Easter Cupcakes

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Prompt: Easter

Sean sat back nursing a beer as he watched his wife run around the house. He mentally compared her to a chicken with its head cut off, but he wouldn’t tell her that since he valued his life. Actually, he shouldn’t say anything at all now if he valued it.

“Does it look okay? It’s not much, but it’s clean.” Michelle started rambling as she frantically looked for something out of place.

“Honey! It’s just my parents!”

“But we’re hosting our first Easter dinner!”

“It all looks and smells good, you can calm down!”

“Okay. Fluff that pillow behind you.”

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I love holidays, especially when it requires baking! My mom’s family always gets together for Easter, so I decided to make
some cupcakes of course! I got an instant vision: grass. While walking around Bulk Barn I found some great chocolate eggs and a new frosting tip to make my vision possible. I used my usual chocolate cake recipe and butter cream icing (links
found on Halloween post). They turned out exactly how I wanted!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Prompt: Peanut Butter

“Michelle, stop. You have been fidgeting since I picked you up twenty minutes ago. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing is wrong per say. It’s just… we are going to be eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches for the next little bit!”

Sean looked worriedly at his wife while stopped at the light.

“Why? What’s wrong? Did something happen at work?”

“No… nothing is wrong with my job” Michelle said slowly. “It’s just money might be a little tight for a bit.”

“Michelle” Sean said cautiously, “what did you do?”

“The Jimmy Choo’s were calling to me Sean, I had to buy them!”

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I made these cupcakes last summer at my cottage. I really wanted something peanut buttery, but smothered in chocolate. I had limited supplies, and I couldn’t find what I wanted. So I used a basic peanut butter recipe and added in my own chocolate flair. I put half the batter into the liners, and then put some chocolate chips into the middle. I then added the rest of the batter. After they were baked I added some simple chocolate ganache, just more chocolate chips with some butter. They were perfect, exactly what I envisioned! I would recommend eating them that day, so the chocolate inside stays soft! Make sure you don’t over bake the cupcakes so it isn’t dried out, as some peanut butter desserts do.

Peanut Butter Cupcake recipe here (cupcake #17).

Homemade Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Prompt: Cookie

Sean arrived home from work to find the small house filling up with smoke

He started frantically looking for his wife, Michelle, calling out her name.

Soon he heard Michelle tearfully yell back that she was in the kitchen.

Terrified, Sean ran towards Michelle to find her sitting on the ground, crying into an oven mitt, with smoke coming from a baking sheet on the top of the oven.

“Michelle? What’s wrong?” Michelle just continued to cry. “You’re worrying me, are you hurt?”

She sobbed even harder, pointed to the smoking baking sheet and said “I burnt the cookies!”

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A great summer snack is ice cream sandwiches. Because I had some tubes of cookie dough in my house I decided to make a few cookies and make my own! I flattened and shaped the cookies into circles before I baked them, so it would be easier to make the sandwiches. Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Prompt: Flour

When Michelle cried out in surprise Sean rushed into see his now white kitchen and a flour covered wife.

Michelle glared at her laughing husband.

It’s not funny! The flour bag exploded! And how I can’t bake a cake.”

That sobered Sean up. “No cake?!”

“No cake.” Michelle repeated. “It’s going to take hours to clean up all this flours. It’s everywhere! I think some went up my nose!!”

“I’ll help you clean up. Then… cake?!”

“No! We have to clean! Well, maybe if we’re fast I’ll make a flourless cake.”

The cake was baking two hours later.

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I made a delicious flourless chocolate cake a little while ago. It was scrumptious! It is like a dense, chewy brownie.

You have to make sure you grease and flour (or cocoa) your pan well because the cake crumbles very easily.

I sprinkled some icing sugar on top and drew a heart in it, but you could decorate it however. Icing, fruit, plain, whatever you want!

This is a really easy and fast recipe, but it is really really delicious!

Pictures and link to the recipe below.

Recipe from AllRecipes.com here.



Pizzookies

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Prompt: Ramakin

“Hey babe, can you come into the kitchen for a minute, I need some help here” Michelle called out to her husband Sean.

Sean agreed and slowly walked into the kitchen.

“Can you hand me a ramekin?” Michelle asked.

“Rama- what? What are you talking about?”

“Ramekin. It’s a little white bowl thing? We have 4 of them over in the cupboard.”

“Oh. Which cupboard are they in?”

“They’re in the second one from the right.”

“Gotcha. Is this a rama-thingy?” Sean asked as he showed her a bowl.

“No. Beside those bowls.”

“Okay. What are they for?”

“Dessert! Pizzookies”

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I have been very busy in the last few weeks at school, but now it is the holiday break, so I have more time to bake and blog!

Now this recipe? It is AMAZING! It is super simple and amazingly delicious! A few of you have commented on other posts that my baking looks like a lot of work (which it is!), but this one is no work at all! It takes about 25 minutes in total to make it, and it takes about 5 minutes to eat it!

When my sister sent me the link to the recipe, we both were thinking the same thing. “How on earth have we not made this before?!” A few days later, I was making it for the first time, so I sent my sister a message, telling her it was about to go in the oven, when she informed me that her’s was already in it. Great minds certainly think alike!

Okay, I could go on and on, telling you how awesome this recipe is, or I could give it to you guys! Now, I know that my first thought when I saw what it was called was some sort of pizza cookie, but it definitely isn’t that! Oh, and don’t continue reading this if you are on a diet, or have already had sweets today!!

Pizzookies
(Originally found here)

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (I just used the store bought tubes, but if you really want, you can make some dough yourself. It would then take much longer then 25 mins, but they taste just as good!)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Sauces- caramel and chocolate

Now, I went out to Dollarama and I bought ramekins. They were two for $1.25, and I got two of those packages. They are totally worth it. If you have ramekins, thats great. But if you don’t, you can still use muffin tins, but it would be a little awkward to eat them.

Turn on your oven first to 350*, as it takes no time to get it ready to go in. I always have to wait for my oven with this recipe!

So fill your ramekins or muffin tins about half way full. I did more then that the first time, and it ended up being too much for me! Now, I pat my cookie dough down, but the original doesn’t, so I don’t think it matters.

Now you can just pop that baby into the oven (once it is ready, not before) for around 12, 14 minutes, or until it is golden brown around the outside.

Now, it’s the hardest but most important part. Leave it. Yup, walk away for 5 minutes. Maybe run or do something to start to burn off how many calories this gives you!

After these horrible 5 minutes, you can come back. The middle should’ve sunken in. Like this:

It is now ready for the ice cream. But first, dear readers, I have a confession to make. My family is a big, chocolate loving family. We don’t buy vanilla ice cream. But the first time I made this, we did have this:

 

I thought it was perfect! It was kind of vanilla based, it had chocolate and caramel swirls, and BONUS, brownie chunks with my half baked cookie.  Now here comes the confession. It was tooooo sweet! I know, I almost feel ashamed! I had to give the last third to my brother to finish. So if it was too sweet for me, the sweet queen, then only make it this way if you are sharing with many people! Here is a picture though, freshly scooped and a minute or two later, so its a little melty!

 

So the next time I was at the grocery store with my mother, we bought more tubes of chocolate chip cookie dough, and vanilla ice cream. I then found some caramel sauce in our fridge and some chocolate sauce, and bam. Deliciousness!!

It is just soooo good! It’s warm and gooey and a little crunchy with coldness from the ice cream! It’s just… yummy!

Now, I feel like I need to issue some warnings! Eat it slowly. Don’t pay attention to the melting ice cream, slow it down! It will give you a little tummy ache anyways, so don’t make it worse by eating it fast! Feel free to share it with a loved one as well! And make sure you have a drink beside you, either water or milk is a good choice!

Enjoy, and have a good and safe holiday! And remember: Tis the season to be baking!

Until next time,
-Leah

Apple Caramel Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Prompt: Caramel, apple

It was a crisp autumn day when Michelle and Sean went to the apple orchard. The couple calmly walked down the
rows, smiling at the excited children around them.

Sean and Michelle were in no hurry to fill their apple basket, unlike the harried parents around them. The two of them would just walk down the rows, occasionally snatching perfect apple.

The couple had plans for these apples. Michelle envisioned caramel and apple
together, perhaps in a pie, while Sean could practically taste his mother’s apple crisp already.

It was too bad Michelle and Sean missed the baking apple rows.

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As the snow is pounding down and we have a second snow day in a row, I thought I should update the blog! This recipe is really special to me, even though it doesn’t have any chocolate in it. At ALL! So you know that it must have been baked for an amazing person.

My brother-in-law and I have a very special relationship. We text and talk on MSN, we tease each other and tease my sister/his wife, he is my big brother. So I knew I had to do something extra awesome for him. His birthday is at the end of November, but all the way back in September he told me what he wanted. We were out with our whole family,  my grandma and aunt celebrating my father’s birthday when he told me he didn’t care what I made him, but that he wanted three ingredients in it. Cinnamon, caramel and apple. As soon as he told me these I invisioned the cupcake I ended up making for him. An apple cupcake with caramel filling and cinnamon frosting. I spent lots of time looking up different recipes that would fit my needs, and came across quite a few websites. They all looked yummy, but two blogs/recipes really had what I needed.

Apple Caramel Cupcakes
Original found here
I got 12 good sized cupcakes, she got 16 (from using apple sauce perhaps?)

Ingredients:
2-3 apples, granny smith equaling 1 cup OR 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

So all the ingredients here.
Except the eggs.. forgot about those guys!

I chose to not use apple sauce like the woman I got the recipe, but use mushed up apples like the lady SHE got the recipe from! It’s really up to you. We really liked the little tiny chunks of apple in our cupcakes, but it would be a LOT easier to use apple sauce! But we had apples in the house and no apple sauce, so my decision was made for me!

It was a messy and not really a nice looking process, so I will only show a few pictures! I cored the first two apples (I used granny smith, those would work and taste best I would think! Plus, they are my favourite, so they are around my house all the time!) but left the skins on. It was supposed to take 30-40 mins in the oven for them to mush up, but I didn’t have the time! So I put them in my toaster oven until they started to burn on the top! But they were still a little hard, so I popped them into the microwave. That worked a lot better. Once they were pretty soft and mushy I took them out and started to.. well.. mush them some more! I realized I didn’t have enough for a cup, so I found another Granny Smith apple in my fridge, but it was already cut up. This made it soften a lot faster in the microwave, plus I set it for longer, but at a lower level.

Mushing up some apples!

Finished product.

After dealing with the apples I put all the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt) in a medium sized bowl.

Then I mixed them all together. Man did it smell good!!

Then in a new medium sized bowl, add two eggs and use a fork to break them up.

                   

Okay, so now add the oil, apple juice, vanilla and either the cooled apple mush or apple sauce.

 

Then combine the wet and the dry ingredients. I just added the dry to the wet, but you should probably get a third bowl for this. It’s really up to you. I thought they tasted fine anyways!

        

Once they are all mixed up, scoop into your muffin tins.

Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350*.

Now onto the CARAMEL.

I have to say, I did NOT have any luck with this part. I thought I followed the instructions perfectly, and used all the right ingredients, but it just.. didn’t work! Didn’t stop bubbling! Maybe I didn’t use the right stuff, maybe I stirred it for too long.. I just don’t know! Or maybe it was supposed to get hard and weird inside the cucpcakes! It miffs me! But I will tell you guys how to do it! There won’t be pictures of the process though, because I don’t want to steer you guys wrong! But the woman whose blog I took this from has another blog, and she had some tips and pictures there as well. Here you go.

Ingredients:
2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

A picture of the ingredients I used.

 Now, I am just going to quote the woman from iheartcuppycakes.com directly here, since I don’t want to mess you up as well!

Put sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan, stir just to combine ingredients. Turn to medium-high heat, without stirring, for 5-10 minutes until caramel turns an amber color. Wipe down any spatters with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Lower the heat a little and add the cream and butter. (Caramel will bubble!) After the bubbling decreases, stir caramel to break down lumps. Pour into a pyrex measuring cup to cool.

I think I just waited too long. After about 20-30 minutes of it not turning an amber colour, I just added the other ingredients, then again waited too long for the bubbling to go down. So my advice for you, if it doesn’t change colour in 15-20 minutes, then just add the stuff anyways. It looked the right colour after I added everything, and it tasted fine, but it just became completely solid in the cupcakes! But maybe another problem was that I didn’t use it until the next morning, and put it in the fridge then the microwave… I probably should’ve just tried it all again, but I was tight for time!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a really tasty and easy frosting. My family just loved it, and said it reminded them of cinnamon buns. It would probably taste realllyyyyy good on top of them too!

I got it from the Cupcake Project, which is a blog I just love! You can find the recipe here.

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (This is pretty much a stick. I just leave a little bit left in the package.)
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablesoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I added a little bit more. Yummy!)
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (add more or less to make it a stiffness that you like)
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter well.
  2. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add powdered sugar.

    

Yes, it really is that easy!  I didn’t have enough icing sugar (or powdered sugar) at night when I made it, but I also put this in the fridge and added more in the morning, after my mom ran to the store for me (thanks mom!). Because I put it in the fridge it was a little hard to ice, but cream cheese frostings are often a little thicker anyways!

Now for the fun part! Filling the cupcakes!

Grab a small, sharp knife and a cupcake. Bring the knife to a place inbetween the middle of the cupcake and the edge. Stick the knife in on an angle. Trying to keep the knife in the same spot inside the cupcake, cut the cake around the outside. Try to keep the knife in the same space at the edge. Then the center should come right out.

Now, I hope you don’t think that I just make this look easy because I have done it a million times. This picture is actually my first attempt at doing this method to fill cupcakes!! And can I just say how much easier and how much cleaner it is then other filling methods!

Once you have the top off, then take it and cut it. The more you cut off, the more filling you can put in the cupcake. But make sure you still have a top to put back on.

 Here is a picture of all three pieces you will end up with.

And here is the cupcake with its hat back on! You are now ready to fill this cupcake! Go ahead and eat the extra little bit!

 
Now you can fill and ice! I took a break, put everything away and went to bed before this step, but you can keep on going if you have the time!

    

    

                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                         

These cupcakes were not perfect, but they were pretty yummy and my B.I.L. enjoyed them, so thats good enough for me! Please leave some comments!

Until next time,
-Leah

Halloween!

26 Nov

100 Word Drabble (short story); Prompt: chocolate, pumpkin

“Michelle, I’m done.” Called Sean, “Can you turn on the tap for me?”

Michelle walked into the kitchen and went to help her husband.

“Ugh, pumpkin guts!” Michelle groaned, looking at Sean’s hands. “Is it ready to carve now?”

“Yes. Can we please do something scary looking, not some cutesy pumpkin you’d like?

“Fine, I guess. Next year we’ll buy two pumpkins.”

The two found a vampire template online and started carving.

“Oh” blurt Michelle, “we need tea light candles. Can you go buy some please?”

After he reluctantly agreed she called out, “And some mini chocolate bars too, babe?”

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Now, I am a little bit late on this post, as Halloween was almost a month ago! But better late than never right?

For teenagers, it a little hard to find fun things to do on Halloween. We are a little too old to go Trick-or-Treating (although that doesn’t stop some people!) and if you don’t like to party then you are normally stuck at home handing out candy. Well this year my youth group at church decided to have a little party. So we all brought treats and dressed up in costumes. There were fun board games, like a Boys vs. Girls trivia game, and physical games, like volleyball. Everyone had tons of fun and left quite full! I only wish I had taken more pictures!

For my treat I baked (Bet you couldn’t guess that!)! I baked up my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, used a trusted icing recipe that I tinted orange and sprinkled some crushed oreos on top. They turned out quite well if I say so myself!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake III  (found here on AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Turn the oven on to 350* F. This recipe makes 24 good sized cupcakes, or it makes two nine inch round pans. Set up these now, either greasing the big pans, or putting cups in the cupcake pan.

Find a large bowl, as it’s going to have to hold all the ingredients. I suggest a really deep one, because of all the liquids! Also, if possible use a bowl with an easy to pour edge. Stir (or sift) together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and the salt (the first six ingredients). Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Use a mixer and mix it all together for 2 minutes on a medium speed. CAREFULLY stir in the boiling water last. My recipe is covered in chocolate splats, and not just because I make it a lot! I guess I am an aggressive stirrer! The batter is going to be very runny and thin. The recipe on AllRecipes says this, but I didn’t realize the first time how runny it would actually be. So don’t worry, it’s going to be very thin!!

Now you can pour the batter into your pans.

Bake the cakes for 30- 35 minutes, and then cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and let cool on the wire cooling racks. For the cupcakes, I set the timers for 15 minutes, and then checked them often after that.

Quick and Almost-Professional Buttercream Icing (here on AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • food colour

Directions:

Cream the butter using a hand mixer or wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. Beat in a little bit of sugar at a time until it’s all in. Beat in the vanilla. Pour in the milk and beat for 3-4 more minutes. Add in the food colouring.

Notes:

  • This isn’t the original amount of the icing because the original is for only a few cupcakes. This recipe is it doubled. It more than iced 24 cupcakes, and I think I am very generous with my icing. But while there was extra icing, if you make it smaller the amounts are weird! But if you follow the link with the recipe to the website, it lets you change the yield amount, which is very handy!
  • Believe it or not, this cake recipe is even better the longer you wait after you bake it! So if you want to take this cake recipe somewhere, you should make it whenever you have time before hand!
  • You can substitute the boiling water in the cake for juice or anything really. For my mom’s birthday last March I wanted to make her a chocolate raspberry cake, so I made this recipe and used raspberry juice instead, and added raspberries on top of the icing. It was delicious! I was thinking of using orange kool-aid instead of the water for Halloween, but I decided it had enough sugar already!
  • I have no idea how much food colouring I used for this icing, but it was a lot! It’s hard to make orange frosting and not peach!
  • I think this icing is perfect for piping it. I love piping. I got an inexpensive basic Wilton icing kit. And as always, you can add more milk if it’s too thick for you, or add icing sugar if it’s too thin. But I’ve never had to do either for this recipe.

Final Pictures:

Iced, but there was one more step…

Here we go!

Some Oreo crumbs sprinkled on to give it a more Halloween-y feel with the Orange and Black.

Andd… One more! A close up!

The end of my real first blog post! Please comment and leave me any suggestions for improvement!

It is actually pretty weird that both my recipes are from AllRecipes today! I guess it just shows how trusted and true they are, because I almost never go there anymore!

My next post should be pretty soon, as I am now settled here at WordPress and I am baking this weekend for my brother-in-laws birthday!

So until next time!
-Leah

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