Raspberry-filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes.

If you are looking for a super special, absolutely rock-your-world delicious treat to bake for your special Valentine(s), look no further thank these amazing Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes!

I have always admired beautiful cupcakes and love those special gourmet ones that have surprise fillings and are extravagantly decorated, but I have never had much success making them.

I had the urge to give it another try yesterday after purchasing some fun sprinkles I was dying to use somehow.

Disclaimer – I have a weird “thing” for sprinkles and buy way more than I ever use!  I bought three different kinds of red/pink Valentiney ones and one big container of regular ones.  My granddaughter had fun shaking them in the cart while we were shopping!

I found a recipe at RockRecipes.com that I tweaked up a bit.  I was so excited with how beautiful and YUMMY they turned out.

When I handed one to Hubby to taste test, I said,  “Are you ready to have your world rocked by this?”

He loved it!

Here is how I made them.  Hope you give them a try.

Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 oz. water

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

Directions:

To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.  Stir in vanilla.  Add baking powder and salt, then fold in flour.  Finally stir in milk to create batter.

Pour into paper-lined cupcake/muffin pan.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare raspberry filling by stirring 1 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in water, and slowly pour into boiling berries.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Allow to cool.

Prepare frosting by blending together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

When cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small section from center of cupcake.  Fill with raspberry filling.

Decorate with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles and fresh raspberries if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Linzer Cookies.

Christmas cookie baking continues with these divine little shortbread “sandwiches.”

Buttery, tender shortbread cookies with a hint of almond kicked up with a generous spoonful of raspberry preserves and lightly dusted with sweet powdered sugar.

Such an elegant, beautiful, and mouth-watering treat!

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 7 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry preserves
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer.  Add vanilla and almond extracts followed by salt.  Add flour and mix until dough is formed.  Remove dough from bowl to counter and flatten.  Place in large Ziploc bag or wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut circles with biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter.  For half of the round cookies, cut a hole in the middle with smaller cookie cutter.  Bake approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool completely.

Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid round cookie.  Top each with a cut-out cookie.  Dust top with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie.

Are you looking for an amazing fruit pie that is tart and sweet and bursting full of fresh fruits of the season?

I haven’t baked a pie in a while, so I thought it was high time I treated hubby to something he would love being that it is Father’s Day weekend and all.

He would choose pie over cake or cookies approximately 99.5 times out of 100 – conservatively speaking.

I had some fresh red raspberries and some fresh blueberries in the fridge, but not enough of either to make a whole pie, so I decided to try combining the two into one pie.

I researched some recipes and then decided to combine things I liked about different ones into my own creation – including using tapioca instead of cornstarch as the thickening agent for this pie.  Grandma always used tapioca in her berry pies, so there is no other way in my book!

This pie turned out perfectly thickened and so full of fresh berry flavors.  It was a complete hit with Hubby – especially when topped with a melting scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

If you are looking for a new twist on berry pie, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • Double recipe for Pie Crust
  • 2 cups fresh red raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract of paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. milk or water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry.

In a bowl, combine berries, 1 cup sugar, tapioca, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Gently stir, and pour into pastry lined pie plate.

Top with remaining pie crust cut and wove into lattice.

Brush with milk or water, and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

Is anything more divine than tart, sweet raspberry and velvety, dark chocolate?

Then combine it with a flaky, buttery shortbread cookie?!

Heaven in a bite – right?!

These little gems are the most recent cookie baking project for the wedding cookie table.

I think you might want to make some of these too!

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 16 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy with electric mixer.  Gradually add flour and combine until dough forms.

Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into 3/4″ balls.  Place on baking stone about an inch apart.  Press small indentation in center of dough with your finger.  Place a 1/4 tsp. raspberry jam in indentation.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned on edges.  Let cool 5-10 minutes on baking stone, the remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, melt chocolate and spoon into plastic bag.  Snip corner and drizzle on top of cookies.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chocolate and Raspberry Custard Dessert in a Jar

chocolate and raspberry custard in a jar dessert

We celebrated my youngest son, Nick’s birthday yesterday.  I was excited to try to recreate a recipe he recently had and loved at Firebird’s Wood Fired Grill restaurant a month or so ago while traveling.

chocolate and raspberry custard in a jar dessert 2

So instead of a birthday cake this year, I made these beautiful, decadent treats for his dessert.  He loved it and said I aced it.  Momma’s heart is happy.  This dessert is beautiful and delicious and will make any occasion special.

It is so worth the time to create a magical, delicious dessert.  And the beauty of it is that it can be made a day ahead of time and assembled right before you serve it for an amazing treat.

I know there is someone on your “list” who would do almost anything for one of these!

Chocolate and Raspberry Custard in a Jar

Ingredients:chocolate and raspberry custard in a jar dessert

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 – 2.35 oz pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
4 oz raspberry sauce (made by straining fresh 6 oz raspberries through a sieve with 1 Tbsp sugar)
16 fresh raspberries for garnish
chocolate granola for topping (recipe follows)
Whipped cream
4 – 6oz Mason jars

Directions:

Place heavy cream in pot on medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, and add chocolate chips.  Whisk until smooth and chocolate is completely melted. Set aside and cool to room temperature.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the chocolate ganache.  Mix milk, yogurt and remaining chocolate ganache (other than 1/2 cup) in a mixing bowl. Stir in the pudding mix until fully incorporated.  Pour 5 oz. of custard into each Mason jar or dessert dish.  Top with  1oz reserved ganache per jar.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.  Top with raspberry sauce, vanilla whipped cream, fresh raspberries and chocolate granola.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

And the chocolate granola….

O M G!

This is a treat in and of itself!

I might be able to live on just this.

Make it to accompany the Chocolate and Raspberry Custard in a Jar Dessert or to top yogurt , ice cream, or to just toss in your mouth as a yummy snack.

chocolate granola

Oats and almonds and walnuts coated with cocoa and agave nectar and drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate….

Heaven in a bite!

chocolate granola 2

Chocolate Granola

Ingredients:chocolate granola
2 cups of Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup of Sliced (or slivered) Almonds
1 Cup of Chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup of Agave Nectar (you can also use Maple Syrup)
1/4 cup  Butter
1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Directions:

 Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt agave nectar and butter on medium-low heat.

In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cocoa, sugar and melted butter mixture to coat well.

Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking stone or sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Allow mixture to cool completely.  Serve over Chocolate and Raspberry Custard Dessert, ice cream, yogurt, or enjoy as a snack.

Adapted from a recipe from Laura in the Kitchen

And here is the birthday “boy” with his birthday dessert.

Nick 26

Happy Birthday Nick!  You have made the past 26 years more joyful than you will ever know.  I wish you love and happiness and as much chocolate and raspberry custard as your heart desires.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Peach and Red Raspberry Galette

peach raspberry galette

I’ve always wanted to make a galette.

I love the beauty of the free form, rustic French-inspired dessert that is like a simple version of a fruit pie.

peach raspberry galette slice

I had some peaches and raspberries hitting their peak of ripeness that were just screaming to be combined into a dessert fit for “company” dinner with our BFF Janet visiting one day this past week.

peach raspberry galette 2

Can you tell how well loved my baking stone is?

And Grandma always taught me a pie was done when the filling started bubbling and oozing out (usually onto the oven floor), so I figured the same holds true for a galette.

It turned out beautifully and was a fine tribute to end our dinner on the last day of summer!  The guys loved it, but Janet was too full of stuffed peppers and Yukon gold mashed potatoes to eat hers, so she took some home.   (Did you enjoy Jan?)

Here is my recipe derived from combining my pie crust recipe with several galette recipes found on the web.  You could make it with apple filling.  How yummy would it be with apples, golden raisins and walnuts??!!!  It would also be great with plums or apricots or cherries or blueberries.

Have you ever made a galette?  I’m feeling rather “French” as I write this.  Jouir!

Peach Raspberry Galette

Ingredients:peach raspberry galette

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water

Filling:

  • 5 large peaches
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh red raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 2 Tbsp coarse sugar

Prepare dough by combining flour, Crisco, and salt with pastry blender until it forms a crumbly mixture.  Add water, and mix just until incorporated.  Form ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while preparing filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut peaches in half, pit, and slice into 1/2 inch wedges (leaving skin on).

In a large bowl, combine peaches, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, sugar and flour.

Dust a large baking stone with flour.  Remove pastry dough from refrigerator, and roll out to 15″ circle.  Place on baking stone.  fill center with peach filling, leaving 2-3 inches of dough all around.  Gently add fresh raspberries.

Fold dough up and around edges.  Cut butter onto top of filling.  Brush pastry dough with beaten egg.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds and coarse sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake until pastry is golden and juices are bubbling, about 20 minutes more.

Let cool completely, and serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, sweetened yogurt or all by itself.  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Chocolate Chunk and Fresh Red Raspberry Chocolate Muffins

raspberry chocolate chunk chocolate muffins

Last week I wrote about “perfect pairs.

But seriously…

does anything “pair” better than the divine taste of rich, creamy semi-sweet chocolate and the tangy, sweet, juiciness of fresh red raspberries?

raspberry chocolate chunk chocolate muffins 1

Oh these muffins!

raspberry chocolate chunk chocolate muffins 2

They are pretty much heaven in a paper liner!

raspberry chocolate chunk chocolate muffins 3

If you are looking for an amazing muffin recipe that goes as wonderfully with coffee in the morning for a decadent breakfast treat as it does with red wine or milk for dessert or as a snack, look no further.  Here is a recipe I slightly adapted from Creme de la Crumb.  ENJOY!

Chocolate Chunk and Fresh Red Raspberry Chocolate Muffins

raspberry chocolate chunk chocolate muffins

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup red raspberry Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Half & Half
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1 pint fresh red raspberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, 1 cup chocolate chunks or chips, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Whisk egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil in another bowl until smooth.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Scoop into muffin pan.
  • Divide raspberries and remaining ¼ cup chocolate chunks among the muffins (just sprinkle the chocolate chips on the tops of the batter and gently press the raspberries into the top – I used 3 raspberries per muffin)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Sometimes Simple is the Sweetest

memorial day birthday cake red raspberries and blackberries
Did you ever notice how fancy and fussy doesn’t always equal most delicious?

Take birthday cake for example, I have spent hours and fortunes on fancy cakes with fondant decorations or “secret” expensive ingredients.

But, as I can attest from this past weekend’s Memorial Day/DIL Birthday cake, my family absolutely and totally went gaga over a simple Betty Crocker Supermoist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix baked in a 13×9 pan with white frosting and fresh fruit on top.

For the frosting, I mixed half a tub of Duncan Hines Fluffy White Frosting Mix and half of a large container of Cool Whip.  Canned frosting alone is way too sweet.  Cool Whip alone just doesn’t hit the mark.  Together, though, they are a marriage made in heaven!  AMAZING Frosting!  Try it – I’ll bet you get raves!

And to really rock it out, a scoop of Birthday Party ice cream doesn’t hurt either!  (Hagan Parlor Favorites makes a yummy Birthday Party flavor that has confetti chips and CHUNKS of birthday cake in the ice cream!)

Even those of you who don’t consider yourselves “Kitchenistas” can be Rock Stars with this easy combo!

Birthday party ice cream

Sometimes simple is the sweetest.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi