Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

1 dark chocolate cake mix (+ cake mix ingredients)

White gooey filling:
4 TBSP butter, room temperature
1 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

Chocolate ganache:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c heavy cream
1 TBSP butter
2 tsp vanilla

White frosting (for squigglies/words):
1 stick butter
2 TBSP milk
2 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Prepare cupcakes as directed on back of dark chocolate cake mix (using cupcake papers). Allow to cool.

For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Now that your ganache is cooling, spoon white gooey filling into an icing bag with a star tip attached (or a freezer bag with a star tip, if you're like me!). Poke star tip through the top center of the cupcake, then squeeze until the cupcake gets heavier. If extra white stuff pools at the top, scrape it off with a knife. (You want the tops to be smooth.)

Once ganache is cooled but still glossy, dip tops of cupcakes into ganache. If desired, dip more than once for thicker chocolate layer. Cool in fridge.

For the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate. (This recipe makes LOTS of icing. You can always freeze the rest and use it on the next batch!)

Makes about 24 cupcakes.

Refrigerate any leftovers (if you have any!).

Comments from the cook: I'd seen these beauties before, and knew that they would be a wonderful treat when our families were both in town right before Valentine's day. So I set out to make them...

And, I don't know WHAT happened, but the cupcake recipe on the site listed below did NOT work for me. In fact, the result was a horrific mess in my oven, a waste of 24 suuuuper cute cupcake papers (biggest tragedy), and a somewhat traumatic memory. :)

But that's what cake mixes are for! And, for the record, the dark chocolate cake mix made for amazing finished cupcakes. Easy peasy...and no mess!

After completing the cupcakes (icing and all), I removed the cupcake papers. The ganache I made was somewhat runny, and ran down the sides of many of the cupcakes. They looked a LOT better sans papers. But, just so you know... removing the papers will make the cupcakes more prone to drying out if you plan to store them for a while.

These were fun to make, and the taste? OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Originally found here. Most text taken from the same site.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Raspberry Swirl Blondies

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raspberry jam

Heat oven to 350°. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in microwave. Stir sugar into melted butter until dissolved. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until combined.

Pour batter into pan. Drop spoonfuls of jam into pan and swirl with knife or toothpick.

Bake 25-30 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Comments from the cook: I tried this recipe after finding it on a cooking website. My dad loves all things raspberry, so I made them for him...and he LOVED them. They are wonderful!

Originally found here. Text taken from the same site, and changed slightly.
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