Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin "Surprise" Muffins

Pumpkins are certainly calling and urging me to try new recipes and this one is a keeper.

There is a wonderful cheesy filling hiding in the middle of the a little surprise to the taste buds!

You can see in the above photo the slice of filling just prior to adding the remainder of batter before heading to the oven.

The pics above and below show the cheese filling...the one above is prior to placing in freezer for at least an hour.

The picture below is the cheese log just coming out of the freezer.

Cheese Filling:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and fluffy. Form into a "log" on plastic wrap (keep in mind that the diameter of log must fit into the muffin tin and be long enough for 24 pieces). Wrap tightly and freeze for at least an hour...I was busy and left mine in the freezer for almost 2 hours.

Pumpkin Muffins:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin

Combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk together completely...set aside

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin...beat until well combined.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until the flour is just moistened.

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in cubes
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and combine with a pastry blender or your fingers (I chose fingers)

Fill each muffin cup about half full with batter.
Remove cheesy log from freezer and slice into 24 pieces. Place a piece in each half filled muffin. With remaining batter, cover the cheese piece completely with batter.

Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin and place in oven for 18 - 25 minutes.
Cool completely~

Your home will smell like fall and just wait until you taste the muffins...oh my!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Acorn Treats

Fall is quickly approaching and the mind works overtime thinking of all the cooking/crafting opportunities to accomplish!

These cute little acorn treats are perfect for a touch of fall...tasty, as well!

I really enjoy Nutella and decided to use it as a frosting substitute for these little morsels.

The combination of sweet and salty is taken care of in this recipe...just a touch of salty is the little pretzel stem and the Nutella takes care of the sweet!

Purchase donut holes and re-glaze if necessary. Spread Nutella or chocolate frosting on the top of designated donut hole and immediately dip in chocolate Jimmies and then insert a pretzel stick that you have broken in 1/2. Allow to dry on waxed paper.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Snicker Bars

If you like the Snickers Candy Bar you will surely delight in this home made version...but please know I am not responsible for calories consumed...there are many!

The multiple layers are simply heavenly!

Chocolate...caramel...peanuts...nougat...and more chocolate...what's not to like?

Snicker Bars:

Layer One:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Melt the above ingredients in the microwave, in 30 second intervals until melted. Spread the chocolate mixture in a 9 x 13 pan which has been lightly greased (I used a glass pan). Place in fridge to cool.

Filling Layer:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and milk, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and stir for 3-4 minutes. The mixture will begin to follow the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the marshmallow cream, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Spread over first layer and sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top.

Caramel Layer:

14 oz. bag caramels
1/4 cup whipping cream

Unwrapping the caramels takes awhile (perfect job for the hubby)
Melt the caramels with the whipping cream in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so until thoroughly melted. Carefully spread over the filling layer.

Top Layer:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Melt together in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Spread evenly over the caramel layer. Store in the fridge until cooled and hardened. Cut into small bars.

I placed the pan back into the fridge between layers and the bars are best served right from the fridge!

Personally, I like a little fleur de sel sprinkled on top of the Snickers Bar...garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Peach Jam

The Red Haven peach is popular at our home...personally, I like them sliced with just a sprinkling of sugar, topped off with whipping cream (not whipped, just poured on)!

I decided to make some freezer jam to enjoy the hint of summer during the winter months.

No special recipe...just follow the Sure Jell instructions...quick and easy!!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

There is more to these cupcakes than meets the eye...

They are pretty as a picture with the cute cupcake liners that Courtney gave me and then the swirl of buttercream icing just seems to call...

The tiny little edible pearls...well they are perfect to tatch off the presentation...

But wait...there is more...a delicious raspberry filling...oh my!

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes:

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Vanilla cake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup water

Melt the butter in the microwave, then add cake mix, eggs, and water. Mix on low for about a minute then on high for another minute.
How easy is that?
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes

Raspberry Filling:

2 cups frozen, sweetened raspberries, thaw completely (reserving liquid)
To the reserved liquid, add enough water to measure 1 1/4 cups
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a medium sauce pan, combine the liquid, then whisk in the cornstarch and lemon juice. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens (medium high heat)

Cool completely~

Cut out a small cone shaped section in the center of each cupcake and add raspberry filling in the hole. Replace the cone shaped top and then you are ready to frost.

Use the buttercream frosting recipe of your choice and pipe on with a Wilton 1M tip.

These cupcakes are very tasty!