Iced Mocha Latte’s

I have been a bad girl. I told you all that I would not abandon this blog after I had opened Sweet Addictions, and here it is, six months since my last post. Forgive me! It wasn’t my intention for it to be so long. This year has just FLOWN by! Anyone else think so? It’s been so busy busy BUSY!

To make up for my procrastination, I am posting somthing that is so delicious, and so easy, and so CHEAP, you’ll have no problem forgiving me for being so late. I just know it 😉

What we have here is a Homemade Iced Mocha Latte !!  It is soooooooo yummy, any coffee lover will LURVE this! And get this, it breaks down to about $0.51  a cup! sure beats the $4.50 some “other” places charge!  To me it tastes like Starbuck’s mocha frappachinos that you buy in the glass bottle.

Also, you won’t believe how EASY they are! No special machines needed! and it takes no time at all.

Let’s get started!!

Whats needed:

1/2 cup instant coffee granules

1/2 cup boiling water

4 cups chocolate milk

2 cups cold water

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

Ice

optional:

whipped cream

chocolate or caramel syrup

start by boilng 1/2 cup of water (microwave works best, cook for 1-2 min depending on your microwave). Mix in 1/2 cup of instant coffee granules until completely dissolved. Pour coffee into a large pitcher. Now pour in 4 cups of chocolate milk. I used the premade chocolate milk they sell at the grocery store. (You know, the brown jug of milk) (one half gallon will make two batches) but “homemade” chocolate milk should work fine too. Now pour in the coffee mixture, 2 cups of cold water, and one can of sweet condensed milk. Mix it all up and serve over ice! THATS IT!! Can ya believe it?!? One batch makes around 6 glasses or so, maybe more or less depending on the cups 😉 

For an extra treat, add some whipped cream, and drizzle on your favorite syrup. We like caramel and chocolate.

And of course refrigerate any leftovers.

I don’t think we’ll ever spend money on that expensive stuff again with this recipe! Who wouldn’t benifit from saving a few bucks in the coffee fund these days??

ENJOY!

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Cookie Cups

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Tell me something. If someone offered you one of these. Would you turn it down? I sure wouldn’t! Hold on tight because your about to have an AHA! moment.  Guess what these are?? Cookie Cups! That’s it! plain and simple! Just the way I like it! Seriously, your not going to believe how simple! Check it out.

 

First your going to want to whip up a batch of your favorite cookie dough. I used  a nice traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made sure to use Milk Chocolate chips instead of semi sweet because we are going to ice these later and I didn’t want them overly sweet, but you might and that’s ok too!

 

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Now grease you a MINI Cupcake Pan. (oops I originally typed a “mini cupcake MAN”  , if you can find you one of those, go ahead and grease him up real good too 😉  I always use Baker’s joy spray to grease my pans

 

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now take a spoon full of cookie dough and drop it in the pan. spread it out so that the dough covers the bottom and the sides of each opening, leaving an open well in the middle.

 

 

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Repeat the process until the entire pan is full. I only filled each opening about half way up the sides to allow for rising

 

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Bake at 350 degree’s for about 10 min. or until the tops are brown

 

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let them sit for a min before popping them out of the pan. While they cool, the middles will fall,. This is good! we want this. If some don’t fall, you can always give them a little poke.

 

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When they are cool, pipe on some icing, and wallah! there you have it, iced cookie cups! ( I used my Chocolate buttercream icing on these)  I told you it was that easy!  You can come up will all kinds of delicious combinations! Next time I make these I’m going to try it with Cream cheese frosting. YUM!

 

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Make these today!!

 

 

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Brownies & Blogging

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. I got pretty sick for a few weeks and was not able to eat solid foods, so cooking was the last thing on my mind!  I’m am doing better now, although it might have left me lactose intolerant (NOoOO!!)  But we’re waiting a few more days to test it again.

ANYWAY, I have some exciting news for the blog. Last week I was adopted! lol. I am participating in somthing called Adopt A Blogger, where a veteran food blogger adopts a newbie blogger and mentors them to help them improve their Blog. I’m so excited! My Mentor is Jo from “The Adventures of Kitchen Girl” If you’ve got a minute, pop over to her site. It’s very inspiring! I can’t wait to learn lots from her!

And now for the food! Did someone say brownies??

 Wilton has a new line that is focused around brownies. I bought Wilton’s brownie book, along with a few molds and cutters to play around with. Lately, the folks at the Hub’s office have been whining that I hadn’t sent them any goodies in awhile. So I figured this was a good opportunity to try my hand at some brownies. Now I confess, I went with boxed brownies this go round, BUT I did whip up some different frosting’s from scratch 😉 Next go round I will give it a try doing everything from scratch.

 

Fudge Brownies

 

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So I started with a box of basic brownies (actually I made two boxes)  and put them in this mini loaf pan.

 

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After baking, I popped them out and allowed them to cool completely

 

 

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Then I iced them with a nice fudge icing. I LOVE icing on my brownies. Let me tell you this icing is Divine.  It was light chocolaty and not too sweet!  which is very important for a brownie. But this one was perfect. It sets ok, but I’m still on the lookout for a nice thick fudgy icing. One that I would be more comfortable decorating.  But as for taste, this one is awesome.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Baker’s Chocolate Frosting (recipe by Bakers’ Chocolate)

4 Squares of Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate

1 lb (or 4 cups) of confectioners sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter or margerine (softened)

2 tsp Vanilla

1/3 cup of millk

 

Microwave chocolate for 1 1/2 min, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. In a mixing bowl, Mix Chocolate, sugar, butter, and Vanilla. Gradually add milk while beating on low speed until well blended. If desired, thin icing with more milk one tsp at a time until desired consistancy.

 

 

Mint Grasshopper Brownies

 

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I also ran across a box of mint brownies in the store and new insantly what I wanted to do with them. I saw these in the Wilton brownie book, so I combined the two ideas

I started with the box of  mint brownies, and made them in Wiltons mini square molds. The jury is still out on that mold, as they were difficult to remove them. The best way I have found is to freeze the brownies and then pop them out, but thats VERY time consuming if you only have one pan. Next time I make these I will just bake a pan and cut out the squares myself.

when they were cool I whipped up a batch of mint icing and spread on top.

That recipe is here:

Mint Filling (recipe by Wilton)

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/4 tsp mint extract

green icing color

 

Beat butter, sugar, and milk with mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in mint flavoring and icing color. Spread over cooled brownies and chill until set

 

Super easy!

 

Then I drizzled them with chocolate (this chocolate happened to come with the box of brownies, but you could make your own)

For some of them I just stopped there

 

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For the others I topped them with Chopped up Andes Candies to take that mint flavor to the extreme. You can find pre-chopped Andes in the store ( I got these at walmart) but for a greener look I suggest cutting some up yourself, as the pre-chopped ones look kind of dingy. I would prefer a greener prettier color, but it got the job done.

 

My oldest is a die hard mint fan and I think he almost passed out once or twice while eating some of these. Hmmmm these might make me some good bribes if I use them right 😉

All in all very easy recipes, and at them end of the day, you get to eat BROWNIES!

Spring Nests and A Giveaway!

 

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Here’s a fun and easy recipes that the kids can help with! These are cute little Birds nests, great for spring or Easter! Oh and keep reading, the first giveaway is today!  But more on that later, lets get creating!

 

 

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The Cast & Crew:

Marshmallow cream, creamy peanut butter, Chow Mein Noodles, Butter, Plain M&Ms, and Peanut M&Ms

 

 

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Start with 1 cup of plain m&ms.  Admire how pretty they are.  Think about snagging one or two. Be thankful that there are more than one cup in a bag of M&Ms and help yourself to the bag.

 

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Now with the 1 cup that you saved Chop each candy in half. If you’ve got yourself a nice sharp butcher knife its actually pretty easy to do.

 

 

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This is what they will look like when when they are all chopped up. Its a good thing I don’t bleed chocolate. Set m&ms aside for now.

 

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Now Scoop out a 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream. Try not to get it on you, boy is this stuff sticky. (isn’t my spatula purty?? I LOVE cooking with color!)

 

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Dump all of  the cream into a mixing bowl

 

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Now find a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Isn’t this one pretty? do you like it? Well read on. (do you see where this is going?)

 

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Scoop  out 1/4 cup of Creamy peanut butter

 

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and toss it into your mixing bowl as well.

 

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And there it is, becomeing friends with the marshmallow cream. Hello cream, we’re going to be great friends!

 

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Now melt 1 3/4 TBS of butter. Ya ya i know, it would have been easier if the recipe just called for two, but guess what! We get to MELT the butter instead of just softening it! which means when we put it in the microwave its OK when you forget about it and it melts completely! Umm wait, please tell me I’m not the only one that does that?? Alas the butter you are currently looking at was my second try (I really did forget the first one and it was boiling before I remembered it.) Sigh. its ok though, I ended up finding a use for it anyway, you’ll see later on.

 

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Pour your melted butter into your mixing bowl

 

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beat well until everything is mixed completely

 

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like this.  well except for that sneaky peanut butter on the side who didn’t feel like making friends today.  He will be punished later.

 

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Now get out your 2 1/2 cups of chow mein noodles. Good news! that actually equaled one can perfectly! Thank you Recipe Gods! (or whomever)

 

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Pour chow mien noodles into your cream mixture

 

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Now pour in your m&ms. hey no snagging, you still have the bag. Umm you still have the bag right? You didn’t eat them all already did you? DID YOU?? See my bag is right…..wait……… lets move on…

 

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Now we are going to HAND mix everything together carefully. Some will break and thats ok. I forgive you. Its will be a little tricky at first to get it all mixed but it will get there.

 

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You may stop when everything is evenly coated. You have my permission

 

Now grease up a pan with butter. I have no idea where this picture went. I think my camera ate it because I didn’t share the m&ms. Remember that first batch of butter that I “oopsed!” Well it had cooled off by now so I used some of that! Handy right? Yea I ment to do that! ha ha!

moving on…

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Using a tablespoon scoop out some of the mixture and plop it on the buttered pan. You can also use wax paper instead of butter if you wish

 

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NOW comes the messy Uhh I mean FUN! yea fun part!  Useing buttered hands (the other thing i was able to use my extra butter for!) Anyway, useing buttered (& CLEAN) hands, shape the drops of mixture into roung “nests” and put a dent in the middle of each one

 

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So you have a pan that might look like this, well the nests anyway, maybe not so much the pan, yes its an old pan, but hey be nice, its been very good to me! They didn’t mean to  point and laugh at you pan, really they didn’t.

 

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Now here is where you “lay” your eggs into your nests (snicker) ok maybe it was lame.  Take three of your peanut m&Ms and place them in the dents of each nest. you’ll need to work pretty quickly, as once the mixture starts to dry the M&Ms won’t stick well

 

 

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Now you let them set to harden. Really you need to stick them into the fridge for a little while for that to happen. Personally I would store them in covered containers in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten. After they’ve been out awhile they soften and start to fall apart again.

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And there you have it! cute little spring nests!

Well I hope yours ended up being cuter than mine anyway, lol.

 

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In review, I think next time I might try things a bit differently. Though my kids adored them, I’m not much for all the chow mien, I would like to try it with broken up pretzel sticks next time, and maybe a little less marshmallow cream so that it would be a little more “brown” nests. However I am not sure it would even work with less, as it may not be enough cream to hold it all together. I’ll be sure to update this post if I ever do find out! Or feel free to let me know if you try it! 🙂

 

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Ok ok now for the good part. Since you made it THIS far. See these cute measuring cups in their pretty jeweled colors and big bold measurements? I just love cooking with color! and Welllllll I happen to have a brand new set to give to one lucky reader!  So here’s the deal. This site gets a lot of readers, but you wouldn’t know it by the comments section. You can practically hear the crickets chirping in there! So lets liven things up. If you’d like a chance to win these fun pretty cups, just leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite m&m color is. See, easy , fun, and ya might win something! Be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner! The winner will be drawn with a randomizer and I will post the lucky winner on this site, and mail them to ya strait away! I know its a small prize, but it’s something fun to get us going since this is a pretty new site. I plan to have more giveaways in the future, and hopefully they will be bigger and better!  

so who’s in?? Contest will close at 9:00 PM CST on Saturday April 4th. So hurry!  🙂

Why clean when you can bake?: otherwise known as Procrastinating, chocolate cake

So I was supposed to clean my room today.  Before I started, I wanted to have a little fun. I decided I was gonna whip up a batch of icing and just practice making decorations. Then I remembered that I have to go into Dallas tomorrow, and was planning on stopping by the hub’s office and having lunch with him. Well, I can’t very well show up at the office without some kind of treat. Other than being the Hubs’ wife, I’m known as the lady who sends in all the goodies. So I didn’t want to show up empty handed and disappoint. I decided to pull out my mini heart pan and make some cute little heart cupcakes. While I was filling the pan with batter I realized that I was going to end up with a hundred cupcakes at this rate. So I then decided to throw most of the batter into a large heart cake pan. So I bake everything up and think about what I’m going to do with it all. I whipped up a batch of chocolate butter cream icing and slathered it all over the cakes. While thinking about what I wanted to do with them, I remember what got me started in the whole process to begin with. So I whipped up another batch of butter cream icing, pulled out my decorating supplies, and went to town. I ended up with a way more elaborate cake than I had planned, especially for no specific occasion, but I had fun, learned a lot, and the office gets a nice treat ! 🙂  Here are pics of what I made today……….

 

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One of the very best things to me about baking, is that I can share it with my daughter. We get to spend time together and I get to teach her things. What better mother daughter moments than cooking together? I gave her the piece of cake that I had shaved off, and she got to practice her decorating techniques on her own piece of cake. Which she of course got to eat when she was through. She did great!

 

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Ya like her crazy grin?? She’s missing three teeth in a row, and a fourth is loose. If they don’t start growing in quick she won’t be able to eat anything but soup! which is bad because she hates soup!

Now I must go and supervise my daughter cleaning her room, as she tends to get distracted if left to her own devices. Hmmmm wonder where she got that trait??? what was I supposed to do today?? oooooooh yea……… 🙂

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

My husband is a cookie monster. His favorite type of cookie of all time is, you guessed it, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. He requested that I make them, so I tried a new recipe the other day. His reaction to these cookies was amazing. He literally said that these were the best cookies he’s had in his entire life! That’s saying something, cause if he didn’t like it, he would have no qualms in saying so. I thought they were great too. In fact so did all the kids. It had a great bold flavor, nice and buttery and full of vanilla flavor.  So we highly recommend you give this one a try! 

 

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces of  Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
  • 3 oz chopped and toasted macadamia nuts (half a 6 oz bag)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and shortening; gradually add sugars, beating well at medium speed with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, soda, and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Stir in white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in preheated oven. (use your discretion, as baking times in recipes are never correct) Cookies will be soft. Cool slightly on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Dense, not too sweet, chocolate cupcakes

Ok, for my first food blog post I decided to make somthing new last night. Normally I cook out of boxes and bags, (sooo not healthy), but this time I wanted to break out and make somthing from scratch. I also knew I wanted it to be a cupcake because I love them. As we all know, theres a 50/50 shot when you try somthing new that it will turn out good. Or at least that you’ll like it. Well this recipe, it really was a 50/50 result. The cake, though not what I expected, turned out ok. The frosting however, well lets just say my garbage disposal didn’t have any complaints. Seriously, it was Nasty awful. Big dissapoinment there, but I’m not going to allow it to have been a waste of time. Therefore I am going to go ahead and post the recipe for the cupcake mix alone, and won’t divulge the nastyness that will occur if you were to get your hands on the frosting recipe. So here goes!

The Cast and Crew : Minus a few of the frosting ingredients!

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You will need:     all purpose flour, unsweetend cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt
 unsalted butter, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, & buttermilk

( By the way, this is a sneak peek at my new Kitchen island that my hubby made for me, feel free to oooh and ahhh as its simply Delightful! I will be posting pictures of my kitchen at a later date as it was night time and I was too lazy to drag out my honking flash, just feel honored that I didn’t use my cheap crappy point and shoot, 🙂 )

Lets get started:

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start with  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour in a bowl. Easy right ? 😉

 

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dump in 1 cup unsweetend cocoa powder, sifted ( I couldn’t find my sifter, so Mine did not get sifted! but they still turned out to be chocolate cupcakes, whew! that was close!)

 

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next add in 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder , 1/2 tsp. baking soda, & 1/2 tsp. salt. (lovin that pretty island!)

 

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Now mix it all up (thats my camera strap in the bottom corner, and a sneaky package of oreos trying to make its way in!)

 

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 In a seperate mixing bowl beat the 12 Tablespoons UNSALTED ROOM TEMPERATURE butter on medium speed until smooth (or if your like me, just nuke the butter for a few seconds. just DON”T forget its in the microwave! 😉

 

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Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed

 

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 Beat in the vanilla. (this is where the bad lighting comes in)

 

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Now start adding the eggs one at a time

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Here’s where the interesting part comes in. Add 1/3 of the cocoa/flour mixture that you made in the beginning. TIP: I turned OFF the beaters at this point and folded it in a bit first, as clouds of cocoa were starting to fly everywhere! once it was slightly wet and mixed in a bit I turned the beaters back on. Mix well.

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Pour in Half of your Room Temperature whipping cream. Mix well.

Now repeat the process, Add another third of your cocoa mixture, mix well, then the rest of your whipping cream, mix some more, and then add your last third of cocoa powder. Mix well but don’t over mix. Specific right?

 

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it will then look like this. So I sneaked a little taste and WOW it was rich and yummy! I wanted to eat the whole bowl as is. iterestingly things changed once baked, read on…….

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Pour into muffin pans. I made two trays of regular sized cupcakes, and a tray and a half of minis. Bake in an a 350 preheated oven for 18-20 min. but as always, you be the judge on how long with your oven

 

 

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And this is how they turn out! Normally I fill the cupcake pans fuller, but I wanted to make some mini’s as well, so I cheated the bigger ones out of their normal dose of batter.

 

MY REVIEW:

All in all I was a bit dissapointed in these, BUT I can see where there is a place in this world for them. The ended up being Dense & not very moist, However – they were pleasently chocolately in a mild not too sweet way. So I would say that this recipe would best be suited for a time when you need your cake to hold its shape and not be so moist and spongy that it falls apart, or if you are using a very sweet icing, these would compliment them well as to not overdo the sweetness.

All in all I may end up using this recipe again if the need arises, I won’t scratch these off my list.

These were SUPPOSED to go to my husbands office so that they would not sit around tempting us to eat them all day, but since they had no frosting to go with them, they stayed home. I must admit I find myself popping the mini’s in my mouth time to time as I walk by. Even without icing. Nice when you need a little dose of chocolate. Now if only they were a little healthier!

 

ALSO I did learn somthing else. I’ve had it with hand mixers! That was an awful lot of work to try to make and still find hands to take pictures. Therefore I have ordered a New Kitchenaid Stand Mixer this morning so that I won’t have  to deal with hand mixers anymore. I’m very excited! (though I’m sure I’m the last person on earth to get one, but thats ok, I finally have a place to work with one.)

It was tough to choose so many colors to choose from. I’m going to keep my color choice a secret until it arrives! Oh and I sound a SMOKING deal on them, so if anyone is interested in where I got it, let me know and I’d be happy to share the info!   

So in the end, all in all not a bad first go round with Made from scratch baking!   

 

 

Here’s the complete Recipe should you want to try it:

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetend cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.   Mix just until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Recipe by : Annies Eats