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    Entries in berries (16)


    strawberry short cookies

    So, while Taneasha may feel like making muffins too soon after I've posted a muffin recipe warrants calling her muffins "cupcakes," I have no qualms whatsoever about posting another berry recipe right after hers.

    I wasn't exactly planning on doing this, but there were no macamadamia nuts in the grocery story so I couldn't make the requested white chocolate macamadamia nut cookies that had been requested. What I did find was strawberries.

    Cookies aren't what most people think about when looking for strawberry recipies. But, I've been working on a bit of a theme lately. I've turned raspberry tarts, carrot cake, and rocky road ice cream into cookies. Strawberry shortcake anyone?

    Strawberry Short Cookies

    What you need:

    • 2 c diced strawberries
    • 1 tbsp of lemon or orange juice
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1/3 c cold butter
    • 2 c flour
    • 1/2 c sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 salt (or none if your butter is salted)
    • 2/3 c cream or slightly thinned yogurt

    What you gotta do:

    Rinse and dice your strawberries into small pieces. It took me 13 fair sized berries to get 2 cups diced. Sprinkle the juice and sugar over the berry pieces and give them a stir. Let these sit while you do the rest.

    In a big bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, (salt) and sift them together well.

    Chop the butter into chunks and dump them into the bowl.

    With a pastry cutter, a pair of forks, or your hand, cut/crush the butter into the flour until it looks like crumbs. If you get bored or tired of doing it before you get there, don't worry. It won't totally ruin things if you have a few bigger butter bits.

    I really think the cream is a better option, but I forgot to stop on the way home to get some. I had yogurt. It's a higher fat yogurt so it still tastes good, but it's much thicker than the cream.

    Okay, so here, I kinda forgot all about the taking of the pictures... mix the cream/yogurt into the flour-butter crumbs. If you're using yogurt, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to get those last dry bits mixed in.

    Dump in the strawberry pieces and stir them in gently. Hands work. Oh look! A picture.

    Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

    Crap. Preheat the oven to 350. Go get the laundry while it heats.

    Add more sugar!

    If you have fancy turbinado sugar, the big crystal sugar that shows up on pastries sometimes, use it now. If you just have plain old sugar, use that. Sprinkle the cookies before you bake them. I used about half a teaspoon per dozen.

    Bake the cookies for 20-22 minutes.

    Yes, really that long. If you can get two sheets in the oven at once, do it. These are more of a mini scone or biscuit than cookie really, and they taste like scones with jam. But they're small like a cookie. And small things are cute. Because they're small. Because they're cute.

    Name something cute that isn't small.


    Moving Mayhem - Raspberry Cupcake Edition

    Call it prophecy or call it coincidence… either way, it’s somewhat humorous that I made this post one year ago and titled it Moving Mayhem – Bread Pudding Edition.  It’s almost as if I was setting myself up for another edition.  I just hope there isn’t another Moving Mayhem post in 2013.  This move should go much more smoothly than last year’s, even though we’re basically just doing the second half of that move in reverse.  If the weather forecasters are right, we at least won’t be dodging tornados.  So, since this move is only 500 miles and we’ll be doing it in basically 2 days, I’m not getting rid of everything.  That meant I could make whatever I wanted and didn’t have to worry about using up my good stuff.  It will be going with me.  With that in mind, I decided I wanted raspberry muffins, but since Seeley recently made muffins, I decided to change it to raspberry cupcakes, and the cupcakes vs. muffins discussion began.

    Either way, here’s what you’ll need:

    ½ cup butter
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 eggs, separated
    ⅔ cup buttermilk
    1 ½ cups flour
    ½ teaspoon soda
    ½ teaspoon powder
    1 cup raspberries 

    So, I have to admit to not getting the best looking berries.  One of the other brands had much bigger, prettier berries, but they didn’t smell at all.  These ones, on the other hand, smelled amazing.  In fruit, aroma almost always trumps appearance. 

    If you can’t find any that are good, you could probably use frozen ones.  Just make sure they have thawed and come to room temperature.  In fact, it’s important to note that everything in this recipe must be room temperature.  So, on that note, throw your softened butter into the bowl of your mixer.

    Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until it’s light and fluffy. 

    Next, separate your eggs and put the whites aside. 

    Add the yolks and vanilla to your butter mixture and beat until thoroughly incorporated.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. 

    Add ⅓ of the dry mixture to the batter and mix to combine. 

    Follow that with half of the buttermilk. 

    Then another third of the dry, the other half of the wet, and finally the last of the dry.  You should have a nice smooth batter.  Obviously, everything needs to be scraped down.

    Now back those egg whites you set aside.

    Whip them until you have stiff peaks. 

    Now, rinse your raspberries and add them to the bowl. 

    You don’t want to totally decimate the raspberries, so just mix enough to break them up some.  It will be more evenly distributed after you’ve finished folding in the egg whites. 

    Which you’re going to do now.  Start with half of the egg whites.  Just drop them on top.

    Then fold them in.  This will lighten up the batter some, which will makes the second edition easier to incorporate. 

    Fold that in now.

    Um, somewhere in that process you should have preheated your oven to 350°.  Scoop the batter, filling the cups almost to the top.  I used a ¼ cup measuring cup for this process.  Somehow I haven’t managed to buy a muffin scoop.  At some point after I’ve moved, I’ll probably remedy that situation. 

    Just before you put the cupcakes into the oven, turn the temperature up to 425°.  Place the cupcakes in the oven, leaving the temperature at 425° for 5 minutes, and then turn it back down to 350°.  That extra heat helps to keep your cupcakes nicely rounded on top and stops them from sinking in the middle.  Bake them for a total of 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, or perhaps with a few crumbs on it. 

    Remove them from the pan as soon as you can and place them on a rack to cool.

    Now it’s time for what I think makes a cupcake a cupcake… the frosting.  I keep reading about this amazing flour/cornstarch based frosting that is the most amazing frosting ever made.  I guess it’s time I gave it a try.  After much research, I took the parts I liked from different sources and put them together to form my own version of said frosting. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    ¾ cup milk
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 ½ sticks  (¾  cup) unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla 

    When making frosting it’s important to use unsalted butter.  Salty frosting… not such a good thing.  Place your sugar, salt, and cornstarch into a medium saucepan.

    Whisk them together until there are no more clumps of cornstarch. 

    Add the milk.

    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens.  You don’t want it to reach a rolling boil.  You’ll know it’s ready when you start to see the pan while you’re stirring. 

    When you’ve reached that stage, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.  It’s important that it is room temperature, and not even a little bit warm when you start the next part.  Place the softened butter into your mixing bowl.  You’ll want to use the whisk attachment this time.  Whip the butter until it’s nice and fluffy. 

    Pour in the cooled milk mixture and add the vanilla. 

    Then just start mixing.  At first you’re going to have a curdled mess.

    But just keep mixing.  We’re talking like high speed for at least 5 minutes.  I actually had to walk away from mine for a bit so it could do its thing without me panicking and hovering.  Eventually, you’ll have this.  A smooth, creamy, and quite frankly, perfect frosting. 

    I think the reviews I’ve read were right.  Not only is the flavor and texture of this frosting seriously amazing, but it pipes beautifully. 

    Pipe it on or spread it, whichever you prefer, then just top with a fresh raspberry, and you have cupcake perfection. 

    These cupcakes are moist and tender, and the slightly tart berries pair perfectly with the sweet frosting.  Seriously divine. 

    So what’s the difference between a cupcake and a muffin to you?


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