December 11th was coworker Marcie’s birthday. I promised her some goodies for her birthday, but I’ve been sick for a while. I was finally well enough on Monday to bake for her. She had mentioned that she likes “chocolate with vanilla topping”, so I decided to make her these cupcakes.
I’m normally not a cupcake person, because I don’t really enjoy frosting. Whipped cream, however, I absolutely LOVE!!! 🙂
I’ve made the cake part of these before in one of my Sweet Melissa Sunday posts.
Hubs and I had just the cake part as breakfast: Naked Cupcakes = Muffins! 😀
I gave four of these to Marcie as her dedicated portion, and brought the rest into work. They were well-loved! I love it when people enjoy my food! 🙂
Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from Chocolate Malted Layer Cake of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
Makes 24 Cupcakes
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 packets Starbucks VIA
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup hot water
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, Starbucks VIA, baking soda, and salt, and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs until smooth.
4. Add the egg mixture tot he flour mixture, and mix until combined.
5. Meanwhile, melt the unsweetened chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each 30-second interval. When the chocolate is completely melted, whisk in the vegetable oil until smooth.
6. Add the hot water in a stream and mix until combined. The batter will be loose.
7. Divide the batter evenly into two 12-muffin muffin tins lined with muffin liners.
8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Cool completely.
Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all ingredients and whip on high until stiff peaks form.
2. Decorate cupcakes (I just put a dollop because I’m too lazy to pipe).
I was craving mango salsa a while back. Took me a while to satisfy this craving because I don’t eat cilantro or a lot of raw onions, so I had to make my own.
This was yummy and totally satisfied my craving! The cucumber and nectarine gave the salsa some crunch and freshness! Loved it!!!
Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa
6 Skinless, Boneless, Chicken Thighs, visible fat-removed
8 Taco-Sized Flour Tortillas, heated
8 tsp Mexican blend Shredded Cheese
2 Cups Mango Salsa (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chicken as flat as possible on baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt.
3. Bake chicken in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from oven and shred into bite-sized pieces with two forks.
5. Serve with warmed tortillas, cheese, and the mango salsa.
8 oz can of tomato sauce (I used Rotel Mild Zesty Tomato Sauce)
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced finely
1 Cucumber, peeled, diced finely
1 Nectarine, diced finely
2 Mangoes, diced (I couldn’t find any fresh mangoes, so I used a bag of frozen mangoes)
1 Lime (just the juice)
1. Mix everything together, and serve with chicken tacos, or tortilla chips!
I’ve always wanted to (successfully) make steamed buns. I tried a couple times, but it never turned out the way I want it to, but this was before I started to bake bread. Now that I have more experience in the bread-making category, I decided to give steamed bread another go.
When coming straight out of the steamer, these were DELICIOUS! However, once cooled, they get kind of tough and chewy, but it’s nothing a little resteaming or microwave-heating won’t fix. 😛
Personally, I like the brown sugar version more than the green onion version (I don’t eat green onions), but I think it also depends on whether you like sweet buns or savory buns. 😛
I need to work on my rolling skills because I can’t roll the dough thin enough to make proper “flower petals”.
Chinese Steamed “Flower Rolls” (adapted from 姨媽‧姑姐‧記事簿)
300g All-Purpose Flour
100g Water (100g Milk)
1 tsp (3.5g) Baking Powder
1 tsp (3.5g) Active Dry Yeast
1/8 Cup Sugar (1/4 Cup (35g) Brown Sugar)
Canola Oil (Condensed Milk)
Green Onions, diced (optional)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix flour, water, baking powder, yeast, and sugar until clumpy.
2. Gradually add in the milk and mix until a smooth dough forms.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm/moist area for 1 hour.
4. Place dough on a flat well-floured surface and roll dough to about 1/4-inch thick.
5. Brush dough with canola oil, and sprinkle with green onions.
6. Make 3 folds creating a 4-layer piece of dough. Cut into 6 equal pieces.
7. Place chopstick on the center of each piece so that the opened layers are visible to the left and right of the chopstick. Gather the layers on either side, stretch it away from the chopstick, twist, and tuck underneath the rest of the roll. (See video below.) Place tucked-side down onto a small piece of parchment paper.
8. Place rolls in steamer and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
9. Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes.
In April (yeah, I’m “slightly” behind), coworker Chiemi brought in a bunch of giant lemons from her lemon tree and gave me a bunch to make lemon bars. I’ve never made lemon bars before. I don’t even think I’ve ever HAD a lemon bar, so I was kind of clueless as to an “ideal” recipe to use.
I searched through a bunch of recipes listed in a google search. They can range from using 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, to a whole cup of lemon juice, or using only the juice of one lemon to one whole ground up lemon. I guess it all depends on how lemony you want your bars.
After looking through some recipes and asking some coworkers on what they look for in a lemon bar, I decided to go with the whole cup of lemon juice route. I settled on Ina Garten’s Lemon Bar recipe.
They were a HIT!! I’m sure the home-grown lemons contribute to the success, but people LOVED the shortbread in this lemon bar!!!
Definitely will make again! ❤
Lemon Bars (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
For the fillings:
6 eggs, room temperature
2.5 cups white sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light.
3. Add flour and salt to the butter mixture and mix on low until incorporated.
4. Press dough evenly into a 9×13 baking pan.
5. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack, and keep oven on.
6. While crust is cooling, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and flour.
7. Run mixture through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps of flour.
8. Stir in the lemon zest into the lemon and eggs mixture.
9. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
10. Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.