Archive | December, 2012

S’mores Cupcakes

28 Dec

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S’mores, one of Max’s favorite. Campfire cupcakes. I have been wanting to make these for quite some time. So today was the day to get these off my mind! And I’m so glad I did! (So are the boys and grandpa.) 😉

I love meringue topping. But I’m also very picky about it. I don’t care for meringue that is foamy and when moisture pills up on it. This is typically a French meringue. I prefer a Swiss meringue. This type of meringue is thick, gooey and sticky like you could glue a gingerbread house together with it. This type of meringue resembles more of a melted marshmallow. Yummy!

After doing some research from other blogs and websites I decided to keep the base of my cupcake graham flavor instead of chocolate. After all, the base of a s’mores is the graham cracker and the chocolate bar is in the middle, right? So, that’s what I did! Inside the middle of this moist graham cake I put a dollop of thick chocolate fudge. These turned out better then expected, so moist and flavorful! (I ate mine without the chocolate) This recipe, I will quickly make again!

Don’t wait for summer for that campfire favorite, bake these now! The aroma when these cupcakes are baking make your house smell so sweet and cozy, you would swear you’re sitting next to a summertime crackling fire pit. These handheld treats are just as messy too, just ask Max and Rudy!

First things first; go in the pantry and get about 20 graham crackers and crush into a fine powder.

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You can do this step in a food processor if you would prefer. The ziplock and meat mallet worked great for me!

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I chose to use my favorite sugar in the world; Muscovado brown sugar. Delish, nothing compares! This sugar was a great choice to add because it not only gave the cake the golden brown color, but it added a nice layer of richness to the flavor. This brown sugar isn’t like the “normal” brown sugar that packs in the measuring scoop. And even though this sugar is more dry, you can use it in replace of the traditional. Plus it has 10 times more flavor!

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You can see the Muscovado sugar in the batter. Using this sugar will leave little lumps of sugar; don’t stress over it, it’s the nature of this sugar. These little “sugar bits” melt into the batter so nicely. See the sugar specks…..?

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Fill and bake the batter. Don’t over bake! Take out from the oven when your toothpick test has just a couple crumbs clinging to the toothpick. Here are the naked cupcakes!

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Make the meringue topping. Use a double boiler or my method is the cheaper way and just as efficient!

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Once the sugar is no longer grainy and the temp is about 160 degrees, remove from the make-shift double boiler and whisk until the meringue is doubled in volume. Add vanilla. Whip the snot out of it! I added 1/2 cup chocolate butter cream to the meringue and it turned out like a chocolate marshmallow. Scoop out a chunk of the cake and put in a teaspoon of hot fudge. Glaze the top with the remaining hot fudge. Homemade chocolate ganache would be ideal, but Rudy at this point was demanding my attention. I chose the quicker route! I didn’t even have a second thought on this “cheating” step!

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Place the meringue on top and then the mini marshmallows. Use a kitchen torch or watch carefully under the boiler.

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One more picture…

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S’mores Cupcakes

11/2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed – This is about 20 crackers
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup milk (whole milk or 2%)

1 small jar of ice cream hot fudge
1 cup mini marshmallows

In a small bowl combine the crumbs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger; set aside.

Beat the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture with milk, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.

Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes or until done. Don’t over bake! Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Cut a chunk out of the center of each cupcake and fill with the hot fudge or ganache. Replace the removed cake. Make Swiss meringue.

Swiss Meringue
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions

Fill medium saucepan one quarter full with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and bring water to a simmer.

Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of electric mixer, and place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use meringue immediately. Top the filled cupcake with the meringue. Add mini marshmallows if desired. Toast under the broiler or use a kitchen torch. Garnish with melted chocolate or a Hershey bar. Enjoy!

Recipe first created and seen on Tahnycooks.Wordpress.com

Happy Birthday Jesus!

24 Dec

Tonight at church during the candle light service the praise and worship team played one of my favorite songs, “Offerings” the lyrics felt so powerful to me tonight. I’m sure it was with the help of the sanctuary’s lights being dimmed and seeing all the families together worshipping on this snowy Christmas Eve.

Then this older gentleman walks in tonight. He is not a familiar face in my church. But, he is here to worship. He’s clutching and twisting his black cotton hat with his hands as if it gives him some sort of security in this unfamiliar environment. Then you can see the uncomfortableness beginning to be painted all over his weathered face as he attempts to say, “excuse me” to the lady standing in the pew. But, then with the gentle greeting and assistance from an usher (my husband) he has safely landed in the pew.

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The realization hits me, he’s alone. This nervous gentleman has come here tonight alone. Ohhh, I bow my head as tears are puddling in my eyes and ask, “why?” I’m not exactly sad about him being here alone, and why would it even matter if he did have a church pew filled with family dressed in sweater vest and beautiful Christmas gowns? Would that make his worship more sincere? No, of course not. I’m just humble by his loneliness and desire to worship. There was something about this old man that touch my heart, to see him come in alone and offer his gift to our King. Worship. Even though I was sitting here tonight with my family this man was offering a genuine gift of worship and obedience, as was I.

Moments like these rejuvenate my spirit. I need that, we all need that at times.

Lord, I’m so glad you don’t want material gifts of the grandest splendor. You just want me. And I couldn’t be more thankful.

Happy birthday Jesus. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift, Yourself. You leave me in awe, just where I want to be. In Your peace.

OFFERINGS
Paul Baloche Lyrics

The sun cannot compare to the glory of Your love
There is no shadow in Your Presence
No mortal man would dare to stand before Your throne
Before the Holy One of heaven
It’s only by Your Blood and it’s only through Your mercy
Lord I come

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may You receive the honor that You’re due
O Lord I bring an offering to You
I bring an offering to You

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may You receive the honor that You’re due
O Lord I bring an offering to You
I bring an offering to you

Raspberry & Almond Pound Cake

19 Dec

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One of the many simple pleasure I get out of baking is when I have a recipe in mind and it turns out as a KEEPER!

My sweet tooth was kicking in last night and I had no cookies in the house! I don’t know if it is more shocking I had no cookies or just the plain fact that my sweet tooth was paying me a visit…again! Actually, I don’t think my sweet tooth ever leaves me. I’m not too sure if I’m glad that my faithful companion stays so faithful!

After debating with myself if I wanted cookies, I decided I wanted some sort of cake. Not a cake with caramel, coconut or nuts. Those three ingredients seem to be my theme lately. But, I wanted something fruity, citrusy and with a frosting or a glaze.

So, after searching through a lot of recipes I decided to go with a pound cake. And, I wanted to use the almond paste that has been sitting in my pantry begging to be used. I love the flavor of almond! Yes, everyone pairs cherries and almond together but, this time I wanted to use raspberries and orange zest and it turned out better then I imagined it would!

This pound cake turned out beautiful, and more importantly the flavor combo of the clementine zest paired with raspberries is so refreshing that it will leave you begging for another piece! The outer edge is slightly chewy from the almond paste while the center is so buttery and moist. This is a must try!
Start with the almond paste. If you can’t find almond paste with all the other pie fillings in your grocery store, ask someone to help you. Almond paste will either come in a can like this one I had, or in a sealed box. (The box will have a sealed tube filled w/ paste)

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Crumble the almond paste in your mixer together with the sugar. Mix on medium speed until the almond paste and sugar resemble gritty sand. Add the zest from a small orange. I used one of those little “Cuties”

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The biggest secret to having a successful pound cake is, DON’T OVER MIX! Once you have all the remaining ingredients; remove the bowl from the mixer and add the floured raspberries. Gently toss the raspberries in a teaspoon of flour before adding to the batter. Doing this will prevent the berries from sinking to the bottom and “bleeding” into the batter.

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Remember, be gentle!

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Make sure you grease and flour the bundt pan very well, so you have a clean release. At this point you can either dust the top with powdered sugar or put a light frosting on. I selected the frosting (shocking) I used some almond flavored buttercream I had leftover from cookies.

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Raspberry & Almond Pound Cake

1 8oz almond paste (1 can)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp orange zest
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 8oz container of cleaned raspberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour either a loaf pan or a 10 cup bundt pan.
Using a electric mixer set on medium speed add almond paste, sugar, zest and butter until well mixed.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition; add vanilla. Beat on high until light and fluffy.
Sift flour with baking powder and add to batter alternately with milk. Beat on low until just combined and smooth. Do not over mix the batter or the cake will be tough and dry.
In a small bowl gently toss the raspberries with 1 teaspoon flour. Then gently fold the floured berries into the batter.
Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes for bundt pan or 75 minutes for loaf pan or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes on wire rack. Unmold carefully and finish cooling before dusting with powdered sugar or a frosting.

Recipe adapted from Gooseberry Patch. But, improved to my liking by Tahnycooks 🙂

Cinnamon Bread Pudding & Butter Sauce

13 Dec

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“What the heck is figgy pudding and why won’t they leave until they get some?!” This is the question my husband asked me as we were together in the the car listening to the radio playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” I just looked at Kent and said, “I don’t know what it is but, I bet it is delicious if people are staying until they eat some of it!” Right?!

Anyone that knows my dear husband, wouldn’t be surprised at all, by this random question from his brain and out his mouth. Knowing Kent, he probably has been thinking this question from the first time he heard that song. He just finally blurted it out! I’m glad he did, because I took the question on as a personal mission to find out! I need to know what is so extraordinary delicious about this dessert that would prompt people to be so rude to a hostess and demand some figgy pudding or they’re not leaving! Gosh, what would you do if you had a guest like that?! First off, I would probably bust up laughing and pointing saying you just said “figgy pudding” and yah sure, it’s right next to the “The Turducken!” (Boneless Turkey Stuffed with a Boneless Duck and Boneless Chicken)

Ok, so what exactly is figgy pudding? Well, the obvious answer is; it’s some kind of fig pudding. But, after doing some research this dessert is a cake and not a pudding at all. And, this cake is usually soaked in booze. Figgy pudding became popular in the 19th century and is a traditional English dessert that is fading in popularity these days. Hmmmm….wonder why?! Figgy pudding resembles
a fruit cake more then anything, it’s full of nuts, citrus, spices and dried figs of course.

Well, I hate to say it, but if Kent was to be served this dessert at someone’s house he would gladly leave; he hates nuts! He would not be begging the host to stay, he would be begging me to leave!

So, after all this research and talk about what I thought would be more like a bread pudding has left me craving for some buttery, rich, custardy bread pudding! And, I left all dried fruits out! Not even a raisin touch my bread pudding. Oh goodness….the sauce that goes on top is worth burning your tongue if you might be a little impatient to try it!

Start with either a homemade loaf of cinnamon bread or a loaf bought from the bakery. Or, you could do what Nellie does; she uses leftover cinnamon rolls. Yum! Dice up in large cubes, then lay on a cookie sheet and let it dry out. You need it to be stale so the bread will soak up the custard mixture better.

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Make your custard. I was short 1 cup of half & half so I used eggnog. Turned out so good!

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Pour the custard over the stale bread cubes in a prepared dish. Let the bread soak up the liquid for at least 15 minutes before baking. While the bread pudding is baking, start preparing the topping.

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This bread pudding can be made with raisins, dried cranberries or even dark chocolate chunks. I opted for just plain yet delicious. I truly just wanted the sauce, but after taking my first bite with the bread pudding I thought this is a marriage made in Heaven! And, this is defiantly a dessert people will be waiting for! Bye, bye, figgy pudding!

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Cinnamon Bread Pudding & Butter Sauce

6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups half & half or light cream (I used 1 cup of eggnog to make up what I was short in half & half)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups cubed cinnamon bread or cinnamon rolls without icing (about 1 pound)
1 recipe Butter Sauce (see recipe below)

For pudding, in a large mixing bowl, beat eggs by hand. Beat in milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Stir in the cinnamon bread.
Grease a 2-quart rectangular (12×7-1/2×2-inch) baking dish. Add bread pudding mixture, spreading evenly.
Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until top is puffed and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with Butter Sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Butter Sauce:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream

In a small saucepan, heat packed brown sugar and butter until butter melts. Carefully add light-colored corn syrup and half-and-half or light cream. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Pour over the warm bread pudding or serve on the side. Enjoy!

*recipe adapted from Midwest Living.

The Christmas Tree

12 Dec

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“What is your Christmas?” I was just asked that question the other day from my good friend Debi. I kinda looked at her a little puzzled but, then she proceeded to tell me that she has been making Christmas cookies all day and was going to decorate them later that evening. Debi said, that once she makes her cookies, then that nostalgia feeling of Christmas has arrived within her. She also told me how different it is now that the children are all grown up and gone.

Debi throughout the years has always made the “Christmas cookies” with her children but now that the kids live either out of state or hours away, it is just her and her lovely husband rolling them out. Baking these cookies and smelling their sweet scent filling the empty nest, brings back the greatest memories for her to reflect back on and smile but, you could see the longing for her children to be in that kitchen with her as little kiddo’s once more.

This question really made me think. What is my Christmas? What is that moment, food or song that fills my heart with the feeling of Christmas? You would think this would be easy to answer, but all my answers sounded so cliché; baking, making a ginger bread house, shopping, wrapping presents, hearing the traditional songs and watching all the old classic Christmas movies. Yes, these are all things we do and have to get done but, none of these actions were “it” for me. Even listing all these actions sound “busy” & “loud.” Of course, it’s the birth of Christ for me and Debi that fills and lives within our hearts.

Don’t get me wrong, spending time with my family was one of my top answers that was quickly rolling off my tongue before it dawned on me what my answer truly is. And actually, Kent and I just discussed this the other night, even before Debi asked me the initial question. My answer is; sitting on the couch after the boys are in bed, and the house is quiet and all the lights are off and the only light is coming from the Christmas tree. There is something calm and peaceful about this moment for me. I sit and stare at all the old, new and the most precious homemade ornaments and get misty eyed thinking its been another whole year. Once I get my first evening in with the Christmas tree then I feel as if Christmas has arrived.

I can guarantee the original tree that Christ was hung on nearly 2 thousand years ago never was decorated with light and ornaments. (Or was His manger for that matter) Looking at my tree while it’s quiet and calm in my household, makes me think that the lights on my tree represents that God sent Christ as a Savior to be the Light of the world. He’s my light!

As you look at the Christmas tree this year I hope that it reminds you of the obedience Jesus had to honoring the Father even to the point of placing His life on the original Christmas tree…the cross.

I recently just read this story:
The story is told of a mother who is decorating the Christmas tree and nearby is her teenage daughter. The mother says “I still have a lot of decorating to do here, I don’t know how I will get it all done.

The daughter replies
“Well, I can help…if I don’t have to go visit Uncle Jim with you.”

The mother responds
“Nice try, but your going!”

The daughter says
“But mom why do I have to go there?”
“There are murderers there and people who beat their wives and all sorts of people.”

The daughter then picks up an ornament and notices it’s broken.
She sighs with sadness and disappointment over it being broken.

The mother comes over to the daughter and observes the broken ornament. She shares with her daughter how special the ornament is and that her father had made it when she was only six years old.

The mother additionally shares that this was Uncle Jim’s favorite ornament.

When he was a little boy he would take it from the tree and hold it and enjoy it so much.

The mother then looks at the ornament and then at the daughter and says
“You, know this ornament reminds me of your Uncle Jim. He is broken, just like this ornament.”

“Uncle Jim is precious to God because God made him.”

Then the mother smiles and says
“God can fix Uncle Jim’s brokeness.”

She hugs her daughter and says
“we can fix this ornament.”

The daughter says
“Yes, mom let’s do that and as soon as we are done let’s go visit Uncle Jim together.”

Do you know anyone… whose life is broken…like that precious ornament? I know that I have been broken a few times throughout my life. And, I have constantly been in need of repair. Aren’t you grateful for Jesus and that original Christmas tree that brings restoration to broken lives? I certainly am! I couldn’t live in the freedom without it.

Every one of us has been a broken ornament at some time. A precious ornament of God’s creation, yet broken because of our sin. I will rejoice this Christmas because of Christ on the original Christmas tree that we are no longer broken. God restores us through Jesus Christ.

The greatest and first tree used was the wooden cradle to hold our Savior born as a baby. Then to the greatest tree used, “The Cross”. Let us not forget as we reflect on another Christmas season.

Thank you Lord for the original Christmas tree….the cross.

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My Redhead Named “Rudy”

7 Dec

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In the last two weeks I’ve been in the company of two beautiful handicapped redheads. One with multiple sclerosis and the other going through chemo treatments. Both in which were the same age as my redhead Rudy. I of course, find myself feeling the knot in my stomach making the connection to my own child, and also wonder what gives these mothers the strength to endure? We as parents all know what it is, LOVE and just the plain fact of being a mother. And especially being a Christian, it could only be a God giving strength to be able to endure seeing your child go through suffering.

Moments like seeing this young mother holding her toddler with a face-mask on and thinning hair, really make me think about the moments when I feel I’m going to really “loose it” with my redhead. I’m sure this mother would love to do anything to be able to chase after her little boy running away from her giggling with each speedy step and not behaving. Yes, even in frustrating moments like these, I need to be more thankful.

I feel these are snapshots in life that God gives us as a reminder of what it could be for you and me. We need to not only be thankful that we have healthy children of course, but there are these parents out there that need our help, our love, and most importantly our prayers. Since that day in the nursery with the young boy with MS, my perspective of raising both my children has change somewhat. To raise a child with multiple sclerosis takes strength & patience both in which would come from God. I need strength and wisdom from God to be a parent that not only my children later in life would hopefully say, “they are proud of me” but, most importantly for my Lord and Savior to say the same.

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How can we love someone that has only been in our life for 3 quick years as if we have known and loved them from the beginning of time?

From the time Rudy was born he has been an attention stealer. Every parent with a redhead knows what I’m talking about. For some reason people are drawn to mention and point out that “awww your baby is a redhead!” I love it! For people to dote on my baby and notice how beautiful his hair is makes me smile ear to ear!

I was determined to not let the stereotype of redheads be true for my Rudy! But, then he turned one. Eek! He’s kinda grumpy, oh boy he has a temper that could boil water, he’s stubborn, and so intense. Then I had to surrender to the fact the stereotype is true. He’s a hot head.

I’ve learned/learning to be a parent to this type of child. I think we have to bring to the table all different skills as a parent that is unique to every child’s different personality. I’ve only known how to raise “gentle Max” and then I was thrown into a typhoon named Rudy. And I’m so glad I am. God knew exactly what was needed for our family, me as a mother, and the perfect little brother for Max.

The most important thing I’ve ever done as Rudy’s mom was just except and embrace this child God handmade just for Kent and I. Don’t fight it, just embrace it. Time flies by so fast, and every since I’ve done this, I’ve enjoyed the roller coaster ride at this amusement park that is full of cookies, Reese’s cups, M & M, cake and Tootsie Rolls. Who wouldn’t have fun in Rudy’s world!

Here are 5 interesting facts about redheads:

1. Redheads Shun the Dentist
*According to research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, people with red hair tend to have more dental-office phobias.

I didn’t know this until I started to do my research! I took Rudy to his 1st dentist appt. last week and he refused to “open up” he was trying to be brave, but as you can see the tears in his eyes he was terrified. No success that day. Later that day I asked him why he didn’t let the dentist check his teeth and his response was, “got paste and toothbrush, go home.” Ok, simply put.

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2. Although less than 4 percent of the world’s population is naturally red-haired, the most popular color of at-home hair dye is red.

3. In the late 16th century, the fat of a redheaded man was an essential ingredient for poison. (That’s just weird)

4. Hot tempered & stubborn
*Enough said….

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5. Red hair doesn’t gray as much as other hair colors. Red hair initially tends to turn blond and then white.

Rudy is only 3 years old and I could write a full chapter book about “The Adventures of Rudy Raccoon” we call him Raccoon cuz he scurries away whenever he gets caught in action doing a No! No!

Like for instance Rudy just knocked down our tree, then tried to hide.

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As many of you know I’m a fitness instructor. So that means Rudy had free range in the gym during the last yoga class I was teaching to 15 students. I was doing the pose “downward dog” and my little darling Rudy came up behind me and pulled down my yoga pants all the way down to my knees! Complete full moon! Do you know how hard it was to stay calm and unaffected by his action?! I’ve never been so RED in my life!

There is no denying that Rudy is a handful. And Rudy is not your cuddle type and he will barely ever hold your hand, but when he does, you cherish it all that much more, just like when he gives you a random kiss. It makes me melt. He has enriched our family with endless laughter.

If you were to ask Kent and I, if we would change it? We both would sternly shake our heads no! We never knew what we were missing until we had Rudy. I thank God, He did. I can almost envision God laughing when He was making Rudy and mumbling, “oh boy…” Our life and everyone else’s would never be the same without him! We are blessed to have the privilege to raise Rudy. Just buckle in and enjoy the ride!

Lastly, for the two little handicap boys that have crossed my path; you’re in Gods hands, under His great direction. And even though, this would be heart wrenching as a parent, the one comfort we can cling to is His promises. God’s promise to never leave nor forsake us. Easier said then done as I’m typing and listening to Rudy sing, I know. But I can pray for you to have that peace and comfort. And besides, your sons are redheads, and I know they are stubborn and determined, two great attributes to have to overcome any obstacles. May God bless you both.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. ~ Charles (Chuck) Swindoll

“The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed.”~ Billy Graham

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I love you Rudy
~Mom

Cheesecake Filled German Chocolate Cupcakes

5 Dec

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Ask any baker what a pet peeve is for them and they will say wasted ingredients! I attempted to make a recipe from a (will remain nameless) website for a German Chocolate Cupcake order and for some stink’n reason it flopped! I reviewed the recipe over and over to see what I did wrong and I’m left stumped. Ohhhh, the butter, the sugar, THE CHOCOLATE! All in the garbage. My desperate boys ate a couple of these failed cupcakes before I sent them to the land of cupcake misfits.

Did you know that German chocolate cake isn’t even “German” anyways?! So, it starts out as a liar. This cake is completely American. It owes its name to an American chocolate maker named Sam German. So, Sam’s last name became used in honor of this cake, and rightly so he is the creater of this AMERICAN cake. Gosh, I wonder what dessert would be named after me??? It would defiantly be a cookie, oh wait maybe a pie, or cake. At this rate I should just open up my own pastry/bakery shop and name it “Tahny’s Desserts!”

One big question I have to know from all you German chocolate cake lovers out there. Is it the cake you’re in love with? Or be honest, is it the frosting? My answer: FROSTING! Eat it by the spoonful, delish!

After my first failed attempt I tried again (because I had to) and it turned out good! Whew! I used Scharffen Berger chocolate in this batch. These had to turn out or my neighborhood would have to cover their ears from hearing my scream of “Noooooooooooooo!”

Well, no screaming needed. These turned out pretty darn good I must say! I actually added cheesecake in the middle as if they needed more of a fat content to them.

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It was recommended in another recipe to double the frosting recipe for all the frosting lovers out there. I took this persons advice and I’m so glad I did! How’s that song go…”a spoonful of sugar”

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After I topped the cupcake with the frosting, I thought they looked a little plain. So, I poured on some chocolate ganache that I was using for another chocolate cake order.

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“WAH-LAH!!!”

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Cheesecake Filled German Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature for 30 minutes
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 regular muffin pans with muffin cups.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together onto parchment paper. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 4 or 5 minutes. Add your eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding each additional egg. Mix in the chocolate and vanilla, making sure to combine really well. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to let it mix thoroughly.
Use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop and portion out the Chocolate Cake batter evenly into the muffin cups. Pop the pan in the oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes, turning the pans halfway through. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes completely cool in the pan on a rack.

Cheesecake filling:

1 cup Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling

Once cupcakes are cooled completely, remove about the size of a quarter amount of cake from the top and fill with a heaping teaspoon full of cheesecake filling. Replace the removed cake back on top of the cheesecake filling.

Frosting:

3 egg yolks
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups packed sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (if desired)
1 3/4 cups toasted pecans, chopped

Cook’s Note: Make sure all of your topping ingredients are at room temperature, except for the shredded coconut which you should keep in the refrigerator or freezer just until needed.

For the topping: Put the egg yolks, evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter in a separate saucepan. Place it over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until thick, 8 to 10 minutes or so.

Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, coconut and pecans. Allow to cool. Scoop the topping on the cupcakes with a heaping 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop. Drizzle with a chocolate ganache or glaze.

*Recipe adapted from Food network

*Side note: With the extra chocolate ganache I whipped it into a rich chocolate mousse for my layered chocolate cake.
Here’s what it looked like…

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