Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Well. I was going to bypass any excuses and “oh wow it’s been awhile”…until I saw it’s been almost a YEAR since I last posted. My bad. Hope I get some credit for making it back before a full year passed. Maybe these cupcakes will distract you from that.

When I was a kid I was an extremely picky eater (sorry mom and dad). I recall a particular snack time in preschool where I scraped the creme off of the Oreos to eat and gave the cookie to one of my friends. Of course I got in trouble for that and they cut me off. I still don’t understand that- I wasn’t wasting the cookies, someone was still eating them! Don’t worry, I’ve matured since then and will now eat the entire Oreo. My point is that I love the filling on Oreos. I’ve always thought that they should sell that stuff by the jar. Hold the cookies, please.

So when I was asked to make Oreo cupcakes this week I decided I would try to make my own Oreo creme. A quick google search provided several copycat recipes. Thank you, internet. You will never have to buy Oreos again after making this. Unless you want the cookie. I will warn you- this filling is like crack and you will probably eat all of it in one sitting.

Oreo Creme
Oreo Creme

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Make these chocolate cupcakes. After pouring the batter into the cupcake tin, add in chunks of Oreos. I used Double Stuf. We don’t mess around in this kitchen. I pressed some of the pieces down just for good measure. Bake for 20 minutes at 350*.

Ready to bake
Ready to bake

These cupcakes looked delicious coming out of the oven. Tempting to eat as is. But wait, we are not done!

Heavenly.
Heavenly.

 

And here’s what you’ve been waiting for- Oreo filling! Seriously. Making this might be the highlight of my baking career.

Copycat Oreo Creme Frosting

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 Tbsp. hot water
  • 7.5 cups powdered sugar

Cream the first four ingredients together. Gradually add the powdered sugar. The consistency will be thick, just like it is on the cookie. If you want Oreo creme then this is all you have to do. I needed to be able to pipe it onto cupcakes, so I had to thin it out. To do this I added 2 Tbsp. of hot water. It doesn’t take a lot of extra water, so add a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you need. This frosting should be enough for 2 dozen cupcakes.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Pipe onto the cupcakes and top with an Oreo. Marvel at your creation, then devour it.

Pure cupcake eating joy.
Pure cupcake eating joy
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Holub/Anderson Wedding

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of baking for another wedding. The bride’s family and mine have been friends for about 20 years now. There’s a long history of swim meets, 4th of July fireworks and homemade ice cream, and both of our families even moved around the same time to the same area when we were in junior high. And then we started over on a new swim team in the new neighborhood (see the central piece here?). After high school we continued to A&M, and then both became teachers- although in different cities.

The couple wanted cupcakes and settled on four different flavors: strawberry, snickerdoodle, red velvet, and chocolate with peanut butter frosting. I don’t always get to watch people eat the cake after I set it up, so it was fun to watch the cupcakes disappear at the wedding. I wish I could take credit for the signs on the cake table, but that was all the bride’s doing. The entire wedding was absolute gorgeous and I loved being a part of it!

The Cake Table
The Cake Table
For all my Aggies, the bride's bouquet is in an A&M pitcher!
For all my Aggies, the bride’s bouquet is in an A&M pitcher!

Holub WeddingHolub Wedding

Strawberry cake for the cake cutting
Strawberry cake for the cake cutting

Holub WeddingHolub Wedding

King Cake Cupcakes

I’d say February does a pretty good job at kicking all those January health goals to the curb. First you’re hit with Valentine’s Day, and then Mardi Gras and the rodeo (well, for those of us residing in Texas). Diets don’t stand a chance. However, you can’t help but get caught up in all the festivities. I personally love this time of year. Mardi Gras and the rodeo are both ongoing events and lend themselves for a lot social activities. It’s just fun! With Fat Tuesday coming up I figured King Cake Cupcakes would be the perfect cupcakes to bake!

I found this recipe over at The Virtuous Wife. Best thing about it? You use crescent rolls. Seriously can’t get much easier than that. Delicious treats don’t have to be complicated recipes, most of the time simple is better! The only down side to these is that the recipe only makes eight, although they are large. But MAN are they tasty! I actually preferred the bread flavor as opposed to a sweet cake- I felt like it balanced out with the filling and glaze. My taste testers told me it was even better with a cup of coffee. You could always experiment and try different fillings…so many possibilities.

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

King Cake Cupcakes (~8 cupcakes)

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (seamless dough sheets work best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamonFilling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extractGlaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 375* and grease your cupcake pan. With a mixer, cream together the ingredients for the filling (cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla). In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Lay out the crescent roll sheets and cut each tube into four squares.

King Cake Cupcakes

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the squares (divide it evenly until there’s no more).

King Cake Cupcakes

Add about 1-1.5 Tbsp of filling to each square. Try to spread it longways.

King Cake Cupcakes

Roll up each square longways (hot dog style). Pinch the edges together. Fold the left side over the middle, then fold the right side over the left. You’ll end up with what looks like a cinnamon bun. Place it in the cupcake pan.

King Cake Cupcakes

When you have all the rolls in the pan, cover the pan with foil. Bake at 375* for ~12 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 12 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing them.

King Cake Cupcakes

While they are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl. When the cupcakes have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes. I put wax paper under the cooling rack they’re on because the glaze drips down. Add sprinkles of your choice!

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

Farm Animal Cupcakes and Smash Cake

Word Press just informed me that this was my 2 year anniversary of my blog- I figured that deserved a post if anything. Two whole years. This time of year lends itself to reflection and there is so much that I’ve done and still have yet to do. I’ve done 7 weddings in that time span, and have 2 more coming up in the spring. Not shabby considering this is my side job. Or is teaching my side job? It’s hard to keep straight. I never dreamed of baking on this scale and sometimes it still surprises me how much it’s grown.

It even has working lights!
One of the weddings from 2013.

Posts about goals and bucket lists have been floating around the interwebs…I find most of them annoying. And I’m very much a goal-oriented person. I’m constantly writing goals, rewriting them, and figuring out what I need to do to get there. I’m in the middle of that process right now. But the thing is, my goals don’t apply to anyone but myself. You don’t know need to know them. Not one of these lists going viral will apply to your life 100%. I hope you do make goals for the new year- and if you achieve them before the year is out, write some more. You don’t need a new year to dictate when you set goals. Figure out what you want, write goals (physically write them out), and go after it. Cover all areas of your life- health, spiritual, relationships, career, and financial. That’s only slightly overwhelming. Bottom line…where are you now, and where do you want to be?

Now, let’s get down to the baking. One of my recent projects was a smash cake and cupcakes for a sweet boy’s 2nd birthday. His party had a barnyard theme, which I thought was adorable. I decided to create cow and pig toppers with gum paste for the cupcakes. I drew the eyes and cow print on with a cake pen. These things are amazing. I originally ordered mine online, but I’m starting to see them in stores now.

Barnyard Cupcakes
Barnyard Cupcakes

I did the cupcakes first, and when I started the smash cake I decided to use the same gum paste decos. Continuity, folks.

Barnyard Cake
Barnyard Cake

I’m looking forward 2014 and everything it will bring! I hope you all get to ring in the new year with loved ones and with new goals. And of course, some delicious treats!

Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year!!

Turtle Cupcakes

Yesterday was the first “official” day of fall and I think for the first time in history it actually FELT like fall in September. Here in Texas it usually doesn’t cool off for another month, but a cool front came in and it felt amazing! Despite the heat, people here start obsessing over pumpkin and fall flavors as soon as September 1st hits. I honestly don’t recall people being so into pumpkin several years back, so I’m not sure if this is a new trend or I just wasn’t paying attention. Either way I’m being misleading because I don’t have pumpkin cupcakes for you today. Caramel is another one of my fall favorites. Scratch that…caramel is a favorite anytime. But I do feel like it really fits in with the other fall flavors.

Turtle Cupcakes
Turtle Cupcakes

If you haven’t tried making your own caramel, you should. Just so you can experience the near heart attack and anxiety that I do. Just kidding. I like to live life on the edge and make it without a candy thermometer. Since caramel is basically melted sugar, there is a small window of time where you have caramel before it turns to burnt smoking sugar that’s setting off your fire alarm. Have I sold you on it yet?

This week I made turtle cupcakes. Rich chocolate cake topped with caramel cream cheese frosting and caramel pecan filling. You drooling now? You should be. For the cake I used my go to chocolate cupcakes. The fun part comes next when you make your own caramel for the frosting and filling.

Caramel made from scratch
Caramel made from scratch

Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

I measure everything out and have it ready to make it easier. Place sugar over medium-low heat in a saucepan. When the sugar starts melting, stir sugar slowly.  Continue stirring until all the sugar is melted. When the caramel reaches a deep amber color, remove pan from heat.   Pour half of the heavy cream into the saucepan  down the edge of the pan, stirring constantly.  The mixture will probably hiss and spaz at you…keep stirring, it’s fine.  Stir until the cream is well incorporated, then whisk in the remaining cream.  Stir in the salt and the vanilla. Pour into a bowl and let it cool. The hard part is DONE.

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Make cream cheese frosting. Add a few tablespoons of your homemade caramel. I added some sea salt to make it salted caramel.

Caramel Pecan Filling

Add pecan pieces to your caramel and stir. Ta da, that’s it. I used finely chopped pecans because I was working with mini cupcakes, but for bigger cupcakes or a cake you could get away with coarsely cut pecan pieces. Save some caramel to drizzle over the cupcakes.

Turtle Cupcakes
Turtle Cupcakes

I piped the frosting with a large round pastry tip just around the edge of the cupcake (you could still see cake in the center after I piped the frosting). In the center/crater that the frosting creates, spoon in the caramel pecan filling and then drizzle with caramel.

Toy Story Cupcakes

The past couple of months I have gone back and forth between starting a website or just maintaining this blog. Well I finally made the leap and created sassyaproncupcakes.com last weekend. If you feel like drooling over some cupcakes, hop on over there to check it out! I will still be posting weekly recipes and the projects I’m working on here.

In other news, BSpears is BACK with “Work Bitch”. Yes, I am a fan and yes, I am excited for her new cd. Gotta have good music to dance around to while baking!

Toy Story Alien
Toy Story Alien

This week’s project were Toy Story cupcakes. These were for a boy’s 1st birthday party and they asked for the aliens in Toy Story. I went back and forth on what to do, and finally decided gumpaste would look much cuter and neater than anything I could do freehand. I anticipated cutting and “gluing” the gumpaste taking me forever, but I was actually able to use a cookie cutter to cut most of the shapes.

Coloring Gumpaste

This is messy. No way around that. I have an old school Tupperware mat that I use when working with gumpaste or fondant. Use a toothpick to get whatever color gel you’re using, and stick it in the center of your gumpaste. Grease your hands with shortening and start kneading the gumpaste. Try and fold the gel to the inside of the gumpaste instead of immediately rubbing it all over your hands. The shortening is to keep the gel from dyeing your hands (although it will still stain, just not as bad). I made 3 colors- blue, purple, and green.

Rolling and Cutting Gumpaste

First I rolled out the blue gumpaste to cut out circles for the base. I have a little pouch made of cheesecloth that contains a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. I use it to powder the mat and rolling pin to keep the gumpaste from sticking. I cut out several blue circles with a medium sized circle cookie cutter. Next I made the alien’s “collar”, still using the cookie cutter. I would cut a purple circle, then place the edge of the cookie cutter a fraction of an inch away. I used a knife to cut the length of the collar. Using the cookie cutter ensured it would align perfectly on the base.

Gumpaste Base and Collar
Gumpaste Base and Collar

Next, I cut out green circles for the actual alien using the same cookie cutter (once again allowing for all the pieces to line up together). Every circle made TWO aliens. TO make the head, lay one circle in front of you and create a “venn diagram” with the circle and the cookie cutter. It overlaps in the center creating a pointy football shape, or in our case, an alien head. Repeat on the other side of the circle. I used the rest of the circle to cut ears and an antennae. Wilton has candy eyeballs and I glued those on top. Carve a smile with a small knife and you are done!

Gluing Gumpaste

Gumpaste “glue” has to be made ahead of time. It’s extremely simple though. Take a piece of gumpaste, a tiny piece, and place it in a small container. Fill with water and let the gumpaste dissolve. That’s it! I used an old spice container for mine and that size was perfect. Use a paintbrush to brush the “glue” on to the gumpaste and then press together.

I placed the aliens on top of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. Gumpaste is definitely edible, although the cupcake tastes much better!

Toy Story Cupcakes
Toy Story Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

The musical Book of Mormon has received a lot of buzz this past year. Well I finally saw it. And it was HILARIOUS! You laugh from curtain to curtain. The dance moves are just as funny as the words and lyrics. If you get a chance to see it, you definitely should. The creators of South Park are behind Book of Mormon, so it’s a little different than the other musicals out there. But so. funny.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

This week’s flavor is Lemon Meringue. My sister loves anything lemon, so she was heartbroken that she didn’t get to taste these. She was the only one upset because everyone loved these. I wish I had made extra because I wanted one Sunday morning. Yes, for breakfast. They are light, fluffy, and citrusy (citrusy definitely isn’t a word). The actual cake is good, but what REALLY makes these are the lemon curd filling. So don’t leave it out!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes (12 cupcakes)

  • 1 1/2 c.  flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350* and line the cupcake tin. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one a time, mixing after each one. Add the zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide batter among cups and bake for 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

Lemon Curd Filling
Lemon Curd Filling

Lemon Curd Filling

  • Zest of 2 lemon
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 eggs + 1 egg yolk

In a medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Fill your cupcakes and then frost with cream cheese frosting!