Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

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Have you discovered Pinterest yet? If you haven’t, DON’T. It’s crazy addictive and it’s where I found insane recipes like this one. But if you’ve already discovered the time suck, then you should follow me.

So anyway, about this recipe. It’s a chocolate cupcake. But it’s not your everyday chocolate cupcake. Oh no, it has an Oreo on the bottom. And a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the middle. And peanut butter cookies and cream frosting on top. This is a chocolate cupcake on crack. And it’s delicious, but crazy sweet. (Shocking, right?)

My creation

Side note: I went to the store on the Saturday before the Super Bowl (yes, it was crazy) to buy the ingredients and since I was overly anxious, I didn’t read the quantities and realized I didn’t have enough Oreos to double the recipe and make the frosting. However, because the frosting requires you to remove the cream filling from the Oreos, I decided to just make a quick batch of the chocolate cookies I used for the Homemade Oreos a while back rather than brave the store on the day of the game. Plus, the temptation is then gone to eat the cream filling, because you know I totally would.

Cupcake Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
16 chocolate sandwich cookies
16 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Place an Oreo in the bottom of each liner.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl then stir in the chopped chocolate.

In a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk and allow to incorporate for 30 seconds.

Pour in the flour mixture and beat on medium until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake for 9 minutes, then remove from oven and press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cupcake. Allow to bake for 9 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the muffin tin to cool completely on a wire rack. Frost with Oreo peanut butter buttercream. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup peanut butter
2-3 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons Oreo cookie crumbs

Frosting Preparation
Separate 12 Oreo cookies and discard the cream filling. In a food processor or plastic bag, crush the cookies into fine crumbs.

In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening on high until fully combined. Beat in peanut butter.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and a pinch of salt. Start the mixer on slow, then eventually crank it up to high and beat for 2 minutes. Add more confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Add the cookie crumbs and beat on high for 2 minutes.

Recipe from The Sweet Life.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

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I’m not sure how I came across this recipe, but I’m sure glad I did! Not only did I think it was fantastic, but it was it a huge hit at the office as well. And since it’s yet another spectacular recipe from Baked, you can believe I’ll be checking out the bakery next time I’m in NYC!

Referring to this as a cake is a bit misleading–it’s more like a 9×13 pan full of delicious, addictive, chewy oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips topped with cream cheese frosting. I know, how can it possibly be bad?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Note: Until this recipe, I’d never made anything that required pouring hot water over oats and butter, so I found this a little strange. Also, my oat mixture got got a little gummy while it was cooling, so I wonder if I should have used slow cooking rather than quick cooking oats. Anyone know?

Cake Ingredients
8 ounces chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teas baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Frosting Ingredients
5 tbs unsalted butter, softened
5 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cake Preparation
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position the rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Heat 1 1/4 cups water to boiling.

Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and toss them with the vanilla until covered. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour over the chips and toss until coated. This will keep them from settling at the bottom during baking. Set aside.

Place the oats and cubed butter in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oat mixture, wait 30 seconds, and stir to moisten all the oats and melt the butter. Set the mixture aside for 25 to 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon until combined. Fold in the cooled oatmeal and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the remaining flour and then chocolate chops. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Frosting Preparation
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The frosting can be made 1 day ahead. Let it soften at room temperature before using.)

Spread a thin, even layer of frosting over the cooled cake then chill for 15 minutes until set. Slice and serve. The frosted cake can be kept, refrigerated and tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Bring the cake back to room temperature before serving. (An unfrosted one will keep for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature. )

Recipe adapted from Pass the Sushi.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

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For the past several years on New Year’s Eve, my friend and her husband have hosted a small party at their house. It’s a pretty chill night filled lots of socializing, eating, drinking, Wii, and board games. (Writing that made me feel old, jeez.) And each year, I of course bring dessert.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

Since I’ve been sick this week, I almost took the easy route and made S’mores Pies. Then I realized that was stupid and decided on champagne cupcakes. Fortunately for me, I only looked at a couple of recipes before deciding on this one. The original recipe called for a pastry cream filling, but since I’m not a fan of pastry cream and I was feeling lazy, I decided to leave it out.

Well, the pastry cream wasn’t missed at all. The cupcakes are moist and the champagne flavor comes through in both the cake and the frosting. I would definitely make these again for a celebratory night! Plus, I love any excuse to use my contraband dragees and glitter. (We can’t buy them in California.)

Note: I know absolutely nothing about champagne (except that I like it), so I asked a couple buying champagne at the store if they would help me. This guy directed me to a $5.99 bottle of Barefoot Bubbly Moscato that said “Deliciously Sweet” on it and told me it would be great for baking; his husband made it clear it was not suitable for drinking. Point taken, and it worked great in both the cupcakes and frosting.

Photos of the process.

Cake Ingredients
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne

Cake Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little). Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.

Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let cool. Yields 18 cupcakes.

Frosting Ingredients
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Frosting Preparation
Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Frost and decorate.

Recipe from Sprinkle Bakes.

Sugar Cookie Bars

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Sugar Cookie BarsDid you know last Friday was Sugar Cookie Day? Neither did I, until Thursday afternoon when two coworkers hinted at it. (This is what happens when you’re the coworker with the baking blog.) Not wanting to let anyone down, and always up for trying a new recipe on willing guinea pigs, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to test the sugar cookie bar recipe I’ve had bookmarked for a few months.

I love sugar cookies, but they’re a pain–you have to roll the dough, cut the shapes, then frost each individual cookie. That is why sugar cookie bars are such a brilliant thing! No rolling or shape cutting–simply put the dough on a cookie sheet, bake it, then frost and slice the giant cookie. Simple!

Flavor-wise, I really like the cookie. The frosting was not my favorite (I like a glaze or cream cheese frosting on sugar cookies), but it was a HUGE hit at work, so it may be best to ignore my opinion. My coworkers especially liked the cookie to frosting ratio, which was about 50-50. Overall, these were a tremendous success and I would definitely use this recipe again.

Cookie Ingredients
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cookie Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13 x 18 inch sheet pan and line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixture, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium high. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 addition, mixing until just combined.

Press the cookie dough into the sheet pan, using a greased spatula or parchment paper to spread it evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Frosting Preparation
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and butter until combined and smooth. Add the vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Add the confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Cream together on medium high for about a minute. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until smooth.

Spread onto cooled cookies. Slice into bars and serve.

Recipe from And Now for Something Completely Delicious.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel FrostingWhen I received an invitation to my friend’s New Years Eve party, I immediately knew I wanted to try some sort of chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting.

Afterall, everyone loves the salty sweet combination, and even if they didn’t like it, since it’s New Years Eve they should have consumed enough alcohol to pretend to like it. Fortunately for me, there was no pretending, and guests were even asking if they could take cupcakes home with them. Success!

Since I already have the perfect (and one bowl!) chocolate cupcake recipe, I used that. For the frosting, I spent a bit of time Googling different recipes and finally decided on Chockylit’s recipe. It was a little time consuming because you have to make the salted caramel before starting the frosting, but it’s definitely well worth the time it took.

Photos of the process here.

In other news, notice the bright blue background and lack of kitchen sink in the photo? My parents bought me this mini photo studio for Hanukkah, so now I can post photos that don’t include my ugly stained Formica counter top. You can thank me (and my parents) later.

Salted Caramel Ingredients
4 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

  1. Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  2. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is incorporated.
  3. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Do not stir from this point on, but it is important to carefully shake the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.
  5. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Wear oven mitts, stand away from the pan, and be careful. The mixture will bubble up significantly.
  7. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
  8. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Salted Caramel Frosting Ingredients
2 sticks butter
8 ounces or 1 package of cream cheese
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel

  1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
  2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
  3. Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
  5. Sift 2-3 cups of powder sugar, in 1 cup increments and beating between each, until you arrive at the thickness and sweetness you desire. (I used a total of 6 cups and it was easy to pipe.)

Frosting recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit.

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