Tuesday, June 28

Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

I swear, I can whip anything up after searching the house and doing a little googling :)

Brownie Base
I cheated and used two packages of fudge brownie mix, though any doubled brownie recipe would work

Peanut Butter Filling
5 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 c peanut butter

1 c crushed pretzels
1/2 c chocolate chips or chunk chocolate

Prepare brownie base and spread evenly in an 8x12 greased pan (can go smaller or bigger, depends the depth of the brownie you desire).  Mix all filling ingredients together and dollop on top of brownie mix. se a knife to cut through and create a marbling effect.  Sprinkle crushed pretzels and chocolate chips on top.  Bake at 325 for approx. 40 minutes.  Cool and slice. :)

Saturday, June 18

Cherry Pie Cupcakes!

This past week I have been trying to figure out a way to get all elements of a pie into a cupcake.  Most people use a base cake and just drop the filling on top and call it a cupcake.  I decided to put the filling IN the cake and the crust on the OUTSIDE.  :)

vanilla cake>cherry filling>vanilla buttercream>graham cracker 'crust'

First, bake the cakes..

Remember the chop stick trick and hollow out the centers

Now fill with a cherry pie filling

Pipe 'mounds' of buttercream on top, first filling in the centers which may have sunk in a bit

Dip tops into a graham cracker mixture

And finally, drizzle with a glaze

What I look about these is when you look at them you first think its a crumb muffin, but its soooo not

And now for the recipes:

Vanilla Cake
 2 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 2 stick unsalted butter, softened
 2 cup sugar
 4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 cupcake tins.  Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually mix in each egg one at a time. In another bowl, add milk and vanilla.  Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and milk mixture into the butter batter in 3 parts.  Once all mixed, divide into cupcake tins, filling about 3/4 up.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until done.

Cherry Filling
1 can of cherry pie filling
1/2 c powdered sugar

Mix together until smooth.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 1/2  cup sugar
4 sticks butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place on a simmering saucepan.  Whisk continuously until mixture reaches 150 degrees.  Remove from heat and begin whipping with a hand mixer until doubled in size and cooled, about 5 minutes.  Gradually add in butter, one chunk at a time until desired consistency.  Add salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy.

Graham Cracker Topping
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar

Mix together and dip iced cupcakes until fully coated.

4 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp honey

Mix all together until desired consistency, add more sugar if needed.

Thursday, June 16

Banana Splits!

This time I will actually include step by step pics of how they came together.

Much like a banana split, there are a few different layers and flavors going on here.  While the traditional banana split normally includes strawberry, chocolate and pineapple topping, I omitted the pineapple since a few people are not fans of it.  If I were to include it, I would add some mashed pineapple on top of the strawberry cream.These cupcakes were some work, much like the Smores, but totally worth it.

Banana cake >strawberry cream filling>chocolate fudge coating>vanilla buttercream>more chocolate>sprinkles and cherry

After baking the banana cakes, I discovered a new technique for hollowing out centers:

*enter the chopstick and piping tube*

Use the wide end of the tip to pull out the center, use the chopstick to pop it out...I even had a 4 yr old waiting for the centers so they didn't go to waste

Once hollowed out, fill generously with strawberry cream...don't worry if it's messy, no one will ever see it :)

Now, the chocolate layer...spread a thin coat of the fudgy chocolate over most of the top, I like to stay away from the edges to avoid any overflows..again, who cares if it's messy, no one will ever know :)

Next layer, vanilla buttercream..add a generous heaping on top, trying to cover most of the chocolate so it's a surprise underneath...I used a wide star tip because I thought it would look like soft serve ice cream, then it occurred to me that banana splits are normally made with hard ice cream and a tube tip would have made more sense..oh well, there's always next time

Now the fun part...Thin out the chocolate used earlier so it is at a syrup consistency and drizzle over the buttercream just like a sundae, add sprinkles and of course, a cherry!

And my usual threesome

Cannot wait to see how everyone reacts to these!

Here are the recipes:

Banana Cake

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 cup banana puree (I roast my bananas in the peel for 10 minutes at 350, this intensifies the flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans. (this recipe makes 24)

Cream butter on medium with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.  In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  In another bowl (now that's a lot of bowls), combine milk, banana and vanilla.

You'll want to add the dry and wet ingredients in three parts to the sugar/egg batter - first the wet, then the dry, then the wet, then the dry...you get the picture.  Mix at low until everything is mixed together then stop, try not to over beat as this can end in a deflated cupcake in the oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Cream Filling

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz strawberry puree or syrup (I used half of a jar of Smuckers strawberry topping)

Whip butter at high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Slowly add in sugar and continue to whip until a smooth consistency.  Add strawberry puree and vanilla and whip at medium speed for about 2 minutes.  If it seems too thin, add more sugar.

Fudgy Layer and Drizzle

1 cup chopped chocolate (I used a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet)
2 tbsp. heavy cream
4 tbsp. confectionery sugar

Melt chocolate and cream in a double boiler for about 4-5 minutes.  Add sugar and mix gently.  If it appears too thick, add a teaspoon of water and mix.  Later, when you make the drizzle, I reheated this chocolate and added 2 tsp of water to think it out.  I let it cool a bit before drizzling, if it's too hot, it will start to melt the buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Whip butter (this recipe required a ton of whipping, jeez) for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Gradually add in the sugar until it reaches the desired consistency (not too thick and not too thin, you want to pipe this).  Lastly, add vanilla and whip.

I was never a huge fan of filled cupcakes sine they take so much work, but in the end they are worth it.

Hope someone tries this out, and if you do, share pics with me!

Thursday, June 9

Now we can begin...

All photos of past 'experiences, some good, some bad' have been uploaded.  Going forward, expect to 'hear' me talk. :)

Flower Power!

Vanilla Cake/Vanilla Buttercream - Can you tell this is my fave?

Key Lime Pie!

Vanilla Cake filled with Key Lime Curd/Vanilla Buttercream

Got Milk?

Oreo Cookie Base/Chocolate Cake/Vanilla Buttercream with Ground Oreos/Cookie Topper

S'More Please?!

Graham Cracker Crust/Chocolate Cake/Toasted Marshmallow Frosting


Vanilla Cake/Vanilla Buttercream/Sugar


Vanilla Cake/Marshmallow Buttercream/A Lot of Sugar

Pretty Basic!

Carrot Cake/Cream Cheese Frosting/Chopped Walnuts


Vanilla-Lemon Sponge Cake/Lemon Curd/Toasted Meringue

Not My Finest! :/

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pie/Cannoli Cream Filling


Roasted Banana Cake/Cinnamon-Honey Buttercream


Toasted Coconut and Plain Marshmallows


Sugar Cookie Base/Vanilla Buttercream/Sprinkles

Plain and Simple!

Vanilla Cake/Vanilla Buttercream

Tweet Tweet!

Hummingbird Cake/Cream Cheese Frosting/Banana Chip

Monkey Bread!

Cinnamon Dough Balls Mixed with Sugar, Candied Pecans, Sugar Glaze


Graham Cracker Crust/Chocolate Cake/Marshmallow Buttercream/Hershey Chocolate Bar

Cherry Coke Floats!

Chocolate Cake filled with Maraschino Cherries/Cherry Coke Glaze/Whipped Cream

What's Gonna Happen?

Fortune Cookies for My Sweetie

Nom Nom!

Vanilla Cake/Butterscotch Buttercream and Drizzle

Teeny Tiny

Banana Cake/Fudge Frosting

Boston Cream Dream

Vanilla Sponge Cake filled with Pastry Cream/Chocolate Ganache


Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

Dump It All In!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough,Butterscotch Chips, M&Ms, Peanuts, Chocolate Drizzle

Peanut Buttery!

Chocolate Cake/Peanut Buttercream

Blackout Cake!

4 Layer Dark Chocolate Cake/7 Minute Icing/Crumbled Cake Outside

Coffee Buzz!

Chocolate Cake/Espresso Buttercream

Italian Rainbow Cookies

Title says it all!

Christmas Morning!

Red Velvet/Cream Cheese Frosting
Cinnamon Buns

Christmas Celebration!

Chocolate/Mint Buttercream, Vanilla/Coconut Buttercream

Thanksgiving Celebration!

Chocolate/Mocha Buttercream, Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Vanilla/Vanilla

4th Birthday Party

Assortment of Cupcakes and Cookies (I didn't make the cake, pheww!)