Archive for November, 2013

November 23, 2013

French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Bacon

Breakfast in a cupcake?  And wait … bacon on top??  Yup – you read that right.  Enjoy breakfast for dessert at anytime with this fabulous recipe.

Warning:  This is not low calorie, low fat, no sugar, or a quick & easy recipe … but it IS worth it!

I started with an original recipe from Pass the Sushi on Pinterest, however I changed a few things up and doubled the recipe so that I got 24 cupcakes instead of 12.  If you only need 12, you’ll just need to cut the recipe in half.  Here are the ingredients I used for 24 cupcakes:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 2 (3.9 oz) boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp of potato starch (yes – I had to ask what this even was in the store!)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
  • ½ cup of light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 8 large egg whites at room temp (please spend the extra money and buy the egg white beaters and save yourself the hassle of dropping eggs on your counter, or yolks in the batter – you will ruin it!)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup of half & half at room temp
  • 1 cup of chopped, cooked bacon (about 10 strips)

Wow – that’s a lot of ingredients.  And that’s just the cupcake part.  I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s not a quick and easy recipe.  Also, your batter is going to be very sticky when it’s all done, so you’ll need an ice cream scoop with a release lever to get the batter into your cupcake cups – unless you want to break a spoon in half or have a lost utensil in the batter …

Maple Bacon Cupcake Batter

How to make the French Toast Cupcakes:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • Place 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • Combine the two flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl – stir everything together until it’s mixed in thoroughly.
  • In your electric stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on low – about 6 to 8 minutes, or until they’re combined.
  • Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the bowl and continue mixing everything until the batter is light and fluffy.
  • Add the dry ingredients mixture in 3 separate batches: 1/3 of the flour mixture, then add your maple syrup, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then your half and half, and finally the remainder of the flour mixture. Be sure you are using the mixer to mix everything together in between adding your batches – do not just add it all at once, this batter is way too thick.
  • Be careful not to overmix – and lastly, add in your chopped bacon. Yum!
  • Scoop the (sticky) batter into your prepared muffin tins – filling them about ¾ of the way.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean – this is going to be about 35 to 40 minutes.  The cupcake part itself will be very dense.

Baked Maple Bacon Cupcake

Cool your cupcakes completely before decorating.  To make the maple cream cheese frosting, you will need:

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese at room temp
  • 4 Tbsp of unsalted butter at room temp
  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup (do not overdo it on the syrup – if you add too much your frosting will be runny and there’s no going back!)
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 6 additional strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (woohoo – more bacon!)

To prepare the frosting:

  • Beat the cream cheese and butter in your stand mixer on medium until creamy and completely combined together.  I like to use my wire whisk attachment when making frosting.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup (a little at a time – see how it absorbs to decide if you need to continue adding more), and cinnamon. Beat until combined and creamy.
  • Use a decorating bag and pipe the delicious frosting onto your cooled cupcakes.
  • Top with the chopped bacon and a small drizzle of maple syrup.

French Toast Maple Bacon Cupcake

And there you have it.  Can we say … impressive?!  Or better yet – AMAZING.

November 14, 2013

Sausage, Pepper, & Cheese Wonton Cups

So, this recipe isn’t your typical “cupcake,” but it IS a member of the “cup” family and since I’m way overdue on posting a recipe – this one is going to be the champ.  With that being said, before I go another 5 months without a post … try making these in the meantime, you will absolutely love them.  I’ve made them for the Superbowl, work events, and they are great as an appetizer for really any occasion.  Did I mention they are super easy, and someone will typically inhale the plate you put out before you can say … wonton?

Sausage Pepper Cheese Wonton Cups

Here are the world’s easiest (and quite possibly the tastiest) ingredients:

You will need to grab:

  • Wonton wrappers (I use Melissa’s – there are 60 in the package, and they are usually kept near the produce section of your grocery store and are refrigerated).
  • A bottle of ranch dressing (I usually buy a light one – unless you want a zestier ranch taste … not me!)
  • 2 green bell peppers (Chop into small squares)
  • 1 package (about 2 cups) of mild cheddar cheese – shredded
  • 1 package (about 2 cups) of Colby or Monterey Jack cheese – also shredded
  • Breakfast sausage (about 10 links – chopped into small pieces once it’s cooked)

Wonton Cups Mixture

How to do it:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray two mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the wontons in the muffin tins to form cups (you are going to get at least 48 cups out of this recipe – so just be prepared for a crowd … but don’t worry, they will not last long!)
  • Bake the wonton wrappers in the muffin tins by themselves for 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the sausage and cut it into extremely small bite size pieces (think: for-a-child size).
  • Drain the sausage and/or absorb any grease from cooking, and then place the sausage pieces into the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Stir in your chopped peppers, cheeses, and the ranch dressing and mix well with the sausage until everything is evenly distributed and coated with the ranch dressing.
  • Take a teaspoon and scoop the mixture into the baked wonton wrappers (without overflowing the wonton cups please – I know it’s hard to control yourself once you start!), and bake everything altogether for another 10-12 minutes until they’re slightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Unbaked Wonton Cups

  • Cool for a few minutes and then it’s like watching a magic trick – these babies will be gone in the blink of an eye!

If you have some of your sausage mixture left, you can always make more cups – or freeze everything for another day.  The Italian in me freezes the extra wonton wrappers and you guessed it – I make a ricotta cheese mixture and turn them into homemade ravioli at a later date. That’s the super easy way without spending an entire day rolling out and cutting dough.  The wonton wrappers do freeze well.  But – I’m positive you are going to love these sausage, pepper, and cheese wonton cups so much, that there’s a good chance you might not have anything left to freeze!

Baked Wontons

Mangia … or, since we’re dealing with wontons … in Chinese, you’d say “Chi!”