Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome One and All

Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian is hosting this beautiful event
I am so excited to participate. This is a chance to meet great new friends from around the world and I am ready to get started.
A little about me and this blog. I am a work-at-home-mom. My son is 3 1/2 and the love of my life. While he is in preschool, I work for a social network that is specifically designed for kids to interact without the worry of online predators. I really enjoy giving kids the opportunity to enjoy some online interaction in a safe environment.
This blog was started because I love to bake. It gives me great joy to bake pretty cupcakes or treats, and share them with my family and friends. After watching the movie Julie/Julia, I thought I would take the concept and start baking one new cupcake recipe per week. I have been finding them in books and on great websites and beautiful blogs. There is so much inspiration out there in our virtual world. People come up with the most delicious recipes! I am yet to find one that I don’t love!
For coming over and meeting me, I am offering a door prize. Since I love to bake, I am offering a set of my favorite tools (these are mine, yours will be brand new and in packaging):
Measuring cups and spoons, mini baking cups and 4 professional icing tips. These tips make the best swirls!
All you have to do is leave me a comment and once the contest is over on February 17th, I will pick a winner with Please leave your email so that if you win, I will be able to get in touch with you for your mailing information.
I really appreciate you stopping by my little part of the internet. Thanks for joining me!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes With A Surprise

These are a combination of recipes. First I had to start with a chocolate chip cookie recipe. I used the one on the back of the Nestle Chocolate Chips package. Found here:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Then I used my 1” scoop and made 12 1” cookie dough balls, put them on a plate and off to the freezer they went.
Next I made the cupcakes. Recipe found here:
Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. 
  5. At this point, I put one cookie dough ball in each cupcake
6.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a   cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
For the frosting, I used my favorite go-to chocolate buttercream recipe found here but I halved the whole thing to only have enough for 15 cupcakes:


Makes enough for 30 cupcakes
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add chocolate until just combined. Add milk, vanilla, and sugar; mix on medium until well combined, being careful not to over mix. 

    Notes: The cupcakes will go over the top of your pan and stick. I found this out the hard way. Next time I make these, I will use less batter in each one. They were pretty hard to get off the pan! Otherwise, tastes great. The cookies cooks perfectly inside. Yummy!

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Frosting

    Hi Friends! These are the first cupcakes of the challenge. They are really yummy. (my changes and notes are in red) I got the recipe from the Wilton site and here is it directly from there:

    Margarita Cupcakes

    • 1 pkg (18.25 ounces) white cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
    • 1 can (10 ounces) frozen Margarita mix thawed (undiluted) (I used bottled since I couldn't find frozen)
    • 3 egg whites
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon lime zest grated

    Makes: 24 cupcakes.

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin pan with baking cups.

    In large bowl, combine cake mix, Margarita mix, egg whites and vegetable oil using electric mixer. Stir in lime zest; mix completely. Fill prepared pans 2/3 full.

    Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

    Cool in pan on cooling rack 5-8 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely.

    Frost cooled cupcakes with icing and garnish, if desired, with a strawberry and/or lime twist.

    The Lime Frosting 
    came from this site and here it is:

  1. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  2. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  3. 2 tablespoons key lime juice (I used regular lime juice. No key limes in my area)

  4. 1 teaspoon key lime zest or 1 teaspoon lemon zest (again regular lime for me)

  5. 4 -5 cups confectioners' sugar (I used exactly 1-1 pound box)

    In large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
    Add 4 cups confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time; continue beating until light and fluffy.  
    If icing is too thin add additional confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
    Notes: These turned out really moist and flavorful. Though I would recommend trying to find the frozen Margarita mix if you can, because it will be concentrate and therefore even more flavorful. I couldn't find frozen anywhere, so I ended up using bottled, ready to go, alcohol free mix. They still turned out yummy.