Cookies and Cream Cupcakes & Buttercream Frosting

January 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Posted in chocolate, Cookies, Cupcakes, Dessert | 7 Comments

I received a lot of fabulous Christmas gifts that were related to my love of cooking and baking – a dutch oven, new set of whisks, cheese slicer, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, square grill pan..just a ton of goodies.  I received two cookbooks that I am so excited that I finally have the time to start looking through – the Cooking Light 2008 cookbook and the Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor. 

I know some of my friends (Nikki…) are so opposed to using boxed cake mixes in things so they pretty much boycott anything having to do with people like the “Cake Doctor”.  I am not like that.  Yes, it’s better most of the time to make from scratch, and most of the time I do.  However.  My life is busy.  I am gone from 7:45 – 5:30 every day at work.  I cook a full meal every night.  I am a neat freak so I’m constantly cleaning.  Add in family obligations, our social life, my charity group, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on the kids activities – sports, homework, programs, etc.  It’s busy.  Yet, I love to bake.  So, sometimes I need a little help to make things easier. 

I have been through my Cupcake Doctor book now and tagged, oh, somewhere around 30 recipes I’m dying to try.  The first on my list were Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with her Buttercream Frosting.

Recipe from the “Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor” book; picture from me

CUPCAKES

Ingredients

30 Oreo cookies (don’t use double stuffed, but you can use mint, etc.)

1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix

1 cup sour cream (I used light)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.  Set aside.

Count out 12 Oreos and seperate the top and bottom wafers.  Make sure each has some of the icing on it.  Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner.  Place the remaining 18 Oreos in a large Ziplock bag and crush them.

Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 1.5 minutes more scraping down sides again if needed.  Measure out 1.5 cups of the crushed Oreos and fold these into the batter until well incorporated.  Set aside the remaining crushed Oreos for garnish.  Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 way full.  (This makes about 22-24 cupcakes).  Place in the oven.

Bake cupcakes until lightly golden and spring back when pressed with finger, about 18-20 minutes.  Place on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.  Then lift cupcakes out of pan to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. 

ICING (Buttercream Frosting from Cupcake Doctor)

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter at room temperature

3 cups confectioners sugar sifted

3-4 tablespoons of milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Place butter in large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds.  Stop machine and add confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and the vanilla.  Blend with mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute or more.  Add up to 1 tablespoon more milk if frosting seems too stiff.

Place heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and spread it out.  Sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs over the tops gently pressing them into frosting so that they stick.  Ready to serve!

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I really love Oreos – Oreo Blizzards are one of my huge weaknesses as a matter of fact so I loved these!  They were almost better to me the next day after the frosting set up more.  I didn’t have to add the additional milk to the frosting – if anything it was almost not stiff enough in texture for my liking.  I will definitely make these again – YUM!

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Pumpkin Mufcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

November 17, 2008 at 12:27 am | Posted in bread, Cupcakes, Dessert, Muffins, Pumpkin | 1 Comment

Mufcakes is a word I just made up.  Don’t you like it?  It was either that or cuffins.  I liked mufcakes much better.  You see, the reason I am calling these mufcakes is because I actually  used a muffin/bread recipe to make these, but I put icing on them so I’m not sure they were really a muffin anymore…?  I’m overthinking this.  🙂  Sheridan and I made these last weekend to take to my parents and my grandparents and we had a good time making them as always. 

I used this pumpkin bread recipe for the muffins and this icing recipe for the homemade vanilla bean cream cheese icing.  I figured it would turn out okay and boy was I right! 

This is a yummy fall recipe to make – it makes about 32-ish mufcakes.  I remembered I needed to take a picture after I had already taken a bite out of the last one so excuse the picture  🙂

Mrs. Pig Rating:  The combination of the most amazing pumpkin bread recipe ever and this to die for frosting made these SO FREAKING GOOD.  I definitely will be making these every year now.

Mrs. Pig Co-Worker Rating:  One of my co-workers said these were right up there with the apple spice cookie bars and those are her favorite thing ever so that was a great compliment!

A hurricane and cupcakes

September 16, 2008 at 11:11 pm | Posted in Cupcakes, Fun, kids | 3 Comments

Sunday, the kids were with us and apparently, the hurricane Ike decided to pay southern Indiana a little visit.  I never in my life would have thought that I would see what a hurricane could do while living here!  We have everything else here – tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, why not a hurricane right?!  The weather Sunday was bizarre – it was EXTREMELY windy but not really rainy or stormy.  We had gusts up to 70mph and there was damage everywhere.  There were about 80,000 people without power.  Luckily, we were not in that group.  Our power flashed off and on all day but was only out for about 5 minutes at it’s longest point.  The kids kept wanting to go outside and play but no way in hell was I going to let them out when I kept seeing trees fall, limbs fly by, and trash cans rolling down the street.  Sheridan decided to go through all of the many sprinkles that I have in the cabinet.  She asked if we could bake something since she was bored so I thought about what I had here and decided cupcakes were a possibility.  I went to my good friend Clara’s cuppycake blog for inspiration and I KNEW I would find something easy that we could whip up.  Sheridan just basically wanted to be able to put icing on them and use all the sprinkes in the cabinet so I went with a basic vanilla.  She managed to make every cupcake different I think! I used the following recipe from Clara’s blog: (disregard the lighting in this picture.  It was even worse than normal that day due to the storm outside)

Ingredients

For vanilla cupcakes | Recipezaar.com
Makes ~18 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar (can use 1-1/4 cup for a less sweeter taste)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (very soft but not melted, Crisco is best)
3/4 cup half-and-half cream (or milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla (or use 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract)
2 large egg

For vanilla buttercream | Recipelink.com
Frosts ~12 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

To make cupcakes—
Set oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour with sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.

Add in the shortening cream or milk, vanilla and eggs; beat on medium speed of an electric mixer scraping the bowl constantly until just blended (the batter will be thick, if desired you may add in a few more tablespoons cream or milk).

Pour into paper-lined regular size muffin tins filling under just three-quarters full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cupcakes test done (do not overbake as they will be dry).

Cool completely before frosting.

To make vanilla buttercream—
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mrs. Pig Rating:   Yummy easy vanilla recipe!  I will definitely save this one and use again.

Little Pig Rating:  Both little pigs really liked these!  My littlest pig is in the stage where he only eats the icing off of cakes though, but he licked it dry so it must have been good.  HA!

Happy Birthday to Me!

July 30, 2008 at 12:55 am | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Cupcakes, Fun, kids | 8 Comments

Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…happy birthday dear April…happy birthday to me!  : )   This past weekend was my ::gasp:: 27th birthday.  I am not quite sure what I think about that yet mentally speaking.  However, my family and friends made sure that I enjoyed my birthday no matter what age I was.  : )

On Friday night, Tommy, the kids, some friends of ours and their kids went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for great food and margaritas.  I even wore a cute dress – it’s my birthday – I’ll do what I want!!  LOL  Saturday morning was the big surprise though.  As you know if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, breakfast is huge in our house.  Saturday morning I woke up around 8am and though, “Crap.  I need to get up.  Everyone will be wanting breakfast.”  I stumbled into the kitchen only to be told by Tommy and the kids to go back to bed and relax, it was my birthday.  Um, okay.  I cannot argue with that!  I went back to bed and read for a bit until the kids came and got me.  They walked me into the kitchen to….my surprise birthday breakfast!!!  They had blown up lots of balloons, put up a birthday banner, had birthday plates and napkins and had cooked breakfast for me!!!  Hash browns, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and OJ!  My favorite!  I cannot tell you how excited this made me for several reasons.  1) My husband is fantastic  : )  2) I bet not all stepmom’s get this kind of birthday and feel this loved and 3) I didn’t have to cook OR clean up breakfast!!!!  I cannot believe that I didn’t take pictures, but trust me, it was awesome.  : )

Sunday we went to my mom’s house where we had lunch and cupcakes.  The cupcakes were chocolate and were SUPER messy but so good!  Will and I had good messy fun eating them – doesn’t he look SO scary?! 

And I had chocolate all over my teeth and my hands so the kids thought it was hilarious because I do NOT like to be dirty.  LOL

Monday was my actual birthday and I was kind of bummed because I had to work on my birthday.  But when I arrived at work to see this on my desk:

I was so excited!  My friend Lindsay baked me these.  She does NOT cook or bake.  Period.  So the fact that she spent time making cupcakes and working with fondant meant the world to me.  I saw these awhile ago on my awesome friend Clara’s blog and I loved them and Lindsay remembered that.  And they were yummy too!!!

Overall I had a fantastic birthday!  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

PS – these pictures were taken with my new fab 3G Iphone that Tommy bought me for my birthday. Jealous aren’t you?!  : )

So behind…happy 4th of July! (On the 8th!)

July 9, 2008 at 12:53 am | Posted in Cupcakes | 1 Comment

I am so behind on my blog.  Shame.  I wanted to make something festive for the 4th of July to take to work so I decided on cupcakes.  I bought fabulous Wilton cupcake cups and sprinkes in the red, white, and blue theme but I became really busy and couldn’t make them homemade.  So Nikki…cover your eyes here.  I made them from a mix.  But they were cute, festive, and yummy.  I have no shame at this point.  : ) 

Red Velvet Cupcakes w/Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

June 10, 2008 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Cakes, Cupcakes, Dessert | 2 Comments

I have somehow become the resident baker in my office for any occasion that comes up.  Luckily for my co-workers, I love to bake when I have time, but I do not want the baked goods in my house so they usually benefit.  Monday was one of my favorite co-workers birthday so before I left for vacation I asked her what her favorite cake was and she said red velvet.  I knew my good friend and all knowing cupcake woman Clara would have a great recipe for this since it is also one of her hubby’s favorites.  She didn’t fail me!  She had a wonderful recipe waiting for me that also included an amazing icing that had one of my new favorite ingredients in it – vanilla beans!  I love opening up the package and smelling that smell…mmm….anyway.  : )  Onto the recipe!!  From Clara’s blog:

Makes about 24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For cupcakes–
15-1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3-1/4 cups)
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar (about 2-1/3 cups)
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1-1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water

For frosting–
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 lb (~4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

[NOTES: I baked for about 25 minutes.]

To make frosting
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. In a separate bowl add the vanilla bean seeds to the powdered sugar and mix until seeds evenly distributed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the butter-cream cheese mixture. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Pig Rating:  Red velvet is not the pig’s favorite but he said that this was a very good cupcake.  He also said that he really liked the icing!

Mrs. Pig Rating:  I’m with the Pig.  Red Velvet is not my favorite, but this was a really good cupcake – moist, full of flavor and such a pretty red color!  The icing is TO DIE FOR.  I could eat it with a spoon.  All in all, a really yummy cupcake!

Co-Worker rating:  Well, I took in about 40 cupcakes yesterday.  There were about 5 left today.  There are only 6 of us there.  HA!  The birthday girl loved them and even took some home for her son and husband to try.  Everyone loved them!

Vanilla Nut Martini Cupcakes

May 18, 2008 at 3:23 am | Posted in Cupcakes | 5 Comments

Aren’t cupcakes just happy and fun?  Don’t they remind you of birthday parties and happy events?  They do me.  And you can do so many things with cupcakes as far as flavors and decorating AND they are easy to transport which is a major bonus when everything that you bake goes to your work because you don’t want it in your house.  That is me.  I love looking at my friend Clara’s cupcake blog – she has so many awesome ideas and her picures are so inspiring.  I wish I had the patience and time that she does to make these.  I guess I have the time – just not a priority, but I do like to bake every now and again.  I think I discovered though tonight why I dislike baking all of the time – I HATE the mess.  I have always been a messy baker and cooker – I don’t know why, I just have.  And I hate cleaning up the mess.  Anyway…

I’ve been dying to have some of Alanna’s Vanilla Nut Martini cupcakes that she made awhile back.  She sent me some and they were to die for.  I am not a “sweets” person at all.  But those cupcakes…I think I ate 3 or 4 in one day.  They were amazing.  The icing was the best part.  I decided that I would bake these today and see how it went.  I’ve been wanting to try out my Wilton decorating tips and I thought this would be a good time.  Funny thing is that I had NO idea how to use the icing bags or any of that stuff that came with the set.  Nikki came to my rescue and talked me through it earlier today though.  I still think I have a long way to go as far as how they look.  They don’t look special, but at least I didn’t have any catastrophes.  : )

  

CUPCAKES

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Frangelico (I used French Vanilla Kahlua – it was cheaper.  HA!)

Directions

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add 1/3 of the flour and all of the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the flour and all of the Frangelico, beating well after each addition. Add remaining flour; mix until smooth.Line regular or mini muffin cups with baking papers. Fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 375ºF for 14-16 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

 

 ICING

 Ingredients

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 T whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
vanilla bean

 

 Directions

 Yield: 24 regular or 48 mini cupcakes.

 

Mrs. Pig Rating:  These are DELISH!  I love vanilla so I absolutely adore these cupcakes

 

Cinco de Mayo! (Okay, so I’m a little late…)

May 12, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Cupcakes, kids | 4 Comments

Cinco de Mayo – May 5th – is a holiday in Mexico that commemorates an inital victory of Mexican forces led by General Zaragoza over French forces in the battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  What Cinco de Mayo is NOT is Mexico’s Independence Day.  Their Independence Day is actually in September and a lot of people get Cindo de Mayo confused with that.  The history of Cinco de Mayo is great to celebrate, however, I know to me in college all it meant was, “Sweet!  Time to go out to Mexican restaurants and drink margaritas!”.  Okay, who am I kidding.  I’m 26 and I still think that way.  : ) 

I wanted to make a special treat this year for Cinco de Mayo because as you may have noticed, I tend to go overboard on holidays.  I just like any reason to celebrate.  I think the kids think I’m nuts.  LOL  I have been wanting to make cupcakes and I kept seeing recipes flying around for margarita cupcakes and I saw the CUTEST ones on Wilton’s website, so I decided to give it a shot.  This is the recipe that I used:

FOR THE CUPCAKES

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18.25 oz. white cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
  • 1 can (10 oz.) frozen Margarita mix, thawed (undiluted)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin pan with baking cups.
    2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, Margarita mix, egg whites and vegetable oil using electric mixer.
    3. Stir in lime zest; mix completely.
    4. Fill prepared pans 2/3 full.
    5. Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
    6. Cool in pan on cooling rack 5-8 minutes.
    7. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely.
    8. Frost cooled cupcakes with icing and garnish, if desired, with a strawberry and/or lime twist,

    FOR THE ICING

    Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest or lemon zest
  • 4-5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Directions

    1. In large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
    2. Add 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time; continue beating until light and fluffy.
    3. If icing is too thin add additional confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Pig Rating:  The pig is not a fan of lime so he didn’t try them.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  These were kind of odd for me.  They were really good, just not what I’m used to a cupcake tasting like I think.  Not used to such a limey taste.  They were definitely different and fun though!  I chose not to use the recipe with alcohol because I hate Tequila.  Sick.

    Co-Worker Rating:  My coworkers really liked these – those that weren’t too scared to try them.  HA!

    Yes, I just happen to have sombreros randomly around the house.  Reminents of those Mexican restaurant margarita nights….  : )  The kids loved them – they wore them for dinner that night.  HA!

    Mr. Cuppycakes Loves Me!

    February 26, 2008 at 2:56 am | Posted in Cupcakes | 4 Comments

    Today I arrived home to find a box waiting on our doorstep!  And the return address was….iheartcuppycakes!  YAY!  I thought I might be able to guess what was in the box, and I was right!  It was “Red Wino and Chocolate Cupcakes” from Clara!  YAY!

    Funny story behind the making of these cupcakes.  Clara called me the night she was going to make these.  Now, she called me from the wine aisle of her grocery store.  She was very confused by the many, many choices of wine that stared her in the face.  🙂  She was asking me how they were normally arranged, etc.  She was looking for a red Zinfandel.  Easy enough, however I couldn’t quite convey to her how to look for that….because she thought Zinfandel was a brand of wine!!  I about died.  Okay, so I guess not everyone knows wine that well.  But it gave me a good laugh anyway.  🙂  I explained to her that Zinfandel was a GRAPE not a BRAND and on we went.  🙂   She never found a red Zin so I told her to try a Shiraz ( a red that I actually like…I’m much more of a white wine drinker…).  She said they turned out well.  I wanted to find out for myself so… 

    I was so excited to find these on my doorstep today! 

    These are super super yummy!!!!!!!!!  They did not travel well (California to Indiana…hm) but they really are very yummy.  🙂  I am so happy that Clara sent these to me!  If you want to see the pretty version, check them out on her blog.  I will post a pic of how they ended up coming to me.  But OMG.  Really good nonetheless – I love strawberries and the cuppys were so moist and good!

    February SBGEX: Kitchen Gadget Exchange

    February 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Cupcakes, Fun, kitchen utensils, SBGEX | 3 Comments

    As you all know by now, a group of my wonderful foodie friends and I have a “baked goods exchange” every month.  This month we decided to do instead of baked goods, a kitchen gadget exchange.  I thought this sounded like so much!!!  There are always gadgets that I want but won;t actually buy for myself (among some of my current wants – a garlic press, a mini muffin pan, a dough scoop…I could go on!) ever. 

    One of the things I have been wanting is a little set to help me learn to ice cupcakes and cakes – something to actually make my icing look pretty!  Some of my friends do amazing things with cupcakes (like Clara @ iheartcuppycakes).  Now, while I doubt I ever get that into it, I would like to be able to do some neat things every now again. 

    My February gift arrived Friday evening and I was so excited!!  My secret baker/exchanger this month was….Alanna!!!  I opened it up and inside was a 25 piece Wilton cake decorating set!!!  But wait, that wasn’t all….also some awesome Anne Taintor napkins, because I just adore her stuff.  But best of all, she had put in some of her latest cupcakes – the Vanilla Nut Martini cupcakes.  I have to tell you, what is so funny about this is that all week I have been telling her how good these look and how I couldn’t wait to make them this weekend.  I have been literally just drooling over them – I LOOVE vanilla and these just looked amazing!!  So now I don’t actually  have to make them this weekend – I can just eat these!  Um, actually though, they are already gone.  They were so good.  They didn’t last long.  My best friend was literally just eating the icing out of the pastry bag.  These are hands down, THE best cupcakes I have ever eaten.  The icing absolutely  makes the cupcake.  You are awesome Alanna!!!!!

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