Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall 2009 Baking

Like I said in my profile, I'm a college student at Texas Tech. So every once in awhile I get the time to bake and do alittle experimenting!
During the summer and holiday time when I am not at school, I work at a cute little kitchen store, The Kitchen Drawer. My boss and coworkers are so much fun and there is never a dull moment, especially when you have tons of cooking magazines/catalogs to read through! All this saying, over the summer, my boss ordered Collegiate cake molds! Naturally I HAD to have the Double T! Brownies are so yummy in it, especially those who love crunchy edges!

Next up is the blueberry-lime poundcake!Sorry for the poor picture! :( This poundcake was just as beautiful as it was satifying! I got this recipe from The Best of Fine Cooking, Sweet Cake (Holiday baking issue), and honestly it is just a normal poundcake with lime zest and fresh blueberries. So, I'm thinking any small fruit or flavoring will go great inside!

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, my roomate invited me to a mock "Thanksgiving" party. Everyone had to bring I baked! A classic spiced apple pie. All your favorites, apples, cinnomin, nutmeg, lemon zest, and brown sugar! There is no way to go wrong with this! Once again, sorry for the bad picture, it was eaten before I got a final product pic, so here it is about to head into the oven!

**Don't be deceived by the "latice" crust. All I did was take a small paring knife and cut little square out. A cookie cutter would have been easier but in my apartment kitchen...not so lucky!

Rehearsal Dinner Desserts

This catering event was for a wedding rehearsal dinner. The couple go to school at TCU and the mother of the bride and the bride wanted a TCU purple cupcake tower....with MINI cupcakes! She sent me the most delicous cupcake recipe from the Magnolia's Bakery in New York. So sadly, I can't take credit for the taste of these vanilla cupcakes but I can share the recipe! Like I said, they asked for mini cupcakes but I didn't mention how many...12 dozen! So this recipe is for 24 normal size, but if you want to make mini's, I got about 3 1/2 dz. per batch of batter.

Vanilla Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake papers
In a small bowl, combine the flours, set aside
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of and electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat unil smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition ( about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

And ta da! here they are!

Now on my computer, these cupcakes are purple but the color hasn't come through very well...thats okay because did I mention I made a GAINT cupcake for the center?! This cupcake was not for eating, so I used 2 boxed cake mixes to make sure the cupcake could hold its own weight.

They were soo yummy and soo fun to make!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where it all began....

So in the summer of 2009, I was at a dinner party in which a family friend requested my help to prepare her son's graduation dinner. Dying to help I said yes! Having never prepared a large dinner party I set right away to planning the perfect menu. This is what I created and now this menu is now a staple in my book.
Graduation Dinner Party:
* Shrimp cocktail in shot glasses

* Cheese straws

* Cold Brie dip with vegetables

* Strawberry and mangrine orange spinach salad with vinaigrette

Main Course-
* Herbs de Provence crusted beef tenderloin
**Sorry no picture for this one...They ate it all up before I could get to it!
* Baby red potatoes and green bean saute

* Raspberry-lime Cake

* White Chocolate Poundcake

* Chocolate covered strawberries

So there it first catering menu! More menus to come!

< Peace, Love and Cooking