Tagged: Dessert


Hello Cupcake, Happy Friday!

The summer is flying by.  And the fact that I've been absent from blogging the past three weeks confirms it!  But what better why to make a comeback then with a little teensy treat for a sweltering hot weekend...and a little shout out for one of my dearest lifelong friends, baker-extraordinaire and Madison, Wisconsinite, Katie Payne.  Ok, so Katie and I only go back to junior high, but for as long as I can remember, her trademark was baking birthday cakes - vanilla with confetti icing - for her closest friends.  She's since turned that love of baking into some serious cupcake skills.  Just take a peek at these gorgeous little lovelies made with uber-fresh ingredients that she whipped up for a friend's wedding (yes, she still does birthdays too!).  

It's been so insanely hot this week, the abundance of summer fruit and salads I've been eating (that's about all I can stomach), leave enough room for a sweet treat.  Skip the popsicles and ice cream and check out KP's chocolate guinness with vanilla buttercream, vanilla with southern caramel and coconut-lime with coconut buttercream....topped off with edible violets from Harmony Valley Farm.  Recipe for her coconut-lime cupcakes below!

And btw...could you die over her friend's stunning wedding photos?!  

Happy weekend!

KP's Coconut-Lime Cupcakes :: with Coconut Buttercream

Serves :: 24 cupcakes


Adapted from Anna's Swedish Butter Cake,
from The Perfect Cake, by Susan G. Purdy

2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup lightly salted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
zest of 2-3 limes
1/2+ cup shredded sweetened coconut

Coconut Buttercream Frosting (may want to double the recipe for extra just in case)
1 stick of unsweetened butter
3-4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup (or more depending on how much you love coconut!) shredded sweetened coconut



1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place paper cupcake liners in pan(s).
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and well blended.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, beating after each addition, beginning and ending with the flour.
6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, lime zest, and coconut.
7. Pour into prepared pans, level the top, then pour batter into cupcake tins.  Fill cupcakes about half-way or a little more.
8. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pans and cool completely before frosting

Coconut Buttercream Frosting
1. Cream butter.  Add in 1-2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and blend.
2. Add vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon milk and blend.
3. Add in remaining sugar and milk until you reach your desired amount of frosting.  You might want to add more sugar if you would like more frosting; however, it can get very sweet if you go beyond 4 cups.  Beat the frosting until it is fluffy.
4. Stir in shredded coconut.
5. Spread on top of cupcakes.
6. Garnish with lime zest (optional)

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Rue Issue 6 :: Wanderlust & Spice

And, we have lift off!  The rockstar team over at Rue has churned out another drop-dead stunning issue, their sixth to be exact.  I think this one's their strongest yet.  Incredible international home tours from Brazil to Stockholm to Iceland and Singapore.  Not to mention some inspired dishes from Turkey.  Check out my spread and some delish summertime fare and get the full load of recipes here.  I'll be posting all the recipes here on the blog as well over the next few days - starting with the first course, a summery grilled watermelon salad with feta (see recipe below).  

All this Turkey talking makes you just want to pack your bags and grab your passport, doesn't it?

A huge thanks to foodie photographer and stylist extraordinaire, Jen Altman, for being nothing less than amazing, as usual.


Grilled Watermelon Salad :: with Cucumber, Feta and Mint

Serves :: 4


½ watermelon, cut into triangular wedges, rind discarded
1 cucumber, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese
¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
½ hot red chili, thinly sliced, *if desired
extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
juice of ½ lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
sumac for sprinkling  *sumac is a Mediterranean spice with purple-reddish hue and a tangy, lemony flavor.



Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high.  Grill watermelon triangles for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until light grill marks appear. 
Arrange slices on a platter.  Mix remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl and spoon over top watermelon.  Sprinkle salad with sumac. 

Images via :: Jen Altman and Rue

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TAGS: travel, dessert, kebabs

posted: 07.28.11

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Belated Birthday Dessert

Time most definitely does fly when you're having birthday fun...and then catching up on a bunch of work projects (keep your eyes on bonappetit.com in the next few weeks!).  My birthday was just a few days ago, but I've been thinking about this dessert ever since I made it weeks ago.  It may not be the traditional cake, but stick a candle in it, and I'm a happy gal, even if a year older.  Here's the last installment in the Rue Issue 6 recipe series.  And it's a darn tasty one!  A perfectly light and healthy dish to finish off hot summer nights.  

Summer Plums :: with Honeyed-Rosewater Yogurt & Pistachios

Serves :: 4


2 lbs plums (about 6), pitted and sliced
½ cup sugar
½ cup slightly sweet white wine
5 oz 2% Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey, extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon rosewater
¼ cup pistachios, ground or crushed
*dried rose petals for serving if available  *Dried rose petals can be found online at Kalustyans,com. 



Combine plums, sugar and wine in a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Mix yogurt, honey and rosewater together.  For serving, divide plums onto four small plates and top with a generous dollop of yogurt.  Drizzle a bit of extra honey over top.  Sprinkle crushed pistachios over top and garnish with dried rose petals. 

Image via :: Jen Altman

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TAGS: dessert, plums, fruit

posted: 08.03.11

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