Cadbury Creme Egg stuffed Cupcakes

 

I love Cadbury Creme Eggs…. I just had to get that off my chest. Every year since I can remember my Gramma would give me one for Easter, and it has always been my favorite Easter treat!

This year I decided to have a little fun with them, and bake my favorite Easter treat into a cupcake! I don’t even remember where I came up with the idea, but one mention to my roommate and she was sold. We set a date, it even made it in to our planners that is how big of a deal these cupcakes are. SO get your appointment books ready is what I’m really trying to say, because you’ll want to pencil these in to your spring baking line-up!

 

The goods!

The mix I bought made 24 cupcakes, so we decided to do 12 with Cadbury creme eggs, and 12 with Cadbury caramel eggs. Best. Decision. Ever.

 

 

 

 

I got my game face on (if that’s what you want to call it), while she tried to act a calm, cool, and collected.

 

We mixed, mixed, mixed and then had to decide just how we were going to tell the caramel from the creme once we baked them….. don’t worry we had a solution. Halloween papers for the caramel, because caramel is fallish. And flowers for the creme, because creme is springy!

 

We decided to make some pretty big fluffy cupcakes, because they hold more icing and that is the most important part!

 

 

We let them cool and then used an icing tip to remove a bit of the center, in order to shove the Cadbury egg into the middle. Then placed the cake right back on top…

 

 

It's like nothing happened 🙂

Then top with your favorite chocolate icing…. I used the Five-Minute LowFat Chocolate Frosting from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook in order to continue with my challenge! Which I made the night before, so we could dig in as soon as they were cooled!

 

 

 

Inside the caramel

 

 

Cadbruy Creme Egg Stuffed Cupcakes

1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix

2-12packs of mini cadbury eggs

 

Directions:

Prepare cupcakes according to package

When slightly cooled, remove a small bit of the top middle (I used an icing tip) and push an egg down to the center, and re-assemble. It’s ok if they look messy, there will be icing on top anyway! Keep refrigerated.

 

Five Minute LowFat Chocolate Frosting

Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa

7 TBS low fat milk (I used skim)

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted (chocolate chips work great!)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix the sugar and cocoa powder together with a whisk. Add the milk, butter, chocolate, and vanilla beat with a mixer until smooth. Keep refrigerated and top cupcakes as you eat them.

 

I recommend heating them in the microwave for 10 seconds before topping with icing and consuming, it makes for a melty egg in the center 🙂

 

 

 

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Tex Mex Rice

We eat a lot of Mexican inspired food around here. When I’m not serving a Mediterranean dish you better believe there is salsa, guac, or beans in it. I’m a big fan of tacos, quesadillas, and don’t even get me started on nachos or adobo spice! Last nights meal was inspired by a recipe I saw in America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook for Tex Mex rice, except I didn’t follow their recipe at all…. I just went with what I had and what was easy.

We didn’t get to making dinner until almost 6:30, which considering my stomach starts to growl around 5 o’clock on the dot nearly everyday I wanted something fast! Andrew and I had a pretty relaxing day of church, watching TV, napping, and grocery shopping. Come late afternoon we were too occupied baking whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and bread before we got to dinner. then there was the never ending what do you want for dinner? I don’t care. After going back and forth I decided on the Tex Mex rice. I don’t like rice or eat it often, but this dish was super yummy, cheap, and fast!

First cut up your onion and bell pepper

 

Saute the onion, bell pepper, and canned corn in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Cook up some brown rice, I like the quick cooking kind, because I’m impatient when it comes to cooking rice.

Select your favorite taco seasoning…. I’m loving Arizona Dreaming from Pensey’s Spices!

Cut the chicken breasts in to strips and and season with taco seasoning, then cook them.

 

 

Select a salsa of your preferred ‘hotness’ and stir into the rice when it is finished cooking. Then add in the vegetables, some red pepper flakes, and top off with the chicken!

 

Tex Mex Rice

Makes 3ish servings

2 chicken breasts

1 cup brown rice

1 cup water

3/4 can of corn

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 large onion, cubed (larger than diced)

4 TBS salsa

taco seasoning

Red pepper flakes

 

Directions:

Cut up onion and bell pepper and place skillet with a splash of olive oil and corn. Cook until fragrant, about 5 min. Mean while cook rice according to box. Slice chicken and cook until cooked through. I added the vegetables on top of the rice once they were done cooking and then cooked the chicken in the same pan I used the veggies for.  Add a few TBS of salsa to the rice mixture, you could also add black beans if you have them. Add some red pepper flakes to turn up the heat (I used mild salsa so it wasn’t very spicy). And ENJOY!

 

 

I finished the evening off with a pretty awesome snack! It sounds soo soo weird but I promise it is awesome and totally satisfies any salty sweet combo cravings you were having….. popcorn with cinnamon toast crunch and/or cinnamon cheerios!

 

 

What random snack have you tried recently?

The above snack was the most recent and delicious!

Tiramisu

It has been a whirl wind of a weekend in the kitchen, but in a good way! I’ve basically been whipping up goodness since Friday afternoon! I love weekends like this, when there is homework to start but nothing that is pressing and I can do the things I love like cook and bake with the ones that I love!

I have basically been promising Andrew for a year or more that I will ‘one day’ make him Tiramisu. It is one of those desserts I have never cared for but he loves it, in fact it is his all time favorite. I caved this weekend.

I always thought it was super hard to make for some reason, but when I got to searching there were some easier ones to make as well as some really hard ones that involved a double boiler, etc to make the custard. I settled on one in the middle from Giada De Laurentiis and for someone who doesn’t like Tiramisu I have to say it’s pretty good and certainly beautiful!

The fixings

I put him in charge of making the espresso

I put Andrew in charge of the espresso, he just had to jump in the picture 😉

I got to work on making the cream!

Separating the eggs

Beating them all together

Mixing in the mascarpone cheese

AND you've got creamy goodness!

Then began the fun part of stacking and spreading and layering it all together.

Dip the lady fingers in the espresso and rum mixture

Layer lady fingers then cream

Then chocolate shavings

AND more lady fingers!

Then set in the fridge to chill

Tiramisu

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

6 egg yolks

3 TBS sugar

16 oz Mascarpone Cheese

1 1/2 cups espresso, cooled

2 tsp dark rum

24 lady fingers

Bittersweet chocolate bar for the shavings on top (we used Godiva 75% dark)

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer. When light and fluffy (about 5 min) stop and add in the mascarpone cheese. Beat until smooth and blended. We added  a TB of espresso to the cream mixture as well while beating.

In a shallow dish mix the rest of the espresso and the rum. Dip each lady finger in the mixture, not more than 5 seconds or they will fall apart. Place the soaked lady fingers in the bottom of a 8 in square baking dish. Line the whole bottom with lady fingers and spread 1/2 the cream on top. Sprinkle desired amount of chocolate shavings on top as well.

Start another layer of lady fingers and then top with cream and lady fingers.

Cover and chill for 2 hours or more. ENJOY!

What did you bake this weekend?

Tiramisu

Cadbury Creme egg stuffed cupcakes (that recipe is to come)

Chocolate chip cookies

The New Bean Dip

I set out to make my second recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook as part of my challenge to cook through this book.  The first recipe was soooo good, but really I needed a break from school work. I love cooking/baking breaks, they are the best! I’ve been planning to make this for dayyyys, and I finally got to it! All my free time has been spent outdoors, it has been BEAUTIFUL here! Anyone else enjoying the warm spring weather?

It decided to turn over night and snow/rain, so it was time to get my cooking on!

I wanted to make a dish a little more savory this time, so I set out to make the White Bean and Artichoke Dip. How great does that sound?!? Pretty awesome if you ask me. Needless to say once I got started I closed the cookbook and began to substitute in a billion different things…. I do my own thing, what can I say. But it turned out fabulous, so go make it, NOW. I guarantee you have most of the ingredients, or at least the ingredients I used.

The New Bean Dip

1 can (15ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed

1 1/2 TB lemon juice

2-3 small garlic cloves, minced (depends on what you like)

1/4 cup Onion, minced, and sauteed lightly in olive oil

Sprinkling of Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper

LOTS of basil, oregano, and thyme (the original called for 1TB  fresh parsley, but I subbed this instead)

6oz of frozen artichokes, thawed, excess water squeezed out

handful of frozen spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out

Directions:

Thaw spinach and artichokes, I was impatient and just did it in the microwave. Slice onion, mince garlic, and rinse beans.

Saute onions

Add beans, onions, garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings to a blender or food processor.

Puree until desired texture

Squeeze water from spinach and artichokes and chop finely

Remove bean puree from blender, mix in artichokes and spinach

Season to taste

Simple as that!

I was afraid to add the spinach and artichokes, because the white beans and seasonings were sooooooo good. But they were a nice touch 🙂

This may just be my substitute for hummus for the next week, it’s that good. I could eat with a spoon, but I didn’t… I ate it with pita chips and it was EVEN BETTER!

What was the last creation you made in the kitchen?

This dip and a super yummy pasta dish for dinner last night!

Ages

So… it seems like ages since I’ve posted! Probably because it as been quite sometime, and the sad thing is I didn’t even make any delicious baked good this week to share with you. BUT I can promise you this week there will be a new recipe from my challenge!!

 

You will all have to spare with me, the posts will be a bit infrequent for the next few weeks… I have 2 research papers and 3 exams to get done in the next 3 weeks, senior year is seriously no joke. So how do I make it through all this writing and researching? I plan some me time and some friend time even when I don’t REALLY have the free time.

 

I spent my last round of tests and papers miserable because I worked worked worked, but this time around I am scheduling in some fun and I am cruising right along! This girl needs some play in her work! So how did I “play” this week?

 

I spent some time with some beautiful friends that I haven’t caught up with in ages

Old picture, but the same awesome girls!

 

I cooked myself a DELICIOUS meal to have on hand for when it’s crunch time this week

chicken breast cooked in lemon juice, rosemary, and basil! So simple and it is going to be sooo yummy!

Spinach, bell pepper with garlic powder, adobo spice, salt and pepper

 

And then I obviously made enough to eat last night for dinner!

Straight out of a container.... I'm classy that way sometimes

Paired with one of these

Romaine, Strawberries, Parmesan cheese, and balsamic

 

AND I obviously treated myself after writing a paper all. day. long.

 

and finished the day off by makes the best boxed brownies around, with an extra touch of peanut butter M&M’s

 

How did you “play” this week or weekend?

Did lots of work, spent time with the girls, made a delicious dinner, and baked with the boy!

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread and Challenge

At times cinnamon raisin bread may just top my love for cookies. I’m not a fan of the store bought kind, but rather the kind fresh from the bakery with all that swirly cinnamony raisiny goodness!! So while I had some extra time on my very last weekend of spring break I set out to make my own. The best part about this was I could add even more cinnamony goodness to the swirls!

 

My very favorite way to eat it!

 

Which leads me to my challenge…..

 

 

I found a recipe for cinnamon raisin swirl bread in a wonderful cookbook I received for Christmas called The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook.  It is a wonderful cookbook with all your favorites made healthy and more! I’ve used it as a guide before here and here. So my challenge is to cook or bake 1 recipe per week from this book. I rarely use cookbooks and I have a gazillion of them for someone my age, so I’ve decided to start cooking my way through and this is my first culprit! Stay tuned for some new recipes!!

BUT FIRST! Go make some of your own cinnamon raisin swirl bread, it’s amazing! I’ve nearly eaten the entire loaf in the past 3 days. I love it with some peanut butter, what’s you favorite topping on bread?

 

Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread

Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook

1 cup warm milk, 110 degrees  (it says use whole, I used skim)

1/3 cup warm water, 110 degrees

3 Tablespoons honey

3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 3/4 cups bread flour

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour ( it called for wheat germ, I didn’t have any)

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant or rapid rise yeast

2 Teaspoons salt

1/2 cup raisins

Vegetable oil spray

Filling

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Tablespoons cinnamon

 

Directions:

Whisk the milk, water, honey, and 3 Tablespoons of the melted butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine the whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt in a bowl or standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the milk mixture and mix until dough forms. Increase mixer to medium speed until dough is smooth.  I do not own a stand mixer so I just continued to mix with a wooden spoon until it was all blended into a ball. Then I kneaded it with my hands above the bowl. Add the raisins and continue to knead to mix in the raisins.

Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead to form a smooth round ball. Place dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). I turned the oven on low and left the door open a crack as my warm place, but there are other options… be creative!

 

Rising in a warm place

 

Spray a 9×5 in loaf pan with vegetable oil. Mix the filling together (sugars and cinnamon) in a small bowl.  Press the dough into a 20 x 8 inch rectangle with the small side facing you (picture below). Spray the dough lightly with water. (I put a small amount in a bowl and used my fingers to sprinkle it on top, but a spray bottle would work well.) Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the bread with about a 2 in border on each side. Sprinkle with water again and roll dough up tightly forming a cylinder. and pinch the seam closed.

 

 

Filling

 

 

Place the loaf (seam side down) in the pan. Spray loaf with vegetable oil and sprinkle once again lightly with water. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise again, it should nearly double in size. about 45-50 min.

 

 

Rising round 2

 

 

Preheat oven to 350. Brush  loaf with 1/2 TB melted butter, and sprinkle with water one last time. Bake until the crust is golden brown (and/or inside temp of bread is 200 degrees). approx 40 to 50 min, rotating half way through baking.

Cool loaf in pan for 10-15min, then flip out on to a wire rack to completely cool. Wait 1-2 hours before slicing.

 

**Unfortunately mine is not very pretty because I did not have a large enough pan, so it spilled over the top quite a bit (to quote Andrew when he opened the oven “now that is what I call a muffin top”! BUT it is DELICIOUS!***

 

 

What is one thing you love, but have never baked?

Cinnamon raisin bread, until now!!! I think pudding will be next, or carrot cake!

 

What is your favorite bread topping?

I LOVE peanut butter on anything, so usually peanut butter. When I was a kid I used to like cream cheese on my cinnamon raisin bread and butter and jam on toast.

 

If it makes you happy

I have had a pretty wonderful Spring Break. No I didn’t jet off to some place warm (we got 10in of snow at school) or really do anything all that exciting, but I did relax and enjoy myself. I had some delicious eats and hung out with some awesome friends and family. It is really what I needed after the past few weeks. I’d say I’m pretty happy with my spring break.

 

Breakfast looked like this most days:

Oiko's Super Fruits Greek Yogurt with cereal mix <-- new fav flavor

Oiko's Honey Greek Yogurt with blackberries and cashews

Plain greek yogurt w/ peach activia yogurt, blueberries, Chia seeds, and Kashi GoLean cereal <-- new fav breakfast combo!

 

I love all the possible yogurt mix-in’s when I go home! I also love that I can work out how I want, when I want because I don’t have super early classes! I enjoyed several runs, strength training sessions, and I even did yoga for the first time in years!

I loved it! I dove right into the intermediate/advanced while I totally should have started with the beginner/intermediate yoga is hard! Props to all of you who do it daily or almost daily, that is awesome! I’ve never had the patience for yoga… People are always telling me to do  yoga, that it would be good for me. I guess what they are really saying is you need to calm down… I am a very go, go, go type person hence why I love running and cardio. But I have to say I really enjoyed the yoga and how it made my body feel this time around.

I’ve been trying to mix some strength training and stretching into my normal routine, because of an injury I’ve had for about a year now. Everyone I have gone to says I have a strength imbalance from one side to the other and I am really tight after workouts. SO I’ve been focusing on strengthening my muscles and stretching em all out. I am definitely going to be doing more yoga in the future!

 

Lunch looked like this most days:


Sandwich thin w/ hummus, spinach, and red peppers

Peanut butter and Jelly w/ carrots, celery dipped in Kalamata olive hummus and Tabbouleh

 

I am seriously in love with Trader Joe’s Kalamata olive hummus, then I bought some of their tabbouleh and I am in love with the combination of the two! It is soooo fresh tasting! I think some Tabbouleh making is in my future! I can’t find it pre-made anywhere at school, but hey I’m up to it!

Unfortunately Dinners went un-photographed all week long. I had some good eats too which is sad I can’t share them with you. But what I can share with you is this:

 

Make. These. NOW! They are Jess’s Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies. DELICIOUS! I’ve been pairing them with some slow churned Edy’s chocolate ice cream. Perfection. They are super rich, but O so gooey and delicious.

Sadly those are the only thing I made this break, but I feel like I might just be in the kitchen tomorrow. What a great way to end spring break huh? I’d say I’m pretty happy with how my break went.

 

What makes you happy?

Good food, time to work out when and how I want, and good time with friends!

 

What are you digging for breakfast or lunch these days?

Breakfast: Yogurt/cereal/fruit mixtures (pictured above)

Lunch: Anything that involves hummus, veggies, and peanut butter.