Sunday, February 21, 2010

There's Always Room for Cupcakes!

I found a recipe in an old Martha Stewart magazine today and decided to try it... OMG! They came out totally yummy!! Such a treat when the house is a mess from moving. I also made a pretty good Thai dish tonight as well and will post that later. In the meantime, try these and you won't be disappointed, they are super easy to make!!!

Yellow Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Sprinkles, for decorating
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line the cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (a 2-ounce or 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop is good for this).
  4. Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  5. Prepare frosting: in a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat unsalted butter, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in up to 1/2 cup more sugar or a few more teaspoons of milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.
  6. Frost cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles before frosting dries to ensure that they stick. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

**I made the frosting a little thicker and put it in a ziplock baggie, cut off the corner and made swirls of icing on top of the cupcakes by squeezing it out of the corner of the bag.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finding Lost Memories...

I am in the midst of tearing apart our apartment trying to get things organized and packed when lo and behold I came across a photo I didn't know was there! Behind two other photos in a frame I found my dear brother. Always the character and a lover of brownies I find this photo really captures his personality. Thanks for the laugh bro!

Love Your Darling Sister, Valerie

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Did You Say Prune Pie?

So while I was living in New Mexico I was introduced to Prune Pies, yum! Usually made in an horno, which is a large outdoor oven made of adobe, many of the local pueblos make and sell them on the side of the road or in local shops. They became one of my favorite treats while living in New Mexico and since moving back I've missed them dearly!
It has been hard to find a recipe but I finally found one in a small pamphlet called "Sampling New Mexico Foods" printed in 1983, for the E. J. Martinez Elementary School. It didn't have a lot of "exact" measurements so I've listed how I made it below; you may need to do a little tweaking with the times depending on how much you make.
I've also renamed the recipe Pueblo Plum Pie (try saying that three times fast!) as everyone cringes at the word prune... not sure why? Well in any case they came out really good and pretty darn close to the pueblo made pies. I hope you are willing to try it as I'm pretty sure you'll really like it! It's pretty much like a giant cookie with fruit inside... enjoy!!!

Pueblo Plum Pie

  1. 4 C flour
  2. 1 1/4 C sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 C shortening
  6. 1 1/2 lbs prunes, pitted (I used SunSweet Pitted Prunes - 18oz)
  7. Pinch of ground cloves
  8. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  9. 10-15 Tbls. cold water
  10. Milk
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup of sugar
  3. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly
  4. Add enough cold water to make a soft dough
  5. Knead slightly and cut in half
  6. Roll out dough, 1/4 inch thick, and line cookie sheet with one
  7. Cook prunes in water until soft, about 5-10 minutes, drain
  8. Mash well, adding 3/4 cups of sugar (to taste, you may not need it all)
  9. Season with cinnamon and cloves
  10. Spread filling evenly over bottom crust
  11. Roll out remaining dough, 1/4 inch thick
  12. Cover with top crust pinch seams and cut steam vents 
  13. Lightly brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar
  14. Bake until crust is slightly brown, approximately 30-40 minutes
After shortening was added:

Final dough before kneading:

Prunes after the boil:

Prunes mashed:

Prune mixture spread out onto bottom level of dough:

Pie before cooking with both layers of dough: