Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Nutella Frosting

I'm pretty sure I have found the dessert equivalent of the Spear of Longinus or the Ark of the Covenant. Nations will crumble, cities will fall, and leaders will be driven to their knees by the awesomeness found herein.

I probably don't need to eat any other food for the entire rest of my life.

Now, that said, I'm not going to bother posting a basic cupcake recipe. Everyone has their favorite, and you can use whichever one you want. Hell, you can even use the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake mix as your base. Regardless, whip up a batch of whatever chocolate cupcake batter you love the most. I used the one from Taste of Home in the link below, but I added an egg and used tapioca flour instead of oat flour for a softer, moister cupcake.

As for the Nutella, I like to make my own because it's delicious and it's cheap, but you can use the original store bought brand if you prefer.

Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Nutella Frosting

One batch Chocolate Cupcake Batter
Half a pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 C butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 squares Baker's chocolate (2 ounces), melted
1/2 C Nutella
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs. heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

Mix your batter according to directions, and blend in the half pound of bacon. You should probably just go ahead and cook a full pound to allow for snackage during the baking process. I did.

Use a batter scoop to fill cupcake tins - I got 18 cupcakes out of this. Bake according to directions on your cupcake recipe.

Once your cupcakes are cool, make the frosting. It will firm up, a bit like a ganache. Melt the butter, and add the powdered sugar and melted chocolate. Mix together using a hand mixer until creamy. Add the Nutella, vanilla, cream and salt, and continue blending. Frost the cupcakes as much as you like - I actually ended up with twice as much frosting as I needed, so you could make half as much.

Or you can eat the rest with a spoon. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins with Frosting

I love Betty Crocker's Gluten Free mixes, especially the cake ones, because you can use them as a base for pretty much anything (case in point: donuts). Although I'm a big fan of making stuff from scratch, mixes come in handy when I'm short on time, too. Today I had a hankering for something muffin-y and sweet, so I decided to make a banana muffin. But what makes a banana muffin even better?

A peanut butter cream cheese center.

And frosting.

So here's the end result:

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins with Frosting
Makes 18 muffins

1 box Betty Crocker GF Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 C butter, melted
1/3 C water
3 eggs
2 tsp GF vanilla
2 bananas, mushed up

(Note: This is basically the same as the ingredients on the box, but you'll scale back on the amount of liquid that Betty tells you to use, because you're adding bananas)

Lightly grease 18 muffin tins, or use paper muffin tin liners. Mix everything together in a bowl until you have a nice smooth batter - you'll have some banana lumps, but that's ok. Use a batter scoop to fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way. Make sure the batter covers the bottom of the cup. Now, mix together the filling:

1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/3 C peanut butter
1/4 C powdered sugar

Once you've blended all these, drop a small glob of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the batter in each muffin cup. Finally, spoon the rest of the cake batter into the muffin tins, so the cream cheese is completely covered. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Let your muffins cool, and then add frosting:

1/2 stick butter, melted
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs milk

Mix together thoroughly until it's smooth, then top your muffins. Remember those peanut butter and nanner sandwiches you ate when you were a kid? BETTER x 10000000.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mounds Bars via Babycakes

If you don't already own a copy of the Babycakes cookbook, Babycakes Covers the Classics, you really REALLY need to hie thee over to your local bookstore and pick one up. Author Erin McKenna has some completely amazing things in there, and even for someone like me, who doesn't really have a huge sweet tooth, there's a ton of good recipes. My new favorite? I decided to try the Babycakes Mounds Bars recipe.

Holy mother of dog, they are AWESOME.

I did change things up a bit - I'm not a fan of the flavor of agave, so I used corn syrup instead. Also, I doubled the recipe, which gave me 60 bite-sized Mounds bars. Honestly, making them any bigger would have been overwhelming, because they're very sweet and rich. But they taste fantastic, and probably better than those Actual Mounds Bars that have been sitting in my local Kroger for several months.

If you're a fan of all things coconutty and good, go buy a copy of Babycakes, and make some of these. You'll thank me after your arteries clog up.