Today it is my absolute pleasure to introduce all of you to one of my most favorite bakers, the only guy I know who plays the drums, a true Mountain Dew-aholic and today’s guest blogger…drum roll, please…Daniel!
The best thing about Daniel is that he’s super nice.
And he bakes amazing cookies.
And today, he is going to share some of his baking wisdom with us.
Some people say that baking is more of an art than a science. These people are more wrong than right. Baking something memorable is more about creativity than it is following a recipe. The vast majority of things I bake are variations on something I found in a magazine or read about on the back of a package.
Every Thursday night I bake something to take to work on Friday and share with my group. This is healthy for morale and also provides me with the ability to bribe people in other groups into giving me preferenital treatment. Win-win.
It’s hard to come up with something new every Thursday, but it’s also kind of fun to answer the challenge again and again. This past week I made chocolate cupcakes with homemade cream cheese frosting and chocolate covered pretzels on top.
I started with the chocolate covered pretzels.
Here are the ingredients:
I started off by heating up some almond bark in a small sauce pan on my oven. I had the burner set on low (approximate 2.5 out of 10).
Then I dipped the pretzels in it and laid them on parchment paper to cool.
Easy as pie.
Next I started the cupcakes. I always start with a recipe I know. This time it was one from an issue of USA Weekend that I found at my parents’ house. The original recipe was for “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes” by Pam Anderson. (I really hope this is the former Baywatch star).
The recipe I used was as follows:
1.5 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups flour
.25 cups cocoa powder
1 table spoon of water
1.5 tea spoons of vanilla
Heat oven to 400. Melt the butter and mix in the sugar. Then put in an egg, stir in .75 cup flour, add another egg, stir in .75 cup flour, add another egg. Stir in the cocoa powder. Stir in the water and vanilla. Pour into cupcakes cups and cook until it feels right (about 15 min).
For homemade cream cheese icing, I always start with a recipe I found online and modify it slightly.
This is (roughly) what I did this time:
8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
I always heat the cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Then I melt the butter and pour it and the cream cheese into a mixing bowl. Then I add all the powdered sugar and stir. After that I add the vanilla. (Note: At this point you can add other flavors and/or food coloring if you want).
Afterwards, it looks like this:
When the cupcakes were done and had cooled a bit, I had all the pieces.
Time to assemble.
This is the final product:
And just for extra presentation points, I added the extra pretzels around the cupcakes.
All the ladies love me.