Flour Child Bakery opens in Virginia Beach!

My mom and I just opened a bakery in Virginia Beach!! "Like" us to stay updated! If you care to read our blog, it's flourchildbakery.blogspot.com.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

IronCupcake_004: Pear Cupcakes w/ Cranberry Orange Filling

Iron Cupcake:Earth
Theme: Cranberry
My entry: Spiced Pear Cupcakes w/ Cranberry-Orange Filling
Voting begins: Sunday, November 30 at 8 pm Central @ http://mkecupcakequeen.blogspot.com and will be open through Friday, December 5 at 12 noon Central.

After some major brainstorming and some careful consideration, I came up with an entry for this month's Iron Cupcake:Earth challenge! My mom brought some pears home from a roadtrip and they became my initial inspiration. I really wanted to stick with seasonal flavors, so I wanted to do a spiced pear cupcake. I'm a huge fan of cranberry and orange. I decided to use those flavors in the filling and frosting. My frosting came out a bit softer than I wanted (because I'm retarded and added a few tablespoons of heavy cream for some reason...???) But if you make it sans heavy cream, the frosting will be thick and gorgeous! These cupcakes are fantastic! They're perfectly moist. All of the flavors go well together, and how can you go wrong with cream cheese filling? They taste just like Thanksgiving! Here are my photos and the recipe.

Start by soaking your cranberries in fresh orange juice.Peel and core your pears.
Scoop the batter into the cups.
Here are the cuppies cooling!
Making the filling...
Mmmmm creamy cranberry-orange goodness!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a visial runthrough of "The Cone Method."
After filling your cupcakes, you should have about 1/2 leftover to use in the frosting.
Then voila! Delicious Thanksgiving cupcakes!
How about an inside view!

Voting will begin Sunday, November 30 at 8 pm (Central) at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, http://mkecupcakequeen.blogspot.com/, and will be open through Friday, December 5 at 12 noon (Central).

Recipes were created by yours truly!

Pear Cupcakes with Cranberry Orange Filling
Makes 16-18

1 1/2 cups finely diced pears (1 1/2 - 2 pears)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
Pinch of orange zest
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh ground if available
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup leftover filling
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Prep for filling: Combine cranberries and orange juice in a measuring cup and heat for 30-40 seconds in microwave, just until mixture is warm. Let sit until cupcakes are baked and cooled, at least 30 minutes.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with 16 paper liners. In a large bowl sift together flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix until well incorporated. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add pears and mix just until incorporated. Divide batter into muffin cups. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Make the filling: Drain the plumped cranberries and reserve the juice. In a food processor, pulse cranberries until finely chopped. With an electric mixer, combine chopped cranberries, 8 oz cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of reserved orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake, keeping the top. Fill each cupcake with 1-2 teaspoons of filling. Replace top.

Make the frosting: With an electric mixer, combine 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 of leftover filling, and 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar. Mix until smooth. Keep frosted/filled cupcakes refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 5
Tenderness: 5
Frosting: 4

Prizes provided by:
A pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES
Also, IronCupcake:Earth is excited to welcome back CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice!
As an added bonus for November only we have a delicious apron complements of SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY.
Corporate prize providers:
HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers

If you want to be a part of Iron Cupcake:Earth, visit http://ironcupcake.blogspot.com/!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

I was in the mood to make pie crust on Sunday, so my next task was figuring out what should go IN the pie crust! I browsed my collection of cookbooks and found one that I've probably only opened once since I got it (not because I don't like it, I simply forgot I had it!). I found a recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving AND it combines two of my favorite things: pumpkin pie and cheesecake. How could this not be incredible?!? Have a look for yourself...

I started with the pie crust I'm in love with making now. I gather my mise en place (because I'm "particular" like that).
First, a layer of cheesecake batter...
Then a layer of yummy pumpkin pie batter!
Protect the crust from over-browning by covering it with foil.
Finished off with pecan streusel, FANTASTIC!
The cheesecake layer looks a bit thin, but you can definitely taste the cream cheese flavor!
Mmmm, so yummy! Here's the recipe just in time for Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie from Better Homes and Gardens: New Baking Book
Prep: 20 minutes - Bake: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings – Oven 350F

1 recipe pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie (recipe here)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 slightly beaten egg
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened

1. Prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Trim and crimp edge as desired; set aside.
2. In small mixing bowl beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the vanilla, and the 1 slightly beaten egg with electric mixer on low to medium speed until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate.
3. In a medium mixing bowl combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, the 2 eggs, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Carefully pour over cream-cheese mixture.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 350F oven for 25 minutes.
Remove foil. Bake for 25 minutes more.
5. Meanwhile, combine the pecans, flour, the 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and butter. Sprinkle
over the pie. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 1 to 2 hours on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 477 cal., 29 g total fat (11g sat. fat), 122 mg chol., 295 mg sodium, 46 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 10 g pro. Daily Values: 103% vit. A, 4% vit. C, 12% calcium, 17% iron

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

This was my second time making pie crust from scratch. The first time was when I made a chocolate cream pie for Fathers' Day. That experience wasn't so pleasant. I didn't add enough water at first, and the pastry ripped into a million pieces when I tried to move it into the pie plate. Needless to say, I did not approach my second attempt with high expectations. Luck must have been on my side, though, because I did a pretty awesome job! Four tablespoons of water wasn't quite enough for my pie dough. I added about 2 extra tablespoons to get it to come together but still be crumbly. In doing this, I guess I overworked the dough a bit. Once the pie was cooked you could tell the crust had a weird crunch to it. But it tasted GREAT! I definitely recommend this crust recipe over the one I used in the chocolate cream pie. The #1 thing to remember when making pie dough is KEEP IT COLD!! (Even if you have to turn your AC on during the winter. Don't you want a nice pie? That's what I thought!)
First, measure your flour by weight for best results. Mix dry ingredients together with your fingers... or a whisk, but I like to get involved!
Add the cold butter first.
Work it in with a pastry blender until the pieces are about the size of peas.
Add the cold shortening second because it melts faster.
The mixture should look like this.
Add the water all at once and mix quickly until it forms a ball when you squeeze it.
Shape it into a disk and seal it up in plastic wrap.
When it's nice and cold, get ready to roll.
Roll it out to 12" and trim the edges.
Make sure the dough is well floured. Roll it lightly around the rolling pin and transfer to a pie plate.
I did't have much overhang, so I just crimped it with a fork.
And TADA!! That's it! If you're afraid to make your own pie crust, just try it once. Please! If it doesn't work out... oh well, that's what Pillsbury is for! :)

Flaky Pie Pastry from Williams-Sonoma: Essentials of Baking

For single-crust pie
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz/75 g) cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups (7 oz/220 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 fI oz/60 ml) ice water

For lattice-crust pie
1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) cold unsalted butter
4 tablespoons (2 oz/60 g) cold vegetable shortening
2 cups (10 oz/315 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
4 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 fI oz/90 ml) ice water

For double-crust pie
2/3 cup (5 oz/155 g) cold unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (3 oz/90 g) cold vegetable shortening
2 2/3 cups (13 1/2 oz/425 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
8 tablespoons (4 fI oz/125 ml) ice water

Cut the butter and vegetable shortening into 3/4-inch (2-cm) pieces.
BY HAND: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to mix. Scatter the butter and shorten­ing pieces over the flour mixture.
Using a fork, toss to coat with the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter and short­ening until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture and toss with the fork until the dough is evenly moist and begins to come together in a mass but does not form a ball.

BY FOOD PROCESSOR: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse 2 or
3 times to mix. Add the butter and shortening pieces and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas. Add the ice water a little at a time and pulse 10-12 times just until the dough begins to come together in a mass but does not form a ball.

BY STAND MIXER: In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix on low speed until blended, about 10 seconds. Turn off the mixer, add the butter and shortening, and then continue mixing on low speed just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas, about 20 seconds. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix on low speed just until the mixture begins to hold together, about 20 seconds. The dough will form large clumps and pull away from
the sides of the bowl, but will not form a ball. To test, stop the mixer and squeeze a small piece of dough; it should hold together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface. If making the single-crust pie pastry, shape the dough into a 6-inch (15-cm) disk. For the lattice pie, divide the dough into 2 portions, one twice as large as the other; shape the larger portion into a 6-inch (15-cm) disk and the smaller one into a 3-inch (7.5-cm) disk. For the double-crust pie, divide the dough in half and form each half into a 6-inch (15-cm) disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or for up to overnight.
  • The rich flavor of butter and the flake-making quality of vegetable shortening produce a pie pastry that is both versatile and delicious. The butter and shortening should be very cold so that they will form the layers in the crust that contribute to the overall flakiness. Use ice water for the liquid to ensure that the shortening and butter do not soften during mixing.
  • If you are making a savory pie, such as a quiche or savory galette, omit the sugar.
  • To use up your dough scraps, press them together and roll them out again into a long, narrow rectangle. Brush the surface with softened butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar. Working from a long side, roll up the rectangle into a log, then cut crosswise into slices 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Place the slices in a pan and bake alongside the pie. They are ready when the pastry is golden brown and the sugar starts to caramelize in the pan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HTEAC Does Dinner: Loaded Baked Potato Pizza

Josh and I were watching Food Network on Sunday, and they were showing the 2008 Pillsbury Bake-Off. One of the contestants being followed by FN was a woman making Loaded Baked Potato Pizza. The whole time she was saying how no one thought it would be good. Her own husband thought it sounded weird. Well, Josh had other opinions. Loaded baked potato + pizza... How could life get any better for him!?! So he convinced me to try it for dinner. We went out and bought the 3 groceries we didn't already have to make it. The whole thing came together in less than 15 minutes. It didn't take long to cook. Before I knew it, my mind was changed about this baked potato pizza idea. This stuff is great! Josh ate 3 pieces! I only had one... trying to save room for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie (recipe coming soon!). I even took a piece of leftover pizza to work today. Sooooo yummy! If you love loaded baked potatoes and pizza... even if you don't love pizza... TRY THIS! I swear you'll love it, unless you're on a diet (weirdo).

Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza
Serves 6

1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury(r) refrigerated classic pizza crust
1 medium white potato
1 tablespoon CRISCO(r) Pure Olive Oil (We used butter)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 box (10 oz) Green Giant(r)
frozen broccoli and cheese sauce
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ranch
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (4 oz) (We used cheddar)
5 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 small tomato, seeded, chopped (1/2 cup) (We omitted this... who eats tomatoes on their baked potato?)
2 medium green onions, chopped (2 tablespoons)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray large cookie sheet with CRISCO(r) Original No-Stick Cooking Spray (or butter). Unroll pizza crust dough on cookie sheet; press dough into 13x9-inch rectangle. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Remove from oven; set aside.
Meanwhile, pierce potato with fork; place on microwavable paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until tender. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. When potato is cool enough to handle, peel potato and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 cup). In small bowl, mix potato, oil, salt and pepper; set aside.
Cook broccoli in microwave as directed on box. Empty from pouch into another small bowl to cool slightly; set aside.
In another small bowl, mix sour cream and ranch dressing. Spread mixture over pizza crust to within 1/2-inch of edges of crust. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese evenly over sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with bacon.
Spread broccoli mixture and potato mixture evenly over bacon. Sprinkle tomato, onions and remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over potato mixture.
Bake 15 to 22 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. (We only baked it for 10 minutes longer, because the crust was getting too brown.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I got tagged twice this week (most recently by Susan from Yum Ninja), so I figured I better post this or I might get yelled at! The rules: List 7 facts about yourself. Link to the person who tagged you. Tag 7 others!
  1. I always drive 9 miles over the speed limit on interstates.
  2. I work at a bakery.
  3. I always listen to the radio in the shower.
  4. I only chew sugar-free gum, usually Trident.
  5. I never finish a whole glass of water at dinner.
  6. I hate for anything touch my face. Hands, hairspray, spaghetti... anything.
  7. I <3>
I tag:
  1. Cram It In Your Face
  2. A Whisk and a Spoon
  3. (cup)caketastrophe
  4. Cupcakes & Yoga
  5. Half Baked
  6. Lick the Spatula
  7. Bake & Destroy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apple Cider Cupcakes

This recipe was submitted by Jennifer Buter. The recipe comes from epicurious.com and was printed in the October 1991 issue of Gourmet Magazine. Jennifer has this recipe on her "to-bake" list, but asked that I try it out first. Here is my opinion...

I love it when recipes come with reviews. I trust reviewers more than I would trust some random recipe. So when I read one review that stated, "Overall this is an atrocity of a recipe," I knew there would have to be some tweaking involved. I relied on my instincts mostly. I substituted butter for half of the shortening (This was my first time ever using shortening in a cake; I probably won't do it again, mostly because it has no flavor. But also because shortening for real just wierds me out!). [[EDIT: Umm holy crap, I'm an idiot. I just noticed in the picture I took of the ingredients... I totally used 3/4 cup of shortening AND 3/4 of a stick of butter. Hahaha, okay screw this whole recipe!]] I doubled the amount of baking soda. I also reduced the amount of sugar, as I do with a lot of recipes. Most reviewers said that the apple cider flavor was very minimal, so I boiled the cider down to less that the recipe called for, hoping to end up with a more concentrated flavor. I made up for the extra liquid by adding some whole milk. Also, when I boiled the cider, I added a tablespoon of mulling spices to enhance the flavor. It wasn't noticeable in the cupcake, however. I recommend upping it to 2 or 3 tablespoons of mulling spice.

The resulting cupcake was a dull, wierd flavored, yet moist and tender cupcake. The frosting had a nice twang to it, but it was very soft. The temperature stated in the recipe was too high. I was thinking to myself as I was preheating the oven, "When was the last time I baked cupcakes at 375 degrees??" The cupcakes got very brown and almost tasted like the crust on white bread (freakin ew!). You would have no clue these were made with apple cider unless you were told. In that case, you'd still be lying if you said "Oh yeah, now I can taste it!" In the words of Mythbusters, this recipe is busted!

Ingredients Notice I have 3/4 cup shortening AND 3/4 stick of butter. I'm a retard, thanks.
At least the batter was yummy!
I hate spending extra $$ on cute liners that wrinkle when you put them in the pans!
They even look like bread crust, don't they!
Making the frosting... reduced cider + sugar...
Mixed until it's smooth. (This picture is before the addition of cream cheese. Don't worry, the frosting isn't that runny!!)
The end...
You can get the mulling spices as Williams-Sonoma. They smell so good!

For the cupcakes
3 cups unpasteurized apple cider (I added 1 tablespoon of mulling spice; I recommend 2-3 tablespoons)
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (I effed up the amount of fat in this recipe. I accidentally added 3/4 of a stick of butter instead of substituting it for half of the shortening!)
1 3/4 cups sugar (I reduced this to 1 cup)
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I reduced this to 1/2 teaspoon because I used spices in the cider)
1 teaspoon baking soda (I used 2 teaspoons)
Pinch of salt (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

For the icing
2 cups apple cider
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into bits and softened (I used 8 ounces)
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (I used 1 cup)

Make the cupcakes:
In a large saucepan boil the cider (and mulling spices) until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups and let it cool (strain the spices). In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the shortening and the sugar until the mixture is fluffy and beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Into the bowl sift together the flour, the cloves, the cinnamon, the baking soda, and a pinch of salt, stir in the reduced cider, and combine the mixture well. Divide the batter among 18 paper-lined 1/2-cup muffin tins and bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 375°F (I'd reduce the temp to 350°) oven for 25 minutes (check them about 5 minutes early just in case), or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack, let them cool in the tins, and remove them from the tins.
Make the icing: In a saucepan boil the cider (and mulling spices) until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup and let it cool (strain the spices). In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, the confectioners' sugar, the reduced cider, and a pinch of salt until the icing is smooth (I omitted the salt, and mixed the sugar and cider together first before adding the cream cheese).
Spread each cupcake with some of the icing.

Overall rating on a scale of 1-5
Moistness: 4
Flavor: 1
Tenderness: 5
Frosting: 3 (too soft and kinda boring)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Contest *Round-Up*

Now that all the faux spiderwebs have been taken down, the jack-o-lanterns are soggy, and the cavites are setting in... It's time to review the entries for the Booo-tiful Halloween Cupcake Contest! First I'd like to say thanks to everyone who entered. This was my first contest, and thankfully I hosted with someone as cool as Clara @ I Heart Cuppycakes! The response was amazing. We had some fantasticly spooky cupcakes to choose from. After hours of looking over all the photos, I've narrowed my favorites down to 2. Those 2, plus Clara's faves, will be featured in a poll on the left side. It's up to you to choose who's Halloween cupcake is the MOST booo-tiful! The poll will be up until Monday, November 10 @ 11:59 pm EST. When the winner is chosen, she or he (were there any he's? I don't think so... c'mon boys!!) will be contacted by e-mail.

Here are all the fabulous entries we received. (If you don't see your cupcake here, please e-mail me and let me know. Some entries weren't sent to both hosts.)

*CASSIE'S FAVE "crazy eyes"*
*CLARA'S FAVE "floating ghosts"*
*CLARA'S FAVE "green monsters"*
*A fave, but ineligible for prizes :(*

Now go vote for your favorite!!