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place large rack on lined baking sheet. Arrange brown sugar coated bacon slices in single layer on rack. I noticed if you sprinkle brown sugar on the bacon while already on the rack excess sugar will fall underneath the rack and start to burn. Bake until bacon is crisp and glazed, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

#cupcakethursday 7.26.12

Salty & Sweet- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel cupcake.

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#cupcakethursday 07.19.12

Pucker up. Lemon buttercream with lemon zest and lemon cake.

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Cupcake batter for this particular #cupcakethursday was a boxed mix. I tend to gravitate towards Duncan Hines for cake mixes, in a time crunch this is the way to go.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Lemon zest and nonpareil for garnish

Directions:

Beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes, depending on desired consistency). Add vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until combined.

More banana than bread

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More banana than bread. Banana bread has always been my Achilles heel- until now. By far the best, easiest and perfect banana bread recipe. Courtesy of The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Banana Bread
Makes: one 9- inch loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus 1 hour 10 minutes cooling time

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 VERY RIPE bananas, mashed well (1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain yogurt (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped corse (optional)

Directions

1) Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9 by 5- inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

2) Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt (optional), and vanilla (optional) together is separate bowl. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the nuts (if using). Do not overmix; the batter will look thick and chunky.

3) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.

4) Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.

#cupcakethursday 6.28.12

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Vanilla on Vanilla.