Monday, June 10, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes



cooking spray
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
24 maraschino cherries
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (18.25 ounce) package pineapple cake mix (such as Duncan Hines® Pineapple Supreme)
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups pineapple juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting, or as needed



  1. Move an oven rack into the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spray 24 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  3. Line a work surface with waxed paper.
  4. Spoon 1 teaspoon melted butter into the bottom of each sprayed muffin cup.
  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon brown sugar in each muffin cup.
  6. Press a maraschino cherry into the center of the brown sugar in each muffin cup.
  7. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of crushed pineapple over the cherry and compact it with the back of a spoon into an even layer.
  8. Mix pineapple cake mix, eggs, pineapple juice, and vegetable oil in a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
  9. Pour pineapple cake batter into the muffin cups, filling them to the top; do not overfill.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  11. Allow cupcakes to cool at least 5 minutes before inverting muffin cups onto the waxed paper to release. Serve with pineapple and cherry sides up. Sprinkle cupcakes lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Salted Caramel Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 
1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.  
Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Snicker Cupcakes

YIELD: 24 cupcakes
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 18-22 minutes


1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup warm coffee


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
4. Bake in preheated oven

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting


1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
·  1/3 cup butter
·   3/4 cup peanut butter
·   1 tsp of vanilla 
·   4 cups (approx. 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar, sifted
·   4-6 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups.


1.Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. 
2. Add peanut butter and vanilla.
3. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides  and   bottom of bowl often. 
4. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
5. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in   refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
6. Ice cupcakes as desired I used a Wilton 2D tip and then garnish with snickers.


Crushed up frozen snickers

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mozzarella-Stuffed Spicy Meatballs

Tonight I decided to try out a new recipe I found in the June issue of Cosmo. The dish, Mozzarella-Stuffed Spicy Meatballs, is Danielle Jonas's recipe she put in her article. Knowing her that her family is Italian, I knew this recipe was going to be a hit. And it was! There was not one meatball left. So I think it is safe to say this dish will make many more appearances in my house. Not only is this recipe delicious it is also very simple and not too time consuming. I've included pictures and the recipe below, enjoy!



Serves 4
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 pound beef
1/2 pound pork
1 garlic clove, grated
1 onion, grated
1 egg
2 tbsp cream
8 bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tbsp butter

Red Tomato Sauce

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, skins on
2 pints cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 Vegetable bouillon cube

1. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and crushed pepper.
2. Combine bread-crumb mixture with the ground meats, garlic, onion, egg, and cream in a large mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate, and let rest in the fridge.
3. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Create an indention in each, placing a mozzarella ball and a sprinkle of Parmesan in the center of each meatball and rolling to enclose the cheese.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat two tbsp of butter in a pan over high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. (Save the drippings!)

5. Place meatballs and remaining butter in a oven proof dish. Bake for 20 minutes. 

Now on to making the Tomato Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add the onion, garlic, and cherry tomatoes to a sheet pan. Toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. Shake the pan every few minutes to keep tomatoes from sticking. Discard garlic skin.
2. Over medium heat add two tbsp olive oil to the drippings in the pan used to brown the meatballs. Add the roasted vegetables, sugar, tomato sauce, bouillon cube, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring. 

3. Pour sauce over meatballs. Serve Hot!