Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 25, July 21st, 2014 ~ Bacon Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

So I kinda have this problem...I have a compulsive need to put bacon on EVERYTHING! Bacon just makes everything better! So last weekend when I was trying to figure out what to make (which is proving to be a much harder task when all I wanna do it go to the beach on the weekends) I was asked if I had ever made Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes. I have had them and I love them but I had never made them and it was perfect because they don't need frosting so I could be a little lazy this week! I wanted to do something different with them though, put my own spin on it. It wasn't hard to come up with the obvious choice of bacon! It is probably one of my signature ingredients at this point. Though since I know not everyone is as adventurous as me I only put bacon on half of them. I did candy mine, I just think it works better in sweets. If I did anything different I would maybe have incorporated some of the bacon into the batter or added more on top. There should have been more bacon unfortunately I burned about 1/3rd of it... The bacon was such a good addition though! It added a little salty and smokiness to rather sweet cupcake. For the batter I used some brown sugar instead of white and I added crushed pineapple and pineapple juice so the flavor would carry through the whole cupcake. It did make for a VERY moist cupcake so I would recommend putting the cupcakes in liners after you flip them. For the actual baking portion you can either spray the cupcake tin for nonstick  spray or use liners and peel them off after you flip the cupcakes. I used liners because. I was trying to avoid a mess and I was out of nonstick spray... Whichever you want to of is fine, both ways work. Ok I have rambled enough, I'll just get on with it!

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-8 ounce container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces of a 20 ounce can) crushed pineapple drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Spray muffin pans with baking spray or line with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat until just combined.
  5. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix, scraping sides of bowl.
  7. Add in sour cream, pineapple juice and pineapple and mix until well combined.
  8. Add in rest of the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pineapple Mixture:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 16 ounces (rest of the 20 ounce can) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 12 maraschino cherries, cut in half
  • 12+ pieces candied bacon go a little lighter on the peppers

  1. In large bowl mix melted butter and brown sugar.
  2. Add pineapple and bacon and mix well.
Assembling the cupcakes:
  1. Place half of a maraschino cherry cut side up in the center of muffin pan.
  2. Spoon about 2 tbsp pineapple mixture around the cherry.
  3. Place a scoop of cake batter on top of the pineapple mixture.
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Place a wire rack on top of the muffin tin and flip over to release the cupcakes--you may have to shake a tin a little.
I must have really been loving pineapple last week because I also made homemade Dole Whips in my ice cream maker! Everyone knows I love Dole Whip! Now of course you can also make these without bacon...I won't judge you...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 24, July 14,2014 ~ Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

This was one fancy cupcake! When I was at Disney World is was in Epcot Mexico and happened upon Mexican Vanilla! I had heard it was really good but it is not that easy to come by in the states so I just had to buy it at Disney. It was pretty cheap for pure vanilla, only $10 bucks for a decent size bottle. 

So I knew I wanted to use it but I didn't know what to make. I decided to go with the theme and make a vanilla cupcake filled with Dulce de Leche. Then I made a mascarpone whipped cream with cayenne hot fudge I had left over from my cayenne cupcakes. I will be honest I couldn't tell a real difference between the Mexican Vanilla and the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla I normally use. If I was using my noggin I would have made cupcakes with both and done a taste test. I probably would have been able to tell that way. Oh well, that's a project for another day. The Dulce de Leche was "semi homemade" in that I made it from a can of sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de Leche is just caramelized milk and sugar. It was time consuming but super easy and everyone said it was good (I had nothing to compare it to but I like caramelized anything!) I think that is all there is to say about these...

The recipe makes 12 cupcakes!

For the Dulce de Leche 

-1 can sweetened condensed milk
- kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 425. Empty the contents of a can into an oven-proof dish; sprinkle with some kosher salt and tightly cover it with foil.
2. Place the covered dish in a larger casserole pan and fill it up with water until it reaches three quarters of the up the covered dish to create a water bath. Bake for 60-90 minutes, checking the water every 30 minutes. I ended up cooking mine for 90 minutes but I probably could have taken it out around the 70-75 minute mark. 
It is ready when it takes on a brown and caramel-like appearance. Remove from the oven and whisk to smoothness. Let cool before filling the cupcakes. I ended up having a like extra so you probably could have melted it down and thinned it out with milk or something and drizzled it on top of the cupcakes at the end. 
For the Vanilla Cupcake:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure Mexican vanilla extract--or whatever you have
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups flour, 1¼ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute)
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about ½ full.
  7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.
  8. Once cool fill with the Dulce de Leche.

For the chocolate mascarpone whipped cream:
  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup hot fudge (the recipe for my Cayenne hot fudge is below)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream and hot fudge. Gradually increase the speed over a few seconds till on medium-high.  Slowly pour in the sugar. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form--this should not take more than a minute or 2...gradually lower the speed until you turn off the mixer.
      This frosting is not good to leave out--it will melt so you should refrigerate these--especially if it's summer!

          For the Cayenne Hot Fudge:

          The original recipe made 2 cups which was way too much so unless you want extra for ice cream or something the recipe below is just for a cup which is plenty for 12 cupcakes.

          • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
          • 3/4 cup heavy cream
          • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
          • 4 tbsp Lindt chili chocolate bar-chopped
          • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
          • 1 tsp vanilla extract
          • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
          Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan, except for the vanilla, and cook over medium heat. Whisk occasionally until mixture comes to a low boil and then whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and looks like fudge. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Store in a mason jar and use once cool. 

          Tuesday, July 15, 2014

          Week 23, July 7th, 2014 ~ Not so Kit Kat Cupcakes

          OK so apparently I didn't take any photos of these cupcakes last week...which is odd because I could of sworn that I did. Oh well! Here is a picture of a cat wearing a monocle on wrapping paper! 

          So these are "not so" Kit Kat cupcakes because I was obviously attempting to recreate a Kit Kat but I wasn't satisfied with the outcome. It tasted good but it didn't remind me of a Kit Kat. I searched on Pinterest to see what other people have done but I didn't like anything I saw. Most of them included caramel but Kit Kats aren't caramel. I really wanted to replicate the filling between the wafers but I didn't really know how and it appears nobody else in the internet world has tried either. The only thing I found to go off of was a Paula Deen recipe but that was more of a graham cracker filling. I am hoping to have a redo eventually since I have some ideas on how to make it better!  

          This recipe made 16 cupcakes!

          For the chocolate cake:
        • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
        • 1 cup sugar
        • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
        • 2 ounces dark chocolate ( I used an 80%)
        • 2 large eggs, room temp
        • 2 large egg yolks, room temp
        • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        • 1/3 cup sour cream
        • 1 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 tsp salt
        • 1/2 tsp baking soda
        • 1/2 tsp baking powder
        • 1/2 cup cocoa powder--I use Hershey's Special Dark
        • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temp

          1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
          2. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
          3. Beat butter and sugar until fully combined and looks like wet sand; add the melted chocolate once cooled and mix to combine.
          4. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
          5. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
          6. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
          7. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time until just combined.
          8. Add the coffee and mix till combined.
          9. Fill cupcake liners and bake with 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
          10. Set aside on a wire rack and let cool while preparing the filling and buttercream.

          For the filling:

          • 1 cup butter
          • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
          • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
          • 1/2 cup white sugar

          1. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the milk. 

          2. Add the sugars and bring to a boil.

          3. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

          For the brown sugar buttercream: 

          • 1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, room temperature
          • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
          • 1/2 cup brown sugar
          • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
          • 3 tbsp heavy cream
          1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. 
          2. Add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, mixing in between additions. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, add in the vanilla.
          3. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl and add the heavy cream. Restart the mixer and turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes. 
          4. Frost the cupcakes and top with mini Kit Kats. 

          I will hopefully post this weeks cupcake in a day or two! 

          Friday, July 4, 2014

          Week 22, July 1st, 2014 ~ Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cupcakes

          So after a magical week at Disney World I still found the time/energy to bust out a cupcake this week! An insanely good one at that! These are peanut butter cupcakes with the new, limited edition I might add, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos baked into the bottom. Then they are topped with a chocolate ganache and peanut butter buttercream with crushed up Oreos mixed in. These cupcakes are like an explosion of peanut butter goodness-- for real peanut butter lovers only! I kind of still have Disney brain so I don't have much else to say about these cupcakes. I will add that if you are brave enough to attempt these than add a gallon of milk to your shopping list! You are gonna need it to wash these down! 

          Side note: This is a Pineapple Dole Whip Float and it's one of my favorite things at Disney! 

          This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes!

          1/2 cup peanut butter 
          1 cup all-purpose flour
          1/4 tsp salt
          1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sour cream
          2 tsp baking soda
          2 large eggs
          1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
          1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
          1/2 cup brown sugar
          1/2 cup white sugar
          16 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos

          1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line your cupcake tin and place an Oreo in the bottom of each one.
          2. Beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugars together till creamy, add the eggs and vanilla and beat again till fluffy.
          3. Sift the baking soda, flour and salt and set aside.

          4. Beat the sour cream into the butter mixture till smooth.

          5. Beat the flour into the mixture at high speed until it’s well-combined, then spoon into your lined cupcake tray. 

          6. Bake cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Put on a wore rack to cool.

          For the chocolate ganache:

          4 ounce bar of bittersweet chocolate

          1/4 cup heavy cream

          1. Place ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds and then stir till smooth. If chocolate is still not melted microwave in 15 seconds increments and stir inbetween each microwaving.

          2. Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache and place back on wire rack to set.

          For the buttercream:

          • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
          • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
          • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
          • 1/4 cup heavy cream
          • pinch of salt
          • 6 Oreos finely crushed
          1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the peanut butter and butter for several minutes until the mixture has lightened in color.
          2. Add the powdered sugar,and mix until combined.
          3. Pour in the heavy cream and beat until smooth. 
          4. Add the salt.
          5. Beat on high for about 4 minutes until the buttercream has become light and fluffy.
          6. Add the crushed Oreos and mix until we'll incorporated.
          7. Frost however you please!