January 19th, 2012

Mississippi Mud Pie (A) [Club: BAKED]

Wow! It has been a LONG time since my last post. Since I officially defended my dissertation (yay #1) and landed a job at the University of Nebraska for the fall (yay #2), I am hoping I will have more time to bake and blog…I know I am a little late with my CLUB: Baked post, but better late then never. I actually made this last week, but then we went to Chicago and I forgot to bring my photos. Thanks to Jess from the Saucy Kitchen for picking this recipe – Mississippi Mud Pie (A) also known as the coffee ice cream tart! There are actually two versions of this in the BAKED book, hence the A.  You can find the recipe on the Saucy Kitchen blog right here.

I thoroughly enjoyed this pie! I have never been a huge coffeee ice cream fan, but this was really tasty. I probably could have eaten the whole thing myself, but luckily I had a meeting that I could take this to, so that didn’t happen! Like many others I could not find chocolate wafers (I have looked for these for other recipes and can never find them). So, I also used oreos with the cream scraped off.

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I have always been a fan of those oreo ice cream cakes so I was pretty sure this would taste good and it did not disappoint. The next layer was probably my favorite. That chocolate fudge layer between the cookie crust and the ice cream. It added a lot of flavor.

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I decided to make the ice cream myself. It took me a while to find the espresso powder, but when I finally found a local heath food store that carried it, the brand they had was the one recommended in the BAKED book. I didn’t include the Kahlua, mostly because I didn’t have any and didn’t want to buy it just for this recipe. Now that I think about it, maybe this was my favorte layer… I don’t know. As I said before, I have never been a coffee ice cream fan, but this was some good ice cream…. This could also be due to the fact that for the week before this I was trying to eat well and hadn’t really had any sugar. So, maybe I was just bound to like this!

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I think I overfilled my pie a bit or didn’t have the cookie crust come up on the sides enough because once I added my ice cream I couldn’t see the crust…

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Finally – time for the last  layer. The fudgey gooey chocolate on top. I decided not to add the nuts. I am not a big nut fan.

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I loved this pie and reading everyone’s posts because it made me think about all the possibilities of ways to change this up. I can’t wait to make a different version of this! If you are interested in seeing the other posts, you can check them out here.

Posted under Cakes | 3 Comments
November 15th, 2011

Buckeyes: A New Tradition [CLUB: Baked]

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It wasn’t until I met Josh that I had even heard of Buckeyes. I think the idea that us people on the coasts have never heard of these is true! Now that we are in Michigan I hear a lot about Buckeyes – not always in good ways, although I do like the MSU Dairy Store’s Buckeye Blitz ice cream – that is good! Now that I have my own ice cream maker I might need to try my hand at that one. Anyway, Since part of Josh’s family is from Ohio and some still live in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area these little tasty treats get made pretty regularly around the holidays. So, when we asked Josh’s grandmother to gather up some recipes and make us a family cookbook when we got married one of the recipes was his Aunt Amy’s Buckeye recipe – man, oh man – those Buckeyes are SO GOOD! The recipe makes a ton of them – 200 (or 100 in my case because I make them huge). So, when I saw that the CLUB: Baked second Nov pic hosted by none other than Karen the organizer of Club Baked (Check out her post on Karen’s Cookies, Cakes, and More) was Buckeyes, I was both intrigued and worried – I mean, I love the other recipe. I was worried I wouldn’t like this one as much. I must say though, now that I have made both that they are both good, definitely different, but both of them are good. Aunt Amy’s are sweeter than the Baked ones, which I guess makes sense since this was supposed to be a less sweet version that the ones his mom made. Anyway, even though I am in the furies of dissertation writing (I am sending it out to my committee this week!) I had to take the time to post about these. I actually made them a few weeks ago. I decided to freeze them and I am going to bring them to my parents for Thanksgiving.

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Okay, so here’s one big difference right here. In this recipe there are graham crackers… definitely makes the texture a little different than the other recipe. Also, there is cream cheese in these ones. Amy’s just have the peanut butter, margarine and sugar, and of course the chocolate.

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Yummy! Look at that. Oh yeah, I did end up getting a new Kitchen Aid mixer. So, now I have two. I couldn’t resist the price on this back in October at Sam’s Club and I love the red!

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Here they are ready to go. I used a little ice cream scoop to get them to be pretty uniform in size. I still had to roll each one of them after they were all scooped. These were not that easy for me to dip. I used a few different skewers and the peanut butter ball kept sliding off and right into the chocolate. :-( This did not make Lorraine a happy camper! I have this same problem when trying to make cake pops! I am not sure what my problem is! Eventually, I was able to get most of them dipped into the chocolate. Josh and I had a few and then plopped the rest in the freezer.

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Okay, now that my mouth is watering… back to the dissertation writing!

Posted under Other Sweets | 11 Comments
November 8th, 2011

Broken Glass Cupcakes for Halloween

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Long time…. no post. Sorry about that, but it is dissertation crunch time. Now that I have set the date for my defense I thought I would splurge and post about these cupcakes I made for Halloween. Someone had told me about these neat Martha Stewart Broken Glass cupcakes. Although it a little weird to have broken glass on a cupcake, I saw making the glass a challenge. So, I thought I would give it a shot. I had to make the glass a few times for it to actually look like glass. The first time it was really cloudy. It is like making caramel… you just don’t cook it for as long. The glass isn’t as clear as Martha’s, but I think these came out pretty good if I do say so myself… Now, back to writing…. I’ll see you in January (well, maybe I’ll sneak in a post here or there for the holidays – we’ll see)!

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October 3rd, 2011

A Birthday Treat – Ice Cream Cake

I have always been a big fan of ice cream cakes. They just seemed more special than other cakes and I think that is because we never had them. I mean, my mom always baked cakes, but who makes their own ice cream cakes? It just seemed to be a weird thing to make your own ice cream cake or something. So, on birthdays we would often have ice cream cakes. I LOVE ice cream cakes. So, I decided to be crazy and actually attempt to make my own ice cream cake. Searching on the Internet I came to realize that a homemade ice cream cake usually does not involve homemade ice cream… well then, I thought, how is that homemade? That seemed to be cheating if you ask me. So, I decided that I would use one of the recipes (this one here from the Food Network site) that includes store-bought ice cream, but just make my own… Then, Josh decided to give me my birthday present a few days early…

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Look at those… not only do I love dessert cookbooks one of them had ice cream cakes (he knew I was going to attempt this). I looked through the book and decided on two ice creams I would use and since I wanted a fairly traditional ice cream cake the first time I attempted this I decided to stick with the one from the Food Network site. I mixed up the ice cream batter the day before and this morning started the first batch – the vanilla in my Cuisinart.

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While that was mixing I got my springform pan ready for the Oreo Cookie crust – just some crushed Oreos and some butter.

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I love Oreo crusts! After getting the crust into the bottom of the pan I created the first layer of vanilla ice cream and put that in the freezer while I made the chocolate ice cream. Once that was ready and chilled for a while I added that to the vanilla layer.

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After that was on I added a layer of Oreo crumbs and then let it sit in freezer for a little bit before adding the last layer of vanilla ice cream.

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Once that was on, it had to freeze for another two hours. Once it was ready I popped off the outer part of the pan and added  the homemade whipped cream. I coated the whole cake with about 3-4 cups of whipped cream and then piped on some decorative spirals. I decided to sprinkle some multi-colored chocoalte chips and write a little Happy Birthday message for myself. Not bad for a first attempt!

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I couldn’t resit having  a piece of my cake with my buddy CC! How nice of him to stop by during Game 3! Go Yankees!

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October 3rd, 2011

Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins [Club: BAKED]

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I wasn’t sure that I was going to have time to make the Club: BAKED choice, but they sounded so good I had to do it! I know I am a few days late with my post, but I was at a meeting in Illinois and totally forgot to get my post up (even though I made these about a week ago). Thanks to Billie at Chocolate & Chakra for this one because it was so good.  I actually opted to do the opposite of what most people usually do – rather than halving the recipe –  I doubled the recipe this time around! I thought that despite what the book said about these being best eaten right away, that I would freeze these to eat each morning for breakfast.  We did of course each eat one right away, but then I froze the rest – 2 each in small pint-size freezer bags. See that can of pumpkin in the first picture? That was the only pumkin I could find. I’ve heard there is a shortage of pumkins this year with all the bad weather, particularly in the Northeast…. I think I will start stocking up. Here in Michigan I’ve noticed lots of pumkins for sale, but not much canned pumkin on the shelves. We are going to my parents for Thanksgiving this year, but I am sure I will still want to make my own pumkin pie at some point.

Anyway, these cooked up so well… and they smelled amazing when I took them out of the oven. I was debating whether I wanted to use muffin/cupcake liners because I hate when things stick to the pan, but that did not happen to any of these beauties.

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Josh and I decided to each have one with a cup of tea. We had just bought a new tin of loose tea… not big fans of the tea, but loved these muffins. I love the cayenne flavor – not too overpowering, but enough so that you can really taste it! SO good!

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I am also really glad I decided to do freeze them. In the morning I’ve been taking out one bag and placing the two muffins in the microwave for about 90 seconds. They are so good with a little bit of Earth Balance butter. It also makes me feel better about spending time baking… I should be cutting back so that I can finish that pesky dissertation! These served the purpose of not only feeding my baking addiction, but providing me with quick tasty breakfast for a while!

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September 25th, 2011

Cupcake Kabobs!

So, when we were in Turkey there were kabobs everywhere (I guess I should say kebaps instead). Little did I know… there is more than just the shish kebob. Kepab just means roasted meat and so, on the streets we saw many versions like this doner kebap . I guess dishes that are derived from this are shwarma and gyros. Anyway, enough about meat… this is a cupcake blog. I got this idea one day when I was browsing on Pinterest. Remember – you can follow me on Pinterest if you click here. I even added a board where I am going to post my attempts at stuff that I found on Pinterest. So, this post will be pinned soon! I had a gathering to go to and the main dish was going to be kabobs so I decided to make my own kebabs – cupcake kabobs. The original things I pinned can be found here. Here is how mine turned out….

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Cupcakes and a variety of other treats on skewers – how neat! Did I really grill them? No, but what a cool idea for a picture – I think that was Josh’s idea (I actually don’t remember who thought to do this). I made some mini chocolate cupcakes and used piped melted chocolate for the icing so that it could be easily put through the skewer. I included some chocolate covered marshmallows rolled in graham crackers (my s’mores on a stick) and some store bought wafers and rice krispie treats (or as the Cake Boss likes to call them – cereal treats). I think that these looked pretty cute, but I don’t know…. I’m not sure that they tasted as good. The wafers got a bit stale as they sat out and the cupcake was still a little hard to eat, but I really like those s’mores!

Posted under Cupcakes | No Comments
September 18th, 2011

Gluten-Free Vegan and Hi-Hat Cupcakes

In honor of my friend Aaron’s birthday (my other friend Aaron – not the one I posted about here), I thought I should post about two cupcakes I made about a month ago. Since Aaron’s biorthday is today and I made these a month ago these were not made for his birthday. I made them for a mathematics education gathering we had and Aaron was nice enough to let me take his picture with them! I made two different cupcakes and since I had some issues with getting everything together I don’t have any good pictures of the cupcakes themselves. I actually forgot to take the pictures until I got them to campus. Luckily I had my little camera with me.

So, my first cupcake was a gluten-free vegan cupcake. This one did not present me with any issues. I cheated a little and used a mix for this one. I was going to make them from stracth, but since I am not a big gluten-free eater I wasn’t sure what I would do with all the expensive ingredients afterwards so I opted for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix. Since I wanted these to be vegan as well I followed the directions for using flaxseed and water instead of eggs and I used the vegan butter Earth Balance. The frosting was this vegan coffee icing that I found from the Gluten-Free Goddess. Unfortunately, I don’t have a close-up of this one, but here is today’s birthday boy holding one of each. The gluten-free vegan one is on the left (in Aaron’s right hand). As someone who hasn’t had many gluten free vegan treats I thought it tasted pretty good!

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The one on the right that Aaron is holding is the infamous hi-hat cupcake. I don’t know what it was – the weather or what, but this one was impossible. I ended up having to make the meringue twice because when I tried to dip it the first time the meringue just slid off. I followed the directions exactly. I decided to use Martha Stewart”s recipe for these.  You can see it here. There is even two videos on the site explaining the process, but the videos didn’t help me much. I could not get the chocolate covered meringue to look as defined and high as the pictures. I was really bummed. Despite all my issues people really liked these. Here is one that I asked Aaron to cut open. We only had plastic knives though so it wasn’t easy!  :-)

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You can see the meringue underneath the chocolate, but as you can see it doesn’t have the height I was looking for…. Oh well. Better luck next time with these ones. I think I’ll try them on a less humid day and see if it was me or the weather!

Thanks Aaron for letting me snap your pictures with these and have a VERY happy birthday today!

Posted under Cupcakes | No Comments
September 15th, 2011

Bananas Foster Fritters [Club: BAKED]

Look’s like it is a two-post day. Since I got some good dissertation work in today I don’t feel too bad. Not only was it time to post for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club today, but it is that time again for the Club: BAKED post and I almost forgot to post these today! This time around Stephanie at Ice Cream Before Dinner picked Bananas Foster Fritters. So, I made these a while ago and didn’t have as much success as I would have hoped. I was excited to try my hand at frying again. I had pretty decent success with the doughnuts a few month ago, but this one… not so much.

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Everything seemed to be going fine, but I am guessing the oil temperature just got too hot because I had to take the fritters out so they wouldn’t burn. I took them out and from the outisde they looked pretty good.

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But, check out the inside… Not quite done! I decided to plop them in the oven and although I don’t have another picture they did cook up some more and weren’t as mushy inside. Anyway, in the end they did taste pretty good.

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Posted under Other Sweets | 13 Comments
September 15th, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes [MSC]

Happy Back to School everyone! So, about a month ago I gave you all this little teaser…

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What a perfect time for these cupcakes. I made theses Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcakes for Josh’s birthday since he is a big peanut butter and jelly fan, but saved the post because it is the September Martha Stewart Cupcake Club pick. This one was chosen by none other than the Club:BAKED (another baking club I participate in) organizer herself, Karen from Karen’s Cookies Cakes and More. I started them the day before Josh’s birthday. I didn’t take too many pictures because I knew I was also going to be making that Chocolate Salted Caramel 3-Layer Cake as well that week (since Josh’s birthday is the day before our anniversary) and just didn’t have the time to be snapping a lot of photos. Here’s one of what they looked like pre-jelly.
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The jelly really made a difference. I think without it these would have been too dry. Maybe it is just me since I am not a big peanut butter fan (unless it is paired with chocolate!), but these were not my favorite from Martha’s book. I was the kid who never liked peanut butter and jelly. I was more of a cream cheese and jelly fan. Anyway, here is a few all plated up.

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Josh agreed that these were okay. I brought the remainder of them to a meeting I had the next day.

Posted under Cupcakes | 6 Comments
September 5th, 2011

Something I never thought I’d make from scratch!

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Yep that’s right – I actually made my own ice cream. I had been eyeing an ice cream maker for a while and so before the summer was over I thought I’d splurge. I bought the Cuisinart ICE-21. It makes 1 1/2 quarts. I haven’t made anything recently, but have collected up some pictures of my various creations so I could post about them at some point. By the way, that photo above was from my first attempt. Josh touched up the photo and made it look a little retro. For some reason making ice cream seemed retro to me!  Anyway, I thought I’d try the big three – ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. The first thing I made was the ice cream – Josh’s favorite – Mint Chocolate Chip.

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I know it doesn’t look too good hear – it looks a little runny, but that is because this was right after it came out of the machine. I decided right after this to let it sit in the freezer for a while, but didn’t take any additional pictures. What a difference that made – it hardened up quite a bit and was like a store bought hard ice cream, but better because I actually made it!

Next up was the sorbet. I couldn’t find a picture of my sorbet by itself. So, if you looked at my waffles post you have already seen this. I decided to try a Mexican Chocolate Sorbet. I wish it had a little more kick. I used spicy choclate and I added cayenne pepper. I guess next time I’ll have to add a little more cayenne.

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And finally…. the frozen yogurt. I thought that trying a frozen yogurt would be nice because frozen yogurt is probably a bit better for you than ice cream and I thought I could make a nice summer flavor. I decided to go with one of my favorite fruits – strawberries. Of the three, this was my favorite. I liked the Mint Chocolate Chip, but I think I liked the texture and consistency of this frozen yogurt better.

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In addition to this strawberry frozen yogurt being tasty the photo became quite popular. Josh used this as one of his pictures of the day on Smugmug and it got a ton of comments. Of all the pictures we have up it is the second most popular. Check out this one and our other photos here.

Posted under Other Sweets | No Comments
LorrainePhD Welcome to
PhDcupcaker,
my site devoted
to all things
cupcake (and
other sweets)!
 
When I started this blog I was
on my way to earning my PhD
in mathematics education. Since
then, I have earned my PhD and
moved from one B1G Ten school
Michigan State, to another, The University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
Hopefully as an assistant
professor I'll still have some
time for cupcakes.
 
If you are looking for my professional site you can find it at: http://lorrainemales.com

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