Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘cocktails’

I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s so darn tasty!

I have these moments every once in a while where I feel I need something more than a cupcake.

Yes, those moments exist. They are rare, but they do exist.

And because it was quite warm, and for whatever reason my fire alarm beeps whenever the apartment gets over 77 degrees, I figured that turning on the oven was not the smartest idea.

Yes, of course, these little treats are delicious, but more importantly they are fun to make!  You’re molding chocolate with balloons.  Come on, you know that’s pretty cool.  It feels like a party the whole time you’re in the kitchen.  It’s pretty sweet.  (Pun intended.)

The chocolate looks awesome, but it’s the filling that’s the real star.  It’s similar to cream cheese frosting, but lacking the firmness.  It’s more of a cream cheese frosting-custard (what?), minus the eggs.  So it’s obviously delicious.  And the best part?  There’s Bailey’s Irish Cream in it!

It is rich, tasty, and you certainly won’t find yourself thinking, “Where’s the Bailey’s?”  It’s there.  You taste it.  It’s good.

It’s no secret that chocolate cake, a good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie, or a spoonful of peanut butter make me happy.  But one thing you don’t know about me, is that homemade whipped cream is one of my favorite things of all.  It reminds me of Thanksgiving, where my mom taught me how to make it several years ago, and now every year it’s my job to make it.  It’s practically the easiest thing to make, but I love that.  And now that I’m all grown up older I’m infusing the sweet innocent treat with booze.  Go figure.  It’s okay, my mom would approve of this.  I know it.  She is my mother, after all. ūüėČ

The point of all this nostalgia is that I made whipped cream to top the dessert.  And although I only used but a smidge for each serving, it packs a punch.  Yes, it too contains the luxurious flavor of Bailey’s. I went all-out. No holding back. When it comes to something as delightful as Bailey’s, how could you possibly resist putting it in almost all aspects of the dessert?

Are you understanding that I love this liqueur?

So let’s recap:  It’s in a fancy little chocolate bowl, filled with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting/custard, and it’s topped with a dollop of Bailey’s whipped cream.

Where’s my spoon?!?

Bailey’s Cream Cheese Chocolate Cups

The chocolate cups

1 16oz pkg of chocolate (your choice – hint: use a high-quality dark chocolate; simply divine.
1 scant tsp veggie oil
1 pkg of small balloons (water balloons would work best)

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Inflate the balloons. Set aside. If you are using balloons larger than water balloons, inflate them to about the size of a water balloon. It’s common sense, yeah?

3. Melt the chocolate in the microwaves, 30 seconds at a time. Stirring WELL between each interval. It should only take about 2 times for it to melt. Add the oil, and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Okay…this is the fun part!

4. Dip the rounded side of the balloon into the melted chocolate. Make sure there is a good, thick coating. Set the balloon round side down, on the parchment paper. It will stand up, don’t worry.

5. WAIT until the chocolate is completely cooled and hardened. You’ll know it’s completely dry when it has a matte finish.  You may also lightly touch it.  If it feels even slightly sticky, it needs to set longer.

Oh, and I lied before…THIS is the fun part!!

6. Pop the balloons! Just do it. You can poke them with a pin, cut the tops and watch them deflate, whatever! Just get the air out! Some of the balloon will stick to the chocolate, so just lightly tug and it should peel right off. Set the cups aside.

BUT MAKE SURE THEY ARE COMPLETELY DRY!

Feeling impatient?  So was I…

womp womp wooommmmppp ūüė¶

Please learn from my mistakes. That’s why I’m here.

Do yourself and this dessert a favor and give your impatience the cold shoulder!

This is what it should look like!

Much better. ūüôā  And don’t worry if the bowls don’t come out perfect.  If you’re feeling like a perfectionist you may even them out later with a knife.

Bailey’s Cream Cheese Filling

1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until combined.

2. Add heavy cream, Bailey’s, and butter and beat until well combined and smooth.

3. Set in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to set.

Bailey’s Whipped Cream

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

1. Beat the heavy cream on high until you can see that the cream is getting thicker. Do not over-beat at this stage. It should barely form a very soft peak.

2. Add sugar and beat until well incorporated, but do not over-beat. At this point, the cream should form soft peaks.

3. Add the Bailey’s, and beat on high until you reach desired consistency (about a minute or so). Be very careful not to over-beat the mixture, otherwise you’ll end up with chunks, or worse, with butter. Eww.

Fill the cups with the cream cheese custard and top with a dollop of whipped cream!

Bon appétit!

Advertisements

Boozy bakin’ for my birthday!

My birthday was last Thursday. ¬†I’ll tell you about it.

What’s better than making yourself cupcakes? Someone making them for you.

Oh heyyy birthday breakfast! (And lunch and afternoon snack…)

What’s better than buying yourself flowers? Someone special sending them to you at work.

Not the most glamorous picture, but the flowers are so pretty!!!!

What’s better than your coworkers leaving you “happy birthday” notes and bringing you thoughtful gifts and receiving phone calls, voicemails, and texts all day? Then going out with your best girlfriends? ¬†And then being treated to an amazing dinner with family the next day?

Absolutely nothing.

I had such an awesome birthday. Seriously, it rocked. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. ¬†I know the best people on the planet.

Aaaand because I’m a little bit selfish, I made myself a little sumn’ sumn’ too!

Cupcakes! Champagne cupcakes, actually.  Mhm.

I love baking with booze. It feels so…adult. I don’t know if “adult” is the word I’m looking for, but I’m about 99.9% sure that you wouldn’t find champagne cupcakes at a six-year-old’s birthday party.

These little suckers are good. End of story. It’s a vanilla champagne cupcake filled with raspberry champagne pastry cream.

Oh, and topped with sprinkles because it was my birthday and I felt like being festive. And let’s get real, there isn’t really anything else that says “happy birthday” quite like rainbow sprinkles do.

The cake is delicious on its own; but fill it with the pastry cream, and you my friend, are in business.

Oh yeah, and the buttercream?  Top notch.  Delish.  Superb.  Excellante!

Someone get me a thesaurus, ASAP.

Make them if you’re celebrating something. ¬†Make them if you’re not celebrating something. ¬†Make them, and come up with something to celebrate. ¬†Celebrate the cupcakes for all I care…just make them!!!

Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry Champagne Buttercream

The Cupcake
from Sprinklebakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line the cupcake pan.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

3. Add eggs one at a time, combining thoroughly after each addition.

4. Add vanilla.

5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder). Set aside.

6. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sour cream and champagne together.

7. In three additions and starting with flour, add the flour mixture and champagne mixture.

8. Fill cups 2/3 full and bake for roughly 15-19 minutes, depending on your oven.

9. Let cool completely before filling.

Raspberry Champagne Pastry Cream
adapted from Sprinklebakes also.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup champagne
3 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup raspberry jam

1. Whisk 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and cornstarch in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the other 1/4 cup of heavy cream, champagne, sugar and jam. Bring this mixture to a boil and remove from heat.

3. Beat the egg and yolks into the cornstarch mixture.

4. Pour 1/3 of the boiling champagne mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to ensure that the eggs do not cook.

5. Bring the other 2/3 of the champagne mixture to a boil again. Once at a boil, pour in the egg mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.
I thought I was doing it wrong, until suddenly it started to thicken up. It takes awhile, just be patient!)

6. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Stir to combine.

Note: Let the pastry cream cool completely before filling the cupcakes. Once you let it cool off of the stove for a little bit, just pop it in the fridge and it will cool off nicely.

FYI:¬†Use that nifty cupcake corer I told you about last time, and fill the center with this tasty stuff! What’s pretty awesome about it is it makes the cake super moist, AND it packs a “just-right” raspberry punch. Yum yum yum!

Raspberry Champagne Buttercream

2 sticks of unsalted butter, slightly softened.
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp soy milk
1/4 cup + 1 tsp heavy cream
3 tbsp champagne
1 2-second pour of white zinfandel (Why 2-seconds? Because I didn’t measure. Don’t hate. Just do.)
1/3 cup raspberry jam

1. In a small saucepan, heat raspberry jam over low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. You’re looking for a liquid, not a congealed jam.

2. Beat butter until light and fluffy.

3. Add salt and confectioners’ sugar. Beat, but do not combine thoroughly.

4. Add milk, vanilla, champagne, and zin. Once everything is evenly combined, add the cooled raspberry jam. Beat the mixture until combined and you have reach a desired consistency. If the buttercream isn’t thick enough, add more confectioners’ sugar.

Note: This frosting does not¬†come out pink!! It’s a ¬†pale, white-ish pink. I added a small amount of pink food coloring.

5. Frost. (duh)

Bon appétit!

Island cookies from the Mainland

I have to take a moment to brag, so bear with me. It’ll benefit you, don’t worry.

I’m going to Hawaii on June 9th.

I’m going to Hawaii on June 9th for 6 days.

I’m going to Hawaii on June 9th for 6 days with my amazing boyfriend.

I. am. so. excited.

You know the best part about Hawaii? I don’t have any responsibilities there. No work, no school, no rent, no bills, no nothin’, except sunshine and lots of ridiculously awesome tropical adult beverages.

So because I’m a cheeseball I decided to make something with island-ish ingredients.

It doesn’t get more tropical than coconut.

This is a Sugar Therapy original, and it tastes quite delicious. That’s some good news, people! But at the same time, this is a Sugar Therapy original…so there are a few kinks to work out. Totally fixable, though!

These cookies might look a little flat, but they’re full of flavor! The next time I make these (which I will) I’m going to up the rum (yep, rum), and make them thicker by adding a little more flour. I knew the batter looked thin, but did I do anything about it? Nope. Oh well. You bake and you learn.

They’re so good though. And you know what’s really weird? These are possibly the first cookies I’ve ever made that might just be better the next day instead of right out of the oven.

“What? Those kinds of cookies exist?” Mhm, they do! ¬†But don’t be hesitant to try one ASAP, because let’s face it, you are baking and you do love cookies.

Island Cookies

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar (you can use regular granulated sugar too, I was just feelin’ fancy)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp pineapple rum (I used Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum)
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 coconut flakes
a small handful of cashews
a small handful of sliced almonds
milk chocolate

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees, and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color.  It will take a while, so hang in there.

4. On medium-low speed, add sugars and beat until smooth (little to no grittiness).  Increase speed to high and beat mixture for about 3 minutes.

5. Add egg and vanilla.  Beat until incorporated.

6. Add rum.  Beat until incorporated.

7. Stir in the flour mixture with a spoon until everything is just blended.

8. Stir in the butterscotch, coconut, and nuts.

9. Form 1″ balls of dough and place 1 1/2″-2″ apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, and transfer to wire rack.

10. Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle it on the cookies, as seen above.
Hint: Stir in a tiny bit of veggie or canola oil to the melted chocolate to keep it shiny. ūüôā

One last thing. ¬†Because I’m such a fan of substitutions, tweaks, and twists in baking recipes, I encourage anyone making these island goodies to add anything that sounds yummy. ¬†Macadamia nuts, perhaps? ¬†Maybe chocolate chunks for the chocoholic in your life? ¬†Something I considered (but unfortunately didn’t have time for) was to soak the coconut in the rum, instead of adding it to the batter in liquid form.

These cookies have too much potential.  Start baking!

Aloha!

Hola, Mr. Mojito!

Well folks, this is a very exciting event…my very first blog post! ¬†It took me quite awhile to choose a name, and the page still needs some work, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. ¬†So, with further adieu, allow me to introduce a very delicious friend of mine: the Mojito Cupcake! ¬†The thought of this cupcake came to me a few weeks ago, and I immediately Googled it, and decided on this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Cream Puffs in Venice. I ended up making my own frosting and I will admit to adding more rum to the syrup and cupcake than the recipes call for (and I highly recommend you do the same). My side comments are in italics. Enjoy!

Mojito Cupcakes with Lime-Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

The Cupcake:

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. dark rum (I used 2 tbsp. of Captain Morgan rum)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used about 1 tsp.)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven.

Combine the buttermilk, rum, and vanilla extract and set the mixture aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift and then set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 to 5 minutes).

I am a struggling college student, so I don’t have the money for a fancy stand mixer. Instead I used my handy-dandy electric hand mixer that I bought for $10 on Black Friday. It worked just fine, thank you very much. ūüôā

Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

With the mixer still on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix for a minute or two.

Add another third of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix well.

Add the remainder of the buttermilk mixture, once again scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix for another minute or two.

Add the remainder of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix for a minute or two, until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the flour has been incorporated.

Fill the cupcakes halfway with batter until you’ve used it all up.

Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes and then test for doneness by inserting a cake tester into the centre of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.

My oven runs a little hot, so my cupcakes came out perfect at 24 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before poking holes in them with a skewer or toothpick. Immediately spoon the rum syrup over the warm cupcakes and let them soak it all up. Once they’ve cooled completely, you can ice them with the lime and rum frosting.

The Rum Syrup:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup dark rum
2 or 3 pieces of lime zest
a few sprigs of fresh mint

For the syrup, I added about 2 tbsp. of lime zest, a few squeezes of lime juice, and about 4 mint leaves. I really wanted a prominent mint and lime flavor that the cake would absorb.

In a small pot, combine the sugar, water and butter over medium-high heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.

Once the butter has completely melted and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat.

Carefully add the rum. The mixture will bubble and spurt so take care not to burn yourself.

Once you’ve mixed in all the rum, add the lime zest and mint and let the syrup infuse for 5 minutes before spooning over the cupcakes.

This next part is all me, and I’m so glad I went with it, it turned out delicious!

The Lime-Rum Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp rum
1/2 tsp of grated lime zest

With an electric mixer (or stand mixer if you’re so privileged) whip the heavy cream on high until it begins to form soft peaks.
Add the vanilla and sugar and continue to whip until evenly blended and smooth. Taste it. I mean it, taste it! If it’s not quite sweet enough for you, add a little more sugar.
Add the lime juice, rum and zest. Continue mixing until blended.
Finally, add the cream cheese. Blend on medium to low until the frosting is thick and creamy.
The end result should resemble a thick whipped cream. Yum!

Even though it’s January, this was a very refreshing cupcake that might be even better during the summer. I believe my boyfriend’s exact words were, “I think these are the best cupcakes you’ve ever made.” But don’t take his word for it, try them out!