#2 Orange Cranberry Lime Suprise

So I've searched far and wide for a recipe with a twist and I think this one really worked out to be a great cupcake. If I actually put what the "surprise" was in the name I think people might be taken back or just grossed out. It's nothing too crazy just a spicy little guy, the Jalapeno. So let's get on with it!!!

Say hello to my little friend!

The Goods

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1cup lime sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows (I actually wont be adding these next time they pitted out the cupcakes!!)
1cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk (i used 1%)
3 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest (this was really hard to measure so i eyeballed it)

***A day in advance, combine the sugar and lime zest, cover and set aside. This allows all the lime zest oil to penetrate the sugar.

The How To

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt then set aside. In another bowl whip butter and lime sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternating with milk and like juice until well combined. Stir in marshmallows at this point if you choose to use them. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full (I might have put a little more than half) bake 18-20mins (mine were done at 15mins) make sure to check with a toothpick. Set aside and let cool.

You can see where the marshmallows melted and left craters in the cupcakes... I think I will leave these out next time.

Cranberry Jalapeno Chutney
**I actually made this the night before too.

12ozs whole cranberries (if you can find the ones in a bag use those or take two cans of the canned cranberries and rinse the jell off them)
1/3cup light brown sugar
1/3 sugar (granulated)
1/3cup apricot jam
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest (I eyeballed this again)
pinch of cinnamon
1 jalapeno finely chopped

Rinse cranberries, drain well. In medium saucepan combine orange juice, brown sugar and apricot preserves, bring to a boil, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and jalapeno, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12mins. Add cinnamon and orange zest, allow to cool and thicken.  This will be the stuff for the center of the cupcakes.

I ended up going back the next day (with the help of my mom of course!!) and reheating this back up because it never completely thickened. I would say if it's not thickening up after 12mins keep stirring it because it will eventually thicken up and get a jam or jelly like texture to it.

OK now to get this stuff in the middle of the cupcakes you need to dig out the center of the cupcake. Not the whole center either just big enough  to get about a tablespoon amount inside. Maybe if you have a little round cookie cutter this might work but I actually used the end of the dough hook that goes on my mixer and it worked just fine.

Lime Buttercream Frosting
Let me just say this was some pretty amazing stuff!!

1cup butter, room temp
2 teaspoons lime zest (or just eyeball it)
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons lime juice

Combine butter and lime zest in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add salt and powdered sugar in three increments, mixing well between each addition. Turn mixer to high and beat for four mins.

Tada!! It looks pretty good and quite a few people really liked them and said they couldn't even taste the jalapeno.

Up Next...
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes


#1 S'mores with Chocolate Ganache

When i think of summertime one of the first things that come to mind is camping. Taking off for the weekend and heading to Mt. Baker sounds like a perfect short term getaway. So with camping the first thoughts that come to mind is swimming, hiking, tents, campfires, drinks (can't camp without some good beer!!) and of course s'mores. It's not a camping trip without these little late night delights. So when i found this recipe I couldnt wait to test things out.

Like my washer in the background? It's my counter space when I'm cooking!

The Goods

2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 lg eggs
1cup milk (i used 1%)
1/2cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (don't cheat and use hot water from the tap actually boil it!!)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18-20 squares extra its ok you will use it later)
1/3cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

The How To

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners
  2. In a large bowl add 2cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix with a whisk. Set aside for later.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla on medium speed with an electric mixer
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until well combine.
  5. add boiling water and stir. Set the batter aside
  6. Place graham crackers crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined-it will kinda look like wet sand.
  7. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared cupcake cup. Use a small glass (something about the same size of the cupcake tin) to pack down the graham cracker stuff at he bottom of the cupcake liner.
  8. Cover the graham cracker layer with chocolate chips.
  9. Place cupcake tins in the oven and bake for about 5mins. The graham cracker crust should be nice and golden.
  10. Remove from oven and fill the liners 3/4 full with bather. Return the tins to the oven and bake for 18-20mins (i checked mine at 15 and they were done) check with a toothpick-stick it in the center and if it comes out clean then it's done
  11. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin placed on a wire rack for about 10 mins. Then remove the cupcakes from the tin and allow them to completely cool on the wire rack. Make sure you do this because if you forget to remove them I've noticed that the cupcakes get a little sweating on the bottom.
For the Ganache

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used chips)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2cup butter

Heat the butter and cream on the stove. Heat until just before it boils. Remove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Pour or spoon over cupcakes. I added mini marshmallows to the top of the cupcakes before i drizzled the chocolate. Then I used the left over gram cracker crumbs and sprinkled them on top. And I have to say I wouldn't have been able to get this done if it wasn't with the help of my mom :) Thanks a bunch for the help!

They turned out pretty good!!

Up next ....
Orange Cranberry Lime Surprise with Lime Buttercream Frosting


Doing a little test run

So Thursday night I decided to test run the mixer. I've never used a stand alone mixer so with visions of whoopie pies on my mind I tested things out and boy was I in for a surprise!!!


What!!! the after picture isn't normal? Everything isn't suppose to start fling out? I guess this is why they make those bowl shield things!

So on with the whoopie pies...
I picked whoopie pies because they just look amazing! There not exactly a cake or a cookie it's almost like a hybrid of the two. And the filling!!! mmmmm I made a cream cheese, marshmallow, and a peanut butter. I would have to say that the peanut butter is my favorite.

Pumpkin Whoopie pies (courtesy of Rachel Ray)
Let me just say when these were baking I seriously had visions of Thanksgiving these smelled soooo good!

The Goods
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1-2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar
The How To
1.Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.

3.Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4.Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5.Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting (thicker the better). Top each with another cake.

And not one was burned!!! You defiantly need to test the tops of these to see if they are done.

not bad for my first try!!!


So it begins....

I cant say that I'm a natural at baking. I had to google the difference between baking soda and baking powder. I just asked my mom the other day about sifting. My attention to detail is a little rusty. But the older i get the more I try to step out of my baking boundaries. So next Friday the challenge begins. My co-workers have agreed to by my honorary taste testers.  I've ordered my amazingly cute cupcake liners (from bake it prettyof course) and my extra large frosting tip.

Bring it cupcakes!!!!!