Buffalo Chicken “Cupcakes”

A friend from work invited me to her intimate wedding (a beautiful backyard wedding with close friends and family) and in lieu of gifts, she asked for guests to bring a dish to share. I thought that was such a cute idea and made everything even more personal.

Since we were told no desserts, I started to think about what yummy, savory side dish I could bring.  While wasting time on Pinterest, I found this little gem.  The recipe calls for homemade dough, but I wasn’t about that life at that time, and decided to try Pillsbury Grands Biscuits as an alternative. I bought 6 cases I think because they had 5 biscuits each in them (they were the mini-tubes like these). I mushed them all together and rolled them flat as the recipe calls for. In retrospect, it may have just been easier to flatten each biscuit and tuck it into the cupcake mold with the sides up the side and fill with the chicken mixture and let it bake up around it. Practice makes perfect, right?

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Final product without “frosting”

This recipe was adapted from doughmesstic (http://doughmesstic.com/2012/05/01/buffalo-chicken-cupcakes/).  Please visit their site for the dough recipe.

My Version of Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Yields: 24-30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

-Enough cases of premade biscuits to have 30 individual biscuits

-1 onion chopped

-1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces

-2 tablespoons butter

-1/2 cup favorite Buffalo Sauce (I used  Frank’s® RedHot® Hot Wing Sauce)

-2 cups fresh mozzarella

Directions:

1. Sauté chopped onions in butter over medium heat. Once transparent, add chopped chicken. When chicken is done, add Buffalo Sauce and heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a muffin/cupcake pan with non-stick spray.

3a. If using biscuits, version 1: Open case but do not peel them apart.  Use a floured dusted rolling pin and roll it together into one mass of dough.  This is the route I went but it took some time.  I rolled together three cases, having two separate rolled out squares.  Spread chicken and cheese evenly across the rolled out dough. Starting from long side of dough, begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch ends when done. Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. Place on the baking sheet or in muffin tins.

3b. If using biscuits, version 2: Break biscuits into individual pieces.  Gently flatten/stretch each biscuit out, either with your hands or a rolling-pin.  Tuck each biscuit into a section of the muffin/cupcake pan, gently making sure the sides come up so that it looks like a little bowl.  Scoop  chicken mixture into each bowl, making sure to not overfill/cover dough. DISCLAIMER: I have not yet tried this way, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.  I plan on trying this method soon and will let you know how it turns out.

3c. If using pizza dough recipe from doughmesstic: Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a large rectangle roughly 1/4 inch in thickness.  Spread chicken and cheese evenly across each piece of rolled out dough. Starting from long side of dough, begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch ends when done. Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. Place on the baking sheet or in muffin tins.

4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and dough is lightly browned. Serve and enjoy!

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Top it off with ranch or blue cheese “frosting” and you’re all set 🙂

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

You read right. Chocolate chip cookie dough you can eat without having your mom yell at you for contracting salmonella because of the raw eggs. It’s kinda like seeing your teacher outside of school or a dog walking on it’s hind legs (+10 points to whoever gets the movie reference).

There were a few things that inspired me to make this “frosting”. First, there is an amazing cupcake place called Frostings, etc. here in Tampa with the most incredibly decadent chocolate chip cupcake with cookie dough frosting. It is seriously amazing.  Second, was the fact I made an eggless cookie but didn’t realize at the time that is probably what Frostings, etc. did to make their cupcake frosting. Durf.

Regarless of my brain being slow (let’s blame it on all the reading and writing I was doing… or not doing…), I figured there must be some stuff in an eggless cookie that didn’t need to be in frosting. I did some perusing on Google and Pinterest and came across a few different recipes, and narrowed them down to one that I had all the ingredients handy (for once).

The cupcake in the below picture is made from Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake Mix. I was lazy and the main purpose was to test the frosting 🙂

This recipe was adapted from sally’s baking addiction (http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/05/29/fudge-brownie-cupcakes-with-cookie-dough-frosting/), whom I am forever in debt to for her gift to us.

Cookie Dough Frosting

Yields: ~10 cupcakes (or less, depending on how much you eat).

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp

-3/4 cup light brown sugar

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/4 cup flour

-1/2 tsp salt

-4 Tbsp milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

-1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed.

2. Add the vanilla and beat well.

3. Stir in the flour and salt until doughy.

4. Stir in the milk and beat until fluffy.

5. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

6. Frost cooled cupcakes. Or eat.

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Please excuse the sloppy frosting job – this was best image I had but of course it was of the least pretty cupcake.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the cookie of all cookies.  I crave these things randomly and the craving does not go away until it is satisfied.

I have made these things with Hershey bars chopped up to substituting all sugar for white or all sugar for brown (whichever I had handy).  I also did not have eggs one day and made it eggless by mixing together 2 tbsp water and 1 tbsp oil (I used peanut oil) and 2 tsp baking powder until it gets frothy like an egg before adding to the mix.  All versions have been successfully delicious and no two batches I’ve ever made have ever tasted the same.  I particularly like the eggless version because of the peanut oil (and that discovery was made because I didn’t have regular oil to make the faux eggs).

No matter what you don’t have, this recipe has never failed me.

This was adapted from Rebel Without a Sauce (love the name!) (http://rebelwithoutasauce.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/toffee-chocolate-chip-cookies/).

My Version of Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields: ~20 cookies

Ingredients:

-½ cup sugar

-½ cup light brown sugar

-½ cup (1 sticks) butter, softened

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla

-½ tsp baking soda

-½ tsp salt

-1½ cups all-purpose flour

-½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

-½ cup toffee bits (I purchased a bag of Heath Bar bits from the baking aisle)

-Parchment paper (not completely necessary)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°f/190°c and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and beat  and mix until smooth.

3. Add baking soda, salt and flour to the sugar mixture and mix together until smooth.

4. Fold in chocolate chips and toffee bits.

5. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) onto baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the baking sheet and then bake for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

532358_10101151912305358_257414501_nI can only find this picture despite having made these more times than I can count!

 

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

This was a request from someone at work (surprise, surprise) who said they liked peanut butter cookies. While avoiding a paper randomly one night, I figured it was the right time to look for a good recipe and something that involved chocolate chips since I discovered I had a bag.  This night was one (of the many) times that I didn’t have all the ingredients.  In this case, I didn’t have baking soda and so discovered the Joy of Baking website’s Ingredient Substitutions page (http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html).  For every 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, you can use 2 teaspoons of baking powder.  While it did change the consistency of the batter and the taste just in the slightest, it wasn’t something terribly noticeable.  I also omitted the corn syrup because I didn’t have that.

This was adapted from a recipe uploaded to allrecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chewy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/).

My Version of Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup butter, softened

-1/2 cup peanut butter

-1 cup packed brown sugar

-1/2 cup white sugar

-2 eggs

-2 tablespoons water

-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

-1 teaspoon baking soda (or 4 teaspoons baking powder)

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the water and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda (or powder), and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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The biggest difference was it was more of a drop than a traditional cookie, but delicious nonetheless!

Peanut Butter and Nutella Swirl Cookies

Remember those friends at work that like to try my creations? Well, they also like to send me recipes to try (and bring to work to taste test) lol.  And thus, the Peanut Butter & Nutella Swirl Cookies were born.

This recipe was adapted from Delightful Bitefuls (http://delightfulbitefuls.blogspot.com/2011/02/peanut-butter-nutella-swirl-cookies.html).

Peanut Butter & Nutella Swirl Cookies

Yields: Don’t remember lol

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

-3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

-1/2 cup white sugar

-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

-1 egg

-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-3/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

-Approx. 1/4 cup Nutella (but I’m pretty sure I used around 1/2 cup).

-Parchment paper (not completely necessary)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.

3. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Attempt to drizzle Nutella on top of the dough (or just plop in there) then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife.

4. Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet or spray that baby with some non-stick cooking spray. Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly. Bake until edges are very lightly browned (about 7 to 10 minutes).

5. Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

403858_10101151872061008_1758137432_n 548859_10101151871731668_1735364850_nPersonally, I think it needed more Nutella 😀

The Slutty Brownie

Three layers consisting of chocolate chip cookies, double stuffed Oreos and topped with fudge brownies, this beautiful creation was introduced to me at my best friend’s bachelorette party. Her sister baked them and had them waiting for us when we arrived at a beach house in Delaware. Let’s just say I’ve never been the same after making these.

Love at first sight.

Love at first sight.

This was adapted from The Londoner (http://www.thelondoner.me/2011/06/slutty-brownies.html) and I am forever in her debt for her gift to us.

My Version of the The Slutty Brownie Recipe

Yeilds: +/-24 depending how you cut 

Ingredients:

-1 Box (or bag) of chocolate chip cookie mix

-1 Box of fudge brownie mix

-Eggs needed for the mixes

-Oil and water need for the mixes

-2 Packs of Double Stuffed Oreos

-9″x13″ pan

-Aluminum foil or parchment paper or grease proof paper (not completely necessary)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line pan with foil or paper. If you don’t have either, no worries! Spray that sucker with a non-stick spray and roll with it.

2.  Mix the chocolate chip cookie mix according to the directions on the box.  You will want the mix to be a little gooey-er (if that is a word) that what you would anticipate for making regular cookies.  This will allow you to spread it on the bottom of the pan ala example picture below:

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3.  Now you layer the Oreos on top of the chocolate chip cookie layer.

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4. Mix brownie mix according to package.  Don’t over mix.  I honestly don’t know what will happen if you over mix it, but I felt it was necessary to say (I’m no Candace Nelson people).  I’d assume it gets tough and won’t be as moist and fluffy and delicious, but I usually go 5 strokes over the 50 at most because I’m too scared to find out don’t want it to go all The Blob on me.  Now that, that is all over, you can pour it over the cookie layers.

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4. Pop it into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.  This is the tricky part because you don’t want to over bake and make it too dry.  If you are using actual fudge brownie mix, when you stick a toothpick into it, it is going to come out looking wet when it is actually just fudgey.  I can only say use your best judgement on baking time because it really depends on what kind of brownie mix you buy. I usually take them out when the edges start to pull away from the sides and the top of the brownie looks done.  And remember when you take them out to cool, it is still warm enough that will still be “baking” outside of the oven, so you may want to take them out sooner than you think!

5. After you take them out, let them cool for a few minutes.  I like to cut them when they are still a bit warm and the fudgey goodness gooes out when you cut.  If you put foil or parchment/grease paper into the pan, you can pull it out and then cut.  If not, just carefully cut in the pan (I’m pretty anal about using knives in my non-stick pans, hence the carefully).

And here is the final creation:

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Not gooey because I think I used a mocha brownie mix for this particular batch

I usually cut so that the Oreo is in the middle, so the number of brownies depend on how many Oreos I had that day to use.  Other days, I just cut willy-nilly and slice them in half.

However you cut, you will be sure to enjoy these easy and delicious treats!

Once Upon a Time..

I was in grad school and instead of writing papers, I decided to take up baking.  During my culinary adventure, I discovered Pinterest, which added to my procrastination.  I also started a job with the Walt Disney Travel Company and made friends who were more than happy to sample my creations.  The happily ever after? A 3.8 GPA and some really yummy stuff!

I wanted to start this blog because I’m pretty sure there are more people out there that would like to try baking and weren’t sure how to go about it.  And also, because there have been times at 2am during all-nighters where I decided I wanted cookies and realized that my cravings monsters didn’t care that we were out of butter or oil (or both) and have come up with crazy and surprisingly good alternatives to missing ingredients that I thought were share-worthy!

I’ll expand more later about me and begin to upload past recipes (as well as current ones) 🙂  I hope this encourages you all to try a hand at baking and you all enjoy these recipes as much as I have!

And please bear with me while I figure out this whole blogging thing!