Friday, November 30, 2012

Irish Cupcakes

Hold on, let me get out my swiffer.... I need to do a little bit of dusting since it's been so long since I've updated my blog!

While I'd like to say I have a good excuse, I really think I have a couple.   First and foremost, I'm planning a wedding.   I didn't realize that wedding planning not only occupies your time, but it also occupies your brain.  There are times where I'm not sure if it's physically possible for me to think about anything else besides wedding planning!  Second, I'm facing my toughest year teaching this year as not only am I teaching three different classes, but I'm teaching AP Biology for the first time.  I've definitely been spending more time on school outside of work and cupcakes have taken a back seat.

Finally, the major reason for a long absence was the fact I was burnt out.  Baking takes a definitely physical and financial toll on your life.   I honestly got tired of cleaning up cupcake messes.   I got tired of feeling obligated to make cupcakes.    I just was tired of cupcakes.     So I took a break and it was fantastic.   Because what it made me realize was how much I missed baking cupcakes.     

Of course there are healthier ways to get rid of stress and sometimes baking can be stressful.  But for me, there is something cathartic about baking cupcakes.   It makes me feel creative and accomplished.    And I LOVE that I was able to recapture that feeling with one simple batch of birthday cupcakes!     

But I will admit I was completely out of practice.    My decorating was sub par and I found myself making rookie mistakes (like over cooking the butter). Also I almost forgot to take pictures!   Oh and failing to realize that Irish Cream liquor had zero coffee flavor in it.  But I'll get there. 

Anyway, I made these cupcakes for my cousin Kerry's birthday.   Kerry is a huge fan of my alcohol cupcakes so I was trying to find a new one to make!  I dusted off my Pinterest Cupcake board to find an idea for Irish Coffee Cupcakes.  They seemed simple enough but involved making espresso buttercream.   I decided that was not enough alcohol so instead would use Irish Cream since it tastes like coffee.   See my mistake?  I confused Kahlua and Irish Cream.  Rookie mistake.

Despite the fact that it had no coffee in them. The cupcakes were still delicious!    Another mistake I made was that I used dark chocolate cocoa powder.  Well I think that was a change for the better cause they were DELICIOUS! I may permanently make that change in my devil's food cupcakes.  I also added some powdered sugar to the whiskey ganache since the consistency was a little "wet" and I didn't want to make too big of a mess. 

Overall I was really pleased with the taste of the cupcakes.    The frosting was amazing and the cupcakes were super moist.  So what type of cupcakes are they?   They are the Irish Car Bomb without the beer or Irish Coffee without the coffee.   So we will call them Irish :)

But the best part of these cupcakes was the reminder that I love baking cupcakes.  Yes, life is crazy right now and wedding planning takes over a lot of my brain.   So maybe I wont make cupcakes every week.   But I do love baking cupcakes so it's important that I remember this and continue to do things that make me happy no matter how stressed I get.

Irish Cupcakes
Makes 24

For the cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (dark chocolate works awesome)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1  teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1  cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. 
  3. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. 
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. 
  6. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated
  8. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. 
  9. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  10. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. 
  11. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  12. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes
For the Ganche
  •  16 ounces good quality dark chocolate 65-72 %, chopped into small pieces 1/4 inch or less.
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
  1. place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
  2. heat heavy cream until just boiling.  Make sure it does not boil over or you will lose liquid.  Pour over chocolate.
  3. Cover chocolate and cream for 2 minutes to allow chocolate to soften.  Uncover and stir with whisk until smooth and silky.
  4. Stir in butter a tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.
  5. Stir in whiskey until fully incorporated, cool completely.
  6. Spread on top of the cooled cupcakes 
 For the Frosting

  • 2-1/2 sticks of butter
  • 6 Tbsp shortening
  • 8 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) Bailey's Irish Cream
(If you're making these for kids, substitute 2 Tbsp Vanilla and 1/3cup milk for the alchol) 
  1. Beat butter and shortening in an electric mixer until smooth
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a a time, making sure its fully incorporated after each addition.
  3. Add in Irish cream slowly and mix until smooth.   You may need to add more Irish Cream for consistency (or taste!)
  4. Frost cupcakes as desired. 
Cupcakes inspired by Half Baked

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Adult" Funfetti Cupcakes

It's finally Friday, and I thought it was finally time to update the blog :)   Plus, is there any better way to kick off a long weekend than reading about cupcakes that involve two of life's greatest things.... sprinkles and alcohol!?

Growing up, I think back on birthdays and the number one cake that comes to mind is funfetti.  There is just something about funfetti that screams birthday to me!  Up until this point,it was really the one type of cupcake that I willingly used a box cake mix for.  I just found it was one of those tastes and experiences that I couldn't recreate myself!    I made my first funfetti experience when I made the funfetti cake pops and after seeing how well they came out, I started to think I could also make funfetti cupcakes.    When one of my favorite bloggers (Annie's Eats) posted a blog about her funfetti cupcakes, I knew it was destiny!  So to celebrate Dogfish's 3rd Birthday I decided to make funfetti cupcakes, but knew I needed an "adult" twist.     So I brought back out the cake vodka!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think the cupcakes were absolutely perfect!   They were not only moist but they had the hint of almond (did you know that is what makes funfetti that unique flavor?)   The only real change that I made was with the sprinkles.    In Annie's blog, she mentioned that funfeftti was a great way to get rid of left over sprinkles.   And as I mentioned before... I have a LOT of sprinkles.  Seriously, it might be time for an intervention or episode of hoarders.  (Also something i have A LOT of is cookie cutters... which is totally bizarre since I make sugar cookies maybe once or twice a year!).  Annie (who I apparently now talk about like she's my BFF) had said that she used quins as her funfetti sprinkles.   Did I know what a quin was?  Absolutely not.   So I googled them and discovered that they are the flat normally shaped sprinkles.   As someone who has a LOT of this type of sprinkle, I thought this sounded like a great way to get rid of them... however, it was just not the type of sprinkle I wanted to use!  I think of the thicker "jimmies" and so used them.   I think they ended up being perfect (but maybe I'm biased).    I also added more of them because who doesn't like extra sprinkles????

The icing was made with the cake vodka that I am still trying to get rid of (cause lets face it... you can't really make a screwdriver or bloody mary with cake vodka!) and I think complimented the cupcakes perfectly.  It definitely had a strong cake flavor, but I liked it.   Maureen (who is not an icing fan) said it was one of the best icings I've ever made! 

I will also say that it was a great way to get rid of mismatched liners.  I used all different kinds of liners and they looked great!

I think these cupcakes are a great way to celebrate a birthday for an adult, while reminding them that we all still have a little bit of a kid inside of us!

Adult Funfetti Cupcakes
 Makes 24

  •  1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 2¾ cups (11 oz.) cake flour (not all purpose!)
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup multi-colored sprinkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  
  2. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. 
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup of the whole milk, egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts.  Whisk to blend.  
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  
  5. Mix briefly on low speed to combine, about 30 seconds.  
  6. Add in the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds.  
  7. Mix in the remaining ¾ cup of milk, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 90 seconds more.  
  8. With the mixture on low speed, add the egg white mixture in three additions, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition.  
  9. Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Gently fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.
  10. Line a cupcake pan with assorted liners and spoon in batter filling about 2/3 of the way full
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool.
Cake Vodka Frosting
  • 2-1/2 sticks of butter
  • 6 Tbsp shortening
  • 8 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) Cake flavored vodka 
(If you're making these for kids, substitute 2 Tbsp Vanilla and 1/3cup milk for the vodka) 

  1. Beat butter and shortening in an electric mixer until smooth
  2. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a a time, making sure its fully incorporated after each addition.
  3. Add in vodka slowly and mix until smooth.   You may need to add more vodka for consistency (or taste!)
  4. Frost cupcakes as desired.
Cupcakes adapted from Annie's Eats

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chocolate Chickory Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Vodka Frosting

So it's been quite a while without a blog post.    There have been a couple major reasons why

a) I made cupcakes that I've blogged about before.  These are the cupcakes that I made for a friend's baby shower.  They are my caramel apple cupcakes (sprinkled with brown sugar to make them look "beachy") and devil's food with vanilla buttercream (dyed blue to look like water).  The baby shower was sea creature themed.

b) Pinterest and wedding planning takes a lot more of my time these days :)

c) I will admit, I got a little on "cupcake overload".  Over the past year that I've made 53 different cupcake recipes.   Not to mention all the different cookies and brownies and other "non cupcake" baking.  I just needed a little bit of a break so that I continued to think of it as being fun and not as a chore

d) And probably, the most important, I went to the beach :)   And that was also the major inspiration for this week's cupcakes.    This wasn't just a regular trip to the beach... It was a Dogfish beach trip!

If you've been reading my blog regularly, you know how much I love Dogfish.   I've made MANY cupcakes around their beers and to celebrate their holidays.  For my fiance's birthday, I purchased him the Dogfish 360 experience at the Inn at Canal Square in Lewes, Delaware.  It included 

Visiting the brewery

Two nights in the "brewmaster suite"

A morning kayak tour

A trip to the Rehobeth brewpub via the S.S. Dogfish (Sam's own boat!)

A night out at the Rehobeth brewpub

A lot of Dogfish swag

It definitely was an awesome experience!   And I KNEW I needed to remember my experience with some cupcakes (plus Drew had been giving me crap about not making them cupcakes recently!)    One of the coolest part of visiting the brewpub was getting to visit the distillery where Dogfish makes their own liquor.  I was determined to find one of their liquors, buy it, and make cupcakes from it!   The one I chose was the peanut butter vodka... which is an odd choice since I dont like peanut butter!  But I wanted to try the peanut butter vodka in a cupcake, so thats what I chose to buy :)

I decided to make my typical chocolate stout cupcake using the Dogfish Chickory Stout.   I was worried about there not being enough Peanut Butter flavor in the frosting so I made a peanut butter filling to add to the flavor.  And I was right about the vodka in the frosting.  It was virtually impossible to get enough peanut butter flavor in the frosting without making it taste like vodka or being too "wet" to use.  Without the filling it probably wouldn't have had any pb flavor as well.   I imagine if I was making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini or something, there would be enough PB flavor in the vodka, but it just wasnt enough for my frosting.    Still it was definitely worth the purchase and I'm sure I'll use it again in some kind of dessert... i mean because who doesn't love peanut butter and vodka mixed together??/  Oh besides me :)

These cupcakes were a HUGE hit.  Everyone loved the filling and the overall flavor.  The only thing I would change was the cupcake liners.  I bought the "nut and party cups" to use for asthetics of the cupcakes.   But they were virtually impossible to penetrate!  Most people had to use forks.  Would not use these on cupcakes again... but how stinking cute were they?

Anyway, these cupcakes were inspired by a great trip and will be made many times in the future to remember.

And because I know you are all wondering... yes, there will be more posts coming!  I have a lot in the works.... a couple of "cookbooks", my 30th baking experience and what I think is the perfect brownie!

Chocolate Chickory Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Vodka Frosting
Make 24

  • 1-1/3 cups Great Divide's Chocolate Yeti Stout (you can use any stout... i chose this one!)
  • 1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (because I used a chocolate stout,  I used less chocolate, with a non-chocolate stout like Guiness I'd up this to 3 oz)
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Bring stout and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil.
  3. Add unsweetened chocolate chunks to hot stout/butter mixture. Whisk until chocolate melts. Turn heat off and let cool.
  4. Add sugar to chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl (I just use a whisk)
  6. In a stand-alone mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sour cream on medium speed.
  7. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and combine on medium-low speed until encorporated.
  8. Slowly add flour mixture in thirds to chocolate mixture with whisk attachment. Scrape the sides with your whisk to make sure you get all the dry ingredients combined.
  9. Place cupcake papers in pan and divide batter into cups evenly. Fill about 2/3 of the cup.
  10. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch, and a toothpick/fork comes out clean when put in the top
Peanut Butter Filling 
  • 1-1/4 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups is powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  •  2 Tbsp heavy cream
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together on medium high speed. 
  2. Reduce the speed to slow/medium and slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time.     
  3. Add in vanilla and milk and beat to desired consistency   
  4. Once, the cupcakes have cooled, use a medium opening tip and piping bag, inject the cupcakes with the filling until the tops 'burst' slightly. 
Peanut Butter Vodka Frosting
  • 2-1/2 sticks of butter
  • 6 Tbsp shortening
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Vodka (optional- other option is to use vanilla frosting)  
  1. Cream butter and shortening together and until soft
  2. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low, one cup at a time
  3. After sugar, add in vodka and beat to desired consistency 
  4. Pipe or spread the frosting as desired.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

30 by 30... only 5 more months!!!

I think I've reached the point where  I am one of the last  of my friends (that graduated in 2000!) to turn 30.  There was a really weird moment when hanging out with my friends Meghann & Maureen and our significant others when I realized I was the only one still in my 20s!  I think it has really made  the transition to my 30s a lot easier :)

1. Go to Vegas (May 2012)
2. Renew my passport and plan to use it
 Right now the honeymoon planning is WAY more fun that wedding planning!  St. Lucia? Jamaica? Playa del Carmen?  I can't decide!  But it will be international... which means we might need to get this passport train moving!

3.Take 30 Yoga Classes- 7
4.Average Running 30 miles/month-38.25 this month/ 31 average
5.Take 30 Spin Classes- 14
14. Average 3000 meters of swimming per week- 2100 average
 I think that the Yoga and Swimming are going to be the hardest ones for me.  Fitting in yoga classes while training for a half marathon and olympic triathlon is tough! And finding the time to swim is also tough as well.  If nothing else, it was a good goal and way to keep me in the pool/gym

 6. Bake 30 new recipes-2 new--28 total
It amazes me how the wedding planning has taken over cupcake baking!   Haha.   But I will make it to thirty in the next two weeks probably which is very exciting!

27. Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes
28. Grocery Store Soft Cookies

9. Read 30 Books- 5 new-- 21 total
Lazy days at the pool has really helped my reading.   Waterproof kindle cover may be the BEST THING EVER

17.Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
 -- the second book in the 50 Shades of Grey series and my favorite (so far)
18. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan 
-- Book Club book for this month.  I thought it was going to be a lot "lighter" but it was quite a heavy summer read
19.The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
-- new book by my favorite author.  It was cute, but not my favorite of her books. 
20. The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
--- Diane is one of my favorite authors.   But this was not one of my favorite books by her.  I love her books cause there is always a twist, but there really wasn't a huge one in this.  Still a very enjoyable read and I had a hard time putting it down!
21. Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
--- I love books about weddings!   I kept waiting for this book to get even better but it was  just an enjoyable beach read 

10. Bake Cake Pops
Another Cake Pop experience coming soon...or cake "balls"

12. Eat an Entire Hot Dog 
18.  Send one "just because" card
I did forget about this this month... but I did send an engagement card to someone I know who just got engaged :)  

19. Have a "staycation" in DC and visit a museum I've never been to. (Feb 24) 
20. Go to a regular season NFL or NHL game.(March 25)
22. Complete at least three pins on pinterest/month
 I will admit that pinterest has been more about wedding  things than anything else these days!  But I have made a few things
Cake Cookies (Aka Grocery Store Soft Cookies)
Skinny Cornbread Casserole ---it was REALLY good 
Beef Enchiladas--- VERY good

23. Make one new recipe from each of my cookbooks, otherwise throw them out

And I have at least on more on the way to blog about!

25. Compete in another cupcake challenge

26. Watch all episodes of "Bones"
28.  Don't keep assignments longer than two weeks
I love summer :)

29.  Have one night of SSB every two weeks
Does wedding planning count???  To m this now means sitting on my couch with a glass of win and watching whatever trashy Summer TV show I have on my DVR... which is awesome.  

30. Buy bottles of wine costing $10 or more
I'm sticking to cubes :)  


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Use it or Lose It #7: Egg & Bean Breakfast Wrap

I'm back with another recipe from my goal to make a new recipe from each of my new cookbooks.  This one is inspired by Hungry Girl's 300 under 300 book, but is not directly from it.  Sometimes I like to take a recipe and make it more me.  Especially when it comes to breakfast.

I will admit that there are a few breakfast items I'm just not a fan of.  First, French Toast.   I used to love it, but after far too many bad experiences with it, I'm just not a fan (unless its covered in captain crunch of course).  I also don't really like any form of breakfast pork products.   Sausage I can handle (particularly turkey sausage or if its mixed in with gravy) but bacon or ham or scrapple grosses me out.  So I'm always on the lookout for a pork free breakfast alternative.

When i came across this recipe, I was initially drawn to the refried beans.  I really like refried beans and thought that there would be nothing better than putting some refried beans in my breakfast!   But the major problem with this recipe?   I dont like corn tortillas.   So I decided that rather than making an egg mug like the recipe suggested, I'd make a tortilla! 

I used my favorite low carb, fat free tortillas (2P+/ tortilla) and then built it from there!    I made a whole can of refried beans and kept it in the fridge all week so I could use it every day.   I added sauteed onions directly to the refried beans to make it easier to prepare.   Once I did that initial prep, the daily preparation time is less than five minutes.  And while somewhat messy, they are amazingly delicious!   I wanted to be able to grab and go, but with the low carb/fat tortillas, it makes it really hard to do that.  They just don't maintain the structure that regular tortillas do.


Egg  & Bean Breakfast Wrap

For the refried beans
makes about 2 cups
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can of Fat Free refried beans
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning

  1. In a small pot, saute the onions until they are soft.
  2. And in the refried beans and taco seasoning and simmer until heated through.     
  3. Use immediately or put in a aritight container and store in refrigerator until you are ready to use them. 
For the Breakfast Wrap
Makes 1 wrap
  •  1 Wrap (like La Tortilla or other 2 pt wrap)
  • 1/4 cup refried beans (see above)
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 slice 2% american cheese (or other reduced fat cheese.  Or 1/8 cup shredded cheese)
  • 3 Tbsp salsa
  • 1 Tsp fat free sour cream (optional)--will increase points value to 6
  1. Spray a microwave safe bowl or coffee mug with nonstick spray. 
  2. Pour the egg beaters into the mug/cup and cook for 2 minutes in the microwave.  If they are still runny after two minutes, cook for additional time in 30 second intervals until done.
  3. Spread refried beans onto the tortilla and cook in microwave for 30 seconds to "heat up"
  4. Add eggs to the tortilla and then cheese.   Microwave for an additional 30 seconds to melt cheese
  5. Spread on salsa and sour cream and roll up!  Enjoy :)
recipe inspired by Hungry Girl

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grocery Store "Soft Cookies"

With the title of this post, everyone should know what I'm talking about.   I'm talking about those ridiculously soft cookies that every major grocery store seems to sell and everyone seems to love.   It's one of those recipes that you think "if only I could reproduce these.."  Well, I think i came pretty darn close!   While they weren't as soft, the icing on mine was far superior.  And I think with a little practice, I could get them to be just as soft.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Grocery Store Soft Cookies.

 I had what I thought was the perfect sugar cookie recipe (a passed down secret from a family friend!) but I was willing to try something new.  And man I am glad I did!   These cookies were delicious!  They were not quite as soft as I would have liked, but still delicious.  The icing was absolutely amazing and I could have eaten it with a spoon (ok let's face it, I did eat it with a spoon!)   I brought these to my family's July 4th party and they were a huge hit, with both the kids and the adults!   I will DEFINITELY be making these again.

I do have some tips for those of you who try to make them!
  • If you have an event on Wednesday, you want to start these on Monday.  The dough must sit in the fridge overnight and then once the cookies are done, they must as well.  Its important to make them soft!
  • Keep the dough as cool as possible.  When I was working with it, I had to take a couple breaks and stick it back in the fridge to keep it cool (mostly because of the fact that our AC was broken and it was 86 degrees)   Its really really important as it makes the dough easier to work with.
  • There is no such thing as too much flour.  You will need to keep working with it as you're rolling out the dough.
  • Use simple cookie cutters.  The more complex they are, the harder they will be to use.    Although I do plan on using this recipe during football season with my Hokie Bird cookie cutter!
  • Take the cookies out of the fridge about an hour before serving.  I tried a cookie before putting it in the fridge and was disappointed with the softness.  Then I tried another from the fridge and it was hard.   But at the party, they were all soft so I was definitely pleased!
  • Make sure the dough is about a quarter inch thick.  Any thinner and they wont "puff" up as well and definitely will not be anywhere near as soft as they should be.

They were definitely delicious and I will be making them many times!

Grocery Store "Soft" Sugar Cookies
Makes about 4-5 dozen (depending on shape)
  •  5 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
  • extra flour as needed
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 5 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated.
  4.  Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  6.  Dough needs to get to the right consistency for rolling, so add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until this is achieved. You can add as much as needed but I needed to add 1-1/4 cups.
  7. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.


  1.  The next day, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. Generously spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray 
  3. Generously flour a work area and rolling pin (I actually use parchment paper under my rolling pin so it doesn't stick)
  4. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.
  5. Cut cookies into whatever shape you'd like :)
  6.  Bake for 7-8 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
For the Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  •  7 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. 
  2. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar half a cup at a time. 
  3. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved.
  4. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. 
  5. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container (I separated layers with parchment paper). 
  6. Let cookies sit overnight before serving to allow them to soften

Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Cupcakes

This cupcake combines two of my most favorite things.... Cheese and meat! And get's healthy! With only 3 weight watchers points plus a cupcake, it's easy to eat a couple and not feel guilty!

The idea came from one of my favorite healthy food blogs, Emily Bites.  Her ideas are great and she often write about her "cupcakes"... which are all made with wonton wrappers.   So yes, I know that isn't really a cupcake, but they are still delicious.   I did struggle to find the wonton wrappers at first, but once I knew where to look (and what the package looked like) I had no problem.    The wonton wrappers are often found in the "vegetarian" part of the produce section... yes, I am aware of the fact that the entire produce section is vegetarian.  But there is the section that has all the tofu and vegetarian "meat replacements", which is where you will find it :)

Overall, these are SUPER easy.   They took maybe 15 minutes of prep time, most of which was actually slicing up the vegetables and getting that all prepared.   And you can really be creative and add things to your cheesesteaks.  I personally dont like mushroooms, so left them out, but if you want to, I'm sure it would work!

The one thing that I didn't do that I wish I had was to mix the velveeta in with the meat and veggies.  I tried to just melt it and put on top of each cupcake, but it was really hard to transfer.  So for the second layer I mixed the melted cheese right in with the meat and veggies and it worked a lot better!

And you may be wondering why I chose to use Velveeta rather than some other "healthier" cheese....  but as any person who has spent time in Philly knows, a real cheesesteak has cheez wiz on it!  And the healthiest option to cheese wiz is Velveeta :)  You of course would use something else, but where is the fun in that??

I will DEFINITELY be making these again, as they are a great healthy party food!

Philly Cheesesteak Cupcakes
Makes 12

  • 24 Wonton wrappers
  • 7 oz deli roast beef (one package), cut into strips
  • one small onion, cut into strips
  • one green pepper, cut into strips
  • 8 oz of velveeta, melted in microwave, but not burned
  • cooking spray 
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. On medium heat, cook onions and green peppers until soft.  
  3. Add in chopped up roast beef and cook for an addition 5 minutes, until the roast beef is brown.
  4. Turn heat to low and add in melted velveeta and and mix to combine. 
  5. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and put a wonton wrapper in each of the muffin spots.
  6. Spread about half of  the meat/onion/cheese mixture into the 12 cups.
  7. Add another wonton wrapper to each cup (I turned the corners a different direction to give it a tiered shape).  Spread the remaining mixture on top.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges start to brown.  Enjoy :) 
 Recipe Inspired by Emily Bites