Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Cupcakes

So I LOOOVE Peanut Butter. and I LOOOVE Chocolate. So it's only appropriate that Reese's was my first love.

Whoever Mr. (or Mrs.) Reese was, deciding to put Chocolate & PB together is almost as genius as PB & J. It just works.

I've had my eye on these cupcakes from Stop Lookin'. Get Cookin'. for quite some time now & decided to finally give them a go. I tweaked them a little bit and even though they weren't quite as aesthetically pleasing as the originals (check out her pics by the way -- food photography > my cell phone), they were still delicious! I am now in love with PB Buttercream.

I cooked a nice hot supper of Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ which is a Mikey fav along with slaw and some squash casserole, which I had never done before but we had boo coos of squash so I decided to give it a whirl. To my surprise, even Sticky Vicki loved it (who normally does not like anything that is not in it's raw, healthiest form. I even said at the dinner table with my Daddy, sister, and Mikey as my witnesses that she wouldn't like it. AH-MAZING! Maybe I'll post that recipe sometime.

I took the cupcakes to a church softball game to get as many of them out of my house as possible and my feedback was positive! Although I did get lots of funny looks and exclaims when they found the Reese in the middle. Like I said, I love baking for other people, but my diet does not need 24 cupcakes hanging around in my house. I did eat one for breakfast though....Guilty.

I decided to use THE BEST Chocolate Cake recipe from Kevin & Amanda, minus the chocolate chips because I forgot them and I'll have to admit -- it might be the best.

Then you just drop a Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cup in the middle of the batter, bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, cool & frost with Peanut Buttercream. Be sure to check out Stop Lookin'. Get Cookin'.'s photos. I didn't do all of the prep shots that she did, so hers will give you the idea of what it will all look like before and after.

Shoutout to big sis Lindsay who bought me the adorable Leopard Print Tins. She knows how I feel about animal print (It's my second favorite color). I hate she wasn't home to enjoy one after taking the CPA exam last night -- she probably could've used some chocolate therapy ;)

Peanut Buttercream Frosting

adapted from  Stop Lookin'. Get Cookin'.

Yield: About 4 cups of frosting – enough to ice a 9” layer cake or more than 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
You can make this frosting from scratch or you can just add some peanut butter to a can of store bought frosting or some regular butter cream icing. Add about ¼ to ½ cup of peanut butter at a time to see if you like the taste. Be careful not to add too much though. If you do, it will get too thick and become more of a filling rather than a frosting. If it does get too thick, just beat some milk into the mixture until you get the desired consistency.


• 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
• 3/4 cup salted butter - softened
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter (more if you want a stronger peanut butter flavor)
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla
• 6 - 8 cups (approx. 1 ½ - 2 lb.) powdered sugar
• 6 - 8 tablespoons milk


1. Cream shortening and butter together with an electric mixer.
2. Add peanut butter and mix well.
3. Add vanilla.
4. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each cup.
5. When all sugar is added, stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency you are looking for.
Store left over icing in an airtight container. Rewhip before you use it next.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Will Run OFF Cupcakes

Hey ya'll! Long time without a post (okay only a week really) but I've been super busy! No specialty cupcakes last week, but I did make something extremely fun & cupcake related -- a cupcake cake! Mikey, my adorable boy toy, is celebrating his 22nd birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOO!) so his mom had a party at their house Friday night with all of the family and friends. I offered to bake his cake since I'm "obsessed," according to Michael. I have been eyeing a golf course cake on Pinterest for quite some time and figured now was as good a time as any to finally make it! I had some help from my bff Kristen who was so kind to make a Micheal's run with me and Bo's run for me, as well as baking the cupcakes and icing them.

It really was a lot easier than I expected except for a few malfunctions that were my fault. I was short a decorating bag and the only one I had was cut much wider for my big cupcake tips so my tiny little grass tip wouldn't fit. :( So about 3 ziploc bags later, the cake was finally piped. I started with basic yellow cupcakes from a box mix and added a little pudding mix to moisten them up and topped them with a homemade buttercream. After my last buttercream fail, I've spent my days scouring blogs for the perfect recipe that would be successful. One such blog, I can't remember which one, gave you the ingredients, but no measurements because she said that the perfect buttercream couldn't be measured -- and she was right! After a lot of adding and tasting, I finally achieved a perfect icing using salted butter, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The shortening makes all the difference if you ask me. Throw in some green food coloring and you've got yourself the perfect grass color, ready to be piped!

I arranged the cupcakes how I wanted them in a golf course shape (I called it Hole 22) and then covered them all in a green base icing. Then I piped on grass using a Wilton #233 tip. This was new for me but is super easy once you get the hang of it and it really doesn't take long at all. I left a space for the "green" and a sand trap, which I made out of graham cracker crumbs, added a marshmallow golf ball and a flag made from a coffee stirrer and paper. I customized the flag using your basic Paint software. I copy and pasted a black checkered image and wrote "Happy Birthday Michael" on it with a 22 in the middle. I was super proud of this cake and the family loved it. I think it really surprised Michael and he talked about it all weekend.

Now, how did I spend my weekend you ask? Oh, just ran a half-marathon, that's all! I ran the North Myrtle Beach Diva Half-Marathon Sunday and it was a blast! I had some lovely Diva's that ran with me including my sister Lindsay, Michael's mom Wendy, my best friend Hayley and her mom Sharon. My mom also went and did the 5k. She ran the Rock 'N' Roll Half-Marathon in Savannah, GA last November so she decided to play chauffeur and cheerleader for this one. Lindsay and I were the only two that had run a half before so nerves were high Saturday and Sunday, but as expected they all did great! I finished in 2 hours 12 minutes and 28 seconds which was almost 30 minutes faster than my last half so I was happy about that. Lindsay and Sharon finished around 2:50 with Wendy right on their heels. Hayley finished next and had an awesome time considering she didn't train due to softball! We were given boas & tiaras as we neared Mile 13 and our medals were put on by none other than shirtless firemen and knights in shining armor from Medieval Times! We finished up our day with pizza, Dairy Queen, and some sunshine on the Myrtle Beach strand. It was such a great weekend and we're already planning our next one! I couldn't help but thinking while I was running how blessed we all are to have the health and endurance to run such a long race and the support of each other as we did it.

So here's your first taste of how I balance this lifestyle. Now I'm going to go collapse on the couch and rest my sore muscles until the birthday boy gets off of work! I plan to bake again later this week so be on the lookout for a new post!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back in the Day Monday

Summertime is here ya'll! Still not back in my routine yet but I'm loving all of this freedom. So what better way to pass the time than to bake? Strawberries are in season here in NC and I've tried to eat as many as possible. Gotta get them while the gettin's good! I've been eyeing a Strawberry Cupcake recipe from the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, GA, so when my big sister Lauren brought me a quart of strawberries Sunday, I knew it was time to try these babies out. I made a Wal-Mart trip beforehand to get some things I was out of and stopped by the Kitchen Gadgets isle - BIG mistake. I've always seen on other baking blogs where they use an ice cream scooper for the batter to make it easier to pour and more even cupcakes. So I picked on up, along with another 12 cup cupcake pan and a citrus zester.

Once I began to bake these, I was sure to follow the directions to a tee (Don't want another baking disaster) and was very disappointed when an extra half an egg yolk slipped in while I was separating my egg whites. But, these guys still turned out great! They came out of the oven just right but a few were still uneven (haven't mastered that ice cream scoop trick yet). I took it way back in the day and just greased my pan instead of using tins. While they were cooling, I made the frosting. The bits of fresh strawberries made it taste so good and my Mama really loved how light and fluffy the frosting was. By the time Mikey got a hold of one, he was in heaven. He raved all night about how great they were and how these "are going to make me famous." And he was sent home with 8 of them to share (or eat all by himself). This recipe is great for Spring/Summer and the fresh strawberries make them so tasty. Mikey really liked the cake consistency as it is more of a muffin texture than cake.

Another side note, I am really appreciative of everyone that has been so supportive in this venture and has encouraged me to actually do it - my sisters especially. While sitting at work Saturday, my sister Lindsay texts me a picture of Ah-Dorable Cheetah tins at Michael's and picked me up a few packs until I can get to a store (Kind of secluded from those types of places in the ol'BC....You're not in Orange County anymore). And she has began to pick the brain of her expert baker friend, Leanne (SHOUT OUT!) who has been so kind as to send me some of her favorite blogs & baking tips. Sunday night when I finally get home from a long weekend at the golf course, I have a package from my sister Ashely with the cutest Journal (pictured right) and a sweet note encouraging my blogging. And without Lauren's strawberries, these cupcakes would not have went down. I'm really excited to continue baking and sharing my cupcakes with others. If anyone else would like to have some the next few times I bake, please let me know. Mikey doesn't need 10 cupcakes every week ;)

Here's the recipe & Happy Baking Ya'll!

P.S. - Promise I'm working on getting a new camera soon. Cell Phone pics are NO GOOD.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run.
makes about 24 cupcakes
for cupcakes—
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups pureed fresh strawberries (from about 2 cups whole strawberries—puree in a blender until smooth)
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon zest
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites
for fresh strawberry frosting—
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 pound)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt (original recipe calls for fleur de sel, which you can find at specialty shops)
8 cups powdered sugar (from two 1-lb boxes)
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 1 cup whole strawberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease 24 cupcake tins.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together the pureed strawberries, lemon zest, milk and vanilla in another bowl. Also set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites gradually, beating after each, until combined. Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the wet strawberry ingredients to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling up 2/3 to 3/4 the way full.  Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until golden. Be sure to test using a toothpick to make sure they are completely done in the center. Let cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting! Beat the butter until creamy then add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, sea salt and pureed strawberries. Continue beating (ideally with an electric mixer but you can do this by hand if need be) until very light and fluffy.
Pipe or spread frosting on each cupcake. Enjoy!
2 hours (includes time to cool)
Free Blog Template by June Lily