Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Cupcake Courier

Have you guys seen this?!? I never heard of The Cupcake Courier until I saw it at Costco last week. They had pink, clear, and blue. The blue is more like a robin egg/Martha Stewart blue color and I was naturally drawn to it.

I made some chocolate cream cupcakes that I topped with chocolate gananche tonight just so I could use this! Okay, well I had some leftover ganache in the fridge that I wanted to use up and I was in the mood to bake something new. Here is the recipe for to cupcakes that I made:

Now, back to The Cupcake Courier. Apparently they also make flat inserts which you purchase seperately so you can cover the cupcake spots making this a versatile for storage and transportation of your sweet treats.

My local Costco is selling them for $16.99. They can also be found on, but Costco has the best deal on them. Here is the offical Cupcake Courier website:

Have you heard of The Cupcake Courier? Do you have one?

Thanks to The Ordinary Housewife

I wanted to send much thanks to The Ordinary Housewife. While I am just getting started on Blogger and only have a handful of followers, The Ordinary Housewife, who happens to have a fantastic blog sent me these two awards. They are accepted with appreciation. Don't forget to check out her blog listed below along with a couple of others that I enjoy.

Here are some blogs that I enjoy following:

Now for the rules:
1.) Copy the award to my blog
2.) Link to the person who has given me this award
3.) Tell 7 interesting things about myself
4.) Choose 7 other blogs that I want to give this award to
5.) Link to their blogs
6.) Comment on their blogs that I have given them this award

Now let's see........7 interesting things about myself........
I will have to think about that and get back to you!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brownie Cookies

We are very fortunate to live in an area where the climate is mild. As a result, the local farmer's markets take place year around. We happen to live a couple of blocks away from the Liberty Station farmer's market that is each Sunday morning from 9:30 - 2:30. There is a bakery booth that has cookies every week and the cookies are all quite sad looking. I have sampled a couple and most of them leave something to be desired.

This past Sunday I walked by and noticed two new, attractive looking cookies that caught my eye. I purchased one of each! The first was a puffy, light, and airy honey cookie with an orange glaze. The second was a brownie cookie dipped into white chocolate. These cookies were extremely delicious. When I walked by the bakery booth a second time, I noticed there were only a few cookies left, so I bought one of each cookie again so I could savor the taste.

I knew right then that I had to try to replicate these cookies. I search for a brownie cookie recipe. This is the recipe I used: I highly recommend this recipe for a brownie cookie, it was excellent. I used Baker's semi-sweet chocolate chunks and I made my cookies bigger by using my 1/4 c. measuring cup to measure cookie dough. They made a 4 x 4 inch baked cookie.

When they cookies cooled, I melted some Baker's white chocolate and I spooned white chocolate over half of the cookies. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Berry Simple Smoothie

Normally, I prefer a plain strawberry smoothie, nothing fancy at all. I was feeling creative yesterday, but the fresh strawberries I had were turning fuzzy. I had juice in the refrigerator, but it wasn't apple or grape. I wanted a smoothie, so I decided to try something new using what I already had on hand.

The key to a good, simple smoothie is to use:

1 cup of yogurt

1 cup of berries/fruit

1 cup of juice

My "Simple Strawberry Smoothie" is made using:

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup of strawberries

1 cup of apple grape juice

Yesterday I have to improvise and this is what I came up with:

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup of mixed berries

1 cup of cranberry apple juice

It actually was a great combination and turned out tasty! It taught me that you can pretty much try any combination when creating a smoothie.

Do you like smoothies? What is your favorite kind?


Friday, February 19, 2010

Chocolate Easter Bunnies

So, I got this idea in my head last year after Easter that I would like to start a new tradition after have way too much candy leftover. It was a lot of the same; Snickers, Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Nestle Crunch, and M&M's. I love to eat sweets, but I was struggling to eat another bite of this candy.

That is when I decided I want to make most of our own candy for Easter each year with my daughter. There is a local cake and candy specialty store in San Diego called, "Do It With Icing" and they have a gazillion different candy molds to chose from. I have been dabbling with chocolates for the past two years and even managed to temper chocolate by hand, so I figured this was something that I could handle.

Today, my daughter and I went to that specialty store and I was immediately overwhelmed with the selection of candy molds available. I began picking out molds that I would like to have and started to add up the prices, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money at once.

I opted for a candy mold that makes cute 3 inch tall bunnies. They were the perfect size for allowing me to add a filling. I am happy with my purchase and my plan is to start slow and eventually work my way up to making most of the candy at Easter.

For these cuties, I used Bakers Milk Chocolate and peanut butter and powdered sugar for the filling. I admit that I didn't measure the peanut butter and powdered sugar, but I mix it together until I got the consistency and taste I desired.

To create the bunnies:

1.) Melt milk chocolate at 30 second increments just until the wafers begin to lose their shape and stir until smooth.
2.) Using a Wilton paint brush, brush the chocolate up the sides of the mold and allow to dry.
3.) Mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until creamy.
4.) Once the milk chocolate shell is dry, press peanut butter mixture into the chocolate shell.
5.) Seal the peanut butter mixture in by covering the it with the remain milk chocolate and allow to dry.

**If you do not temper your chocolate, you can speed up the process by cooling the chocolate in the refrigerator. **

Last, but certainly not least, enjoy these tasty treats!


Gourmet Caramel Apples

Usually we associate caramel apples with the fall season and Halloween. That is the time of year when people travel to apple orchards and pumpkin farms to pick out their perfect pumpkins and sip hot apple cider. I happen to enjoy caramel apples all year, not just in the fall.

My caramel apple of choice is not your typical one. Think about those gourmet chocolate stores who display heavily coated caramel apples that are also dipped into chocolate. Those are the ones I like. I don't even mess around the plain caramel apples anymore.

Gourmet Caramel Apples

3-4 small apples (I use fuji or honeycrisp apples)
1 12 oz. bag of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
1 11 oz. bag of Kraft Premium Caramel Bits
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1.) Clean your apples and push a stick through the top.
2.) Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper and spray the wax paper with cooking spray. Otherwise the caramel will stick to the wax paper.
3.) Bring water on the stove to a boil and dip each apple into the hot water and wipe clean with a paper towel. This will remove any wax coating from the apple, otherwise your caramel may not stick and will promptly slide off after dipping.
4.) Pour caramel and water into a glass bowl and mircowave for 30 second increments until melted. Add vanilla and stir until smooth.
5.) Dip apples into caramel and place onto cookie sheet. You can place the them into the refrigerator to speed up the process.
6.) Melt milk chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, just until the chips begin to mose their shape and melt. Stir until smooth.
7.) Dip the cooled caramel covered apples into the milk chocolate. You may need to help spoon the chocolate over the apple to cover it.
8.) Place caramel/milk chocolate covered apples back on the cookie sheet and allow to dry. You can also place them back into to refrigerator to speed up the process.

At this point, they are ready for you to enjoy, unless you prefer a topping on top of the chocolate. While the milk chocolate is still wet, you can press M&M's into the chocolate or sprinkle crushed Oreos and drizzle with white chocolate, sprinkles with nuts and marshmallows and drizzle with dark chocolate. The possibilities are endless!
My favorite topping is melting a 1 oz. square of Baker's white chocolate and melting it with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Once it is melted and smooth, I either drizzle over the apple with a spoon (messy look) or pipe onto the apple using a pastry bag and small round tip (neater look).

What is your favorite topping on a gourmet caramel apple?
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