Posted by: oohsohannah | August 16, 2010

Double Strawberry Cupcakes

Sorry it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted!  I got a new job and have been extremely busy trying to save up for my big move. 🙂  But of course, all my new co-workers were begging me to bring them some of my delicious cupcakes for them to try! 

Of course I made them my banana cupcakes, but I also decided to try out a new strawberry cupcake recipe that I’ve been wanting to try.  🙂  THEY WERE AWESOME.

Sorry for such a short post and lack of photos!!

Until next time,

love one another.

–GGiT ❤

Posted by: oohsohannah | July 26, 2010

What a Weekend!

Phew! What a LONG weekend! I started my new job, (banquet serving and waitressing at a local hotel/banquet hall), AND I had 2 cupcake orders!  I have to say, I LOVE how busy this is keeping me!

Well, the first order was for my ex-step-cousin Ben, and his daughter for a family get together this weekend.  He chose S’mores and Banana as two of his flavors, and I decided to try Goodie Girl’s signature Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes for the third flavor.  They turned out SO cute!  I got to try out a new frosting for the s’mores cupcakes, and it was MUCH fluffier and gave them a whole new look.  I thought the straw topper on the lemonade ones that Goodie Girl did were SO fabulous and whimsical that I had to copycat it.  (I have to say that those were probably Claire’s favorite!  But then again, they were pink!) And the banana, although they looked the same, were also wonderful.

The second job was somewhat of a surprise.  But it turned out to be a GREAT experience.  I got a text from my best friend from highschool, Evan, at around noon today.  He wanted to order 3 cupcakes to send to his Dad for his birthday.  Let me just say, this is one of my most favorite families on the face of this earth, and even if he had needed them 2 hours later, I still would’ve done it.  Because I love them, and that’s what friends do. ANYWAY, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to try out working with gum paste.  I used the powdered Wilton brand mix from Michael’s.  It was extremely easy to mix, but DAMN gum paste is NOT easy to work  with.  Now that I’ve worked with it some, I have EVEN MORE respect for the people who make gorgeous gum paste creations.  I decided that I definitely wanted to make some daisy gum paste flowers, but I wanted to do something special for Duane for his birthday.  Evan wanted to go with an “interior design” theme since his Dad has been devoting a lot of his time to remodeling Evan’s new home in Champaign/Urbana.  (and boy does it look WONDERFUL, might I add!)  So on top of his cupcake, my friend Zach sculpted a tiny hammer, and I added a ruler and fabric “swatches”.  Here they are!! I’m SO pleased with the results!

Even though this weekend was a little crazy, all the stress melts away when I get to deliver my cupcakes and see people’s expressions!  And again when they taste them!  So as far as busy-ness goes? BRING IT ON! I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Until next time…

love one another.

–GGiT ❤

Posted by: oohsohannah | July 22, 2010

S’mores Cupcakes!

Ever since I’ve decided to get serious about this cupcake business, I’ve wanted to try a s’mores flavor.  ORIGINALLY my plan was to make a graham cake with a chocolate ganache filling topped with marshmallow creme roasted with a brulee torch and garnished with a hershey’s bar.  Today, I tried v1.0 of s’mores cupcakes.

I wanted to find a nice graham recipe, but still haven’t settled on one I’m absolutely in love with. (also, I spent the day at the pool with my college roommate, and we were tired and lazy)  So I borrowed a new s’mores recipe from Annie’s Eats

I didn’t use her frosting recipe though, because I thought it would be more authentic to top it with a marshmallow creme concoction, thinking I’d be able to roast it.  So I used a Kraft Foods recipe from their website.  Well, the frosting is great, but it’s simply not stiff enough to properly pipe, and is more of a glaze/runny frosting situation.

These cupcakes have a graham cracker bottom with a layer of bittersweet chocolate, then chocolate cake.  They are ABSOLUTELY to DIE for.  I’ve already eaten like 3.  My friend Cody came over after they were done, and HE ate 3. They’re just… too good.

SO here’s the recipe!

S’mores Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped ( i only used about 4 oz.)

For the cake:
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water (i used MUCH less than 1 cup)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; mix well with a fork.  Drop about 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down to line the bottom.  Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped chocolate on top of the graham cracker crusts.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and maintain the oven temperature. To make the cake batter, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on low speed just to combine.  In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract; whisk together.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the boiling water and stir just to combine (batter will be thin).   Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Return the pans to the oven and bake about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, (they are somewhat difficult to remove from the pan while they are hot) then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

and the frosting..

Ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter, softened
1 jar  (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 pkg.  (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp. Milk, divided

Directions

Place margarine, marshmallow creme and vanilla in small bowl; beat on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating after each addition until well blended.

Blend in 1 Tbsp. of the milk. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. milk if necessary for desired spreading consistency.

They were pretty easy, although a little time consuming.  A plus side was that they made around 2 dozen.  They weren’t exactly what I was hoping for, since I wanted a fluffier frosting, and I wasn’t extremely pleased with the garnish, but  overall, I will DEFINITELY be making these again.

Until next time…

love one another.

–GGiT ❤

Posted by: oohsohannah | July 17, 2010

Kyle’s 21st Birthday Cupcakes!

Today I spent the whole day baking for my very first EVER order from an ACTUAL customer.

Yesterday the scale was a mean scale and told me to get the cupcakes the eff out of the house.  So, being a good daughter and sister, I boxed up the remaining reese’s, chocolate, banana, and orange cupcakes and surprised my sister at work with them, and my mom at work with them.  My mom has AWESOME co workers who were just in love with the cupcakes.  So my mom’s coworker Ronda decided that she wanted to be my first customer.  Her son Kyle is turning 21 tomorrow, and she wanted some delicious cupcakes to celebrate.  We wanted to do something a little more MANLY than the flavors she had, so we decided on “Hamburger” cupcakes and *drum roll* Blue Moon flavored cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese frosting. YUM.  Also, she went ahead and got a half dozen of the reese’s ones because she liked them. 🙂

The hamburger ones turned out pretty cute! All I did was make one batch of chocolate cupcakes, and one batch of vanilla cupcakes.  Once the cupcakes had cooled, I used a bread knife and cut the vanilla cupcakes in half, and the chocolate ones in thirds.  I discarded the top and bottom thirds of the chocolate ones.  (wasteful, i know.)

Then all I did was frost some green “lettuce” on the bottom “bun” of the vanilla cupcake, put the chocolate “meat” in the middle and added some “ketchup and mustard” frosting on top of that.  Then I put the top “bun” on, and sprinkled it with sesame seeds, and shoved a toothpick in to keep it all together.

They turned out pretty cute.

Honestly, though, the Blue Moon ones were the ones I was excited about.  After waiting around for what seemed like HOURS (oh wait, that’s because it actually WAS hours) for my mom to bring me beer*, I finally was able to get these delicious bad boys all mixed up.

* because I’m an itty bitty baby and I still can’t buy beer.  This is actually MORE annoying in situations where I’m just going to COOK with alcohol.

Holy. Crap. THEY ARE DELICIOUS. by the way. I mean, in case you were really going to question whether Blue Moon + Cupcake would in fact = delicious.  But really, who would be questioning that? of COURSE they’re delicious.

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Blue Moon Cupcakes (via The Bitchin’ Kitchen )

Ingredients

  • 3/4 a stick/6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 oz buttermilk*
  • 6 oz Blue Moon beer*
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking soda

* Here’s a very important tip that I wish I was someone had thrown out there prior to my diving into the cupcake-making process. Unfortunately, I ended up learning the hard way: 1 shot glass does NOT equal 1 ounce. 1 shot glass actually equals 1.5 ounces. Thankfully I had plenty of buttermilk and Blue Moon beer, so I didn’t need to run to the grocery store when I had to restart my cupcake batter after Step 3.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Melt butter and set aside to cool down.

3) Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, beer, vanilla, and orange zest in one bowl, and mix together the sugar, flour, coriander, and baking soda in another. (Here’s another tip: You can make buttermilk by combining 1 tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to add up to 1 cup. So easy!)

4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two parts, using a mixer to combine. Add the melted butter and combine.

5) Pour batter into cupcake cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

Aaaaand, here’s the frosting recipe I went with!

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter or margarine, orange peel, and orange juice until creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until blended and smooth.
  2. Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons on each cooled cupcake.
  3. Let icing set 1 to 2 hours. Refrigerate in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers up to 1 week.
Well my fellow foodies, it was just that simple!
Until next time..
love one another.
–GGiT ❤
Posted by: oohsohannah | July 15, 2010

Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Everyone has “off” days.  I wasn’t EVEN going to make cupcakes the other day when I made these. What I WANTED to do was learn how to properly flood sugar cookies with royal icing.  Buuuut, I went to Michael’s to pick up meringue powder, cookie cutters and a few new icing tips, and the cupcake baker in me dropped all that at the simple sight of all the cute new liners Michael’s had.  So instead of cookies I rationalized by saying I’d make “boring” cupcakes. I swear to God, Murphy’s Law ran the baking of these cupcakes.  I’ll admit I was feeling lazy, and I’ll also admit that I didn’t search for a FABULOUS chocolate recipe. Heck, I’ll even admit that I used the first recipe http://www.allrecipes.com gave me, but I’m still embarrassed at these cupcakes.  Either way, you live and learn.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • Jar of peanut butter (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. (to make the peanut butter ones, I simply spooned a little batter into the cup, then added a spoonful of peanut butter, then finished filling the cup with batter)
  3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.
I think my major mistake was that I didn’t cream the butter and sugar long enough.  But honestly, with the amounts of the two ingredients, it’s somewhat difficult to do so.  The ratio’s all off.  My batter seemed like it TASTED good enough, but it was much runnier than the Martha recipes I did this weekend.  But then again, it seemed no runnier than a box of mix from the store.  At any rate, I filled up the cupcake liners and put it in the oven just like normal.  Only this time, not only did MOST of them overflow, but ALSO the baking time was a good 6 or 7 minutes longer than what the recipe called for.
In short, they weren’t very “pretty”.  I WILL say, however, that they taste AWESOME.
For frosting, I used the Honey-Cinnamon Buttercream recipe but left out the cinnamon.  This is seriously becoming my favorite frosting.
I wanted to go with a “girly” type theme since I brought these to my ex-roomie, Kate.  So I had picked out zebra and leopard liners.  I did the plain chocolate ones in the zebra and garnished with hot pink sugar glitter; And I did the chocolate peanut butter in the leopard liners with crushed reese’s as a garnish.
Like I said, they weren’t the prettiest, but they suuuure tasted good!
BUT, i did get these adorable boxes!  Can’t wait until Annette and I have our own custom packaging. 🙂
Until next time…
love one another.
–GGiT ❤
Posted by: oohsohannah | July 13, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

Today I was eager to try another fun summer cupcake flavor.  I settled on a nice banana cupcake recipe.  Sure, you could just use a banana bread recipe and change the cooking time….  Buuuut I wanted them to be more cakey, and less bready.  I searched high and low, and of course, my search ended with Martha Stewart’s banana cupcake recipe.  I love how light and fluffy these cupcakes turned out while still maintaining such a strong banana taste.

Ingredients

Makes 12-15

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (I used dehydrated banana chips so they wouldn’t be brown and mushy)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds (again, I used banana chips), and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

The frosting was GREAT. I used Martha’s Honet-Cinnamon frosting.  It’s basically a buttercream with the addition of ground cinnamon and honey.  I did end up adding  a little more of each (to taste).  Seems like Martha sure likes her flavors a bit muted, huh? Anyway, here’s that recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes

Also, make sure your butter is room temperature, or else this can be pretty rough.  I also cut my butter into chunks and added the sugar gradually so it didn’t fly all around the kitchen!

I garnished with sprinkled cinnamon and a dehydrated banana chip.  I also tried doing one with a cinnamon stick, but then realized I only had two cinnamon sticks left.. so… yeah.  Also, it’s worth mentioning that the frosting recipe cuts it awfully close, so if you want to be generous with your frosting, I’d double or at least 1 1/2 it.

Anyway, these are great for a breakfast cupcake even! Not that I would eat cupcakes for breakfast or anything… i mean… who would do that… <_< >_>… But really, these are freakin’ great.

Until next time…

love one another.

— GGiT ❤

Posted by: oohsohannah | July 12, 2010

Orange Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

This weekend I decided it was time to make a light and fruity summer cupcake.  After a little searching I stumbled upon this Orange Vanilla Bean recipe from Martha Stewart and decided to give it a shot.   Let me tell you, these were DELICIOUS.  The flavor was light, but the cakes themselves were a little dense, almost more like muffins.  For the frosting I was excited to try something that was lighter and less sweet than buttercream, and I will DEFINITELY be making this Swiss Meringue frosting again (also from Martha Stewart).  Here are the recipes and some photos of how mine turned out.

Orange Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved for another use (You try finding fresh vanilla beans in rural Iowa. NOT FUN. Instead I just doubled, or maybe even tripled the amount of pure vanilla the recipe calls for. The end result was nice, but I definitely wish I had found some vanilla beans.)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (I also used MUCH more than one tablespoon.  I wanted a bit of color to the cakes.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I ended up adding a bit more orange juice to the  mix too because I thought the flavor was a little weak.  Also, I used a small can of frozen orange juice from concentrate and mixed it up with some water ahead of time.  Oh well, got a drink out of it too!)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Candied citrus slices, for decorating (I used fresh orange slices.  The only regret I had is that I wish I would have used clementines or much smaller oranges, as the regular ones were somewhat difficult to work with)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla seeds, and orange zest until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
  2. Combine cream, orange juice, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with cream mixture, ending with flour; beat until just combined.
  3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted in the centers come out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Undecorated cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 1 day (or frozen for up to 2 months).
  4. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of each cupcake to make level. Using an offset spatula, frost tops of each cupcake with some buttercream. Place a candied citrus slice on each cupcake. Fit a pastry bag with a small plain tip, and fill with remaining buttercream. Pipe dots around edges of orange slices. Cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving. (Again, I obviously opted for a different decoration, but this is what Martha suggested. )

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place sugar, whites, and salt in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  2. Attach bowl to mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)

I had never made meringue before and was somewhat nervous, as it requires strict temperature monitoring as well as whipping to a precise stage.  However, this was easy peasy, and the result was SO delicious.  Actually, it even makes a nice consistency once refrigerated.  Sort of an ice creamy type solid.  It was extremely light, but still sweet enough to compliment the cupcakes.  In short, this frosting ROCKS and it’s going to be my new go-to frosting for fruit cupcakes.  I’m thinking it will make a nice addition to banana bread or spice cake as well.  The recipe makes QUITE a bit since the cupcake recipe only makes just over a dozen.  But it’s so delicious I doubt you’ll have trouble finding other uses for it.

As far as garnish goes, I decided to go with three different designs.  My first design, and my personal favorite was the orange rind curl.  Unfortunately I don’t own a Canelle knife (which is the knife that bartenders use to make that fancy orange curl in your martini.  Who knew? Thanks Google…), but I was set on making these so here’s what I did: sliced an orange into VERY thin slices.  Then cut a thin strip of rind from a single slice and coiled it around the handle to a wooden spoon and held it there for a minute or so.  Then i slid the coil off, relaxed it a little and placed it atop the icing. It seemed to work fairly well.  I opted for simple designs on the other two cupcakes.  One being orange slice wedges and the others being half orange slice twists.  Despite its simplicity, overall it made for a nice look.  I only wish I would have had an actual event to showcase these for.  But my family and friends loved them anyway.

ignore that dog hair on the backdrop. . .

Well, off to try another new cupcake recipe! Until next time…

Love one another.

–Goodie Girl in Training

Posted by: oohsohannah | July 12, 2010

hello fellow foodies!

Welcome to what is going to be the chronicling of my recent and future foodie affairs!  From the time I was young, I’ve always enjoyed baking and cooking.  Despite the fact that being 11 years old and wanting to make some rather ridiculous recipes resulted in little more than charred crumbs on a plate, my family and friends are always there to at least PRETEND the things I made were edible.  Lo and behold, 9 years later, I’m still force feeding them whatever I cook up.  At least now they’re a bit more refined, and 100% more edible. (phew!)

Baking is my first love, and that’s probably what will be featured most on this blog, but you may see an occasional dinner recipe or whatnot.  But first and foremost, you will be seeing cupcakes. Lots and LOTS of cupcakes. Not only are they adorable and delicious, but they are my PASSION.

So here I go, following in Goodie Girl‘s footprints and sharing my passion for food with you!

love one another

– Goodie Girl in Training

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