Peanut Butter frosting counts as dinner right?

I’ve been wanting to make a peanut butter/chocolate cupcake for a while now. Every time that I think “This is the day!!” I find all these delicious recipes and get overwhelmed and decide on something totally different. Like my favorite strawberry lemonade ones. But there was a special request the other day and who am I to say no???

The request was actually for a cupcake with a peanut butter cup inside. So I had my inspiration there and found the recipe here! Not going to lie…I was skeptical since the recipe calls for mayonnaise. But I’m a brave enough person to trust that it would turn out ok and give it a whirl. And really, it makes sense–mayo is ultimately oil and eggs.

This frosting was so great too! It tasted just like the inside of a peanut butter cup. um…amazing.

Mayo? I'm really trusting you here, internet.

Mayo? I’m really trusting you here, internet.

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Can't even tell that there's mayo in it!!

Can’t even tell that there’s mayo in it!!

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Dinner

Dinner

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Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom.

Hey, wanna wingardium leviosa that cupcake over here?

Hey look!  I’m baking again!

I’ve actually been baking off and on this whole time, but just not blogging for one reason or another.  Mostly because I can’t find my camera and my old phone was horrible for pictures. New phone, new ambition for blogging.  Let’s see how long I last 🙂

Two days ago, my sister-in-law posted an amazing recipe on my Facebook timeline, and I correctly assumed that it was her (passive?) aggressive way of making a cupcake request for my upcoming visit to my parents’ place.  She and I are both avid Harry Potter fans, so I could hardly say no to these delicious butterbeer cupcakes!!

Luckily, since I was home, I had a great baking assistant who was very good at doing exactly what I told him to and was adorably inquisitive about all of the ingredients.  He was also good at keeping me on task (when he wasn’t taking a nap break) because he was dying to eat ALL of the cupcakes.  He also reassured me that I was good at making “muffins” and told me he loved me every 30 minutes.  Meet Conway.

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This is his wink.

These are filled cupcakes and are actually the first filled ones I’ve done without hollowing the cupcake.  I just put the filling into a squeeze bottle and jammed it into the cupcake and filled them that way.  It worked great and the filling really soaked into the cake deliciously.   What was left was used for a drizzle over the frosting.

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As you can see, they turned out very pretty.  And they look nice on my mom’s oak table 🙂

I promise you, that is not poop.

The next installment of fall baking includes pumpkin!  I found this amazing idea for cupcakes with pumpkin pie frosting.  The “frosting” is actually piped pumpkin pie!  I die.

I haven’t done much with pumpkin before, so this was fun.   If you want to make the whole process go faster, for sure just buy a pumpkin pie at the store, BUT if you’re a glutton for punishment like I am, it’s really not that hard.  I also never knew that there were so many different “flavors” of molasses.  It was a little overwhelming at the store.

The only downside is that pumpkin pie looks a little like poop.  Especially when you are piping out of a pastry bag…so these guys look pretty revolting, but they taste amazing!  In an effort to make them not look quite so poopy, I threw some sprinkles on them.  I just succeeded in brightening it up a little…not disguising it.  Oh well.

The recipe says to bake the cupcakes for 15-20.  Definitely start at 15 and go up from there.  My cakes turned out a tad on the dry side, but they are still yummy.  The little crust really adds a lot.

Fall baking begins!

Over the past two weeks, I have gotten some (good-natured?) Minnesotan passive aggressive pressure for a new cupcake.  Believe me, if I could have stood to bake every single weekend all summer, I would have!  But it was too hot and I’d rather lay by the pool 🙂

So, with the arrival of fall colors and cooler temperatures, I broke out cinnamon and allspice and went to town.  And by town, I mean the grocery store early on a Sunday morning while still wearing Saturday’s makeup.  Since I was basically half asleep while mindlessly grabbing ingredients I had run out of (every type of sugar imaginable), I for sure had to go back to the store later to get things I’d forgotten about….like real food for me to eat.

The cupcake flavor of the week is an apple cinnamon cupcake with a salted caramel buttercream frosting.  Yum!  I got the recipe here and followed it pretty closely.   Now, they say these take 1.5 hours of prep time…I call shenanigans!  Are they baking with The Flash??  Maybe it took me so long because I kept getting distracted and taking breaks.  I didn’t use their recipe for the caramel sauce though….I tried, and failed.  So I found this blog post that gave more details that were helpful for a novice caramel maker like myself.  It turned out pretty well!  The left overs are sitting in my fridge….and it’s taking a lot of self-control not to eat a spoonful for breakfast.  I should be rewarded….with a spoon full of caramel for breakfast.

 

Cookies! And cream!!

So this insane heat wave finally broke (sort of), so I felt that I wouldn’t have a heat stroke if I turned on the oven and played with flour and eggs again!

I stumbled upon this recipe for cookies and cream cupcakes and thought, “duh.”  It’s only the best flavor of ice cream ever, so what’s not to love about having it in cupcake form??  Nothing.

A couple of irritations with this though: 1) if you follow the recipe, you need 2 packs of Oreos–I’m cheap and didn’t want extras lying around my kitchen, so no cookie crumble topping.  2) I kind of loathe working with cream cheese, so while the frosting tastes pretty amazing, it’s for sure more of a glaze than I would ever want it to be.

Other than that, I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out 🙂

Wait, you mean I can’t just eat all of these?

One of my dear friends from work has a birthday coming up, so I asked her “What kind of cupcake would you be totally jazzed to have on your birthday?”  She replied with “Is chocolate chip a cupcake?”  To which I said, “duh.”

So I started scouring the internets and ran across this recipe from Annie’s Eats.  Holy moly!!!  They are so amazing.  They might be my favorite ones yet.  I know I’ve said that before, but I’m serious this time!

My official taste tester said, “It’s not that they’re perfect….it’s that they’re SO perfect.”

My personal review went something along the lines of “Uh ma gawww….’ese are stho ‘ucking amashing!” (This was of course said around a mouthful of cupcake.  Naturally.)

It calls for 4 eggs, I only had 3 and didn’t want to go back to the store for a third time today. So I got creative!

Hey, there’s a hole in this cupcake…

mmmmm caaarmel.

I woke up last Sunday and felt really ambitious.  That rarely happens.  So, I decided to trek into more uncharted territory and make salted caramel cupcakes.  Best decision of my life so far.  Well, that might be a stretch, but it’s right up near the top of the list.  Lucky for me, I found a recipe that made it pretty easy!

This whole ordeal was full of firsts for me.  I’ve never had/made a brown sugar cupcake before.  It may be my favorite kind of cupcake.  I don’t know how I’ve lived this long and never made them before!  Super simple and crazy good.

Also, I’ve never made filled cupcakes before.  Fortunately, I got this cool little tool for removing the stems from strawberries at Williams Sonoma, and that worked perfectly to make a tiny little divot to fill with caramel-y goodness.

AND I’d never worked with homemade caramel before.  Who knew that you can dump a little sugar and some magic in a pan and it makes caramel?  It’s not surprisingly delicate to work with.  It can go from perfect to a black mess in a blink.  I have more sympathy for those caramel-burning pastry chefs on Cupcake Wars now.  Seriously, every week, someone burns the caramel.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t totally thrilled with the frosting at first.  All I could taste was butter.  BUT when I ate one later, it was delicious and I could taste the caramel.  I think I was just used to eating (drinking?) the real stuff from the pan.