Monday, October 23, 2017

Red Velvet Brain Dip

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

Yes, this is another Halloween recipe. No, I haven't lost my mind (maybe a little). I'm just really excited to share this easy red velvet brain dip with you all. It's a no-brainer for your next Halloween party! Check it out -- there are just four ingredients and it takes just a few minutes to make.

Since there are so few ingredients, the key to making this dip taste as good as possible is to use high-quality ingredients, like Challenge cream cheese. Challenge cream cheese products only use the freshest real milk, cream, and natural ingredients for a pure, superior taste. And, no growth hormones, added flavors, dyes or artificial preservatives.

I hope you lobe this brain dip as much as I do!

Red Velvet Brain Dip

  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix
  • 1/4 cup canned cherry pie filling


  1. Heat-treat red velvet cake mix by microwaving it in 30-second intervals until it reaches 165 degrees. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Add whipped topping and red velvet cake mix and mix until fully combined.
  3. Remove 1/4 of cream cheese mixture and put in piping bag with circular tip.
  4. Mold remaining cream cheese into an oval or brain-like shape.
  5. Use cream cheese mixture in piping bag to pipe grooves onto brain.
  6. Spoon gel from cherry pie filling on top of brain.
  7. Serve with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or other cookies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bloody Shattered Glass Cupcakes

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

You know that one person that gets way too excited about Halloween? I'M THAT PERSON. Give me all the candy corn, costumes, and jack-o-lanterns! I've always made cute holiday-themed desserts, but this time I wanted to try something a little creepy.

This edible glass is one of the easiest cupcake decorations I've ever made. As you'll see below, I just mixed two ingredients together and heated it in the microwave. I also had this Wilton red food gel on hand and it made for the perfect blood!

Shattered Glass Cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (42 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted Challenge butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
For the vanilla frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted Challenge butter softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (630 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the shattered glass
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
For the chocolate cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a  cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; set aside.
  3. Mix eggs, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl; slowly add to dry ingredients. Add milk and stir until just combined.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full; bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool before frosting.
For the vanilla frosting
  1. Cream softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat with mixer until combined.
  2. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat for about 3 minutes. Frost cupcakes.
For the shattered glass
  1. Lay sheet of wax paper on baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray; set aside
  2. Combine sugar and corn syrup in microwave safe bowl
  3. Seal bowl with plastic wrap and heat in microwave for 2 minutes
  4. Remove from microwave, discard plastic wrap, and stir.
  5. Seal bowl with plastic wrap again and heat in microwave for two minutes
  6. Remove plastic wrap from bowl and pour boiling mixture onto wax paper. Careful, it will be hot.
  7. Let harden for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Shatter edible glass with knife into 1-inch size pieces. Stick shattered glass in frosting as decorations. Use red decorating gel or food coloring to create a blood-looking effect on the frosting.
Chocolate cupcake recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Here are a few other examples of cute Halloween cupcakes!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bloody Shrunken Head Punch

A couple of people have asked me for drink recipes recently, and I realized that I don't actually have any on my blog! To be honest, I never really though about creating drink recipes because I'm mostly just a Diet Coke girl. But really, there are a lot of fun and festive drinks you can make for the holidays that add an extra special element to parties and gatherings. 

I wanted to make something spooky with Halloween coming up. I saw this idea to make shrunken heads out of apples, and I thought they would be perfect to add to a bloody-colored punch. 

This recipe does not include alcohol, but if you want, you can certainly add a little booze for an adult version.

Bloody Shrunken Head Punch
  • 3 to 4 apples
  • 3 cups cherry cola
  • 3 cups cherry juice
  • 2 cups strawberry daiquiri mix
  • 2 cups fruit punch
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  1. Peel apples and carve them into faces using a melon baller and a knife.
  2. Bake apples on baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 90 minutes.      
  3. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Combine cherry cola, cherry juice, strawberry daiquiri mix, fruit punch and ginger ale in punch bowl.
  5. Place shrunken heads on top of punch and serve.
Punch recipe adapted from Ree Drummond

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pumpkin Macarons

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

Sometimes I feel silly posting about things like cookies after leaving work where I just spent the day reporting on terrorism and gun violence and all the innocent people who have lost their lives because of these things.

I try to remind myself that there is still plenty of good and plenty of love in this world. And amongst the stories of devastation, there are stories of compassion and heroism. It's important to continue to find joy in the little things even if that joy is something as simple as sharing a recipe with your friends and family.

So that is why I'm sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Macarons.

I feel like I reached a big milestone in my baking career over the weekend when I made macarons for the first time. They became the new "it" cookie a few years ago, and I always wanted to try making them. But I never did because everyone told me how difficult they are to make. I don't know why I listened to everyone else. Baking, in my opinion, is 90% just following directions, and like with anything, if you follow all of the directions you'll achieve the desired results.

That being said, here are a few tips I learned to focus on while making macarons.
1. Make sure your ingredients are all room temperature. I've talked about this in other recipes, but it's very important when you're trying to make the meringue base for the macaron shells. Room-temperature ingredients mix a lot better together.

2. You absolutely must sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. I don't normally sift anything, but macaron shells are so delicate and any chunks of ingredients will weigh them down and prevent them from rising.

3. Don't forget to tap your baking pan hard on the kitchen counter before piping your shells. This will release air bubbles and prevent the tops from cracking.

4. If the tops of your shells crack, there's a good chance you undermixed the batter. Bake just a few macarons first if you're not sure, and if the shells crack, mix the rest of the batter a little more before piping more shells.

5. You must let your macarons sit out on the counter top for around 30 minutes to an hour before baking; this will prevent them from spreading once they get in the oven and will help them rise

I thought macarons would be the perfect cookie to decorate for fall because they have a solid-colored flat top on which you can add designs. I made the pumpkin macarons into jack-o-lanterns using a gel icing pen, but it would also be fun to write spooky messages or draw a cobweb. 

Pumpkin Macarons
Yield: Makes about 24 macarons
For the shells
  • 1 cup almond flour (100 grams)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 egg whites (105 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • Orange food coloring
For the buttercream
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (227 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the shells
  1. Prepare baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mat; set aside
  2. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice; discard larger lumps that won’t go through sifter and set aside
  3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy; add cream of tartar and salt and continue beating. Slowly add sugar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add orange food coloring.
  5. Slowly fold flour mixture into egg white mixture; the consistency should be like lava — fluid but also thick enough to form mound. For some people this is between 50 to 70 turns with the spatula.
  6. Transfer batter to piping bag and pipe 1-inch circles; bang baking sheet hard against counter about 3 times too release air bubbles
  7. Let macarons sit out for about 30 minutes to an hour before baking to ensure they don’t spread in oven
  8. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Bake macarons for 18 minutes; let cool on baking sheet before carefully peeling off
For the buttercream
  1. Beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until light and creamy
  2. Add powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt
  3. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, then increase to high speed and bear until buttercream is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
  4. Match up macaron shells by size and shape; add buttercream mixture to piping bag and pipe a quarter-size amount of frosting on one shelf before sandwiching it with the other shell
  5. Store macarons in refrigerator for up to 1 week 
Recipe adapted from Entertaining with Beth

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