Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mochaccino Cupcakes

Hi Y'all!

So who here doesn't like coffee and chocolate? If you don't like either, please leave.. ( just kidding... maybe..) These cupcakes are a wonderful combination of chocolate and coffee! I was asked to make these (along with the red velvet) for a friend. I was super excited to make them. I had been waiting for an excuse to make 'em. I do love me some chocolate and coffee!! I hope you love these as much as I did!

Mochaccino cupcakes:

3/4 cup butter 
3 eggs 
1 3/4 flour 
1cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tsp baking soda
 3/4 tsp baking powder
 1/2 tsp salt 
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
 2 cups sugar
 2 tsp vanilla 
1 cup dark, bittersweet chocolate pieces

Allow butter and eggs to sit out for about 30 min. In a medium bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine the milk and coffee and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line/grease your muffin tins. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium high for about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar about 1/4 cups at a time until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for another minute or so. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beating on a low speed after each addition, until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. This mixture will be kinda thick, almost pudding like. Bake for about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack for about 5 min, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

Coffee Buttercream:

1/3 cup butter 
4 cups powdered sugar 
3 tbsp strong coffee, cooled 
1 tsp vanilla

Let butter sit at room temp for 30 min or so. In large mixin bowl, beat butter on medium until smooth, gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the 3 tbsp coffee and the vanilla. Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar. If needed add more coffee until frosting reaches your desired consistency. 

I garnished each cupcake with a piece of a Pirouette cookie. I think they look so pretty! I also played with my frosting tips again.. I love getting the chance to practice!

 Eat and enjoy!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

 Hi Y'all! 

I got asked the other day to make some Red Velvet cupcakes. 
Now I ain't never had nor made Red Velvet anything before, so I gladly accepted the challenge! I had a ton fun makin 'em, getting red food coloring all over my counters and hands.. And of course they were so so yummy! 

I added red sugar sprinkles as a garnish on top of each cupcake. I need to come up with a better method to evenly distribute the sugar.. I used a spoon and got little in one area and big globs in other areas..

 Red Velvet Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 bottle (1 ounce) red food color
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Put aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

 Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. 
Do not over beat. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package cream cheese softened 
1/4 cup butter also softened
 2 tbs sour cream
 2 tsp vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. 

The person I was making these for requested their cupcakes to be filled with a cream cheese filling as well.  Before I added too much powdered sugar and had only put in one teaspoon of the vanilla, the mixture was just right for a filling.
 I filled the ones I needed by making a hole in the center of the cupcake and spooning in  a small amount. 
I then continued to add the rest of the powdered sugar and last of the vanilla.

Eat and Enjoy!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

 Hi Y'all!

 In case you haven't noticed, I am completely obsessed with cupcakes right now! The Strawberry Banana Cupcakes were such a hit that I thought I would try just a regular banana cupcake. I had some bananas laying around and wanted to use them up before they went bad. I found this awesome recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker and just had to try it! I hope you enjoy!

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  1 1/4teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
  1/2 cup buttermilk

3 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
  1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
  1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Banana Cupcake:

 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again and add the bananas. Beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on a low speed for a few more seconds.

 Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and place them on the rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

 Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm.
 In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-and-half in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
You can either top these with the pastry cream and refrigerate until ready to serve; or keep the cupcakes at room temperature and top with the pastry cream right before serving.

Eat and Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Homemade Butterfingers

 Hi Y'all!

 So here is another recipe I found on Pinterest. This also came from one of my new favorite food bloggers Chef in Training!

This is a super easy recipe, its only 3 ingredients! How easy is that? Of course when I read what one of the ingredients was, I was like, What?! Really?  Interesting.. Lol Anyways, on to the recipe!

Homemade Butterfingers

1 lb bag candy corn
16 oz jar peanut butter
16 oz chocolate candy coating

I had most of this stuff on hand, except for the candy corn. Although I did have a package of Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Which is pretty much the same as candy corn, only pumpkin shaped.

Melt candy corn in microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Stir in peanut butter. Spread mixture in an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. Cool completely. If you are impatient like me, put the tray in the freezer for 20 min or so.. Cut into squares and dip in melted chocolate candy coating. Lay on waxed paper to set.
Eat and Enjoy!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

 Hi Y'all! 

So I have been perusing Pinterest a lot lately.. I mean A LOT! Its my new addiction.. There are so many recipes out there I want to try! We had been talking about pumpkin pancakes for awhile now and when I found this recipe I just had to try it! I have had 3 or 4 cans of pumpkin just hanging around since November waiting for me to do something with them.. (Remember my, I'm only going to post pumpkin related items for the month of November?) Yeah, those cans are the product of that statement and obviously I never got around to doing my pumpkin month.. So here it is, a use for one of my many cans of pumpkin!

Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Pancakes

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (see Tips below)
1/2/ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Prepare the cinnamon filling in a small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk the filling ingredients together and then pour it into a sandwich-sized zip baggie( I only had the big freezer bags..). Zip up the baggie and lay it on the counter while you prepare the pancake batter.

Prepare the Icing in a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese 30 to 60 seconds, just until butter has melted and cream cheese has softened. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth. Set the aside.

 Prepare the pancake batter in a large bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and brown sugar. Mix the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture and stir just until all is moistened.

 Check on your cinnamon filling open up the baggie again and give it a good stir to re-incorporate any butter that may have separated. You want the mixture to thicken a bit. Don't try to use the filling for the pancake swirl unless it has thickened or it will be too runny! Snip off a small piece of the corner of the baggie. 

 Cook the pancakes preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium, and spray it with nonstick spray. Use ladle to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the ladle to spread out the batter into a nice, even circle. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pick up your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze the filling into the corner. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the cinnamon filling on top of the batter in a swirl. Just as you would see in a cinnamon roll. Cook the pancakes 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it is golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake and quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, (there will be cinnamon mixture left on the pan..) and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of cream cheese icing.

 Eat and Enjoy!!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Strawberry Banana Cupcakes with a Banana Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi y'all! 

I am super excited about these cupcakes! They are awesome! I have been having super fun making cupcakes lately.. I have plenty more to come! Plus a few other recipes to share this week.. For now enjoy these!

Strawberry Banana Cupcakes with a Banana Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Strawberry cake mix
4 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small package of instant Banana pudding mix
1 cup full-fat sour cream

To make the cake batter, combine all ingredients and mix until moistened and you don't see any lumps. Be careful not to over mix - your cupcakes will be dry.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package cream cheese 1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 teaspoons banana extract (I used 3.. We like banana..) 
5 1/2 – 6 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and banana extract with mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

Eat and Enjoy!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Neapolitan Cupcakes with a Vanilla Frosting

 Hi Y'all!  

I've had tons of practice with cupcakes this past week..  I had a co-worker ask me to make her a dozen S'mores Cupcakes and some Almond Joy Brownie bite. When I delivered them to her another co-worker requested a dozen of the S'mores Cupcakes. Not to mention the person wanting Valentines Day cupcakes.. 

I had a bit of a hard time finding the perfect cupcake for the Valentines order. She was very picky on what her kids would eat.. I had seen these Neapolitan cupcakes going around on Pinterest and thought I would give them a try..

With making all these cupcakes lately it gave me a chance to practice my frosting techniques.  I am having fun with all these cupcakes. Never thought I would say that.. I always hated the idea  of decorating cupcakes and cakes because I didn't think I could be creative enough..  I love how these Neapolitan Cupcakes came out though!!

Neapolitan Cupcakes:

1 package brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1 package white cake mix
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
3 egg whites

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk together the brownie mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Stir just until fully incorporated, about 50 strokes; set aside.
Mix the cake mix, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 1/3 cup water, and 3 egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Spoon the brownie batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 1/3 full. Spoon the cake batter over the brownie batter, until muffin cups are each 2/3 full.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

 Vanilla Frosting:

2 1/2 sticks (10 oz) butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs vanilla (or to taste.. I think I used 4-5)
1-2 tbs milk

In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk. Beat at high speed until fluffy, adding an additional 1 tablespoon milk if necessary.

 Eat and Enjoy!

Whats your favorite cupcake?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Y'all! 

Ok, so I know I've been very lacking lately.. I apologize for that. I have been lacking in motivation to do any baking, reading, and blogging. I am hoping that the new place we just moved into will inspire me to bake more! My kitchen is soo much bigger! Also I will be starting a new/second job soon, which should be tons of fun! That means I will have more money to spend on ingredients! We recently just got an ice cream maker, so look forward to many ice cream posts!!

As for now I have a super awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe for you! I have made two batches of these in the last week and have been asked to make another batch for a co-worker. That's how awesome they are! Lol! I do believe these will be my new go-to cookies.. I hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

 Preheat the oven to 325°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray. In bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, melted butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined and no dry streaks remain.

Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand (just barely press, it doesn't need to be completely flat). Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until the edges are just barely golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a minute on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat and Enjoy!