Month: September 2011

Friday Night Lights Cookies

Friday Night Lights Cookies

This is more of a cookie decorating inspiration post rather than a recipe post. My roommate and I are ADDICTED to Friday Night Lights. So sad that the series has ended, but in celebration of Kyle Chandler’s recent Emmy win for his portrayal of Coach Taylor, Meghan decided to make some FNL cookies. Meghan used a gluten-free sugar cookie mix and used cookie cutters in the shape of a football helmet, football, star, jersey, and she hand-cut the state of Texas (talented girl, isn’t she?). She decorated them with Panther blue and yellow-colored buttercream.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Golden Snitch Pops

If you love Harry Potter, raise your hand! Meghan and I clearly do. Meghan made these adorable golden snitch cake pops and I can’t take one ounce of the credit, except for the photo! These were made with gluten-free cake mix, but you can use whatever type of cake you’d like. 

Golden Snitch Cake Pops
Print Recipe

1 box cake mix (plus required eggs, oil)
1 tub store-bought frosting
Yellow candy melts
Lollipop sticks
Gold sprinkles (bought ours at Williams & Sonoma)
White fondant

1. Make the cake pops according to Bakerella’s fabulous instructions.
2. Coat the cake pops with yellow candy melts. Before the candy melts set, roll the cake pop in gold sprinkles.
3. Cut wings out of white fondant. Attach the wings to the cake pops by cutting small slits into each side — and inserting the wings. For detailed instructions on this step, visit Amy Bites!


Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Sometimes finding good gluten-free from-scratch recipes is a challenge. Sometimes you just don’t feel like using rice flour or xantham gum or other slightly-obscure ingredients. The secret ingredient to these beauties is simple: black beans! I was intrigued and had to try. The end result got two thumbs up from Meghan, my reason for making g-free baked goods. These cupcakes were super simple to make and so delicious.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Recipe source: Chocolate & Carrots
Print Recipe

1 can (15.5 oz) reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin pan.
2. Blend the beans, 2 eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a food processor (or blender) on high until completely blended.
3. In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy; add the remaining two eggs and beat well after each. Beat in the bean mixture. Beat in the dry ingredients.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place a peanut butter cup on the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
6. For the icing, beat the peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar until combined. Add the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy.

German Chocolate Cake

My Dad’s birthday was on September 2nd. All he wanted from me was a German chocolate cake. I was relieved at this request because a) baking is my thing and b) I have no money to buy him expensive golf clubs. German chocolate cake is his favorite – apparently my mom, who cannot cook or bake to save her life, made him one of these cakes when they were dating. Aww. I don’t think she’s baked since.

I loathe coconut with the fire of a thousand suns, so I had to take their word for it that this cake was delicious. It disappeared off our counter within days and oh, the butter + pecan frosting smelled delicious. I also loved making this cake because I didn’t have to frost it! Sometimes I just want simplicity and this was it.

On another note, posts may be few and far between for the next few months. I’m traveling quite a bit between now and mid-October, so I won’t be baking much. Fall, Halloween, and winter are approaching — my favorite baking seasons — so I’m hoping to cook and bake as much as I can. But if things quiet down and tumbleweeds start to drift across my blog, I apologize.

Hope you’re all having a great September.

German Chocolate Cake
Recipe source:
Print Recipe

1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER’S GERMAN’S Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup  water
4 eggs, separated
2 cups  flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup  buttermilk

Coconut-Pecan Filling:
4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 pkg (7 oz.) sweetened flake coconut (2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray bottoms and sides of 9-inch round pans with non-stick spray.
2. Microwave chocolate and water in a microwave-safe bowl for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes (or until chocolate is almost melted). Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Beat egg whites in small bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well-blended after each addition.
4. Add egg whites; stir gently until well-blended. Pour into prepared pans.
5. Bake 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.
6. While the cakes cool, make the coconut filling. Beat egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add coconut and nuts; mixx well. Cool to desired spreading consistency.
7. Spread filling between each layer of cooled cake; top cake with a generous layer of filling.

Back-to-School Cupcakes

Summer’s officially gone, Labor Day has passed, and just about every kid in the world is back in school! I used to LOVE the back-to-school season. My mom would take me to every store in town so I could search for the *perfect* notebooks, the best pair of scissors, and the coolest pens and pencils. This was back when school was fun and carefree. Then high school, college, and graduate school rolled around. The excitement was replaced with a looming sense of dread about all of the work that was ahead! If you’re in the looming-sense-of-dread camp, be sure to make these cupcakes. Eat a few. Cupcakes cure all. :)

Back-to-School Cupcakes
Print Recipe

1 box cake mix (plus required eggs and oil)
1 batch frosting (you can make your own or use store-bought)
Chocolate-covered graham crackers (I used Keebler)
Red candies for the apples (Skittles, M&Ms, red runts will all work)
White Good ‘n’ Plenties for the chalk
Yellow and green food coloring

1. Make 24 cupcakes according to box mix directions — allow to cool completely before decorating.
2. Tint a portion of the frosting yellow and frost the cupcakes.
3. Pipe white frosting onto each chocolate-covered graham cracker and write school-inspired sayings. Place the completed crackers on top of each cupcake.
4. Place a red candy and a white candy on each cupcake.
5. Pipe a small dot of green frosting on top of the red candy to make it resemble an apple.