Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

I've had this picture sitting around for months now, waiting to be blogged about.  I remember how tasty and perfect these came out, especially in mini form , and couldn't wait to tell you all about them.  So why the wait, you ask?  Well, I couldn't find the recipe for the life of me.  I have a folder of blog recipes to try, a folder of hard copy recipes to try, a folder of recipes to type up, and a folder of recipes to blog.  It wasn't in any of these folders.  I was convinced that I'd lost it forever.  Until today.  I have been up since the wee hour of 4:00 am and did some serious google searching and finally found it!!  So before I lose it again, here it is!


Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes with Ganache Center
(makes about 24 full size)

1  1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1  1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1  2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream

2 sticks butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk 
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

For cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare liners.
  • Combine boiling water and cocoa, whisk well and let cool.
  • Beat sugar, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  This is a thin batter, don't worry!
  • Fill liners about 2/3 full and bake 17-20 minutes (minis took me about 12 minutes). Cool.
For ganache
  • Chop chocolate and place in a glass bowl.  Bring cream to a boil and pour over chocolate.  Let sit for 30 seconds or so and then stir until smooth.  Let sit until thick enough to pipe.
For frosting
  • Beat butter until creamy.  Add 4 cups powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint and beat until combined.  Add more sugar to get a piping consistency.
To Assemble
  • Once cupcakes are cool but a small cone out of the center of each top and fill with ganache.  Replace top (or don't, I've done both).
  • Pipe frosting on top.  I used a Wilton 1M tip for my little star dollop and it was perfect.  
  • Pipe ganache in a zig zag over the top.

What happens when I photograph during non-nap times:

I found this recipe in several parts on Iheartcuppycakes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Homemade Oreos

I saw these and just HAD to make them.  I'm definitely going to attack the Oreo Cupcakes that are attached to these little bits of heaven in the blog Cupcake Project.  I'm going to go ahead and leave out the little cup of milk in the center because, honestly, soggy food grosses me out.  Including Oreos.  I DO NOT dip my Oreos.  Drink milk along side, yes.  Dip, no.  First, there's the soggy part.  I don't care how fast you dip those suckers, something must be getting soaked in and that does not make me happy.  Second, what about those little crumbs that fall off and sink to the bottom of your milk.  Ewwwww.  I mean, really, are you supposed to drink that?  Ugh.  By the way, my husband is, I'm sure, appalled by my lack of dipping Oreos since he'll actually hold the cookie under the surface for long enough to intentionally get the Oreo soggy.  I shudder at the thought.  

Anyway, I digress. Sometime soon I will try the cupcakes but for this particular post I just did the cookies.  And my-oh-my, they're tasty.  Much better than a store bought Oreo.  It could be the lack of mystery ingredients, weird chemicals, or trans fat.  But I'm going with the size.  You can make them AS BIG AS YOU LIKE!  And I can tell you bigger Oreo=better Oreo.  

To be honest, I make big ones and they were probably a bit too big.  I know, how is there TOO BIG of an Oreo?  Don't get me wrong.  They're great big, but too big can be a bit much.  So, next time I'll scale down a bit. 



1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 egg


1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla

To make the cookies:
  • Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar.
  • Beat in butter and egg.  Mix until dough comes together in one large mass.
  • Scoop out rounded teaspoons of batter and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Now, I tried 3 methods to flattening these out.  1) dip the bottom of a glass in sugar and press down and leave as is 2) same thing but then use a round cutter to make them pretty and perfectly round and 3) flattening with the heal of my hand.  All worked equally well and the only difference was the look at the end.  If you don't mind rough edges, don't bother with the cutters.  Whatever you decide, flatten the cookies.
  • Bake for 9 minutes on 375 degrees.  Cool.
For filling:
  • Beat butter and shortening on low speed until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
To assemble:
  • Pipe about a teaspoon of filling onto a cookie.  Top with another cookie and squeeze together to flatten out the filling.  

I found this recipe on Cupcake Project

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispie Treats

My picture is blue and I don't know why.  I'm having some lighting issues lately that I'm trying to figure out but (obviously) haven't quite figured out yet.  Anyway, try to ignore the icy blue tint and focus on the Oreo chunks mixed deep into the crispy, crunchy, chewy core that is a Rice Krispie treat.

Anyway, back to baking.  I know, I know.  I promised I wouldn't let myself fall behind in my postings again and I did.  Please forgive me!  Please??  I have a really great excuse, if that matters.  He's 2, blond with big barrel roll curls, and totally impatient with me typing up recipes.  I can tell you from experience, it is next to impossible to type with said distraction in your lap pushing the button on the keyboard that makes all the windows open at the same time.  Not conducive to blogging at all.  :)

Anyway, I made these for my soldiers this month.  If you haven't checked out Soldier's Angels, do.  I am an Angel Baker and I get a monthly troop assignment that I bake for but there are lots of other ways to help support our troops. 

These are yummy!  To be honest, they're hard to stir.  My poor chicken-wing arms had a rough go of it, but they were worth it in the end.  They really only take a minute or so more than plain ol' Rice Krispie treats so give them a try!


Cookies and Cream Rice Krispie Treats

1/2 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoon butter
10 oz marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
30 Oreo cookies, chopped and divided (I used Trader Joe's Joe Joes and they're excellent!)
4 oz white chocolate, melted (I used white candy melts since I had some on hand)

  • Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a pot melt butter.  Stir in marshmallows over medium-low heat until smooth.  Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and melted chocolate.
  • Add cereal and half the cookies.  Here's where it gets difficult if you have kitten-like strength in your upper body.  Stir until combined or until your arms give out, whichever comes first.  
  • Press into a parchment lined 9x13 pan.  
  • Melt white chocolate and spread over treats.  Sprinkle with remaining cookies and chill until set.

If found the recipe on Cast Sugar and just made the tiny changes I mentioned.