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.

kisses

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

chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

soooooo……

right after i talk about how i’m too lazy to get into the christmas spirit, i’m here with some chocolate dipped snickerdoodles for a cookie exchange!!

yes my friends… it’s that time of year again!!

the great food blogger cookie swap!!

if you didn’t catch the low down last year, i’ll give you the short story.

lindsey and julie organize a cookie swap among bloggers… you sign up and they match you receive the address of three food bloggers and three food bloggers receive your address. everyone sends everyone some delicious homemade goodness.

in addition to the fun-ness of the homemade goodness, we also partner with cookies for kids’ cancer. so you not only get the homemade goodness but everyone raises money for a good cause.

did i mention the homemade goodness??

right…. on to that!

see last year’s cookie swap inspired me to host my own with my friends and for this year’s food blogger cookie swap, i sent some of my friend rachel’s chocolate dipped snickerdoodles. last year when she brought them over, i was a little suspicious. see, i love some snickerdoodles but dipping them in chocolate. i hate to admit, i was skeptical. i mean, i like snickerdoodles and i like chocolate but it kinda weirded me out to combine the 2.

but was i wrong!

these ended up being the cookies that i would eat one, then another, then 5 more. after that, i knew immediately, that these would be this year’s food blogger cookie swap cookie.

and because i can’t help but tinker, i tinkered. i swapped out half of the shortening for butter because i feel that butter brings some flavor to the party. and i added some vanilla because vanilla makes everything better. but really… other than those changes, rachel’s recipe was pretty on point. i really hope that valerie, deanna and caitlin enjoyed these as much as i did!!

chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

oh and check this out…. here’s the recipe!

rachels chocolate dipped snickerdoodles

so what did some amazing bloggers send me you ask?

well…..

the first package i received were some gorgeous swirled sugar cookies from alicia over at balancing motherhood. {and funny side note, alicia is based in north carolina and i got her package when i came home from north carolina! happy coincidence!}

rlk and l. smith from first time foods sent some wee little pecan tassies. they were like mini pecan pies!

and finally i received what i thought was the most festive of my packages from sara over at the pajama chef. there is something about the cranberry pistachio citrus cookies that makes me feel like the deliciousness is perfect for the holidays!

i hope that these cookies, and all the other ones from the other participating blogs, inspire you to bake some up and have some friends and family over for the holidays!

kisses.

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!

kisses.

recipe adapted from: the back in the day bakery cookbook

mocha muffins

true story….

i looked down and when i looked back up 3 weeks have passed!!

i originally started this post back in the middle of september and then life got all kinds of weird and now i’m back to it. gah.

with all the fall baking trends going on i have a confession to make…. most of them i’m not a fan of. for real.

i’m not big on pumpkin so all these pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pumpkin are totally unappetizing to me. but i can get behind using pumpkin pie spice because duh it’s really just like a kicked up cinnamon. which is the same as apple pie spice.

which brings me to i’m not a fan of cooked apples. so unless it’s a sliced up granny smith, you can keep it.

it’s a texture thing.

but these muffins have none of those things. these muffins have chocolate and coffee which means they are totally breakfast food. i mean duh they’re called muffins. 🙂

i saw these muffins one day on pinterest and knew they needed to be made immediately. i mean it was like a sign because i had some buttermilk that was on the verge of being dumped and, again, chocolate and coffee. but in an effort to feel a smidge less guilty about having chocolate muffins for breakfast, i swapped out some of the ap flour for whole wheat flour. i mean that automatically makes it 1000% healthier right?

if you wanted to be even healthier, you could find one of those handy dandy conversion charts to sub some greek yogurt for some of the buttermilk. if you do, lemme know how that goes k?

mocha muffinsmocha muffins

    • 1 c ap flour
    • 1 c whole wheat flour
    • 2/3 c light brown sugar
    • 1/2 c cocoa powder, sifted
    • 1-1/2 tbs espresso powder
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 6 tbs butter, melted
    • 1-1/2 c buttermilk, room temp
    • 2 eggs, room tem
    • 1 tsp vanilla

1 c dark chocolate chips

streusel topping

  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbs light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs butter, room temp
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. preheat the oven to 375F. line a muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. in a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. in a smaller bowl, mix together the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined; stir in chocolate chips. divide the batter evenly among the muffin cupsl
  4. make your streusel topping: combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl. cut the butter into the other ingredients until it’s coarse and crumbly. sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter.
  5. bake 18-20 min, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. remove from the oven and let cool 5 min before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

see… chocolate for breakfast!!

kisses.

recipe adapted from: handle the heat

caramel stuffed chocolate cupcakes

i have a bunch of random thoughts floating around so i’m just going to share them. cool? cool.

i’ve been wanting to try and get my kitchen more organized and have been eyeing oxo’s pop containers. i really wanted to get one for my flour since i can’t dip my flour into the jar i’ve used for forever. i had a $10 coupon to sur la table so i finally broke down and bought the 4 qt one. now i want ALL.THE.CONTAINERS.

i just discussed how i don’t watch the nfl but i do read articles when interesting stuff happens and i read an article yesterday about suh’s low hit on sunday. can someone please explain to me why the lions made him a captain?!? at least once a season, i read about him and a dirty play. someone like that should not be the leadership of your team. sorry but no.

as i’m writing this, the 12th anniversary of the attacks of september 11 is coming to a close. it’s hard to believe that it’s been twelve years since that day. like previous generations remember where they were when pearl harbor was bombed or kennedy was assassinated, i will never forget where i was that morning. it saddens me that a country that came together that day is incredibly divided and torn apart today. i can only hope that one day we can find that sense of unity again when not being faced with a national tragedy.

on a heavier much lighter, i took body pump for the first time. i.want.to.die. i will most likely not be able to move from my bed in the morning. i’ll be lucky to be able to move next year.

do you ever feel like you have a million things but nothing going on at the same time? yeah. i’m feeling that. kinda like these cupcakes.

{nice segway huh?}

so these cupcakes.

oh.my.geez. these cupcakes.

i don’t even have the words.

i have found that chocolate cupcakes can be rather dry. not these. these are super moist. and delicious. and then you add some caramel stuff that you have leftover in the fridge in the center and top it all off with some dark chocolate frosting.

oh and these buttercream………

magical and perfection.

Caramel Stuffed Chocoalte Cupcakes via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

caramel stuffed chocolate cupcakes

  • 1-1/2 c cake flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
  • 1 c hot fresh coffee
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c sour cream, room temp
  • caramel sauce {rom either of these recipes or store bought}
  • dark chocolate buttercream {recipe follows}
  1. preheat the oven to 350F. line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  2. using the paddle attachment of your mixer or a handheld mixer and large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt on low speed for 2-3 min.
  3. add the chopped chocolate to a medium bowl and pour the hot coffee on top; let sit for 2-3 min before stirring to ensure all of the chocolate is melted.
  4. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until thick; add in the sour cream, stirring until just combined. pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. stir together with a rubber spatula to ensure that all the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are incorporated. pour the batter into the line cupcake cups, filling each up 2/3 the way. bake 18-25 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. once the cupcakes are cool, cut the center out and fill with 1-1/2 tsp caramel sauce. frost with dark chocolate buttercream.

dark chocolate buttercream

  • 3/4 c {1-1/2 sticks} unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1-3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  1. sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed until it’s creamy. slowly add in the powdered sugar / cocoa mixture; add the heavy cream. beat together 1 min so it’s thoroughly combined.

for real.

make.these.now.

kisses

cupcake recipe from: bake in the day bakery cookbook ; buttercream recipe adapted from: how sweet it is

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and wake up wednesdays

brownie sundae ice cream

FOOTBALL is back!!!

and it’s been back for a week now!!

i know… i’m late in celebrating this joyous occasion but let’s just give a girl a break ok?

let’s all just jump over enthusiastically for joy because that’s what i’m doing!

but let’s be real too… when i say football, i mean college football and not pro. i’m not a fan of pro. my rationale isn’t necessarily the soundest… i feel like there are too many egos and people out for the money rather than the love of the game in pro football. which let’s be honest, there are plenty of college players that are playing to get drafted and the money that comes with that. it’s just that a good number of the players that play college ball aren’t going pro. they know these are their last days of playing football so they give it their heart.

plus pro teams can have players that play their for YEARS. college teams are almost always rebuilding. yes i know that there are perennially powerhouses {and my team just happens to be in the conference that houses a good number of them – the SEC} but every year you have some of your best players leave for the draft. i mean i’m just saying.

college football > pro football

ya know what else i’m celebrating?

more ice cream!!

i know that monday was labor day which marks the unofficial start of fall BUUUUUUT living in the deep south means that summer NEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER ends. i mean for real, i don’t think i turned my heater on once since 2011. which is great if you don’t like the cold but i think we know my stance on that. but what i really do like is the fact that i can eat ice cream all.the.time. it’s never cold enough here that ice cream is off the table.

and this ice cream.

oh.my.geez.

it’s all kinds of deliciousness rolled into ice cream. i had a variation of this on an ice cream date with my friend maddie and knew immediately i had to make it at home. the one at whole foods was a vanilla ice cream with brownie bits and a chocolate syrup  primarily on top. i knew we could do better so i swirled some fudge ripple throughout the ice cream and threw some salted buttery caramel sauce in for good measure. oh and just to be even more over the top, i browned the butter for the caramel sauce and the brownies i used.

Brownie Sundae Ice Cream via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

brownie sundae ice cream

  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c brownie bits
  • fudge ripple {recipe below}
  • salted butter caramel {recipe below}
  1. warm the sugar, milk, and 1/2 c heavy cream to a medium saucepan. cover and let steep and infuse for 45-60 min.
  2. add the egg yolks to a medium bowl and whisk together; pour the remaining heavy cream and vanilla into a large bowl and place a strainer on top. rewarm the vanilla scented milk and add to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. scrape the custard mixture back into the saucepan; stir constantly while scraping the bottom of the pan until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spatula. pour through the strainer and mix well with the heavy cream. let cool completely before placing in the fridge to cool thoroughly.
  3. when your custard mixture is thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions. before you remove the ice cream from the canister, mix in your brownie bits. as your removing the ice cream, alternate a spoon/smear of fudge ripple, ice cream and caramel.

fudge ripple

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c water
  • 6 tbs dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. whisk everything but the vanilla together in a medium saucepan. heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a low boil. cook for 1 min, whisking frequently. remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. let cool before putting into the fridge to cool completely.

salted butter caramel

  • 6 tbs butter
  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt {preferably sea but kosher works too!}
  1. melt and brown the butter in a large, heavy duty saucepan. once the butter browns, stir in the sugar and cook, frequently stirring, until the sugar is a deep golden and just begins to wisp smoke. remove from the heat and immediately whisk in half of the cream until smooth. whisk in the rest of the cream, vanilla and salt. let cool before placing in the fridge to cool completely.

now let me throw this out there… i made each toss in from scratch so this required some advanced planning. there are people i know {hi mom!} that are much more semi-homemade. if you fall in that camp, go for it! don’t let my from scratch self stop you from making this deliciousness. buy your favorite brownie mix or brownies from a bakery, hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce and enjoy!

kisses.

recipes adapted from: the perfect scoop

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesday and wake up wednesdays

 

brownie cookies

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y’all.

can i be serious for a moment? i mean like a real quick moment because i need to celebrate…

(i know you’re sitting there saying um serious and celebration in the same sentence? that normally isn’t the mood of celebrations….)

but for reals.

i’ve been dealing with some health issues (nothing serious) and have been going to the doctor AT LEAST once a month since march 1. i can’t even begin to tell y’all how tired i am of seeing the inside of a doctor’s office. truth. but when i went last week, he said i don’t have to come back for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!! can i even tell y’all how exciting that is?!?

so needless to say i’m celebrating.

and i’m bringing cookies to the celebration. not just any cookies. chocolately melty deliciousness cookies.

when i first saw these cookies on averie’s site, i knew they needed to be made. i mean they combine two of my favorite things ever…. brownies and cookies. averie describes them as having “the taste and texture of perfect brownies” but they were so much more than that. when it comes to brownies, i tend to lean toward the thick, fudgy kind. these cookies weren’t thick but they were definitely chocolately and melty. the centers stayed like melted chocolate for days and the edges had that bit of chewiness you come to expect from brownie edges. they are definitely among the best chocolate cookies, i’ve ever had in my life. and i deeply mean that.

brownie cookiesbrownie cookies

  • 12 oz dark chocolate, divided into 7 oz and 5 oz, chopped
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  1. in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt together the 7 oz of chocolate and butter until smooth. set aside to cool briefly.
  2. beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, approximately 5 – 8 min. add the flour, melted chocolate mixture and remaining 5 oz of chocolate; mix until just combined, about 1 min. cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp until the batter firms up, any where from 10 min – 1 hr; you want the dough to be firm enough to scoop from and hold it’s shape.
  3. line your cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. once your dough is firm enough to hold its shape when scooped, use a cookie scoop to scoop out your dough to your lined cookie sheets. let the dough rest for another hour to firm up so it doesn’t spread too much.
  4. preheat your oven to 350F. bake cookies 8-10 min until the tops are puffy and cracked. allow to cool on the cookie sheet while the next tray is baking (8-10 min) before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. store in an airtight container.

one hint… i used chocolate bars (hershey’s special dark and cadbury dark chocolate) found on the candy aisle in my grocery store instead of “baking chocolate”. this allowed me to buy a couple of dark chocolate bars in the perfect amount of oz without spending more money on the baking chocolate.

kisses.

recipe from: averie cooks

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesdays and what’s in your kitchen wednesdays