Smores Cupcakes

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Happiness

Happiness

Some time ago I saw on the aisle at the grocery store a box of Smores cupcake mix kit type thing. I looked the box over. A light bulb went off. I could do that, I had all the ingredients I needed at home.

First I must confess, this was some time ago. Like beginning of summer. Yes I am a slacker to wait this long to share. But the worst is yet to come, I was so excited to try this I did not even think to take pictures until things were almost ready to go into oven. So pictures are scarce and we must rely on my memory from that day. In short we are doomed!

Here is how I recall that day.

My dad who at the time was on this kick of buying me cake mixes when he saw them on sale. There was this one mix that was, double chocolate or something like that. I just remember it was more chocolate then your average chocolate cake mix. So it was to be sacrificed in this experiment.

I mix the cake according to package directions. Now time for the graham cracker crust to be our foundation. I made a guess on how much I would need to line the bottom of the cupcake liner. So graham cracker crust is something I do make on a regular basis , I did not measure I eyeballed, cause you know my extensive experience would never lead me astray . I put some graham crackers in my little generic cheap version of the bullet thingy (technical term). Once I had crumbs I began adding melted butter till it was moistened. Well I made way too damn much. So I am going to make a guess and say you need 1 to 2 cups. Not a bowlful as I ended up with.

I pushed this mixture done firmly into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Now goes a thin layer of the cake mix. Here is the part that had me wishing I just bought the darn box kit to make this as I‘m sure the company has found the best way to handle this part. I needed to transfer my marshmallow cream into a baggie to squeeze the stuff into each cup. I first tried just using a spoon and putting a spoonful of cream into each cup but I was getting the stuff everywhere but the center, you know how sticky that stuff is. I went to the squeeze bag method.

Marshmallow cream is messy. Maybe it’s just me but that stuff fights me. So after fighting it into the baggie I snipped my corner and squeezed. Worked much better than the spoon. I then covered the cream with another layer of the cake mix. Into the oven to cook following the cake mix temp and time.

As I stood up from putting the pan in the oven I noticed the disaster of my kitchen and myself. My kitchen and my arms, hands, front of shirt and have mercy, even my hair had cake mix and marshmallow cream on them. Again I felt I would have been better off buying the box kit.

FYI: coconut oil will help get marshmallow cream out of hair.

As I finished cleaning up my timer let me know my cupcakes were done. I took them out of the oven. I wanted so badly to bite into one right then but I had this vision of me biting into one and marshmallow lava erupting all over me. I let them cool down while I took a few quick pictures. They were cooled down enough to taste test.
I finally took my first bite.

Holy Mother of Cupcakes. I don’t know how the box kit of this stuff taste but this, this was cupcake heaven. No icing was needed. At all. Now I had enough of everything to make a second pan but I was not fighting the marshmallow again. EVER.

You know you want to bite me

You know you want to bite me

SMORES CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
Chocolate cake mix from a box or your favorite recipe
Items needed to make the batter (eggs, oil, etc)
1 to 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
Enough melted butter to moisten the crumbs
1 jar of marshmallow cream or fluff as some people call it.
Strong baggie or icing bag to pipe out cream/fluff
Coconut oil to get that stuff cream/fluff out of your hair

Mix batter according to instructions on box or your recipe.
Moisten crumbs with butter, put a spoonful of crumb mixture into bottom of each cupcake liner. Press down until bottom is completely covered.
Next put down a thin layer of cake batter.
Pipe in a small amount of cream/fluff into center of the batter. Try to avoid it spreading to the edges.
Cover with another layer of batter.

Bake according to box/recipe instructions or until toothpick comes out clean. Avoid doing this to the center you will just hit the cream. Let cool, eat as is or cover with chocolate icing.

Now remember I made my own using ingredients I had at home. If you have to buy all the items it just might be cheaper to buy the box kit instead. It’s on the grocery store baking aisle with the cake mixes.

Don’t want to use the box kit? My recipe to vague? Hit Pinterest and search. I know there’s a recipe out there. Trust me when I say, if it’s not on Pinterest it doesn’t exist.

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

United States of CAKE

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July Fourth is just around the corner. As you are making plans to celebrate the anniversary of our independence why not add this cake to your cookout menu?

This is just another spin on the multi colored Bundt cake I have made in the past. I didn’t get the swirl effect I was going for instead it looks more like a Pepsi logo. Haha!

I added too much batter to my blue layer. I will remedy that when I bake this for our family cook out. If it turns out the same way I will have a cooler of Pepsi’s on hand to make it look like the Pepsi logo was intentional.

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The day of the fourth we will begin by watching “The Patriot” because my husband is obsessed with that movie. We will have family and friends join us for a cookout. Last but not least we will gather in the town square to enjoy the fireworks display.

Have a great and SAFE Independence Day!

Red, White and Blue Cake

One white cake mix.

Follow directions on box.

Divide batter up between three bowls.

Using food coloring color gel mix your colors.

Layer colored batter in Bundt pan.

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Bake.

Cool.

Turn out onto cake stand.

Using a can of white frosting, divide it between three bowls.

With the first bowl of frosting. Melt in microwave. Usually 15 to 20 seconds.

Add color, mix well.

Drizzle over cake.

Do same with second bowl.

Finish with the third bowl.

Let the icing set up.

Dazzle people with your awesome cake design.

After admiring your work finish up by EATING CAKE!

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Cookies plus Chocolate equals Happiness

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In a world filled with stress and tragedy bombarding us everyday we need something to help us cope, something to fill us with happiness even. Is there such a thing that can do this? Is it possible something can bring us joy amidst the stresses in life?
Hell yes there is something. Chocolate. Chocolate by itself, chocolate with marshmallows, with peanut butter, with ice cream, in milk, in cookies, chocolate covering other items, like nuts or raisins or even bugs. For the record I have never ate a chocolate covered bug but If there is ever a chocolate shortage and that’s what’s available. Look out bugs.

Today it is chocolate chip cookies that are calling my name. “Gotha. Gotha” they are whispering to me.
I found a pin that took me to a post with several chocolate recipes. This one claimed to be THE Best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Was it the best? Close, what would have made them the best was if someone else had baked them for me. Ha-ha. Seriously, out of all the chocolate cookie recipes I have tried over the years this one is my new #1.
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened (I used 1 cup, I’m a rebel that way)
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Directions:
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. I used a hand mixer and it works better if you use a fork to work your butter a few minutes before using the hand mixer. Add the brown sugar along with the sugar, mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Next add in the egg and the vanilla extract. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix in the wet ingredients until well combined. The cookie dough will be thick, if you’re using a hand mixer it will be struggling at this point. Add the chocolate chips and mix for several seconds until evenly disbursed, at this time I just used a fork to mix in the chocolate chips. Cover with aluminum foil to chill for at least 1 hour.
After the dough chills is done chilling out in the fridge let it sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. I used a silicone mat, I love it!
Roll into balls, using about 1 tablespoon of dough per balls. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container. They should keep up to one week. If they last that long, they are pretty darn good.
IMG_6213

Super Bowl of Disaster

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In baking sometimes things can go wrong, sometimes they go Titanic. The ship is sinking with no hope for rescue. That happened today. One baking pin went wrong and one went Titanic.

Pin 1:
Baking pancake mix in muffin tins to create a pancake bowl. I ended up with pancake muffins. So I didn’t get my pancake bowl, no problem. I just cooked up some sausage patties and made pancake/sausage breakfast sandwiches. Pretty tasty.

Pin 2:
Turning your muffin pan upside down to make cookie bowls. Yeah…that one was a disaster. No survivors. I have burnt cookie pieces in my hair, a pan that almost did not come clean and a husband who is still laughing at me. I will laugh about this one day also. Just not today.

The pancake bowl. I followed the instructions so I don’t know what went wrong. I will check out more pancake bowls pins and see if I can do something different next time. When I finally get it right I will share the experience with you.

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

The cookie bowl. It was a last minute thing, I was baking cookies for tomorrows family dinner. I was down to the last bit of dough when I spotted my muffin pan sitting innocently in the dish rack drying. I got an idea (obliviously this was my first mistake). I remembered a pin, if was just a photo with no instructions, but it looked easy enough.
So I flipped the pan over, gave it a nice coat of cooking spray, slapped on the cookie dough and popped it into the oven. The pin showed the cookie down covering each muffin tin completely. I worried I didn’t use enough cookie dough, I didn‘t have much dough left. Apparently it does not take much cookie dough to make a bowl. I used too much and ended up with a darn big mess.

Prelude to the horror

Prelude to the horror


Cookie was baked/burnt onto the pan. I had to get a butter knife to fight and scrape the cookie mess off the pan. Burnt cookie was going everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All over my nice clean counter, the floor, my hair, I even had some crumbs get into my eye. I did learn that saying curse words at burnt cookie stuck to a pan does not do a thing to help get it off the pan. I did go seek out other pins. Next time I will mold aluminum foil to the muffin tin. I will also use less cookie dough per bowl. Hopefully I will have success next time.
Shameful

Shameful


Oh the horror!

Oh the horror!

Mother’s Day Cake and Skeletons

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Strawberry Cloud Cake in a canning jar

Strawberry Cloud Cake in a canning jar

Happy Mother’s Day! Just spent time with the family. I must confess I did get a little jealous while they were here. The girls gave all their attention to Skelly. It still was a great mother’s day.

Miss K wanted to sit on Skelly's lap. it was funny and oh so cute. Miss S was content to lay her head on his shoulder.

Miss K wanted to sit on Skelly’s lap. it was funny and oh so cute. Miss S was content to lay her head on his shoulder.

I did have to bake my own cake. The husband nor the daughter bake so it was up to me to bake the cake. I decided to make a cake I saw on Pinterest. This cake is usually made with blueberry pie filling but I wanted to try strawberry pie filling. It is an easy cake to make. You can use a Bundt pan or a 9×13 pan. I used my Bundt pan. Not one of the pins gave a name to this cake so I named mine Strawberry Cloud.

Strawberry Cloud Cake

1 box of Angel Food cake mix
1 22 oz. can strawberry pie filling (any flavor pie filling will work)

In a large bowl mix by hand the two ingredients. That’s it. No water, no eggs, nothing else.

Pour into your greased pan. Now some pins say ungreased pan. First I’m not sure that is an actual word, second I have bake an angel food cake in a pan that wasn’t greased. Trust me you don’t want to clean out that pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch on top.

I was in a experimental mood so I also baked some of the batter in a small canning jar and a ramekin. I have been wanting to try baking a cake in a canning jar. Plus I wanted to see how well this would bake up in a ramekin incase I ever wanted to make this as one serving dessert for parties.

Cake ingredients

All three baked up nicely. I did worry about the glass shattering but it was a okay. This is a damn good cake. I had me a piece with some whip cream. Yummy. I did not share this with Skelly, he hogged my time with the girls so he wasn’t getting any of my cake.

I hope this day that we honor mothers was a good one for you.

single strawberry cloud

Yes there is a big piece cut out of the back. I couldn't wait.

Yes there is a big piece cut out of the back. I couldn’t wait.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken Breast

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chicken strips 2

I found chicken breast and chicken tenderloins on sale last week. You know what that means. I stocked up. Now I have a freezer full of chicken. So don’t be surprised if you see a few chicken recipes posted here in the next week or two. It’s a chickenpalooza!

I made this dish the same time I made Parmesan Corn on the Cob. With mashed potatoes and yeast rolls. My husband was in dinner heaven and I ended up in a carb coma. I soldiered through the sluggishness to get some weeding done in my Hosta garden. There was a lot of weeding to be done. My legs are still sore. Here is the recipe adapted from IHeartNapTime

Parmesan Ranch Chicken Breast

1 packet dry ranch mix
¾ c. panko bread crumbs
¾ c. parmesan cheese
½ c. melted butter
4-6 chicken breast

Mix ranch mix, crumbs and parmesan in a shallow bowl.
Melt butter in another bowl.
Dip chicken in butter, roll in dry mix till coated.
Place on a greased 9×13 pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

I did not have a packet of Ranch dressing mix but I did have a packet of the ranch dip mix. I figured it was pretty much the same thing. This came together will fast, it just took a few minutes to get the chicken ready for the oven.

Dry mix of parmesan, ranch mix and sea salt

Dry mix of parmesan, ranch mix and sea salt

My coated breast

My coated breast

This was the best chicken I have ever made. The coating was so crunchy. Oh my. My husband could not get enough of it. Heck I could not get enough of it. I actually woke at 4 the next morning so I could make it again using chicken strips (chicken tenderloins ) to take to work for lunch.

I will make this again, probably over the weekend. Oh, I have some fiesta Ranch dip mix. Wonder how that will taste?

Tasty chicken

Tasty chicken

 

Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffins

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muffin

I have several boxes of blueberry muffin mix. It was on sale the other week along with chocolate chip cookie mix. It was a GOOD sale, too good to pass up. So I got two boxes of each. The next day here comes my dad with three boxes of each. He said it was a great deal and plus he thought it would be nice for his daughter to bake him some blueberry bread. The story doesn’t end there. Later that day as my husband comes home from work he announces, “hey look what was on sale”. Yes he got two boxes of blueberry muffin mix. I open the pantry door and reply to him, “yes I know it was on sale.” He sees all the boxes, laughs and replies, “Well at least we’ll have muffins during an apocalypse.”

So three boxes of muffins later I really wanted to change them up some. I decided to bake some to freeze them for workday breakfasts. Now if I’m going to have a muffin for breakfast I want it to fill me up. I opened my cabinets to see what I could throw in with the mix. There was my new Chia seeds. I can replace the eggs with that. I spotted some walnuts, some sunflower seeds, a packet of granola and some toasted coconut. I thought to myself, ‘what the hell throw it all in.”

And I did. The result: a muffin that filled me up and tasted pretty good. I did go overboard with the sunflower seeds, the taste almost overpowered everything else. So I will cut the amount in half next time. They are small muffins, at first I thought I would need two to fill me up. No. One was plenty. Is this a muffin your kids will like? Doubt it. Is this a muffin you will like? I hope you give it a go to find out.

A little something I want to share: I think the muffins would have risen more if I had used eggs instead of Chia seeds. I did bake a loaf of blueberry bread later that week, the only thing I changed in the recipe was using Chia seeds in place of eggs. I ended up with a tasty but a much smaller loaf than usual. Something I need to investigate further.
Do you replace your eggs with Chia seeds? If so, how does it work for you?

Gotha’s Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffins

1 blueberry muffin mix (or your favorite blueberry muffin)
Chia seeds to replace 3 eggs (3 tbsp chia + 9 tbsp water, sit to side for 15 mins)
½ c. water
1/3 c. oil (I used coconut)
½ c. walnuts
1 ½ tbsp. sunflower seeds
¼ c. granola
3 tbsp. coconut flakes
Blueberries (can that came with mix)

After your chia seeds have absorbed all the water and is gel like, add the seeds, mix, water and oil to a large bowl. Mix by hand.
Add walnuts, granola, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes. Mix.
Last add your blueberries. Fold them in gently.
Fill muffin tins.
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
This made a dozen.

Don’t judge a muffin by its picture. These aren’t picture perfect muffins but they are tasty.

Add 9 tbsp. of water to 3 tbsp. of seed. Let sit for 15 minutes. Replaces 3 eggs.

Add 9 tbsp. of water to 3 tbsp. of seed. Let sit for 15 minutes. Replaces 3 eggs.

Those nutty nuts

Those nutty nuts

The muffins aren't going to rise much at all.

The muffins aren’t going to rise much at all.

The small but filling Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffin

The small but filling Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffin