Well, it HAS been a while, hasn’t it?! I’m getting settled into my job, so I have the time to update this more regularly. My lovely friend Kristen was moving out of her apartment today, and I offered to bake her some cupcakes as she had recently bestowed upon me some of her incredible handcrafted pottery.
As for the roses, well, they’re from my sweet boyfriend, surprising me out of the blue.
In order to craft a cupcake worthy of Kristen’s taste buds, I searched through her pintrest and found a mocha cupcake recipe to use as a base for these babies. They’ve been well received and as for my own opinion, they’re my favorite cupcakes I’ve ever made or eaten.
The honey in the frosting complimented the flavor of the chai tea within the cupcake, the cake itself was moist and flavorful but not overpowering, and the aftertaste was pleasant.
Lets get started!
- 3/4 cup hot and strong chai tea
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature (Hint: I stick my butter from the fridge into the microwave for 18-20 seconds and it’s perfect for creaming)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature (Hint: I cheat and stick cold eggs in really warm water for 5 minutes, it’ll bring them right down to room temperature)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash of ground ginger
- 1 cup buttermilk (Hint: I use 1 cup regular milk (2% or whole milk work best) and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and it works about the same.)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (USE IT I PROMISE IT MAKES THE CAKE MOIST AND DELICIOUS AND THE TASTE ISN’T AFFECTED AT ALL.)
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake trays with 24 cupcake liners. (I used leftover valentines liners and some shiny metallic ones.)
- Once the tea has steeped long enough in hot water, add the cocoa powder to the cup, stir well, and set it aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger. Set it aside.
- Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract together and (you guessed it) set it aside.
- Cream the butter, salt, and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Once sufficiently creamed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the cream mixture and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and whisk until smooth. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, whisking again. Add the second 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture, whisk well. Finally, add the final 1/3 of the flour mixture and whisk until it almost looks velvety (or, y’know, combined).
- Add the chai tea and cocoa mix to the batter, mixing well.
- Add the mayonnaise and stir it in. (TRUST ME, OKAY.)
- Fill each of the cupcake liners evenly with the batter. (I used about two spoonfuls to fill each of the liners.) (HINT FROM MY GUY: If you come up a bit short, if you fill the empty cupcake nooks (without liners) halfway with water, it will help the rest of the cupcakes baked evenly.)
- Pop the trays in the oven for 16-18 minutes. I would suggest doing a single tray of 12 at once so the oven doesn’t get crowded and not distribute the heat properly.
- They are done once a toothpick can come out clean after being poked into the cupcake.
To make the frosting
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, cream, honey, cinnamon, and salt until smooth and slightly thick. (It will be a bit less thick than buttercream frosting, but still a substantially thick frosting.)
- Frost the COMPLETELY COOLED (very important that they are COMPLETELY COOLED) cupcakes with the frosting, either using a spoon (warning if you use a spoon the lure of eating all of the frosting before it hits the cake will intensify), piping bags, or a knife to spread the frosting on the cakes.
This recipe should make 24 cupcakes, but I’m not going to bother telling you a serving size because really, who can just eat one cupcake and call it a serving?
What exactly happens when a food enthusiast’s favorite type of books are murder mysteries? She reads Joanne Fluke’s “Hannah Swensen” series. Each book details a gruesome murder, which the local cookie shop owner, Hannah Swensen,. always ends up involved in. They’re splendid reads, and they all have multiple recipes tucked away inside. I HIGHLY recommend the series. Anyhoo, in one of the most recent books “Cinnamon Roll Murder,” there appears a recipe for Piggy Chicken.
Lets get started!
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbs. dried chopped chives
- 1/3 cup dried minced onions
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb. regular sliced bacon
- Lay each chicken tender between two sheets of plastic wrap and place on a cutting board. (I took my normal chicken breasts and halved it, then cut the halves into thirds or fourths, depending on the size of the breast.)
- Using a meat hammer, pound as flat as you can get them. (If you pound on the undersides they’re less likely to fall apart.) Stack and set aside.
- Find a shallow pan (or two) that will hold the tenders with at least one inch between them on all sides. Spray pan with Pam.
- Move one flattened tender to the cutting board, remove top sheet of plastic wrap.
- Mix chives and onions into cream cheese.
- Using a spatula or frosting knife, spread approx. 2 tsp. of cream cheese on the flattened chicken tender. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Roll up the chicken tender like a jelly roll; pick it up & move it to the bottom of the cutting board.
- Wrap one piece of bacon around the chicken roll, trying to angle it so as much of the chicken roll as possible is covered. Place in prepared pan with at least one end of the bacon under the chicken tender roll.
- Repeat until all tenders have been rolled and covered with bacon. (They don’t have to be completely covered, no worries. I tore some of the bacon strips in halves so I had enough to cover all the chicken tenders I made.)
- Put pans into 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, then turn oven up to 425 for an additional 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.
Tah-Dah! Fairly simple recipe for a bacon-y, chicken-y appetizer. It could also be a meal, if you ate enough of them.
What’s a girl to do when she craves coconut, chocolate, and pecans?
Make german chocolate cake, of course!
After much searching, I found a great recipe in my Taste of Home magazine and set about creating this deliciousness.
To make this cake, it should take about 30 minutes to prepare the batter and thirty minutes to bake it. You can use the baking time to make the frosting and icing, or to wash the dishes. Whatever floats your boat!
The recipe will make enough for 12 people.
Lets get started!
- 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup butter
- 5 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 cups flaked coconut
- 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper and set aside. In small saucepan, melt chocolate with water over low heat; cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl and with clean beaters, beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into creamed mixture; fold in remaining whites.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a small saucepan, heat sugar, milk, butter and egg yolks over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla extract. Cool until thick enough to spread. Spread a third of the frosting over each cake layer and stack the layers.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening (about 20 seconds at a time so as not to burn the chocolate) ; stir until smooth; drizzle over cake.