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Cake Batter Cookies

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Makes 24 cookies

funfetti cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup boxed vanilla cake mix

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (I used a mixture of white and milk Ghiradelli chips)

1/2 cup sprinkles

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 Directions:
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda.
2. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and both sugars until smooth.
3. Add the egg and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and sprinkles.
5. Cover bowl and chill the dough for at least two hours (I chilled mine overnight).
6. Once the dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mat or parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. (My cookies took 10 minutes to bake) The cookies will appear soft and doughy in the center, but let them cool on the pans and they will set more.
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Lemon Burst Cookies

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These chewy, dense lemon cookies are so quick and easy to make. They only take 20 minutes!

Makes 14 cookies

Ingredients:

1 (15.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, mix cake mix, eggs, oil, zest, juice, and extract. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour powdered sugar into a bowl. Drop large tablespoons of dough into bowl of powdered sugar and roll until covered. Drop onto greased baking sheet.

4. Bake 9 to 10 minutes. Edges of cookies should be slightly golden brown. Let cookies cool on pans for 2 to 3 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Lemon Burst Cookies

Margarita Cupcakes

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Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 3 limes and juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

For the tequila-lime frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tin and set aside.

2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt then set aside.

3. With electric mixer on medium-high, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).

4. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added.

5. Add the lime zest, juice, vanilla, and tequila. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until combined.

6. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until incorporated.

7. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the bake time.

8. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes. Then move them to cooling racks and let cool completely.

9. To make the tequila-lime frosting, whip the butter on medium high in an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix until incorporated. Add lime juice, tequila, and salt and mix until incorporated. Frosting will be soft, so add more powdered sugar by the spoonful until you reach a desired consistency. Frost cakes and decorate with lime zest or lime wedges!

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Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker’s Margarita Cupcakes.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

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I got the chance to visit my sister this weekend, so we decided to test out these delicious hummingbird cupcakes! I recommend using the recipe to make 12 cupcakes maximum; resist the urge to underfill the muffin tins!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas)

1 tablespoon clover honey

1 cup chopped macademias

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/4 cup hot water

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (12-ounce) package white fondant

Gel paste food coloring

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Directions:

Makes 12 cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.

3. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add sugar, and cream together until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating slowly after each addition. Add banana and honey and mix on low until well combined. Add pineapple; mix on low until combined. Add 1/2 cup macademias; mix on low until well combined.

5. With the mixer on low, slowly add one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the hot water. Repeat process twice, alternating flour mixture and hot water, and ending with hot water. Mix until just combined.

6. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 24 to 26 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cupcakes cool completely.

7. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large 5/8-inch round tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and set aside.

8. Meanwhile, press your thumb into the center of the fondant to make a well. Place a small amount of food coloring in the well and knead fondant until color is well blended. Continue to add more food coloring to fondant until desired color is achieved. Roll out into a 1/16-inch-thick sheet. Cut out  hummingbirds, flowers, or any desired shape using a molds or cookie cutters.

9. Sprinkle cupcakes with coconut and top each with a fondant shape; serve.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Hummingbird Cupcakes and Ina Garten’s Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Stressed is desserts backwards. This is the last week of the school year, so it has been rather busy. Baking with limited time is always easier when you keep things simple, so I chose a classic recipe that can be made in your sleep!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs12 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, sift together flour and baking soda. In mixer, beat together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the salt, vanilla, and eggs; beat on low for 1 minute or until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, mix until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.

2. Drop tablespoon sized scoops onto greased baking sheet. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan 1-2 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snickerdoodles

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Thank you to my sister, Lauren, for testing out this delicious Snickerdoodle recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the topping:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
1. In mixer, cream butter and sugars at high speed.

2. Add egg, vanilla, and beat until smooth.

3. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Pour flour mixture into the butter/ sugar, mix well.

4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Let dough rest in fridge 15-30 minutes. 

5. In a small bowl combine topping. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball. Roll this dough in the topping mixture and press onto greased cookie sheet. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes.

Recipe adapted from www.food.com.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Recipe makes two 9-inch layer cakes.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for pans
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater (about 2 3/4 cups)
2 1/2 cups pecans (1 1/2 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake)

For the cream cheese frosting:

1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

 Frosting recipe makes enough for 9-inch layer cake, 1 1/2 quarts.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

2. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add flour mixture. Fold in finely chopped pecans.

3. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust with flour and shake out excess. Divide batter evenly between two pans. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit, for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate pans halfway through. Let cake cool in pans for 25 minutes. Run a knife around cake edges to loosen from pan and turn cakes onto wire racks. Turn right side up and let cool completely.

4. Make the frosting. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar, beat until incorporated.

5. Using a serrated knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Sprinkle finely chopped pecans over frosting. Place second trimmed cake on top, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Carrot Cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red food color
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

 For the frosting:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffins tins with cupcake liners. Combine cake flour, salt, and cocoa in medium bowl and set aside.

2. In mixer on medium setting, whisk together sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla and food color.

3. With mixer on low setting, add flour mixture in three batches. Alternate with buttermilk and whisk until both are completely combined. In small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda. Add vinegar mixture to batter and mix for 20 seconds.

4. Divide batter evenly between 24 muffin cups (about 3/4 full). Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Rotate tins at 10 minutes. Let cupcakes cool on racks before frosting.

5. For the coconut cream cheese frosting, use mixer with paddle attachment. Cream together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Add powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in 1/4 cup coconut. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle remaining coconut on top.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

Frosting recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffins tine with liners. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture slowly, alternating with milk, and beating until combined after each.

3. Fill each lined cup about 3/4 full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool on wire racks to cool before frosting.

For the vanilla buttercream frosting:

1. Beat the butter by itself for about 3 minutes on medium speed. 

2. Add your powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Next, heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat until completely combined and frosting is light and fluffy. 

3. Beat in cinnamon and pipe onto cupcakes.

Makes 26 cupcakes

Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Frosting recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction