Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birthday Alien Cupcakes

I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet, because to be honest, I didn't actually make these cupcakes. But I had to share them with you, because they're amazing.

On a side note....I'm pretty sure that's Lisa Frank confetti that I found. Which is awesome.

Yes, that is a Toy Story alien cupcake. My awesome baby sister made them for my birthday today!! I'm so stoked! Yeah, I'm an adult another year older....but my sister knows the way to my heart is through Disney treats (well, Disney anything, really).

I can't wait to share these with my friends and family tonight!! Wait....do I HAVE to share?? ;)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crockpot Pear and Cherry Cobbler

I hate cooking. There, I said it. Baking is one thing, but cooking? Cooking has the potential to send my OCD into overdrive. Here's the dealio: baking is sort of like a formula. If you don't do certain steps in a certain order, or if you don't put the right amount of certain ingredients in, you can completely ruin your baking. With cooking, you can just throw whatever you want together, and as long as it's cooked and it tastes good, you can call it a meal. No recipe or order required. It drives me BONKERS. I don't do well just wingin' it.

One thing cooking DOES have going for it is the crockpot. Coming from someone who is ALWAYS hungry, there is nothing worse than having to take the time to prepare dinner when you're already STARVING. That's why I looove using our crockpot- just throw everything in the pot in the morning and it'll be ready by dinner time! And who would guess that it also makes some mean desserts!

I know it's not much to look at (it's scooped out of a crock pot, whaddaya expect?), however it more than makes up for that in taste. This is something our lovely next door neighbor Yolanda brought over to a Christmas party one year, and it was a HUGE hit. I HAD to get the recipe from her, stat! So here it is for you guys:

Crockpot Pear and Cherry Cobbler

1 large can cherry pie filling
2 cans diced pears in juice
1 cap of almond extract
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg brown sugar instant oatmeal
1 stick butter- sliced

Spray crockpot with butter cooking spray. Add ingredients in order listed, placing butter slices over the dry mix. Place paper towels on top, close lid. 
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Um, YEAH. It's THAT easy! Easy and delicious?? SOLD. GAWD...I love my crockpot and the easy-peasy goodness it produces. =)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Malted Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I'm a chocolate girl through-and-through. When I'm craving something sweet, it's one of two things: peach ring candies or something chocolate. The chocolate cravings I get from my mom without a doubt. Or perhaps it's simply a girl thing? Either way, if you're a chocolate lover, making these cupcakes is a must. I bring you, the delicious malted chocolate chip cupcakes:

And if you're thinking, "YUM" you are absolutely right. They are most certainly yum. I've gotta say, while the chocolate chip cupcake is pretty tasty, it's honestly the frosting that really makes it. Whole lotta yum going on right there. I found the recipe in a book titled "cupcakes". I crap you not. Straight and to the point- I like it. Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski. I should add: this recipe makes 6 jumbo cupcakes....yikes. I instead got 12 regular cupcakes out of this recipe.

Jumbo Malted Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 2/3 C. All-purpose flour
2/3 C. malted milk powder
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 whole milk
6 tsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (although honestly....regular chocolate chips will be fine.)

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chopped chocolate. 

Chocolate Malt Buttercream

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 C. Sugar
Pinch of salt
1 C unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 C malted milk powder
1/4 C milk

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
With the mixture on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes more. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into the melted and slightly cooled semisweet chocolate. Whisk the malted milk powder into the milk until dissolved. Add chocolate mixture and milk mixture to the base and beat until combined. Use right away.

Chocolate lovers BEWARE: these are QUITE addicting. You have been warned. ;)