Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banana and Blueberry Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I wouldn't exactly say this is a duplicate recipe, but it kinda is. I had several overly ripe bananas and wanted to use them in a simple recipe to spice up the cupcakes. I topped it with a vanilla buttercream frosting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cream Cheese Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

For a party for three birthdays, I knew I had to make something sweet and tasty! Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, along with his grandmother's, and this past week was my father-in-law's birthday, so the family got together at a local park for a barbecue and good times. I had received an E-mail from my sister about a recipe and was eager to try it, so I did! The recipe can be found here, and I'll explain what I did differently. If I use this recipe again (which I intend to do!) I would love to try adding flavors - to the batter, frosting, and filling. I am considering the following flavors: coffee, caramel, strawberry, cherry, and orange. For the frosting, I used the Wilton recipe for chocolate butter cream used last week for the Banana Chocolate Cupcakes.

A little bit of the cream cheese filling is peeking out!
(front, right)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Hey All! It's Tanya. Today I want to share with you a recipe for Budget Friendly, Flour Free, Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Cookies. Now that's a mouth full! These cookies offer everything in a recipe you could possibly be looking for: they meet special dietary needs (flour-free means gluten-free too, just make sure your peanut butter doesn't contain any gluten either), they have 4 ingredients and only take about ten minutes to prepare so they are easy to make when you're short on time or energy, and they only cost about $0.17 a serving! Cheaper if you used coupons to get any of your ingredients for free or at a discount.

This recipe is from Recipe Lion's Budget Friendly section. If you're looking for great, easy recipes be sure to check out their site.

Yields: 12
Cooking Time: 10 min

* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup peanut butter (I used honey peanut butter. It was what I had on hand, and added another dimension of flavor.)
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

(Edited from the Recipe Lion instructions, because I did things slightly different. You can see the original unedited recipe here.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Spoon out in heaping large tablespoonfulls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. This is the direction according to Recipe Lion. I actually rolled the cookie dough into balls in my hand, according to a more traditional peanut butter cookie style. (This is the way my mother has always done it.)
3. Flatten loosely with a fork and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Cook for 10 minutes; Remove to cooling rack after 4 minutes. Recipe Lion suggests waiting only 2 minutes, but I found that these cookies like to fall apart a little easier than normal, so you should let them set up a but longer.

That's it! You're done and are on your way to enjoying delicious cookies. Because these cookies are flour free, they are a little less cake-like, and a little more dense than traditional peanut butter cookies. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy these cookies. This recipe is a great way to make cookies for any friends or family who have gluten allergies for much cheaper than the gluten free products sold in stores. Even if you don't have gluten allergies, one less ingredient just makes these cookies that much cheaper and easier to make!

Happy Savings and Tasty Cookies for All! <3

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

I woke up early this morning and had nothing to do, so I decided I wanted to be the Cupcake Fairy and deliver cupcakes to anybody who asked for them! I had hoped for so many requests that I would run out of cupcakes, but apparently a lot of people had plans or was not in need of cupcakes. I delivered to a few friends, one of whom was shopping at a local mall with her mom! I just waltzed right in and handed her a Tupperware of cupcakes! It was rather random, but a lot of fun! Last night, I had been asked to make cupcakes for a friend who is pregnant and craving sweets. I asked what kind, and she didn't have any specific requests, so I decided to mess around with a recipe and add to it. I also wanted to work on a new chocolate frosting recipe, to see which recipe I like best. I didn't want to use a new cupcake recipe, I wanted to tweak an existing recipe. I decided on the Fudge Marble Recipe, but instead of having two recipes, I decided to mix the yellow batter and fudge mix and then add the bananas. For the frosting, I continued my search for the perfect chocolate butter cream, and I think I may have found it here. It uses quite a bit of powdered sugar, but we shall see.

I'm leaving this cupcake recipe available as I do not use it anymore. The cupcake came out great, and it should be baked again!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 20 regular sized cupcakes

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into two (three) pieces
3 tbsp light corn syrup
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ tsp vanilla extract

Yellow Batter
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg**
1 large egg yolk**
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola or corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 bananas, overly ripe, but not black
½ cup sour cream

**For a double batch, you double everything except the eggs. For a double batch, you do 3 large eggs only. Well, for a triple batch (that would be a single and a double batch put together), it would be 3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk.

1. Make the fudge first: in a medium saucepan, heat the cream, butter, and corn syrup on low heat. Small bubbles will form, but do not let the mixture boil.
2. Right before the boiling point, remove the pan from the flame and add the vanilla and chocolate chips. Let the mixture sit for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk the mixture to completely combine the cream base and chocolate.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the egg, yolk, and sugar on medium speed until the mix is thick and cream-colored, roughly two minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl if necessary. 
5. On a low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. 
6. Mix in the chocolate until completely combined.
7. Mix in the bananas. The mixer should tear the bananas to pieces if it's on a medium-high speed.
8. Mix in the flour until completely combined.
9. Continue mixing and add the sour cream until completely blended. 
10. Preheat the oven to 350°.
11. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
12. Pour batter into the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full.
13. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
14. Let the cupcakes cool on a cooling rack before frosting.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 3 cups

1/2 C shortening **
1/2 C butter, at room temperature **
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa
4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp milk

**For this recipe, I didn't want too much shortening, so I did 1/4 C shortening and 3/4 C butter, which came out a little less dense and more buttery, which is what most people expect. I may do it this way from now on if I have enough butter.

1. Beat the shortening and the butter together until creamy.
2. Add the cocoa, powdered sugar, and vanilla and beat on low until the powders are mixed completely.
3. Add the milk and beat on a high speed to smooth the mixture.
4. Using a pastry bag to frost the cupcakes.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chicago Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful, loving, caring, AMAZING Mother In Law, who for my 21st birthday gave me a hand-made scrapbook cookbook filled with some of her favorite recipes. So far, I've enjoyed many of the recipes made by her, but this one I had yet to taste. Since I was feeling generous, I made this batch for my husband especially, but dedicated it to his mother. The recipe is really easy, and I'm willing to bet you have most of these items in your kitchen already!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes: I dunno, I did different sizes and tried different techniques.... I'd say it would make about 15-20 regular sized cookies

3 1/2 C flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C margarine, room temperature**
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 C vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C corn flakes
1 C quick oatmeal
12 oz chocolate chips
** I didn't have margarine, so I just used 1/2 butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bow, beat the butter, margarine, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy.
4. Add the egg and mix until completely incorporated.
5. Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
6. Add the flour mixture and oil mixture alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until completely incorporated.
7. With a wooden spoon, fold in the corn flakes, oatmeal, and chocolate chips.
8. Put a generous spoonful of the batter on an un-greased pan about 3 inches apart.
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size of spoonful).
10. Best served warm with a tall glass of milk!!

Fudge Marble Cupcakes
I re-did a recipe for a co-worker's birthday, just made a small batch. I'm not going to blog about it, but the cupcakes can be found here. But I did a new recipe! I've added it to the list of popular frostings, here, called Chocolate Fudge Frosting. I've added pictures for your viewing pleasure. :)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Mango Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wow, that's a long title! And that's shortened!! The real title of this post is

Mango and Peach Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes with Macadamia Nut Marzipan Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

Yep, that's longer!! There's just so much flavor packed into this little cupcake!!

I was asked to make cupcakes by a friend for her mother's surprise birthday luau. As the family had just gotten back from Hawaii a week or so earlier for a mission trip, a Hawaiian themed birthday party was a fantastic idea. But the thought lingered in my mind from the moment I was asked to make the cupcakes (which was before the trip): I need the perfect cupcake recipe; it has to be absolutely amazing and talked about!! So I Googled, and I Googled, and I finally found the perfect recipe here. I read through it, and while it had a lot of ingredients, I didn't like the frosting, so I kept looking, and found a cream cheese frosting recipe here. I chose this recipe over my own (and have added it to the Popular Frostings page) as it called for less powdered sugar, so it wouldn't be super sweet, where the cupcake would be dense and sweet from all of the natural sugars from the fruits. This recipe was rather easy, but the preparation was rather lengthy, but absolutely wonderful.

NOTE: The recipe as I found it does not call for peach, it calls for canned mango, but my local grocery store does not carry canned mango, so I went with peach... Which according to my husband, was a great idea!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Raspberry Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I'm sorry! I did not bake this weekend. I was a little pre-occupied with a previous goal, that I finally finished! Nine months ago, I stopped playing World of Warcaft to focus on... well, life... Recently, a friend started playing so I picked it back up again and finally hit level 80 (the highest level at this point). Now that I have accomplished that goal, I can get back to baking!

I couldn't decide which recipe to do, so I asked my lunch-mates/co-workers. This is the recipe that they came up with. I actually took two recipes, and combined them. I found the cupcake recipe here, but the raspberry part called for jelly. I really wanted to use fresh (or frozen) raspberries, not a jelly or can of preserves, so I kept searching and found the raspberry filling here (I didn't use this cake recipe because I refuse to use boxed cake!). I have compiled the recipes for you below. I recently Googled "perfect cupcake frosting" and this website came up with so many comments stating the recipe was great, and easy to make. The website can be found here, and I encourage you to try it because it does look amazing, but let me tell you this: I could NOT get this recipe to fluff up when whipping. I tend to have bad luck when it comes to frostings, so maybe it's just me, but I kept searching for the perfect frosting. I Googled "the perfect buttercream frosting" and found a recipe here. I had never heard of a recipe using shortening instead of butter, but I decided to give it a try. PLEASE NOTE: If you use the recipe directly from the website, you will end up with 7 cups of frosting, so please please please make sure you make your recipe smaller if you need to.