Friday, April 25, 2014

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Growing up, getting a Hostess Cupcake was a treat. I still have one or two a year. But once you make these at home, I promise you will never want the store bought ones again. 

BP's boss is leaving and he asked me to bake something for her last day. I had total free reign and this came to mind right away - mainly because I was craving one. Once he approved them, off I went. 

Oh how I couldn't wait for these to be ready to try. Time seemed to inch by, it was like torture. But man was it worth the wait. 

I took some to my ladies night dinner with me and they were a huge hit. BP also couldn't wait to get home from work and try one as well. Of course he loved them. A beloved cupcake by all. 

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes 
Makes 18

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake trays with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In large bowl add all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add all wet ingredients and mix, until smooth and combined. 
3. Divide batter into cupcakes evenly. Bake, rotating halfway through, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely. 

Make icing:
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp light corn syrup

In a small heatproof bowl place chocolate chips and set aside. In a small saucepan combine heavy cream and corn syrup and heat over medium heat until just boiling. Pour mixture over chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir mixture together until smooth.

While chocolate mixture is melting - make filling. 

3/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Beat butter and shortening together until smooth and creamy. Add marshmallow fluff, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Mix on high for 10 seconds to make light and fluffy. 

2. Cut a slit on the too of each cupcake. Fill pastry bag with filling and pipe mixture into each cupcake. Save remaining filling for topping.

3. Dunk the tops of filled cupcakes into ready chocolate ganache and let set for at least 30 minutes. 

4. Decorate tops of cupcakes with swirls or writing. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best. Cookie. Ever

Things have been hectic to say the least. Between being constantly sick and so much stress at work I felt like I was going to break. My parents raised me to always give 110% with everything I do. I felt like I was going to burn out at any moment, and then my boss sat me down and told me they had to let me go. So now I'm trying to find a new job and once again have a lot of free time on my hands. What do I do to fill it? Bake. 

I've been craving these cookies for a while now, but just never had the time to make them. So these were up high on my list of things to make.

I didn't have all of the add ins needed, so I went with what I had on hand in the house. I had accidentally bought butterscotch chips one day and didn't realize it until I opened the bag and poured then into a bowl. I had to set them aside for later use - and these cookies were going to be it. Usually I make these with chocolate chips, chunks of caramel and toffee bits. Today I went with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and caramel bits (these are made by Kraft and are perfect for your baking needs! No more unwrapping and cutting up caramel squares. These are my BFF for any baking needs with caramel. They are in the baking aisle with chocolate chips). And let me tell you, the taste alone from sneaking a bite (ok more like 4) of the dough, these are going to be amazing. 

Oh man are these delicious! Everyone who has tried one loves them. These are a must make. 

Best cookie ever
Makes 72 cookies

2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups caramel bits 

1. In a large bowl soft together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In another large bowl or your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add in chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and caramel bits and mix until incorporated. 
3. Transfer dough to a large bowl and press plastic wrap against the dough. Refrigerate for 24-36 hours. (Can be refrigerated for up to 72 hrs max).

When ready to bake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. 
2. Scoop out cookie dough with 1 1/2" cookie scoop into prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake until golden brown 10-15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.