Fairy Puffs

Fairy Puffs sugared mini muffins wtih edible flowers

My dad used to take me on walks in the woods to look for fairy rings when I was a child. I wanted to see a real fairy so badly! I got a book about fairies, hoping to learn more about them. Fairies love little cakes, milk, honey and butter so I’m sure these Fairy Puffs would be fairy approved.

My Fairy Puffs recipe is loosely based on an old favorite mini muffin recipe. I tweaked it quite a bit, including the addition of pink dragonfruit powder. Dragonfruit has a subtle flavor, so the bright fuchsia powder is mostly for color. But oh what a beautiful color it is! You can find dragonfruit powder in healthy food stores or online. To find the dragonfruit powder , also known as pink pitaya powder, I used, click here.

fairy puff muffins

Decorating these little cuties was so entertaining! After sampling multiple variations of sparkling sugar and cinnamon sugar, I decided that dipping the bottoms of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar, then dipping the tops in butter and sparkling sugar gave them the perfect balance of sugar and spice. I had purchased some edible flowers a couple of days prior, and they added a pretty, magical touch. The flowers I used are called bachelor’s buttons and I got them at a local gourmet flower seller.

sugared mini muffins with edible flowers

Print Recipe
Fairy Puffs
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Instructions
Fairy Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 24 serving mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, dragonfruit powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill wells of prepared muffin pan with batter.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake. Small muffins can dry out easily.)
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove puffs from pan and transfer to cooling rack. (Loosen puffs with a small offset spatula or butter knife if necessary.)
Topping
  1. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place colored sparkling sugar crystals in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dip the bottoms of each puff in melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Dip the tops of each puff in melted butter, then into sparkling sugar.
  5. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To purchase dragonfruit powder, click here.

 **To purchase pink sparkling sugar crystals, click here.

 

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Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Muffins

strawberrry shortcake crumble muffins

Have you noticed the strawberry shortcake crumble topping trend? I recently noticed many people have been sharing various versions of the crumble recipe all over Tiktok. I’ve seen the topping on cake, cupcakes and countless other desserts. Most people seem to make it using strawberry gelatin mix and vanilla pudding mix. The version I’m sharing here uses freeze dried strawberries instead. I’m not opposed to using gelatin mix, I just seriously love the tart, natural flavor of freeze dried strawberries. This topping is irresistible on these tender strawberry muffins.

Since strawberry season is in full swing, I used fresh strawberries for the puree in the muffins. Feel free to use frozen, defrosted strawberries if you cant get fresh ones.

Strawberry shortcake crumble muffins

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Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Muffins
Strawberry muffins topped with strawberry shortcake crumble
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Topping
Strawberry Muffins
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Topping
Strawberry Muffins
Instructions
Strawberry Shortcake Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Cut cubed butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with your fingers until it forms pea size pieces.
  3. Place half of crumble mixture into another medium bowl and combine with freeze dried strawberries. Press together with your fingers to form pea sized pieces.
  4. Gently combine the two bowls of crumble together. Set aside in refrigerator while preparing muffin batter.
Strawberry Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line the wells of a 12 serving muffin tin with cupcake liners or parchment squares.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and extract. Beat until well combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
  6. Add buttermilk and strawberry puree and beat just until combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly into wells of prepared muffin tin.
  8. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over muffins.
  9. Bake at 350º until topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in center is clean, about 18-22 minutes.
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Cherry Blossom Cookies

cherry blossom cookies

Each spring, I look forward to the sight and fragrance of beautiful botanical blooms, especially cherry blossoms. Feeling inspired, I baked some cherry blossom cookies just in time for Mother’s Day. These perfectly pretty, pink cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate. You can sprinkle sparkling sugar on them before baking and call it a day or you can make some pink cherry icing and add sugar pearls or sprinkles. Either way, they look beautiful and taste delicious!

Print Recipe
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Pink cherry flavored sugar cookies with cherry icing
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Cherry Icing
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Cherry Icing
Instructions
Cherry Blossom Cookies
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer on medium speed, until blended.
  2. Add sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and extracts. Beat on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add flour in two additions. Mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Mix in food color on low speed, a tiny bit at a time, until desired shade is achieved.
  6. Divide dough into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 375º.
  8. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" thickness.
  10. Cut out cookies with 2-inch blossom cutter. ***See note below.
  11. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. (Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if using.)
  12. Bake for 7-9 minutes until bottom edges are lightly browned.
  13. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
  14. Cool completely then ice with cherry icing, if desired.
  15. Decorate with sugar pearls or sprinkles before icing sets.
Cherry Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk first four ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Mix in pink gel food color, a tiny bit at a time, until desired shade is achieved.
Recipe Notes

*Do not use imitation cherry flavoring or extract. Imitation extracts may make your cookies taste medicinal. 

** I used Wilton gel food color in shade rose. Click here to find it. 

*** Use your favorite blossom cookie cutter or click here to view the blossom cutters I used.

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Orange Slices

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Every winter, when blood oranges come back in season, I start keeping an eye out for them at grocery stores and farmers markets. This year was different. I’ve been at home, having my groceries delivered instead perusing the local produce aisles. If you’ve been entrusting strangers to do your shopping like I have, then you know delivery produce selections are hit and miss. So I was elated when a bag of perfectly beautiful, ripe blood oranges landed on my doorstep. This simple joy made my day. There was no choice. I had to make something worthy of the gorgeous red beauties!

I didn’t get enough of gingerbread this holiday season, so I decided to make a gingerbread cupcake recipe that I created a few years ago when I was experimenting with blood oranges. I used blood orange zest in the cupcake batter and brushed the warm cupcakes with the blood orange syrup left over from making the candied oranges. If you don’t make the candied oranges, you can easily make a batch of the syrup* or skip this step altogether. They will still be delicious. I topped the cupcakes with cream cheese icing made with more orange zest and some blood orange juice mixed in. The juice makes the icing turns a soft shade of pink.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Candied blood orange slices are so stunning, that I can’t bring myself to just lay them on top of a dessert. They remind me of stained glass windows. I like to place them on toothpicks so they can stand up in regal style! Many recipes out there will instruct you to boil the orange slices, then let them air dry. This is perfectly fine if you don’t mind floppy candied oranges. For this recipe, boiling the slices, then letting them dry in the oven on low heat will give them enough stiffness to stand up.

If you can’t find blood oranges where you live, here’s a link to get blood oranges shipped to you. This recipe will also work with other types of oranges. You won’t get the deep scarlet color and the flavor will have a bit more tartness, but it will still be beautiful and delicious!

Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Instructions
Gingerbread Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray the wells of a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.
  4. Add brown sugar and orange zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add molasses and beat until combined.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  7. Mix in dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat just until combined.
  8. Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tin, filling wells 2/3 full. (If you have any remaining batter, prepare an additional muffin tin.)
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan.
  11. Place cupcakes upside down on cooling rack and brush generously with orange simple syrup. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed, until smooth.
  2. Add butter, orange zest and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth.
  4. Add blood orange juice and beat, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Candied Blood Orange Slices
  1. Slice oranges into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add orange slices to saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain oranges, reserving syrup.
  5. Heat oven to 175ºF. Place on a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat in a single layer and bake until orange slices begin to stiffen, about 2 hours.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. If desired, insert toothpicks when slices are cool enough to handle. The slices will continue to stiffen as they cool.
Recipe Notes

*To make orange simple syrup,  combine the juice of one orange with enough water to make 1/2 cup. Combine mixture with the zest of one orange and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Pastel Snowball Cookies

pastel snowball cookies

This delightful melt-in-your-mouth cookie recipe has been in my family for decades. We call them Snowballs, but they’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes or Greek Kourabiedes. I make them every year for Christmas, but they would also be perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthday parties, tea parties, weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers.

Pecans are my favorite nuts to use in this recipe, but you can use almost any nuts you have on hand. The original snowy white version is a classic but you can take them up a notch with pretty pastels and fruit flavors. You can use crushed, freeze-dried fruit for color and subtle flavor. Spirulina is a nutritious, vibrant powder you can use to make beautiful blue cookies. You can also dress up your snowballs with edible glitter or luster dust used for cake decorating. There are endless ways to be creative with these cute cookies!

Print Recipe
Pastel Snowball Cookies
Melt-in-your-mouth powdered sugar covered shortbread cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Pink powdered sugar
Blue powered sugar
Lavender powered sugar
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cookies
Pink powdered sugar
Blue powered sugar
Lavender powered sugar
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 325º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and sea salt. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour and pecans.
  5. Add flour and pecan mixture to butter mixture gradually. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  6. Shape dough into scant 1-inch balls. Place balls one inch apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake until light golden brown, about 18-21 minutes
  8. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a plastic bag. With a spatula, transfer three warm cookies into the bag. Shake gently to coat cookies with powdered sugar. Transfer to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies.
  9. Cool cookies completely then proceed to instructions for pastel powdered sugar, depending on which color you have selected.
Pink powdered sugar
  1. Process freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries into a fine powder in a mini food processor.
  2. Whisk freeze-dried berry powder with 1/3 cup powered sugar together in a small bowl.
  3. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Blue powered sugar
  1. Whisk 1/3 cup powdered sugar and spriulina powder in a small bowl.
  2. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Lavender powered sugar
  1. Process freeze-dried blueberries into a fine powder in a mini food processor.
  2. Whisk freeze-dried blueberry powder with 1/3 cup powered sugar together in a small bowl. Whisk in petal dust for a more vibrant color, if desired.
  3. Transfer powered sugar mixture to a plastic bag. Place three cookies in the bag and shake gently until coated with the powdered sugar mixture. Transfer cookies back to the rack and repeat with remaining cookies.
Recipe Notes

*The ratios for the pastel powered sugar are approximate. Freeze-dried fruit varies in color. Add more or less to achieve your desired shade.

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