Revisiting my failure… and a few successes

Ok. Do you remember the white chocolate pudding buttercream that I royally screwed up? Well, I went back and gave it another shot. I got it right this time! I think the problem I had the first time was the butter wasn’t really room temperature enough. I must say, it is delicious on chocolate cupcakes. Image

The original recipe for the frosting came from White Flours Bloom. I used this dark chocolate cupcake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. Such a wonderful combination. It was a success around here. 

I ordered some wafer paper to play with and purchased the wafer paper flower class from Craftsy. I love this medium. It is so fun to play with and yields some beautiful results. 

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I can’t wait to play with it some and get some petal and luster dusts to color it. 

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Red, Red Everywhere!

I’m seeing red. And it’s a good thing. In case you didn’t know February is Heart Month. February 7-14 is CHD Awareness Week. CHD stands for Congenital Heart Defect. Did you know 1 in 100 children are born with a CHD? More children die from CHD than from every form of childhood cancer combined. And for every dollar donated to medical funding, only a fraction a penny goes to study CHDs? Did you know Shaun White has a CHD? Specifically Tetralogy of Fallot. This is something near and dear to me and my family. Our youngest daughter was born with ToF. We didn’t know anything was wrong until a few hours after she was born. She underwent open heart surgery at 4 days old. Children shouldn’t have to go through this. For more information you can check out http://www.tchin.org/aware/ or https://www.littlehearts.org/ to read stories and get more information. 

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Ok, now that I have the serious stuff out of the way! Let us talk about cupcakes! Cherry Almond Cupcakes from Cooking Classy. I made these the other night to try out. They were pretty good. I had a hard time finding the almond flavor, so I think next time I will cut back the cherry juice and bump up the almond extract just a bit. They have a cherry hidden inside but I think next time I’ll chop up the cherries so they are scattered throughout the cupcake and not just one big one bit of cherry in the middle.

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My frosting was on the point of being a little curdled. It tasted fine though. I think it was due to a bit too much cherry juice because it was fine before I put in the last tablespoon. So next time I’ll cut it back a bit and it should be fine. 

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All finished and done up with a cherry on top. So jump over here and try these! 

Happy Father’s Day!!

Happy Father’s Day everyone! Did you do anything spectacular for Father’s Day? Around here we usually do a cookout or something and Hubby usually doesn’t want anything major. He says “We show our love and appreciation everyday, not just on one day” but he’ll turn around and spoil me on Mother’s Day. Yeah, he’s awesome like that and yes he has brothers but they aren’t anything like him. They broke the mold with him and I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have him.

This year we decided no cookout. Instead he got fried chicken, onion rings, turnip greens, and cheesy bacon potatoes. Of course, I had to make dessert. So I decided it was going to be Snickers Cupcakes. Mmmm. Just the thought makes my mouth water. It’s a pretty close tie between Snickers and Reese’s as my favorite candy. Snickers has the combination of salty sweet goodness just right and I made Reese’s cupcakes last week. So Snickers won.

I started the way I always do. By searching the internet. I found a few that were based on doctored cake mixes and decided I wanted the homemade from scratch version instead. Besides, if I open my own shop I need to know how to make a cake without a box. I found this one from SarahCupcake.com and went shopping.

My gamer Hubby. I love him.

Look at that caramel. I have to admit, I had my doubts when I was making this caramel. The butter and sugar foamed up and looked…weird. It looked wrong. I thought I had messed up but worked through it and I am glad I did. It’s everything I wanted in a caramel drizzle.

The directions in the recipe say to cut out a cone/hole/shape of your choice and fill it with a mixture of the caramel sauce and chopped up Snickers. I did that for one tray. I experimented with the second tray.

These have the Snickers baked in. I used the mini Snickers and I keep them in the freezer to deter ants from getting them. Freezing them is an important step though. If you don’t freeze them they will disappear in the batter when you bake them. I wanted to see what the difference was between filled v. baked.

Here’s a view of both.

The buttercream has 1/3 cup of the aforementioned caramel sauce mixed in.

My little sous chef/ future blogger/ food photographer. She wanted to take pictures too.

I topped with my beauties with chopped up Snickers, peanuts, and a drizzle of the caramel sauce.

The recipe says it makes about 20 standard cupcakes. I had enough for 24. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to dish out the batter. The buttercream barely covered all 24. Of course, I like big mounds of piped frosting.  As you can tell. I also put aluminum foil under the wire racks so I could drizzle and not worry about Hubby complaining about the caramel all over the counter. I was proud that I thought of it BEFORE I drizzled.

Here’s what the baked in Snickers looks like.

Here’s a peak inside the filled cupcake.

I think the filled cupcakes are my favorite. Something about the distribution and ratio of caramel to candy chunks to cupcake just worked better for me. These were my first filled cupcake so I’m glad they turned out. Hubby seemed pleased with them and that’s even more important.

Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream

I made these the same day I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. These are my simple vanilla cupcakes.

When I look at these pictures, it makes me realize how important grease-proof liners are. I really need to get some.

I made a simple chocolate buttercream frosting for them. I made these and the Cookie Dough Cupcakes for a cookout. I wanted to make sure I had a fail safe, just in case someone didn’t like cookie dough. The frosting was really rich and even though I don’t like prefer chocolate, I really enjoyed it. The Cookie Dough Cupcakes ended up stealing the show though.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough+Cupcakes

My next great adventure.

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. How amazing does that sound? Cookie dough mixed into a cupcake. It’s genious. And it was all my idea. At least until I started searching and found numerous recipes stating it had already been done. Oh well. I can still partake in making them. And they are so worth making. The cookie dough doesn’t contain any raw egg either so it’s safe for little tummies or pregnany tummies or just tummies that don’t want to eat raw egg. I have no fear. I always taste my raw batters, egg or no, though.

Yeah, I know they look a little deflated. I mixed up baking powder and baking soda, which caused the cookie part to puff up then deflate. Oh well. They still tasted awesome.

And then I topped them with a cookie dough frosting and mini chocolate chips to drive home that cookie dough taste.

 And I remembered to take a picture of the inside before shoving it into my mouth.

My venture into cupcakery.

So I made these cupcakes a while back. Back before I even thought of starting a blog. I made these right after I decided that I enjoy baking enough to open a bakery. Or at least a cupcakery. One day in the future. I guess that’s why I started taking pictures and posting them on Facebook. One of my coworkers is pregnant with her second baby and I know from a past birthday experience that she likes chocolate. Instead of doing a cake, I made her cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. I even decided at the last minute to throw some chocolate chips into the batter. The fact that it was a last minute decision ended up causing the chips to sink to the bottom. Oh well. They were there and made it more chocolate-y. At least the bottom of the cupcake. I made chocolate buttercream to frost them and even made little chocolate swirls and decorations to put on top. I found some cute cupcake boxes at a craft store that was approriately decorated… with cupcakes!

I really need to work on my batter distribution as you can tell from this photo.

Yeah, they aren’t the same size. They still tasted awesome.

These were packed up to take to work.

Did you notice in the pic where they’re all packed up I forgot the chocolate decorations? I didn’t think they set up correctly and had scraped the idea. I went and checked a few hours later and noticed they had set properly. Yay! I was excited.

My chocolate swirls and designs. I was a happy camper when they set.

And most importantly, they got the seal of approval from my taste tester.

She looks pleased.

And they passed the coworker test, too!