Thursday, June 24, 2010

nutella cupcakes

 
So a few weeks ago, I discovered a (quite large) jar of Nutella hanging out in the depths of the kitchen cabinets of home-home.  Lately when I'm there, I've been eating it by the spoonful for dessert or putting a spoonful in a little bowl along with a spoonful of peanut butter.  And yes, just eating the two of them together.  Straight up.

And, yes, it is quite delicious. :)

 
However, I decided to get a little more creative this time.  So off to foodgawker.com I went, typed in "Nutella", and feasted my eyes upon delicious Nutella-y things that I wished were right there in front of me so I could devour them without shame.

Have I mentioned that I've been in a ten year love affair with desserts?
Now the strange things about these cuppy cakes is that there is zero frosting.  Yes, you heard me right.  Zero, zip!  Usually, I would be strongly against this, but the Nutella actually bakes right into the cupcake and kind of makes its own frosting.  However....I am fairly confident that if you chose to frost these puppies, that you would make friends for life with whomever ate them.

And by fairly confident I mean very confident.


Mmmmmm, so here is the recipe.  They're actually not too sweet.  And...I'm feeling an epiphany coming...I have a sneaking feeling that these would be downright delicious with some peanut butter chips stirred into the batter.  Note to self: Must try this next time.

Make them!  You'll love them!  I promise. :)

Nutella Cupcakes
Taken from daily doses of sugar, who took it from Baking Bites

1 stick butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/4 salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray 12 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, or line then with paper liners.

With mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light.  Add in eggs one at a time.  Beat the mixture after each egg until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla.

Mix in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is uniformly mixed.  Divide batter evenly among 12 tins.
Now...this is the fun part.  Top each cake with a spoonful of Nutella.  The original says 1 tsp, but I think that is ridiculously ungenerous, but I heaped my Nutella up and slathered it on.  Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, and be sure to fold a bit of batter over the Nutella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool and devour.

Nutella on FoodistaNutella

Monday, June 21, 2010

chocolate cake adventure

 
Let's just say that this was my first adventure cooking in my new subletted apartment for the summer.  When I moved in, did I remember to bring the essentials?  The toothpaste, the clothes, the laptop, the fuzzy fleece blanket...just in case it decided to get cold in the middle of summer? (hey, it is Michigan, you know, it could totally happen)  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

But did I remember essential kitchen utensils?  Oh, of course not.  I figured the kitchen would come supplied with, you know, things like...spatulas and mixing bowls.

WRONG.

And let's just say it was quite the adventure.

 
So the purpose of this adventure was to make a cake for a girls night with two of my girl friends.

WAHOOO GIRLS NIGHT! HELLZ YEAH!

We were hitting up my place before hand to create and drink girly drinks and eat cake.  So I scavenged around in my cupboard, found a cake mix, a jar of frosting, and this marshmallow bunny...who I decided was going to go into the cake batter...and starting whipping things up.

 
But first, I had to play with my food. :)

 
Hmmmm, someone has eated a bite out of his ear....

 
Ahhhh, Marshmallow Bunny MASSACRE.  Poor, baby.

 
So before we start here, let's take a quick tour of the new kitchen.  Hello, stove, nice to meet you.  And how nice that your insides hold the pots and pans while you are off since there is limited room in the cupboards.

Hello, burner, that looks like it is falling off. BUT!  It still works great.  If I've learned anything from living in Ann Arbor student housing, it is that appearances can be deceiving.

Side note: However, let me note that while the kitchen utensils are slightly lowly, the person (Totten's Tunes) who is currently on my shared iTunes is absolutely making my night.  They have 8021 songs!  That's insane!  I'm currently going through their collection of John Williams songs.  There's nothing like the Olympic Fanfare to make you feel on top of the world.  Even if you are just in your PJs, lying on your bed, blogging.  I CAN DO ANYTHING, RAWR.

Dear Totten's Tunes,
Whoever you are, I LOVE YOU.
XOXO, Patti

And, ah yes, my pseudo mixing bowl!  It's actually kind of fun to get creative in the kitchen.  However, things took a turn when I realized that....

 
....NO SPATULA was to be found!  As you can see, I was quite sad about this fact.  Now, pot as a mixing bowl?  I can handle that.  Taking all the pots and pans out of the oven before turning it on?  Sure, bring it.  But no spatula???  What about all of that batter that stays on the side of the pot when you go to scrape it out with a spoon?  It was quite sad.  However, I made it work.

 
And, TA-DA!  A bea-you-tiful cake!  Complete with M&M topping and cream cheese icing.  And it was quite delicious.

But......a week and a half later, I realized I hadn't eaten all of the cake leftovers.  Whoops.


BEHOLD: SCIENCE EXPERIMENT. For some reason, I've always gotten a kick out of moldy food that's been unearthed from the depths of the fridge.  Maybe the fuzzies on it make my first instinct to want to reach out and cuddle with it, but then the stench stops me dead in my tracks.  Well, whatever the reason, it cracked me up tonight. :)

BAKE DATE

A week or so ago, three friends and I got together to.....BAKE!  And cook.  We each contributed ingredients to make two pizza and one tray of WICKEDLY RICH brownies.  Oh gawd.  I start hyperventilating just starting to think of them.

 
So we made two pizzas....onion-pepperoni and olive-pepperoni.  My friend, Sheila, had sauteed onions before we came over and they were just so so good.  And this pepperoni she bought was just so THICK and delicious.  And the bread dough Katie brought was just SO LIGHT AND FLUFFY.

Can you tell that I like to eat?

Here are the finished products!!  Gawwd, I love cheese.  And bread.  And pizza, in general.

And we didn't stop there.  Then we made this outrageous brownie...yes, using a mix.  What you do:  make the brownie batter, and then when you pour it in an 8x8-inch pan, pour in HALF, then layer Heath bars over the batter, and then top with the remaining batter.  And because we just didn't think that there was enough chocolate in the brownies, we made a chocolate ganache to go on top.

And then we topped the night off with not one, but TWO chick flicks!  It was a good and delicious night :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

lately

I've felt ridiculously happy and loving life.  In fact, I wake up every morning feeling happy, and that hasn't happened in a while :)

Thank you to the people in my life who are making me this happy lately.  I am the luckiest girl there is.

Friday, June 4, 2010

granola me crazy

She's got the urge.....no, not for herbal, but for baking.  My mom is not quite used to my nocturnal spontaneity when I am at home.  However, driving out to the store at 10pm for an ingredient (peanut butter) is definitely not out of the ordinary for me.  So off to our local Busch's I went, yes, in my PJs because I have no shame.  $1.85 later, a jar of creamy, Spartan brand peanut butter had been purchased.  Because I am cheap.  And a poor college student.
 
I've made this granola before, but I like to think of granola as a spontaneous extravaganza....throw in what you have in your cupboards, and call it a day.  Or night.  This batch had raisins and chocolate chips in it.  Yum.  I was slightly concerned that the chocolate chips would burn, but they did not.  Behold: chocolaty granola greatness.

Basically with granola, you have a Wet Team and a Dry Team.  Wet Team consists of sweet things like honey, peanut butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Dry Team?  Oatmeal, chocolate chips, and raisins.  Once Wet Team has boiled a bit, you pour 'em into Dry Team, mix 'em up, and then toss it all on a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Toss it for a few turns while in the oven (about 20 or so minutes), and VOILA! GRANOLA DELICIOUSNESS.

 
'Scuse me, granola...are you ready for you close-up?

Time for some serious nom-age.