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Almond Cupcakes

Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com

My mom is an excellent cook!  She always says she'll make any meal so long as someone else picks it.  I'd have to same I'm the same way...sometimes.  I've been baking cupcakes for almost a decade and I tend to pick my favorites - anything chocolate or the Very Vanilla.

A few weeks ago an old coworker approached me about making her daughter's birthday cupcakes.  If you don't follow me on Instagram, take a peek because they turned out so cute!  She reviewed my standard cupcake menu, but suggested an almond and amaretto cupcake.  I'd never made anything like that before, even though I love almond sweets.  So, I was happy to try out some recipes and find a new cake flavor to add to my repertoire. 

Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com

I knew I wanted a cake with a real almond flavor and I didn't want to rely exclusively on extract.  It was surprisingly hard to find, but in the recipe below, the baker used coconut milk.  I thought why not try almond milk!  The cakes came out very light and moist, which is apparent in my first photo at the top of this post, and the almond flavor was subtle.  The cake paired nicely with the marzipan frosting - so delicious.

Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com
Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and coconut milk and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add in flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

Use a spring-loaded scoop or spoon to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tin cups. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 18 minutes. 

{recipe adapted from Handle the Heat}

Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com

ALMOND BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-7 oz box Odense Marzipan, grated
  • 2 tbs. almond butter
  • 6 - 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

PREPARATION

Add grated Marzipan and butter into a medium bowl. Beat on low until combined. Turn speed to high and beat into a smooth paste.

Add sugar. Beat on low until combined. Turn mixer to high and beat until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, add one teaspoon of almond milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Almond Cupcakes -- Moist almond cupcakes with marzipan frosting. | thegirlkyle.com

No-Cook Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream // The Girl Kyle

My KitchenAid ice cream attachment is seriously one of the best gifts I've ever been given.  Right after... in no particular order... my KitchenAid, my MacBook, my Corolla and my engagement ring.  I'm a lucky girl and I love ice cream!

Peach Ice Cream // The Girl Kyle

I have done my best to keep a spot in our freezer for my attachment so that at any given moment I can make a batch of homemade ice cream.  I'm also proud to share that I've been working my way through a cookbook - an actual paper book - dedicated to ice cream!  I hope to share some of those tasty recipes down the road, but this no-cook (yay!) peach ice cream came from Pinterest.  

Recently I've heard rumors and seen on Instagram that other parts of the world are starting to experience this phenomenon called "fall".  Not the case in California.  It's still in the 90s and it's hard to imagine an end in sight.  The silver lining is that peaches have been so good at the farmers' market so I thought I'd tuck this recipe away for later.  Then my mom text me after coming across the same pin and asked to be invited over when I made this.  It turns out that peach ice cream time was NOW.

Peach Ice Cream // The Girl Kyle

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed slightly
  • 6 Tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) fresh peaches

PREPARATION

1. Prepare peaches by peeling, and removing the pit. Puree ONE of the peaches (in a blender or food processor) until smooth. Dice the other peach into small pieces (about the size of a pea). Set peaches aside.
2. In a large bowl add the cream, milk, honey, and sugar. Whisk a minute or so, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add vanilla.
4. Add peach puree and diced peaches and whisk or stir until well combined.
5. Taste for sweetness and if desired, add additional sugar (1-2 tablespoons), then whisk until dissolved.
6. Pour ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the freezing directions (I churned mine for about 45 minutes).

{recipe via Glorious Treats}

Peach Ice Cream // The Girl Kyle

Backyard Dinner with Draftmark

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to own my own home.  My mom is an excellent host and entertainer so the moment I've moved out I wanted to throw my own fabulous parties and dinners, but that's pretty hard to do when you're living in a two bedroom, one bath apartment.  Don't get me wrong, I always made a place my own, but it's not the same!  I was over the moon last year that Mr. G and I were able to purchase our own home.  It just so happens that it was the same month we were originally planning on getting married - so glad we went small and used that money towards a forever investment. :)

Back in December Anheuser-Busch invited me to take a tour of their plant and enjoy a beer tasting with girl friends.  When they contacted me again to share a brand new product - you bet I said yes!

Meet the Draftmark.

This is their new at-home brew system that's perfect for this hostess.  Think of it as your own personal keg.  You place what looks like a chilled 2 liter bottle on steroids and it's individual tap (seen above) into the keg's shell and you're done!  Nice and frothy right from the first pour so your party guests can belly up to your at home bar and there's no wait.  Once tapped the beer is good for up to 30 days, which is perfect in my house since I'm the only one drinking.

{I love how this takes up little room in my refrigerator - no more than a 12 pack of soda!}

We were just back from vacation when I popped this baby open. I wasn't quite ready to head back to reality so beer time was a priority. Northern California has been rocking the triple digit weather - barf - and I was looking forward to a home cooked meal after eating out for the past week (not that I'm complaining because California's central coast has some amazing restaurants). Although I don't really cook often, when I do I like to keep things as simple as possible. This crock-pot beer and bbq chicken was the perfect fix for a backyard dinner.

Beer BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup beer (any kind you like: I used Shock Top)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) of barbecue sauce (Kraft is Mr. G's fave)
  • hamburger buns
  • coleslaw
  • Instructions

Add everything, except the chicken, to the crockpot and stir to combine. Add the chicken to the crockpot, spoon the sauce on top so all the chicken has a little sauce on it.

Cook on low for 6 hours (crockpot temperatures vary, yours may take more time), stirring a couple of times throughout if desired. After 6 hours, shred the chicken and add it back to the sauce in the crockpot. Toss chicken with the sauce and let sit for 15 minutes so it can absorb some of the sauce. Serve on hamburger buns topped with coleslaw. {recipe via Fat Girl Trapped in A Skinny Body}

COLESLAW

Ingredients

  • To prepare the coleslaw
  • 1 pound package coleslaw mix
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • For the dressing
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Instructions
Pour the coleslaw mix into a strainer and place in the sink. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the sugar and ¼ cup of the kosher salt and lightly toss. Let sit for 5 minutes to draw out the moisture from the cabbage and then rinse well with cold water. Spin the coleslaw mix in a salad spinner and place in a large bowl (if you don't have a salad spinner try soaking up excess moisture with paper towels).

For the dressing, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinder vinegar, celery salt, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped onions and chopped parsley. Whisk well and pour ⅔ of the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to combine. Add more of the dressing as desired and season with more salt, pepper or parsley to taste.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to overnight and serve. {via Foodie Crush}

This post is in partnership with Anheuser Busch.

 

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