Me love coookies!

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Hi everyone! I hope you all loved last week’s lemon bars, clearly the two of us at Sweet Little Brownies love lemony things, but this week I decided to switch things up a little.

According to the magical World Wide Web, October is Cookie Month! How has this not been declared an international holiday?! Cookies always remind me of Cookie Monster and so to commemorate this important occasion, I decided to make Cookie Monster cupcakes. In case you guys are bored with life and need something to make you laugh, check out this hilarious song by Cookie Monster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTIGg3I5y8.

I was inspired by this lol.

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For these cupcakes, I used our favourite Meringue Buttercream from the first post, and made funfetti cupcakes. Funfetti cupcakes are the best! I also made mini milk chocolate chip cookies for Cookie Monster.

I made them for a little get together, and everyone seemed to love them-you should make them too!

Here they are! Aren’t they pretty?? 😀

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(As you can see, I made brownie cupcakes too, but I’ll be posting those another week.)

Here are all the ingredients you need. As you can see I also made mini chocolate chip cookies, and I’ve included the recipe for those along with the others. If you must, I give you permission to use store-bought chocolate chip cookies. But just this one time…Image

I didn’t take a lot of process pictures this time, since I was in a rush, but I didn’t use any of my mad Iron Chef skills to make these cupcakes, so you should be good to go!

For the cupcakes, first cream the butter and sugar. Image

Then add the dry ingredients, milk, and SPRINKLES! Did I mention I love sprinkles?

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Make the Meringue butter cream frosting, and dye it blue. I used Wilton Gel food colouring in Royal Blue.

To make Cookie Monster’s eyes, I bought white chocolate wafers and semisweet chocolate chips. To glue them together, I just held the flat end of the chocolate chip against a hot surface and then placed it on the white chocolate wafer.

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To assemble the cupcakes:

1. Cut a diagonal slit in the cupcake for Cookie Monster’s mouth.

2. Spread a thin layer of blue buttercream onto each of the cupcakes, it doesn’t have to be pretty, so feel free to just use a butterknife.

3. Use a Wilton #233 tip to get the fur effect, and pipe on the frosting to cover the whole surface.

4. Gently place the two “eyes” onto the cupcake so they are standing up, and pointing in different directions.

5. Cut the cookies in half, and shove one half into his mouth. Don’t they look awesome?!

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Special thanks to my brother V for all of the amazing pictures!

As always, the recipes are below.

Thanks for checking us out this week, and remember to come back next Sunday for a new sweet little treat!

-G

Original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 36 mini cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tbsp white sugar

6 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp pure vanilla

1 egg, at room temperature

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Celsius and link a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add egg, beat well.

4. Beat in flour mixture, and stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about 4 cm between each cookie.

6. Bake for 9-11 minutes (usually I bake them for 9 minutes, exactly).

Vanilla Funfetti Cupcakes

(Source: How Sweet Eats Blog)

Makes 12 (I ended up with only 10 though)

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup 2% milk

1/3 cup coloured sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add vanilla. Beat until combined.

3. Combine all of the dry ingredients in another bowl.

4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix to combine.

5. Add milk, mix to combine, and then add remaining dry ingredients.

6. Fold the sprinkles in gently.

7. Pour into cupcake pan, and bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

8. Cool, and then frost.

Blue Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

(Source: Baker’s Royale)

Ices 12 Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

tiny pinch of salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Royal Blue Wilton Gel Food Colouring

1) Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2) Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
3) Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.   The frosting may appear to look separated, keep mixing and it will come together (this commonly happens when making Swiss Meringue Buttercream).

4. Colour the frosting until it turns into the perfect Cookie Monster blue.

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Lemon Squares!

So I’m flying solo with this post today since the two of us can’t always get together to bake on Saturday nights (wild social lives, we know).

I decided to make lemon squares since its incredibly easy and I was feeling incredibly lazy. This recipe is pretty easy to follow; even my brother could pull it off (I may have just lost us one of our 5 readers). The original recipe is from allrecipies.com. If you haven’t used this site before, I highly recommend it. You can essentially find anything you’re looking for and the reviews are usually pretty helpful. I changed up the ratio of base to lemon filling just out of personal preference; I like a little more lemon filling and a little less base.

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Mix together all the ingredients for the base first. I started doing this by hand but then remembered that living at home as a student has a couple of perks, one of them being a Kitchenaid standing mixer.Image

Press this crumb-like mixture firmly into the bottom of a pan (I used a 9x9inch) and bake for 20 minutes (or the edges are very slightly brown).

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While the base is baking, whisk together all this gloriousness:

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I like to add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to get more of the lemon flavour. I only had one lemon on hand so I added a little bit of the ready to use stuff. Don’t judge me…

Pour this onto the baked base.

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Bake for another 20 minutes.

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And you’re done 🙂 You can dress them up a little bit with some icing sugar but they’re equally as delicious as is.

Enjoy!

-S

Edited Recipe:

Base

  • ¾ cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Lemon filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Original recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-lemon-bars/)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and adding a drop of green food coloring to give a very pale green. After both pans have cooled, cut into uniform 2 inch squares and arrange in a checker board fashion.

Starting off with… cupcakes?

We planned to make brownies for our first post, but that failed.

So instead, we made these cupcakes for our friend who was going to France for the summer. Lemon cupcakes with whipped vanilla buttercream and candy melt butterflies.

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The cupcake recipe is from Laura Vitale (http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=368).

These cupcakes have fresh lemon flavour from the lemon zest and have a similar texture to pound cake. We’ve made these cupcakes lots of times and they’re essentially fool proof (coming from us, that means a lot).

ImageImageDon’t forget to tap the tray before baking so they don’t explode (like some of these did…).

We figured we were putting in so much sugar into the icing so hey, chocolate ganache on top? Why not.

Just take equal parts whipping cream and semi-sweet chocolate, heat the cream to a simmer, then add the chocolate and stir until smooth.

For the icing, we used the recipe for classic vanilla buttercream frosting from Bakers Royale (http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/banana-split-cupcakes/).

First, add the sugar and egg whites together until you can put your finger in and it’s just a little too hot (clearly, we don’t own a candy thermometer) and all of the sugar has dissolved. Whip until its cools down and the mixture doubles in volume (don’t try this by hand) and then add the butter and remaining ingredients. Butter = good for the heart?

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For the butterfly decorations, we melted the candy melts in the microwave until smooth. Transfer into Ziploc bags and pipe on wax paper into butterflies (if artistically challenged like us, follow a stencil).

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To assemble:

1. After cupcakes are cooled, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top.

2. Put in freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.

3. Dip into prepared chocolate ganache.

4. Pipe on buttercream.

*If you want to reuse your piping bag, check out this link, http://chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.ca/2011/04/tip-best-tip-ever-for-filling-pastry.html*

5. Carefully place piped butterflies on top of buttercream.

To be even more ambitious, we tried to make some 3-D butterflies too. We piped the wings and bodies separately and let them cool. Then, we glued them together at an angle with extra candy melts.

ImageAnd voila! Aren’t they pretty 🙂

If you’re not as super keen as we were, piping this icing onto the cooled cupcakes will taste just as good (slightly healthier? Not likely)

You could even top with toasted coconut flakes and a strawberry slice just for kicks (or just sprinkles would do too).

First post = accomplished!

Stay tuned for weekly posts (that means you, Mom)!

Lemon Cupcakes from Laura Vitale:

1 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Unsalted Butter at room temperature

2 Eggs (We’ve substituted the eggs with yoghurt before and it ends up equally as delicious)

¼ cup of Whole Milk (We used 2%)

¼ cup of Sour Cream (We used yoghurt)

2 tsp of Freshly Grated Lemon Zest

1 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice

½ tsp of Vanilla Extract

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a 12 piece cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3) In a large bowl, using a hand help whisk or you can do this in a big standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and incorporate well.
4) Add the sour cream, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until its all well incorporated.
5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them in to combine but make sure you don’t over mix.
6) Using a large ice cream scoop, divide your batter evenly in lined muffin tin. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Bakers Royale

5 large egg whites

1 ½ cup sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2) Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
3) Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.   The frosting may appear to look separated, keep mixing and and it will come together (this commonly happens when making Swiss Meringue Buttercream.)