In-the-Rough Cupcakes, a Father's Day Tradition

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These cupcakes have become a Father's Day tradition!  They are easy to make, even for the "non-pastry person"!  The golf balls are made with white chocolate chips, melted and poured into plastic molds that are available at craft stores or on Amazon.  I make these a day ahead, allowing them to set, covered, on the counter until they're firm all the way through.  Whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes in nifty colored baking cups, which can be made a day ahead, too, and kept covered until ready to decorate..  

When you're ready to decorate, make (or purchase if you're pressed for time) some basic buttercream and color it grass green. Frost the tops of the cupcakes lightly with a slight mound in the center so the chocolate golf balls can be pressed in slightly, and the "grass" has something to stick to when piped. Place the golf balls in the center of the frosted cupcakes.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a multi-opening tip designed to create grass or fur;  Wilton's is number 233, but there are other brands available, too.  Practice on a lid or piece of waxed paper, not touching the cupcake, but holding the tip out a bit so the "grass" squiggles a bit and then pull the tip away, forming the blades.  Since the grass in the rough of a golf course is not even, neither does the grass on the cupcake need to be "perfect"!  Make it different lengths, and mistakes just add an "authentic" look.  So don't sweat perfection!  One tip, turn the cupcake as you pipe the grass, to keep it all fanning out from the golf ball.  Also, try to place the second row of grass between the tufts of the first row, it fills in best that way.  It take 2 rows of grass to finish the cupcakes.

Let the cupcakes set and firm up before transferring to a serving plate or air-tight covered storage container.

Make these for your next "men's" event.  I know they will be a hit!

Below are links to the golf ball molds and pastry tip and bags!

Disposable Pastry Bags

Golf Ball Mold

Pastry Tip

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Cappuccino Panna Cotta

Cappuccino Panna Cotta

Cappuccino Panna Cotta

This recipe is the result of a need for a quick dessert at the last minute.  Other panna cotta recipes take a while to chill, and the goal here was to make it FAST!  So, I heated the milk with the softened gelatin and some espresso powder, then added a can of sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla.  It cooled the milk and gelatin enough that once it went into the refrigerator it was only about two hours until it was ready to serve.  Even better, this dessert is delicious!  A win-win for sure.  Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

1 1/4 cup skim or low-fat milk

1 packet unflavored gelatin

2 teaspoons espresso powder

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate curls or chocolate sauce for serving

Place the milk in a 1-quart glass measuring cup.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let the mixture set for about 5 minutes. then stir in until combined.  Place in the microwave and heat on high until the mixture comes to a full boil, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the microwave and whisk in the espresso powder, vanilla, and condensed milk until very well combined

Pour into 6-1/2 cup dessert dishes or martini glasses.  Cover each with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until chilled and firm, two hours or more is best.

Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate curls or top with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

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Feast of Eden's Chicken Noodle Soup

Feast of Eden's Chicken Noodle Soup

Feast of Eden's Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is a classic!  You can get it in a can, at a deli, or the supermarket, but nothing compares to your own homemade version.  If you have the time to cook a whole chicken in enough water to cover for a few hours, you'll have great chicken and broth to use for this recipe. (Strain the broth before using in the soup to remove any little particles.)  If not, just used cooked chicken and boxed chicken broth. This soup freezes well, so make a lot and put some away for a busy day later.

 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (I sometimes use the chicken fat skimmed from homemade chicken broth instead of butter, so good!)

1 onion, chopped fairly fine

2 large celery ribs, small dice

2 medium carrots, peeled and small diced

3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth (home-made or purchased)

3 cups dry, thin egg noodles

3 cups finely-chopped, cooked chicken

Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large stockpot melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sweat until tender (do not brown).  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Bring the stock back to a boil, add the noodles and chicken and cook until the noodles are tender.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.

Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Make about 1 gallon.  This soup freezes well.  Chill down any leftovers and freeze in appropriate containers. 

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White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries, Almonds, and Pistachios

White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries, Almonds, and Pistachios

A great recipe to have on hand during the holiday; quick, easy, and delicious!  Get the recipe here.

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