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The first time I made this frosting four years ago, it was actually a happy accident. I don’t remember the details, but it basically boils down to me deciding to make frosting for the cupcakes I’d just baked and realizing that I was down to one stick of butter. Most butter creams require 2 or 3. What’s a girl to do? After throwing a mild temper tantrum about how unfair it is that these things always happen to me (not my fault at all of course), I decided I was going to throw some of the left over pineapple puree into the mixer and pray to the baking gods that I’d end up with something useful. Thankfully it worked, and now I make it at least once a year for my friend Jenn’s birthday. I’ve offered to bake her all sorts of other things, but she wants her gluten-free pineapple cupcakes with pineapple butter cream. She even sneaks in a few casual reminders in the month preceding her birthday, just to make sure I don’t forget.
- 1 stick of butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of pureed pineapple*
- 2 Tsp of coconut extract
- 5-7 cups of powdered sugar
- In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer if that is all you have), whip together puree, extract, and butter. It’ll look a little strange, but it will all come together in the end.
- Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time until your frosting reaches the desired consistency.
- Whip frosting on high for an additional 3-5 minutes to make it extra light and fluffy.
Really easy, right? I do cheat a little when it comes to the actual cake part; I modify a box of the Kind Arthur’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix. Just replace the water with pineapple juice, and throw in a tablespoon of coconut extract, easy peasy.
* To make sure the frosting stays smooth and light, I like to puree fresh pineapple in my blender until the texture is perfectly silky. Canned puree will work just fine, but the frosting texture will be a little lumpy.
* This frosting pairs really well with toasted coconut. Make your cupcakes a little extra special by baking shredded coconut in the oven until is light brown, letting it cool, then sprinkling it over your freshly frosted cupcakes.
I was thrilled when I saw these recipes for Artisanal Toast on Cupcakes & Cashmere. Andy and I have been experimenting with different types of bread and even baking our own bread lately, and I always feel bad making something boring with something “special”. Especially when that something “special” took 3 hours to make.
Lox + Chive Cream Cheese
Ingredients: Cream Cheese, Chives, Lox, Dill, Capers, Lemon
Ingredients: Tomato+Garlic Hummus, Sprouts, Cucumber, Tomato, Feta, Olive Oil
Avocado with a Kick
Ingredients: Avocado, Radish, Shallot, Lemon Zest, Maldon Sea Salt, Olive Oil, Red Chili Flakes
Peanut Butter + Banana + Sea Salt
Ingredients: Peanut Butter (unsalted), Banana, Honey, Maldon Sea Salt, Ground Cinnamon
I guess it could be argued that incorporating a “special” ingredient counteracts the boring, but I am going to use this post as an excuse to make fancy toast for breakfast. And by me I mean Andy. You here that honey? I want fancy toast for breakfast tomorrow.
Images and recipes from Cupcakes & Cashmere.
This weekend I finally got around to downloading all of the pictures on my camera. I think the last time this happened was July 2013, so there were quite a few images. Half way through, I found some shots I’d taken of the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I’d sent to work with Andy back in November. I thought I had posted about these cupcakes already, but since they were no where to be found in the archives, I obviously forgot. The cake recipe is Awesome Chocolate Cake that I use as a base for almost all of my chocolate cupcakes, but the star of these cupcakes is the Peanut Butter Buttercream.
- 4oz full fat or 1/3 fat cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter (soften)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use organic)
- 2-3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream together cream cheese, butter, peanut putter and vanilla extract until smooth.
Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
*I didn’t make this recipe up myself, I tweaked one I found online, but when I looked through the notebook I keep all my favorite recipes in, all I could find was the recipe card I wrote the ingredients down on. (Sorry to the original author!)
So to recreate the complete cupcake:
- Make cupcake using the recipe link above. Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting.
- Make a batch of peanut butter buttercream and frost cooled cupcakes
- Garnish with Reese Pieces.
- Find someone to share with so you don’t eat all the cupcakes yourself.(very important)
I was going to save this post for my Friday Link Love, but it absolutely made my day yesterday. It’s a recipe for cat treats from Joy the Baker and it has pictures of her orange cat. He looks so much like my orange cat! A giant fluffy ball of orange cuteness, I can barely stand it! I’d feel weird about having such a dramatic response to a fellow orange cat owner, but my friend Stefanie is a corgi owner and I have seen her act the exact same way every time she encounters another corgi owner. So it can’t be that strange right?
Joy the Baker –
So I have this cat. His name is Jules, but I call him Tron.
Sometimes you just name the creature in your house the wrong name. It’s hard to know until you know them. Never let me name a child. I won’t get it right. That’s the lesson we’re supposed to learn here.
So I have this cat. Sometimes I make him cat toys and cat treats. It’s a thing I do with only a residual amount of shame and embarrassment.
I first made these cat treats for my kitten about a year ago, and Design Sponge was pretty keen on them. I made them again this weekend and my kitten-cat was pretty excited. To be fair, he also gets excited when I buy a rotisserie chicken or slice into an avocado. He’ll also steal a warm blueberry muffin, eat through the center of a pie, or lick the frosting off a cake. He’s not particular about food, he’ll eat it all, and he’s a terrible person (and I love him).
Animal Jar Tops were invented by the Internet, not me. Find out how to make them here.
Cat treats! Let’s talk about these little bites.
These cat treats are made of very simple ingredients that aren’t cat food, but that our cats are going to eat and enjoy. If now is the time that you’d like to freak out about oats and tuna and making your own cat food and cat health… ok. But these are just cat treats, so maybe we could just all calm down by like, at least 12%. Just sayin’.
One of the binder of these cat treats is oats.
More specifically, oats that are pulverized into oat flour. Like so. Easy.
In the food processor we combine oat flour, canned (unsalted) tuna, and catnip.
Olive oil for moisture, good fat, and good fur.
An egg yolk for good fat, good binding, and good fur.
Good fur is important.
Pulverized and combined. The mixture is doughy and people-edible but mostly kitty-edible.
I roll the tuna dough into teaspoon sized balls. Kitty-sized.
A little criss-cross action. Just for even baking. Even with cat treats we want to get things right!
I usually shush him away, but these crunchy treats are fresh from the oven for him, so….
So why not make some Catnip Yarn Balls along with the cat treats and just go all the way.
I’m the only one that knows I’m a crazy cat lady… until I share it with all of you.
Ps. Since these baked kitty treats have tuna and egg in them, I store them in a jar in the refrigerator.
Tuna Catnip Kitty Treats
1 (5 ounce) can tuna, no salt added and packed in water, drained
1 cup oat flour*
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon dried catnip
*It’s easy to make your own oat flour. Simply grind old-fashioned oats in a spice grinder (or a super clean coffee grinder) until it is transformed into a light powder. There you have it — oat flour!
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine drained tuna, oat flour, egg, olive oil and catnip. Blend until mixture is smooth. It will be thick but pliable and not terribly sticky.
Roll dough into 1/2 teaspoon balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Use a skewer to press an X-shape into each cookie ball.
Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are dried on top and slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before offering to your kitty.
Place treats in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Original pictures and tutorial here.
Honestly, these brownies are the result of me being clumsy. I was making brownies for Andy to take to the office and I had just seen the episode of Barefoot Contessa where she talked about simple ingredients that can be added to recipes to enhance the overall flavor of a dish. None of her test subjects could figure out what was that made the flavor different, all they knew was that it tasted better. One of the recommendations was adding a little bit of coffee to chocolate baked goods. Inspired, I decided to go all Food Network and sprinkle a bit of instant coffee into my brownie mix, but being clumsy, ended up dumping in about 1/4 cup. I did my best to scoop out the extra granules, but everything that had actually touched the batter stuck. I finally just mixed it in and baked the brownies. I warned Andy about my culinary mishap, but he took them to work anyway, and boy was I shocked when he called to tell that everyone had flipped over the amazing coffee brownies. So I guess clumsy isn’t always bad.
What you need:
1 Box of Brownie Mix( with box specified ingredients)
1 Heaping Tbsp of Instant Coffee
- Preheat oven to the temperature listed on the box.
- Combine mix with instant coffee and other required ingredients
- Bake for the amount of time suggested on box (usually 20-25 minutes)
Box Mixes I’ve Tried:
- Gluten Free – Arthur Gluten Free Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies) or Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies), Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies)
- Regular – Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownie Mix (cake-like brownies), Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies)
- Vegan – Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (very dense cake-like brownies), Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (fudge-like brownies) *To veganize these mixes substitute veggie spread or oil for the butter and replace egg with egg replacer, apple sauce, banana, silken tofu, etc.
- For even distribution of coffee flavor, fully dissolve instant coffee in the liquid ingredients before mixing in.
- For brownies that have concentrated “coffee pockets” gently fold in coffee granules and bake immediately.
- If you want a strong coffee flavor add additional granules, I’ve made these brownies with up to 3 tbsp of instant coffee.
- I like to add a handful or two of chocolate chips to the brownie mix. This is especially good if you have opted for the stronger coffee flavor.