Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been in my top 5 cereals for as long as I can remember. The other top choices (in no particular order): Honey Nut Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Frosted Flakes and Total Raisin Bran.


When I saw these cupcakes, I had to pick my jaw off the floor. One of my favorite cereals turned in to a cupcake (this woman also has a Golden Grahams cupcake that's on my list to try).


This is cupcake #3 for the 2nd Annual Cupcake Swap.






Ingredients

Cinnamon Cake:
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
Vanilla Cake Mix (not white cake mix)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
(There used to be cereal pieces in the batter, but that has been removed due to comments saying it's better without it)
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder
(Crush the cereal in a bag and then sift out 2/3 cup)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 20-22 cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
3. Mix in sour cream.
4. Add cake mix and cinnamon and mix until smooth.
5. Stir in lightly crushed cereal.
6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
7. Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency using milk if it is too thick.
8. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with cinnamon sugar and Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares.

Andes Mint Cupcakes

This is selection #2 for the 2nd Annual Cupcake Swap. Mint.... chocolate... what's not to love??






Ingredients

Chocolate Cakes:
1 cup sour cream
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
¼ cup water
½ cup buttermilk
Devil’s Food Cake Mix
Chocolate Mint Filling:
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
¼ cup powdered sugar
Mint Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
green food coloring

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Using a whisk, mix sour cream, oil and vanilla extract together. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well in between each addition.
3. Alternate adding the cake mix and liquids (buttermilk and water), starting and ending with the cake mix.
4. Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 14-18 minutes, or until and inserted knife come out clean.
5. Chocolate Mint Filling: Melt chocolate chips and heavy cream together in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir in peppermint extract and powdered sugar.
6. When cupcake come out of the oven, use a squeeze bottle to fill the cupcake with the filling, or use the filling as a ganache and dip the tops of the cakes into it.
7. Mint Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream and peppermint extract and beat well. Add green food coloring and stir well
8. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and top with extra Chocolate Mint Filling and an Andes Mint.

Chocolate Lemon Cupcakes

Many moons ago, I worked at Dunkin Donuts. My favorite part was finishing and decorating the donuts. It was a chance to be creative in such a non-creative environment. One of my favorite "Manager's Specials" that I would make was the Chocolate Lemon donut. Picture a shell (the kind of donut you fill), filled with lemon custard and topped with chocolate frosting. It was a heavenly combination of sweet and tart all in one bite.


Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Cupcake Swap for a group of my friends. This is one of the cupcakes I decided to make. Yeah.... I made 3... wanna make something of it??






Ingredients

Lemon Cake:
1 box White Cake Mix
4 egg whites
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream
zest of 3 lemons
Lemon Glaze:
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-2 cups powdered sugar
Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, sift cake mix to remove any lumps.
  3. In a large bowl, gently whisk egg whites, oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, sour cream and lemon zest together.
  4. Combine wet ingredients with the cake mix and stir until well combined.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  6. Lemon Glaze: Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. The mixture should reach a consistency similar to tomato soup. (I can't think of anything else to liken it unto)
  7. Spoon glaze over cupcakes that are nearly cooled and let the glaze set.
  8. Buttercream: Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add vanilla and cocoa. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
  9. Pipe buttercream over glazed cupcakes and top with yellow sprinkles or lemon slices. (I topped with Lemon Sprinkles that Pampered Chef used to sell.)

Copyright © YourCupofCake

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pork Fried Rice

My pal Julie posted this recipe on her cooking blog not long ago. She got the idea from some of our friends for her recipe. Tonight I had some leftover pork loin that I wanted to use up and someone suggested Julie's recipe. 


It was AMAZING! I changed Julie's recipe a little bit to suit our own tastes. I'm going to list it how I made it, but you could definitely tweak it for your family as well! I added whatever veggies we had in the house that needed to be used up. You could also make this with chicken, beef, shrimp or go vegetarian.



Ingredients
1 cup dry brown basmati rice plus ingredients needed from package

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb pork loin, sliced and diced into small pieces
1/2 of medium sized onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2-3 celery hearts, diced

4 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
5-6 mini carrots, julienned (I used pre-julienned, bagged carrots we had kicking around)
3-4 green onions, finely diced
sliced mushrooms, sauteed

3 Tbsp prepared General Tsoa's sauce

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook rice per package directions.
  2. Prepare the meat and all of the vegetables before you start cooking anything else. Slice and dice all of the pieces to be small enough to be bite sized.
  3. On medium-high heat, in a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the meat and sauté until no longer pink and fully cooked.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add onions, peppers and celery. If needed, add a splash more of olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent, and vegetables are al dente (not mushy). Drain any excess water.
  5. Beat the eggs. Push the cooked meat and vegetables to one half of the sauté pan. Melt butter and then pour the beaten eggs in to the empty half of the sauté pan. With a scraper, push the beaten eggs back and forth until scrambled. (It is ok if the eggs combine with some of the meat and vegetable mixture as they scramble.)
  6. When eggs are fully cooked and scrambled, mix together the contents of the sauté pan until the meat, vegetables and eggs are combined.
  7. Reduce heat to low and add the cooked rice to the sauté pan and fully mix together.
  8. Add the diced carrots and green onions and continue mixing together.
  9. Add General Tsoa's sauce and continue cooking on low heat for about 5 more minutes, tossing occasionally, until ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oreo Truffles


Ingredients:
1 pkg. (18-20 oz.) regular Oreos (NOT Double Stuf)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature (use lowfat - no one will know the difference)
16 oz. chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In food processor, or with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, process Oreos into fine powdery crumbs.
  2. In mixer, or with your hands, combine Oreo crumbs with softened cream cheese. Mix/knead thoroughly (no streaks of cream cheese should be visible!) into a soft dough.
  3. Roll dough into 3/4" balls, and chill for one hour.
  4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Microwaving the chocolate doesn’t work well for this. Dip chilled truffles into melted chocolate. Remove with slotted spoon or two forks, and let excess chocolate drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, and chill.
  5. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Makes approximately 4-5 dozen truffles.

HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY OREO!


In honor of Oreo's 100th Birthday today
Cookies 'N Cream Cake

Ingredients
CAKE
12 crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
1 package white cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
ICING
6 crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tbs butter, softened
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray fluted cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. For cake, coarsely chop cookies, set aside. Combine cake mix, water, sour cream, egg whites and oil; mix according to package directions.
Pour half of the batter into pan. Sprinkle chopped cookies evenly over top of batter but not touching sides of pan. Spoon remaining batter over cookies.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen cake from sides and center tube of pan. Invert onto cooling rack; remove pan. Cool completely.
For icing, coarsely chop cookies; set aside. Combine powdered sugar, sour cream and butter; beat until smooth. Ice top of cake allowing some to flow down the sides. Sprinkle top with cookies. Let stand until icing is set. Cut into slices. Store leftover cake, covered in refrigerator
Yields 16 servings.

Dijon Maple Chicken

Another score from Pinterest! The original recipe can be found at Witty In The City. I tweaked it a little bit.



Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF .
  2. Place chicken into an oven-proof baking dish, salt and pepper. 
  3. Combine mustard, syrup, vinegar and garlic in a mixing bowl. Pour over chicken, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.
  4. Place chicken in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through.
  5. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.