Orange Sorbet

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Even in the winter, it’s great to have something refreshing sometimes. We love regular ice cream, but we also like to cut back on fat intake too (and especially during Lent, it’s a good time to cut back!). We had a bunch of oranges on the counter, so we made sorbet. It fit the bill perfectly and it was a refreshing and delicious treat. Citrus season has been at its peak the past month, so now is a great time to make the most it! Blood oranges, grapefruits, or just regular oranges all work perfectly here, so use up what you have on hand. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

P.S. We have the recipe doubled below. Any less and you’d hardly be able to serve more than 4 people. The sorbet bowl in the picture is probably about 1/3 of the doubled batch (or about 2-3 servings), if that gives you a good idea of how much to make depending on the number of people you plan to serve.

Orange Sorbet

Recipe from Annie’s Eats, originally from David Lebovitz

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 cups orange juice (about 6-8 oranges)

1/2 cup sugar

4-6 tbsp. soft or sparkling white wine (This is optional and just keeps the sorbet from freezing totally solid. We omitted it)

Directions

Combine ¼ cup of the orange juice with the sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ¾ cup of orange juice.  Stir in the wine if using.  Chill the mixture well in the refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We recommend freezing the sorbet for about an hour after it finishes in the ice cream maker and then serving. Enjoy!

Crunchy Maple Coconut Granola

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The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook has yet another winner in this granola! Most of the time we (or our mom) have made homemade granola, it tasted good but wasn’t super crunchy. This one definitely is. The secret to giving it its crunchiness is an egg white, something that sounds weird in granola but actually makes it crunchier. Another great thing about this recipe is the fact that it has maple syrup and olive oil instead of sugar and butter. Not that we’re adverse to sugar and butter (see: cookie dough cupcakes), but it’s a breakfast food and no one wants to eat 500 calories worth of granola! Plus, it has lots of coconut flavor. Dried unsweetened coconut is used, not the sugary kind, which also helps keep it in the breakfast food category. Make sure you are a coconut lover before making this recipe!

You can definitely jazz this up any way you want. We went the dried cranberry and almond route, but dried apricots and almonds, dried pineapple/mango and macadamia nuts (a tropical theme with the coconut!), or dried cherries and walnuts (the way the cookbook writes it) would all be equally yummy. We bet that during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season dried cranberries and pecans would be a festive choice.

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Crunchy Granola

Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Makes about 7 cups of granola

Ingredients:

3 cups  old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup  unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup  nuts, chopped (we used slivered almonds)
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons  olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or another dried fruit, chopped if in large pieces

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, stirring to coat evenly. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir it into the granola mixture to coat evenly. Spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Don’t worry if it breaks up a little; ours did and it was fine. Rotate the pan if necessary When it is evenly browned and crunchy, transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Once it is completely cool, break it into clusters. Ours didn’t really need to be broken up thanks to turning it halfway through. Add in the dried fruit.

Keep it in an airtight container on the counter for up to two weeks, or put it in the freezer.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

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Pistachios are the one type of nut (other than honey roasted peanuts) that we enjoy eating plain. Our dad introduced us to them when we were younger, and we’ve always liked them. Well, one day, we were sitting around thinking of recipes and thought of pistachio white chocolate chunk cookies! This quickly evolved into shortbread, and we started hunting down a good recipe to use, which we adapted slightly by adding a little almond extract. We ended up dipping the final cookies in white chocolate and topping with more pistachios for a delicious cookie that is both elegant and easy to make!

Pistachio White Chocolate Shortbread

Adapted from Epicurious, originally from Bon Appetit (August 2007)

Makes about 60 small cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted, chopped

1 large egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped

Chopped salted pistachios (optional)

Directions

Mix flour, powdered sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter, pistachios, egg yolk, and vanilla. Pulse until a moist ball forms. Transfer dough to work surface. Divide dough in half. Form each dough half into 8 x 1 1/4-inch log. Wrap logs in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rolling log after every few slices to retain round shape. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake shortbread until barely golden, about 18 minutes. Cool shortbread on baking sheets.

While cookies cool, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Dip each cookie into the white chocolate. If need be, add a couple drops of canola oil to thin out the chocolate enough for dipping. Top with more pistachios. Let set, and then serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls

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A couple of weeks ago, we went to the nearby city for the weekend with our school for a Model UN conference (kind of nerdy, we know, but it was fun. Well, at least it was fun walking around the city to shop and eating basically all meals at restaurants!). Out of all the great restaurants the city has to offer, we ended up going to Chili’s for dinner the first night because it was close, and it was also really cold and late. Celine got a similar version of these Southwestern egg rolls and they had a filling with questionable components, even though they tasted pretty good. She thought that they could be way better homemade, as most things are, and these were happily no exception.

Southwestern egg rolls? We know, we were suspicious of these before we tasted them too. Let’s face it, they aren’t the prettiest things ever and the combination of an Asian egg roll with a Mexican filling just seems wrong. But trust us, it isn’t. Besides the best guacamole ever and Grandma Pizza, these are one of our favorite savory things to make (shockingly!). The filling is made up of corn, green onion, black beans, spinach, plenty of cheese, and spices. Dipped in an avocado lime cream sauce, they are out-of-this-world good. We can’t wait to make them again!

Southwestern Egg Rolls

Makes about 20-24

Recipe slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion, originally from Ezra Pound Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained (squeeze it to make sure all of the liquid is out)

2 cups Mexican shredded cheese

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained

4 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 package egg roll wrappers (about 24)

Directions:

Combine all the filling ingredients large bowl. Mix well to blend. Place about ¼ cup of filling in the bottom center of  an egg roll wrapper (have the wrapper in a diamond shape with a point facing you). Fold the tip pointing to you to you over the filling, then roll once. Fold the sides over the filling and roll until a small point is left. Dip your finger in water and use it to moisten the remaining point. Push it firmly against the roll to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

Preheat your oven to 425º. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the egg rolls, seam side down, onto the baking sheet. Lightly coat the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through baking to brown both sides. Serve warm with salsa, avocado cream sauce, etc. Enjoy!

Fudge Sauce Two Ways

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Once you’ve tried one (or both) of these fudge sauces, you’ll never go back to the store-bought kind. On the left is a classic hot fudge sauce, and on the right is a vanilla bean white chocolate fudge sauce that tastes sort of like marshmallow topping. Both are crazily delicious and go well over a multitude of ice cream flavors. Our intention was to share a healthy chocolate ice cream with these two sauces, but sadly, it was a somewhat icky failure so we won’t be sharing it. That doesn’t matter though, because these sauces are amazing and definitely worth posting about! Also, we think the sauce is generally the best part of an ice cream dessert anyway.

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The classic hot fudge sauce involves chocolate in two different forms (cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate) and seriously comes together from start to finish in about 10 minutes. Our opinion is that classic hot fudge sauce goes well on basically any type of ice cream out there, and I (Celine) like it especially well over orange sherbet. This hot fudge sauce is super chocolatey. Look at that:

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The vanilla bean white chocolate fudge sauce is equally easy and includes marshmallow fluff, heavy cream, lots of vanilla, and of course white chocolate! It was so, so good and probably would be ideal over strawberry ice cream! We’ll be trying that sometime soon.

Classic Hot Fudge Sauce

Recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker

Makes about 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided in half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it’s pourable but still thick. Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Fudge Sauce

Recipe adapted from Baked Bree

Makes about 1 1/2 cups (we didn’t measure this, so it’s just an approximation)

Ingredients

1 (7.5-ounce) jar marshmallow creme

3 ounces high quality white chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup light corn syrup

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

Directions

Combine  marshmallow creme, white chocolate, corn syrup, cream, and salt to a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir until the sauce is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in vanilla extract and seeds from inside the vanilla bean.

Pour the sauce into jars and serve warm over ice cream. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

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Yep, this happened, and it was awesome. We have been looking for an opportunity to make these, but couldn’t justify the copious amounts of butter and sugar involved. Well, I (Leah) wanted to bring in food for my lunch table for the day before Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, and that served as the ideal way to get rid of nine cupcakes so our family wouldn’t eat all of them. We were very pleased with how they turned out (other than the fact that Celine added half the amount of baking powder to the cupcake batter itself. We do not recommend making this mistake)!

The frosting was heavenly! It somehow had both the qualities and flavors of both cookie dough and basic buttercream frosting at the same time. The cookie dough filling was simple and delicious to make. Our only change that we may make is using a different cupcake base, perhaps just a typical yellow cake or chocolate cake next time. This one was a little on the rich side (don’t look at the amount of butter!!). But whatever you choose to do, no one will be disappointed with these!

P.S. Since the cookie dough in these involves no raw eggs, the cupcakes are completely safe to eat! We are the type of people who never, ever eat things with raw eggs, even though they are usually fine for healthy people to eat. You never know, and we like to be on the safe side!

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, semisweet or bittersweet

For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened room temperature
6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting: 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For garnish:
Small chocolate chip cookies
Mini chocolate chips

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the cookie filling:

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture is firm, about an hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

For the frosting:

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes (we used a piping bag), and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and top with mini chocolate chip cookies for garnish. Store in the fridge if you don’t plan on serving within a couple of hours. Enjoy!

 

Almond Tea Cakes filled with Jam

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Say hello to a very elegant Valentine’s Day treat that is perfect for enjoying with a hot cup of tea. These popped out to us recently in our Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book. The question is, why on earth did we wait several years to make these? They may possible win the prize for the most delicious dessert we have made recently! They are supposed to have a whole pitted cherry in the center, but in the middle of winter, when life doesn’t give you cherries, you don’t make cherry-filled cupcakes. So, we instead filled them with jam for a more year-round-friendly option and found the results great. Any type of jam would work, but we recommend some sort of berry, preferably cherry. The cake itself is tender with a lovely almond-flavored hint from almond flour. These would be fun to serve as a treat at a party with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or just for eating plain while reading a book on a rainy day!

Almond Tea Cakes filled with Jam

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Makes about 30 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing muffin tin

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin

5 ounces almond flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon coarse salt

5 large egg whites

4 teaspoons kirsch (cherry brandy) or cherry juice (which is what we used)

Jam (we recommend a firmer jam, and some sort of berry flavor, preferably cherry)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter (we recommend melting a little butter to make this easier), and dust lightly with flour.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.

Whisk together flour, almond flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in kirsch. Pour in butter, leaving any burnt sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Put 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Spoon a little jam (about a half a teaspoon) onto each cupcake, and gently spread the batter over it. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight. Enjoy!

Chicken Ranch Pizza

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Until now, we hadn’t tried any unique pizza recipes. However, we remedied that this weekend by trying chicken ranch pizza! We are Catholic, so every year we give something up for Lent. This year, we are challenging ourselves by giving up meat. Since Lent starts Wednesday, we only have a few more days to eat meat. This pizza was a delicious way to enjoy it while we can!
It starts with this perfect crust. Then, the crust is topped with ranch dressing, mozzarella, cheddar, grilled chicken, tomatoes, and green onions. We forgot to get the onions, so they aren’t on our pizza. We highly recommend adding them though! Another great addition would be bacon. If you like, feel free to make homemade ranch. Regardless, this is a super yummy pizza and was very much enjoyed!

Chicken Ranch Pizza

Serves 4 (one pizza)

Recipe for crust and pizza from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

1/2 recipe pizza crust

1/4 cup ranch dressing

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into small pieces

1 tomato, seeded and diced

2-3 green onions, chopped

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Bacon (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and let pizza stone heat up for 30 minutes or more.  Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone.  Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.  Gently roll out the pizza dough into a large circle, leaving a thicker ring around the edge for the crust.  Spread the Ranch dressing in a thin layer evenly over the unbaked crust.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.  Top with grilled chicken, tomato and green onions (and bacon, if using).  Sprinkle with shredded cheddar.  Once assembled, carefully transfer the parchment round and pizza to the preheated baking stone and return to the oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned.  Slice and enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

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We’ve been having a light dusting of snow every couple of days for the past week or two. While it’s pretty, couldn’t it snow enough to give us a two hour delay or a day off? Everyone keeps getting their hopes up for nothing!

So, when the weather is kind of icky, what better time is it to make cupcakes? Especially sunny, lemony ones. Celine had a burst of inspiration for them when one of our teachers randomly mentioned lemon meringue pie last week. While we found out through Google that is has been done before, we were pretty excited about the idea anyway.

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These cupcakes start out with a faintly lemon graham cracker crust that is baked for a couple of minutes before adding the batter. For the cake part itself, we made a light but sturdy-enough-to-fill lemon cake. We then filled it with lemon curd (yum!), and topped it off with a fluffy 7-minute frosting. For the “icing on the cake,” we put them under the broiler for a minute to give them a brown top, just like classic lemon meringue pie.

What resulted was one of our favorite cupcakes ever. They tasted exactly like lemon meringue pie in cupcake form. Our family ate them surprisingly quickly, and they were even our lunch on one day (hey, you can’t eat cupcakes and lunch all in one sitting!). One thing to note is that this recipe makes a quite a few cupcakes. Since the frosting is best freshly made, and loses its silky texture after about a day, we would recommend halving the batch of cupcakes if you don’t plan on serving them all within a day.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Makes about 34 cupcakes

Crust (slightly adapted) and cake from Annie’s Eats, Lemon Curd from Sweetapolita, and Frosting from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (start with about 8-9 sheets)

1/4 cup sugar

5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

For the Cake:

3 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Lemon Curd:

4 lemons

2 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small even cubes

For the Frosting:

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

6 large egg whites, at room temperature

Directions:

For the Curd:

Wash the lemons and  zest them (only the outer colored part- not the white) into a bowl. Make sure you have two teaspoons of zest and set aside.

Slice the citrus in half crosswise using a sharp knife, and extract as much of the juice as you can using citrus juicer.  Juice until you have 2/3 cup of juice. Make sure to strain it!

Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 1 inch of water, then placing a metal bowl on top of the saucepan. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, and then remove the bowl.

Whisk the juice, whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the metal bowl until smooth. Add the butter cubes to the bowl, but do not stir.

Heat the water in the saucepan over low heat until it simmers (not boils) and place the bowl atop the rim. Stirring gently and constantly using  wooden spoon, cook until the curd has thickened and all of the butter has melted and is incorporated, about 10 minutes (it took us a little longer). It should coat the back of a spoon. To be on the safe side, we used our instant-read thermometer to make sure it was 165 degrees.

Strain the curd over a bowl using a fine-mesh sieve and then stir in the zest. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly against the curd to prevent a skin from forming and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. It will thicken as it chills.

For the Crusts:

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line pans with cupcake liners.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom. You can use either your hands or a small cup for this job.  Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Keep the oven temperature at 350° F.

For the Cake:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.  Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the lemon zest to the bowl of the mixer with the butter.  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until fully mixed in.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Combine the buttermilk and the lemon and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake wells.  Bake (rotating the pans halfway through) until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes, then remove from tins and let cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Continue boiling without stirring until the syrup reaches 230 °F.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.

As soon as the syrup reaches 230 °F, remove from heat. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until the mixture is completely cool (you can test this by touching the side of the bowl) and stiff (not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes.

To Assemble:

Using a small knife, cut a cone out of each cupcake. Cut the tip off each cone so that you have a small “disc” of cake. Fill each cone-shaped hole with lemon curd, and cover with the cake disc. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes using a star tip. Turn on the broiler to high. Place about 6-8 cupcakes at a time on a baking sheet and broil for 30 seconds to a minute. The first batch will take the longest; subsequent batches will brown extremely quickly. Watch carefully, because you don’t want burned cupcakes! Alternately, you may use a kitchen torch. Serve immediately (they can be refrigerated, but they are best fresh). Enjoy!

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

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No doubt you have likely had a Lofthouse sugar cookie- super soft with a very thick layer of frosting. It’s weird that they are hard to resist, because if you think about it, a) they couldn’t be faker tasting and b) how do they manage to look so pale even after being baked? Well, these are supposed to be a homemade version of that cookie. While they don’t exactly replicate the store bought kind (real ingredients will never taste the same as fake ones, but that’s a good thing!), they are a hundred times better!  These cookies are soft and buttery with great vanilla flavor. One cookie with a glass of milk makes an ideal snack, and our family and friends at school loved them. Your family and friends will love them too-trust us!

P.S. Sprinkles are a must!

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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Makes about 24 large cookies, or more slightly smaller ones

Recipe via Cook Like a Champion

Ingredients

For the cookies:
For the cookies:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
7-8 tablespoons milk (we ended up only needing 6, but you may need less/more depending on how you measured your powdered sugar)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles

Directions

Directions:
Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for one hour.

Once the dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350º. Scoop a scant quarter cup (or less, if you want a smaller cookie) and roll into a ball. Flatten into a thick disk and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set, taking care not to overbake. The edges will be barely browned, if at all. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted butter, vanilla and milk. Continue whisking until smooth, adding more milk as needed, a tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Tint with food coloring, if desired. Use an offset spatula to frost the cookies, and top with sprinkles if desired. If the frosting becomes too thick to be workable, whisk in additional milk. Store in an airtight container after frosting has set. Enjoy!