Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet & Simple Sunday # 3

Welcome Back!!

It's Sunday! What do you have planned for today?

I'm not quite sure what we've got planned yet, but I'm sure it will involve cooking or baking.

I'd like to invite all of you back later on this week for a Giveaway I have planned.

Make sure you stay tuned, you don't want to miss this!

So what were the top winners from last week you ask? Well there were so many amazing entries, but here are your top picks!!

Lady Bug Cupcakes by Life is Sweets

Royal Icing Recipe by Lizy B

Chocolate Bliss by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Now, onto this weeks good stuff! Link up anything you'd like. Any projects or recipes that you're working on. Just make sure you follow the rules!
Be sure you look at a few other links and be nice!
Make sure you check back later this week to see all of the great links and to make sure you get entered for next week's giveaway!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

S'more Please!

So a few weeks ago I did a guest blog post over at Something Swanky and made these cupcakes and I thought it was about time to share there here too!

S'More Cupcakes

It's finally starting to warm up here in this part of the country, and although we've had a very mild winter, it's about time to start with the campfires. In fact, we had our first one a couple of weekends ago. I love campfires. The smell of the smoke, the way food tastes cooked over the fire, and the dancing flames that could very easily put me to sleep (and trust me, they have). And what's better than a fresh, ooey, gooey S'mores over the fire, how about these that you make in your kitchen. No need to wait for warm weather, or deal with mosquitos!!

In all the time that I've been cooking and baking I've always been envious of those individuals who have those amazing little kitchen torches that are used for creme brulee and other wonderful desserts, and then I realized, why can't I use my hubby's hand held Bernz-o-matic from the garage to do the same exact thing!
I decided this was my chance.
I felt a little intimidated at first, after all, I didn't want to destroy my entire home by the undaunting desire to use a torch on a cupcake! Now, if you don't have a torch to do this, you can achieve the same "toasted" effect by using your broiler in the oven, just be careful!
Okay, so enough about my torch experience, on to the cupcakes!

S'Mores Cupcakes

9 sheets graham crackers (I acutally used about 1 1/2 cups already crushed graham cracker crumbs)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Either crush the graham crackers by hand, until they are like rough sand, or process in a food processor for several pulses. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined and resembling wet sand. Press firmly into the cups of the muffin pan, being sure to push it up the sides of the cups. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until just combined. Repeat, alternating the remaining flour in 2 more additions with the remaining sour cream in one more addition (ending on flour).
Place 2 scant tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beatiful Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes fresh from the oven!
Graham Cracker Cups baked to a light golden brown

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl set over a pot filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water. Whisk the mixture frequently to prevent the egg whites from cooking. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture on high until it is shiny and stiff peaks form, then stir in vanilla extract.

Once cupcakes have cooled completly, pipe or spoon some of the Toasted Marshmallow Frosting onto the top of each cupcake. Here's where my ultimate kitchen tool came into play. "Toast" the cupcakes either by using a hand-held torch or using your broiler. I then topped each cupcake with a chocolate covered marshmallow topper made by dipping two mini marshmallows in Wilton dark chocolate candy melts.

Aaahh, the beautiful Bernz-O-Matic!
 These cupcakes are the perfect mix of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow!
Who knew that this was even possible!!
I must say it again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be CAREFUL if you decide to use a torch on these.
I'd love to hear about your experiences making these, but ER stories make me a little queesy!

Have a great week!!

Peace. Love. Cupcakes.

Check out where I'm partying this week!!

Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button
Country Momma Cooks
ButtonEveryday Mom's Meals

The Sweet Spot
PhotobucketMrs Happy HomemakerIt's a Blog PartyMandy‘s Recipe BoxTip Junkie handmade projects Our Delightful Home

Lil\'LunaCast Party Wednesday


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sweet & Simple Sunday # 2

Wow! 1 week down already!
Well that was pretty easy!
We had a great turn out last week, I want to say Thank You to everyone who linked up!
For my first party we had 28 entries, not bad for a first time wouldn't you say!
This week- let's shoot for 50 entries ( I like to challenge myself that way)!

So who were the top picks last week?
We had alot of fantastic entries. Here are your favorites.

Oreo Shake, again, from Kristin at Grateful Belly. (I'm telling you, you need to check this page out!)

and last, but not least!

Don't they all look amazing! To all of you listed above, feel free to pick up a featured button and wear it loud and proud! For everyone else, I ask you to please add one of my other buttons to your page, and who knows, maybe that will be you up there next week!!

Link up!
Share this with all of your bloggy friends!
Have a great week everyone, and again, thanks for stopping by!