Snicker’s cupcakes

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Baking is beginning to take over my heart. I never was a baker, I always thought I wasn’t good at it. Then one day I decided I would give it a go and baked a three layer cake, I mean why not right?? Surprisingly it turned out pretty good for my first time, and my first successful homemade baking venture! I don’t know whether it gave me some confidence, but ever since, I have had mostly successful and tasty baking experiences! I have yet to make up my own recipe however, I still need to learn ratios, but that is my ultimate goal! One day I would love to feel comfortable enough to be able to make up my own tasty treats, and I can’t wait for that day.

This recipe was derived from a post I saw on Pinterest, Snicker’s Cake. She is such a talented blogger and makes mine look puny.. so don’t judge!! I thought this cake was brilliant, beautiful, and looked so sinful! I love cupcakes and my husband is gone so I wouldn’t have anyone to share a giant cake with, so I decided to turn this cake into 24 cupcakes and share them with my coworkers!  I used the same ingredients as she, but the baking time is different and the nougat filling was placed inside the cupcakes, unlike the layers in the cake.

Get ready to be taken by surprise, and to indulge in a snickers bar that has miraculously turned into a cupcake. This blogger couldn’t have made it any better and I’m so glad I decided to try it in cupcake form!

To get started, preheat your oven to 350°. Line 24 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, sift together your dry ingredients: flour, baking and soda powder, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients: eggs, oil, coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla. Slowly pour in your wet ingredients to your dry in increments and mix on medium speed until incorporated about 2 minutes, stop and scrape the sides and very bottom to gather the flour, etc that have accumulated on the sides. Mix for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. The batter will seem pretty thin, but it will bake beautifully and it will still be slightly moist inside! Grab an ice cream scoop and place your batter in the liners evenly. I filled mine a little over halfway full. Place in the oven on the same rack and bake for 10 minutes, turn the pans around and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. After about 10 or so minutes, take them out to cool on a cooling rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make your nougat filling (my favorite part). Take a saucepan and melt your butter on medium high heat. Add the sugar and milk, stir until the sugar has dissolved completely, bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner and add the peanut butter, marshmallow fluff,  and vanilla. Stir until evenly mixed. Gently fold in the peanuts and let sit to reach room temperature.

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While everything is cooling, go ahead and make your salted caramel sauce, you can also make this ahead of time, it can sit at room temp for 2 days or can be chilled in the fridge. You can find this recipe on browneyed baker’s blog as well. This is the very first successful caramel sauce attempt I’ve had! I’ve tried so far about 5 times and number six I guess was the right number! Every time I’ve tried, I’ve burnt the caramel or not cooked it long enough. The key is the right timing. You need to take the caramel off the heat right when it reaches 350°. If you miss the timing, you will ruin the caramel! I do think I could’ve made a better batch, but I’m just glad it was edible!

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Lastly, make your chocolate ganache. This sauce is absolutely amazing! Tastes just like the chocolate that’s covering the snicker’s bars! I literally licked the whisk clean when I was done, and was not ashamed at all. This one also requires a little bit of timing. Coarsly chop your chocolate, you should use a chocolate bar, but I couldn’t find one at the store other than semi-sweet, so I decided to try milk chocolate chips (Ghirardelli my favorite!) place in a medium sized bowl. In a small saucepan heat up your cream until it just begins to boil, this is the right timing part, and transfer to the chocolate bowl. Let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk starting in the center and going outward until it’s just incorporated and smooth.

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Set aside to cool. Stir occasionally to keep it thick. If you make this ahead of time you can also sit this in room temp overnight or up to 2 days, just be sure to tightly wrap it in cling wrap and set a bowl inverted over top of the ganache bowl.

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Your cupcakes and nougat filling should be cooled by now. Place your nougat filling in a piping bag, using Wilton’s Bismarck Round Decorating Tip 230, fill the cupcakes center releasing pressure once you get to the top of the cupcake, then take it out. Repeat for all cupcakes. If you don’t have this or don’t want to purchase it, take a paring knife and cut out a deep circle in the center of the cupcakes. Be careful not to go through the cupcakes bottom. Take a small spoon and fill the hole with the nougat filling, replace the top with the small top layer.

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Lastly, make your icing. Take your mixer and beat your butter and cream cheese on medium high speed for about 5 minutes, if you have it use your whisk attachment. Pour in the salted caramel, and whisk until incorporated. Turn down the speed to medium low and slowly pour in the powdered sugar, in increments until it’s all mixed well. Take a spatula and scrape the outsides into the middle. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for another 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. If you make this ahead of time, you can also cover with cling wrap and set in the fridge.

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To assemble your cupcakes, ice with your butter cream frosting. Take your salted caramel sauce and pour in a baggy with a small whole snipped in the corner, or use a clear squeeze bottle (I use these and they are a lot easier!). Do the same with the chocolate ganache. Squeeze both sauces over top of the icing. Sprinkle the top with chopped peanuts.

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What you’ll need:

For the CupCakes:
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce (see browneyed baker’s recipe)
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce & chocolate ganache
Chopped peanuts

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Cranberry Eggnog Cupcakes

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It’s Christmas time!! My favorite time of year for many reasons, one of them is baking. Cookies, cupcakes, breads, cakes, you name it and I will probably be baking it! This post is a new baking item I tried out, and it turned out wonderfully! I found this recipe on pinterest and it did not disappoint! Super easy to make and can be festive too!! I bought these cute little santa cupcake liners at Target and I decided to add some sprinkled cranberry bits on top to give the icing some color and tartness. I highly recommend you do the same!

1. Preheat your oven to 350°.

2. Sift your cake mix and nutmeg into a medium sized bowl set aside.

3. Combine all of your wet ingredients (eggs, oil, eggnog, vanilla extract, sour cream) and mix until eggs are beaten and ingredients are combined.

4. Take your dry ingredients and slowly add to the mixer in batches. Mix until just combined.

5. Fold in the cranberries, do not mix them until just combined, then fill the cupcake liners with 3/4 of cupcake mix and bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick or knife in the center comes out clean.

6. Frosting: beat butter for 2 minutes. Add cider mix, nutmeg, and eggnog. Slowly add powdered sugar in batches until you reach desired consistency of your frosting. You may add more cider or nutmeg if needed.

7. Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe your frosting onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with the cranberry bits and some pearl sprinkles, or anything you may want to use to decorate with!

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Cake:

1 box white cake mix
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 eggs
1/3 C. oil
1 C. eggnog
1/2 C. plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp, vanilla extract
2 C. fresh cranberries, chopped
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. spiced apple cider mix, optional
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. eggnog
3-4 C. powdered sugar
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Tiramisu Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always crave sweets. But I will always have room in my belly for some Tiramisu!

If you have never heard of Tiramisu before it’s a dessert originating in Italy. The cake version is made out of lady fingers soaked in coffee and liquor with a mascarpone and egg yolk frosting. This recipe is a twist on the original recipe and i absolutely love it! It is the perfect amount, plus I just love to make cupcakes 🙂

If you aren’t a coffee person, you should still give this a try! The flavor combination of these cupcakes really goes well together and I promise you wont be disappointed!

To get started, preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line your cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. After sifting, whisk to mix evenly; set aside.

Add milk to a small saucepan. You want to take your vanilla bean and cut it lengthwise to open the inside. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the pan using your knife, and add the scraped pod to the pan as well.  Heat over medium-high heat just until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard, or rinse and save it for some other recipe!

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk to blend.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (Like you would a double boiler for melting chocolate!), whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. This took me about 5-6 minutes. Return the bowl to the electric mixer. Whisk on high speed until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, you should see it thicken as well, and when you lift a spoon with the mixture it should not drip, but fall like a ribbon or string. This took me a couple of tries before I got it just right!

Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in three separate additions. When you fold something, you want to be careful not to mix, but gently take a section and do exactly what it sounds, and fold it over the other side. This will take a few minutes to mix well but it keeps the batter fluffy! Stir ¾ cup of the egg batter into the milk and vanilla mixture to thicken it up, then gently fold the milk and vanilla mixture into the batter until it’s just until evenly incorporated. Take an ice cream scoop and fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cakes are set and have a light golden color. This will take about 20 minutes. Once done, transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, start to make the soaking syrup! Combine the hot coffee, Kahlua, and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. I didn’t have espresso, so I just brewed some strong coffee! Place the warm cupcakes on a wire rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch any dripping liquid.  Use a pastry brush or basting brush to brush the coffee mixture onto the tops of the cupcakes, do this until all of the syrup is gone. I  made the mistake of not using all of the syrup and I regret that because my cupcakes could’ve used a little more on them. Don’t be afraid they will get too soggy (that’s where I went wrong). It helps to poke each cupcake a few times with a toothpick to help the syrup soak in.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attached. I do not have one so I used my electric hand mixer with a whisk attached and it turned out just fine! You will need a whisk for this part.  Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture looks like cool whip and you will see little peaks forming in the bowl.  In a stand up mixer, combine the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Preferably you should use a paddle attachment if you have one, I did not so I think that’s why my frosting looked a little less smooth than it should’ve been.  Fold about a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula to lighten.  Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until evenly incorporated.

Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag. I used a plain round tip, larger size. I really like Wilton brand. I use disposable bags and plastic white holders for the tips. They are washable and easy to use! After piping the frosting, dust the cupcakes with unsweetened cocoa powder. Serve and impress!!

Yield: about 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. cake flour, sifted
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. coarse salt
6 tbsp. milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
5 large whole eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
1½ cup sugar

For the soaking syrup:
½ cup freshly brewed very strong coffee (or espresso)
3 tbsp. Kahlua
6 tbsp. sugar

For the frosting:
1½ cups heavy cream
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

 Originated from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes recipe book.

Be My Valentine Cupcakes

I know you are thinking… wow, she’s making more desserts?! Yes, I sure am!! And RJ is one happy man! He will be on some serious sugar high’s this week! But because it’s Valentine’s Day, I had to bake some more treats! I saw a recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes and thought I would give it a whirl! I’ve never made Red Velvet anything before, so I was a bit timid about making these, especially when I saw the end result of the cupcake mix! It was so red! But they ended up turning out marvelously!

I did however have a hard time tasting the cocoa powder, so next time I make these, I will definitely add more cocoa powder and see how it turns out. I also decided to add a tsp of almond extract to the cream cheese frosting to give it a little more flavor and it turned out very tasty!

Lets begin by lining your muffin/cupcake tins with paper liners. Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Next take a medium sized bowl and whisking your dry ingredients together. This will be your cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In an electric stand mixer, combine your eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until blended well, then turn it down to low speed and pour your dry ingredients in small portions. I usually divide into 4 sections. This will take about 2 minutes, or until it is well blended.

Next divide your batter into the cupcake tin as evenly as you can. I use an ice cream scooper to help me keep the same amount. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, being sure to rotate the pans halfway through. When the timer is up, take a toothpick and insert into the middle of the cupcakes to make sure they are done. You will know this because the toothpick will come out clean. Wait 5 minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, go ahead and make your cream cheese frosting. I have used this recipe before when I made the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, one of my favorites! In a stand mixer, cream together your cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Make sure your cream cheese is chilled and your butter is at room temp.

Next sift in your powdered sugar. Then add your imitation vanilla extract (this keeps the frosting white!) and almond extract. Mix on low speed for another 2-3  minutes or until well blended and creamy. And for another few minutes beat on high speed.

Now you can decorate your cupcakes!! Make sure they are completely cool before you do so. I used a star shaped tip for my frosting.  I also found those cute sugar letters at Michael’s! I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day and treat yourself (and your special someone) to these lovely treats!! Enjoy 🙂

What you’ll need:

For the cupcakes:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the frosting:
10 oz. cream cheese, chilled
6½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tsp. clear vanilla extract

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Ohh how I love the Fall!! It’s an excuse to make anything and everything pumpkin. There is nothing better than the smell of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves. Takes me back to many Thanksgiving and Christmas’s, and like I’ve said before, nostalgia is so tasty.

I cannot take credit for these amazing breakfast treats. This recipe was found on one of my favorite food blogs: annies-eats.net. Anything with pumpkin and cream cheese in one sentence is my kind of food!!  To top it off, the top of these have a slight crunch to them from the cinnamon sugar topping, it makes the perfect combination with the soft cream cheese filling.

Starbucks has nothing on these!! I have to say this is the best baking treat I have made yet, and my fiance agrees, eating 3 in one sitting saying over and over again how good they are, I’ll take that compliment 🙂

Lucky for me, I had just enough of the cream cheese filling leftover from a previous baking project when I made the Halloween cupcakes, the frosting I used is the same for the filling in these muffins! So FYI, always save your extra icing in the freezer, it will come in handy! If you are making the icing from scratch, you want to mix the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar until well blended. Then, transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap, roll into a log about 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter. Then take a piece of foil and wrap it around, transfer to the freezer for 2 hours or until it’s partly firm.

Time for the muffins! Preheat your oven to 350°. Line your muffin pans with paper liners, this recipe will make about 24 muffins. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Whisk and blend well. With an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and oil. You want to mix on medium-low speed until well blended. Next turn the speed down to low and slowly add the dry ingredients until all is mixed and blended together. You do not want to over-mix this.

Next make the topping. If you do not have a pastry cutter, it is VERY important that you keep the butter cold, do not take it out of the fridge until you are ready to make this topping. In a cold bowl, mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Next take your cold butter and cut into small pieces. Do this as quick as you can without handling it too much because the heat from your hands will melt the butter. Use two forks, or if you’re lucky your pastry cutter, and mix until crumbly. After this is done, place the bowl into the refrigerator until you are ready to use again.

Time to assemble!! Place about 1-2 tbsp of the batter into the paper liners. Next take your cream cheese log and cut 24 slices as equal in size as you can. Place them on top of the batter. Then take the remaining batter and cover the cream cheese filling evenly to fill the paper liners. You may have some batter left, but that’s ok, you don’t want to over-fill the muffin cups. Lastly take your topping mixture out of the refrigerator and lightly sprinkle the muffins with the crumbles.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. ENJOY!! Starbucks will never taste the same, I promise you!!

What you will need:
Yields: 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces