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

Salted Whiskey Truffles

I somehow fooled myself into thinking October would be slow. So wrong. The whole month flew by and unfortunately this blog fell on my list of priorities. Laundry apparently fell on the list, too. Although if we’re being honest, laundry is always at the bottom of the list. Anyways. Last weekend my friend pointed out that Monday was National Chocolate Day. I think it’s slightly ridiculously that there’s a day for everything. National Cat Day was this week as well…but I hate cats, so I didn’t participate. I don’t mind celebrating chocolate though.

Salted Whiskey Truffles

My brother finds out if he passed the bar this week. Talk about stress. I figured he could use some treats to brighten up his week, so he got to be my taste tester for my chocolate recipe. I had to choose something that would travel. I had seen truffles at a restaurant recently and decided those were perfect. Then I decided to make chocolate whiskey truffles and be the best sister ever.

Salted Whiskey Truffles

I used this recipe since I had never made truffles before. I doubled it so my measurements will reflect that.

Salted Whiskey Truffles

Salted Whiskey Truffles (~20 truffles)

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. whiskey
  • Bakers chocolate

Chop the chocolate into pieces. Try to chop it finely and evenly as possible. Put it in a bowl and set to the side. Heat the cream until it comes to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Add in the butter and whiskey. Let it stand for a minute or two before stirring. Then stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Cover the ganache and refrigerate for a couple of hours, until the ganache is set. To make the truffles, scoop out the ganache and place on wax paper. If you have a gadget like a melon baller that will scoop it out perfectly, use that. I had to improvise and made a HUGE mess. The ganache melts rather quickly, so rolling them into balls is extremely difficult. I chose to chill mine again after shaping them. I dipped my truffles in bakers chocolate and sprinkled some sea salt on top to finish them. I love the contrasting rich and sweet flavors!

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

Baking for a Wedding

I am REALLY slacking on posts here. Actually I just missed last week, for which I have a semi-decent excuse. This past week I was baking for a wedding. This totaled out to 300+ cupcakes, a cake for the couple to cut into, and a groom’s cake. Needless to say…I spent a good 72 hours baking. Normally I would have at least one good freak out pop up in there, but I somehow managed to get it all done without a covered-in-frosting-meltdown. Even when this happened.

Worst nightmare.
Worst nightmare.

I think I might have been in denial that there was a chance I’d have to bake another cake. Flipping large cakes out of the pan gives me a heart attack. Every time. Mainly because this can happen. However, I fixed it and no one ever knew the difference (Until now.) This was the final product- a duck hunting themed cake. They had fun with the duck call after cutting it at the reception. For those of you who don’t watch Duck Dynasty, “Happy, happy, happy” is a quote from that show that the bride thought of to write on the cake.

Groom's Cake
Groom’s Cake

For the bride’s “cake”, we did four flavors of cupcakes. The bride happened to be one of my friends and also one of my main taste testers. The original list of flavors she gave me was about eight flavors long and I had to tell her to cut it back. We settled on strawberry, brown sugar pound cake, red velvet, and chocolate- covering her favorites, crowd favorites, and chocolate since the groom’s cake was funfetti (his favorite.) I also made a smaller cake for them to cut into- can’t skip that tradition! Cutting into a cupcake just isn’t very exciting.

Lovebirds.
Lovebirds.

Bride's Cake Bride's Cake Bride's Cake

I loved getting to be a part of this couple’s wedding. Seeing happy customers makes me happy, and this picture pretty much says it all!

She stole a cupcake before the ceremony even started.
She stole a cupcake before the ceremony even started.