Category Archives: Recipes

Champagne Cupcakes and Champagne Jello Shots

Back in 2011 I posted this recipe for NYE themed cupcakes and champagne jello shows. The recipe is actually really yummy and since I shared it before I had many readers, I decided to re-post my own post. Hope that’s not against blog rules. BTW since the post is circa 2011 I believe that was like iPhone4 time frame so excuse the burly pictures. If I remake these this year I will be sure to reshoot proper photos!

Here’s your shopping list:
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne, I used Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the softened butter and sugar until it’s well incorporated and beat until light and fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time and beat the mixture well after each egg. Then add vanilla and beat the mixture some more to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and light and airy. (there’s a lot of beating involved in this recipe) This is a dense cupcake batter so I like to try to make it as airy as possible. Next in a separate bowl shift flour, baking soda, baking power and salt. Then in another separate bowl (yes you will have 3 bowls going on at one time) whisk together champagne and sour cream. Careful of the bubbles. Now add flour mixture and champagne mixture alternately to the butter mixture. Make sure to start and stop with the flour mixture. Then be sure to mix everything together really well. Spoon batter into cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers, fill the molds about 1/2 full. Bake 17-22 min… just until the cakes are starting to turn light brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake or you’ll be left with dry cupcakes.

I found that since the champagne crystalizes as you bake you will be left with little sugary crystals in your cakes… yummy.

For the champagne buttercream frosting:

3 tbsp. champagne or sparking wine (I used Sofia again it’s my favorite sparking wine)
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In an electric mixer, beat together soften butter and powdered sugar. Once your have nice thick and fluffy frosting slowly add the 3 tbsp. of champagne to the mixture mixing well. You can add more or less to taste just be sure if you add more to adjust the amount of powered sugar you add so you don’t end up with watery frosting.

Put frosting in a pastry bag and just cut off the tip and frost cooled cupcakes (yes important be sure your cakes are cool this is a buttercream frosting and will melt on warm cakes) Then I topped with pastel yellow pearlized sprinkles to look like bubbles. (you can get this sprinkles from Michael’s if you can’t find in grocery store, I think Party City (coupons here) carries them too.) Make sure to keep your completed cakes in the refrigerator and serve and enjoy!

Then onto the champagne jello shots:

Shopping list:
2 packages Mixcheif by Jello, add your own juice… .25oz packages
pineapple juice (pasteurized, this is important or it won’t set up)
champagne or sparking wine (again I used Sofia)
peach schnapps and/or St. Germain (this is an elderflower liquor it’s super yummy)
sliced strawberries

This is what the jello package looks like:

So here’s what I did:
Combine 1/2 pineapple juice and 1/2 water and bring to a boil. Slowly mix in the 2 packages of jello and let boil while mixing for 3 minutes to be sure jello mixture is dissolved. Then take off heat. I added 1 1/2 cups champagne (with a little peach schnapps and St. Germain in the champagne mixture to sweeten it up) to the hot jello mixture, poor into cups, throw in a sliced strawberry and chill for at least 4 hours. Then ta-da, New Years Eve jello shots.

Just a note, you can’t use fresh pineapple or the jello won’t set due to the enzymes. Pineapple juice is pasteurized and the enzymes are killed during this process, and boiling the pineapple juice also breaks down the enzymes so it will gel.


Best Idea Ever

So for those that know me, I love baking cupcakes. I love baking anything in fact, but cupcakes are just so easy to serve. No cutting, you don’t really even need a plate. So of course I think this is the BEST idea ever!! One would think Mason Jars are make for this. Just remember to buy the “wide mouth” large mason jar or you won’t be able to get your liners out. Enjoy!!

cupcake-mason-jar

 


Design Star White Room Challenge

Ok well on Design Star, it’s called the White Box Challenge, the spin-off series is called White Room Challenge. (which I am excited to say is filming season 2 as we speak!) Either way, I love reviewing this challenge. I’ve been there, done that, so no excuses in my book. Here’s the thing, these designers auditioned for Design Star and therefore knew (unless they are the unlucky 1st to go) that this challenge was coming. There is no excuse for not having a concept!! So with that being said, lets get onto the reviews!!

 

Up first, Danielle.  It’s a nice room. The graphic is pretty. I do love black and I like the gold. I just wish there was another color involved. Like a surprise hot pink, or something…something to get me excited. Nothing is really repurposed. I think part of the challenge was to take an item and turn it into something else. Well I see a sofa, coffee table end table and lamp. It looks like she may have tuned her side table into her coffee table… Nothing is really wowing me. You can tell from this space she has a good eye. I understand why she placed the ugly lamp to the right of the sofa. The X graphic is intentionally not centered and she wanted to fill the vertical space to the right of the sofa. Doing so helps balance the space. It’s too bad what she had was that lamp. She probably could have pulled it off if she had changed the shade. It’s ok Danielle I had an ugly light in my white room, it happens. The judges really ripped you on the lamp, but at the end of the day it’s just a lamp. I do wish you would have done something to the floor to make it appear different from the walls. Overall nice job.

 

Up next Britany. It’s another taped painted wall graphic. (Oh man was there a lot of blue tape happening, not just in Britany’s room in every room) Ok so it’s safe. I really wanted a huge graphic “Britany special” but instead we got a play on wainscoting. It’s been done before (Nina season 5 did something similar) It’s pretty and makes an impact on camera but it’s predictable and I don’t think Britany’s design style is predictable. Again the walls blend into the floors. The coffee table is, well it’s a coffee table. It’s nice but I want a wow. Her wow moment was the neat chandelier she created with gold chains and a lattice end table. That was a pretty moment Britany. It reminds me of a chandelier Emily Henderson did for a Pinterest Challenge. Here she is being super cute and wearing it as a skirt.

So nice job Britany. I can’t wait to see more. So far it’s two very blue rooms… I know you have way more up your pretty little sleeves.

Rachel, what can I say you knocked it out the park. You took the painted wall graphic to a new level and I thank you. I do want to know how many paint colors you guys got!!?? On my White Room Challenge we got 3, and I purchased Emerald Green, black and white. I see my color pallet in your room but you popped it with pink, purple and yellow. The use of pattern is superb and current. The Moroccan tile inspired black and white graphic mixed with an irregular chevron and then finished up with a black and white stripe. Love it. I too have a fashion design background and I like your  freehanded fashion lady. I love all the plants, it’s a tad overkill, but that could also be due the fact they are in their plastic pots and not pretty pots. (which totally isn’t your fault, budgets and time factor in on this) I would have liked to see the pots maybe dipped inpaint… just to give them a bit more detail.

Like these. Just a thought. Overall good job Rachel. You got the win and I 100% agree.

 

And here we have Bex’s room. Let me just say, there is one color as a designer I have a hard time using and that color is purple. Don’t ask me why it’s so hard for me. Anytime a client asks for purple, lavender or aubergine or whatever you want to call it I get a sickening feeling in my stomach. I don’t know why. I have worked with purple at clients request and it turns out pretty every time but I just have to be honest, it’s not my color. Here Bex picked a blue shade of purple. It’s not a bad color and it looks good on camera and she’s wearing it. I love the copper silhouette, reminds me of those vintage silhouette necklaces and broaches. And I do appreciate she thought out of the box a little more than other contestants. The PVC pipe screens show her ability to reuse things in unexpected ways (which was part of the challenge but the judges didn’t talk much about it in judging) Nice job Bex.

Here’s Mikel. Out of all the rooms his room appears pretty bland and I think it has to do with the paint color. My biggest pet peeve in the spin-off White Room Challenge was the use of bland colors and unfortunately they came back again in Mikel’s room. This is your chance to go big, not bland. The way he stamped his rug was great. The sofa is a reddish color, which is ok. I’m not loving this color pallet it feels a bit dated and traditional. I know Mikel is not dated or traditional. I wish he would have pulled his color pallet from this outfits because he dresses so well. The wood elements are ok for me. Nothing special. The rope detail was neat and shows hints of his creative talents. I just wish I saw all his talent come though not just hints. Not bad Mikel but I know you have more to show us.

Luca. I am just going to be completely honest and say I highly dislike this room. I 100% disagree with the judges and think Luca should have went home. There is NOTHING special in this room. Ok wait the tiny light fixture was neat. The rest just bad. He used 80’s oak color contact paper for the flooring… bad. And there a weird literal butter color on the wall, which clashes with the floors. This doesn’t make me want to see more from Luca. I will say he’s lucky he’s getting another chance next week. Let see if he can live up to all this big talk from day 1.

 

Ok Kris. Another room I’m not in love with. I also did not like his camera challenge. I will say the concept for this room was the best out of all the designers. But the room isn’t living up to the concept for me. My husbands a firefighter and this really isn’t something someone wants to see, a burned house. What about all those people who have lost their homes, or even worst loved ones in a fire, I’m sure they didn’t appreciate this either. Then you though a flag into the mix. It’s isn’t representing Americana. Sorry, even though the concept was creative, the overall design was slightly offensive and I think Kris should have been in the bottom.

 

Jordan, Jordan Jordan! I’m really upset Jordan went home. I liked him on camera and I think he knew this wasn’t his best work but he CLEARLY wasn’t the worst. His concept wasn’t great but at least he had one… Luca… The red bamboo arch shows me hints of his talent. He got busted by the judges for just buying items and putting them into the room, well I will say a lot of designers just keep the items they had and placed them into the room… so why is everyone picking on Jordan 🙁 I really don’t have much to say, the room and concept is better than Luca’s, Jordan reads on camera better than Luca. Jordan should have stayed.

And here’s Hilari. The mint green jewelry box. I like mint green, in fact thats the color that is on my nails right now. I just don’t understand why she pinked mint for her jewelry bling bling concept. It isn’t working.

See mint can work in a color pallet. Here it’s paired with pinks and yellows. I would love to do mint right in an interior… any takers!!? The fringe on the sofa was really her only good moment. Hilari mentioned she isn’t handy, but no excuses lady. You knew this challenge was coming. She deserved to be in the bottom, but I respect the fact that she knew it wasn’t her finest hour. I don’t think she should have gone home… Luca…. did I mention Luca should have gone home!!?? But I do agree her room was in the bottom. Hillari I’m sure will bounce back, she’s a smart and has a great personality on camera.

 

Last up Stanley. This room reminds me of Eli’s Outers space underground room from White Room challenge. I think of lot of HGTV audience isn’t going to understand this space, because it’s so out of the box. BUT that’s what David Bromstad asked for. I remember when we filmed my episode of White Room Challenge we were told don’t do an art installation, but if you do stick a chair in it. That way it’s coming from an interior design point of view. Well Stanley did that literally. He made a colorful light art installation and stuck a sideways sofa in it. Was it creative, yes, was it the best, no. But he intrigues me and I want to see more. I want to see if he can design a beautiful room, I can’t tell yet.

 

Last up Miera. Miera called me out for calling her room forgettable. I try to critique as honestly as I can, the good AND the bad however I think I did add a little salt in the wound because Miera’s room was left out of the initial blog review on HGTV and for that I apologize. I will say when you go on TV be prepared for people to express their opinions… and most of the time it isn’t nice. On White Room Challenge I totally loved my design however I read some not so nice reviews of my room.(in fact some some were down right mean) So if you want to make a career in TV I recommend you have thick skin OR just don’t read the reviews. I do my best to be honest without being mean. Anyways onto Miera’s room. It reminds me of Mikel’s room. It’s nice, but nothing special. Which was what I meant when I called it forgettable… nothing offensive but no real wow moments either. For what ever reason she had a hard time putting the blocks on the back wall. Dare I say glue gun or nail gun??!! That should have been an easy installation. I do like that she painted out a tile pattern on the floor so her walls didn’t melt into the floor. And I do have to say I think everyone bought that white um er rug is it? It’s in Britany’s, Mikel’s, Danielle’s, Bex’s and Miera’s room. Miera did use it differently and hung it on the wall. I really hope to see Miera’s style come out in a future challenge. So far I feel like she’s playing it a little too safe.

Oh and I have to say how awesome was it to have Vanilla Ice as a judge. I was dying when he kept quoting himself. What did everyone else think, should Jordan have gone home? (NO) Who did you hate, who did you love… who’s getting annoying on camera?!

-Bex

 


More Cupcake Ideas

So instead of posting a ton more recipes I decided to just share some fun decoration techniques and ideas I’ve done with cupcakes. You can use these techniques with any cake recipe of your choosing.

So these pretty popcorn cupcakes I created for my friends baby shower. They were super tasty. I just made a traditional yellow cake cupcake (mommy’s favorite) and toped with a simple buttercream frosting. To make the popcorn I just cut little marshmellows on the top in an X and stuck on top of cupcake. To make the “butter” I watered down yellow food color and dry brushed it on to with a paintbrush (buy one you can run though the dish washer and use it only for baking please) The liners I just made on photoshop cut and taped together and dropped the cupcake into liner and poof little popcorn treats.

These were super fun. My friends daughter was having a birthday party and I asked what the theme was so I could make her tasty treats. Mom told me it was a pizza party and her favorite flavors are Oreo and Snickers. I took on the challenge and created pizza themed cupcakes with either an Oreo or Snickers filling inside. The cupcake again is a yellow cake (with all the other flavors going on I didn’t want to make the cake too fancy) To make the fillings I made a white chocolate ganache. A ganache is simply cream and chocolate. I used more cream than usual and threw in a ton of mini Oreos and it created this insanely tasty Oreo mush perfect to go inside the cupcake. It tasted like soggy Oreos and milk. To make the Snicker filling I simply melted down the snickers with a little bit of cream and thats it. (be sure to use a double boiler when melting chocolate) To make the cute pizza topping, I iced the cupcake with a simple buttercream, and watered down a store bought red icing to “paint” on the red coloring. I try to use as little food coloring as possible because it has a metallic taste. You could use a cherry filling to paint on the red but these were for kids so I stayed away from fruity flavors. The “cheese” is grated white chocolate and the pepperonis are red fruit roll-ups I cut into tiny circles.

Ok so I just said I don’t like to use food coloring and I am showing you these. BUT these are so cute I couldn’t resist. I saw an iPhone cupcake done with fondant (and I don’t like fondant at all it taste like edible play dough) so I just took gram crackers and decorated them with brightly colored icing and placed on top of cupcakes. If you like all that colorful icing eat away… if your like me and don’t like to look like someone threw a paint can in your mouth simply take the gram cracker off and enjoy the fresh cupcake. 🙂

-Bex


Limoncello Cupcakes

Spring in here! It’s one of my favorite times of year. Here in Vegas it’s gets unbearably hot starting in June though August so I like to enjoy the nice weather before the heat creeps in. It’s slightly ironic that while I write this post it’s cold windy and cloudy outside but thats ok, the cupcakes will still taste yummy I promise.

Limoncello Cupcakes

This makes about 1 dozen (I found I was able to squeeze out a few more than 1 dozen)

Cupcakes
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces room temperature unsalted butter
2 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons limoncello
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon

For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the hybrid buttercream / cream cheese limoncello frosting:
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoon limoncello
2¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place your oven rack in the middle of your oven. In a medium town sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In your electric mixer bowl beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar until well mixed and creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time beating mixture between each egg. Add the limoncello and beat entire mixture for 1 additional min on medium speed. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour and buttermilk alternatively. Start and end with the flour mixture. Finally add lemon juice and zest and mix on low until mixture is incorporated, at this point don’t over mix. Spoon into lined cupcake tin and fill liners about 3/4 way full. Bake for 20 min or until your toothpick comes out clean. Remember over baking causes dry cupcakes so keep an eye on them towards the end.

2. To made the lemon curd filling, take a medium saucepan and stir together lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Careful not to bring the mixture to a full boil, or you might scramble the eggs. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and yoke. Slowly poor your lemon juice mixture into egg mixture whisking as you poor. The goal is to temper the eggs but not scramble them. So go slowly and whisk a lot. Poor he mixture back into sauce pan and place over medium heat again for about 5 min whisking constantly. Mixture will start to thicken. Let the mixture cool completely (it will thicken more as it cools) I like to put the mixture in a glass bowl and ice bath to cool quickly.

3. Last we have the hybrid buttercream / cream cheese frosting. In your electric mixture beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy. Add limoncello and beat for another min. Turn your mixture to low and slowly add powdered sugar until mixture is well mixed.

4. To put your cupcakes together use a small knife to cut a whole into cupcake. (I like to cut a little “top” to put back onto cupcake once filled but this is optional) Fill the cupcake with the cooled lemon curd. Then use a piping bag (I just cut the tip off bag) and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Garinsh with a lemon wedge if you please and ENJOY!
(these will hold up beautifully on display as long as they are not in the hot sun (buttercream will melt) just remember with any cream cheese or butter frosting to refrigerate leftovers)

-Bex

This recipe was adapted from here


Cherry Coca-Cola Cupcakes

Alrighty it’s been a while since I posted a yummy recipe. I have some past recipes that I made that I was planning on sharing but I was in the mood to bake today… so I did. The good part about being a wife of a firefighter is I can bake all my new recipes and just bring the treats to the guys (and gals) at the station. That way I am not left with tons of sweets in the house. Believe me, I have a huge sweet tooth but all in moderation my friends.

Anyways here we go. These are tasty fun little treats. It’s a chocolate Coca-Cola flavored cupcake, filled with cherry filling, toped with a Coca-Cola glaze and a homemade whipped cream. I kinda get a bit of a 50’s retro cafe vibe with these cupcakes.

Anyways lets start with the shopping list:

for the cake:
1½ cups flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Ghirardelli to Hershey’s but to each their own)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (it is important to use unsalted to you can control the amount of salt in your baked goods)
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coke (regular coke, not diet)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can cherry pie filling

For the Coca-Cola glaze:
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Coke

For the whipped icing:
1 cup heavy whipped cream
5½ tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. (yes it is important to sift because it keeps your baked goods light and fluffy)

In a your mixer bowl, combine sugar and butter and mix at medium speed for about 3 minutes to be sure it’s well incorporated. Next add egg to mixture and mix at medium speed for another min. The mixture should look light and creamy.

In a large measuring cup or small bowl whisk together buttermilk, Coca-Cola and vanilla extract. Be sure to let foam settle when measuring the Coca-Cola. The mixture may curdle a little bit but don’t worry about it.

Starting with the flour mixture add to butter mixture slowly alternating between the flour mixture and Coca-Cola mixture. Be sure all ingredients are well mixed but not over mixed. Keep mixer on low.

Place completed batter in lined cupcake tin. Fill liners about half way and bake for about 17-20 minutes. Try not to over bake, the cupcakes are done with a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before moving on to the next steps. (you can prepare the glaze while the cupcakes are cooling so it has time to thicken)

Filling:
using a small knife cut a cone shaped hole in the top of the cupcake and fill with cherry pie filling. I like to cap the hole off with the center crust you cut off.

Glaze:
Whisk together powered sugar and coke. Allow mixture to sit so it has time to thicken a little so it won’t run off your cupcakes. Spread glaze over top of filled cupcakes.

Whipped Cream Topping:
The last step. Start beating whipping cream in an electric mixture (it helps to chill the bowl before you start whipping the cream) Once the cream starts to thicken slowly add the powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time. As the mixture thickens increase mixer speed until you reach medium speed. Topping is done when all the powdered sugar is added and the mixture foams stiff peaks. Place in piping bag and pipe on top of cupcakes.

I added a little but of red sprinkles, or you can top with a cherry and your done. Enjoy!

This recipe was adopted from Brown Eyed Baker


Happy New Years

Happy New Years!! So I’m not much of a New Years resolution maker, but since my husband just showed up with a guitar for me for my New Years present I guess my New Years resolution is to learn to play guitar. Ok so here’s the deal I’m an interior designer and I really haven’t put up many interior design posts. So basically we have a music room in my house, well the floor plan calls it a living room, but it’s actually more of a sitting room since it’s small. Anyways I figured it would be a good place to put a piano and my husbands bass guitars. So my plan is to hang the bass guitars around the room, put up a picture rail wainscoting and make it a fun, “rock-n-roll” room. So that will be a blog post with lots of fun pictures… stay tuned. Just thought I’d share this since I’m kinda excited about my guitar.

Ok so back to what I was planning on posting… my champagne cupcake recipe.

Here’s your shopping list:
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne, I used Sofia Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used a kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix together the softened butter and sugar until it’s well incorporated and beat until light and fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time and beat the mixture well after each egg. Then add vanilla and beat the mixture some more to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and light and airy. This is a dense cupcake batter so I like to try to make it as airy as possible. Next in a separate bowl shift flour, baking soda, baking power and salt. Then in another separate bowl (yes you will have 3 bowls going on at one time) whisk together champagne and sour cream. Careful of the bubbles. Now add flour mixture and champagne mixture alternately to the butter mixture. Make sure to start and stop with the flour mixture. Then be sure to mix everything together really well. Spoon batter into cupcake pan with cupcake wrappers, fill the molds about 1/2 full. Bake 17-22 min… just until the cakes are starting to turn light brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake or you’ll be left with dry cupcakes.

I found that since the champagne crystalizes as you bake you will be left with little sugary crystals in your cakes… yummy.

For the champagne buttercream frosting:

3 tbsp. champagne or sparking wine (I used Sofia again it’s my favorite sparking wine)
2 sticks of butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
yellow food coloring

In your electric mixer, beat together soften butter and powdered sugar. Once your have nice thick and fluffy frosting slowly add the 3 tbsp. of champagne to the mixture mixing well. You can add more or less to taste just be sure if you add more to adjust the amount of powered sugar you add so you don’t end up with watery frosting. I added about 2 drops of food coloring to the frosting to give it a light yellow champagne color.

Put frosting in a pastry bag and just cut off the tip and frost cooled cupcakes (yes important be sure your cakes are cool this is a buttercream frosting and will melt on warm cakes) Then I topped with pastel yellow pearlized sprinkles to look like bubbles. (you can get this sprinkles from Michael’s if you can’t find in grocery store, I think Party City carries them too.) Make sure to keep your completed cakes in the refrigerator and serve and enjoy!

I also made some champagne jello shots:

Shopping list:
2 packages Mixcheif by Jello, add your own juice… .25oz packages
pineapple juice (pasteurized, this is important or it won’t set up)
champagne or sparking wine (again I used Sofia)
peach schnapps and/or St. Germain (this is an elderflower liquor it’s super yummy)
sliced straberries

This is what the jello package looks like:

So here’s what I did:
Combine 1/2 pineapple juice and 1/2 water and bring to a boil. Slowly mix in the 2 packages of jello and let boil while mixing for 3 minutes to be sure jello mixture is dissolved. Then take off heat. I added 1 1/2 cups champagne (with a little peach schnapps and St. Germain in the champagne mixture to sweeten it up) to the hot jello mixture, poor into cups, throw in a sliced strawberry and chill for at least 4 hours. Then ta-da, New Years Eve jello shots.

Just a note, you can’t use fresh pineapple or the jello won’t set due to the enzymes. Pineapple juice is pasteurized and the enzymes are killed during this process, and boiling the pineapple juice also breaks down the enzymes so it will gel.


Pumpkin Cheesecake White Chocolate Bites

So here’s my other Thanksgiving recipe. These were quite a hit, kinda like an adult version of a cake pop without the stick. If you really love cake pops you could just stick a stick in these and poof instant pumpkin cheesecake cake pop.

All right lets get started with what you need to make these yummy little treats:

1 box yellow cake mix
ingredients the yellow cake mix calls for.. eggs, oil etc
1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you can find these in the spice section)
I tub pre-made cheesecake mix
1 bag white chocolate
optional crumbled nuts to garnish

Mix up yellow cake mix according to instructions EXCEPT substitute pumpkin puree for the water and add pumpkin pie spice. If your mixture seems too dry to can add in a little water but I don’t usually find it necessary. Transfer your batter to any cake pan and cook according to cake mix directions. After removing from the oven, let the cake cool completely. Once the cake is cool crumple into a bowl

Next mix 2/3 of your pre-made cheesecake mixture into the bowl with cake crumbles. This is where it gets messy, you can use a spoon but I find it easier to combine the mixture with my hands since you will have to roll it into balls anyways. Once the cake crumbs and cheesecake are combined into a dough, roll into balls and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours to set… or you can set them up faster in the freezer if you choose.

Once the balls are set up melt your white chocolate in a double boiler. Be careful and heat slowly since white chocolate is harder to melt than dark chocolate. Keep the temp. low because the chocolate can seize up if heated too quickly.

Once the chocolate is melted dip the cold pumpkin bites into the chocolate until they are covered and transfer to wax paper to cool. If you choose to make cake pops put the stick into the ball before you dip into melted chocolate. I choose just to dip the top of the ball in white chocolate but your can cover the entire ball if you so choose. Sprinkle with nuts and serve. These balls are better served once the white chocolate is set. Just note, since the cheesecake filling will need to be refrigerated, be careful the refrigerator can cause the white chocolate to weep a little so it’s better these are made and served the same day, but they still taste good after a few days in the refrigerator.

 

Oh and here I posted a picture of what pre-made cheesecake filling looks like in case you haven’t seen it before, it’s found right next to the cream cheese.


Cranberry Orange Crepe Cake

Ok, so I know I said I would post up my Thanksgiving recipes but I had someone working on my site… so I’m a bit late but save these for next year… or the crepe cake is good for Christmas too.

Ok so Cranberry Orange Mascarpone Crepe Cake:

first thing you need to do is create a cranberry orange puree, I got the recipe for the puree here but I’ll list it below

2 bags fresh cranberries
2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1/2 of a large orange)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and the cranberries start to pop. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a food processor to (carefully!) puree, or use a hand blender to puree in the pot. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl, covering with plastic wrap, pressed down on the surface to avoid forming a skin on top of the puree. Refrigerate to cool completely, at least 4 hours. It’s very important you let this completely cool and “gel” as you can see from my pictures the filling is darker on top because I mixed the Mascarpone with the unset cranberry puree for the last few layers because I ran out… and it didn’t mix very well. So I suggest making the cranberry puree the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Next you will need mascarpone, I used 5 tubs. Yes, you will need a lot. Combine the cooled and set cranberry orange puree with the mascarpone until you get a pretty creamy pink colored mixture. Leave a little extra cranberry orange puree left over so you can use it to spread on top of the completed cake. Once your mascarpone and cranberry puree are combined, mix in the powered sugar to taste. You want to be left with a even color spreadable mixture. Sweeten to taste with powered sugar, as some like it sweeter than others. Mascarpone has a natural sweetness so I probably used only 1/2 to 3/4 cup powered sugar for the entire mixture. Now you need to get your crepes ready… so you have the option to make your own crepes.. OR cheat like me and buy the prepackaged kind. You find the packaged kind in your produce section near the strawberries in a speciality grocery store. They have no preservatives and are quite tasty and will save you tons of time.

The last part is the assembly of your cake. Start with a little powered sugar under your first crepe so it doesn’t stick to your plate. Then place a crepe, and spread a thin even layer of mascarpone cranberry orange mixture. Stack on another crepe… and repeat… and repeat… and repeat… I used about 25 crepes in my crepe cake but you can change that number to whatever suits you. Hence why I bought the prepackaged crepes, I didn’t want to make 25 crepes that would have taken me FOREVER! To finish off the cake spread the cranberry orange puree you saved on top and I choose to garnish with a orange peel flower. Let the cake chill for a few hours so the layers set and ENJOY!!

Feel free to share my recipe just please credit or link to my blog.