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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easy Danish

Raspberry Danish with Vanilla Glaze
Since I have found the recipe for this danish, I have made it several times, each time subbing different fillings. I love how versatile and simple this recipe is. You can whip one up in less than an hour. In one, I used pumpkin puree blended with cream cheese to make a pumpkin cream danish. I drizzled a cinnamon glaze over the top. Another time, I used raspberry pie filling and topped it with a vanilla glaze. Both were delicious. 

Easy Danish
Source: Adapted from Center Cut Cook

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet (If you use regular crescent rolls, pinch the seams together.)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup filling (I used pumpkin puree in one and raspberry pie filling in another.) 
Pumpkin Cream Danish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
With a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. (If making the pumpkin, fold in the pumpkin puree.)
Unroll the dough sheet onto the baking sheet.
Using scissors, make about 2-inch long cuts about 1 inch apart on each side of the dough. 
Spread the cream cheese layer down the middle of the dough.
If making the raspberry, spread the raspberry pie filling on top of the cream cheese. 
To give the dough a braided look: Starting at one end, fold the strips over the filling on an angle alternating from one side to the other.
Bake for 15–20 minutes until the danish is golden brown.
Let cool and top with glaze if desired.


Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk together all ingredients and drizzle over danish.

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together all ingredients and drizzle over danish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beer Turkey & Sausage Chili

Even though it's supposed to be spring, it doesn't feel like it in the Northeast. It's cold! The sun has been shining, but it's been so windy and cold. To warm us up, I decided to make chili. I didn't have ground beef, but I did have sausage and turkey. The sausage made it rich, while the turkey mellowed its richness. I also added a leftover beer we had in the fridge from the previous night. It was a Saranac Legacy IPA, and it lended a hoppy aroma to the chili. It was the perfect way to warm up on a chilly spring day.

Beer Turkey & Sausage Chili
adapted from Hanover

1/2 pound sausage (casings removed)
1 pound ground turkey
1 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 bottle (12 oz.) beer (I used an IPA, but a lager, porter, or stout would also work.)
1 large can (40 oz.) light red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 large can (29 oz.) tomato sauce
1 small can (15 oz.) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 small can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers 
1 small can (15 oz.) black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla strips for garnish (optional).

Brown sausage in a large skillet, drain fat, and add to a crock pot. Brown turkey in sausage drippings, drain, and add to crock pot. Add beer, pepper, tomatoes, beans, spices, and sauce, and mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla strips, if desired.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chocolate Peep Cupcakes

I made these for my cousin's birthday, which just so happens to be close to Easter. She asked for chocolate cupcakes, which was a surprise since she loves vanilla. I decided to make her triple chocolate cupcakes, but I instead filled them with whipped white chocolate ganache. I then decorated them with a festive Peep and some sprinkles.

Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter

Place white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Simmer the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot. Pour hot cream over the white chocolate chips and let sit for one minute. Add the butter and stir until silky and smooth. Cool completely. With a hand mixer, beat ganache on high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cranberry Danish

The last time I made a danish I was in culinary school. We made laminate dough, also known as puff pastry, which is filled with butter and folded, rolled out, and rested until it yields the perfect dough. It is heavenly but a lot of work. When I saw a recipe that used Pillsbury Crescent rolls as the dough, I knew I had to try it. Come on, who doesn't like crescent rolls? The original recipe called for cherries and cream cheese, but I decided to make cranberry cream cheese. You can top it with a simple glaze or leave it plain. This recipe was simple and delicious and a winner with guests.

Cranberry Danish
Source: Adapted from Center Cut Cook

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet (If you use regular crescent rolls, pinch the seams together.)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup filling (I used whole berry cranberry jelly.) 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
With a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Unroll the dough sheet onto the baking sheet.
Using scissors, make about 2-inch long cuts about 1 inch apart on each side of the dough. 
Spread the cream cheese down the middle of the dough.
Spread the cranberry filling on top of the cream cheese. 
To give the dough a braided look: Starting at one end, fold the strips over the filling on an angle alternating from one side to the other.
Bake for 15–20 minutes until the danish is golden brown.
Let cool and top with glaze if desired.

Simple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together all ingredients and drizzle over danish.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mermaid Cake

I used to make cakes all the time. But they are stressful to make. Between baking, leveling, smoothing, and decorating, they take a lot of time and a lot can go awry. Now I mostly focus on cupcakes. Every one in a while, however, someone will request cake. Sometimes I oblige. This time, my little cousin requested a mermaid cake (a simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream). I decided to keep it simple and focus on the tail of the mermaid and surround her with blue water and star fish. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Icing

Who doesn't like cookie dough? Well, me actually! I'm not one to dig into raw cookie dough before it's baked. Now once a cookie is baked, watch out! I had a request for chocolate cupcakes and decided to see what all the hype was about and try the chocolate chip cookie dough icing. And guess what? I really enjoyed this icing. It was delicious on its own and tasted similar to cookie dough. So am I raw cookie dough convert? Probably not, but I love this icing and you will too!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Icing
Adapted slightly from Annie's Eats

2 sticks butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 and 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

With a stand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, flour, salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add more or less powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency is reached. Stir in chocolate chips.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Mint Cupcakes


Chocolate cupcakes are my most requested. Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake used to be my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes until I found this vegan recipe from Martha Stewart. It comes out perfect every time. It produces a tender and fluffy cupcake with a deep chocolate flavor. I've made numerous different icings to top these cupcakes, and for a recent birthday outing, a friend asked for chocolate chip mint frosting. I used my basic vanilla buttercream recipe, subbed peppermint extract for vanilla, and added mini chocolate chips and a few drops of green food coloring. The icing was excellent and perfectly complemented the chocolate cake. Even our waitress at dinner could not resist snagging one for herself. The only problem is that I would not recommend piping this icing because of the chocolate chips. 

Chocolate Chip Mint Icing

2–4 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
4–6 tablespoons water (or any other liquid of choice)
a few drops of green food coloring

Cream butter and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and whipped. With the mixer on low, add peppermint extract, food coloring, powdered sugar one cup at a time, and water (or any other liquid) one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat well until combined.