Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cupcake Hero August Entry!

I wish the pictures were prettier.... I had grand intentions of doing a Chocolate Jalapeno cup....but couldn't find any fresh Jalapenos. Weird...and my garden didn't yield any either. So I called up my Dad, who just happened to have ONE little jar of some Jalapeno jelly he made a few years ago. I mixed up my favorite 'base' cupcake recipe. And 'sandwiched' the jelly in the center of the cups. Viola'! The frosting is ..well it's a bit of everything. It started out as a creamcheese frosting, then I put some pineapple in it (thinking pineapple salsa), some more of the j-jelly, and had to add some shortening to get it to hold up. It tasted good though. Here is a shot of the inside. My j-jelly sunk to the bottom...next time I do a jelly center, I'll heat the jelly a bit first.
Overall? Well...first let me state that my brother and my husband were too chicken to even try it. Ok...
I liked it. It was weird. It wasn't something you could eat 10 off, but I liked it. The j-jelly center gave it a nice contrast on texture and combined with the light frosting that also had the jelly in it, you could really taste the jalapeno..but it was NOT overwhelming..or spicy by any means. My Dad (who was VERY excited for this ingredient, and to see what I'd do with it) loved them. And he's not even a cupcake eater.
My Mom (who dislikes peppers) even ate one, and said she enjoyed it as well. She didn't really taste the pepper-but said she had an aftertaste that she can only assume would be the jalapeno (since she doesn't eat them). Here's my 'base' cupcake
• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 large eggs Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, milk, and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape side of bowl with a spatula. Add eggs to the mixture. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape bowl again. Beat on high speed for 1 minute 30 seconds until well mixed. Spoon cupcake batter into paper liners until 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
I think you can buy jalapeno jelly in the grocery store.
And again..the frosting...yikes..I can't even begin to tell you the 'exact' recipe..b/c there really isn't one. ..but here are the basics:
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
approx 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp pineapple juice
1 Tbls crushed pineapple
3/4 cup shortening
2 Tbls Jalapeno Jelly

Pecan Pie Mini-Cupcakes

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/ has become one of my new favorite blogs to lurk on. I'm not exactly sure HOW I got there, but once I found it, I think I spent about 2 hours ogling the food porn. There are SO many things on there I want to try to make...but this little gem really stood out to me! Pecan Pie Mini-Cupcakes...seriously?! Is it true? Can you really have the ooey-gooey goodness of a Pecan Pie in the palm of your hand? Why yes, yes you can! SUCH A simple recipe too! Only 5 ingredients! I didn't tweak it at all. (from recipezaar.com) 1 cup chopped pecan 1/2 cup AP flour 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 eggs 2/3 cup butter, melted (I used the big ol tub of spreadable margarine so it was that consistency instead of clear melted-worked fine) Mix all ingredients. Spray mini-tin with non-stick spray. Fill to 3/4s. Bake for 18min at 350 degrees. I'd guess you COULD use mini-liners if you'd like...but spraying the tin worked fine for me. Beware...these little suckers are addictive!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

BlakeMakes YouBar giveaway feedback

Thanks to http://www.blakemakes.com I got FREE youbars (courtesy of http://www.youbars.com) !! I'll admit...I have one left in the fridge (it's recommended you keep them in there, since they are fresh/all natural). So I'll let you know what I thought of the 3 I've eaten. (ratings 1-5; 5 being best) First I had the honey cashew one...this was the one I was most excited about. (the top one in the picture) rating:3 It had GREAT honey flavor!! But a little too health bar-ish. Kinda like a protein bar. It had a neat texture though...like the nougut in a Snickers bar. Second I had the BlakeMakes bar.(the one in the green wrapper) Rating 5 I loved it! Very granola-y (I know that's not a word)..it had all sorts of nuts and fruits..and I really loved it! Third was the Chocolate Date one. (the red wrapper) Rating...2.5 This would have had a higher rating...but it stuck to my teeth like crazy! It was a bad choice to eat this one as a snack at work! I really enjoyed the flavor. It was reminicent of the filling on a Fig Newton. Yum! I think the coolest thing about the YouBars is that you can make them yourself...not like they send you the ingredients to do it...but you go on their website and you custom make your own bars..you pick EXACTLY what is in them. If you are calorie counting, or carb watching, you can see the nutrition label of 'your' bar and know what to tweak to make it fit your diet! Very cool! So thanks again Blake! And thanks YouBar!