Thursday, August 26, 2010

raspberry & chocolate = the perfect combination

Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits... they're so delicious - I love them plain, mixed in with yogurt, ice cream or in desserts! See my blog entry on chocolate raspberry cheesecake for a super delicious chocolate/raspberry combination. In fact, I ate a piece of that tonight BEFORE dinner... my mom made it on Sunday and I'm still snacking on leftovers! Yumm...

Anyway, back to my raspberry & chocolate cupcakes. I decided to concoct a raspberry icing recipe and try it on a basic chocolate cupcake. I used seedless raspberry jam for the flavoring, as well as a touch of raspberry syrup. I'm not completely satisfied with the result - the icing looks pretty, and I like the color (no food coloring added), but the icing tastes too much like jam. I wanted more of a natural, raspberry flavor, so next time I'm going to use the real thing. I was in the mood to experiment tonight, and I didn't have any fresh raspberries on hand, so I had to improvise! Hey, you live and learn... right? Here are a few pictures:

Monday, August 16, 2010

peanut butter cup cupcakes

If you're a fan of peanut butter, I have a feeling you'll like these cupcakes... chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter cup in the middle and peanut butter frosting! Decadent and delicious!

On Sunday we had our friends Emily, Adam and baby Harrison over for dinner, so I made pasta and a special treat for dessert. Everyone was a fan - and they've been enjoyed by a few others today, specifically my friend Maggie who I watched Bachelor Pad with this evening. What goes best with trashy T.V.?? Cupcakes and wine, of course!

The recipe I used is the same as the one used for my last post - Milky Way Cupcakes. The only difference is I used frozen peanut butter cups instead of milky ways. I did use a different icing recipe, which I've included below. Here is a look at my baking process, start to finish...

To start with, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - the surprise in the middle of each cupcake!

Next up, the chocolate batter with a peanut butter cup in the middle...

The batter covers the peanut butter cup...
Chopping up peanut butter cups for decoration...
Right out of the oven...
The finished product - complete with icing and peanut butter cup sprinkles...

Here is the recipe for the peanut butter buttercream icing:

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (or more depending on the taste you're after)
1/4 cup milk (or less depending on the consistency you want)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

1. Cream the butter and shortening in a stand mixer or a bowl with an electric mixer.
2. Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt.
3. Slowly add the powdered sugar, approximately one cup at a time.
3. Slowly add the milk - add 1/4 or less depending on how thick you would like the frosting to be.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

milky way cupcakes...

... also known as "Chocolate Magic." At least that's how they were described by one of the guys at yesterday's Royal's tailgate. He said this as he was eating his third cupcake, so I'm thinking he liked them. They were delish, and not hard to make! Here's the recipe - I got it from a blog I read, My Baking Addiction. I altered it slightly by using Milky Ways instead of Snickers, and I didn't use the package of pudding. Instead I used Pillsbury Devil's Food cake mix with a cup of pudding added to the mix. Enjoy - they're sure to go over well with chocolate and candy lovers!

Here's the recipe:

1 package devil’s food cake mix with pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Milky Way Miniatures

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and water.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans.
5. Gently push a frozen Milky Way Miniature bar into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

Caramel Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.
Garnish with chopped Milky Way bars and a drizzle of caramel syrup.