Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes

This is the recipe I made for Robyn's party that some of you requested. They were so easy it's almost embarrassing to admit.

For the cupcakes:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs

Combine all and bake in mini cupcake pan according to directions on cake box. Cool on rack and then put in freezer for 30 minutes.

When cupcakes are done freezing, use a lemon baller to scoop a small amount of cake from the tops of cupcakes. Fill with lemon curd. I just put it in a ziplock and cut off the corner.


1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind, grated
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 dash salt

Whip all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Pipe on top of cupcakes, covering the lemon curd completely. Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Aroma of Christmas

This is kind of random, but since I just posted my christmas toffee I thought I should include one of my other favorite things about christmas. Mike's mom gave me this "recipe" after I spent my first christmas with them. It is just a mix of a few things that you keep on the stove and it has the most heavenly smell! Sara is always in charge of making it. She knows just what to do. Try it- you will love it!

“Aroma of Christmas”

3 sticks of cinnamon
3 bay leaves
scant (no more than ¼ C) whole cloves (I usually use a few T)
2 sections lemon (1/2 lemon)
2 pieces orange peel (2 quarters- I usually don't bother peeling it and just throw in the whole orange sections.)

Combine with about a quart of water in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat for as long as you would like. Make sure to keep refilling the water because it evaporates quickly. Change the water and ingredients every few days or so.

English Toffee

This is obviously not a christmas cookie, but this time of year I probably eat more toffee than cookies anyway. This is my Grandma's recipe that she makes every year and I get so excited to make it over the holidays. It is actually pretty simple- you just need an electric skillet. Enjoy!

2 C almonds
1 cup sugar
2 squares butter (no substitutions)
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon Karo syrup
chocolate bars or milk chocolate chips (I use about 3 or 4 Hershey bars or a king size symphony bar)

Roast almonds at 350 for 10 minutes. Then coarsely chop ¾ C of them and finely chop the rest. You will use the coarsely chopped IN the toffee and the finely chopped ON TOP of it! Put aside.
Combine sugar, butter, water and Karo in electric fry pan. Heat at hottest temperature; cook, stirring in one direction until candy becomes thick and caramel colored. (keep a brown paper bag next to the candy- it is ready when the candy is the color of the bag.) Candy should follow spoon. Add almonds (the coarsely chopped ones). Stir well and pour on a well-buttered cookie sheet. Use your spoon to spread it in the pan. Don't make it too won’t fill out the whole sheet. While still hot, put chocolate on top. When it melts, spread over toffee and sprinkle with finely chopped almonds. Cool overnight. Break in pieces and enjoy.