powdered sugar

Nutella Cupcakes

This Nutella Cupcakes Recipe features some delicious Nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes, topped with a heavenly Nutella frosting.

A few weekends ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning and just felt like baking. My calendar was open, the day was cloudy and cozy and cool, and I had a new jar of Nutella that was calling my name. So I padded to the kitchen in my slippers to make a warm cup of coffee. And then perhaps for the first time in a long while, I decided to actually take my time baking this batch of Nutella cupcakes. It was wonderful. I don’t know about you, but so often when I’m in the kitchen, I find myself falling into extreme-efficiency mode. And for better and worse, I’ve become pretty darn good at it. I can whip up a batch of fudge, saute a pan of fajitas, play fetch with my dog, return a few emails, and watch an episode of “Friday Night Lights” at the same time, and somehow things usually (miraculously!) turn out ok. But in the rush and chaos of it all, I too often miss out on some of the simple joys of cooking. So I decided that this particular Saturday morning would be different.

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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

One of my favorite things about holiday baking is bringing out my cookie cutter collection.

When I moved into my loft with practically zero storage, I had to do some serious kitchen downsizing. Just about anything that was not multi-functional and/or used within the past 6 months got the boot. It was kind of sad for a food blogger, but simplifying still always feels so good. One of the few practical exceptions I made was for my massive cookie cutter collection. It takes up way too much space in my tiny pantry, and I admittedly mostly only use it at Christmastime. But whenever the occasion arises, it makes me so happy to go digging through the set on a scavenger hunt for that “perfect” cookie cutter.

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How To: Make Homemade Whipped Cream In 30 Seconds!

Last week I posted on Instagram my favorite way of making homemade whipped cream with a hand/immersion blender. And I immediately received a bunch of emails and comments from people who had never tried it, and had questions about what a hand blender actually does. So since we happen to be giving away a KitchenAid hand blender this week, thought it might be a fun time to post a quick tutorial!

This method is definitely not rocket science. But it is super easy, quick, and requires much less work doing dishes than if you were using a large stand mixer or food processor! And since hand blenders are so small and portable, this is also a great option if you are taking a dessert to a party and want to make some homemade whipped cream topping there on the spot. (Or, if you get asked to make some homemade whipped cream for a kittens photo shoot on location at work, I learned from experience this also randomly works well for that!) Oh the possibilities. :)

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Favorite Vanilla Cupcakes

I love coming up with creative new cupcake flavors. And I love being served creative new cupcake flavors. But at the end of the day, if given a choice between, well, pretty much any kind of cupcake and a vanilla cupcake, that delicious little white cupcake almost always wins.

I don’t know what it is about it, but I love a good vanilla cupcake. Always have. Always will.

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Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

What to do with leftover butternut squash?

Why, make cupcakes of course!

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Orange Ricotta Pound Cake With Strawberries

When life gives you a bag of delectable oranges….make orange cake!!!

I had actually been wanting to try this recipe of Giada’s for quite some time. So when I stumbled upon the most a-ma-zing bag of oranges at the market this week, as well as a great sale on strawberries, I was stoked to make it happen! I had never actually made a cake (the Italian way) using ricotta before, but had some on hand after making these yummy crostinis, so was excited to give it a try.

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Berry & Ricotta Danishes

For one morning — one splendid morning — I felt like a pastry chef. :-)

But I admit, thanks to the brilliance of puff pastry, this recipe was actually ridiculously simple. The most time-consuming part was just cutting out the little frames of the pastry dough. But other than that, easy peasy. :) Just whip up the ricotta mixture, an optional glaze if you’d like, warm up the berries…and voila. A dozen absolutely charming, delicious, and I daresay professional looking little fruit danishes are yours to be had!

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Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

I kind of have an obsession with limes. Love them in my food. Love them in my water (yes – some like lemons, I like limes). And now…love them in my cookies!!

Holy cow. Was introduced to these cookies by a friend’s mom a few months ago, and immediately went home to try and research a similar recipe. But unfortunately…nada.

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