Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cookie Dough Cupcakes - The Highs and the lows...

The Highs

There was a "ladies' holiday lunch" at my office last week and I signed up to bring a dessert... After seeing this delicious-looking recipe over on www.kevinandamanda.com, I decided that I absolutely had to try it. I mean, Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Do I need to say more?

It wasn’t difficult and was actually kind of fun... I made the cookie dough the day before and used my new cookie dough scooper to make the cookie dough balls to put in the freezer. Afterward I begged on here and to all of my friends to save me from the left-over dough... It was delicious. And it was egg-free, so perfectly safe to eat. (Although, I have never really been that nervous about eating raw cookie dough, to be honest...)

  Save me.

The next evening it was time to make the cupcakes. You literally just plop the frozen cookie dough ball on top of the dough... So simple.

For some reason, mine did not drop in as completely as Amanda’s... For the second batch, I smooshed them in just a tiny bit to help them on their way... Even though they didn’t drop all the way out of sight like Amanda’s the cookie dough still stayed raw like it was supposed to!

The cookie dough buttercream icing was super simple to make and tasted DELICIOUS. I just piped it on, sprinkled some left-over chocolate chips on top, and VOILA!

 Resting on their nifty carrier...

 On display for the party...

And to show you the result........

Cookie dough was still raw! And it was fantastic!!!

And I got to use my awesome new collapsible cupcake carrier from Sur La Table to carry them! It holds 24 cucpakes when expanded.

 Photo from here.

Now for the lows...

I had taken the leftover cupcakes to my friend’s house to share them, but after we had gone out to eat, none of us were hungry enough for them... I took them home instead of leaving them there even though we would be going back there the next day because I wanted to bring them the next morning when we went to get our hair done and share them there too...

It’s been raining like crazy here in Southern California, so when we got home I handed J my house key so that he could just run in while I gathered up my stuff from the car... (I carry an umbrella - he doesn’t... It just made sense to let him get out of the rain...) So I had my purse, my umbrella, the cupcakes, my key so that I could lock my car... Got the car locked just fine, but as I was shifting everything to be able to reach for the door handle to go in the house........

I somehow caught one of the clips that hold the cupcake carrier together and it unsnapped.

And dropped all 10 of the remaining delicious cupcakes onto my rain-soaked front path....

I was devastated. I may or may not have cried about it. A lot.

My friend kept reminding me that they were just cupcakes and it was ok, but I was bummed. It’s just that I had worked so hard on them and was so proud of them...

(I swear there is something in my eye right now... I did not just mist up at the memory! UGH! PMS sucks....)

And they ended up in a trash bag where no one else could taste them and tell me what an awesome job I did. (So maybe I like praise... You got a problem with that??)

Oh well. C’est la vie, right? I’ve already decided that I am going to make a small batch next week while I am off so that I can take them over to my friend’s house when she and her husband get back from visiting his family in Canada for the holidays...

And I WILL NOT drop them this time.

Here’s the recipe because you know you want to try them! This is copied and pasted from Kevin and Amanda’s blog... She deserves the credit for the adaptation, but she credits where she adapted it from too.... ENJOY!

(Just don’t drop them...)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting

For the cookie dough:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract


To make the cookie dough, combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a 1.5 tbsp scoop, shape the dough into balls or tubes. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.

Using a 3 tbsp scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.
Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips!

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Cookie dough adapted from Picky Palate. Cupcake and frosting adapted from Annie’s Eats.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Save Me

I am asking for someone to save me from my left-over cookie dough for the cupcakes I am making tomorrow for my work holiday lunch... It's egg-free, so it's perfectly safe to eat raw. It's really yummy... My boy-cat agrees.

Save me!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I Am Thinking About RIGHT Now....

- The holiday gift exchange we were supposed to go to last Friday got moved to this Friday...

- Yesterday felt like Thursday. Today feels like Friday. I seriously hate when that happens.

- I love Ann Taylor. Like, A LOT. I’m so glad there is an Ann Taylor factory store near enough to me so that I can get the clothes I want for half the price...

- I finally did a little Christmas shopping. I now pretty much have J completely covered... I had e-mailed our friend’s dad about a handheld GPS thing that he takes offroading with him so that he can track where he’s been. J had been geeking out about it, so I wanted to get him one. After hearing back and looking it up... I’m not spending $300 on it... Sorry, honey.

- I still need to get something for my parents and for my brother and his wife. And I need to get stuff for the people in my office that I like enough to give something... I’m thinking this year I am going to make fudge. J says that as long as there are left-overs for him, he will help me make the crap-ton of fudge that it will take to get everyone. I told him that that can be arranged...

- I am loving Angry Birds Seasons... The Christmas version is a little advent calendar... You can only open up one new level each day until Christmas :-)

- My car is now a year old... Only two years to go. I’ve already been debating what car to get next... I love my IS, but I gotta plan... haha I’m thinking maybe a Highlander... I’m surprised that it took me a full year to start thinking about it... I guess I must truly love the IS. When I behave like a responsible adult and get more practical cars, I start thinking about the next car after maybe a week... haha

- The “lady” next to me at work is taking tomorrow off and two more days in the next two weeks. Last second. Right before we are off for the holidays. Tomorrow is so she can go to the spa. I understand that people are entitled to take time off if they have it, but I really cannot remember the last time she worked a full week. I want to punch her in the mouth every time I hear her complain about not having enough time to get everything done.

- J was complaining about Christmas music the other day in stores... So when we were back in the car, I jokingly put on the Hanukah channel on my xm. Oh, WOW! SOOOO much worse... Seriously.

- I am really looking forward to tonight’s episode of Bones... It looks really good.

- I cannot BELIEVE that it is already time for the Season Finale of Dexter!!! It went by way too quickly...

- The day after I get to quit working (I can dream....) I am going to dye my hair bright red to celebrate. Or bright purple. Simply because I can.

- I hope all the stuff I ordered for J gets here in time for me to wrap...

- I need to put up my mini tree and decorate it... Maybe it will help me get more in the Christmas spirit... It just doesn’t feel like Christmas this year... Not anywhere near my family, my best friend and her husband are leaving for Canada on Christmas Eve to see his family... I am just feeling really blah about Christmas right now.

- I hope J took the subtle-as-a-brick “hint” about my Amazon wish list and buys me the things I want... J: What do you want for Christmas? Me: I’ve been making an Amazon wish-list. Haha

- I have to bust out my sewing machine when I get home because I just noticed that there is a place on the leg of my brand new, super comfy grey Ann Taylor cords where the seam is coming undone! Ugh..... This will not do....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Let's Catch Up, Shall We?

I’m lame... Totally lame. It’s been WAY too long since I wrote and the amount of garbage rolling around in my brain is telling me I need to fix that ASAP. So here I am... Trying to get back into my usual routine...

As a way of doing that...

Here is what I have been doing while I haven’t been here...

- We went on one of our off-road camping trips. It was a great time... Except for when J had to bail off the quad and cracked a rib. And the crazy, horrible adventure of two broken bikes in the middle of the dunes and the search to bring them back that left those of us who remained at camp wondering where the missing were and if we would EVER see them again. Also left me as “Faux-Mommy” to our friend’s daughter... He was part of “the missing.” Luckily they made it back, no one hurt except the two bikes, Cass was REALLY happy to see her daddy, and we were all able to resume relaxing.
 And I had been having a phenomenal time riding the quad. I kept coming back to rest and get some water and then would run back over and ride off again...

- Discovered the amazing deliciousness of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. Oh my yum.

- Got really confused by Yogurtland’s hours...

 Seems a little repetitive to me... (Kinda hard to see... Says: Sun-Thurs 10:30 am - Midnight; Fri-Sat 10:30 am - 12:00 am)

- Been super-ridiculously-disgustingly busy at work. There was one point where I spent three days putting bows and ribbons on the spouse gift for the payoff dinner for an incentive. Yes, I knew full well that no one would care what they looked like - all they would care about was what was inside the box... But I also knew that everyone would know that I was the one that prepared them, and if they looked like crap, I would have been really bugged by it... Other than that, it has been go, go, go for so long that I forgot what a moment to breathe felt like. It seems like every day I have a new task added to my job... I’m just wondering when it’s gonna stop... There’s has to be a breaking point...

- J got me a Kindle for my birthday (which was back in MAY... we lag a little on getting presents for each other) and I was reading my BUTT off so that I could finish the actual books I was reading so that I could start using my Kindle.

- I did a couple crafty projects that require a little fine-tuning before I am ready to share them.

- We did Thanksgiving with my best friend’s family and had a blast. J made his “signature” mashed potatoes that he had been telling me about for 8 years, but had never made for me... I have nicknamed them “pommes trois gras” or three-fat potatoes... haha (I realize that technically is says three-fat apples, but I figured since they just call french fries “pommes frites” then people would get what I meant...) In these potatoes you will find bacon, cream instead of milk, butter, onions and garlic sautéed in the bacon grease, and then the potatoes themselves are tossed back into the pan with a little bit of bacon grease. So decadent. I don’t even want to know how many calories were in these potatoes...

- We only went to two stores on Black Friday and both late in the day so there was no craziness... My best friend and I went to Kohl’s because she wanted to look around. I ended up buying myself a really pretty emerald ring (my birthstone) because I’d wanted one for quite a while and the sale was just too good to pass up. Now I just need to get it sized so I can wear it. The other store was Best Buy. While there, I developed an angry pout as I kept seeing the new RED Nintendo Wii’s. I was very jealous and spent the time thinking about how stupid my boring white Wii is... Oh well.... J also found a great deal on a tv - we have been needing a new tv for our room for a while. The one we had in there was tiny and it was dying... Plus, by using my Best Buy Rewards Certificates, the price of the tv was looking better and better. So we went for it. It’s normal to have a 40-inch lcd tv mounted on the wall in your bedroom, right? Right.

- We cleaned. Man, oh man, did we clean. It’s been a long time coming - we both just have so much.... JUNK... that we just don’t need cluttering the house. We’ve been meaning to do a real deep clean of the house for a while and just haven’t had time. But we decided that if we didn’t make time, it was never going to happen. We did what we could until we ran out of room in the trash can and we both ran out of steam. I honestly don’t know where it all came from or what I was keeping it for, but I ended up taking 6 big trash bags full of clothes to Goodwill. It was ridiculous. And if J would just clean out the area in front of my closet in the office more so that I can actually comfortably get in it to go through it, I’m pretty sure I’ll have another bag. My mantra has been “I will not be a hoarder; I will not be a hoarder!” J has to finish the garage so that we can move some stuff out there for storage and then we can finish the office and music room. I also want to go through my bookshelves and clear out books that I can get on my Kindle. It’s a lot of work and there’s still plenty more to do, but it’s going to feel so nice to be uncluttered for once...

- J had an ill-timed cough that sent cracked rib to broken rib earlier this week. I heard him cough and then heard him sound like someone stabbed him... He was in a lot of pain, but tried to leave for work anyway. He came back in a minute later saying that he couldn’t steer his work van and had to pull over a couple houses down. I told him that I would call in to work and stay home (such a sacrifice... Seriously, I will do pretty much anything if it means I don’t have to go in to my office....) and take him to the doctor. X-rays and exam and blah blah blah find out that the two-week mark is the dangerous point for healing ribs because 1. The bone is the weakest at that point because of the way it heals and 2. You aren’t in as much pain, so you aren’t being as careful. So we get to re-start the clock on the healing. He is going to be much more careful this time.

So... yeah. That’s a summary of the bigger things that have been going on... I am slightly dreading the next few weeks because they are always CRAZY busy. Last night we had to go get gifts for a gift exchange party. I am hoping that I don’t end up with something REALLY terrible or else I’ll be in a bad mood. I always buy something that I think is funny, but that someone will still not really be too upset about ending up with. Other people don’t seem to think that way... I picked out a really ugly stocking and filled it with Santa’s Coal Bubble Gum, a little toy Santa that poops out candy (because it was so much funnier and disturbing than the reindeer toy that poops out candy...), and a Santa Mr. Potato Head. Shoved all of those into a big gift bag and stuffed it to the top with tissue paper.

-- Side note: Our cable was acting weird last night, which meant we lost the second half of Bones. This also meant that I was left looking at the gift bag with the oddly-creepy Santa on it for too long and ending up giving him word bubbles. One of which says “Hey, baby, I got a ‘yule log’ for ya!” The other side says “Wanna come up to Santa's work shop and see the ‘north pole’?” Yeah... not normal. But I was giggling like crazy the whole time... -- 

 Seriously. It’s funny.

J purchased a Chris Rock compilation DVD from the $10 section at Target... He figured the movies on it are funny, so whoever gets it shouldn’t be too upset, but it’s still a really bizarre, funny gift. Oh, and his will be in a Hanukah (I cannot find a consistent answer on the spelling... So this is how I spell it.) bag. Because he’s Jewish. (I always picture in my head a wave of the hand while saying “Jew.... ish” I can’t help it... haha)

Next weekend we have to go to J’s cousin’s to celebrate Hanukah - this means we need to go find presents for all the little kids that will be there (No one buys presents for the grown-ups anymore - it’s all about the kids). All I care about is the latkes. YUM. Then there is a Ladie’s Holiday Luncheon at work that I am planning on making cupcakes for. I need to find time to make a crap-ton of fudge because that’s what I’m giving people that I like in my office for Christmas... I still need to do Christmas shopping... Ugh. I just keep reminding myself that the 23rd is the last day that I will have to think about work this year. I am REALLY looking forward to my week off. I desperately need it. And am mad at myself for not taking the 4 vacations days I would have needed to use to make it a full two weeks off... Oh well...

I do love the holidays... I just need more time....... haha Isn't that always how it is?

How are your holiday preparations coming??

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