Monday, December 29, 2014

hot cocoa cupcakes

the goods:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup prepared hot cocoa, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

whipped cream:
1 and 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

mini marshmallows
mini chocolate chips
crushed peppermints
mini candy canes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 18 paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.  Add the oil, prepared hot cocoa (cooled), vanilla, and eggs. Whisk until well incorporated and no lumps remain. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a scoop, divide batter evenly among paper-lined tins. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.. Allow to cool for 10 minutes; then transfer from tins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the whipped cream: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine whipping cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla. Whisk on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Pipe the whipped cream onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish by sprinkling with mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, and crushed peppermints. Stick a mini candy cane into the side of each one. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Monday, December 15, 2014

candy apple pie

the goods:

1 and 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 13 graham cracker sheets)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

apple filling:
5 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

cream cheese top:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

whipped cream topping:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, process graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until no large chunks remain. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden and set. Remove from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and refrigerate while preparing the apple layer.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium for 15-20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool 10 minutes, the pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
In a stand mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute until fully blended. Pour over apple layer in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while you make the whipped topping.
Whip cream and sugar in a stand mixer with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Pile on top of pie. Drizzle with caramel topping and swirl together using a small paring knife.

Monday, December 1, 2014

reese's peanut butter cookie cake

the goods:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounce bag of Reese's miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
chocolate sauce (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, Mix in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking soda and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup of the chopped Reese's.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease pan sides and corner. Press dough evenly into the cake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15-20 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely. When cookie is cooled, drizzle lightly with chocolate sauce (I used some leftover ganache I had lying around) so peanut butter cups will stick. Then pile top with remaining peanut butter cups and drizzle with additional chocolate sauce if desired.