Petit Fours

These little dessert bites are the perfect way to celebrate any special occasion (I made these for Mother’s Day this past weekend).  I started with my Italian Rainbow cookie recipe.  Instead of coloring the batter with food coloring, I left it as is.  My daughter-in-love Melissa (I call her Missy) has a lot of chickens, and she is so gracious to share some of the many eggs with me.  Fresh eggs are so delicious and they make baked goods taste amazing!!  You could add a little gel food coloring to the batter if you would like, but the beautiful color of my egg yolks actually made the cakes a pretty peach color.

Missy and my son David are traveling across the country with their sons, Seth and Kory (our adorable grandsons…just saying), in an RV that was gifted to them by Missy’s parents.  They are having an amazing time!  With this past year gradually in the rear view mirror, they are finally able to have some fun family quality time:)!!  They’ll be home tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear all about their adventures!

Now, let’s get started making these treats!  These petit fours can definitely be made in one day, just make sure you get started early.  I like to make them over two days.  I make them up to the point of the first refrigeration, with the cans on top, and finish them the second day by cutting and covering them with the pourable fondant.  They can be decorated as fancy or plain as you would like.  I topped these with royal icing leaves, rosebuds and roses, but you could top them with sprinkles or chocolate drizzles too.  Hey, they’re your petit fours, and you can decorate them any way you want:)!!

Ingredients for petit fours:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • One 8-ounce can almond paste
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and divided (339 grams)
  • 4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature (61 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (279 grams)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, divided (160 grams)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° and grease three 9-by-13-inch quarter sheet pans with cooking spray, then line each with parchment. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, almond paste and 1 stick of butter. Mix until smooth and lump free, being sure to break down the almond paste as best you can. Add the remaining 2 sticks of butter and continue to mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

 

Gradually add the egg yolks, followed by the milk and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add the flour and slowly mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the flour is combined, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff, fluffy peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture to form a smooth batter, then divide equally between the three pans.

Evenly spread the batter into the greased and parchment-lined quarter sheet pans, and bake, rotating halfway through, until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let them cool completely.

Once cooled, spread half of the jam to cover the surface of one the cakes.  Making sure the parchment is discarded, place another cake directly on top, sandwiching the jam.

Repeat this step by spreading the remaining jam on top, and placing the last layer directly on top of it, discarding the parchment.

Remove the weights and plastic wrap.  You can now cut the cake into any shape you like. I like to trim the cake into a 7 1/2″ X 10 1/2″ rectangle (remember to keep those scraps for snacking…yum!). Now, using a ruler, cut the cake into 1 1/2 inch squares. Place cakes on a cooling rack and return them to the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes, until set.

Ingredients for the poured fondant:

  • 8 ounces chopped white chocolate (226 grams)
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup (88 grams)
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (420 grams)
  • 1/3 cup very hot water (79 grams)

Instructions for coating and decorating the petit fours:

  • While the petit fours are chilling, chop the white chocolate and place it in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally. While the chocolate melts, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and then add the hot water and corn syrup, folding together with a spatula until combined. Stir in the melted white chocolate until smooth if the consistency of the fondant is a bit thick, you can mix in more hot water a teaspoon at a time. If you keep the bowl over the simmering water (over a very low heat), it will keep the icing at a nice pourable consistency.

  • Remove the cake cubes from the freezer, place one on a fork then dip the bottom into the fondant. Lift and spoon more fondant over the top until the sides are coated. Tap the fork on the bowl’s edge to remove excess fondant, then return to the wire cooling rack (placed over a baking sheet) to set. Repeat the process for the remaining cubes. The petit fours will take an hour or two to set.
  • Decorate with a drizzle of melted white chocolate, icing, or you can use some royal icing to pipe little roses on top using a small petal tip (102) and leaf tip (349).

I hope you make these for your next special occasion, or maybe a fancy tea party…ohhhh that sounds fun!!

If you do make these, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!

Sprinkle Cupcakes

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When I was making my sister’s birthday cake last week  I got a FaceTime call from my daughter.  I look forward to any connection I can have with my children and grandchildren, especially during these strange and difficult times.  My grandson (who is almost 6 years old)  heard my mixer running.  He immediately asked what I was making.  I told him it was a birthday cake for Aunt Kathy.  When I told him it was a “sprinkle”  cake;  he said he wanted to have a piece.  Well, my heart was breaking because I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  I told him I would make him some sprinkle cupcakes, and he was satisfied and very pleased with that compromise.

I took the ingredients out to come to room temperature just before lunch.  I was very happy to be making cupcakes for my grandchildren (Seth, Kory, Emerson and Evie).  Just typing their names puts a smile on my face.  Our children and grandchildren all live within a mile of us,  and this lockdown is so difficult.  I understand the importance of social distancing, but this “new normal” feels anything but normal.  This too shall pass:).

As I was taking the cupcakes out of the oven I received a FaceTime call from my daughter-in-love Melissa.  She was pretty excited about the cupcakes too.  My children and grandchildren are my biggest fans.  They understand my passion for baking…they get me:)!

If you follow the instructions as written and use the proper ingredients (no substitutions),  your cupcake will be moist and flavorful.  This recipe is very similar to my vanilla cupcake recipe.  Adding the sprinkles just adds to the fun!!  Enjoy!

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) full fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) *buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Sprinkles

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. This batter makes 16 medium cupcakes.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

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In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy (about two minutes).

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Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Mix in the sour cream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape down bowl and paddle as needed.

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Add the flour mixture and mix just until flour is incorporated. With your mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk into the batter.  Mix on low (or you can use a spatula at this point).  Make sure to get any batter that isn’t completely mixed on the bottom of your mixing bowl. IMG_3894  Add the sprinkles and gently fold into batter.  Do not overmix!

Scoop into paper cups filling them 2/3 full. You can use a large ice cream scoop or two spoons, whichever you prefer.  This recipe makes 16 medium size cupcakes.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.  All ovens are different, so begin checking for doneness at 17 minutes.  If the toothpick has a few crumbs attached, remove from oven. The cupcakes will continue baking after they are removed from the oven. You don’t want to over bake them or you will end up with a dry cupcake!

Allow cupcakes to cool for 2 minutes in the cupcake tin then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

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I frost these with my buttercream frosting.  You can find the recipe on my vanilla cupcake post Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes.

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I hope you make this recipe,  and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your photos:)!

*If you don’t have buttermilk (I never seem to have it when I come across a recipe that calls for it), you can make your own by adding 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  It will become thick as it sits.

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle Cake

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Everybody loves sprinkles!  Celebrating with a cake loaded with sprinkles is FUN!!  Come on, you have to admit, they are just so darn pretty!

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I made this cake for myself this year for my birthday.  I usually ask my husband for an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, but not this year:).

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Happy Birthday to me:)!

This cake is inspired by Sally’s funfetti cake (from @sallysbakingaddiction).  It has a nice crumb and just the right amount of sprinkles.  I think confetti cakes look so pretty when you cut into them.  The inside looks fun!!

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Look at those beautiful sprinkles!

I made this cake for my sister Kathy’s 70th birthday today.  Because of the pandemic and having to be quarantined, we couldn’t all celebrate together.  I’m so glad we were all able to drive by her house this afternoon, honk our horns, blow kisses and wave.  We all love you so much Kathy, and hope you enjoyed your birthday parade! XOXO

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Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour (430 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (345 grams) room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (350 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (360 grams) room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice (or vinegar) Add to the milk to make buttermilk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Prepare 3 pans (8 or 9 inches) with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Add lemon juice or vinegar to milk.  Set aside.
  4. Beat butter on high speed for 1 minute.  Add sugar and beat on high speed for 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle as needed.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition (don’t add egg whites yet).  Mix in vanilla extract.
  6. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk).  Mix just until incorporated. DO NOT OVERMIX!
  7. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes).  Gently fold into the cake batter just until incorporated.
  8. Gently fold the sprinkles into the batter and pour evenly into the pans.  I like to use my scale for this.
  9. Bakes cakes for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes.  Finish cooling completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (345 grams) room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted (720 gram)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5-6 Tablespoons milk (use more or less for desired consistency)

Frosting Instructions:

Whisk butter in large bowl on high speed for 5-7 minutes.  Scrape bowl and add vanilla extract and salt.  Mix until combined.

Start to add sugar one cup at a time.  Slowly adding sugar and milk to desired consistency.  Frosting will be light and creamy…yum!

Trim cake so that it has a flat top.IMG_3905

 

If you would like, cake can be soaked with a simple syrup to keep it moist.

Place first layer on platter and top with about 1 1/2 cups frosting.  Spread evenly with offset spatula.  Continue with next two layers.  Decorate as desired.  Use your imagination and have fun with it!

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I hope you make this cake, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your pictures:)!

 

 

 

 

Favorite Carrot Cake

 

There are some of my all-time favorite recipes that I can’t believe I haven’t posted yet,  and my carrot cake is one of them (chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, and sticky buns are a few more!).  But I will be posting all of them in the very near future!

Well, here it is friends.  I am going to share my favorite, best-loved, all-time go to carrot cake recipe!  I always say that the secret ingredient is “love” in all my cooking and baked goods, but the secret in this recipe is a little bit of unsweetened applesauce added to the wet ingredients (love is in there too!).   Applesauce adds to the moistness of this cake without making it heavy or oily.

Some people like things like walnuts or pecans, pineapple, coconut or raisins in their carrot cake.  That’s all fine and good, but I have always kept it plain (for a lack of a better word, because my recipe doesn’t have any of those things, but it is anything but plain!).

Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial and you will have a delicious cake that will have your friends and family oohing and ahhhing.  It is my favorite and it will be yours too!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil (220 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (122 grams)
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (340 grams)- You can use light or dark
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (330 grams)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Prepare two 8″ or 9″ pans with shortening and flour. Line with non-stick parchment paper and set aside. *Update – 3-6″ pans can also be used (2 cups of batter per pan)

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Grate carrots on a box or handheld grater.  Measure 330 grams into a bowl and set aside.

Add dry ingredients (first six ingredients in recipe) together in medium sized bowl and set aside while you’re putting the wet ingredients (next six ingredients) together in another bowl.  Whisk together until fully incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Stir in the carrots until fully incorporated.  Divide evenly between to two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Check with a cake tester or toothpick and remove from oven when it comes out clean.  Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely before applying the cream cheese frosting.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened to room temperature (226 grams)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

In mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter and beat on medium high for 2 minutes.

With mixer on low speed, add extract and salt.  Mix to incorporate, scrape paddle and bowl as needed.

Add the confectioners’ sugar (with mixer on low speed) until incorporated.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Add more sugar if mixture is too runny and some milk or heavy cream if it’s too thick.  Frosting should be a nice spreadable consistency.

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So smooth and creamy!

Frost cake and serve! Enjoy!!

 

I hope you make this carrot cake.  If you do, I know you are going to love it too!!   Please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to see your pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Butter Icing

 

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Brown butter takes any recipe you use it in to a whole new level!  The nutty aroma that swirls through the air as it’s turning from plain butter, to a golden brown liquid with tiny specs of mouthwatering goodness, is so enticing!!

I like to use this delectable icing on bundt cakes.  It takes the overall flavor of the cake over the top!  YUMMY!!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (227 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 5 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will start to bubble. Continue stirring constantly, until  golden brown (about 7-10 minutes).  Immediately remove from heat as soon as it turns golden in color. It can darken very quickly.

Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl.  Make sure to get most of those brown bits.  They have so much flavor!  Sift confectioners’ sugar into the bowl.  Add the vanilla bean paste, milk and salt to butter and sugar mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.  

Spoon icing over cake and spread with an offset spatula.

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Look at those delicious specs of yumminess!!

I hope you try this delightful icing, and if you do, be sure to post pictures and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  

Enjoy!!