Monday, January 30, 2012

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

Peanut..peanut butter...& jelly!

I don't know what the deal is lately but I have been craving peanut butter & jelly sandwiches..and no, I am not pregnant. :) It's not like this is a weird craving because every day I crave something new. It's just something that happens I guess.

Anywho - why not turn this craving into cupcake form? Sounds like an awesome idea to me!

I used the recipe over @ My Baking Addiction. (Thank you oh so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe). I added a few of my own twists though because I wanted these to be peanut buttery!

Here's the deal:

For the cupcakes~
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A big ol' glob of creamy peanut butter

For the frosting~
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
A bit under a 2lb bag of confectioners' sugar (Recipe called for a whole bag but I didn't use it all.)
Milk (I used about 2-3 tablespoons, just to get my frosting creamy.

You will also need some jam/jelly for the filling. Choose any flavor that suits your fancy!


For the cupcakes~
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
3. Place the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the vanilla, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the buttermilk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, add your scoop of peanut butter, as much as you like and let the mixer go a few rounds just to get it well incorporated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
4. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
5. Once cupcakes have cooled, hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake. Fill the center of each cupcake with your jam/jelly.

I used Creamy JIF for the peanut butter, and for my jam I wanted to use red raspberry because raspberry is my fav! The boyfriend and I had gone to UBake a week ago and he spotted this Red Raspberry Jalapeno Jam and he just had to have it. Welllll, he also requested that I use this jam in his cupcakes so I used this jam in half as well. I had to make sure I didn't mix them up because as I like to eat some weird food combinations, raspberries & jalapenos is not one of them!

Moving on to the frosting:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy.
That's a lot of butter! Start mixin'!
Holy Moly! Keep goin!
Thank goodness they have a machine for this!

2.Turn your mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar, and continue mixing until well blended.
3. Add vanilla and 4 tablespoons of heavy cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
That looks like a job well done. :)

4. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and finish with a dollop of jelly or jam. Or heck..whatever you want!

Here's my babies right out of the oven smelling peanut buttery as ever!
I just loved these cute wrappers I picked up at Michaels!

I used a flower cutter to cut out from a piece of toast, then spread some of that peanut butter frosting on it! Lighting was very bad for these pictures so they are a little blahhh...but you see :)

Peanut butter & Jelly anyone?

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Streusel topped Blueberry Muffins

Homemade blueberry muffins burst with fresh flavor that store-bought can never duplicate--and it doesn't take rocket science to make them great!

You thought I made that up all by myself didn't you? Ah, I wish I could say that I did but that is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook itself, where I found this great recipe for blueberry muffins. I received this cookbook as a Christmas present from my mom (maybe she thought I needed a little help in the cooking department?) and it comes with some wonderful tips and tricks for cooking/baking/and just about any do it yourself mmm mmm food recipes. I absolutely love this book.

So searching through it I was thinking "How the heck am I going to pick something to make...soooo many choices" Then I flipped to the 'Breads' section and Bam! I seen these muffins and it was fate. Iv'e only made muffins from out of a box so after I made these and tested them, wow, I guess Betty Crocker was right when she said store bought cannot compete. Lets get you started on your way to making some muffins yourself!

You will need:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh, canned (drained) or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, beat milk, oil and egg with whisk until well mixed. Stir in flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened. (Batter will be lumpy).

If you're like me, you will have everything all ready to go!
3. Fold in blueberries.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon coarse sugar.

**Alright, now I was a little peeved because I searched 4 different stores for coarse sugar and could not find any! Can you believe that?! So I went ahead and make streusel-topped blueberry muffins. If you want to make these omit the coarse sugar and do this:

In a medium bowl, mix 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons firm butter, using pastry blender or fork, until crumbly.
Now instead of putting the coarse sugar on top, sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon streusel.

5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm if desired.

Betty says that and overmixed muffin has a peaked, smooth top, an overbaked muffin is dry with a rough top and will be too brown and a perfect muffin is slightly rounded with a bumpy top. I'd say mine were perfect! Thank you Miss Crocker for the wonderful recipe! :)
My advice? Eat 1,2, ok....3 right away while they are fresh and still warm! They do warm up nicely too.
Who's ready to make some muffins!?
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

White Chocolate Cupcakes

I am a pretty big fan of chocolate, and out of all chocolates, white chocolate is the bomb! Baking Bites had a pretty easy and delicously awesome looking cupcake recipe so I really wanted to give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen, I fall more in love with white chocolate and milk chocolate gets jealous?

Here is what you will need for the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped and melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
I used Ghirardelli white chocolate because that always seemed like the good chocolate to me!

What you will need for the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces white chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 teaspoons milk
4-6 cups confectioners' sugar

For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 18 cupcakes tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla. Mix well.
6. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the milk in 2-3 portions, mixing well after each addition.
7. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
2. Add the melted white chocolate, vanilla and milk.
Reduce speed to low and add the confectioners' sugar until you reach your desired consistancy.

These cupcake rose nicely and smelled great! Now time to decorate!
You may be able to tell that I went with a football theme...had to get pumped up for the Packers game this Sunday! I also made some mini cupcakes along with some regular ones. Hut hut!

Oh! Look, it's Jordy Nelson the puppy wanting to get in on some of them cupcakes! How can I blame him?!

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Snickers mousse cupcakes

Ok, I know it is not Valentine's Day yet, it's not even February yet, but I cannot help but want to make something pink, sweet, and a favorite for my boyfriend when every store you walk into has V-day stuff EVERYWHERE! It seemed like the day after Christmas stores went into candy heart/kisses/hugs/pink/red/you get my point overload. So I decided to do a little cupcake overload myself.

I popped on over to Kevin & Amanda and found this recipe for snickers cupcakes with a chocolate mousse filling. Yes please!

You know the drill:

For the cupcakes:
1 box devils food cake mix
1 small box jello chocolate fudge instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

For the chocolate mousse filling:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
1 stick softened butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

AND 1 bag of mini snickers for tops of cupcakes!

Directions for the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners.
2. In a stand mixer, place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream and beat for 2 minutes or until well combined.
Seriously, could this look any better!? The batter was soo good to eat, almost didn't have any left for the cupcakes!

3. Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
I just couldn't get over how fudgey and chocolately this batter was. And trust me, do not over-fill these liners, cuz these suckers got big!

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and place on cooling rack to let cool.

Directions for the chocolate mousse:
1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and set aside to cool.
2. Whip the heavy cream with a stand mixer until it looks like whipped cream and stiff peaks form.
3. Fold in the melted chocolate chips into the whipped cream until well combined, then transfer to a piping bag.
Melted chocolate chips

whipped cream


Once cupcakes have cooled, pipe mousse filling into each one.

Directions for chocolate buttercream frosting:
1. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla until well combined and a nice frosting consistency. (This did not work at all for me! I mean, it was a disaster. So what I did to fix this was I added some milk...a lot of milk, some more butter, and a lot more whipping. It all came together eventually.)

Now frost each cupcake and top with chopped snickers!

Before I show you my final cupake, here is a look at what they looked like fresh out of the oven...

And now here is what they looked like after I got done making the mousse, turned back around and was like what the!?

They started goin' doooowwwwnnnn...(it's because I used that darn boxed cake mix isn't it?) Nothing good ever comes from cheating. I didn't fret though, because then I figured the mousse would fluff these little guys right back up!

 And how can we forget to take a look at that mousse filling...I think it was probably the best part!
The snickers just top these cupcakes and put them over the edge...of course if someone doesn't like snickers...put anything you want on top. I added a little extra caramel sauce on the tops of mine because HELLO..caramel, yum!

If I had one word to describe these I would say "fluffy". Honestly they melt in your mouth. These would make a perfect Valentine's treat :)
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes

I was really craving some chocolate covered cherries, is that weird? Anywho...I figured chocolate covered cherries on top of some cherry cupcakes..YES!

I have had these cherry chips in my cupboard now for awhile and well, I guess the feeling is like when your little and you get money and it "burns a hole in your pocket" (ok, I guess that is still what happens to me at this age) but I have been wanting to use them so bad and now was the chance!

Have you seen these before? I had only seen them once, that is why I was so excited to use them!

Here is the recipe I used.

For the cupcakes you will need:
1/2 cup butter, room temp
4 egg white, room temp
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
A big handful of cherry chips

For the frosting you will need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions for the cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine buttermilk and cherry juice. Set aside.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium to high speed for30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla and almond extract and beat until combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
5. Sprinkle cherry chips into each muffin cup.
Now take a spoon/fork/whatever you got handy and push the chips into the batter a little, just so they don't all stay on the top.
6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Directions for frosting:
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, beating well.
2. Beat in maraschino cherry juice and almond extract.
3. Gradually beat in additional confectioners' sugar. If necessary, beat in additional juice or milk.
4. Frost cupcakes and top with a chocolate covered cherry.

Chocolate covered cherry you ask? YUP! While those cupcake are baking, bust out some of the maraschino cherries (with the stems) and some almond bark. Melt the chocolate and just dip the cherries and let dry on wax paper. That's it! They are so good and dress up the cupcakes nicely!

Frost, frost, frost!

(Like my new crackle nail polish? Just thought I'd throw that in there, because I love it!)


Eat, eat, eat!

You cannot tell me that those don't look good! Those cherry chips were a great find!

These would also be real sweet to make for a special someone on V-day ;)
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