Saturday, February 18, 2012

Elvis Cupcakes

I know it's not Elvis's birthday, but I've been meaning to make this for awhile now and February seems to be a significant month in his life. February was when he was discovered, Lisa Marie is born on Feb. 1st, and February is the month that Elvis and Priscilla separated. Aren't you impressed with my Elvis trivia? I used to be a HUGE fan. Yup, used to be. So in celebration of Elvis's life I've made Elvis Cupcakes. Elvis Cupcakes are a combination of banana, peanut butter, and bacon, but I also added Nutella, because it's freakin' awesome. I've seen many recipes that have a combination of these components so I don't think there's only one way to do this. I went with a peanut butter filled banana cupcake with Nutella frosting and bacon sprinkles. Oh yah.

Elvis Cupcakes (AKA Peanut Butter Filled Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting and Bacon Sprinkles)
Servings: 16-18 cupcakes (I made 12 regulars and 12 mini cupcakes)
Prep & Cook Time:
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Notes and Your Cup of Cake

Peanut Butter Filling:
6 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon (optional)
3 large bananas mashed

Nutella Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Nutella
1 cup powdered sugar

1. For the PB filling, cream all ingredients together and set aside.
2. Fry the bacon until golden, drain on a paper towel, and chop into tiny pieces when cooled. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
4. Sift flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Set aside.
5. Cream together the sugars and butter. About 30 seconds.
6. Add vanilla and beat in eggs one at a time.
7. Mix in the flour mixture in batches until combined. Stir in bananas.
8. Divide among the tins, filling each about 2/3rds.
9. Place  1-2 tsps of the peanut butter mixture on top of the batter in the middle of each tin.
10. With your fingers push down the peanut butter making sure the batter spreads over the peanut butter mixture.
11. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Let cool
12. While it's cooling start the frosting by creaming together Nutella and cream cheese.
13. Add the powdered sugar in batches. Mix on high until smooth and creamy.
14. You can pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, or just spread them on top.
15. Sprinkle bacon bits on top of each cupcake and then you're done! MMMMM Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti.  Delicious, Crunchy, Chocolaty goodness biscotti. Dipping biscotti in chocolate is a modern variation of the original recipe. Invented in Italy, this twice-baked cookie originally started out as twice-baked bread used during long trips because of it's long shelf life. Today, I make the ultimate biscotti: chocolate biscotti dipped and drizzled with milk chocolate. I finished these in 2 days. And yes I ate them for dinner last night.

Double Chocolate Biscotti
Serving: 30-36 slices
Prep & Cook Time: About 40 min. + cooling

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 & 3/4 cups flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional- if you want to skip it then you can make Double Choc. Biscotti)

7-8 ounces chocolate (your choice, I used left over Hersey's bars from Christmas)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium for about 30 seconds.
3. Mix in sugars, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
4. Beat eggs in one at a time until combined.
5. Beat in flour slowly on low speed until combined (you may have to use your hands). Stir in choc. chips (optional)
6. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 9 inch long loaf.
7. Place on cookie sheet and flatten with your fingers until about 2 inches wide.
8. Bake for 20-25 min. Cool completely.
9. While biscotti is cooling, start the chocolate on a double broiler.
10. Reduce over to 325 degrees.
11. On a cutting board, cut the biscotti diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place them cut side down on a non greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until dry and crispy. I did mine for about 15 min to get it extra crispy. (Butter generally makes the biscotti softer, but in some recipes where oil is used, the cookies turn out crispier.) Cool completely.
12. Mix the melted chocolate on the double broiler to smooth. Dip the flat biscotti bottoms one by one into the chocolate and set it on it's side on parchment paper to dry. If you have leftover chocolate, drizzle over the sides of the biscotti.
13. Once dry, transfer to fridge for 30 minutes to firm.
14. Enjoy! I kept these in tupper ware in the fridge for 3 days.