Tag Archives: love

Red Hot Cupcakes

7 Feb

Spice Up Valentine's Day!

I love the idea of a Red Hot cupcake! It is the perfect recipe for spicing things up a bit on Valentine ’s Day.

Unfortunately, when I looked around for a good recipe, I couldn’t seem to find one that wasn’t a) super complicated or b) filled with tons of actual spices. I’m not against using real spices, but I really wanted my cupcake to taste like the little red hot candies vs spicy chili powder and cinnamon.

I combined a few recipes and came up with my own way to flavor it just the way I wanted to!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup of butter (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups of Red Hots
  • Additional ½ cup of sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line your cupcake pan with paper liners
  3. In a medium sauce pan on low heat add your Red Hots, 1/2 cup of sugar,1/2 cup of butter, 3 tbs of water
  4. Let the Red Hots melt. Stirring continually so it doesn’t burn
  5. Let simmer until most of the Red Hots have melted and mixed in with the sugar and butter.
  6. In a medium bowl, cream together 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
  7. Pour in your red hot liquid – mix well
  8. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the milk until batter is smooth.
  9. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

10. Bake 20 to 25 minutes

For the frosting, I think a Marshmallow Whip is the perfect addition. Decorate with Red Hots and enjoy!

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Fresh Berry Frosting

20 Jan

25 days til Valentine's Day !

Can you believe it is already the end of January?!? I do not enjoy how fast time is flying. Seems the older I get, the more I find myself questioning where the heck the time went!! It doesn’t help that many stores had Valentine’s decorations and candy on sale before Christmas was even over. I LOVE Valentine’s day – but they started pushing it a little early this year!

Speaking of , there are officially 25 days left until Valentine’s Day. Which means we all still have a decent amount of time to think about what we are going to get that special someone on the day that celebrates love! It also means that for the next 25 days, I have an awesome excuse to bake, decorate, and eat tons of girly pink cupcakes!

Today I want to share some Valentine Inspiration with you. Hopefully this will help you start thinking about the many SWEET ways we can celebrate Valeninte’s Day – starting with fresh Strawberry Frosting!

**The frosting in the pictures is my Strawberry Buttercream. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of my Fresh Strawberry Frosting. **

Fresh Strawberry Frosting

This yummy strawberry frosting is perfect for any chocolate, vanilla, or lemon cupcake. It is fresh, elegant, and taste amazing! The pink color and the fresh strawberries make it the perfect Valentine’s treat. This frosting is different from my Strawberry Buttercream, but just as easy and just as yummy! 

 Ingredients

1.    4 cups of fresh strawberries (frozen will work just as well, make sure you thaw them though)

2.    1 stick of room temperature butter

3.    8 oz of low-fat cream cheese

4.    ½ tsp of vanilla extract

5.    4 cups of powdered sugar

6.     1 cup of white sugar

7.     2 tbs of water Pink food coloring (optional)

Directions

• In a mixer on medium high speed with your paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese

• Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, making sure it is fully combined before adding the next one.

• Add the vanilla and mix on high for 3-5 minutes

• Dice up the strawberries in small cubes, put in a medium sauce pan

• Add 1 cup of white sugar and 2 tbs of water to the strawberries

• With a potato masher, mash the strawberries together with the sugar

• Heat on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.

• Let cool in the fridge until mixture thickens

• Add the cooled strawberry compote to the mixer and combine with the frosting (make sure your strawberries are completely cooled or you will ruin your frosting) Mix for 2 minutes.

• Add pink food coloring for a pinker frosting (optional)

XOXO

There you have it, yummy strawberry frosting! I like this frosting best on top of a chocolate cupcake- it’s a fun take on chocolate covered strawberries 🙂 After all, who doesn’t love strawberries and chocolate!

Enjoy the recipe and keep an eye out for a Valentine’s Giveaway – coming soon!!!

Xoxo Jill

*All photos are property of Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake. Photos by ABYoung Photography**

Cupcake “Must – Haves”

15 Jul

One of the reason’s I started this blog, aside from sharing my passion for baking (and all things cupcakes!) was to create a venue wherein ideas are shared, passions are explored, and resources are given often. Over the past couple days I have contemplated deleting my ranting and raving Mel Gibson blog – It just doesn’t seem to fit into my overall goal of what I envisioned my blog to be about. But since I think it might hold some validity for someone (even if it’s only one woman) out there, I am going to leave it.

In order to redeem myself though – I have come up with a fun list of cupcake products (they are all pretty reasonably priced too!!) for you to enjoy. Have fun  “shopping” 🙂

Cupcake Liners! A huge collection of the most adorable cupcake liners ever. They are pretty cheap too, ranging from $3-$4 for 45 liners. http://www.layercakeshop.com/index.php/Shop/Baking/Baking-Cups/View-all-products.html

Sprinkles! All organized by color, these sprinkle options are fabulous. Prices range from $2-$3. I can’t seem to decide which ones I want to buy! http://www.layercakeshop.com/index.php/Shop/Decorating/Sprinkles/View-all-products.html

Bakery Labels! Don’t forget to label your box of cupcakes..these labels are on sale for only $2 (a roll of 25 labels) http://www.bakeitpretty.com/item_33/Bakery-Labels.htm

Cupcake Key Cover! I need one of these for sure 🙂 $8 for a pack of 6 – that means you can share with your friends too. http://www.fredflare.com//customer/product.php?productid=5643&cat=254

Cupcake T-shirts! Some really cute designs and lots of different styles. Price range from $12-$25 http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/Cupcake?cmp=knc–g–us–lib–apparel–search-e–Cupcake_t-shirts&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=lib–apparel&utm_content=search-e&utm_term=cupcake_t-shirts&gclid=COCdmr7j7aICFRrXnAod9UjYdg

Mini Cupcake Maker! Makes batches of 5 mini cupcakes (or muffins) in under 5 minutes – I’m impressed. At only $16 bucks,  I might need to try this thing out. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=cupcake&cid=4994642654940599221&ei=9iA_TN_LH4zywAX0ubWKDg&sa=title&ved=0CDoQ8wIwBjgA#p

Cup-a-Cake! The cutest, individual cupcake holders. Great for lunches, picnics, little surprises, shoot… I might even put one in my purse. These hold a single cupcake in place so well that you can tumble it or even drop it and the cupcake will not move. Prices range from $2-$6. http://www.cupacake.com/

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Well that’s all for now. If you have purchased or tried any of these products and have reviews, please let me know. I’m always interested in what works and what doesn’t.

Til next time, stay sweet! xoxo

S’more Sweets!

30 Jun

 

Photo: MarthaStewart.com

Toasted Marshmallow S’more Cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 2 dozen – Recipe can also be found at http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/chocolate-graham-cracker-cupcake-with-toasted-marshmallow?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/our-best-cupcakes#slide_6

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Marshmallow Frosting

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

2.  Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.

3.  In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.

4.  Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.

5.  Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.

6.  Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

7.  Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

I’m Obsessed!

24 Jun

Summer time is best time of year! Lately, I have found that I’m obessed with these sweet summer goodies. Enjoy!

1)      New York and Company Shorts!! They have the cutest styles and are very reasonably priced. The thing I am loving most about them, is how sophisticated I feel when I put them on. Now that I’m older, I don’t want to wear a miniature cut-off version of jean shorts – I want a more tailored look. Tailored is sexy, tailored is the new mini-short – right? Well it is for me! My favorite style is the GRAMERCY short! I have to admit, I own every color and every pattern Best part is, you can put these shorts with heels or sandals – very versatile. I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed!

2)      Scrunchy Hair. I have always liked scrunching my hair, but not until recently did I perfect how to get that easy-spirit, wavy beach hair look. I love this look because it takes me all of 5 minutes to accomplish– and it’s perfect for those humid nights out on the town. I always use Aussie Scrunch Spray – It’s a miracle worker! Curly, scrunched hair is hair that you don’t have to stress over – and that’s why I’m loving it this summer. Easy, flirty, fun!

Sis and I - Scrunched hair was perfect for that windy day!

3)   Cupcakes! C’mon, you knew I was going to say something about cupcakes 😉 Currently I’m obsessed with my Wilton’s frosting swirl tip #6b – It’s only $1.69 and gives me the perfect frosting swirl on every cupcake! If you want your cupcakes to look “professionally done” go buy the tip – you’ll be so glad you did.

Pretty In Pink Cupcakes - used frosting tip #6B

4)      Loose-fitting blouses and dresses. I have found that Tj Maxx and Marshalls have the best deals on cute “flowy” dresses and tops. I call them “flowy” because I’m not sure how else to describe them. Lately, I’m drawn to bolder patterns, often with bright colors or flowers. A loose fitting shirt looks great with a cinched waist belt and a long necklace or just draped over your one shoulder for a more care-free and relaxed  look (which I have to admit, I rarely pull off well). These looks are fun, and easy to get away with during the summer. So for now, I am definitely enjoying the less form-fitting wardrobe options.

5)      Bows!!! Ok, ok ok, I have to admit it; I’m head over heels in love with any and all things bows!! It comes as no surprise to me that I have a penchant for bows, pink, and anything else that’s screams Barbie doll grown up. If it has a bow on, I’ll buy it. It could be the ugliest thing ever, say a pair of metallic silver 6 in heels, but once I see the bow, which happened to be huge and draping over the left side of the shoe, I am convinced I have to be the owner of them. Luckily, in that particular instance, Pat talked me out of it. They were pretty gaudy now that I think about it. I’m still sickeningly obsessed though – If it has a bow, consider it bought!

6)      Friday’s Off – yup I said it. I have Friday’s off all summer and I’m not ashamed to be bragging about it. I have fallen in-love with 3 day weekends and am dreading  the day I have to give them up. Summer time is truly the best time of year!

What better way to enjoy a Friday off then on an inflatable Slip-N-Slide!!

Enjoy this slideshow of things I love! Til next time, stay sweet xoxo

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Bittersweet Cupcakes

23 Jun

 I recently baked strawberry supreme cupcakes and old-fashion vanilla cupcakes.

I knew I didn’t have time to make the batter from scratch, especially on a week night, so I used box cake (I know, I can hear the gasps now). I altered it though, and I was happy to find that they turned out fabulous!

“Semi-Homemade” Strawberry Cupcakes

 1 Box of Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake Mix

 1 cup of finely diced strawberries

 2 tsp of strawberry flavoring

 1 tsp of pink food coloring

Make the batter according to the directions on the box

Add in diced strawberries – mix well

Add extra flavoring and food coloring – mix well

For the icing, I used my recipe for butter-cream icing. Feel free to use whichever homemade frosting you like most. It’s important to have homemade icing though, it counteracts the “box cake “ 🙂

Old-Fashion Vanilla Cupcakes

 1 Box of Duncan Hines Vanilla Cake Mix

 1 tsp vanilla extract

 2 tbsp of water (in addition to what the box calls for)

Bake according to box direction – Add frosting. I suggest cream-cheese or chocolate.

Pretty In Pink Cupcakes! Good Luck Erin!!

Now enjoy the cupcakes that took you half the time to bake but taste just as fabulous!

Cupcakes are the sweetest gift you could give someone. It shows them you took the time out of your day to bake them something –and seriously, who doesn’t LOVE cupcakes??

Enjoy the tricks, and don’t think that cupcakes are only for birthdays. Cupcakes are good all year round!

Til next time, stay sweet. xoxo