Tag Archives: cupcakes

Top 15 Christmas Baking Recipes

Yesterday we had snow and ice and school was cancelled.  So what did I do on my day off?  I made a cheesecake.  Why go outside in the freezing rain (literally–it came right after the snow) and try to build a snowman in 1/2-inch of snow?  I think I’ll take my warm kitchen.  Actually, Matthew did try, but the moment he opened the door, he changed his mind.

So while I am working on getting the cheesecake recipe ready, I thought I’d give you my top 15 holiday recipes, in case you need inspiration or a new idea.  Tomorrow, I am making the chocolate sandwich cookies and bringing them to my work’s Christmas party, along with the rest of the cheesecake.  Is it weird to bring a half-eaten cheesecake? Maybe. On the fence about this one.  I put the recipes in alphabetical order because I couldn’t decide on how I wanted to order them as they are all my favorites.  Anyway, enjoy and happy baking! xoxo

Top 15 Christmas Baking Recipes

Black Bottom Brownies

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Brownie Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

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Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

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Chocolate Revel Bars

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Christmas Cake Balls

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Christmas Scones

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Homemade Sauces

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Mitten Sugar Cookies

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Sugar Cube Hearts {tutorial}

I am over at Sweet C’s today sharing how to make these easy, adorable sugar cube hearts.  I hope you’ll join me! Enjoy! xoxo

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Are cupcakes healthy for you if there’s a vegetable in it? You know, don’t you eat more veggies when you sneak them into something?  I try to tell myself that every time I eat one of these cupcakes–I am getting my daily allowance of vegetables.  In all seriousness, while they may not be fully healthy, it is cake after all, these cupcakes are so moist and delicious, you’ll be hard-pressed to eat only one. Continue reading

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Top 10 Desserts [for holiday baking]

How is this holiday season treating you?  I hope amidst the stress this season can bring, you’ve found time to gather with family and friends and be reminded what this season is really about.  In an effort to try to help bring calm to this time of year, I’ve created a list of my top 10 favorite desserts that are great to bring to a holiday party or gathering.  So, in no particular order, here they are.

Christmas Cake Balls

They are such a hit at every party I’ve gone to, and the ease of this dessert is not only in the creating of it, but the eating as well.  You don’t need any silverware, just maybe a napkin.

Chocolate-Peppermint Cupcakes

I love peppermint, and paired with chocolate, you can’t go wrong with this dessert.  I’ve topped the cupcakes with crushed peppermint candies and Andes mints.  Either tastes fantastic.

Sugar Cookies

If you have a little more time on your hands, or want others involved, decorating sugar cookies is a fun way to go.  Even kids can join in.  (You can always make a buttercream frosting–check the end of the post–and color with food coloring for an easy way for kids to decorate.  Add some sprinkles or jimmies, and you’re golden!)

Pecan-Oreo Fudge Bars

What’s not to love about this dessert?  Nuts, fudge, and Oreos.  Need I say more?


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Brownie Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream {tutorial}

My grandmother passed away a year and a half ago, and when she died, I acquired some of her old recipes.  You see, my grandmother was a phenomenal cook and any chance I could take to talk with her about food, or help her in the kitchen, I took.  Most of the recipes are handwritten by her, but she also had some from her friends.  And most of these recipes, just by looking at them and the recipes cards they were written on, appear to be from the 1950s-1970s. (After all, wasn’t the jello mold craze around then? And she also had a recipe for a mustard plaster, which I thought was hilarious, because she applied that to my dad when he was a kid and had a bad chest cold.  She swore by it, though.)  When I returned home from the funeral, I filed these recipes in my recipe box and promptly forget about them until late last week.

This recipe is very similar to a one-bowl brownie recipe, except you put them in cupcake liners instead of a square pan.  The first thing you need to have is a double boiler.  You don’t need anything extremely fancy.  My mom gave me her old one and it works like a charm.  (If you don’t have a double boiler, you could use a shallow pan and place a metal bowl on top of the pan, covering it fully.  When you add the water, however, you HAVE to make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, otherwise your chocolate won’t melt properly.)

So here is my non-fancy, well-used double boiler:

Add a small amount of water to the pan and get it boiling.  (You can see how little I added.)  Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to simmer.  In the top part of the boiler, add butter and unsweetened chocolate squares.

Stir the mixture every so often until it is all melted and smooth.  Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla. (If you like nuts, you can add 1 1/2 cups of broken nuts.)

Stir it just until it’s combined and there are no traces of flour. Continue reading

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Matthew’s 1st Birthday

We’ve been anticipating this day for some time, and now it’s gone.  My baby is moving from an infant into a toddler.  And while I’m excited about it, it does make me a little sad.  Pretty soon he’ll be going to school, and before you know it, he’ll be off and gone to college.  And we certainly won’t be able to put him in a dump truck and ride him around the living room.

And he’s going to need his first haircut, as mullets just aren’t in fashion anymore.  I am going to miss that little mohawk though!  As promised, I said I’d show you pictures of his birthday party. Matthew’s nursery is jungle-themed, so I found these really cute printable safari-themed birthday invitations on Etsy.  So adorable!  Everything coordinated.  We had a small gathering of family and friends at a park near our house.  The weather was perfect and the company couldn’t have been better.  Here are the sugar cookies I made for favors that matched the invitations.  The tiger:

The lion:

The giraffe:

All three of them together:

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Jungle Cupcakes

My son turns one next week.  I cannot believe how fast time has flown!  It seems like just yesterday I was eagerly anticipating his arrival, and wondering if he would look more like my husband or more like me.  For the record, I still don’t know.

We are celebrating his birthday this Saturday and I am making all kinds of goodies, including cupcakes.  Since his nursery is jungle-themed, I decided to go with that theme for his birthday party.  I saw a picture of a lion made out of fondant (cup-e-cake gang) and thought that’d be perfect to go on his special birthday cupcake.  So, I am going to give you a sneak peek of the party preparations, with this little lion.

Here the little lion is drying.  I used piping gel to “glue” the mane to the head.

This giraffe was a disaster.   So much piping gel went into getting his head to stick to his body; and in the morning, his head was next to his legs.  I thought about using a toothpick to secure his head, but was afraid I’d smoosh the head or body.

Eyes are in and he’s almost ready to make his debut!

Oh cute, little lion.  How I love you and your cute, little belly button so…

More on this special day to come! xoxo

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