Tag Archives: caramel

Drinks and dresses

7 May

Let me tell you how this post was supposed to go today.

I was going to start off by saying how great it is that it’s spring, and how some of my favorite things about spring (and summer, for that matter) are being able to drink frappuccinos instead of lattes and wear sundresses and capris instead of jeans and sweat pants.

But then it rained today.  And I’m not talking about those wimpy little warm sprinklings you sometimes see in May.

It rained big time.

It rained like May was having an identity crisis and thought it was March.

And now I’m wearing sweat pants.

So, I’m not sure what these are supposed to be now.  Maybe they’re caramel frappuccino cupcakes (which is what they’re called on the brainstorm sticky note on my laptop) if where you are it’s actually spring-ing right now, or maybe they’re warm, cozy caramel macchiato cupcakes if you’re here in the great Pacific Northwest, or you’re just feeling cloudy today.

Either way, they’re delicious.  They have coffee in them.  Lots of coffee.  And no stupid chocolate to mask that coffee flavor, or any superfluous frosting to dampen the amazing caffeinated zing that comes from the cake.

Just coffee cupcakes filled with caramel.

COFFEE CUPCAKES
(Please forgive me for using a previously posted recipe.  It’s worth repeating, trust me.)

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of instant coffee

 Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare your cupcake tin for lift-off.  Mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the wet.  Scoop into the cupcake tin and bake for about 20 – 22 minutes.  Once they’re cool, carve out a little well in the middle of the cupcake and fill it with caramel sauce.  You can (and should) make your own, but mine failed pretty spectacularly, which is why I’m not giving you a recipe.

Enjoy with good friends, a good book, and hopefully the good weather will follow.

Apple Spice Cupcakes

17 Jan

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Hi.  It’s me.  Remember me?  I haven’t posted in over a month…

But I’m back now.  With recipes.  And pictures.

This weekend was just about the most unproductive weekend of my life.  I’m taking ceramics this month, and have about fifteen mugs I have to paint and put handles on.  This was the dialogue with myself on Saturday:

Me:  6:00 am.  Time to head over to the art building and work.  Wahoo!!

Myself:  9:00 am.  I’m getting hungry, but still have  a lot to do here.  I’ll keep working.

Me:  11:00 am.  Okay, lunch time.

Myself:  12:00 pm.  Maybe I should head back over and finish my ceramics pieces.

Me:  Nah… I’ll just stay here and watch ‘Friends’ curled up under my covers because our heat is currently not working.

Myself:  Sure, yeah.  Okay, that sounds like fun.

Six hours later…

Me:  Okay, you really do need to go back to the art building and finish your stuff.

Myself:  DINNER!

 

So, basically didn’t get anything done.  I was going to bake yesterday, but it sounded like too much work.  Seriously?  Me?  Baking is work?  What’s wrong with me?

But I did bake today, so be happy.

APPLE CUPCAKES

  • 2 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg, so I did 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. non dairy margarine
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 eggs-worth of egg replacer
  • 1/2 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 c. shredded apples (I used Granny Smith from our dining hall)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream margarine and sugar.  Add the egg replacer and vanilla.  Then add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk.

Scoop into your muffin cups and bake.*

Take out and let cool, then top with frosting and caramel below.

*These took for forever and a day to bake – probably somewhere around 30 minutes for me.  Always start with 18 minutes, though, and go from there.  You can always let them bake for longer, but you can’t unburn cupcakes!!

 

BROWN SUGAR FROSTING

  • 1 c. + 3 tbsp. non dairy margarine (I just had the three tablespoons sitting around, that’s why I used them)
  • 1 c. sifted brown sugar
  • 3 c. white sugar

Cream it all up in a bowl with your electric mixer.

Note on this frosting:  I made up this recipe because I realized I didn’t have any powdered sugar.  I tried making my own by blending it up in a food processor, but that didn’t work either. This frosting is just like that magical time when you’re baking cookies when it’s just the butter and sugar together – YUM.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. non dairy margarine
  • soy milk (don’t ask me how much – I eyeballed it)

Put the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon every 10-15 seconds, for about a minute, until sugar starts to melt. Stir, nonstop, for about 2 – 3 minutes. The sugar will be very hot by now, which is good, but it will probably pop and splatter, so be careful!  (Ahem, I didn’t burn my toe when the sugar popped out of the pan!  What are you talking about?)  Add vanilla. When the sugar starts to turn just a little darker, add margarine and stir nonstop until it melts. Let boil on medium heat for 2 to3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.  Add non-dairy milk, a little at a time.

Note on this recipe:  Ok, I totally winged this one.  My margarine and sugar amounts were correct, but my sugar flipped out and just curdled up into little hard sugar balls.  So really, my caramel sauce turned into ‘epic fail sauce.’  So I strained out the little lumpies with my whisk and it turned out okay.

Enjoy!   : )

 

Manly Cupcake Challenge!

21 Nov

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Let me begin with an explanation.  First of all, I realize I haven’t given you a recipe for a week and a half.  And I’m sorry.  I have been occupied with Harry Potter exhibits and premieres and being stuck at the Seattle Space Needle without a ride home, and trying to find the parking break for twenty minutes in the zipcar my friend rented to go see Harry Potter.

So let’s just say I’ve been busy.

Not to mention the fact that the oven on my floor has hated me for the past week and a half…

Until now.

Introducing the manliest cupcakes you will ever eat in your life, complete with mustache.

I’ve recently been surfing the blogosphere because many of the bloggers that I follow have decided to ditch.  But not this one.  The C&C Cakery-ers were a finalist the month I did Cupcake Hero, and just recently I went back to check on their blog and found this:  The Manly Cupcake Challenge.  It’s a cupcake contest to raise money about men’s health.  But that’s not the best part.  The best part is that I get to bake cupcakes and possibly win these prizes:

The Manly Cupcake Contest Prize Sponsor’s Include:

The other best part is that you can donate to the cause if you want!

Now for the post.  I got my inspiration for this cupcake from Friends. That’s right, I’m a Friends addict.  Don’t judge.

Anyway, there’s an episode where Ross and Rachel hire a male nanny to take care of their baby.  The nanny, named Sandy, make madeleines, and Ross complains that they aren’t “manly” enough.  He says that manly baked goods should at least have “nuts, and chunks.”  So here you go Ross, there are most definitely nuts and chunks in these peanut butter pretzel chocolate caramel MANCAKES.

PRETZEL CRUST

  • 2 c. peanut butter pretzels, crushed
  • 3/4 c. non-dairy margarine, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar

Combine all ingredients and press into your cupcake liners.  This should be enough to do 24 crusts, if you use about 1 tbsp. of mixture per crust.  Bake for about 8 minutes in a 350°F oven.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c. AP flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Keep your oven at 350°F, line your cupcake tin with liners.  Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together in a cup and set aside for a few minutes.  Mix the dry ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl.

In a larger bowl, cream the peanut butter and sugar until fluffy (don’t beat past two minutes).  Add in the vanilla.  Then, alternate beating in the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Scoop on top of your pretzel crusts (I only needed one cookie-scoop-ful) and bake for about 22 minutes.

Right after they’ve come out of the oven, stuff about three chocolate chips down into the center.

CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. non dairy margarine
  • 4 c. powdered sugar

Stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. (I overcooked mine the first time, so just barely let it turn amber)

Remove from heat and slowly add in the milk and extract. Set aside until cool.

Beat butter until smooth, then add extract and powdered sugar a cup at a time.  Then pour in your caramel just until you have the right consistency.

Top off you cupcakes with the frosting and a chocolate  mustache and you are good to go.