the baker upstairs

6.21.2017

Unicorn Muddy Buddies

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These unicorn muddy buddies are so whimsical and fun, and easy to make too!

These unicorn muddy buddies are so whimsical and fun, and easy to make too!

Okay, I fully recognize that these unicorn muddy buddies are completely ridiculous! They're all bright colors and powdered sugar and colorful sprinkles, and totally not like what I usually make. However, my kiddos have hopped on board the unicorn dessert train, and have been begging me for weeks to make a crazy, fun, colorful dessert. A few weeks ago I found two half-empty boxes of Chex cereal in the back of the cupboard, combined them with my ridiculously large stash of candy melts, and made these colorful treats!

These unicorn muddy buddies are so whimsical and fun, and easy to make too!

They're super easy to make, and taste almost like circus animal cookies! I boosted the flavor in the powdered sugar mixture by adding in some cake mix, and it was definitely a good choice. If you're not crazy about the unicorn thing, you could definitely make these with just one color of candy melts (or even just almond bark or any white melting chocolate) and I'm sure they would still turn out fantastic. These unicorn muddy buddies are so addicting and fun to snack on, and the kids absolutely loved them!

These unicorn muddy buddies are so whimsical and fun, and easy to make too!
Unicorn Muddy Buddies

3/4 cup white cake mix
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 ounces bright pink candy melts, divided
3 ounces turquoise candy melts, divided
3 ounces purple candy melts, divided
3 ounces blue candy melts, divided
8 cups corn chex or rice chex cereal
sprinkles

Add the cake mix and powdered sugar to a gallon size bag and toss to combine. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt two ounces of the bright pink candy melts at 50% power, stirring every thirty seconds. Toss with 2 cups of the chex cereal, until coated. Scoop the cereal into the gallon bag and toss to coat with the powdered sugar mixture. Scoop the cereal out of the bag using a slotted spoon, and place on a baking sheet to cool. Repeat with remaining colors of candy melts and remaining cereal. Melt the remaining one ounce of each color of candy melts, and drizzle over the top of the chex, then top with sprinkles. (I found it helpful to melt the candy melts in a disposable decorating bag, to make it easier to drizzle.) Let cool and enjoy!
These unicorn muddy buddies are so whimsical and fun, and easy to make too!

6.19.2017

Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes

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These best ever chocolate cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Tender, moist chocolate cake topped by a light and fluffy chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!

These best ever chocolate cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Tender, moist chocolate cake topped by a light and fluffy chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great Father's Day yesterday. We celebrated with our favorite Olympia Provisions sausage, homemade potato salad, and roasted green beans, and these gorgeous chocolate cupcakes for dessert. It's been so long since I made them last that I had forgotten how delicious they are! I've made a lot of chocolate cupcakes in my day, but it's always a challenge to keep them moist and tender. For some reason, homemade chocolate cupcakes always just seem to be dry and crumbly. This recipe, though, is a keeper! It's just as moist as any chocolate cake I've had from a bakery, but has an amazing chocolate flavor and tastes way better than store-bought.

These best ever chocolate cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Tender, moist chocolate cake topped by a light and fluffy chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!

Not only are these cupcakes beautiful and delicious, they're easy to make too! I mentioned last week on Instagram that I got a new stand mixer (which I have lovingly named Mignon, after a suggestion from a follower). It's smaller than the mixer I've been using for the past eight years, so I've been having fun experimenting with making all my favorite recipes in it. These cupcakes were a snap to whip up, and turned out perfect! I used my trusty reverse-creaming method, and grated the butter into the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients. I know it sounds strange, but I promise, it makes for the lightest, most tender texture. I've had such great results that I don't think I can go back to doing it the other way! 

These best ever chocolate cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Tender, moist chocolate cake topped by a light and fluffy chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!

These chocolate cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate someone you love!
Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the frosting:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter
3.5 ounces (1/2 tub) marshmallow cream
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
sprinkles (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 wells of a muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Grate the butter into the flour mixture, and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the greek yogurt and vanilla, and mix well. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling wells 1/2 - 2/3 full. Bake 15 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and marshmallow cream until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Add additional powdered sugar or half and half as needed to make a smooth, pipeable frosting. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles if desired.
These best ever chocolate cupcakes are amazingly delicious! Tender, moist chocolate cake topped by a light and fluffy chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!

6.12.2017

Cherry Peach Crisp

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This cherry peach crisp is full of juicy summer fruit, and so easy to make. It's the perfect summer dessert!

This cherry peach crisp is full of juicy summer fruit, and so easy to make. It's the perfect summer dessert!

If you're looking for a fantastic dessert to eat all summer long, this cherry peach crisp is it! It's full of juicy and tender fruit, topped by a to-die-for crumbly crisp topping, and delicious all the way through.  It is one of the best desserts that I've made in a long time (and that's saying something!).

One of my goals for the summer is to reduce the amount of food waste at our house. We're usually pretty good about using up leftovers, and not overbuying most things, but when it comes to our produce, things get a little off track. I tend to overbuy fruits and vegetables (and then I often forget what I've already bought, and buy more). There is really nothing worse than finding a rotten zucchini in the back of the crisper drawer, or a pound of strawberries all covered in white fuzz. I swear, they multiply in the back of the fridge where I can't see them! I'm trying to be more intentional in using up all that good produce, especially because we've joined a CSA for the summer, and are enjoying visiting our farmer's market every week. There's so much delicious fresh produce this time of year that it would be a total shame to throw it out!

This cherry peach crisp is full of juicy summer fruit, and so easy to make. It's the perfect summer dessert!

This cherry peach crisp came about because I realized that I had just placed a grocery order for two pounds of fresh cherries, and already had a pound of cherries in the fridge. I had seen this amazing crisp on my best friend Cort's blog, and just tweaked it a little to use what I had on hand. I pulled out some of my home-canned peaches from the pantry, tossed them with the cherries, and made this amazing dessert! I know there are plenty of other ways I could have used them (like freezing them for smoothies, or making jam), but I'm pretty happy with this crisp. A warm bowl of crisp topped with a cold scoop of ice cream is just plain heavenly, in my book!

This cherry peach crisp is full of juicy summer fruit, and so easy to make. It's the perfect summer dessert!

Cherry Peach Crisp

for the filling:
6 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt

for the topping:
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, toss together the peaches, cherries, sugar, flour, and pinch of salt. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish. In another medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter, and smush the mixture with your fingers until the pieces of butter are no larger than pea sized. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit to form an even layer. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbling. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
This cherry peach crisp is full of juicy summer fruit, and so easy to make. It's the perfect summer dessert!

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