Sunday, March 28, 2010

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes

Matt had a meeting in New York City last week, and I tug along to hang out in Central Park and catch a play.  One of my goals for the trip was to check out a few bakeries and some delicious cupcakes.  I visited Crumbs and Magnolia...both mouthwatering but very different.  Crumbs' cupcakes were over-the-top, super decadent, and sort of like a party in your mouth.  Magnolia, on the other hand, had much more simple treats.  I tasted a simple lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream icing....absolutely fantastic.  The cake was like velvet and the frosting was so light and creamy.  I just had to buy their newest cookbook, More from Magnolia

 I couldn't wait to try a recipe, so my first day home, I already made the Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Icing.  I'm taking them with me to a friend's house.   She gave birth to a stunningly gorgeous baby girl a week ago, and Matt and I thought they could use a meal and some dessert.  Maureen was one of my college roommates, and one of my favorite memories is her buying me a fabulous birthday cake during Senior Week, which we ate for breakfast and lunch for almost a week.  Vanilla cake is her favorite, so I tinted the icing pink in honor of the lovely Everly Grace and baked up a batch.  My goal is to distract our friends with food, while I sit quietly cuddling their baby girl.

I used up some of the flowers I used for my Mother-in-Law's Cake a few weeks ago.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Well...hello, deliciousness.

I'm getting together with some friends tonight, and I wanted to bring something a little different for dessert.  I stumbled upon an idea for cookie dough cupcakes.  Sounds heavenly, right?  Well, it is.  Chocolate Cupcakes with cookie dough centers and cookie dough frosting.  Matt and I split one to taste them, and he said the only thing missing was the other half.  I suggest using an eggless cookie dough recipe so no one gets sick.  I stole mine from Cupcake Project. 

Our friends, Maureen & Andy, may be stopping by this afternoon.  They are looking for a distraction considering Maureen is a few days overdue for their first child.  She will be happy to know that the cookie dough is egg-free, so she can eat it.  The night Maureen & Andy told us they were expecting, I made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, which Maureen clearly could not indulge in.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creme Brulee Cupcakes

What is better than Creme Brulee?

Not much, in my opinion.  It is absolutely my favorite dessert.  If it is on the menu when we go out to eat, I'm ordering it.  I've tried a couple of times to make it at home, and my attempts have been futile.  It is disappointing, but I will keep trying.  However, I recently found this recipe on my friend's fantastic baking blog...SUGAR SHOCK!  I knew I had to try it.  My cousin, Hilary, is home from college this week, and her parents graciously invited us over to dinner, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try the recipe.  Matt and I just sampled one, and I want to eat more of them.

Next time, I think I'll use more brown sugar on top for extra delicious crunchiness...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cherry Blossom Cake

Happy Birthday, Mother-in-Law!

My mother-in-law's birthday is on Tuesday, but we are celebrating this weekend.   She is a big chocolate & peanut butter fan, and I ususally make her a chocolate cake with chocolate peanut butter icing, but this year, I thought I'd try to mix it up.  I decided to make a peanut butter cake with chocolate icing.  After googling lots of recipes, I decided to go with Paula Deen' can't go wrong with her recipes.  I'm not sure how the cake turned out yet, but if the batter is any indication, it should be scrumptious!   I didn't use her icing recipe, as I have one that I find delicious already.  I wasn't sure how to decorate the cake, but I decided that after a long winter, I wanted something spring-like.  What represents spring more than Cherry Blossoms?

Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures.  Some day, I will learn to take beautiful ones that show off the cakes better.

Irish Potato Candy

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Growing up in a very large Irish Catholic family in Philadelphia, I thought everyone knew what Irish Potato Candy was.  That was until I took some a few years ago to my in-laws.  They claim to have never to have had it, which I find to be blasphemy!  If you aren't lucky enough to know what these delicious bites of heaven are, please hurry and make this recipe before the big day arrives. 

A fantastic combination of cream cheese, butter, coconut and cinnamon.

I found this adorable container at Michael's last week for a dollar.  I couldn't resist.

So, readers...have you tried Irish Potato Candy before?  Is it a yearly tradition for you, too?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Irish Car Bombs

Drive-by Posting

Since I know I've posted Irish Car Bomb cupcakes previously, I going to do a quick post of the ones I made this morning for a friend's St. Patrick's Day party tonight.  Irish Car Bomb cupcakes are perfect, no?  Guiness Chocolate Cake, Jameson Ganache Filling, and Bailey's Icing.  Yum. 

They are not my prettiest looking cupcakes, but they certainly taste amazing!

Drive bys and car bombs...I'm just now realizing how violent this post is.  Maybe I should put a parental advisory on this post.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cupcake Bites

Book Club and Ladies Night

A few weeks ago, my cousin asked me to make something for her to take to a Ladies Night get-together she is having with the ladies in her neighborhood.  She gave me free reign to make whatever I want.  I was very excited to finally try Cupcake Bites from Bakerella.  I also have book club tonight, so I figured I'd do a test run before I make them for the Ladies Night.  These take a little bit of a learning curve, but I think I got the hang of it by the end.  I'll be making a bunch more tomorrow afternoon, so I'll update this post if they turn out any better than the ones I made today. 

Not as cute as Bakerella's, but its a start.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Peace Corps Cupcakes

Good Luck, Michael!

An awesome coworker of mine has decided to join the Peace Corps, which is fantastic and admirable, but it means that he has to leave us.  That.... I am not a fan of, as he is fantastic at his job.  He will definitely be missed, but we are hoping to send him off tomorrow with a little goodbye party.  Of course, I wanted to make the cupcakes somewhat tailored to his unselfish endeavor.  I absolutely need some practice at my piping skills, but it somewhat resembles the Peace Corps' symbol. 

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing and Fondant Toppers.

Remember the fondant I made over the weekend?  These are what I made with it!

And here is Michael, himself, enjoying his cupcake!