Tag Archives: cupcakes

Nutella Cookie Sandwiches – Fresh Baked Friday!

25 Mar

It’s no secret.  I love Nutella.  I think it’s pretty much God’s gift to us.  Extreme?  Perhaps.  True.  Yes.

So, when I saw these cookies over on Espresso and Cream, I was sold.  I really didn’t even need to read the post or the recipe.  Nutella and baked good?  Yes, please.

Just needed an occasion.  Because, unlike last week’s post, I assumed I would have no self-control with these babies.

Visit to Philly.  Sweet treats needed.  Occasion found.

And so I baked.  And so I tasted.  And so I’m… a bit disappointed?

I know.  Shocking.  How is it that a cookie with Nutella can disappoint me.

It didn’t have the strong Nutella flavor I imagined.  I wanted to taste the hazelnut.  I wanted to taste the chocolate.  I wanted that lovely aftertaste.  Instead, I got a chocolatey cookie, with the slightest hint of hazelnut.

Now, on behalf of the cookie, I was out of hazelnuts and didn’t want to run out to the store.  I think this would have made a big difference.

I also think the cookies may have needed to sit.  You know how certain flavors meld and develop over night.  Think chili or chicken noodle soup.  Always better the next day, right?

Well, it’s the same with cookie sometimes.  Especially ones with nuts or spices.  But, time wasn’t on my side.  I needed these packaged and ready for departure that night.

So I thought.  Then I pouted.  Just a little.

Aha! moment.

What if I sandwiched two cookies together with… Nutella!

Need I say more?  Why are you still reading?  Go.  Right now.  Get some Nutella and make these.

Seriously delicious.

Nutella Cookie Sandwich
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8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips (I used dark)
½ cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted (optional)
additional Nutella

Directions…

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line two cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  Set aside. 

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combined.  Beat in the Nutella.  Add the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts (if using).

Scoop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are crispy and center is still slightly soft.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Match cookies up by size.  Spread a thin layer of Nutella on one cookie and place other cookie on top.

Sit back and enjoy!

Source: Espresso and Cream

Flavor Focus: Triple Coconut

9 Mar

I can vividly remember the moment I fell in love with coconut cake.

I was 9 or 10 years old.  Granddad and I were visiting my grandparents best friends, my Aunt Rosie and Uncle Ed, at their beach house.  As soon as we walked in the door, my Aunt Rosie, as she usually did, asked us if we wanted something to eat.

I don’t think we even got a chance to respond.  Before I knew it, Aunt Rosie pulled out a Sara Lee Coconut Cake from the freezer and it was set.  We were eating coconut cake.

I’m not even sure if I had really had coconut anything before that afternoon.  But I was going to try.  It would have been rude not to at least try.  Well, that first bite was glorious and I was sold.

Keep in mind, a frozen Sara Lee cake sold me on coconut cake.  That’s right.  Frozen.  Sara Lee.  Turns out, this was just my introduction to coconut cake.

My true love (and, perhaps, obsession) began when I met the coconut cake from Jimmy’s Grill in Bridgeville, Delaware.  Words can honestly not describe the incredibleness.  Moist layers of cake.  A sweet, delicate buttercream.  Outer layer of sweetened, grated coconut.  Heaven on a plate.  In fact, if you put this cake in the kitchen with my family, it will be gone – gone – within 1 1/2 days.  Trust me.  It’s been tested.  And plates are optional. 

Obviously, when I started Kristina’s Confections, a coconut cupcake was a no brainer.  After a bit of testing, I settled on Triple Coconut. Coconut in the cake, in the buttercream and covered with fresh and toasted coconut flakes on top.

Is it Jimmy’s?  It has a different texture because of the extra coconut I add.  But my customer’s love it.  So do I.

Flavor Focus: Irish Cupcakes

1 Mar

It’s March.  Finally, glorious March!

So what, you say?  What’s so great about March?

Well, let me tell you.  March means… warmer weather, budding trees, flip-flops, outdoor happy hour, college basketball and…

Irish cupcakes in honor of the one, the only, St. Patrick’s Day.

These are mimicked after the famous (or, more accurately, infamous) Irish Car Bomb drink.  The base is a Guinness chocolate cupcake, topped with a layer of ganache and finished with a swirl of Bailey’s buttercream.

Adult’s only here folks.  Trust me, we adults have the luck o’ the Irish with us on this one!

Order Up!

6 Dec

I know.  It’s December 6.  Plenty of time left before the big day.  Right?

Wrong.

I’m sorry.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news.  But the fact is, you need to start thinking about it.  Start planning for it.  Start ordering for it.

Truth is, I’m already elbow deep in sugar cookie dough and waste high in royal icing.  Okay, not literally, but the holiday orders are in full swing.

So I thought I would remind you to get those orders in as soon as possible.  And no later than Saturday, December 11.  Sounds early, I know. But time doesn’t stand still.  Not even in Kristina’s Confections holiday kitchen.

Need a refresher?

Here you go…

Happy Holidays!!!

Flavor Focus: Snickerdoodle

2 Dec

It’s no secret… I LOVE the cinnamon/sugar combination.  Obviously, this means I LOVE LOVE LOVE snickerdoodle cookies.  I will pick them over just about any other cookie, any day of the week.

When I came across the idea of a snickerdoodle cupcake, I was sold.

And these do not disappoint.  Honestly, I think these are my favorite cupcakes I’ve made to date.  Yes, I love most of them, but these pack the perfect punch.

The base is a light cake, laced with a hint of cinnamon.  The top is crunchy and crackly, full of the comforting cinnamon and sugar flavor, just like the cookie.  The whole thing is finished with a cinnamon buttercream.

Seriously.  Heaven.  In.  Cupcake.  Form.


Research and Development

10 Nov

I get asked all the time where I find my cupcake recipes.  Truth is, they start where a lot of your recipes start… with a Google search.

 

Well, let’s back up and start from the very beginning…

First, I have to decide what is missing from my cupcake repertoire.  For this, I often think about childhood treats (a la orange cupcakes), classic flavors (a la peanut butter banana chocolate chip) or gourmet combinations (a la triple salted caramel).

Once I have a flavor, I consider how the cupcake should be composed – base and frosting flavor, add-ins, decorations, etc.  I check out other cupcake shops to see if and how they make similar flavors.  And then the recipe search begins.

At this point, I have a number of go to places – Martha (duh!), Ina (obvi), Annie’s Eats, Smitten Kitchen and a host of others.  But I also do a simple Google search.  You just never know what you are going to find.

Armed with the recipes, I move to testing – some might say the best part of the process.  And they are correct.  I usually test two or three recipes.  During this process I might tweak as I see fit – a dash of nutmeg, brown sugar versus white sugar, add chocolate chips etc.  And then we bake.  And then we eat.

And then we make more changes.  I know, I want perfect products the first time, every time.  But, it just doesn’t always happen and I don’t want to offer you anything less than perfection.  So we tweak, we bake, we eat.

If all goes as planned, we then take pictures and add it to the Kristina’s Confections flavors menu.  Hopefully to rave reviews!!!

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

18 Oct

Betcha didn’t know today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day!  Please don’t get this confused with National Vanilla Cupcake Day (November 10) or National Cupcake Day (December 15 – although, there appears to be some debate about this one).  Nope, today is dedicated to the chocolate cupcake only.

In honor of this monumental day, I am debuting a new cupcake flavor.  Are you ready for this?  Please welcome the Snickers cupcake to Kristina’s Confections!

A chocolate base with bits of real Snickers, topped with a caramel buttercream and finished off with roasted peanuts, a caramel drizzle AND a milk chocolate drizzle.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a serious cupcake (okay, as serious as cupcakes can get).  Rich, decadent and oh, so delicious!

Perfect pairing: Halloween party (forget those fun size candy bars), chocolate dessert party, lunchtime treat, kiddo sleepovers

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