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Carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting

17 Mar

So it’s official. Winter’s over. It hit me today, while I was at the park, playing tag with little kids, sitting on a bench and taking in my surroundings. I was kind of hoping winter would make a comeback sometime this March- it always does. Where I live, winter never leaves us without a fight, one last memoir, a terrible snowstorm. But this year, nothing. It hardly snowed this time. And all I could think of this winter, was back to ten years ago, when it snowed so much that we couldn’t even open the front door of our house. When school had to be closed for days in a row. When people’s cars wouldn’t even budge out of their driveways. It feels like my favourite season doesn’t exist anymore.

Anyways, as much as I’d like to postpone it, spring is here. And you know what reminds me of spring? The flowery cupcake liners on the cupcakes I made a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? So what hapenned a couple of weeks ago was that my sister came up to me, disappointed because her fourth grade class had a baking session and she’d missed it because she’d been sick. She handed me the recipe of the carrot cake she was supposed to bake with her class. The recipe was from Joy of Baking (I’m obsessed with that website!). So my sister and I decided to make carrot cupcakes at home. Stephanie from Joy of Baking actually has a carrot cupcake recipe but I used her recipe for carrot cake because that’s the one my sister had a printed out copy of.

So, let’s get started! Here are the recipe and the directions I adapted from the Joy of Baking one. I left out the nuts, so if you want the original unmodified recipe, check out their website!

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake:

3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (2 1/2 cups grated)

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sufted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in center of oven.

Peel and finely grate the carrots.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). 

Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 – 4 minutes). 

Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. 

Fold in the grated carrots. 

Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean (you might want to poke a few cupcakes to make sure they’re all done baking). 

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cupcakes cool before you transfer them to a platter.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed using an electric or hand mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost them! I frosted mines using a plastic sandwich bag. I basically scooped the icing into the bag, pushed all the icing towards one corner, removed the air from the bag, then zipped it and cut off the corner of the bag where I had pushed all of the frosting. Then I used the bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. It’s kind of a messy job, but it looks pretty!

And voila! Your cupcakes look beautiful, taste amazing, and you feel pretty accomplished because you made them!

Yeah bro. I made those cupcakes bro.

Le picture time:

According to my brother, the way I frosted the cupcakes makes the icing look like white poop. Haters gonna hate yo.

 Take care and I’ll see you soon my loves!

Oreo Truffles!

17 Dec

Hello my loves! I’m back! I know, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy with YouTube exams. So I’m gonna try to write this post before I get too lazy again.

So yesterday, I made Oreo truffles. Now don’t kill me, but I’m not a fan of Oreos. I’ll eat them if I have to, but I don’t know, I just don’t find them very tasty. It’s probably because I only like cookies that have chocolate chips in them or are dipped in chocolate. Anyways, I do love Oreo cheesecake- well, any cheesecake. So, when I saw Brown Eyed Baker’s post on Oreo and cream cheese truffles, I knew i had to try them. After all, I would do anything to get my hands on any kind of food with cream cheese in it. Anything.

And the best part about these truffles as that you can make them really quickly, and with only 4 ingredients! Also, they’re worth the effort it takes to smash that cream cheese and crush those Oreo cookies.

The truffles have an amazing texture, with a hard chocolate shell on the outside, and a rich, creamy, dense filling inside. It’s a strong burst of sweet cream cheese- Oreo goodness. Also, because I didn’t grind my Oreos superfine, I haad small, soft cookie pieces inside my truffles, which I actually liked.

Anyways, enough of me blabbering on about good these truffles are. Let’s get started on making them! Here’s the recipe I modified from Michelle, from Brown Eyed Baker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Oreos (30 cookies)
  • 1 250 gram package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups melting chocolate wafers.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or oil.

Directions:

Crush the Oreo cookies (with the cream) in a food processor. I was kinda lazy to take the food processor out, so I put these bad boys in a Ziploc bag, grabbed a rolling-pin, and went all out. Let’s just say those Oreo cookies were wishing they’d never been born.

Mmmmm cream cheeeeeeseeeeee *drool*

Put the Oreo cookies in a large bowl. Add the cream cheese bit by bit. Using a spoon, mix the cream cheese well into the cookie crumbs until you have a mould-able dough. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop little little balls from the mixture and shape them into proper rounds and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Once you’re done making the balls, refrigerate them for about 30 minutes until they’re firm.

Don't they look like poop balls? Woops, did I just say that out loud?

In a small bowl, melt the white and milk chocolate melting wafers in 30 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the balls from the fridge, a few at a time, so they don’t become soft and aren’t hard to work with. Take one ball and dip it into the chocolate. I used a fork to hold the ball, and using a spoon in my other hand, I drizzled the melted chocolate over it to cover it completely. Place the ball back onto the wax paper using the fork. Using a spoon, drizzle the while chocolate over your truffle.

I know you’re thinking that my truffles have funky designs on them. That’s what happens when you give your noob of a brother some melted white chocolate and an ounce of trust. I’m kidding; the truffles actually look pretty cool, like some kind of abstract art. Not that I would ever tell him that.

 
Once you’re done dipping all the truffles, place them back into the fridge for another 30 minutes.
 

Serve the truffles, or store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks- if they last that long! If you’re having guests over, these babies will be gone before long. 

 

 The recipe says you should end up with about 4 dozen truffles. I only ended up making about 20. I think next time I’ll make the truffles much smaller in size. But really, they are so freakin’ good. Anyways, I hope you guys are all getting into the holiday spirit and spending your time off with friends, family, and all the people you love. Speaking of which, what are you doing for the Holidays? Me, I’m just gonna crawl up in bed and watch Friends. Hopefully I can drag my unsocial body out of bed and spend some time with friends and family for a bit. Wow, it took me 3 hours to write this post. Damn you, YouTube, you’ve done it again. Anyways, I should probably stop bugging you now. Take care my loves! Enjoy your holidays, and I hope wherever you are, you’re having an amazing time with wonderful people. See you soon.