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Sugar Cookies!!

taken from Baked in America by Outsider Tart

These were good! I'm not going to post the recipe; as I will be baking a lot more from this book and since there are probably more exciting ones then this one I'll just share some pictures!
Where I know I can probably post a recipe or two I just don't want to end up posting the whole book and then been in a lot of trouble over copyright!
I made them for my husband's birthday. He took them to work with him. Friday or Saturday I'll be posting you pictures of his cake! ;0) My Mini-Baker has also been bugging me to make cupcakes so I'll be posting those too!! Then the following weekend I'll be heading off to London so stay tuned for my reviews!!

The Best Banana Bread!! {muffins}

guest post from IN Baker

3-4 ripe bananas smashed (perfect for over ripe bananas)
5 tbsp melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven 350 deg. Mix bananas and butter. Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla. Sprinkle in baking soda and salt and mix. Slowly add flour, blending after each addition. Pour in buttered/oiled 4x8 loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Makes 18 muffins - bake 18 min. Makes about 30 mini muffins - bake 12 mins.
Yummy additions include 1 C chocolate chips (mini for mini muffins). 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts. Also try spreading a thin layer of peanut butter on top while warm.

My sister, Janet aka Indiana Baker, had given this recipe ages ago and I use it every time I have bananas that are too ripe to eat! I'm sharing this with you all now so you can make it this weekend and fill your house with the smells of yummy banana bread!!!

Cupcakes from the Primose Bakery

Do you like my natural mood lighting?
Gotta love camera phones!
I bought this today after a lot of indecision. I got a feeling that you were either Team Primrose or Team Hummingbird. I think I just read so many reviews that if the reviewer liked one of the places they dissed the other and vise versa. Since I'm a huge Hummingbird Bakery fan I figured I wouldn't like this book. I just got the book today and will be testing it out soon!

The decision was really made for me because at WH Smith they are selling it for...

WH Smith have probably discounted the book because at the end of the month Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas are coming out with their second book The Primrose Bakery Book. So, for you locals go grab yourself a copy at WH Smith while the price is good...it's even cheaper the The Book People!

Good Enough to Eat!!

I want to knit this

 and this!!

I need to get knitting!!

Surprise Cookies

taken from Martha Stewart's Cookies
you can also find the recipe on her website!
guest post from IN Baker!!

Makes about 2 dozen

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally
  • Chocolate Frosting for Surprise Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Using a tablespoon or 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto un-greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered.
I used peanut butter instead of marshmallow! They were my husband's favorite! ~IN Baker

What's Your Cupcake Flava?

I am 1000 Wishes!! This is a very cute necklace! Perfect for a gift to cupcake lovers and thinking early for stocking stuffers!! Check out the site to see other "flava's" and to take the quiz!!

This fun cupcake necklace you can find at Cherry Red Boutique!! Love it! It also comes in a bubble gum pink, blue and black!!

This is my favorite!! You can buy it here or buy it and send it to me at..... just kidding but I may have to look into getting this!! I found the picture on this site! (site has been taken down 1.2.2016)

Last, but not least I really like this one off Esty! A little rustic and fun!!

Chai Tea Mini Cupcakes

taken from Martha Steart's Cupcakes

¾ cup milk
2 bags black tea (ex: Ceylon) I bought the wrong kind of tea (see picture below) so I used a Chai Tea bag.
1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1 cup cake flour (not self-raising), sifted
1 ½ cup tsp baking powder
½ tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamom
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
4 tbsp (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temp
¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Bring milk to simmer over medium heat, remove from heat; add tea bags and let seep, covered, 15 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing bags over the pan, and discard. Allow milk to cool completely.
  3. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, and spices.
  4. Cream butter and dark-brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape sides as needed.
  6. On a low speed add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of tea-infused milk, beat until just combined after each.
  7. Divide batter among your cases and bake for 10-12 minutes. Rotating half way through.  

if you can't read me click on me!

Suggested Frosting:
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
½ cup plus 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (7oz)
pinch of coarse salt
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

With a mixer on med-high whisk together butter condensed milk and salt until smooth. Whisk in sugar ¼ cup at a time, until combined, then whisk on high until thick and smooth. Use Immediately!!

I chose to use a milk glaze instead. It's 1 1/2 cups confectionor's sugar (icing sugar) and 3 tablespoons of milk. Really this desicion was made for me as I couldn't find condensed milk. I was looking for a certain brand/type of container and I just didn't see it. After going online it turns out that there is no brand name of condensed milk (in the UK please correct me if the internet has lied) but a lot of the local super markets have their own brand of condensed milk. Who knew? But the glaze works well too!

These are very fragrant! Very yummy too, but I see why there are mini ones and not regular size one bite is all you need. These would be perfect for after dinner with a cup of tea or coffee. I made 48 of these and most of them are off to my sister-in-laws dinner rehearsal tonight! I hope they like them!!

and the winner is......

Chai Tea Cupcakes!! I'm making them tomorrow! I have people to help eat them tomorrow that's why I'm not making them today!! ;0)

Cupcake Cards at Paperchase!!

cute cupcake and bumblebee cupcake cards

bunny and ducky cupcake cards

pirate and panda cupcake cards!
I love Paperchase!! I could spend a fortune in there!!! I saw these and had to take a picture!! Will be going back to get one from Mini-Baker's birthday coming up!! I wonder if my husband would like one for his 30th? Maybe the bumblebee one? ;0)
Happy Cupcake Week!!
~Day 4~

Cherry Cola Cupcakes

taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
inspired by Sticky Pinny, Katie Cakes, and Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

200g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
l large egg
125ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
150ml Cherry Cola
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry syrup

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin try with liners.
Sift the flour and mix with the salt and bicarb and set to one side.
Mix the egg with the buttermilk and cherry syrup in a jug and also set to one side.
In a heavy based saucepan, melt butter, cocoa and cherry cola gently on a low-medium heat.
Pour this mix into the dry ingredients, stir well and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug. Mix until well blended.
Be aware the mixture isn't very thick, but don't worry it will be okay!
Divide between the paper cases and bake for approx 18-20 mins, until the tops are springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting

225g icing sugar
30g butter
2 tbsp Cherry Cola
1 tbsp maraschino cherry syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract

Sieve the icing sugar and set aside. In a saucepan do as before and heat the butter, Cherry Cola, cherry syrup, and cocoa powder. Stir until butter is melted. I then transferred to a bigger mixing bowl and added vanilla. Beat while adding the icing sugar by the spoon full. It’s ready when it’s smooth, spreadable, but a little runny.

I made mine a little thicker as I didn’t do as Sticky Pinny or Katie Cakes did and make an additional cherry buttercream. I’m going to be honest I’m not a huge fan of lots of icing. I like it to compliment the cupcake not own it. So, I stuck with Nigella’s recipe. I just did cherry coke instead and I got the idea from the above blogs along with Confessions of a Cookbook Queen!

Day 3 of National Cupcake Week Cherry Cola Cupcakes!!
Note: All blogs mentioned can be found on the right hand side under Sweet Blogs!!

Mahogany Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted WW recipe - makes 12
guest blogger Sarah@ExPat-Bride

When I heard Lisa would be celebrating International Cupcake Week on her blog, I couldn’t not participate! (Even though I’m on a diet, yikes!)

These cupcakes are a healthy all-natural spin on the classic red velvet cupcake. Instead of loading them up with artificial food coloring, use pureed beets to give them a rich mahogany color and keep them fluffy and moist. Not to mention all the vitamins and nutrients that beets are bursting with may help you feel slightly less guilty!

What you need:1 ¼ cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweet)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 small can (8 ¼ oz.) whole or sliced beets
½ cup buttermilk (lowfat)
¼ cup canola oil (UK: rapeseed oil)
2 large eggs
1 tsp white vinegar
8 oz cream cheese (fat-free)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (UK: icing sugar)
1 tsp lemon zest

What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F /180C and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Drain the beets and puree in a blender or food processor.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: beet puree, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vinegar.
5. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry while stiring. Stir only until everything is moist, do not over mix.
6. Pour batter into the cups, filling them about two-thirds full.
7. Bake for around 20 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest with an electric mixer until smooth. Refrigerate until use.
9. When cupcakes are completely cool, spread about 1 tbsp of frosting per cupcake.

Sarah’s Tips
-          For the frosting, be sure to sift the sugar into the bowl otherwise you will be beating the clumps out for hours!
-          At about 16/17 minutes, turn the temperature down a bit. This keeps the cupcakes fluffy and stops them from sinking back into their cups.
-          Make sure it is 100% cooled before attempting to frost. I usually wait an hour, just as a rule of thumb for anything. That will also give the frosting plenty of time in the fridge.
-          Don’t worry about measuring out the lemon zest. 1 whole lemon will give you the perfect amount of tang, feel free to zest straight into the bowl.

 Did you try this recipe? How did it turn out for you? Have any tips to add? Post a picture on my facebook page!
The Ex-Pat Bride

Day 2: National Cupcake Week! Thank you Sarah for shareing these amazing looking cupcakes!! Sarah shared her Healthy Berry Crisp with us earlier this year. If you want to see what's she's up too visit her blog!! x Lisa

Roasted Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

taken from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
guest post IN-Baker

3 ripe bananas (plus 1 or 2 to garnish)
2 cups cake-flour (not self raising) sifted
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat oven 400*F
  2. Place 3 whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes (peels will darken).
  3. While your roasting sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Remove bananas and cool before peeling, re-set oven to 350*F
  5. On med-high cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, making sure it’s well combined each time.
  6. Add roasted bananas and beat to combine
  7. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, and being until just combined after each addition.
  8. Beat in vanilla
  9. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites to a soft peak, fold 1/3 whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches
  10. Divide batter into your cupcake liners (in tin) Bake for 20 minutes rotating half way through. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Frosting:
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp honey
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately!!

Finish the cupcakes, fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium French-star tip (Ateco #863 or Wilton #363) with frosting. Pipe seven scallops around the perimeter of cupcake, and pipe a large starburst in the center. Don’t garnish with sliced bananas until serving time. Brown bananas aren’t really that attractive!

Day 1: National Cupcake week. Here in England it's National Cupcake week so, get ready for a week full of yummy cupcake recipes from myself and some lovely guest bloggers!! There is still time to vote on which cupcake you'd like me to bake so please vote!!

7 Posts of Past

I was nominated by Sarah @ Ex-Pat Bride to dredge up some of my past posts- “To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.” I have only been blogging on this blog for a couple of months so, I’ll do my best!

The Rules:
  1. Blogger is nominated to take part.
  2. Blogger publishers his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
                  -         most beautiful post
-         most popular post
-         most controversial post
-         most helpful post
-         a post whose success surprised you
-         a post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
-         post that you are most proud of

  1. Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
  2. These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
  3. Then those bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate 5 more bloggers….
  4. and so on….
  5. The site Trip Base will be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on their blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

Beautiful: Apple Streusel Cake, not only did the pictures look good enough to eat, but the actual cake was simple and amazing!!

Popular: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, my sister made these and guest posted. They look amazing!!

Controversial: Are cupcakes the new Pink or Black? I mean really it was a huge debate…not really.

Helpful: Blondies- They were a big fail and I think it’s helpful to learn from mistakes!

Surprise Success: Tangled Cupcake Pictures…. I guess I didn’t realize how many people would want to look at the movie scenes with cupcakes from Tangled. Just google search- Tangled Cupcakes. :0]

No Attention: Strawberry Muffins- I realize that in the baking world muffins are the ugly sister to the popular cupcakes. But these are really very good!!! You should try them!

Proud: Snicker’s Brownies- I had so much fun making them and it was my first time making caramel from scratch!  
I nominate:

I only have 2.... if you want me to nominate you please let me know! I'm new to the blogging world and feel a little weird nominating someone I don't know if they'd like to do it...ya know?

Cinnamon Loaf

taken from Baked in America by Outsider Tart

I’m not going to add the recipe to this post (because I'm having a lazy Saturday) if you must have it buy Baked in America by the David’s from Outsider Tart or if you’re desperate you can email me and I will share. :0)

I love to bake and I love to taste the labor of my hard work. I’ve joined a local weight loss group in hopes to shred the weight I’ve gained since having babies and then some! I am hoping to find a balance of eating healthy and my baking habit. All in moderation!! Luckily I have plenty of birthdays and holiday’s to bake for for the next few months to keep this blog in action!!

I had a thin slice of this as my morning ‘snack’ it was deliciously cinnamon! It is a mess, but it does say in the book that it could split and crack. I was a little rough getting it out of the loaf tin! Oops. Since this wasn’t for show or anything I wasn’t upset by the look of it, because taste is what matters!!

Keep the votes coming, as I’ll be making cupcakes for cupcake week!!