Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

20170227_000907Cheesecake is a delightful dessert rich in flavor and smooth on the palate. As much as I enjoy a slice of cheesecake I absolutely despise making it on my own. Cheesecake is up there on my list with Creme Brulee & Souffles when it comes to a severe inclination to avoid said recipes. It is not that I can’t make them it is just more tedious and I don’t enjoy making them like I do cakes and cookies. Baking is an outlet for me to reduce stress. Cheesecakes tend to create stress by wondering if the darn thing is going to crack despite doing everything correctly. There is only so many times you can get scalded by the hot water bath before you throw even cooking out the window. However, after taking a look at what I have prepared lately I was starting to see too much repetition. I decided I needed to venture out of my comfort zone and give myself a challenge like I had when in culinary school. The first item that came to my mind was the dreaded cheesecake.

20170227_001556My favorite flavor of cheesecake is cherry and I have made it a thousand times. My love of cherry cheesecake in particular stems from my childhood when I would make the No-Bake Jello brand Cherry Cheesecake box mix. Although it was a heck of a lot easier cheesecake to make, it wasn’t necessarily a real cheesecake (probably why I enjoyed baking it growing up). Besides the taste the cherries lend cheesecake, I also love the appearance. The red is a great contrast to the light cheesecake base and makes for a stunning dessert every time. I wanted to replicate this stunning look but with something other than cherries. That is where cranberries come into play.

20170226_172628I had some leftover cranberries frozen at their peak and needed to use them up so it seemed like a perfect fit. I made this for Valentine’s Day but it can be made for many other events such as anniversaries, Christmas, Independence Day, or even Go Red for Women parties which bring awareness to heart health. Although this is a skinnier recipe than traditional cheesecakes, I highly doubt the American Heart Association would define it as a heart healthy recipe. On average, cheesecakes similar to this one run about 575 calories and 22 grams of saturated fat while this cheesecake is 321 calories and 6 grams saturated fat (saving over 250 calories and 15 grams saturated fat per slice).

Although I enjoyed this lightened up version of a traditional cheesecake I would make a few changes next time to appeal more to my own taste. I think I would prefer a regular graham cracker crust to the chocolate, despite my love of the stunning color contrasts the chocolate crust provides. If you follow the recipe as is you will witness how much a simple swirl of tart cranberries provides an elegant touch to rich filling encased in a chocolate graham crust. Enjoy!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Chocolate Graham Crackers
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (thaw if frozen)
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Raspberry Liqueur (Chambord or Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka)
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 12 oz.(2 ½ pkg.) Block Style 1/3-less-fat Cream Cheese; softened
  • 1 cup Plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 2 large Egg Whites

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap outside and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil (or place in a turkey size oven bag and seal at top). Grease pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place crackers in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Drizzle with oil and pulse until moistened. Press mixture into bottom and ½ inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Place cranberries, sugar, liqueur, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes or until cranberries have softened and mixture is syrupy. Cool for 20 minutes. Puree mixture until smooth with an immersion blender or pour contents into a food processor and pulse 1 minute.
  4. Combine 1 cup sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat with stand or hand mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in yogurt, vanilla, and salt. Add the whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 egg whites at high-speed until soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into cream cheese mixture. Pour filling over crust. Spoon cranberry mixture over filling & swirl together using the tip of a knife. Place springform pan into a metal baking pan larger than the springform pan. Add hot water to the pan to create a depth of about 2 inches. Bake for 55 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake barely jiggles when pan is touched.
  6. Turn off oven. Cool cheesecake in closed oven for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and run knife around the outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: ANN TAYLOR PITTMAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

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Christstollen

20161230_125955With the holidays over and a new year already rung in I can calmly and fondly look back over the past month’s chaotic fun. While everyone else was making Christmas cookies galore I was making a German traditional pastry called the Christstollen. The Christstollen goes by many names. Sometimes it is simply called Stollen, other times it is called Weihnachtsstollen (Christmas Stollen), and Americans know it as the dreaded fruitcake….but no matter the name they are all one in the same pastry that is made during Advent/Christmas time each year.

20161230_130118Now although Christstollen is technically a fruitcake certainly do not confuse it with the horrific impostors often found in the states. Christstollen is a rich yeast dough filled with brandy-soaked fruit, toasted almonds, and finished with a sweet touch of glaze. There is a reason why Christstollen is one of Germany’s most famous and long-standing Christmas confections. German recipes for stollen date all the way back to the 13th century. Although Stollen recipes have been slightly modified over the years as products like butter became more common and affordable to use the overall formula and resulting taste remained the same.

20161230_130001Now you may wonder why Stollen is typically made by families only during the Advent/Christmas season. Traditionally, the bread gets its shape because it is supposed to resemble a swaddled baby Jesus. Although it is a Christmas bread many bakeries will still bake Christstollen year round and simply call it stollen instead of naming it after Christ. Since the holidays have already passed you can do the same and enjoy a timeless German tradition.

Christstollen

Ingredients:

  • 16.9 oz. All-Purpose Flour (3 ¾ cups); divided
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 tbsp. Brandy
  • ½ cup Dried Cherries
  • ½ cup Golden Raisins
  • ½ cup Reduced-Fat Milk (2%); warmed to 100°-110°
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 pkg. Dry Yeast
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 2 Large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Sliced Almonds; toasted
  • 1 ½ tsp. Grated Lemon Rind
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 tbsp. Reduced-Fat Milk (2%); divided
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar

Preparation:

  1. Weigh 15.75 ounces (approximately 3 ½ cups) flour in a large bowl. Add salt and nutmeg. In a medium microwave-safe bowl combine orange juice and brandy. Microwave brandy mixture for 45 seconds. Add cherries and raisins; let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir butter and eggs into yeast mixture. Add the juice mixture, almonds, and lemon rind. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding the remaining ¼ cup flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to hands (expect the dough to feel sticky).
  3. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and roll each into an 11  8 inch oval. Fold 1 short end toward the center and fold the other short end toward the center until it overlaps the first end. Place loaves seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise again for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 1 tablespoon milk and 1 egg. Uncover shaped dough and brush the top and sides gently with the milk mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on wire racks.
  5. When ready to serve combine 1 tablespoon milk and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle over loaves. Serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Slice)

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Weight Watchers: 6 Smart Points, 4 Points Plus, or 3 Traditional Points

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIANNA GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Honey Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

20161221_134325The cookie section of the dessert table is a prominent feature for almost every culture’s Christmas celebration. Whether it is Gingerbread in America, Pizzelles in Italy, Melomakarona in Greece, Madeleines in France, Kringla in Norway, or Shortbread in Scotland cookies are a must for every family to prepare. In our house we always make sugar cookies cut out in fun Christmas shapes and decorated with different colored frosting and edible adornments.

20161221_132755Aside from our traditional offerings I always try to offer a new cookie for everyone to try and I also share it here with all of you. Typically I make several different cookies around Christmas but this year I have only made two because that is all a 3-year-old and newborn will afford me. I will be making other sweets but cookies were a place I could shave down my offerings and save time.

20161221_135214Now Snickerdoodles are no secret around the holidays. Many Americans already add them to their cookie trays, even swapping out the cinnamon sugar for festive red and green decorating sugar. Although their exact origin is unknown it is believed that Snickerdoodles are German in origin. Although I could have easily stuck with the traditional recipe (as there is nothing wrong with it) I always like to try new things, hence the addition of honey almond butter. I came across some Justin’s brand Honey Almond Butter on clearance at my local supermarket and couldn’t pass up the deal. With a bit of experimenting, it turns out that the addition of almond butter to a classic snickerdoodle makes a fantastic cookie.

The honey almond butter provides a richer twist on the classic recipe while still retaining the signature soft interior and crispy cinnamon-sugar coating that has made this cookie a lasting favorite. Not only is this cooking satisfying but it is also a healthier option to provide for those who may not want to indulge in the extremely calorie/fat laced frosted sugar cookies this Christmas. Merry Christmas and Enjoy!

Honey Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 3 oz. Whipped 1/3-less-fat Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 tbsp. Honey Almond Butter (such as Justin’s Brand)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks; lightly beaten
  • 4.75 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Cinnamon-Sugar; for topping

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the brown sugar, cream cheese, unsalted butter, and almond butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a stand or hand mixer beat the mixture on high-speed until well combined. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and beat again until well blended.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  4. Using a rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops of the dough rounds adequately with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating cookies halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on the pans for 1 minute. Remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and cinnamon-sugar. Serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Cookie)

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Weight Watchers: 4 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MICHAELA ROSENTHAL
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

20161212_113728The temperatures have officially dropped for the year and much of the country has a dusting (or few feet) of snow on the ground. We may not have snow here in Florida but the temps have dropped enough that I still get the instinct to stay inside bundled up in blankets and make something warm to keep me cozy. This time of year I usually start making cookies as part of my Christmas cookies series with the hopes of helping those looking for ways to add a new type of cookie to the traditional holiday offerings. I promise those recipes are coming soon but I had to fulfill a wish from my 3-year-old who kept asking for cake.

20161212_113623Anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows a slice of cake is extremely messy so I typically offer cupcakes instead. This typically cuts down on the mess minus a few crumbs here and there. I chose to keep with the holiday spirit and select a cake that combines all of the aromas associated with this time of year. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves permeating the air with their wonderful aroma as the cake bakes. Throw on some Christmas music and voila you have holiday cheer in your house without having to make the dreaded (at least in my house) sugar cookies.

20161212_113521What takes this cake to the next level is the frosting. I will warn you this frosting is not the easiest to work with but it is totally worth the effort. The maple adds the perfect complement to the spice cake and makes it feel as if you purchased them from a fancy pastry shop. If the frosting starts to set up on you too quick add a few drops of cream or water until it reaches a spreadable consistency once more. A toasted whole pecan on top adds the finishing touch and a delightful crunch!

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Flavored Cake Mix (or your favorite spice cake recipe)
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 18 Whole Pecans; toasted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Fill a 12-cup and a 6-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to box (or recipe) directions. Once batter is prepared, gently fold in the chopped pecans until just combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  3. While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting. In a saucepan place brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, butter, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Cook mixture for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove mixture from the heat and scrape into a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer on high-speed for 2 minutes (or until mixture has cooled slightly and thickened). Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Using an offset spatula, move quickly to frost each cupcake. If the frosting sets before you have completed all of the cupcakes add a few drops of cream or water until the frosting is back to a spreadable consistency (the frosting will set faster if your cupcakes have completely cooled). Place a whole pecan on the center of each frosted cupcake. Serve.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY FARRELL-KINGSLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

20161124_115845As fall approaches ever closer to its end and we begin to shift gears in preparation of winter, it is the best time to satisfy any last autumn inspired cravings. There are many flavors indicative of fall but none satisfy quite like a pumpkin pie does. Pumpkin pie has a way of pleasing the masses with its warm spiced flavor, which is why it is served by most Americans on Thanksgiving. Well I am one of those Americans that require pumpkin pie be at the table on Thanksgiving. However, as much as I adore pumpkin pie, I still have a dilemma every holiday.

20161124_115850You see, I love trying new things and I get bored making the “same old same old,” but I also can’t afford to not make my annual favorites. I have no shame and will openly confess I am forever conflicted when it comes to this. This year I managed to solve my dilemma with a reasonable compromise…….the pumpkin chiffon pie. This pie still has each of the traditional components (pie crust, spiced pumpkin filling, & dollop of whipped cream) all while taking pumpkin to a whole new level of awesome.

20161124_115945What separates this pie from the classic is the creamy filling. This version features a fluffier core, a welcoming change from the very dense original filling. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any fall holiday gathering as it was at Thanksgiving this year for my family.

Note: 

  • This recipe yields 2 pies. Each pie produces 10 servings with serving size being one wedge.

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-Pack) Frozen Pie Crusts
  • 1 ¼ cups Canned Pumpkin
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Large Eggs; separated
  • 2/3 cup Evaporated Low-Fat Milk
  • 1 envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • ¼ cup Pure Orange Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 5 tbsp. Granulated Sugar; divided
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cinnamon (for dusting); optional

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven according to pie crust package directions. Place pie crusts on a baking sheet. Pierce bottoms of pie crusts with a fork. Bake pie crusts according to package directions for a no-bake pie (approximately 10 minutes). Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. Whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and 2 egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove mixture from heat.
  3. Place orange juice in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the orange juice and let stand 1 minute. Microwave gelatin mixture on high for 15 seconds, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Stir the gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Cool.
  4. Meanwhile, place 2 egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixture (or large bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat egg whites with a mixer at high-speed until frothy. Gradually add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring sugar mixture to a boil. Cook sugar mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250°. Pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the egg whites with the mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir ¼ of the egg white mixture into the cooled pumpkin mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture and pour filling into the cooled crust. Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours or until set.
  5. Place the cream (preferably chilled) in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Place into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes along the outside edge of the pie (where the crust and filling meet). Sprinkle ground cinnamon on the rosettes if desired. Serve.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

20161114_103250Halloween has come and gone in the blink of an eye and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Two quintessential Thanksgiving treats found on almost every family’s Thanksgiving table tend to be Pecan or Pumpkin Pie. I try to make one or the other every year and I also like to reinvent old flavors into new favorites. These bars are a re-invention of the traditional pecan pie. In the South, pecan pie traditionally gets spiked with a bit of bourbon but dates are usually not in the mix. The date palm across the street from our house currently dropping fruit gave some inspiration for the non-traditional addition and I must say it was a success.

20161114_103003One thing I dislike about pecan pie (or inspirations derived from it) is the mess. These bars are no different. They are sticky messes of deliciousness so I suppose it is all worthwhile in the end. If you do decide to prepare these keep in mind that they are just as sticky as a pecan pie and they can fall apart like a pecan pie if not allowed to properly set. In order to avoid some of the mishaps that may come from this I have a few simple suggestions. First, plan on making these at least a day in advance. This is beneficial in two ways. The first is that the bars are much easier to cut when they have had a chance to chill. The second is simply saving you time on Thanksgiving to devote to other items you can’t prepare in advance.

20161114_102718Unfortunately, sometimes when we solve one problem we ultimately create another. That is the case with chilling these bars. When they are chilled, they set up properly and allow you to cut them easily and uniformly. However, they are extremely hard to separate from the pan when cold. I do have a solution to this minor issue. Simply make sure that after these bars have cooled completely, run a knife around the outer edge to loosen the bars from the pan but refrain from cutting into portions before chilling. Chill the bars at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. Once fully chilled, you can cut into portions and not struggle to cut the edges from the pan when they are rock solid. The edges should slide away from the pan easily. Enjoy!!!

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

Crust Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ oz. All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Chilled Butter; cut into small pieces

Filling Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Egg Substitute
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Bourbon
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Dates
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • Toasted Whole Pecans; for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the crust, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter pieces to the bowl and cut in using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture looks like coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. In a large bowl whisk together the corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar, egg substitute, flour, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and egg. Stir in the dates and chopped pecans. Pour the filling over the prepared crust. Place the whole pecans on top of the filling to create a presentable pattern. Bake bars for 35 minutes or until set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Use a knife to separate bars from edge of pan. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Bar)

 

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Weight Watchers: 5 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIE GRIMES BOTTCHER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

20161027_142714Halloween is upon us and this year the holiday has more emphasis than ever for my family. We already have the tradition of going to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and then carving them the day before Halloween. We also take our daughters to one of the area theme parks for safe trick or treating. However, this year Halloween happens to be my oldest daughter’s current obsession (she is 3). Everything has to be Halloween related and if it isn’t she wants nothing to do with it. She only wants to watch Halloween themed cartoons, listen to Halloween music, read Halloween themed books, and wear Halloween themed clothes. She is so obsessed that she even refused to change out of her dirty pumpkin shirt and candy corn pants even after she took a bath. They had to magically disappear into the laundry, which was preceded by about 10 minutes of a meltdown until she finally accepted wearing her seahorse pajamas.

20161027_142657Needless to say once this Halloween is over I am either going to be relieved or more stressed out if she doesn’t move on and replace the Halloween obsession with Thanksgiving and Christmas excitement. Every year I usually make a themed dessert but with our usual traditions and the fact that there is a new addition to the family this year, it is more and more difficult to complete them. That is why I came up with this easy Halloween themed cupcake. You can use any flavor cupcake you would like and you can elect to use a box mix or make your own from scratch. I chose a lighter based cupcake to provide contrast for the dark chocolate frosting. I recommend using only chocolate for the frosting and not using a different flavor because the dark color provides a good contrast for the spider rings and white web. However, if you can only find black spider rings, you could easily use a dark cupcake base, white frosting, and make the spider webs black. The combination is up to you as the recipe is rather versatile for your preferences. I do recommend using your own recipes as the quality of the product will come out better but if you are in a pinch you can always use box cake mix and prepared frosting. If you do prepare your own cake mix and frosting just make sure that it is enough to yield 24 cupcakes. I also recommend locating a spiderweb design through an online search to use as a guide when piping the spider webs onto the parchment paper. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

20161027_143228Halloween Spooky Spiderweb Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Cake Mix (or your favorite cake batter recipe)
  • 1 container Duncan Hines Whipped Chocolate Frosting (or your favorite frosting recipe)
  • 24 Orange Plastic Toy Spider Rings
  • 1 box Wilton’s Royal Icing Mix
  • Parchment Paper
  • Piping Bags
  • Star & Round Decorator Tips

Preparation:

  1. Prepare royal icing mix according to package directions. Fill a small piping bottle or bag fitted with a small round piping tip with icing. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw at least 24 spider webs on parchment paper, either freehand or following an image found online. I suggest making a few extra spiderwebs in case some break as the webs are extremely fragile. Once piped, set pan aside to dry overnight.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions or prepare your own cake mix from scratch to make 24 cupcakes. Fill cupcake liners half full and bake according to box/recipe instructions, usually about 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Once cupcakes have cooled, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip with frosting. Pipe rosettes on the top of each cupcake. Carefully place the spiderweb into the frosting near the back of the cupcake. Place a toy spider ring into the frosting below the spiderweb to look as if the spider is moving towards the web. Repeat for each cupcake. Serve

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016