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Black Magic Chocolate Cake

Black Magic Chocolate Cake

I have been reading a lot about this cake on social media and it got so much praise that I simply had to give it a try. And I have to say that the rumors about this cake is true. This is an outrageously super duper delicious chocolate cake, and what’s more, it is pretty easy to make, and what’s even more, you can easily make and assemble this cake the day before you intend to serve it. So if you have a crazy chocolate craving, this should take care of it. Enjoy!

Black Magic Cake (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

275 g all-purpose flour (9.7 oz or 4.5 dl)

425 g sugar (15 oz or 5 dl)

90 g unsweetened cocoa (3.2 oz or 2 dl)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

8.5 fl oz fresh brewed cooled coffee (2.5 dl)

8.5 fl oz milk (2.5 dl)

4.2 fl oz vegetable oil (1.25 dl)

For the frosting:

17 fl oz heavy whipping cream (5 dl)

185 g sugar (6.5 oz or 2 dl)

52 g unsweetened cocoa (1.8 oz or 1 dl)

1 tsp vanilla sugar

Directions:

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray two 9 inch round spring-form pans with baking spray and line bottom of pans with parchment paper, set aside.

Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside. Combine eggs, cooled coffee, milk and vegetable oil in a bowl and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, start mixer on slow to combine and then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, dough will be very thin. Pour dough into prepared pans and bake on middle rack for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely in pans.

To make frosting: combine cream, sugar, cocoa and vanilla sugar in a bowl and beat until you have a thick mousse consistency.

Assembly: remove cooled cakes from pans. If cakes have a slightly curved top, you can level cakes by cutting tops off using a serrated knife. Place one cake onto serving dish and spread half of the frosting out over the cake. Place second cake on top and spread out the remaining frosting. Place cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cake can easily be baked and assembled 1 day ahead of time. Enjoy!

Source: frydlearning.dk

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun

PumpkinūüéÉ It wouldn’t be Fall without a pumpkin recipe. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns were soft and flavorful and super delicious served right out of the oven. No need to say that they were a huge hit here in our house.

Making Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Making Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

The dough was a little sticky in the beginning, but after a quick kneading and adding in a little more flour, the dough was smooth as butter to work with. Once it came time to slicing the dough, it would get smooched by the knife, but no worries, just gently press it round again and place it onto your baking dish.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns  (makes 28 servings)

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 1/2 cup milk (12 fl oz or 3 1/2 dl)

1/2 cup sugar (100 g)

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 8 g)

1 cup pumpkin puree (250 g)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (4 fl oz or 1 dl)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (610 g)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

Remonce Filling:

5.3 oz butter (150 g)

8.8 oz dark brown sugar (250 g)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2.6 oz marzipan, grated (75 g)

Icing:

7 oz confectioners sugar (200 g)

2-3 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or if you prefer, grease a baking dish with butter and set aside.

Making the dough: Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt, set aside. Pour milk and sugar into a large saucepan and heat until between 100-110 degrees F (37-43 degrees C). Sprinkle yeast over milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Add pumpkin and oil, stir to combine. Pour liquid into bowl of stand-mixer and on low speed add dry ingredients in increments. Mix only until combined, dough will be sticky. Place dough into a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Place bowl in a warm location and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Making the fillling: Melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and marzipan in a small saucepan, stir to combine.

Making the rolls: When dough has doubled in size, sprinkle work surface generously with flour. Give dough a quick kneading adding more flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Roll dough out to approximately 16 by 26 inches. Spread filling out over dough. Starting at the longest length, roll dough into a log ending with seam side down. Slice dough into 3/4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) slices and place them on baking sheet or into baking dish. Cover with tea towel and allow to rise for another 20-30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Add water in small increments to confectioners sugar, stir to combine. Sprinkle icing over hot rolls and serve warm. Enjoy!

Source: inspired by Pioneer Woman

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Ding Dong

Ding Dong

These cakes taste a lot like the famous Ding Dong, minus the chocolate covering. I must admit that the cakes were taste tested repeatedly and that they passed the “delish” mark. The chocolate cake is soft and moist and the cream is a silky Marshmallow frosting. I also added a thin layer of jam and/or Nutella which turned out really good. The cakes are pretty easy to make. I would say the only tricky thing is when you go to punch out the cake rounds, make sure to press the cutter into the cake slowly, otherwise the cake edge will tear. Store cakes in refrigerator, but for best results, remove them from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving. I know you’ll really enjoy these little tasty treats.

Ding Dong

Ding Dong

Chocolate Cake (makes one 17 x 11 inch sheet cake)(43 x 28 cm)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (265 g or 9.3 oz)

2 cups sugar (425 g or 15 oz)

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (52 g or 1.8 oz)

2 sticks unsalted butter (224 g or 7.9 oz)

1 cup boiling water (236 ml or 8 fl oz)

1/2 cup buttermilk (118 ml or 4 fl oz)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (224 g or 7.9 oz)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

One 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme (198 g)

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted (230 g)

2-4 tablespoons light cream

For assembly:

strawberry, apricot, raspberry jam or nutella

Maraschino Cherries

Directions:

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 17 x 11 inch (43 x 28 cm) baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and salt, set aside.

In a small saucepan melt butter. Add cocoa and stir until well blended. Heat water in microwave until boiling. Add water to butter mixture, bring to a boil and continue to boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. While mixing, pour hot butter mixture into flour, continue to mix until combined.

Combine buttermilk, beaten eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour/butter mixture and stir until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before assembling cakes.

To make frosting:

In a mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and marshmallow creme. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners sugar. Add cream and beat to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on high speed, beat creme for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. If necessary, add more confectioner sugar or creme to get the right piping consistency.

To assemble cakes:

Use a cookie cutter of your choice (I used a mixture of 2 and 2 3/4 inch ovals [5 1/2 and 7 cm]). Once the cake has cooled completely, use your cookie cutter to punch out cake rounds. To avoid braking the cake edges, press cookie cutter into cake very slowly. Place half of cake rounds onto serving platter. Spread your favorite jam or nutella over cake and pipe frosting on top. Place second cake on top of frosting. Pipe a small amount of frosting on top of second cake and top with a cherry. Store in refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Source: Cake – Tasty Kitchen, Frosting – Joy of Baking

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Hasseln√łd Kage Med Nougat Creme

Hasseln√łd Kage Med Nougat Creme

I just hosted a Danish dinner party for my Danish friends and since it is close to Easter I wanted to make a dessert with a seasonal feel to it. I came across this layered cake and not only does it look like a pretty Easter cake but it has all the good things in it that is popular in Danish baking; hazelnuts, Nougat and Marzipan, what’s not to like? As for the special ingredients, I buy Nougat and Marzipan online (I use Odense Ren R√• Marcipan), and the hazelnuts I found in a specialty grocery store.

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

Process hazelnuts, make meringue and fold in ground hazelnuts, bake

A little note about hazelnuts. Hazelnut is a sweet nut with a dark brown skin covering which is bitter and if left on, it may leave unpleasant little left-over pieces in your mouth. So when hazelnuts are used for baking, you may want to remove this skin covering, although it is not absolutely necessary.

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

Melt Nougat in hot cream, cool, mix whipped cream with Nougat to make frosting

This is not a difficult cake to make, maybe a little time consuming, and it is one of the best layered cakes I have ever made (with the exception of my all-time favorite Othello layered cake of course). I think you will really love this cake!

Hazelnut Cake With Nougat Cream  (serves 12-14)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

100 g hazelnuts, out of shell (3.5 oz)

175 g Odense Marzipan (6.2 oz)

100 g confectioner sugar (3.5 oz)

30 g all-purpose flour (1 oz)

6 egg whites, room temperature

125 g sugar (4.4 oz)

For the frosting:

6 deciliter heavy whipping cream, divided into 2 and 4 deciliters (20.3 liquid ounces, divided into 6.8 and 13.5)

300 g soft Nougat (10.5 oz)

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1 tablespoon boiling water

Decorations:

Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions:

To removed skin on hazelnuts: preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until skin begins to crack and is golden. Remove from oven and wrap nuts in a clean dishtowel, let sit wrapped for 10 min. Using the towel, rub the nuts vigorously until the skin comes off. Set nuts aside.

Cut out two pieces of parchment paper to fit two 9 inch (23 cm) spring-form pans. Place parchment paper in bottom of pans and spray with baking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).

Place hazelnuts, marzipan, confectioners sugar and flour in a food processor and process until ground finely.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks, add sugar and whip until you have a thick meringue.

Add ground hazelnuts to meringue and gently fold-in until you have a homogeneous batter. Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake for 1 hour. Allow cakes to cool in pans.

Place 2 deciliter whipping cream into a small saucepan and heat to just a simmer. Cut Nougat into pieces and add to hot cream, melt while stirring. Heat 1 tablespoon water in the microwave until boiling (10-15 seconds), add instant coffee and stir to resolve. Add coffee to Nougat mixture. Place Nougat in refrigerator to cool completely.

When ready to assemble cake, whip remaining 4 deciliter whipping cream until beaters start leaving traces in cream. Add cooled Nougat mixture and mix to combine. Place first cake onto serving platter. Spread a layer of Nougat cream over cake. Place second cake on top and spread remaining cream on top and down the sides of cake to cover. Decorate with chocolate eggs if desired. Continue to cool in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Removing skin off hazelnuts

Source: Odense Marcipan

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Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter

Hindb√¶rsnitter remains one of my all-time favorite Danish pastries and while we were vacationing home in Denmark this summer, I had my fair share of them from the bakery (that, and Tr√¶stammer). So after coming home I was looking for an excuse to bake them again and finally got the opportunity when a friend of ours came for a short stay, thanks Vince ūüôā

This recipe is not that different from my other post about Hindb√¶rsnitter, it probably differs mostly in technique. The result was a very, very tasty Hindb√¶rsnit, although the cake turned out very delicate and frail. I think that was due to the fact that I interpreted the directions to roll out the dough to a 25 by 30 cm rectangle. Looking back, I think what Lone Landmand (from Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug) meant was to roll the dough out to a 25 or 30 cm square. I believe that if you roll it out to a 25 by 25 cm square you will get a slightly thicker, and therefor a less delicate outcome. If you decide to try this recipe for Hindb√¶rsnitter, I know you’ll love them.

Making Hindbærsnitter

Making Hindbærsnitter

Hindbærsnitter (makes 12-16 pieces)

Ingredients:

300 gram all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)

100 gram confectioners sugar (3.5 oz)

200 gram butter, at room temperature (7 oz)

2 large egg yolks

280 gram seedless raspberry jam (10 oz)

For the glaze:

270 gram confectioners sugar (approx 2 1/2 cups)

3-4 tablespoons cold water

Colored sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, confectioner sugar and cut-up butter. On low speed, combine until mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks one at the time, gradually increasing speed to medium, mix until dough comes together. Divide dough into two equal portions, place each half of dough on a piece of parchment paper and slightly press dough into a square shape. Place both pieces of dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest and chill.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (345 degrees F)

Keeping the dough on parchment paper, roll dough out to approximately 25 x 25 cm (9.5 x 9.5 inches), repeat with the second piece of dough. Place each parchment paper with rolled out dough onto a baking sheet. Bake dough, one sheet at the time, for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden. Allow baked cake to cool a little. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing confectioners sugar and water until smooth. Prepare raspberry jam by stirring it to make a loose flowing jam. Spread jam onto the first baked cake, this will be the bottom piece. Gently slide a flexible plastic cutting board under the second cake and lift it up. Then slide it off the cutting board onto the first raspberry covered cake. If the cake crack a little don’t worry, the glaze will cover it up. Spread the glaze over the top and add sprinkles before the glaze sets. Allow glaze to set completely before cutting. Enjoy!

Source: Beretninger fra et autentisk landbrug

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

I have been soaking up the last little bit of spring here in Virginia Beach before the summer heat hits us. I went to the local Farmers Market to get fresh fruit and I came home with a couple of trays of the most amazingly fragrant and sweet Pungo strawberries. Some of the strawberries went into the freezer and a lot of them went into these beautiful cupcakes. Although this recipe for the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream is a little challenging, let me assure you that it is well worth the effort. The buttercream is silky smooth and sweet and the cupcakes are soft and fluffy. This recipe is a keeper. Enjoy!

Making strawberry cupcakes

Making strawberry cupcakes

It is important to pay attention to the details in these two recipes. When measuring out the strawberries for the cupcakes they should be finely chopped, however, when measuring out the strawberries for the buttercream they are coarsely chopped, it makes a difference in the finished weight of strawberries you’ll end up with. I would have measured the strawberries for you but my scale finally gave out on me. When making this frosting make sure you are accurate, not generous, with the amount of strawberries you end up using for the buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure they are completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure the egg whites feel completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Strawberry Cupcakes (makes 34)

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and finely chopped, plus 10 more for garnish if desired

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Frosting (makes 5 cups)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut into tablespoons, room temperature

Directions for Strawberry Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until  thick and smooth. Add whole eggs and the egg white one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, beating until well combined. Add chopped strawberries to the batter and fold them in by hand.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating tins half-way through, until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of cupcake come out clean. Place tins on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn cupcakes onto rack and allow to cool completely.

Directions for Strawberry Meringue Buttercream:

Puree strawberries in a blender and set aside. In the bowl of your stand-mixer, combine egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a cooking pot with a small amount of simmering water. Whisk egg whites and sugar constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between two fingers).

Attach the bowl to stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing speed to medium-high mix until stiff and shiny (not dry) peaks form, 10 to 15 minutes. Mixture should now have cooled down (test by touching bottom of bowl). With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter have been added, scrape down sides of bowl and switch to the paddle attachment. Continue to beat on low speed for 2 minutes to eliminated air bubbles. Add strawberry puree and beat until combined.

Cupcake assembly:

Load buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. Store cupcakes in an airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Buttercream storage:

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

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Devil’s Food Cupcake With Perfect Chocolate Frosting

Attention all chocolate lovers…this one is for you! These cupcakes are double trouble. The cupcake is super moist¬†with an intense chocolate flavor and the frosting is silky soft¬†with an¬†intoxicating¬†chocolate aroma. Careful not to overbake the cupcakes, you don’t want to loose that perfect moisture.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

I was taking a cake decorating class and had brought this chocolate frosting in with me for my project and we were about an hour into the class when all of the sudden the girl next to me¬†burst out¬†“omg that frosting smells amaaaazing” ūüôā It really does have a fantastic aroma.

Perfect Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients for Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (65 g)

3/4 cup hot water (177 ml or 6 fl oz)

3 cups all-purpose flour (400 g)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (340 g)

2 1/4 cups sugar (465 g)

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream, room temperature (225 g or 8 oz)

Ingredients for Frosting (makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (120 grams), coarsely chopped

2/3 cup unsalted butter (150 grams), room temperature

1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar (160 grams), sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions for Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowel, mix togther flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Melt butter with sugar over medium-low heat until dissolved and stir to combine. Remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl. On medium-low speed beat until cooled (4-5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Add vanilla and cocoa mixture, beat until combined. Scrape down sides as needed. On low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beat just until combined after each.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through cooking time, for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffin tins to baking racks and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from baking tins and place on baking racks, allow to cool completely.

Note: cupcakes can be store at room temperature overnight or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Directions for Frosting:

Melt chocolate over a hot water bath. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electrical mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth and light (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla extract and chocolate, beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (2-3 minutes).

Pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes. Enjoy!

Source: Cupcakes – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, Frosting – Joy of Baking

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Anvil Cookies

My husband Joe asked me if I could make cookies in the shape of an anvil. I said “sure, but I don’t think you’ll find an anvil cookie cutter in the stores”. Of course I should have known that it wouldn’t stop him on his¬†quest for anvil cookies. And so he proceeded to make an anvil cookie cutter…is there anything that man cannot make?

Gentile Forge Cookies

The cookie cutter is nice and sharp and it worked like a charm. I choose a delicious chocolate sugar cookie and to make sure the dough does not spread out during baking it’s important to let the cut-out cookies chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking.

Anvil Cookies

Anvil Chocolate Sugar Cookies (makes 44 cookies)

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (355 grams)

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder (75 grams)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter (226 grams), at room temperature

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (350 grams)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar (220 grams)

1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder (15 grams)

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (can use other extract flavors if desired)

1/4 – 1/2 cup warm water (60 – 120 ml)

food color, if desired

Directions:

To make Cookies: In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and set aside. In the bowl of an electrical mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, mix until combined. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients. As dry ingredients becomes incorporated you can increase speed. Mix only until it forms a homogeneous dough. Divide dough into two portions, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

Remove one half of dough from refrigerator. Lightly flour your work surface and roll dough out to a thickness of 1/4 inch (6 millimeters). Keep turning the dough so it does not stick to counter. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to baking sheets. Place baking sheets in refrigerator for 15 minutes (to prevent cookies from loosing their shape during baking). Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until firm around edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Frost with Icing if desired.

To make Icing: Note – for these particular cookies I only iced along the edges of cookies. If you plan on filling in cookies with icing, I would recommend doubling the icing recipe.

In a medium bowl sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add almond extract. Add warm water in increments, while mixing with your electrical mixer. Add food color if desired. Beat on medium speed until smooth and glossy. Proper consistency is when a ribbon of icing falls into bowl and remain on surface for a few seconds. Add more confectioners sugar if icing becomes too thin. Use icing immediately or store in an airtight container covered with plastic wrap directly on the surface.

Be sure icing in completely set before storing cookies in an airtight container. It could take several hours for icing to set.

Source: adapted from Joy of Baking

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Nutella Icing

Chocolate Cupcakes With Nutella Icing

So my husband Joe, you know the Blacksmith, had his Blacksmithing buddies over for their monthly meeting. This time I decided to also make them a sweet treat and when Joe saw these cupcakes on Barefoot Contessa’s¬†TV show (yeah, I force him to watch the FoodNetwork…evil laugh) he decided that’s what he wanted. Except the original cupcakes had a Peanut Butter frosting and there is no¬†way, no how, I am making anything Peanut Butter. Sorry, just can’t stand it. So we decided on a brilliant solution, Nutella¬†of course. So here it is, please enjoy Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Icing.

Artist Blacksmith Group of Tidewater

Chocolate Cupcakes With Nutella Icing

Ingredients for cupcakes:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup good cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for Icing:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup Nutella

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and the 2 sugars on high-speed until light and fluffy (approx 5 minutes). Lower speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk and sour cream. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

On low-speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl. Mix only until blended. Fold batter with a spatula¬†to be sure it’s completely blended.

Divide batter among the cupcake pans, using an ice cream scoop per cup. Bake in the middle of oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Using a toothpick test to make sure cupcakes are done. Toothpick should come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: place confectioner’s sugar, nutella, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electrical mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the sides of bowl as you work. Add the cream and beat on high-speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with Nutella Icing. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcake With Nutella Icing

Chocolate Cupcake With Nutella Icing

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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