Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hello! This isn't a cupcake recipe update; that will come in a few days. But I wanted to share some of my favorite things, pertaining to desserts. You should definitely check them out! :)

Your Cup of Cake:
If you're looking for easy and delicious cupcake recipes, this is your #1 source! All of the recipes are cake box-based, which sounds like it wouldn't be very good, but trust me, they are sublime. This is my go-to recipe book when I want quick cupcakes. Lizzy Early is fabulous, too, and she's based in Utah! I would love to meet her! (check out her website for cupcakes, cakes, puppy chow and more!)
Better Homes and Gardens Cupcakes:
BHG has been around forever, so you know you can trust 'em when they come out with a cookbook. These recipes are simple and taste oh-so-good!
The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook:
OH MY HECK. This is, without a doubt, one of THE greatest things EVER CREATED. Lindsay Landis is a culinary genius, because cookie dough is probably my favorite food. Everything in this just looks SO GOOD. I cannot emphasis enough, guys. This is a must for your dessert cookbook collection!

The Baking Robot:
The whole concept--a robot baking up yummy concoctions--is cute in and of itself, and the recipes are a lot of fun to try. They're creative and bring out the inner child in all of us (for some, like me, that's pretty easy to do!). Plus, it's just funny to read each post; case in point, a tortilla crepe cake. Say what?!
The Domestic Rebel:
This website is amazing. It has some of the coolest, most delightful dessert recipes ever, from brownie bombs to cupcakes to truffles. And this recipe is just to die for, especially. Your sweet tooth will be begging you for more!
Cupcakes Garden:
Your home for daily cupcake recipes from around the worldwideweb! It features 3 original cupcakes every single day, so this is the place to go for new creations and inspirations. Just about any kind of cupcake is on this site, so you won't ever run out of ideas.

FAVORITE CUPCAKE RECIPES (there are so many I've tried and loved, but these ones are my top 3, so far.)
Angel Food:
Out of all the cupcakes in the world, angel food is my all-time favorite. So soft and fluffy and light and sweet and and and...I've loved these cakes ever since I was a little girl. This recipe can easily be cut in half (so you're not wasting TOO many egg yolks), and you still end up with a TON of cupcakes. Plus, you can eat 2 or 3 or 4 and not feel too guilty. ;)
Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough:
Coming in a very very VERY close 2nd (we're talking 9/99 of an inch, people--& so what if this measurement doesn't exist?! you get my drift!!) is this true beauty. It's the Holy Trinity of Flavors: dark chocolate, raw cookie dough, and cookie dough frosting. How often do I want one of these stunners? Um, EVERY DAY! Seriously, if I got fat(ter) from eating these, I wouldn't even care because THEY'RE SO GOOD! (That's a lie--I would care. But that's a secret!)
Boston Cream Pie:
These are little heavenly darlings. Seriously. The cake is light, the custard is to die for, and the homemade chocolate ganache is out of the park. They're simple to make, too, so you won't be sweating in the kitchen. Win win!

Icing Bliss:
Fiona Rinaldi makes some of the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever seen. They're just perfect!
Carina's Cupcakes:
These gorgeous cupcakes are a lot of fun to look at!
Scrumptious Bun:
Notice a pattern? All these lovely ladies are from the UK! And these beauties are just adorable.

So there you have it! These are a few of my favorite baking things. I hope you enjoy these tasty things, too! :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Hello! Welcome to my humble little blog. :) I'll be posting updates & recipes of my cupcakes, plus some of my favorite recipes from around the web. I hope you enjoy it!

Anyway, what could be more perfect than to post the very first cupcake recipe I created? I must say, my head totally swelled up considerably when these cupcakes turned out so well. It's not real strawberry...unfortunately. Buuut, it's a simple recipe to follow, & eventually I will tweak it to have real strawberries. So bear with me for now. :) (also, I promise my food photography skills will improve...soon. So, um, yeah, forgive me?) 

 Strawberry Cupcakes:
1 ¼ cup flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 1/2 tsp. meringue powder (optional)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. strawberry extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Dark Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tsp. cocoa powder 
2 Tsp. cool whip
1 Tsp. milk 
2-3 cups powder sugar
pink pearl sprinkles, to decorate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 1 cupcake pan with liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and meringue powder; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.
Add extracts and food coloring, beating until combined.
Combine sour cream and cool whip in a cup.
Add dry ingredients and wet mixture, one after another, beginning and ending with flour.
Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
Fill liners about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely on racks once out of the oven.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and vanilla, until fluffy.
Add cocoa powder and cool whip.
On low speed add powder sugar, half a cup at a time. Add milk until reaching desired consistency.
Frost cupcakes, adding chocolate chips and sprinkles to each. (Make sure to add the decorations right after icing, so it will set with the buttercream.)