Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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In celebration of Tim's birthday weekend last weekend, I made some Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcakes for a family birthday party. Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination and usually, quite a crowd pleaser. Making cupcakes from scratch is really just as simple as making them from a box, but they taste a thousand times better. And this peanut butter frosting is a killer.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2c flour
  • 3/4c cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and place liners in a cupcake pan.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, Combine. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, alternating between dry and buttermilk. Only mix until combined so you don't overmix. Overmixing=dry cupcakes.

Fill each cupcake liner with until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Peanut Butter Buttercream

Yields enough for 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/4c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2c softened butter
  • 2c confectioners sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp milk, as needed 

Cream together peanut butter and butter until fluffy. Slowly add sugar and vanilla until combined and there are no more lumps. Add milk as needed to thin frosting until it's smooth enought to easily pipe through a piping bag. Be carefully not to thin too much.

You can either apply frosting with an offset spatula, or pipe onto cakes. I used a large star tip to pipe these.

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If you wanted to make these extra special, cut out the center of each cupcake and pipe the peanut butter buttercream into the center. Then, top with a chocolate buttercream! Easy peanut butter cup cupcakes!

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Happy celebrating!

A Fun Fall Round-Up

Now that my scarves and boots are out from their boxes, I'm ready to fully embrace fall in all it's jean-jacket, pumpkin-spice, sock-wearing goodness. I wanted to throw together a little round-up of a bunch of recipes that are perfect for chilly fall nights and DIYs that are great for getting into that fall spirit! 

I feel like I need to add a disclaimer that some of these posts include photos that are just awful. Happily, my photography has gotten much better since I started this blog and that is very apparent when you look back at some past posts. 

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Creamy Pumpkin Pie! What else do you need. You can just stop reading here.

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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. These are perfect coupled with a cup of tea and some great TV.

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These make all hot beverages better. Truth.

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Apple Cranberry Pie is a great dessert to take for Thanksgiving or any other family/friend dinner-gathering. A great twist on a traditional apple pie.

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These Tile Coasters are so simple to make, you can make a set for every time of year! Black and orange stripes/chevron for Halloween?!

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Spiced Hot Apple Cider is one of my go-to warm drinks while it starts getting chilly out.

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Applesauce Cupcakes are my serious addiction. I can't even make them anymore because I'll eat the whole batch. Bake at your own risk.

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Make your own Heart Teabags (or any shaped teabags) with some loose tea and coffee filters. Perfect for the fall weather or for a fun hostess gift!

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Candy Corn Felt Garland is super easy and really cute. 

Happy Fall!

Recipe: Spiced Apple Cider

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Guys, it's fall! And if you removed chai tea lattes, pumpkin spice lattes (PSL), and hot tea out of my life, I would be left with the deliciousness that is spiced apple cider. In the chillier months, I love to spend my nights snuggled up on the sofa with my heated blanket, computer, a mug of hot apple cider and preferably two kitties and a boyfriend. 

This is another super easy recipe and can even be made in a crock pot or in larger batches for a seasonal party. 

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Spiced Apple Cider

Yields 2 mugs

  • 2c apple cider
  • 2-3 slices of orange
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves

Throw all ingredients into a pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes until hot. Stir occasionally. Once the cider is hot, remove the orange slices and you can either strain out some of the spices with a fine mesh strainer, spoon some of it off the top, or stir and drink as is.

If I was having guests and serving this for a party, I would probably pour it through a strainer. But for just me, I'm fine with just spooning some of it off or leaving it alone. I'm easy. 

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and some orange slices. 

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If you wanted to dress this drink up for a party, add 2-3 ounces of dark rum or another warm liquor like brandy or whiskey. You could add how ever much you want actually, depending on how crazy you want your party to get. :)

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Now that we are in the full swing of fall, stay tuned for apple and pumpkin treats for the next month or two!

Also, chalkboard speech bubble mugs make ever drink better! That's a promise.

Late-Summer Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle Recipe

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We are still clinging to summer around here and these Stawberry Lemonade Popsicles are the perfect treat for late summer afternoons. I know fall is right around the corner and soon we will all be thinking about fall layers and pumpkin everything, but these little treats bring me right back to July afternoons at the beach. This is a simple recipe, and only has a few ingriedents. Perfection.

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Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Yields 6 popsicles

  • 1 1/2c freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2c cold water
  • 1c sugar
  • 1 pint strawberries, cut into quarters

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer and push through with a wooden spoon. To make the next step easier, strain liquid into a container with a spout, like a large measuring cup.

Pour liquid into popsicle molds, add sticks, and freeze overnight. Enjoy on a warm weekend afternoon or after a stressful day at work.

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These can be made with any kind or combination of berries. Or even with limes for a limeade pop. Or, if you were having a particularly stressful day, sub out the water for limoncello! Possibilities are endless.

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Here's to a last hooray before pumpkin takes over the Internet!

Blueberry Lime Smash

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Recently, I've been discovering the world of cocktails. I usually never ordered them while out to dinner or out for drinks because it was hard for me to envision how it would taste. I've always tried my mom's martinis and rarely ever liked them. They never tasted like much more than vodka. Then I became a beer gal, which was Tim's influence, trying different beers and discovering what I liked. But now that it's summer, I've be trying out fruity cocktails. They just seem so special.

I stumbled upon Cindy's wonderful blog, Hungry Girl por Vida, and her recipe for Blackberry Ginger Smash. Upon reading, I learned that a smash is a cocktail made by muddling mint and sugar, and maybe adding some kind of fruit, and booze and soda. Sounds like everything I want in a cocktail! In my recipe, I left out the sugar because it becomes way too sweet, but you do as you please. Here we go.

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Blueberry Lime Smash

makes 1 drink

  • handful of blueberries (about 20 or so)
  • 4-6 mint leaves, depending on the size
  • half a lime
  • 2oz vodka (or more if like your drink with some bite, I did.)
  • berry flavored zero-calorie sparkling water (or soda water)

You could either make this drink directly in the glass or in a shaker. If you don't mind having chucks of fruit and mint in your drink, make it in the glass. I prefer to strain that out so chunks don't get stuck in the straw. I am anti-chunks. Especially if it's chunks of fruit. Bleh.

In a shaker, muddle blueberries, mint, and a squeeze of lime juice until the mint is bruised and all the berries broken up. Add vodka and ice, shake. 

Strain into a lowball glasses. Fill the rest of the glass with the flavored sparkling water. Finish with another squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with a few whole blueberries and a lime slice. Bam. New favorite at-home cocktail.

Part of the fun with cocktail recipes is you can change things around so they fit your specific tastes. More or less mint, a different kind of berry or fruit, gin instead of vodka. The possibilities are pretty limitless. 

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These would also be very easy to make in a large batch for guests or a party. Tim and I are kind of obsessed with those zero-calorie flavored sparkling waters. We usually pick up 5-6 of them each time we go to the food store. There are so many different flavors and they're like 50cents a bottle! We usually buy the store brand and they're found in the water aisle.

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Enjoy! :)