Cinnamon Cupcakes

I hosted a party / couples baby shower for two of our best friends. Each guest at the party wrote down an unconventional / inappropriate boy and girl baby name. The winning girl name was Cinnamon. I obviously had to make cupcakes for the new family after she was born. And what was a more appropriate flavor than the baby’s pseudonym, Cinnamon. These are wonderful fall cupcakes. Seven-minute frosting can be tedious to make but is super retro and glamorous. This frosting recipe was featured in the past with lemon meringue cupcakes. This is an improved version of the recipe. It will take a few tries to master this frosting magic, but you will be very glad that you put in the work.

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Cinnamon Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk

Seven-Minute Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar for dusting

Make the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two muffin tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flower, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tbsp cinnamon.

Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add each egg mixing until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and reduce the speed to low. Mix in the dry ingredients mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour. Beat in the flour and milk until combined with each addition.

Scoop batter into the prepared cupcake liners, each should be three-quarters full. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

Make the frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. Set this over a pan of simmering water. Stirring constantly, cook for two minutes until the mixture is 160 degrees.

With the whisk attachment, beat mixture on high until the frosting is fluffy and glossy, for 5 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Bacon cheddar scones

Scones? Yes. Bacon? Yes. Cheese? Yes. If you are having guests in town and need an easy breakfast, this is your recipe. These scones keep extremely well in the freezer. You can pull out as many as you need and have breakfast ready in 25 minutes.

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Bacon Cheddar Scones

5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch pieces. Dice the bacon into very small pieces, less than 1/4 inch.

Stir together the all purpose flour and cake flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt, and mix until combined.

Mix in the butter on a low speed for 3 minutes. You should have fine pieces of butter with no large chunks.

With the mixer on low speed, pour in the cream in a steady slow stream. Mix in the sour cream for 30 seconds. The dough will start to come together around the paddle now. Mix in the bacon and cheddar cheese.

Shape the dough into a rectangle, planning to cut the scones into whatever shape you desire. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours.

Cut the block of dough into your preferred shapes. You should end up with approximately 12 scones. Arrange them on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, rotating the pan once.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Pizza

What is missing from the title of this pizza is the bacon. I love bacon just as much as the next person. But I have to say the impressive flavor in this pizza is from the gruyere and the caramelized onions. But don’t worry, there is plenty of bacon. This recipe was inspired by an oh so fabulous restaurant, The Chef and the Farmer, in Kinston, NC. They have a pizza with these ingredients PLUS pork belly. It is intense. You could use pork belly for this recipe, but I always have bacon in the fridge so I used that. This recipe is guaranteed to impress. Ideally you will have a half recipe of pizza dough in the fridge or freezer ready to go for this recipe.

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There are so many wines that would complement this fabulous appetizer. But it is October and there is nothing better paired with football weekends and this pizza than Stella Artois Cidre. This is a much brighter hard apple cider than most other brands. Th apple flavor complements all the ingredients in this pizza in an amazing way. The Cidre is very light with delicate apple flavor.

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Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Pizza
Serves 6 as an appetizer.

1/2 recipe Pizza Dough
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large vidalia onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces gruyere cheese, grated

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the bacon until some of the fat is rendered but the bacon is not fully crispy (it will continue cooking in the oven). Remove the bacon to a paper towel. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet.

Decrease the heat to low and add the butter to the skillet. Toss in the sliced onions and salt. Cover and cook the onions for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Then stir in the brown sugar and pepper and cook for 15 minutes more. Add in the minced garlic, cook 1 minute. Remove onions to a bowl.

Roll out your pizza dough between oiled sheets of parchment to a 12 inch circle. (The parchment will make this easier.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and remove the parchment from the top of the pizza dough. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Place the dough on a baking sheet. Cover it with half of the gruyere, then cover with onions, then sprinkle the bacon. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. The pizza will slide right off the parchment, slice on a cutting board.

Alternate method: If using a pizza stone, preheat oven to 500 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Buttermilk Waffles

When my husband and I registered for our wedding, he asked only for two things: an XBOX and a waffle maker because he loves waffles. In another effort to use up leftover buttermilk from cupcake baking, I thought I would use it in some waffles. The basis for this recipe comes from the booklet that came with the cuisinart griddler waffle maker. These things are so light and fluffy and fabulous. I made this full recipe and had a few extra waffles which I refrigerated. From the fridge to the toaster, they performed beautifully. And in 24 hours the extra waffles magically disappeared.

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Buttermilk Waffles

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1¾ cups buttermilk
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix or they will not turn out so fabulously fluffy.

Preheat your waffle iron as directed on the instructions. Spray the waffle iron with nonstick spray or butter. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, check the first one to make sure it is done.

Pecan Pie Bars

I will go as far to say that these bars are better than a pecan pie. And they are way easier to make than a pie! They also slice up so perfectly and transport well to any holiday party. Pecan is second only to pumpkin on the list of top fall flavors and this dessert is all about the pecans. Depending on what pan you use, you may need to shorten the initial baking time on the crust. A metal pan will brown the crust more quickly. Lining the pan with foil is an amazing trick that you can use for many recipes besides this one. You will lift your dessert right out of the pan and cleanup is so much easier. As far as dark brown sugar versus light brown sugar, I have not noticed much difference in my recipe results in the past. Only recently did I start specifying. If light brown sugar is all you have, just use that. Take these to your next fall party with a few bottles of Southern Tier Pumpking. This is absolutely the best pumpkin beer. It is extremely smooth with a flavor close to pumpkin pie. It is not the easiest to find so if you see it, do not hesitate!

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Pecan Pie Bars

Serves 20

Shortbread crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pecan filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining with foil, leaving enough for an overhang on all sides. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Make the crust. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the flour and salt until the mixture is crumbly. Use your hands to press the crust into the pan prepped with foil. Bake for 20 minutes (watch closely especially if using a metal pan.)

Prepare the pecan filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan on medium heat. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 1 minute, add in the chopped pecans.

Remove the crust from the oven. Pour the pecan filling over the hot crust. Bake for another 20 minutes. Let the bars cool in the pan and then lift them via the foil. Slice the bars on a cutting board.