Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello Kitty Cupcakes!

Hi ho my fellow readers and bloggers,

This coming weekend is one of my dear friend's birthday Yi-ki! This post is dedicated to you, I wish you another amazing year full of good health and happiness. Happy Birthday! Love ya! :)

While reading Yi-ki's blog, I saw a mocha milkshake picture she put up and I knew her flavor of cupcake would be mocha! And of course the Hello Kitty design is pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Yields 12 regular sized cupcakes.

1-1/3 all-purpose flour
1/6 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/6 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
3. Whisk together the flour, both sets of cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Baking for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

(This recipe for the cupcakes and buttercream frosting has been adapted and the original source is from My Baking Addiction and browneyedbaker--- thanks so much!)

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon of milk or heavy whipping cream

1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated. For a more creamy frosting, I added a teaspoon of milk. 

The frosting is super yummy if I do say so myself! I ended up eating the frosting straight from the bowl! The cupcake is light and moist with a hint of coffee and chocolate! What can be better?

Here is what you need to make the Hello Kitty toppers:

-Candy Melts in assorted colors (I used Wilton Candy Melts)
-Plastic Bags or Squeegee bottles
-Microwaveable Bowls
-Wax Paper
-Outline of Hello Kitty (2 inches or so)
-White Sprinkles

1. Take your Outline of Hello Kitty, lay on a flat surface. Take a sheet of wax paper and tape it over the paper outline of Hello Kitty.
2. Melt your Candy Melts in the microwave. Let them cool for about a few minutes but no longer than that. They tend to harden really quickly.
3. Transfer your cooled candy melts into a plastic bag with the tip cut off or in squeegee bottles.
4. Now start with the bow and follow your outline squeezing with enough pressure to get the desired look. You may sprinkle some white polka dot sprinkles on top.
5. Continue with a different color and trace Hello Kitty's face. Finish with her eyes and mouth.
6. Let the design cool for about 1 hour or til candy has hardened.
7. Remove the wax paper and place onto your cupcake!

*You will need to work fairly quick because the candy can get hard fast, if it does get to hard to pipe you will need to reheat your candy melts.

Have a great week everyone! Enjoy this wonderful "winter" weather here we have in SoCal! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy World Nutella Day!

Not only is today Super Bowl Sunday, but its also World Nutella Day! Who knew?

My first introduction to Nutella, was back in Germany 2005. During breakfast they would serve us rolls of bread with little Nutella packets. I remember giving my little Nutella packets to my friend Wing, who was and still is crazy for this chocolately hazelnut spread. Over time nutella had warmed its way into my heart, because really, who can resist it?

First off, I wanted to combine World Nutella Day with Valentine's Day and give you some fabulous treats to feed your special Valentine this year. If you don't have someone special to share this day with, who cares? I say make treats for your friends, regardless!

Yesterday, I decided to make some peanut butter cookies, you know the one with the Hershey kiss in the middle? And make it holiday appropriate by adding some pink food coloring into the dough, also dipping them in pink granulated sugar to give it that extra sparkle. For a tutorial, please check out the link.

The recipe I used is great, quick, and super easy (especially if you don't have any butter on hand).

Hershey's Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies by AprilShowers @ 


½ cup shortening

  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 13; cup sugar
  • 13; cup brown sugar
  • egg
  • tablespoons milk
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • additional sugar
  • 48 Hershey's chocolate kisses

  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In mixer, beat shortening and peanut butter until well blended; Blend in sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
    3. Add egg, milk and vanilla; Beat well.
    4. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually mix in peanut butter mixture.
    5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and rollin additional sugar.
    6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
    7. Immediately place a Hershey's Kiss on each cookie and press down slightly.

  • For the cupcakes, I used a chocolate base and topped it with a powerful nutella buttercream! Yum.

    Click here for the Chocolate Cupcake recipe I used, and the Nutella Buttercream frosting. Thank you Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures for the recipe!

    *Please note: The Chocolate Cupcake recipe will slightly sink in the middle, but do not worry it is flippin' delicious and super moist.

    Have a great Super Bowl Sunday everyone! Go Giants! :)