Fall Cocktails and Cupcakes

Planet Botkier October 14, 2012

The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and we are all grabbing our cozy sweaters. Fall is officially upon us, what better way to celebrate the season then sipping on a delicious warm cocktail and snacking on a pumpkin spiced cupcake?
Here are two recipes that are sure to make you snuggle up and indulge!

The Hot Apple Toddy

Ingredients:
2 oz. whiskey or apple brandy
1 teaspoon sugar
Honey
Hot apple cider
Cinnamon stick for garnish
2-3 whole cloves for garnish

Preparation:
1. Coat the bottom on a glass or mug with honey
2. Add the whiskey or apple brandy
3. Fill with hot apple cider
4. Stir well
5. Garnish with cinnamon stick and cloves
Sip and enjoy!

Recipe and Image by So Simply Sophie

Pumpkin Cupcakes


Yield: 20 cupcakes

Ingredients: For the Pumpkin Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Ingredients: For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spices; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated.
3. Finally mix in vanilla and cinnamon.

Recipe and images by My Baking Addiction

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Pick Your Poison!

Planet Botkier August 17, 2012

Since we are headed for the last few hot weeks of the summer, why not indulge in a glass of colorful fresh fruit sangria or a sweet ice-cold treat? These delicious indulgences are not only beautiful but they are fun to make! This is the perfect activity for a rainy day or if it’s just too darn hot to be outside.

Raspberry + Serrano Sangria

What you’ll need:
1 small carton of raspberries
1 small carton of strawberries
1 lime
2 apples, Granny smith and braeburn
1 serrano pepper (if you’re feeling spicy)
1 bottle of Viognier (or any white wine of your choosing)
½ cup of white grape juice
¼ cup of sugar
1 can of club soda
Mint leaves for garnish

Directions:
1. Finely dice both the apples and the strawberries and then cut both the lime and the Serrano pepper into fairly thick slices. 2. Layer all of the different fruits in a tall pitcher, adding a dash of sugar in between every layer. For an interesting twist, you could use honey or agave instead of  plain sugar. 3. Add the Viognier (or white wine of your choosing) to the fruit and sugar mixture. 4. Add the white grape fruit juice and top it all off with the club soda. Place in the refrigerator to chill. 5. Once the sangria has chilled, bust out your favorite wine glasses, garnish the drink with some fresh mint and serve!

Recipe and images from Jaymi Heimbuch www.treehugger.com

Strawberry and Rosemary Sangria

What you’ll need:
Strawberry Syrup:
1 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon agave
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon water
2 twigs of rosemary

Sangria:
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
½ cups sliced strawberries
¼ cup triple sec
2 peaches, each cut crosswise into 6 slices

Directions:
1. For strawberry syrup, dice up strawberries. 2. In a small saucepan add strawberries, agave, salt, water and rosemary. 3. Place over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until strawberries are totally broken down. 4. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, removing rosemary and strawberry chunks. 5. You should now have about 2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup. 6. In a pitcher, mix the white wine, triple sec, sliced peaches, strawberries, oranges and limes. Smash the citrus slightly. 7. Add the strawberry syrup and stir. 8. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or chill up to 4 hours. Serve sangria over ice.

Recipe from www.acozykitchen.com

Lemon Sorbet Bowls:

Here is a quick and simple way to serve sorbet, this is perfect if  you’re hosting a party!

What you’ll need:
-Lemons, a knife, and any sorbet of your choosing!

Directions:
1. Slice of the pointed edges of your lemon so that your lemon bowl has a flat surface. 2. Cut the lemon in half and scoop out the insides. 3. Put your lemon bowls in the freezer until frozen 4. Grab your favorite sorbet, scoop and serve!  5. For an extra touch, you can spruce up your plastic-ware with little wash tape flags! (Super cute right?)

Recipe from www.theproperpinwheel.com

Coffee Ice Pops

What you’ll need:
2 cups extra-strong coffee
2/3 cup half & half (sweetened optional)
2/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup confectioners sugar
Pop molds or paper cups + popsicle sticks

Directions:
1. Mix the coffee with the half & half. Taste, and add a bit more milk, if desired. 2. Pour into popsicle molds about 3/4 full and freeze for 1-2 hours.  3. Meanwhile, mix the heavy cream and confectioners sugar. 4. Top coffee with heavy cream, insert sticks and freeze until solid. Voila!

Recipe from www.loveandcupcakesblog.com

Watermelon Whole Fruit Popsicles

What you’ll need:
3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to ½ of watermelon)
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine, diced small
Handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Directions:
1. Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Set aside. 2. Set out about 1 dozen popsicle molds (amount needed will vary depending on size of molds). 3. Fill each one with the chopped fresh fruit. Then pour in the watermelon puree until each mold is full to the top. 4. Place a popsicle stick into each one. 5. Place into your freezer and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours. 6. When ready to serve, run the popsicle mold under warm water for a few seconds and then pull each one out. Enjoy!

Recipe from www.nourishingmeals.com

There, now you should be feeling cooled off, relaxed and satisfied. Happy summer and stay cool!

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