Cauldron Cupcakes

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What holiday is complete without a special treat? …….trick or treat. Cauldron Cupcakes!


Cauldron Cupcakes 5

I was inspired by a Pinterest pin from  House of Yumm. These cupcakes are so flipping cute.

I knew this had to be something I tried. I used my own dark chocolate cake recipe. Dark cocoa powder, with dark melted chocolate, and strong brewed espresso make decadent cupcakes. Moist and super dark chocolatey.

Cauldron Cupcakes 1

Everyone has a recipe for buttercream frosting, but they are all pretty basic…butter, powdered sugar, and flavoring. I like a blend of vanilla and almond extract. My key is to whip the dickens out of it. I whip it for like 5 to 7 minutes to get it really fluffy. Continue reading “Cauldron Cupcakes”

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BB Pecan Brownies

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The first Saturday in May is Derby Day! OMG that’s this coming Saturday………What better than Bacon Bourbon Pecan Brownies…….. BB Pecan Brownies to celebrate the winner.


BB Pecan Brownies
The Kentucky Derby is a long standing tradition of roses, mint juleps, and hats. It’s also the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing.

BB Pecan Brownies

So what about a dessert of the day. BB Pecan Brownies would be the perfect finish .

Super chocolatey, with a hint of bourbon…….Kentucky bourbon of course, these brownies are rich and decadent.

BB Pecan Brownies

Topped with pecans, and crispy bacon…….well what can you say about bacon…….it makes everything better.

I topped a few of them with caramel sauce……just in case they were not decadent enough. You can use chocolate or just have them plain…….psst……..use the caramel…..wink, wink!

BB Pecan Brownies

These brownies are the perfect finish line for your derby day party!!!

BB Pecan Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted & chopped
  • ½ pound sliced bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, reserving 3 tablespoons of bacon fat
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ packed cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • Caramel or chocolate sauce if desired for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 13 X 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on 2 opposite sides. Spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place both chocolates with the butter in a large microwave proof glass bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at a time stirring between until melted.
  3. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in both sugars with the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Beat in the bourbon. Add the eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Sift the cocoa and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the bacon and pecans on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the brownies are set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center. Transfer to a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares to serve. Top brownies with caramel or chocolate sauce if desired.

 

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Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

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Chocolate and coffee, coffee and chocolate …….. Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins !


Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I love chocolate and coffee! Its one of those go great together combos. A nice piece of dark chocolate and a sip of hot coffee…….the chocolate melts just a bit and the chocolate gives the coffee a sweet boost.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

Besides, you read all the time how chocolate is good for you, cardiovascular benefits and all and that coffee……1-3 cups a day, may help prevent heart disease.

So, I guess that Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins are good for your heart health. Your waistline may be a different matter…..lol. These muffins are the perfect blend of of chocolate, coffee, with a hint of almond.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I made these in standard muffin tins. If you want you can make them jumbo size, but be warned they are decadently rich and chocolatey. Regular size was perfect with a cup of Joe.

Speaking of a cup of joe, where in the world did that come from??? Well, its seems as with so many things these day there are may theories.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
One theory is secretary of the Navy Josephus “Joe” Daniels issued General Order 99 which prohibited alcohol aboard naval vessels. After that the strongest drink of any kind allowed on naval ships was coffee. The sober sailors were not happy, so they started to call coffee a “cup of Joe” out of spite.

Another theory is that is a combo of two slang words for coffee, java, and jamoke, now in my day a jamoke, was what would now be a dork, but I digress, anyway, the last theory is that the name Joe is a term for the common man and coffee is the common mans drink……..cup of Joe.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I sometimes veer off……back to the muffins. The batter is just a basic batter with the addition of the espresso for the coffee flavor, almond extract to boost the slivered almonds taste, and dark chocolate chips to bump up the cocoa. I almost alway use buttermilk when baking….. its just the right things to do.

All muffins in my “expert” opinion need a crunchy topping, otherwise whats the point?? And we all know how I sing the praises of turbinado sugar. Mixing, the sugar with dark chocolate chips, and almond slivers give these muffins a crunchy, sugary, nutty, chocolatey ……..shall I go on??

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
If you are looking for a yummy chocolatey muffin for your cup a joe Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins are just the ticket!

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Muffins:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup strong espresso, cooled, I used an instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F Line a 12 muffin cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugars and mix to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, milk, coffee, melted butter, and vanilla and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and fold and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. The batter will be pretty thick. Gently fold in almonds and chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. I like to use a ice cream scoop to ensure even muffins.
  5. Make the topping by tossing together turbinado sugar, almonds, and chocolate chips in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly on top of the muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire rack until cool enough to handle. Remove muffins from tin and allow to cool.
  6. Serve.

 

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