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brownies and coffee

Dog Tag Bakery Brownie

The Dog Tag Bakery Brownie is a rich, decadent brownie, dipped in chocolate and gently rolled in a potato chip crumble. This delicious twist on Dog Tag Inc.’s classic brownie recipe offers the perfect combination of chocolate indulgence with a hint of salt.

Dog Tag Bakery Brownie at Starbucks from May 1 - June 4!

I am so EXCITED about this Dog Tag Bakery Brownie!  It’s been four years in the making for Dog Tag Bakery to reach this level of national success.

Founded in 2014 by Fr. Rick Curry, SJ and Ms. Constance Milstein, Dog Tag Inc. was born out of the shared conviction that no veteran, military spouse, or caregiver who wants to work and pursue their career goals should be unemployed.

Their founders drew on their experiences as social innovators and advocates for veterans and persons with disabilities to create a national model to support veterans and their families as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Together, Father Curry and Ms. Milstein have convened educators, experts, and leading entrepreneurs to ensure that Dog Tag Inc. remains a robust, enriching, and sustainable social enterprise.

My journey with Dog Tag Inc. began in July 2016 when I was selected as a Fellow in Cohort 4 of their Entrepreneurial Fellowship Program.  We had only moved to the DC area a few months earlier, my husband was in the middle of the Medical Board process to get out of the Army, and I was trying to figure out what was next for me in this transition.

The Dog Tag Inc. Fellowship Program allowed me the space, time, and support to find myself as an individual.  I learned what my strengths were outside of being a military spouse and caregiver.

I learned that I AM STRONG, CAPABLE AND EMPOWERING!

I took the skills I had learned in the 10 years as an Army spouse along with the 8 years of blogging and turned it into a consulting business.   I now teach other small businesses and non-profits how to manage their own social media and online marketing.

So today – I’m proud to announce the launch of the new Dog Tag Bakery brownie to be sold in Starbucks stores Nationwide!

brownies and coffee

DOG TAG BAKERY AND STARBUCKS RECOGNIZE NATIONAL MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH WITH THE LAUNCH OF A DARK CHOCOLATE & POTATO CHIP BROWNIE AT STARBUCKS STORES

Georgetown’s favorite pastry destination, Dog Tag Bakery, will launch the Dog Tag Bakery Brownie on May 1, 2018 at Starbucks locations nationwide in honor of National Military Appreciation Month. This brownie is a delicious twist on Dog Tag Bakery’s classic recipe, topped with a salted potato chip crumble, and will be available in over 8,000+ participating Starbucks locations nationwide starting May 1, 2018 until June 4, 2018 (or while supplies last).

Inspired by a shared commitment to helping our veterans and military families, Dog Tag Bakery developed this special limited-edition brownie for Starbucks customers to help raise awareness for veteran causes. Dog Tag Bakery’s entrepreneurial fellowship program combines education with hands-on experience to create a living business school, to build a bridge to employment and to help veterans, military spouses and caregivers find fulfillment in their professional and personal lives. To learn more about Dog Tag Bakery’s program, please visit www.DogTagInc.org.

Together we’re #BakingADifference in the lives of our veterans and military families.

Product Name: Dog Tag Bakery Brownie. The packaging will state “Salted Potato Chip Crusted Brownie”
Unit Price: $3.95
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Availability: Available in over 8,000 Starbucks locations nationwide
PR Contact: Meghan Ogilvie / 202.527.9388 / info@dogtaginc.org and Hilla Narov / 212.995.1833 / hnarov@fullpic.com

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

{Review} Confections Cupcakery – Manassas, VA

I think I found the BEST cupcakes in Virginia at Confections Cupcakery in Manassas!

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

It was by chance that I found out about Confections Cupcakery.  I was meeting a colleague  half way between our offices in Manassas, VA at a Starbucks when as I was pulling in to the parking lot I noticed a huge cupcakes sign in the window across the street.

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

GASP!!  It was a cupcake shop!  I knew I had to stop inside!

At first glance, Confections seemed like a typical American cupcake store full of cute baking and cupcake decorations.   The smell was so sweet and inviting! I couldn’t wait to see what kind of cupcakes they had behind the counter!

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

 

Their kitchen/prep area was actually out in the open, which I love when cupcake shops have that set up! I love being able to watch the bakers and decorators practice their craft.  It’s inspiring and I love seeing the techniques others use.

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Their shelves were fully stocked with a wide range of cupcake flavors and because I’m me, I couldn’t just pick one or two.  I got a dozen.  One of 12 different flavors!

It was just before Easter, so I made sure to pick the cupcake ready for the Spring holiday.   The rest were a variety of vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, and fruit.

From top to bottom, left to right…

OREO, Lime, Marshmallow Sundae

Triple Chocolate, Strawberry, PB Cup (filled)

Chocolate Raspberry, Red Velvet, Easter

Maple Bacon,  Rocky Road, Orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes these cupcakes the BEST CUPCAKES IN VIRGINIA ?

  1. SIZE: Compared to others, these cupcakes are just the right size.  Not too big and not too small.  The ratio of cake to frosting is exactly how I like it… about 1/3 frosting to 2/3 cake.
  2. FLAVOR: Each cupcake I tasted actually tasted like what its name said.  They didn’t taste artificial and the flavor combinations were perfect.  I loved that they had the basics but the special flavors were a bit fancy without being too over the top.
  3. CAKE: The cake on these cupcakes was moist with the perfect crumb.  They were sturdy enough to hold up to the frosting without being overly dense.
  4. FROSTING: American buttercream –  not too sweet and not too buttery.  The frosting on these cupcakes was so delicious that I could have licked it all off and eaten it alone… which I never do!
  5. APPEARANCE: For me, these are exactly what cupcakes should look like.   The cakes themselves are similar in size, even with the different recipes.  The frosting on top is a perfect swirl or dollop  and even though they are garnished differently, they still feel uniform – you know they’ve come from the same bakery.   Simple, delicious, and beautiful.

My Personal Favorites:

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I’m a sucker for a good Oreo cupcake and this does not disappoint!  The cake is rich and the creamy Oreo frosting is the perfect topper!

{REVIEW} Confections Cupcakery - Manassas, VA | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

OMG.  This Peanut Butter Cup cupcake is filled with even more delicious peanut butter goodness!  It’s heaven.  Sinful… but heavenly.

I’ve been on a lime kick lately and their Lime cupcake is the perfect combination of tart and sweet!  Plus the cute little gummy on top adds a sweet extra kick of tarty goodness!

For more info about Confections Cupcakery, visit them on the web or Facebook.

If you’re in Northern Virginia – you must swing by Manassas and try these cupcakes for yourself!

 
Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC

When a cupcake blogger takes a trip to New York City for the first time, it’s written in the rules that she’s got to visit the place that started the entire cupcake craze… Magnolia Bakery.
Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Feb 2-5, 2017, I took my first trip to New York City!  On my bucket list was to visit the birth place of the cupcake craze… Magnolia Bakery!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Now, you may be asking how did Magnolia Bakery start the cupcake craze?  Well, it all started with Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City filmed a seen for SATC outside Magnolia eating one of their cupcakes.

Instantly, the country became crazy for cupcakes and the sweet revolution began!

My trip to Magnolia Bakery took place early on a Sunday morning.  I hopped in a NYC taxi cab and whisked across town to the bakery.  It was quiet in NYC, so I got there quick and there was no line to get inside.  I picked a perfect time to visit.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The front of the bakery was filled with pastel colors, bunting, and lots of decor for Valentine’s Day.  The only thing lacking were a few tables and chairs to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cupcake.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Immediately, I went straight for the case of cupcakes!  Three cases filled with the regular flavors plus the Sunday special.

It was hard to choose which ones I wanted to take home to the family to try!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I knew for sure I needed a funfetti cupcake for Matty, I wanted PB&J, and the remaining I’d get a variety so I could get a general feel for the flavors and textures of their cake & frosting.

As soon as I got home from my trip, I couldn’t wait to open the box and dig into the cupcakes!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

When I try cupcakes, I share with my family.  So we all sat around my coffee table and we got to sampling!

First up was the Funfetti Cupcake!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

This vanilla cupcake was filled with funfetti sprinkles and topped with vanilla buttercream and more funfetti sprinkles!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The cake was moist and the buttercream sweet!  Matty LOVED this cupcake and I have to say I was a fan too!

Next up was Red Velvet!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Mahonia’s red velvet cupcakes are made red with cocoa, vanilla and a little southern mystery, with its own special whipped vanilla icing.

The whipped vanilla icing was so smooth and creamy.  One of the smoothest icing I’ve ever had actually.   This was a solid red velvet cupcake.

After red velvet we tried the Chocolate Chocolate Cupcake.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

These moist chocolate cupcakes had a smooth velvety texture and dark chocolate flavor, chocolate buttercream and assorted sprinkles.

The chocolate buttercream tasted like fudge and was my favorite part about this cupcake!

Next up…. Vanilla Cupcake!

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

This old-fashioned vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream topped sprinkles did not disappoint.  If you’re looking for a great basic cupcake, Magnolia Bakery does a great job at that!

My favorite is up next… Peanut Butter & Jelly.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

This cupcake was made with a peanut butter cake filled with jelly and topped with peanut butter buttercream and chunks of peanuts.  The frosting was packed full of peanut butter flavor without being too thick or rich.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The only thing I would change about this cupcake would to have more jelly filling.  I only got one or two bites with the jelly and I would have liked to have every bite include the jelly.

Last but not least, the Vanilla Chocolate Cupcake.

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

These old-fashioned vanilla cupcakes are topped with chocolate buttercream and are classically delicious.  This is the same fudge-like frosting on the chocolate cupcake so I definitely enjoyed that.

Overall, I’d have to say I enjoyed the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery.  They were classic, well made, and had great flavor.

 

Review: Magnolia Bakery NYC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Were they the best cupcakes I’ve ever had?  No.  However, I’m still glad I went to the bakery to get some.  Now, I just need to visit Billy’s Bakery, Butter Lane, and Baked by Melissa.

I think a road trip to NYC is in my future this Spring!

Have you been to Magnolia Bakery?  I’d love to know what you thought of their cupcakes!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

Made Creative Bakery – Rome, Italy

Nestled on a cozy side street of Rome, Italy and close to the River Tiber and the Piazza Navona, the Made Creative Bakery is a delicious retreat for both tourists and locals alike!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

In October 2015, my husband and I were treated to a once in a lifetime trip to Rome, Italy with a group of wounded soldiers and their families. On this trip we attended an audience with the Pope, toured Roman ruins and shopped at the Piazza Navona.

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

On our last night in Rome, I knew I needed to find one of the several cupcake bakeries before I left! I had been walking all day, I was exhausted but I was determined.

My husband and I reached the Piazza Navona just at dusk and were given 45 minutes to shop at the stalls and stores along the piazza. Instead of shopping, we sprinted 3 blocks over to Made Creative Bakery for cupcakes!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

The store was just a few minutes from closing and I was so thankful we made it in time! It was almost Halloween so their store was filled with pumpkin and ghost themed cookies and cupcakes!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

This bakery was a cute, small shop but full of character and charm. The decor was simple and bright, which I liked. They probably found their energy quote through a service similar to Utility Bidder because their prices for very reasonable. The lady behind the counter spoke little English but was still helpful and polite.

There were a few bar stools for seating and when the store wasn’t about to close, they had tables and chair outside for more seating.

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

I picked out a few goodies to have boxed up to take back to the hotel with us. Since I don’t speak any Italian and the woman behind the counter spoke little English, it was difficult to ask questions about the bakery.

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

Made Creative Bakery also served a few other cookies and treats that weren’t Halloween themed including these monster chocolate cookies!

Big pillowy clouds of chocolate and so delish!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

I did try to take some pictures of the cupcakes that night when I got back to my hotel room. Unfortunately, it was dark, the lighting was horrible and none of the pictures turned out that great.

However, I did eat all three cupcakes and two cookies I bought and they were delish! The frosting on the cupcakes seemed to be some kine of meringue, but I couldn’t tell which one… probably Italian since you know, it’s in Italy!

Made Creative Bakery - Rome, Italy | The JavaCupcake Blog - Travel https://javacupcake.com

Made also provides workshops and makes customs cakes for parties and corporate events!

If you’re in Rome, make sure to stop by Made Creative Bakery for a treat! Tell them I sent you!

Made Creative Bakery
Via dei Coronari 25
00186 Rome
Monday – Sunday
11:00 to 19:00

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

{Review} Georgetown Cupcake – Washington, DC

In the bustling suburbs of Washington, DC, Georgetown Cupcake is a famous bakery that serves up delicious cupcakes to thousands of fans hoping to get a glimpse into stars behind the Food Network’s hit show DC Cupcakes.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

It didn’t take me too long for me to visit Georgetown Cupcake after moving to the DC area.  On the same day that I visited Sprinkles Cupcakes in DC, I walked just a few blocks down the same street to Georgetown Cupcake.

Everyone told me that I should expect huge lines at Georgetown so I was anticipating a line out the door and around the block.  However, that was not the case on the day I visited.  From the outside, this famous cupcake shop looked just like any other.  The only difference being the huge signs in the window advertising their show, DC Cupcakes.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

The first thing you see upon entering the cupcakery is the massive display of their cupcake flavors.  Tiers upon tiers of cupcakes loaded with frosting in countless flavor combinations.  It was overwhelming… and had me wondering… do they really sell that many cupcakes in a day?

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

We were there late in the afternoon and I couldn’t wrap my head around them selling so many cupcakes that late in the day!

That wasn’t all the cupcakes they had on hand either… they had this bakers rack full of them and I’m certain there were more in the back too!

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

That is A LOT of cupcakes!

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com  Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

I couldn’t decide which cupcake I wanted to try, so I went home with a dozen.  Ha.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

From left to right, top to bottom… I chose lemon, cookies n cream, vanilla birthday, chocolate birthday, strawberry, and red velvet.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

In comparison to other cupcakes I have had, the cupcakes at Georgetown were a bit on the smaller size.  Especially in comparison to the cupcakes at Sprinkles, which were huge compared to these.  However, they did not disappoint on flavor!

Each cupcake was distinctly the flavor it was supposed to be, including the strawberry.  The red velvet is one of their top sellers and the cream cheese frosting was rich and delicious.  The cookies n’ cream cupcake was my favorite with the chocolate close behind.  My kids loved the vanilla birthday.

The one big downfall to Georgetown Cupcake… the customer service.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.comI’m not one to write bad reviews, but the customer service was horrible at this cupcakery.  I felt as though I was cattle being herded through the food line.  The girls taking my order couldn’t get me through their register fast enough and offered no help or assistance in helping me fulfill my order.  Once we placed our order, it was fulfilled at the pick-up counter by another employee who was as equally cold to us.  Put our cupcakes in the box, called our number and that was it.

I had heard so much about how great the cupcakes at Georgetown are that the last thing I expected was for the experience to be ruined by cold employees.  Quite frankly, it was disappointing and such a turnoff to Georgetown as a whole.

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

When I think about my experience just a few minutes prior at Sprinkles Cupcakes compared to the experience at Georgetown, it was like night and day.  Sprinkles was welcoming, kind, and helpful while Georgetown was cold, unapproachable and unhelpful.

I can’t say that I’ll never eat a Georgetown cupcake ever again, but I definitely will not recommend going there if you want to have a great experience.  Save that for Sprinkles.   Order Georgetown for parties… definitely.  Their cupcakes were delish!

Georgetown Cupcake! #georgetowncupcake #dccupcakes #washingtondc

A photo posted by Betsy – The JavaCupcake Blog (@javacupcake) on

For more about Georgetown Cupcakes, visit their website.  You can also check out their LIVE cupcake cams here!

Take a tour of Georgetown Cupcake with The JavaCupcake Blog | https://javacupcake.com

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes – Washington, DC

If you’re looking for a delicious cupcake in Washington DC, look no further than Sprinkles Cupcakes!

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

It only took me two weeks of being back in the USA to start looking for my local cupcake shops.  The easiest place for me to begin was with the two shops that everyone knows about in the Washington DC area… Georgetown Cupcake and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Sprinkles Cupcakes started as a cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills, California and was founded by Candace Nelson.  You may know Candace as one of the judges on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! Sprinkles has 19 locations in 10 states including several Cupcake ATM locations!

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Upon walking into the DC location of Sprinkles Cupcakes, I was greeted with a sweet young woman behind the counter.  She noticed I was looking intently at all the cupcakes and asked if this was my first visit to the bakery.  I told her it was and that I was very excited to be there.  Hearing that it was my first time, the woman made it a point to tell me all about the cupcakes they had on display in the case and offered to answer any questions I had.

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

It was later in the afternoon when we were in the shop, so we didn’t have a full stock of cupcakes to choose from, but the selection was still great.   The woman behind the counter said the Red Velvet cupcake was the most popular in the store, but since I’m not a huge fan of red velvet, I opted for the chocolate raspberry and classic vanilla vanilla.

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The frosting on all the cupcakes are frosted by hand with their signature flat sides and top.  Each cupcake is topped with the Sprinkles signature sugar candy.   Seasonally the swap out the classic double dot for hearts and other shapes.

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

These cupcakes were pretty fantastic!  I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and moist the cake still was by the end of the day when I tried these cupcakes!

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My personal favorite flavor combination is chocolate and raspberry together, so I knew I had to taste this cupcake.  And let me tell you… it did not disappoint!  The cake was rich, moist and delicious and the raspberry frosting complimented it perfectly!  Yum!

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I always judge a cupcake shop based on their vanilla cupcake.  If they can’t perfect the classic then they have no business being in the cupcake business.  The Sprinkles vanilla cupcake is as close to perfect as you can get in a vanilla cupcake.  The cake had a light crumb and was packed full of vanilla beans and amazing vanilla flavor.  Their classic American buttercream was had perfect amount of  sweetness and was creamy and so good.  Seriously.  So good.

{Review} Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown, Washington, DC | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

From start to finish, my entire experience at Sprinkles was fun!  The pink colors of the bakery are inviting and playful, the staff is incredibly friendly and the cupcakes are delicious! My time at this cupcake shop was exactly what I want an experience at a world-famous cupcake shop to be like… memorable!

If you’re in the DC area, make sure to check out the cupcakes at Sprinkles… it’s an experience you won’t want to miss out on!

Sprinkles Cupcakes – Georgetown
3015 M Street NW
Washington, CD 20007
2 blocks east of Wisconsin Avenue NW
(202) 450-1610
Monday – Saturday 9 – 9 Sunday 10 – 8
cClosed on Thanksgiving and Christmas

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