Search Results for: Mint

Mint Oreo Cupcakes


I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to bake these cupcakes.  It’s probably been close to two years, but I really can’t say for sure. The original recipe called for regular Oreo’s, but I had a package of mint Oreo cookies sitting on my baking shelf for over 6 months just screaming to be used.  I’d picked them up during a recent trip to the States, knowing that they were destined to become the “star ingredient” in one of my future baking creations. I’d struggled to decide what I should make with the mint Oreos – the possibilities were endless. Milk shakes, cheesecakes, brownies, Oreo truffles, cookies, etc., but in the end the cupcakes won.  It had been ages since I baked cupcakes, and ever since I saw these Oreo cupcakes online, I knew I just had to make them.  I also knew that the addition of mint would make them irresistible.  


These cupcakes required me to use the majority of my coveted package of mint Oreos (FYI: UK Oreo packages are a third of the size of the US package above!), something I was a little reluctant in doing. What if they didn’t turn out? I would have “wasted” my precious mint Oreos.

I’m going to be honest and say that I was actually quite hesitant about making this recipe because it said to whip the butter for a few minutes and then mix in the milk and vanilla.  This resulted in a cold liquidy and lumpy buttery mess.  Almost every other cupcake recipe I’ve made called for the butter to be creamed with the sugar.  I continued making them, and I’m glad I did because they turned out great!  The cake was a tiny bit denser than the other cupcakes I bake, but not in a bad way.  It was still nice and moist, and the Oreo’s were studded throughout the cupcake.  The only thing I wish I could change was that a lot of the whole Oreo’s that lined the bottom of the cupcakes stuck to the paper a little bit, which made them hard to remove from the liners.  If anyone has a tip to prevent this please let me know!  I was thinking that pouring a tablespoon of batter into the paper liners before placing the Oreo’s in may help?

I can’t wait to try this recipe with other Oreo flavours.  Unfortunately in the UK the only flavours available are regular and chocolate, but from what I remember mint, peanut butter, golden, and seasonal varieties are all available in the US. How unfair!



Mint Oreo Cupcakes
Slightly Adapted from Beantown Baker

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup (250ml) Milk 
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 1/4 Cups (280g) Flour, plus 2 Tbsp for the Oreo chunks
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt 
1 2/3 Cup (375g) Sugar
3 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature

1 pkg Mint Oreo Cookies (~45 cookies)


Instructions: 

1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan. 

2.  Twist apart 24 Oreos. Place the wafer with filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Cut other wafers in half. Save 24 halves to place in the frosting. Crush the other wafer halves, also for garnishing.
Cut the remaining Oreo cookies into quarters with a sharp knife. Toss with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.
3.  In a large bowl cream the butter until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine.
4.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5.  Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the quartered cookies.
6.  Fill the cupcake lines three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.
Mint Buttercream Icing


Ingredients:

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp (250g) Butter, room temperature
5 1/2 Cups (700g) Icing Sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 tsp mint extract (depending on how strong you want it)
2 – 4 Tbsp Milk
Green food colouring (optional)


Instructions: 



1.  In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and a 1/2 cup (65g) of the icing sugar together until well combined. Continue to add the icing sugar to the butter mixture 1/2 a cup at a time. Once the buttercream mixture starts to get a bit stiff, add the vanilla and mint extracts, and 2 tablespoons of the milk,.  Repeat these steps until all of the icing sugar is incorporated into the butter mixture.  You may want to add in more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. 

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the UK it always seems like we’re a bit cheated when it comes to fun baking ingredients. Whenever I make a trip back to Canada or the US I always go a bit mad by chucking every type of chocolate chip, different flavoured Oreo cookie, and seasonal candy in my shopping cart so I can bring them all back to the UK to restock my baking shelf.  


I’ve brought some pretty cool chocolate chips back from my overseas travels including milk & white chocolate swirls, green mint chips, mini Reese’s Pieces, lemon chips, etc.  You get the picture…. they have LOTS to choose from.  But there’s one chocolate chip I’ve never been able to find – PINK ones!  And to be honest, I hadn’t even thought of pink chocolate chips until a couple of years ago when I noticed that one of the top search terms that people used to get to my blog was “pink chocolate chips”.  So it was really all of you guys who gave me the idea for my next project.  


After scouring the internet for a mainstream brand of pink chocolate chips, I couldn’t find anything.  The only thing I could think of even remotely similar were the coloured candy melts I had sitting on my shelf.  But they were far too big to be used as chocolate chips in a cookie. I had two options – chop them up into little pieces, or melt them and make my own pink chocolate chips.

Obviously I choose to make my own!  And it was so easy!  Not only did I make my own pink chocolate chips, but I also made red ones as well as a few other colours which will be revealed in a future post. 

Making your own chocolate chips is so easy!  Follow my directions below, and you’ll soon be able to make chocolate chip cookies with chips in every shade of the rainbow!  

How to Make Your Own Coloured Chocolate Chips

Materials:


Candy Melts
Disposable Piping Bag
Silicone Baking Mat
Food Colouring, optional

Directions: 

1. Start off by melting some candy melts in your colour of choice over a double boiler.  If you don’t have the exact colour you want, then you can use some white melts and tint them whatever colour you choose using a gel / paste / powder colouring.   (I tinted some of mine this way, and they turned out perfectly fine). 

2.  Snip off the tip of a disposable piping bag (make sure not to snip too much off, otherwise you’re chips will be too big).  Transfer the melted candy melts into your piping bag.  

3.  Hold your piping bag at a 90 degree angle, and gently pipe a dollop of the melted candy melt onto your silicone baking mat.  To make a perfect little coloured chip you’ll need keep your piping bag pointed straight down towards the mat, and keep the pressure even until a blob starts to form.  Then gently pull up, and make a little flicking motion at the end to create the little “drip” top.  Repeat until you’ve finished piping all your coloured chips. Allow the chips to set for at least half an hour before removing them from the silicone mat.  I found that the easiest way to remove all my chips form the mat was to slide an offset spatula under them.


I used a combination of the pink and red chips that I made myself, along with some leftover white & milk chocolate chips I had from a previous trip to the states to make some extra special cookies for my Valentine.  

I made his favourite double chocolate chip cookies, but switched up the regular chocolate chips for my pretty homemade Valentine’s day ones.  


Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies    

Ingredients:  

1 Cup (227g) Butter, softened  
1 1/2 Cups (337g) Sugar 
2 Eggs 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
2 Cups (250g) Flour 
2/3 Cup (65g) Cocoa Powder 
3/4 tsp Baking Soda 
1/4 tsp Salt 
1/2 Cup Pink Chocolate Chips 
1/2 Cup Red Chocolate Chips 
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:  

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).  Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.    

2.  Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined.  Add in all of the coloured and chocolate chips and stir until they’re combined throughout.  Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

3.  Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.  The cookies should still be slightly soft in the middle, but not liquidy or undercooked.   Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for approximately 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  


These cookies have been, and likely always will be my favourite cookie.  I made this batch for my special Valentine who’s usually a health nut, but these are also his favourite cookie so he ended up eating 5 in one night!  They’re also the same cookie I used to make my Quadruple Chocolate Lindt Stuffed Cookies, which are even more decadent with the added chocolate pillow inside!

Chocolate Gingerbread Houses – a Twist on a Christmas Tradition

Christmas traditions – we all have them. My earliest memory of our Christmas traditions was when I was only about 3 years old. My mom would make the most amazing gingerbread houses ever. We would sit and watch the beginning stages of the house being built, with the rest of the decorating being carried out while we were in bed sleeping.  We would wake up the next morning in amazement at the sugary creation decked out with royal icing snow and icicles, spearmint leaf trees and candy cane sleds.  We always knew that we weren’t allowed to touch or eat the house until after Christmas.  But I guess my parents never told our babysitter that, because one night they came home from a party and she’d torn off the gingerbread shutters, and eaten a spearmint tree or two.  And guess who got the blame…….


It seems like over the past few years gingerbread houses have become increasingly popular in the UK.  The first time I made one in the UK four years ago most of my friends had never even seen one before and they all just asked me why I made it.  Um, because it’s fun!  And it’s tradition!  Gingerbread kits have been increasing in popularity each year here, and there’s some really good ones out this year.  By far the coolest one I’ve seen isn’t even really a kit.  It’s a mould.  A chocolate mould!  This year Lakeland has released a super cool mould that allows you to make a gingerbread house entirely out of chocolate.  No baking required.  Just melt your chocolate, pour and wait until it’s set before “gluing” your house together with some more melted chocolate.  


Next comes the best part – the decorating!  My favourite part of building any gingerbread house (chocolate or the cookie kind) is the decorating.  I love shopping for all the different types of candy, and although I do prefer my old favourites from North America (traditional ribbon candy, spearmint trees and life savers), I have also discovered some wonderful traditional UK sweets that have made my house look amazing.  I especially loved the pink and white marshmallow twists called Flumps, which I used for the peak of the roof, chimney and window boxes.

I’m so pleased with the way my chocolate house turned out.  I used pieces of strawberry Moam for the roof tiles, Jelly Tots for the christmas lights, Flumps for the roof peak, chimeny and window boxes, Dolly Mix for the fence and light posts, Millions for the pathwaym and also some mini Chuppa Chups for an extra bit of decoration.  The icicles and snow are made from white chocolate.

My only word of caution with this gingerbread house mould is that it does require a lot of chocolate.  1.2kg to be exact.  But the good thing is that the mould can also be used to bake your traditional gingerbread cookies in as well.  So if you’d rather not have a house made of chocolate, then you can always go the more traditional route using your favourite gingerbread recipe. 

Thanks to Lakeland for providing this fabulous gingerbread mould. 

Also, thanks to Jude’s (from A Trifle Rushed) comment below I’m adding my chocolate gingerbread house to the Seasonal Gingerbread House link up via the Turquoise Lemons blog.  If you’ve made a gingerbread house this year, then why not share yours too!



Coincidentally the gingerbread house in the picture above is traditional gingerbread baked in the same Lakeland mould I used for my chocolate house.

Gourmet S’mores

The weather here in the UK has been positively dismal.  Having just returned to soggy ol’ England from holiday in Toronto where the weather was 38°C (100°F) has only reinforced the fact that our summer so far has been absolutely crappy. 
It was so nice to get away and spend some time in a tropical climate – even if it was on the beaches and streets of Toronto, and not the Caribbean.  No visit back home to Canada is complete without some serious food (ingredient) shopping.  I always return to the UK with a suitcase full of North American treats that are hard to find in UK stores.  I made numerous visits to a fantastic bulk food shop where I stocked up on sprinkles and candy melts –  almost an entire carry on suitcase full!  I also visited Golda’s Kitchen – the most amazing cake supply store, thanks to a recommendation from Jodie Whitley via the Made With Pink Facebook page (I’ll be posting pictures of the cake shop and my holiday purchase on my facebook page shortly!)
A few days before I left on holiday I decided to perk myself up and get into the summer spirit by making some gourmet s’mores (sans campfire) using some of the ingredients I’d picked up from my previous holiday to the States. 
I’d had a few bags of speciality marshmallows and a couple boxes of graham crackers sitting on my baking shelf for the past few months,  I’d always intended to use them for gourmet s’mores, but I just never got around to it until now.  Plus I needed to make room for my new impending purchases!


I made four different s’more combinations:
Pina Colada:  Original graham crackers sandwiched together with white chocolate, pineapple & toasted coconut marshmallows, and a slice of freshly grilled pineapple. 
Chocolate Mint:  Chocolate graham crackers sandwiched together with mint chocolate marshmallows and dark mint chocolate.

Peanut Butter Cup:  Chocolate graham crackers sandwiched together with flat vanilla marshmallows and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.


Salted Caramel:  Chocolate graham crackers sandwiched together with caramel flavoured chocolate callets, flat vanilla marshmallows and a spoon full french salted butter caramel (not pictured).


Don’t think you can’t make these if you don’t live in the US, or don’t have the graham crackers or fancy marshmallows.  I’ve seen toasted coconut marshmallows in the UK before in several stores, and most recently I’ve been able to find them in the South African grocery stores near my home.  Regular marshmallows will work just as well in all of these s’mores, but my tip is to cut them in half so they lay flat instead of standing tall like they normally would.  All of the chocolate I used is from the UK, and is available in any major grocery store with the exception of the caramel callets which were a gift from my March Foodie Penpal who bought them in a local shop in Manchester.  If you don’t have the caramel callets or the salted butter caramel, then you can use the new flat Rolo chocolate bars that have just been launched for sale in the UK. 

As for the graham crackers, you can make your own at home by following the recipe here that I used to make my mini s’more pops a couple of years ago.
To make the s’mores you’ll need the above ingredients and an oven.  If the UK weather ever gets better then you can make them the way they were originally intended – with a camp fire.  But until then you’ll need to pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F).  


Assemble your s’mores together and wrap them in a square of aluminum foil (this will ensure your chocolate and marshmallow don’t melt and ooze out the sides of your graham crackers and into the oven.)  Place them in the hot oven for 3-5 minutes before removing.  Carefully unwrap each s’more and enjoy – just make sure you don’t burn yourself on the hot gooey marshmallow and chocolate!

I think that the salted caramel s’mores were my favourite out of the bunch.  They were so so soooo good, but also very rich.  I couldn’t have eaten more than one.  I also really liked the Pina Colada ones, they were so different from any other s’more I’d made.  I only got to try a small bite of the chocolate mint s’more before my husband gobbled it up.  As for the Reese’s s’more, while it was good, it wasn’t my favourite.  I’d still prefer to eat the Reese’s cup by it self.

What other unique flavours of s’mores have you made?  Do you have any other suggestions for me??

Peggy Porschen Boutique Baking Review


Last night I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for Peggy Porschen’s new book titled Boutique Baking.  It’s no secret that I’m a huge Peggy Porschen fan.  I’ve made several  recipes from her books including these baby shower cookies last year.  



Boutique Baking is slightly different from Peggy’s previous books which focus more on decorating projects using several key recipes.  Instead, Boutique Baking is filled with recipes – each with their own decorating ideas and techniques that Peggy clearly guides you through with written instructions and visual steps.  

Boutique Baking is made up of 7 chapters:  Sweet Treats, Beautiful Biscuits, Cupcake Heaven, Luscious Layer Cakes, Classic Cakes & Bakes, Delicious Drinks, and The Icing on The Cake. 

Notable recipes include:

Springerle Cookies – I’ve always wanted to make these, but have never found an authentic wooden mould. 

Chocolate Heaven Cupcakes – I’ve made these and they’re delicious, so keep an eye out for the recipe.  I’ll be posting it soon!

Summer Berry Cake – this has a beautiful pattern on top that’s created by a simple dusting of cocoa powder over a patterned stencil

Raspberry & Rose Dome Cake – An absolutely stunning dome cake accented with delicate sugar paste flowers.  I also made this, and will be posting it shortly!

Minteani – A light and refreshing iced mint tea and vodka cocktail


Out of all of Peggy’s books (she has 5), Boutique Baking is my favourite.  The recipes are all mouth watering and accompanied by stunning photos, not only of the finished product but also of the steps needed to get you there.  Boutique Baking has something for everyone.  Novice bakers and decorators need not shy away, as there’s recipe and decorating idea to suit every skill level.


With thanks to Quadrille Publishing for my review copy of Peggy’s book.

Boutique Baking is available on Amazon UK here and Amazon US here  


** Now here’s some exciting news for you – if you live in London and you’re a fan of Peggy Porschen you’ll be pleased to know that she’ll be signing copies of her new Boutique Baking Book in her parlour this Saturday May 26th between 3pm – 5pm.  Directions to Peggy’s pink parlour and additional information can be found here.


And finally, I’ve also got some VERY EXCITING Peggy Porschen news to share with you later in the week, so keep an eye on my blog, facebook and twitter to find out what it is!!! Until then I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of Peggy’s book party.