Sifted Couture

Baking and sweet stuff

Archive for the category “Recipes”

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patty’s Day is coming up. Here is a great recipe for cupcakes using Guiness and Frosting with Bailey’s Irish Cream! They are delicious!

I ended up with 24 cupcakes. The frosting recipe only frosted about 2/3 of them. So I made another half a batch of that to finish my cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes (from Cupcakes Take the Cake blog)
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes: About 30
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes (plus cooling and frosting time)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 24 to 30 muffin cups or line them with paper liners.

In a heavy saucepan heat the butter, Guinness and dark cocoa powder until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool.

In a large bowl, sift together the salt, flour, sugar and baking soda.

Add the Guinness-cocoa mixture and beat for 1 minute on medium speed.

Add the eggs and sour cream and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Evenly divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting: (from Dulcedo blog)
A Dulcedo original
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the Bailey’s and half of the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth. Add the second half of the sugar and beat until smooth.


Marshmallow Fondant – MMF


In case you don’t know what MMF stands for, it is Marshmallow Fondant. I often get questions about fondant, and one of those being if I make my own or not. I used Wilton’s during school, but for the most part I make my own. I’m going to share a recipe and tips with you for making your own. Marshmallow fondant tastes so much better than Wilton’s brand. I have not had any of the other brands, but I have heard there are some name brands out there that are better tasting than Wilton’s. Not only is it tastier, but marshmallow fondant is also a lot cheaper. And you usually have all of the ingredients to make some at home.

Small batch MMF
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 Powder Sugar
Crisco (for kneading)

Large batch MMF
16 oz. bag of Mini Marshmallows
2 tbsps water
2 lbs Powder Sugar
Crisco (for kneading)

For Chocolate MMF:
Add 1 oz melted chocolate.
1 tbsp cocoa powder to the basic recipe.

Pack marshmallows down into measuring cup to get 1 cup and then add the water. Microwave in a microwave safe bowl for about 20 seconds. They should look soft and fluffy. Stir with a spoon (I like a wooden spoon). It should look soupy. Add the sugar and fold it in until it is all mixed and no longer sticky. Put just a little Crisco on your board and hands. Knead the fondant with a spoon for about 5-7 minutes. If it has cooled down you can use your hands to knead. Please be extra careful, this just came out of the microwave and things are always very hot when they’ve been in there.

If the fondant is too sticky try cutting back on the water. Or let it sit out for 10 minutes. Also, try adding a little powder sugar until it is not sticky anymore. Be careful, because too much will dry it out. It should feel pliable.
Storing your fondant – Put a little bit of crisco on the outside on the fondant. Cover your fondant with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Place that in a ziploc bag. Air will dry fondant out.
Adding coloring to your fondant when it just comes out of the microwave works great. Otherwise, just incorporate it when you need it.
When cutting or rolling out your fondant you should put a little crisco down on your fondant mat, roller, and hands. This will make it easier to lift and help it to not get stuck.

The recipe is by Bunnywoman on the Wilton’s forums. It is by far the most popular fondant recipe that I have ever seen. You can find it here. Along with a ton of questions and answers. Another good page that I went to when I was learning to make fondant is on Cake Journal by Louise. She actually has pictures so you know what your fondant should look like during and when you are done. I hope you enjoy this post and that it helps you with your caking!

How to make biscuits


Believe it or not, but I have never made biscuits from scratch before. Once I made a bread loaf and my mother laughed so hard when she saw a picture of it. Course, she did have dementia at the time and maybe it was just funny looking? Anyways, I haven’t made bread again. Not because my mom laughed. I loved it when she would laugh. But because it really wasn’t that good, and it was too much work when I could just go to the store and buy a nice soft loaf of bread. My friend gave me a bread maker that didn’t sell at a yard sale. I will use that, eventually.

Back to what this post is about. I made biscuits! And not just once but twice. And they are so good and easy that I will continue to make them. I was in the mood for biscuits with dinner, and I didn’t have any on hand. So, I used my trusty Google search and found a good traditional biscuits recipe by Diane Watkins. I preferred hers because it looked simple enough, and she had a lot of tips.

The directions are below. Here are a few things that I found were helpful to know. As Diane suggests, you want to keep the dry separate from the wet until you are ready to mix. Using self rising flour means you don’t have to add baking powder or salt. I’m all for easy. You cut in the shortening with a fork/hands/pastry blender until it looks like tiny pebbles or crumbs. Then you make a hole in the center and pour in the milk to make soft dough. Now, I wasn’t sure what the dough was supposed to look like here. I just knew not to work the dough too much. I later watched a video by Chef Scot on you tube that was perfect for a first timer. He also added that after adding the milk you will knead it a few times, and fold it, fold it, fold it. That is how you get the nice layers in your biscuits. Finally, you cut the biscuits out. About two inches round and a half inch thick. I used a small glass and it was a perfect size. Do not twist the cutter. I hope this helps those who also have never made biscuits before. Just think of them as cupcakes. Only more flat and not as sweet.

Traditional Southern Biscuit
by Diane Watkins

3 cups self-rising flour, plus some to flour the board
½ cup shortening or lard
1 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Sift the flour into a medium bowl.
3. Add the shortening to the flour in bits and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Form a well in the center of the flour and add the milk into the well.
5. Stir the milk into the flour with a fork, just until mixed.
6. Turn out onto a floured board, counter top, or piece of parchment paper. Knead gently 2 or 3 times and roll or pat to a ½ inch thickness.
7. Cut into 2 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.

Mimosa Cupcakes

Mimosa Cupcake

Bringing in the new year should be done with cupcakes. A delicious treat to have at your party are Mimosa Cupcakes. Most people seem to reprint the mimosa cupcakes from Cupcake Project. But seeing how she blogged that they were dense I went looking for another recipe. Although in her updated 2010 notes she posts that she now uses a different lighter recipe.

I asked Sublime Sweets for her orange cupcake recipe and then went to find a champagne frosting. The cupcakes were delicious and fluffy! You can definitely taste the orange, and it is not too overpowering. I bought 1 large Sunkist orange and zested it without measuring. It looked to be about 1 tbsp. Squeezing it afterwards gave me the 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. Then I quickly devoured the orange. The frosting was really sweet. You could taste the champagne in the first bite, but then the orange took over. I had to discard most of the frosting because it was just too sweet. It is a pretty basic recipe though, maybe I’ve had too much sweets because of the holidays. The frosting recipe will make twice as much as you need for the cupcake recipe. I found the frosting recipe at Gimme Some Oven.

Orange Cupcakes

1 c flour
3/4 c white sugar
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c butter
1/4 c freshly squeezed orange juice
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 tsp vanilla (you may increase this if you want)
1/8 tsp salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat all ingredients on low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds.
Scrape bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes more.
3. Put in cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 mins or until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Makes about 12 cupcakes.

Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting:

3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Tiramisu Take Two

These tiramisu cupcakes are heavenly. Each bite is so delicious that is leaves you craving for more. Several individual steps are taken and then brought together as one to ensure the tiramisu cupcake is perfection. Tiramisu can be made with or without the marsala wine. Perfect for serving as dessert.

I did not use the Marsala Wine. Also, instead of Mascarpone I used 3 cups Cream Cheese and 9 tablespoons of Sour Cream along with the Confectioners Sugar and Heavy Cream she has listed in her recipe.

Everyone was very happy with these and ate more than one!

This is the link to the actual recipe by Becky Brown, which she found on baking911.
Tiramisu Cupcakes

6 eggs, separated (separate when cold; allow to come to room temp)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoon water, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted, all-purpose flour (measure after sifted)
In large mixing bowl at high speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add half of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Rub just a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger to feel if sugar has dissolved.
In small mixing bowl at high speed, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, water, vanilla and salt (if desired) until blended.
With a sifter or sprinkle flour with a sieve over whites. Add beaten yolk mixture. Gently, but thoroughly, fold yolk mixture and flour into whites.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 min or until done.
Espresso Syrup

½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2/3 cup water
5 teaspoons espresso powder

In a small, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the water, the remaining 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar and the espresso or coffee powder. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.

Use a fork to poke a few holes into cupcakes so that they will absorb liquid. Pour approximately ½-1 teaspoon of syrup onto each cupcake.


3 c mascarpone
1 c confectioner’s sugar
¼ c marsala wine
¾ c heavy cream, chilled

In a medium bowl using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the mascarpone cheese, confectioner’s sugar and marsala until well blended. Add the cream and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Frost cupcakes with mascarpone/whipped cream mixture. Dust tops with cocoa powder (I used unsweetened) and then sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings.

This recipe was adapted from the recipes “Classic Sponge Cake” and “Espresso Tiramisu”, both found on

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Pretzels in a Cup

Along with the Cookies in a Jar gift, I am also giving my friends Chocolate Covered Pretzels! I’ve never made these before, so I searched the internet. Normally when I make things I will search high and low to compare recipes and tips from readers. I thought melting chocolate and dipping pretzels would be easy enough that I didn’t need to. I was a little bit wrong.

I think this is the link where I started. Chocolate Pretzels by Robin Miller.

Chocolate Coated Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels (read my tips)

1 bag Log Pretzels
1 bag each of Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet and white)
Double boiler/Microwave/or 2 saucepans
Chopped Nuts
Sprinkles or whatever garnish you want. Think cookies! coconut! candies!

Melt the chocolate over low heat in a double boiler or 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave.
Dip the pretzels in to the chocolate.
Add garnish.
Place dipped pretzels on wax paper and allow to harden.

Wrap in clear gift bags and tie with a ribbon for gift giving. These are also great in glasses as decor/treats at a party.

Tips! What I learned (some of it the hard way): White chocolate burns and is the hardest to melt correctly. As you can see, I have no white chocolate on my pretzels. I don’t have a double boiler, but 2 saucepans work just fine for this. So does the microwave. Put your wax paper on cookie sheets, so that you can move the drying pretzels around easily. Place them outside to chill (if it is chilly outside, of course). If you don’t have a dipping jar large enough, or just don’t want to transfer the chocolate to one, use a spoon and pour it down the pretzels sides. If you noticed, the recipe from Food Network says over medium heat, both Ghirardelli and Hershey’s bags said to use the lowest heat or simmer.

I wasn’t sure of the consistency of the melted chocolate, and I know it can burn or solidify easily. My pretzels aren’t as smooth as some you may see on the net. You can’t tell with the ones covered in crushed peanuts and sprinkles. However, they all taste good and your friends don’t care! I’m meeting a couple of mine in an hour to give them their gifts! We’re going out for Mexican.

Pretzels Wrapped

Cookies in a Jar

cookies in a jar

I wanted to give my friends something hand made this Christmas. I really like thoughtful gifts, though I have been known to be gift card giver. Those are nice, too, because the recipient can get what they really want. Anyways, friends started mentioning these gifts in a jar. Actually, Pina Colada Cake in a Jar. Which sounds really delicious. But, for a Christmas gift (even though my friends would love a Pina Colada) I am giving them chocolate cookies in a jar. I searched for several recipes and finally found one that had 99% good reviews. And yes, I tested them and they are yummy! I’m not a nut person so I just changed the chocolate chips/chopped pecans amounts. Also, other recipes that I checked out had 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda/powder. So, I adjusted this recipe to 3/4 teaspoon. One of the complaints (and there was only one about this) was too much baking soda/powder. Someone else mentioned adding one more egg. I didn’t try that.

I found the Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips on sale! And when I was opening my Arm & Hammer Baking Soda box I noticed something on the back. For buying 2 – 1 lb. boxes of these I get a one year free Better Homes & Gardens Magazine subscription! These boxes were $0.67 each and I get a year’s free subscription to the magazine. That is a winner!

I used a funnel to pour the contents in one by one. After packing down each item in the jar I would wipe the side with a paper towel. The pour in the next color. I used wrapping paper and a ribbon to pretty up the jar. And then I printed the ingredients on the back of scrapbooking paper and tied it on. On the card I noted all of the ingredients in case they wanted to make this recipe again. I read that you should use this within 3 weeks or the brown sugar gets super hard. Make sure to tell your recipients that! They will appreciate it.

Original Recipe

Remember I changed a few things, and you can too! I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cups white chocolate chips. Then I topped it off with M&Ms candies. I cut down the baking soda/power to 3/4 teaspoon each.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fill in rest with M&Ms Candies


Mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a funnel, pour into a 1 quart wide mouth canning jar. Pack each layer down firmly. Next layer dark brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa, white chocolate chips. semi-sweet chocolate chips, and candies.
Make a recipe card with the following instructions: Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 2. Empty cookie mix into large bowl. Thoroughly blend mixture with hands. Mix in 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 egg, slightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Shape into walnut size balls, and place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. 3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then move to wire racks.

cookies in a jar complete

Double Chocolate Malt Shop Cupcakes with Cherry Vanilla Buttercream

Reminds me of jukeboxes, 55 Chevys, and of course a malt shop. These cupcakes are so tasty. I had made them in the past and now I am bringing the recipe to this blog.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup malted milk powder (such as Carnation)
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Cherry Vanilla Buttercream:
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2/3 cup tart cherry preserves
Malted milk balls or maraschino cherries, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12 cup cupcake pans with 20 paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until blended.

Beat milk, malted milk powder, and espresso powder on medium speed. Add the canola oil and eggs; beat until blended.

On low speed, add flour mixture to milk mixture; beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir in miniature chocolate chips.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling only halfway. Bake at 350F for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove cupcakes to rack; cool completely.

Beat confectioner’s sugar and butter on medium low speed until well blended. Add vanilla and heavy cream; beat for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in cherry preserves until well incorporated.

When cool, frost the cupcakes with a knife or offset spatula. Garnish the top of each cupcake with a malted milk ball or cherry and serve.

Recipe by Julie Hession

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