AKA Fat Kid Sunday (Slow Cooker Sunday + Sunday Cupcakery)
Slow Cooker Sunday
So… Autumn is here. I mean, officially, it’s here. And I hate it. I’m a summer girl at heart… give me tank tops, flip-flops, and 90 degree weather. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few things I like about the Fall… more specifically: boots, outerwear (I have a jacket/ coat/ scarf obsession), hot food, and hot chocolate. Yes, I said hot food. Is that a weird thing to say?
I guess what I mean is, I got a slow cooker last winter (for Christmas) and I love it. I started doing “Slow Cooker Sunday” as a way to experiment. Until today, it was mostly soups or stews that I didn’t like enough to post. Try the BBQ Chicken, I make it ALL the time.
We eat a lot of pasta/ spaghetti and meatballs in the winter… usually we buy the meatballs from the deli counter. I just figured I might as well save us the trouble, and make some meatball, then portion them out and freeze them! This way I know what I’m putting in them!
The original version of this recipe was on All Recipes. I subbed the fresh ingredients for dried, mostly because I’m too lazy to chop and dice everything small enough. I also changed the can & jar sizes for the sauce. I’m not sure if that makes this recipe “mine” or not… oh well. They’re pretty delish, and I hope they freeze (and reheat) well enough.
check out the recipe here!Sunday Cupcakery
Every year during the holidays Mom gets me a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I love them. Like really, really, REALLY love them. Sadly, I can never find them. EVER. Every holiday season, you can find me trolling the grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, even the CVS/ Walgreens type stores to no avail… Quite frankly It makes me horribly sad, verging on depressed.
That’s the reason behind these Grand Marnier Cupcakes. I want a chocolate orange, and I can’t have one, so why not make chocolate orange cupcakes!? YUM! Not to mention I also really like Grand Marnier.
They’re nice and simple to make… I’ve been using the same chocolate cake recipe for weeks (months?). Although… I didn’t have enough cocoa powder. Oops. Seriously, I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t forget to get something at the grocery store that I need to bake with. I did, however, have a few pieces of baking chocolate, so I just melted that with my butter. Maybe that’s the reason they kinda caved in the middle!? Or maybe they caved in because I poked them too much… Not sure. They’re still tasty, and I don’t think the GM overwhelmed the chocolate at all, but Hubs claims they’re a bit “strong”. That could be d/t the 5 tablespoons of GM I used in the buttercream. Hehe. 😉 Which, by the way, is the standard buttercream recipe I’ve been using…
One of the things I like about these is how simple they are. Another great thing is that there are a million kinds of chocolate box cake mixes you could substitute (dark chocolate, anyone?), and all you’d need to do is trade out half of the water for Grand Marnier! Or you could leave out the GM in the cake all together and just make the frosting! Here’s a link to the recipe page, just in case you want to make your own!
Now if only Dinner Time (meatballs & cheese on a toasted sub roll) and Dessert Time (GM chocolate cupcake, duh) would get here…
Have a glorious Fat Kid Sunday,
Lately I’ve really wanted to “branch out” and try some new stuff. Then I saw a friend update her FB status about scones from Starbucks (you know, those HUGE ones that are covered in glaze and taste like heaven), and I’ve wanted a scone ever since. I also happen to love Grand Marnier… so into my handy search engine goes “Grand Marnier scone” and up popped a plethora of recipes. I like this one by Janet from Ashley Inn in Martha’s Vineyard (it didn’t hurt that I also happen to love MV/ New England/ the Cape/ Nantucket). I did change one or two small things, and I made up my own glaze because her scones don’t have one.
Silly me, I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge so it was a bit hard to get my dough crumbly (it took me a little bit). I’m also still using my broken hand mixer, which only has one speed (faster than slow, slower than fast, but still not quite medium). Don’t get me started on mixers, I’ve been researching stand mixers for a month. I can’t commit to one, and I have issues spending that much money on a small appliance… But I digress.
After less than a minute of beating the wet ingredients into the dry, it got too hard to continue. So I finished mixing by hand, folding it over until all the dry ingredients were incorporated. Sadly, I over baked these a little. I put them in the oven for 14 minutes, but I’m betting 10 or 12 would be enough…
Don’t glaze them too soon after taking them out of the oven or it will melt off completely, and end up all over your cookie sheet instead of your scones! Not that it happened to me or anything. 😉
Now eat one. And another. I’m going back for thirds…
I won’t lie… when I turned 21 this was my FAVORITE shot to order at the bar. And I ordered it a lot. Long day shift with shitty tippers? B52. Short night shift with awesome tippers? B52. Some one has a birthday? B52. Your dog died? Have a B52. You get my drift? Anytime was a good time for one of these.
Wait… WHAT!? You’ve never had a B52!? Get your rump to the nearest bar and order one of these. Now.
Alright, now that you’ve tried the glorious layered concoction of Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier… I can continue.
It was good, wasn’t it?
I’ve been tossing the idea of making these around for a few months, but I wasn’t sure HOW. I couldn’t decide how to get all the flavors layered. At first I thought maybe little mini layer cakes. But it was going to be too much work. Then I thought of just combining the Kahlua & Bailey’s in the cake and the Grand Marnier in the frosting. But then I wouldn’t have the pretty layered look! Sigh…
This week I buckled down and decided to just do it. Actually… I picked B52’s this week because I wanted to find a “from scratch” yellow cake and another chocolate cake to add to my recipe book. I found both on All Recipes, then used the serving size button and divided it in half. Then I substituted the alcohol for half of the liquid in each. Tah-Dah! Sadly… I can’t really taste either the Kahlua or the Bailey’s. Boo. But, they’re still yummy! I was also a little disappointed about the way they rose. I was hoping it would be more even, but I guess that was probably because of the different densities…
The Grand Marnier buttercream is just a variation of my standard recipe. It’s YUMMY! Actually, I think it’s close to perfect. I love the flavor! In fact I can’t wait to use it on some chocolate cupcakes. Drooooooool.
Now, go bake something! I’m going to eat a cupcake.
I didn’t get a chance to bake last Sunday, as we spent Labor Day Weekend with some of my family in MD. Yay. I haven’t seen my Nana or my Aunt R in years, and it was so glorious to spend some much needed time with my fabulous family. Not to mention I got to see my mom (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and my Aunt J! Went to the Civil War Medicine Museum and learned a lot. AND I did some outlet shopping… HELLO 50% off Nike running jacket, and 40% off Yankee Candles! Ee gads, if I had my way I also would have bought half of the place that sold kitchen gadgets, several pairs of new shoes, and…
Shit, I went a bit off topic there, huh? Back to it…
On the way back to PA on Monday, Hubs jokingly reminded me that he needed goodies to take into work on Tuesday! I do love a challenge, and any excuse to make some junk food sounds good to me. I’ve been dying to try making a Monkey Bread (pull apart cinnamon/ sugar “bread”) recipe that I found on AllRecipes.com… so I went with that and some Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddy, Moose Knuckles… you know, Chex, chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar). The Puppy Chow went off with out a hitch, maybe ’cause I’ve made it a million times. The same could NOT be said for the Monkey Bread. The recipe was originally for an 8-9 inch bundt pan (another kitchen thing I don’t own) so while I was out I got a set of those really cheap aluminum ones, but they were only 5 inchs. NBD, right? I figured I’d just use both of them… Long story short, I followed the prep directions, made the sticky sauce and poured it over the top. As the “bread” expanded the sugary sauce dripped over the edge of the pan, and proceeded to burn on the bottom of my oven. And that’s just the beginning…
After (what I thought was) the right amount of time, and opening half the windows in the apartment I took the bundt pans out of the oven, and allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes. After that I flipped them out of the cheap bundt pan, and realized that they were still RAW on the inside! Eeeeeff meeeeee. Well, since the oven was off I figured I’d get some of that sauce off the bottom of my oven, apparently 15 minutes isn’t enough time for the coils (I’ve got an electric oven) to cool off and I managed to burn my hand 2x while I tried to scrub the oven… Then I preheated it (again), and dumped the Monkey Bread chunks onto a cookie sheet, and ended up baking them for another 20 minutes. I think.
Needless to say… There’s no recipe page (or pictures) for the Monkey Bread. Not yet. It needs some work, and a boozy icing.
Now that September is over, I decided to get back to the Cupcakery. So… I’ve seen these ridiculously yummy looking commercials for some restaurant that serves Jack Daniel’s Cake, maybe TGI Fridays, and have had JD on the brain for a while. I browsed some recipes online. It seemed like all the JD cakes online are loaf cakes, dense, or bready. Not what I was looking for. Eventually I stumbled on a few JD chocolate cupcake recipes. Why didn’t I think of that!? I mixed and matched pieces from other recipes. AKA the same chocolate cake I always use (thanks to Restless Chipotle), the ONLY chocolate ganache recipe I’ve ever used (S’more cupcakes, Irish CarBomb cupcakes… ), and the boozy chocolate buttercream from the PB cookie cups!
Nothing exciting or interesting happened while I was making the cake batter, except I realized I didn’t have enough vanilla or JD for either of the other components. Luckly, Hubs is AWESOME (yes, I’m totes bragging), and went out to get me more of both! Glad the liquor store’s open on Sunday here. 😉
The ganache was a different story… It was waaaaay too thin, and I have NO IDEA why. I literally have no idea what I did wrong. Seriously. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips that I had in the fridge to the ganache. Then I let it sit while I smoked a ciggy, walked the dog, washed the dishes, and made the buttercream. It thickened nicely after the addition of the chocolate chips and some time to “set”. The only place I went off recipe was melting the butter into the cream (while it simmered) instead of adding it at the same time as the JD… That’s the way I wrote it originally, but not the way my posted recipe says (which is how I actually made it)… hmph. I also had a lot left over, so I drizzled it over the top of the buttercream frosting.
As for the buttercream… I actually added the liquid ingredients and salt after about 3/4 of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. It was getting to clumpy, and my poor hand mixer pretty much gave its last breath today. (Insert Moment Of Silence here in memory of my first kitchen gadget, the only mixer I’ve ever owned, and the one tool that’s been with me since my first cupcake) This recipe makes a lot of frosting… it’s possible that you might only need to make half of the recipe. But I love frosting, so I over frost my cupcake like an addict searching for a sugar high.
Don’t judge, just enjoy.
Happy Sunday Cupcakery,
Click here for the RECIPE!!
(update 9/10/12) Umm… I’m not a huge fan of these. More specifically, If you don’t LOVE JD, you won’t like these. The cupcakes actually made my face hot. Like when you take a shot, you can feel it spread. You know what I mean? At any rate, this is def not a “subtle” flavor, and I don’t particularly like JD. I’m thinking less JD in the ganache will make it better… Just figured a warning would be right. 😉