Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Creme Frosting

I know, I've been gone for a while...again. I think I've given up on being diligent in regards to my food blog. I will share recipes on whims of fancy, and you, whoever you are, will deal with it. But I still love you. And I still want you to eat delicious food.

Part of the lapse in blogging has been due to a major shift in our household. The hubby is apparently lactose intolerant now. So...yeah, life as I know it is over in the kitchen. I'm very much looking forward to a wine night with my ladies so I can smother all sorts of food with cream cheese and butter while he is away. Sigh.

The hardest shift is trying to find things to bake that are dairy free. This cupcake recipe has long been a favorite of mine, because vegan chocolate cake is, in fact, delicious. But frosting? Yeah, I was at a total loss there. If I didn't want to make dark chocolate ganache with vegetable shortening (which I didn't), what option was there? Well, there are quite a few options that I was pleased to find. The winner was a fluffy marshmallow creme frosting which I adapted from a few recipes I found on the internet. It was divine.

So here is my (new) go to recipe for allergen-free cupcakes, unless you have a gluten allergy, then you're SOL, my friend. They were so good I made them for a dinner party with friends. Yes, they were entertaining good. Mmmm.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 1 dozen cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with liners. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix together oil, vinegar, vanilla and water until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix until smooth (batter will be very thin).

Divide batter evenly among lined cups. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Top with your choice of frosting.

Marshmallow Creme Frosting
makes enough to generously frost 1 dozen cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) of margarine
1 jar (70z.) marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat margarine and marshmallow creme until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract. Mix in confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Use immediately. (This frosting is great for piping).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

There have been a surprising amount of requests and questions about my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe over the past couple weeks, so I decided it was time for a repost. This was actually the first recipe I ever posted on this blog, and the formatting was horrible. Finding the recipe on that page was a struggle.

Also, I never revised the recipe. It calls for two types of flour that not everyone has on hand, and honestly I think it's a bunch of fancy-schmancy nonsense because using all-purpose was definitely the best result I had. Now this recipe is straightforward, easy and pretty much no-fail guaranteed. You will love it. I promise.

Unless you don't like chocolate chip cookies and hate America or something. Then I just don't know what to tell you.

The New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from I Am Baker
makes about 3 dozen large cookies

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Stir in vanilla. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough until easy to handle about 1-2 hours. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden brown on the edges but not quite set in the center. Cool on wire racks.
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