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.

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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

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakesAttention peanut butter lovers.

Attention Reese’s lovers.

Attention cupcake lovers of the world.

Oh, and attention those who wish to die from stuffing their face with the most ridiculously peanut butter packed chocolate cupcake in the universe.

Notice I said the universe. Not just the world. That’s how badass these cupcakes are.

If you think about it, it’s really not a bad way to go, is it? Death by peanut butter chocolate food coma. I’m in. I mean, it could always be worse, like death by jelly filled donuts. Ick. Don’t get me started on that.

Or, death by chocolate covered raisin poison. Blech. Raisins on their own are the worst, but then to cover them in chocolate is just plain cruel. Why? Because certain people, I’m not going to mention names or anything, could mistake a heavily coated chocolate raisin for a delicious chocolate covered almond, and then, accidentally choke when they realize their mistake.

I now eat chocolate coated things with hesitation.

Oooh or, possibly even worse, death by frosting overdose. Yeah, so here’s the thing, I’m not entirely a fan of frosting. I eat it, mainly because there never seems to be a way to scoop it off without it getting awkward, but to be completely honest, I could live with out it. I really could.

Anyways, lets get back to happy things. Like these cupcakes.

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakeThis week I wanted to make something that wasn’t so time consuming or detail oriented. I’ve spent the last two weeks making things like Seahawk Sugar Cookies—which required a ton of time and attention to detail—and Toasted Coconut XOXO Shortbread Cookies—which also took up some time because of the X’s and O’s. So, I decided easy, but equally tasty, was the name of the game this week.

One thing kept popping up in my mind. Box cake mix. I mean think about it. It’s super easy, relatively tasty, and I’m pretty sure at some point, we have all thrown a box cake mix together. We know box cake mix. We understand that by mixing four things together we can have quality cupcakes in less than 30 minutes. And, that’s a good thing. It’s a very good thing. But, I couldn’t just make a box cake mix and call it a day. That wasn’t going to cut it. Not for the blog. Not for me. And, certainly not for your sweet tooth.

What was a girl to do?

Enter peanut butter chocolate cupcakes that come from, drum roll please, a fancied up box mix. Gasp.

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate CupcakeHow could I? But, really, how could I not? These cupcakes are for the days when you want a top-notch cupcake, but you don’t want to spend a ton of time making them. They are for the lazy days, the days that seem to go on forever, the days that you want something simple, and the days that you need a dessert induced food coma.

Let me tell you about these cupcakes.

These cupcakes require one bowl and you don’t even need a stand mixer—realistically, you could simply mix it with a spoon if you wanted to. I will warn you, however, that the batter gets really thick, so if you choose the spoon route, prepare to work those muscles. Also, if you aren’t weird about eating batter, please do yourself, and me, the favor of eating some. It tastes amazingggg. I dare you not to lick the bowl, spatula, and spoon clean. The baked cupcakes come out super moist, almost airy and fluffy, and have that Devil’s food cake taste with a subtly peanut butter undertone.

Feel free to eat the cupcakes without the ganache or topping if you don’t want to be in the kitchen anymore. I completely understand. But, if you are willing to wait a few more minutes for complete heaven, make the ganache, which tastes like melted peanut butter, and cut up the peanut butter chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Together, as a whole, the cupcake packs a mean peanut butter flavor that will knock your socks off. Seriously, sit down while you eat these bad boys. But, before you do, pour yourself a large glass of cold milk, grab a napkin, and take two cupcakes. Trust me, one will not be enough.

But, then again, when is one serving ever enough?

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields: about 23 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
1 (16.5 oz.) box Devil’s Food Cake (I used Duncan Hines)
1 (3.9 oz.) box chocolate instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Ganache
1 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

Toppings
1/2 cup peanut butter chips, roughly chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
1 (12 oz.) bag miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into cubes

Directions:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Using a stand or hand held electric mixer beat together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk, butter, and peanut butter until well combined (about 2-3 minutes).
Scoop batter into the cupcake liners, about 3 tablespoons for each cupcake.
Bake for 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Ganache
Once the cupcakes are cooled, begin making the ganache. In a small saucepan combine peanut butter chips and heavy cream over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth and of drizzling consistency, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).

Assembling Cupcakes
In a medium bowl mix together chopped peanut butter chips, chopped chocolate chips, and cubed Reese’s.
Grab a cupcake and dip the top into the peanut butter ganache–make sure to hold it upside down for a bit to allow extra ganache to drip off. Sprinkle the top of the cupcake with the Reese’s and chip mixture.
Repeat the above steps until all the cupcakes have ganache and topping.
Place in the fridge for 7-8 minutes or until ganache has firmed up. Drizzle each cupcake evenly with the left over peanut butter ganache. Place back in the fridge for 5 or so minutes until the drizzle firms up.

 

Death By Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

Mini Pecan Pie CupcakesIf I could live anywhere in the world, I would live in—well actually, there are a few places I would want to live, but right now, there is one place at the top of my list—the South.

Whether it’s Georgia, the Carolina’s, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, or any of the other states, I don’t care. I just want to be able to live, breath, and proudly announce that I’m from the South. Don’t get me wrong. I love my home. How could I not? Most of the time we have beautiful weather, beaches are about 15 minutes away, and in terms of leisure activities there is quite a lot to do. But, California does lack in a few areas that the South makes up for.

Which areas you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Country Music Love. Anyone who loves country music is part of the minority here, and since I’m going through a hard-core country phase this is slightly disappointing.

Cowboy Boot Love. I own a pair of red, very cute, if I do say so myself, cowboy boots. How often do I wear them? Not as much as I would like. Why? Because they attract stares, as in, ‘why are you wearing those ridiculous boots, you weirdo ‘ stares. When you’re around country lovers, however, you get compliments on your boots because everyone, girls and boys alike, are rocking their cowboy boots proudly.

Southern Gentleman. You had to know this would make the list. Come on. Boys that speak in an adorable drawl, hold the door open, and wear those nice fitting jeans with a t-shirt and cowboy boots . What’s not to love? Have you seen an episode of Hart of Dixie (which, by the way I just started watching and am completely hooked on) or a picture of Luke Bryan or Blake Shelton?

And, let’s not forget the Food. Specifically dessert. Peach Cobbler anyone? Sweet Potato Pie? Or, how about a heavenly slice of Pecan Pie? I’m guessing you can see where my inspiration for this recipe came from. These cupcakes are probably the closest I’m getting to the South for a while. But, I’m not too upset, because they are pretty darn delicious.

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes

These Mini Pecan Pie cupcakes are essentially a bite size version of pecan pie. The cake itself is a shortcake that is extremely moist with a subtle buttery flavor—I think if pie crust could be an actual cake, then it would definitely taste like this shortcake. The mini cupcake is filled to the top with pecan pie filling that is sweet, gooey, and packed with crunchy pecans. Together the pie filling and the shortcake make a perfect pair that will have all your pecan pie cravings filled in no time!

Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Yields: about 27 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:
Cupcakes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup milk, at room temperature

Pecan Pie Filling
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup butter, melted
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease each well of a mini cupcake pan and set aside.
Whip together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until mixture is fluffy, pale, and slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
Add vegetable oil and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely.

Pecan Pie Filling
While the cake is baking, make your pecan pie filling.
Mix sugars and cornstarch until combined. Pour into a small saucepan.
Stir in melted butter, corn syrup, salt, and eggs.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil.
Remove from heat (if you see small pieces of cooked egg, it means the eggs weren’t beaten enough—pour the mixture through a strainer into another bowl before adding the vanilla and pecans).
Stir in vanilla and pecans.
Let sit for about 10 minutes and then refrigerate for about an hour or until the filling has set.

Assembling Cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, take a knife and cut out a small to medium circle in the middle of the cupcake. Remove the cut out circle from the cupcake.
Using a ¼ teaspoon, dig out the middle part of the cupcake—make sure not to break the bottom of the cupcake.
Once all the cupcakes have been hollowed out and the pecan pie filling has set, use a ¼ teaspoon to scoop the filling into the cupcake.
Scoop enough filling so that the top of the cupcake is brimming with pecans and some of the gooey goodness is drizzling down the side.

 
Mini Pecan Pie Cupcakes