Saturday, October 11

AMANDA"S LITTLE BAKERY 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY



Hello lovelies! That's right, its been 2 years since I've started this blog! While I did plan to make something to post today, I decided to take a different route. You see, my brother was in a car accident this week and it really made me re-think about life. It's so short and spontaneous, we never know when a loved one will suddenly pass. Luckily my brother survived and miraculously isn't seriously hurt. But if for one split second he didn't move away before the car hit a tree, I could be writing a completely different post. Even though I fight with my brother and complain that he annoys me, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Because I know that no matter what, he'll always be there for me, he's the one who usually tries my treats, he's the one who will pick me up when I'm down. And to even think that I might not have had my big brother around breaks my heart. 

I know this is very different from what I usually post, but I think it's really important for me to write about. I want to share my life with my readers, even the ups and downs. So right now, tell your brother, sister, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, friend, pet,  ANYONE how much you love them.
And I promise that hopefully tomorrow or sometime this week there will be a normal post.

This is for you Jordan, I love you and you're the best big brother in the world! 



 

Saturday, October 4

Homemade Pumpkin Puree


Hello lovelies! So, I made a video!?! I've been 
 thinking about making one for quite a while and I thought that a Pumpkin Puree tutorial would be perfect, especially for this time of the year. Maybe I'll make more, depending on if you guys like the video. I'm nervous and excited to have done this, and I did enjoy it even though close to the end my battery did die. But I think it was a successful first attempt. Oh and I did want to write out the tutorial below, just in case some of you might want to see a step-by-step picture tutorial.
Now I'm babbling.....let me just get to the point: Enjoy the video!


     This week has been interesting to say the least. Pounder turned 11 years old {in dog years of course} on Tuesday! He was spoiled with extra treats all day. Look at that adorable face! I've also been listening to the song "Friends" by Ed Sheeran constantly this week. Usually I listen to it a few times in a week, but for some reason this week I've only been in the mood to listen to that particular song, it's such a beautiful song, He's one of my favorite singers and that song definitely shows why! Also, today was International Dance Club after-school and I went with some of my friends. We were learning merengue, salsa, and some bachata. Luckily, I am Puerto Rican so I was raised learning to dance in those styles basically since I could walk. Anyways, I ended up dancing in the middle of a circle of people which was so fun but now that I look back at it, it's pretty cringe-worthy! Oh well, I did have tons of fun so it was worth it. Hopefully it wasn't caught on video, "short curly-haired baker girl attempting to dance."

    I should probably talk about the Pumpkin Puree! My mom had brought home these beautiful organic Pie Pumpkins, and I thought "Why not just try to make some Puree?" The problem was that I had never made puree and I was a bit intimidated by the thought of attempting it. So I went on my good ol' friend Google and searched up ways of making Pumpkin Puree. My favorite was from How sweet it is  since she explains it so well. I followed her steps, with the exception of changing a few steps according to the materials I have. It was so incredibly easy to make this puree and I just wanted to share it with you guys in case you wanted to attempt this too! This puree was used for my previous recipe, the Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Cream-Cheese frosting . I actually prefer to use homemade Puree now because it just has a better taste and consistency compared to canned puree, probably because it is 100% natural. It also keeps well, and lasts up to 7-10 days (if it's sealed into a container well, of course) Although, if I do get lazy, I'll probably end up using canned, but my goal is to make more homemade Pumpkin Puree sometime during Autumn.


Yield: A nice batch of Pumpkin Puree (depends on how many pumpkins you use)
 Pie Pumpkin {I used 2}
about 1/4 cup of water *add more or use less depending on how soft you want the puree to be*

 1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut off the tops of the Pumpkin(s) using a serrated knife.

 3. Cut the Pumpkin(s) in half.

 4. Take out the seeds and as much of the gooey-inside as you can.

 5. Cut the pumpkin havles in half again 
(since I had 2 pumpkin, that makes a total of 8 pumpkin pieces I should end up with.)

 6. Place the pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet with the skin side facing down .

 7. Bake the Pumpkin pieces for about 40-45 minutes 
*the pieces should  be pretty soft and a bit squishy*


8. Peel off the skin and place the "meaty" part of the Pumpkin into a blender/food processor. Add water to make the puree softer.

9. The puree should turn out smooth like the picture above when your finished. ENJOY!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, September 23

{Autumn windswept} Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting

 Hello lovelies! Guess what? ITS THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN!!!!! Yes, today the 23rd is the first day of Autumn, my favorite season. Now I'm waiting for the leaves to change color...I mean come on...let's get this show on the road! Scarves, chilly days, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, adorable fall boots, cozy flannels, hot chocolate, I'm in love and oh-so-ready for everything fall related. What isn't there to love about fall?  In commemoration of today, I made Pumpkin Cupcakes. I was so excited that I even made the icing on top to look like it was "wind blown" since Autumn does tend to get quite windy. Although, I did catch a bit of a cold yesterday and felt under the weather this morning. I only lasted half of school and got picked up early. After a nice bagel, changing into my pj's, and a nice nap, I felt much better and ready for baking.


On Sunday I made homemade Pumpkin Puree (which I will post how to do that in my next blog post). It was surprisingly easy to do, which I never expected because the thought of making homemade Pumpkin Puree sounded intimidating at first. Obviously, it was a great decision because the cupcakes turned out amazing when I used the fresh-made puree. They are very moist, with a hint of spice. I always like anything pumpkin for me to have that subtle spice factor and these cupcakes definitely delivered. The Cream-Cheese frosting on top just contrasts beautifully with the pumpkin flavor to create a perfect balance. Basically the cupcakes are delicious, perfect for fall, and as cute as a button!


Yield: 9-11 cute cupcakes
*I adapted this recipe from Joy of Baking, but I did change quite a few aspects of the recipe*

1 1/1 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of granulates sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of Pumpkin Puree (I used my homemade one, but you can use canned puree)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground  cloves
a pinch of salt
2 large eggs

Cream-Cheese frosting
 4 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of butter
8 oz. of cream-cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (I used 1% milk)



1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a cupcake/muffin pan 

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl

3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it is fluffy

4. Slowly add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture 

5. Add in the bowl of dry ingredients and the pumpkin puree into the butter-sugar-egg mixture

6.  Now you may add in the spices and vanilla extract 

7. Thoroughly mix the batter until it is creamy and thick



8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cups, filling about 2/3 of the cups
(I made the mistake of putting a little too  much batter in the cups and the edges didn't come out looking too pretty hahaha)

9. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes
10. Once the cupcakes have finished baking, place them on a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 20-25 minutes

11. Once the cupcakes have finished cooling, carefully take them out of the cupcake cups

To make the Cream-Cheese frosting

12. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the cream-cheese and butter

13. Slowly pour  in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract 

14. Mix until the frosting is as a thick, creamy, and fluffy consistency


15. Spread/pipe the frosting onto the cupcake tops and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, September 15

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins


 Hello lovelies! My gosh has it been a month with no uploading??? I"M SORRY! August was my get-ready-for-school-and-do-summer-assignments month a with a few mental breakdowns here and there. I call it " The Month of Procrastination." But now I am back and ready for baking! This school year has been pretty good, I have nice teachers and friends in almost, if not all, of my classes. I'm becoming well-adjusted to 10th grade (or that's what I like to think). I also met a fellow young baker and she has started a baking blog, Kelbel Confections which you can find by clicking here. She is just so nice and a wonderful baker.



Autumn is almost here! The burgundy and burnt orange colored leaves, soft sweaters, soft-cool breeze, Halloween, and most importantly; PUMPKIN! Pumpkin cake, cupcakes, lattes, tarts, etc. I think you can understand that Autumn is my favorite season, it's just so breathtaking.

I made these muffins about 2-3 weeks ago and they are delicious. The plump blueberries mixed with a subtle-tangy lemon taste and the right amount of fluffiness is just.....perfect. They are also pretty easy to make and adorable as can be. Everyone that tried them went for seconds, and in some cases, for thirds! The muffins were such a success and I definitely want to make more, especially when spring comes back :) 


 Yield: 12-14 beautiful muffins

 *I did tweak a things and adapted this recipe from  Gimme Some Oven 
 
Ingredients:
2 cups & 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, divided 
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup & 3 tablespoons of milk (I used 1%)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (from a freshly squeezed lemon)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 1/2-2 cups of blueberries ( I prefer fresh, but frozen ones can work too)
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt 

Glaze:
2 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of milk (heavy whip cream will work also)
1 teaspoon of vanilla


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Grease and flour a regular-sized muffin pan

3. In a small mixing bowl, using your hands, toss together the blueberries and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour until the blueberries are thoroughly coated. 

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set the bowl aside.

5. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until it is soft and fluffy.

6. Slowly add in the eggs, milk, lemon juice, and the lemon zest.

7. Gradually pour in the dry ingredients and vanilla extract, keep mixing until the batter is thick and smooth.

8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries into the batter.


9. Fill the muffin cups (I used the two-spoon method for this) until about 3/4 of each muffin cup.

10. Bake the muffins for 22-25 minutes


11. Using a wooden toothpick, insert it into the center of each muffin to make sure they are completely baked.

12. Once the muffins have finished baking, let them cool on a cooling rack for 15-25 minutes 
(this was practically torture for me, it smelled like heaven!)

 

To make the glaze:

13. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, add together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together until the glaze is a thick and creamy consistency.

14. Spread the glaze on top of each muffin top

15. Take a little muffin and ENJOY!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, July 12

SUMMER and a Carrot Cake



Hello my lovelies! How has your summer been? I spent the first two weeks with my Dad and I came back to work, schoolwork. I thought I has gotten rid of schoolwork on the last day of school. You see, its a simple equation:

 Summer + school= error
school= work
summer=break (or no work in other words)

Therefore, school and summer do not equal anything! It's a terrible error!

Anyways, I'm taking an online p.e. class to be able to take band next schoolyear so I have that and two summer assignment from two different classes so I will say that my summer has consisted of work. But I have had loads of fun too with my friends and family :) 

Wow, I got a bit off track from what this post is supposed to be about which is Carrot Cake. Carrot Cake.....mmmmmm it's so delicious, especially with Cream Cheese Frosting. On the last week of school, my brother was graduating (I made him a cake, which is on the right ) and my aunt asked me to make her a separate cake, which was carrot cake. I had never made carrot cake before but I was excited and willing to give it a try! She loved it and I gave my dad a piece which he then proceeded to ask me if I could make another one for him on his birthday, of course I said yes!

When the time came to make the cake, I realized I had left all of my cake decorating supplies back at my house, which is 9 hours away. So I ended up with a really simple cake. Decorating the cake using a ziplock bag, a spoon and a butterknife! The good thing was that my Dad thought the cake was delicious and was very happy with it :)




Yield: One 2 layer carrot cake * recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiciton, with a few of my own little tweaks *

2 cups of light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil
6 eggs
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
4 cups of finely grated carrots (yes, hand grated, so this will take physical activity :( haha)
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 or 1 1/2 cups of pecan pieces (It depends on how many pecans you prefer in carrot cake)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Two 8 oz. packs of cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons of heavy cream
3 to 4 cups of powdered sugar
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans (I like to place parchment paper on the sides and bottom of the cake pan and then grease it with soft butter)

*grating the carrots first is what I prefer to do, because it does take time*

2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together the sugar and oil.

3. Add in the yogurt and slowly add in the eggs. After everything is mixed in well, set the bowl aside.

4. In a large separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

5. Pour in the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients and MANUALLY using a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients in. Add in the vanilla extract.

6. Gently fold in the grated carrots and pecans, the cake batter should be thick.

7. Evenly pour the cake batter into two 9 inch cake pans and let the cakes bake for 35-42 minutes. 

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

8. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together all of the ingredients until the frosting is at a creamy consistency (make sure that it is not runny, but a bit thick)

*I like to make a small batch of buttercream frosting to rim the first layer before filling cream cheese so that it will be stable, but it's your choice on whether you want to make it or not :) *

9. For the buttercream frosting, using a stand mixer or handmixer, cream the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar and heavy cream. Lastly add in the vanilla extract and keep mixing until the frosting is thick and creamy. 

Now you're ready to frost!

10. Cut the cake tops and place them in a bowl to eat or use later for cake pops.

11. Place the first cake with the cut side upside down on a cake board.

12. Rim the top of the cake with the buttercream frosting and fill the rim in with cream cheese frosting.

13. Now place the other cake (with the cut side facing upside down) on top of the first cake so it looks like a sandwich with frosting in the middle. 




14. Now frost the rest of the cake however you wish and let it sit in the refrigerator until the next day and ENJOY!