Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Brownie cupcakes with a Marshmallow twist!

Usually I am all about the homemade, make everything from scratch, no ifs, ands or buts, BUT I have had this recipe that I have wanted to try for some time now. (I have a huge stack of printed off recipes sitting on my desk at home, and I do plan on trying every one of them :) )

I wanted something fast and easy to make today because I wanted to keep my baking going, have something sweet to eat, and get ALL the other stuff done that I needed to get done today so I figured it was now or never to get this recipe checked off my, uh, one less paper in my stack!

Here we go!! Here is a little sneak peek of what you will need.
(My camera doesn't take very good pictures anyway, but today it seemed like it was having a really bad day so pictures are a bit blurry, so bare with me please!)

I got this very delicious recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, so I do thank her for this wonderful recipe!

Alright, here is what you will need/do:

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
Brownie batter (you can use homemade or Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge prepared for cake-like brownies)
Regular size tube of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
Directions for cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin tins with liners.
Slice cookie dough into 12 1/4 inch slices and place one in the bottom of each lined muffin tin.
Spoon brownie batter over the cookie dough, filling cups to about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until brownies are set. Remove from oven and cool on a cooking rack.

Ingredients for frosting:
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
7 oz jar marshmallow creme

Directions for frosting:In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and milk on medium-low speed until smooth and combined.

Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat on low until just combined.
Add chocolate syrup and increase speed to high. Beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.Using a spatula, fold in marshmallow creme, just until swirled throughout. You don’t want it to be completely mixed in. Pipe or frost on cookie brownies.
Ohh yeah!


Even though the pictures were not the greatest, I still had a blast making these! (and eating them!)
I hope you do too!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011


I was really excited to finally do something with my pumpkins this weekend and I would just like to share the fun I had.

Usually I carve pumpkins at Halloween time but instead I wanted to do something different so I decided to paint them.

Fun Fun Fun!

(Don't mind the chair, still in the process of getting spray paint to make it....pretty)

Anywho, I used skewers to hold these on top of each other. I'd say it was brilliant (if I go out tomorrow morning and they are still on top of each other that is) :)

Happy Halloween Season!!!

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Monkey Bread, all jazzed up!

I wanted something sweet to eat today and once again, I was craving monkey bread. I didn't really want to go through with making the homemade dough again (I know, it was a pretty lazy day) so I found this recipe (which I cannot remember the blog I so genuinely loved) that used canned biscuits. The recipe also included chopped walnuts and as I've said before, I don't really like nuts (especially walnuts) so I substituted in toffee bits that i still had lying around from previous recipes. It really hit the spot!

Here is the ingredients that you will need:
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
2 (12 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
toffee bits

I want to throw in there that I could not find canned biscuits that came with 10 that was 12 ounces. However, I did find a 10 count that was 7.5 ounces and it worked perfectly so don't sweat it if you can't find the right sizes.

Alright, first off, preheat that oven to 350 degrees F.


Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well.

It does take awhile, but be patient :)

A little longer..

As soon as that is nice and melted. Set it aside for later. Next, cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes.

Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon sugar mixture from earlier.

Place a cube of the cream cheese into the center of each...

And enclose each biscuit around the cream cheese cube, sealing tightly.
Place half of the biscuits in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and toffee bits. Pour half of the melted butter mixture over the top of the biscuits and sprinkle more toffee bits if desired. :)

Repeat these steps with the second set of biscuits. Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

This will feel like one of the longest 30 minutes of your life, especially when you start to smell it!

Keep waiting.

Ok.  Let sit for 5 minutes in pan then flip out onto plate. Don't be impatient like I was and flip out a little messy and was way too hot to eat right away anyways. When will I ever learn?

See that cream cheese peeking out there? Oh ya!


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Possibly some of the best brownie cupcakes...ever!

It was a co-workers birthday last week and I wanted to make a real special cupcake for her. I knew that I wanted to do something that involved toffee and I finally came upon a recipe that I was instantly sold on.

I get e-mails from Hershey's about new recipes and decided to look through a couple of them. When I came across to "Chocolate Caramel Crumb" Cupcakes, would you think to just keep going? Absolutely not!

I am going to get straight to the point here, not only did I say this to myself but I heard it from a few more that "These are the best I/you have made so far". Are you ready for the recipe so you can get right on this!?

For the cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup Smucker's caramel ice cream topping
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (half of 8-oz. package), softened
  • 1 box (19.5 oz.) Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Fisher Chef's Naturals Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Crisco Pure Canola Oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 EGGLAND'S BEST eggs
I did not use the brands suggested, but I did use the Pillsbury brand brownie mix. I already felt like I was kind of cheating using the brownie box mix so I decided to go above and beyond and instead of using caramel ice cream topping, I made my own caramel! If you would like to see how I made the caramel, check back @ my caramel apple cupcake post! ;)

Also, I am not crazy for nuts, so I took out the chopped pecans and put in toffee bits! (There's the toffee I wanted!)

Now, for the directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups. In a small bowl, beat caramel topping and cream cheese with wire whisk until smooth; set aside. (I used my kitchen aid)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together brownie mix, cocoa and chocolate chips. Remove 2/3 cup brownie mixture to another small bowl; stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar, butter and toffee until crumbly.
  3. To remaining brownie mixture, add 1/3 cup brown sugar, oil, sour cream and eggs; stir 50 strokes with spoon. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Spoon about 1 tablespoon caramel mixture onto center of batter in each cup. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over tops. (Next time I make these, I am definately putting more than 1 tbsp of this mixture in the center, it was to die for!)
  4.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near edge comes out almost clean (center will be soft). Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes.

Plop the caramel/cream cheese mixture right in the middle!

Crumb mixture on top.

All baked up! Don't they look amazing!

Now, as you see, the recipe above comes with no frosting..who wants a cupcake without frosting!?
I will say, the dollop of cream cheese mix in the middle does make these pretty good plain, but I knew that I still wanted frosting. I chose to put on top some cream cheese almond buttercream.

So gooey!

Ah, complete :)

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Crisps!

Are you wondering why the title of this post says crisps? Yes, that's right, plural. I made two apple crisps! Just because the first one was so good, I had to make another, but mix it up a bit of course.

        (I made these recipes for the improv cooking challenge! Check it out on October 20th!)

The first one I made was just plain ol' apple crisp. Very easy to make, and sooo very good to eat!

Here is what you will need:

5 apples
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp apple juice

Now this is what you do:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a 9 inch baking pan then dust it with flour.
  • Peel, core and slice the apples. and arrange them in the pan like so

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, salt and allspice on low speed until it gets crumbly.
  • Crumble the mixture evenly over the apples and sprinkle with the juice like so

  • Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool


Now since for the improv cooking challenge you needed to use caramel as well, what I did was drizzled caramel on top of the apples before I put the crumb mixture on top. Um, delicious right!? I suppose I could have drizzled it on top as well...

Oh yeah, when I made my apple crisp, I added a little extra oats, brown sugar and butter just because my favorite part IS the crumb mixture on top :)

Now for my second crisp I made, basically the same thing just wanted to add some raspberries into the mix! Pretty good idea right?

What you will need:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 large Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted

What you do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, mix brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour. Add sliced apples and raspberries; toss to coat. Spoon into baking dish.

(Need a closer look?)

  • In a medium bowl, mix together oats, 1/2 cup flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple mixture.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Serve warm.

Once again, drizzle some caramel and after you cut yourself a slice, top with some vanilla ice cream or whip cream. Or hey, both?

soooo good!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chocolate chocolate chocolate!

It's been awhile, but I haven't been slacking, I swear! Just haven't had time to make it on the computer, that's all.

What have I been up to? Making delicious cupcakes of course! It was currently the end of the fiscal year so I was making some "New Year" cupcakes for a potluck at work. When asked for suggestions from everyone I got "something chocolate" Well...I can do that!

I picked a chocolate cupcake with (really amazing) chocolate frosting. I got the recipe over at Annie's Eats. They were going to be "triple chocolate" but I am not a huge fan of ganache, don't get me wrong I don't hate it, just prefer something a little....fluffier? ha! So I was going to go with a raspberry center, but when it came time and I tried whipping something up it didn't turn out how I liked so I panicked...then my boyfriend had a great idea...cream cheese frosting! Uh, hello, shoulda thought of that myself!

The recipe that Annie's Eats gives is for 32+ cupcakes, and unless your feeding an army ya prolly are like me and don't need that many so I cut this recipe in half....

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¾ cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. coarse salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the frosting:
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate chips..easy way out!)
9 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sour cream

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  
With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. (I melted my chips in the microwave..oh! Extra easy)
Set aside to cool until just barely warm.  
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  
Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  
Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and then the sour cream. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended.  Frost cupcakes immediately.

For the middle of my cupcakes I mixed a stick of butter, 8 oz cream cheese and about 2 cups confectioners' sugar together. It was not very thick which was how I wanted it so it was nice and smooth in the middle. I then added about a teaspoon and a half of almond extract...I love that flavor!

They turned out perfect! Love this recipe!

The frosting was so smooth and ....chocolatey!! It got great reviews :)

Some were plain, some had pearly sprinkles...
Happy Fiscal Year!

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