Monday, August 22, 2011

Banana Colada Cupcakes

This month's What's Baking theme is Celebrate Summer. We celebrate summer by cooking on the grill, swimming in the pool, and enjoying frosty beverages. One of those beverages that just screams summer is a pina colada. For this recipe, I decided to adapt my grandma's carrot cake recipe, which uses baby food. I subbed banana-pineapple baby food for the carrots and omitted the spices. I topped the cupcakes with coconut buttercream, a sprinkle of coconut, and white chocolate chips. I have to say the combination was pretty amazing, even though the pineaepple flavor was very light.

Banana Colada Cupcakes

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
dash of salt
2 (3.5 oz.) containers banana-pineapple baby food
1 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Beat together sugar and oil until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, baby food, and vanilla and beat well.
Add dry ingredients and mix well. 
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake 17 - 20 minutes.

Coconut Buttercream
2 sticks butter, room temperature
5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 - 4 tablespoons water

Cream the butter. Add coconut and vanilla extracts and beat well. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and water until desired consistency is reached. Beat well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Snickerdoodles with Rolo Centers

I love cinnamon and I adore snickerdoodles. I usually make snickerdoodles for Christmas and they are always a staple when I need a quick item for a bake sale. I love them, especially the crispy outside and the soft inside. I was in the mood to bake the other day, so I ran to the store to pick up a few items and while in the check-out line, I spotted Rolos. You remember those soft and chewy chocolate-caramel candies? They gave me an idea, so into the cart they went. I decided to stuff a Rolo into the center of each cookie. These baked up perfectly. They took a little extra time, but it was worth it when I bit into a soft cookie with a gooey chocolate-caramel center. 

Snickerdoodles with Rolo Centers
Source: Adapted from Hershey's

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar,divided
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
40 Rolos candies 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and unwrap 40 Rolos.
Stir together 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy on medium-high speed.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly.
Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture beating on low speed until well blended.
Shape dough into 1-inch disk and place a Rolo in the center.
Shape dough around Rolo and roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 9 -11 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack.