Chocolate

Chocolate Cupcakes for My Little “Balemtime”

by Shawnda on February 13, 2014

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Chocolate,Desserts,Valentine's Day

Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes

“Is it Balemtime’s yet?! Can we make chocolate tweats?”

I didn’t think a 4-year-old could get more excited about something that wasn’t Christmas- or dinosaur-related. But I was wrong. It’s because there’s chocolate.

Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes

And Master Yoda.

Yoda Best Valentine

She is my kid, after all. Although only one of us would choose broccoli & ranch over chocolate. Spoiler: IT’S NOT ME.

She picked out “chocolate writing cupcakes” to make for our friends after seeing a picture over my shoulder. And heart-shaped pancakes for Balemtime’s Dinner at home.

Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes

Solid choices.

The one-bowl, deep, dark chocolate cupcakes are coated with an insanely messy chocolate glaze. Then decorated with melted white chocolate. Perfect for you and about 20 of your other favorite Valentines. I mean Balemtimes.

Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes

Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes

Rich chocolatey cupcakes, perfect for your Valentine.

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • For the glaze:
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • For writing:
  • 1-2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners (I got 21 cupcakes).
  3. Whisk the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until mixed well.
  4. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  5. Scoop batter into the liners, filling ~2/3 full.
  6. Bake ~18 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched.
  7. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
  8. Microwave the heavy cream until hot, 1 minute.
  9. Add the chopped chocolate and corn syrup and let sit for 3 minutes.
  10. Stir until smooth. If there larger chunks remain, let the chocolate sit another minute or two.
  11. Let the glaze sit about 5 minutes and then dip the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate glaze, returning to the rack to set. You'll have leftover glaze.
  12. Microwave the white chocolate in a small bowl until melted and smooth.
  13. Transfer to a sandwich bag, twist the bag closed, and snip a very tiny corner off the bag.
  14. Decorate as desired.

Notes

Yields: ~21 cupcakes

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Estimated time: 60 minutes

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Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

Let’s cut right to it and talk about my favorite part about these muffins. (Believe it or not, it’s not the chocolate.)

It was the way my hands smelled all day after mixing the orange zest and sugar together.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

It was the way the baking muffins made my house smell bright and citrusy.

It was the smack-you-in-the-face whiff of orange each time I lifted the cake dome to snag another muffin.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

And after all the talk about how fabulous those muffins smell… they taste pretty amazing, too. There’s plenty of orange flavor throughout this big, fluffy muffin.

I mean, really – if there’s one place that a big muffin top belongs, it’s on an actual muffin.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

And I’ll give you one guess as to what her favorite part of the muffins were.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

She’s only here for the chocolate chips.

Orange-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tender orange-scented muffins studded with dark chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • 18 muffin liners
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest from 2 small oranges
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (I use fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • 12 oz dark or semisweet chocolate chips (I used Special Dark)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Using your fingers or the back of a spoon, work the sugar and orange zest together for 1-2 minutes until very fragrant.
  4. Cream butter and orange sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla.
  6. Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.
  7. Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
  8. Add chocolate chips to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very, very thick).
  9. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
  10. Divide the batter evenly among cups, using a large cookie scoop (my scoop is ~2.25 inches across).
  11. Bake for 8 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~10-12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.
  13. Will keep ~4 days in a covered cake plate, can be frozen.

Notes

Yields: 18 muffins

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Basic Muffin Recipe

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

After spending a week learning about cooking and nutrition at her preschool, my sweet(ish) little(ish) Landry Kate came home with a chef hat, an apron, and an intensely unwavering interest to help me brownies.

Can we make brownies? Can we make brownies now? [yelling from inside the pantry] I can’t find the box of brownies!

Intensely. Unwavering. Interest.

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

But only in the “making brownies” part. (Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll focus on Unloading the Dishwasher 101 next week.)

Like any 3 1/2 year old, some of her favorite things are measuring, scooping, whisking, and stirring. And like any human, her absolute favorite part is licking that last bit of batter from the spoon, scoop, or spatula. But not the whisk! You only have to get your tongue pinched once before you realize that thing is the devil.

We made peanut butter cookies last week and as we’re getting ready to scoop out the dough, she throws her hands out and yells in that panicky, shrill tone that sends a mother’s heart into high gear fight mode: Oh, no Mommy! We forgot the chocolate!

Drama. We has some around here.

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

There have been many times when I’ve joked whether or not she might have been switched with another baby at the hospital. Like that time when she ran up to pet the weird giganti-lizard on a leash at the zoo. [shudder] And that time when she brought me a “brown lady bug” (a June bug). [double shudder] Or all those times she peeled open a quesadilla, ate the meat and cheese and left the tortilla virtually untouched.

But today? When the world temporarily came to a screeching halt so we could pair our favorite chewy peanut butter cookies with some chocolate? Today was not one of those days.

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft, chewy peanut butter cookies studded with chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking mat.
  2. Cream the butter and peanut butter on medium high for 1 minute.
  3. Add sugars and beat at med-high for another minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt on low speed until thoroughly combined. Mix in chocolate chips (the dough will be quite soft).
  5. Chill dough for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Drop the dough by the small scoopfuls onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. For a crispier cookie, allow the entire cookie to brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Notes

Yields: ~24 cookies

Slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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