So at my day job, a colleague brought cupcakes in for a birthday celebration. They were so good, I begged her for the recipe so I could share it with all of you. Yes, they were that good. They were a perfect reconstruction of a hearty breakfast – buttermilk pancakes, bacon, and maple syrup. They didn’t taste like dessert – they literally tasted like a plate of pancakes and bacon with maple syrup. Uncanny. The pancake cupcake was a stroke of genius; the frosting was surprisingly light and delicate, not dense and overpowering. And the sweet and smoky bacon on top was the icing on the…well, you know what I mean. I really expected it to be too sweet with all of those sugary components, but it was just right. Thank you Deb! Enjoy.
Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Candied Bacon
2 cups Bisquick (original, baking mix)
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted
4 tbsp sugar
Preheat your oven 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients until blended. Fill lined muffin or cupcake tins. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until your tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
Maple-Butter Frosting Recipe
1 cup softened, unsalted butter 3 oz. cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup brown sugar ¼ tsp. salt ¾ tsp. maple extract/flavoring
¾ tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Beat the softened butter, cream cheese, brown sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl until fluffy. While you continue beating, add both the maple flavoring and the vanilla. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and gradually increase the speed to high. Continue beating until the icing is fluffy. Chill the maple-butter frosting for one hour before using.
4-6 bacon slices Brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place rack in center of foil. Dredge bacon slices with brown sugar and lay on rack. Bake until sugar is melted, about 8 minutes. Turn bacon over and continue baking until bacon is deep brown and glazed, 12-14 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Cool bacon completely on rack. Cut into 1/4-inch dice or crumble.
A neighbor of the MHK, who is responsible for a couple of the delicious recipes posted here, informed us that she had come across a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado cake. I know, those words don’t seem right together. But she made it, and generously supplied us with a slice yesterday. And it was…not bad. The icing was actually quite good, consisting of avocados, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla. The avocado served as a vegan substitute for butter, and the frosting tasted pretty close to regular buttercream. The cake was not nearly as successful, utilizing avocados in place of butter and eggs, and cocoa powder in place of any actual chocolate. The texture was ok, but it had no flavor at all. It didn’t taste like chocolate, and really wasn’t sweet enough. But when eaten with the frosting, it was certainly palatable as a healthier version of chocolate cake.
…he just might post the recipe. Time to take your mind off taxes today and bake something sweet. We found this recipe during the holiday season (and unfortunately I cannot recall the source, just a scribbling on a piece of paper), but if you like chocolate and mint, these are awesome any time of the year. Nothing fancy here, just a nice twist on the usual chocolate cookie recipe. The creme de menthe baking chips are actually easier to find than I expected. Enjoy!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature. Eat!
MHK reader Debbie brought this recipe to our attention last week; it apparently has been circulating around the interwebs for a couple of years, but it was the first we’d heard of it, so we gave it a try. Basically this is chocolate cake that can be made in five minutes, which is why it’s been labeled as the “most dangerous dessert.” Is it the best chocolate cake ever? No. Is it so good that you’ll want to make it every day? No. But for five minutes of work, it’s pretty decent. For those of you who have had that molten lava cake many restaurants offer, this is very similar (minus the liquid fudge center) in taste and texture; almost soufflé-like. One mug makes enough for two people, especially if you serve vanilla ice cream with it, which we highly recommend. Some experimenting with this recipe is probably in our future – we’re interested to see what happens if we reduce the amount of flour, add other ingredients like peanut butter or chopped raspberries, etc. If you have any good versions of this dish, let us know. Enjoy!
5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
1 large coffee mug
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
A small splash of vanilla extract
Add flour, sugar, and cocoa to mug; mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. Eat!
MHK reader/neighbor Melanie recently bestowed upon us the wonderful gift of a cherry pie. It was, of course, delicious (I wouldn’t be mentioning it here otherwise). But there was something unique about the crust – it was light, buttery and flaky, yet held the pie filling well. Melanie was nice enough to impart her recipe for this magnificent malleable, which we now share with you. You might be taken aback by the vodka – but it makes the dough much easier to work with, and then evaporates during the baking process. The next time you want to make a pie from scratch, use this crust recipe – you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!
Melanie’s Dough-lightful Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together (can do this part in the food processor too). Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Fill with your favorite filling and bake. Eat!
The proud owner and founder of the Mouse House Kitchen turns [edited by owner] years old today, and we at the MHK have been granted most of the day off in honor of the event. But we did want to say a quick word about birthday cakes and such.
According to Wikipedia, the origin of birthday cakes can be traced back to ancient Rome: “In classical Roman culture, ‘cakes’ of flat rounds made with flour containing nuts, leavened with yeast, and sweetened with honey were served at special birthdays.” They must have eaten those in between orgies and gladiator fights. As for the lighting of candles on birthday cakes, Wikipedia says it goes back a few hundred years: “This tradition can be traced to Kinderfest (Kinder is the German word for ‘children’), an 18th century German birthday celebration for children.”
Fascinating…ish. The most important thing, really, is what kind of cake/dessert do you prefer on your birthday? I grew up a big fan of ice cream cakes, but the traditional frosted cake always hit the spot. Throughout the years, I have grown more fond of birthday brownies rather than cake. And now after a few years of attending kids’ b-day parties, I am growing weary of the same traditional frosted cake over and over.
Our beloved leader, the head Mouse himself, is off to a birthday lunch where he will be consuming a non-traditional birthday tiramisu. What’s the most unconventional birthday dessert you’ve had? Mousey minds want to know!