Friday, November 23, 2012

Giving Thanks - Cupcake Style

I used to HATE Thanksgiving.  I was always thankful - don't get me wrong.  I just didn't enjoy the holiday.  Most of my family wasn't in the area, so we never had a big family gathering around the table.  It was me, sissy and mom.  A great group of ladies, but not really what I really had in mind for Thanksgiving.

Then, we had the idea to host Thanksgiving at our house - and all of my negative Nancy feelings about the holiday went right out the window.  Husbo's family are all in the area, and my family - without any super strong Thanksgiving traditions - were willing to travel.  So four years ago, we had our first Thanksgiving and have had it at our house ever since.  I'm not sure why I had a change of heart, but I don't question it, since it was a change for good.  Each year the group has been just a little different, but it's always family.  I love laying the table out, trying to figure out how everyone will fit the night before; making name cards and seating arrangements; helping husbo manage cooking times of all of his yummy dishes; and making cranberry sauce that I never eat because I prefer the stuff in the can.

Last year's Thanksgiving was especially special as we announced to our family that we were expecting our little cupcake, Amaya.  We had gift bags for everyone on the table, with sonogram pictures and t-shirts.  And this year, our little cupcake was stuffing her face with yams.  It was a very cool full circle moment.  Life is full of those, huh?

So, in the spirit of giving thanks and of the month of pumpkins, squash and all things quintessentially fall - I did a twist on last month's pumpkin cupcakes.  Same recipe, but with these sweet additions...

For the cake - toss about 2 cups of chocolate chips (dark, milk, bittersweet - pick your poison) in some flour.  The batter isn't thick enough to hold them up, and so if you don't coat 'em in flour they will all sink to be bottom - still good, but not really what you're going for!  Remove the excess flour (I put them through a sieve) and stir them in.  Be careful not to over stir our your cakes will be flat!

Then, for the frosting - add a dollop of pumpkin puree to it (or to taste).  It's got just enough pumpkin in there to amp it up a bit and really put you in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mummies and Ghouls and Spiders, Oh My!

Don't you just love the fall?  The colors, the clothes (man do I love me some boots and a cozy sweater!), the holidays and traditions...I love it all.  I also like the next couple of months because when I bake cupcakes for my class, it is easy to make themed decorations, starting with Halloween.

It was my daughter's very first Halloween, and one of my students got her the most appropriate and perfect costume (in addition to the owl her dad and I had already gotten)...a cupcake!  Now is this not the cutest little cupcake you have ever seen? >>  Next year I"m thinking round 2 with this costume...

I had two things to bake cupcakes for this month - one was my daughter's Halloween play date and the other was my normal baking for my class' birthdays.  I had big dreams of using fondant because of a cool idea I saw on Pinterest...but then the reality of mommyhood and lack of free time kicked me in the butt, and I "just" did frosting.  I'm still super pleased with the results, though, and based on the "no cupcake left behind" - my students thought they were pretty good, too!

For this, I turned to my trusty (and crusty) Martha Stewart book for this tried and true recipe...

Pumpkin - Brown Butter Cupcakes

3/4 cup butter (@ room temperature)
1 2/3 cup all purpose flower
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg  (I use more than this - I LOVE nutmeg, especially fresh)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated shugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Swirl occasionally, until butter turns golden brown.  Skim foam from top and remove from heat.  Pour into bowl to stop the cooking - leave the crusty sediment in the saucepan.  Let it cool.

Whisk together flour, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, whisk puree, both sugars, eggs and brown butter mixture (after it's cooled).  Mix until just combined - don't overdo it or you're headed for flat top cupcakes!

Divide batter evenly and bake - rotating 1/2 way through.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a test stick comes out cleanly!

Top with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!!!  So, so good, my friends!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mudsliding into 30

I rang in my 30th, a little bit late, but in high style.  We threw a cupcake and champagne party where guests were asked to bring a bottle of bubbly or some cupcakes from their favorite spot (or their own kitchen!)  It was QUITE a successful night.  Lots of bubbly was imbibed and many sweet cupcakes were enjoyed.  

I, of course, had to whip something up for the occasion - so I went to my Pinterest board for some inspiration!  I have had lots of successes with the recipes I have found on there, and these Mudslide Cupcakes were no exception!  Lots of dishes - but worth it!  The cake is a kahlua chocolate and the frosting is a swirl of kahlua and bailey's buttercreams!  It was a bit challenging to achieve the swirl (even for my froster, my husbo Mike!)  Loved the overall taste and look, though!   

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good Golly, Miss Molly!

I have officially celebrated living three decades on earth.  That's right - I'm thirty.  Thirty sounds so damned old when you're younger.  But when you actually get here - when you actually wake up one morning and you're magically the dreaded "30"... it's not so bad.  Not so different than when you're 29 - well, maybe just a little.  There's definitely something weird about saying "I'm 30."  The connotations of that word (for me) were: responsible, old, settled, successful, figured stuff out, life is over.  Of course those were all BEFORE October 2, the day I entered my 30's.  Now, the number connotes: contentment, achievement, happiness, youth, and...really good cupcakes.  

In celebration of my big birthday, my family and I took a trip to Chicago.  Many people asked us "Hmmm, why Chicago?"  It seems like such a random place to go on a trip - at least to those who have never been.  My husbo and I have been wanting to go to Chicago for a couple of years.  We have heard nothing but positive things about the place, and wanted to see what all the chatter was about!  We had a GREAT time - so much to do, such nice people, and such a walkable city.   

Of course, before we went, in addition to scouting out the sights to visit, I wanted to find a cupcakery.  This cupcakery, my friends, was the find of the century.  When I Googled "Cupcakes in Chicago", Molly's was the first to pop up.  Once I read a bit about them, I was in love, and knew I would be visiting.  Get this:
Miss Molly: Molly was my third-grade teacher. Whenever one of us had
a birthday, she would bake us cupcakes. I still remember how good they
were. She had her own special recipe for chocolate and vanilla. Just
about everyone who tries them thinks they're the best cupcakes ever.
Our Mission: In honor of Molly and as a way to help our children, a
portion of our profits is donated directly to schools in our community.
Every time you eat a cupcake or sip a latte, you help our kids. So
eat up!
Oh my gawd.  How SWEET is this?  What a story.  I loved it.  I didn't, actually, research any more.  I just read that, on their home page, and I knew I had to go there.  I didn't know about the amazing flavors that would await me once I opened that door!

The ambiance of Molly's is kitchy, crazy and funky, which I didn't expect having read that the guy named it after his third grade teacher.  Not to mention how demure and sweet the front entrance is.  However, we enter and they are blasting Pit Bull; the cupcake dealers are tatted out to the nines.  They have swing seats at a bar.  The walls are stacked, floor to ceiling, with take out boxes.  Tucked into a few nooks and crannies are stacks of old school board games.  Think Connect 4.  Marbles.  Clue.  There are framed pieces of childhood memorabilia littering the walls.  It is eclectic and very cool.  

Their sign was on a chalk board - how very third grade.  Loved it.  (this is a crappy picture, but you get the idea!)

Then, I see it.  The amazing collection of cupcakes awaiting my taste buds.  How could I choose just one?  Just two?  Just three?  I had to have five.  That's right.  Five.  Didn't you read my earlier paragraph?  Chicago is a walkable city.  I EARNED those cupcakes.  

I loved their case - each cupcake had a little graphic explaining what was inside.  They were really fun to look at, and had there not been a huge line behind me, I would have cobbed a squat and sat there reading all afternoon.  They had some classics (red velvet) but then some crazy ones I have never heard of, nor will ever hear of, again (Ron Bennington).

I also really liked their funky decorations >>.
I really appreciated the reminder to not frolic with your cupcake.  People are so careless these days.

They had an option where you could choose your base cake, and your frosting.  It was a "make your own" type of deal.  But, I went with what the experts had already put together for me.  Five combinations of sweet amazing loveliness.  Washed down with a bottle of milk.

Starring (from L to R): Ron Bennington, Red Velvet, Spice World, Khalua, Cookie Monster
 Let's start with good ole' Ron.  OMG, Ron.  You are amazing.  With your crunched up Butterfinger top, moist cake and your peanut butter filling.  I love you.  We shall meet again.

Next, the Red Velvet.  Voted the best in Chicago, so I had pretty high expectations.  Expectations = exceeded.  Moist cake - rich creamy frosting.  Pure cream cheese - not too much sugar.  A bit bright, but overall amazing.  Next.

Cookie Monster.  Like its namesake, this baby is packed with cookie yumminess.  Cookie dough center, and a cookie on the top.  IMH, not as delish as this one, but I still ate every crumb, so overall, pretty legit!

 The Khalua came next - a beautiful little cupcake, dipped in ganache, topped with chocolate shavings. Again, super moist and just enough Khalua to make you want a mud slide.

And finally, Spice World.  Not my favorite - similar to a carrot cake, filled with autumnal spices (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon).  Perhaps it was because the previous FOUR had been so different and delish, but this one was kind of a let down.

A+ for Chi town, and A+ for Molly's.  I would give this place.  Their flavors were amazing, cupcakes were moist and perfect, ambiance was fun and funky.  Minus a cupcake for the clutter and Spice Cake, but still, a MUST if you are within 3,000 miles of Chicago.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mountain [Sugar] High

I am from a sleepy little mountain town called Truckee.  It's one of the best places on earth, if you ask me.  I moved there when I was in the first grade, and lived a full and wonderful life there until I graduated in 2000 - go Wolverines!  I try to make it back often to visit my dad and his wife, who still live there.  The fresh mountain air, cool nights and clear sky filled with stars never gets old.  All of these elements bring me back to the adventures I used to have with friends - late nights at the lake, driving around town, snow days and summers filled with all the goodness Truckee had to offer.  There really is no place like home - that good witch really knew what she was talking about.

So imagine what would make this place even better than it already is.  That's right, folks; a cupcakery.  Freshly opened for business in my hometown, right in the heart of downtown.  

Growing up, I didn't spend a lot of time in downtown Truckee.  It is filled with shops and restaurants that are usually vacated by "the locals" on weekends to make way for those pesky Bay Area folk.  However, on Sundays, after church, my dad and I would go to Coffee &, one of the local restaurants, where I would try my darndest to finish a plate of french toast all by myself.  We would race from the car to the coffee cup that was inset in the sidewalk - I usually "won" - and then we would wander on to the counter and catch up on the funnies and world news, enjoying diner fare and chatting with the waitresses.  It wasn't until I was older, making trips back from college, that I started to hang out down there more, realizing how Truckee's downtown captures the quaintness and small town feeling in a short packed block.  And so, it is the perfect spot for a sweet stop at Cake Tahoe.

Their spot is very cool - a huge open space to let in all that fresh mountain air.  They open onto a patio right along Donner Pass Road - a perfect spot to sit, eat a cupcake and watch the throngs of people passing by which is just what we did, after enjoying a night at Truckee Thursdays.  The inside reads like a typical mountain shop.  It fits in well with the vibe of Truckee and the neighborhood.  Their location and set up easily earn: 

We ordered a few types - we wanted to be thorough in our research.  We tried the red velvet, carrot (well, actually my DAD had the carrot and didn't share!) and chocolate.

The decoration was pretty simple - not anything too memorable, but not the lamest thing ever.

All the cakes were moist, except for the elusive red velvet.  That is a hard one to get just right, and CT didn't quite nail it in my opinion.  The other cakes were yummy, but not necessarily something I would use calories on again!  You have to be selective, you know.  I can't really speak for the carrot, because my dad didn't let us try any.  But there were definitely no crumbs left behind, so I'll let you be the judge!  For the overall taste, I'd say:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cookie Dough Heaven - A.K.A. The Best Cupcake I Have Ever Made!!

Yikes - it's been a while.  I know.  But, I had a baby, and that kind of takes up some time!  Not to say I haven't been sampling cupcakes - I have.  But I haven't been writing about it!  I have not, however, baked a single thing since my last update in May...sad.  But, this weekend, on the eve of returning to glorious Fremont High School to begin my 7th year of teaching, I tied on my favorite apron, and pulled up a Pinterest recipe that made my mouth WATER!!

As I have posted before, I make cupcakes for my students (only 1 class, actually) once a month.  I have had a class of students for the last four years - we have had lots of highs and lows together, and this year is their senior year.  So, of course, the first cupcakes have to be that much more special than they have been all the other years!  This recipe seemed like a good way to bid farewell to a glorious summer, filled with trips, relaxation and most importantly, the birth of my amazing daughter.  And also a sweet ringing in of a new year - one that will surely be full of adventures both at school and at home.

On Pinterest, the poster said that she decided on French Vanilla cupcakes so as not to be too overly sweet.  WHAT?  How is that even possible?  I followed the OG recipe and went cookie dough - top to bottom: Frosting, Inside Stash and Cake.   And the result? These are the best cupcakes I have EVER made.  Ever.

They are so good, in fact, that I am making them for two events I have coming up this weekend!

The recipe can be found here - lots of dishes and lots of steps, but so worth it.  (And the batter and frosting are yummy too!!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

For Hire!

Baking is definitely a hobby - actually, an obsession.  I love the smell of rising cupcakes in the oven, and certainly the joy on people's (mostly my students') faces when I bring them to work or to a party.  My students often say I should go on Cupcake Wars - which is outrageous because I need a recipe in front of me the entire time and I double and triple check it (mostly the math if I am doubling or halving the recipe), and even then, I still manage to screw it up sometimes. My husband wants us to buy a food truck and sell away.  But for me, it's just a hobby.

However, I won't turn away someone who wants to hire me to make something special just for them!  I was delightfully surprised when a friend Facebooked me to see if I would be interested in making cupcakes for her daughter's 1st birthday party.  After some important discussion about flavors, she decided on Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes - perfect for a hot summer day (which we have been having the last few days) and even more perfect for a little girl's party!

From Half Baked - The Cake Blog

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemonade powder mix
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your pan with your favorite cupcake liners!

In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder, lemon zest).  Set aside.

In your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat well after each and scrape down the sides so that everything combines.

Add lemon juice and vanilla - mix well.

Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 2  additions of milk.

Fill your liners evenly and bake for 20 minutes!

These are nice and tart.  And then topped with the frosting - a perfect combo to refresh on a hot summer day!

From Martha Stewart

I added a sour strawberry candy straw
1.5 cups fresh strawberries (rinsed, hulled, coarsely chopped)
4 large egg whites
1.25 cups sugar
1.5 cups unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons at room temp (unless it is like 400 degrees in your house, like it was in mine - then your frosting will be very runny...)

Puree strawberries in food processor.

Combine your egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl (of your standing mixer) over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly by hand until the sugar is dissolved (should feel totally smooth when you rub between your fingers)

Put the bowl in the stand mixer and start whisking on low and gradually increase to medium/high until stiff peaks form.  Continue mixing until it is fluffy and glossy and completely cooled off from stove time! (about 10 minutes)

Start to add the butter a few tblsps at a time.  Mix well after each.  Then scrape down bowl and switch to paddle attachment - mix for 2 minutes on low to get all air bubbles out.  Add strawberries and beat until combined.

The frosting started drooping right away - "room temp"was just too hot for my butta.  But they tasted delish!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Legit - too legit to quit.

For Christmas (I know, a LONG time ago...) my sweet husband worked with a dear friend to create business cards for me for my blog and baking.  I am not really interested in creating a business - I mean, I like to bake but I'm not THAT great.  I follow other people's recipes and make them yummy and pretty (well, pretty most of the time at least!)  In addition to the business cards, he ordered me magnets, a coffee mug and stickers to put on boxes when I do bake for special occasions!

I am very thankful for a sweet and creative husband who supports my messing up the kitchen, throwing crazy fits when things don't turn out, while also providing lots of ideas and inspiration for my next projects!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fairycakes - They're On a Roll!

A few weeks ago, the husbo and I ventured down to see and taste Moveable Feast in San Jose.  Our best buds in SF took us to Off the Grid last year, and it was super delis and fun!  We lamented that we didn't have anything like that in our neck of the woods.  Well, here we are!  Moveable Feast is in Willow Glen, and has a pretty solid assortment of trucks, including my personal fave - Fairy Cakes!

The truck was super cute - I mean, how can you not love their little fairy with the sassafras ponytail?  They also had a solid selection of classics and interesting combos.  I especially loved their packaging - which was a take-out style box.  There is something very lovely about opening one of those - inside you will either find Chinese food or, in this case, a cupcake!  Either way, I'm happy.

I also really loved that they had sprinkles for the top labeled with feelings that you should go through while eating a cupcake.  Their whole vibe was very fun and playful - I dug it.

For the tasting portion of the evening, I went with a peanut butter chocolate cupcake.  A chocolate cupcake, topped with peanut butter frosting and a dollop of chocolate in the center.  Very plain looking, as you can see, but inviting, nonetheless.

I did enjoy the cupcake.  However, peanut butter frosting is hard.  It is pretty heavy stuff, and it's difficult to lighten up just because of the consistency of the original ingredient.  It was a bit overpowering for me, but still a moist, beautiful cupcake.

I will definitely be going to this truck again, the next time we go to Moveable Feast - They're definitely onto something!!

Taste:  Moist and good cake, but the frosting was a bit much.  But the cake is the hardest part, if you ask me.

Decoration:  Very simple, but classic.

Overall:  Loved the truck.  Loved it.  Cupcakes on wheels?  Yes please.  Fairy mascot?  Love it.  Literal sprinkles on top are the metaphorical sprinkles on top of this yummy little stop.

Buzzzzzzed - Trying to Make it to Tax Day

My wonderful husband, is a CPA.  So every year, from mid January to mid April, I become a "tax widow."  Meaning that my husband leaves for work the same time I do (around 6:30) and gets home between 9:00 and 10:00 - enough time for a cocktail and then bed time.  Except this year, it was longer.  His "season" was unseasonably long, lasting from December through this past week.  It was pretty horrific.  But, the good news is, he's back!  Thank goodness - I miss the guy a lot when he's not around and our poor dog, Taiko, is beside himself with joy every night when Mike comes home.  He will not leave Mike's side for a second.

Many of the wives at the firm where my husband works, send baked goods to keep morale up and keep the CPAs on permanent sugar highs.  And I have tried to do my duty as well - sending in small batches of cupcakes here and there.  But during their last week, I decided to do something special, to keep them all wide awake in order to maximize productivity.

Yummmm - look at all of those coffee grounds....zzzziiing!!!

Vanilla Latte Cupcakes
From - Pink Parsley

Makes 18 cupcakes


3/4 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
1.5 cups sugar
3 eggs - room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbs dark roast coffee grounds
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup milk/buttermilk
2 tbs coffee liqueur or milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line your pans with your favorite liners.

In a stand mixer bowl, beat the butter at medium speed with paddle attachment for 30 seconds (until fluffy).  Add the sugar slowly, and beat until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and coffee grounds.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine brewed coffee, milk and liqueur.

Alternately add the flour and liquid mixture, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix on low and beat until just incorporated.

Divide batter evenly and bake for 18-22 minutes or until your toothpick/cake tester comes out clean as a whistle!


3 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes (softened)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 tbs instant espresso powder (or to taste) dissolved into 2 tsp boiling water
Pinch of salt

Combine egg whites and sugar in clean and dry bowl of a stand mixer.  Place over a pot of simmering water and heat - whisking constantly.  Sugar should be dissolved and the mixture should reach 160 degrees.

Attach bowl to mixer (with whisk attachment) and, starting at low and working to med-high, beat until the bottom of the bowl cools to room temperature and the egg whites are thick and glossy.  They should form soft peaks.

Continue whisking and add the butter, a few cubes at a time until all incorporated.  Continue mixing until the frosting comes together.  Switch to paddle and over medium speed, add vanilla, vanilla bean, coffee mixture and salt.  Adjust flavorings to taste.  Frost baby!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Holy Hiatus, Batman!

Yikes!  I have been baking like a fiend, but too darned busy to log it all!  Life is crazy, but in all the good ways, and has been filled with sweet treats these last few months.  I will take myself off of hiatus status in style, and share with you a very special cupcake that my husband and I have been working on.  

We are very excited to be expecting a baby girl in just 7 more weeks!  These beautiful photos were taken by Caroline Dahlberg of Coeur de La - definitely check her out.  She and her husband were amazing, and captured such an exciting part of our lives!!

The cupcake featured (the edible one) was a pink champagne cupcake - the recipe said that it "didn't matter" the type of champagne, but let me tell you...if you love champagne like I do, it totally DOES matter.  Don't skimp and go the cheap way.  But, they served their purpose on this day.  

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

What better way is there to celebrate than to fuse champagne and cupcakes?  I cannot think of anything more delightful :)

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 2/3 cups sugar
5 egg whites (give the yolks to your favorite pooch!  Mine loves them!)
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 
1/4 cups of your favorite champagne at room temperature (plus, pour a little extra into a flute to enjoy while baking!)
4-5 drops of red food color (I used bright pink - and mine turned out VERY pink!!)

Heat oven to 350 and line your baking dish with your favorite liners
Mix the flour, powder and salt in a medium bowl
Beat butter for 30 seconds, then gradually add your sugar - 1/3 cup at a time.  Make sure it is well incorporated before adding more
Once all the sugar is added, beat for 2 more minutes
Add egg whites, one at a time - beat well after each
Combine food coloring and champagne
Switch to low speed and alternate dry mixture (1/3 at a time) and champagne (1/2 at a time) - beat until JUST blended - no more or your cakes will be dense little bricks!

Divide batter and bake for 18-20 minutes
(Makes about 24 cupcakes)


1/2 cup butter - softened
4 cups powered sugar
1/4 cup champagne
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 drops red food color

Throw it all in and mix until it is your desired consistency.  Put into your piping bag with your best tip, and frost away!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cookies and Creamy Deliciousness!

Things have been super crazy at the Fujii house since Christmas!  Things are always busy around that time, as they are for all of us.  But now that I have finally had a chance to breath and reset, I am back in my baking groove, and with some new tools, I might add!

Check out the awesome mixing bowl Mr. Cupcake got me for Christmas!  (The bowl - we already had the mixer!)

My student, Emma, also treated me to a lifetime supply of cupcake liners!  (Okay, this will last me until summer...)  I love love LOVE all of the different colors and have to make sure I have a rainbow happening before I stick my goodies in the oven.

I don't have Oreo's often, but dang, they are GOOD!!!

I have been diving into the world of Pinterest lately - have you tried it?  It's very addictive.  There are wonderful ideas and recipes on there, and that is where I got the inspiration for this cupcake....the cookies and cream....Originally from Annie's Good Eats!

I have definitely made this before, with my wonderful mandros.....but I didn't document the experience properly, and I wanted to try out this new recipe.  They turned out pretty dang good!  I would definitely make these again.  AND, I think I have found the best recipe for cream cheese frosting yet.  Move over Martha!

If I remember, we actually screwed this batch up...but it's a cute picture!


24 Oreo Halves (cream filling attached)
Really, you will use an ENTIRE bag of oreos for this recipe - especially if you eat a few in the baking process.  Like me!
2.25 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter - room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites - room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk

20 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped
(I used a combination of the top halves left from the cake part, in addition to some whole cookies.  It's great to have the filling in the cupcake bites too!)
8 oz. cream cheese - room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter - room temperature
1 tbsp. vanill extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar (really just do this to taste.  I used way less, but I like to taste the cream cheese)
2 tbsp. heavy cream (I'm pretty sure this is what made the frosting so wonderfully perfect)
Oreo Cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves (I wasn't kidding about needing the whole damned bag)

This made about 18 good sized cupcakes for me.

Love the rainbow of liners!  Thanks, Emma!!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Get out your favorite colorful cupcake liners and line 'em up!  Put the oreo halves (with the cream filling) filling side up.  One in each liner.

In a medium bowl combine your dry ingredients (flour, powder and salt).  Stir so that it's all mixed evenly.


Featuring my new whisk!  Thanks, Santa!
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine your butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy (which takes about 2-3 minutes).  Beat in the egg whites - one at a time!  Don't get hasty!  Then add your vanilla.

Scale back your speed to low and add 1/2 of the dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated - don't overdo it!  Add your milk until combined and then the rest of your dry ingredients.  Stir in those yummy chopped Oreos until they are evenly incorporated.  If, in your expert opinion, you need more Oreos - add more Oreos.   Don't over mix 'em.

Nom nom nom!

Divide batter evenly into each liner.  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 1/2 way through.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer (having more than one bowl REALLY comes in handy here -then you don't have to do dishes in between!)  Blend on medium'high until smooth.  Add vanilla and then sugar until smooth.  Then the heavy cream until incorporated.  Then jazz it up to medium high and whip for 4 minutes.  This frosting is perfection.  Put on your favorite piping tip and go to town!

Garnish with Oreo halves and crushed cookies.  Eat and be merry.


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