Monday, January 30, 2012

Silver Lining Cupcake Co.

Saturday afternoon my mom and I checked out Silver Lining Cupcake Co. in Athens, GA. I've been following this shop for a while on Facebook after finding them online when I was searching for UGA cupcake ideas. Side note: I found a silicone "super G" chocolate mold on Saturday at University Spirit but didn't purchase it because it was $16.99. At least I know where I can buy one now.

Anyway back to these amazing cupcakes! The store is located in an industrial type "shopping center" and is decorated with adorable cupcake art on the walls and cupcake containers on the tables. I own one of the same containers myself (yay Gardenridge). I picked out the Rise and Shine cupcake which is a cinnamon cupcake with maple buttercream and topped with your choice of bacon or a raspberry. I chose a raspberry because I just have not been able to embrace bacon on top of cupcakes yet. I know it is all the rage...whatever. It was French Toast in the afternoon - a nice breakfast delight. Mom selected Raspberry Lemonade - raspberry cake with a raspberry center topped with lemon buttercream and a raspberry drizzle. Mom said "it is like summer time in your mouth". Of course we sampled each cupcake and left with a smile. Both cupcakes had just the right amount of icing and the cake was moist. The ingredients seemed really fresh. They bake these yummy things on site as we saw their KitchenAid stand mixers in the back. My only regret is not getting a cup of coffee because it would have been a fabulous pairing with my cupcake. But it was in the afternoon and we were headed to the Gym Dogs meet. And yes the Dawgs beat LSU!! Go Dawgs!

We both strongly encourage you to check out this cute cupcake shop the next time you are in Dawg country. Luckily I live far enough a way and cannot frequent this place often.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

Surprisingly I'm growing tired of baking cupcakes. Not sure if I lost my inspiration or what. Maybe it is because I've baked cupcakes for the past three Saturdays. Either way I wanted to make cupcakes for the Alpha Gam alumni game night I hosted at my house tonight. I first was thinking I would make a cupcake out of inspiration from my favorite childhood game - Candyland. But then I decided ice cream cone cupcakes are a little childish. I think I was fascinated with baking a cupcake inside an ice cream cone. I remembered I saved a simple yet delicious recipe from the How About Orange blog.

This is my first time baking cupcakes without frosting. With the gooey cream cheese and chocolate chip center, I really did not miss the frosting. Shocking, I know.The recipe was simple but the chocolate batter was runny which was challenging when filling the muffin wells. I was unaware that Reese's makes peanut butter chips and oh man they are yummy. So glad I decided to use chocolate and peanut butter chips instead of just chocolate. Now I need to find another purpose for the rest of the Reese's chips...hmm.

All of the girls enjoyed the cupcake and one said it was moist which I have to agree. And if you are not a frosting fan then you will love these cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes
Filling:1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter chips (or just use more chocolate if you want)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl, beat cream cheese. Add sugar, egg, salt. Mix well. Fold in chips. Set aside. For cupcakes, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix well. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with batter. Top each with 2 Tbs. of cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350ยบ for 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Makes 18.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snickers Cupcakes

One of my friends recently purchased his first home so a few of us decided to check it out after church on Sunday and then play some board games. Apples to Apples is a fav of ours! I asked my friend what his favorite cake is and of course he said snickers cheesecake. Well I knew right a way that cheesecake was out because the cupcakes would be in my car until we got to his house. I searched the world wide web and found a great recipe on the My Baking Addiction blog.

Surprisingly this is the second week of doctored cake mixes. I'm really coming around to this idea because you really cannot tell. This was my first time adding instant pudding to the mix. It was really gooey and a bit messy. Adding the frozen mini snickers was fun and for the most part it came out well. The recipe says it may make more than 24 cupcakes. With the extra batter I made a little cake in a ramekin. Apparently I should have made several extra cakes because some of the cupcakes came out with muffin tops. There was a hole where the cupcake fell in around the snickers on some of them. Nothing a little frosting couldn't fix though.

Instead of the frosting recipe that Jamie, My Baking Addiction author, used I decided to add caramel topping to the Wilton butter cream recipe. I'm not a fan of butter because it requires refrigeration and piping may be challenging. I ended up not piping these anyway due to time and wondering how the caramel would pipe. Also, I knew the cupcake was rich and did not want the frosting to be overwhelming.

The end result was a hit! I heard a lot of "these are good, thank you". You are welcome friends! And yes my small group will get to sample this recipe because the other dozen cupcakes and frosting are in the freezer.

Snickers Cupcakes

Makes 24-30 cupcakes
For the cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Snickers Miniatures

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and water.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans. {I use a large cookie scoop from OXO to scoop my batter; it holds 3 tablespoons}.
5. Gently push a frozen Snickers Miniature bar into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.
2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more caramel syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped Snickers bars and a drizzle of caramel of caramel syrup.
Not a fan of Snickers? Sub in your favorite candy bar, just make sure you freeze them first.
Not a fan of vegetable shortening? No worries, simply sub in butter for the shortening.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Another Alpha Gamma Delta alumni function means a new recipe! I'm the Recording Secretary - so sophisticated - and twice a year we have a board meeting. This time we decided to have a potluck Italian dinner and surprise, surprise I signed up to bring dessert. I found several Tiramisu cupcake recipes when I first started my crazy cupcake adventure. A lot of recipes out there seem challenging, so I creatively pieced together my own recipe. But the blogs that gave me inspiration were Becky Bakes and Brown Eyed Baker. Also, check out this TLC recipe link.

It all started with - a box mix - oh no! (gasp) One of those French Vanilla Duncan Hines deals. Shockingly this flavor is really good. Then I brewed some Batdorf and Bronson Dancing Goats blend. Prepare for big side story - I am now addicted to Batdorf and Bronson's coffee. I mean a girl has to find something to drink with her cupcake, right? Well last month my friend and I went on a tour of the roastery. The company is out of Washington and recently opened up a roastery and coffee shop in Atlanta. Thanks to Scoutmob we got an amazing tour, a tasting, slice of this incredible coffee and chocolate pie, 1/2 pound of coffee, and an adorable Scoutmob and Batdorf and Bronson coffee mug. My eyes were officially opened to the world of coffee. I've been a coffee drinker for some time now but was clueless about what goes into growing, roasting, and brewing it. A few new concepts I learned were that you need to grind your coffee when you are ready to brew and the clever dripper brews the best cup of coffee. So I went out and purchased a grinder and clever dripper ($15). I drink coffee with two sugars and one cream usually but the awesomeness of Batdorf and Bronson does not require additives. So if you want to get your hands on some of this coffee go to Dancing Goats in Decatur or Whole Foods in the Atlanta area.

OK back to baking sorry! Once I brewed the coffee I then mixed 1/3 cup of coffee with 1/4 cup of sugar. Poke holes in the cupcakes with a fork- make a lot of holes so more coffee is absorbed. With a silicone brush gently brush on some of the coffee mixture. You may want to do this several times until you can see that the cupcake is looking saturated with coffee.

Next I whipped up some mind blowing mascropone frosting. I mean mascropone cheese by itself is not appealing but add powdered sugar and Kahlua and it is so GOOD! Spread this yummy stuff onto the cupcake. You may choose to pipe it but I did not so I'm unable to advise on how well the consistency works with piping. Lastly you should choose some type of "decoration". Many bloggers sift cocoa on top and others went with chocolate curls. Well this blogger does not like the taste of plain cocoa and I am inept to produce beautiful chocolate curls. Thus as you can see in the pictures I added chocolate chips. And of course I had to spell out my sorority letters!

Some may think they cannot handle all of these steps but trust me you can. It only took me about two hours. If you decide to take on the challenge, then the end result is worth it. One of my sisters said, "I don't like tiramisu but I love your cupcakes so I'm going to try one." She and all the others loved them of course!

Tiramisu Cupcakes

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

  * 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package white cake mix prepared as directed on box. I chose Duncan Hines extra moist french vanilla cake mix.

Coffee Mixture
1/3     cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
1/4     cup sugar

8ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1‑1/2to 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
2tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur

Felice Cucina!