Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thin Mint Cupcakes For Two!

Aww sookie, sookie. It's Girl Scout cookie season!

I can't remember the last time I bought a box of these cookies from an actual Girl Scout. Most of my encounters with ordering usually consist of a sign up sheet in the office break room. How I miss those little chickadees rolling up to my doorstep with their bright green uniforms. It reminds me of the days when I pathetically spent about 1 month in Brownies.


What's especially exciting about this recipe I'm sharing is the fact that it's for two cupcakes! Yeah, just TWO cupcakes. I'm sure you know the feeling... you're craving some baked goods,  but you're lazy and don't wanna bust out a baker's dozen of anything. Well this the state of mind I was in last Wednesday.  A two cupcake recipe was just the ticket.

I whipped up a chocolate cake (without the eggs and butter, super wicked easy!) and tossed in some mint and chopped up thin mint cookies. I mixed up some mint buttercream, drizzled a chocolate glaze over and crowned this beauty with a thin mint cookie. 

This is probably the best thing I have ever done in my life. I could totally be graduated to a Girl Scout because of this one.  Plus it's reallllly simple to make. I suggest you get in the kitchen and try it. Like NOW.

Thin Mint Cupcakes

3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a quarter-teaspoon and it will be fine)
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/16 teaspoon vanilla
1/16 teaspoon mint extract
2 tablespoons chopped Thin Mint girl scout cookies

The How To:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a second small bowl or spouted measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients and the GS cookies. Add the dry to the wet and stir till combined, whisking well. Divide batter between two cupcake liners and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting

Mint Buttercream Frosting

1 1/3 cups powedered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food gel coloring

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add milk and milk extract until smooth. Mix in green food coloring until you get a green color that's to your liking.

Pipe the cupcakes with the frosting, drizzle with some chocolate glaze or syrup and topp with a halved Thin Mint cookie.

Voila! Enjoy! :)
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

So I know National Love Day has come and gone, but I did want to drop some very yummy brownies in your lap before the month of February is over.

I actually did whip these suckas up on Valentine's Day. And they were gooood. I wish I could say I was being romantic and they were all for my hubs but I'm VERY selfish and consumed half of these on my own because I was having a major choco craving. Happy V-Day to me!

I'm not even really that crazzyyy about cheesecake and I devoured them. That says quite a lot you guys.

Enough yapping, here's how to make them!

1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The How To:
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan.
Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
    Butter the parchment.
    In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together.
    Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
    In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
    Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
    Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
    Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
    To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth.
    Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan.
    Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
    Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set.
     A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
    Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.

Enjoy! :)
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Parmesan Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream

Hi Friends.

Apologies for my lack of presence. I have been a travelling fool lately.

I really stoked about what's going on below in this post. This cupcake was totes awesome. And super creative.

 I took it back to where it all started and headed over to my hero, Cupcake Project's website since I was feeling uninspired. I stumbled on this wowza cuppycake and it was love at first sight.

Parmesan and sour cream doesn't sound like it should be in a cupcake, but man does this recipe knock my socks off. I pity the fool who doesn't try.

The cake is light and sweet while the Parmesan and sour cream give this incredible tang that is out this world. Topping it off with a light raspberry whipped cream hits the spot. People may look at you a little silly when you tell them what it is, but once they bite into it, I'm pretty sure they will hug you. Or buy you a balloon.

Parmesan Sour Cream Cupcakes
(recipe from Cupcake Project)

1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 ounces very finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cool room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 large eggs, cool room temperature, beaten lightly
1/2 cup sour cream, cool room temperature

The How To:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream the butter briefly until smooth. (If you don't have a stand mixer, don't despair. You can still make this recipe - just mix with whatever tool you have.)

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed for 5 full minutes, until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.

With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the eggs, tablespoon by tablespoon. If the mixture begins to curdle, stop adding the eggs and increase the speed until batter is again creamy. Then decrease the speed and resume adding the eggs. Continue to cream, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times, until the mixture appears fluffy white, velvety, and increased in volume, about 3 minutes.

Stir in 1/4 of the flour mixture.

Add 1/3 of the sour cream, stirring until blended.

Repeat the procedure, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, ending with the final addition of flour.
Divide evenly among the cupcake liners.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. 

Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting

2 cups heavy whipping cream
about 25 raspberries (I used defrosted frozen raspberries)
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Whip heavy whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream.
Smash the berries until you have a liquidy raspberry paste.
Mix in the berries and powdered sugar until just combined.
Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.

happy baking! :)
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Fudge

Woo! Another successful fudge endeavor! This is now, count it people,  the 2nd fudge recipe recipe I have attempted and conquered. For anyone new around here, I haven't had the best track record for making the stuff.

I made some orange creamsicle cupcakes a few months back and was just missing some of that orange in my life. I pinned this orange creamsicle fudge on Pinterest not even 3 days ago and I have already made it and devoured it. Guys, this stuff is like CRACK. It's like...hillbillie heroine. Well, maybe not quite.

But it IS incredible how much it takes like the actual popsicle. Everytime I bit into a square, visions of swimming pools and ice cream trucks danced in my head.

Orange Creamsicle Fudge
recipe from Twenties Hacker

  • 6 oz butter (1.5 sticks)

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3/4 cups evaporated milk

  • 12 ounces (1 package) white chocolate chips

  • 7 ounces (1 jar) marshmallow creme

  • 1 Tablespoon orange extract

  • orange (or red + yellow) food coloring

  • The How To:

    1. Line a 13×9 pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside, for now.

    2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, heavy cream (or evaporated milk), and butter over medium heat; stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.

    3. Brush the sides with a wet pastry brush.

    4. Bring your mixture to a boil. Once it starts boiling, stir continuously for 4 minutes.

    5. After your 4 minutes of boiling and stirring, remove from heat and immediately stir in the marshmallow creme and white chocolate chips. Stir, stir, stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth.

    (This next part you’ll want to do as quickly as you can, because the fudge will start to set.)

    6. Pour 1/3 of the white fudge mixture into a bowl and set aside. To the remainder of the fudge in your saucepan, add the orange extract and a suitable amount of food coloring and stir some more until you’ve got a nice even color.

    7. Pour the orange fudge into your lined pan and spread it out into an even layer.

    8. Drop spoonfuls of the white fudge onto the orange.

    9. Use a knife to swirl around the white fudge to blend the two.

    10. Let stand for at least 2 hours (or 1 hour if you put it in the fridge). Serve at room temperature.

    Enjoy! :)
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    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies

    Oh happy day guys!

    Today I'm sharing a recipe I tossed together completely on my OWN.
    I've come along way from boxed caked and refrigerated cookie dough days.

    I made these delectable chocolate toffee cookies on the fly for my husband to take to one of his "food" workdays. Kind of like a cubicle potluck.

    I finally have the hang of remembering the ingredients/measurements to make a basic chocolate chip cookie from scratch, so I went with that and tossed some other fun goodies I had lying in the cabinet. On this special day it happened to be Heath toffee bits, semi sweet chocolate morsels and white chocolate. YUM!

    Doubling up with two chocolates and adding the toffee bits really kicked this cookie up a notch. I especially loved the slight bitterness of the semi-sweet chocolate mixed with the sweetness of the white chocolate. The recipe makes about 3 dozen and hubs came home with only 4 left. (His co-workers were actually mad the next day when they found out he didn't leave the 4 lone cookies there!)

    That's what I call a good cookie!

    Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2  3/4 cup all purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup english toffee candy (i used pre chopped Heath toffee bits)
    1 package semi-sweet chocolate chunks or morsels (i used a combo of both)
    2/3 white chocolate morsels (you can always use more!)

    The How To:

    Preheat over to 35 degrees.
    Beat butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy. Gradually add both sugars in and beat well.
    Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
    Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at a low speed until blended.
    Stir in toffee candy and both chocolate morsels. (I actually put some elbow grease into this and used my hands. yeah, i'm a beast.)
    Drop dough by heaping tablespoons at least 1 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheets.
    Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. (The larger the cookie, the longer the bake time.)
    Let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    I'd be lying if I told you I let them cool completely before I tried one. And I don't regret it.


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    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

    I should be spending this Saturday morning getting my fitness on and cleaning the tornado mess that is my house, but this recipe can't stay on my kitchen counter any longer. It HAS to be shared.

    This cookie means business you guys. It makes my heart swoon. I might ask it out on a date if it was socially acceptable. So far, it's my abs fave cookie. The combo of tart apple cider and gooey caramel just make it magical. Appley delicious. Caramelly delicious. I think I just coined two new words.

    I'd like to add they were especially fun to make. Stuffing the dough with caramels was like wrapping Christmas presents. Pure joy! They are best when slightly warm so the caramel centers ooze when you bite into it. Just be careful not to burn your mouth. My impatience made me do it twice. Whoops!

    Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
    recipe from Scrambled Henfruit

    1 cup softened butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix (not sugar free!)
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)
    Parchment paper (I mention this here because I didn't read ahead and forgot to buy some! Super important!)

    The How To:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.

  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)

  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels.

  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)

  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down on the parchment paper.  Don't leave them sitting for too long though or they will harden to the paper.

  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

  • I'm gonna be kind of demanding now and tell you that you need to make these. They will make you smile and brighten your weekend. Or weekday. Maybe even your month. You get the idea.

    Happy Baking! :)
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    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

    Savory strikes again.

    Boom (hubby's pet name. yes, we are now on a nickname basis folks.) has been feeling very under the weather this past week, so meal time has been severely lacking lately. Saturday was filled with complete laziness and I don't regret one second of it. However, I did manage to whip up a really nifty breakfast. Hubs was hungry and super sickly in this dashingly cute way, so I offered to make bacon and eggs.

    Allow me to let you in on a little secret. I SUCK at making eggs.

    Unless you want a hard boiled one.

    I have been known to sabotage every fried egg I have ever tried to make. I immediately regretted making the offer. Luckily, I remembered I stumbled on this super sweet "breakfast cup" from my homegirl Martha Stewart.

    These little guys are super cute, tasted delicious and take the mess out of cooking eggs. The best thing is they're super easy. These would be perfect if you had a ton of overnight guests around.

    Bacon Egg and Toast Cups
    recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

    6 slices of bread (white, whole wheat. you pick!)
    6 slices of bacon (i used turkey bacon)
    6 large eggs
    2 oz. shredded cheese (i used cheddar)
    salt and pepper
    nonstick cooking spray

    The How To:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
    3. Cut 6 circles out of your bread. (I used the top of a drinking glass to cut my circles)
    4. Place each circle of bread into your muffin wells.
    5. Cook your bacon slices on medium heat on the stove top for 2-3 minutes until slightly cooked but not crispy. You want your bacon to be "bendable".
    6. Take each slice of cooked bacon and wrap around the base of the bread inside the muffin tin. (You will want the bacon to rest up on the sides of the muffin well while it is wrapped around the bread.
    7. Sprinkle a small amount of cheddar cheese onto each piece of toast.
    8. Crack your eggs one at a time and remove about half of the egg white before pouring over each piece of bread.
    9. Bake cups in the oven until the whites are cooked to your liking. ( I like mine less runny so I left mine in for about 13 minutes. This will vary.)
    10. Season with salt and pepper and serve!  (i tossed on some Texas Pete and boy was it yummy!)

    hope you  guys enjoy this one! anyone have a super awesome breakfast treat they love to make?
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