Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brownie Batter Cupcakes

These may look like ordinary cupcakes, but MAN ALIVE, they're nothing but ordinary... Dropping a frozen mound of "brownie batter" into the middle of a fancy chocolate cupcake before baking it certainly can't send you in the wrong direction, I say!

Brownie Batter:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup milk
1 devil’s food cake mix

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined.

Using a cookie dough scoop (or small spoon), drop rounded balls of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze overnight.

(Makes about 30 dough balls.)


1 devil’s food cake mix
1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/3 c canola oil
2/3 c applesauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325°. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined.

Using a large scoop (about 3 tbsp) drop batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full.

Remove brownie batter mounds from freezer and press into the cupcake batter. Bake for 22-28 mins. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Makes about 30 cupcakes.

You'll never guess which one I used... :) Click here to find it.

Comments from the cook: My in-laws were here for the weekend, and I had been waiting for about a month to try these out. I knew we needed to have LOTS of mouths around to help eat these...or we'd have been in a whole heap of trouble!

The original recipe called for 1 cup of oil, and I substituted part of it for applesauce (I have a hard time pouring 1 cup of oil into ANY recipe...amazing or not!). The original recipe also called for chocolate chips in the cupcake batter, but I forgot to add them, and never felt like final product was lacking anything. Much the opposite, actually! Obviously, the chocolate frosting from the HoHo cake has become my new favorite. If you wanted to use the frosting from the original recipe, you certainly could. I just never hesitate to stick with something I KNOW will work...

These were good the first day, but were even more amazing the next evening. The brownie centers softened and the frosting was more set up.

Oh, and one last thing... I had ONE more cupcake than I had dough balls, so I threw a frozen ball of chocolate chip cookie dough into the center of the last cupcake. It was INCREDIBLE. Perhaps an idea for next time. :)
Originally found on Pinterest, which linked it back to this site (recipe said to have been adapted from Cook's Illustrated).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Density Bars

Our dear friends, M+B, made these for us mannnnny years ago...and I've been meaning to make them for a long time now. They're called "Density Bars" for a reason, so if you make them, be sure to make sure there's milk in the fridge! :)

1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs
1 c peanut butter
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 c quick oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Add peanut butter and blend.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt; add to sugar mixture and mix until smooth. Add oats and vanilla.

Put into 9x13 pan (I use a jelly roll pan, which has sides that are just 1" high). Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.

**Frost with chocolate frosting of your choice.

Comments from the cook: YUM. These are excellent, and their mere existence in your house can make you do careless things that you wouldn't otherwise do (one bar in each hand, alternating bites!).

**I would recommend using the chocolate frosting from the HoHo cake (found here). We had a little bit of it left over in the freezer, and used it to frost a few of these. It was delicious. When it ran out and I took these to a little shin-dig, I needed another I used some hot fudge (the kind you put on ice cream) from my fridge.

I put the hot fudge in my KitchenAid, then added a splash of milk, a little vanilla, and a bit of salt. Then I added powdered sugar until I got it to the consistency I wanted. In retrospect, the taste was good...but I should've just gone with another batch of the HoHo cake frosting. :)

Special thanks to my dearest friend Brittany, for introducing us to these little darlings. They're now part of my arsenal!

Originally shared by the fabulous Brittany. Most text taken from her original recipe.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Éclair Cake

Brian's family has a dear friend named Vickie. She makes the most mouth-watering desserts ever, and her wedding present to us (6 short years ago) was a packet of her recipes. We've taken good care of them, and this is one of our very favorites.

1 box graham crackers, unbroken (generic ok)
2 small boxes instant french vanilla pudding
3 1/2 c whole milk
1 (8oz) container CoolWhip

2 unsweetened liquid chocolate packets (or 2 - 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled)
2 tsp corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP softened butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 TBSP milk

Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Line bottom of pan with whole graham crackers.

Beat pudding mixes with 3 1/2 c whole milk for 2 minutes at medium speed. Blend in CoolWhip.

Pour half of pudding mixture over crackers.

Place second layer of graham crackers over pudding, and pour remaining pudding mixture over crackers.

Cover pudding with third layer of crackers. Mix frosting, then pour over crackers and spread evenly.

Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and serve chilled. (If possible, chill for 24 hours, as crackers soften more and more with time.)

Comments from the cook: I didn't have unsweetened chocolate on hand (a certain FSP is probably to blame!) and our grocery store wanted an arm and a leg for a package of it. But I remembered that the Hershey's cocoa has directions for substituting cocoa (+ oil) for unsweetened chocolate. So, I did that, and couldn't tell any difference. And it was much cheaper!

I'm sure you could probably get away with using sugar-free pudding and reduced fat milk (and CoolWhip) in this recipe. But, if I remember clearly (and I do), I was told from VERY early on that this cake shouldn't be tinkered with! And so far, there've been no complaints about how it we'll just continue to leave well-enough alone. :)

Originally shared by Vickie L, dessert master and family friend
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