Valentine Sprinkle Cupcakes

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It’s almost Valentine’s Day! I know there are a lot of differing attitudes surrounding this holiday, but really, I don’t care…I LOVE IT.

While we should share our love on the daily, it’s not a bad idea to spread a little extra love and appreciation on this day, Cupid’s Birthday (probably). Plus, I get to bust out all the pink and red and glitter and SPRINKLES! These mini cupcakes are an unapologetic celebration of all things sweet and saccharine that is Valentine’s Day. So, share a cupcake, give a Valentine, make a date with your love or your very best pals. Basically, just let your favorites know their your fave in the form of butter and sugar and sprinkles.

PS, can we talk about how Funfetti is NOT Rainbow Party Chip? Personally, I prefer the latter but don’t really know what those little rainbow chips are, cause they are definitely not sprinkles. Have you made this distinction? If so, discuss.

Sprinkle Cupcakes

Adapted from this recipe.

Makes about 48 mini cupcakes.

1 stick (4 ounces) softened, unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

5 tablespoons sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 mini muffin tins with paper liners.

In the bowl of a mixer (or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter until creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture resembles a crumble topping. Add in the eggs and beat for 2 minutes until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Gradually add in the milk and vanilla until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles. Using a small cookie scoop or spoons, fill each mini cupcake cup about 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven, one pan at a time, for about 15 minutes or until the cupcake tops spring back to the touch. Cool on a rack completely before frosting.

Whipped Buttercream

Adapted from this recipe.

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 cup milk

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup softened, unsalted butter

sprinkles for decoration

In a saucepan whisk together the sugar and flour, whisk in the milk until smooth, add the salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, beat the butter in a mixer (or using a hand mixer and mixing bowl) until creamy. Add the cooled flour mixture and vanilla. Beat until a smooth frosting forms (the mixture may look greasy or curdled at some point, just keep whipping it!). Spread or pipe onto baked and cooled cupcakes and decorate with additional sprinkles.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

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So, remember when I was having a dilemma about whether or not to keep adding text to my lead photo? Well, I’ve decided, with your feedback, to just do whatever the heck I wanna do. I think it will work out nicely and now I don’t have any more imaginary stress about it. So, THANKS. You are all the best…so, I made you ice cream!

YAY!

This ice cream is so dang good, you guys. I mean, it has all the flavors of a pumpkin cinnamon roll, including a gooey cinnamon caramel swirl AND a cream cheese icing swirl. I mean, we all know cream cheese icing never hurt a cinnamon bun, amiright? The ice cream is laced with pumpkin puree and a punch of spices making it taste like all the things we love about autumn, plus those swirls. The swirls aren’t totally necessary, but they really make this ice cream something else…plus they make for pretty scoops and I’m all about cute food.

And, can we talk about how it’s October and I’ve been wearing witchy colors on my nails EVERYDAY, that have apparently transferred into the styling here. I love that black flatware and have had it almost since the beginning of this blog–meaning it’s older than my 3-year-old niece.  I can’t always make it work the rest of the year…so just another reason to L-O-V-E fall. Okay, I’m done. Happy Friday, get yo’ pumpkin ice cream on!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

It is best to make the cinnamon caramel in advance so it can cool to room temperature before layering with the ice cream. You will probably have a little extra caramel, so just store it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for 1 week…and pour it over this ice cream OR use it to dip apples into.

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl whisk the softened cream cheese until creamy, stir in the maple and pumpkin. In another small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the milk. Set both aside.  Prepare an ice bath in a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan heat the remaining milk, sea salt, cream, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl containing the cream cheese and pumpkin mixture. Whisk to combine completely. Pour the mixture into a gallon size freezer bag, seal, and dunk into the ice bath. Let it sit in the ice bath until cool.  Process the ice cream base in a ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Layer the ice cream into a container with the cooled cinnamon caramel and cream cheese—try to get at least three layers for maximum swirled goodness.

For the Cinnamon Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a saucepan heat the sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup together until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture becomes deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the salt and heavy cream until smooth and glossy. The caramel will bubble furiously at this point, so be careful! Stir in the cinnamon and pour into a heatproof container to cool.

For the Cream Cheese Swirl:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until combined and smooth.

 

 

 

 

Candied Ginger Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I firmly believe that one cannot have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes. I mean, a different one for every week of the year sounds about right. Everyone likes a different cookie, so why not try ‘em all?

These cookies combine my all-time favorite cookie combination: ginger and chocolate! You can see the evidence here and here. The oatmeal brings texture, while the ginger is a sweet-chewy-spicy wonder, and the chocolate lends smooth richness. I made these cookies before I left for my trip out west…a girls gotta bring treats for the frens and fam, right? They were a hit and surprise to everyone I handed them out to…unsuspecting tasters thought they were getting a simple chocolate-chip-studded oatmeal cookie but were pleasantly surprised by the spicy nubbins of the ginger. I love when that happens!

So if you’re a chocolate chip cookie fanatic, like me, and love the spiced allure of ginger, give these cookies a whirl…they will not disappoint.

Candied Ginger Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I used candied ginger chips in this recipe since I had some on hand. You can totally use the chunks of candied ginger, chopped up…I have used both in various recipes with great results. I like Ginger People brand. These cookies keep well stored in an airtight container for several days. 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup cane sugar (or granulated)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped, candied ginger

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Beat in the sugar until it becomes pale in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl well between each. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Fold in the candied ginger and chocolate chips.

Scoop balls of the dough (I like to use a levered cookie scoop) onto the cookie sheets, spacing a few inches apart as these cookies will spread a bit. Bake cookies one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 11-13 minutes or until the bottoms begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before placing cookies onto a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.