Monday, November 21, 2011

Left-over Halloween Candy Cupcakes

I have to admit, I got very excited around Halloween because our new place is in the 'burbs.

We literally live right around the corner of an elementary school- every morning I leave for work I see kids walking to school or waiting for the bus, when I get home in the evening they're just wrapping up their afternoons outside and playground equipment can be seen in almost every of course I assumed we'd get to see all sorts of adorable witches and ghouls wandering our street.

But sadly, this was not the case...

You can understand my disappointment when our neighbor informed us that we probably wouldn't be getting many trick-or-treaters...they just don't walk down our street, she said.

But of course, I still had to buy that big bag of candy just in case.

We had a whopping 6 kids come to the door.. 3 of which were our neighbors.

So if you're like us and you still have plenty of Halloween candy leftover, then these are the cupcakes for you. I realize that most people are gearing up for Turkey Day, but who said you can't have cupcakes for Thanksgiving??

Left-over Halloween Candy Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
Oven: 350 Bake time: 20 minutes

3/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with liners.
Add sugar to large bowl, and while mixer is on slowly add oil until well combined- this will allow the oil to distribute evenly in the sugar and keep your cupackes from getting too greasy.
Add eggs, one at time, beating after each addition.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour, and mix until well combined.
Stir in vanilla.
Transfer half the batter into a separate bowl and stir in cocoa powder until smooth and combined.
Alternate adding spoonfuls of chocolate batter and vanilla batter in cupcake liners until 2/3 way full (I used 2 spoonfuls of each).
Pop in oven and bake until lightly golden and tops spring back to touch.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Best Chocolate Frosting
1 stick of butter, melted
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole milk

Melt butter in microwave. Stir in cocoa powder until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary.

Crush/roughly chop a few of your favorite left-over candy bars- I went with Butterfinger, Reeses, Baby Ruth and Kit Kat.
Using a small spatula, frost your cupcakes with chocolate frosting (don't worry about it looking pretty).
Press freshly frosted cupcake into crushed candy bar, lightly rolling so all sides of frosting are now covered.

Kit Kat


Reeses Peanut Butter Cup

Baby Ruth

Happy Baking!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and family!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

If someone had told me the ordeal that is changing your name, I may have seriously re-thought this decision.

I feel like my life is consumed with paperwork- the DMV, social security, banks, magazines.. you name it, they all want a different set of paperwork. And don't even get me started on what I'm going to have to go through to change everything for my job!

The weirdest part is trying to sign my new name or even better, responding to it- throws me off every time. I can't help but feel like a small part of me is missing with this new last name, but a new part of me is growing in it's place.

But you don't want to hear all about this.. you came for the good stuff- the yummy stuff!

Despite all these changes going on in my life, I can always count on my time in the kitchen to bring me solace. My love for the kitchen will never change.

If you're anything like me, once pumpkin season begins I find myself buying a can almost every time I'm at the grocery. Pumpkin isn't just for pies, oh no no no, it can be used in cakes, cookies, french toast, pasta (yes, pasta!) and of course, muffins..

Pumpkin Pie Muffins
Adapted from

2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 cup raisins or cranberries (optional)
15 oz Pumpkin Pie Mix (half of the large can)
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup whole milk

Crumb topping
from the wonderful Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cup AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and quick oats.
In large bowl, beat pumpkin pie mix, egg, oil, and sugar until combined.
Slowly add flour mixture and milk to pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended.
Stir in raisins or cranberries (I actually found a bag with a mix of both).
Use an ice cream scoop to evenly scoop muffin mix into prepared muffin tin.
Make crumb topping and sprinkle over top of each muffin.
Pop in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giant Gooey Cinnamon Biscuits

This whole marriage/relocating/reorganizing thing has really put a damper on my time in the kitchen.

As some of you know, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and this past weekend was the first time I've actually had the time energy to bake anything since we moved from Texas!

Our new life has definitely been an adjustment: new schedules, new house, new commutes, and new responsibilities. Mountain Man no longer gets out of work early which means I'm in charge of all the cooking now and being closer to friends and family is amazing, but that also means a lot more things to do and places to be.

All that being said, my blog has also taken a hit.

I still plan on sharing all my yummy creations with you all, but there may be a little more lag time in between posts. But please, please, please, don't give up on me..because I still have plenty of sweets to share.

Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits
recipe from The Kitchn
Makes 4 large biscuits
Oven: 425 Bake time:

2 cups AP flour
1 TBS dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream*, divided
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease 8x8-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the cream- you're looking for a thick and sticky dough- mixing until just combined.
Lightly flour the countertop and turn dough out, patting into a long, thick rectangle.
Cut rectangle into 8 sqaures.
Transfer half the sqaures into the baking pan and sprinkle with a small handful of cinnamon chips over each square. Cover chips with second square of dough and lightly press sides to seal.
Distribute remaining chips over the sealed biscuits.
Transfer to oven and bake for about 15 mintues or until lightly golden on the outside.
Use a knife or spatula and smear hot cinnamon chips on top of biscuits
Whisk together 1/2 cup of cream, powdered sugar and vanilla- lightly drizzle biscuits with glaze.

And Congrats to Roxan who won the Tate's Bake Shop Giveaway!! I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we did!
Happy Baking!