Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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So, like everyone, I am a little obsessed with Pinterest.   I found this delicious seeming chocolate zucchini bread and needed to make it immediately.

The recipe can be found here – http://www.sliceoffeist.com/2010/08/very-grateful/

I decided to make them in a whole loaf form to keep at home, and mini cupcakes to take to work.

ImageThese little minis were adorable.  I made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting to top them off

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing:

4oz cream cheese, softened

1tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients until the icing is a thick spreadable consistency.  This won’t be like regular cupcake frosting, but would more resemble melted cream cheese.  It should be like that, its ok.  You can add more sugar if you want a sweeter more frosting-like texture.  I really wanted something more tangy and like a glaze so this was perfect for me.

I used the icing to glaze the whole loaf of bread.  Yum. Image

be mindful of the bake times.  If this goes even a minute too long, the bread will be very very dry.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

So… it was my boss’s birthday.  I don’t know how old she is, old enough that she didn’t want to tell anyone.  So I made her some birthday cupcakes.   Its not kiss-assing per se… more like I dunno, an excuse to make cupcakes.  Apparently she likes chocolate dipped strawberries – at least according to my other coworker who has worked for her a lot longer than I have.  So since that coworker is also allergic to chocolate, I decided that strawberry shortcake cupcakes were the way to go.

Makes: 24 cupcakes

Cupcakes:

1 box butter yellow cake mix

1 can diet cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix diet soda and cake mix.  Bake at 350 for 16 minutes.  The batter was really runny, so adjust baking times as needed.

Let cool

Filling  (optional)

1/2 can of strawberry pie filling.

Once cool, cut out a portion of the middle of the cupcakes. I tried to make the cuts in a ‘cone’ or v shape.  Make sure not to cut all the way down to the bottom of cupcake.

Icing:

1 stick of butter, softened

8oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup strawberry preserves (I used seedless)

1 tsp vanilla

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy.  Add preserves and vanilla and beat until fluffy and creamy.   Stir in powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency and sweetness.  It is very important, in the heat of summer, to make sure you are making your frosting in a cool room.  My apartment gets stupid hot, despite my air conditioning, and my icing was melty and soupy.  I tried putting it in the fridge for a while to harden it, but really, once it gets that bad there is no going back.  I piped it onto the cupcakes in the 1M rose technique, which I will not describe here.  Go to youtube, you lazy asshole, and look it up.

I topped 1/2 of them off with white chocolate dipped strawberries and the other half I left plain and topped with sprinkles.  Only because I didn’t have a full 24 strawberries to dip.   They were really delicious and everyone loved them at the office.  The butter flavor of the cake is insane good with the strawberry filling and the frosting is super creamy.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

So.. Father’s Day… right?  I don’t really have a dad.  I mean, obviously I do but he lives in Mexico and I don’t really ever see him so usually Father’s Day is just another Sunday but everyone else has to buy presents and cards and I get to smugly do nothing while all those chumps spend $2.79 on a card.

Anyway, my boyfriend has a real dad so my years of not-having-a-dad are over and I have to celebrate.  No one asks more questions about my cupcakes than my bf’s dad, so I had to make him cupcakes or he’d think I don’t like him.   So I made these delicious cupcakes!

They’re dark chocolate cupcakes with a raspberry cheesecake filling and a raspberry creamcheese buttercream.  And they’re so good.  Way better than I imagined – I don’t really like chocolate cake so I kind of thought the’d be ‘meh’.    I was happily mistaken, though sadly all the cupcakes were eaten and I don’t have any leftovers to pig out on.

Recipe – Makes 24 cupcakes.

Raspberry Cheesecake Filling:
8oz cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp raspberry preserves

Beat cream cheese and sugar together until well combined about 3- 5 minutes until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla for an additional 1 -2 minutes.  Stir in raspberry preserves, but don’t mix in totally.  You want swirls and pockets of raspberry in the cheesecake filling.  Refrigerate for about an hour or more so its firm enough to handle.  I put mine in over night.

Chocolate Cake:

Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix

10 oz (1 can) diet cream soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat the cake mix and soda together until there are no lumps.  Refrain from eating all the batter.  Pour into lined cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full.   Scoop a heaping spoon full of the cream cheese batter into the cake batter.  Bake for 15 mins at 350.

In the picture I put a washed and dried fresh raspberry to bake into the center of the cupcake.  They were really good that way, but its optional.  I made half with a raspberry and half without and they were equally delicious.  The fruit will release a lot of water so if you’re not planning on eating the cupcakes the same day or the next day, I’d go without the raspberry in the middle.  It will get too soggy and wet to be delicious longer than the day after.

Raspberry Buttercream

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tsp raspberry extract

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

dark chocolate melting candy for drizzle

24 raspberries for garnish, washed and dried to remove extra moisture

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.  Add preserves and 1/2 of the raspberry extract.   The extract can make the frosting taste really artificial and gross.  You want to add the extract a little at a time so it doesn’t turn overwhelming and disgusting and you have to start over.  Taste the frosting and make sure its raspberry enough for you.  If not, stir in the second teaspoon.  I used the full 2 teaspoons if you were wondering.   Add the sugar until you reach the desired sweetness and texture.  Mine was a little thin, because I like it that way.  Pipe onto cool cupcakes.   Melt your chocolate and put into a piping bag to drizzle over your cupcakes.  Or, if you were lazy like me and didn’t want to wash a piping bag and tips, cut a tiny corner off the end of a sandwich bag and drizzle onto the cupcakes with that.  Top with a raspberry and eat.

Devil’s Food Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

I don’t have a cute little story as to why I made these.  I guess I was just browsing the internet and came across a recipe for cheesecake brownies.  http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/08/04/cream-cheese-cheesecakebrownies/http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/08/04/cream-cheese-cheesecakebrownies/

I mentioned these to DJ yesterday and have been hounded ever since.  I was too lazy to go to the grocery store and had Devil’s Food cake mix in my cupboard.   So… here you go!  These turned out to be delicious so I don’t regret my laziness.  God works in mysterious ways.

Recipe –

Devil’s Food cake mix

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs

8oz cream cheese

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg white

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, egg white, 1/4 sugar, and vanilla until blended and creamy.   In separate bowl stir Devil’s Food cake mix, oil, and eggs until you create a thick dough.

Spray a large baking dish with pam, or grease, or whatever.  Lube up that baking dish.  Pour about 2/3 of the cake mix batter onto the bottom of the dish and spread until flattened out.  Glob spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the batter.  Kind of dredge a knife through the batters to marble the cream cheese and cake mix into each other.  Then blob the remaining cake mix batter on top.  Then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until entirely cooked through.   Let cool completely.Cut and serve.

Obligatory Holiday Cupcakes – Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

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Ok, so again with the Thanksgiving cupcakes.  My 10yr old cousin asked my mom specifically if I could make these cupcakes.  So of course I did.  She’s a beautiful blue eyed blonde girl, so I’m sure this is just the first in a long future line of her getting whatever she wants.

Anyway, these pumpkin cupcakes are amazing.  I can’t stop thinking about them and mourning their loss.  I wish they never quit me.  The best part was that I pre-stuffed the cupcakes with the cream cheese filling so that when they baked up they got a little toasty and tasted like a cream cheese toasted marshmallow.
Cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix

1 can/overwhelming cup canned pumpkin

2 – 3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

12 oz diet cream soda

Cream Cheese Filling

8oz cream cheese

1.5 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 – 3 tbsp cinnamon – to taste

Makes: 24 cupcakes (plus a few minis…)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake pans

Make your cream cheese filling by combining all ingredients until well blended.  You don’t want the filling to be too sweet -thats what the frosting is for.  When you’ve make the filling eat several scoops of it to make sure it isn’t poison.  Then put it in the fridge so its cold when you scoop it into the cupcake batter.

Mix soda, cake mix, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie mix until smooth.  Fill cupcake liners slightly more than halfway.  Take your chilled cream cheese filling and scoop small amounts into each cupcake.  These will bake into odd shapes, so just do whatever you want.  You’re covering the tops with frosting, no one will see your hideous creations.  Bake the cupcakes for 15 – 17 minutes at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking make your frosting by mixing the butter, cream cheese, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.  I said fluffy, so do it right.  Then stir in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time until your preferred consistency.  Make sure you’ve added enough cinnamon.   Once the cupcakes have cooled completely top with the cinnamon buttercream.

Then serve them to your boyfriend and he will love you forever.  Or he will just stay with you forever because you make awesome cupcakes even though he’s lost all the love he once had for you.

Or whatever, maybe your little 10yr old cousin will just be really excited when you show up with them at Thanksgiving.

PS.  The pumpkins I just made by piping out the shapes in tinted royal icing.  Freehand, b*tches.  I don’t do fondant.  I’m an icing purist.