Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Some of my favorite childhood memories are sleepovers at my Grandparents house. My Mom was a part time nurse at the hospital, working the night shift, and my Dad was a new business owner working all hours pouring concrete. When both my sister and I’s parents were working, we would be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We’d never complain about that. It was the only time we drank Pop (my sister’s go to choice was Dr.Pepper and mine was Fresca), binge watched soap operas and old VHS recordings and had American Cheese Omelets for breakfast. But one of my favorite things to do was walk down to the my Grandparents basement, grab a box of Funfetti sitting on the shelf, a little tub of icing and come upstairs to make a cake with my Grandma. It soon became a lasting favorite memory and favorite cake of mine. I had an itch to try making it from scratch a couple years ago. This recipe is so easy to make and a fun addition to any party or get together!  

 

Yields 24-27 Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup butter flavored shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

3 cups cake flour

4 tsp baking powder

⅔ cup milk

⅔ cup water

2 tsp vanilla

Splash of almond extract

½ cup rainbow sprinkles

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time blending after each addition.

Gradually add flour and milk/water alternately in small batches, beginning and ending with flour. Add baking powder and mix until blended.

Mix in extracts and sprinkles.

Line 2 muffin tins with liners and evenly spoon cupcake mixture in, filling ¾ of the way up. Bake for 15-18 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 mins and remove to cool completely.

Ice with Funfetti Buttercream Frosting and top with sprinkles.

Enjoy!
 

Funfetti Buttercream Frosting:

 

½ cup butter flavored shortening

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Splash of almond extract

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup rainbow sprinkles

 

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat shortening and butter together until combined.

With the mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar and extracts.

Once combined, turn the speed up on mixer to medium high and beat icing for 3-4 minutes or until light in color and fluffy.

Gently stir in sprinkles.

Top Funfetti Cupcakes and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Lizzy's Lemon Bars

Lizzy’s Lemon Bars- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Happy Spring All! I am a firm believer…. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars. I confess, I may be a bit of a nut for all things lemony. Lemonheads, Lemonade and of course, Lemon Bars. I have researched the health benefits of lemons to convince myself that eating half a pan of Lemon Bars in one day is okay; I mean their high in Vitamin C. So healthy right? Now let’s talk to good stuff! This tasty treat starts off with a flaky, buttery crust and the filling is made with fresh grated lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice. I keep it light on the sugar so that zing of the lemon pulls through. And folks you know here at The Girl in the Apron… It’s SO quick, it’s SO easy and here’s how you do it.

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

 

Filling:

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

Juice of 3 lemons (appox. ⅓ cup juice)

Zest of 3 lemons (appox. 2 Tbsp lemon zest)

3 Tbsp all purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

Garnish: powdered sugar

 

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 13x9 inch baking with cooking spray.

Making the crust: In a large bowl, put flour, powdered sugar and butter. Using a fork or pastry blender, mix butter into flour/sugar until completely combined. It’ll easily shape into a ball, no dry or mealy consistency. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

While the crust is cooking prepare the filling. In the same bowl you make the crust, combine all the filling and mix well till smooth.

Remove crust from oven and pour filling into hot pan. Place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until filling doesn’t jiggle when moved.

Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Happy Baking!

 

Aglio e Olio (Garlic and Oil Pasta)

Aglio e Olio- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

My Mothers grandparents came to America from Italy and settled in Columbus Ohio. So delicious Italian food has always been a huge part of our lives. I remember being young and going to my Grandparents house for Easter, Christmas or a random weekend and there being a spread of Italian food. Baked Ziti, Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs and Pizza. Yummm-my. About 5 years ago, my family and I embarked on our first international journey, our first destination being Italy. One of our seconds meals was one of the most unforgettable to me. It’s a classic Italian dish, so crazy simple to make, but SO tasty, Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (translation: Garlic and Oil Pasta). This tasty dish is on today’s Girl in the Apron menu. I highly recommend a fresh pasta with this recipe as fresh and quality ingredients are essential. I promise you this is quick, easy and here’s how you do it.

Ingredients:

1 homemade pasta recipe, cooked

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

8-9 garlic cloves, smashed and skin removed (roughly a whole head of garlic)

2 cups italian parsley, chopped

¼ tsp red pepper flake (if you like it spicer, add ½ tsp)

1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, additional cheese for garnish

 

Here’s How You Do It:


In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium high heat for about 1-2 minutes.

Add garlic cloves and saute for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.

Add red pepper flake to oil and saute for 2 minutes. Keep a close eye, being sure not to burn the red pepper flake.

Turn off heat and gradually add in homemade pasta; being sure to coat the pasta in olive oil mixture. Homemade pasta is delicate so add in small batches and stir gently to combine.

Add salt, parsley and grated cheese. Stir gently to combine.

Serve and garnish with parsley and grated cheese! Buon appetito!


 

 

Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

My Mother would tell stories about her Grandmother drying homemade pasta on the kitchen counter on newspaper when she was a little girl. I remember making homemade pasta with my Grandpa at his kitchen table. So all to say, we’re all about carb-y Italian goodness at our house. I bought my first hand crank pasta maker when I was about 13. I was taught to make pasta the traditional way on the table top; but since the Girl in the Apron is all about quick and easy, we’ll be making it in the mixer.  It’s made with low cost ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.The only specialty kitchen tool you’ll need in a pasta maker but I’ve put some great options below. Beware, once you’ve had homemade pasta: you’ll be addicted. Now with that being said, here’s how you do it.

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cups unbleached all purpose flour

7 eggs

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

Here’s How You Do It:

In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add flour. Turn mixer on low speed with flour to remove any clumps.

Whisk eggs. Add olive oil to eggs and mix together.

With the mixer still on low, slowly add in egg mixture in small increments. Increase the speed to medium. The dough will begin to pull away from the side of the bowl. If the dough seems dry and notice it not coming together to form a ball, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water. A little water goes a long way, so be careful not to add too much.

Once the dough is completely combined place it on a flat floured surface. Begin to knead the dough for 5 minutes, continuing to flour if needed to prevent sticking.

Leave on the counter for up to an hour covered or use it immediately. Using a pasta maker, proceed with rolling out and cutting pasta. Buon appetito!

Pasta Maker Recommendations:

Imperia Pasta Maker

Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment

Hand Pasta Cutter  paired with Kitchen Aid Roller Attachment

 

 

Humming Hummingbird Cake

Humming Hummingbird Cake- The Girl In The Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

Note From The Girl In The Apron:

Have you ever had Hummingbird Cake? This tasty creation was baked up in the late 1960’s in Jamaica. Named after the Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird, this cake made it’s way over to the United States and gained popularity in the late 70’s. Transport your taste buds to the Caribbean with this cake. Fresh Pineapple and Ripe Bananas are the essential ingredients in this 3 tiered wonderland and it’s all topped off with a fluffy Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting. I like to add my own twist with fresh grated ginger. What a delicious way to welcome Spring! My Hummingbird Cake with leave you humming a tune! Try it, share with your friends and be sure to tell me what think! Oh and  the best part, it’s quick it’s easy and here’s how you do it!

Ingredients:

5-6 mashed ripe bananas, peeled

2 large eggs

1 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated and minced (If fresh ginger isn’t available, use ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Garnish: fresh pineapple and chopped pecans or walnuts

 

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 8 oz containers cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar together. Add cream cheese. Beat at medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color.

 

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash 5-6 bananas. Combine eggs, pineapple, applesauce, oil, ginger  and extract to mashed bananas. Mix together. Stir in flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon just until combined. There is no need to beat this batter.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-in round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks lined with parchment paper, and let cool completely.

Spread Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with fresh pineapple, pecans or your favorite topping.

Alternative: This recipe can be made in muffin tins. The recipe will yield 24 cupcakes. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

 

Cutting Fresh Pineapple:

Assembling a 3-Layer Cake:

Chai Spiced Popcorn

Chai Spiced Popcorn

The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Popcorn may perhaps be the one of the oldest snacks foods known to man and beloved by so many. Dating back to 300 AD this cherished snack has transcended time. But why do we love popcorn SO much?  Is it the guilt free handfuls we can snag on a walk by graze? The many flavor options from savory to sweet? Or that ever so distinct airy crunch that we’re addicted too? Whatever the choice may be, we LOVE popcorn. My own love of popcorn goes back to my earliest childhood memories. When my sister and I would have sleepovers at my grandparents house we had a long standing tradition of movie nights. Grandma would take out her tried and true popcorn pan passed down to her from her grandmother. She’d pull up a chair for my sister and I  to their old gas burning stove and fill up the pan with delicious olive oil and corn kernels. My sister and I would move the pan back and forth on the metal burner; entranced in the magic of those cloud like jumping kernels. Grandma would remove the pan and tip the finished hot popcorn into a large grocery paper bag (A Big Bear bag, shoutout to my Ohio peeps), she’d sprinkle in a little salt, close the top and then hand the bag off to my sister and I. We’d shake the popcorn up in the bag, coating it in that salty goodness.

This Girl in the Apron’s Chai Spiced Popcorn is a twist on one of my favorite childhood memories (made in my Great Grandmother’s popcorn pan); combining some of my favorite spices in the spice rack. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Snacking!

 

Ingredients:

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided

½ cup corn kernels (I used yellow corn for this recipe)

Spice Mixture:

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

 

Here's How You Do It:

Combine spices in a small bowl and place 2 Tbsp olive oil in a separate bowl.

Have a large bowl or large paper bag for mixing at the ready.

In a large pan with a lid, heat olive oil at medium-low heat until glossy and thinner in texture. Add kernels and cover with lid. Kernels will begin to pop and increase in pace. Popcorn is done when the popping sound stops. Remove from heat immediately to prevent burning. Put hot popcorn in bowl or paper bag. Pour olive oil over the top of popcorn evenly and stir/shake to coat. Sprinkle spice mixture over the top of popcorn and stir/shake to coat.

Enjoy!

Mom's Corn Pancakes

Mom's Corn Pancakes

When my sister and I were kids and had sleepovers, my Mom would make the best breakfast the next morning. It was so good that my best friend from 5th grade, Mallory, still talks about my Mom’s Corn Pancakes. Yep, you heard me right, Corn Pancakes. So where did this unusual recipe begin. My Grandpa dreamt up Corn Pancakes back when he worked at the firehouse. It became a tradition not only with his fellow firemen but also at home with his family. This recipe has spanned 3 generations. I can’t count how many times friends or family have come into town and asked to have brunch at our house, just to unabashedly get their fix of Corn Pancakes. I promise you these hotcakes will truly mix up your breakfast routine and be a total hit! And The Girl in the Apron got it honest from her Mom, so this recipe is quick, easy and here’s how you do it!


 

Blueberry and Honey Baked Brie

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

I’m all about snacks. I love snacking on snacks, picking out snacks and making snacks. Sometimes my snack game can get a little dull and I roam around the grocery story searching for inspiration. So there I was roaming around Kroger thinking of a snack I could make for my family and I that night. I wanted something sweet but savory. I had a couple pints of blueberries in my cart and I was walked by the Murray’s cheese stand.I instantly thought of California; sitting on the back deck of my friends house overlooking Mulholland Drive drinking wine and eating delicious cheese. I remember the first time I had brie. My sister made it for me at our childhood home in Ohio. She topped the brie with brown sugar and butter, wrapped it in Filo dough and baked it in the oven. It was one of the most heavenly creations I had ever had. So I had a wheel of Brie and a couple pints of blueberries and Blueberry and Honey Baked Brie was born.

Happy Baking!


Ingredients:

 

14 ounces of Brie (sizes will vary; but pick what best suits your needs)

¼ cup honey

½ cup blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

 

Here’s How You Do It:

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place brie. Place blueberries evenly on top of brie and drizzle with honey.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

I like to serve brie with sliced apples, toasted bread bites or crackers; but get creative and pick your favorite accompaniments.

Enjoy!


 

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup- The Girl In The Apron

 

Note from The Girl In The Apron:

We have come to the tail end of winter and begging for those beginning glances of Spring. In the meantime, while we’re trying to combat the winter blues I turn to one of my favorite childhood recipes: Potato Leek Soup. This soup was a staple in our house growing up and my Mom could always whip it up in flash. You can enjoy this soup all year round, but it’s particularly delicious in the winter months when leeks are in prime season. This soup can be topped with an assortment of delicious additions and can be a great get together food. So call up your friends, make a big pot and even set up a Make Your Own Potato Soup Bar. Try chives, bacon and cheddar cheese…. Go a little crazy and do pulled pork with a side of cornbread or even some steamed broccoli. It’s an affordable dish that is universally loved. And as always with The Girl In The Apron, it’s quick, it’s easy and here’s how you do it! xo L.

Ingredients

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes*, peeled, rinsed + roughly chopped

4 cups whole milk**

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 stalk celery, rinsed + chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

3 green leek stalks, rinsed very well and cut half moon

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp salt

1 cup instant mashed potatoes***

Toppings: cheddar cheese, green onions

 

Here’s How You Do It

 

Place potatoes in a large non stick pot.

Barely cover potatoes with water and place on medium high heat.

Add 2 cups milk, butter, celery, onion, leeks, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Add 1 cup milk so potatoes are barely covered. Mix all the ingredients together.

Bring soup to a rolling boiling and cover. Boil for 25- 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If a fork easily goes through the potatoes, even splitting pieces in half, you’re tots are ready.

Using a potato masher, mash your soup to desired consistency. Add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Bring soup to a gentle simmer, gradually sprinkle 1 cup instant potatoes over soup: stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Soup will thicken immediately. Add more or less instant potatoes for a thicker or thinner soup.

Serve warm, add toppings and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!


* I prefer the yukon gold potato. It makes for a creamier and less starchy soup  texture.

** I like to use Fairlife Whole Milk for this recipe. However, 2% or 1% milk tastes just as delicious with fewer calories.

*** My Mom has always used Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes. It’s a trusted brand in our house that we love.

**** Keep a close eye on your pot until you find the proper heat to acheive a rollling boil,  this soup will easily boil over when covered or uncovered.

 

Kitchen Tip: Cleaning and Cutting Leeks

 

 

Oatmeal Coconut Scotchie Cookies

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Oatmeal Coconut Scotchie Cookies

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Oatmeal, Coconut and Butterscotch were meant to be together. They make one of the best cookie combos. Butterscotch chips are easily found at your grocery store and make a tasty addition to this quick and easy cookie recipe. It’s a new spin on a classic recipe. 

Happy Baking!

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Softened Butter or Shortening

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed

1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut

1 11-oz. pkg. Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

 

How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar at medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; mix to combine. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda. Stir in oats, coconut and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Enjoy!