Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Does that cupcake not look absolutely yummy? I think so, and it sort of happened by accident. You see, I had to make cupcakes for my youngest to take to preschool. At first I thought all the cupcakes would be chocolate but I thought that I would spare the teachers' nerves and just do vanilla. Plus, it was the only flavor that I had in the pantry. While getting the mix going, I knew that only 12 cupcakes would be going to the preschool so that of course left 12 cupcakes here for us to eat.
Well, I thought that here was my chance to change things up a bit and try something new. I was in the mood for chocolate so after I followed the directions on the back of the box for the vanilla cupcakes I poured half of the mixture into 12 cupcake liners for the preschool, then I decided to play with the remaining mix. I thought, heck, if I screw it up its only 12 cupcakes, right?!
Ok, so with 1/2 of the mixture in the bowl, I added 1/4 cup of cocoa and 3 to 4  tablespoons of coffee.  Mixed it all together and then filled the remaining 12 cupcakes liners with the new chocolate mixture and baked the cupcakes according to the directions on the back of the box.
After the cupcakes cooled, I started on the frosting. I made a basic vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Then I used this frosting to decorate the cupcakes for the preschool and for the frosting that I had left over I added....
    1/3 cup of peanut butter (you may add more, just be careful, the more you add, the thicker the frosting)
    mixed well and frosted the chocolate cupcakes.
    Melted chocolate and drizzled on top.
    That was it, simple and yummy, especially with a glass of milk!
    The cupcakes were moist and the combination of the chocolate and peanut butter were just the trick for my chocolate craving. 
    Let us take one more look......

    Thank goodness that I only had 12 of these and that I shared...........I could have eaten them all, but I didn't.

    Looking forward to baking lots of Christmas goodies soon, there are a few that I make every year. And this year, I am looking forward to surprising some neighbors with some of those goodies too! It is always more fun when you share!

    Do you have any baking traditions at Christmas?

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    7 Layer Magic Cookie Bars

    These are made every year here at Christmas, these are for sure a tradition at Christmas and always have been since I was a little girl.

    They are yummy, oh so yummy and very addictive, gooey, chocolaty, so many rich flavors....so are you ready to make some of your own?

    1 & 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
    1/2 cup of butter, melted
    Mix the above ingredients and press into a 9 x 13 dish, lined with foil or parchment or sprayed with cooking spray.

    Then layer in order the below ingredients on top of the graham cracker layer:
    1 cup of butterscotch flavored chips
    1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 & 1/3 cups of coconut (I use the coconut in the freezer section, just let thaw first)
    1 cup of chopped nuts (I use pecans)

    After all the ingredients are layered, drizzle 1 (14oz.)can of sweetened condensed milk (yes, the entire can) over the bars.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

    And of course they are great with a glass of milk. Can you tell that I have  a major sweet tooth?

    Just one more look at this fabulous treat... (oh and these are one of the treats that I will be sharing with a few neighbors, I hope they enjoy them!)

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    DIY Beverage Tags


    I absolutely love Ballard Designs, the design is so me and I could go crazy with the plastic if given the chance!

    One day while browsing through the magazine I came across these beverage tags.

    The price in the catalog was $18 for a set of 6, which is a very reasonable price, but I thought to myself that it would be fun to try and make them myself.

    I started off my visiting my local Michael's store, I picked out the tags and headed home.

    I had some black rub-on letters in my scrapbooking supplies and thought that would be perfect for the words on the tags. 
    They went on well, but you just had to be careful to go slow and take your time because the texture of the tag was a little rigid and you have to be sure to get the entire letter onto your tag or it would be hard to line up the portion of the letter that didn't go on the first time.
    After all the words were on the tags, I decided to add some scrapbook paper to the back of the tag, mostly because the price sticker for the tag was stuck to the back and I could not remove it completely and this solution took care of that ugly problem. I used Mod Podge to adhere the paper to the back.
    There was one tag that I did not have a word for, so I thought that by covering the tag in a Chalkboard sticker would be cool, that way the host could use it for any beverage just by writing in chalk the name of the beverage on the tag.
    To age the tags a little, I used Ranger Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap around the edges of the tag till I got the look I was going for.
    Then I covered each tag with 2 layers of Mod Podge, allowing each layer to dry in between coats. Then added twine to hang the tags.  And I must say I love the results!
    The tags are so cute on the pitcher! I made these as a  Christmas gift for a special person, I hope she likes them!
    The tags are perfect for a gathering of friends at home, a bridal or baby shower or even a family BBQ in the backyard.
    Have you been making any Christmas gifts for friends and family?