Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cherry Coke Cupcakes

I don't know if you know this about me, but my favorite soda is cherry coke. Especially when it's made with grenadine fresh at a bar. That's when they have the most flavor. So good.
Of corse I had to try to make these. There was the chance that chocolate coke was a odd tasting combination. But it was totally worth the risk.
I attempted to write "Coke" on the second one. You have to cut me some slack though because I am without the comforts of my house in Illinois. Like tips. That is right, I used a ziplock bag doing this.

There was an optional syrup on top of the cupcake and I think it's a good choice to add a little bit of coke flavor. Also, I used grenadine instead of the cherry juice. The original recipe that Annie's Eats used had only one cherry in the middle of the cupcake, she opted to use 4 or 5 but I went for three. The cupcakes are really moist and flavorful. Maybe a little more cherry flavor in the cupcake?

Cherry Coke Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, (softened)
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup Coca-Cola
1/4 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
2 teaspoon vanilla
maraschino cherries, (stemless)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Coca-Cola

For topping:
2/3 cup heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar

maraschino cherries to add to the top

Preheat oven to 350.
Line your cupcake pan with your liners.
In a medium bowl combine the four, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Stir together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Mix in the egg until incorporated.
In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, coke, cherry juice, and vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients into the stand mixer on low speed and alternate with the liquid and dry, beginning and ending with the try and mixing until just incorporated. 
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.
Put 4 or 5 cherries into each cupcake and push them into the batter.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.
To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and coke in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. 
Spoon or drizzle a small amount on the top of each cupcake and allow to set before adding the whipped frosting. 
To make the whipped cream frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment.
Begin whipping on medium speed, slowly adding the powdered sugar and gradually increasing the speed to high as the cream holds soft peaks.
Whip until the cream holds still peaks, be careful not to over beat them.
Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes and top each with a cherry.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quesadilla Fun

Greetings from Florida!
I still can't believe I live here now, still getting used to the fact that I can go to the beach whenever I want.
So what have I been up to that I have been absent for so long? I started working finally! On my second week of that. I started bowling with my Grandfathers' bowling league that consists of our senior neighbors. I've been going to the gym, walking and beach, and laying out by the pool. Of corse, most importantly I have been cooking! my first week I made my tortilla soup and paninis for dinner, red velvet cupcakes for my Grandmothers' friend, Marge, who left the state to go back north, and last week, I tried a new recipe for quesadillas. So why have I waited this long to make a new post? I left my camera cord in Illinois and I just received it via mail from my Mother today! (Thanks Mom!!)
My grandparents bought their quesadilla maker years ago for me for when I visit, I've loved cooking for years, and mexican food, so I wanted to make sure I make use of it while I'm living here.

I found this recipe for meaty quesadillas at Veronica's Cornucopia. I have to say, these quesadillas were delicious. My grandfather ate his entire quesadilla, I only left two pieces, and my grandmother had two. I garnished them with salsa on top which made them even more amazing. They had just the perfect kick and served with refried beans was perfection. Not to mention the flavor of the beef. Okay, I'll just let you try it for yourself, but trust me, try it!! I'm sorry that my photography skills have not improved, but with the lighting of my grandparents kitchen maybe they will get better. 

 I got to skip some steps on the recipe because I do have a quesadilla cooker, but I'll post the version for making them without one because I'm sure most people do not.
Meaty Quesadillas
makes 6 (or three if you have a quesadilla maker)

1 pound of lean ground beef
3 gloves of garlic, (minced)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste
2 bunches green onions, (thinly sliced)
6 10 inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, (I used pepper jack and mozzarella)
salsa or sour cream for serving

Cook the beef, garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt and ground pepper over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink.
Add the green onions and cook for a few more minutes.
Heat a large griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat.
Spray with cooking spray and place tortillas on the griddle, and scatter 1/4 cu of cheese on each.
Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and cheese is melted.
Put a sixth of the beef mixture on half of each tortilla and fold into a half-moon.
Continue to cook until the quesadillas are crisp, turning once.
Repeat to make six quesadillas.
Cut into wedges and top with salsa