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Thanks for stoping by! That's me, and my super cute and spunky 1 year old, Nora. When we're not laying on the floor taking selfies, we also like to bake, take lots of pretty photos, and practice yoga. Aside from posting way too many pictures of Nora on instagram, I also take pretty wedding picures and make pretty baby items. So browse around, and keep up with all the latest.
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Jun
10
2012

I haven’t done a Sunday Afternoon Baking post in a looooong time! But I have been baking like whoa! I’ve recently found a love for making delicious, chocolatey, baked goods, especially cupcakes and cake pops. And Whenever I get the opportunity to make something, I jump on it! Someone graduated from college? I’ll make cupcakes for that! You’re baby turned 1? Cute cake pops coming right up! It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re bored? Don’t worry, I’ve got some cupcakes to cheer you right up.

No occasion is too big or small. In fact, I tend to bake cake pops lately whenever my family comes to visit. Maybe I’m trying to entice them to visit me more often :D

Here’s a whole bunch of recipes I’ve recently tried out. Some were major flops, but some turned out to be fantastically delicious! Everyone’s tastes are different, and what I absolutely love, you might not but if you love to bake, and try new recipes, I encourage you to try out some of these, because its so fun to experiment, and to eat delicious delicious cake (in any form!).

The Brownie-Cookie
This past fall, my brothers came to visit and whenever we get together, we always seem to make delicious foods. Whether its strawberry filled crepes, or lemon ricotta pancakes (no pics, sorry), it seems my oldest brother, Eric, is always finding new recipes to try. He did graduate from Johnson and Wales (though he is not a chef. He owns his own business welding… go figure… hey, it must run in the family, I graduated with a BioMedical Science degree, and I take photos!!).

So on this particular visit we decided to make not only brownies, and not only cookies, but a brownie-cookie hybrid. This was just as I was starting to get into baking seriously (now I have a whole slew of recipes with crazy combinations of baked goods I’m just itching to try), so whereas this isn’t my most favorite recipe, it was still fun to make! I’ve also found other [better??] cookie and brownie recipes since making these, but I’ve included the recipes I used here, since they were still really really good!

For these recipes, I didn’t bake the brownies in an 8×8 dish, as it calls for… as you can see, we made little pumpkin brownie-cookies, as it was fall and we were in the pumpkin mood! We tried two different ways to make these brownie-cookies; half with the brownie batter and cookie dough baked at the same time, and half with the brownie batter cooked half way through, and then adding the raw cookie dough on top. As you can see, adding the cookie dough half way through yielded a better result, although both were equally as delicious. If you want clear definition when making a brownie-cookie, definitely wait for the brownies to be half way baked before adding the raw cookie dough on top!

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking

Brownie-Cookies Sunday Afternoon Baking
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Buttercream
I made these cupcakes for my mom’s birthday this year, and they were really really delicious! I used this recipe from the Cupcake Project, toted as the BEST vanilla cupcake recipe, test baked by 50 different bakers. I was excited to try this recipe because I’ve been searching for a go-to vanilla cake recipe for a long time now and I thought, this must be the ultimate. I didn’t make them right (I didn’t measure the flour accurately, and they were doughy and heavy), but since making these, I’ve honed my baking skills considerably, and I have to say, the last time I made these vanilla cupcakes, they really were pretty fantastic. I’m still curious if there is a better recipe out there, or maybe a better list of ingredients, so I’m always looking for a new recipe to try. If you think you have one, or want to try this one, let me know what you think!

I topped these with a pretty good vanilla buttercream frosting. Now, the thing about buttercream frosting and me is… well… we don’t get along. I just don’t like it. Well, not buttercream I’ve made before, anyway. But this recipe from Our Best Bites intrigued me because I (for the most part) don’t love buttercream frosting made with powdered sugar, either. I’m very picky. So when I saw that this recipe called for granulated sugar, I was really interested! Its realllllly good. It’s also reallllly sweet, so if you don’t like sweet, you might not like it. But I think the sweetness over-flavors the butter flavor, which for me is ideal because I do not like tasting butter. ICK.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes - Sunday Afternoon Baking

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes - Sunday Afternoon Baking

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes - Sunday Afternoon Baking
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Butterscotch Filling
These cupcakes were just okay. I mean, I used the “Best Vanilla Cupcake” recipe again, which was pretty good. I made a generic butterscotch filling by taking an old bag of butterscotch chips I had in the cabinet, and basically melting them and adding some cream or something (I can’t even remember really)… and I made my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting (see the Vanilla Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes recipe above for that) to top them, and then drizzled caramel sauce on top – making caramel was a fiasco and a half! If you’ve never tried making caramel, I encourage you to read up about it before trying. There is a specific method to the madness that I won’t get into here, but let’s just say you really really have to follow a specific method in order to not A. burn it, and B. end up with solid rock candy. Suffice to say, by try #3 I got it. I now have a little jar of home made caramel sauce in my fridge that I use only for very important occasions!

There wasn’t any chocolate, so in my opinion, I could have taken them or left them, and it really wouldn’t have made a difference to me. But everyone else who tried them seemed to like them, especially my dad who likes butterscotch, so I consider them a hit! ;)

Vanilla Caramel Cupcakes with Butterscotch filling

Vanilla Caramel Cupcakes with Butterscotch filling

Vanilla Caramel Cupcakes with Butterscotch filling
Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Peanut Butter Mousse Filling
I made these cupcakes for a family party, and used the “Best Vanilla Cupcake” recipe yet again. I’m still not sold that this is the absolute best recipe out there, and I’m planning on experimenting with different vanilla substances (pastes, maybe a whole bean, if I feel daring), etc. to see if that helps take this cake recipe over the top! However, I have definitely honed in on my baking skills and I can really appreciate this recipe now. I think its a great one, and maybe if I can find some really top notch ingredients, this will win me over once and for all.

The chocolate frosting I used here was a generic buttercream frosting recipe I found online somewhere (can’t remember where). Since making these cupcakes, I’ve found the ULTIMATE most AMAZING chocolate frosting recipe on the planet. I’m talking heaven in a piping bag! Now here’s the thing. I don’t like butter. I know I know, how can I not like butter? Who doesn’t like butter?? I don’t. I hate it. It’s gross. I hate tasting butter and so, its no reason I didn’t like the buttercream frosting I found online because well, it tasted like butter. So, I’m going to give you the ULTIMATE most AMAZING frosting recipe instead, because it’s to die for good. If you like the taste of butter, and you like buttercream frostings, you might not agree that this is the best recipe, but if you like rich chocolate flavor, with just a hint of creaminess, then this is the recipe for you!! Chocolate frosting lightly adapted from this Annie’s Eats recipe.

After baking the cupcakes, and making the frosting and PB mousse, I cut out little triangles from the tops of each cupcake and piped in some PB mousse inside the cupcake, then I cut off the pointy part of the triangle (it was more of a cone really), and put it back on top of the cupcake before frosting them with the chocolate frosting. Finally, I roughly chopped up some Reese’s PB cups and sprinkled them on top. That right there really made the cupcake! I think next time though, I’m going to make these with my favorite chocolate cake recipe (I’ll be blogging about that later, when i show off my sexy cake pops!!)

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and PB Mousse Filling
Banana Crumb Muffins
I made these yummy muffins as part of a thank you package for Greg’s parents. They helped take care of Vespa and Leo while we were away in Disney last month. I wanted a simple muffin, with a nice flavor that would be good for a quick on the go breakfast, and knew a banana muffin was the way to go. I kind of looked at a few recipes, and then picked what I liked best from each of them… so I suppose you can say these are my own creation!

I topped them with a crumb topping, though it kind of melted, so I think I used too much sugar and not enough flour… but they were still pretty good!

Banana Crumb Muffins

Banana Crumb Muffins

Banana Crumb Muffins
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