Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Buffalo Wing Dip

Recipe Review: crack in the form of an appetizer.

Warning. This dip is dangerously addictive. I'm serious. Proceed with caution because once you make this you are going to want to make it again, and again and again. A friend used to make this dip at parties and people would go crazy for it. I bugged her for the recipe but she was always really vague and would never give it to me. Eventually a roommate discovered that identical results could reproduced by following the recipe from the Franks RedHot website. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
2 cups shredded chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Start by adding softened cream cheese to a deep baking dish. Stir until smooth. Mix in cheese, hot sauce, and dressing. Stir in chicken. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. 

I usually shred the chicken a day before. Just boil the chicken for about 30 minutes until cooked through,  and then use two forks to shred while still warm. The dip can also be made in advance, and refrigerated overnight, but will need double baking time. This is the perfect football party food. It has all the great tastes of wings rolled together. The flavors work well with tortilla chips, but it's also good on crackers, toast, or with veggies. I try to only make this when there will be other people around, because if I was alone I would probably eat the entire thing. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nautical Cupcakes

It's A Boy!

Last weekend I made some baby shower cupcakes for a friend of a friend. It had a nautical theme, and she found the cutest little cupcake toppers on etsy. I used my go to vanilla cupcake recipe- along with a two toned vanilla butter cream and a strawberry filling. I tinted the frosting with Wilton Cornflower Blue Icing color. The baking cups I ordered off Bake it Pretty- my guilty pleasure baking supply website. 

Vanilla Cupcakes
adapted from "I like You: Hospitality Under the Influence" by Amy Sedaris
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a cupcake pan with paper liners

in a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, salt, and baking powder.

Add flour in three batches, alternating with the milk. Add sour cream with last milk addition. Mix until batter is smooth with no lumps, but do not over beat.

Divide batter evenly among cups, and bake for 18- 20 minutes or until tops are just golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on rack to room temperature before frosting.

I just started a new job and now I have weekends free!! Basically I will have less time for blogging (which I used to do from the old job in my downtime) but more time for weekend cooking projects and cupcake jobs. I'm excited to be trying something new and hope that it'll work out to be more of a career. I wish my career was cupcakes and crafts all day long. (But hey at least that can be my weekends!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

Recipe Review: Rich dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream frosting.

About a month ago Kevin woke me up in the middle of the night (not exaggerating- this happened somewhere between 1am and 3am). Obviously this must have been for something really important right? No... It was to tell me that he wanted me to make dark chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting "Like a peppermint patty- but a cupcake." Awesomeeee- Can I go back to sleep now? He has mentioned these dream cupcakes multiple times since then, so I knew I had to make them for his birthday.

Last year I made Kevin birthday cupcakes themed for the Hartford Whalers- his favorite hockey team (that now is no longer). It was one of my early attempts at artful cupcakes, and they were cute... but not really professional looking. This year I knew I wanted to do a better job, so I made Whalers themed  cupcake toppers.


A note on cupcake toppers- I wish I could tell you that I have crafting superpowers, and that's why these turned out so well, but- Holy crap these were easy to make! And I even impressed myself with how well they turned out. People thought that they were store bought. Loveeee when that happens, its an awesome compliment. I followed these instructions from a tutorial on A couple lolly pop sticks, paper punches and a little glue gunning and I had custom Whalers cupcake toppers!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from
yeild: about 30-32 cupcakes

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all purpose flower
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small saucepan on stove boil water. Remove from heat and add cocoa, whisking until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at at time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, beating on medium low until batter is fully combined. Fold in chocolate morsels.

Bake for 18-20 minutes in cupcake pan lined with baking cups. Allow to cool before frosting.

printable recipe

For the buttercream icing I just subbed peppermint extract instead of vanilla, adding it a little bit at a time till I got the right taste. Make sure you buy peppermint extract, not just mint extract which is a mix of peppermint and spearmint so it basically tastes like toothpaste.