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!”

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Super Bowl Belly Fuel

Here we are again, it’s Super Bowl time with a match up between the two best teams in the NFL:  “Um, You Know” and “Yeah Them.”    Clearly, I want my team to win.  What I really want  is hang out with good friends, maybe have a beverage or two, and pretend that my extra DeuceW points are going to be enough for the damage I’m going to do on some Super Bowl grub.    These are a few recipes I may tackle (hahaha) for Super Bowl Sunday.

Everything Soft Pretzels from Foodie with Family.  I have never made pretzels before.  Sure I could just get a box of frozens and sprinkle on some love and pretend, but I’m really interested in seeing if I can do this.  Will be requiring a dough hook though for the Kitchen Aid (one of my favorite presents of all time – thanks, Brother who says he never reads this but probably secretly does and loves it and Sister-in-Law that does!)….because I am not interested in rolling and kneading and whatnot by hand.  Thank you, Bed Bath & Beyond, for sending me countless 20% off coupons.  And for never letting them truly expire.  You’re a gem.

Bacon Appetizers from The Pioneer Woman.  I love these.  I like to make bacon stuff, and this is one of my faves.  Except, I have a variation.  Instead of parm cheese, I use brown sugar.  Salty Sweet, babe-ayy.

Homemade Oreos from Your Cup of Cake.  I have no words for this.  Okay, maybe a few.  I love a double stuffed oreo. This has got to be even better, right?

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes  from Giada on Food Network.  Because what is a football game without wings.  Except when I made this, I used tenders so they were boneless wings instead.  I never feel like I eat wings properly – I always feel like I’m being wasteful.  So, this is my way of helping save the planet of unwanted waste.  I bet if you dip these bad boys in some raynch, they’d be extree tasty.  And, I’m not talking Hidden Valley or bottle ranch.  I’m talking about the kind you get at a pizza joint.  House dressing, if you will.

There you have it.  My possible contributions to Super Bowl Sunday.

Crocking some Pork

Before I share the best pork recipe ever, I have to give credit to my BFF, BW.  She texted me a screenshot of this recipe that she found on Pinterest.  That someone had pinned.  From the website www.sixsistersstuff.com.  Who adapted the recipe from www.everydaytastes.com.  Who found the recipe in an unnamed magazine.  Don’t ya just love the internets?  The whole WWW is like 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon!  I’m still not real sure if you’re supposed to give credit to your sources on blogs or if you just copy and paste as you wish.  But, I ain’t trying to get sued, so….the pictures and recipe below are not mine – I copied that part directly from SSS blog.

However, what’s a recipe without making it your own?  Okay, so I accidentally messed up some stuff.  But, it turned out deeeelish.  Here’s what I did differently:
1.  Got a tenderloin instead of a roast.  No roasts at the store.
2.  Got a one pound tenderloin instead of a two or three pounder.  Would probably explain why my gravy was really thick (although delicious).  Next time, I’ll get the 2 lb.
3.  Used twice as much garlic.  Because I love it and because I don’t have a boyfriend I’m trying to have minty fresh breath for all the time.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast Recipe

Ingredients:

1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy (I also made mashed potatoes and the gravy was delicious on them!).

Recipe adapted from Everyday Tastes

Make this recipe.  It’ll change your life.