Wedding Cupcakes

wedding mini cupcakes with gold

In lieu of a gift, my little sister asked if I could make cupcakes for her wedding. Because I found full size wedding cupcakes to be so darn time consuming, I promised to make the wedding cupcakes on the condition that they be mini cupcakes. 

WOW what a difference it makes to do minis! I completed baking exactly 200 cupcakes in only 2.5 hours by making 4 batches of cake. Frosting them took only about 2 hours as well. Here’s what I made:

1 batch of...

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Chocolate Protein Hazelnut (Nutella) Spread

protein nutella crepes

A few days ago, I [somewhat] impulsively bought some hazelnuts because I love the flavor and wanted to experiment with them. I looked around online for recipes but ended up wanting to try homemade Nutella, but with a catch– I’d use protein powder instead of chocolate chips.

It was very quick and easy to make (though skinning the hazelnuts was a slight hassle) and the flavor turned out great! The consistency is obviously a little thicker and not as smooth as Nutella due to the protein powder. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Spread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup hazelnuts
  2. 1 scoop (30 g) chocolate protein powder
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 tablespoons coconut oil, me...
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How to make chia gel for baking

Now I’m forgetting how I first heard about the use of chia seeds in baking, but since then, I’ve used it a number of times, mostly in my cupcakes. Chia gel makes a great substitute for the oil or butter in the recipe because it’s very low calorie and has Omega 3s, fiber, and antioxidants!

I recommend replacing only up to 50% of the fat (butter or oil) in your recipe because the texture/consistency can be compromised if you replace 100% of the fat with chia gel.

How to make chia gel

It’s so easy! To make 1/4 cup chia gel, stir together 1/4 cup water and 2 teapoons chia seeds in a bowl. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes and you’ll have a gel that’s ready to use! 

1/4 cup chia gel contains about 40-50 calories (compared to about 400 in butter and 480 in vegetable oil!)

Note that adding chia g...

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Crumbs Cupcake Mix in a Box

crumbs homemade cupcakes sprinkle vanilla

It may not be a popular opinion, but I used to LOVE Crumbs cupcake and would look forward to visiting their shop(s) on every visit I made to New York. The news of Crumbs going out of business was saddening, but I got over it. 

Then one day I was shopping at Target when I spotted this cake mix! I never buy boxed cake mix, but this one was intriguing and I had to try it, so it was my impulse buy of the day. 

Yesterday, I finally got around to making them and these are my thoughts on the process:

  • The cake batter was SO easy to make! Wow, what a difference it makes not having to measure out flour, sugar, baking soda, etc. Ha!
  • The cake batter calls for 2/3 cup vegetable oil, which I don’t usually like using in my cooking...
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Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

chocolate cupcakes with caramel drizzle

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve baked cupcakes! But it felt so good and put me in such a good mood last night! :) It’s my amazing coworker Michelle’s last day at work today and we are going to miss her dearly, so I thought I’d send her off with one last taste of my baked goods. Because my chocolate cupcakes are always a hit (not trying to toot my own horn) I chose that flavor to make. To add a little twist, I wanted to drizzle some homemade caramel sauce over the top.

So I baked my classic chocolate cake recipe:

Chocolate cupcakes
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. ...
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Samoa Cookie Dough Pops

Girl scout samoa cookies dough bites pops

A few weeks ago, I was thinking how it’s “that time of year” and I should *hopefully* be hearing from the Girl Scouts main office about their annual recipe contest soon. Well, about a week went by, then there it was–an email in my inbox about the recipe contest! Yippee!

This year, in celebration of the Samoa cookie’s 40th birthday, the contest is all about Samoas! Fine by me, because they are my absolute favorite!

While I’ll be experimenting with a few different recipes, this was the first one I wanted to try. The past couple Monday nights when the girls and I get together to watch The Bachelor, we’ve been going a little cookie dough crazy, so I thought I’d take that theme and go with it. Behold, Samoa cookie dough pops...

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Healthy Cookie Dough Balls

healthy cookie dough balls

Since I would be hosting my girlfriends to watch The Bachelor (guilty pleasure) I needed to come up with snack ideas. It’s been an unhealthy start to the year, so I thought I’d try something a little different, and came across this healthy no-bake cookie recipe.

I was a little uncertain about using cashews because I’ve never used them for something like this before. And my past experience with unusual ingredients (black beans in brownies) did not go so well. But I forged ahead anyway and purchased some raw cashews. It’s a personal choice not to consume agave nectar since it’s processed, so I altered the recipe slightly and came up with the following, which is delicious and healthy, by the way!

Feel free to experiment with different spices– next time I think I’m going to add some cinnamon a...

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Christmas Cookie Platter

christmas cookie platter

Merry Christmas!

This year, I decided to make my first cookie platter. My coworker had asked me a few times if I was going to do one, and I decided, what the heck. Let’s do this!

So this past weekend, I put together a menu of 5 items and made everything all in one day!

What I made:

christmas fantasy fudgeFantasy fudge topped with crumbled candy cane (making it taste like peppermint fudge)

almond peanut blossom cookiesAlmond blossom cookies – the traditional peanut blossom cookies, but made with almond butter instead!

gingerbread cookiesGingerbread cookies – including festive (but ugly) icing and sprinkles!

macaroon cookies coconutCoconut macaroons – because they were so amazing the first time.

Rice crispy treats – topped with red, white, and green sprinkles.

Altogether, this was enough to make four large cookie platters! I brought one to a Christmas party, one to work, one t...

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Festive Fantasy Fudge

christmas fantasy fudge

Who doesn’t love fudge? I could probably eat an entire pan… which is why it’s a definite¬†must every Christmas season. I love making fudge the “old fashioned” way with a candy thermometer so that it comes out absolutely perfectly silky and sweet. This year, I decided to crunch up some candy canes and sprinkle them on top for a cute aesthetic appeal.

The recipe was found on the back of the Kraft marshmallow fluff can. :)

Fantasy fudge

  
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
  • ...
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Gingerbread Cookies

gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas favorite, so there was no question that they would be included in my cookie platter this year.

Not-so-surprisingly, these cookies took the most time to make. There’s the dough, then rolling out the dough, using cookie cutters, rolling out the scraps, using cookie cutters, rolling out the scraps (repeat until all scrap dough is used). Then baking, then cooling, then making the icing, then decorating the cookies, then letting them air dry for days until the icing has solidified (so the cookies don’t stick together when stacked).

That said, I still enjoyed every ¬†minute of it, and the end product is oh so tasty, even if they aren’t all that pretty!

The following recipe is from Food.com.

Gingerbread cookies

...
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