Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

I don’t even know where to begin with these cupcakes. They are so good! Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but they really are delicious. A rich chocolate cupcake with a yummy, chocolate chip marshmallow filling, topped off with a frosting made with hot fudge.  You heard me. HOT FUDGE. Did I just hear you running out the door to get to the grocery store as fast as possible to pick up ingredients?!

This recipe is modified from a Hostess cupcake recipe I found, and have used in the past with success. My co-worker’s wife turned 30 and I said I’d make cupcakes in addition to the cake he had special ordered for her. When asked what kind of cupcake he thought his wife would want, my co-worker said it for sure had to be one with a lot of chocolate. The Hostess cupcake recipe came to my mind right away, and I mentioned that, and said with a different frosting it could be the winner. My co-worker mentioned the addition of chocolate chips in the middle and we were set.

I’d have the say they are probably one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They are that good. I’m told that the cupcakes were a huge hit not only with my co-worker’s wife, but also with the people who attended her 30th birthday party. If a lot of people have said they are good, that means you should go make them. Now!

Hostess Cupcakes (modified, so if you want the full recipe, see the below site)

Recipe from Bake at 350

For the cupcakes:

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract ( I used imitation and lived)

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

For the filling:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 c. powdered sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1 c. marshmallow creme

1/2-3/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tin for 20-24 cupcakes.

Prepare the cupcakes: Bring the sugar and 1 c. water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

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

Using a mixer, beat the eggs into the chocolate, them mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 c. batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 13-16 minutes (original recipe stated for 25 minutes, so it really depends on your oven). Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

(Cupcakes may sink in the middle…if they do, they’ll puff up when filled later)

For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tbsp. heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar and 2 tbsp heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Add chocolate chips (Using as little or many as you’d like- keep in mind when using a piping bag that the chips may not come out if you use too many…trust me!); set aside or refrigerate.

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a large round decorating tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). (It’s okay if some of the filling is showing- you’ll cover it when you frost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c. butter, at room temperature

1/4 c. shortening

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp. milk

1 c. hot fudge topping

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together the butter and margarine with the shortening. Sift the cocoa with the confectioners’ sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tbsp at a time of milk to keep mixture smooth. Don’t add more than 1/4 c. milk.

Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy. Frost the cupcakes.

Sugar Cookie Bars

I’ll be frank about this recipe. When I tried it, I received mixed reviews. Perhaps it was the fact that I over baked in fear that the dough wasn’t done. Perhaps I have a picky husband. Perhaps those that tried a bar didn’t get a middle piece, which, in my opinion, is always the best. I’m pretty sure all three contributed to some saying they liked them, others saying they were okay, and one certain husband saying they were too “fluffy”. You can ask my husband about that one!

I actually didn’t mind the bars one bit. I’m not a huge sugar cookie fan, but these were the right amount of dough to frosting, and not so sweet your teeth hurt while eating them. The bars are super easy to make, and you get a HUGE amount if making the full batch. Honestly, beware if you’re not looking to have 30+ sugar cookie bars sitting around at your house!

I really do think if I hadn’t over baked the dough, the bars would have been so much better. Who likes a dry bar?! Plus, all the reviews online were fantastic, so I know I’m not the only one out there liking these bars! So take my word for it, and don’t over bake, even though the dough doesn’t look like it’s done, it most likely is!

 

Sugar Cookie Bars

Recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock n’ Roll

1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 c. sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

5 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.

Press into a greased 13 x 18 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Cool and frost.

Frosting:

1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. shortening

1 tsp. vanilla

4 c. powdered sugar

5 tbsp. milk

sprinkles (optional)

food coloring (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat the shortening and butter until creamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Gradually add the 5 tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired consistency.

If you would like a colored frosting, add food coloring to achieve the color you are hoping for.

Spread frosting on bars, and decorate with sprinkles.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”  “Kate stole the cookie from the cookie jar.” “Who me?” “Yes, you!” “Couldn’t be!” “Then who?” Anybody else remember the Cookie Jar song from elementary school? My friends and I used to sing that song all the time at recess. Ah, the good ol’ days. Now I just get annoyed when that darn song gets stuck in my head when I’m putting freshly made cookies in the cookie jar!

This super easy and scrumptious cookie recipe comes from my Aunt Judy, who is an amazing cook and baker. These cookies have a definite peanut butter taste to them, but aren’t overwhelmingly peanut buttery. The addition of chocolate chips gives each cookie the right ratio of chocolate to peanut butter, and gives each cookie a little personality. They’re also soft in the middle with a crispy outside, which is just the way I like my cookies 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from my Aunt Judy

2 3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 c. butter

3/4 c. peanut butter (not generic!)

1 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 c. chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together flour and baking soda in a medium side bowl.

In a mixer or large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla until light. Add eggs and blend well.  Add peanut butter. Mix well.  Add dry ingredients; beat until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. I baked for 9 minutes for cookies that were 1 tablespoon in size.

Lime Chicken Tacos

I’m going to tell you a secret…one that no longer will be a secret since I’m telling the whole blogging world. Crock pot recipes scare me! The whole “fix it and forget it” deal? I can fix it, but I certainly don’t forget about it cooking in the crock pot, especially when I’m not home. I get nervous that something will go wrong, the crock pot will explode, and my house will be set on fire. Dramatic much? I think so. My life certainly could be a lot easier if I just trusted the darn crock pot more often!

This lime chicken taco crock pot recipe was delightfully easy. I say that because Ryan made it 🙂 But really, he also said it was easy. It’s about a 4-5 step recipe, and you’re done. These are the kind of recipes that make me happy! Plus, the taste of the chicken was great. I think Ryan and I both expected a little more lime flavor, so we’ll definitely add more lime juice the next time around. Other than that though, the lime chicken is a lovely spin on your traditional tacos. Sometimes it’s nice to switch things up, isn’t it?!

By the way, as you’ll see, the photos aren’t the greatest. Do you know how hard it is to take nice pictures when it’s so dark out?! Darn near impossible if you’re me! My little camera just doesn’t do well unless it’s in daylight 😦

Lime Chicken Tacos

Recipe from Taste of Home

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 Tbsp. lime juice – I added around 5 Tbsp and felt like it could have had just a little more. If you’re not sure, start with three Tbsp of juice, shred the chicken, taste it, and add more if you feel it could use a little more flavor.

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 c. frozen corn – we omitted this, as Ryan doesn’t like corn

1 c. chunky salsa

12 flour tortillas

Small red onion- completely optional- it wasn’t part of the recipe, but we sliced up one and put it in.

Sour cream, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, green peppers, etc.

Directions

Place the chicken in a 3 qt slow cooker. Combine the lime juice and chili powder, and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to cooker; heat through. Stir in corn and salsa. This looked and smelled so yummy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve in tortillas with sour cream, lettuce, cheese, etc if desired.