Distracting Myself with Cupcakes {cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes}

cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes.

To make going back to work last week a little more bearable, and to celebrate a coworker’s half birthday, I made cupcakes.  I recently started following her on Pinterest, which was great, because it meant I didn’t have to ask her what kind she wanted, I could figure it out for myself.  She had several options that caught my attention:

But in the end, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes won out, because (and this is where I got selfish) Cinnamon Toast Crunch is my favorite junky cereal.

If you’re dreading something, dear readers, may I recommend bringing cupcakes to the table.  It certainly helped here.

To make 18 Cinnamon Toast Crunch cupcakes, you will need:

Cinnamon Cake:
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
Vanilla Cake Mix (not white cake mix)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder
(Crush the cereal in a bag and then sift out 2/3 cup)

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 20-22 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Mix in sour cream.  Add cake mix and cinnamon and mix until smooth.  Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

For the frosting:

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency using milk if it is too thick.  Pipe or frost onto cooled cupcakes and top with cinnamon sugar and Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares.

 

Best of 2014

Here were are again dear readers, at the close of another year.  Time to look back and reflect on our successes in the kitchen.  Mine are almost all recipes that add little nutritional value to your life.  So if you’re looking for help with your resolution, that’s another blog.  Sorry!

Click on the pictures to go to the recipes.

chocolate crunch bars.

banana walnut baked oatmeal.

funfetti cookies.

garlic and herb bread twists.

black bean burritos.

best chocolate chip cookies.

pounded cheese.

swedish pancakes.

chubby hubby cupcakes.

brown butter cherry bars.

IMG_4837

toffee tiramisu.

cheddar tailgating bread.

chili.

chocolate peanut butter globs.

candy cane cookies.

And two non-recipe posts:

brownie taste test.

nantucket.

Want to know what else is good here?  Check out the best of 2013, and 2012.

Celebrate, Day 16 {chubby hubby cupcakes}

On October 10, a coworker and I celebrate an Anniverthday.  What’s an Anniverthday, you ask?  It’s a combination anniversary (mine), and birthday (hers).  This year was even better because another coworker of ours got married as well.  When she came back from her mini-moon, we were ready to celebrate.

The only rule about an Anniverthday cupcake is that it must be some sort of hybrid, as our invented holiday is also some sort of hybrid.

chubby hubby cupcakes.

The new bride requested something chocolate and peanut butter in nature, and I went straight to these.  I love when someone gives me the opportunity to make a cupcake I’ve been waiting for.  I debated splitting the recipe in half and then I realized that there’s no such thing as too many peanut butter frosting-ed cupcakes.

These are some of my favorites.

To make about 30, you will need:

For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
1 cups malted milk powder
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups coarsely chopped pretzels

For the frosting:
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. heavy cream

To garnish: 
Mini pretzels drizzled with melted chocolate (I used Flips)

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add in the sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, mixing for 1 minute after each addition. Blend in the malted milk powder. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer (or warm in the microwave). Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. Let stand at room temperature, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened.

To fill the cupcakes, use the cone method to fill the cupcakes part way with ganache. Top off each ganache center with some of the chopped pretzel pieces (or a few pretzel M&Ms). (You don’t need to replace the cake tops for these cupcakes but you can if you would like.)

To make the frosting, combine the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the vanilla and cream just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip (I used Ateco #809). Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake. Garnish with a chocolate drizzled pretzel.

Celebrate, Day 5

Remember The Great Cupcake Caper of 2013, wherein I made 120 cupcakes for AGOMYR’s wedding?

cupcakes

I have to admit, they’re kind of gorgeous.

anniversary cake.

One year later, this is what remained of the 6-inch cake I crafted for AGOMYR and her husband.

champagne cake.

It’s champagne, with champagne buttercream.

Mr. AGOMYR

And I’m happy to report, she and Mr. AGOMYR had nothing but nice things to say about the cake they enjoyed a full year later.  Cheers to the (still) happy couple.

Celebrate – Day 4

Or, I love Oreos so much.  Although, it’s really just the filling I die for.  I’ve been pinning Oreo recipes like it’s my job, and I can’t decide what to make first.  Thoughts, dear readers?  I’m looking to celebrate an otherwise boring weekday next week.

Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddy Mix from Mandy’s Recipe Box.

oreo ice cream cake recipeCookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake from She Wears Many Hats. 

Mint Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | The Cake Merchant

Mint Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes from The Cake Merchant.

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Cookies and Cream Rice Krispie Treats from Your Homebased Mom.

 

Samoas Cupcakes

And for my next trick, here are some more cupcakes.

I’ll pause while you all take a collective gasp.

samoas cupcakes.

Yes, September is packed with birthdays, and today’s winner picked something Samoas-inspired.  Which was great, as I have had these in the back of my head for about a year now.

They are every bit as over the top as you might think, though I took some liberties with the recipe because I was exhausted and not thinking straight when I made them.  I forgot to put the cookies on the bottoms of the cupcake tins, so I just dunked the top part of the cookie in ganache, added the coconut/caramel topping to the cookie, and “drizzled” chocolate on top.  I thinned out the ganache with milk twice, and it still wasn’t as drizzley as I wanted, so the chocolate drizzles became more like chocolate blobs.  But you know what?  These still taste amazing.

They are absolutely time consuming to make, and absolutely worth it if you love Samoas and can’t wait for Girl Scout Cookie season before enjoying one for yourself. Happy Monday, dear readers!

Heath Bar Cupcakes

heath bar cupcakes.Hopefully CV(D) felt a little birthday love the other day when I set these Heath Bar cupcakes down in front of her.  Chocolate cupcakes, studded with bits of toffee, vanilla frosting, chocolate ganache, and a Heath Bar on top.  Nothing says love like a three step cupcake.To make 30 (30!!!!!), you will need:

For the cupcakes:

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream or yogurt (I use full-fat)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
1 C Heath toffee bits

For the buttercream:  (This makes enough icing if you are piping it on your cupcakes.  If you’re using a spatula to frost the old fashioned way, like mine above, cut the recipe in half.)

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

For the ganache:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very small pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla

5 1.4-ounce Heath Bars, chopped into large pieces

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in Heath English Toffee Bits. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the buttercream:

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.  Pipe or frost cupcakes to your liking.

For the ganache:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling.  Place chocolate pieces in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined. I couldn’t believe this was going to work.  It totally worked.  Whisk in the honey and vanilla. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Do not let the glaze sit for too long or it will harden up before you spoon it over the frosting. Spoon the glaze on the tops of the frosted cupcakes, allowing it to drip down the sides a little bit. Don’t add too much glaze or it will drip all over your liners. Top each cupcake with a piece of Heath Bar.

Classic Cupcakes [red velvet cupcakes]

Whenever Queen Cupcake visits a new bakery, she always gets a red velvet cupcake.  It’s her litmus test as far as determining the best cupcakes in New York.  Or LA.  Or wherever she is at the moment.

red velvet

Everyone makes red velvet cupcakes.

It’s a quirky little flavor though, in that there is enormous variety in everyone’s take on it.

red velvet 2

I’ve posted about my favorite red velvet cupcakes twice, and have yet to actually provide the recipe here on this little site.  They are some of my favorite cupcakes I make, and I make them a lot.

To make a dozen of my favorite red velvet cupcakes, you will need:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2  Tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Cream till mixture is lighter in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn mixer on high and add egg.  Scrape down bowl and continue to beat until combined.

In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder, food coloring, and vanilla till combined.  Add mixture to butter mixture, and beat till everything is smooth.  You will need to do some serious bowl-scraping to get the color to mix evenly.

Turn mixer to low and add half the buttermilk.  If you were a diligent baker, you would combine flour, salt, and baking soda in another bowl.  You might even sift the ingredients together.  I never bother.  I add 1/2 C flour plus the salt into the mixer next.  I scrape the bowl down when too much pushes up against the sides, and then, still keeping things on low, I add the rest of the buttermilk.  Then I add the other 1/2 C plus 2 T flour, and the baking soda and mix till everything is just incorporated.

Then it’s volcano time.  Remember when elementary school science fairs were all about papier mache volcanoes?  They erupted because of a fizzy combination of baking soda and vinegar and that’s what we’re about to do here.  I add the little bit of baking soda and make sure to pour the white vinegar right on top to watch it fizz up.  Then I put the mixer back on and let it do its thing till the ingredients disappear.

I scoop even amounts of batter into the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

I let the cupcakes cool, and then I make this frosting.

Three is the Magic Number

In the name of the new year, and fresh starts, and looking ahead, I’ve been thinking a lot about this little blog, and what I want for it.

I’ve been trying to figure out why it is that we’re all here in this little corner of the internet.

Because three is the magic number I kept thinking that I needed 3 words to define my blog.  I got two right away, but it wasn’t enough.  I don’t know why.  It’s not like anyone told me I needed to be able to define A Glass of Milk in 3 words.  Maybe 2 would suffice.  But things come in 3s, and I wouldn’t sleep until I knew my third word.  Maybe I knew a piece of my blog was still missing when all I could come up with was simple and honest.

oreo cheesecakes

When people ask about my blog, I usually start blathering on about how this is a great way for me to record our nightly fare, and for me to make notes on the tweaks I make to whatever it is I’m cooking.  That’s the truth (See–honest?).

But it is not the only reason I’m here.

oreo cheesecake 2

I’m here for the story.

I’m here because being the one behind the laptop means that I can connect a piece of my life to the food I ate at any given point in time.  That’s the magic of it for me.  That and sharing it with you all.  And hearing your stories.

So I’m plowing through 2014 with three words in mind for us all at A Glass of Milk.

Simple.

Honest.

Story.

Now let’s have cheesecake.

It takes a pretty big event for me to make Ina’s cheesecake, which is a crying shame.  It’s amazing.  It’s also about 8942 pounds.  It’s also the only cheesecake I ever make, despite having about 8942 of them pinned.  So I did something about that.  I bought a pack of Double Stuffs, and made some mini cheesecakes from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book.  You can make them, too!

To make 10, you will need:

  • 14 Oreos (Double Stuffs, because, what, honestly, is the point of eating the regular ones?)
  • 1, 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Line 10 muffin tins with paper liners, and place an Oreo in the bottom of each.  Crush or chop extra 4 Oreos into bite-size pieces.  Mix cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and, well, creamy.  Add sugar and egg and beat till combined.  Add melted chocolate chips and vanilla and beat till combined.  Fold in crushed Oreos.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin tins, and bake for about 20 minutes, until filling is just set.  A little jiggling fresh out of the oven never hurt anyone.  Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 30 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight, or until you just can’t wait anymore and you eat one anyway, because, really, what harm is it going to do?

People Who Helped Make Cupcake Week Possible

We’re at the end of our little, AGOMYR-filled cupcake series, and I have a few people who deserve huge shout-outs!  Allow me my Oscar acceptance speech moment, and please don’t roll the music before I’m ready.

Mad props to…

AGOMYR – For getting married and asking me to make cupcakes.  And also for giving me complete freedom in terms of what I made and how I made them.  When I move to PA, and you move to NC, we will always be connected through the power of butter and sugar.

Wooden Nickels – For loaning me enough pans to make 30 additional cupcakes at one time.

A friend who loves The Barefoot Contessa as much as I do – For loaning me two, six inch cake pans.

Ali – For loaning me her KitchenAid mixer to run simultaneously with mine. #dreamscometrue

double mixers

My husband – For keeping the dishes moving on 3 of 3 nights.

The staff at Veritas for getting those cupcakes set up in the most beautiful way on site, and crossing that off of my to-worry-about list.

AGOMYR’s dad – for building a cupcake stand, and crossing another item off my to-worry-about list.

The back of my head – For at least entertaining the thought that I only live 1.5 miles from Georgetown Cupcake, and could easily purchase 10 dozen emergency cupcakes if necessary.

My producer.

Kidding.

And every single friend who commented on my Instagram and/or Twitter feeds when I said that you should tell me the cupcakes look perfect – for telling me that my cupcakes look perfect.

This was a labor of love (emphasis on the love way more than the labor), and I am so glad I did it.  And yet, I’m so glad it’s done.  You won’t see any more cupcakes ’round these parts for quite some time, dear readers.