Lemon Fairy Cakes

From — Sunie Pope Innkeeper, Captain Freeman Inn

Our creativity in the kitchen is at it’s peak on Fridays at CFI and BBTS because it’s CUPCAKE day!!!  In case you haven’t noticed, we love our pastries at the Inn.  How can you go wrong?  Okay, so Lisa is a bit more mainstream in her baking, she loves to create recipes that will unquestionably be a hit (and every single one has been) and I prefer to work with ingredients that are a bit “off the cuff” (aka whole wheat and natural sweeteners).  I’ve been working on creating recipes that are not an “acquired taste” and offer a dynamic flavor with the healthful addition.  So, I’m sure you can imagine how much recipe testing and tasting goes on in the CFI kitchen.  We have a lot of fun laughing, dancing, (disagreeing) and decorating.  Haha.

So why cupcakes (or “Fairy Cakes” as the Brits say), you wonder?  Have you not noticed the 2011 trend?  Cupcakes are IN these days (yes, believe it or not we’re still aware of the fads out there even though we’re in the midst of the ocean).  Have you been to a wedding lately?  Couples are choosing cupcakes as an accompaniment to a small wedding cake. I’ve been asked to bake 300 cupcakes for a birthday/goodbye party next month.  People are requesting them for every occasion all over the states.   Why?  My take is that they’re fast to serve and individually prepared, there is charm to the decoration of a cupcake, and each person that eats one feels special.  A cupcake is a treat that was made just for you!  Think about it, Pizza Hut came up with  personal pan pizza years ago and that’s still a hit.  Cupcakes are the same idea.  Who doesn’t want something that was made just for them?  Oh yes please!  Plus, bakers can work with all sorts of sizes.  At CFI we tend to stick to minis… the smaller the more you can eat, right?  ;)

Now there are millions of cupcake recipes out there.  Why this recipe, you ask?  I love LEMON (as do Abbi, Byron and Lisa).  We go crazy over it!  When I make something lemony, I have to hide it.  Otherwise, the dessert is gone before I get a chance to put out a second helping for our guests.  These lemon cupcakes are simple, elegant and oh so moist.  Plus, one of our guests took a bite and immediately asked for the recipe.  To me, that means time to share!

LEMON FAIRY CAKES

serves 24

3 c flour (2 parts white, 1 part whole wheat pastry)

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 c unsalted butter, room temp

2 c sugar (or 1 1/2 c agave nectar)

4 large eggs, room temp

grated lemon zest from 3 lemons

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more if you really like lemon, like me)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 c buttermilk

lemon curd

1. Over preheat to 325 degrees

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt

3. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer.

4. Add eggs one at a time.

5. Beat in zest and vanilla.

6. Slowly add flour mixture, do not overmix.

7. Fill cupcake tin 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 25 min.

9. Once cooled, dent center with knife and fill with lemon curd as desired.

MASCARPONE FROSTING

4 T softened butter

8 oz (1 c) mascarpone cheese

2 1/2 – 3 c white powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

1. With a mixer, cream butter and cheese.

2. Add lemon juice and zest.

3. Slowly add sugar until you find the consistency you desire.

4. Drizzle frosting over cupcakes and top with lemon zest.

You really could use any sort of frosting recipe.  I found the mascarpone complimented the tart lemon really well, but a buttercream frosting will give them more of a festive look.  Add a little more lemon zest on top and you’ll be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Good luck!  And have fun!  Of course, if you’d rather not bake but love lemon as much as I do, feel free to request these next time you’re here.  Brewster Bed and breakfast at your service!

Maple Walnut Bars

From — Sunie Pope, Innkeeper Captain Freeman Inn

If you’re anything like me, you’re thrilled for Thanksgiving!  FAMILY TIME!!!  And it’s also my time for a mini-vacation from all the cooking, believe it or not… My multi-talented aunt hosts a glorious meal with wonderfully cheery guests at her home in New Jersey.

Do you have guests coming this week or perhaps you need to bring something to your Thanksgiving buffet?  I have just the recipe!

About a month ago I stumbled upon a Maple Walnut Bar recipe that I’ve tweaked and baked in honor of autumn, my favorite season.  Days later, one of our guests contacted us.  She couldn’t stop thinking about these delectable treats and had to have the recipe.  She said, (and I quote) “I died and went to heaven on them!!”  And what better time to share an EASY recipe than a few days before Thanksgiving, when you’re rushing to get things done and aren’t so sure how that dessert is going to hold up this year…  Good luck!

These maple walnut bars are begging you to give them a try.  They’re very easy, straight-forward and quite delicious!  Plus, it’s partially sweetened with maple syrup – so you can feel a little better about your choices for your health!

Bars:
2 c flour (1 part white, 1 part whole wheat pastry)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c salted butter, softened
1 c pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c (4 oz) walnuts, chopped
1. Combine flour and soda, mix well.
2. Electric mix sugar, butter then add maple syrup, egg and vanilla on high, until creamy.
3. Slow mixer’s speed and add flour mixture and walnuts, be careful not to over mix.
4. Pour batter into greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan and smooth out.
5. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
6. Cool in pan for 15 min.
7. Remove from pan and cool completely before icing.
Frosting:
1/2 c salted butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T light brown sugar
3 T pure maple syrup
1/4 c + 2 T confectioner’s sugar
walnut halves
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed.
2. Add brown sugar and maple syrup, until smooth.
3. Slow speed and add confectioners’ sugar.
4. Return to high speed and mix until smooth.  (I found it was not nearly thick enough, so I added an additional cup of confectioners’ sugar.)
5. Once bars are completely cooled, spread frosting on and top with a walnut!
You and everyone else you’re feeding will love them!  Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think!
If you don’t bake, I guess you’ll just have to make your way to The Captain Freeman Inn to taste these goodies.  Be sure to mention them when you make the reservation!
Oh, and if you come for my high tea‘s, let me know you want these and I’ll be sure they’re on the menu.
Any requests for a recipe you’ve been dying to try but haven’t found the right one or are too afraid to try first?  I’m ready!  Just ask!  :)
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
For those of you still looking for a place to go for this wonderful holiday, think about making a last minute booking with us.  At our bed and breakfast, you will be treated like Kings and Queens with delicious breakfasts and relaxing scenery.