11.7.16

The holidays are really here! I’m incredibly behind on presents, I’m working more hours in a day than anyone should, my apartment is a mess and there are only lights as of right now on our tree, yes it is truly the holiday season.  I think it’s funny how people get so excited about this time of year and yet it can be the most stressful time there is! How is that fun? I’ve done my best recently to just go with the flow, and try to enjoy any time I have with friends and loved ones as much as possible. This time of year SHOULD be fun and a little magical.  It’s the time of year for snuggling up and watching Christmas movies, drinking mulled wine……..just drinking really. And I can’t help but want to bake all the time, new things, old things, all the chocolate bark I can make. And when I headed to my friend’s Christmas party, the first of the season, I had to bake something to bring! So I made these egg nog cupcakes.  But I have to say I thought they were…..ok. So I had to make them again, just for myself, and make them better.  In the second batch they were exactly how I wanted them! Full of egg nog flavor, like you can SMELL it when you get near them. You can smell it as soon as you take them out of the oven. The cinnamon frosting is the perfect pairing.  I was thinking of boozing them up, but no alcohol actually sounded complementary or appealing to me in this cupcake.  So I’m glad I left well enough alone, because when I tried one myself, I knew second time was a charm.

Holiday Egg Nog Cupcakes
Yields 12
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For the Cupcakes
  1. 1 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tbsp cornstarch
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. seeds from 2/3 a vanilla bean + splash vanilla extract
  9. 1/2 cup canola oil
  10. 1 cup egg nog
For the Frosting
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2 cups confectioners sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. splash of vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line one muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside
  3. In the bowl of a stand up mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat eggs until pale and thick, 30 seconds - 1 minute
  4. Slowly pour sugar into eggs and continue to beat
  5. One by one add in vanilla seeds, vanilla extract, canola oil, and egg nog, making sure each is combined before adding the next
  6. Make sure to switch speed to low and add in flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time, allowing to mix in before adding more, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, about 3/4 of the way full, bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tester comes out of center of cupcakes clean
  8. Allow to cool on a rack before frosting
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand up mixer on medium speed, beat butter about 1-2 minutes, add in splash of vanilla
  2. Add in confectioners sugar (sifted) one cup at a time, then the cinnamon, allow all to combine
  3. Scoop into piping bag with frosting tip and frost cupcakes as desired
Notes
  1. *I always check more than one center of cupcakes with a tester, like the center of the one in the middle, and one on the end of the tray, making sure they're all baked through
Domestic B(i)atch http://domesticbatch.com/
 

My schedule through the end of the year is no joke.  I’m carefully planning everything I’m baking/doing in the next few weeks.  This week was supposed to be all cranberry themed!! But that’s been pushed to next week, but aren’t you glad I made these instead? Even in tough baking times, I would never abandon you.

I think baking makes me like things I don’t normally eat or drink.  Like egg nog.  I’ve never been someone who drinks a lot of egg nog around this time. Just the words “egg nog” are weird. Doesn’t really sound appealing does it? And you say the word “nog” enough out loud and you feel insane.

But put something I don’t love in a baked good? I can’t get enough.  Now if I could bake tomatoes or olives into something and make them taste this good, I’d actually eat them. Side note: that’s a very real fact about me, I eat almost everything, but I hate raw tomatoes and olives.  Cannot get behind them. The worst. Mostly a texture thing.  So just know you may never see anything involving olives or tomatoes on this blog.  But they’re are on million other blogs, you can find it there.

Keep on trucking, this week is halfway over, though for me it feels like it’s already been an eternity.  But that won’t stop me from baking all the things.

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Chai Olive Oil Cake | Domestic B(i)atch

12.2.16

Happy Friday!!! I’ve decided to revisit pears because I realized after making my dessert lasagna, that I actually really enjoy pear desserts. But I took a whole new turn on it.  I wanted to poach them. But what to do with them after that? How about “pair” (hehe) them with a spicy chai cake? Chai is one of those spice mixtures that’s perfect for the fall and winter.  I’m not a huge tea drinker, I’m a coffee cheerleader through and through.  But sometimes, on occasion, I need a little chai in my life.  I’ll have some chai tea with milk, or treat myself to a chai latte. It is surprisingly difficult to find chai spice in stores, though it is available to buy online.  But I made my own.  And it helped make an earthy, fragrant, wonderfully moist cake.  Did I mention this was my first time making an olive oil cake? I’m a huge fan.  While I read a bunch of reviews that said it was “too oily” for their taste I thought it was divine.  And I cannot believe how delicious a cake can be without any butter! This cake doesn’t even need a mixer, only two bowls! How easy is that?! Cray cray.

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Lemon Bars | Domestic B(i)atch

11.30.16

Rain, rain, go away. Seriously rain, GET OUT OF HERE! Normally I love the rain. I love staying in and baking, or watching a movie, catching up on life, finally doing those little errands around the house you keep putting off.  However, a super gloomy day or days in this case, gives you almost no lighting for pictures. And a downpour makes it impossible to take fun outfit pictures that go with any of your upcoming recipes! For shame.  I had a great dress I wanted to feature with these lemon bars. But with crazy windy, cold, and now rainy days recently, it didn’t happen. But I’ve been wanting to talk about these lemon bars for so long I can’t hold off anymore.  And what better way to brighten up these cloudy past few days than these sunny and tart and slightly gooey lemon bars?

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