- Blend together the butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add in jam, cream, and vanilla extract.
- Gradually continue adding sugar to taste or until the mixture is soft enough to sandwich two macarons gently together.
The raspberry buttercream is one of my favorites as a macaron filling - a little tartness to take off that edge of berry sweetness.
One of the iconic tests of a baker's skill, the macaron, was something I had never had an inclination to try. Not only because of their storied fussiness, but quite simply, I hadn't liked to eat them. But! I was introduced to an episode or two of the Great British Baking Show in which featured a showstopper piece that used tiny, adorable maroon macarons ... and I was hooked. I absolutely had to try making them because they were just so cute and tidy-looking.
Well, as happy endings go, this won the slam dunk, as in the process of having to taste-test my own work, I started learning an appreciation for the taste and texture of the macaron as I tried to figure what the heck made them so special to other consumers. And now, I love both playing around with these little bakery sandwiches and consuming the results! Win-win!
Note: If you would like more details about the process (along with why you should or should not do certain things), this website was an excellent resource during my research. It helped me make proper macarons right out of the gate, no failures at all!
What gives pipe-able frosting its structure and stability is usually sugar. Lots, and lots, and lots of sugar. Which I can't stand. So during one of my many long searches for various flavors of icing that don't need so much sugar, I stumbled across this recipe ... and it set beautifully. While I sometimes wish it had a more neutral sweet taste than the honey, obviously honey itself pairs well with tons of baked goods, so this will be a good go-to for decorations and piping.
I love cream cheese frosting but hate the amount of sugar that's needed to stiffen it up if you're planning on doing anything more than slapping fat dollops onto a cupcake with a butter knife. So on one of my quests to find a less-sugared pipe-able cream cheese frosting, I stumbled across this - which I was skeptical of at first! But wonder of wonders, it actually held up beautifully as promised; even the tiny ridges in the examples below held up for hours at a time at room temperature! AND it preserved the tangy taste of the cream cheese. This was definitely worth the extra effort!
While I started baking to accommodate my taste buds, now it's become an outlet for accommodating my eyes as a visual creative outlet. While I had started with browsing cake decorations, it occurred to me that baking cupcakes would give me many more opportunities to decorate on a mini-canvas ... and mini cupcakes even more so! And since I had some leftover pumpkin puree from my Fall baking, it seemed the perfect time to dig up some mini pumpkin cupcake recipes such as this one, which was moist and fluffy and more spice than sugar - my perfect combo.
As I've grown older, sadly, I've also grown more lactose-intolerant. While usually this is easily fixable with a tablet or two of Lactaid, I can also get very lazy about taking them (not to mention I don't want to be buying a box of them every other week). So I searched for a dairy-free version of pumpkin pie, and lo and behold, the internet delivered! Here's a version that I adapted from here.
Since lobster tails were always the purview of some fancy restaurant, the making of lobster tails was also associated with "fancy cooking" - or, rather, "complicated cooking" - in my mind. But nothing could be further from the truth! Even the prep work was easy peasy, as long as you have some kitchen rubber gloves to protect your hands (as I learned the hard way) and a pair of good kitchen shears. Even a Costco six-pack of lobster tails came out deliciously sweet and delicate! Adapted from this page.
This dough needs to sit overnight in the fridge, so plan ahead, but it's totally worth it. Out of the half dozen different recipes of piecrust I've made for my family, they've always voted this one as consistently the best. Other than that overnight stay, it's a very simple recipe and easy to work, especially if you have a food processor to help.
While the ingredients list is exactly the same, the steps to mix the piecrust are slightly different, as I've mixed in some of my own experience working with it. I highly recommend you use the weighed measurements instead as they will provide the most consistent ratios.
This might seem a weirdly simple item to have its own "recipe", but it's precisely because it's so simple that it deserves a call-out! It used to be that I depended solely upon canned pumpkin - which, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that. But, ever since I found out how easy it was to simply pop a fresh pumpkin into a pie or any other baked good looking for it, I couldn't resist buying up all those pie pumpkins in the supermarket whenever they came in season. (And they'll back you up if there's ever a repeat of the great canned pumpkin shortage of 2019!) Be aware that fresh pumpkin is also super moist - keep that in mind if your recipe is very sensitive to moisture content! I've so far not had any issues with just doing a straight ounce-for-ounce substitution of canned pumpkin (in fact, that extra moisture has been very welcome in some recipes) but forewarned is forearmed.
It's strange, but while I looooooove pound cakes, this is the very first time I've made on! And quite by accident - I've bookmarked plenty of recipes but kept bumping other stuff up the priority ladder. But then due to a miscommunication between my mother and me, we suddenly had and overabundance of Costco-sized pallets of peaches, and I was trying to figure out what to do with the last of them before they went bad when this recipe happened to land in my inbox. So I decided to give it a whirl - and it seems like such a simple cake, but it turned out so great that even my mom, who is totally not supposed to be eating stuff like this, was sneaking out 1/8" slices of the cake whenever my back was turned!
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.