White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies

In need of an inexpensive, fun, delicious treat for Valentine’s Day?  Make these white chocolate dipped valentine fortune cookies… they will make your sweetheart want to kiss you!

White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

This year I’ve decided that I wanted to create simple treats for Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t want to make anything too super elaborate, yet I wanted to show how easy it is to make delicious, fun treats without a lot of money, effort or skill.

These white chocolate dipped valentine fortune cookies accomplish just that!  With just a few ingredients, these cookies are incredibly easy to make!  You cookies don’t have to look like mine either… just use whatever Valentine sprinkles you already have in your pantry! You could even use milk or dark chocolate instead of white chocolate if you preferred!

White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

I also found out something great about these cookies!  Matty loves them.  Yup, my toddler can’t get enough of the fortune cookies!  We don’t eat out Asian food that often and I don’t think I’ve ever bought them… so when we were given them at a restaurant in Berlin over Christmas, I was surprised to see how much Matty loved them.  He probably would have eaten 10 of them if I let him.  He loves them that much!

When I made these fortune cookie today, he ate two… okay, he had three.  And he loved every moment!

White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

For Valentine’s Day, I’m going to package these white chocolate dipped valentine fortune cookies in cellophane bags, tie them with curling ribbon and attach a love-themed fortune to them.  They should be pretty cute.  If I’m on top of things, I’ll take pictures and put together a tutorial for you.

But that’s only if I’m on top of things.  Haha

White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

Have you started thinking about Valentine’s Day yet?

White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies
 
Prep time
 
Serves: 3 dozen decorated cookies
Ingredients
  • 36 fortune cookies
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips (I used Hershey's)
  • Assorted Valentine sprinkles
  • Pink gel food coloring
  • Wilton piping tip #4 (or very small round)
  • Disposable piping bag
  • Wax paper
Instructions
  1. Set out a large piece of wax paper on your counter.
  2. In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt the white chocolate. TIP: Microwave chocolate for 1 minute at 70% heat, stir and repeat. Then switch to microwaving for 30 seconds at 70% heat, stir and repeat until smooth.
  3. Dip ⅓-1/2 of one fortune cookie into the melted white chocolate. With the cookie in one hand, use the other hand to tap the cookie holding hand gently... this will help the extra chocolate drip off the cookie without breaking the cookie.
  4. Once the extra chocolate has fallen off, sprinkle the chocolate with Valentine sprinkles. Set on the wax paper until the chocolate has hardened. Repeat this with 2 dozen fortune cookies. NOTE: You may need to reheat the chocolate if it has become too firm to dip in.
  5. With the last dozen cookies, dunk each in chocolate then set aside to dry.
  6. Once the last dozen has hardened, reheat the remaining chocolate until smooth. Add pink gel coloring to the chocolate and mix until uniform in color.
  7. Spoon the melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag fitted with the very small round tip.
  8. Pipe mini hearts onto the white chocolate and allow to harden.
  9. Once all the chocolate has hardened, the fortune cookies are ready to eat!
  10. Store them in an air tight container or package them as gifts!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway

Crisp shells and melt in your mouth ganache paired with espresso make these mini mocha macarons a decadently delicious treat!

Mini Mocha Macarons | JavaCupcake.com

This is a LONG post… but it’s going to be worth it, I PROMISE!  So sit back and enjoy… cause there’s lots of fun stuff in here including a recipe, DIY printables, super fun pictures, and a great giveaway at the end!!

I made my first macaron in October of last year and it was a big success.  The Macaron has always been a dessert that has kinda scared me.  It is super fancy and I’ve really only seen them in bakeries since I’ve lived in Europe.  So when Rachel of Glitter & Bow and I started talking about doing a collaborate post together, we both instantly thought that this decant Parisian dessert should be included!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel is a fashion, lifestyle and DIY blogger at Glitter & Bow.   She’s also an Army Wife, lives about 30 minutes from me and has become a good friend here in Europe.  We come from two completely different worlds, but our love of food (more me), fashion (more her) and blogging has brought us together.

Rachel has helped to me to be able to be more confident in my own skin.  She’s taken me shopping for new clothes and make-up as well as give me make-overs and help me with my fashion styling! She even did my hair for this photo shoot and helped to put my super cute outfit together!  I really value our friendship because she inspires me to do more than just throw on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, but to really try to look my best.  And after having a baby in my 30’s that’s not always easy to do!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

I had so much fun the day we got together to take the photos of the macarons and the prizes for the giveaway.   Rachel’s design aesthetic and my photography skill joined together produced some amazing pictures.  There were really so many more great shots… too many actually that it made it hard to choose which to include in this post!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

The macarons I made for this collaboration were inspired by a recipe I saw on Diary of a Mad Hausfrau.  Lora has so many amazing macaron recipes on her blog that I knew which ever one I chose to make, it’d be a winner!  And boy was I right.  These mocha macarons are so incredibly good!

If you love espresso, you’ll love these macarons.  They have a very strong espresso flavor, but are not bitter at all.  They are sweet and the dark chocolate mocha ganache in the filling is a perfect pairing.

Decadent.

Delicious.

A must make.

Mini Mocha Macarons | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel has outdone herself with these super cute boxes & gift-tags for our macarons!  Head on over to Glitter & Bow for a FULL TUTORIAL on how to make these boxes and tags and get the FREE PRINTABLES to make them yourself!

Printable Macaron Box & Valentine Tags by Glitter & Bow | JavaCupcake.comPhoto by: Glitter & Bow

Mini Mocha Macarons
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2-3 dozen macarons
Ingredients
Tools Needed
  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment - both very clean and dry
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Mesh sifter
  • Wire whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Disposable piping bag
  • ½in round piping tip (Wilton 1A)
  • Small round piping tip (Wilton 12)
  • 3.5cm piping template Click HERE for the template
Mocha Macarons
  • 90g egg whites (left out overnight at room temperature)
  • 50g sugar
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 110g blanched almond flour
Mocha Ganache
  • 120g semi-sweet chocolate - I used Lindt 70% Schokolade
  • 120ml or ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • ½ T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
Mini Mocha Macarons
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Place the racks on the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 2 templates per baking sheet under parchment paper.
  2. In the medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, espresso powder and almond flour. Sift three times. You may have a few lump of almond flour left in the sifter, discard it. Stir the whisk around 5-10 stokes to ensure everything is combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites. Start the mixer on low and gradually bring it to high speed. Once the eggs have become foamy, add the granulated sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. Mix for 20 seconds after each addition. After all the sugar has been added, continue to mix on high until stiff peaks form. This entire process should take 6-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and tap off any extra meringue from the whisk into the bowl.
  5. Gently pour half the almond/sugar mix into the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Take care to fold VERY gently, about 10-15 strokes, scraping the bottom and sides occasionally. Add the remaining almond/sugar mix and repeat another 10-15 strokes, again occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl (top photo below).
  6. Continue to slowly fold the batter another 15-30 strokes or until the surface is smooth and shiny and the batter is thick. When you lift and drop the batter back on itself, after waiting for about 30 seconds, the ridges should slowly ooze back into the batter (bottom photo above).
  7. Attach a ½in wide, round piping tip to a disposable bag and fill it with batter. Holding the bag upright, slowly squeeze dollops of batter onto the prepared baking sheet using the template as a guide. NOTE: To make these mini, make sure the batter goes just to the edge of the template circle and not to the edge or outside of it. Read [THIS TUTORIAL | http://bakeitoff.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/macarons-tips-tricks-and-how-to.html} for more details on this process.
  8. Tap the pan on the counter several times to release any air holes in the macarons.
  9. Allow macarons to rest on the counter for 20-30 minutes or until a crust has formed and is stiff to the touch. Remove template before baking.
  10. When ready to bake, place one baking sheet on each rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate pans 180 degrees and switch racks moving the pan on top to the bottom and the pan on the bottom to the top. Bake another 3-5 minutes or until firm with the slightest amount of give when gently touched.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes on the pans. The macarons should then gently pop off the pan when lifted. Set them on a wire rack to cool completely before filling. BE CAREFUL, they are FRAGILE!
Mocha Ganache
  1. Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, whisk the espresso powder and the heavy cream together until incorporated. Add the butter and bring it all to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the hot espresso milk & butter over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently and slowly stir the ganache until smooth.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  6. Allow the ganache to come to room temperature and be completely cool before piping onto the macarons.
Assembly
  1. Fit a piping bag with the Wilton 12 tip and fill with ganache.
  2. Match up macaron shells so that they are equal in size and shape. Lay them open face on your work surface.
  3. Squeeze about a teaspoon of ganache onto one macaroon.
  4. Holding the macaron by it's sides and NOT the tops, gently place the matching shell on top of the ganache and wiggle it down gently until the ganache reaches the sides.
Storage & Serving
  1. Macarons will last up to 5 days. If serving the day they are made, leave them out at room temperature.
  2. If not serving the same day, store them in an air-tight container on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator. Allow the macarons to come to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.
Notes
Macaron Recipe from Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Ganache Recipe from Java Cupcake

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

As a sweet THANK YOU to our readers for being so great and because macaron and all things fashion are just to sweet not to giveaway, Rachel & I have put together this sweet giveaway for you!

One lucky reader will win:

Macaron Bakery tea towel by H&M (retail $5)
Treats tea towel by Home Goods (retail $5)
Macaron lip balm in ‘Lychee flower’ by MOR Cosmetics (retail $10)
1 set of 48 Capacity Macarons Mat and Decorating Flower Tools (retail $13)
Gourmet French Macarons: Over 75 Unique Flavors and Festive Shapes (CD Included) by Mindy Cone (retail $20)
Pave link bracelet by J.Crew (retail $125)

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Mindy Cone, the author of Gourmet French Macarons & blogger at Creative Juice, will personally send you a copy of her new book!  This book is so amazing!  It’s full of easy to follow recipes and has a CD included that has a template for each macaron in her book.  This is probably one of my most favorite new cookbooks of 2013!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

I have had my eye on this J. Crew pave link bracelet since I saw Rachel wearing it once when she came to my house to get some cupcakes.  I fell in love.  It really was one of the things that inspired me to want to do a collaborative post with her!  Her style and love of fashion has truly inspired me to invest more time and effort into making myself feel better… both inside and out.   My hope is that wearing this bracelet will do the same for you!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

Rachel is a lover of every thing make up.  So when she told me she found macaron lip balm I knew that this giveaway was going to be super special!  I opened up and took a quick sniff of this lip balm and oh my gosh it smells so good!

Mini Mocha Macarons & a Giveaway | JavaCupcake.com

We really hope that you’ve enjoyed our collaboration post as much as we enjoyed putting it together!  To win all of these great prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below!

Contest ends Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:59 PST.  One winner will be chosen by random on Feb. 15, 2014 and will have 24 hours to respond to an email from Betsy.  A new winner will be chosen if there is no response.

Contest is open to those with USA mailing addresses and Europe addresses only.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

This decadent chocolate brownie topped with rich and creamy raspberry cheesecake is a dessert you will definitely feel guilty about… but it’ll be so worth it! Plus, there’s a super fun Berlin giveaway! Yay!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies | JavaCupcake.com

There’s no doubt about it.  There is nothing healthy about these raspberry cheesecake brownies.  From the eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate in the brownie to the full fat cream cheese and sugar covered berries in the cheesecake topping… everything about this dessert is decadent, delicious and oh so good!

While I was in Berlin for the New Year, I knew I had to take some time out to meet and bake with Erin of Texanerin Baking.   There aren’t many American food bloggers living in Europe and I’ve been looking forward to connecting with Erin since I’ve lived here.  Her style of baking is a it different from mine because it focuses on making healthier versions of desserts, snacks and other food yet still maintaining delicious taste and quality!

JavaCupcake & Texanerin!

I met up with Erin at her apartment and was greeted so sweetly by her husband.  Erin and her husband live in Berlin while he finishes up his education.  Before we got to baking, I had brought a surprise for Erin… a 5lb bag of all-purpose flour!  See, Germans don’t use AP flour.  They have different versions of white, unbleached flour but none of them are as good as AP flour.  Erin had never seen a bag so big before… she was pretty excited to start baking with it!

We had decided to make a Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie together… but make it two ways.  Full fat, full sugar and full flavor and then a lightened up, healthier version.  We wanted to show that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for healthier choices in baking.

Starting with a baked brownie recipe for the base, my recipe used all-purpose flour and granulated sugar.  Erin’s version uses whole wheat flour and coconut sugar… two easy ways to lighten up the brownie.

After taste testing both brownies, neither of us could tell a difference.  Both brownies were incredibly delicious and oh so addicting.  I think Erin mentioned that between her and her husband, most of the brownies were gone the next day!  Yeah… so were mine.  They were THAT good.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies | JavaCupcake.com

Make sure to visit Erin’s blog Texanerin Baking for her healthier version of these brownies!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8-12 brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6oz dark chocolate
  • 4oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup homemade brown sugar (Recipe Here)
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Rapsberry Cheesecake Topping
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp homemade brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees or 180 C degrees and line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, make the brown sugar & set aside. (See recipe link above)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, and salt.
  4. In a heat-proof glass bowl, melt the chocolate either in your microwave or a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Whisk in the sugars until smooth.
  6. Pour in the melted butter and whisk until combined.
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  8. Pour the chocolate/sugar mixture into the flour mixture and fold together until no more flour is visible.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  10. In another bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  11. Gently spread the cream cheese evenly over the chocolate batter.
  12. In a small bowl, sprinkle the 1 Tbsp sugar over the berries and mix to combine. Break up the berries until it resembles a jam consistency.
  13. Spoon dollops of raspberry over the cream cheese mixture. Using a knife, swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese.
  14. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top is firm to the touch.
  15. Allow to cool in the pan completely before cutting into square and serving.

 

A Berlin Giveaway! -CLOSED-

As a fun treat for our readers, since Erin and I had such a good time together baking… we’ve put together a prize package of some fun baking related goodies that are exclusive to Berlin!   To win all these great prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below.

Contest open to those with a USA mailing address.  Contest ends Thursday, Feb. 6th at 11:00pm PST and a winner will be chosen Friday, Feb. 7th. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to our email before a new winner will be chosen.

The Prizes:

Have you ever heard of the Ampelmann? He’s the character on all the stop lights in East Berlin.  He’s pretty famous here.  So, we’re giving you a set of Ampelmann cookie cutters!

Amplemann Cookie Cutters | JavaCupcake.com

The Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower are two iconic landmarks in Berlin.  Everyone who visits this great city goes to see them.  And now, you can enjoy these landmarks in cookie form with the Brandenburg Gate and TV Tower cookie cutters!

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and TV Tower Cookie Cutters | JavaCupcake.comLindt is a Swiss chocolate that I know is sold world-wide.  But, I had never seen a Lindt store until I was in Berlin.  Nothing but delicious Lindt chocolates and other confections.  And when I say other confections, I mean these grinders I scored at the store in Berlin.  One is chocolate & sugar and the other is chocolate & espresso.  Can you imagine the possibilities for these?  Recently, I used the espresso grinder on top of espresso truffles.   So good.  You’ll get one of each!

Lindt Grinders | JavaCupcake.comRitter Sport is a 100 year old chocolate company based out of Germany.  Ritter recently opened a store in Berlin where you can have a bar of chocolate handmade for you with your favorite mix-ins.  You will get two hand made bars from the Ritter store with the following mix-ins: Milk Chocolate, Biscuit Bits & Mini Marshmallows AND Dark Chocolate, Strawberry Pieces & Hazlenut.  So yum!

Handmade Ritter Sport Chocolate Bars from Berlin, Germany | JavaCupcake.com

Finally, Viba is a German company that makes nougat bars that, according to Erin, everyone she knows in the USA is always asking for her to send them!  So, You’ll get 4 Praline dark nougat Bars and a 3-pack of Classic nougat Bars!

Viba Nougat Bars | JavaCupcake.coma Rafflecopter giveaway

6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  Seriously… I think this may be my favorite day of the year!  I was looking back at all my cake recipes and I came to a very serious conclusion.

6 of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes Ever! | JavaCupcake.com

I like chocolate cake.

Okay, I think it’s more like I LOVE chocolate cake.

We can probably blame my mother for this because she made me a chocolate cake with fudge frosting every year for my birthday.  So naturally, as an adult I make it every chance I get.  Oh… my birthday is Feb. 10.  I’ll be having chocolate cake.  Ha!

So here are 6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER! Enjoy!

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Chocolate Cake You'll Ever Eat by JavaCupcake-4

 

Almost as Good as Mom’s Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Almost as good as Mom's - Double Chocolate Layer Cake by JavaCupcake.com

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake by JavaCupcake.com

Half Baked Cake

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Chocolate Raspberry Ombre Pedal Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Ombre Petal Cake by JavaCupcake-6

Irish Stout Cake with Bailey’s White Chocolate Ganache

Irish Stout Cake by JavaCupcake.com

Cherry M&M Cookie Bars

Cherry M&M candies and semi-sweet chocolate chips fill these cookie bars making them out-of-this-world delicious!

Cherry M&M Cookie Bars | JavaCupcake.com

My neighbor likes to collect things for me that she think I’ll like.  Most recently, she brought me a bag of Cherry M&M candies.  Now, you might not think this is too significant, but when our Commissary has something new, you have to jump on it and buy it immediately.  You never know when or if they’re going to have it again.

So I’ve got this bag of cherry M&M’s, what am I going to do with it?

Cherry M&M Cookie Bars.  Duh.

I mean really.  Was there any other option?  Not really.

Okay, now I know what I’m going to make, but now I had to figure out what I was going to do with them once I did make them.  I certainly didn’t need an entire pan of these sitting in my house.  I’d eat them all.  Or my kids would.

Oh… I’ve got it!

The 12th Man in Germany | JavaCupcake.com

My friend Holly is a photographer at Winter’s Splendor Photography and she’s taking picture of my 12th Man Rally.  I can give them to her as a Thank You! Perfect!  She’s got kids and a husband who can all enjoy them together.  Wonderful.

Are you wondering what a 12th Man Rally is?  If you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE Seattle Seahawks fan.  I mean… I’ve loved them my entire life!  And finally… this year they are going to the Super Bowl!  For only the second time in the history of the team they are going to the Big Show!

To show my support for the team and my hometown of Seattle, I gathered as many Seahawks fans I could find and took a big group photo! The fans are called the 12th Man… 11 players on the field…. the 12th man in the stands.  That’s us!

Cherry M&M Cookie Bars | JavaCupcake.com

Back to these Cherry M&M Cookie Bars!  The batter is really a basic one… two bowls and a 9x13in pan are really all you need.  If you didn’t have Cherry M&Ms you could sub any candy, nut, or chocolate.  The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

Cherry M&M Cookie Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 15 cookie bars
Ingredients
  • 10.5oz all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag Cherry M&M candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees and line 9x13in baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the pan and paper with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir together until completely combined.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the cherry M&M's and mix until incorporated.
  6. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  7. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cherry M&M's on the top of the batter making sure to evenly distribute. Gently press the candies into the batter.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes on the low-middle rack in your oven. The bars will be done with the edges brown and the top is firm to the gently touch.
  9. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  10. Use a butter knife around the edges of the cookie that directly touch the pan before lifting the cookie out.
  11. Cut the cookie into squares. Serve with cold milk.
  12. Store in an air tight container up to 4 days.

German Style Rosemary Potatoes (Rosmarinkartoffeln)

Olive oil, onions and fresh rosemary make these German Style Rosemary Potatoes some of the best I’ve ever had!

German Style Rosemary Potatoes | JavaCupcake.com

Christmas time in Germany means one thing… Christmas Markets.  For the four weeks of Advent, large cities and small villages across Germany (and Europe) all put together some sort of Christmas Market for their communities to enjoy.   My favorite part of the markets…

The food.

Hands down the food at these markets is unlike anything I’ve ever had before in my life.  Every market is just a little bit different in the food they serve.  But, one thing is certain… there will always be potatoes.

Potatoes (or Kartoffeln in Deutsch) are a staple side food or snack in the German culture.   The potato was introduced to Germany in 1589 but it didn’t become a regular part of the German diet until the 17th century when a famine forced people to see potatoes as an important food source.  It’s said that today Germans eat more than 150lbs of potatoes annually.  (Source: German Food Guide)

WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt Berlin | JavaCupcake.com

This last December, I was in Berlin for the holidays with my best friend Sarah and her family.  We probably went to at least 5 different Christmas Markets while we were there with my most favorite being the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt.  It was a smaller market, but it had lots of delicious food and a stage for live music.

The first day we visited the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt, the band that was performing was playing old school Disney songs and Matty LOVED it.  He danced and danced and danced for what seemed like an hour!  Here’s a little video… too cute!

At this market, I probably had the BEST potatoes I’ve ever had in Germany.   The potatoes were cooked whole and seasoned with fresh rosemary.  The stand I ordered the Rosmarinkartoffeln from had the potatoes cooking in a large wok type skillet and just kept pouring on the olive oil and fresh rosemary.  I started drooling the moment I saw them and smelled them.  These rosemary potatoes were so good, Sarah and I actually went out of our way to go back there a second day just to eat these potatoes again.   Sarah ordered hers with a garlic sauce and I had mine with a fresh salsa.  But really, they were so good just on their own too.

So good that I needed to recreate them at home.

German Style Rosemary Potatoes | JavaCupcake.com

I had made salzkartoffeln or salt potatoes previously, so I had a good idea of how to start and how to prepare the rosemary potatoes the way the Germans at the market had made them.  I began with boiling the potatoes in heavily salted water until they were almost done, but still firm in the center.

Then I put them in a skillet with a lot of olive oil, seasonings, onions and of course… rosemary.

The end product was about 90% as good as the potatoes I had at the Christmas Market.  I mean, let’s be honest… nothing I make at home will ever be as good as being in Berlin with my best friend eating authentic Rosmarinkarofflen.

Seriously, you should make these.  So good.

So good.

Enjoy!

German Style Rosemary Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Ingredients
  • Water
  • ¼ cup salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1000g small, white or yellow, thin skinned potatoes (about 2.25lbs)
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • 8-9 sprigs rosemary, stem removed & lightly chopped - divided
Instructions
  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and completely cover with water. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and pour in the ¼ cup of salt. Stir until dissolved.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. You want the potatoes to be about 75-80% cooked and still a bit firm.
  3. Once the potatoes are ready, strain off the water.
  4. Heat 2-3 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  5. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt/pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium/medium-high.
  6. Add the potatoes to the pan.
  7. Liberally drizzle 4-6 Tbsp olive oil over the potatoes. NOTE: It may seem like a lot, but you really want the potatoes coated in oil. The oil will reduce by the time you serve the potatoes.
  8. Add salt/pepper to taste then sprinkle dried herbs over the top. NOTE: The amount of herbs is up to you... I always just "eyeball" it and go with what feels right.
  9. Add about ¾ of the lightly chopped rosemary.
  10. Stir everything together & ensure the potatoes are completely coated in herbs and oil.
  11. Cook over medium/medium-high heat for about 30 minutes. Stir/toss the potatoes several times while cooking. NOTE: The goal of these 30 minutes is to brown the outsides, reduce the oil, infuse the herbs and complete the cooking of the potatoes. The potatoes will be done when a fork goes through with just a slight bit of firmness left in the potatoes.
  12. Serve hot garnished with the remaining fresh rosemary.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 4 pepole

Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail for #CocktailDay

Have your cake and drink it too with this decadently delicious Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail!

Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail for #CocktailDay | JavaCupcake.com

Welcome to #CocktailDay!

1513213_10152151530972525_1152289446_nCocktail Day a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and Donna of Cookistry. We are raising our glasses to toast you all with some unique and delicious cocktails and mocktails in anticipation of the Big Game and Valentine’s Day. Be sure to bookmark or pin these creative beverages for your next gathering.

We hope you enjoy this marvelous event and the incredible giveaways from our generous sponsors.

Cheers!

Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail for #CocktailDay | JavaCupcake.com

Since I am baking blogger, I decided to make a cocktail inspired by my favorite dessert… the cupcake!  And since I can’t really put a cupcake in a cocktail… that’d be a mushy, crumbly mess… I took some of my favorite cupcake flavors and incorporated them into this cocktail.

Frosting… check.

Rainbow jimmies… check.

Chocolate syrup… check.

I am in love with whipped cream flavored vodka so I used that as well as a creamy chocolate liquor I found at the German store.  I also put added amaretto for flavor and heavy cream for body and richness.  (PS – You can sub any chocolate or cocoa flavored creamy liquor for what I used!)

This is a strong drink, so beware! And it is definitely a sipping drink,  NOT a gulping drink.  But, it’ is a super delicious, cupcake-inspired cocktail that will WOW your friends at your next party!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 cocktail
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Vanilla frosting
  • 1 cup Rainbow jimmies
  • Chocolate syrup
  • 1oz Whipped cream vodka
  • 1oz Amaertto
  • 1oz Chocolate cream liquor
  • 1oz Heavy whipping cream
  • Ice cubes
  • Serving glass (I used a martini glass, but any glass you have could be used)
Instructions
  1. Rim your serving glass with a generous amount of vanilla frosting. Make sure to get the inside, outside and top of the rim.
  2. Place rainbow jimmies into a flat bottomed, shallow bowl (or a small plate). Press frosted glass into the jimmies. You may need to move the jimmies around to ensure that all the frosting has be covered.
  3. On the inside of the glass, swirl chocolate syrup starting at the top and ending at the bottom of the glass.
  4. In a large glass, place the ice, whipped cream vodka, amaertto, chocolate cream liquor and heavy whipping cream. Stir with a spoon until well combined and chilled.
  5. Carefully strain into the prepared glass.
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe originally from Grin & Bake It

Fabulous Bloggers Mixing It Up with Us for #CocktailDay:

Pomegranate Party Punch by Cravings of a Lunatic
White Cosmopolitans by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Hot Buttered Chocolate Rum by Cookistry
Bacon Jalapeno Bloody Mary by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Blood Orange Old Fashioned by Kelly Bakes
Caipirinhas by Food Lust People Love
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Martini by Hungry Couple
Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail by JavaCupcake
Ciderhouse Whiskey by From the Bookshelf
Citrus Cranberry Punch by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Coconut-Key Lime Pie Martini by Home Cooking Memories
Egyptian Martini by Cooking In Stilettos
Espresso Martini by Liv Life
Frosty Lemon Drop Martini by The Hopeless Housewife
Frozen Marshmallow Mudslide by 365 Days of Baking & More
Ginger Raspberry Fizzy by Try Anything Once
Iced Cake Martini by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Le Jardinier by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Mandarin Mulled Wine by Food Babbles
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Gin Fizz by Crumb
Muddled Rosemary and Pineapple Cocktail by My Catholic Kitchen
Nutella Martini by The Pink Flour
Peach Sparkler by Noshing With The Nolands
Pineapple Margarita by Miss in the Kitchen
Pomegranate Orange Spritzer by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Safe Sex on the Beach by Mom’s Test Kitchen
Side Car with Dried Cherries by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Winter Fruit White Wine Sangria by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Apple Pie Moonshine by Lola’s Kitchen

#CocktailDay Sponsors

Our sponsors for Cocktail Day are Molecule-R, Page St. Publishing, Race Point Publishing, Fair Winds Press, Microplane, and Not So Simple Syrup.

#CocktailDay Sponsors | JavaCupcake.com

Molecule-RMolecule-R can be found on Facebook, and YouTube. Molecular gastronomy can be defined as the fusion of food science and culinary arts. Molecular gastronomy by Molecule-R is a cookbook with stunning recipes explained and illustrated with the intelligence and aesthetic beauty that defines the MOLECULE-R brand. Mojito R-Evolution teaches you how to deconstruct your mojito into floating mint caviar and spectacular foams or encapsulate your favorite cocktail into a sphere that will explode in your mouth. Margarita R-Evolution teaches you how to create a margarita slush topped with a fresh lemon mousse, add a splash of colour by creating blue azure suspended pearls or encapsulate your margarita into an edible cocktail! Cosmo R-Evolution teaches you how to add a molecular twist to your traditional cosmo sure to awe your guests! Serve a cosmopolitan bubble on a spoon that will pop in your mouth, top off your cocktail with a light fluffy cranberry foam or suspend citrus caviar in your drink.

MicroplaneMicroplane can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Microplane is a division of family-owned Grace Manufacturing Inc., a long-standing company specializing in the crafting of precision thin metal parts for home and industrial use. The versatile Ultimate Citrus Tool features Microplane’s surgical grade stainless steel Fine blade. In addition, the Ultimate Citrus Tool features two decorative garnishing blades in a large (.300-inch diameter) and small (.180-inch diameter) size. The blades are made in the USA and are dishwasher safe. Microplane’s sleekly designed and multi-functional Bartender’s Garnishing Tool easily opens bottles, effortlessly zests oranges, lemons, limes, and other types of citrus fruits, and is dishwasher safe.

 

Not So Simple SyrupNot So Simple Syrup can be found on Facebook, and Twitter. Not So Simple Syrup is a a small, local maker of simple syrups. Heidi and Barbie’s passion is to create all natural syrups that inspire and stimulate your pension for amazing mixed drinks as well as iced teas and non-alcoholic beverages too. They pride themselves on individual service. When you purchase a NSSS product, you can be sure that it received their personal stamp of approval. The Not So Simple Syrup Survival Gift Basket has two flavors of delicious all natural Not So Simple Syrup, a muddler for the perfect Mojito you might want to create, two glasses and a bar towel.

#Cocktail Day Prizes:

2 Individual Copies of Molecule Gastronomy by Molecule-R Cookbook
1 Set of Mojito R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Margarita R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Set of Cosmo R-evolution (Molecular Mixology Kit)
1 Copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail sponsored by Race Point Publishing
1 Copy of Apothecary Cocktails sponsored by Fair Winds Press
1 Copy of The Best Craft Cocktails and Bartending with Flair sponsored by Page St. Publishing
1 Not So Simple Gift Basket
1 Microplane Bartender’s Garnishing Tool
1 Microplane Citrus Tool

***IMPORTANT: This giveaway is intended for each prize to have a separate winner! No person can win multiple prizes. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only . Winners will be chosen by random draw. The winners will be notified via e-mail, and have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

***DISCLAIMER: This giveaway is being provided by our sponsors, no bloggers have received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

TO WIN… all you need to do is fill out the form below!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soft Batch Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

If you make these Soft Batch Peanut Butter M&M Cookies for your Valentine, they’ll be sure to love you forever! Soft-Batch Peanut Butter Valentine M&M Cookies | JavaCupcake.com I’ve been in search for a really great peanut butter cookie for a few weeks.  I’ve tried several recipes but none were what I was looking for.  What I wanted in a peanut butter cookie was for it to be soft, full of peanut butter flavor and to melt in my mouth with each bite.  I have had many cookies that were good, but most were too hard, crumbly and just didn’t make the grade. Of course, it wouldn’t be a great peanut butter cookie if there wasn’t chocolate involved.  And, since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner what better addition to these cookies would there be but Valentine M&Ms?  Seriously, there isn’t anything better. Soft-Batch Peanut Butter Valentine M&M Cookies | JavaCupcake.com So here we have a super delicious soft batch peanut butter cookie filled with Valentine M&M’s that’s just about perfect.  My kids absolutely LOVE these cookies.  I’m pretty certain that Matty Pants has eaten 3 today.  And I’m also pretty certain that if I let him he’d eat 30 today! Matty Pants | JavaCupcake.com Speaking of Matty Pants… he’s about to turn two years old.  What the heck?  Where has time gone?  I mean seriously, it just seems like a few months ago that he was born and now my little man is almost two?  Holy cow! I’ve been thinking about what theme to plan his 2nd birthday party in.  Dinosaurs or Toy Story.  Toy Story has a dinosaur in it… so if I did that, then I’d be killing two birds with one stone.  But, if I just did a dinosaur party, it’d be really easy to just pop some dinosaurs on top of cupcakes and call it good. What have been some of your favorite themes for your kid’s birthday parties? Soft-Batch Peanut Butter Valentine M&M Cookies | JavaCupcake.com Last year you might remember I made Sesame Street Cupcakes for Matty’s 1st birthday.  I put together this amazing tutorial for them because they just turned out so super cute. Anyhoo… back to these cookies.  I kinda went off on a Matty-tangent there. Soft-Batch Peanut Butter Valentine M&M Cookies | JavaCupcake.com This year, I’ve decided that I wanted to keep my Valentine’s Day treats really simple.  I’ll be posting several recipes that are either no-bake, have very minimal prep, or that are just super simple.   I’ll also be posting a DIY project that can be giving as a sweet, yet delicious teacher-gift.  So make sure to stay tuned for all the Valentine awesomeness still to come! I really hope you enjoy these Soft Batch Peanut Butter M&M Cookies as much as we do! Happy Baking! 

Soft Batch Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2-3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used JIF)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¾ all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Valentine M&M Candies + more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add the sugars and mix on high for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on high for 1 minute.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the wet butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again to ensure that everything has been incorporated.
  7. Fold in the ¾ cup M&M candies.
  8. Form 2-3 Tbsp of dough into a a ball and flatten slightly to form a disc. Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Using a fork, press a criss-cross pattern into the top of each cookie. Garnish with 2-3 additional M&M candies on top.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies feel slightly firm to the touch and the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Recipe from Bake Space .

NOTE: Some people have noticed the dough was a bit dry why they made this recipe. If yours turns out dry, add a few tablespoons of water or milk to the batter to help moisten it. I have never had to do this, so I can't guarantee the outcome - it's only a suggestion. :) Happy baking!

Cranberry Sauce Orange Scones

Freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest paired with homemade cranberry sauce make these Cranberry Sauce Orange Scones the perfect breakfast treat!

Cranberry Sauce Orange Scones - fresh cranberry sauce paired with the zest and juice of an orange make these scones perfectly delicious! | JavaCupcake.com

During the holiday season, I always make a batch of my fresh cranberry sauce.  It is so delicious that I not only put it on the turkey at Thanksgiving, but I use it on everything!  Leftover turkey sandwiches, toast, scones, bread… you name it.   I’ll find a way to use the cranberries!

Now that holiday’s are over and you might have some leftover cranberry sauce in your fridge or freezer, I wanted to share with you a simple, yet delicious recipe you could whip up for your family this weekend.

What better than a batch of fresh, hot Cranberry Sauce Orange Scones!

Now, if you don’t have homemade cranberry sauce in your fridge, don’t worry.  You can substitute the fresh cranberry sauce for canned cranberry sauce or dried cranberries.  If you use dried cranberries, you may need to add more cream to bring the dough together though.  Either way, you’ ll still get the same great flavor that the cranberries offer!

Cranberry Sauce Orange Scones - fresh cranberry sauce paired with the zest and juice of an orange make these scones perfectly delicious! | JavaCupcake.com

Since I didn’t use any of the orange juice in the scones themselves, I wanted to incorporate it into a glaze for the top of the scones.  But, I didn’t want anything too thick to make the scones too sweet and take away the flavor of the cranberries.  So, I thinned out the glaze using orange juice and vanilla extract with the powdered sugar.  Made the perfect consistency for a light sheen of glaze over the top of the scones.

If you don’t have orange or cranberry and you really REALLY want to make scones, this recipe can be easily converted to work with any fruit you have on hand.  Throw a handful of blueberries or strawberries in or maybe some raisins.  The possibilities are endless.  Just make sure the dough isn’t too sticky when you cut them!

Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 8 scones
Ingredients
Scones
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 5 Tbsp COLD unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅔ cup homemade cranberry sauce (canned is okay, homemade is best)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • flour, for dusting
Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted after measured
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
Instructions
Scones
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the orange zest of the orange and the sugar until combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and whisk until the zest has been completely incorporated into the flour.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the cubed butter into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
  5. Gently fold in the cranberries with a rubber spatula. You'll want the batter to pick up some of the color of the berries.
  6. Add the heavy cream and fold with the same rubber spatula until no more dry ingredients remain. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated.
  7. Place the dough onto your floured counter. Gently knead the dough 2-3 times to bring the dough together. DO NOT OVER WORK the dough!!!
  8. Pat the dough out into a circle that is ½" thick and 8-9" wide.
  9. Cut into 8 triangles and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops are firm and the scones are golden brown.
  11. Remove to a wire rack to almost completely cool before glazing.
Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and orange juice until smooth. No lumps of sugar should be visible.
  2. Spoon the glaze on to the top of each scone. Gently use the back of the spoon to spread it over the top. Let the excess glaze drip off the sides.
  3. Allow the glaze to set before serving - about 15 minutes.
Serving & Storage
  1. Eat scones immediately with coffee or tea.
  2. Store scones in a ziploc bag or a tupperware-type container. DO NOT seal the bag/container conpletely. Leave it slightly open or the scones will get moist and the glaze will melt into the scones. You want them to have a bit of the air to keep the glaze dry.
  3. The scones can be kept for up to 3 days.

Creamy Mint Cookies

Simple ingredients & easy preparation make these chocolate & mint cookies out of this world delicious!

Creamy Mint Cookies by My Life Well Loved |  JavaCupcake.com

This is a guest post from Heather at My Life Well Loved.  A big THANK YOU to Heather for proving this super delicious cookie recipe for my JavaCupcake readers!  Heather is a 20-something Southen Belle who loves to blog about healthy living, her great sense of style, social media and her life with her sweet husband.  If you’d like to learn more about Heather, make sure to check out her blog or you can find her on Facebook too! 

I am so thankful that Betsy is allowing me to guest post here at Java Cupcake today! I am Heather and I blog at My Life Well Loved about healthy living, marriage, living your life to the fullest and healthy, easy recipes. Well, most of the time! And then I splurge on little treats like these amazing Creamy Mint Cookies I’m sharing with you today!

I LOVE Andes Mints, I mean…really, who doesn’t? Now, can you imagine combining Andes mints with cookies? It doesn’t get much better than that! These cookies are to die for! If you thought you loved cookies before, just imagine icing them with melted Andes mints. That’s exactly what happens in this delicious cookie recipe.

This was the first cookie I made successfully as a newlywed around 4 years ago. For some reason, I really struggled to get my cookies to be the right consistency until I found this bad boy. My husband likes it so much, he asked me to make them again. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did!

Creamy Mint Cookies by My Life Well Loved |  JavaCupcake.com

Doesn’t this picture just make you want to dive in and lick those melty minty chocolate morsels? I hope you truly enjoy this recipe and come visit me over at my blog, My Life Well Loved! Please leave me a comment or follow along with me on Pinterest and I look forward to connecting with you!

*If you find where this recipe is from, please let me know. I cannot remember where I found it.

Creamy Mint Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 2-3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp chocolate extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Andes mints
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, oil, chocolate extract & eggs together. '
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes.
  5. Immediately press an unwrapped Andes mint onto each cookie while still hot. Allow to stand for 5 minutes then smooth out the soft mint with the back of a spoon to cover the cookie.
  6. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Grandma’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Swirls of cinnamon sugar, butter and nuts melded into fluffy warm layers of dough make these cinnamon rolls an irresistible breakfast treat!

Grandma's Famous Cinnamon Rolls by The Adventure Bite for JavaCupcake.com

This is a guest post from Dani at The Adventure Bite!   A special thanks goes to Dani for sharing her recipe with us this week while I’m on vacation!  Dani blogs with her husband Kevin and together they share delicious recipes for both food and beer! Two things I love! They’re also launching a new tool for bloggers called The Blog Buddy – its goal is to help bloggers organize and schedule their blogging life.  If you’d like to learn more about Dani, her blog or The Blog Buddy… check them out on the web or Facebook

My grandma is an amazing lady. As far back as I can remember she has been stuffing us full of delicious homemade love filled goodness at every chance she can get. While I was a kid she worked tirelessly running the kitchen at her local middle school. Rising to get to school by 3 a.m. she ran a tight ship at the school and at home.

Many Christmases we would pack up the car and drive what seemed like eternity to a young child (about 14 hours not including bathroom breaks) to their Southern California home. We would drive up and up the windy roads, arriving sometime in the dark of night. Dad would carry us inside in our half asleep states, snuggle us into bed and we would pass out with smiles on our faces for what we knew would come in the morning.

Grandma's Famous Cinnamon Rolls by The Adventure Bite for JavaCupcake.comEarly risers were rewarded at grandma’s house. The smell of cooking cinnamon rolls would waft down the long carpeted hallway, sneaking behind the pocket doors that helped to separate the house into long wings. If you were early enough you could catch grandma sleepily carrying grandpas coffee to him in bed and crawl up between the two to snuggle until the yeasty rolls had finished cooking.

And then leap out of said bed with excitement as the timer sounded, always to the scolding of grandpa who feared that his bare skin would soon be scalded with steaming hot coffee. But he never complained too long as he too soon wandered out as we sat up at the breakfast bar with cups of hot cocoa and steaming hot cinnamon rolls about as big as any kid could ever dream of before us.

Swirls of cinnamon sugar, butter and nuts melded into fluffy warm layers of dough. The dough was not cloyingly sweet as most cinnamon rolls are but denser, almost like fresh hot bread dough but softer. Sweet glaze dripped from the side coating our fingers and our faces with warm sticky sugar.

Grandma's Famous Cinnamon Rolls by The Adventure Bite for JavaCupcake.com

While we ate grandma would set to work cooking up eggs and bacon, hashbrowns and pancakes.  More food than any of us could ever need or comfortably eat. Oh but we would valiantly try.

Mugs of hot coffee and tall glasses of orange juice would fill the table and drowsy late comers would drag themselves out of bed just in time. And the cinnamon rolls? Oh they were there too. Grandma always made sure the late risers had plenty…still warm and soft and perfect to dunk in your coffee…but she and I both knew that the early bird always gets the worm….or in this case the perfect cinnamon roll.

Grandma’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls
 
Cook time
 
Serves: 6-8 cinnamon rolls
Ingredients
Cinnamon Rolls:
  • 3 T Instant Yeast
  • 1 lb + 5 oz all-purpose flour (4¼ cups)
  • 1⅛ oz sugar (3¼ Tbsp)
  • ⅓ oz salt (1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1⅓ oz milk (4 Tbsp)
  • 2⅔ oz butter, melted (5 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 oz honey (2 Tbsp)
  • 9 oz water (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp)
  • Egg wash - 1 egg + water to make ½ cup
Cinnamon Filling:
  • ½-1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp oil or butter
  • Nuts & raisins - optional
Glaze:
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk (or until you reach your desired consistency)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray OR spray a baking glass baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Proof yeast in warm water with sugar til bubbly.
  3. Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar) in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients (milk, butter, eggs, honey and water) in a medium bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine until a dough ball has formed.
  5. Allow dough to rest 10 min for instant yeast or until doubled in size if using regular yeast.
  6. Press dough out onto sheet of lightly floured saran wrap to an approx 18 inches x 12 inch rectangle.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon filling ingredients.
  8. Spread oil or melted butter over surface and top with cinnamon filling.
  9. Roll in spiral and slice. Place, cut side up on cookie sheet or in glass pan.
  10. Rise until doubled in size.
  11. Brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes for cookie sheets, 30-35 minutes for pans.
  12. To glaze, mix powdered sugar and tablespoons of milk together until desired consistency of glaze is achieved. Pour over warm rolls.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets

Shortbread crust, chocolate ganache and salted-caramel make these tartlets an irresistibly decadent dessert! Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

Hi everyone! It’s Mallory from Total Noms and I’m really happy to be able to be guest posting on Java Cupcake today!

Betsy and I first became buddies when she graciously guest posted for me while I was out on my honeymoon in October 2013. Her Peaches ‘n Cream cupcakes quickly became one of the most popular posts of the last few months for me, and there’s no mistaking why- Betsy is a total whiz when it comes to delicious and beautiful desserts!

So I’m honored to be able to share a recipe with you today that I hope can hold up to the level of sweet beauty of Betsy’s normal fare. The truth is, I’m an absolutely TERRIBLE cake decorator (for proof, see here from the early days) so when it comes to desserts, I usually stick to the kinds that require minimal design capabilities. Drop cookies, pies, and bars are my thing. It’s really hard to make those ugly!

Case in point- these little Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

It’s pretty much impossible to make something terrible out of shortbread crust, chocolate ganache, and oh yeah, salted caramel. Sure, I might have caramel sauce stuck all over my stove top, fingers, and plates now, and there might be chocolate ganache drips all over my fridge shelf where I let these cool, but the finished product, man- it’s a doozy!

And no decoration required! :) Just a little sprinkling of salt on top is all you need!

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes, originally from The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion.

You may end up with a little extra salted caramel and chocolate ganache from this recipe (if you were able to keep yourself from dipping into them while assembling). This may seem like a tragedy, if you’re crazy. You can store the salted caramel in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Use the chocolate ganache within a few days, again storing in an airtight container in the fridge. Both are perfect as dips for fresh fruit, cookies, or biscotti!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

Thanks so much for reading, and feel free to come visit Total Noms anytime! You can also find me on YouTube, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest.

Happy Eating :-)
Mallory

My warmest, most-heartfelt thanks goes to Mallory from TotalNoms for sharing this delicious recipe with my JavaCupcake readers!  Mallory recently was married and I had the opportunity to guest post for her!  We have become sweet internet blogging friends and I hope to continue to work with her to share sweet recipes with our readers!  If you’d like to see more of Mallory’s delicious creations, check out her blog TotalNoms or find her on FacebookPinterest, YouTubeInstagram and Twitter

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: about 30 tartlets
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
For the salted caramel:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 and ¾ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp sea salt
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)
Instructions
Make the shortbread crust:
  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat again until combined. Add the flour and salt, and mix until a dough has formed. Remove dough from the bowl, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out chilled dough to ¼" thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or other circular stencil, make 2.5" circles and press them down into the muffin tin, making sure to press down the bottoms fully into the pan. Stab a fork into the bottom of each mini pie crust. Freeze for 5-10 minutes until dough is fully hardened.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Press a piece of foil over top the pie crusts, and carefully press the foil into each divot of the muffin tin so that its completely covering and touching the dough. Add pie weights, coffee beans or other dry beans into the divots to weigh the foil down. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. (My mini muffin tin only makes 12 at a time, so I had to repeat this process more than once. While each batch is baking, keep remaining dough in the fridge to keep cold in the meantime.)
Make the salted caramel:
  1. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking often. Once sugar is completely melted, add the room temperature butter, continuing to whisk (mixture will bubble!). Carefully add the heavy cream and whisk- this will cause a lot of bubbling as well. Once mixture is smooth, remove from heat, and stir in the salt. The caramel will look very liquidy, but it will thicken as it cools. Allow to cool while you make the ganache.
Make the chocolate ganache:
  1. Bring heavy cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. While cream is heating up, place the chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl. Once cream comes to a boil, immediately pour over the chocolate and stir everything together until it comes together as a rich, beautiful chocolate ganache. Resist the urge to eat the whole bowl right then and there.
Assemble the tartlets:
  1. Carefully spoon a ½ tsp of salted caramel into each mini pie crust. Then fill up the rest of the tart with chocolate ganache, being careful not to overflow. Lightly sprinkle with kosher or sea salt over top. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. These can be stored in the fridge for a few days in an air tight container (if you really can control yourself!)

Homemade Brown Sugar

Learn to make rich and delicious homemade brown sugar with just two simple ingredients and only 10 minutes!

Homemade Brown Sugar by BranAppetit for JavaCupcake.com

Hi everyone! I’m Brandi from BranAppetit, and I’m so happy to be here sharing one of my favorite kitchen fixes.

If you’re anything like me, you forget to buy things at the store pretty regularly. Even when I have them on my list, sometimes I miss the aisle or I start thinking about something else that I need and I completely miss things like eggs or sugar or coffee. All necessities.

Homemade Brown Sugar by BranAppetit for JavaCupcake.com

Let’s say you just got back from the store and are ready to make a batch of cookies. You reach for the brown sugar and realize you don’t have any. What do you do? If you’re like me, you’re not going to want to put shoes on again and drive into town for sugar.

So what do you do if you need brown sugar right-this-minute?

1. Pray that you have enough white sugar to do this.

2. Get out the same amount of white sugar  – need 3/4 cup of brown sugar? Get 3/4 cup of white.

3. Grab that molasses that you barely use.

Homemade Brown Sugar by BranAppetit for JavaCupcake.com

This will save you.

And you may never go back to store-bought brown sugar.

This stuff smells incredible! Like…so good that you’ll just want to make it your new face scrub, right then, and forget about baking cookies. You’ve been warned.

A big THANK YOU goes out to Brandi for sharing with us her great, simple recipe for making homemade brown sugar!   But you’re in for a treat… Brandi is sharing another amazing recipe with us later this week!  So be sure to come back for that!  If you want to see more of the deliciousness that Brandi has make, visit her blog BranAppetit!  You can also find her on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest

Homemade Brown Sugar
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 cup - Multiply as needed
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp molasses
Instructions
  1. Pour sugar into a medium bowl and drizzle the molasses on top.
  2. Stir together with a fork, mixing the molasses into the sugar. The sugar will clump up with the molasses – don’t freak out! Just keep mixing.
  3. Fluff the sugar with your fork a few times once all the molasses is mixed into the sugar. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

These Sweet Potato Cupcakes aren’t your ordinary cupcake! They are filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar then are topped with a marshmallow frosting and are sure to please the sweet potato-lover in your life!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting | JavaCupcake.com

I am in love with sweet potatoes.   Seriously.  I could probably eat them several times a week with dinner if my family would let me!  hehe  Typically, I just roast them with a little olive oil, salt/pepper and a few assorted herbs.  My husband wants me to add honey – but I think they’re sweet enough without!  And… as a matter of fact, I’m eating sweet potatoes with my lunch as I write this post – left over from last night’s dinner! HA! :)

As the holiday’s went on, I noticed sweet potatoes being made into casseroles, pies, donuts and all kinds of delicious goodies.  BUT – I did not sweet a sweet potato cupcake.  So of course, I needed to make one!

Since I had huge success with the pumpkin cupcakes, I thought… why reinvent the wheel?  Why develop a completely new recipe when I’ve already got one that I could adapt for these sweet potato cupcakes!  So… that’s exactly what I did!

Of course, you can’t top sweet potatoes with anything other than marshmallows!  I topped these cupcakes with a light and fluffy marshmallow frosting that’s super simple to make and looks like a white cloud on top of the cupcakes!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting | JavaCupcake.com

I hope that you can set aside some time to make these sweet potato cupcakes before the holiday season is over!  They’re really worth the effort not only because of the unique flavors but because they are actually really quite delicious!

Oh… now that I think about it, you should make these for your New Years Eve party!! YES!  You could totally decorate them with fun colors and use liners like the green ones I used from Sweets & Treats Boutique!! YES! Do it!!!  Your friends will be WOWed at your NYE party!

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Sweet Potato Cupcakes
  • 1⅔ all-purpose cup flour
  • ½ light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree (I used canned with no added spices)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
Marshmallow Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted before measuring)
  • 1 7oz jar marshmallow fluff/creme
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • sugar pears or sprinkles, for garnish
Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until combined. NOTE: Make sure all the brown sugar chunks have been broken up.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add the sour cream, sweet potato puree, vanilla extract and oil and whisk until smooth. NOTE: No lumps of sweet potato or sour cream should be left after whisking.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry flour mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until all the dry has been incorporated into the wet. NOTE: Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to sure everything has been combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  5. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Once all the liners have been filled, tap the pan on the counter 2-3 times help settle the batter into the cups and release any air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Leave cupcakes in the pan for 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Marshmallow Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and marshmallow fluff and beat on high for 1 minute.
  3. Add the heavy cream and beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Toss in the salt and mix until incorporated.
  5. Using a large open star tip, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  6. Garnish with sugar pearls or sprinkles