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I like making cupcakes, and I am always looking for an excuse. One of the things I’ve been doing consistently for the last few years is sending cupcakes to work with Andy for Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, even if you’re in a relationship, the holiday can be a bit intense, and what better way to brighten someone’s day than with a cupcake? I gotta make sure my diligent taste-testers are taken care of, right? In the past, I’ve done some more traditional flavors – chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberry, strawberry, white chocolate, etc. – so this year I wanted to do something a little less expected. I liked the idea of going a little darker and more mature with the flavor profile, but I still wanted a little holiday “cheese” so I decided to pair black cherries and Disaronno. So good! Plus the cherries really did bake up almost black, which made things interesting from an aesthetic stand point.
- 1 Box Betty Crocker White Cake Mix
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 veggie oil
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup cherry puree
- 4 tbsp Disaronno
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe here)
- 4 tbsp cherry puree
- 4 tbsp Disaronno
- Pre-heat oven to 350F
- Combine cake mix, egg whites, oil and water and mix thoroughly. Mix in Disaronno.
- Put two cups of mix into a separate bowl and mix in cherry puree.
- Fill cupcake wrapper 1/2 full of regular mix, top off to 2/3 full with cherry mixture. Swirl together with toothpick or skewer to create a marbled effect.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- While cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.
- Add cherry puree and Disaronno to completed frosting and combine thoroughly.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and enjoy!.
When I was much younger, I religiously watched the Style Network. Growing up in a small town, I was determined to get out there and see the world and be just as together and fabulous as those chic accomplished ladies. One of the shows I adored was Nigella Bites. Watching the beautiful Ms. Lawson navigate her beautiful kitchen and create delectable looking baked goods was one of the reasons I wanted to learn how to bake.
Last year, a client of ours brought in a HUGE box of cook books (she was hard core dieting, and sugar and bread were the devil) and had us rummage through her collection and take whatever we wanted. I came a way with a small stack that included How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Some how it ended up packed away, and I forgot about it until I stumbled across it again this weekend. Clearly, it was time to put its glossy pages to good use. Thus, Baklava Cupcakes.
- Super easy to throw together, and they have the added bonus of sounding impressive when you tell people what they are.
- Flavor was really good; I did add a teaspoon of ground vanilla to the batter because 1 – I could and 2 – I like vanilla in my muffins. Andy LOVED them, especially the bits of filling that baked over the edge; they were basically cinnamon pecan brittle.
- You have to be very careful not to over mix your batter. I got a bit carried away, and although the flavor of the muffins was still on point, the texture was just a tad on the chewy side.
All in all, a really positive baking experience, and I can’t wait to try out some of the other recipes.
A couple of weeks ago I featured a recipe for Salted Honey Rice Krispies Treats in my Friday Link Love. I’ve never tried making them before, and since becoming a vegetarian two years ago, I haven’t even eaten one because your average marshmallow is not vegetarian (weird, right?). After posting the link and lamenting my inability to enjoy said recipe due to my dietary restrictions, my wonderful step sister-in-law messaged me and let me know that I could use Dandies vegan marshmallows and they would work just as well as the others. A quick trip to Whole Foods, and I was ready to go.
Salted Honey Rice Krispies Treats
(makes 16 squares)
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup honey (or more adjusted to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (adjust amounts ot taste if you wish)
9oz Dandies marshmallows (or about 4 cups Dandies miniature marshmallows)
6 cups Rice Bubbles/Krispies cereal (I used Barbara’s Brown Rice Cereal)
Fat Free Pam Non-Stick Spray
Grease and line a square 8 inch cake tin with baking paper. Grease paper. Melt butter over low heat in a large saucepan. Add honey, salt and marshmallows and stir continuously over low heat until marshmallows are completely melted (at this point you can taste the mixture to adjust the salt/honey amounts if you wish). Add cereal and remove from heat, stirring until mixture is evenly combined. Using a greased spatula, spread mixture into prepared tin. Use a piece of well greased baking paper to press down on the surface to ensure it is evenly spread. Set aside to cool completely, then remove from tin on to a greased piece of baking paper and cut with a greased, long sharp knife into 16 squares.
These came out amazing; the honey and the salt really brought our the toasted richness of the krispies. Probably the best krispie treat I’ve ever had. I ate some, my husband ate some, and so did a few of the people at his office. And no one could tell that they weren’t made with traditional marshmallows 😉
Image from Raspberri Cupcakes (since I forgot to take pictures of mine)