Cookie Monster Cupcakes
Cookies? cupcakes? At once? Yes, please.
- 1/2 a cup of unsalted butter
- 1/2 a cup of white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 2 Cups confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- some milk
- WIilton sky blue icing coloring
- Wilton White Candy melts
- Milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Sky blue sanding sugar
I found the easiest way to melt chocolate for the eyes was to bring a small pot with a lid to a boil and then removing it from the heat and melting a few of the chocolate chips onto the lid. You can then use a chopstick or handle of a regular soup spoon to dab chocolate onto the chocolate chips and press them firmly onto the white candy melts. Don’t worry if the first two eyes don’t look quite right. I probably did like 6 pairs before I got a decent one. No two eyes should be the same. Don’t worry about symmetry. As you make them place them on a cookie sheet or plate and set them aside. You will probably need 16 or so pairs even though the recipe will only make a dozen cupcakes.
The cupcakes are prepared like standard cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add the wet ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Use the back of a spoon to break any lumps in the batter. Place paper liners in your cupcake tin and fill each cup to about 2/3 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes. Rotate your pan at about the 7 minute mark for even baking. At the 15 minute mark start checking if they’re ready ever 3 minutes or so. A cupcake is cooked when a toothpick inserted into the center is clean when you pull it out. When they’re ready remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
It’s important that butter be at room temperature. This will be much much easier if the butter is at room temperature. If it’s coming straight from the fridge it for 20 seconds if its still super cold and hard. Cutting the butter into quarter inch cubes will also help this process. With the electric mixer cream the butter and add the sugar slowly. As you do this make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. When all the sugar is combined add the vanilla extract. The some milk here you can add as needed to get the frosting to the right consistency which should be something like toothpaste. Beat this mixture at high until the frosting is fluffy. At this point color it with the sky blue frosting color which should come in a little paint bottle and be a sort of deep blue gel. Start with a teaspoon or so and mix on high until you get a nice rich streak-less blue.
When the cupcakes are completely cool cut a small 1/4 inch deep 1/4 slice from each one for the mouth where you will later insert the Oreo. Frost each cupcake with a liberal amount of the frosting and then dip them into a shallow bowl of the sanding sugar. Attach the eyes by applying a dollop of the frosting to the back and firmly pressing them on. At this point things you’ll probably get a few eyes kind of blue because of frosting on your fingers. I know I did. This is why we made extras. If you have any trouble getting the eyes to stay you may have to scrape some of the sugar off to get a better surface for them to stick to. Break the Oreos in half with your hands and insert them into the mouth. Place the cupcakes in the fridge for 20 minutes to set the frosting and enjoy.
Many people pipe the “fur” onto the cupcakes, but I found the sanding sugar method much cleaner and less dependent on heat and consistency of the frosting.
Things have been a bit crazy as of late, but I just wanted to let folks know that I’m still alive and I’m still noming. Leave everyone with a picture of a random dinner of peas and apple sausage and brown rice. New posts to come!
This is my dad’s recipe and one of those things that as soon as I have a bite I’m home. It’s one of my favorite meals on a cold winter night.
- 1-2 pot roast or 7 bone roast
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- half a head of napa cabbage
- 1 medium daikon
- 1 star anise pod
- several cups of stock
Cube the roast into 1 inch pieces. Trim the large pieces of fat, but leave some. Peel the daikon and cut it into 1/4 inch wheels and shred the napa into 1 inch wide strips. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
In a large heavy soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat brown the beef in a single layer. Do multiple batches if you have to because overcrowding the pot doesn’t help the browning. Pour off all, but a teaspoon of the rendered fat and brown the onions and garlic. Add a cup of stock and deglaze the pan. Now return the beef to the pot and pour enough stock over it to just cover the meat. Add the star anise to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil and reduce it to just barely simmering. Let everything simmer covered for 2-3 hours until the meat starts becoming tender. Add the vegetables and continue cooking for another half an hour. Season with salt and pepper. Let the whole thing cool and reheat when you’re ready to eat. Serve the stew with rice or some crusty bread. It only gets better and better every time you cool it and reheat it.
My favorite part about creme brulee is the first bite. Breaking the crispy top and getting the perfect ratios of caramel, to warm, to cold custard is probably one of my favorite things in life. This recipe makes every bite a first bite. Credit to Alton Brown’s recipe for the custard which I’ve modified slightly.
- 1 quart (2 pints) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup regular granulated sugar
- 6 egg yolks
The one special thing we’re going to need here is some chinese soup spoons which you can get on amazon. This is probably enough to make 60 spoons. I’d say half the recipe for 25 or so.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Split the vanilla bean and scrape its contents into a sauce pan. Add the creme and heat over medium high until it comes to a boil. Keep an eye on it as to make sure it doesn’t boil over on you as it often does to me. Turn off the stove, cover and let it steep for 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean halves.
In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and 1/2 the sugar until it becomes a pale yellow. Slowly add the creme and continue whisking. Pour the mix into 6 buttered ramikenns. It should come up about 3/4 of the way. The shallower the dish the more quickly and easily they will set. Place the raminkens into a large roasting pan and pour boiling water 3/4 of the way up the sides and carefully place the roasting pan into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the custards are set on the edges but wobble like jello in the middle.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let everything cool for 30-40 minutes until the water is lukewarm. At this point stir the custards in their ramikens and then spoon them into the soup spoons. Place them on a cookie sheet and into the fridge to set. When they are set after a hour or so transfer them into the freezer. We don’t go into the freezer because lowering the temperature in the fridge first makes for smoother custards. These can now be frozen for a few days.
When you’re ready to serve put half to 3/4 of a teaspoon of sugar on the top of a spoon and brulee it with a small torch. The important thing here is to put the sugar just before you brulee because the more time the sugar sits the more cool it gets and the more melted the custard will become because it takes more torch time to brown them. You can accompany each spoon with a spoon of macerated berries to chase, but they’re more than delicious alone. The frozen spoonfuls will travel well if you can freeze them sufficiently and drive conservatively. You can probably move them in shallow tubbeware on ice. I tried no ice recently and only lost maybe 4-5 because they melted and turned into a mess.
I can’t take much credit for this one because I’m starting with roast pork from 99 Ranch, but this is a quick and easy Sunday lunch.
- 1/4 lb chinese roast pork from ranch 99 – say yes when the butcher dude says “cut?” and he will conveniently chop it up for you
- 1-2 small Japanese Eggplant
- quarter of an onion
- clove of garlic
- few tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pesto
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Slice the egg plant on an angle. Slice the onion into 1/4 inch wedges and separate the layers. Mince garlic. Remove bones from pork.
Heat a saucepan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Just as you start to see the first few wisps of smoke add the garlic and onion. Stir. As the edges of the onions start to brown add the egg plant. Stir. As the pan gets hot again start adding tablespoons of water to create steam. When the eggplant is tender to the fork add the soy and pesto and pork. We just want to warm the pork. Serve over some brown rice and garnish with a little green onion.