Friday, October 31, 2008

Crazy Eyes

Happy Halloween!! I made these crazy eye cupcakes for my office Halloween party. They were fun to make and even better to eat.

There have been so many creative Halloween cupcakes ideas online, in magazines, etc this year. The little cupcake has been making quite a comeback!! I'm amazed by the number of blogs devoted completely to this sweet treat! I first saw this particular idea for scary eye cupcakes on Epicurious and liked the simplicity of the decorations. The green and yellow lifesavers made for the best scary eyes in my opinion!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Faux-stess Cupcakes

Growing up, I was definitely one of the kids that packed lunch (well...I really should say I was one of the kids fortunate enough to have a mom that didn't want me eating pizza, chicken patties or french fries on a daily basis). The highlight of every lunch period was getting to the bottom of the brown bag and finding some kind of delicious Hostess treat! I always loved the cupcakes and the HoHos....while I might have finagled a trade for the pretzels or sandwich I had on any given day...I never parted with the snackcake. Never.

So as I continue to try new-to-me ideas for cupcake recipes, creating my own version of that tasty little cupcake seemed like a good idea. Here is my "faux-stess" cupcake...complete with filling! I used a cream cheese and chocolate chip filling to spice it up a bit. It never hurts to add cream cheese and/or chocolate chips!

Speaking of Hostess...have you tried these little guys? Really quite tasty for just 100 calories!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mocha Cupcakes

We were finally in town this weekend which gave me the opportunity to try out another idea for a cupcake. I LOVE coffee and even had a short-lived stint as a barista with Starbucks when I first moved to Orlando. I just love everything about coffee...the smell, the taste....but most importantly, coffee, to me, means good company and good conversation. My mom shares my penchant for the beverage so having a cup of coffee will always remind me of being home and sharing a cup or two with her. And I've converted my husband to the darkside too! Just about the time I got him dependent on the stuff, I decided we needed to go caffeine-free! Oops.

So this weekend, I wanted to try to come up with a mocha cupcake. I had in mind to make a dark chocolate and coffee flavored cake with a chocolate frosting. I realize that not everyone is as big a fan of coffee as I am...and I definitely lean towards the extra bold, strongest coffee you can I tried to keep that in mind as I mixed my latest concoction.

I ended up with a very rich tasting chocolate cupcake...much less coffee flavor than I had hoped. My taste testers who don't really like coffee (I don't understand it either) loved these little treats which tells you something. So next time I think I'll up the amount of coffee flavor I use in the batter just slightly and I'll focus on adding coffee to the frosting as well.

I had hoped to pick up chocolate covered espresso beans to top these cupcakes, but couldn't find them at the store this weekend. I did, however, find Mocha flavored M&M Premiums.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a pack of these. They are AMAZING! They lack the candy shell of your typical M&M and are almost like little tiny truffles. The pretty bronze and brown coloring looked festive on the cupcakes too. Pace yourself though...they are as addictive as their plain predecessor but way richer!