Tiramisu Cupcakes

Hello there– I know, I know you shouldn’t start a new recipe with a disclaimer– But if you are a blogger (this means you, all my blog-buddies), you know the sometimes photos aren’t what you’d hoped.  But I loved these tender, creamy cupcakes!!- so I’m sending along the recipe and you’ll have to imagine how pretty (and delicious) they were! OK??

TIRAMISU CUPCAKES

cupcakes:
chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
water
1 pack instant coffee crystals (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. coffee liqueur  (like Kahlua)

Topping:
1 pint whipped cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
tsp. powdered sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box.  (Mine used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 1/4 cup water).  Add in the instant coffee and coffee liqueur and beat for two minutes with an electric mixer.

Pour the batter into 24 paper cupcake liners in cupcake pans.  Pop them in a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.  Let them cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipped cream along with the pudding powder and powdered sugar  –until it is stiff and set.  With a spoon, fold in the mascarpone cheese.

Top each cooled cupcake with a large dollop of the cream & mascarpone mixture.  And then dust the cocoa over the cream through a small sieve.  Refrigerate the cupcakes if you are making them way ahead…  So delish!

 

Simple Mocha Cake

Hi all– I’m afraid this isn’t much of a recipe– more like just a tip about putting instant coffee into your cake mix & frosting to give it a rich mocha flavor.  But I promise if you try this simple cake, you’ll have a hard time not licking your plate.  It’s crazy delicious!

SIMPLE MOCHA CAKE

Cake:
1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. instant coffee (about 2 small packs)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. instant coffee (about 2 small packs)
1/4 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1-2 tab, water if needed
garnish:  stemmed cherry!!

 

With an electric mixer beat together the cake mix according to the directions on the package–mine used 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs.  Them mix in the 2 tsp. instant coffee.

Spoon the batter into two 8″ or 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch.  Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in the microwave and then mix in the cocoa and instant coffee.  Then with a mixer beat in the cream cheese vanilla and powdered sugar.  Begin mixing on the lowest setting until the sugar has started in incorporate (or you will have sugar flying everywhere!).  Up the speed of the mixer to blend thoroughly.

If the frosting seems too dry, add 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of water (be careful it’s easy to add to much water and end up with running frosting!)

Frost the bottom layer.   Add to top layer and frost away the top and sides.  Add cherry and it ‘s done!

 

Mocha Hazelnut Cookies

IMG_3298Hey there– If you look in our freezer, you’re likely to find mocha almond fudge ice cream tucked in between the frozen blueberries and ice cube bin (unless I’ve just slurped it all down).  It’s my favorite.  So how could these tender fudgey coffee tinged cookies not be delicious?  They’re not too sweet, but chock full of chocolate and hazelnuts.  Big and cake-like and melt-in-your-mouth good.  (OK, did I convince you??)

MOCHA HAZELNUT COOKIES
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coffee liqueur (optional)
1  1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_3301With an electric mixer cream together the butter, 2 sugars, egg, vanilla and coffee liqueur.  Then beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, coffee crystals and salt.  Finally, mix in he hazelnuts and chocolate chips.*

Drop the batter by full tablespoons onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray–about 3″ apart.  Smash each cook just a bit flatter with the bottom of a glass.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before you lift them off to a cooling rack.  Makes about 18 large cookies.  Enjoy them with a mug of tea!

*I save a handful of chocolate chip and hazelnuts to sprinkle on top of the cookies before I slip them into the oven– so they are prettier.

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Chocolate Espresso Muffins

IMG_3635Hey there– I’m trying not to show off here.  But honestly, I have to say these are my favorite thing I’ve baked in a very long time!  So tender and silky and chocolatey with a little streusel crunch on top.  Can you tell I love them??

CHOCOLATE ESPERSSO MUFFINS

topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate coated cocoa nibs*
(or chocolate chips)

muffin:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa**
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup brewed espresso (or strong coffee)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips

IMG_3624First prepare the streusel.  Mix together the 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.  Set aside along with the cocoa nibs.

Then in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the egg, milk, coffee, oil and vanilla.  Finally fold in the 2/3 cup walnuts and chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans lined with paper muffins liners.  You’ll have 12 to 15 standard muffins.  Sprinkle on the walnut & brown sugar streusel and then scatter the chocolate covered cocoa nibs over the tops.

Pop them into a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they are baked and firm to the touch.  Hot from the oven they are just about perfect!!– with a mug of tea, even better.

*If you live around here, I got the chocolate covered cocoa nibs at Sprouts.
**I like the Hershey’s extra dark unsweetened cocoa– so much chocolate flavor!

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