Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins


I love a good, easy, blueberry muffin. There's nothing more classic, is there? These muffins are so easy - you don't even need any equipment other than a bowl, spatula and muffin tin. I love these for when we have company in town, because they're so quick and easy to whip up, but we enjoy them on any slow weekend morning!


I love how the lemon juice and lemon zest really help to brighten the flavors in these muffins. Classic blueberry muffins are good as is, but lemon and blueberry are such natural compliments, I couldn't resist! You'll also notice that these muffins call for cardamom. If you haven't used cardamom before, it's a relative to cinnamon, but a little bit lighter. I love it with citrus flavors, and it's delicious with the blueberries as well! Check out my other cardamom recipes here!


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Ingredients: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 lemon juice
zest of one lemon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup blueberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease or line a muffin tin. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through cardamom. In another bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sour cream through butter, mixing until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Bake 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes


Valentine's Day may still be a month away, but it's never too early to start planning your Valentine's Day desserts! These strawberry champagne cupcakes are a perfect Valentine's Day dessert because they sound super fancy, but they're really not at all! I also love that they can be made ahead of time, so if you're planning a nice dinner for two you don't even have to think about dessert on the day of.


You guys know that I like flavor in my baked goods. So if you don't like champagne, these are probably not the cupcakes for you! But if you DO like champagne, read on my friend! I love how light the flavor in these cupcakes is - it really does taste like you're eating champagne! The fruitiness of the strawberry buttercream compliments the cake so well, and I love the pieces of real strawberry in it.


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Champagne Cake Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon LorAnn Sparkling wine extract
1/3 cup sparkling wine
1/4 cup buttermilk

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons strawberry extract
3 strawberries, very finely diced (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners. Combine flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add extracts, egg, yolk, champagne and buttermilk, mixing to combine. The batter may look piecy at this stage, which is ok! Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Pour batter into liners and bake for 14-16 minutes.

For the buttercream: Whip the butter in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and extracts, mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Then increase speed to high for about 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the strawberry, if using. Frost with a big tip to avoid the strawberry pieces getting stuck.


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Kirsten Bell
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Simple and Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes

Simple and Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes


These vanilla cupcakes may be simple, but they are definitely not plain! This classic dessert is full of rich, vanilla flavor and is perfect for any occasion. The easy vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting come together in less than an hour, making this a perfect go-to cupcake recipe!


I have been on a mission the last few days for the perfect vanilla cupcakes! I wanted them to be full of rich vanilla flavor, but also really easy to make! Simple in every sense of the word. I also didn't want to include ingredients that were difficult to find or expensive to buy. I'm looking at you, vanilla beans!

Make these for the next birthday party, or even for Valentine's Day with some fun red and pink sprinkles! You'll love what a quick and easy cupcake recipe this is, and everyone else will love how delicious they taste!




Makes 12 standard cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients: 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt (greek or regular is fine)
1/4 cup buttermilk

Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients: 

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream, if needed 

Cupcake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, vanilla, yogurt and buttermilk and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Then add the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tin, filling the liners evenly to about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool before removing from liners.

Buttercream Directions: 

Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high, and mix about 2-3 minutes. Frost the cooled cupcakes, and serve!



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Kirsten Bell
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Healthier Cinnamon Rolls

Healthier Cinnamon Rolls


Good morning and happy Friday! Even though it was a short work week, I am sure ready for the weekend! Funny how the holidays make real life so much more of a struggle, right? Well if you're not quite ready for all good things to come to an end, today I'm sharing my recipe for healthier cinnamon rolls with you! Buttery, flakey, full of cinnamon goodness - but made with wayyyyy less sugar. Perfect for a delicious breakfast or brunch this weekend!


I actually have never been one to LOVE cinnamon rolls, because usually they are so intense and sugary. I'd usually feel like I went into an immediate diabetic coma and had gained 4 cavities in the time it took me to eat half the cinnamon roll. So when I went about creating this recipe, I knew that I wanted it to be different.

I wanted a yeasty, flakey roll with warm cinnamon and topped with cream cheese frosting. So I reduced the sugar in the bread by about half, almost took all the sugar out of the filling, and reduced the sugar in the frosting by 1/16. Yes, 1/16. And it's amazing!




Ingredients: 

Rolls:

4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 large egg
2 egg yolks

Filling:

3 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: 

Whisk together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. Heat the buttermilk, water and butter together until hot to the touch. Either in the microwave or on the stove top is fine - just be sure it's hot for the yeast. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir to combine. Add the egg and egg yolks. Dough will be thick.

On a lightly floured surface or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, knead the dough about four minutes. Then form the dough into a ball, and let rest about 5-10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200.

After you've waited 5-10 minutes, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Mine was far from perfect, so don't stress this part. You'll just want it to be as evenly rolled and as close to a rectangle as possible.

Then spread the butter over the rolled dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the butter.

With the long side of the dough facing you, tightly roll the dough. Cut into 12 even pieces, and arrange in a lightly greased 8x8 casserole dish. Lightly cover the top of the pan with foil, and place in the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, turn the oven off and allow the rolls to continue rising in the oven for about 45-50 minutes.

After the rolls have risen and roughly doubled in size, heat the oven to 375 and bake 25-30 minutes.

When the rolls have cooled a bit - at least 15 minutes, they can be frosted! Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl, and stir to combine. I used a spatula for this. Then spread the frosting over the slightly cooled cinnamon rolls and serve!


If you love cinnamon (the real stuff, not red hots - gross!), check out my recipe for Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookies or my Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Coffee Creamer!


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Kirsten Bell
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Cherry Almond Biscotti

Cherry Almond Biscotti


I love biscotti, because they're such simple yet delicious cookies. They are soooo good enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and are a perfect afternoon treat!

I used to not really like biscotti, because they all seemed kind of dry and flavorless to me. Then I started experimenting with making them myself, and discovered that a fresh, homemade biscotti is nothing like one from the store or coffee shop.

These biscotti cookies can be stores in an airtight container for up to three weeks, so they're really perfect for impromptu guests or just enjoying a quiet moment to yourself.


Did you know? Biscotti in Italian actually means twice baked, and these cookies are appropriately named because, you guessed it, they're baked twice! Biscotti are very easy to make, but I'd recommend reading through the directions before getting started if you've never made biscotti before to familiarize yourself with the steps.

I seriously debated dipping these in dark chocolate, and you totally can! Maybe I will when I make future batches! But sometimes I think there's something really nice about a simple recipe.  I really enjoy the subtle almond and bright cherry flavors in these, which would be overpowered by chocolate.


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through cinnamon and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together melted butter, vanilla and eggs. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until just combined. Dough will be sticky! Add almonds and cherries, and mix until they're all incorporated.

Moisten your hands, and separate the dough in two. Form into two logs on the prepared baking sheet, about 8 inches by 3 inches, continuing to moisten hands as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to you. As you can see in the photo below my logs were not exactly even, and that's ok.


Bake for 35 minutes, or until the logs are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and allow them to cool about 20-25 minutes, or until they're just warm to the touch. Then use a serrated knife, and cut the logs into 1 inch slices. I discard the ends (by discarding I mean I eat them then and there haha!), just because they're not as pretty.


Arrange the biscotti slices flat side down on the baking sheet, and bake again for about 15 minutes or until golden. 


Serve with tea or coffee, and enjoy!



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Kirsten Bell
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Irresistibly Fun and Easy Gingerbread Cupcakes

Irresistibly Fun and Easy Gingerbread Cupcakes


It's been a while since I shared a new cupcake recipe with you! I've been working on this gingerbread cupcake recipe for a few weeks, and have been doing lots of taste testing haha! This is the perfect holiday party recipe, because the cupcakes are such a traditional Christmas dessert flavor, but in a new form. I also love that when I serve them as mini cupcakes they're so easy for people to eat in a party setting.



What I found interesting in making these cupcakes is that I needed to tone down the traditional spices quite a bit compared to what you would find in a gingerbread cookie recipe. Now they're still definitely present, prominent and flavorful, but not overwhelming.


My other "secret" ingredient is coffee. I tested this recipe with milk, buttermilk, water, eggnog (not even kidding haha!), and coffee. They all turned out well, but using coffee added a delicious level of richness and depth to the gingerbread flavor that I loved.


Aren't the sprinkles on these so fun? I can't not mention them, because I think they're so cute! They're such a perfect finishing touch and really elevate the final product. When I served these cupcakes this past weekend, so many people commented on how cute the sprinkles are. 


Ingredients: 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup coffee
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350, and line two mini cupcake tins with liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through cloves, and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, molasses and coffee, mixing until combined. Your batter will look kind of piecy at this stage, and that's ok! It will all come together in the next step.

Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing on low speed until just combined and making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl often.

Fill mini cupcake liners about 2/3 full each of the batter, and bake for 7-9 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing on low. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

At this point you can add a little more powdered sugar if the frosting needs to be thicker, or a little bit of milk if it's too thick. Beat on high for a few minutes to fluff up the frosting, and then fill a piping bag and frost your completely cooled cupcakes.

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Kirsten Bell
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The Best Fresh Cranberry Banana Bread

The Best Fresh Cranberry Banana Bread


This simple banana bread recipe is quick, easy and oh-so delicious! I'm always on a mission to create a moist banana bread recipe, and have found one easy trick is to add fresh berries (you may remember my blueberry banana bread recipe - same concept!). Since we're in the middle of fresh cranberry season I decided to use cranberries in this bread, and I love how they add a pop of bright flavor to every bite!


Quick breads are one of my favorite things to make, because they're...well, quick! It's always nice to have recipes that are super easy to throw together when you have company in town or just get a sudden hankering for something sweet with your coffee. If you're new to baking, this is a great recipe to learn how to make banana bread. It's such an easy banana bread recipe, and pretty dang foolproof.


Ingredients:

Bread

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 large bananas
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries (frozen can be used too)

Streusel

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a loaf pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through cinnamon, in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - about three minutes. Add the milk, egg, banana and vanilla to the sugar and butter, mixing until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches on low speed, mixing until the batter is just combined. Overmixing is what makes breads dry and tough. Gently fold in the nuts and cranberries, and pour into the greased loaf pan.

Rub the streusel ingredients together with your fingers until it comes together in crumbs. Sprinkle streusel on top of the banana bread batter, and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15-20 minutes before cutting in, and then enjoy!





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Kirsten Bell
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Festive and Fancy (But Easy) Peppermint Chocolate Mousse

Festive and Fancy (But Easy) Peppermint Chocolate Mousse


This delicious peppermint mousse is festive, delicious and (my favorite), it's actually a really easy chocolate mousse recipe! It was actually inspired by the homemade peppermint bark recipe I'm working on! I just love the flavor combination of peppermint and chocolate, and this is such a delicious and elevated way to serve it.

I've changed the recipe slightly to add the peppermint flavor, but the root chocolate mousse recipe is one from my middle school French class days.


I can still remember that feeling. The pit of dread in my stomach. I had finished all my homework, studied for upcoming tests, and finally climbed into bed around 10 at night. Then as I lay there, cozying up and willing sleep, my eyes flew open as I suddenly remembered. Tomorrow in French class was our French party, and I had signed up to make chocolate mousse for 35 people. Oh, merde.

Suffice it to say, everyone in my family knows this recipe like the back of their hand after countless late nights of making it. And we all still like it, so that has to count for something!

This is a great dessert for holiday parties, and just substitute vanilla for the peppermint extract and you can serve it all year round. This recipe doubles (and triples and quadruples) easily, so whether you're serving 6 people or 35, it will be a success. 




Ingredients:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons water
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 teaspoons peppermint extract (or vanilla)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Directions:

Combine chocolate chips, water and salt in the top of a double boiler until melted. Meanwhile beat the egg whites until stiff. 

Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla extract. Fold (don't mix) the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Beat the whipped cream until fluffy, and stir into mixture.

Spoon into dessert cups and chill a minimum of 1 hour - we usually chill it for a few hours so it's really set.

Serve topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes, or garnished with fresh peppermint.


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Kirsten Bell
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