1. Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling

    another birthday down. hooray! i made these cupcakes on monday for my oldest brother and they were a huge hit. new family fave. when i first saw the recipe on Sweetapolita (she’s like my baking idol!), i couldn’t wait for the perfect opportunity to try them. first of all, chocolate malt is amazing alone… add marshmallow to the mix and it only gets better. we’re talking insane people. these cupcakes are truly special.

    i made a few alterations to the original recipe with incredible results. for the marshmallow filling, i just used a jar of fluff along with the butter and sugar. in the original recipe, she uses toasted whole marshmallows which sounds totally amazing. i was in a hurry and had to whip these up fast. another time saving trick… i did not carve out little holes for the filling. I just pushed the tip of a pastry bag down the top and squeezed the filling. it worked like a charm with the perfect amount of filling. and one more thing. i can’t stress enough about using the best quality chocolate. i prefer Valrhona, Scharffen Berger or Droste cocoa. it makes all the difference.

    Chocolate Cupcakes
    adapted from sweetapolita

    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups granulated sugar
    3/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I like Valrhona, Scharfen Berger or Droste)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup hot water
    1/2 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
    1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splash guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
    Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to over bake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

    Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting
    Frosting for ~18 cupcakes
    1/2 lb butter (2 sticks or 1 cup) at room temperature
    1 cup confectioners’ or powdered sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/3 cup malt powder or (ovaltine powder)
    4 oz Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted (i used Scharffen Berger)
    1/4 cup whipping (35% fat) cream

    In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute. Add vanilla and malt and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute. Best used right away, but once piped, keeps well at room temperature. *Note: Frosting will become a slightly richer brown tone a short while after making. If you are using a malt powder or ovaltine that is not brown in color, you can add an extra 3 oz, or so, of melted chocolate.

    Marshmallow Filling        
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1/4 lb butter (1 stick, or 1/2 cup) at room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    7 oz jar of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream (or Marshmallow Fluff)
    pinch of salt

    Combine butter and sugar in electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, on low until blended (about 1 minute). Add vanilla and mix on high for about 3 minutes. Add marshmallow cream and salt, and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute until fluffy.

    Once cupcakes are cool, fill pastry bag with the filling and using plain round tip, push the tip slightly down the center of the cupcake and pipe the filling just until it starts to come out the top.

    Fill another pastry bag fitted with large tip, pipe the chocolate frosting on top in a swirl pattern. top with malt balls and chocolate sprinkles. enjoy!

  2. Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

    we celebrated my little sister’s birthday this weekend so now i have more cupcakes to share with you! she requested chocolate with cream cheese frosting. her fave.

    there’s really no better way to spruce up simple cupcakes than with pink coloring and lots of sprinkles! these were a lot of fun for me and i purposely went heavy on the sprinkles. just looking at them made me giddy :)

    Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    For the cake: 
    2 1/4 cups
    sugar
    1 3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup
    plus 1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking soda
    1 teaspoon
    salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup
    buttermilk or whole milk
    1/2 cup
    vegetable oil (i used pure olive oil, not extra virgin)
    2 teaspoons
    pure vanilla extract
    1 boiling water

    For the frosting:
    3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    12 oz. cream cheese, softened
    4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffins cups with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla into a mixer and beat on medium speed, 2 minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in the water. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the frosting or it will lose structure. You can frost with a pastry bag and the largest tip you can find or your preferred method.

  3. Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Cherry Cola Cupcakes

    january and february are my busiest baking months of the year. oh, and i can’t forget to throw december in there too. it seems like every other week, we’re celebrating someone’s birthday, plus valentines day.

    last week, it was my dear sister-in-law’s birthday that we celebrated. she wanted me to surprise her with a new cupcake flavor. after some pinterest browsing, i eventually narrowed it down to either cherry cola or tiramisu. i thought the cherry cola cupcakes sounded really fun and festive. don’t worry, the tiramisu cupcakes are now in my “baking queue” and will probably make their debut later in march.

    i used my favorite chocolate cake recipe and adapted it to meet all of my cherry cola cupcake wants and needs. the cake is moist and chocolatey with a delicate flavor of cherry cola. the frosting is a cream cheese, butter cream with a trace of cherry cola. all topped off with a bright red maraschino cherry. they were delish. but most importantly, the birthday girl approved and loved them!

    Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes

    For the cake: 
    2 1/4 cups
    sugar
    1 3/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup
    plus 1 tablespoon cocoa
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    baking soda
    1 teaspoon
    salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup
    buttermilk or whole milk
    1/2 cup
    vegetable oil (i used pure olive oil, not extra virgin)
    2 teaspoons
    maraschino cherry juice
    1 cup cherry cola

    Maraschino cherries with stems

    For the frosting:
    3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    12 oz. cream cheese, softened
    4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    2 tablespoons cherry cola

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffins cups with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and cherry juice into a mixer and beat on medium speed, 2 minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stir in the cola. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners (about 3/4 full). Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.Add the sugar and the cola and beat until smooth. Be careful not to over beat the frosting or it will lose structure. You can frost with a pastry bag and the largest tip you can find or your preferred method.

  4. Monday, October 31, 2011

    Happy Halloween!

    Happy Halloween everyone! here’s my spooky spider cupcakes that i made over the weekend. they’re chocolate with orange cream cheese frosting. best cupcakes ever! the recipe can be found here.

  5. Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    S’mores Bars

    who doesn’t love s’mores? i can’t ever seem to get enough especially in the summertime. now that i found this bar recipe, i’m in some serious trouble.

    hooray for quick and easy s’mores all year round!

    so far, i’ve made these twice this summer. they’re that good.

    ooey, gooey and chewy. my favorite kind of dessert.

    ***UPDATE*** i just found out that tomorrow, august 10th is National Smore’s Day. i’m not sure who comes up with these days, but this is one i’m happy to celebrate.

    now i need some more (haha so lame, i know)

  6. Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Baked Sunday Mornings: Cowboy Cookies

    the Baked guys NEVER disappoint! seriously.

    i could not wait to try their version of cowboy cookies which uses pretzels in place of nuts. chocolate chip cookies are my all time fave as it is, so with the addition of pretzels for that salty/sweet combo…i knew i’d go crazy over these. and crazy i went! they’re super chewy, chocolatey, salty, and sweet. i absolutely adore these cookies!

    the trick to perfect chewy cookies is using slightly chilled butter and chilling the dough for atleast 4 hours. it really does work! 

    hop on over to Baked Sunday Mornings for this awesome recipe. you’ll want to make these cookies today!

  7. Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Baked Sunday Mornings: Malted Crisp Tart

    oh, good gracious. this tart is so unbelievably good!

    it has a sugar cookie crust, milk chocolate ganache, rice krispies, diplomat cream and malt balls all together in one. wow. it definitely tastes just as amazing and rich as it sounds.

    i must say that i have an obsession with malt anything. i always have it on hand in the pantry especially for making homemade milkshakes. when i was younger, my favorite Easter basket candy was the big chocolate malt speckled eggs. Mmm, is there anything better than chocolate malt?

    i would suggest if you try this recipe, start the day before. it’s not very hard, but there’s some extra steps involved that make it time consuming.

    you start out by making a malt and brown sugar crust. it’s one of the best i’ve ever tasted. brown sugar and malt go extremely well together. who knew?! it’s quite ridiculous.

    the crust gets topped with milk chocolate ganache, caramelized rice krispies, chopped malt balls and a lovely diplomat cream. i’ve never heard the term diplomat cream before, but it’s basically a french pastry cream with whipped cream folded in. cream with more cream. trust me, it’s worth every effort. and calorie.

    speaking of french pastry - you’ll feel like a professional pastry chef when you’re through with this one. so give yourself a nice pat on the back. you deserve it.

    sounds heavenly, i know. i could go on and on about this tart.

    check out Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe and get on it. enjoy!

  8. Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Cupcakes

    i can’t really think of a better way to celebrate st. patty’s day than with these chocolate stout cupcakes! there are so many different versions of this stout cake, but out of all the ones i’ve tried, this recipe is by far my favorite. the addition of irish cream to the buttercream frosting and a chocolate ganache filling makes it out of this world! i’m telling ya…you must make these soon!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

    Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
    Makes 22-24 cupcakes

    Ingredients:

    Cupcakes:
    1 Cup Stout Beer
    1 Cup Unsalted Butter
    ¾ Cup Quality Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
    2 Cups All Purpose Flour
    2 Cups Granulated Sugar
    1½  Teaspoons Baking Soda
    ¾ Teaspoon Salt
    2 Large Eggs
    ⅔ Cup Sour Cream

    Ganache Filling
    8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)

    Irish Cream Buttercream:
    4 to 5 Cups Confections Sugar
    2 Cups Unsalted butter, room temperature
    4 to 5 Tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake cups with paper liners.

    Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

    Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

    Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.

    Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

    Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and the Irish Cream a few tablespoons at a time.

    Ice and decorate the cupcakes. Enjoy!

    Note: This makes a lot of buttercream so that you can pipe large mounds on the cupcakes. If you prefer less on your cuppies, halve the amounts.

  9. Friday, February 11, 2011

    Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

    oh dear. these are good. i made these chocolate raspberry cupcakes last friday for my sister-in-law’s birthday and they were a smashing success. everyone loved the combo. who knew? i never made chocolate raspberry anything before and now everyone wants to know when i’m making them again. my new favorite!

    if you’re looking for a valentines recipe, definitely make these. enjoy, my friends!

    Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
    tweaked from Annie’s Eats

    Ingredients:
    For the cupcakes:
    9 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    1/2 cup strong coffee (or water)
    1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk (I used buttermilk)

    For the frosting:
    16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
    6 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
    2-3 tablespoons of Raspberry Chambord (optional, but delish!)
    Pink icing color (optional)

    Directions:
    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.  

    In a liquid measuring cup, combine the coffee and milk.  Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Stir in the coffee-milk mixture and mix until combined.  Add in the remaining dry ingredients, again mixing just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling the cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the frosting, place the butter, jam, and Chambord in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Cream on medium-high speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.  Sift in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Tint with icing color as desired.

  10. Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

    i really don’t have a whole lot to say. it’s chocolate and peanut butter. who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? 

    i made these cupcakes for my dear friend rachel’s 30th birthday a few weeks ago. it’s a good thing or i would of eaten them all myself. they aren’t good for you. not in the least! and i probably shouldn’t be sharing the recipe. ok…i don’t really mean that.

    these cupcakes are quite ridiculous. super rich and moist, out of control good. and the frosting - ohhhh yes, the frosting. cream cheese and peanut butter. seriously!?

    heaven.

    i adapted this recipe for cupcakes. enjoy.