Friday, November 22, 2013



I've been craving pumpkin! It's everywhere this time of year; pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream and who can forget the famous Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks! To help satisfy my pumpkin craving, I baked these delicious pumpkin muffins to go with my Pumpkin Latte. I know, it is a bit overboard, but I love pumpkin! 

I found this recipe and added a few of my special touches to come up with this Holiday Pumpkin Pie Wild Blueberry muffin.  It satisfies every pumpkin craving you may have - moist, full of pumpkin flavor and just plain delicious!

Whether your craving pumpkin or just looking for a recipe for a delicious muffin, give this recipe a try!

Pumpkin and Wild Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins

Muffin Ingredients:
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup solid pumpkin
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup of frozen wild blueberries defrosted and drained
2 tablespoons flour (for tossing with the blueberries)

Streusel Ingredients:
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350f

1. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt , cinnamon, pumpkin spice and set aside

3. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin and milk set aside

4.  With a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and Egg.

5. Add flour mixture and pumpkin to the butter mixture in two aparts. Start with the flour and send with the pumpkin mixture.

6. Add two tablespoons of flour to the frozen blueberries. Toss until they are coated. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter, being careful not to crush the blueberries

7. Spoon the filling into each  lined muffin cup

8. Top each muffin with 1-2 tablespoons of the streusel

9. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Directions for Streusel:

Take 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. Add 1 tablespoon of cold butter.  You can make the crumb with either a fork, and press down until you create a crumb or use a food processer and pulse until the crumb in created.

Friday, November 15, 2013


                        Cami's Wedding Churro Cupcakes

This little cupcake has made a name for itself!   Faye and I recently catered dessert for our friend Cami's wedding in October.   She requested that one of her desserts be a Churro Cupcake. (We also made, mini cheesecake with fresh strawberries, vanilla cupcake with passion fruit filling and frosting, mini chocolate cream pies, mini banana cream pies and assorted fruit tarts and the now famous Cami's Churro Cupcake.. this bride know her dessert! )  So after a few trials and errors, I came up with this delicious result!  I have made this cupcake for two other events and every time it is hit.  Faye also made a batch for our October Halloween party.   So like I said , this cupcake definitely has a good reputation!   The cake is moist and flavorful, with a little hidden surprise of Dulce de Leche caramel in the middle.  Top it off with Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting and a crispy churro on the top.
There are quite a few steps for this cupcake but they're so worth the effort. I really hope you give this Churro Cupcake a try. 
As for Cami and Tim's Wedding , it was beautiful! The Bride looked gorgeous, Groom handsome and the wedding amazing.  Faye and I wish them nothing but happiness in their future and we thank them for letting LIVEBAKELOVE be a part of it.
P.S. we heard the desserts were a hit too, I wonder who made them :-)
Happy Cooking!

Churro Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Filling and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24 regular size cupcakes

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup milk (use whole if you can)
1 can Dulce de Leche

1 . Preheat oven to 350f.

2. Line cupcake pans with 24 paper cupcake liners

3. In a large bowl, add both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Set aside. 

4. In a large bowl using electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approx. 2 min). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.

5.  Gradually mix in the flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two until combined. (Start and end with the flour mixture)

6.  Divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake pans filling each cup approx. 3/4 full.

7. Bake at 350f for approx. 20 minutes until the centers are set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Remove from the pan and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

9. Once the cupcakes have cooled, take a wooden spoon and make a hole in the center of each cupcake.

10. Use a pastry bag with a round tip (or just cut the tip off of a plastic storage bag) and fill it with the Dulce de Leche filling.

11. Pipe the filling into each cupcake

Make the frosting

Frosting Ingredients:
½ cup of butter
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or cream
24 mini churros for decorating

1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy
2. Mix in the vanilla extract and cinnamon
3. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. If frosting is too thick, add the milk.
4. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired.

Making the Mini Churros

1 wheat tortilla
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying

1. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat
3. Cut shapes out of the tortilla using a mini cookie cutter
4. Fry each tortilla until golden brown
5. Remove from the oil and toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture
6. Place the churros on a plate to cool before garnishing the cupcakes

                                             Pictures from desserts at the Wedding

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Heavenly Cookie Butter Cocoa Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Have you tried the Cookie Butter Cocoa Swirl spread from Trader Joe's yet? I have always been a big fan of Cookie Butter (aka Biscoff knock-off) since back in the day, but Trader Joe's really took the concept to another level with their Cookie Butter Cocoa Swirl. Amazing! One taste and I knew I had to create something with it that allowed its' amazing flavor to shine.

I tried Blondies with the Cookie Butter swirled into it, but the flavor got a little lost and I wasn't happy with the results....then one day, on my drive to work, inspiration struck and my old stand-by, Cheesecake, came to mind (you really can make cheesecake out of just about anything). I felt that cheesecake flavored with Biscoff spread baked on top of a Biscoff cookie crust would really hit the mark...and what a winner it was! Creamy, cinnamon-y (is that a word?), with the flavor of I mean Cookie Butter.. throughout. Divine!

If you love Cookie Butter, Chocolate, Biscoff Cookies & Cheesecake, this recipe is for you!

Heavenly Cookie Butter Cocoa Swirl Cheesecake Bars with Biscoff Cookie Crust
Makes one 8x8 or 9x9 pan, 12-16 bars
 ** Plan ahead: The bars need to chill several hours or overnight before serving **
Bar Ingredients:
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup Biscoff spread
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Cookie Butter Cocoa Swirl
Crust Ingredients:
1 package of Biscoff Cookies
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 -8 tablespoons of butter melted
Preheat oven to 35of
Line an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan with nonstick foil or spray regular foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Make the crust
Place the Biscoff cookies in a food processor and process until fine crumbs.
Place the crumbs in a bowl, add sugar and stir with a fork to combine. Drizzle in the melted butter and toss with a fork to combine.
Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom about 1/2" up the sides of the prepared baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes or until lightly toasted/golden brown.
Remove and set aside.

Make the filling
Reduce oven temp to 325f
Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and mix with your hand mixer at med-low speed until creamy (this will take about 30 seconds if you cream cheese is softened properly).
Add the sugar and mix at medium low speed until combined.
Add the eggs and mix at medium-low speed until combined, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. At this point try to make sure there are no lumps.
Add the Biscoff spread, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and heavy whipping cream mixing at low speed just until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Heat the Cookie Butter Cocoa swirl spread in a small bowl for a few seconds just to loosen it up but not long enough for the swirls to dissolve.

Dollop the Cookie Butter onto the batter and create a swirl pattern using a butter knife or skewer.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet then bake in the oven at 325f until set. This should take about 40-45 minutes, but all ovens are different so your actual baking time may vary.

Remove from oven and transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely. The cooling process should take place slowly to help prevent cracking so try to cool in a draft free spot to prevent sudden temperature change.

Once the bars have cooled to room temperature, refrigerate them for several hours or overnight to allow them to set.

Remove from the pan using the foil liner. Cut & serve!

Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.