Martha, did I fail you?

 

Martha Stewart.  Jail or no jail, the woman is amazing.  She is crafty, gardens, can cook everything from frugal to formal.  I love her.  I would love to be her, you know, minus the whole jail thing. 

This week, a friend at work is celebrating her 28th birthday.  In her 28th year, she will become a mother for the first time.  Last weekend was her second anniversary and she had said several times that she and her husband were celebrating over Labor Day weekend and weren’t doing anything to celebrate her birthday.  I get that.  I understand.  But a girl can’t have her birthday without a treat.  She loves peanut butter but isn’t eating it because of her pregnancy.  My standby chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter icing wouldn’t work.  I have been wanting to make a peanut butter cake with chocolate icing, but no luck there either.  She loves my chocolate chip cookies, but I couldn’t make those, they aren’t special enough. 

I began scouring the internet for a chocolate chip cupcake or muffin.  No luck. But Martha had a recipe for blondie cupcakes with toffee candy bar in them.  I decided why couldn’t I just use chocolate chips instead of toffee bar?

So I did. 

But I must have done something wrong because surely Martha did not intend for her recipe to look like this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I got creative and decided that they could be a little bird’s nest almost.  But with peanut m&m’s as the eggs.  Oh, how cute for a baby shower treat.  That is if you can successfully make them sag in the center.  I have deemed this recipe a success despite my saggy center.  They tasted like a cross between a cookie texture and a brownie texture, so the taste was not a problem.  Next time I will pay closer attention to the recipe. 

Blondie Cupcakes – Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Makes 12 (mine made 15)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 chocolate-covered toffee bars (1 1/4 ounces each), finely chopped (about 1 cup) 
  • I used 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of toffee bars.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a standard 12-cup (each 2 1/2 inches wide) muffin pan; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in chopped toffee.
  3. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each about halfway. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.
  4. Transfer to wire rack; cool 10 minutes in pan. Turn out blondies onto rack; cool completely, top side up.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups

If you are anything like me, you love peanut butter.  You love chocolate.  What about cheesecake.  Some people might be lost there, but not me.  I love cheesecake enough that it was our wedding cake.  Let me tell you that a cheesecake big enough to serve the very small wedding that we had cost almost as much as most people will pay for a cake for 150 people.  Ouch.  Oh weddings and how you pay out the wazoo for everything. 

Wait.  Focus.  Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter Cheesecake cups.  A good friend, close enough friend that I would consider her like family, celebrated her birthday last week.  She absolutely loves peanut butter and chocolate and typically I make chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing for her, but this time I wanted something different.  The original recipe was a full cheesecake, but I knew that one large cheesecake for two people is a bit much even if it is tasty, so I decided to try to adapt it to cupcakes.  Then I realized I was missing ingredients.  Then I realized I did not know what adding peanut butter to the recipe would do to it.  So I just began to wing it.  Then when I realized that I was using the crust up way to quickly and I had to make more mid baking.  The recipe was more of a guide.  But sweet mother.  I will make these sweet babies again and again.  I received rave reviews from both the birthday girl and folks at the office that received the remainders. 

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cups- Eats and Treats

Yields 20 Cheescake Cups

Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup peanut butter 
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Additional mini chips for topping (1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
For the crust, crush the graham crackers (approximately 8 crackers) and mix with sugar, cocoa and melted butter.  Using a cupcake pan with paper liners, press one and a half tablespoon into liners.   Sprinkle mini chocolate chip crusts on top of crust. 
In large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and peanut butter.  Mix in sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand. 
Fill paper liners 3/4 full with cheesecake mixture.  Sprinkle tops of cupcakes with remaining chocolate chips.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire racks for one hour.  Cool in fridge for at least four hours before eating.