Category Archives: Recipes

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies, Continued

We have yet another cookie for you this week. This must be cookie week at The Sweetest Kitchen! Don’t worry, I should have a cupcake for you next week.

Now, I’ve already made a peanut butter and Nutella cookie, but I thought I’d try to make a cookie that is half peanut butter, half Nutella. I knew this would be tricky, but I gave it a shot anyway.

I used peanut butter and Nutella cookie, but I cut the recipe in half to make one half with smooth peanut butter and the other half with Nutella instead of peanut butter.

Nutella & Peanut Butter Cookies

This is one of my creations, the peanut butter half has chopped up peanuts in it and the Nutella half has semi-sweet chocolate chips in it.

I also made a plain half and half cookie, but the photo above looked nicer, with the peanuts in it.

Nutella & Peanut Butter Cookies

Now this one was really tricky to do with the peanut butter cookie dough, since this dough isn’t actually meant to do this sort of thing with. I took a handful of peanut butter dough, placed it on a pastry mat, flattened it, then took a handful of Nutella dough, flattened it, then put the Nutella dough on top of the peanut butter dough and gently smooshed it together. I refrigerated it for another 15 minutes or so. I used the pastry mat to help roll the dough into a log shape without breaking the dough (though it did break here and there). I then buttered a sharp knife (so the dough wouldn’t stick to it) and sliced the log into a little less than 1/4-inch slices. I had to reshape the slices into circles after I put them on the cookie sheet.

What I learned, at least using this particular recipe, is that the Nutella part of the cookie took longer to bake and ended up crunchier than the peanut butter part. It was a little difficult to get the Nutella and peanut butter to stick together and they tended to fall apart “at the seam” while eating. The taste of Nutella and peanut butter wasn’t as strong as if you had eaten it raw, so I was a little disappointed about that, but all in all, it was a pretty good cookie.

And a quick FYI, in my Nutella and peanut butter cookie search, I found this very nice looking Nutella cookie recipe that I’ll have to try soon.

Chocolate Crinkles

I’ve been looking for a chocolate crinkle (also known as chocolate crackles or chocolate crackle-tops) recipe ever since I had a couple of these at a local bake sale. I loved them; they were so chocolatey and moist. But the baker has not gotten back to me about the recipe she used, so I am left searching.

My first choice of recipe is the Betty Crocker chocolate crinkle recipe. What I liked about this recipe was the fact that my cookies ended up looking just like the photo on the original recipe.

Chocolate Crinkles

But, these were nowhere near as delicious and moist as the chocolate crinkles from the bake sale, and definitely not as chocolatey. This recipe also seemed to produce a slightly crunchy outer layer, as well, which I was not fond of.

Updated later: I made up a quick second batch of this recipe. I made the cookies bigger, I reduced the oven temperature to 325F instead of 350F and baked for the maximum recommended time of 12 minutes. Also, I didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate to melt, so I substituted with unsweetened cocoa powder by melting one tablespoon of unsalted butter with three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate called for the in the recipe. This resulted in a sort of paste-like melted chocolate.

In the end, I was much happier with this batch than the previous batch. They are more moist, more chocolatey and do not have a slightly crunchy outer layer.

Chocolate Crinkles, Revised

I wouldn’t say that these tasted exactly like the bake sale ones, though. Perhaps I will try Martha Stewart’s version, chocolate crackles, next.

Chili Chocolate Truffle Brownies

I had heaps of leftover chili chocolate ganache from my Iron Cupcake: Earth chili cupcakes, so I decided to try out Martha Stewart’s truffle brownie recipe, except instead of her semi-sweet chocolate ganache I would use my chili chocolate ganache:

Chili Chocolate Truffle Brownies

It was more hot on the brownies than on the cupcakes; I presume that all that sweet frosting on the cupcakes took some of the chili sting out. But the brownies just weren’t sweet enough to cover up the chili that much! But, overall, this was a very tasty dessert.

Iron Cupcake Earth: Chili

I have finally completed my entry for Iron Cupcake Earth’s challenge of chili pepper. I made two variations of my entry and chose the one I liked best.

Iron Cupcake Earth: Chili Pepper

My entry is a chocolate cupcake, filled with chili chocolate ganache, topped with a layer of chili chocolate ganache, frosted with peanut butter frosting and sprinkled with a dash of cayenne pepper.

My other variation was the same as the above, but with chocolate frosting.

Chili Chocolate Cupcake

I chose the one with peanut butter frosting because it tasted more interesting. I loved this cupcake; it tasted like a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting, but with an extra spicy tingle. When my husband took his first bite he said, “I don’t taste any chili in these!”. I smiled and waited. A second later, he said, “Oh, now I do!”.

What I also love about these cupcakes was the fact that I used our own chili peppers that we grew in our garden. We dried them and kept them to use for later. I ground them up today and mixed them up in the chocolate ganache, along with a dash of cayenne pepper.

Chili Peppers In Our Garden

I didn’t post a cross section of this cupcake because the chili chocolate ganache was so dark that you couldn’t even tell that the chocolate cupcake was filled with the ganache in the photos!

The winner of Iron Cupcake Earth receives prizes from Cakespy’s Etsy shop, Cupcake Courier, Fiesta Products, Hello, Cupcake, Jesse Steele, and Taste of Home.

Chili Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from a post at Cupcakes Take The Cake
makes 12-14 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375, then turn it down to 350 just prior to baking

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is soft, then add sugar. Beat about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time beating until they are well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk them to incorporate them.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar and beat it just to combine. Add 1/2 of the liquids (milk & vanilla), scrape down bowl and beat to combine. Continue adding the dry and wet ingredients alternately making sure you END WITH THE DRY.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3′s of the way.

Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Do not overbake! Allow to cool, then frost.

Chili Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop
makes about 1/2 cup ganache, you’ll probably have some leftover

1/4 cup + 3 tblsp + 1/2 tsp heavy cream
1 tblsp + 1/2 tsp butter
1 3/4 tsp ancho chili powder
1 small pinch ground cayenne pepper
3.6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Heat cream and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and cream bubbles around saucepan edge.

Place peppers and chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl, pour heated cream and butter over the chocolate.

Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds then start whisking it until smooth.

Set aside mixture and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it cools enough to use.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from Shazam In The Kitchen

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

In large bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well, adding more milk as needed to make a fluffy spreadable frosting. Sprinkle with a very small pinch of cayenne pepper if desired.

Strawberry & Chocolate Cupcakes

I was inspired to make these cupcakes from a post at My Sweet Cupcakes. The temptation of chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting was too strong! I made these cupcakes for my husband to take to his office at work to share, and I only got to keep four of them for myself.

Strawberry & Chocolate Cupcakes

They are really good, the chocolate ones are my favorite! The chocolate cupcakes are made from my new standard chocolate cupcake recipe, found on Cupcakes Take The Cake. Both the strawberry cupcakes and strawberry frosting recipe come from Sprinkles. The only thing I did differently was strain the strawberry puree to get out the seeds – the recipe did not say to do this.

My opinion on the Sprinkles cupcakes is that they are okay. Strangely, I didn’t taste any strawberry while chewing the cupcakes, but once I swallowed a bite I got a strawberry taste. The cupcake is nice and moist, but not very pink, or not as pink as I’d like a strawberry cupcake to be. The frosting was very nice (though very sweet) and was a very light shade of pink, as you can see in the above photo.

My classic individual cupcake photos here – chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting and strawberry cupcake with strawberry frosting.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

The cupcakes that I had originally planned for this week had to be put on hold because my daughter spilled a nearly full bottle of vanilla extract, so I couldn’t make any cupcakes with vanilla. So I decided to go with mint chocolate cupcakes instead since the recipe called for mint extract instead of vanilla.

I chose this particular recipe because it was supposed to taste like a mint Aero chocolate bar, which I really like, and the recipe also had good (but few) reviews; I found the recipe at

Mint Chocolate Cupcake

Now I admit that these cupcakes look very pretty, but I have to tell you that I just don’t like them! Definitely not happy with the way these turned out. The cupcake itself is sort of bland, tasteless and very dry. The frosting, however, is fine.

I did alter the recipe slightly by adding less mint extract than was called for in the cupcakes.

To try to moisten them up a bit, I filled a few of them with white mint buttercream, using the cone method.

Mint Chocolate Cupcake

It didn’t really help much! I definitely do not recommend using this recipe if you’re after mint chocolate cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I had never heard of red velvet cake (RVC) until a few months ago (I must have been living under a rock!) and at first I thought it was a bit tacky. I also didn’t like the idea of all that food coloring being added (although I understand that RVC can also be colored with beets or strawberries). But eventually my curiosity won and I had to make these for myself.

After reading a post at Bake & Destroy about Magnolia Bakery’s RVC recipe I decided that this would be the recipe I would use. I am so glad I chose this recipe, so thank you Bake & Destroy for posting your review of these!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I used Magnolia Bakery’s cream cheese frosting recipe as well, and topped them with RVC crumbs. I had to hurry to take these photos because the cream cheese frosting was quickly melting into a goopy mess!

But, wow, these cupcakes are fantastic! So moist and delicious, and the red color is perfect for my tastes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3 1/3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour three 9 x 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overheat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then the ice top and sides of the cake with frosting.

Makes one 3-layer 9-inch cake. (Or about three dozen cupcakes.)

* I cut the recipe into thirds and ended up with 11 cupcakes. For help with recipe calculations, visit this page.

* I made my own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk, then let it sit for 5 minutes.

* I used regular white vinegar instead of cider vinegar.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Makes enough for one 2- or 3-layer 9-inch cake.

*I cut this recipe in half and was able to use most of the frosting for my 11 cupcakes.

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

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

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

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

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!