Sunday, May 31, 2009

Coconut Key Lime Cake

I had some key limes leftover from a previous project (see Cyle's Graduation Cupcakes below), and I had seen this recipe on Smitten Kitchen's blog so I decided to have a go at it.

After I cut a piece for myself....

That evening, I had plans to meet my sister-in-law Shannon and my friend Brooke for frozen yogurt at Yogurtville. I cut them a few slices and boxed them in my pretty Martha Stewart food gift boxes. I think they were pleasantly surprised by the cake. :)

Cyle's Graduation Cupcakes

One of my oldest friends, Cyle, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin on May 15th. In honor of his big day, I decided to make cupcakes (big surprise, I know!). When I asked him what kind he wanted, it was definitely a new request for me. Cyle wanted Chocolate cupcakes with Key Lime Cream Cheese frosting. He asked me if I had ever made that kind of cupcake, and I told him that I had made them separately, but never together. But, I'm always up for a cupcake challenge...and here is the result:

A close-up...

I saw this idea on another cupcake blog, and decided to give it a try. I made little flags to go in each of the cupcakes. My picture turned out kinda blurry, though. They say, "Congrats Cyle!" on them, in UT orange.

Here is the graduate with his cupcakes....I may have caught him off guard in this pic.....

For being such an odd combination, these were very good together. But most importantly, Cyle loved them.

Here's the recipe from
* 2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips divided
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups water

Makes: Cake serves 12.
Chocolate-Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pan with vegetable pan spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter together either in microwave oven or on top of range over low heat. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into electric mixer bowl. Add sugar; beat until well blended. Beat in eggs, one at time. Add vanilla. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add remaining flour and water; mix until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until cake tests done. Place pan on cooling rack. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup chocolate chips over cake; let stand 2-3 minutes or until chips have softened. Gently spread melted chocolate over top of cake. Cool completely in pan before covering.

And for the frosting, also from
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
* 8 ounces cream cheese softened
* 2 tablespoons key lime juice
* 1 teaspoon key lime zest or lemon zest
* 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar

Makes: About 3 cups.

In large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 4 cups confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time; continue beating until light and fluffy. If icing is too thin add additional confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.

Red Velvet Cupcakes for Clare's Dinner Party (And a lightning strike!)

A few months ago, I made cupcakes for a Friday night Scrapbooking Crop that I am a part of. They were a big success. One of my fellow scrappers, Clare, asked me to make cupcakes for an upcoming dinner party of hers. Obviously I accepted!

Red Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting:

While I was out (for 45 mintues) delivering the cupcakes to Clare's house (she also lives in Frisco), lightning struck our house! When I walked in, our house had a funny burnt smell to it. When I walked further into the house, I saw on our fireplace that some tiles had been shattered and there were a few burn marks. I called the fire department and they brought out the whole crew to check our house for anything that could still be smoldering. Luckily there was no structural damage, and we are so lucky and blessed that our house didn't catch on fire. It turned out to be a crazy day. Alex and I stayed with my parents in Denton for a few days since the firemen turned off our power to prevent anything else from happening.

Lime Meltaway Cookies

I had some limes in the fridge that were begging to be baked with, so I found this recipe in my Martha Stewart Cookie book. They actually DID melt in your mouth.

I took them to work the next day for my co-workers to enjoy. If you want the recipe, let me know and I'll email it to you. :)

Austin Cupcakes Part Two

While in Austin, we also visited Sugar Mama's Bakeshop. We picked up these yummy cupcakes:

Such cute packaging and a great logo...

Let's see if I can remember the flavors....
first row (left to right) Pina Colada, Lemon, and two Vanillas
second row Pina Colada, Red Velvet, and vanilla cake with chocolate frosting
third row cinnamon something (can't remember!), vanilla with chocolate, and two Peanut Butter Chocolate

The one I can't remember is the one I had....and it was great!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Austin Cupcakes

In April, Alex and I drove down to Austin for the weekend. Alison's bachelorette party was that Saturday night, and Alex came to hang out with Will (Alison's then fiance, now husband!). During the day on Saturday, Alex, Will and I went to Hey Cupcake! for some cupcake goodness.

Will outside of Hey Cupcake!

Me outside of Hey Cupcake!

Their incredibly yummy menu:

Me and Alison with our cupcakes:

Vanilla cake with pink buttercream frosting for me and Red velvet for Alison:

So sad that it was half gone...this was one seriously good cupcake. This is probably the best cupcake from a Cupcakery that I have ever had!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Goodreads Review

Looking After Pigeon Looking After Pigeon by Maud Carol Markson

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was my first Goodreads First Reads book. I am so glad that I had the pleasure of reading this book. The characters are well developed and I felt a genuine sympathy for them throughout the book. Although the book isn't available until July, I would highly recommend checking it out when it becomes available. A quick read with lots to offer.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Easter Sugar Cookies

Alex and I spent Easter this year at his Mom and Stepdad's house. I decided to make cookies instead of cupcakes this time around. I am still working on my piping skills, but practice makes perfect, right? :)

All the pretty icing colors:

Alex taking over decorating duties:

Alex is quite the natural when it comes to decorating, whether it is cookies or cupcakes:

The finished products:

I think I spent about three hours from start to finish with these cookies, and that is just the decorating, not the baking time. I had to stop decorating and take a break from time to time. I think the cookies turned out great, and they tasted pretty good, too. :)