Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yes, more bread pudding...

I need a t-shirt that says "I Heart Bread Pudding". Seriously, I would wear it. OK, not really, but I do love bread pudding. I was trying to decide what to make to take to our book club meeting tomorrow evening and remembered that I had a loaf of french bread in the freezer & plenty of fresh blueberries. I decided to try a blueberry bread pudding. I just took it out of the oven and couldn't resist having a good. And it will be even better with a little bit of whipped cream.

Do you have a favorite recipe for bread pudding?

Blueberry Bread Pudding
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound Italian or sturdy white bread, 1" cubes
2 cups fresh blueberries

Butter a 3-quart baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly with whisk. Add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg. Fold in bread and berries. Pour into baking dish - cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Bake pudding uncovered until golden and puffy (start checking after one hour). Don't overbake - center will be custardy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

We're having our 10th annual Cookout on the Roof at work tomorrow. And the 5th annual dessert contest. Everyone fills their plates with hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, potato salad...and dessert. It's a festive day that we look forward to all year.

Last year I won a blue ribbon with my Smores Cupcakes, which are perfect for summer. I knew I wanted to do cupcakes again for this year's contest and found what I was looking for in Martha Stewart's Cupcakes...Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (thanks for the book Mike). I skipped the 7 minute frosting and went with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting instead. It's the perfect compliment to these cupcakes. A light dusting of cinnamon sugar on top adds a little shimmer.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Makes 28
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 3/4-6 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened, not margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add about half the powdered sugar and beat until mixed well. Then gradually add the remaining powdered sugar until you reach a spreading consistency. Transfer to pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes! (You can also cut the corner off a Ziploc bag and use that instead.)

To finish, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Dust each cupcake lightly with cinnamon-sugar.