So a few weeks back, you know, before all this Christmas stuff was over, we decided to have a few friends over to help decorate our tree. I love tree decorating! It's one of my favorite times of the season. Ron and I went out and bought our first Christmas tree and some new lights, only to get home to find out that the lights didn't work! I decided to put some fuzzy pink lights on until I could take them back and get new ones.
As always, I topped the tree with one of my Angel Barbies, Golden Angel Barbie, to be exact. (She's one of my favorites!)
Doesn't out tree look pretty?
It looks even nicer in the dark
With just the light of the tree and the fire...
I love my new house...
Anyway, I digress.... again...
The whole point of this was to tell you all about the awesome treats that I made for our tree decorating guests.
First off, Gingerbread Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
As you can see, I got this recipe out of Taste Of Home, which is the first time I've used another cupcake recipe since I started the Icing On The Cupcake Challenge. I'm totally loving these magazines and have been buying them as guilty pleasures. I have to laugh at this because a few years ago, guilty pleasures would've consisted of buying things like shoes; now it's cooking magazines :P
Anyway, In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and beat well
I just wanted to point out that molasses and water don't mix. weird...
stir in water and molasses
Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Add to the creamed mixture; beat on low until combined
Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
My mom bought me these cute baking cups and I thought that they would be perfect for this recipe.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 350' for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
By this time your mouth will be watering, the smell will be amazing!
Now, onto the maple frosting
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla exatract
1 cup icing sugar
In a small bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, brown sugar and salt until fluffy. Add the maple syrup and vanilla.
Gradually, beat in the icing sugar until smooth.
I could believe how good these cupcakes were. The cake itself tastes like a moist gingerbread cookie, and the icing is to die for. Now, usually I'm more interested in the baking than the tasting, but I couldn't help, but lick the icing off the beaters, the spatula and maybe even out of the empty bowl!!
They were also a big hit at the party, and when I took some to my parents the next day, my mom had me make a double batch for her to take to a potluck, where they were also a hit!
Now, onto the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge! I got this recipe from Bake At 350 who in turn, got it from Sweet Confections. Obviously, it's a recipe worth passing on.
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp corn syrup
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bring the sugar, dark brown sugar, cream, milk, syrup and salt to a boil in saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula. (in this case, I used my spider spatula from Williams-Sonoma)
Using a candy thermometer boil to 242', stirring frequently.
I've got to say, this was an exciting, yet boring step. Exciting because I finally had the chance to use my candy thermometer (which I've had forever!) and boring because it seems to take forever to get to 242'
Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and flour.
Pour the syrup into a pan and let sit undisturbed at room temperature about 20 minutes, or until it reaches 110'
Scrape the syrup into a bowl. Beat on medium speed until the fudges thickens and holds its shape, 3 to 5 minutes.
Did you know that it's really hard to take pictures while using an electric mixer? I took a bunch and this was the best one that came out. I wanted to show how thick the fudge is at this point. it's quite hard to beat.
Scrape into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, lightly pressing them into the fudge. I used fudge, caramel and peanut butter chips instead of regular chocolate chips, just for something fun to try.
Let the fudge cool and set, at least 2 hours
This fudge was fantastic and quite easy to make. My guests were quite impressed with how soft the fudge turned out. Apparently making fudge can be quite difficult, I don't know if it was the recipe or if I just expected it to be harder, but I wouldn't call it difficult at all.
Doesn't it look good?