Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes With Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

It is finally summer!  Exams are over, homework is done, getting up early is over!  I can't even tell you how happy I am to be done with my sophomore year of university!  I'm officially a junior, which makes me an upperclassman!  

Holy crap.

I feel SO old!  I know, I know, I'm still young, but really, I feel like life is just flying by.

This summer I plan on having a ton of fun, baking a lot, getting a scrap book or two finished, and being a nanny for a six year old girl.

This little girl is one of my favorite kids that I babysit for.  She's well mannered, fun to talk to, and kind-hearted.  

This little girl also has an older sister who is graduating from high school this year.  Consequently, she will be having a fabulous graduation party!  And who did her parents ask to make cupcakes for it??  Me!  I always feel so special whenever I get asked to make desserts for an event, it's kind of like other people believe in my dream too.  

I prepared three different cupcakes for the party; these vanilla cupcakes with raspberry cream cheese frosting, peanut butter cupcakes with marshmallow cream cheese frosting, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate and toffee topping and caramel buttercream frosting.  

Oh boy, oh boy were they all delicious!  I was very proud of myself actually.

These vanilla raspberry cream cheese cupcakes are excellently refreshing, and provide a wonderful amount of sweetness without it being too much.  This recipe also offers great versatility, if you don't like raspberries you can substitute them out for strawberries or blackberries!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
 Recipe Adapted From: Glorious Treats

1 1/4 C cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.

In a small to medium sized bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. (You are welcome to switch out the cake flour for an all purpose but you will not have the same end result!  The cupcake will be denser.)

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 20 seconds.  Add in the sugar and beat for another 30 seconds.  Add in the vanilla and oil and beat until all ingredients are well combined.

With the mixer set on low, add half the flour mixture and beat.  Now, add half the buttermilk and beat, being sure to scape down the sides of the bowl in between.  Repeat the process once more, and be careful to only being until just combined.  

Expect the batter to be thin when finished.

Pour the batter into the liners about 2/3 full.  

Bake cupcakes between 11-14 minutes depending on your oven. (mine took 11)  When a toothpick comes out clean they are done.  

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack.

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. raspberry puree, made from about 1/2 C fresh raspberries 

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add in the cream cheese and beat until the two are fully incorporated.

Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, scraping down the sides each time.

Add vanilla and beat.

Beat in the raspberry puree, half at a time.  Beat for an extra 30 seconds to 1 minute after the last of the puree has been incorporated.

Place frosting in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour before frosting to allow it to firm up.

Enjoy! :) 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn't love Nutella?  Crazy people that's who!  

Sure, it's still a close second to peanut butter in my book but nevertheless I love the stuff!

It gives you an excuse to each chocolate for breakfast! Who's going to argue with that?

Anyway, I decided to make this recipe because I had some ingredients I wanted to use up and these fit the bill.  Not only were these cookies INSANELY easy to make, but they were absolutely scrumptious to eat!

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe Adapted From: Lovin' From The Oven

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C Nutella
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together until it is light and fluffy.  Stir in the egg, vanilla, and Nutella with a wooden spoon.

Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined, do not over mix!  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop large Tablespoon sized portions onto the sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes.

Let cool for a couple minutes on the pan before removing.