Friday, December 31, 2010

During Christmas My Feelings Taste Like Cookies

Well to be exact - my friends are the ones who are really tasting the cookies/feelings since i bake to give away.

I made five kinds of cookies last week.

1. Chocolate Chocolate Chip

2. Chocolate Chip Walnut

3. Sugar Cookies

4. Peanut Butter

5. Chocolate Chip Mint ( recipe #2 minus the walnuts, add 6 drops of green food coloring and mint chips)
I think my favorite were the chocolate chip walunts and the chocolate chocolate chip. Unluckily/luckily - depending on how you look at it - i didn't keep too many for myself. Maybe next year i will. Most of them got packed up in tupper wear or zip locks bags and distributed about the Bay, Philly and Wisconsin.

If you're wondering, I ended up making over 140 cookies. o.O Yeah i know. That's a lot of cookies!

I spent almost an entire day baking. Around hour three of preparing the dough, i came to the realization that the next boy in my life will have to find a girl wearing cheetah pajamas and a cupcake apron dirtied with sugar and chocolate extremely sexy. Cuz that's how I roll way too often. Feel free to pimp me out if you know of any boy (with abs) who has expressed this fetish. Thanks.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Take a look below. This is how many spices go into making pumpkin spice cupcakes. They aren't lying about the spice part, right?

A co worker brought in pumpkin spice bread last week and since then i had the urge to make them into cupcakes. Since my plans got canceled today and it was raining cats and dogs i decided to stay home all day and bake. For no one. Anyone want cupcakes? No, really.

Recipe here. I actually followed it step by step and am 95% happy with them. I just need to find a way to make all of my cupcakes more... moist? I need an official tasting team too. I don't know if thats possible though. ALL MY FRIENDS DON'T EVEN WANT MY CUPCAKES ANYMORE! whatever.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Makes 24. Exactly.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

(Use an actual sifter. This is what it looks like.)

(Why do you need one? To mix it all together, but also to catch bigger pieces in the ground spices. Cuz who wants to eat a little piece of clove?)

Beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time.

Now time for the pumpking! Which kinda looks like baby food...

I mixed the milk and pumpkin together in one (big) cup. Then i added the 1/4 of the flour mixture and mixed, then 1/3 of the milk/pumpkin , then 1/4 of the flour... alternating until i ended with the last of the flour.

The batter smelled soooo good and pumpkin spicy. It was actually really thick, thicker than expected and made EXACTLY 24 cupcakes.

Cooked at 350* for about 21 minutes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy.

It's a very pretty frosting. The cinnamon makes it look fancier :) And it makes JUST enough to frost all 24 cupcakes.

I had my mom and brother try them. My brother ate three. My mom ate two.. sans frosting. And reminded me that she hated the chocolate peanut butter ones that i had made... lol

I'll be dropping off another 16 later today.... If they receive good enough reviews, i might remake it just as pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Skull Cupcakes

In case you ever find your self with a frosted cup cake, good & plentys, m&m's and chocolate licorice, as well as a Halloween party to attend then i have a cute little cupcake for you. Super easy too.

Didn't have time to bake from scratch, so its out of the box. But i spent time decorating so i say that makes up for it.


P.S. I did lose my camera... so all the awesome pictures of the peanut butter cupcakes are gone. :( Le sigh. That in itself might hurt more than the money i had to spend for a new one.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Magnolia Bakery Review

Two weeks ago I went to the East Coast for the first time. I was in New York City for a day and took the opportunity to go to "Magnolias Cupcakes" since they're so famous face. So we made the trek across the city (although the neighborhood was admittedly adorable so i can't complain). And waited in their huge line.

But... Why are they so famous face? I really don't get it.

My friend Rochelle and I bought one vanilla and one chocolate cupcake and split them in half.

For the record, they got MESSY when they got cut in half. Which was not too cool when they got all over our fingers. Anyhoo, back to the review of the actual cupcake. The taste. Rochelle's chocolate cupcake frosting was good. The cake tasted out of the box though. My vanilla frosting was so ridiculously sweet that i scraped 99% of it off. Pure sugar. In a bad way. But the cake it self was pretty good. So... if her frosting was on my cupcake it would have been delicious, lol!

All in all, it didn't taste terribley gourmet and mouth watering enough to pay $2.75 for it. But at least they were pretty?


P.S. I baked yesterday. But i am having camera problems. As in i can't find it... lol. So not sure when (if ever) that will be up. =x

Monday, August 9, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

So i tried baking from scratch on for size. And i'd like to say it was a great success. A roaring success. In fact, im pretty sure when im ready to make the commitment, ill use them as bait to catch a tall, tanned and handsome husband. I'd add my usual "with abs" at the end of that sentence, but we know that said imaginary husband won't have any if he's shoving his face with cuppycakes.

I digress. Back to my Catch A Husband Cupcakes. I think from now on, any recipe i find online im just going to eliminate 1/2 of the powdered sugar and go from there. Cuz i couldnt imagine ruining the cream cheesey-ness of these with more sugar. I actually ended up making two batches. (Cuz i had a LOT of left over frosting.) The first were a lot better than the second and it's because i processed the strawberries differently. It completely made the cupcakes and i will only ever do it this way. Seriously. I mean yeah, i might have burnt my mom's sauce pan a little -- but did i mention i got four proposals? Worth it.

The following is my altered version of the recipe that i used - that i originally found here, after stalking the Internets for 2 weeks for the perfect one.

Strawberry Cupcakes
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 and 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup "strawberry sauce"
1/2 cup milk

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese
1 stick of butter
3.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup of "strawberry sauce"
Pink Food Coloring Gel
*note this made wayyyyyy too much frosting. lol. So you might want to change it a little to make less.

Strawberry Sauce (to be used for both cupcakes and frosting)
1 and 1/2 cartons of fresh strawberries
3 teaspoons of sugar

It's the strawberry sauce that really made them. In comparison to the ones i made the next day, where i simply blended the strawberries and added some sugar to them, these were like 100 times better.

To make the Strawberry sauce, you just take the stems off the berries and cut them in half. Put two teaspoons of sugar on top of them in a bowl and let them sit there for about 15 minutes. Then you put them in a small saucepan with a lid on medium heat. STIR OFTEN OR YOU WILL BURN THEM. Don't tell my mother. =x

Everytime i opened them to stir them it was like magic in my nostrils. The smell was simply intoxicating. They get all mushy and mixed with the sugar... it's crazy.
In abuot 10-15 minutes, when theyre all saucey and you want to shove your face in them, take them out and finish pureeing them to your preferred consistency. Add more sugar if needed. I just added one teaspoon, but it probably didn't even need that. Yeah it looks kinda gross...

Let cool before using (like all the other ingredients, it should be at room temperature. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in one bowl. In the other, beat the butter until its fluffy and then add the sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating for 30 seconds in between each one. Mix the strawberry sauce with the milk in a cup. Add one fourth of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/eggs. Then add 1/3 of the milk/strawberry sauce. Alternate adding the flour and sauce, ending with the flour. I will admit it. I tasted the cake batter. =x And it was good. It looked like a milk shake. It was gorgeous. (And i got to use my new mixer!)

And they cooked so pretty too! I love seeing cupcakes in their pans. All naked, ready for their frosting.
These were for a friend who shares an affinity for all things animal print. So of course, she got the zebra liners. Was there ever any doubt?

The frosting. Oh that frosting. Cream cheese. I once had a friend tell me that he thinks i would probably eat a whole brick of cream cheese on a stick. And you know what, if society didn't frown on that i totally would. Don't judge.

Beat the butter and the cream cheese together on medium speed until it is nice and creamy. Add half of the sugar. Add as much strawberry sauce as you'd like. Add the remaining sugar. Add food coloring (gel gel gel! none of that watery crap). I stuck it in the fridge for a while to get a little harder b/c i was using a piping bag. Piped it on with a 1M tip and ziplock, and then ate one before anyone saw me.

It made 28 cupcakes. And i had enough frosting to frost another 14 the next day. Oops. So yeah, you can seriosuly cut down on the frosting measurements haha. You can just do half, especially if you will use it to spread on the cupcakes instead of using it for piping. (Plus you can always garnish with real strawberries.)

Once i was done with them all, i put them in my trusty cupcake carrier and ran off to present the birthday girl with her pink zebra cupcakes.

And all 24 were eaten by the end of the night! Cuz there's nothing sadder than taking home rejected cupcakes, you know.

Next, i have my eyes set on choco-penut butter and on pineapple-mango... 'till then!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Scooby Snacks S'mores Cupcakes

My friends throw theme parties. A lot. My friends do awesome things. A lot. So every now and then when i post awesome stories, don't be surprised. Like today's post. A few weeks ago, one of those friends threw a party whose main attraction was a 35 x 15 foot long Scooby Doo Mystery Van shaped inflatable water bounce house. Yes you read that right. There was also a fire pit, the kind you can make s'mores on. So i figured the only appropriate thing to do would be to make S'mores Cupcakes... with some Scooby Doo in 'em!

I got the basic recipe from here, but made some changes. The first being was that i added a graham cracker crust to the bottom. To do that, i mashed up cinnamon graham crackers in a ziplock. Yeah pretty much the whole box, haha.

Mixed them with melted butter, mashed it up my hands....

And put it at the bottom of each of the cupcake liners. I think i might have overdone it a little, you only need a little! Mine was almost 1/3, but it should be less than 1/4.

Then on top of the graham cracked bottoms, i poured in chocolate cake batter. I also mixed in some more graham cracker bits as well as chocolate chips into the batter.

After those were baked and cooled, i started making the marshmallow frosting. I did NOT add any milk to it, like the recipe called for. I did not want runny icing. I hate runny icing/frosting. Especially if i want to pipe it on pretty!I also added a stick of butter.

Ziplock bags rock. I will tell you why. Because you can use them instead of real piping bags. They're uber cheap, and you can throw them away. That's convenient because it sucks to wash out piping bags especially if you're making marshmallow frosting. After i made the frosting, it didn't look hard enough, and i was afraid it'd spread too easily so i shoved it in the freezer for about a minute. Then I used an 1M tip and frosted the tops of the cupcakes.

I stuck them in the fridge because it was super hot outside. For maybe 4-5 hours and the frosting actually set perfectly since i had to transport them an hour away in the heat anyways. Then i added the "scooby snacks".

No they are NOT dog cookies. lol. Keebler makes these delicious little cinnamon graham cracker cookies. (I found these at Safeway, but FoodMaxx sells them too.)

I also added more chocolate chips to the tops too. They didn't taste too bad either. haha. I mean i am pretty sure it gave a few people diabetes but whatever right?

I would like to note though, that if youre filling part of the cupcake liners with graham crackers an adding chips and graham crackers into the mix, you end up with a LOT of left over batter. In fact, i made 24 cupcakes (2 standard muffin pans) and then made 24 MINI cupcakes (1 mini cupcake pan) and still threw a little bit away. I had enough graham crackers to line them too. I just broke the cookies in half and called them Mini Scooby Snacks! I think i might have actually liked those more -- people were just popping the whole things in their mouths!

I also had enough frosting for them all. So really, the recipe will yield a CRAPLOAD of cupcakes lol.

Hopefully, the next post will be me raving about how my first try at baking from scratch went really well. :)