Super Bowl Sunday

T-minus 2-ish hours until the big game.

You could say I’m a little excited. Actually scratch that. More than a little excited.

I bet you can guess why. If not, just look at the pictures that follow. I’m pretty sure that will clear it up.

Super Bowl Sunday

Cleared up for you? You see I’m kind of sort of totally into football (who knew, right?). And, I rather enjoy being apart of the 12th man. One could say that picture above is the epitome of 12th-manning it. I mean, my Hustle Like Russell Shirt, that chipped glitter blue polish, the large Seahawks helmet ring, and lets not forget the star of the picture, that cupcake.

My oh my what a good-looking cupcake. Blue and Green never looked better on something.

Super Bowl Sunday

I give you Super Bowl Sunday Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue and Green Swirl Vanilla Frosting and Football Sprinkles. Could it get any better than that?

Why yes, yes it can, with these Shortbread Chocolate Dipped Football Cookies.

Super Bowl Sunday

That right there is the bomb.com

But, don’t worry, it gets better. Much MUCH better.

Super Bowl Sunday

What are those you ask? Caramel Blondies with Seahawk flag toothpicks (courtesy of Emerald City Sisters Design). I’m dying at how yummy they are (no, seriously) and at how stickin adorbs these toothpicks are. I mean come on, tell me you don’t just love them.

Super Bowl Sunday

I’ll stop now. I just couldn’t let the day go by without you seeing the dessert spread I put out for the game. I mean, I totally maybe value your opinion. No big deal or anything.

Super Bowl Sunday

Wait, I lied. One more thing. LETS GO SEAHAWKS.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

I know what you’re thinking.

Believe me, I do.

“Of course she posted another Oreo recipe, they just came out with a new flavor.”

Pretty spot on, huh?

I’d like to think I’m unpredictable, but I’m beginning to realize, I’m not. Not even close. And, you know what, that’s really not a bad thing. At least you know what you’re getting from me. Right? It’s not like I’m giving you the same recipe though. I’ve done lemon bars, cookies, and cupcakes. All with Oreos. Now, that’s variety. Some may even go as far as saying I’m unpredictable with my Oreo baking. Ah ha, unpredictability.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Yeah, I don’t know why all of a sudden it’s important for me to be unpredictable. Maybe I’ve gone crazy? Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m slightly tired, under caffeinated, and really like typing the word unpredictable for some reason. Seriously, it has so many letters.

But, enough of my nonsense.

Lets talk about the other main ingredient in this recipe. Drumroll please.

The pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Guys, this is my first pumpkin recipe of the year. Aren’t you proud that I waited until the end of October to share it with you? For those of you that are new to Hint of Nutmegg, let me briefly share the story of the pumpkin craze of 2013.

I went a little overboard on the pumpkin. How overboard? Let’s just say I posted 5 pumpkin recipes in a row. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it totally was. I over-killed the pumpkin. And, even I, the biggest pumpkin fan in the world, was tired of it. It was pretty bad.

Don’t worry though. There won’t be a pumpkin craze of 2014. I’ll be better. But, I hope you know, by being better, I don’t mean this will be my only pumpkin post. I’m planning on at least two more. I think that’s reasonable. Don’t you?

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

So, lets talk about these Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting.

In three words, to die for.

The cupcakes are super moist and have a subtle pumpkin taste, thanks to the Pumpkin Spice Oreo crumbles that are baked into the cupcake. Each cupcake is then topped with a creamy, pumpkin packed frosting that is out of this world. I repeat, out of this world. I’ll admit I was eating it out of the bowl. It’s the perfect balance between cream cheese and pumpkin spice, and really brings this cupcake to a whole new level of pumpkin yumminess. For a topper, I crumbled some of the Oreos on top of the cupcake to add a little crunch—keep in mind, when putting the cupcakes in the refrigerator though, the Oreo crumbles on top will get soggy.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes With Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
16 Pumpkin Spice Latte Oreos, roughly chopped

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used the Organic Pumpkin Puree from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar–the mixture will be very thick…use those muscles!
Add the egg whites, whisking until incorporated, and then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined and no lumps remain.
Using a spatula, gently fold in the chopped Oreo pieces.
Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners–about 3 tablespoons per each tin–and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the pumpkin cream cheese frosting. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices on medium speed until creamy and combined.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and then mix in the flour.
Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with crumbled up Pumpkin Spice Oreos.

*Cupcake batter adapted from this recipe, which was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Baby Boy Cupcakes

Baby Boy Cupcakes
Anytime there is a social gathering I have a role. And, even if I get to choose my role, I always always pick the same one.

Dessert Maker.

Yeah, I know, my title needs a little sprucing up. How do we feel about Baker Extraordinaire? Okay, okay, you’re right, a little too over the top. I’m open to ideas if you have any.

With my family and friends, it’s simply assumed that I will be making some sort of sweet. The question has become “what are you making for dessert?” rather than “are you making anything for dessert?” And, don’t get me wrong I’m totally fine with this, except for the few rare times when I don’t make dessert for some reason or another. Those are the times that I strongly dislike my title. Why you ask? Let me paint you a picture.

“What did you make for dessert?”

“Oh, I didn’t make anything.”

“Haahah. Good one. Seriously, I’m craving chocolate. I hope what you made has chocolate.”

“No, seriously, I didn’t make anything. I didn’t have any time.”

Smile instantly disappears. Serious face ensues. Eyes are looking watery (okay, this one may be a figment of my imagination).

“So, there’s no dessert?”

Have you ever had a child ask you if Santa or the Tooth Fairy is real? Because the face they make, the one that says I-heard-the-other-kids-say-they-weren’t-real-but-I-don’t-want-to-believe-them-tell-me-they-were-lying-please is the same exact face I see when I don’t make any dessert. How do I deal with it? I just promise to make something the next time that is a) extremely delicious and b) has large amounts of chocolate in it.

Now, back to me volunteering for this role. This past weekend at my work we put together a little baby shower for one of my coworkers. Her name is Mari and she is expecting her second child and her first baby boy.

Baby Boy Cupcakes

Let me tell you a little bit about Mari. From the moment I started volunteering at the hospital she was beyond nice to me—always including me in conversations, inviting me to eat lunch with her, and overall helping me feel extremely welcome. Once I was hired, she was one of the people in charge of training me. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. She was extremely helpful, thorough in her explanations, and not only supportive, but also patient with me during the learning process. She is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met and this baby boy, along with her other children, are lucky to have her as their mother.

So, naturally, when I was asked what I wanted to be in charge of for the baby shower, I said dessert. I knew I wanted to do something special for her, and after looking around on Pinterest (don’t you just love Pinterest?), I settled on making baby boy cupcakes. And, I’m so so glad I did. Because, look at them, they are so freaking cute. Plus, she loved them, which really is the only thing that matters.

If I were to make these again, I would try to make them even cuter. Add some hair using black licorice vines. Possibly give him some blushing cheeks—mix a little pink food coloring with some of the frosting. Or, even, give him some freckles. These were super easy to make, a huge hit at the baby shower, and would be pretty easy to turn into a baby girl if necessary.

I mean, come on, look at these cuties. Don’t you want these at the next baby shower you go to?

Baby Boy Cupcakes

Baby Boy Cupcakes

Ingredients:
24 cupcakes (flavor of your preference, I used chocolate)
1 batch of vanilla frosting
Ivory food coloring gel
48 Candy eyeballs
24 Blue pacifiers

Directions:
Bake cupcakes according to the recipe instructions and let cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, make frosting according to the recipe instructions as well. I baked the cupcakes in dark blue chevron liners to keep with the baby boy theme, so feel free to do that too or use a completely different colored liner if you want! Add ivory food coloring gel to the frosting until it reaches the desired shade of tan.

Using an icing spatula spread frosting on top of each cupcake, dividing it evenly between the 24 cupcakes. Once each cupcake has been frosted, place two candy eyeballs in the upper center part of each cupcake. Using the tip of a sharp knife, gently cut a small horizontal line in the cupcake—this will make it easier for the pacifier to go in—and push the pacifier into the cupcake.

If you want to doll up your baby a little more, you could add hair (cut 3 small pieces of black licorice vines and place on the top center of the cupcake) or, you could mix a little pink food coloring with some of the frosting to give the baby pinky colored cheeks. You could also give the baby freckles (dip a toothpick in brown or orange or red food coloring and make three little dots in a triangle pattern on each side of the face) or, if you are making the baby a girl, add a little bow at the top of her head. I thought of these ideas after the fact, but let me know if they turn out for you!

NOTES:
*I used this cupcake recipe minus the peanut butter.
*I doubled this vanilla frosting recipe, but only used 4 cups of powdered sugar and added a little extra vanilla.
*I purchased the candy eyeballs at Target.

 

Baby Boy Cupcakes

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

Guys. I have BIG news to share. And, I mean BIG in the really exciting sense. Really, really, exciting.

Are you ready for this? Okay, here goes.

I now have a JOB. Insert pumping of fist and overly excited squeal. And, yes, I do expect you to join me in the pumping and squealing. Come on. No one likes to do that alone.

Remember awhile back I said I was volunteering at a psychiatric hospital? Well, they officially hired me on. You are now looking at (or, technically listening to) the newest addition to the Admitting department. Whattt? High fives all around. I’ve been training the past two weeks—hence the lack of new recipe postings—and am honestly, really happy about working at this facility. I officially feel like a big kid now.

Anyways, speaking of recipes, lets talk about these cupcakes.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

Nabisco came out with a new Oreo flavor. For the record, I’d like to state that this is the BEST flavor in the history of Oreos so far.

I introduce you to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos.

There is now REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUP OREOS in the world.

REESE’S. PEANUT. BUTTER. CUP. OREOS.

I really don’t know why I’m capitalizing everything today or, repeating everything for that matter, so just bear with me please.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

These Oreos are like a dream come true. Let’s rewind a bit here. So, for those that don’t know, I like Oreos. And, I love love love peanut butter. And, my favorite way to eat Oreos is to smother them with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, and then, of course, drink some milk. Seriously, it’s the most delicious thing in the world. Go try it if you haven’t.

Okay, back to dreams coming true. These Oreos taste exactly like smothering a plain Oreo with peanut butter. That is in no way an exaggeration either. Scouts honor. You know what else tastes just like smothering a plain Oreo with peanut butter? Yup, you got it. I see it rolling off the tip of your tongue. The answer is these cupcakes.

These Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes. Just look at these little beauts.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

The cupcake itself is a vanilla cupcake that is super moist, super fluffy, and packed with crushed up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos. The cupcake is then topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting—I dare you not to eat it out of the bowl with a spoon…seriously, it’s impossible to stop—and decorated with half an Oreo and some crumbs. If you like peanut butter and Oreos then you must need to should definitely make these cupcakes right away. Make sure you have a cold glass of milk next to you too. Trust me, you’re going to want it.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
¼ cup plain greek yogurt
¾ cup vanilla soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
15 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos, roughly chopped

Peanut Butter Frosting
¾ cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons heavy cream
6 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cookies, cut in half

Directions:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar—the mixture will be very thick.
Add the egg whites, whisking until incorporated, and then the greek yogurt until just combined. Add soy milk and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is uniform in texture.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined and no lumps remain.
Using a spatula fold in the chopped Oreo pieces.
Divide batter between the 12 cupcake liners—about 3 tablespoons per each—and bake for 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely on wire rack.

Peanut Butter Frosting
While cupcakes are cooling, start making your frosting. In a medium bowl beat together peanut butter and butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add heavy cream. Beat until incorporated and frosting looks creamy.
Frost cooled cupcakes with a piping bag or smooth frosting on with a knife.
Decorate with Oreo halves and Oreo crumbs before serving.

*Cupcake Batter and Frosting recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

Caramel Toffee ‘Pot of Gold’ Cupcakes

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesSee what I did there?

It’s your lucky day. Call it the luck of the Irish, if you will. I’m giving you, and myself, a pot of gold.

POTS. OF. GOLD.

We’re practically rich at this point. Think of all the things we can buy. Unlimited amounts of Ben & Jerry’s. An Endless supply of Oreos. And, peanut butter. Oh, and obviously milk. Hopefully you don’t mind double dipping. Ohhh. Even better. A bigger kitchen. That way I can invite you over to bake with me. You can be my official taste taster. You in?

FINE. I see you shaking your head. You never let me have any fun.

I made us edible pots of gold.

We can’t spend them. BUT. We can eat them. All of them. And, you know what, that doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesI came up with the idea for these pot of gold cupcakes in a dream. And no, I’m not kidding. Normal people daydream about vacations or winning the lottery or having that magical storybook romance. Not me. I daydream mainly about food. Not eating it so much, but making it. When I stare off into space I’m building recipes, imagining  different flavor combinations, and debating if those combinations would taste better as a cake, cookie, pie, or so on. Foodie dreams. That’s what I have. Don’t judge. It does happen to some people. I can’t be the only one. Right?

I wanted to make a cupcake that was St. Patrick’s themed, but I didn’t want it to be green or involve four-leaf clovers…there are way too many adorably indulgent desserts already with those two things. So, I started thinking. What else screams March 17th?

Bailey’s Irish Cream. Tad bit predictable. Jameson Irish Whiskey. I don’t even like whiskey. Leprechauns. Would be hard to make into a dessert. Hmm. What’s related to a leprechauns? Gold. I could make gold cookies. Wait. Pots of gold. BINGO. I found a winner—keep in mind that’s basically a direct quote of my inner monologue. Your welcome for sharing my craziness.

Once I had the idea of making pots of gold, the recipe just sort of fell into place. Hellllllllo caramel toffee cupcakes topped with a fluffy caramel marshmallow frosting, coated with caramel, and sprinkled generously with toffee pieces.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesLet’s break this down more slowly.

Caramel toffee cupcakes. They are ridiculously moist, soft, and caramely. Toffee pieces are scattered throughout the cupcake, making the caramel flavoring even richer. Each cupcake is then topped with Caramel Marshmallow Frosting. This frosting tastes like a combination of cool whip and marshmallows subtly infused with hints of caramel. Yes, that is a thing. And yes, it’s to die for. Once topped with the fluffy frosting, the cupcake is dipped in a caramel bath (can we make that a thing?) and then sprinkled generously with toffee pieces aka pieces of gold. Together, as whole, this cupcake is heavenly.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold CupcakesOne thing though…if you notice, I have some chocolate pieces on top of each cupcake too. That’s because I mistakenly grabbed a bag of milk chocolate toffee pieces and not just plain toffee pieces. I noticed this as I was melting my caramel, which meant I was going to be making pots of gold filled with sparkly, and dull, gold pieces. Don’t make my mistake if you want pure pots of gold. Or, do make my mistake. The hints of chocolate are a nice surprise for the taste buds amidst all that caramel and toffee.
Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes
Yields: about 13 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Caramel Toffee Cupcakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup golden brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk (don’t use skim or 1%)
½ cup toffee bits

Caramel Marshmallow Frosting
1 ½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon caramel extract (add more depending on your taste)

Caramel Coating & Gold Pieces
11 oz bag of vanilla caramel squares for melting (I had about 6 leftover squares)
2/3 cup toffee bits

Directions:
Caramel Toffee Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars together at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 ½ minutes.
Mix in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, until incorporated.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides as needed.
Slowly stir in the milk, until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the toffee bits.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full, dividing the batter evenly between the cupcakes. Bake for about 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack for cooling. Let cool completely before frosting, at least an hour.

Caramel Marshmallow Frosting
Before you start making the frosting, clear a space in your freezer to put the frosted cupcakes.
Set a pan of water over medium heat and bring to just barely a simmer.
In a heatproof bowl, beat together sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar, using a handheld electric mixer on high until foamy.
Set bowl over pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and beat mixture on high until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 15-20 minutes (yes, it’s an arm workout); candy thermometer should read 160 degrees.
Remove from heat and beat in vanilla and caramel, about two minutes or until frosting is of a thick enough consistency.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop a ball of frosting on the top of each cupcake in the middle.
Let cupcakes sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until frosting has set enough that you can flip the cupcakes upside down without the frosting falling off.

Caramel Coating & Gold Pieces
While the frosting is setting melt caramel squares as directed on the package in a tall cup or deep bowl. Let melted caramel cool to room temperature—you want it to be cooled, but of drizzling consistency.
Holding a frosted cupcake upside down, dip the cupcake into the melted caramel—allow excess caramel to drip off.
Let caramel coated cupcake sit for a minute or so and then sprinkle with toffee bits—I found that if I sprinkled the cupcakes right away, some of the toffee pieces made the caramel drip off.
Place cupcakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the caramel coating has slightly hardened.

*cupcake recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

This cupcake wanted to take a picture with these gold coins. In a mason jar. With a gold bow. Such a cupcake diva.

Caramel Toffee Pot of Gold Cupcakes