Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stamped Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Let's start by saying this-- if you've never considered what short bread cookies are made out of, then turn away now and never read this post. Eat your tin of Walkers in blissful ignorance and rejoice in it's delicious splendor......If you already know what goes into a shortbread cookie, then, welcome, pull up a chair-- let's clamp off our aortas together. :-)

As you may have guessed by their flaky, delicious nature, shortbread cookies are pretty much pure butter. WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE SO AMAZING. My baking tends to err on the side of extra chocolaty, a habit I've needed to break since a number of the recipients of my baked goods do not eat chocolate. (Shocking, I know....I'm not sure why they are my friends....) I also like to have a couple of things in my arsenal that are a light, refreshing balance to some of the heavier chocolate based items. These lemon shortbreads are something I created to serve alongside my favorite brownies. I mean, let's be honest-- there is a tray of cookies/brownies.....who eats ONE, right? But two of my favorite brownies leads to being curled up in the corner wishing that I had the good sense to only eat one, so, enter the lemon shortbread!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Custard Buttercream

Anyone else so let down by the decline in the flavor of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that you find yourself inserting pumpkin into all other possible places in your diet, just hoping to achieve something as glorious as the vintage 2009 Starbucks creation? I don't know what happened to the lattes, or if maybe I just got too old and thinking about things like what the flavor syrup is made out of in such a way as to ruin my own fun, but my last few Fall seasons have been deeply lacking an pumpkin confections.

I started making these cupcakes last year. They are a combination of delicious pumpkin cake and a spiced up version of the custard buttercream you find on Nanaimo bars. I learned about Nanaimo bars last year around this time after two amazing friends of mine sent me a package full of them. I rapidly set to work reading pretty much every Nanaimo related recipe on the internet and fiddling around with my own buttercream until I came up with something resembling the perfection that is Nanaimo bar cream. I then decided that, were I to add some fall spices, it would be the perfect compliment to my favorite pumpkin cake recipe. So, without further ado, I present to you my favorite fall treat!