I am blessed at work to be in the company of mostly all girls. That's why when Christmas is just rolling around the corner, I thought it best to treat my girls with some home baked goods. What gift could be better than a homemade treat, made with love? Don't get me wrong I love my boys, but can they chat over seriously addicting crap like The Hills, or gush about the new to-die-for Spring collection from J. Crew, or shop for hours until your feet practically disintegrate? I think not...
Black Bottom Cupcakes, from Smitten Kitchen
Yields: 12 cupcakes
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 oz. chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed well
5 tbsn. of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1 tbsn. white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and egg until well mixed. Then stir in the chocolate and set aside.
For the cupcakes: Prepare a cupcake pan and line with cupcakes liners. Preheat oven to 350 F and adjust the rack in the center of the oven. In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl combine the water, vinegar, oil, and vanilla. In the dry ingredients, create a well it the center of the bowl and pour in the wet ingredients. Slowly mix them together moving from the inside out. Be careful not to over mix the batter! Divide the batter among the cups evenly. Then drop about 1-2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate batter so that they are about 80% full, make sure not to fill completely! Bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Let cool completely and enjoy!
Easy Peasy Rainbow Cupcakes
Yields 15-20 cupcakes
1 box of plain white or yellow cake mix
1 can of white or vanilla frosting
food coloring, more variety the better
various sprinkles and jimmies
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the batter according to the directions on the box, then divide the batter into 5 bowls. Add different food coloring to each to create a rainbow of colors. 1 - 2 drops should create a perfectly vibrant color, but add enough to your preference. Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Drop tablespoons of each color into each cupcake well to create layers of colors, filling it 3/4 full. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cool completely. Decorate, frost, and TASTE THE RAINBOW!
* I would highly suggest using white cake mix rather than white. Yellow cake mix kind of muddled up and dulled my coloring into Easter themed cupcakes. If you want more vibrant colors, go for the white.