Mudslide Cupcakes

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It’s been way too long since I last updated, so here’s an original recipe, just like Colonel Sanders would post!

A few weeks ago, a coworker asked me to make two dozen cupcakes for him to take home to his wife. He asked for one dozen kid-friendly and one dozen “adult”. We all know what “adult” means– booze or coffee. So I set out to combine the two. I Googled a few combos until I realized the answer lay in a frozen cocktail– The Mudslide. The Mudslide typically combines Vodka, Bailey’s, Kahlua, milk, ice and occasionally chocolate syrup together. I decided to skip the vodka in my cupcakes– the flavor of vodka never comes through– and focus more on the other flavors: Chocolate, coffee, Kahlua and Bailey’s. So without further, adieu, the recipe!

Mudslide Cupcakes

Makes roughly 18 cupcakes

Kahlua Ganache Filling:

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Kahlua (or more, to taste)

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a heavy-bottomed pan on the stove until it’s bubbling, but not full-on boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Stir the chocolate and cream together until the mixture is smooth. Add the butter and the one teaspoon of Kahlua and stir until the butter is fully melted and incorporated. At this point, you can taste the filling to see if it is “Kahlua-y” enough for you. If not, feel free to add a little more, but do know that as the filling sits, the flavor will become slightly more pronounced. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until cool.

Chocolate-Coffee Cupcakes:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee, chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin tins with 18 cupcake wrappers. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a large bowl and set it aside. In a small bowl, combine the coffee and vanilla, and set this bowl aside as well. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time, making sure the first egg is incorporated fully before adding the second. Stop and scrape down your bowl if needed. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the coffee mixture, beating after each addition. Scrape the bowl, remove the paddle attachment, and fold in the chocolate chips. Fill each cupcake wrapper about 1/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to check your cupcakes at the 18-minute mark for doneness as times can vary based on your oven. Once the cupcakes are done, allow them to fully cool before continuing to the next step.

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a small paring knife to remove a cone of cake from the center of each cupcake, making sure not to cut through the bottom of the cupcake. Remove the ganache from the fridge and give it a good whisk to loosen the mixture back up a bit. You want it to be about the consistency of thick frosting. Using a small spoon, place a dollop of ganache into each hollowed-out cupcake. You may very well have leftover ganache. Get creative with the leftovers. I imagine it would be very good heated up a bit and poured over ice cream.

Bailey’s Frosting:
16 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 cups (or more, if needed) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on low until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and Bailey’s and bea to combine. If the frosting looks too runny, add more powdered sugar to achieve a good spreading consistency. Transfer the frosting to another bowl, cover it and put it in the fridge. Wash out the standing mixer bowl to make the Kahlua Frosting.

Kahlua Frosting:

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 cups (or more, if needed) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons Kahlua
3 tablespoons brewed coffee, chilled

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on low until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, Kahlua and coffee and beat to combine. If the frosting seems too runny, add enough powdered sugar to get it back to a good spreading consistency.

Now, you certainly can just spread the two frostings on your cupcakes with a butter knife or offset spatula and call it a day, but if you would like to swirl the frostings as I have, you will need a few things. I filled one small piping bag with the Bailey’s frosting and another with the Kahlua frosting without snipping the tip of either bag. I then fitted a larger bag with a piping tip. I then cut the tips off the smaller piping bags and put them side by side in the larger bag so that both ends were resting inside the piping tip. This requires a little patience and shifting, but it’s worth it in the end. Do a test pipe on a paper towel so you can be sure both frostings are coming out at once. Pipe the frostings onto your cupcakes.

I hope you enjoy these! My coworker liked them quite a bit and the extras were taken to my husband’s coworkers who were also impressed. The hidden Kahlua ganache is a nice surprise.

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Recipe: Whiskey Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

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We are deep in the thick of apple season. I’ve been dining on apple pie and drinking apple cider seltzers (1/2 apple cider, 1/2 club soda) like crazy. This is the start of my favorite food season. It starts off with apple, moves into pumpkin, takes a left turn at mashed potatoes and biscuits and finally ends at cookies. What’s not to love?

I believe Whiskey Apple Pie to be my signature dish. And what better dish to introduce myself to my new coworkers than a more mobile, more easily shareable version of that pie?

Oh, yeah, I have a new job! Everyone in my department was laid off back in June. I spent a month unemployed but fortunately found a new gig pretty quickly. I worked from home for 10 weeks over the summer until finally joining other human beings back in an office. The good news is that I have sick days again! The bad news is that my day starts at 6 a.m. I’m slowly adjusting. Anyway, as I have learned, baked goods are the quickest way to make friends at a new job. I think I did pretty good with these. As soon as the word ‘whiskey’ passed my lips, people were clamoring for a cupcake. One guy told me they tasted like Christmas.

These turned out really quite delicious. You can make them non-alcoholic if you’d like, but I think it adds a really nice flavor.

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Whiskey Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Makes around 18 cupcakes

The Ingredients:

For the Apple Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 TSP baking powder
1/2 TSP baking soda
1 TSP salt
2 TSP cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 TSP vanilla
2 cups grated apples
(2 Granny Smith, 1 Fuji or comparable pairing)

For the Whiskey Apple Pie filling:
3 apples, finely chopped
(2 Granny Smith, 1 Fuji or comparable pairing)
1 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP light brown sugar
1 TSP lemon juice
1/4 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP cloves
1 TSP ginger
1 TSP nutmeg
2 TSP Whiskey

For the Cinnamon Frosting:
1 cup butter
at room temperature
1 pound powdered sugar
2-4 TBS milk
2 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP cinnamon

The Process:

Make the whiskey apple pie filling first by placing the chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, whiskey and spices in a medium pan and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender and most of the liquid has cooked off, about eight to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients– flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. It will get harder and harder to stir this mixture and you may find that you need to get your hands involved and knead the dough a little bit. Don’t be concerned about how dry the batter is. Work the grated apples into the batter and you will see that the mixture moistens up nicely. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with batter and bake for anywhere from 18 to 24 minutes. My cupcakes needed a longer bake time. Remove them from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a paring knife to remove a ‘cone’ of cake from each cupcake. Fill each hole with enough pie filling to be flush with the tops of the cupcake.

Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is light and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and beat to combine. Add just enough milk to make the frosting easily spreadable/pipeable. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

Recently I was given a copy of “Bake it in a Cupcake”, a cookbook based on the Bake It in a Cake blog. I’ve always admired the photos from that site, but have wondered about the taste of said baked goods. How good can an already-baked cookie or mini pie taste when nestled in cupcake batter and then baked again?

The answer: Delicious. Why am I always skeptical of popularity?

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I am a big fan of the Peanut Butter Blossom cookie. It’s one of the staple things I bake around Christmas and it’s so good. So when I saw a recipe for a cupcake with a Peanut Butter Blossom cookie inside, I had to go for it.

I was worried that the Hershey’s Kiss on top of each cookie would just melt into a pile of goo once it went back into the oven with the cupcake batter, but I shouldn’t have worried. Once the cupcake was cooled and frosted (with an AMAZING Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting), a cross-section revealed that everything stayed exactly where it was supposed to.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

How beautiful is that? And topped with that frosting, it was a perfect one-two-three punch of chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla.

I’m now eager to try other recipes from the book, including the cupcakes that contain mini pies. I’m very skeptical of those, so I can’t wait to be blown away by how good they taste.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake

Summer Wrap-up

I’ve been gone way too long. But summer is coming to an end (hallelujah!) and my baking responsibilities will be picking up again, so I thought I’d do a quick photo-heavy wrap-up of what I’ve been baking this summer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook. This is definitely my new favorite cookbook. I’ve made so many things from it (there will be photos of more in this post) and everything so far has turned out great.

Megan's Bridal Shower dessert table
Have I mentioned my sister-in-law is getting married on Friday?!? In June, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bridal shower and her maid of honor and I baked everything but the cake for her dessert table. I brought chocolate-dipped merengues, spiced sugar cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles! The truffles are from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook and are quite possibly the most addicting and delicious thing ever. And there’s no baking at all!

Cocktail-Inspired Cupcakes
Last month, the other bridesmaids and I threw Megan’s bachelorette party and I baked cocktail-inspired cupcakes. The party was great! We even got upgraded to the Presidential Suite at the Roosevelt Hotel! The cupcakes looked so at home in that lavish suite.

Mojito Cupcakes
Mojito Cupcakes

Old Fashioned Cupcakes
Old-Fashioned Cupcakes

White Russian Cupcakes
White Russian Cupcakes

Moscow Mule Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule Cupcakes

Screwdriver Cupcakes
Non-Alcoholic Screwdriver Cupcakes

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
July 4th Red, White and Blue Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes (Can you guess where this recipe is from?)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Cupcakes innards

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumprint Cookies
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies (Again, from The Cookie Dough Lovers Cookbook)

And that’s it! There have been a few other items that I didn’t photograph, but I’m getting back in the swing of things now. I’ll be providing baked goods for the first Largehearted Lit event of the season at Word bookstore in Greenpoint on Wednesday, September 19th. The book/music event is free, so come check out some great authors, music and cookies!

Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcake

Last week I had another Largehearted Lit event at Word bookstore in Greenpoint. It had been awhile since I made Carrot Cake Cupcakes, so I busted out my trusty copy of “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” and whipped up a batch of her Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes.

This is hands down my favorite Carrot Cake recipe. I omit the raisins (I am of the opinion that raisins do not belong in cupcakes), and what’s left is just fantastic.

Carrot Cake Cupcake

I attempted to make a pretty orange and white swirled frosting, but I realized too late that I had run out of large piping bags. When I do swirls, I fill up two small piping bags with different colored frosting and then insert both of them in a much larger piping bag to create a dual piping bag of sorts. I shuffled through the mountain of piping bags I have only to discover that I was out of the large ones. So I tried to wing it and just put the two frostings in a small bag, but it didn’t *quite* work. Ah well. Lessons learned.

I’ll be back at Word on May 22nd for another Largehearted Lit event. My plan is to make Vegan Root Beer Float Cupcakes and non-vegan Creamsicle Cupcakes. Stop on by!

Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcake

This past weekend Rob and I had a backyard barbecue for Father’s Day. We invited Rob’s dad as well as his sister and her fiance over on Sunday for some beer and grilled meats.

Well, grilled meats and a grilled black bean patty for my vegan sister-in-law.

I knew I’d be baking something vegan for dessert, so I pulled out my trusty copy of “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. There was a very tempting lemon and blueberry number that I almost went for, until reading that it needed to be served immediately after assembling. I planned to bake the night before the barbecue, so I needed something that would hold up for 12 hours or more.

I flipped to the beginning of the book and looked at the chocolate cupcake and noticed the Cookies and Cream variation. It’s basically a chocolate cupcake with vanilla ‘butter’cream frosting with half a package of chocolate sandwich cookies crushed up and thrown in. Sounded like something i could definitely do.

I forgot to make a turn down the organic section at our grocery store and quickly discovered that that is probably where they keep the Newman-O’s, so I picked up Oreos instead. Yes, folks, Oreos are vegan! Which means that there isn’t anything even resembling milk in those bad boys. Hooray for chemicals! Tasty, tasty chemicals.

Anyhoo, everything went according to plan, save for the fact that I used a large round tip to frost them when I should have went with a star tip. It worked out okay, I think. Everyone was very happy with these cupcakes and four of us polished off two each in short order. Rob’s dad was the only one with any restraint.

Photos!

Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcake

Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcake
So stunning in black and white!

Vegan Orange Cupcakes with Orange Pudding Filling and Orange ‘Butter’cream

Vegan Orange Cupcake with Orange Pudding Filling and Orange 'Butter'cream

On Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I threw our first barbecue of 2011. We fired up our grill and made some delicious Pat LaFrieda burgers and invited over our friends Brian and Alison and their three kids.

The two eldest kids have some dairy sensitivities, so I decided to make vegan treats for them. A chance view at a baking blog revealed Orange Cupcakes, which I realized came from “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. They looked delicious, so I decided to tackle to them.

These are fairly simple to make, if a little time-consuming. And they’re soooo tasty. We all really enjoyed them and they’ve made the list to be repeated.