Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Banana Spice Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Frosting

Hello there! It is always such a pleasure to make cupcakes for special occasions, especially when someone you know and love asks you to make it for them! It is a challenge that I feel honored to take on, and get a little nervous just to make sure the cupcakes are well received :)
Well, this time my sister asked me to bake cupcakes for a work baby shower she was hosting. How sweet! The mother-to-be does not know the gender of the cupcake, so I wanted to add both blue and pink onto the cupcakes. So I tried to add coloring to the frosting... some cupcakes took on the colors well, some didn't... but at least the cupcake liners have the correct colors ha!
So these cupcakes are made with spice cake mix, and then adding some special ingredients. I used my trusty  "Hello Cupcake!"  book for inspiration for the cake part, and then the frosting was from "Martha Stewart's Cupcakes".  
Here is the recipe, and I hope you enjoy these cupcakes!

Banana Spice Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
~makes about 24 cupcakes~

-1 box (18.25oz) spiced cake mix
-1 cup mashed bananas (about 3-4 medium)
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
-4 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.
2. Add mashed bananas, butter milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Add cake mix and beat on medium for about 2 minutes, until well mixed.
3. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 of the way full and place the pans into the preheated oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven temperature. To check for cupcake doneness, insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, they are done.
4. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
-2.5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
-2 Tbsp honey
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

With an electric mixer on medium speed fitted with the whisk attachment, beat all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 5 days in an airtight container; before using, bring to room temperature and beat until smooth.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars

Good day everyone! 
This recipe I found on Pinterest (surprise, surprise!), originally from Pizzazzerie, caught my eye one day, and this past week I made sure to include all the ingredients in my grocery list to have on hand to make it when "I felt like it". Well, I felt like it on Thursday night, so I whipped this up for a church meeting I had to go to on Friday. 
Oh my gosh, talk about being decadent! I think you really have to enjoy chocolate (and who doesn't, right?!) to appreciate all of this dessert's intricate layers of goodness. Red velvet brownie, Oreo truffle, chocolate ganache... *cue the trumpets* It's to die for!!!

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars 
~makes one 9x13 baking dish~

Red Velvet Brownie layer:
1 Duncan Hines (or another brand) box Red Velvet cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 package instant white chocolate pudding (3.3oz)
6 Tbsp canola (or vegetable) oil

Oreo Truffle layer:
2 packages Oreos
2 packages cream cheese (16oz total), softened

Chocolate Ganache layer:
3 cups chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
mini chocolate chips for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil, then spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray (You don't have to use the aluminum foil part; it just makes it easier to remove from the dish and cut the brownie pieces later). Set it aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter, eggs, pudding mix, and canola oil; mix well until thoroughly combined (2-3 minutes on medium of electric mixer).
3. Spread the red velvet mix onto the pan. It will be VERY thick; use the back of a spoon (or clean hands) to help spread it into all edges of the pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (ovens vary so watch closely). Let cool completely before adding next layer.
4. Crush package and a half of Oreos in a food processor (or in a large plastic bag and rolling pin). Reserve the remaining half package uncrushed (about 24 Oreo cookies) for the garnish.
5. Melt cream cheese for 15 seconds in microwave to soften.
6. Stir together crushed Oreos and cream cheese until blended smoothly.
7. Carefully spread out Oreo truffle mixture on top of baked red velvet brownies. Use your hands to help press it down instead of spreading to avoid tearing the brownies. Arrange remaining whole Oreo cookies on top of the truffle layer.
8. Place chocolate chips in heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it boils. Add hot heavy cream onto chocolate chips. Then DO NOT DISTURB IT for 2 minutes (no mixing, nothing!). After 2 minutes, take a spatula and carefully mix heavy cream and chocolate chips together. Keep mixing until very well blended and chocolate chips are completely melted. Pour over top of Oreo truffle layer, spreading it out evenly as needed.
9. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips while still warm.
10. Let cool completely (refrigerate if possible) before cutting into squares.
Recipe adapted from Pizzazzerie