Bake Someone Happy

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!

 

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

 

 

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