Monday, April 23, 2012

Seashell Cupcakes

So... Last week was a long week. School is stressful on a whole multitude of levels. The only thing that got me through Friday was the prospect of these.
Aren't they adorable?! Come on, tell me they're adorable... I came home on Friday and decided to get baking. I made these for my cousin Cecilia's wedding shower that was the next day, Saturday. She's getting married next month in Iowa, but the wedding shower was beach themed, so it was time to be a little creative!

Of course, I had help with this project. Morgan took care of most of the seashells which were made with Wilton Candy Melts in a Wilton Candy Seashell mold. Those candy molds are fun to play with and they're available at almost ever craft store. I also had help from my awesome boyfriend, Noah. Look at us, rocking some aprons.
Since I had to make forty eight cupcakes, and I wanted to make they were tasty, I simply used boxed cake mix for the cupcakes. My new favorite method is to put all the batter in a large Ziploc bag then cut off the bottom corner to pipe the batter into the cupcake liners. It's so much neater than spooning batter into the liners, and I'm a messy baker as is.

Noah really likes his cupcake batter.

For the frosting, I simply used my favorite butter cream frosting recipe, found here. I dyed the frosting light blue and piped the frosting to kinda look like waves. The project was really easy and the results were phenomenal. I received many wonderful comments at the shower and I appreciated every single one of them. I'm glad my baking addiction can benefit others in some way.

As always, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups

Hey! Take a look at my weekend.
Oh yeah. You got that right. It's the perfectly heavenly combination of my three favorite things: peanut butter, cookie dough, and chocolate. I happened to get this recipe from my favorite food blog. This woman is probably the biggest fuel to my baking addiction. I try out a ton of her recipes. I promise to blog about them today between intervals of dancing to James Taylor and Neil Diamond with my little sister, Alaina. She really seems to love to dance with me... That probably has to do with the fact that I make silly faces while lip-syncing.
Anyways... On to these amazing things!
You can either click the link, or I'll just re-post the recipe here.

What you'll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-In a small saucepan, warm butter until melted. Whisk in the 1/3 cup of brown sugar until fully dissolved, then let the mixture bubble for a minute or two. 
-Remove pan from heat then whisk in peanut butter, then vanilla. The mixture will be very liquidy, let it set for twenty minutes to cool fully.
- Line a mini cupcake pan with 24  mini cupcake liners. Melt 1 1/4 cups of milk chocolate chips in the microwave. Then pour about one teaspoon of chocolate in each liner and using a pastry brush (or in my case, a rubbery basting brush thing, that looked more like a squid, but was fun to play with) and brush the chocolate around and up the sides of the liner. Place in freezer for twenty minutes to harden.

-Once heated mixture has cooled, whisk in powdered sugar, salt and flour and combine until just a few lumps remain. Then fold in the chocolate chips, and place the mixture in the fridge for fifteen minutes so the mixture can solidify. 
- Take mixture out of fridge and the chocolate cups out of the freezer. Roll about one teaspoon of the cookie dough mixture into a ball and place in the chocolate cups. 
-Melt the remaining chocolate and top the chocolate cups. Then place back in the freezer for fifteen minutes.
After that, feel free to enjoy! I had to keep these in the fridge because they were melty, but they were devoured all the same. I made these on Saturday with my two amazing friends Chelsea and Meghan and by Sunday they were gone. I'm definitely guilty of eating one or twelve... I can't wait to make these again.