The Chocoholic Cupcake: Another Valentine’s Day Dessert

A couple weeks ago I announced that I was going to make a few  treats in an effort to pick the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.   The only requirement for the dessert; it must have chocolate in it.  And as you might imagine, this is becoming a harder chore than I originally thought.

The first recipe I presented was for Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.  They definitely hit the spot, and after making them I had to wonder if I would be able to top them.

Well… now I present the Chocoholic Cupcake.  The cake is dark, moist, and less sweet than a lot of chocolate cupcake recipes.  I like to top them off with either  vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting which is sweet and buttery and compliments the dark chocolate cake.

I have to say that it is nearly impossible to choose a favorite between the two desserts I’ve made so far.  I have at least one more dessert to make before picking a favorite, but now I’m wondering if we should celebrate Valentine’s Day with just desserts and wine!

Chocoholic Cupcakes

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar, not packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. cocoa

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. skim milk

1 c. boiling water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. 

Prepare cupcake tins by placing paper liners in each cup.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sugars, eggs, skim milk, and oil.  With an electric mixer beat ingredients for 2 minutes.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; mix again until completely blended.  Add boiling water and flour; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in vanilla extract. 

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

I couldn’t resist decorating these cupcakes with bright gumballs from SweetWorks candy, along with Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate hearts and kisses.  Both are so festive!

And drum roll please…. 

TheMaryJaneFam blog, Raising Jane Journal, featured photos of my one and only Pink Paradise today.  They also shared a link to my Tin Can Tourist post as well.   I feel so honored!  If you have a minute,  please hop on over there and check it out.

Also, an important reminder all you glampers  –  the International Glamping Weekend is scheduled for  June 1-2, 2013.  Follow the link above to find out more.

I shared this recipe at:

weekend-potluck-buttong

 

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Lemon Melt Away Cookies

Pearls and Lemon Cookies 098

With a few lemons rolling around in bottom of  the refrigerator drawer that needed to be used up, and the urge to bake, I did a quick search on-line for something lemony to make.  Thinking along the lines of cookies actually helped narrow my search down.

I found a lot of recipes for lemon cookies that called for a lemon cake mix but I didn’t have such great luck finding a lemon cookie recipe made from scratch.   I eventually found a delicious looking recipe from Landolakes.com that fit the bill – with a few changes of course.

I transformed their cookie, described as “crisp and tender”, into a soft and tender cookie – just the way I like them.  I also made a vanilla buttercream frosting for my batch of cookies, whereas they made a lemon glaze for theirs.

My version of the recipe appears below. Follow the Land O Lakes link above to find their recipe and check out their cool website.  It’s one you’ll want to add to your favorites!  (*This is just my opinion – Land O Lakes did not compensate me to say this.)

Lemon Melt Away Cookies

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. butter, softened

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 c. lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)

1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

3 c. all-purpose flour

Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, margarine, eggs, sugar, and lemon juice.  Add cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; mix thoroughly.  Add flour one cup at a time mixing well between each addition. 

Drop by spoonful on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 6 minutes, or until cookie is a light golden color.  Remove from oven an allow to cool before transferring to a cooling rack. 

Frost when completely cool.  For a hint of color I topped mine with Pearls.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

2 c. powdered sugar

1-2 drops of milk

In a large bowl, add softened butter and vanilla; mix thoroughly.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.  Add a drop or two of milk to get frosting to your desired consistency while mixing.  Beat until smooth and creamy.

I’ve had several people ask me about getting your frosting to the right  consistency.  Here are a few of my tips. 

1. Always soften the butter before mixing up a frosting, but don’t melt the butter.  Melting is bad! 

2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time; beat thoroughly after adding.  If the frosting seems to stiff, add a drop of milk to thin it, but be careful not to add too much milk at once.  A little milk goes a long ways.

3. Add vanilla extract before adding and mixing final cup of powdered sugar.

4.  Beat for 1-2 minutes for best results. 

5.  If the texture isn’t to your liking carefully add a bit more sugar, or a bit more milk – which ever you need to get to your desired consistency.

These cookies will melt in your mouth.  You will hear oohs and ahs from the lucky tasters of them!