Author: Something Sweet

Hamentashen

Hamentashen

Happy Purim!

If you have never heard of, or seen a hamentashen cookie, it’s because it’s a cookie that is eaten and made to celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim.  I’m not going to get into the details of the origin of Purim or the origin of why the cookie is shaped like a triangle, so if your curious, then google it.

Hamentashen are ethier really good or really really bad.  I’ve had the miss fortune of eating many TERRIBLE hamentashen. I’ve spit out plenty of hamentashen over the years.  With that said, I guarantee this hamentashen recipe isn’t garbage.

Hamentashen Something Sweet Blog

If you take on this cookie recipe, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND baking these with a friend or family member.  These cookies are more labor intensive and time intensive than the average cookie.  Not to scare you, but making these cookies with a friend will cut your time in half.

These cookies let you be creative, you can use any flavor jam or pie filling that you like, nutella, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.  If you have little ones at home, it’s a great activity to get them involved in.
Hamentashen Something Sweet

Hamentashen Recipe:
1 (8oz) pkg. Softened Cream Cheese
3/4 C. Softened Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Powdered Sugar
2 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Fillings – Pie Fillings/Jams, Chocolate Chips, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions: 
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to mix until incorporated.

2. Add the flour and baking soda and mix well until combined.

3. Let dough chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll out your dough on a floured surface to a 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter. Place a glob of pie filling in the center (I like Solo Raspberry and Apricot Pie Filling).  Fold your dough into a triangle, making sure the corners are pinched well.

4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden brown.

I hope you enjoy this delicious holiday cookie and Happy Purim!

xo,
Marlee

Professional Baking 101

As my good friends and family know, after graduating from the University of Iowa in May of 2014 with a business degree in marketing, I had the dream of opening a bakery sometime in the future.  With this dream, I knew I should work in the industry before giving up a corporate career, my savings, weekends and vacations.

Thankfully I took an entrepreneurial class that hinted to working in the industry before opening up a business in that industry. This was probably one of the best words of advice I received during my education.

So with that advice, I took the journey of following my heart and I haven’t regretted one minute of it.  So what is this journey that I took? No, it wasn’t going on the Bachelor to fall in love. Haha… The journey I took was getting up every morning at 4:30am to be at work at 6am to bake my butt off in a French bakery for 9 months.

In between my recipe blog posts, I will be writing about my experience working professionally in a bakery and what it takes to be successful at it!

Stay tuned!

xo,
Marlee

Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is what you would trade mushy oatmeal for if you had the time.  Baked oatmeal is that Sunday morning warm hug brunch dish.  It’s a little sinful, but not as bad in fat and calories as your stack of pancakes or french toast.  Baked oatmeal has more textures and flavors than your regular bowl of oatmeal.  It’s toasty, sweet, chewy and crunchy.  It’s like granola and oatmeal had a love child in the 70’s and named it baked oatmeal. Get it? Haha…

Baked Oatmeal Something SweetThis baked oatmeal is best served with warm milk.  Someone who doesn’t like oatmeal might change their mind with this recipe.

Baked Oatmeal Recipe: (Serves 4)
1 1/2 C. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Melted Butter
1 Egg Beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp. Orange Oil or 1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 Green Apple Chopped
1/3 C. Dried Cherries or Cranberries
1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Instructions:
1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

2. To the oat mixture, add and mix in the melted butter, beaten egg, milk, vanilla, and orange oil or zest.

3. Add the fruit and nuts of your choice and mix well.

4. In a greased 9×9 baking dish, spread the oatmeal mixture evenly in the pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.

For leftovers – place the oatmeal in an oven safe dish or on a foil covered sheet pan.  Toast the oatmeal in the oven or toaster oven until it just starts to turn golden brown.

 Thanks for reading!

xo,
Marlee

Valentine’s Day Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Being a food blog focused on dessert, I could’t get away without a Valentine’s Day inspired treat! When I was going to school in Iowa, I would order my birthday cake from the Cottage Bakery and Cafe.  They had the best pink champagne cake with cream cheese frosting and a layer of fresh strawberries.  It’s AMAZING to say the least! Since I haven’t had this cake in a year I wanted to recreate it.  Okay, so I’ll admit it, I cheated.  The cupcake recipe is from Betty Crocker’s website, but it was so good, I had to share it with you!

Sometimes the home baker will refuse to use box mixes.  I was once like this.  But here’s the thing, thousands of dollars go into creating the best box mix and they are very light, fluffy and moist.  So…I stopped putting my nose up to box mixes. One of my favorite box mixes is Duncan Hine’s Red Velvet cake mix.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting2

My best Valentine’s Day was when I was in 5th grade.  My 5th grade boyfriend tied a heart ballon on my mailbox with a box of chocolates inside.  I feel bad for the next guy, because I don’t know how you could top that amount of cute.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting1

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day! I swear your sweetie will love you even more if you make these cupcakes.  This is one of the first desserts that my dad ate every bite of – and that’s saying something.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes Recipe: 
1 Box of Betty Crocker’s SuperMoist White Cake Mix
1 1/4 C. Champagne or Sparkling Wine
1/3 C. Oil
3 Egg Whites
Red Food Coloring

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting: 
8 oz Cold Cream Cheese
1 Stick Butter (Firm but not Cold)
5 3/4 C. Sifted Powdered Sugar
1/4 C. Strawberry Puree
Pinch of Salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions: 
1. Mix the cake mix and champagne.

2. Add your oil, egg whites and food coloring to your cake mix and champagne mixture.

3. Using a handmixer, beat your batter on medium for 2 minutes.

4.  Fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way up and bake for 17-22 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream your butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

2. Add your sifted powdered sugar, salt and strawberry puree and mix until combined.

These are super easy to make! I promise!

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo,
Marlee

Spiced Dried Fruit Tea Cookies

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something SweetFruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet2

When you curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea, you need something slightly sweet and warm with spices to counter the bitter and floral notes of the tea.  These chewy and mildly sweet cookies are the perfect match to your cup of tea.

These cookies were inspired by my love of spices, dried fruits and nuts.  I’m not a fan of chocolate sweets with a cup of tea, so I needed to create something to nibble on.  I was inspired by Ina Garten’s Fruit Cake Cookies and a certain cookie dough from the bakery I work at.  Sometimes taking two really good recipes and mashing them up can create a really good cookie!

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet3

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies

I think I would make the British proud with this cookie or “biscuit.” If you’re having a tea party, I guarantee your guests will be grabbing more than one! These are a great gift to give to your tea obsessed friends as well!

You can make these cookies all your own by adding what ever dried fruits and nuts you want.  I chose dried dates, cherries, apricots and walnuts, but you could use raisins, pecans, pineapple, etc.

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet1

Spiced Dried Fruit Tea Cookie Recipe:
1/2 C. Softened Butter
1/4 C. Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
1/2 C. Chopped Dried Dates
1/4 C. Chopped Dried Cherries
1/4 C. Chopped Dried Apricots
1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 1/2 C. Bread Flour
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions:

1. In a stand mixer, cream your butter. Once light and fluffy, add your brown sugar and mix until fluffy.

2. To your butter and sugar mixture, add your honey, dried fruits, nuts and orange zest. Mix together.

3. Add your egg and vanilla extract.

4. To your wet ingredients in the stand mixer, add the bread flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Mix only until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.  

**If you over mix your cookie dough, it will not keep its form while baking.

5. On a sheet of plastic wrap, form your dough into a 1 1/2 – 2 inch width log.  Let the dough sit in your freezer or refrigerator until firm.  Cut dough into 1/4.” Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies just start to show color.

Your cookie should be light, firm and chewy.

I hope you enjoy this cookie with your next cup of tea! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

xo,
Marlee

P.S.
My go to and favorite teas are Tazo’s Organic Peachy Green and Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender.

The BEST Carrot Cupcake Recipe

Somethingsweet_Carrot_Cupcakes

Happy New Year Everyone!

I had to start this new year with a recipe that has gotten nothing, but deliciously positive reviews – CARROT CUPCAKES!  Carrot Cupcakes are that sinful dessert that you justify as healthy.  Sorry to burst your bubble and your new years resolution, oops… Don’t worry, I’ll have an oatmeal recipe here and there in the future.

I catered my mom’s friend’s son’s graduation dessert table in August and the carrot cupcakes were on the menu.  Needless to say they were an absolute hit and people still rave about them.

They’re really moist and have a wonderful warmth from the cinnamon.  Definitely a comfort food for anytime of the year.  And I have to talk about the cream cheese frosting, because you could easily eat it directly from the bowl.  The cream cheese frosting recipe is by my cupcake idol, Candace Nelson, the creator of Sprinkles! If you ever have the chance to visit Sprinkles, I highly recommend it! No cupcake shop can even come close to how good her cupcakes are.

Carrot Cupcake Recipe: (Yields 12 Cupcakes or 1 – 9inch cake pan)

8 oz Shredded Carrots
1 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Sugar
2/3 C. Oil
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Instructions:
1. Shred your carrots in a food processor.  Toss with 2 tsp. flour and set aside.

2. In a bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

3. In a stand mixer, cream the oil and sugar.  To that, add the eggs and vanilla.  Once all combined, add you dry ingredients.  Do not over mix.

4. Fold your shredded carrots into your batter.  Evenly fill your lined muffin tins 3/4 of the way.

5. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.

Sprinkles Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:

6 oz Cold Cream Cheese
6 tbsp (Firm, but Cold) Butter
2 3/4 C. Sifted Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon (Optional)

Instructions: 

1. In a standmixer, cream your cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

2. Add your sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until smooth and creamy.

Thanks for reading! I hope you try this recipe!

xo,
Marlee

*This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s pineapple carrot cake recipe.

 

Returning in January

Hi Everyone!

You might be wondering where my recipes and I have been the past few weeks.  Well, I’ve been busy baking at the bakery for the holidays.  Like every where during the holidays, there are many long hours and little time to sleep.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back starting January!

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season and a Happy New Year!

xo,
Marlee