Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guest Blogger Gayle Trent

Hi, guys! Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your wonderful blog. I'm thrilled to be in such impressive company.

My latest book, Dead Pan, continues the story of Daphne Martin, the hero of Murder Takes the Cake and book one of the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery Series. Since Daphne is a cake decorator, I thought I'd share some recipes from Cake Central. Two of the recipes are easy and are ideal for you to make with your children. The tiramisu cupcakes, on the other hand, might be something to take to an adult Christmas party. They sound yummy! Just be careful. In Dead Pan, several people fall ill at a company Christmas party. When one of the victims dies, police intensify their search for the culprit, including the cake Daphne made for the occasion. ;-)

Peanut Butter Roll-out Cookies


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely crushed corn flake cereal
1/4 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, eggs, oil and sugar until fluffy. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cereal and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into shapes and transfer to a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. (Or you can lightly grease the cookie sheet). Bake 10-12 minutes.

Pretzel Kisses


1 Bag round Rold Gold Pretzels
1 Bag Hershey Kisses (original plain choc)
1 Bag M&M’s (any color or for Christmas, red and green, school colors, valentines day colors, Halloween colors, etc.)


Set Pretzels out on cookie sheet covered with wax paper, unwrap each kiss and place in the center of the round pretzel, then place them in the over just until kiss starts to get soft (about 2 mins) then take out of the oven and place M&M’s in the center of the kiss and press down to make the kiss press into the side of the pretzel, place in the fridge for about an hour to let them get hard and serve!

Tiramisu with Mascarpone Buttercream


For cupcakes:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 sticks (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For espresso extract:

2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp boiling water

For espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp Kahlua

For frosting:

12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp Kahlua


To make cupcake:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with liners. Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix to combine. Add eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Mix until flour just incorporated into batter. Fill cupcake liners about 1/2- 3/4 full and bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

To make espresso extract:

In a small bowl, stir espresso powder and boiling water together until blended. Set aside.

To make espresso syrup:

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar together and bring just to a boil. Pour syrup into small bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of espresso extract and Kahlua. Set aside.

To assemble cupcakes:

Poke holes in cupcakes with a fork or toothpick. Spoon about 1-2 tsp of espresso syrup over each cupcake. (Let syrup soak in a little at a time before you add more or it will overflow.) Using a large round tip (I used a star tip) pipe frosting over cupcake and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

For frosting:

Beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy. Add sugar and continue beating until smooth. Frosting can be made several days ahead of time and stored lightly covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temp before frosting cupcakes.

Visit my blog every other Monday for Daphne Martin's newsletter, Killer Cakes. Thank you again for allowing me to visit. You guys are great.