January 27, 2019

Strawberry Gooey Butter Cookies

Have you ever had a cookie that was so simple to make, yet so delicious that you couldn't stop eating them?  Well, that was pretty much me with this cookie recipe.  

I have a Christmas Gooey Butter Cookie recipe that is always a big hit, so I needed another version that could be made at any time during the year, but would be extra special for Valentine's Day.    

These pretty pink cookies are soft and chewy and seriously irresistible.  The white chocolate chips add a nice contrast of flavor.  One batch makes around 40 cute little cookies, so they are perfect to make and share with friends (or you can eat them all) . . .  

I added some strawberry extract to the cookies for a little extra boost of flavor.  Sometimes strawberry extract can be hard to find.  I ordered mine online.  It is an optional ingredient, so you can always leave it out and still have delicious cookies.
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Strawberry Gooey Butter Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

8 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. strawberry extract, opt.  
1 (15.25 oz.) box strawberry cake mix
1/2 (heaping) cup white chocolate chips
1/2 - 3/4 c. powdered sugar

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add the egg, vanilla and strawberry extract and mix until combined.  Add the cake mix and mix until combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.  I like to refrigerate mine overnight.  The longer you can refrigerate the dough the less sticky it will be.  

Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place powdered sugar in a small bowl; set aside.  Using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into a ball.  Roll dough ball in powdered sugar, completely covering the entire ball.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough.  Flatten dough balls slightly and bake for 10 minutes.  Cookies will look under-done, but they will be perfect.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  Makes around 40 cookies.    

January 19, 2019

Pink Funfetti Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream {Valentine's Day Cupcakes}

I have really grown to love raspberries over this past year.  I owe it to those soda shops where you can get fruit puree in your soda.  Diet Mountain Dew with fresh raspberry puree is my go-to.  

I took my favorite go-to vanilla cupcake recipe and added pink sprinkles.  They turned into the prettiest pink speckled cupcakes with a nice vanilla flavor and a hint of almond.  Then, I topped them with a beautiful raspberry buttercream frosting.    
This frosting has real raspberry flavor.  Thanks to freeze-dried raspberries, you get the fresh berry flavor without adding extra moisture from fresh fruit.  Plus, no food coloring is needed to achieve this beautiful raspberry color.

The frosting is a perfect balance of tart and sweet.  However, if you don't care for raspberries, you could always use freeze-dried strawberries.  Also, this frosting will have seeds, because raspberries have seeds :)

If you are a raspberry lover, you have got to make these cupcakes.  
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Pink Funfetti Cupcakes
(Printable Recipe)

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. pink sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry.  Mix until just combined. Stir in sprinkles.  

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray.  Fill liners 2/3 full.  For regular cupcakes: Bake about 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but be careful to not over bake. Yields: 28-30 cupcakes.  Cool completely and top with frosting.  

Raspberry Buttercream
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
12 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 (1.4 oz.) pkg. freeze-dried raspberries (I use Trader Joes)
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 Tbl. milk

Add the freeze-dried raspberries to a food processor.  Make sure to take out the white packet that's in the package and discard.  Pulse the raspberries until they're a fine powder; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and salt and mix (using a hand mixer or stand mixer) until creamy. Add the raspberry powder and mix until combined.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and vanilla and mix to combine.  Add remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, adding milk as you go, until desired consistency is reached.  Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  I used a 1M Wilton piping tip.  

Base Cupcake Recipe adapted from: Ina Garten