Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Yum! I can't say that this is my favorite cupcake ever, but it is my favorite that I've made up all by myself. I started to bake, decided not to use a recipe, and this is how it ended up:

I know. I really should take pictures with a good camera. But, my camera is having some issues and my phone is oh, so much more convenient!

Even Sam, who doesn't do cake often, complimented these. That's really saying something, lol!

Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark) 
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened to room temp.
1 c. white sugar
4 eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. coffee
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk

Preheat your oven to 400. I like to preheat mine so high, and then when I put the cupcakes in the oven I immediately turn it down to 350. The higher temperature at the start helps the cupcake rise to a nice dome and hold their shape well--no spilling over the sides! 

Mix cream, coffee, milk, and vanilla together and set aside.
** Don't worry that these will taste like mocha. The coffee just helps enhance the chocolate flavor and leaves no coffee taste. When I want to make a mocha cupcake, I brew the coffee twice as strong!**

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda together in a bowl with a whisk or a sifter. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. When I know I'm going to make cupcakes, I leave the butter out overnight to soften. Anyway, cream for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated between each. Add 1/3 flour, incorporate, add 1/3 liquid mix, incorporate, continue until all ingredients are mixed together. Don't overmix! 

Fill cupcake cups 2/3 full and bake about 16 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may want to rotate the pan halfway through for even cooking. 

Let cool completely, on a rack, before frosting. Don't leave them in the pans or they will continue to bake and end up too done. This recipe should make about 24 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream:
3 sticks butter, softened. 
1/2 to 3/4 c peanut butter 
4-6 c. powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp. heavy cream

You don't want the butter to be as soft for the frosting as you had it for the cake batter. You want it softened enough to cream well, though. I pull it out as I'm gathering ingredients for the cake and by the time I'm ready to make the frosting (after all the cupcakes have cooled) it's ready.

Anyway. Cream the butter about 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mix well. You can add as much or as little as you like, it's all about preference. Add one cup powdered sugar and cream and mix well. Continue adding sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. The peanut butter may make the frosting thick; add  cream a little at a time if needed so that the consistency is smooth and creamy. 

I added a few sugar sprinkles after I piped the frosting on. So yummy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Unintentional Hiatus

So, I started a blog!

And then the world blew up around me.

The day after my last post, we found out that Mikaela had pneumonia. The doctor put her on HOMEBOUND from school because she was too wiped out to last all day. We adopted Sammy the Seal into our family and he worked hard to help keep her lungs clear. She had her stitches removed somewhere in there and finally went back to school on April 23.

Her last week out, Sam came down with strep throat. 3 days later, he had pneumonia too! I tell ya, I feel more like a nurse than anything these days.

We're all hale and healthy now though. Hopefully soon I will come up with some more interesting things to talk about.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Aubrey's birthday!

Well, yesterday was. Aubrey is my niece, 6 weeks older than Parker. We had her party here at our house.

See, I was going to use this occasion to make my first 'how-to' post. I was going to showcase the ice cream cone cupcake I made for her.

I got pictures of the pans I made, filling the cones, and fresh out of the oven cakes. And that's when things went wonky.

I promise you, I've melted chocolate before. Many, many times. Its really NOT hard to put a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir. But, for some reason, yesterday I wasted $9 of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips that WOULD. NOT. MELT. At least not thin enough to dip the bottoms of the cones in.

So, we had un-dipped cake cones. They were yummy, but not as pretty as I wanted them to be.

Anyway. Fun was had by all. Aubrey's mommy made some really really super great cake pops and mini-raspberry cheesecakes. Aubrey got lots of presents (her favorites were clothes, of course) and all the kids stayed up too late and had sugar hangovers.

Maybe next time, cake cones. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


In case you  haven't read as far as my profile, I'm Tiffany. I have a husband (Sam), one son, two daughters, and three nephew-sons. I am currently a SAHM, which means the aforementioned people will play a large role on this blog. I am a certified elementary teacher, but I haven't worked since 2008.

Life with 6 kids is...interesting.

Aside from my family, I have a pretty awesome family of friends. We wouldn't have survived the last two years without them!

We are very involved with our church. We serve a living God, and everything good comes from Him.

You can expect a lot of randomosity from me, here. There will be anecdotes, vents, rants, recipes, crochet patterns, and many, many other things. I'm inviting you along for the ride. Hold tight!

'"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."--Jeremiah  29:11