Friday, May 8, 2015

Churro Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Filling



Here she comes with a food post! In celebration of Cinco de Mayo my co-workers and I decided it was time to have a carry in! Woot!

I made fixin's for zucchini tacos, one of my vegetarian favorites. But I also decided I wanted to make some kind of dessert, so off to Pinterest I ran. Churros and dulce de leche quickly had me captivated. I found some really good looking cupcake recipes and decided to use Oodalollie's recipe for Churro Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche filling. This mom and daughter team have an amazing website with some great recipes and pictures.

I found other churro cupcake recipes (actually the same recipe), but the difference for me was the icing and the dulce de leche filling and drizzle that was on Oodalollie.

I tripled the batch making 60 cupcakes and doubled the icing recipe and dulce de leche.

The same night I tried one and it was sickening sweet, but by the next day they had mellowed out and were amazing. Everyone loved them. Definitely worth the effort to make these.



DIRECTIONS:

DULCE DE LECHE - You can buy pre-made/canned dulce de leche but it is at a price! My Kroger had it on sale this week for $3.99 a can (this is a small can). I chose to buy sweetened condensed milk at $1.79 a can and cook it until it turned into dulce de leche.

Ingredients:


  • 1 can any brand sweet condensed milk or 1 can pre-made dulce de leche


Directions:

I cooked 2 cans on my stove for 3 hours, completely submerged in water. The can is never opened! Cook it in the sealed can. I also cooked 2 cans completely submerged in water and unopened in my pressure cooker for 30 minutes. I let sit on counter 1 hour to cool and them submerged the cans in a cold water bath until completely cool. Then I opened the cans. Two of the cans were not needed, so I labeled them with date made and back on the shelf they went where they will be good up to 4 months. 

CHURROS - These are the little toppers. I did not have a churro maker so I just rolled out my dough and cut little triangular strips. Once the oil is very hot, toss about 4-5 in at a time cook until golden brown. Once my oil was hot it was like 20-30 seconds cooking time. I also put my cinnamon sugar in a baggie and shook it over the churro strips. Make sure to drain strips on a paper towel at least a minute before shaking in the sugar mixture.

Churro Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Coating:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a plate or baggie and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water,  sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Stir in flour mixture just until it forms a ball. Do not over mix. This will be a sticky dough ball.
Use a churrera or a churro dough dispenser, a large pastry bag with an large open star tip, or roll out the dough and cut little strips. Make sure the dough has cooled off.
Add 1 1/2 – 3 inches of oil to a small saucepan, and heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Once the oil is to the right temperature, (hold your pastry bag over the oil and squeeze out an 1 1/2 inch long strip of dough. Break it off with your finger and let it gently drop into the oil. Repeat this until you have no more that 3 – 4 churros in the pan at a time). OR I used cut strips of dough and cooked about 5 at a time. Use a slotted spoon to move churros around because they will stick together. Once golden brown, about 20 seconds, remove with spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Roll the cooked and drained churros in the cinnamon sugar until coated, set aside.
This recipe will make 24 - 30 mini churros.
CAKE - Fast and easy to make and nothing beats a cake made from scratch!

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and set aide.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined then stir in the vanilla and oil. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and gently stir until barely combined. Add half of the milk, mixing until just combined. Repeat these steps with the remaining flour mixture and milk, ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
Fill each cupcake wrapper with 2 tablespoons of batter, or until the cupcake filled half way. Bake the cupcakes for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with one or two crumbs clinging to it. OPTIONAL - While cupcakes are still warm, dip the top of each cupcake into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat the top of the cupcake. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
I did not dip the cupcakes in the sugar mixture because I didnt read that section completely and missed it. I took the cooled cupcake hollowed out the center like the diameter of a dime or a penny, filled with dulce de leche and then smeared a thin layer of the dulce de leche on the top of the cupcake. I iced the cupcake with the icing, drizzled some dulce de leche on top, and then topped with a churro and sprinkled a light coat of the sugar mixture over the finished cupcake. 

ICING - Such an easy icing! Make sure to set out the butter and cream cheese in advance so they can get to room temperature.

Icing Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the cinnamon until thoroughly combined. then stir in the vanilla. Beat the mixture well, until light and fluffy. Icing should have stiff peaks that stand straight up. If necessary add small amounts of confectioners’ sugar until icing is stiff.
Fill large pastry bag with large open star tip (same as used for churros) and ice each cupcake. Drizzle a small amount of dulce de leche over icing, then top with a mini churro.




Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Laundry Room Re-Do - Part 3 (and final...for now)

My my I have been awol since Oct 22! That was my last post and appropriately on my laundry room. I had 2 items left on my TO DO List. One was build a platform for my cabinet and the other was to stain or paint my key holder. So I actually got the platform done in October, but I admit I lost my memory stick to my camera and refused to buy a new one, therefore my long vacation from here.

I was ready to go buy a new memory stick last week because my niece and nephew graduate from high school in a couple weeks and I want to get some good pictures of them. But I cleaned my car really good over the weekend and found my missing memory stick and card reader deep under my car seat. Yay! Being stubborn paid off!
Ok so back to my laundry room. I wanted a platform for my cabinet because it was tiny compared to my stacked washer and dryer. Seriously mis-propotioned! So discussion began on what I wanted, size, and how to build. I wanted an open front platform that would raise my cabinet up so it was as tall as the stacked unit.
My dear friend Michael, also a co-worker, was discussing how this needed to be built and from what material and he then asked if he could build it for me. At first I said no, but he said he really wanted to do it for me and I agreed. Within a week I had my fabulous and so very appreciated platform! I cannot thank Michael enough.

Michael used 3/4 inch particle board and veneered the front/opening. I was so tickled to get that platform. I painted it in a bright white paint to match the cabinet, but painted the opening the same color as the laundry room door, Sherwin Williams Watery. I found a shallow basket at Michael's Craft store for the opening. The basket is a bit too tall so I am on the lookout for a new basket but for now it works.
Once the paint dried it was a matter of placing the platform and maneuvering the cabinet onto it. Let me tell ya that was a job that just about did me in. That cabinet is much heavier than it appears, but this girl got the job done :-)


So other than staining/painting the key holder (if I even do it) and eventually new flooring, this project is finished! If I do stain/paint the key holder I will post it so I can share my final outcome. My new laundry room is pretty cool, I love the colors and how it looks and functions.

Laundry Room To Do's
Paint or stain key holder
Build box/stand to raise cabinet
Hooks for coats
Small cabinet for detergent storage
Pictures for wall