Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Not Just Cupcakes/Gorilla Cupcakes

Ok so they're shaped like cupcakes. But technically it's bread. Gorilla Bread to be exact. What is Gorilla Bread, you ask? Well, it's kind of like Monkey Bread with a hunk of cream cheese in the middle. What's Monkey Bread? Read on...

I have titled this blog in honor of Tara's other blog "Not Just 90210." If you haven't checked it out, you must. J and T do an amazing job (I can't believe she picked Tango!!! WHAT was she thinking? She and Chance were MADE for each other! Did you SEE how he rode that dolphin???) Enough about television, on to the cream cheese...

Here's the recipe for Gorilla Bread (not Gorilla Cupcakes):

(recipe may be doubled depending on the bundt pan)
Flour, for pan
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
20 buttermilk canned refrigerator biscuits
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes
1 stick butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts (optional)
Butter and flour a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Separate biscuits and flatten each slightly with your hand. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and sugar mixture onto each biscuit. Place one cube of cream cheese in center of biscuit and fold in half to resemble a half moon. Melt the 1 stick of butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar and bring to a boil; remove from the heat. Place 1/2 cup nuts on the bottom of the bundt pan and then line the pan with a row of cream cheese filled biscuits. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Drizzle half of the butter mixture on top and then repeat steps, beginning with nuts. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan when it's still hot to avoid sticking.

Sounds delicious, right? And if you like cream cheese, it's to DIE for. (P.S. Monkey Bread is the same sans cream cheese...clearly better for you so not as good...) To turn Gorilla Bread into cupcakes, put 2-3 cream cheese biscuits in each cupcake hole (cupcake hole? Is that what they're called?? Whatever, you know what I mean...) And voila! Gorilla cupcakes. Now if anyone out there is impressed by my baking skills, don't be. Nate made these and I can only take credit for eating them...mmm...and here's the requisite proof that the Gorilla Cupcakes did indeed exist. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Delicious Cupcakes

So I decided to make a batch of Valentine's Day cupcakes after I pulled this recipe out of a magazine. The cream cheese frosting is ridiculous and they have a hershey kiss in the middle. If you can, make these and serve right after they cool - the hershey kiss will be melted and amazing. Otherwise, they need to be refrigerated once frosted and the kiss will harden back up. Still yummy, but right out of the oven they're to die for. (And calm down people, I have pics)

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a Hershey Kiss Center (Makes about 30)

24 Hershey Kisses
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp liquid red food coloring
2 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)


2 8 oz bricks of cream cheese, softened
1 stick buuter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Red sprinkles for garnish

1. Heat over to 350' F. Line cupcake pans with FOIL liners (kisses too heavy for paper). Put a candy in center of each liner.

2. In a large bowl with mixer at med-high speed, beat butter, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and vanilla 2 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time until blended. Stir buttermilk, food color, and vinegar in a 2-cup measuring cup until well-blended. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture. Spoon 1/4 cup batter over candy in each cup, keeeping candy in the center. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Cool completely.

3. For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. On low speed, add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy.

4. Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I'm Back Baby!! Chocolate Cupcakes and Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

After last week's cupcake debacle, I was little worried I had lost my touch. Fortunately I redeemed myself with this recipe I found on the Internet (I just didn't trust that crazy cupcake lady from the cookbook). Brought them to a Superbowl Party where they received glowing reviews (although if my friends told me they sucked that would be kind of rude). These cupcakes are REALLY easy to make since it's a 1-bowl mix so I recommend for cupcake beginners or anyone strapped for time. Also I felt the icing was just a tad too sweet. If you're feeling adventurous, try starting with a half a box of sugar and then continue adding to taste. Yum!

2 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup shortening (I used 3/4 cups butter instead)
3 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon double acting baking powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place liners in 2 dozen 3-inch muffin pan cups or grease and flour cups. Into a large bowl, measure all cupcake ingredients except frosting. With mixer at low speed, beat until well mixed, constantly scraping bowl. At high speed, beat 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Spoon into muffin pan cups, filling each half full. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick in center of one comes out clean and dry. Cool in pans on wire racks, 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on racks. Prepare frosting and top cupcakes.

6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
16 oz confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons of instant coffee

In small bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and evaporated milk. Beat in vanilla, salt, sugar and instant coffee until well blended.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cupcake Debacle

I have bad bad news readers. I had high hopes for this weekend's cupcake recipe - S'mores. Now although (and this may come as a shock) I'm not the biggest fan of marshmellows, I do love chocolate and graham crackers. And the recipe I tried had crushed graham crackers and chocolate chips in the batter. What could be more delicious than that?? A lot of things apparently. The recipe did NOT turn out well and there is nothing more upsetting than making cupcakes and having them not be delicious. Problem 1 - I used mini kisses instead of chocolate chips since I couldn't find milk chocolate chips in the grocery store. Well I guess they were too big for the cupcakes because they all sunk to the bottom. Problem 2 - something went awry in the baking because the cupcakes were sticking to the paper and too soft on top to ice.

Bottom line, it was a bad cupcake experience. According to Vowelz, the only other taste tester, they taste like chocolate chip corn muffins. I still can't figure out if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Especially since there's no corn in the batter.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcakes

I decided to stray from the Cupcake Bible this week. A few weeks ago when I was in San Jose, my brother's friend made a Chocolate-cinnamon Coffee Cake and it was the most delicious thing I've had in awhile (most delicious thing that wasn't a cupcake, that is). So I decided to try my hand at creating my own little cupcakes from this fantastic cake recipie. And here they are...

Beware of the richness in these...and if you want more rich chocolatey goodness, just add more chocolate chips :)

Makes about 24.
  • One box of white or yellow cake mix (I used yellow; you'll need all the ingredients listed for the cake)

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup chocolate chips

  • 1 tbs cinnamon

  • 1 tbs coffee (I didn't use the coffee but if you did, this would become the Chocolate Cinnamon Coffee cupcakes)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix the brown sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon and coffee in one bowl and set aside.

3. Mix the batter per instructions on the cake box.

4. Fill about 1/4 of the cupcake papers with batter; put layer of sugar/cinnamon mixture on top. Pour rest of batter in and top off with the cinnamon mixture (which I didn't do, sorry).

5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

6. Top with more chocolate chips and eat up!

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Despite Burt Reynolds and Man Law decreeing that baking and football doesn't go together, Jeff and I took a break from the Patriots game yesterday to make a batch of cupcakes. I was a little nervous about them living up to the cream cheese frosting gooeyness of last week, so I opted for the Chocolate Mousse cupcakes since the recipe included this tip: "You might want to double this recipe - you will never have too many." I didn't double it since I decided having 24 cupcakes in my apartment would not be good for me fitting into my clothes. But, the recipe lives up to the tip and consensus is that these cupcakes are actually better than the oreo ones. It actually tastes like you are eating chocolate cake batter. Plus, I learned what happens to egg whites when you beat them - who knew? But I digress...make these TODAY!!

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes
(Makes about 12 cupcakes - I got 15)

4 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt + good pinch for egg whites
10 oz dark chocolate
1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
6 eggs, separated
Grated chocolate for decoration (optional)

  1. Preheat over to 350'
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave. Don't cook - the chocolate and butter should be just melted
  4. Beat egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and foamy. Beat in melted chocolate until totally blended
  5. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into chocolate mixture. Divide mixture into 2 parts and put oe of the in refrigerator to be used later to frost cupcakes. Gently whisk flour mixture into other half until it's completely absorbe.
  6. Fill cupcake papers about 2/3 full with batter and bake 15-20 minutes. Don't overcook. Cupcakes should be just cooked and moist in the center. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. When cupcakes are cool, frost with remaining chocolate mousse. Decorate with grated chocolate.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bruce Rupp Care Packages

Back in the 1st part of the glory days at Boston College, my dad used to send me care packages every time finals rolled around. They were filled with all sorts of bad-for-you deliciousness like chocolate covered pretzels, M&Ms, and of course Oreo cookies. (During December finals, it also usually included some sort of singing stuffed reindeer or snowman as well). ANYWAYS....for spring semester finals our senior year, my dad had included a package of double-stuff oreos, which I brought with me to the dining hall for a long afternoon of studying (in case you were wondering, I did all of my studying at various dining halls on campus so that I could reward myself with food). Upon arriving at said dining hall, I found Julie there, also spending a day studying. We proceeded to eat just about the whole package of those double-stuffs and I'm not gonna lie, they were DELICIOUS. As I remember it, there wasn't a whole lot of studying accomplished that day but we were 2nd semester seniors and I already had a job. Why I was studying at all is beyond me. My love of oreos stays strong to this day.

This day also lives in infamy for other reasons, but that is a story for my next blog: DrunkandInappropriate.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

So part of my Year of the Cupcake resolution is to make lots of cupcake recipes and to share them with the 10 readers I'm sure we'll have eventually. This past weekend, I tried this recipe because TaraH hearts Oreos. It has crushed oreos in the batter and a white-chocolate cream cheese frosting. They are as good as they sound. Just a word of warning - the batter is very very delicious but eating too much of it, not the best idea. That being said, once you start, so very hard to stop.

makes about 18-20 cupcakes

1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 cup coarsely crushed oreos

White-Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz good quality whit chocolate broken into pieces
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened, cut into pieces
Mini oreos or crushed oreos for decoration
  1. Preheat oven to 350'
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and half-and-half or cream and beat until batter is smooth. Fold in crushed cookies.
  4. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. To make the frosting - in a microwave or a double boiler, melt white chocolate until smooth and creamy, just a few minutes. It should be just warm to the touch.
  6. Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and beat again until smooth. Frost right away before it hardens. Press in crushed cookies or mini oreos.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Johnny Cupcakes

One night when I was frantically searching for a much-needed cupcake, I stumbled upon this store in Boston. I was so excited, I galloped through the front door and headed for the counter. But there were no cupcakes! No cupcakes? In JOHNNY CUPCAKES?! I went to the counter and asked, "Where are the cupcakes??" The man told me they had some earlier, but were out. Then I turned, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? An entire store full of cupcake clothing and gear! With t-shirts and pins and underwear too, I knew in a moment my dream had come true. "Make cupcakes, not war," one t-shirt proclaimed - and every article of clothing was displayed on a baking sheet, or in a cake box, or in a refrigerator! What a find!! What a delicious start for 2007, Year of the Cupcake!

Hazelnut and Chocolate...a match made in heaven

Combining two or more edible items together to create something tantalizing is not easy (especially for the cooking-challenged, like me). So I can't help but bow down to the creator of the first chocolate-hazelnut combination. Such simple things yet such delicious taste!

So, in honor of my love for this scrumptious pairing, I chose the Chocolate Hazelnut recipie for my first batch of cupcakes from this glorious book.

The cake portion of this cupcake is very light...but the icing on these little snacks is actually Nutella, which, if you've never had it, is quite rich. The result is a nice balance between the cake and icing. The hazelnuts on top are optional but they make them look so pretty! As with the Oreo cupcakes, the batter is just as enjoyable to eat (so is the Nutella!)...so beware while making these!
Also, as a side note, these would be much easier to make if I owned a mixer so...start saving, my birthday's only 10 months away!

Makes about 16 cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate hazeulnut spread (Nutella or similar)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup roasted ground hazelnut or whole hazelnuts for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add half of the chocolate hazelnut spread and blend thoroughly. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, blending well after each addition.

4. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

5. When cupcakes are cool, generously frost them with remaining chocolate hazelnut spread. Sprinkle with roasted ground hazelnuts or place a whole or half hazelnut on top of each cupcake.