- I haven't baked much fun things in the past month. (I've been sticking to making chocolate chip cookies and chocolate pudding cookies - too boring to post!)
- I had a mole removed from my leg which in turn got infected to the point where I couldn't walk. (Yes, I thought this would be a simple procedure, but it turned into my own personal nightmare.)
- I couldn't go to the gym or even do much walking around at all so I was feeling down and depressed.
- My neighbor keeps sitting outside in her itsy bitsy bikini and I keep thinking that I will never fit into a swimsuit if I keep baking. Of course I never have looked like that. But then these thoughts go through my head: My husband will probably enjoy having her as a neighbor. Does he wish I looked more like that? I need to stop baking and go to the gym. But I like baking. I like food.
- I've been neglecting my camera. Seriously, I need to get out and take some photos!!
To kick off my rediscovered love of baking then blogging about it, I thought I would try a recipe that has been on my "must bake" list for quite some time - Hostess Cupcakes! I loved these things as a kid. I would tear off the top and eat it first, and save the cream filled chocolate for last. The always came in packs of two and I loved being able to save one for after school. The days that my mom packed those in my lunch were the best days!!
I've seen many recipes posted on many different blogs. All with the same end result - looking like a Hostess cupcake. After reading through all of the reviews I decided to combine a couple of recipes to make what I hoped would be the perfect Hostess cupcake.
My cake recipe came from one of my cooking heroes and whose blog I log onto almost daily, Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. Seriously, would I have found my love for cooking and baking if it weren't for stumbling upon her blog one day?? I used her Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe, which made 24 cupcakes. And it is one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have made. Although I still have yet to actually make it into a sheet cake!!
The filling recipe came from Bake at 350. Her cupcakes were so dang cute. And everyone who made them had rave reviews so I knew it was the way to go. Check out her version of these cupcakes and her recipe here. And prepare to be jealous of how awesome they look!!! Mine don't come anywhere near as cute as hers, but at least they taste good!! I filled the cupcakes the same way Bridget did - I cut a small X on each cupcake and used a piping bake fitted with a star tip and stuck it inside the X area filling until the cupcake felt heavy. Be careful not to overfill; they will start to crack!
The frosting recipe is a basic chocolate ganache recipe. There is one on the Bake at 350 post as well. I didn't follow that recipe exactly. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and only 1 teaspoon of vanilla, but otherwise it's the same process. I dipped my cupcakes in the chocolate when it was slightly cool. I had enough frosting to dip each cupcake twice. I wanted that nice glossy look to them.
I put my icing swirls on with white candy melts. I melted them in a container and just swirled them on to resemble the Hostess cupcakes. I thought this was easier than making another batch of icing!!
I love these cupcakes. They look super cute (exactly like Hostess cupcakes), and they taste super delicious (even BETTER than Hostess cupcakes!!). I made them to bring with to our Memorial Day get together at my parents' house and everyone tried one, and my dad had two so they were definitely a hit! They take a little bit more time than a regular cupcake, but are oh so worth it. I just love how they look like you just unwrapped the Hostess cupcakes and put them on a plate. However, once you taste them, you know they're homemade because they taste so, so much better!
Once again, here is where to find the recipes I used:
Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe (makes 24 cupcakes)
Filling Recipe and Inspiration Recipe
Now I just need to figure out how to make those Sno Ball Hostess snacks. Those pink coconut balls. I loved those even more than their cupcakes!!
Until next time ...