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Chocolate Cupcakes Topped with Red Chocolate Frosting

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Ahhh, these cupcakes. I was looking forward all day to making them¬†and I knew exactly how they should be–perfect. Well, it didn’t work that way ūüėČ

It was¬†suppose to be a simple, fun project but it turned out to be rather frustrating.¬†First the batter was too thick (I added too much flour) and then I couldn’t get the right color of pink frosting (I wanted a light pink frosting, but I messed up on the dye.¬†In the end, I mixed some cocoa powder in and got this reddish color.)¬†If it wasn’t for the white pearls which help the cupcake’s appearance, and the fact that the cupcakes taste so delicious, I¬†wouldn’t be writing about them!

I used this chocolate cake recipe. It is our favorite chocolate cake recipe–truly the BEST. It made about two dozen cupcakes; each pan took maybe twenty minutes to bake.¬†I made the frosting from a cream cheese base…but lets not talk about the frosting because it isn’t the color I had in mind.

The cupcakes are quite rich, but it is hard to stop at one. I definitely want to try making them again, so I hope my family eats them up fast!

 

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

Elisabeth

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Homemade Pizza Sticks and Marinara Sauce

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These pizza sticks are delicious, and so beautifully simple to make! The crispy crust and cheesy insides, paired with steamy marinara sauce are the perfect way to start the weekend.

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We were inspired by these amazing-looking pizza bread sticks from Cookies and Cups. We made a few changes to their recipe, like making our own dough and adding spinach. Overall they were a huge hit at our house!

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Basil Marinara Sauce

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce*
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves

 

Heat olive oil in a small pot; add onion, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and sauté until onion is tender, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper, and allow the sauce to simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When sauce is desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in grated parmesan and basil. Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate until serving.

*We often double this recipe using 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce and 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes to add amazing texture.

Pizza Sticks

Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water (approx. 110-115 degrees F.)
Toppings:
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 ounces pepperoni, about 30 slices
1 cup baby spinach, lightly chopped, optional

 

For dough, stir together flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add honey, olive oil, and enough water to form a soft, but sturdy dough. Mix until well-combined. Turn on to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Let dough rest for 5-10 minutes to allow gluten to relax.

Set one half of dough on a greased baking sheet. Roll into a large rectangle to fit baking sheet. Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese; cover with pepperoni slices. Add spinach, if desired. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over the top.

On floured surface, roll remaining half of dough into rectangle of the same size as the first. Transfer to cover pizza.

Bake on lowest rack in the oven at 375 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes, or until pizza is golden brown. Use pizza cutter to slice into desired size sticks or triangles, and serve warm with marinara sauce. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven by broiling them on low for a few minutes to make them crisp and toasty.

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Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

 

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Homemade Marinara Sauce

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I made a batch of homemade marinara sauce today to go with the pizza sticks that Elisabeth made for lunch. That’s one amazing combination! I added¬†a tablespoon of fresh basil from the basil plant that we are nursing through the winter. It smells wonderful!

One of these days we will be sharing both recipes, so keep your eyes open.

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin

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Frosted Cranberries

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Making (and eating!) cranberry sauce is one of the BEST parts of the holidays.¬†At least, that’s what we think!¬†We always make our cranberry sauce with frozen cranberries, and it gives us some lovely photos. Look at the frost on those bright red berries! It’s so festive!

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We added the cranberries to a large pot of boiling water and sugar, cooked it until it was thickened, and set it outside to chill.

Here is our recipe:

Cranberry Sauce

4 cups fresh and frozen cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

Wash cranberries. (We always wash our cranberries before we freeze them.) Stir together water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to boiling; boil uncovered 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries. Heat to boiling; boil rapidly 5-10 minutes. Cool; cover and refrigerate at least eight hours.

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love how these freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are reflected in the mixer bowl!

The secret to the yummiest looking cookies is to add a lavish amount of chocolate chips directly to the top of each cookie before baking.

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

-Kerstin and Elisabeth