Archive | 12:53 pm

A glorious Birthday meal!

26 Oct

Yesterday I baked my little heart out! We had a birthday dinner for Jarrod’s cousin, and the highlights for me were the 3 cheese macaroni, and the CUPCAKES!

I made home made to-die-for chocolate cupcakes with old fashioned caramel icing…

Chocolate Cake recipe:

Okay…the cookbook that I got this from, Southern Living’s Big Book of Cupcakes by Jan Moon, didn’t give a temperature to set the oven to while baking these cupcakes. Ugh?!? So, even though the recipe says bake for 12-15 minutes, I had not clue what to preheat the oven to…So I did the tried and true 350 degrees, and ended up baking these cupcakes for more like 20-22 mins per batch. They turned out great to me… Also, the recipe calls for superfine sugar, but I only had cane sugar, and it was still delish…


  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of superfine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups of all-purpose soft-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1tsp. chocolate extract
Paper baking cups
Veggie cooking spray
makes 24 cupcakes
  1. Combine cocoa and 2 cups of boiling water in a large heatproof bowl, stirring until blended and smooth; cool completely.
  2. Beat butter with mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  3. Combine flour and next three ingredients, add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at a low speed just until blended after after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract.
  4. Place paper baking cups in 2 (12 cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool in pan on wire racks for 10 mins; remove from pans, and cool completely.
Old Fashioned Caramel Icing Recipe:


  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 16oz. package of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  1. Melt butter in a 3 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, Stir in evaporated milk, baking soda and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool completely (about 1 hour). Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar to caramel mixture, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Use immediately. Makes 3 cups.

I also made a delicious 3 Cheese Macaroni (cheddar, ricotta, and parmesan)

The adorable red casserole dish is available at my Willow House store. It comes in this square shape which holds 8 cups, or in a rectangular shape which holds 16 cups. Click here to view.

Macaroni before baking

Three Cheese Macaroni-

Serves 6-8


  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup of grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I like spicy so I doubled this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • 1 lb. macaroni, cooked and drained ( I used Delallo Farfalloni pasta instead)
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add flour, stirring to make white sauce.
  3. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat. Add cheeses and spices. Stir until cheeses melt.
  5. Combine cheese sauce with macaroni.
  6. Spoon into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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