Snack Time: Triple Butterscotch Cupcakes

Triple Butterscotch Cupcakes
Yield: about 24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
15 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar, lightly packed*
1½ tbsp. canola oil
3 large eggs
1½ tbsp. dark rum
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sour cream

For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. dark rum
1-1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the butterscotch sauce:
6 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
Pinch coarse salt
¼ cup heavy cream

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the oil until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the rum and vanilla.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to blend.  With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat just until incorporated.  Blend in the sour cream.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, again mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6-9 minutes.  Add the brown sugar, cream and salt, whisking thoroughly until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, about 8-10 minutes.  Blend in the rum.  With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time until each addition has been incorporated.  Continue beating until smooth and creamy.  Blend in the sifted confectioners’ sugar.  If the frosting is not firm enough for piping, cover and chill for 30-60 minutes until the consistency is correct for frosting.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes as desired.

To make the butterscotch sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove the mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the heavy cream (be careful, as the mixture may bubble up!)  Return the saucepan to the heat and cook for 2 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and let cool until room temperature.  Drizzle the cooled sauce over the frosted cupcakes.

Source: annies-eats.net


Back to School Time!

I can't believe that the new school year is already here... Wishing everyone a great first day of school!


Real Parties:  It's A Boy


Real Parties: Little Ladybug 

My little "lady" turned 5 last week and we had so much fun putting together this ladybug-inspired party.  Everything was handmade and the added help of the birthday girl made everything that much more special. We made the yummy Cookie Dough cupcakes that were featured below.

Planning a party can be lots of fun, but hard work, too.  Try to involve your birthday boy or girl in on the decorations and cooking - it's a great way to celebrate the special day together! 


Snack Time! 

     The best part of any party has to be the sweet treats!  Cake, cookies, ice cream, and more… there are so many choices it is often hard to decide on which to choose.  In recent years cupcakes have taken stage as the centerpiece of many dessert tables.  With a tasty morsel self-contained in its own pretty wrapper, it’s no wonder that these sweet treats have become so popular at birthday parties and weddings. 
     One of the best cupcake recipes I have ever come across features two of my very favorite foods: chocolate cake and cookie dough!  Who would have thought to marry these two tasty snacks? If you have a birthday, office party, or have a craving for ooey-gooey goodness, give these yummy treats a try.  You won’t regret it!

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs

Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.  Cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with electric mixer until smooth.  Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract.  Mix in flour until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls, place onto baking sheet, and freeze until solid (about 2 hours).

Beat 3 eggs in large bowl with electric mixer.  Add cake mix, water, and canola oil and continue to beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Spoon into muffin cups with paper liners, filling each 2/3 full.  Place a cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake comes clean.    

Makes 24 cupcakes  

Recipe from allrecipes.com


Planning Your Party : Step #3

 Step 3: It’s All in the Decorations

Balloons, banners, confetti…there are lots of options when it comes to decorating for your upcoming party.  Consider your party space when choosing your decorations and measure areas where you would like to hang party banners or signs.

A favor bag is a great way to thank your guests for attending.  Your favor bag can include something as simple as flavored popcorn with a decorative tag or crayons and coloring pages.

Of course, the centerpiece of any birthday is the cake.  Cupcakes are an easy and convenient alternative to the traditional birthday cake.  Decorate your cupcakes with cupcake toppers or fondant pieces that fit in with your party theme.

Handmade decorations offer a unique touch to any event and offer party themes that cannot be found in your local craft store.  When planning your next party check out The Birthday House for great ideas for a memorable event!


Planning Your Party: Step #2

 Step 2: Invite Your Guests   
     Now that you have your theme chosen and your venue secured, it’s time to get those invitations into the hands of your guests.  Great planning will be a waste if you don’t have guests to attend!
     Create your list of possible guests and send out invites at least two to three weeks in advance.  Be sure to include the following on your invitations: who the party is for, the party theme, location, date and time, as well as your contact info for rsvps.  You may want to add a map and directions on the back of the invitation or include a separate sheet.
     Don’t forget to let parents know if you want them to stay for the party if you need a little extra supervision – a great way to say this is “Parents welcome to stay”.  And remember, it's perfectly acceptable to call your guests to make sure they received their invitation and if the plan to attend.  

Real Parties: Turtle Themed Baby Shower

Slow Poke Turtle Collection

Planning Your Party : Step #1

Step 1: Choose your theme

   Here is a super cute Big Green Tractor party that celebrated a first year milestone!  Choosing a theme is the first step in creating a great party.  Your theme is great inspiration for selecting and creating everything from invitations and decorations to food and signature drinks!

     There are millions of themes to choose from so choosing one can be a  daunting task.  Make it easy on yourself by narrowing down to the one or two things that the party girl or boy enjoys most - be it a specific animal, color, or toy.  Once you have made a theme decision, take time to search online for ideas on decoration, food and drink, as well as games that incorporate your theme.  

     Coming next... Step 2: Invite Your Guests