Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes

My co-worker’s birthday was on the 15th, so in honor of his special day and St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to bake shamrock shake cupcakes.
Most bakers opt to bake Irish car bomb cupcakes during this holiday…but shamrock shake cupcakes were much more fitting for this individual and occasion.

Every St. Patrick’s day for the past 4 years he (my coworker) states that he intends to find a McDonald's during his lunch break, to buy the infamous shamrock shake…and every year…he does not!...An example of good work ethic? Or the decision to avoid LA lunch time traffic?
Either way, I thought it best to attempt to bring the shake to him on his birthday!..2 dozen of them to be exact!

I myself have never had a shamrock shake, but the office boys tell me the cupcakes were delicious and tasted just like the shake itself.
Also, in an effort to get rid of some of my Girl Scout cookies, I added crushed up thin mints to the frosting.

You will also notice that yes..I still need to work on my frosting skills...but regardless these are a minty delight!

Shamrock Shake Cupcakes
(Makes 2 dozen cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (if you don't have any, you can make your own)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons mint extract  
few drops of green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flours in a large bowl.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, beat 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour in three parts, alternating with the milk/extracts in two.
Add food coloring until fully incorporated, but don't over mix- a drop or two will do for a light green color.
Pour into baking cups.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp mint extract
a few drops green food coloring

Cream butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and mint. Add more sugar to reach desired consistency. Add food coloring until fully incorporated. 



Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Infamous Banana Bread Recipe

I grew up on this infamous banana bread! Every time I make it, and devour it I am reminded of so many childhood memories.   My mothers recounting describes this breads reputation the best:

“This is Marge and Gen's favorite. I have seen-well I haven’t really seen it, because this phenomenon occurs while I am workingbut I have seen the remnants after Gen and Margaret devour one of these breads in two days.  This is great to have on hand because it makes a quick and nutritious breakfast on the go. I used to keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh, but since it doesn’t last long enough to go stale, lately its just covered on the counter...” (You mean the crumbs are covered, Mom?) LOL!

Readers..I give you EXHIBIT A...the pictures I took for this you see any pictures of the bread sliced up? NO…because I did not have a third arm to hold a camera with. I was slicing with one hand…and stuffing my face with the other.
I gave a bit to my spin teacher...but honestly...I….ate the entire thing in 2 days..yet again!...Tyler maaaaybe had 3 slices! Yikes!  : )

1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a tube pan or loaf pan. My mother recommends using a tube pan…(as pictured) She states that it is easier for the middle to cook thoroughly. When she has made this in a loaf pan, it spills over the sides, and the edges get burned if you leave it in long enough to cook the middle. Therefore a tube pan solves that problem. (But seriously feel free to use any type of pan you have handy; just make sure to grease and flour!)

Beat oil and sugar together. Add eggs and bananas and beat well. Put dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and stir together. Add dry ingredients, milk and vanilla. Mix well and stir in nuts. Pour into pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes to 1 hour. (Everyone’s oven is different!) Done when a tester comes out clean. Try to let it cool a little before attacking!!!!! HiYA!