Baking it through the rest of winter

The holidays may be coming to a close, but baking is a winter long tradition. My family has always loved coming together in the kitchen and putting together treats for friends, neighbors, and ourselves of course! Cupcakes have always been my favorite, and cookies are always classic. This year we tried something new and threw creme brûlée into the mix, which is simpler than you may think!

All these recipes can make for a perfect winter night in, a fun date night, or the perfect thing to bring to your coworkers to cure a holiday hangover. Throw on your favorite spotify playlist and whip out your apron. Happy baking!

Gingerbread Cupcakes
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Shopping List
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Pantry
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (great song to listen to while waiting for the preheat: Faherenheit, XY&O remix). Line cupcake pan with papers.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, and the egg. add 1/4 cup of water and half of the dry mixture. Combine well. Add the remaining water and dry mixture, combine well.
4. Fill the cupcake cups about half way with the batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool before frosting!

Happy little Snowmen Topper

Shopping List
24 marshmellows
Red and black gel icing
24 airhead extremes

They’re as simple as they look! Use your favorite flavor cupcake frosting (I recommend cream cheese) to secure your happy little snowmen!

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Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Break out the parchment paper and recipe cards from the rolodex, we’re baking with Grandma! Chocolate chip cookies are a year round treat always sure to please.

Shopping List
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips (you can use others, but let’s be honest Nestle is simply classic, simply the best).

Pantry
2 ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ sugar
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside for now. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until creamy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring they’re well mixed in. Gradually add the flour mixture. Once combined, add the chocolate chips!
4. On parchment lined baking sheets, evenly space round tablespoons of the cookie dough.
5. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool before you enjoy!

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Sweet Vanilla Creme Brûlée
Although it requires time to set, Creme Brûlée is an easier at home dessert than you may think! I even have a trick for getting that toasted top without the torch!

Shopping List
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1-quart heavy cream

Pantry
6 large egg yolks
1 cup of sugar (grab some vanilla sugar at the store for enhanced vanilla flavoring)
2 quarts’ hot water

1. Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Bring hot water to a boil.
2. Place the cream, vanilla bean, and the pulp scraped from the inside into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
3. In a bowl, combine ½ cup of sugar and the egg yolks. Whisk together until light in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continuously.
4. Pour the liquid out into 6 ramekins. (here are some cute ramekins if you don’t already own any, feel free to get fun and festive with this part too!). Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Let sit for about 45 minutes.
5. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days depending on when you plan on serving! Remove the crème brûlée from the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to brown the sugar on top.
6. Evenly divide ½ cup of sugar between the 6 ramekins and spread evenly on top. If you own a cooking torch, melt the sugar on top until crispy. If a torch is not available to you, set your oven to the broil setting. Place your ramekins into a baking pan and put them under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Watch closely, they may brown quickly! Using either method, be sure to let them set for 5 minutes before serving.

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