Rosemary Shortbread Tarts with Clementine Curd

Raise your hand if you’ve had lemon curd. Pretty magical stuff, right?

Now, raise your hand if you’ve had clementine curd…. Say what now?!? Yup, I was there too. But guess what! It’s winter and clementines are in season. So grab a box of Cuties and whip up a batch. It may be your first, but it won’t be your last – and I promise it’s super easy and delicious!

Clementine Curd

Clementine Curd

Ingredients:

  • 2 large yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of 3 clementines
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed please!
  • 3/4 cup clementine juice
  • 6-8 tbs. cold, unsalted butter (use 6 for less buttery/rich curd, or 8 for more buttery/rich curd)

Tools:

  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Microplane grater or rasp or fine cheese grater or zester
  • A pot
  • A glass bowl (the base of the bowl must be larger than the pot so that it just sits on top of the pot)
  • A second glass bowl – at least 3 cups in volume
  • A whisk
  • A silicon spatula
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Plastic wrap

1. Set up your double boiler : Fill a pot about 1/3 full with water and put it on high heat to boil.

2. Mix custard : In your larger glass bowl, whisk together your yolks, eggs, sugar, salt, and juices.

3. Cook custard : Reduce water to a simmer, then set the glass bowl on top of the pot. Whisk well, periodically scrapping down the sides with your silicon spatula. It is important you whisk and mix your custard so it cooks evenly and the eggs don’t curdle/scramble. But whisk and stir slowly, you don’t want air bubbles. Cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 15 minutes).

4. Add butter : Now, remove from heat and whisk in your butter, slowly, in 1 tablespoon increments, until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Strain custard : Set the fine mesh strainer over the second bowl and pour the custard through. This step is to catch any bits of egg that did curdle and to insure a silky smooth custard.

6. Add zest and chill : Mix in the lemon and clementine zest, place plastic wrap over your bowl so that it completely touches the curd (this prevents the curd from forming a skin while chilling). Chill your curd for at least 4 hours. It will thicken more as it cools.

Makes approximately 2 cups

Storage : Curd will keep for at one week if covered with plastic wrap. You can also can curd for shelf-stable preservation.

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So, you want to kick it up and get a little fancy?? Make rosemary shortbread tarts and top with your clementine curd! This part is easy too!

Rosemary Shortbread Tarts

Rosemary Shortbread Tartlet filled with Clementine Curd

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt – use a coarse salt (like sea salt)
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1.5 tsp dried rosemary)
  • 2-1/3 cups all purpose flour

Tools:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Knife
  • Electric mixer (or well toned biceps and a mixing spoon)
  • Silicon spatula
  • Muffin pan or cupcake pan or tartlet tins (I used a mini-cupcake/muffin pan but you can use regular sized cupcake pan)

1. Cream butter & sugar : Add butter, sugar, and honey to your mixing bowl and beat until fluffy.

2. Add egg, salt, and rosemary. Mix until it is well incorporated.

3. Add flour : Dump in flour – literally – and mix until it is well incorporated. You will probably need a mixing spoon for this.

4. Chill : Scrape down sides of bowl, remove from the bowl and form dough into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

5. Form tarts : For a mini-cupcake sized pan – form golf ball sized balls from your shortbread dough by rolling 1-1.5 tbs pieces of dough in the palm of your hands. Place in the base of the each cupcake mold and use your thumb to press the dough into the mold so that it fills and lines the mold. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Also, this gets very sticky so it helps to flour your hands and/or roll the dough balls in flour before pressing into shape.

6. Bake : Bake at 350F for 10 – 12 minutes. Enjoy the wonderful aroma!!

7. Cool : Remove from pan while still warm and use your thumb to press an indentation into the shortbread. This will help create room to hold the yummy clementine curd because the shortbread raises a bit in the oven. Let cool on a rack until they’re room temperature.

8. Fill : Top with a nice spoon full of yummy clementine curd or enjoy plain!

Makes 4 dozen tartlets

Storage : This dough freezes very well so make the whole recipe and freeze half for later. Baked shortbread tarts will keep for at least a week but keep them covered and in the refrigerator.

Rosemary Shortbread Tartlet filled with Clementine Curd

I’m back!!!

New and original recipes coming soon to The Foodie Black Girl Blog! Until then, check out FoodieBG on Instagram **WARNING: May result in salivation. Viewer discretion is advised**

Bon appétit!

-Asia

Red Wine Beef Stew

Red Wine Beef Stew served over Creamy Polenta

Red Wine Beef Stew served over Creamy Polenta

I love cooking with wine. I also love to use local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Lucky for me I live in an area (the great Pacific Northwest) that produces good quality wine, much of which is very affordable and readily available at my local grocery store! A stew is a great way to create a delicious, affordable, and hearty meal that incorporates both of these. Here, I’ve shared my recipe for red wine beef stew. Oh yeah, and green beans are definitely not a winter vegetable but I like them in my stew, so I use “seasonal” loosely. 🙂

I used a local Cabernet Sauvignon from the columbia valley. I choose this specific brand because it's a good quality wine and is under $10 a bottle (it was also on sale!).

Remember to use a wine that you would drink. Buy something that is of good quality, preferably local (if you live in an area that produces good wine), and that won’t break the bank. I generally buy wine that is in the range of $10 – $15 if I plan to cook with it. This recipe only uses two-thirds of the bottle; So while the stew is – well – “stewing”, sit back, relax, and pour yourself a glass of vino. Let the stew simmer while a delectable aroma fills the air…. Mmmmmm!!

I used a local Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley. I choose this specific brand of wine because it’s a good quality wine and is under $10 a bottle (it was on sale!).

Red Wine Beef Stew

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced small
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 8 – 10 small sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 – 1.25 lbs. beef chuck roast or stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2.5 cups red wine (I like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups red potatoes with skin (about 6 potatoes), diced
  • 1.5 cups parsnips (2 parsnips), diced
  • 1.5 cups green beans, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Mirepoix (onion, carrot, and celery) and mushrooms browning.

Mirepoix and mushrooms browning

Brown beef over medium-high heat

Brown beef over medium-high heat

TIP!: You can use any vegetables you like in  your stew. Just be sure to note that different vegetables will have different cooking times, so add them to the pot accordingly. For the winter season, I would recommend brussel sprouts, kale, swiss chard, and butternut squash as good seasonal alternatives.

Red skin potatoes diced into bite-sized pieces.

Red skin potatoes diced into bite-sized pieces.

Green beans cut in half.

Green beans cut in half.

Parsnips peeled, then diced into bite sized pieces.
Parsnips peeled, then diced into bite-sized pieces.

1. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large stock-pot and heat on medium. Add your onion, carrot, celery, garlic, mushrooms, and herbs. Season with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Sautée for 10 minutes or until vegetables become golden. Remove everything from your pot and place in a bowl.

Brown veggies and herbs to impart more flavor.

Clockwise from top: 8-10 small sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary.

2. Add another 2 tbs. of olive oil to your pot and bring the heat to medium-high. In a separate bowl, season your flour with a heavy pinch each of salt and black pepper. Toss your beef cubes in the flour mixture to coat and arrange them in the pot. You want to brown the beef on all sides.

Coat beef in flour before browning.

Coat beef in flour before browning.

3. When your beef is nicely browned, add your sauteed onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and herbs from step 1 to the pot. Then, add your wine to deglaze the pan. Deglazing dissolves all the yummy brown bits to impart more flavor in your stew. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Use red wine to deglaze your pan and dissolve the brown bits (from browning the beef and veggies).

Use red wine to deglaze your pan and dissolve the brown bits (from browning the beef and veggies).

4. Add the water and reduce the heat from medium-high to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover your pot and cook the beef for 25 minutes.

5. Taste your broth to check the seasoning and add salt and/or black pepper as needed. Add your potatoes and parsnips (or any other root vegetable you are using) and cook for 15 minutes.

6. Add your green beans and cook for 8 minutes.

The potatoes and parsnips should be fork tender, while the green beans should still have a slight bite to them and should be dark green (not mushy and grey, no one likes overcooked green beans!). The beef should be tender and easy to shred when done. I like to serve my beef stew over creamy polenta, but it is also just as yummy alone.

Red wine beef stew

Red wine beef stew

Makes 6 hearty servings.

Andouille Sausage

I spent the holiday season at my parents’ home cooking up a storm! Who could not be motivated to throw down in the kitchen when you’re surrounded by eager taste testers, fellow culinary enthusiasts, and quality ingredients!

It has been one of my recent goals to develop a great recipe for andouille sausage. For those of you not familiar with andouille, it is a coarse-textured pork sausage with a medium fat content. Its flavor profile comes from a lot of fresh garlic, paprika, and slow smoking. I remember spending a few summers during high school and college with my grandmother in rural Louisiana and having the best, freshly smoked andouille sausage from the mom-and-pop smokehouse in town. The quality and flavor was superior to any commercial andouille sausage sold at the local grocery store. So much so that each summer, I would stock up and pack 20 pounds of smoked tasso and andouille in my carry on suitcase to take back home!! (No lie)

Lucky for me, my dad’s a semi-pro at sausage making – he’s been making the best boudin in the world (totally unbiased!) for as long as I can remember. So he and I took a trip to the meat monger, pulled out the meat grinder, and got to work in the kitchen. The final product was delicious and reminded us of the andouille from the mom-and-pop smokehouse. If you’ve got the equipment, time, and are up for a culinary adventure, please try our recipe! If not, well… if you’re family or a friend, at least you know who to call for some amazing andouille! 🙂

TIP!: This recipe is for medium spice/heat level andouille. For hot/spicy andouille, double the amount of cayenne pepper. Keep in mind that if your sausage is hot, every dish you use it in will be hot as well.

TIP!: It’s always important to taste your sausage mixture after seasoning because you cannot adjust the seasoning after it’s stuffed and cured. Make a test patty after you season your meat, cook the patty thoroughly in a frying pan, and taste! Adjust your seasoning, if necessary.

Andouille Sausage

Andouille smoking....

Andouille smoking….

image-10

Juicy!

Seasoning Mixture – Per pound of meat mixture

Cure Note: The addition of nitrate cure salt is crucial for any sausage that is dried or smoked at low temperatures (40°F – 140°F). Nitrates prevent the growth of microorganisms, particularly Clostridium botullinum – the cause of botulism. This microbe forms spores that grow well in low-oxygen environments and at temperatures of 40°F – 140°F, which is the type of environment created when smoking meat at low temperatures. There is controversy regarding the health risks and benefits of nitrates in cured meats and I suggest that you read up on both points of view before curing any meats.

  • 2 tbs. minced, fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/5 tsp. instacure #1 (it’s 1 tsp. per 5 lbs. of meat, so estimate if you’re making less than 5 lbs.)
  • 2 tbs. water

Mix all of your seasonings and herbs together with water to create a paste. Leave minced garlic as is.

image-4

Seasoning paste

Meat Mixture

  • 3 parts of lean pork butt or pork shoulder – skin removed
  • 1 part of pork fat (ask your butcher for fat trimmings)

Sausage Casings Note: I greatly prefer natural hog casings to synthetic casings. They have a much better bite after cooking your sausage. This was the first time I used pre-tubbed casings, which are more expensive but they do not need to be cleaned as you would natural hog casings. I would recommend the pre-tubbed casings for this reason – if you’ve ever cleaned natural hog casings or chitterlings, then you’d understand!

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A lot of fresh garlic!

Sausage Making:

image-12

1/4 inch cubed pork to add texture

image

My dad mixing in the seasonings and garlic by hand

  1. Use a meat grinder with the coarsest blade/plate and grind all the fat and 2/3 of your pork butt or shoulder. Your meat and fat should be very cold to assist the grinding process and keep your product coarse.
  2. Freeze the remaining third of the pork for at least 1 hour. Freezing your meat will make it easier to cut. Cut the meat into 1/4 inch to 1 centimeter cubes, and add to your ground meat.
  3. Add the seasoning paste and minced garlic to your meat mixture and mix well with your hands.
  4. Load your casings on your sausage stuffer and get to stuffing!! If using an electric dual grinder and stuffer (as we used, below), remove any grinding blades/plates before securing your stuffer nozzle to prevent further grinding of your meat. Make links as long or as short as you wish.
  5. Place the sausage in a loosely covered pan in the fridge overnight (12 – 18 hours) to cure.
image-7

Sausage stuffing using natural hog casings

Sausage Smoking:

The smoker. The sausage is in chamber on the left, and the smoke is generated in the chamber on the right.

The smoker. The sausage is in chamber on the left, and the smoke is generated in the small chamber on the right.

You want to smoke your sausage at the lowest temperature possible, given your smoker apparatus. We smoked ours at 120-140°F for 2.5 hours, then raised the temperature to 200°F for 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the sausage read 152°F.  We used mesquite briquettes but you can use another kind of wood, if you prefer. To achieve the temperature variation, we simply added additional hot coals to the wood briquettes to increase the temperature. You can also try decreasing the distance between your coals and sausage to increase the temperature, or adjust any vents on your smoker. The most important part about the smoking step is to keep the temperature low. If the temperature is too high, your sausage will cook before it has finished smoking, which will affect the flavor profile (although your sausage will still be super yummy!).

image-1

The smoker set up – the smoke chamber. Coals were added, removed, or repositioned to adjust the temperature of the the smoke.

Once your sausage is smoked, it is fully cooked and can be stored in your fridge for up to 3 weeks (the cure is a preservative) or for 6 months in the freezer. But honestly, this sausage is so good it probably won’t linger in the fridge for more than 2 days!

image-9

Sliced andouille. Notice the nice marbling of fat and chunks of garlic.

TIP!: If you don’t have the sausage making equipment or a smoker, this recipe makes a very tasty fresh sausage. You can use the seasoning mixture as is (minus the addition of instacure if you’re not smoking your meat) with course ground pork obtained from your trusted butcher. Super easy and tasty!

Chicken Green Chili & Enchiladas!

I originally came up with the recipe for a chili cook-off contest at work about 3 years ago. Unfortunately I didn’t win (I lost to a trained chef, seriously!). But everyone loved my chili! It’s an easy recipe and definitely a crowd pleaser! The best part is that the recipe (minus the chicken stock) will make fantastic chicken enchiladas smothered with a green chili sauce (no photos for this one, sorry!!). So this is a two-for-one, Enjoy!

TIP!: If you like spicy chili, throw in a couple of serranos or jalapenos with your anaheim and poblano chiles before you roast your peppers.

TIP!: I like to use smoked sea salt in this recipe (in replace of regular salt). It adds to the flavor profile and can be found at most supermarkets.

Chicken Green Chili

Chicken Green Chili garnished with cilantro and sour cream, served with corn bread

Chicken Green Chili garnished with cilantro and sour cream, served with corn bread

  • 2.5 lbs. tomatillos, cleaned, washed & cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled (about 12 cloves)
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 6 anaheim peppers
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (~ 2 lbs. of chicken, you can add in chicken thighs if you like dark meat)
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut in quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs. ground cumin
  • Water (about 2.5 quarts)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Olive oil

1. Set oven to 400F. Arrange tomatillos, garlic, and onions on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt & pepper. Place chili peppers on a sheet sheet. Roast in oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. You want to blacken/scorch the skin of the peppers and you want the tomatillos, onion, and garlic to be golden brown/lightly roasted and soft. You will need to use tongs to turn the chile peppers every few minutes to ensure that they get evenly blackened.

Anaheim & Poblano Chilies

Tomatillos, Onions. & Garlic

2. Set tomatillos, garlic, and onions aside when golden brown.

3. Put the blackened chili peppers in a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. This will create steam, which will loosen the skin of the chiles and make them easy to peel.

Roasted Green Chilies

4. While the chiles are roasting, make your chicken stock and cook your chicken. Add some olive oil to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add chicken breast, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Allow chicken to brown, then flip over to rib/bone side. Allow the rib/bone side to brown. Once browned, add your celery. Season with a little more salt and pepper, then add your cumin and bay leaves. Sautée everything for a few minutes to toast the cumin, just until you smell the cumin. Then add enough water to cover the chicken with an inch of water (about 2.5 quarts). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes).

5. Remove the chicken and celery pieces from the broth. Set the chicken aside to cool, throw away the celery.

6. Peel and clean the chile peppers. You want to remove the seeds, skin and stalk. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Then rough chop the chiles and add it to your chicken stock. Add your roasted tomatillos, onions and garlic to the chicken stock.

7. While the veggies cook in the chicken stock, shred your chicken breast. You can also just chop up your chicken breast if it’s too hot to shred or to save time.

Shredded Chicken

8. Blend your chili, veggie and chicken stock base in the blender. You want it to be chunky, so just pulse it a few times. You will probably have to do this in 2 or 3 batches to get everything blended.

9. Add your chicken to your blended soup base. Add your chopped cilantro. Serve with sliced lime, corn bread, sour cream, and/or corn tortilla chips!

Chicken Green Chili

Takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. Makes ~6 good-sized servings.

Chicken Green Chili Enchiladas

  • 2.5 lbs. tomatillos, cleaned, washed & cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled (about 12 cloves)
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 6 anaheim peppers
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (~ 2 lbs. of chicken, you can add in chicken thighs if you like dark meat)
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut in quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or pepper jack if you like it spicy)
  • 1 cup crumbled cojita cheese
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 9 X 13 baking pan

1. Make your green chili enchilada sauce. Follow steps #1 – #3 and #6 as above. Place chopped green chiles, tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, and cumin in the blender. Blend until smooth, you may need to add a little water or chicken stock to help you out (a few chunks are good for texture). Season with salt and pepper.

2. Cook your chicken. You can buy a rotisserie chicken to save time, or roast your chicken breast (seasoned with salt and pepper) in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes. Shred your chicken breast. Add about 1 cup of your green chili sauce to your chicken, mix well, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

3. Steam your corn tortillas. Set oven to 300F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Arrange a single layer of tortillas on the lined cookie sheet (some overlapping is ok). Cover the layer with damp paper towels, and arrange another layer of tortillas on top of the paper towels. Repeat the layering process. Cover the last layer with damp paper towels and foil. You want to seal the top and bottom layers of foil. Steam for ~10 minutes.

4. Make your enchiladas. Add about 1/2 cup of your green chili sauce to your baking pan to cover the bottom. Take a steamed tortilla, add about 1/4 cup of your chicken and roll up your tortilla. Arrange your enchilladas in the pan neatly. Pour the remaining green chili sauce on top to cover all of your enchilladas. Top with your monterey jack and cojita cheeses.

5. Bake your enchilidads at 350F for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely and is starting to brown.

Garnish with your favorite fresh salsa, a squeeze of lime, a little sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

Makes about 2 dozen enchiladas and will take 1.5 hours (less if you purchase a rotisserie chicken).

Soups and stews to warm you up!

It’s cold outside. The days are short. The nights are long. The sky is grey – particularly here in Portland. Yup, sounds like winter is creeping on in. If you’re like me, this type of weather makes it a little more challenging to find the motivation to do more. Snuggling up in bed always sounds like the best plan. That doesn’t fill your belly, warm your body, and get you back on track. But flavorful homemade soups and stews will!

My favorite thing about making soups and stews is that they are so simple and nearly always successful (or at least there are easy ways to troubleshoot your mistakes!). Take these examples:

Mistake 1: I over cooked by vegetables and they are mushy – yuck!

Solution: Strain your soup to collect your veggies and take them to your blender. You can add some of your blended veggies back to your soup base/stock thicken your soup and switch up the texture.

Mistake 2: Soup’s too salty!

Solution: Dilution!! Add more water to your soup to adjust the seasoning. If your soup is now too thin, add some starch such as rice, potatoes, or pasta to thicken things up a bit and add texture. The addition of starches will also absorb some of the salt.

Mistake 3: I was planning dinner for 6, but now I’m eating solo…

Solution: Soup freezes really well. In fact, I always make double the servings I need so that I can freeze the rest. I portion out my soup into small plastic zip-top baggies (~1.5 cups per portion) that are easy to label and easy to store.

Did I mention that the layering of flavors and simmering of ingredients also warms your home with a captivating aroma! In case you need that spark of motivation to get active in the kitchen 😉

I’ve crafted some soup and stew recipes to make your winter a little more warm. However, I can’t take credit for the gumbo recipe. That’s a Le Day family recipe passed down from my great-grandparents.

My Great-Grandparents' 50th Anniversary with their 13 Children.

My great-grandparents’ (front-center) 50th wedding anniversary with their 13 children. The beautiful woman in the middle of the second-row is my grandmother.

Upcoming recipes include…

  • Chicken Green Chili
  • Vegetarian Leek and Potato Soup
  • Cioppino
  • Le Day Family Gumbo (this is the real deal!!)
  • Red Wine Beef Stew

Make sure to check back on Sunday December 9th through the rest of the month for these recipes, plus a few others!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Butterscotch Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Pecans

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Dry cake ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix or sift all dry ingredients well to combine.

Puréed sweet potato:

  1. Dice 2 large sweet potatoes into 1 cm square cubes. Steam until fork tender (about 10 minutes)
  2. Force steamed sweet potato through a fine mesh sieve using a spoon. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape puréed sweet potato off sieve.

* You can also purée your sweet potatoes in a food processor, however the technique above will give you a very silky purée and remove any fibrous strands. If you want more texture, you can just mash your steamed sweet potatoes.

Wet cake ingredients:

  • 12 tbs. butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups puréed sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Add your remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined. Scrap the sides of the bowl and few times to make sure things are well mixed.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

  1. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until just combined. You can do this by hand or use a mixer. DO NOT over mix. If using a hand or stand mixer, this should only take 30 seconds or so.
  2. Line your cupcake pan and nearly fill each with batter.

For mini-cupcakes: bake for 13 – 15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

For normal cupcakes: bake for 17 – 20 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Butterscotch sauce

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs. butter, cubed
  • 2 tbs. whiskey, scotch, or bourbon (or water for alcohol-free version)
  • 2 – 4 tbs. milk
  1. Add the sugar, butter, and whiskey to a small pot. Cook on medium heat for 8 minutes, swirling the pot occasionally.
  2. Around 8 minutes, you should smell a slight burnt sugar smell and you should see that the mixture is starting to darken. Immediately remove from heat and swirl the pot to cool down the sauce. Add 2 tbs. of milk and swirl to mix.
  3. Add up to an additional 2 tbs. of milk as the sauce cools if it becomes too thick. You want it to be the consistency peanut butter at room temperature. Put in the fridge to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbs. butter, soften
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt using a mixer. Make sure to scrape down the sides frequently.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix together on low. Beat the frosting for 1 minute on medium speed to aerate the frosting.
  3. Cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

To make the butterscotch cream cheese frosting: Add half of your cooled butter scotch sauce to your cooled cream cheese frosting. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve: Pipe frosting on top of your cupcakes and garnish with butterscotch sauce and toasted peacans!