Saturday, March 31, 2012

My (coveted) Vanilla Bean Cupcakes *Lauren Perry*

I've been skeptical to post these, because I worked really hard to get this recipe down right. I've received lots of emails and facebook messages from friends who've wanted this recipe over the past few years, and I am always willing to share (and I always get nice thank you messages and pics) :) I figure that these cupcakes make me so happy, they should make everyone happy!

The beauty of this cupcake is in the texture and obviously in the flavor. The actual cupcake part is very thick and rich and not super sweet. It is not light and fluffy. It is strong and holds shape. The frosting, however, is fluffy and heavenly. It is so light and sweet, it goes perfectly with the cake portion. My neighbor claims that the "billowy white clouds of heaven" are made from this frosting.

(Disclaimer- I am obviously not a cake decorator. I am not handy with piping bags or my Pampered Chef frosting gun... don't judge the cupcake on pretty...make it and taste it!)

2 to 3 sticks of softened butter at room temp, beat until smooth
1 jar of marshmallow cream- mix into the butter
3 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar mix into the above (sometimes I do a little less because it can be a little too sweet)
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
cut 1 vanilla bean in half and scoop out the inside of the bean with a spoon and put the stuff you scooped out into the mixture- mix for an extra few seconds.... make sure you use both half's of the bean

*Cream butter, add marshmallow cream, then sugar, then vanilla extract and bean. You want it thick and fluffy

Refrigerate the frosting in a baggy or air tight container----make the day of because you don't want it to melt or get too frozen (if you freeze it the night before)

Vanilla cupcake-
2 sticks of softened butter at room temp
2 cups of sugar
1 cup milk
4 large eggs at room temp.
1 1/2 cups of self rising flour
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

*if you are making a cake- grease and flour the pan
otherwise- use cupcake papers

*cream butter, add eggs 1 at a time
*add sugar and eggs
*add flour in 4 parts (so the flour doesn't fly all over your kitchen)
*add milk &vanilla extract
use an ice cream scoop to add batter to cupcake papers
bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes (until they are just slightly golden on top)
make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before you frost them, about 30 minutes to an hour of cooling

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hawaiian Haystacks *Lauren Perry*

I made 5 crockpots full of this for an activity in our neighborhood! It was a huge hit! It is super easy and very different. It is popular for kiddos because they love to "build their own" haystack.

In a crockpot mix the following-
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 can coconut milk
half of stick of butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 TBS sugar (may add more at the end if you want it a bit sweeter)
few shakes of garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper

Add 4-5 chicken breasts and cover and cook.

Once it has cooked for a few hours, remove the chicken and shred it, then add it back to the pot... taste it and see if you need to add more sugar or soy sauce

Cook rice-
Add chicken and gravy on top of rice

Options for topping-
pineapple chunks
crunchy chow mien noodles
avocado sliced
green onions
shredded cheddar
toasted almonds
shredded coconut

and whatever else you want!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Easy Nutella Crossiants *Lauren Perry*

You could make this as fattening as you want, or as "healthy" as you want. These are sooo good, they are easy, and my kids FLIP over them (and by kids I mean husband too)


1 tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls (I used the reduced fat because I am in denial)

5 milk chocolate chocolate chips per triangle

cinnamon and sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 375

Take each triangle and spread about 1tsp or less of Nutella on one side. Place 5 chocolate chips randomly on the Nutella. Roll from wide end to small end. Form a C with the crescent. Sprinkle each top with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Spread a an inch or 2 apart. Cook for about 11 minutes (until golden brown on top). Let cool for a few minutes.

Really yummy if you serve with homemade whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries-

Heavy whipping cream

tsp of vanilla

powdered sugar (go until it is as sweet as you want it... maybe half of a cup to a cup)

wash and slice strawberries...