Tag Archives: frosting

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups {vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, egg free}

28 Apr

I received free samples of the Barlean’s products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own; I was not compensated for my time.

Cookies have always been a dessert mainstay in my family. Grandma made the BEST EVER chocolate chip cookies, Oma’s Christmas cookie variety never ceases to please (lemon hearts for me!!), and my mom can make some mighty delicious peanut butter cookies. As a child, making chocolate chip cookies with mom, we’d always make a double-batch, so that we could eat half the dough while the other half baked!

What’s more, as a lifelong Girl Scout, I sold cookies from age 5, all the way through senior year of high school – and consumed quite a few along the way! Oreos, Fig Newtons, monster cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, the list is endless. I was born a Cookie Monster, and part of me will always be one.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But cookies aren’t exactly a picturesque health food. Sure, indulgence is fine now and then – I’ll never say no to a cookie from my Oma! But what about more frequent sweet tooth urges? How do I best satisfy those cravings?

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

One of the cookie treats we always made for parties, potlucks, or share-at-school sweets were these delectable chocolate chip cookie cups, filled with a creamy chocolate buttercream. The recipe is simple enough: prepare cookie dough as per directions on the back of a Nestle semi-sweet morsels package. Stuff dough into mini muffin tins (or normal muffin tins if you’re feeling generous), bake, indent and fill with prepared chocolate frosting.

Sweet on top of sweet? Heck yes.

Which is why I wanted to perform a #RecipeMakeover on these tasty frosting vessels. A paleo chocolate chip cookie dough replaces the old standard, and is filled with what turned out to be a cross between chocolate ganache and buttercream.

The problem with most paleo or alternative cookie recipes is that they lose their butter flavor when you make them with coconut oil. But Barlean’s has you covered, because they make an organic coconut oil that’s BUTTER FLAVORED. That’s right folks. It tastes like butter, but isn’t butter. Move over, Fabio – I CAN believe it’s not butter! They “sustainably harvested organic coconuts, then add butter flavoring that comes only from botanical extracts.” Aka, it’s vegan, GMO-free, contains no gluten or soy, and doesn’t even taste like coconut. How cool is that?

104319__fabio_l

Fabio can’t believe it.

As such, these cookies maintain the delicious butter flavor that traditional cookies can boast, in both the cup AND the frosting! These are great for parties, or just to have on hand to satisfy that sweet tooth. They’re even freezable – instructions are below in the recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! The prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open worldwide except where prohibited. Update: The Rafflecopter giveaway has closed.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Makes 18 mini cookie cups

For the cookie cups:

  • 2 C almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 C Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C mini vegan and/or paleo chocolate chips

For the frosting:
  • 3 oz chopped unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 tbsp Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar, or paleo alternative
  • up to 1/4 C nondairy milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, salt, baking soda, cayenne, and cinnamon. Then mix in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, divide dough into prepared muffin tins. Press down lightly in the center to make a well in each of them.

Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are set. Remove and set on a wire rack. Use a teaspoon or measuring spoon to make an indentation, so the cookies become little cups.

Let cool completely in the tins – this will help them hold their shape. Use a knife to carefully release the cooled cookies from their tin.

To make the frosting, heat the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cayenne, cinnamon, and salt.

Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool in the fridge 15-30 minutes. Remove and beat with a hand mixer. Slowly add in the sugar and milk and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Use as much milk as you need to get the desired texture. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and fill each cooled cookie cup. Or, use two small spoons to fill the cookie cups.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until you intend to serve these. They also freeze well for a satisfying and guilt-free snack! Simply freeze on a tray for five hours, then wrap well in plastic wrap. Let thaw three hours before eating.

I’ll leave you with this horribly embarrassing photo, in which I was about 9 years old. My sister is next to me, blowing out candles on her 8th birthday cake. And sure enough, in the foreground, you can see a platter of chocolate chip cookie cups! Thanks to mom, Ron, and Helen for the timely sharing of this photo 🙂

fbf cookie cups

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

3 May

The word is getting out! Yep – I love to bake, and it’s even more fun when those baked goods are packed with booze 😉 This past weekend, my friend recommended my cupcakes for a joint bachelorette & birthday party. The bride-to-be wanted to surprise her sister, who was celebrating a birthday, with beer-infused cupcakes.

As soon as I learned that the birthday girl’s favorite beer is the Belgian Tripel style, I knew what I had to do: bake La Fin Du Monde into a cupcake and smother it with creamy, dreamy dark chocolate ganache frosting and a sprinkling of pink sea salt. For the non-beer lovers out there, La Fin Du Monde is a Belgian ale from Canadian brewery Unibroue. It’s effervescent, sweet, banana-y, clove-y and rather high in alcohol content. Certainly an obvious choice to bake into, and soak onto, cupcakes!

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that flavor profile in mind, I packed these treats with fresh bananas and ground clove. I view the frosting almost as a pairing – like what you’d get at a good beer bar. And what goes better with banana than dark chocolate? So of course, I had to frost these cakes with my simple yet indulgent dark chocolate ganache frosting. Whipped to perfection, this frosting is piped on and sprinkled lightly with sea salt, to bring out the natural sweetness of the chocolate.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The end result? Let’s just say I could SMELL the beer in these goodies as they baked in the oven. The cakes are sweet, with hints of banana and clove, and you can absolutely taste the inclusion of the beer. Especially because I employ the “poke and soak” method post-baking: poke each cupcake with a skewer or chopstick and soak 1/2 tsp beer right on top. It really provides that extra punch, which is just to die for. Which is good, considering that La Fin Du Monde is French for “end of the world.”

Buy a bottle of Belgian ale, bake these cupcakes, and impress everyone at your next party!

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  • 1-1/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 15 oz dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flaked sea salt

Heat heavy cream in a pan on medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in the chopped baking chocolate until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the chocolate to the bowl of your stand mixer and allow to cool in the refrigerator for one hour. Bake the cupcakes while this chills.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes:

  • ¾ C butter, room temperature
  • 1 C white sugar
  • ¾ C brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C La Fin du Monde Belgian Tripel beer + more to soak
  • ¼ C milk
  • 2 medium bananas

Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with paper liners.

Beat butter with sugars until creamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground clove.

In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs with vanilla, beer, milk, and mashed bananas.

Alternate adding the dry and the wet ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until just combined.

Scoop batter into 24 lined muffin tins.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake for 18-23 minutes, rotating the tins halfway through baking. Let cool completely before frosting. TIP: speed this up by popping the cupcakes, still in the baking tins, straight into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Poke four holes into the top of each cupcake using a skewer or chopstick. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon additional beer on top and allow to soak in.

While the cupcakes cool and soak, whip up the ganache frosting.

Use the paddle attachment with your stand mixer and beat the ganache for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until it starts to create stiff peaks. Scoop the whipped ganache into a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing 30 minutes out of the fridge before enjoying.

Belgian Ale Banana Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

TARDIS Blue Velvet Cupcakes

27 Aug TARDIS Blue Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Doctor Who is back!!!!! Are you as excited about this as I am? You should be. Because from what I can tell, Peter Capaldi is going to be an amazing 12th Doctor. To celebrate the start of Season 8, I whipped up some TARDIS cupcakes – they have blue velvet cake base, frosted with blueberry cream cheese buttercream, and topped off with the light on that old time machine, in the form of a white chocolate chip.

TARDIS Blue Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

It’s sweeter on the inside!

Chris and I went to watch the season premier at 42 Lounge, a nerd bar in downtown Milwaukee, and of course we had to dress up! Though, it’s a little weird for a TARDIS to be eating a TARDIS….

Doctor and TARDIS

Photo courtesy of Steven Greenwood

Me and my friend & photographer, Steven.

Me and my friend & photographer, Steven.

He could be Tennant's twin! Photo Courtesy of Steven Greenwood

He could be Tennant’s twin! Photo Courtesy of Steven Greenwood

I brought these fun cupcakes with us, and immediately made friends with every other Whovian in the bar. Helps that we enjoyed some Sonic Screwdrivers and Companion shots along the way.

Sonic Screwdriver

Sonic Screwdriver Cocktail. Photo courtesy of Steven Greenwood

Whether you watch the next episode at home with friends, or out with some fellow nerds, bring these cupcakes, and maybe even some Jammie Dodgers with you! You’re sure to impress – after all, there’s about 2,000 years of Time Lord to celebrate!

TARDIS Blue Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of Steven Greenwood

TARDIS Blue Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Blue Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick (1/2C) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8oz) reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 C fresh blueberries, mashed
  • 3-5 C powdered sugar
  • 5 drops blue food coloring
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 24 white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 cupcake tins with plain white or blue liners. Set aside.

Mix together cake mix, oil, water and eggs until thoroughly combined. I chose the “alternative” instructions so as to reduce the fat content.

Spoon or scoop batter into lined cupcake tins. Bake at 325 for 18 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes in the tins. Pop them out and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

TARDIS Blue Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In the meantime, make your buttercream. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese together. Add mashed blueberries and almond extract, and combine. Add powdered sugar, one half cup at a time, and continue mixing until desired flavor is reached. Add the blue food coloring – may need to add more to achieve the right color blue.

Store buttercream in the fridge until you’re ready to frost the cupcakes – this will help set the buttercream and make it easier to use.

Pipe or spread the buttercream onto cupcakes once they are completely cooled. Garnish with a white chocolate chip on top – that’s the light on top of the TARDIS! Keep cupcakes stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve, especially if it’s warm out.

TARDIS Blue Cupcakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The Dalek has the TARDIS!

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