I’m sorry it has been so long since my last post! It’s like I think summer time means I can take a vacation from everything. To be fair I did have a one week vacation from work. But then there is the three week vacation I’ve taken from cleaning the house.. it’s just too dang hot to vacuum in the summer. There is also the vacation I’ve taken from running, it seems as though it would be a sin to not come home from work and relax with an ice cold glass of Rosé to enjoy the sun while it makes its descent.
Despite my head being off in vacation land I have actually been baking a lot. I made some mini banana muffins that seemed to disappear faster than it took to make them. And I whipped up a blueberry and strawberry bread that I have been devouring for breakfast. Ohh and of course there are the tasty treats I made in honor of the 4th of July.
After my friend sent me a picture of a flag cake I couldn’t stop thinking about how cute it was and how I had to make it. When you sliced into it, it looked like an american flag (sort of like this) but I used my own cake and frosting recipes. Either way it came out amazing! Only I don’t have any good pictures! ..blogger FAIL!
The other thing I made for July 4th was red velvet ice cream cookie sandwiches. Hello heaven!! Ohh and did I mention they are gluten free? Yup, gluten free red velvet cookies with vanilla ice cream sandwiched inside. You could totally use store bought ice cream for the sandwiches but we all know I’m nuts and make everything from scratch so I made a simple vanilla ice cream. And of course ice cream sandwiches are not complete without sprinkles. Just like you wouldn’t walk outside without your pants on, don’t serve your ice cream without sprinkles. While I did all this my camera sat taking a nap about 10 feet away… I apologize to you and to the amazing little stars that deserve their day in the spotlight.
So now I feel like I really owe you all an amazing treat and I think I achieved it with these. I was trying to think of a dessert that I could make for a family lobster bake. I’m talking 30 sweet Maine Lobsters that my cousin had plucked from the cold waters of Maine that morning. Umm hello, how am I suppose to compete with that? And not to add any pressure but I only get to see my cousins and my Aunt and Uncle up from Texas once a year so this is no time for a baking fail.
Since it’s summertime and we all want to be outdoors in the sun for as much of the day as possible, not standing next to a hot oven, I wanted a simple and fast recipe. Simple, fast, no fail, yet delicious always means chocolate to me. You can never go wrong with a chocolate cupcake. To kick them up a notch I hollowed out the centers and stuffed them with dark chocolate M&M’s. Have you ever met someone that doesn’t like M&M’s? And because plain buttercream seemed much too ordinary for these masterpieces I whipped up a fluff frosting. It’s a nice bright white against the dark chocolate cake with a fluff and a sweetness that can stand up to the dense rich chocolate.
In about an hour and a half I made these cupcakes, showered, put on a dress, did my hair and makeup and was ready for 5pm cocktail hour. I may have had a little help stuffing the centers with M&M’s but for a fun cupcake they aren’t over the top labor intensive. I highly recommend them and I hope they help you forgive me for my blogging absence.
Hope you all are enjoying summer and vacation as much as I am!
M&M Chocolate Cupcakes
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Canola oil
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Hot coffee
1 1/2 Cups M&M’s Dark Chocolate (for after baked)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in your mixer bowl, give it a quick mix on the lowest speed. In a separate bowl, pour in the milk, oil, add the eggs, and vanilla. With a spoon stir the wet ingredients until just combined. Add the wet ingredients 1/3 at a time to the dry ingredients in the mixer at a medium-low speed. Once combined pour in 1 cup of hot coffee. Mix for one minute longer.
Using a ½ cup scoop pour chocolate mix into lined muffin tins.
Bake cupcakes for 18 minutes, or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
1 Cup Butter (2 sticks)
1 Cup Fluff
4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Milk
Beat butter until smooth. Add in fluff and continue to beat. Continue adding Confectioners Sugar one cup at a time. Adding vanilla and milk after 2 cups. Mixing for 2 more minutes until smooth and fluffy.
To assemble: Remove the center of each cupcake with a cupcake corer or a knife. Save the core. Fill each center with M&M’s. Then top with the centers you had removed. Frost the cupcakes and add sprinkles if you desire.