Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cupcakes – with a Gluten Free Option!

Hello friends!

It’s a lovely Sunday evening here in Wisconsin.  The sky is navy blue and cloudy, so rain may make an appearance.  I hope it will.  Rain brings green.  :)

Along with a recipe, I have a song to share with you tonight too.  It’s such a beautiful, simple, heartfelt song of worship to our Lord.  Tenth Avenue North is a favorite band of mine and this is one of their worship songs.  Listen and enjoy!

<3

Here is a recipe for my favorite cupcakes!  Let’s break this down.

Cake:  dark chocolate brownie cupcake with Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips  :0

Topping:  dark chocolate ganache made with only two ingredients, including more Ghirardelli chips  :0

On to top it all off:  chunky sea salt

Yep, that’s the way to describe my favorite cupcake.

Also, you can easily make this recipe gluten free!  Just sub the unbleached, all-purpose flour in the batter for a g-free flour blend.  I made them for church today and they seemed to please the taste testers, whether gluten free or not.  :)

Let’s get started!

DSCN0728

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cupcakes

makes 15-18 regular sized cupcakes

ingredients~

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour – or your favorite all-purpose g-free blend
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and 2/3 cup chocolate chips.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt.  Pour in the melted butter/chocolate mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Fold in the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then place the cupcakes on a cooling rack.

Now for the chocolate ganache I want to eat with a spoon.  No joking.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

ingredients~

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use a lot of these)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • chunky sea salt for topping

Place the dark chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until just about to boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted.

Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.  Spoon the ganache onto the cupcakes.

Now for the cherry to our sundae…

Sprinkle on the chunky sea salt.

DSCN0727

Mmm hmm.  This is my kind of cupcake.

Bon appetit!

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips

Yup.  You read that title right.  It’s a cookie… with bacon.

Are you feeling it?  Yes?  No?

Well if not, you will.

These cookies are for the adventurous, as they combine three flavors not commonly seen together.  (Unless it’s just peanut butter and chocolate, of course.)  But add bacon and BAM!

DSCN0653 DSCN0665

A whole new world of opportunity!

These cookies are also gluten free.  Bonus points!  Haha.

Does anyone else have any odd sounding but delicious bacon recipes?  If you do, I’d love to hear about them!  Do comment.

So to satisfy your growing curiosity, I will stop talking about the cookies and give them to you!

DSCN0670

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips

adapted from Joy the Baker, this recipe

makes 2 – 2 1/2 dozen cookies that will not last a day

ingredients~

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, cooled, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup large dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter and sugar until smooth.

DSCN0655

Stir in the egg, baking soda, vanilla, and salt until well combined.

DSCN0658

Toss in the bacon pieces and dark chocolate chips.  Fold them into the dough.

DSCN0666

Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Using a fork, press a crisscross shape into the tops of the cookies.

DSCN0667

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned.

DSCN0670

Cool on the cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes before transferring the cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Try not to eat all of these.  I dare you.  :)

Bon appetit!

Lemon Vanilla Bean Bunt Cake with White Chocolate Icing

Lemon is one of my all-time favorite flavors.  It can be used in savory or sweet dishes and it is so refreshing. Today I give to you a bunt cake with lemon and another favorite flavor of mine, vanilla!  And instead of just using extract, we’ll also use vanilla beans too.

DSCN0411

Lemon Vanilla Bean Bunt Cake 

ingredients~

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 TBS) butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups organic sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 3/4 plus 2 TBS milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter a bunt cake pan.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add in the eggs and beat just until combined.

DSCN0367

Gently beat in the vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest.

In a measuring cup, mix together the milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

Add half of the flour mix to the butter mixture and beat gently.  Add in half of the milk and beat gently again.  Repeat so all of the mixes are together.

DSCN0369

Pour the batter into the bunt pan and bake the cake for one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes.  Mine was the longer time, but just start checking at an hour to be safe.

DSCN0373 DSCN0389

Remove from the oven to cool for fifteen minutes on a cooling rack.  Gently wedge a knife along the edge of the pan and cake to release the cake.  Flip the pan over on the rack and let the cake gently slide out.  Cool completely before icing.

DSCN0401

White Chocolate Icing

ingredients~

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 stick (4 TBS) butter
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, melt together the icing ingredients over medium heat, until smooth and beginning to bubble.  Remove from the heat and stir.  Pour into a bowl and let the icing come to room temp.

Pour the cooled icing over the cooled cake.

DSCN0405

Bon appetit! <3

Curried Chicken Salad

Hello readers!  It’s rainy.  It’s chilly.  And it’s a perfect day for eating bananas while sitting on the kitchen floor.  That’s what my bebe sister Georgia thought.

DSCN0361

Hey George!

Along with banana mornings, today we have chicken salad.

There must be AT LEAST 2,769 different ways to make chicken salad.  Seriously.  You could scroll forever on Pinterest and never come to the end of the recipes.

Well, here is the first of what I hope will be many chicken salad recipes that I post on here.  It’s sweet and spicy and crunchy and chewy and creamy and dreamy.  Yup.  All of those adjectives apply to this.

So, let’s stir up some chicken salad!

Curried Chicken Salad

makes a lot

  • meat from 1 average sized chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 6 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 small or 4 medium sized carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use one with an olive oil base)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBS curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the chopped almonds and walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

DSCN0385

Place the shredded chicken, celery, and carrots in a large bowl.  Toss in the toasted nuts and set aside.

DSCN0374

DSCN0376

DSCN0386

DSCN0395

To make the dressing, mix together all of the remaining ingredients.

Spoon into the chicken mixture and stir well to combine.

DSCN0397

That’s it!   :)

Enjoy on toasted bread, crackers, with a fork, or whatever else suits your fancy.

Bon appetit!

Spiced Prune Cake with Caramel Buttermilk Icing

Now, now, now.  I know the title above may frighten you a bit. (Because of prunes, right?)  Just trust me here, this cake is soooo good.  Soooo gooey.  Soooo caramely and sticky sweet.

So stay put and read on.  It won’t hurt you a bit, I promise.

This cake was originally a Pioneer Woman recipe (this one), that I changed a bit to fit the pantry.

Perfect for breakfast and lovely for dessert.  This cake can do it all.

And so, it is my privilege to give to you, a really-very-lovely prune cake.

DSCN0299

Spiced Prune Cake

Makes one 9×13 inch pan.  Enough for you.

And maybe one lucky friend.

Maybe.

ingredients~

  • 1 1/4 cup prunes
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground is best
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Butter your pan and set aside.

First, place the prunes in a saucepan and cover the prunes with water.  Place on the stove-top and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 7-8 minutes, so the prunes are squishy and gooey.  Drain and place on a cutting board.  Chop with a knife into 1/2 inch pieces.  Set aside.

RSCN0292

In a big bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Set aside.

DSCN0277

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Whisk well.

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir until no lumps remain.

DSCN0280

Pour in the prunes and stir until nicely combined into the batter.

DSCN0281

Pour the batter into the buttered baking pan.

DSCN0283

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Don’t over-do it!  You want this cake moist.

DSCN0289

Now for the

Caramel Buttermilk Icing

ingredients~

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick (4 TBS) butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil for 6 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the icing from overflowing.

Pour the hot icing onto the warm cake.  Spread around with a rubber spatula to cover the cake.

DSCN0291

Now, try it.  Prunes are unfairly unpopular, in my opinion.  I like the juicy little things.

DSCN0307

This cake will hopefully change what you think about prunes.  If, that is, you dislike prunes.

Bon appetit!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Here we have another g-free cupcake recipe.  And this time, it’s CHOCOLATE.

Chocolate is amazing.

So without further ado, I give to you these cupcakes.  Chocolate and gluten free! :)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

ingredients~

  • 4 TBS butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS. buttermilk
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend  (I use this one)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place liners in a cupcake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

DSCN0220

Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.  Beat in the cocoa powder and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt.  Add half of this to the creamed butter mixture and half of the buttermilk.  Mix and add the other half of flour and buttermilk.

Mix in the vinegar and baking soda.  Beat until smooth.

DSCN0237

Spoon the batter into pan and bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes, until tested done with a toothpick.

DSCN0239 DSCN0242

Cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Chocolate Butter Cream

ingredients~

  • 4 TBS butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Beat together the butter, vanilla, salt, cocoa, and milk until well combined.  Beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth and fluffy.

Frost cupcakes as desired.  Sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips if you wish!

DSCN0258

Bon appetit! <3

Baked Brown Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Icing

It’s the weekend!  *happy dance, clapping, cheering*

I love weekends, it is a nice little break from school, and it just seems to re-energize doesn’t it?  I can do some extra reading (a favorite thing of mine), painting (another favorite), and of course, baking.  :)

On Saturdays, I usually make something for breakfast on Sunday.  So today I made doughnuts with browned butter.  Brown butter is so wonderful and gives a nice nutty flavor to the doughnuts.  Oohhhhh are they tasty.

Thanks to Joy the Baker (I stalk her) I found a recipe for doughnuts with a glaze that I modified slightly.

DSCN0202

Baked Brown Butter Doughnuts

makes 24-28 doughnuts

ingredients~

  • 4 cups unbleached,  all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS. baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 10 TBS. butter
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 TBS. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a doughnut pan.

Sift together dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.

DSCN0139

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Let it bubble and pop.  Stir continuously so that it does not burn.  When it begins to turn brown, cook for another 5 seconds.  Pour the browned butter into a bowl and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the butter and whisk.

DSCN0144

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until it all comes together.

DSCN0147 DSCN0154

Fill each ring in the doughnut pan each 3/4 full with the batter.

DSCN0158

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Be sure not to over-bake! Test with a toothpick to make sure the doughnuts are done.

DSCN0170

Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack.  Frost the doughnuts when completely cool.

For the Chocolate Icing:

ingredients~

  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 TBS. pure vanilla extract

Beat together all of the icing ingredients until well combined and smooth.

DSCN0173 DSCN0174

Dip the top half of each cooled doughnut in the icing.  Let the doughnuts set.

DSCN0202 RSCN0198

Serve with coffee.  I highly recommend it.  :)

Bon appetit!

si