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Monday, August 10, 2015

S'MOREO CUPCAKES!!!!

 It's National Smore's Day. YAY!!!!!!
(But shouldn't it be a S'mores day pretty much any day?)
Just the word S'more implies that.
S'more..please?!!?

♥♥♥♥

I called these my S'more sparklette cupcakes last year ♥

The year before I made this extra tall layered s'mores cake. Layered with oreo crust, graham cracker batter, fudge batter, and a cheesecake layer.


The s'mores cake looked like this before we cut into it!


  
This year.. I did something different to celebrate!
I made S'moreo Cookie Dough Cupcakes!!!!!!


On top: A marshmallow sandwiched between my homemade cookie dough frosting, chocolate ganache,and a Smore Oreo Cookie. Broken up little pieces of Hershey Bars stuck inside the sweet and sticky pools of chocolate ganache. 


As if the graham cracker batter, chocolate fudge batter and a gooey marshmallow surprise inside weren't enough, I baked a whole Smore's Oreo (I call it a SMOREO) inside the cupcake as the graham cracker crust ♥

My S'moreo Cupcake Science:
1. I marbled a graham cracker and fudge batter together. (see recipe below)
2. I scooped a small amount of swirled batter onto the bottom of a cupcake wrapper.
3. I placed an entire S'moreo on top of the swirled batter as my "crust".
4. Covered the S'moreo with more swirled batter.
5.  Baked at 325 for appx 18-22 minutes...
When the cupcakes came out of the oven, I immediately piped marshmallow cream out of a disposable piping bag into the centers of the cupcake using a piping bag.  It is important to pipe the marshmallow cream inside the cupcake while the cupcakes are still hot and fresh out of the oven.  I've baked marshmallows inside of cupcakes before while in the oven...and they've exploded. While all of that can be fun/entertaining, you end up with more marshmallow in the oven than in your cupcake. So I came up with this idea!  Piping the marshmallow cream inside of the cupcake while it is still warm is a much more efficient way to "bake" a marshmallow inside of your cupcake. If you can't find marshmallow cream, you can place a whole marshmallow inside of your cupcake while it is still warm too. It all just melts and gets gooey and puffy inside your cupcake.

 I made cookie dough frosting because this is a cookie inspired cupcake, and folded graham cracker crumbs into the cookie dough frosting since this is a S'more inspired cupcake!

There are a few ways to decorate a S'moreo cupcake!
I channeled my inner nostalgia here, and sandwiched my ingredients together just like you would a regular  S'more! I made the Cookie Dough Frosting stiff enough so I could scoop the frosting on top with an ice cream scoop. I spooned the chocolate ganache on top of the scoop of cookie dough frosting and sandwiched a marshmallow on top of that with a half or whole S'moreo cookie! ♥ 

Little Hershey Bars make the best little mini "gems" on top of the S'moreo cupcakes!

Some people might say that HUGE scoop of cookie dough frosting on top is too sweet. After experimenting with both options, I feel like the flavors all come together a lot better when my cookie dough frosting is a little more creamy and I can pipe a layer on top of the S'mores cupcake like this. ♥

But do whatever you want, no matter what, this is the sweetest cupcake I've ever made! It is pretty much 5 desserts in one:
1. Cupcake
2. S'moreo inside and outside of the cupcake.
3. Gooey Marshmallows
3. Cookie dough frosting that tastes just like cookie dough!
4. Chocolate ganache
5. Hershey Bars

Watch my mini cable TV appearance how I make them here:
(local New London, WI cable access)


Hand Written Recipe for your own S'moreo Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
2-3 Packages of S'more Oreo Cookies
(1) 13 oz container of Marshmallow Cream or Fluff
1 package of Marshmallows
2-3 Hershey Bars
Ground Graham Cracker Crumbs

Fudge Cake Batter:
1 box triple fudge cake mix (Betty Crocker)
1 box dry instant chocolate fudge pudding (not prepared, dry powder form)
1/2 cup oil
1 1/4 cup hot water
4 eggs

Yellow Graham Cracker Cake Batter:
1 box yellow cake mix (Betty Crocker)
1 box instant white chocolate pudding (not prepared, dry powder form)
1/2  cup oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 cup crushed up graham crackers

Cookie Dough Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla malt powder (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk or almond milk
1 cup crushed graham crackers

Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
8 oz heavy cream or whole milk

Method:
1.  Prepare cake batters: Fudge batter in one mixing bowl, yellow graham cracker in another.  For both batters: First, cream the eggs and oil together. Gradually add remaining ingredients until all ingredients are mixed.  Scrape bowl down and mix all ingredients together to make sure no ingredients are hiding or stuck to the bottom of the bowl. To marble the two batters together, spoon the chocolate batter into the yellow and swirl with a knife.
2.  Scoop a small amount of marbled batter onto the bottom of the cupcake liner. Place a whole S'moreo cookie on top of the layer of batter. Cover the S'moreo cookie with another small amount of marbled fudgey/graham cracker batter, Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake at 325 for appx 18-24 minutes.

3.  As soon as cupcakes come out of the oven, pipe marshmallow cream inside of the cupcakes with a disposable piping bag.

4. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare cookie dough frosting. Cream the butter and sugars together using a flat beater attachment. Gradually add remaining ingredients until fluffy and creamy.  If you want a scoopable cookie dough frosting, add more powdered sugar so that it is easy to scoop on top of your cupcake with an ice cream scoop.

5. Prepare chocolate ganache: Combine chocolate and heavy cream (or milk) in microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 1:30 and stir.  Heat again for another 45 seconds and stir. Continue until chocolate ganache is shiny, smooth and fudgey. The longer the ganache sits and cools, the thicker it will get.

Decorate: 
1. Swirl or scoop cookie dough frosting on top of your cupcake.
2. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate ganache on top of cookie dough frosting.
3. Place marshmallow on top of wet chocolate ganache. 
4. "Sandwich" a S'moreo cookie halve (or whole) on top of the marshmallow. You can dip the S'moreo cookie bottom into the ganache to make it sticky enough to stick to the marshmallows.
5. Place a broken piece of Hershey bar on top of the chocolate ganache as an extra little "gem".


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies are my BFF

 
The secret is out. Even though my last name is "Cupcake", I LURVE (that's my word for extra credit love) chocolate chip cookies. Making chocolate chip cookies is a fun hobby for me. I don't sell them anywhere.I've baked them for many reasons.One..is that I eat the dough and never eat the cookie ♥♥♥♥ 
Perfect gift idea: Scoop the dough into a jar and give it to a friend to eat with a wooden spoon. Or throw yourself a **me** party and gift it to yourself! Just to be safe, if I am eating the dough only, I substitute 1/4 cup milk in place of the eggs. It works and still tastes just like cookie dough!

I have used the eggless cookie dough recipe to make chocolate chip cookie dough balls dipped in candy melts. Heaven on earth. ♥ What's better than cookie dough on a stick?!


I throw sprinkles in my chocolate chip cookie dough because I'm a big kid.
I love giving these to kids of all ages. (Hmm maybe a back to school treat or great for a college care package?!)


But did you know..there is something that a chocolate chip cookie does to fill a void in your spirit?! A warm ball of soft gooey slightly crispy chocolate chip cookie in your tummy replaces a hole and makes you feel better if even just for the moment you are eating the cookie.That's why I  hand deliver generous sized packages of them to people who I know are grieving. ♥


What tummies will your chocolate chip cookies travel to?
The possibilities are endless. Don't be afraid to add bits and pieces of the things that you crave. (Sprinkles, m&ms, sparkles, white chocolate chips, cherry chocolate chips, marshmallows?! Use your imagination)!

Recipe below ♥
This recipe takes patience, so make sure you plan at least 24 hours in advance.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients needed:
2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
A little dab of salt
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Fine Baking Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 small box of white chocolate instant pudding mix (dry powder form)
1 egg
2 cups chocolate chips
optional: 1 cup rainbow sprinkles

**Note, to make this recipe eggless for cookie dough treats: replace the egg with 1/4 cup whole milk. Omit the pudding.

Method:
1.  In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the egg, sugars, and extracts together.
2.  In separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients (flour, salt, pudding mix, and baking soda) together.
3.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients and beat until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure there are no forgotten bits of valuable ingredients ♥
4. Fold in chocolate chips and sprinkles.
5. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Scoop cookies onto baking pan. I like using a cookie scoop to make sure they are all uniform in size.
6. This is the secret to amazing puffy cookies that won't flatten when you bake them: Cover cookies with plastic wrap and refrigerate them on the pan overnight.
7. Get up the next morning, and bake at 325 for appx 12-15 minutes. I like to under-bake my cookies and take them out at about 10-12 minutes so that they are super soft and gooey.

A few chocolate chip cookie tips:

♥Cookies last forever in the freezer when covered in an airtight container (my "forever": is about half a year)...but I don't think these will last long enough. They are toooooo yummy!!!! ♥ Cookie dough can also be frozen for up to about 90 days.

♥If you want to add more color and sparkle to your cookies, top them with extra chocolate chips, m&m gems, mini peanut butter cups, or sprinkles immediately after you remove them from the oven.   The extra pieces will add more color and will "melt" just enough to stick to the top of your cookies!

♥And as always..don't be afraid to sprinkle some edible glitter on top!

Fresh chocolate chip cookies always taste good with cupcakes....and coffee! ♥♥♥

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Shoes with real sprinkles on top! DIY!

I altered some pink and white faux "chucks" I bought at a local discount store by throwing magical glittery sprinkles on them. Yep, this time the shoes got the sprinkles on top instead of the cupcakes!  Unless you are a baker yourself, you may not realize that there are many times when my shoes look similar to this at the end of a really busy baking & decorating day.

You know what I think is really special?  There will always be something that you leave behind that makes people love you more. Little reminders, pieces of you. I'd have to say my special thing is sprinkles and glitter.  Since I am leaving a trail of glitter, it makes total sense that I'd put sequins on my shoes!



\
What's your special thing? What makes people love and miss you when they see it?



I "iced" the sides of the shoes with white puffy paint to make it look like I spilled frosting on my shoes! (not far from the truth).  You really don't need this part to be perfect.  Spilling icing is far from perfect. It's messy.



You're probably asking, "What happens if your shoes get wet? Will the sprinkles fall off or dissolve?"
.

My answer is no! My not-so-secret ingredient in this recipe:  Clear Glitter Nail Polish.
First, I painted the white part of the shoe with clear glitter nail polish. 


 I threw the sprinkles on the wet nail polish and waited for the sprinkles to dry & "set" to the shoes. Last, I brushed the nail polish on top of the sprinkles as a sealant. Note: You can use regular clear nail polish as a sealant, I used glitter nail polish as my glue of choice because glitter is my favorite color.

Nail polish dries pretty quickly, so this is a perfect project if you are feeling creative but impatient to see the end result. I finished both the "icing" and "sprinkling"part in about an hour and let everything set for less than a day (about 4-6 hours just to be safe).
I was wearing these by EOD and already received compliments and people asking me where they could get some shoes like this?! Can you tell I am smiling in this picture?! :)   

Friday, July 3, 2015

Amanda Cupcake Red Velvet Cupcake Milkshake!

I am super excited.
As you may or may not know, I live the life of a sweet dreamer..like everything I do is glitter or sugar or sprinkle coated. I even carry sprinkles in my purse so that I can sprinkle people with them when they are having a bad day. I am like a living female Willy Wonka. So I started thinking, why limit myself to cupcakes only? Why not make all kinds of fun food and even beverages inspired by this sweet lifestyle that I live (and I have a feeling you live a very similar one too if you are reading this!)? Just imagine the territory we could cover adding our glittery spell of cupcake love to everything.


Drumroll please... ♥
So here goes my first venture outside of the "cupcake box":  I partnered with Familiar Grounds Coffee Shop to come up with this: The Amanda Cupcake Red Velvet Cupcake Freeze! We sat down and brainstormed the flavors together, then Lucas (awesomely better than barista at FG) made us samples in the back kitchen and we tried them like..10 minutes after coming up with the flavor idea.  We were a successful team, it tastes just like a red velvet cupcake!  Topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.  So here is a reason to visit New London, Wisconsin! Visit Familiar Grounds Coffee Shop and try my newest venture in creating a sweet, dreamy lifestyle!


Or..if you can't make it to a nearby Familiar Grounds..you can always try one at home. this is my recipe from my very own kitchen.

First things first. I partnered with some other fave people/brands for my red velvet cupcake milkshake.  Ben & Jerry's, Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix, Americolor Super Red, Pyrex, and Kitchen Aid (yes! I used a mixer to whip this milkshake together instead of a blender. Appropriate since we are bakers, right?)




I was thinking ahead. I bought the clearest of clear plastic cups so that I could see the red color from outside when I was all done making the milkshake! Super economical, and also allows you to show your work off. ♥ I dipped each cup in SPRINKLES! (That's a given.. we are trying to recreate a cupcake in the form of a milkshake, why not coat the cup in sprinkles too?!).  I also sprinkled the inside of the cup with edible glitter!



I embraced my inner cupcake queen and PIPED the milkshake into the cup using a professional decorating bag, just like I was frosting a beautiful cupcake. The piping bag worked pretty perfectly actually, it kept everything very neat!



Boom.
A red velvet cupcake milkshake.
My first ever Amanda Cupcake inspired beverage.

I swirled whipped cream on top, and used a decorative straw to hold my red velvet cupcake "shishkabob" on top of the drink.  The cherry on top?! There are always more and more and more and more cherries on top where I come from.  


The Amanda Cupcake Red Velvet Cupcake Milkshake Recipe:
(Makes 2 milkshakes so you can share!)

Ingredients needed:
4 Tablespoons of dry red velvet cake mix (you can keep the leftover mix for a future batch)!
4-5 big scoops of Ben & Jerry's Red Velvet Ice Cream (if you can't find this, use chocolate ice cream)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
15 mini sized drops of Super Red Americolor Gel Paste
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2-3/4 cup cold milk
Whipped cream

Accessories needed:
♥Decorative paper straws
♥Maraschino stemmed cherries
♥Sprinkles galore
♥Mini cupcakes using your favorite red velvet cupcake recipe or you can use the box-just buy an extra one or use the leftover mix . 
♥Bowl of melted white candy melts as the "glue" to get the sprinkles to stick to the cup.
♥Optional: Piping bag to pipe the milkshake neatly into the cup.

Instructions:
First, prepare the sprinkled cups:(Hold on:  If you are going to bake mini cupcakes, make sure you bake them before this step so the cupcakes  have time to cool)
1.  Melt white candy melts in a microwave proof bowl for about 45 seconds at a time until smooth.
2.  Pour sprinkles in bowls big enough to dip your cups into.
3.  Once you have all of this prepped, dip the top rim of each cup into the melted candy melts.
4.  Do not wait for the candy melts to dry-immediately dip the top rim of the cup into your favorite sprinkles.
5.  Repeat for each cup.  While the cups are drying, start preparing your milkshake.

Second, prepare the Milkshakes:
1.  Using a liquid measuring cup, measure out 1/2 Cup cold milk.
2.  Whisk Cocoa, Almond Extract, and Americolor Gel Paste into milk.
3.  In stand mixer (using flat beater attachment), whip ice cream and red velvet cake mix together. Then gradually add milk until you reach a  smooth red velvet milkshake texture.

To pour the milkshake into the cup: Fill a ziploc or a piping bag with the milkshake and cut a hole at the end. Neatly squeeze the milkshake into the cup!

Third, have fun decorating your milkshake!1. Swirl with whipped cream topping.
2. Sprinkle.
3. Put a cherry on top
4. Slide mini cupcake onto the straw like you'd do for a shishkabob. I used  a mini star marshmallow to hold the cupcake onto the straw so it wouldn't slide.  Decorate your drink with the cupcake straw.

Enjoy!