White Velvet Blueberry Cupcakes & My 4th Blogerversary!

White Velvet Blueberry Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

One of my goals of the New Year was to get off the couch and get a life.  Ha! With that said… I may have over done myself just a little bit.  My blogs 4th Anniversary came and went and I was so consumed with my new life and responsibilities, that it took me over a week to bake, frost, take pictures of and blog the cupcakes that I had planned to celebrate my Blogerversary! ACK!

Better late than never, right?

Now that I’ve finally had a moment to breathe and blog… let me tell you about these cupcakes.  The original idea for these came from the liners.  I took a trip to the IKEA in Regensburg to get a new coffee table for my living room.  My little man has started moving around way too much for that little table we had, so a bigger one was in order! While we were there, I spotted these new liners for their one of a kind cupcake pans.  If you haven’t seen them before they make a really tall, skinny cupcake and a big muffin top! I love them for special occasions and novelty cupcakes.  Unfortunately, they don’t have much of a selection in the liner department.  I used this pan a few years ago to make Red Velvet Cupcakes and now again with these blueberry cupcakes.  The blue and purple in the liners are really what inspired the flavors of this cupcake!

My husband decided a white velvet cake would be best but I wanted to incorporate blueberry in some way.  So, I came up with a white velvet cake filled with blueberry compote and then top it all off with blueberry frosting! YUM!  They turned out super delish and the blueberry compote is TO DIE FOR!

But seriously… can you believe it’s been FOUR YEARS of blogging at JavaCupcake!  It’s been an AMAZING journey so for that’s brought me so much joy!  I can’t believe the connections it has made me both professionally and personally.  THANK YOU to everyone who has been so committed to reading my blog and who has stuck by me for four years!  My readers are really truly amazing!!

Here’s to another great year of blogging!!

Enjoy!

White Velvet Blueberry Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

White Velvet Blueberry Cupcakes
 
Serves: 18 cupcakes
Ingredients
White Velvet Cupcakes
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2⅓ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature & cubed
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Blueberry Compote
  • Use THIS RECIPE
  • Before the compote cools, put it through a strainer. You just want some of the juice to come through, you don't need to strain it all. The goal is have a thick, juicy compote for filling and syrup for the frosting. You only need to do this step if using the compote for this recipe.
Blueberry Frosting
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp blueberry syrup from the compote
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Wilton food dye gel in purple (optional)
  • Purple and blue sugar sprinkles
  • Fresh blueberries for garnish
Instructions
White Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, vanilla and ¼ cup milk.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Add the cubed butter and ½ cup milk and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Add the egg mixture in 4 parts and mix on medium-low after each addition until just incorporated.
  6. Fold in the vinegar making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. DO NOT OVER MIX. The batter should still have a few small clumps of butter in it.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Core out the center of each cupcake and fill with blueberry compote.
Blueberry Frosting
  1. Cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the blueberry syrup, heavy cream and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix frosting on high until light and fluffy.
  5. OPTIONAL: Add a few drops of food coloring dye to enhance the purple of the frosting. Mix until incorporated.
  6. Using a wide open star tip, frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles and a blueberry to garnish

Chocolate Raspberry Ombre Petal Cake

Since I’ve been on a cake kick lately, I’ve been daydreaming non stop about what flavor to make next.   I’ve been craving my favorite chocolate cake recipe and my fridge is fully stocked with raspberries so I knew I had to incorporate them into this cake.  Next week I’m baking a cake for a birthday and thought today’s cake would be the perfect opportunity to practice a new decorating technique before I have to make the birthday cake!

I really took my time putting this cake together.  I started it about 11am and finished it around dinner time.  The most time consuming part was the frosting, not making the frosting, but decorating with the frosting. The cake itself only requires 2 bowls and a small pot, no mixer required.

Ombre is a style of decorating where you use several shades of the same color to frost your cake, beginning with the darkest and continue with lighter and lighter shades of your color until it becomes white.  This cake being raspberry, I figured pink would be the best choice.  I used Wilton Gel color pink, separated my frosting into four parts, thentinted my frosting three shades of pink and left one white.

The Petal Technique uses a round tip on your piping bag and a small spatula to create the effect.  It’s a simple process, just very time consuming.

Since I’d never made a cake like this before, I did my homework and read several blogs about how to successfully create these looks on a cake.  My favorite was from The Hungry Housewife.  She posted a tutorial on her blog that demonstrated both the ombre and petal effect to decorate a cake.  So, I watched this video, prepped my frosting and got to work!

I’m not going to include my step by step on how I decorated the cake, I’m going to let you read what The Hungry Housewife wrote… why reinvent the wheel.  But, I will give you the recipe for the cake I made and the raspberry filling.

Let’s talk about the cake for a second…

Dark chocolate, rich, dense and moist.  This is my FAVORITE chocolate cake recipe OF ALL TIME.  Yah, it’s that good.  And like I said before, no mixer required to make this cake… which makes it even better.  I’ve used this recipe for cupcakes before, but I’d never transitioned it into a cake, but it preformed wonderfully in cake pans!

Raspberry filling… nothing better next to chocolate than this raspberry filling.  Can I tell you a secret?  Last night, after the cake was finished, I spooned this raspberry filling onto extra pieces of chocolate cake and shoveled it into my mouth.  Actually, I made raspberry sandwiches with it… two pieces of cake filled with raspberry.  Decadent.  Heavenly.

A few things I realized during this cake that will make your cake making process a lot easier…

  1. PLAN AHEAD!  Decide what colors you want to use, what cake flavors you want to use and go over all your recipes and tutorials before you begin.  Be thorough so there are no surprises.
  2. Make sure you have all your tools ready.  You really want to have enough bags with the same tip prepared and ready to go when you start piping.  It will make this process 100x easier.
  3. Go slow.  Take your time.  Don’t rush it.  I know I get excited making new things and sometimes rush… but really, take your time.  Breathe and enjoy the process!

I really hope you try this cake for your next special occasion.  Your friends will be super impressed.  I’m even impressed with myself.  :)

Chocolate Raspberry Cake
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1½ cups brewed coffee
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Raspberry Filling
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • juice of a lime
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • pinch of salt
Vanilla Buttercream for filling
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • vanilla bean - split the bean and scrape seeds from one half of bean
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk
Vanilla Buttercream for icing
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2½ lbs powdered sugar (about 10 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • seeds of 1½ vanilla beans
  • ¼-1/2 cup milk
  • Wilton Food Coloring Gel - Pink
Instructions
Dark Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour 4 8in cake pans.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the 4 prepared pans. Each pan should get about 1½ heaping cups of batter.
  7. Bake 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, using a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure all four layers are the same size.
Raspberry Filling
  1. In a large pan, melt the butter.
  2. Add the raspberries, sugar and lime and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir continuously so that the raspberries begin to break down.
  3. Add the corn starch and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the raspberries thicken, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the salt.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling cake.
Buttercream (you'll use the same method to make both buttercreams)
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese (shortening too if you're making the bc for the outside of the cake).
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and salt.
  4. Add enough milk until you reach your desired consistency. Mix on high for about 5 minutes.
To color the frosting:
  1. Divide frosting into four bowls. Set one aside that will remain white. Using a toothpick, dab a VERY SMALL amount of the pink dye into one bowl and mix until uniform in color. Use a little bit more color in the next bowl and even more color in the final bowl. The colors should get gradually darker.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Place the first layer of cake on a cake board/cake stand. Using the first batch of buttercream, make a border of frosting on the top of the cake along the edge. This will create a space for the raspberry filling and keep it from oozing out the sides.
  2. Fill the top open space with ½ cup of raspberry filling, spreading evenly.
  3. Place the second layer of cake gently on top. Spread a ½ inch thick layer of buttercream evenly on top.
  4. Place the third layer of cake on top of the frosting and repeat the process used for the first raspberry layer.
  5. Finally, place the last cake layer on top. Using the remaining frosting to crumb coat the cake.
  6. Freeze cake for 20 minutes before frosting.
Petal Cake Frosting Technique
  1. Visit The Hungry Housewife for a complete petal cake frosting tutorial.

 

 

Peanut Butter & M&M Cookie Dough Filled Cupcakes

Today’s a big day in my little world.  My husband joined a squadron unit last week and tonight is the first FRG meeting for me with his new troop.   If none of that makes sense to you… don’t worry…. I’ll explain.

My husband is in the Army and got moved to a new unit.  Each unit has an FRG or Family Readiness Group which help to create a community among the spouses and families as well as provide important information about training, community events, and deployments.  I’ve always been the FRG Leader in the unit my husband has been in… so this will be a bit of an adjustment for me, not being in charge.  Tonight is the first meeting and I thought I’d make a good impression and bring cupcakes.

(Side note:  I was not in the mood to set up and take fancy photos of these cupcakes… just didn’t have time after I made them, honestly! Had to get to the meeting!  So… you get camera phone/Instagram pictures!)

I’ve made cupcakes similar to these before, so I had a pretty good idea how to make them.  They turned out pretty good… next time though I think I’ll use a cake recipe that’s a little denser… this cake is pretty light and the frosting and cookie dough ball are a bit heavy in comparison.  Cake doesn’t quite hold up to them.  BUT… it’s still darn delicious!

They’re chocolate cake with a peanut butter m&m cookie ball baked inside…. topped with peanut butter cookie dough frosting and more m&m’s.

VERY RICH!  You need a HUGE glass of milk with these cupcakes!

I’m bringing 2 dozen of these cupcakes to the FRG meeting with me tonight.  I hope the ladies enjoy them!!!

Wish me luck!

5 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter & M&M Cookie Dough Filled Cupcakes
 
Cook time
 
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
Ingredients
Cookie Dough Balls
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ tsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup M&M candies
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, NOT packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Frosting
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½-3/4 cup heavy cream
  • M&M candies to garnish
Instructions
Cookie Dough Balls
  1. Cream together the butter and sugars.
  2. Beat in the milk and vanilla until combined.
  3. Add the flour and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the M&Ms.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.
  6. Freeze at least an hour or until ready to use in cupcakes.
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla and sour cream until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix only until combined.
  5. Fill cupcake liners HALF full and push a cookie dough ball into the batter to the bottom of each cup.
  6. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Frosting
  1. Cream together the peanut butter and butter.
  2. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth.
  3. Mix in the flour and vanilla until incorporated.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. NOTE: It will be VERY thick at this point and your mixer may not like you very much. hehe
  5. Add the cream until you reach your desired consistency. I used almost 200ml of cream (about ¾ cup) and it was a thick, moist mixture, just like dough!
  6. Using a large round tip, pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake. Garnish with three M&M candies.

My 5th Marriage Anniversary & a Special Cake

Yesterday I celebrated five years of marriage with my husband, Dave!  Our marriage story is a unique one.  We didn’t have a wedding.  We weren’t even there when we got married.  Dave was in Iraq.  I was in Washington.  We were married in Montana.

WHAT? HUH? Don’t get it?  It’s okay…. it’s complicated.

You see, my husband I met in December 2006 and he left for his first tour in Iraq in April of 2007.  A few days before he deployed, Dave ask me to marry him at Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners) on the big screen in center field.  Of course, my heart swooned and I said YES!  A few days later he left for Iraq and my heart was broken.

April 7, 2007 – The morning Dave left for Iraq

It didn’t take but a few weeks of Dave being in a combat zone that he confessed to me that he wished he would have married me before he deployed so that he’d know that me and my daughter would be taken care of if something were to happen to him.  (Let’s not even think about the “what-if’s” of that scenario).  So, without hesitation I began researching a way to make this happen.  How could we get married while he was deployed?

Another soldier in Dave’s company had recently gone through a similar situation and I reached out to his new wife for advice.  She told me about a lawyer in Montana that could help us.  I contacted that lawyer and he told me the process was simple.  Montana was the only state that allowed marriages by proxy.  Meaning one or two of the parties were not present, but had someone stand in for them.  Wow.  I couldn’t believe you could actually do this.  So, I sent the lawyer all the necessary paperwork and his fee and I waited.  And waited.  And waited.

I waited until July 26, 2007 when I got a phone call that changed my life forever.   It was my lawyer and he had just returned from the courthouse in Montana.   We were married.  It had only been official for about 30 minutes by the time he called me.  I jumped for joy in excitement and I couldn’t wait to tell Dave!  I had to wait several hours until that evening before I could tell my new husband of our marriage when he got online to chat with me from Iraq.  We were married!  I was his wife.  He was my husband.  I was the happiest girl on the planet.

When I was a girl, like every little girl, I dreamed of a perfect fairy-tale wedding with a perfect dress, flowers, and cake.  This however, my real life fairy-tale, was so much better than anything I ever dreamed of as a girl.  I had my prince, a man who was willing to lay down his life for his country and for me.  I felt, and still feel, honored to be his wife and I love him more today than I ever imagined possible.

Zurich, Switzerland – June 2012

About a month ago I decided I wanted to make a special cake for our 5th anniversary.  We’ve been through so much in our first 5 years of marriage (2 deployments to Iraq, the death of my Mother, a move to Germany and the birth of our son… to just name a few) and I wanted to make a cake for us to cut and share together, something we never got to experience when we were first married.

I had been eyeballing Amanda from i am baker‘s tutorials on how to make a vertical layer rose buttercream cake.  This cake was way out of my league, but her tutorials made them seem to obtainable, so easy.  So, I set my mind on it and I started my research.

I read these posts from i am baker:

Vertical Layer Cake Tutorial

Rose Cake Tutorial

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream

I knew I didn’t want to fuss with the cake itself, so I planned to use a box chocolate cake and a box strawberry cake.  I wasn’t too sure how I felt about an all shortening buttercream like the one Amanda suggests, so I used a combo of butter and shortening in my frosting and it crusted up perfectly and tasted wonderfully.

Here are a few things I learned while making this cake…

  1. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!  Seriously, read what Amanda has written and truly take it to heart.  She has spent a lot of time practicing how to make this cake and she lays it out so simply in her tutorial.  Read it, study and take it step by step.
  2. DON’T RUSH! Take your time! I found myself so excited at times to make this cake that I found myself rushing.  I had to remind myself to breathe and enjoy the process.
  3. The simple syrup that Amanda mentions in the Vertical Cake tutorial… don’t skip it.  In fact, every time you make a cake that you’ll be putting in the freezer to set… use it.  My box cake turned out so moist and delicious with this syrup added.  It’s definitely a “must-do” for future recipes.
  4. I CAN DO IT!  *phew* The cake is finished and I gotta say… I’m pretty darn proud of myself! It’s not perfect by any means, but damn… it’s pretty!  I’ve been saying for along time… “I don’t make cakes.”  But hey, maybe I do… when I put my mind to it, I can do anything!

Since this actually makes two cakes, I plan to use the extra for a birthday party for a little neighbor girl this weekend.  I’ll update this post after I frost that cake.  She’s having a rainbow party, so I’m think about doing lots of fun colors with the frosting!

I’m really excited to see what I can come up with in another five years!!

HAPPY 5th ANNIVERSARY, HUSBAND!  I love you more today than I did yesterday!  Thank you for the best five years of my life! I feel so blessed and loved and honored to be spending my life with you! xoxo  And I look forward to the next five years!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes

Don’t let these cupcakes fool you.  Yes, that may look like a perfect peanut butter cookie on top of this cupcake… but, it’s not!  It’s frosting!  Can you believe it?  (A big shoutout to Annie’s Eats for inspiring me to make my own version of this cupcake after she posted hers!)

When I made my Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd cupcakes, I saved about a dozen chocolate cupcakes aside so I could turn them into these beauties.  I spread a whipped dark chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake and then placed a peanut butter cookie on top.  The cookie is actually a scoop of peanut butter frosting formed into a ball, pressed down and embellished with the traditional fork stamping of a peanut butter cookie!  Genius, right?!

My husband doesn’t typically enjoy anything I make with peanut butter, but he ate the entire cookie frosting off this cupcake and left the rest. He said it tasted like peanut butter fudge, which he absolutely loves.

I tasted all the ingredients separately and really, this is one cupcake that all three parts really taste better…. together.  Don’t get me wrong, the cupcake is awesome, the dark chocolate ganache is yummy and the peanut butter cookie frosting is heaven… but all together in one bite….. OUT OF THIS WORLD!

4 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes
 
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
Dark Chocolate Cake
Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • 9oz 100% cacao dark chocolate (or the darkest you can find)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (you might need more.... the darker the chocolate, the more cream you'll need)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting
  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups peanut butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
Dark Chocolate Cake
  1. Follow the directions to make the cake in the recipe here
Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. Chop chocolate into very small pieces and place in the bottom of a glass bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream until just boiling/bubbling.
  3. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let it set for 3-4 minutes without touching or stirring it.
  4. Using a spatula, stir the chocolate and cream together until smooth.
  5. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
  6. If the ganache isn't as smooth as you'd like it... add more warmed cream to the mixture and continue to stir until you get your desired consistency. NOTE: The consistency you're looking for a a smooth, yet thick, spreadable consistency.
  7. Use a wire whisk to whip up the ganache until it's fluffed up a bit. YUM!
  8. Spread a ¼ inch layer of ganache over each cooled cupcake.
Peanut Butter Cookie Frosting
  1. Cream together the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. NOTE: The frosting will be very thick.
  3. Add a 1-2 Tbsp of heavy cream to loosen up the mixture and make it a little smoother. NOTE: You still want the frosting to be thick, so don't add too much cream.
  4. Mix in a pinch of salt to cut back on the sweetness of the sugar. You want the frosting to be full of peanut butter flavor!
  5. Roll a generous tablespoon of dough into a ball and press flat with your hands. Using a fork, press the traditional peanut butter cookie lines into the cookies.
  6. Place a frosting cookie on top of each ganache covered cupcake.

Desserts for the Deserving: Monster Cookies

When Amanda at i am baker put out the call for bakers to participate in her “Desserts for the Deserving” program, I knew I had to be involved.

Desserts for the Deserving was established in 2011 with the sole purpose of bringing people joy. It is a non profit movement where bloggers, bakers, crafters, and all forms of creative people offer up time and resources to bring strangers joy.

This year I was pared up with an extraordinary woman.  Here’s what her sister shared with us and why she nominated her to be a recipient of “Desserts for the Deserving.”

“I would like to nominate my big sister, (name omitted for privacy). She is a nurse in the NICU and as is her nature, ALWAYS cares for others. Our father passed away 3 years ago and she was there when he was slipping away. She used her medical expertise and cool head to perform CPR until the EMS arrived. He never regained consciousness, but he survived for another 24 hours which allowed our mother, me and our 3 brothers to say goodbye and be together when he died. I will be forever grateful for that. Unfortunately, last year her marriage of 25 years ended and she is now in the middle of a heartbreaking divorce. It saddens me beyond belief because she deserves every happiness. She is my daughter’s godmother, my sister and my best friend. I want her to know she is cared about and thought of every day. Getting an unexpected surprise in the mail would make her day I know!”

So, I am pleased and honored to be sending  a care package full of these cookies.  I wanted to make her a cookie that would travel well all the way from where I am, Germany to where she is back in the USA.  A big cookie full of yummy chocolate would do the trick!

These Monster Cookies have chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, M&Ms, oatmeal and peanut butter.  Can’t get much better than that.

I really hope that she enjoys these cookies!  (If she doesn’t… she can send them back cause I know a 12 year old who will eat them! hehe)

To learn more about “Desserts for the Deserving” and how you can nominate someone or get involved as a baker… check out the i am baker blog or “Desserts for the Deserving” on Facebook!

Thanks to AMANDA at i am baker for putting this amazing project together!  It’s such a great thing to see the blogging, baking and crafting world come together to bring others joy <3.

Monster Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4½ cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup M&M's
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Mix in the sugars and cream on high until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix well after each addition.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda and the oats. On medium speed, mix in the oats. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the oats get combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and M&M's.
  7. Scoop 2 in balls of dough onto baking sheet. For more uniform cookies, roll dough in your hand gently to form a ball.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown and cookies begin to look set in the middle. Don't over bake!
  9. Cool on pan for about 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now THAT is a MONSTER cookie!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd Filled Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate + Raspberry = Heaven  100% Dark Chocolate from a little chocolate shop in Southern Germany + Fresh picked German raspberries turned into raspberry curd = Heaven x1000000!

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These cupcakes are probably one of the most decadent, sophisticated cupcakes I’ve ever made.  The intense dark chocolate paired with the tart raspberry curd plus the sweet buttercream are a combination unlike anything I’ve ever had before.

I made the raspberry curd a few days before I made the cupcakes, so it made for really easy assembly.

And the vanilla buttercream is my most favorite recipe for vanilla buttercream EVER! I’ve made it before and it’s become my “go-to” recipe for vanilla.

The chunk of chocolate on top… yeah, that’s a German chocolate.  Raspberry Chocolate.  PERFECT for this cupcake.

5 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Curd Filled Cupcakes
 
Decadent, rich, dense chocolate cake filled with fresh, tart raspberry curd topped with sweet vanilla buttercrea.
Serves: 2 dozen cupcakes
Ingredients
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup 100% Edel-Kakao extra brut chocolate cocoa powder (or the darkest cocoa powder you can find)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream infused/steeped with vanilla beans
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
Raspberry Curd
  • Recipe can be found HERE
Dark Chocolate
  • Cut dark chocolate into chunks to top each cupcake.
Instructions
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add the heavy cream, brewed coffee and vanilla extract. Heat until just barely simmering. Remove from heat and allow to cool as you prep the other ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs.
  5. Slowly pour the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg/sour cream mixture and whisk until smooth. NOTE: DO THIS SLOW! You don’t want to cook the eggs, so start pouring a very small amount of the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture… DO NOT DUMP IT IN ALL AT ONCE.
  6. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. In three parts, add the chocolate mixture to the flour. Whisk until just combined and smooth after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated. Finally, whisk batter about 20 strokes.
  7. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter. Bake 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream
  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. While that is creaming, steep your heavy cream with 1 vanilla bean. To steep: Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds and add to the cream. Whisk. Bring the bean/cream to a simmer, remove from heat and cool slightly. Remove the pod.
  3. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, to the butter/cream cheese. Mix on high until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  5. Add ¼-1/2 cup vanilla cream until you get the desired consistency you desire. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Mix in the pinch of salt.
Assembly
  1. Core the center of each cupcake using an apple corer.
  2. Spoon in raspberry curd into each opening.
  3. Pipe frosting using a Wilton 1M tip onto each cupcake.
  4. Top each cupcake with a chunk of dark chocolate.


 

Chunky Peanut Butter M&M Cookies & Cookie Bites

I don’t know what my obsession with M&Ms is lately, but I seem to be buying out the stock of them in the store and baking EVERYTHING with them.  Maybe it’s because I like how colorful they  make my cookies rather than using chocolate chips…. maybe it’s just cause I love chocolate… or maybe… well who cares, I just love them!

I’m pretty sure a lot of you have seen the chocolate chip cookies that have been floating around Pinterest and the internet that require 36 hours of chilling before baking.  I had often wondered myself what all this chilling really does for a cookie… I have never really tried it with a cookie other than my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, but reading all these blogs talk about how amazing their cookies were after a prolonged chill… I got to wondering if this would work with other cookie dough recipes?

Peanut butter cookies are similar in ingredients to the chocolate chip cookie, brown sugar, butter, egg, flour, etc etc so I thought it might work.  Plus, everything I’d read about this long chill, the cookies turn out crisp on the edges and chewy in the centers… which is exactly what I wanted for these peanut butter cookies.

So, I’m patient… but I’m not THAT patient.  I didn’t chill these cookies for 36 hours, I made it about 19 hours.  But… I’m thinking that it’s a perfect amount of time because the cookies turned out perfect!! Chewy in the middle, a bit crisp on the edges, golden brown and so good!

Chunky Peanut Butter M&M Cookies & Cookie Bites
 
Cook time
 
These peanut butter cookies are the perfect combination of crisp edges with chewy centers with a peanut & M&M in every bite!
Serves: About 32 3in cookies + 24 cookie bites
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly soft but still cold
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped into chunks
  • 1 12.6oz bag of M&M candies
  • ½ cup sugar for rolling cookies
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chopped peanuts and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla and cream for another 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often to ensure everything is incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two parts, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in the M&Ms using a spatula (NOTE: You can use your mixer for this, but make sure you do it on low so the M&Ms don't break.)
  6. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight or at least 18 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out 2 inch balls of dough and coat with sugar.
  9. Place balls on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern until slightly flattened.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes or the cookie is slightly golden brown. NOTE: DO NOT over bake these cookies!! You want the middles to seem gooey still! I baked mine exactly 11 minutes, but every oven varies.
  11. Allow to cool on pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. (Or if you're like me, you'll eat them straight from the oven!)
  12. Keep dough refrigerated between batches so it stays chilled.
Cookie Bites:
  1. Spray lightly the insides of a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place 1in balls of cookie dough into each opening.
  3. Bake at 350 F degrees for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool at least 5 mins in pan. Use a toothpick to pop out each bite. NOTE: If you try to remove the cookie bites too early, they may fall apart. You want to give them enough time to set up before removing.