Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vampire Cupcakes

Creepy yet delicious. 
 These buttermilk cupcakes are filled with cherry pie filling and frosted with marshmallow frosting....can't get much better than that!   The perfect treat for a Halloween party.  There is a great tutorial on how to do these on Baking Bites
I just love Halloween....don't you?


Vampire Cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins (you will need 18 cups total) with paper liners and set aside.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend, using the paddle attachment (You can use a hand mixer, too).
Cut butter into 4 or 5 chunks and drop into the bowl with the flour mixture.Blend on low speed until mixture looks sandy and no large chunks of butter remain, 1-2 minutes.
In a large measuring cup, combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat lightly with a fork until combined. With the mixer on low, pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the bowl. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for an additional 30 seconds, until liquid is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, if necessary.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins, filling 18 cups as equally as possible.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until cupcakes are light golden and a toothpick inserted into their centers comes out clean. The cake should spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 18 cupcakes.
1 can cherry pie filling
Puree cherry pie filling – a syrupy mix of sugar and cherries, usually – in a food processor until fairly smooth. Very small pieces of cherries are ok.
Take a cooled cupcake and, using a small pairing knife, cut a cone of cake (1-inch across by 1-inch deep) out of the top. Trim off the pointy end of the cone, leaving a flat circle of cake. Set aside and repeat this process for all the cupcakes.
Take the cherry filling and spoon about tablespoon or so into each cupcake cavity, filling it almost to the top with filling. Top off with the flat circle of cake you just removed to seal the hole and hold the “blood” filling in place.
Marshmallow Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup water
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk sugar, egg whites, 1/3 cup water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch simmering water). Using handheld electric mixer, beat on medium speed until mixture resembles soft marshmallow fluff, about 5-7 minutes.
Increase mixer speed to high and beat until mixture is very smooth and thick, about 3 minutes longer. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Add vanilla extract and continue beating until marshmallow frosting is completely cool, about 5-7 minutes longer.
Using a butter knife or a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with a layer of the cooled marshmallow frosting by placing a dollop of icing in the center of the cupcake (on top of the cut out circle of cake) and spreading from the center to the sides of the cupcake.
Dip a wooden toothpick or skewer into some leftover cherry pie filling and poke two fang-holes, about 3/4 inch apart, in the frosting on one side of the cupcake. Dribble a little extra filling from the holes for effect.
Repeat until all cupcakes are frosted and decorated. You will probably have frosting leftover for another batch if you are baking more.
Makes 18 vampire cupcakes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooky Witches Fingers

Halloween is upon us...these cookies are a treat that I make every year.  It is just a butter cookie shaped into a finger....and I have learned that you need to make a very skinny finger when you are shaping the dough because it fattens up as it bakes!  I have also seen these made with a almond sliver coming out of the bottom with red gel around it to look like a bone...they really look like severed fingers!  You can also use sliced almonds for the fingernails...I just prefer to use the whole almond.  You can also put a drop of green food color in your's up to you!  Have fun with this one!
Happy Halloween!


Spooky Witches Fingers


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel


  1. Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.
Makes about 60 cookies

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crusty French Bread...WW Wednesday!

Just another rainy old day in Indiana today. I had a day off from work so I decided to make a big pot of soup and a nice loaf of crusty bread.  I wanted something very easy and found this recipe.  I don't make bread very often and I must say this loaf turned out really nice.  The recipe is a great one for a first time bread baker.  This generous loaf makes 16 servings.
3 Plus Points per slice.



Crusty French Bread


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon cold water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf 16 in. long x 2-1/2 in. wide with tapered ends. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
  4. Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Heavenly Ricotta Pancakes

Heavenly indeed!  These pancakes are light and fluffy like a delicious cloud melting in your mouth!  The ricotta adds a beautiful richness to the flavor.  Dress it up anyway you like, a drizzle of honey and fruit would be delish.  I have seen lots of ricotta pancake recipes with lemon curd served on them (yumm!). Just a sprinkle of confectioners sugar would be wonderful...what ever you choose!   I found the recipe that I used here.  This is definitely an easy and must try recipe.


Heavenly Ricotta Pancakes

    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup flour


  1. Separate eggs and whip whites til soft peaks.
  2. Set whites aside.
  3. Mix all other ingredients together thoroughly.
  4. Gently fold in whites.
  5. Put 1/4 cup or so on medium hot greased griddle.
  6. Flatten somewhat with spoon.
  7. Cook until lightly golden brown and turn once.
  8. Serve with warm melted butter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
  9. You can serve with jam, also.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weight Watcher Wednesday- Sweet Potato Soup

This week I didn't bake something for WW Wednesday, instead I wanted to post this creamy, tasty soup.  This is one of the best soups I have tasted in a very long time.  It is nice and creamy, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and is only 4 points!  Serve with a nice salad and you have a great lunch!  Try it today!
It is incredibly delicious!

Weight Watchers Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 cups canned chicken broth, divided
- 1 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
- 1 tbsp chopped pecans

TIP: For an extra flavor boost, consider adding a dash of curry powder with the flour and ginger. And toast the pecans to help maximize their flavor.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Pierce potatoes in several places with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool, remove and discard skin; chop potatoes.
Combine sweet potatoes and 3/4 cup of broth in a blender or food processor; blend or process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set potato mixture aside.
Melt margarine in a medium-size saucepan; stir in flour and ginger, and then add milk. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Cook 1 minute more and then stir in sweet potato mixture and remaining 1 1/4 cups of broth. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Pour into 4 serving bowls and sprinkle each with 3/4 teaspoon of pecans.

Serving size is 1 cup
Each serving = 4 Weight Watchers Points

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Double Chocolate Cookies

If you have followed this blog at all, you know that I cannot resist chocolate.  I love it in any shape or form.  Since I have a granddaughter that loves chocolate also, I decided to make her some to die for chocolate cookies for her birthday.  My granddaughters live many miles away and I don't get the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays in person, so I always like to bake them something special and send it to them on their special day. 
I hope you like these, Lily!!
Happy Birthday!
Love you so much!

Double Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Annie's Eats

1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp course salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  (I made smaller cookies (2 dozen) and baked them for approximately 15 minutes.  Then I drizzled them with melted white and semi sweet chocolate.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weight Watcher Wednesday-Pear Crisp

I realize it is not Wednesday....but every Wednesday I am going to try to post a Weight Watcher friendly dessert.  Today I chose to make something with pears because I had some just screaming to be used.... sooo I cut those little babies up and made a nice, not too sweet, comforting crisp. 

My tummy is happy

Pear Crisp

Nutrition Info: Calories: 179.7, Fat: 4., Carbohydrates: 36.4g, Protein: 2.3g

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp. walnuts
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. canola oil
3 firm, yet ripe large pears, peeled (if desired), cored and cubed ( I left the peel on)
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 packettes Truvia
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8- or 9- inch round cake pan.

In food processor, pulse oats and walnuts 15 seconds. Add flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Blend 15 more seconds. While running, drizzle oil and blend 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, toss pears with next 6 ingredients. Spoon pears into prepared cake pan. Cover with oat mixture, pressing down gently. Bake 45-50 minutes, until topping is brown and pears are bubbling. Serve hot.

Makes 9 servings.
WW Plus Points 4

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunflower Cupcakes

Just For Fun

I make these every year for our Pig Roast....wanted to share them with you.  For how to instructions....go here .
I frequent this site....she has some great tips and recipes.
Have Fun!