Thursday, March 22, 2012

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

I was looking for a new cake recipe to make for a friend I'm visiting this weekend who just celebrated her birthday. I wanted to do a chocolate base and started browsing through recipes incorporation various fruits. I came across this recipe from Taste of Home and originally wanted to make it in a smaller version but was not able to find smaller pans and decided to alter it a little for cupcakes.

The recipe, when made into cupcakes, will make approximately 36+ regular sized cupcakes. I will be passing these along to everyone from the birthday girl to my little brother and his dorm friends!


3 Cups Sugar
2 and 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 and 1/4 Cups Buttermilk
3/4 Cup Canola Oil
3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs
1 and 1/2 Cups Strong Brewed Coffee (room temperature)

8 Ounces Low Fat Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup Butter (softened)
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
2 or 3 Tablespoons Black Raspberry Liquer*
Approximately 4 Cups Confectioners Sugar**
1 teaspoon Hot Pink Gel Food Coloring (optional)

(*the original calls for Raspberry Liquer, I had black on hand. I also added quite a bit more than the original recipe so the flavor would really stand out)
(**more or less may be needed... add a cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency)

4 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate: melt in microwave safe bowl and pipe into shapes on wax paper with a frosting bag/small tip. Allow to cool and harden.
(It helps to throw them in the freezer after they are mostly hardened.)

Red or Black Raspberries for topping

"In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the buttermilk, oil and vanilla; add to the dry ingredients. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add coffee (batter will be thin)."

Pour batter into cupcake liners, about 2/3 full, and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

If you are doing the chocolate decorations, now is a good time to do them to give them time to harden while you let the cupcakes bake and get the icing ready.

In a medium to large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in cocoa and raspberry liqueur. Beat in one cup of powdered sugar at a time until frosting has reached desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add a SMALL amount of milk to loosen it up.

After it is mixed to your preferred consistency, add any food coloring. It took quite a bit of the pink gel food coloring to really give it a deep pink color with the chocolate (despite reducing the cocoa amount), but I think purple would show up even better. Frost cupcakes as desired and add chocolate toppings and raspberries.


Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick's Cupcakes

I've been a nanny the last few months for a family with 3, 6, and 9 year olds. I'm always looking for new ideas for crafts and activities to do with them, and thought decorating green cupcakes would be fun for St. Patrick's Day. I baked them prior to the older kids getting home from school (This time I just added green food coloring to a regular yellow boxed cake mix) and got all of the sprinkles, icings, and decorating gel ready while the younger one was napping.

The kids loved the decorating even more than getting to eat the cupcakes! I decorated a few along with them to give them some ideas, but they did a great job coming up with their own as well. This is a great activity for kids of any age and can easily be customized to different holidays with different food colorings and decorating supplies!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rolo Stuffed Cookies

This is kind of a SUPER belated Super Bowl food post. But more importantly it's also a post in which I am going to pass along a DELICIOUS cookie recipe to you from Sarah over at West Coast Wife Life. Behold: the Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Oh yeah, they're as delicious as they sound. I recommend making them immediately. They're totally worth unwrapping 50 individual Rolos by hand. (Or maybe there's some place you can buy them already unwrapped, but if there is I missed that one.)

You can find Sarah's recipe for these little babies by clicking here.

The rest of the Super Bowl food lineup included the usual suspects: Guacamole, Sausage Cheese Dip, Grilled Wings, Mini Pigs in Blankets, a plethora of assorted chips, and my dad's Pork Chili. Oh... and the Better than Crack Brownies. Not sure how those slipped my mind for the initial list. If you're a veteran reader of this blog (or How Sweet It Is) you know how addictively good THOSE are.

Lily ate a little bit of everything but I think it was pretty clear to everyone that the Doritos were her favorite part.

Ok but seriously, go make those Rolo cookies now.