Grasshopper Story

First, let me say how much I love to bake.  It is therapeutic for me.  I love it.  I turn up the tunes, sing and bake.  Second, let me say how much I will JACK SOMETHING UP when I am baking.  I want to share with you the project from tonight.  My friend Allie introduced me to this website:  Your Cup of Cake.  Check her out – girlfriend can bake, y’all.  Her cupcakes and other concoctions are just down right puuuurteeeee.  Her latest creation is the Grasshopper Cupcake¹.  Please make these cupcakes (except, unlike me, follow the directions like a normal person).  But, even though I didn’t follow the directions, they were delicious (I can only dream how good they’d be if I HAD!)  In fact, look how pretty they are (I bet mine would’ve looked like this):

Grasshopper Cupcakes
 Yield: 24 Cupcakes
 
ingredients
Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 
Chocolate Mint Ganache:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
 
Grasshopper Buttercream:
1 sleeve Grasshopper Cookies (or Thin Mints)
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. In a small bowl, sift cake mix to remove lumps.
3. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
4. Combine liquid ingredients with cake mix and stir until well combined.
5. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
6. Ganache: Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Heat heavy cream until small bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract.
7. Buttercream: Using a food processor or plastic bag and rolling pin, finely crush Grasshopper cookies. Sift the crushed cookies. You will need 3/4 cup of the sifted powder. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Slowly add about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Then add you 3/4 cup of sifted Grasshopper cookies. Continue to slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
8. To assemble, dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the ganache. (If the ganache runs down the sides, you may need to let it cool a little longer.) Let the ganache set an then pipe buttercream over it and top it with a Grasshopper cookie.

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Oh, I copied her recipe and stuff above in pretty letters because she deserves it.  I’m not sure what THIS deserves:

Oh WAIT, yes I do know what this deserves!  It’s called follow the directions.  New concept, huh?  Here’s what happened:  I thought, “You know….I could just get fat free cream cheese, low fat buttermilk, fat free sour cream, light buddah and use skim milk for the ganache.”  And you know what – for the most part, I was right.  Tastewise, these things are delicious.   I would like to add the disclaimer that maybe the presentation fail is the baker’s fault.  BUT, in order to save face, I might go so far as to say that if I’d used some full on I-love-you-because-you-taste-so-much-better-but-I-was-trying-to-be-good-so-I-didn’t-even-though-that’s-what-the-recipe-called-for fat cream cheese, heavy cream, buddah, sour cream and buttermilk, I think my presentation would sort of resemble the picture above.   It MIGHT!  I have those icing tip thingees that make pretty icing, so nah.

Moral of the story – never try to make ganache with skim milk.  It ain’t pretty.

Oh and please, come by my office tomorrow!  I would love to have you sample one of my jacked up cupcakes!  Promise they taste better than they look and from now on – FULL ON FAT CREAM CHEESE, BABY!!

¹Thank you, oh thank you (as I’m secretly sad) that no one hit me up for Girl Scout cookies this year.  There is no reason for me to have Thin Mints staring me down every time I open the freezer.  They always say, “Dang, girl – take us out of here!  We’re cold and want to be sandwiched up with some peanut butter!”

No name for this post – sorry!

If you are my friend on Facebook, you know that yesterday (Sunday) morning, while I was all cozy in my house and the rain was all catting and dogging….I was not able to enjoy a nice cup (okay, pot) of coffee.  I didn’t even have the crap coffee that sits in the back of the cabinet that you use when you’re in a bind. So, I decided that I would go to Kroger at lunch today and get the coffee I so desperately need.

Observations during my trip to Kroger at lunch today:
1.  I am still afraid that the cigarette flicked out the window in front of me is somehow going to hit underneath my car in some exact way that will blow my car up.  Has this every happened?  Probably not.  Would it happen to ME?  Probably so.  I’m lucky like that.

2.  If inanimate objects could have puppy dog eyes, it would be those dang Double Stufft Oreos.  I feel like the things were practically begging to be taken home. As I passed them by, I felt sorry for them.  I knew they wanted to go with me.  Then, on the second pass by, they became agitated – almost yelling at me to take them home with me.  I didn’t take them home with me, and sort of feel bad about it.  You know, because it’s their birthday and all.

3.  Going in without a written list is not for me.  Went in with one thing on the mental list – coffee.  Came out with grapes, granola bars and face soap.  No coffee.

4.  If I owned a place that sold fingernail polish, I would pay someone to go by and shake up all the skanky looking polish on a regular basis.  You know which ones I’m talking about – the ones that have separated and look like the oil and water science experiment from Mr. Wizard.

Crazy or Conscientious?

Yeah, yeah.  I know, I said I wasn’t going to talk about my dogchild too much on my blog.  I’m sorry, but how can I deny this face some attention on the internets?  Poor Sophie, there’s a possibility that her mama’s slightly insane.  I’m either very conscientious of her safety or this dog has made me crazy.  I prefer the first.  However, you are free to make your own decision based on the following examples.

Point in Case #1:  Sophie stays in the kitchen during the day while I’m at work.  I won’t use my crockpot during the week because I’m scared that it will burn my house down while Sophie’s in the kitchen.  So, if I’m crocking something….I load it up and take it to work and plug it up there.  Now, not once in my life have I ever heard of a crockpot burning someone’s house down.  But, I’m not taking any chances since Dogchild is inside.  Before I had her, I would set it and forget it without ever thinking that it might burn the joint down.

Point in Case #2:  Say I’ve got Sophie in the car with me and I stop to pick up some takeout or run in the gas station for a losing scratch off.  Normal people crack the window.  Well, I remove my clicker from the key ring so I can keep the car running, and lock the door while I go inside.  Want to know why?  Because all I can think is that if I have the windows cracked, somebody could just use a coat hanger and unlock the door and steal my dog.  You know, because people do that.

Lord help me when I have a real child….