peppermint mocha cupcakes

i know….

three posts in one week!

what has happened to me??

i mean i went like a year between the last couple of posts and this week.

and to be honest, i wasn’t planning on posting this much this week but today is super special…

see i just made these cupcakes for my mom’s office departmental christmas party. and i was feeling quite proud of myself so i posted a picture over on instagram and one of my favorite bloggers said she just made them too!! so zainab and i made a blogging date to share these today because great minds think alike!!

{and you should go totally check out her version too!!}

so these cupcakes….

when my mom asked me to make something, she gave me carte blanche. she did mention chocolate and maybe something stuffed in the center. so i brainstormed because at this time of year, festive is always best. and that’s when i remembered seeing these over at naomi’s site. plus i had already bought the peppermint andes and i knew that a boozed topped version was meant to be….

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

peppermint mocha cupcakes

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c + 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/3 c + 2 tbs dark cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c {1 stick} unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tbs instant espresso
  • 1/2 c hot coffee
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps ganache {recipe below}
  • 1 recipe peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream {recipe below}
  • 1/2 recipe chocolate pouring sauce {recipe below}
  • peppermint andes, for decorarting {optional}
  • peppermint candies, for topping {optional}
  1. preheat oven to 350F and line baking cups with paper liners.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt; set aside. add the butter, eggs, peppermint and vanilla extract to a bowl and beat together on medium speed for one minute. add in half the coffee followed by the dry ingredients. add the remaining coffee and beat until just combined. divide evenly among lined cupcake cups.
  3. bake 18-22 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.
  4. while the cupcakes are cooling, make the peppermint schnapps ganache and allow to cool slightly before filling the cupcakes by either cutting a 1 in hole with a small knife in the top or by using the bottom of a large pastry tip; cut the hole about 2/3 the way down into the cupcakes. spoon the cooled ganache into the center of the cupcakes, pipe the peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream on top and drizzle over the chocolate sauce. sprinkle the peppermint andes over the top and top each with single peppermint candy.

peppermint schnapps ganache

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp peppermint schnapps
  1. make the peppermint schnapps ganache filling by heating the heavy cream until just simmering and the pouring it over the bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbs butter to melt. stir in the peppermint schnapps.

peppermint schnapps swiss meringue buttercream

  • 3 egg whites, room temp
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c {2 sticks} unsalted butter, diced and softened
  • 1/4 c peppermint schnapps
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • pinch salt
  1. combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer placed over simmering water. while whisking constantly, bring the mixture to 160F, or until the sugar is completely dissolved {you can test this by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should be completely smooth.}
  2. transfer the bowl to the mixer base; using your whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture cools and doubles in volume, about 10-12 min. {the bowl should feel cool to the touch.} add the butter 1 tbs at a time allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. once all the butter has been added, add in the peppermint extract, peppermint schnapps and salt. continue to beat until it’s thoroughly combined. {it might not look like it’s coming together but keep beating; it will become even and smooth.}

chocolate pouring sauce

  • 2/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-5 tbs warm water
  1. place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. let the chocolate and cream heat and melt together for 2-3 min without stirring; slowly stir mixture to combine. sift the powdered sugar into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. add water 1 tbs at a time until the mixture is a pouring consistency. {i only need 1-1/2 tbs.} set aside to let the sauce cool before drizzling over the assembled cupcakes.


cupcake and pouring sauce recipe adapted from: bakers royale, ganache recipe adapted from this whiskey ganache, swiss meringue buttercream adapted from: bakers royale


amped up drunken blondies

oh my gosh y’all.

i’ve been totally holding out.

but but but not purposefully!!

i’ve been meaning to share these for like 2 weeks now but things have been crazy and then i had a viral infection last week so the crazy was even crazier!

so since i’ve been holding out i’m not going to blab on and on about something…. we’ll get straight to the food.

i couple weeks ago i was in the mood to make something but i wasn’t really sure what. well that’s kinda a lie. i really wanted to make brownies but while i was browsing pinterest for an idea, i saw these cookies over at heather’s site. {yes i’m totally aware that cookies and brownies aren’t the same thing.} then i turned to one of my new favorite cookbooks and saw a recipe for drunken blondies and it was like everything righted itself in the world and i got to work.

and of course me being me, i couldn’t leave things alone. but let’s be real…. melted butter is really just screaming to be brown butter. {which if you are looking for a fabulous tutorial on, see darla’s here!} and i mean bourbon really loves maple and bacon so why not make sure the bffs are together? it’s only right.

so if you’re looking for a dessert to bring to your tailgate this upcoming weekend or something different for your thanksgiving dessert buffet, give these a try!

amped up drunken blondiesamped up drunken blondies

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 c {8-10 slices} bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 c {2 sticks} brown butter
  • 2 tbs bacon grease
  • 1 c dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 tbs bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing the ends to hang over the edges of the pan; grease with baking spray.
  2. whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. in a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter, bacon grease, and brown sugars until smooth and well combined. add in the eggs, bourbon, vanilla extract and maple extract; mix until thoroughly combined. stir in the dry ingredients followed by the bacon bits, pecans and chocolate chips.
  4. pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. bake 20-25 min or until the top is golden brown. remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. cut into bars and keep in an airtight container.

seriously good bars and no fancy mixer required!


recipe adapted from: the back in the day bakery cookbook

triple b brownies


you may remember that i took a little bit of time off….

ok it’s been more like a month but hey… who’s counting.

honestly, it was time much needed. like i mentioned, trying to keep up with a blog while working full time and living, ya know, life was starting to stress me out. and it was because i was trying to keep up with the joneses. it has just become too much to try to stick to a schedule so i’m back with some changes…

biggest change of all… i’m not sticking to a strict schedule. so no more t/th posts each week. i’ll probably post weekly and it will most likely be published on thursdays because wednesdays are typically my day off from going to the gym after work so i can come home and get some blog writing and photoediting done. so holla!!

but that’s not what you come here for right?

how about i make up for taking a month off with some brownies? how about some boozy brownies? how about some boozy brownies that have browned butter?

i thought so.

i don’t know what to tell you about these brownies other than you need to get to your kitchen and make them. like for reals. these brownies are fudgy brownies, which if you ask the majority of the world, they would agree that really those are the only kind of brownie that should exist. plus these have booze baked directly in them. the original recipe calls for kahlua but i switched that out for some bailey’s. and then they get topped with some bailey’s spiked browned butter “icing”…. i don’t know if it’s really an “icing” but it’s thicker than a glaze and thinner than a buttercream so we’ll go with icing. and we know how i feel about browned butter.

so run to your kitchen and make these.

triple b brownies

triple b brownies

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2-1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c bailey’s, or another irish cream liqueur
  • browned butter bailey’s icing (recipe below)
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line a 9×9 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. in the boil of a double boiler, melt together the chocolate chips and butter, stirring often. remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. while the chocolate is cooling, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. in a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs and bailey’s. beat in the melted chocolate mixture until well mixed. add in the dry ingredients; mixing until it is just combined.
  4. pour the brownie mixture in the prepared pan; bake 40-50 min or until the top cracks and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  5. prepare icing. once icing is prepared, pour over the brownies and spread in an even layer. put in the fridge for the icing to set. use a sharp knife to cut chilled brownies.

browned butter bailey’s icing

  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs bailey’s
  • 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 – 2-1/4 c powdered sugar, sifted
  1. put butter in a saucepan and heat until lightly browned. remove from heat and add in the bailey’s and heavy cream. whisk in the powdered sugar until you have a pourable, spreadable consistency; it will be slightly thick but you want to be able to pour and spread it easily.

friends again?



recipe lightly adapted from: recipe girl

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cooking wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday

chocolate chip icebox pie

can we just talk about how obnoxiously excited i am that they are planning a sequel to pitch perfect?

like for real.

and you’re sitting there in one of two camps:

camp no. 1: what is pitch perfect?

camp no. 2: freaking right!!

if you’re in camp no. 1 let me give you a quick briefing in case you don’t feel like imdb’ing this jazz. pitch perfect is a total sleeper hit movie based on competive college acapella groups. it’s totally awesome and was filmed on lsu’s campus. it has a bunch of pretty awesome actors but rebel wilson is in it and has some epic one liners. horizontal running anyone?

(i told you it would be a quick briefing.)


total point is that you need to get yourself a copy of this movie and watch it. like on repeat.

and then watch the breakfast club.

because it totally makes sense and because the breakfast club is only like one of the best movies EVER.

and we could have a movie marathon (because let’s face it, i’m a grandma and trying to watch 2 movies in a row is stretching my limit of not taking a nap) with some of this updated pudding stuff to stuff our faces with.

and yes i’m aware that i “officially” titled the post a “chocolate chip icebox pie” because let’s face it, unless you’re one of a few people, you might not have known off the bat what i meant by pudding stuff.

this updated pudding stuff was inspired by my friend cailan. we were walking around the grocery store on good friday and she was talking about making a version of her pudding stuff with chocolate chip cookies. while we were walking around the store, i didn’t think much about it other than “that sounds delicious.” but then i was trying to figure out a second dessert for easter sunday since i don’t eat coconut cream pie and this came back to me. and now it comes to you!

trust me when i tell you, your world has been made much better now that this recipe is out there for you to devour!

you’ll have to excuse it’s inability to take a pretty picture. it really is a messy but ever so delicious dessert.


chocolate chip icebox pie

chocolate chip icebox pie

  • 1 package chips ahoy chocolate chunks cookies
  • 1 (3 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1-1/2 c whole milk
  • 1-1/2 c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs amaretto
  • hot fudge sauce
  1. pour the heavy whipping cream into a bowl and begin to whip on medium speed until it begins to thicken. when the cream begins to thicken, add the sugar and amaretto and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  2. while the cream is whipping, combine the pudding mix and milk; stir well. slowly add the pudding mixture to the whip cream mixture and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. in a 9 in flat bottom bowl, place an even layer of the cookies, breaking them up if needed. spread half of the boozy vanilla whip cream mixture over the cookies; repeat the process and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.
  4. when ready to serve, top with hot fudge sauce before scooping out individual servings.

seriously y’all.


this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays, and taste and tell thursdays

spiced vanilla cream cupcakes


so the cookbook these came out of really call them eggnog cream cupcakes but i feel like no one drinks eggnog after christmas. so we’re going to go with spiced vanilla cream cupcakes.

true story… i’m not a huge fan of eggnog. maybe it’s because it has the word “egg” in it or maybe because it reminds me of thick milk / runny milkshake…. none of that appeals to me. so when i was looking for a recipe to bring to our office christmas lunch, i looked hard at these. i realized that these cupcakes were really nothing more than a boozy spiced cupcake with a boozy semi-homemade vanilla pastry cream. i can go for that.

and i’m totally glad i did. they were delicious. the cupcake had just the right spice to make you feel like you could be all homey and warm by a fire and the boozy pastry cream….

spiced vanilla cream cupcakes

eggnog cupcakes


  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, room temp
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 c dark rum, such as myer’s
  • 1/2 c milk, room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1-3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • spiked pastry cream (recipe below)
  • spiked whip cream (recipe below)
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line one 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. whisk together flour, baking powder, allspice,cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large mixing bowl. set aside.
  3. cream together butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 – 5 min. beat in eggs. mix in rum, milk, vanilla and almond extract. add the dry ingredients to the batter, beating until just combined.
  4. fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. bake 20-22 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. once the cupcakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to cut a hole 2/3 deep into each cupcake. fill each center with pastry cream. top each cupcake with whip cream and garnish with shaved chocolate, if desired.

spiked pastry cream

  • 1 3.3oz box of french vanilla instant pudding
  • 1-3/4 c milk
  • 2 tbs light rum
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  1. beat the pudding mix and milk together on high speed for 2 min or until it starts to thicken. stir in rum. in a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. gently fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream. cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

spiked whip cream

  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 3 tbs rum, light or dark
  1. beat together the brown sugar and 1/4 c of the heavy cream on high speed. gradually add the remaining heavy cream and rum until stiff peaks form.

aside from this being a boozy cupcake, which we all know i love… the second best part of this is that it can all be made the night before and assembled the next day, although i would recommend making the cupcakes the day of.


recipe from: booze cakes

chocolate red wine cake

i don’t know about where you are but the weather here is miserable.

i mean like really really really miserable.

not only is it hot… ok maybe not hot but i consider the high 70s in january hot…. but i feel like the rain is never going to stop. we’re pretty much just going to float away here.

but that’s ok. i’ll just make this cake and everything will be dandy while i’m floating.

this cake…

oh this cake.

i pinned it a while back because we all know i like cake and i like booze so it was like a natural fit. i didn’t really know when i was going to make it but then it was christmas eve and the time was right. it was calling. plus i had discovered my new favorite buttercream so it was like destiny or fate or something like that.

lindsay makes this cake with blackberry wine and uses some blackberry preserves between the layers. i’m not an exceptionally huge fan of blackberry and even less of a fan of jam (or preserves) in between my cake layers. other than changing the wine to a sweet shiraz, discarding the the jam and using marshmallow buttercream, i stayed true to her recipe. and it didn’t disappoint. this cake is definitely a show stopper!

chocolate red wine cake

chocolate red wine cake

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 & 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 c sweet red wine
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 batches of marshmallow buttercream
  • 1 batch chocolate glaze (below)
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray 3 9in round cake pans with baking spray (cooking spray with flour).
  2. combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. whisk to combine. add eggs, buttermilk, wine, oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat until all are just combined. divide evenly among the 3 pans. bake 30-35 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10-15 min, or until cool enough to handle. turn the cakes out on the a cooling racks and cool completely.
  3. once the cakes are cooled completely you can assemble them. if they have domed up during the baking process, cut them level so you have a nice even top. add about 1/2 c  of the buttercream to the top and spread evenly. press the second layer on top; add another 1/2 c of buttercream and spread evenly. add the final layer of cake on top. add a thin layer of buttercream to “crumb coat”  the cake. stick the cake in the fridge for 15-20 min for the crumb coat to set.
  4. once the crumb coat has set, frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. stick the cake back into the fridge for another 30 min while you prepare and cool the glaze.
  5. once the glaze has cooled slightly, spread it on the top of the cake, letting it drip over the sides until you like the way it looks. you may not need all the glaze.  stick the cake back in the fridge until set.

chocolate glaze

  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-5 tbs warm water
  1. place the chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler; stir until melted and smooth. remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. add 1 tbs water at a time until the glaze is a good pouring consistency. let cool at least 10 min before pouring on the cake.

you might notice that my cake doesn’t quite have the noticeable buttercream layer between each cake layer. that’s because i only made 1 batch of buttercream and wish i had doubled it.

trust me on this.


recipe slightly adapted from: love and olive oil

maple pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream

ok… so i figure we’re past thanksgiving so i can have a mild rant right now….

remember back in the day when having a magazine subscription meant you received the magazine in the mail BEFORE it went on sale at the grocery store / target / anywhere?!

ummmm well it seems to me that having a subscription now just means you’ll eventually receive it in the mail after you’ve already read the whole thing standing in the checkout line for like 4 years.

i mean i’m just saying… i stare down the magazines and they all have some yummy stuff on the front and i just can’t wait to check out the recipes so i stalk out my mailbox like i’m waiting for the acceptance letter from my dream college. oh and you wouldn’t get faked out by thinking there’s a new issue when really they did a double month issue and just changed the cover picture so it looks different… true story.

but really… getting the magazines in the mail is waaaaaay easier and costs less (bonus!) so i just needed to rant that one out a little.



this recipe comes from the one magazine i do buy on the regular because i just haven’t subscribed to it for whatever reason. i’ve been wanting to try a new pecan pie recipe that had maple in it because i do love maple. and this one seemed close enough to my go to pecan pie recipe that i figured it had to work. and it pretty much did. i added some maple extract to bump up the maplely goodness and instead of bourbon ice cream, i did some homemade bourbon whip cream…. which may or may not have been the star of the show and something that should be repeated and served with everything.

maple pecan pie

  • 1 tbs bourbon
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbs butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 2 c pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 1 frozen, 9 in pie shell
  1. with a rack in the center of the oven, preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. whisk together the beaten eggs, corn syrup, maple syrup, butter, vanilla and maple extract until smooth and well combined. stir in the chopped pecans. pour the filling into the pie shell.
  3. place the pie in the oven and lower the temperture to 350F. bake until the filling is just set and the center doesn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pie, about 50 – 60 min. remove from the oven and place on a cooling racking to cool completely.
  4. in a very cold bowl, whip the cream until it just starts to thicken. add the bourbon and sugar and whip until firm peaks form.
  5. cut the pie into wedges and serve with the whipped cream.

a couple things… the picture above has whole pecan halves. don’t be like me. it may look pretty but it slices and serves SO MUCH better if you roughly chop your pecans. trust me.

and like i said…. the whipped cream will probably steal the show. if you have any left over, just put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week.

now it’s time to start gearing up for the holiday baking season…. holla!


recipe adapted from: everyday with rachael ray