Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

Last week I was having mad cravings for all things chocolate peanut butter.   Then I had a genius idea.  Take my chocolate cupcake recipe, add peanut butter icing and to make them extra special, pop a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the bottom of a few of them.  Oh yes! Yes, I did! They came out better than I would have imagined.  I mean, just look at that deliciousness!!

This is what dreams are made of!

For the cupcakes you will need:

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 175g softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 165g caster sugar (extra superfine sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 125g self raising flour (not all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, on the stir setting of your mixer.  Scraping the bowl in between each egg to be sure all is incorporated well. Sift together cocoa powder, flour and baking powder.  Add your dry ingredients to your wet mixture gradually (also on stir setting if using a KitchenAid). Add vanilla and milk and mix on a medium-high until well combined.

Reynolds Brand Foil Baking Cups

Line a 12 count cupcake pan with your cupcake liners of choice. I used Reynolds brand silver foil baking cups.  If you use these liners make sure that you put in the white liner as well.  So, foil then paper (it comes with both).  Not sure why these ones aren't attached but whatev...bygones. If you are going to be using Reese's Cups as well then you will need to put a little bit of cupcake mixture to cover the bottom of the liner first. Then, you will need to place your Reese's Cup in the liner UPSIDE DOWN.  If you don't put it upside down then the batter will not be able to fill in around the pb cup. I bought a pack of 8 Reese's Cups so I did 8 with them and 4 without.  It was basically a game of chance to see if you get one with a pb cup or without. :)

Little bit of batter then your upside down pb cup.

Fill your cupcake liners with the remaining batter.  I had exactly enough to fill all 12 just nearly to the top.

Cupcakes are done baking!!

Bake your creations at 325F for about 20 minutes.  Check the largest cupcake with a toothpick to make sure they are done.

Cool cupcakes completely before icing.

OH MY GOSH! Look at the peanut butter deliciousness!!

For the icing you will need:

Peanut Butter Icing
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (I used JIF)
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) softened butter (I use unsalted Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 c to 1/2 c of heavy cream (I ended up using about 1/2 cup)
Kerrygold Irish Butter makes all the difference!

In your mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Add the powered sugar and salt and mix on high speed until smooth. Stream in your heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.  Because I was piping my icing I needed it a bit more smooth so I ended up using the whole 1/2 cup of cream.

All iced but they needed a little something else...CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE!!

Pipe your icing using a piping bag and tip.  I used tip #2D.  I also went outside to inside when piping because I wanted the center to be quite tall. 


I then melted 4 squares of a 3.5 oz Lindt 70% Cacao chocolate bar in the microwave in 30 second intervals at 50% power.  Stirring between each 30 seconds until smooth and completely melted.  I then drizzled this, using a spoon overtop the icing. OH YAH!

I'll leave you with the below pictures of me cutting into them with my fork.  Don't worry, I shared!

Thanks for visiting! Follow and leave comments!!
Until next week...

Took me 3 cupcakes to fine one with a Reese's Cup...only made 4 without LOL
YES!! Look how moist!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chocolate Espresso Brownies!!

Coffee.  Chocolate. Brownies.  Do I really need to say more?

So, if you are not aware, coffee/espresso type flavors help bring out the flavor in chocolate....it makes it more chocolaty....yup....chocolaty.   One day I was at home and wanted to make some brownies.  Most of the time they are made from a box...am I right? Well, I didn't have any box brownies.  Frankly, they don't taste that good either.  So I got to thinking, it cant be that hard to make brownies from scratch.  Right? I knew I had most of the ingredients necessary for your average brownie.  When looking through the pantry I also remembered that I had some coffee powder/espresso powder left over from making some mocha macaroons.  Then it hit me! Add the coffee INTO the brownies!!! Lets not stop there! Lets also add chocolate chips on the inside so they melt and get gooey when heated!! Yaaaasssss!!  I also had some mini chocolate chips laying around so I threw those on the top with some additional coffee powder/espresso powder for that extra ZING and well, to make it look MORE DELICIOUS!

Finished brownies are delicious brownies!

Thus, the below recipe was born.  I have made it quite a few times and I can tell you that they are amazing.  They also need to be served warm so all the chocolate inside re-melts into gooey loveliness.  Also, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  If you are not eating them straight out of the oven then you can just pop one brownie in a bowl and whack it in the microwave for 20 seconds.  This is the perfect about of time to make it not too hot, not too cold and to start melting your ice cream one you place a generous portion on the top of it and walk it to your couch where your latest Netflix binge is awaiting you.  Yummmmmmmmmm

Chocolate Espresso Brownies


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon espresso or coffee powder (instant) + some for topping
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (plain flour)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons of milk


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9"x13" glass baking dish.
  • In a small non-stick saucepan on low heat, melt butter completely. Then, add in sugar and cook 1-2 minutes. DO NOT BOIL! Stir constantly.
  • Remove pan from heat and add the espresso or instant coffee powder and the chocolate chips.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix the eggs and salt together.
  • Once your chocolate and sugar mixture is cool enough that you can touch the sides of the pan with your hand then you can SLOWLY add the chocolate and sugar mixture into the egg mixture. I would do a spoonful at a time to temper your chocolate (bring up the temperature of the eggs to the chocolate). Make sure your mixture is cool enough or you will have scrambled eggs!!  Mix until egg is combined.
  • Lastly, add cocoa powder, baking powder, flour and vanilla and mix until just combined. 
  • Add milk and give one last mix. If your mixture is too thick you can add a little more milk. 
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle (a light dusting all over) some of the coffee powder (I use my fingers) on top of your brownies.  I also add some mini chocolate chips on the top of mine but this is optional.
  • Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.  After 20 minutes you will want to check and see if the middle is done.  Stick a toothpick in pull it out and touch the mixture on the toothpick.  If it still seems raw put it back in for up to 10 more minutes.  The edges will come away from the pan but the middle should still be a little gooey but not raw. 
  • Serve WARM with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for optimal deliciousness.

I must always have the middle brownie!! MUST!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Give me all the gooey melted cheese!!!

You know you want to make this!

Who doesn't love dips?! If you don't, then you might need to go to the doctor to make sure your taste buds are working properly!

For New Year celebrations (eve & day) we always make loads of dips to get us through the night until midnight and then for leftovers the next day.  This year I wanted to try a new Spinach Artichoke recipe because I wasn't 100% happy with the one I had previously.  So, I went trolling online to try to find a recipe that I liked the looks of, and that I could change up a bit to suit what I wanted in my dip.  The original recipe that I worked from was for a crockpot version.  I had planned to make mine in the crockpot but got a bit late getting started on it and didn't have the 2 1/2 hours available for crockpot cooking so I went ahead and just whacked it into the oven.  It only took about 30 minutes in the oven and a few extra minutes under the broiler to make the top cheese brown and extra delicious looking. 

Also, this recipe makes A LOT of dip.  I made this in a 9x13 pan and we all ate on it for a few days. Let me know how you like it and/or any questions you have in the comments! Also, let me know what your favorite dip is!!

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip


  • 2 (12 oz) jars of Reese Quartered & Marinated Artichoke Hearts (drained, rinsed a little and chopped)
  • 1 (10-16 oz) package of frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry if you got the little box type)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3/4 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese (I used DiGornio)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellmans with Olive Oil)
  • 8oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella divded (1 cup for inside dip and 1 cup for top)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing (liquid not powdered, I used Ken's)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon onion powder (or 1 sm fresh onion chopped)
  • Hefty sprinkling of parsley flakes & black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

These are the artichokes I used.

Drain, rinse slightly and chop your artichoke hearts.  Thaw your spinach and squeeze dry.  I used Picsweet brand 16oz bag from Walmart.  This isn't as wet and the boxes of frozen spinach so I didn't need to squeeze mine.
My mixture in my too small of bowl (prior to spinach).

Mix all ingredients except 1 cup of mozzarella and the olive oil in a bowl until well combined.  Spray a 9x13 inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.  Dump your ingredient mixture into your baking dish.  I didn't get a big enough bowl out to fit my spinach in so I had to do a layering technique into the pan and then mix it in the pan (see below).  I suggest just using a big enough bowl to begin with! Ha!

Yah, so because of my "bowl issue" I layered it into my pan.

After I mixed it all up in the pan.

Top with your reserved 1 cup mozzarella cheese and drizzle the olive oil on the top of that (to help with moisture and browning in the oven).  

Yessssss!! All the cheese!

Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.  Mine didn't get brown enough on top so I turned the broiler on high for a few minutes to finish browning. DONT BURN IT! Keep your eye on it and crack the oven door if you do this.  Its very easy to ruin your yummy dip by burning the top of it.

Oh my word! Can you even deal with that melted brown cheese goodness?! Get in my belly!!

Serve with tortilla chips or fritos.  I mean, you can also use veggies to dip it if you are feeling EXTRA healthy.  I was NOT feeling extra healthy.  I also didn't salt the mixture because I knew it was being served with salty chips.  If you salt it, it will be too salty.  If you are going to use veggies for dipping you might want to add a little salt to the mix.
For the original crockpot recipe see http://damndelicious.net

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Sugar Cookies @ the Dille House

"Oh Christmas Cookies, Oh Christmas Cookies, how lovely that you taste!"

Every year at Christmas time we make LOADS and LOADS of Christmas goodies with a majority of them being Sugar Cookies.  The recipe we use is from a very old Betty Crocker cookbook and the recipe is called "Ethel's Sugar Cookies".  Its the recipe we have used ever since I was little. 
I'm not going to lie...I eat a LOT of this raw.

We always makes tons of batches of these cookies as obviously one batch would not be enough.  I believe we made about 6 batches this year and then ended up making an extra batch because we felt like we didn't have enough.  I am not really sure how this happened as you can tell by the pictures, we had PLENTY. 
This was about half way through....
We also use some really old school cookies cutters, along with a few new ones I pick up every year.  This year we went out of the box and added 2 Batman cookies cutters and 1 Superman cookie cutter.  I had bought these for Carlos' birthday in September this year.
Most of our cookie cutters....

Each of us girls take a big tin to work to share with our friends and coworkers and we also took a bunch to Dad's Dialysis Nurses as well.  They loved them also.  A few years ago I also started making everyone use piping bags to decorate the cookies rather than just slathering the icing on with a knife.  Mom of course, has always fought this.  This year she used her first piping bag and then said "that's it, we cant go back to using a knife, these are just too pretty". 

It got a bit hectic....

So, I guess that means I need to stock up on more #2 tips since that was the one used the most.  Below is the recipe that we use for the sugar cookies and the icing.  We don't use royal icing but may use it next year as an experiment. 

My Mom and my sister Sara (the socks and tree department).

My brother-in-law Carlos (the mostly superhero and a few bells department).

I was the "Snowflakes, Gingerbread Men and Snowmen" department.

We have ALWAYS used this icing recipe so I don't really see us changing it but because you cant "flood" the cookies, we might use royal icing next year. 

Sara's finished Christmas Trees

Did you make Christmas cookies? What all do you make? We also made Monster Cookies, Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Fudge, Snickerdoodles and more pies (Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake, Cherry Cheesecake) and cakes (Angel Food, Watergate, Pumpkin Logs) than any one family could actually consume.   Let me know if you want the recipes for anything else and I will try to get them for you.
Soooooo many cookies!!! (That's my Rudolph)

Ethel's Sugar Cookies

3/4 Cup Shortening (part butter)
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

Mix well the shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring.  Measure flour by dip-level-pour method or by sifting.  Blend flour, baking powder, and salt; stir in.  Chill at least 1 hour.  Heat oven to 400F.  Roll 1/8" thick on floured surface, cut out with about a 3" cookie cutter.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 6 to 8 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen.
My Dad is a real jokester.....
Carlos, Me and Dad

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

I don't know about you....but I LOOOOVE ANYTHING pumpkin. 

What you are making...

I wanted a slightly healthier pumpkin cupcake and found a recipe online and then made a few changes to make it my own.  These were extremely soft and moist cupcakes with a lovely cinnamon buttercream that isn't too sweet.  Hope you like it!! Let me know if you make it and what you think.  I would still classify this recipe as in the testing phase but thought I would go ahead and share it.

Cupcake Ingredients:

1/4 Cup - Butter, Softened
3/4 Cup - Unsweetened Applesauce (I used Mott's)
1 Cup - Granulated White Sugar
3/4 Cup - Packed Brown  Sugar
2 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup - Milk
1 1/2 t - Vanilla Extract
15 oz - Pure Pumpkin (canned)
2 1/3 Cups - All Purpose Flour
1 T - Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 t - Ground Cinnamon
1 t - Baking Powder
3/4 t - Salt
1/2 t - Baking Soda
1/2 t - Ground Ginger


  • Cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients: Flour, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Salt, Baking Soda and Ground Ginger.  Stir with fork to combine or sift if flour is lumpy.
  • To your butter and sugar mixture, add the eggs (one at a time) and stir until just combined.  Add your applesauce, milk, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until combined. 
  • Add your dry ingredients by large spoonful, mixing between and scraping down the edges and bottom of your bowl. 

I believe I got these as a set with the sprinkles and toppers from WalMart.

  • Line cupcake pans with cupcakes cases and spoon mixture into each cup filling about 2/3 full.  This should make about 24 cupcakes. 
  • Bake your cupcakes at 350F for about 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove from cupcake pans and onto a wire rack for cooling.  Cool cupcakes completely before icing.


Cinnamon Buttercream Ingredients:
2 Sticks of butter, softened
4 Cups - Powdered Sugar
2 T - Milk
1 T - Vanilla Extract
2 t - Ground Cinnamon (or more depending on how spicy you want it, or you can additionally add some pumpkin pie spice)
Little flecks of yummy cinnamon!

Piped using one of the flower tips, inside to outside pattern.

  • Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until the butter is pale yellow in color and fluffy.  
  • Add the powdered sugar, slowly, a spoonful at a time and mix on stir speed (unless you want a facial of powdered sugar) until all sugar is combined.
  • Add your milk, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until fluffy and combined.  Add more milk if it seems too stiff. 
  • Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and decorate as desired.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Oreo Surprise Cupcakes!

Yummmmm! Give me all the Oreos!
This weekend I tested a recipe that I had seen Tanya Burr (www.tanyaburr.co.uk) make on her YouTube channel. I altered the recipe slightly and they came out amazing! The only thing was, mine weren't quite done in the middle (even though they looked done) so my recommendation would be to bake at 325 instead of 350 as my edges we done but the center was not. I would also then adjust the time to about 20-25 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick. The original recipe said 350 for 15 minutes. I did about 17 minutes but they still weren't done so I think lowering the temp and cooking a little longer will get them perfect. The chocolate cupcake recipe was delicious! Of course, I sampled the batter, I mean, who doesn't eat the batter? Nobody, that's who. 

Anyway they were really easy and everybody loved them! It yielded about 14 cupcakes that I had filled to nearly the top of the cupcake cases.
Fill with batter nearly to the top!

Odd kitchen equipment that you will need:
  • Stand mixer or handheld electric mixer
  • Scale (I didn't convert to cups as it just not as accurate)
  • Food Processor or Ziploc bag and a rolling pin or something heavy to smash Oreos with. 
  • Cupcake tins fitted with your favorite cupcake cases (don't try to make these without cupcake cases). 

Below is my altered recipe, let me know how they turn out! 

Cake Ingredients:
  • 175g softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 165g caster sugar (extra superfine sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 125g self raising flour (not all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pack of Oreo's (1 Oreo per cupcake)
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cupcake Dry Ingredients

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 6 Oreos
  • 100g softened butter (1 stick)
  • 200g icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Making some Oreo Frosting!!


  • You will need half an Oreo per cupcake.  If you end up with 14 cupcakes as I did, then you will need 7 Oreo's (chopped in half).
Now you are ready to start to make your delicious Oreo Surprise Cupcakes!  Here are the instructions:

Starting with the cupcake batter (obviously)....
  • Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add eggs, one at a time, combining completely in between and scraping bowl when necessary.
  • If your Self Raising Flour is a bit lumpy (mine was) you will want to sift it.
  • Sift together cocoa powder, flour and baking powder.
  • Add this gradually into your wet mixture, little by little, scraping the bowl in between.
  • Lastly, add your milk and vanilla and stir again just until combined.
  • Place your cupcake cases into your cupcake trays.
  • In each cupcake case, drop an Oreo into the case.

Place Oreo's in the bottom of the cupcake cases.

  • Once each case has an Oreo in the bottom of it then you can spoon your mixture into the cases. Filling nearly to the top of the case.  (You can see how full I filled mine in the picture above.

Not great picture of filled cupcake cases. Meh! You get the idea!

  • Bake at 325F degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cupcakes are done!

For the frosting you will essentially be making an Oreo Buttercream Icing - Here's how:

  • Add your butter to your stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.  The butter should have turned a lighter color than you started with and should also have gotten slightly bigger in volume.  This will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add your icing sugar a little at a time (or you will have a sugar cloud) and fully combine until smooth.
  • Crush your Oreo's in a food processor or by placing them in a Ziploc bag and whacking them with a rolling pin or on the counter. You want these to become very fine granules.

    Smashed Oreos! I used a food processor as Hulk was busy.

  • Add your Hulk smashed Oreo's to your mixture and combine.
  • Add your milk and vanilla and stir just to combine.

    Mmmmmm Oreo Icing!

  • With a knife (you could pipe it if you want but you will need a wide tip) frost your cupcakes (you will want a decent amount on each cupcake so that you have a good mountain to place your Oreo decoration on).
  •  Lastly, chop each Oreo in half and place one half onto the top of each cupcake.

Yes, Please!!

Now you are ready to enjoy and share! I mean, you don't HAVE to share but you will have a lot more friends if you do!! These are amazing with a good cup of coffee.  Let me know if you make them and how they turn out.