Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ninja Peaches.

I’d like to tell you a funny story or wax poetic about sunsets, but honestly I just don’t have the time. You were probably going to skip all the words and go straight to the pretty pictures anyway.

Weren’t you?

So, much like a ninja with a smoke bomb, here are some yummy pictures of cupcakes to distract you while I make my swift exit.


Peaches and Cream (Cheese) Cupcakes

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Source: My imagination.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 peaches, diced and pureed
1/4 cup oil
1 peach, diced

1 250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 peach, peeled, diced and pureed
3 – 4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
A few drops red food colouring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line 2 muffin tins with baking cups and set them aside.

In a large bowl an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated then add the vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then add it in thirds alternating between the peach puree and oil. Lastly fold in the diced peach.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins then bake them for 20 – 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until it’s light and fluffy. Mix in the peach puree until it’s incorporated well. Add the powdered sugar and mix until it’s smooth and your desired consistency. Add a few drops of red food colouring if you want soft pink tinted frosting. Refrigerate the icing at least 30 minutes before frosting to stiffen it.

Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the Cream Cheese Frosting and pipe a generous helping onto each cupcake. To make a rose design, start piping from the center of the cupcake and spiral outward. Enjoy!

Smart Cookie.

I’m one of those rare people who not only tolerates wearing glasses, but actually loves it. I always envied people with glasses so when the day came that I was told I have a slight astigmatism I was over the moon! Now they’re my favourite accessory and I’m always looking for new styles to suit my outfit, hair or just my mood.

So imagine my excitement when the lovely folks at Firmoo Eyewear generously offered me a free pair of glasses! Naturally it took me days to decide which pair I wanted because they have a huge selection and their “virtual try on” feature is way too much fun. When I finally got it narrowed it down to two styles, I realized I couldn’t live without either of them.

The first are tortoiseshell wayfarers. I love them because the brown and gold flecks accent my eyes and hair. The second are black Ray Ban look-alikes. They’re more rectangular and have a hint of cat-eye flare. Big, bold geek-chic glasses seem to be pretty trendy right now, and I love them because your eyes and makeup are enhanced instead of hidden.

The really great thing about Firmoo is anyone can get a free pair of glasses! They have this super cool program where first time buyers get their glasses for free just for giving Firmoo a try.

I was so inspired by my new specs, that I made you some “smart cookies”! I just traced my glasses onto a piece of thin cardboard and cut it out to use as a stencil. You could trace your own glasses too and celebrate being a part of the smart cookie club!

Now if only I could only find some rainbow sprinkle frames to coordinate with my cookies I’d be complete!

Almond Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Source: Adapted from Bake at 350’s Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp almond extract
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup rainbow nonpareils

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and almond extract then mix it in.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then add it to the butter mixture and combine well. Lastly mix in the sprinkles.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it comes together smoothly and is no longer crumbly. Roll out the dough and, either using a stencil or a cookie cutter, cut out your shapes and place them carefully on your prepared baking sheets.

Freeze each sheet of raw cookies for about five minutes before baking them for about 10 minutes or until the edges turn a light golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Pink Lemonade.

I know, it’s hot outside. I should be making ice cream, or popsicles, or lemonade. The last thing I should be doing is turning on the oven. But what if I made the doughnut version of lemonade? And what if I told you they only take five minutes to bake?

You’d forgive me right?

I thought so.

Not just any lemonade either. Cherry Lemonade. You’ll find no boring old lemonade in this house. Actually you’ll find no lemonade. Because I drank and/or ate it all.

I’m not sure what it is about lemonade that’s just so undeniably refreshing. Maybe it’s because it’s best to drink it super cold with loads of ice cubes. Maybe it’s because of that satisfying crack noise the ice makes when you drop each inside. Maybe it’s because of those beads of condensation that form on the outside of the glass that make it all so inviting. Maybe it’s because of the bendy straw you just have to drink it from so you don’t get ice in your face every time you take a sip or because it’s lemonade and it’s wrong not to. Maybe it’s because of that instinct you get to drink it on the porch since it’s the closest you can get to lounging on a sunny beach somewhere with a floppy hat and oversized sunglasses.

Maybe it’s a combination.

I always enjoy taking an classic recipe and mixing it up a bit. What could be more classic than lemonade? It’s the new and improved pink lemonade! This version is just as refreshing, twice addictive and thrice adorable. Being that they’re bite-sized they tend to disappear quickly. Get some before they’re gone!

Cherry Lemonade Doughnuts

Makes about 5 dozen mini doughnuts.

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1/2 cup cherry juice (3/4 cup pitted cherries then blended and strained)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cherry juice (5 pitted cherries then blended and strained)
1 – 2 cup powdered sugar

Note: When blending the cherries, it’s important to strain it and incorporate it into the batter or glaze right away. Leaving it even a few minutes will cause it to oxidize and turn a brownish-purple which isn’t very appetizing.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour your mini doughnut pans and set them aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend them until they’re just incorporated. Mix in the 1/2 cup of cherry juice.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then combine it well with the cherry mixture until the colour is smooth.

Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the batter and pipe it carefully into the prepared mini doughnut pans. I found that filing each circle about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way makes perfect mini doughnuts. Filling them any more than that will create shrunken or non-existent doughnut holes.

Bake them for about 5 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown and the tops are matte and springy to the touch. Don’t be afraid of under-baking, be more afraid of over-baking. Gooey doughnuts can be fixed with a little more oven time and crunchy burned doughnuts can’t. Allow the doughnuts a few minutes in the pans to cool off before flipping them out onto a cooling rack. The pan may need a few encouraging taps, but they should come out easily.

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, cherry juice and powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency. When stirred, the glaze should leave swirls on the surface that disappear slowly but are not permanent. If the swirls disappear almost instantly, you need more powdered sugar. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze, give it a few taps then set it on a rack to drip and set. For easy cleanup, place a piece of wax paper under the rack to catch all the drips. Enjoy!