Tag Archives: chocolate

The easiest Easter cupcakes ever!

Hiya, everybody! šŸ˜€ It’s Easter weekend!! The bunny is coming, and bringing sugar to small children that will make them bounce even further off the walls than normal! Friends are gathering, people are worshiping, and the flowers are blooming.

Thank goodness it’s finally spring…Cross fingers, anyway. It was 34 with a wind chill of 28 just four days ago here…*sigh* Four more weeks and I will be done with my degree! It’s so close I can taste it! And then I can blog all the time again! šŸ˜€ And have hobbies! And a life!

Anyway, my friend Dawn is having an Easter dinner tomorrow night, and I have volunteered to make dessert! Only because I found the most adorable recipe on Pinterest and *had* to make it, though! And, of course, I will be cheating a little bit just to make things easier. šŸ™‚ The cupcakes will resemble teeny weeny egg nests, and I am *SOOOOOO* excited! I hope that people will eat them and enjoy them, and think they’re as cute as I do!

So what are we waiting for, let’s get started!

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First, get some cake mix. I grabbed yellow cake because it’s my favorite. šŸ™‚ Next to carrot cake (but people probably wouldn’t want carrot cake for Easter). Then I cheated and got Easy Frost icing cans in chocolate (to be the brown nest!), and finally, some Robin Eggs.

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Mix the cake mix according to the package directions. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I used canola), and 1 cup of water.

IMG_20140419_154958783Put your cute little cupcake liners in your pan and fill them ~1/2 way with the cake mix. As you see above, I didn’t have a ladle small enough so I used a gravy ladle. Heh. My mom used to use ice cream scoops. Use whatever works.

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Bake them for 12-17 minutes, until they are done and a toothpick comes out clean. The mix should make ~24 cupcakes. Cool them for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. šŸ™‚

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In the middle of making the cupcakes, I decided that the ladle wasn’t working for me. My mom needed to go to the local mall for something, so I offered to drive her and we swung into Bed, Bath & Beyond for this little gem. EASIEST LADLING EVERRRRRRRR! Seriously, I don’t know why I waited so long for this.

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When the cupcakes had cooled completely, I went ahead and started with the icing. I’ve never used the canned stuff before, but it turns out to be pretty darn easy! šŸ™‚ Press down, out it comes. Bonus! It has a star tip on it!

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Work the icing around the top of the cupcake like a bird’s nest, and then put two of your whopper Robin Eggs on top. Voila! šŸ˜€ Easy, quick, cute, affordable, and totally fun for Easter!!

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And there you have it! A nice little set of eggs nests, all ready for your Easter! And since I will be taking them somewhere, I bought this AWESOME cupcake transporter, that has its own separate little cupcake tower that you can use by itself, or keep in the carrier! Genius!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Happy Easter!

Happy-Easter-23

 

 

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Blustery Sunday: Perfect for Peanut Butter

Yep! It’s another Sunday, and the Ryan is stuck at work for yet another weekend. This coming week should prove to be rather ridiculous for us both, as I start school again, and from what I’ve gathered so far, he will be pulling even longer, more ridiculous hours than normal. He may or may not even come home from the base this week, we shall see. Blah.

To cheer me up and make me feel a little better about our life being so tentative and subject to change on a minute-by-minute basis, I’ve taken it upon myself to do something nice for the Ryan’s co-workers. As much as I am sad that we are hardly seeing each other, I have to remind myself that he is not the only person working – his whole team is. One of them has a very pregnant wife, and the others have wives and children at home that they, too, are missing out on. Since the guys love my pumpkin bread so much, I decided to oblige and make them the bread recipe in the form of muffins, and then make homemade cream cheese frosting for said muffins. If their week is going to be as insane as it is looking like it will, they will need the comfort food in a big way.

The other day, I also found this awesome looking no-bake peanut butter bars recipe that claims to taste just like Reese’s peanut butter cups. Let me say that again: it’s supposed to taste like Reese’s. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the man who invented the combo of chocolate and peanut butter, for he should be revered as a god among men. If the claim laid down by this recipe is, in fact, true, I could be revered as a goddess among the Ryan’s co-workers. Not only do I send them homemade pumpkin muffins with icing from scratch but I send them homemade Reese’s-esque bars as well? Someone get my man a promotion, yeah? šŸ˜›

So, this morning, with my now-traditional Sunday Starbucks in hand, I went a little bit crazy at the grocery store and am ready to get my bake on! And no-bake, in the case of the peanut butter bars. šŸ™‚ The house will smell awesome when the Ryan gets home, and I will have done something besides laundry and cleaning with my Sunday. We’ve got a few “severe storm” warnings rolling around as well, so it’s all an excellent excuse to stay inside. Maybe I’ll pop in the extended edition of Lord of the Rings while I get all of this going…because who doesn’t still fangirl over Aragorn and Legolas? Hellooooooo, sexies!

Reese’s bars, courtesy of Bakerlady:

1 & 1/2 cups semi-sweet morsels, 1 cup and 4 tbls peanut butter, 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, and 1 cup butter, melted.

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, 1 cup of peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar and graham crackers. Stir well to incorporate.

Spread the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 bake pan, or 8×8 for thicker peanut butter.

In a double boiler (or, if you’re me, with two pots the same size), or a metal bowl over boiling water, melt the chocolate morsels with the 4 remaining tbls of peanut butter.

Spread the melted pb/chocolate combo over the graham cracker mixture.

Pop it into your fridge. Voila! So easy! Refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting. šŸ™‚

Quite delicious! Pre-cutting for the Ryan’s crew. Use a sharp knife, and don’t saw into it or it will crack and crumb everywhere and the chocolate will splinter. And now that I’ve eaten a piece of it, I can say it reminds me of a treat very similar to this that my Mom made my brother and I as kids. šŸ™‚ What a nice surprise to have that memory pop back up because of a piece of confectionery! Enjoy!!

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Oh yeah, eye candy for dessert…Yum! *drool*

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Let them eat cake! The chocolate kind, of course.

I’m going to throw this out there and then duck: I hate chocolate cake. *ducks!!*

But before you continue to chuck rotten vegetables at me for my obvious travesty against the delectable dessert that is chocolate cake, I will simply take the opportunity to justify said preference with a “to each their own.” I do like chocolate. I love dark chocolate and coconut..Ohmygod. And I really love chocolate frosting…but only if it’s on a yellow or vanilla cake. So why am I baking a chocolate cake?

Because at some point in recent history I seem to have purchased a container of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa…And because I was not aware of my foresight in purchasing said cocoa, so I bought another container of it this past weekend with the intention of making a recipe my cousin sent me. Now I have two containers of cocoa, and the fact that I’ve never opened the first one I bought (and didn’t even know it existed) should be testimony to how much cocoa we use in this house. To make matters worse, the recipe IĀ swore I saw in the bundle she sent me is not there. Non-existant….So now I gotta use the stuff, right? Truth be told, I will not eat the cake, but send it to work with the Ryan instead. I will therefore get my itch to bake out of my system only without the caloric consequences that would lead to guilt. Foolproof, no? Except…the Ryan loves chocolate cake. Could be dangerous.

Along with making the cake from scratch (which I can honestly say I have never done. Ever.), I also thought it’d be a spiffy idea to make my own vanilla buttercream frosting to go on said cake. Why load it up with chocolate icing? Yuck!

If you want the recipes I used, I got the recipe for the cake here and the recipe for the frosting here. Enjoy!!

So let’s satisfy that craving AND the need to create stuff and make some cake!!

Ingredients! Flour (2 & 3/4 cup), Sugar (2 & 1/4 cup), Baking Soda (2 tsp), Baking Powder (1/2 tsp), Salt (1/2 tsp), Butter (1 cup – 2 sticks – softened), Vanilla Extract (1 & 1/2 tsp), Eggs (4), Cocoa Powder (1 cup, unsweetened) and 2 cups of BOILING WATER.

In a separate bowl, measure out your cocoa powder. In the mean time, I hope you’re boiling your water. šŸ™‚

When your water has boiled, add it to the cocoa.

Whisk until smooth and pretty. You are supposed to let it cool, and since I had just poured boiling water into the bowl and knew it wasn’t going to cool any time soon, I shoved it in the freezer for like 20 minutes. It gave me time to start writing this and type up a study guide for another final exam I have to take tomorrow.

In a medium bowl, sift and mix together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until “fluffy” (the recipe’s word..xD)

Add the eggs one at a time until lovely and creamy. Ohya.

Stir in a little bit of the flour mixture…

Alternating with the cocoa mixture.

Pretty, no? Don’t mind the mess. I’m not the most graceful in the kitchen. šŸ˜› But my food is always nummy (well…mostly always).

Lightly grease and flour your cake pan. The recipe called for three 9 inch round pans. I don’t have three 9 inch round pans. I do have this lovely springform pan that the Ryan’s parents got me for Christmas. I lurve it.

Pour your cake mixture in about half way up. Remember to leave room for the cake to rise in the oven. šŸ™‚ Caphiche?Admittedly, I did have more batter than I had room in the cake pan, so I had to pour the rest into an 8×8 brownie pan. The Ryan had his own personal square cake. He was pleased.

Bake that bad boy on 350 for about 30 minutes. I am having issues whereby the middle of the cake won’t bake, so I have to lower the temperature and cook for longer. This went for like 45 minutes on 325 with some aluminum foil over the top. It’s either the pan or our POS apartment oven. The world may never know. šŸ˜› Let it cool and then pop it out and onto a plate.

ICE IT. And then eat it. Ohhhhhh yeaaaaah. (I could do a step-by-step on how to make the icing but it is literally just “cream together butter and confectioner’s sugar. Then add vanilla. Then add milk or heavy cream – I used half and half cuz I didn’t have cream and thought milk would be too light – one tablespoon at a time until it’s the consistency you like. Done. Icing…so I thought it’d be redundant. Especially since I showed you how to make icing in the lemon sugar cookie post :O).

Enjoy!! It’s not too rich and is very yummy (I admit I ate some..curse you, PMS!!!). It is quite crumbly, though, so beware. šŸ™‚ Bon appetite!

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