Capuccino Cupcakes


photo 5

Any excuse to play in my kitchen is a great excuse. A few days ago, someone asked me how to bake perfectly round cups using sugar cookies or regular cookies. I had used them many times to make fun treats, but had never really tried to use them and bake them empty so I thought to give it another try. Well, as a result I was left with an array of empty shells to work with. Being a fan of chocolate, and coffee I decided to make those cute yummy treats. I hope that you will enjoy them. Plus, they are a fun treat to make with children. Easy, Mess free and Yummy!!!

Ingredients for 24 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pre-baked sugar cookie dough ( i don’t have any preference, I used Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of sugar ( optional – i don’t because i like dark chocolate but those of you who may like  sweet desserts, i would)
  • 1 tbsp of coffee granule
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream for the whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp of mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature.
  • a few coffee beans for decoration.
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Place the mini cupcake tray on the medium perforated sheet and place a cookie square in each hole.photo 2
  2. Cook the cookies 10 minutes.photo 3
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, and with a shot glass ( i hope that you have one, or the back of a large spoon), press the dough down to make a well.photo 4
  4. Place the cookies back in the oven and cook for another 3-5 minutes ( it will depend on your oven).photo 5
  5. Let them cool completely and prepare the filling.photo 2
  6. Place the chocolate chips, sugar and coffee in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and cook for 1 minute or until it is hot.
  8. Pour the cream over the chocolate mixture and let it set for 1 minute to let the chips  melt.
  9. Stir until you have a very liquid mixture free of lumps. Place it in the fridge to cool.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. We are adding the mascarpone cheese so that the whipped cream will not fall.
  11. Place the cream and the cheese into a small bowl and whip until you have stiff peaks.
  12. Remove the chocolate mixture from  the fridge, place it in a kitchen mixer and whip it until you have  a fluffy mousse.
  13. Place the chocolate whipped ganache into a ziploc bag, or pastry bag and fill each cup to half.photo 3
  14. Then, fill another ziploc bag with whipped cream and pipe the cream on top of the chocolate.photo 4
  15. Decorate with coffee beans. C’est tout!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes


photo 2

This past Sunday, I opened my home to a group of beautiful young ladies for a cooking class. They were no specifications as what they wanted to cook so I had carte Blanche. Since I wanted to be a hands-on cooking class, I decided to teach them appetizers. I thought that it would be something that they would enjoy and benefit for their entire life if they hosted parties, showers and luncheons. I did not know any of them. All i knew that they were all seniors in high school , and they were very excited to come. They stayed for 2 hours during which we prepared a variety of appetizers and desserts. I had divided my kitchen in 3 stations  so the girls could rotate every fifteen minutes to different stations and learn to make a different dish.
They learned to make wonton purses, Brie phillo cups with raspberry chipotle, lasagna cupcakes, Mozzarella and tomato skewers, Chocolate Cookie Cupcake with Bittersweet chocolate Ganache, Chocolate strawberries and lime tartlets. Lots of food as you see. Once they cooked it, they were given some time to enjoy what they made. It was priceless to see them place the food on trays and taste what they had made. You really could see pride in their smile.

They left the cooking class happily and thanked me a million times before leaving. The next day Lisa saw a few of those ladies again at school and they  thanked her again for a wonderful time. I am so glad they did;-) What an honor to have left a little mark in the lives of those young ladies;-)

Today I will share with you a variation of the chocolate cookie cupcake that I made for them. I t was excellent, but resembled  the “Little Pot Of Gold” that i posted a few weeks ago. So here is a new recipe, equally decadent and easy. I hope that you will try them;-)

Chocolate Surprise Cups with Chocolate Ganache:
 
Ingredients for 24 mini Cupcakes:
  • 1 pack of vanilla cookie dough from Nestle ( 24 mini cookies)
  • 24 Reese cups/ or dove milk chocolate/ or even caramel
  • 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips such as bittersweet Ghiradhelli chocolate.
  • 1/2 cup of hot heavy cream.
  • colorful sprinkles.
  1. Refrigerate the dough before using so it is will much easier to use.
  2. Turn the oven to 350.
  3. Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for 2 minutes and when it is hot, pour it over the chocolate chips. Stir vigorously so as to melt the chocolate chips and create a fluid chocolate ganache. Make sure it is free of lumps. If you still see lumps, microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds.
  4. When it is completely free of lumps, pour this ganache inside a pastry bag  with a dented tip and place it in the fridge to cool. 
  5. Place a roulpat on your counter. Detach a cookie from the cookie log and with the palm of your hand, press down  on it to make it flat.
  6. Place this flattened cookie inside the opening of a mini cupcake mold that you would have placed on top of a perforated sheet.
  7. Repeat this process with all the sugar cookies.
  8. Place a reese cup or a dove chocolate inside the cups.photo 2
  9. Place the mini muffin tray into the oven and cook the cookie cups of 11-13 minutes ( 9 to keep them soft, 11 to have firmer cups).
  10. When the cups are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and cool completely.photo 4
  11. Take the ganache from the fridge and pipe the chocolate over the chocolate cups to make a beautiful topping. Decorate with sprinkles. photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fun Turkey Cookies for the Upcoming Holidays.


This past week-end I gave a cooking class to a group of 11 girls aged 11, 12. Since it was for a birthday party and the birthday girl wishes to become a pastry chef, I thought of making all kinds of fun snacks, cookies and pastries with Thanksgiving as the common theme.

On the menu, we made “pig”lgrim hat, a turkey out of cheese and fruit, cupcakes with turkey tops and finally corn husks out of sugar cookies.  They had fun.  They did find the class a bit challenging but they thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that they will be able to duplicate those recipes at home.

I would have loved to make a cake and teach them to decorate it as pastry chefs do, but their attention span is so short, and their fine-motor skills still still not perfect that I decided to do things that they would be able to make at home on their own, without the help of an adult;-)

The recipe I am presenting you today is nothing that I am used to send you as it is using pre-made and bought ingredients, and the recipe is not that healthy, but I thought I would share it as  you may enjoy to make theses with your loved ones  during the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Ingredients for 12 large cookies: 

  • 1 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 1 pack of M&M ( peanuts, or regular) as long as you are only using red, orange, yellow and brown colored ones.
  • 1 box of chocolate whipped frosting.
  • 1 bag of candy corn
  • 1 tube of yellow frosting
  • 1 tube of black frosting
  • 12 small Reese cups

Turn the oven to 325. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Open the tube of sugar cookie dough and cut 12 slices that you will place at 1-2 inches interval on the silpat. Cook the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the rim of the cookies are a nice golden color and the center of the cookies is still white.

When the cookies are  cooked, remove them from the oven, and let them cool completely before decorating ( it will take at least 1 hour).

With a spatula, spread the frosting all over the cookie and decide which one you want to make ( M&M, or candy corn). Start placing the candy corn, or M&M alond the edge of the cookie almost all around. Then start a second row, and a third as shown below. Place a Reese cup in the middle. With a knife, cut the tip of a candy corn and glue it on the Reese cup with a bit of frosting. Use the yellow icing to make the eyes and the feet, and the black to make the pupils. Repeat this with all the cookies. You may eat them as you finish them, or later on. They are very good even a couple of days old. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!