Reese’s Cupcakes

I’m not going to say I invented these cupcakes. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter has long been replicated in baking recipes. I will, however, say I did this recipe the best I could find. These are not just chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting…these are REESE’S CUPCAKES. As in, just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. As in, amazing.

You could use the Magnolia chocolate cupcake recipe (the old standby), but I instead used a devil’s food cake recipe that made for some awesomely fluffy cupcakes. Frosting is simple and completely foolproof, and I crumbled up some peanut butter cups for garnish. I suppose you could use Reese’s Pieces as well, but let’s be serious. Peanut butter cups are way better.

Am I right?

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Superbowl Cupcakes

It’s been a while!  There has been a significant pause in updates for a reason though: a company trip to the Carribbean!  As we all scramble to get swimsuit-ready in just a few weeks, baking for the office has slowed significantly.  However, it’s too hard to stop baking for too long, plus there are plenty of other people in the office to bake for :)

I’m not ashamed to admit that I really don’t give a crap about football.  Never really been my thing.  For me, the best thing about football was having people over so I could cook and bake.  But the Superbowl is a different story.  It’s football, but it’s also commercials AND snacks AND beer all rolled up into one delicious evening.  I didn’t mind the Superbowl this year since I knew I’d be whipping up some kind of baked good.

I am pretty shocked that the original Magnolia cupcake recipe hasn’t turned up on this blog yet.  I beg of you, if you have never had a vanilla Magnolia cupcake, go have one.  Like, now.  No seriously.  A-maz-ing.  The fluffiest, most flavorful cupcake you can make.  Plus they’re the perfect canvas for all kinds of frosting!

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Magic Cookie Bars

I should not be eating these right now.
I should not be eating these right now.
I should not be eating these right now.

But they’re so good I can’t help myself.

Totally overindulged the past few days. The holidays are the worst for that. And with New Year’s Eve swiftly approaching, there is no end in sight. I’ve found it’s futile to try and resist temptation this time of year. Who wants to be crunching on carrots and cucumbers when there are delicious things abound?

Did get lots of baking gear for Christmas though, including…FROSTING TIPS!!! Be on the lookout for some professionally-piped cupcakes in your future…well, okay, they won’t be professionally piped but they will look more appetizing than the pumpkin cupcakes!

Sidenote: if anyone is looking to purchase me a gift (my birthday is in June!), I just found the most awesome baking-inspired prints at Jenny’s Bake Shop…the store also sells cupcake jewelry but they are currently sold out! ::sad trombone::

At first blush, these didn’t look to appealing to me. I’d never had Magic Cookie Bars as a kid, so I thought the combination of chocolate, coconut, and condensed milk to be pretty weird. Who knew these things were so damn amazing.

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Christmas Cookies Galore!

Finally, the Christmas cookie post! And let me tell you, this literally took me ALL day. Not that I’m complaining, it was well worth it.

I baked cookies with my mom every Christmas when I was younger, and it’s something that I try to continue today. Even though I miss spending afternoons in the kitchen with her, elbow-deep in dough and covered in flour, keeping the tradition alive makes me feel like a kid again. It’s when I really start feeling like it’s Christmas!

While traditionally, my mom and I would make classic cookie press cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal cookies, I decided to venture a little outside of my comfort zone. Having a pretty strong German heritage, I’d always wanted to try making Linzer tarts. I’d never really had them as a kid, but they are a quintessential Christmas cookie. Since they are pretty Old World-y, I didn’t think I’d get too many takers, but they actually turned out to be the most popular cookie!

Along with the Linzers, I’d decided pretty early on that I wanted to make peanut blossoms (from a recipe I’ve been using for years), sugar cookies, and gingerbread people (they’re not gingerbread MEN, for god’s sake).

Christmas Cookies

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Christmas Cookie Extravaganza

Warning: Sunday is massive-Christmas-cookie-baking day. Be prepared!

Snickerdoodles

Ok, I know I usually only bake on Fridays, but today is snowy, I’m wrapping Christmas presents, and the mood just struck. Since it’s so close to the holidays, I decided on Snickerdoodles, a perennial Christmas favorite.

No, they have nothing to do with Snickers or doodles or even Snick for that matter. Though I’m sure you could watch Snick while eating them. Snickerdoodles remind me of Old World German women baking in the dead of winter (you can read alllllll about the history of Snickerdoodles here).

This is another Magnolia recipe…surprise! No but really, while Snickerdoodles are hard to mess up, anything from Magnolia is guaranteed to be perfect. This is my second favorite cookie recipe from Magnolia (I will post my very favorite at some point…they are OMGZ so good).

Snickerdoodles

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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing

It’s the beginning of December and I’ve already gone through 3 super-sized cans of pumpkin puree this season…shocker. And there are still 3 weeks of acceptable pumpkin baking left! While the pumpkin cupcakes are pretty damn awesome in their own right, there are times when you don’t want to fuss of a cupcake. The wrapper, the frosting, the maneuvering into your mouth…it can be cumbersome. Sometimes all you want is a cookie. And since these cookies are pretty much little punkin cakes anyway, it all works out in the end.

Next week’s mission: bake something that makes me feel more like Betty Draper. Maybe a pie? Something with booze?

Spoiler alert: I’m making red velvet cupcakes. Recipe and pics on the way.

If only I had my Jessie Steele apron

Pumpkin Cookies

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Magnolia’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Yes, I know, another cupcake post. But these are so damn good I couldn’t resist. Plus, the recipe comes from my muse and baking inspiration Allysa Torey, owner of Magnolia Bakery in NYC. I bought Allysa’s cookbook a few years back, and her recipes are truly the only ones I’ve found to be infallible. Her cupcakes…wow. If you’ve been to Magnolia you know her cupcake and buttercream frosting combo are pretty killer, and they are super easy to make.

So many of the baking tips and tricks I’ve picked up have come from her (second only to my mom). A couple of my favorites:

  • Make sure all cold ingredients (butter, milk, eggs) are at room temperature before you start mixing. This has been possibly the best tip I’ve ever received; it really makes a difference!
  • You simply cannot overbeat sugar and butter, so feel free to whip away until they are super fluffy. Once you add any other ingredients in, though, be careful. Always cream the butter and sugar before you mix in anything else.

These are pretty simple, just chocolate cupcakes with the famous Magnolia chocolate “buttercream” (I put buttercream in quotes because even Allysa notes that it’s not made like a traditional buttercream). Since my last attempt at piping icing was a disaster, I think I’m getting a little better, no?

Magnolia Chocolate Cupcakes

Note to self: ask for lots of frosting tips for Christmas.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes With Brown Sugar Frosting

My very first entry!  I was really nervous about which recipe I wanted to post first, but since this is the month of pumpkins, I thought I would incorporate that into my baking.

First, let me tell you something about pumpkins: my family really loves pumpkins.

No, you don’t understand.  We really love pumpkins.

My mother claims my brother got his red hair from all the pumpkin ice cream she ate while pregnant with him.  From September to November, our home is surrounded by pumpkins like a little gourd army.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, even pumpkin puree straight out of the can…nothing was too pumpkiny for us.

If there were a Church of The Great Pumpkin, we’d all be devout followers.

Anyway. Since I love the smell of spiced pumpkin in the fall (if you don’t, you’re a Communist), I wanted to bake something pumpkin that wasn’t pie.  I bring all my baked goods into work so I need something portable.  Hence…the pumpkin cupcake.  Nay, a cupcake cookie with freaking brown sugar frosting.  A sweet, cakey, pumpkin-and-spicy bit of perfection.


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