Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars

I've been pretty lazy. Lazy on posts and lazy at life in general. I baked this entire weekend and ended up sleeping in a cupcake battered tee shirt just because I didn't feel like changing. Yep, I looked like a critter and I owned it. I'm sure you've all been there. Where nothing in the world will stand in the way of you and your bed, not even a change of clothes.

I've been meaning to share this doozie with you for a few weeks now. Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars. If I could get stuck with one dessert for the rest of my life, it'd probably be creme brulee.  Mix up a little cheesecake with this beloved custard and you'll really make dreams come true. The recipe makes over two dozen bars and the combo of the cream cheese and the sweet crunchy toffee is just delightfully good. And they're low fat! {not really...but the best things aren't!}

(recipe from Betty Crocker)

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup toffee bits, finely crushed
The How To:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.

2. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over crust in pan.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Immediately sprinkle top with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Voila! Have any favorite bars you like to make? I'd love to hear about them!

love.love.love & happy baking!

Pin It!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bridal Shower Bakes!

It's wedding seasssoonnnn! :)

I had the pleasure of helping out with my dear friend Tracy's bridal shower this past weekend. When she exchanges vows with her future groom in July, I will have the honor of standing at the altar beside her. It isn't very often you're able to share in special moments like that.

To add to the excitement, I was responsible for creating the shower cupcakes. You all know how stoked I was about this. After tossing around idea after idea, I decided to go with two different flavors/designs. And I'd have to say they turned out great!

Take a peek, will ya? :) 

The first ones were my Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes I made earlier in the year. I tinted the icing pink, added some sugar pearls and wrapped with some white lace wrappers. I custom made the cupcake flags by using some lace doily paper and some wedding sticker embellishments I found at Michael's. How cute riiighht?!

The second cupcake I did was a chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream.  I added some "I Do" cupcake flags and glued some royal blue rhinestones to them. (Tracy's wedding color!) I dusted with some black sanding sugar to match the black damask cupcake liner. looooveee these.

All the ladies at the shower gave me "oooh's" and "aaah's" and I have to tell you I was tickled pink. More importantly, the bride loved them! I seriously cannot wait to bake for my next event!

Even though the cupcakes were what I was most pleased with, I wanted to share with you the other "task" I was given. I was recruited to hand paint the wine glasses for the mothers and the bridal party. Let's be real people. I can't draw for crap. If the world depended on my artistic ability, we'd be completely screwed. I had no idea where to start. But, alas! I found this awesome tutorial that gave me some inspiration and I ran with it.

Not too shabby for my first go round, right? :)

I used one of Tracy's wedding colors, royal blue to paint the bases and added the wedding date to the bottom of the glasses.

The bride had her own special glass!
the bride to be digging into my baked goodies!
trace and her bow bouquet. what a trooper!

 All in all, I'd say it was a successful day! I hope the bride loved it as much as I loved doing it!

The bridal party: Myself (looking fierce in yellow!), Aireka (I want to steal your dress.), Tracy (the beautiful bride to be!), Amanda (her sister and maid or honor), and Andrea (her future sister in law).

What do you guys think? Did I do alright for my first cupcake bridal shower?

love.love.love & happy baking!
Pin It!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

French Dip "Cupcakes"

So far my Sunday has consisted of coffee in bed and a Breaking Bad marathon. 

What is Breaking Bad you say? Where do I even begin?!! Do you have a couple hours? I would need to sit you down and explain how this completely whacked out television show has me so engulfed that I may need rehab. For real people, do yourself a fave and jump on the Breaking Bad bandwagon. I can't even tell you what you're missing. There's just no time! We need to move on...

Dinner cupcakes are starting to become the regular on our kitchen table. I spawned an obsession when I made these spag and meatball ones and then it became really ridiculous when I made those Buff Chicken ones. Then I came across some French Dip ones. Roast beef is probably my favorite deli meat. So I was game to try these out. And I have to say they're probably my favorite ones to date. These are the simplest things to whip up when you're short on time and they still seem to impress my hubs every time I make them. (I've done them three times already!)

The gooey Swiss cheese, the robust roast beef, and the melted mozzarella on top of those wonton beauties make them as flawless as a unicorn's tear. Try them... You'll like them...

French Dip Cupcakes
(recipe adapted from Emily Bites)

24 oz deli roast beef, thinly sliced and chopped into pieces (I used my store brand’s 96% fat free kind)
8 Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedges, chopped
2/3 c Au Jus gravy (I used Heinz)
32 wonton wrappers (typically found in the produce section)
8oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese

The How To:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 12 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a microwavable bowl, combine the roast beef, cheese wedges and Au Jus sauce. Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Stir to combine until cheese wedges are melted and roast beef mixture is fully coated with cheese and Au Jus sauce.

3. Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the twelves sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Spoon about half of the roast beef mixture evenly amongst the wonton wrappers. Sprinkle about half the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin. Makes 12 cupcakes. (I suggested boxing half of these up for lunch tomorrow. They are super delish re-heated.)

Voila! Dinner in 20 and you really didn't have to do all that much!

Back to this Breaking Bad thing though, anyone else out there watching it? What do you think of it so far? I'm itching to get my hands on Season 4.  Speakkk to me!

love.love.love & happy baking!

Pin It!