The 3rd (and final) installment of my champagne week is definitely a dessert. There isn’t really any getting around it. These cupcakes do not qualify for breakfast.
“But you could try…” as my son says when he asks me to sing a song I don’t know any of the words to. Sorry, kid, it’s just not gonna happen!
I’ve always found that the flavor of champagne doesn’t always come through in baking. That is not the case with these cupcakes! These cupcakes, literally, taste like a glass of champagne. There’s even reduced champagne in the frosting to really boost the flavor.
These cupcakes are perfect for celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or holiday.
This recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes.
Ingredients for cupcakes:
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 C flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 1/2 C champagne
Ingredients for frosting:
- 1 C + 1 tbsp champagne
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tray with liners.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the sour cream and champagne. Alternating, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
- Divide batter among prepared cupcake tray. Bake 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer the 1 C of champagne until it reduces down to 2 tbsp. Cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the reduced champagne and the 1 tbsp champagne.
- Frost cooled cupcakes.
*This recipe is adapted from Haley at http://www.ifyougiveablondeakitchen.com/2014/12/29/cocktail-cupcakes-champagne-cupcakes/*
Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a special dinner in less than 30 minutes.
This champagne chicken is exactly that. In fact, we’ve enjoyed it twice already!
The chicken is pounded thin making it quick to cook.
In fact, the longest part of the cooking process is boiling water for the accompanying angel hair pasta. The lightly breaded and fried chicken is topped with a champagne mushroom sauce.
Yes, I said mushrooms! I actually quite enjoyed the mushrooms in this dish. (Same with the Marsala ravioli… maybe I’m coming around!)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/4″ thickness
- 1/4 C + 2 tbsp flour, divided use
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 C champagne
- 3/4 C heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- cooked angel hair pasta, for serving
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- In a wide shallow bowl, combine 1/4 C flour, Parmesan, S+P.
- Season the pounded chicken with S+P. Dredge in the flour.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chicken 3 minutes on each side. Place chicken in the preheated oven to keep warm.
- Add the mushrooms to the same skillet and sprinkle with the remaining flour. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the champagne, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by half. Add in the heavy cream and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with S+P, and cook until thickened.
- Serve chicken over angel hair pasta and top with the champagne-mushroom sauce.
- Option to garnish with parsley or tarragon.
*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/champagne-chicken/*
You’ll find a theme this week on the blog. A bubbly theme perfect for that lovebird holiday coming up next week.
Of course, I’m talking champagne and Valentine’s Day.
I’ll start with a recipe that’s borderline brunch and dessert. Crepes!
Pears are poached in champagne for an elegant filling. That poaching liquid then becomes a stunning sauce for the delicate pancakes. For extra decadence, serve with vanilla ice cream!
If you’re particularly prepared, you can make the pears and accompanying champagne sauce ahead of time.
Champagne Poached Pear Crepes
Ingredients for pears:
- 3 C champagne
- 2 C water
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 5 pears, peeled
Ingredients for crepes:
- 1 1/3 C milk
- 1 C flour
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- In a large pot, combine champagne, water, and sugar. Slice the vanilla bean in half, scrape out the seeds and put them in the pot along with the pod. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the pears. Cook 30-40 minutes, until the pears are fork tender. Remove the pears and set aside. Reduce the poaching liquid to 2 C worth. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
- Place the crepe ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow batter to reset 15 minutes.
- Pour 1/4 C batter into a small greased skillet. (I used non-stick cooking spray between each pancake) Swirl the pan around to create an even pancake. Once the pancake browns flip and cook another minute.
- To serve, slice the pears and arrange them in the center of the crepes. Fold the crepe over the fruit and top with the sauce. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/champagne-pear-crepes/*
I want to provide you with another option for your New Year’s Eve party.
I know this doesn’t qualify as Mexican Monday – but it could if you decided to substitute Mexican chorizo in place of the breakfast sausage. In fact, that actually sounds delicious! My dad felt that the pinwheels were actually missing something, such as a dipping sauce. But we were all stumped as to what that could be. Red pepper jelly seemed to work, but still wasn’t just perfect. Using Mexican chorizo might give that needed something.
A friend of mine brought these sausage pinwheels to a party last year and they were gone in the blink of an eye. Even my cream-cheese-hating husband gobbled them up.
- 1 roll breakfast sausage
- 2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
- 2 pkgs cream cheese, softened
- Brown the sausage and drain any fat.
- Mix cream cheese and sausage.
- Roll out crescent dough and press together seams. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture. Roll the crescents lengthwise. Repeat with 2nd tube of crescents.
- Place rolled up pinwheels in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Slice pinwheels into 1/2″ rolls. Place pinwheels cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes, or until crescents are cooked through.
*This recipe is adapted from Leah at http://abiteofmylife.blogspot.com/2009/02/cream-cheese-sausage-pinwheels.html*
It’s the time of year for cocktail parties. Saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014.
Bacon-wrapped anything is always a safe appetizer to take with you to your New Year’s parties. And bacon wrapped dates are your best bet. The dates caramelize in the oven and turn into candy. The bacon crisps up. What you are left with is essentially a chewy centered candy.
I have a big lesson learned to tag along with this recipe. Bake your bacon wrapped anything on a cookie sheet with a rim! Why? Bacon releases fat/grease. This grease is not solid. This grease will most likely drip off of a flat cookie sheet. In a 450 degree oven this grease will catch fire. Now what?! Turn off the oven. According to dummies.com keep the oven door closed and the lack of oxygen will cause the fire to die. But if want to save your bacon wrapped anything quickly and carefully remove them from the oven and throw either baking soda or salt on the flame. DO NOT USE FLOUR. Apparently, flour will cause an explosion!
Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Soak toothpicks in water, to prevent them from catching fire. Preheat oven to 450 deg.
- Cut bacon in half. On a plate, microwave bacon for 2 minutes (covered with a paper towel).
- Wrap each date with bacon and skewer with a toothpick.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crispy.
*This recipe is adapted from Beau at http://oursavorylife.com/a-delicious-paleo-snack-recipe-bacon-wrapped-dates/*