Saturday, April 28, 2012

Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes

Happy Saturday folks! I thought I'd start my weekend sharing another baking triumph with you.

I'm sure all of you have been there. You find a recipe, it looks tasty, you buy all the crap to make it and get SO excited for it to look JUST like it does in the picture. And then instead of nailing it, your concoction comes out looking like the red headed stepchild in time out. This is my history with Boston Creme Pie cupcakes.

I attempted my homegirl Martha Stewart's recipe several months back and it was a complete disaster. The recipe seemed simple enough, but let's face it, what's difficult for Martha Stewart to handle? I did not end up with a pretty cupcake. If we're being honest, it was hideous. I refused to take any pictures of them to post. (However, I did eat them. They may have been ugly, but they tasted pretty good.)

Needless to say I never shared that post with ya'll. You would have laughed. But I didn't give up. Even if I tank at a certain recipe, I will always give it another shot hoping it will turn out better the next go around. And this time, it certainly did! My creme pie cupcakes were delicious, and most importantly they were straight sexy. Not a chocolate slimey mess.

Many of you will find this recipe pretty darn easy because it is. Cool Whip is the secret to the simplicity. It's in the boston creme and in the chocolate glaze. There's pretty much NO way to muck these up if you can read directions. So give it a shot! :)

(recipe from Kraft)

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (3.4 oz)
1cup cold milk
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
The How To:

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool completely.    

Beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. Let stand 5 min. 
Meanwhile, use serrated knife to cut cupcakes horizontally in half.

Whisk 1/2 cup COOL WHIP into pudding; spoon onto bottom halves of cupcakes, using about 1 Tbsp. for each. Cover with cupcake tops.    

Microwave remaining COOL WHIP and chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until well blended. Let stand 15 min.; spread onto cupcakes. Refrigerate 15 min and serve when ready.

Has anyone else jacked up an attempt at a recipe on the first try? Pleaassee let me know so I don't feel like the only one out there! :)  and happy baking.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cake Batter Pudding Cookies

i have writer's block. anyone else ever get this? all day, i brainstorm about all the witty things i want to say when i post and once i get to the computer and open up my blog dashboard i transform into this sort of brain dead being.  it's prettttyyy lammmmee.

so due to my complete lack of inspiration for content, here are some cookies. they are good. you will like them. they looked so munch worthy mainly because i love sprinkles and cake batter is probably one of my favorite ice cream flavors.

there's some vanilla pudding mixed in that really gave them that batter taste. mmhmmm. i wish some of these were still in my kitchen. but i made them for some kiddos who'd be attending a sorority alumnae event, and they luurvvvedd them. i also managed to shatter the container they were in somehow. maybe that Pyrex just couldn't handle the awesomeness of these cookies.

     (recipe from Chef In Training)

  • 1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 3/4 cup yellow cake mix, dry
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • sprinkles (the more colorful the better!)

  • The How To:

    Preheat oven to 350 F.
    Stir together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.
    Add in pudding package and cake mix and beat until well blended.
    Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.
    Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.
    Mix in sprinkles.
    Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes.
       do any of you have kid friendly recipes you think i should try? i'm always looking! and happy baking.
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    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

    I really enjoy the month of April.


    My father and I are both April babies. This could be the explanation of why we're both completely addicted to sugar. He's actually the one who taught me to indulge on spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk when no one was watching. Yes, I still do it. There's no shame in my game.

    Since my dad  l-o-v-e-s caramel to pieces, this cupcake was perfect way to celebrate another fabulous year of his life. A light cinnamon cake laced with tart Granny Smith apples, topped with a rich caramel buttercream. My dad finished the frosting before he finished the cake. I guess we never really grow out of it..

    (recipe adapted from Baked Perfection)

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup apple juice
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups grated Granny Smith apples
    1 tsp caramel syrup

    The How To:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

    In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugars until creamy. Beat in the apple juice, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Slowly add the flour mixture, mix until just combined. Stir in the grated apples and caramel syrup.   Bake 20-22  minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before frosting.

    Makes 24 cupcakes.

    Caramel Buttercream

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    5 tablespoons milk
    1 pack of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations in Caramel flavor

    In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Once frosting is mixed, mix in 1 packet of caramel frosting flavoring. I decided to take an easier route by making my buttercream a caramel flavor with Duncan Hines' caramel frosting flavoring. (You can find these little packets near the boxed cake mixes, they are cheap and amazeballs.)

    Frost your cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce.

    Yum yum in my tum.

    Has anyone else tried these awesome new frosting flavoring packets yet? Any other I should try out?

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    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Strawberry Cheesecake Truffles

    ehhh. today was one of those days. you know the ones... every time you look at the clock it's crept 30 seconds forward. i even managed to staple my finger today.

    there are many worse things in the world though. as i tweeted today, i {could} be the adult male dressed in the Lady Liberty costume outside the tax office. that would really suck.  if that's your job and you're reading this, i'm baking you a cupcake right now for busting on your occupation.

    you know what doesn't suck though?!? these strawberry cheesecake truffles i made for my boss man's birthday a few weeks back. i don't know about you, but whenever someone i'm fond of has a birthday, i like to bake them something. this could present somewhat of a problem in the future though, because i just adore an awfully large amount of people.

    okay, so technically i didn't "bake" these. they are no bake. but they are so so wonderful. it's a ball full a strawberries, graham crackers, and cheesecake. my teeth are salivating just thinking about them.

    ready for the recipe? ok! let's goooooo.

    Strawberry Cheesecake Truffles
    (recipe adapted from Annie's Eats)

    For the filling:
    8 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
    1 cup plus 2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs (I used boxed crumbs)
    1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
    Splash of vanilla extract
    7 tbsp. finely chopped strawberries

    For the coating:
    16 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

    For decoration, which is optional. But don't you want them to be pretty?!?

    Melted milk chocolate
    Melted white chocolate, tinted pink with good gel or candy coloring

    The How To:

    In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries until evenly distributed. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator until firm enough to scoop and mold. Scoop about 2 teaspoons of the filling and roll into a ball. Place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator or freezer to chill until very firm.

    To coat the truffles, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When completely melted and smooth, dip the filling balls one at a time in the chocolate, gently shaking off the excess before returning to the baking sheet. Once all of the truffles have been dipped, drizzle with melted milk chocolate and tinted white chocolate for decoration, if desired. Return the pan to the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.

    This recipe made about 18 truffles for me. You can get more and less depending on how large/small your balls are. If you want to get near the two dozen number, you may want to double up on the ingredients. I didn't buy enough stuff and had much less of these than I wanted.

    One other note... Keep them refrigerated until serving as the cheesey insides get warm and won't taste as awesome chilled.

    So guys... do you have any awesome recipes you use for special birthday occasions? Have any truffle recipes I might want to see? I'd love to hear them!
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    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    "Deviled" Cadbury Creme Eggs

    Isn't Easter over Tori? Yeahh I know, I know.

    But guys, this was too quick and quirky not to share. I mean, one of the best parts of Easter are the sales on the candy after it has passed! Cheap candy is where it's at man. And I love Cadbury Creme Eggs. If they made these suckers year round I'd be a very chubby bunny (pun intended).

    I stumbled on this "deviled" creme egg idea on Pinterest. I don't like the normal deviled egg all that much so these were such a sweet play on the original I knew it was something I had to try. Plus it gave me an excuse to buy a massive amount of my favorite Easter candy. Score.

    These are super simple to make. Just make sure to have a really sharp knife when you're cutting the chocolate in half. I broke a few of my eggs because the knives in our house have seriously taken a beating. If done right, you have an adorable sweet treat that imitates something savory. Fun.

    (recipe from Serious Eats)

    4 Cadbury Creme Eggs, chilled for 1 hour (I used 6, sue me.)
    1/2 cup vanilla buttercream, colored yellow with food coloring
    red sprinkles, to garnish

    The How To:

    1. Remember to chill these in freezer for at least an hour. You want the fondant centers to be hard when you cut into them.

    2. Using a very sharp knife, gently slice the eggs in half lengthwise, following the seam on the sides. The egg should separate pretty easily into two halves with a dollop of fondant on each half. Leave fondant in egg shell.

    3. Using a pastry bag with a star tip attached, pipe yellow buttercream in a spiral direction on the insides of the egg making it meet in the center. (I made some white chocolate frosting and dyed it yellow with food coloring.)

    4. Sprinkle red sprinkles on top of the buttercream to give the appearance of paprika.

    5. Devour.

     Enjoy! (Go buy some before they sell out!)
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    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Bird's Nest Cupcakes

    Happy Easter Friends!

     In honor of one of my favorite holidays (probably because my birthday follows a week after) I wanted to share my latest "springy creation". There were so many cute cupcake ideas for Easter all over the web it was so hard to choose one. I was overwhelmed! I ended up doing two but I'll share the other another day this week.

    If you're still stuck with the task of finding something fun to make, this one is super easy and sure to please. Bird Nest cupcakes! The kiddos will love them!

    Keep in mind I did a mini version and made them for two since it's just hubs and I. But you can choose any cupcake recipe you like, any frosting recipe you like too so you can make more!

    The How To:

    For the cupcakes I used my vanilla cupcakes for two recipe (minus the white chocolate) and my white chocolate buttercream recipe. I dyed the icing yellow with food coloring. It took about 8 drops to get it the color I wanted.

    So... baked your cakes, let them cool, and whip up your frosting. Set aside.

    Here's what else you will need...

    6 ounces of vanilla candy coating (i used white chocolate chip morsels)
    1 cup chow mein noodles
    2 small bags of Cadbury chocolate eggs (my abs favorite Easter candy!!)

    Take your candy coating and melt it down my microwave or saucepan. Since I used white chocolate morsels, I stuck them in a small saucepan and melted them down over low heat for about 1 minute. After the coating is melted, pour over chow mein noodles in a small bowl and mix until noodles are completely coated in chocolaty goodness. Allow noodles to dry before using. Takes about 10 minutes.

    Frost your cupcakes with your yellow icing and then add 3 Cadbury eggs to the center of your cupcake. They should stick upright since the frosting is still wet. Then take the candied chow mein noodles and shape them into a nest around the eggs.

    Voila! You have some adorable bird nest cuppycakes that will even impress the Easter Bunny.

    Happy Baking! And enjoy your Easter! :)

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