Monday, June 17, 2013

Twix Cupcakes for Two!

I have a thing for cupcakes.

Big, decadent, over the top, gourmet cupcakes. I get so excited over all the possibilities. Cake flavors, frosting flavors, mix ins, crusts, toppings, decorating. And everyone gets a beautiful baby cake. What could be better?

I finally dove in and made a somewhat gourmet cupcake, although I can't wait to get even more decadent. But don't be afraid! It's really easy! It's just a matter of assembly. I also made just them just for two people - so easy!

Sans Toppings - still delicious!
 These cupcakes are rich, chocolate cake with a shortbread cookie base, caramel buttercream frosting and topped off with a twix bar and caramel drizzle. Try adding a little sea salt on top, too. Salty + sweet = win! Feel free to stick a caramel inside the chocolate cake but I thought that might be a bit overboard for my first fancy cupcake. ;)

Caramel Buttercream: The Making Of
The result is an amazing, rich, decadent, cupcake experience, not for the faint of heart. A twix cupcake. Or cuppie as I affectionately call them. Give it a whirl. By making just two cupcakes, the only thing you're risking is falling in love!

Note: I made two different recipes of cupcakes for two. The first batch had a better flavor but didn't rise well. The second batch was less rich in flavor but rose well and had a slightly better texture. Also, for some reason my cutesy little cupcake liners were very short so I ended up getting 3 from each batch. This may have affected the shortness of the first batch. I plan on experimenting more until I reach perfection. Stay tuned!

Chocolate Cupcakes for Two 

First Batch:


  •  3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp plus a pinch of baking soda
  • 1/16 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2-3 shortbread cookies (optional - for twix cupcakes)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with two or three cupcake liners (depending on size). Place a shortbread cookie in each liner.
  2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and coffee powder. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined.  Do not overmix. 
  3. Pour the batter on top of each shortbread cookie. Fill the tin about 3/4 way full or more. 
  4. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are done. You may also test for doneness by lightly pressing on a cupcake. If it "bounces back", they are done. 
  5. Cool 5 minutes in the tray, then remove to cool completely. 
Makes 2-3 cupcakes. These were richer, more chocolatey, and more dense and fudgy. They were very short as they didn't rise much. I plan on trying this recipe with a small amount of vinegar to spark the baking soda. Recipe adapted from An Edible Mosaic.

Batch 2


  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2-3 shortbread cookies (optional - for twix cupcakes)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin or cupcake tin with 2-3 liners (depending on size). In each liner, place a shortbread cookie.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add vanilla, vinegar, oil, and water. Stir until combined. Do not overmix. 
  3. Pour batter into 2-3 cupcake liners over the shortbread cookie. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Makes 2-3 cupcakes. These cupcakes had a less intense chocolate flavor but still had a good flavor. They rose well and had a good, moist cake texture. Recipe adapted from P.S. Heart.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting


  • 4 Tbsp (1/2) stick butter, softened
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp caramel topping (depending on preference)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • milk, if needed to thin the frosting


  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until fluffy with a hand mixer. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and continue to beat. Add in the caramel topping, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined. 
  2. If the frosting is too thick, add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time. If the frosting is too thin, add powdered sugar gradually. 
Makes enough to pipe frosting on approximately 6-8 cupcakes. This is much more than you'll need for two, however, it would be very difficult to make frosting in any smaller quantity. You may store frosting in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to five days or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, simply thaw and whip the frosting.

Assembly of Twix Cupcakes

Now that you have a shortbread cookie base, and a chocolate cupcake, you've covered 2 of the 3 flavors of a twix bar. Finally, the caramel comes in via the frosting. Pipe the caramel buttercream onto each cupcake. Top with a piece of a twix bar. Finally, drizzle caramel sauce, chocolate sauce or both to top it off. Voila! Twix cupcakes!

(Alternatively you may follow the same method using your favorite cupcake recipe or box mix.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Copycat Minnie's Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Supreme Cookies

So I made cookies this weekend.

Twice. Not because they were so good I had to make more. Because I failed the first time. You win some, you lose some. The second batch was a win.

I went to Disney World about 2 weeks ago. I, sadly, missed my chance on a Minnie's Bake Shop Cookie. I was skeptical about their prepackaged selves. I later went online and found out that people are crazy for them. Of course. So I had to make a copycat to get a taste of what I was missing.

If these are anything like Minnie's version, then I know I want to try them next time I visit Disney World! They are huge. They are delicious. They are loaded with goodies and soft, tender and moist on the inside. They are not your average chocolate chip cookies. I used chocolate chunks and cut up twix bars in mine but feel free to use any morsels, nuts, or candy pieces you desire! The more the merrier!

I hope Minnie understands that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

Copycat Minnie's Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Supreme Cookies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pack of 2 twix bars, cut up
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chunks


  1. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and sugars. Add the beaten egg, water, and vanilla. Beat just until combined. 
  2. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda. Fold in the chocolate and candy pieces (or add-ins of your choice). 
  3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out mounds of dough onto the cookie sheet. They are large so you will only be able to fit 4-5 per sheet. Place the sheet with mounds of dough into the freezer. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the cookie sheet from freezer and place directly into the oven. Bake for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cookies are golden on the edges. Remove from oven. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cool completely. Eat up! 
 Makes about 7-8 large cookies. Adapted from The Disney Diner.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

D.I.Y. Trail Mix

This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. Here's the idea: Make your own trail mix, packed with things you love, options that suit your diet, and at a fraction of the price.

I think it's a pretty good idea that I'm sure many people have had. I wanted to share my personal trail mix varieties to, hopefully, incite others to explore the world of DIY trail mix!

I call this version "Tropical Blend Trail Mix".

It's packed with banana chips (which I recently discovered I'm in love with and *bonus* they sell a big bag at the dollar tree!), sweetened coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dry roasted peanuts, and butter toffee almonds. Yumm-o is all I have to say.

This next version is called "Sweet and Salty Mix". I know, so creative.

I loaded this one with dry roasted peanuts, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, and lightly salted almonds. These are some of my favorite healthy snack foods. It's really fun to choose your personal favorites and find flavors that complement each other to develop a trail mix just for you.

Here are the exact measurements I used for my trail mixes:

Tropical Blend Trail Mix


  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 20 dry roasted peanuts
  • 12 butter toffee almonds (blue diamond brand)
  • 3-4 Tbsp banana chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flakes 

Sweet and Salty Mix 


  • 8 lightly salted almonds
  • 30 dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 15 chocolate chips

 Nutrition Information (Approximately)

Tropical Blend

Calories: 233
Fat: 14.6 g
Carbohydrates: 20.9 g
Protein: 7 g
Fiber: 3.8 g

Sweet and Salty Mix

Calories: 275
Fat: 22 g
Carbohydrates: 13.3 g
Protein: 9.9 g
Fiber: 3.9 g

*While the calories and fat may seem high, remember that it is good fat from nuts and sunflower seeds. Trail mix typically is very satisfying (so you don't get hungry quickly) and is packed with protein, fiber, and other vitamins.