Monthly Archives: July 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I couldn’t resist – I had the ingredients to make the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes again, except this time using chocolate cupcakes and chocolate buttercream frosting. I was too lazy to make the raw cookie dough to mix in with the frosting so I just sprinkled the frosting with mini chocolate chips. The result? Sinful!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These cupcakes sank more than the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes that I previously made for my cookie dough cupcakes. I might have slightly underbaked them, but the cookie dough in the middle definitely would have something to do with it. This chocolate cupcake is softer and more moist than the Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, too. And more tasty!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I did everything the exact same as I did for the vanilla cupcakes, except I used this recipe I found on Cupcakes Take The Cake for chocolate cupcakes and chocolate buttercream.

FYI – these cupcakes taste great, but taste even better the day after baking as long as they are stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Congrats, It’s A Girl! Cupcakes

A friend of mine recently had a baby girl and a group of friends got together to bring the new mom meals and treats in these first few weeks. Of course I volunteered to bring cupcakes!

Congrats, It's A Girl! Cupcakes

I used Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla cupcake recipe and the following vanilla frosting recipe…

Vanilla Buttercream
makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

Method
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Add milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined.

I tinted half the frosting pink. To get the pink and white swirl, simply place pink frosting on one side inside of a pastry bag and white frosting on the other side so that the pink and white frostings are side by side. You’ll need to squeeze a bit of the frosting out at first to get to the swirled part. It’s a really nice effect!

The swirled stars on the white frosted cupcakes were made simply by squeezing out a small amount of frosting and twisting the pastry bag at the same time.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My inspiration for my chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes came from How To Eat A Cupcake. I love chocolate chip cookie dough and had never heard of this type of cupcake, so when I saw this recipe I just had to make it for myself! I didn’t follow the same recipe as How To Eat A Cupcake because I personally didn’t to use a boxed cake mix, and mainly because I didn’t want that many cupcakes.

So what I did was this… I bought a package of refrigerated Nestle chocolate chip cookie dough (the kind that is pre-cut) and immediately put it into the freezer when I got home from the store. This is the dough that will be baked into the cupcakes and it must be completely frozen when placed into the cupcake batter.

A few days later, when I was ready to make these cupcakes, I whipped up a batch of Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla cupcakes (I halved the recipe to get 12 cupcakes, though ended up with 14).

I filled my cupcake liners with batter, then cut seven little squares of frozen cookie dough in half so that I would get 14 and placed them each on top of the cupcake batter. I cut them in half because I personally didn’t want to end up with the majority of the cupcake being cookie dough, and the original recipe had also instructed to do this. I also didn’t want my cupcakes to overflow, so I slightly underfilled them to allow room for the cookie dough to bake.

In the meantime, I prepared the cookie dough that I would be mixing into the frosting. This is the same cookie dough recipe that How To Eat A Cupcake used in her chocolate chip cookie dough frosting (see recipe in her post), but I used a different frosting base (my recipe is at the end of this post). The cookie dough itself needs to sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes to become firm, then broken into chunks, and then placed in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used. Just mix the chunks into the frosting when it has been made, then spread onto the cupcake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

The look of the frosting reminds me of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!

The inside of the cupcake…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These cupcakes are very very good, but also very very sweet. And they definitely require a glass of milk after eating! I think that it would be just fine if you made your own cookie dough for this, and I also think that it could be baked into any flavor cupcake. In fact, I need to make these again sometime and think I will bake them into a chocolate cupcake.

Vanilla Buttercream
makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

Method
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Add milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined.

At this point you can mix in your cookie dough that you made while the cupcakes were baking. Mix in enough cookie dough to suit your taste, because I believe the recipe posted on How To Eat A Cupcake is for two dozen cupcakes, and if you’re only making 12 you’ll have some cookie dough leftover (unless you halve the cookie dough recipe). The best thing to do with the leftover cookie dough – eat it! There are no eggs in it so it is safe to eat. Yum!

Maggie Moo’s

If you love cupcakes, you probably love ice cream and so you might enjoy reading about our trip to Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream & Treatery.

For my daughter’s 3rd birthday, not only did we treat her to cupcake pops, but we took her on her first ever trip to get ice cream. We went to Maggie Moo’s, where she had a small bowl with one scoop of blue cotton candy ice cream and pink bubblegum ice cream. She loved it – she said it was yummy! I had a Fresh Escapes cone called Better Batter Cake Carnival – it was so good, but I could barely make my way through it.

I really wanted one of their ice cream cupcakes, but they only came in packs of 4 or 8 and I didn’t want to commit myself to that many! Besides, it was a really hot day and they probably would have melted by the time we got home.

My final verdict – Maggie Moo’s serves fantastic ice cream!

Cupcake Pops

My daughter’s 3rd birthday is Saturday and I was determined to make Bakerella’s cupcake pops for that special occasion. This is my cupcake pop story. I won’t bore you with step by step photos as you can find that on Bakerella’s website, but I will note my supplies.

Make ‘n Mold – pink chocolate melts, dark chocolate melts*, lollipop sticks (4.5″)

Grocery store – Duncan Hines vanilla cake mix**, Duncan Hines vanilla frosting**, nonpareils***, M&Ms

Cookie cutters – Ateco Aspic cutters #4848****

* I could not find chocolate bark

** I have to use vanilla because my mom can’t have a lot of chocolate (due to migraines), also I want to state that I’m not a huge fan of boxed cake mixes or frostings, but since they are just the right quantities for the cupcake pops I decided to use them

*** I could not find Mr Sprinkles

**** This cutter set, in a round tin, is the exact same (or very very similar) to the discontinued Williams-Sonoma cutters that Bakerella uses. See photos below.

Cupcake Pop Cutters

Cupcake Pop Cutters

If you do a search for your own Ateco Aspic cutters, be sure you look for model number #4848, as they come in different sizes. #4848 is the size you’ll want.

First, bake the cake. My vanilla cake had browned edges, as well as a browned top and bottom. I trimmed these off with a serrated knife so that the finished cupcake would be more white, like the inside of the cake.

Second, crumble, mix and roll. I had to use my blender to crumble my cake, since I don’t have a food processor. I had to crumble them in batches, otherwise it’d overload the blender, but it didn’t do too bad. Then, mix the frosting in with the crumbled cake. Then, roll into 1.25″-1.5″ balls.

Let me take a second to talk about the rolling step. This is very messy! Here is a very helpful tip, however – wash your hands often and keep your hands damp. The cake mix won’t stick so bad if you do this.

I accidentally rolled my cake balls too big, just slightly. But they’re fine. I ended up with 43 balls instead of 50. I attribute this to the fact that the cake balls were a bit too big, and/or maybe trimming off the browned parts of the cake lessened the amount.

Third, freeze the cake balls until firm. This is very important. Make sure they are very firm before shaping in the cutter. Otherwise the mix will stick to your hands and the cutter, making it very hard to shape.

Fourth, shape with cutter. This part is actually quite fun. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but a technique that worked for me by the end was placing my thumb under the cutter and shaping the top of the cupcake with the fingers and palm of the same hand. I held the cutter itself with my other hand.

Fifth, freeze the cupcakes until firm. Once again, very important. If they are not firm enough you will not be able to dip them into the chocolate without having them fall apart or get misshapen.

Sixth, coat the cupcakes. This part was pretty fun, too. Dip the bottoms of the cupcakes in the chocolate bark (or chocolate melts) to coat, place them upside down on your cookie sheet, insert lollipop stick. Important – freeze until firm, again. Then, dip the tops of the cupcakes in colored chocolate (or candy melts) while holding the lollipop stick. When coated, decorate with sprinkles and M&Ms and stick the lollipop stick into styrofoam, or in my case, just a glass, to dry.

Dipping the tops proved to be the hardest part for me because it was hard to get the colored chocolate to cover all the crevices under the mound of the cupcake. Using a toothpick, like Bakerella suggested, helps a lot, but it is very difficult to keep the chocolate coating smooth.

Someone has noted this, but I’d like to note it again – do not use the green floral foam to stick your cupcake pops in. This foam is messy and little crumbs of it will stick to the lollipop sticks and your cupcake pop itself – you don’t want to eat that stuff! So use styrofoam, or improvise with a cup or glass.

Cupcake Pops

It took me two days to make these (after shaping the cake balls into cupcakes I let them sit in the refrigerator, covered, overnight). The process was fun and would be great to do with your kids. I will definitely be making these again.

Cupcake Pops

The best thing about these cupcake pops is that not only are they cute, but they taste so incredibly good!

Thank you to Cupcakes Take The Cake for posting my version of cupcake pops!

Cupcake Necklace

I bought this cupcake charm necklace from Jeanine of Tiny Cravings over a year ago. I think it’s just so cute! Jeanine has many new cupcake charms on her website that are well worth checking out, if you like cupcake jewelry.

Latest Piece of Jewelry

It is a strawberry cupcake with white frosting and sprinkles, and it is also scented! Reminds me of a Strawberry Shortcake smell.

Independence Day/Birthday Cupcakes

My son’s first birthday was on July 5, the day after Independence Day, so I made him some patriotic cupcakes.

Blake's First Birthday

The red and blue dots are supposed to represent fireworks. Just trying to keep it fun for him and his 3-year-old sister, who told me that the cupcakes were so pretty!

Birthday/Independence Day Cupcakes

I layered red, white (plain) and blue batter in the silver foil cupcake liners to get this effect.

Birthday/Independence Day Cupcakes

I used, yet again, Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla cupcake recipe and for the first time Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla frosting. This is the third time I’ve made these cupcakes and I’m getting the opinion that the cupcakes don’t taste very vanilla-y. I might try adding more vanilla the next I bake these. The texture of the cupcakes is nice, but I’d like it to be a little lighter; also the cupcake seem sticky – it sticks to my fingers more so than other cupcakes. The frosting is very, very sweet, but I like its texture, even on the second day.

Okay, this might be it on the cupcakes until my daughter’s birthday on July 19, for which I am making Bakerella’s cupcake pops, but a friend of mine had a new baby daughter on July 3, and I may bake baby girl-themed cupcakes to take to her sometime in the coming couple of weeks too.

Next on my own list, besides the cupcake pops are chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes.

Banana Bread

I love banana bread and had a great recipe, from Betty Crocker, I think, that I could swear by but have lost it somewhere. While on the search for another one I came across this one from Martha Stewart, which was a banana bread made with whole wheat flour and flaxseed (walnuts are also in the ingredients, but I don’t like walnuts in my bread!). I decided to make it right away.

Banana Bread with flaxseed

I loved it! It was very moist and tasty. I made this about four months ago (above photo taken at that time), so I decided it was time to make it again, since we had a few bananas sitting around getting too ripe.

This second time around, I have to make some notes that I noticed from last time.

* I would prefer not to use course salt next time, as I keep getting a salty burst in some bites of the bread which I don’t like; I’m presuming the salt didn’t totally dissolve. Why use course salt though? Why not use regular salt and perhaps decrease the amount as well?

* The final step before placing the batter in the oven says to “Add the reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until well incorporated, about 10 seconds.”. 10 seconds did not well incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet, so I needed to mix for longer.

* The recipe says to bake for 35 minutes – I have never heard of banana bread baking in just 35 minutes. Both times I have used this recipe I need to increase the baking time for another 15 or so minutes.

Banana Bread w/ Flaxseed Meal (again)

Overall, for a great banana bread recipe, look no further! With whole wheat flour and flaxseed meal it also means that isn’t all that bad for you either!