Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Brunch

Some think of football, I think of brunch. When Sunday rolls around each week, nothing beats a hot cup of coffee, a runny egg yolk and a little something sweet. While I've always enjoyed breakfast, my true love began after experiencing Sunday breakfast at The Cafe, one my all time favorite restaurants. Throughout college, Sunday breakfast at The Cafe became tradition whether it was just Jory and I or whatever family happened to be in town from that weekend's track meet.

In honor of the good old days, we jogged our memory this morning with a little homemade brunch. This menu included eggs benedict on homemade english muffins, blueberry coffee cake with strawberry butter and fresh fruit salad with orange glaze. More recipes from this successful brunch to come!

Homemade English Muffins

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 egg whites
fine cornmeal

In a large bowl, mix the water, yeast, baking soda, salt and two cups of the flour. Mix until a wet paste is formed and set aside for about five minutes. In the meantime, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks are formed then fold into the batter mixture. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Once the dough becomes too difficult to mix in the bowl, dump onto a floured surface and mix with your hands. Knead for a few minutes or until the mixture forms a smooth ball of dough. Put the dough ball into a clean bowl with a bit of oil, making sure all sides are coated. Cover and let rest for about an hour.

Place dough on floured surface and roll until 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles with a round cookie cutter or glass, cover with cornmeal and set aside. Let the rounds rest for 30-45 minutes.

About five minutes before you are ready to start cooking your muffins, turn on an electric griddle to 350 or medium heat. Once heated, add a tablespoon of butter and toss in your muffins to fry. Flip the muffins every four minutes for a total of sixteen minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy while warm!

This recipe was found on

Strawberry Butter
I stole this idea from Ina Garten. There's really no need for a recipe or instructions, but you MUST try this on these homemade english muffins.

Strawberry fruit preserves, room temperature
Butter, room temperature

Mix together with an electric mixer, spread and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes

First off, I must confess that I used O'Reilly's Irish Cream but left the title as is simply because it sounds better. If you are an Irish cream snob, then go ahead and spend 30 dollars. I'll spend ten and enjoy it just the same. Trust me, these cupcakes are amazing regardless!

It's been a while since I've baked, but I decided a holiday is as good of an excuse as any to indulge in something sweet. I came across this recipe yesterday and just had to try it for myself. As a very experienced batter consumer, I'm telling you that this is one of the smoothest, most delicious batters I've ever had. Enjoy a cold glass, or more, of something Irish in honor of this wonderful holiday and give these cupcakes a try. Happy St. Patty's Day!

Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes with a stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the Bailey's, water and milk. Mix well. In yet another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the Bailey's mixture. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

While most of the Bailey's flavor baked off in the batter, the taste definitely comes out in this amazing buttercream icing.

Bailey's Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons, maybe more, of Bailey's

Cream the butter on high speed for 2-3 minutes, add the Baileys and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended. I continued to add powdered sugar and Bailey's until I found the right consistency. Frost the cupcakes and top with green sprinkles for a little extra glam. Enjoy!

This recipe was found on Cupcake Rehab.