Sunday, September 30, 2012

Margarita Cupcakes

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Last week I hosted a girl's night in at our house.  It was an evening long over due with great friends.
I decided on a mexican theme for dinner and tried several new recipes, all of which I loved and will share later.

Of course I had to serve cupcakes for dessert. 
I decided on Margarita cupcakes and Cinnamon Chocolate Churo Cupcakes. 
Everyone seemed to love them both :)

Margarita Cupcakes
Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield - 12 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together).
6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

Congrats to Dawn for winning my Yoplait Yogurt giveaway!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Krispies

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My friend Lindsay brought me this bag of Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows last week.
She said "make something with these and bring me some".
So I did :)

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Krispies

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
3 T butter
1 bag Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
2 cups Chocolate Chips
cooking spray
Spray your  9 x 13 bake dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows.  Stir continuously until they are melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Press into your bake dish.
Melt chocolate chips with a little tiny pat of butter in the microwave or over a water bath.
I prefer the water bath method.  To do this find a glass bowl that will fit on a small saucepan.  (I use a Pyrex bowl).  Put water in the botton of your saucepan, but do not let it touch the bottom of the glass bowl.
Place your chocolate chips and a tiny pat of butter in the bowl and heat over low heat.
Stir continuously until all the chips are melted.
Pour melted chocolate over the rice krispies and spread with a small spatula.
I put mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes for the chocolate to set.
Cut into square and serve.

Deliver some to your friend that gave you the marshmallows :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yoplait Light and Yoplait Greek 100 Review & Giveaway

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There are a couple of foods that I eat every single day and yogurt is one of them.
I love it and it's good for me too.

Did you know that Yoplait Light and Yoplait Greek 100 now offer 20 Delicious Flavors for only 2 Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®value each. As the only yogurt endorsed by Weight Watchers®, Yoplait makes it easy to enjoy a delicious, creamy, and satisfying snack any time!

The nice people at My Blog Spark and Yoplait sent me this awesome prize pack that included a Yoga ball, water bottle, work-out towel, Yoplait Light VIP coupon and a Yoplait Greek 100 VIP coupon.

 And guess what?  You could have one too!  Your prize pack will include coupons for two containers of yogurt, not the actual containers as shown here.  Here's how to enter:

Main Entry (Required)
Leave a comment on this post telling me which Yoplait flavor and variety you are most excited to try.
Extra Entries:(You must leave a separate comment for each additional entry)
  1.  Follow Yoplait and Me and My Pink Mixer on Facebook.
  2. Follow Yoplait and Me and My Pink Mixer on Twitter.
  3. Follow Me and My Pink Mixer on Pinterest.
  4. Tweet about the giveaway.
Good luck!
The contest is open to U.S. readers and ends September 28th at 12:00 p.m. EST

*The coupon offer for Yoplait yogurt is not valid in some states, including Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark.

This contest is now closed.
Congrats to Dawn for winning the Yoplait prize pack!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hello Monday

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Hello good book.

Hello to making cute pom pom cupcake bunting.

Hello to hosting girls night in with great friends.

Hello cuties.

Hello to a fun Sunday on Nana and Paw Paw's farm.

What have you been saying hello to?
I'd love to hear :)

Wishing you a fabulous week!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to color your own Sprinkles

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I'm kind of a Sprinkle hoarder.
I have them stashed everywhere.

Holiday mixes, shapes or solids I love them all.
Sprinkles make me happy.

What doesn't make me happy is when I need a particular color and I can't find it anywhere :(

What's a cupcake sprinkle lovin' girl to do??
Color them herself - that's what!

Here's what you need to color your own sprinkles:

white sprinkles
Wilton icing colors
plastic ziploc baggies

Put your desired amount of white sprinkles into a ziploc baggie.
Dip a toothpick into the icing color and rub a little onto the inside of the baggie.
Remember not to add too much.  You can always add more if you need to.
Feel free to get creative and design your own colors.
Close the plastic baggie and shake. 
Gently rub them around with your fingers until all of the sprinkles are colored.
Next unzip the plastic baggie and leave it open for the sprinkles to air dry before using or storing.
I left mine overnight, but a hour or so should do the trick.

Note for you local sprinkle lovers - I buy my white sprinkles at Sharp Shopper or the Dayton Farmers Market.  You can get a good size container for cheap.

Sprinkles are my fave :)

Linking To:
Serenity Now

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You're gonna miss it & Tri Delta Cupcakes

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Okay so you know when your kids are in kindergarten and elementary school and you are constantly asked to make cookies or cupcakes for some occasion and it's always the night before they need to take them to school?  And you're all stressed because you have a million other things to do and running to Wal-mart for chocolate chips is not how you had planned to spend your Tuesday night....sound familiar??

Well let me tell ya.
You're gonna miss it.

Enjoy those crazy times with your littles because before you know it they will be all grown up and off to college.

And you're at home in a much too quiet house. 

But then you hear your cell phone and you have a text message from your college girl saying
"I'm a Delta Delta Delta"!!

You get all excited for her, crank up the stereo and make cupcakes to celebrate.
On a Monday night.

Okay maybe only baking freaks like me do this, but seriously enjoy your crazy life with your littles, because you will miss it.

They grow up way too fast!

Vanilla Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
1 T whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of your stand mixer add butter and mix for about 1 minute.
Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
Add whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

(This recipe is enough to frost 24 cupcakes as I have them frosted above using a Wilton 1M tip)

All boxed up and ready for delivery :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Snickers Cupcakes

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Know what happens when a Snickers bar and a cupcake get together?
Awesomeness happens.
Delicious, chocolatey awesomeness.

Snickers Cupcakes

1 box Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
24 frozen Sickers miniatures, plus additional for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line pan with cupcake liners.
Sift cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Using an electric mixer, mix until ingredients are all combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, fill liners 2/3 full.  Gently push a frozen mini Snickers bar into the batter making sure the batter completely covers the candy bar. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.
Cool in pan for a few minutes and then place the cupcakes on a wire rack to continue cooling.

Vanilla Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
1 T whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of your stand mixer add butter and mix for about 1 minute.
Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
Add whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes (I use a Wilton 1M tip)
Top with chopped snickers bars and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Tip:  Pour caramel sauce into a Wilton squeeze bottle and microwave it for 15-30 seconds to thin the caramel sauce.  Let it cool before drizzling it over the frosting.

Linking to:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pineapple Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Buttercream Frosting

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Cupcakes are my fave, so when I spotted these pretties on Joy's Hope a few weeks ago I printed out the recipe to add to my "to make soon" cupcake list.
They have since been upgraded to my cupcake notebook. 
If you make the notebook, then you are definitely a keeper :)

Have you ever toasted coconut?
Well if not, you are in for a treat.  It will make your house smell amazing and you will want to stuff all of the leftovers in your mouth.  Not kidding.

Pineapple Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Frosting
recipe slightly adapted from Joy's Hope

1 box of pineapple cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line pan with cupcake liners.
Sift cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, buttermilk and oil.  Using an electric mixer, mix until ingredients are all combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, fill liners 2/3 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.
Cool in pan for a few minutes and then place the cupcakes on a wire rack to continue cooling.

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

Toast coconut by placing the coconut on a cookie sheet ( I think I used about 2 cups).
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly toasted.
Set aside to cool.

For frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp. coconut extract
2-3 T whipping cream or coconut milk

Beat butter with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.  Add coconut extract and beat for another minute.
Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and then beat for another 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 - 3 T whipping cream to thin for piping. Frost cooled cupcakes (I used a Wilton 1M tip).  Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Makes 24 cupcakes.

This box of treats went to a special nurse in our life.
The recipe for the raspberry cupcakes is here and the oreo recipe is here.
Printables available here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Since becoming an empty nester I have a lot more time on my hands.
This is good and bad.
Good because I have more time for baking.
And bad because I have more time for baking - ha!

I have had the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in my file for quite awhile, but the recipe really takes some planning because you need to let the cookie dough sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before you bake them.

I finally made them because I wanted to find out if they really were as good as everyone says.

They are.

This will be my one and only chocolate chip recipe from now on.

I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and baked them on a Silpat mat. 
I also used the medium size Pampered Chef cookie scoop and the recipe made 45 cookies.
They took about 15 minutes to bake at 350 degrees.

I decided to put together some treats for Madison and her roommate. 
I used my Cricut to cut the vinyl letters.  I think they turned out really cute.
Go Dukes!

I also gave some to our new neighbors.
You can find the free printable here.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

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Looking for a tasty salad for your Labor Day picnic? 
If you are a broccoli salad fan, you will love the combination of these colorful ingredients.
I made this salad for our daughter's graduation party this summer and it was a big hit.

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

1 cup chopped pecans
1 pound fresh broccoli
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 (16 oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tsp. salt
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Preheat oven o 350 degrees.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring half way through.
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife.
Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar, and salt.
Add broccoli, onion, hot cooked pasta and grapes.  Stir to coat.
Cover and chill 3 hours.  Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Recipe from Southern Living Magazine, September 2011