Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy 2020 my friends! I’m very excited because this is my first post of 2020 and I can’t wait to share all my new recipes with you all.

I’ve been very busy this month. Right now I’m in Lima-Peru visiting my parents. As you might know they both aren’t doing very well. Mom suffers from an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease but she is doing pretty good (pretty good comparing to other people who have this disease). I think a big factor of this horrible situation is to catch it on an early stage so they can get proper medicine to slow the progression.

On the other side, dad’s health is declining faster, he is getting older and older super fast and his abilities like walking or eating are deteriorating faster than what I thought (or saw face to face 9 months ago). BUT, I’m very thankful for the caregivers because having them at home makes it possible for my parents to stay at their own house which is where they want to be and not in a senior living facility.

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Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars

Happy Friday! How was your Christmas celebration? My Christmas went completely different as I thought it was going to be because my plan was to go to Peru and spend it with my parents, but things changed and I moved my trip for next month. So, on Christmas Eve we went to my husband’s brother house to have dinner and we played white elephant. We just stayed home on Christmas day, hubby cooked prime rib and I made a couple of sides. We had hot chocolate and ate lots of cookies and panettone.

Now that Christmas is gone, we are all thinking on what to do for New Years. I don’t have plans yet BUT it’s very possible that I see a friend with her family on January 1st. She is traveling all the way from Peru to attend her cousin’s wedding and she is going to be in Sacramento which is kinda close to where I live. Hope I can get to see her!

Let’s talk about this recipe. These cheesecake bars have an animal cracker crust (or you can make it with graham crackers too), topped with a silky dulce de leche cheesecake which contains gelatin and topped with a wonderful smooth dark chocolate glaze.

Recipe? Of course. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so you can watch how I make my recipes @Pastry_Tales

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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Happy Saturday my friends!! With this recipe I say goodbye to Christmas recipes for this year. I wish I had more time to bake and post more Christmas goodies but maybe next year I start holiday baking just right after Halloween.

These cupcakes are delicious, soft chocolate-espresso mini cakes with a hint of peppermint and they are topped with a delicious vanilla-peppermint whipped cream frosting.

Let’s start with the recipe.

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Snowball Cookies

Happy Thursday friends!! I’m feeling under the weather still but I’m baking all my Christmas goodies. Today, I will show you how to make these popular cookies which have different names : snowball cookies, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies…. different names, same cookie!

These cookies usually don’t have any filling BUT today I made some with a COOKIE BUTTER filling. I used Biscoff spread.

Let’s start with the recipe!

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Christmas Cake

If you follow me on Instagram (@Pastry_Tales) you saw that I posted a picture of a Christmas cake , I know, I’m not a fruit cake person either, I really don’t like those dense, wet, with tons of candied cherries cakes, and no, this cake is not like that at all. This is a lighter version of a fruit cake. It’s packed with good quality nuts, dried fruit, rum, honey, cocoa powder and other goodies. This magical dessert is perfect for your Christmas table because it’s easy to make and looks really pretty!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. If you don’t have all the dried fruit, don’t worry, use the ones you have at home or the ones you like the most! There is not a specific rule for that! Also, you don’t need a mixer!

Let’s start with the recipe.

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Pretzel Linzer Cookies

Happy Tuesday my friends! I’m baking like crazy this week because my last Christmas recipe should be posted by Sunday so you have time to get all the ingredients you need.

I have a bunch of pretzels (leftover from Thanksgiving) and I don’t really like to eat them like a snack so before they get bad I came up with this idea of incorporating them to a cookie. And… my favorite holiday cookie is… LINZER! So, instead of using nuts, I use pretzels. They are filled with homemade caramel, but if you are running out of time, you can get caramel sauce in the store.

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Chocolate Spiced Rum Raisin Fudge

Happy Monday! One of my favorite ice cream flavors is rum+raisin. Right now it’s too cold to eat ice cream so I decided to make fudge with these ingredients.

I didn’t have spiced rum so I made my own mixing vanilla extract, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. For this recipe, you need patience because you need the raisins to soak into the rum and then you have to let the fudge rest in the fridge overnight.

This fudge is only made with sweetened condensed milk which makes it easier and cheaper than other recipes.

Let’s start with the recipe!

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Zimtsterne (German Cinnamon Star Cookies)

Happy Saturday! The first time I ate these cookies was two years ago when I went to Trader Joe’s and I saw a whole display of German cookies. These ones caught my eye because they came in a nice box and i love star-shape cookies. When I went home and tried some, I fell in love with these cookies. They were perfect: chewy, spice, almonds, nice sweet icing. Also I found them very intriguing because they didn’t list flour as one of their ingredients.

I read many recipes for these cookies, all had different information. So, I decided to send a message to a friend who lives in Germany and asked if she knew about these cookies and she gave me some ideas of how people really make them in Germany. After 2 years of testing, here is my recipe for Zimtsterne.

An important thing to say is that these cookies are usually made with something called Vanillezucker(cinnamon sugar). I didn’t use that because I had this wonderful cinnamon vanilla sugar that McCormick gifted to me, and it worked very well. Also, these cookies are baked after you put the icing on them.

If you want to watch how I made these cookies, follow me on Instagram @Pastry_Tales

Let’s start with the recipe.

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Panettone Muffins

Hi everyone! I woke up feeling under the weather. My husband came home yesterday with a bad cold so I guess I got it too. It’s pretty cold here in Northern California right now, hopefully I don’t feel worse for the weekend.

Let’s talk about Panettone. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread (yeasted) that is very popular during Christmas time. I grew up eating panettone and hot chocolate during the holidays. I’m not Italian but Peru is one of the countries that eat more panettone during the festivities. Our consumption (Peru) is 70% only in December, especially in Christmas week. Everywhere you go, you see panettone.

Of course you can find different brands and types of panettone. My favorite one is the one that has dried fruit and nuts. Some people spread some butter on their panettone slice but I don’t do that, I’m watching my calories (yeah, right! Panettone has a lot of calories already!).

This recipe is very special because it reminds me of the last Christmas eve my grandmother Grace (my mom’s mom) was alive. She passed away January 3th 2003. I remember she was at my parents house and was asking for more panettone, she really loved it. We gave her some more and she was so happy eating it with her hot chocolate. I was so sad when she passed away. She was a sweet special lady.

Let’s start with the recipe.

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Happy Tuesday my friends! Have you started baking Christmas cookies? I have and I’m loving it! Today, I’m showing you how to make the best crinkle cookies. I’m getting messages asking how do I get my crinkle cookies to not spread too much or how do I get a nice crackle top? Well, here are some tips that I have put together for you, follow them and the recipe. If you do, you’ll get delicious chocolate crinkle cookies

Don’t forget that I have the videos of how I made these cookies on Instagram @Pastry_Tales

Important tips for great chocolate crinkle cookies:

  • Your eggs should be at room temperature.
  • Use good quality cocoa powder.
  • Patience. You have to chill the dough in the fridge. If you don’t chill the dough, your cookies will be a mess and will spread. You will get better results if you chill the dough overnight.
  • Don’t use warm cookie sheets to bake the cookies. If you just have one cookie sheet, wait, let the sheet cool before using it again.
  • And finally, roll them very good in powdered sugar. If you don’t roll them in enough powdered sugar, your won’t get a nice crackle top.
  • I like to add some cinnamon to these cookies. If you prefer to not use cinnamon, that’s completely fine too. I think cinnamon gives a nice special tasty flavor.
  • Also, if you like peppermint, you can add 1/2 teaspoon so you have that classic chocolate-peppermint flavor, just add the extract when you add the vanilla. If you use peppermint, don’t use cinnamon.

Let’s start with the recipe.

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