Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day! Black-forest Cupcakes with Kirsch.

All you need is love. 
But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.  
Charles M. Schulz

I agree Mr. Schulz! but I'm going a little further and adding boozy cherries...Yeah! 
did I get your attention? 
These cupcakes definitely fit the valentines theme, red and white, chocolate, cherry liquor and whipped cream with a cherry on top.
everything in one, convenient bite.

The cupcakes are a deep rich chocolate flavor, the sour cream really makes them nice and soft. 
the cupcake itself is not overly sweet (none of the components to this cupcake are really sweet) .
The cherry filling is a replica of a cherry pie filling and the whipped cream is  simple yet elegant vanilla flavored. 

 kirsch is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from morello cherries
However, it is now also made from other kinds of cherries.

Black Forest Cupcakes with Kirsch

Makes 24 cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

    Cherry Filling
  • 16 oz  Frozen dark black cherries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Kirsch
  • Fresh cherries or maraschino cherries with stems

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water and cocoa until smooth, set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside
  3. In a small saucepan, combine butter and sugar, heat stirring occasionally until the butter is melt. Pour into a large bowl and beat on medium speed until mixture is cooled, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition
  5. Add the vanilla, mix, and then add the cocoa mixture, mix well
  6. Add dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with sour cream, beat just until combined.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners
  8. Divide batter into liners and bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  9. Cool completely
  10. Poke little holes (not too many) and brush each cupcake with kirsch. let the cupcakes soak.

  11. Cherry Pie Filling

  1. Drain cherries, reserving the liquid
  2. Add water to measure 1 1/4 cups, add to small saucepan
  3. Add cornstarch and sugar to saucepan, and heat, whisking occasionally until mixture comes to bubble and thickens.
  4. Continue whisking so no lumps form and filling is smooth
  5. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and almond extract, fold in cherries.
  6. Cool completely. Store leftovers in fridge
  7. To fill cupcake, use a small knife and cut out a cone shape from the middle of the cupcake, fill with the cherry filling.


  1. Pour whipping cream into a large bowl and beat on medium until it starts to thicken
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beat on high until stiff peaks form {be careful not to overbeat}
  3. Fold in vanilla
  4. Fit a decorator bag with tip of your choice (I used the open star one from bake it pretty) and fill with whipping cream
  5. Pipe onto filled cupcake
  6. Top with a cherry


Recipe adapted from Hoosierhomemade, who adapted it from Annie's eats

Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm being featured!!!! Soooooo excited!!!!

So I'm totally over the moon right now.
This might not be a huge thing for regular bloggers, but since I had dedicated my blog to be a hobby and had chosen to not put adds and such on my blog, I really wasn't expecting this! I'm so excited!
I'm so excited to be listed amoung a number of my favorite bakers and bloggers...such an honor. 
I'm definitly feeling the pressure now lol

You can check out the story here  ;-) Hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Margarita Cupcakes

I know that valentines day is a day we pull out everything red, pink and any combo of the two. I honestly don't like red and pink together.
My husband has to be very creative when it comes to valentines, I'm not an average girl I don't like stuffed animals, I can't wear jewelry or perfume and I don't like spending money on flowers that will go bad in a couple days.
So I am going to give you a perfect valentines day present for any stressed out tired mom of little ones (at least for me)
These cupcakes are simply sexy (yes I said sexy, covering mouth is shock, Oh no she didn't just say that!)
They are light and moist and just perfect as a desert right after a romantic dinner.
I think the best gift I will be given is our marriage retreat coming up! I'm super excited. It's hard to keep our marriage romantic and creative when you have small kids!
I've read the book covenant marriage, it's really an awesome book, that would be another great gift idea. Try spending time together after the kids are asleep, reading and eating these lovely mini cakes.

What would your perfect gift or night be???

Happy Valentines remember to thank God for the ones you love!

Margarita Cupcakes

Printable Recipe



For the cupcakes:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 limes, juiced and the zest kept separate
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2-4 tbsp. tequila


To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line two normal sized cupcake pans with some pretty paper liners.  (I used Wilton's paper liners)
  2. Grab a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir to blend well.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on med-high speed, 3-5 minutes.  
  3. One at a time blend in the eggs , mix well after each addition and scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.  Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.  
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed, mix the dry ingredients in 3 additions beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk,   Beat each addition until just incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full, don't overfill
  6. Bake the cupcakes 20-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
  7. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Brush the cooled cakes with gingerly with tequila to emphasize margarita flavor and to give the cupcake a kick.

To make the frosting:

  1. Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a (Bain-Marie) heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  
  2. Heat until the sugar mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved, whisk frequently.  
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat until stiff peaks form on med-high speed  make sure the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8-10 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more after each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on med-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (Don't give up if it looks soupy, just keep going. it will come together eventually! might take a long time though)  Stir in lime juice and tequila and mix until fully incorporated and smooth.
  4. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.  Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream.  Garnish with lime zest and lime slices as desired. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of  Annie's eats

Monday, February 4, 2013

Biscoff Cupcakes A Tribute to the Ever Loved Airline Cookie

Biscoff cookies are a big part of my childhood. I was born and raised in Belgium (Europe, right under the Netherlands and above France). I remembered getting these awesome cookies at school as a treat for Sinterklaas (St Nicolaas). Every year on Dec 5th we would put out our shoes with a note to st Nicolaas and a carrot or sugar cubes for his white horse. the next morning we would find our shoes filled with speculoos (biscoff cookies), oranges  marzipan and a gift. Our school would hand out a bag full of chocolate st nicolaas figures and a bag of fruit and some chocolate covered biscoff cookies. We loved them. (read more about sinterklaas or st nicolaas here)
I've been so  excited to see the cookies here in the states. and now hey have biscoff spread???? why didn't I think of that? pure genius.
of course my little cupcake consumed brain started turning it's wheels, a biscoff cupcake? HECK YES!!!! it would happen just wasn't sure how...
The poor biscoff jar sat there for a month or so untouched! ( the horror!) until finally I found a recipe that might be a good base for the cupcake.
The cupcake itself was a little dense, so i might just need to work on that a little more. but the combo of the biscoff cupcakes, filling and frosting was a great success. i used the crunchy spread out of curiosity but next time I will try the smooth spread for the cupcakes and the crunchy spread for the frosting ( I really liked the little added crunch it gave) I also would use the crunchy spread for the filling.
so here is the recipe I followed and like I said i will be messing around with the cupcake recipe a little more. I'll keep you posted.

Biscoff Cupcakes With Biscoff Buttercream.

Printable Recipe

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread (I would use the smooth one)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
     Biscoff Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Biscoff (I used the crunchy)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. In a small bowl mix flour and baking powder until combined. set aside.
  2. On med-high speed cream together butter, Biscoff spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated, add vanilla. Set speed to low. Add half of the flour mix until just combined. add half of milk and mix until just combined alternating between flour and milk ending with the milk. Mix until just combined.
  3.  Divide batter evenly into cups.Bake for 17 to 20 minutes. The top will be firm like a cookie, and the inside will be soft like a cake. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. When cupcakes are cooled cut a small hole in the top of the cupcake, remove the cake. place about 1 1/2 tsp of biscoff spread in the cupcake. place the top back on the cupcakes.
  5. To make the buttercream, cream together butter and Biscoff. Slowly add powdered sugar. Add cream and vanilla and beat until very light and fluffy. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and add decorations if you like.

Recipe adapted from Baked Bree

Operation life changes 2013!

So the old year is gone and the brand spank-in new year has arrived.
I'm not usually one for resolutions per say but I do like reorganizing my life.  So far this year has been going good. Full, But good!
DH started his day shift again. I'll be honest and tell you that it feels like being liberated from a dark musty cell! I'm freeeeeeeeeeeee lol
Nights are just the worst when you have a family. I'm happy to wake up at 6am now and make my breakfast for my man ;-)
So changes we have made for this New Year?

  1. We have a schedule (at least for the next 4 months, until he goes back to dreaded nights) 
  2. I actually wake up at 6am (I know right??!! score on my part!) 
  3. Couponing, this has made it so much more easier to make breakfast or actually have a schedule. (I find myself less "guilty" using the nice name brand soaps and shampoos because, face it paying $0.50 for it rather than $6 is a lot less daunting!)  
  4. My kids cupboard space!!! oh wow where to start...the revelation, that just by folding clothes differently can save a ton of space, just totally blew me out of the water, and put a hot scorching fire under my lazy butt to reorganize! It looks the same from the outside but when you "slowly" open the dresser drawers, you can hear heavenly music playing and the warm golden glow of success and organization.
  5. I cleaned the bathroom....yes me, moi! and it makes a world of difference getting ready at the God forsaken hour of 6am ( I'm working on the God forsaken eyes just can't focus on my Jesus calling book that early)
  6. Making our bed....the magic that lies beneath this simple act really astonishes me. making a bed in even the messiest of rooms, can make the room look somewhat put together.... which helps loads in feeling put together in the wee hours. Because honestly I feel more like a Picasso painting when I wake up.
  7. cleaning my face before bed and when i wake up. This has helped with the "forsaken hour" and the feeling "put together" part. and not to mention a beautiful clear complexion. 
  8. I get fully dressed every morning down to shoes (or socks...I know I cheat) this makes me feel ready to tackle the day.
  9. Keeping the kitchen clean! 4 days in and my kitchen is still clean! makes me want to go prance barefoot outside (well maybe not now, but i can imagine it) the pure joy of having a clean kitchen!!! this means every morning I unload and load the dish washer, wipe the counters, sweep the floor and clean the sink et voila magnifique!!! 
  10. last but soo not the least, devos...this one I have actually really been struggling with! I find it hard to get a quiet time in the day to devote to it. I guess for right now I need to be happy for the scarce little moments I do have to spend with God. they are there I just sometimes feel guilty because I can't sit down and properly give him my undivided attention. But then again toddler boys are a handful. I'm very thankful for the moments I do get to quietly talk to my savior! because they end up being in the times when i most need it and they are less "staged" ;-)
So far things are going well and I've been able to somewhat conquer all of these (except for #10) 
here are some of the inspirations behind these changes :-)

  1. Daily schedule:  OK so I am NOT the best at schedules, I'm a lot like that little over caffeinated squirrel in over the hedge, Hammie??? I tend to start my day somewhat organized. but as I am making breakfast I notice the dish towel is dirty so I decide to drop breakfast and start laundry, my boys left a toy car in their laundry basket, making me stressed about the toys in their room and the state of un-organization! The horror!!, so now I am organizing toys, breakfast and laundry are still not done. but it gets worse I notice that the floor in the boys room needs to be vacuumed so now I'm vacuuming the floor, toys are somewhat organized, laundry and (my) breakfast are still half done and the house is worse off than before I started, because I never finished anything!!!! At the end of the day I'm exhausted and my house looks like an unorganized tornado attacked ruthlessly, Making for a very grumpy and tired mommy and over hyper kids! grrrr I can feel the frustration already!                               I did some research and these two sites offered the best advice in my opinion (every family works differently)                                                                                                                             Iheartorganizing: I think this woman is a fair share of crazy and awesome all in one. I had to take a step back and realize that my life did NOT have to be as organized as hers. Once I realized that, her site became a good source of  "possible" changes I could make. She has an awesome list of great organizing ideas. I like her binding and storing idea for her planner. She uses the arc disk puncher and system from staples. However you don't have to buy the punch necessarily  they also sell the notebook pre-made. I just prefer to print my own notebook. I cannot tell you how convenient these little notebooks are! if you mess up a page ...don't worry just punch it out and replace it! We used these at school in Europe and they are lifesavers! I really am excited that staples offers their own punch and equipment for these useful little notebooks. Jennifer from Iheart organizing actually sells her planner on etsy (only the printable paper NOT the notebook, you would have to pick up the notebook at staples) and believe me she has got the whole kit and caboodle!                                                                  the confident mom : Although Iheartorganizing has a good deal I personally prefer this planner. it comes with an explanation on how to start and has a very well rounded and detailed list of chores, broken down into 52 weeks. She has thought of everything! even to the amount of water you need to drink. I like having everything in one place
  2. Couponing: I have three main sites that I look at regularly southernsavers, krazycouponlady and iheartpublix all of these have in depth lists on sales nearby you. they will match the appropriate coupons (both newspaper coupons and online ones, catalina's and other peelies). southern savers actually has a great tutorial on how to start couponing. click here for the tutorial. You can click on her "learning to coupon" button on the top or you an click the "workshop" button, scroll down half way and you will see the online couponing class button. definitely worth it! but watch out it is 2 hours long!
And I realy did write this after new year but am just now getting to posting it ugh I'm so busy! But hope this helps you. i will add pictures when i can.

What are some of your changes this year? How are they going? What is your motivation?