Showing posts with label Improv Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Improv Challenge. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Caramel Cinnamon Muffins

Today is the day for the wonderfully fun, Improve Challenge, and this months 2 ingredients are equally fun~cinnamon and sugar!! How many yummy things can you make with cinnamon and sugar? Probably, like, a zillion! But as difficult as it was, I narrowed it down to just one~Caramel Cinnamon Muffins! There is no way you won't like these!

Caramel Cinnamon Muffins
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)

4 tablespoons Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 large Eggs
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/4 cups Milk

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons Melted Butter
 12 Individual Caramels

1/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Mix together the butter, sugar, baking powder,
cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
Add 1/3 of the flour, and half of the milk, and mix together.
Add some more flour, the rest of the milk, and mix together again.
Then add the rest of the flour and mix together one more time.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cinnamon, sugar,
and butter to make the filling. When you add the butter,
add 2 tablespoons first and mix together. Add the third
tablespoon if needed. The mix should be thick.
Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup.
Place 2 tablespoons of cinnamon filling over the batter
of each muffin.
Cover the cinnamon filling with more batter.
Take a caramel and place one into each muffin. The caramel
won't be totally submersed in the batter. A little might show
on the top. Make your cinnamon sugar by mixing
1/4 cup white sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each muffin batter.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool just a little.
Serve right away and the caramel will be totally molten.
If you wait 15 minutes, the caramel will ooze. If the muffins
cool completely, pop them into the microwave  to warm.
Thanks for joining me today!

Check out what everyone else made!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Breakfast Pizza!

This month the two ingredients for the Improv Cooking Challenge are bacon and eggs! I love these two ingredients, don't you?  I had a hard time deciding what I should make.  Should I go with breakfast, dessert, or an entree maybe? I finally decided on this breakfast pizza, and I am so glad I did! It was different and it was delicious. I think you will agree!
Breakfast Pizza
Shredded Potatoes
Chopped Onions
Chopped Red, Orange, and Yellow Peppers
Slice of Fresh Tomato, chopped
1 Egg
Pizza Sauce
Flour Tortillas
2 pieces of Bacon per Pizza
Fiesta Blend Cheese
Chopped Avocado
Sour Cream
Start your potatoes cooking on your stove top. 
Chop up your peppers, tomato, and onion.
Add the onions to the pan with the potatoes.
Saute your peppers in your frying pan.
Scramble your egg.
Place your tortilla in a frying pan, and spoon some sauce
 over the tortilla. Heat on medium.
Spread some potato and onion mix on top of the sauce.
Sprinkle some cheese over the potatoes.
Add your cooked egg by spreading it over your pizza.
Add your peppers.
Chop or tear your bacon into pieces, 
and spread the pieces evenly over your pizza.
Add some more cheese over the top.
Check bottom of your tortilla. 
It should be slightly brown and firm.
The cheese should also be melting by this time.
Take the pizza off the heat and add your chopped 
avocado pieces, and a dollop of sour cream.
Thanks for joining me today!
I apologize for being so absent lately.
We are almost settled in our new city, 
so I hope you will look forward to some new excitement at
The Freshman Cook soon!

Check out what everyone else made today!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberries, Cream, and a Cookie Journey

Today is reveal day for the Improv Challenge! This challenge is always fun and this month our two ingredients are strawberries and cream. Does anything say summer more than that? So I went with cream cheese cookies covered with frosting made with strawberry coulis for taste and color.
 Here's to a Happy Summer!

Cream Cheese Cookies w/Strawberry Coulis Icing
 Cream Cheese Cutouts
 (from allrecipes)
1/2 cup Butter, softened
3 ounce Cream Cheese
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla 
2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Cream together your butter, cream cheese, and sugar until
light and fluffy.
Add your egg and vanilla. 
Combine your flour and baking powder and 
spoon into wet mixture. Mix. Divide your dough into
two pieces and cover and chill until firm; about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
On a lightly floured surface, cut out your dough.
Bake for 7-0 minutes until done.
Cool completely.

Strawberry Icing
(adapted from Antonia74-Cake
6 oz warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Confectioners Sugar
1/4 cup Strawberry Sauce

Pour the warm water in a mixing bowl.
Add the meringue powder.
Whisk for 30 seconds. It should be thicker and frothy.
Add your cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
Pour all the confectioners sugar in the bowl at one time.
Mix on the lowest speed for 10 minutes.
Icing will get thick and creamy.
Cover icing immediately.
Tale about 2 cups of icing out of the bowl.
Slowly pour in just a little at a time of the strawberry sauce.
Mix well.
Icing should begin to turn color and take on the taste
of a strawberry. Add more as needed.
Start by outlining and filling in the leaves on your 
strawberry cookies. The leaves on real
strawberries are never perfect or the same, 
and mine aren't either. (That sounds like a good excuse
to cover a mistake, doesn't it?  :))
 Let all the leaves dry. I made 2 dozen of the cookies, so 
I just outlined and filled in all the leaves first.
Then I outlined the rest of the cookie in the strawberry icing.
I went rather low on the top outline because of the danger of
getting the strawberry icing on the green leaf.
Fill in the body of the strawberry, then go back to the top where
the leaf is and push the icing gently with your paintbrush.
There you have it.
When I made my frosting, I used a homemade
strawberry coulis that I made last week, instead
of a store bought sauce.(I'll be posting the recipe for the
coulis tomorrow) The fresh sauce gave the cookies a
true strawberry look because of the flecks of strawberry.
(you can barely see it in the pic)
However, the store bought sauce
might give a more intense flavor.

Check out what everyone else made!

The Freshman Cook is stopping by these parties:
Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Favorites
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Tutorial Tuesdays

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chocolate Cake w/ Cherry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

It's time again for the Crazy Cooking Challenge! This is such a fun challenge. Each month we are assigned a featured food. This month it is chocolate cake! Yum! Our job is to go out into blog land and find a chocolate cake made on a fellow bloggers blog. Then make the cake, and post it on your blog. There are some rules, of course, so once you join, you'll have to read the fine print. But you are going to join, right? It easy, fun, tasty, and really interesting! You will love it!! You should join!
I found my chocolate cake on a blog called Chef in Training. This blog is so incredible! I love it. It is authored by Nikki, who has the most incredible recipes ever! Her chocolate cake is the BEST! EVER! I am in love with her Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers recipe. I love Wingers, so I can't wait to make them.  Her Navajo Tacos recipe looks incredible and honestly, I never met a Navajo Taco that I didn't devour! But wait until you try the chocolate cake!! Here it is:

1 box Devil's Food cake mix 
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix 
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup vegetable oil 
4 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup milk 
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
The batter will be thick.
Pour the batter into your prepared pans.
Let cook until done, about 20-30 minutes.
Let cool on a cooling rack.
  Cream Cheese Icing
2  8 ounce Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cup Confectioners Sugar

Make your icing by creaming the cream cheese 
and the butter together. Add the vanilla.
Slowly add the confectioners sugar.
Make sure it incorporates and mix well.

Cut the two layers in half, widthwise.
Cover each inside half with a thin layer
of cream cheese frosting.
Then on top of the bottom cream cheese
frosting, place a layer of cherry filling.
Put the top on the cake.
Frost bottom layer.
Do the same thing to the top layer. 
Add top layer to cake before frosting. 
Frost top.
Decorate how you wish. 
Because it is the season of love I 
thought this cake was begging to be decorated with a heart!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Some changes:
I changed a couple things from the original recipe.
Nikki used chocolate chips in her cake. I omitted them.
In Nikki's recipe she decorated with chocolate icing and
Skor candy bars. It looked beautiful, and I'm sure it 
tastes heavenly. But when my husband discovered that I was 
baking a chocolate cake, he asked if I would make cream cheese
icing and add cherries to the layers.
Because I can't say no to him, I honored his request.
It was delicious!
My husband swears that this cake is 
the moistest, unbelievably best chocolate cake he has ever had!!
He is right! You will love this!
Here is the original recipe.

Thanks Nikki for making this such a great
Crazy Cooking Challenge!