Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mounds Cupcakes

It's true. All I cook lately is treats and my clothes are definitely starting to feel a little snug. I didn't even take a picture of the Neapolitan birthday cake from last week! Tomorrow is a birthday at work and the request I got was something with chocolate and coconut. Okkkayyy...

These are quick and easy, a doctored up cake mix and coconut cream cheese frosting with some toasted coconut on top. I toyed with a chocolate drizzle but decided that might be too much and left them on the simple side. I think it works. This is the chocolate cake doctored up combination that I think I like the best. I've fiddled with several different things and this one works consistently awesome.

Mounds Cupcakes
2 doz cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1 box Devil's Food Cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
3/4 c. buttermilk or cream
2/3 c. sweetened coconut

Mix all ingredients except coconut together. Beat for 2 minutes on medium until batter is a little bit fluffy. Fold coconut into batter.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full (1/4 c. is about perfect.) Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool on cooling rack.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 stick butter (1/2 c. room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract
2-3 T. heavy cream
4-5 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add extracts and mix well. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time alternating with the cream until frosting is the right consistency. Pipe onto cupcakes.

Roll frosted cupcakes in toasted coconut.

*(You can also use regular untoasted coconut but my test panel preferred the toasted.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Once again I find myself making cupcakes to take somewhere. I need to find some originality somewhere but apparently it's not going to be tonight.

I saw this Strawberry Cake on PaulaDeen.com and of course had to break it up into cupcakes. I have always had a soft spot for strawberry anything and this seemed like a good bet for the 4th of July. It's pretty and festive and I had some really great cupcake liners that begged for pink frosting!

I was able to get about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes out of the recipe and they were just the right size for frosting. Sometimes I get carried away with the batter and fill the cups too full but I found that 1/4 c. is just about perfect. The frosting is yum as always. Can you really go wrong with cream cheese anything?? Not in my world.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
30 cupcakes
adapted from pauladeen.com
Strawberry Cake
1 white cake mix
4 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. pureed strawberries with sugar
1 small box strawberry Jell-O

Mix cake mix and Jell-O together. Add eggs, water, oil and strawberries. Beat on medium until well mixed and smooth. I prefer the batter to be a bit thicker and like to beat it until it's kind of fluffy. It's up to you, do what you want.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 min.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 c. butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 c. strawberry puree
1 tsp vanilla
6-7 c. powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add berries and vanilla, mix well. Slowly add powdered sugar until frosting holds its shape and is the right consistency to frost your cupcakes.

Garnish with strawberry halves if desired.

Linked to:
Totally Tasty Tuesdays 
Cast Party Wednesday

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Double Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

I have a love hate relationship with cookies. I love to eat them, obviously, but I HATE making them. There's just something about being stuck next to the oven waiting for the timer to go off that makes me want to run away screaming. So, it was with the knowledge that I could bail in the middle and turn this into a bar cookie if I got bored that I embarked on this cookie quest.

These cookies were inspired by Cutler's brownie cookies and my love of all things Oreo. I have a bunch of the marshmallow creme left over and I think it's going to go on a brownie today. You know, just to make sure I have covered all possibilities. The cookie base is very Oreoesque in it's deep, dark chocolaty taste. I made them as drop cookies but rolling them and smashing them a bit with a cup before baking would result in a more uniform look if that's your thing. Also, I think you could do any chocolate cookie, even a cake mix cookie and this would still be good. The marshmallow creme makes a ton and keeps in the fridge well. And it's so good you may never buy the kind in a bottle again. The frosting is my basic chocolate buttercream standby. YUM!

I shared these at a BBQ last night and they seemed to be a hit so I will probably do them again! :)

Double Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
4 1/2 doz cookies

2 c. butter, room temperature
2 1/3 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 T. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. dark, unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 2/3 ish c. flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and slowly mix on low until well combine. Dough will be fairly stiff.

Form cookies (drop, roll, whatever) and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes. I would err on the side of not quite done if you don't like a little crispy to your cookies.

Marshmallow Creme
3 egg whites
16 oz light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract

Combine egg whites, corn syrup and salt. Beat in your mixer on high for about 10 minutes or until they are thick. Think meringue. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until blended. Add vanilla and blend. You'll have to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get it all mixed.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 c. softened butter
3 T. milk
1 tsp vanilla
4-5 c. powdered sugar

Blend all ingredients together until the right consistency. 

Cookie assembly.

Spread approx 1 T. marshmallow on each cookie. It will kind of level out by itself so don't worry about being too picky. Frost with chocolate frosting and enjoy!!