Happiness Is…Recipe: North Pole Cupcakes

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Happiness is being released from the hospital with my youngest angel boy.

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Happiness is just one week until Christmas break.

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Happiness is going to my parents’ house to celebrate Christmas.

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Happiness is getting good health reports back for Ethan.

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Happiness is my family of five being together again.

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Happiness is North Pole Cupcakes.  The actual cupcakes is a recipe from my mom that she lovingly calls “Nathan’s Chocolate Cake”.  I found the idea at Kara’s Party Ideas through Pinterest.   I changed the cake recipe it into cupcakes, piped on some cream cheese frosting, added the sprinkles to create some snow, and topped them off with peppermint sticks.  Happiness is watching plain chocolate cake transform into beautiful North Pole Cupcakes.

North Pole Cupcakes

North Pole Cupcakes

Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter

6 tablespoons cocoa

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons baking soda

dash salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup hot water

1 cup chocolate chips, optional

Frosting

Sugar sprinkles

Soft peppermint sticks

M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add cupcake liners to muffin tin.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and cocoa in mixer bowl.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, soda, and salt.
  6. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and then the remaining flour mixture.
  7. Add in the hot water, mixing to combine.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Add an ice cream scoop of batter to each cupcake liner.
  10. Bake for 16 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.
  12. Once cooled, pipe on the icing.
  13. Sprinkle with large clear or white sugar sprinkles.
  14. Place a soft peppermint stick into the center of each cupcake.
  15. Add a dot of icing to an M&M and place one on the top of each peppermint stick.
  16. Enjoy your winter wonderland North Pole cupcake.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/09/happiness-is-recipe-north-pole-cupcakes/

Have a happy weekend!

I shared this post at Mom Trends, Alli ‘n Son, Hoosier Homemade, Whipperberry, Designs by Gollum, Crazy for Crust, and Tidy Mom

 

Happiness Is…Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes

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Happiness is being able to do what you love. For me, that is being a wife, a mom, and a personal chef for my family.

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Happiness is knowing that we have just 5 more days of school…and then we have 9 days at home together!

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Happiness is dreaming of great things to come, while still living in the moment at hand.

Happiness is honoring the men and women who continue to keep the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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Happiness is seeing littles enjoy food prepared in my kitchen.

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Happiness is hearing things like, “What does the tooth fairy do with all of those teeth?”

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Happiness is a boy who is so excited about his soccer tournament tomorrow.

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Happiness is making soccer cupcakes to celebrate a great soccer season…and a fantastic coach.

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Happiness is baking, creating, and discovering new recipes.  I found this cake recipe at Our Best BitesSara and Kate are wives and moms who also happen to be amazingly talented food bloggers.  They create fantastic recipes, and I look forward to their posts each week.  I have many chocolate cakes and chocolate cupcakes in my recipe book, and I use different ones depending on what I am creating, what frosting I am using, and what I have in my pantry at the time.  This one is truly fantastic.  It is the perfect combination of moist chocolate goodness, which always makes me very happy.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

This is Our Best Bites' recipe for Old-Fashioned Layer Cake. I did not change any of the ingredients. I just adapted the cooking time to make the recipe into cupcakes instead of a layer cake.

Ingredients

12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsley chopped

1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot water

1 3/4 C sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Add cupcake liners to muffins tins (makes 24-28 cucpakes).
  3. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate ins melted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup sugar to chocolate and stir until glossy, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.
  6. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
  7. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl.
  8. In bowl of stand mixer, mix eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.
  9. Add remaining 1 1/4 C sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds.
  11. Add softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.
  12. Add about 1/3 of flour mixture; followed by half of buttermilk mixture mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds.)
  13. Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture.
  14. Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.
  15. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
  16. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into the cupcake liners.
  17. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
  18. Remove from oven, cool, and frost.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/11/11/happiness-is-recipe-chocolate-cupcakes/

Have a happy weekend!

I shared this recipe at Hoosier Homemade, Sweetology, Skip to My Lou, Add a Pinch, Ladybird Ln, Jane Deere, Tidy Mom and Simply Sweet Home.

It Is All About the Food – Recipe: Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

For us, some holidays, like Labor Day, are not always celebrated in the traditional way.  We did not go to a picnic or spend the day outside.

We actually spent the day in our pajamas, playing games, eating, and watching cartoons.

Because…it is always about the food and the fun.

Big holidays or small celebration, the food is always the star of the show.  I often start planning menus for holidays and events early so that I can make sure that everything is just right.

Because it is not always about the big things.  It is about the little things that add up to something grand. And, food can always be made into something amazing because it brings families together to talk, bond, and enjoy the magic of the moment.

I want the littles to always look back with fondness on the crazy things that I did, big and small, to make, to create, family memories with something as simple as food.

I have actually posted these cupcakes before.  But, when I was planning our Labor Day menu, I knew that I wanted to try these, with a twist – a red, white, and blue twist.  I thought that it was the perfect celebratory colors to use.  And, my family thought that it was just awesome, which scored me all kinds of wife and mommy points.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 cup cocoa (I used Nestle Toll House 100% cocoa powder. From what I could research, it does not contain dairy.)

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups dairy-free buttermilk (I made mine by mixing 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 1/2 cups soy milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and it will turn into dairy-free buttermilk.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cupcake liners into cupcake pan.
  3. Sift the three flours together.
  4. Add cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda to the flours and whisk together in a med. bowl. Beat the shortening until creamy.
  5. Slowly add the brown sugar and the granulated sugar; whip until fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs and the egg yolks one at a time.
  7. Add the vanilla.
  8. Turn the mixer to low and alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk.
  9. With an ice cream scoop, scoop one scoopful into each cupcake liner.
  10. Bake for 16 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/05/it-is-all-about-the-food-recipe-chocolate-cupcakes/

Adapted from Gluten Free Mommy’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Dairy-Free Frosting

Dairy-Free Frosting

This frosted about 18 of the cupcakes, and I frosted them quite generously

Ingredients

1/2 cup Spectrum Natural’s organic butter flavored shortening

1 tsp vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat together the shortening and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, and continue to mix until creamy.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/05/it-is-all-about-the-food-recipe-chocolate-cupcakes/

Happy Labor Day!  I hope that everyone has a good, safe night.