Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

One of my favorite cookies to make are good old fashioned snickerdoodles — obviously I can’t enjoy a cookie that much without turning it into a cupcake :). These are moist, light, fluffy cupcakes with just enough cinnamon. Definitely a cupcake I will make again!

You will need:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Imitation almond extract (can be replaced with vanilla if you don’t have it on hand)
3/4 cup milk

And for the frosting:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk, as needed

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Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely between additions. Alternating from wet to dry, add flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Fill lined cupcake container 3/4 full with batter. Bake 14-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting — beat your butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until fully combined. Beat in milk. Pipe ontop of cupcakes and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if desired 🙂

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Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is really nothing like a good warm chocolate chip cookie… Except a good warm chocolate chip cookie WITH M&M’s! Using cornstarch in these cookies makes for a REALLY soft treat that pairs great with M&M’s of any flavor. I chose pretzel M&M’s because I’ve been super into the salty sweet deal lately, but literally any flavor would be great!

You will need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate M&M’s mixed into the dough + about 1/2 cup for placing on top of dough mounds

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Preheat oven to 350. Combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add the chocolate chips, 3/4 cup M&Ms, and beat on low speed until just combined.

Scoop rounded tablespoons (or bigger! These cookies do well big also) into a cookie sheet, and press extra M&M’s into the top. Add about 1 tablespoon M&Ms to the top of each dough mound. Bake for 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving.

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Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

If you’ve followed my blog in any capacity, you know I’m no stranger to cookies and cream flavored desserts. I’m not going to discount how delicious any of the previous recipes are, because they are wonderful and great, but these cupcakes, you guys… It’s a whole different level.

You will need:
1 box of Oreos
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mini Oreos for garnish (optional)

And for the frosting:
10 Tbsp butter, firm but not cold
10 oz. cream cheese, cold
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with 24 paper muffin cups. Carefully split 24 Oreos into halves, leaving cream filling attached to one side (save filling free cookie sides to crush and sprinkle over frosted cupcakes). Place 1 Oreo half, with cream filling side up, at the bottom of each muffin cup, and set aside. Take your remaining Oreos and chop them, or have them aside whole and allow your standing mixer to chop them when mixing.

In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in egg whites, one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Again in a separate bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and sour cream.

Working in two separate batches, add flour mixture followed by milk mixture to butter mixture, and mix just until combine after each addition. Fold in chopped Oreos. Evenly divide batter among prepared muffins cups (pouring it over the tops of the Oreo halves), filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven about 17-23 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Whip together butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth, light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes, garnish with crushed Oreos or mini Oreos or both, and ENJOY this seriously unbelievable cupcake!

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Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m always down for a way to make a recipe super simple, and obviously I’m interested in incorporating peanut butter into literally everything. I’ve done cake batter cookies before, with strawberry and funfetti, so naturally it’s time for me to share the peanut butter version!

You will need:
1 box cake mix of your choice (I used vanilla this time, but yellow cake works great too!)
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda

Also set aside 1/2 cup granulated sugar to roll your cookies in 🙂

I added about 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips to mine, too!

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Preheat your oven to 350. Because this is prepared with a boxed cake, it’s hard to mess up — go ahead and just throw everything into a bowl and mix until fully combined. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough, roll ’em in the sugar, and place them on a cookie sheet. With a fork, press down to create the cross hatching on top (for classic peanut butter cookie look.)

Bake for about 8 minutes, until edges are slightly browned — be sure not to overbake these, the idea is that they should be CAKEY, and overbaking will definitely impact that texture 🙂

Allow to cool slightly before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. These soft, fluffy cookies are a perfect mix of peanut buttery and cake battery, and couldn’t be easier!

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White Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies

I’ve done pretzels in cookies before and definitely thought they were beyond delicious, so when I was eating some white chocolate covered pretzels this weekend I was really surprised it had never dawned on me to make a cookie with these. The delicious concept definitely didn’t disappoint– these cookies were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with enough sweetness from the white chocolate and a kick of salty from the pretzel. A+ in my book!

You will need:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate covered pretzels, chopped (I let my standing mixer do the chop job!)

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Preheat your oven to 325. Start off by beating your butter and sugars until smooth. Mix in your eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients except for the pretzels. Slowly add to your wet mixture and combine fully. Fold your pretzels in. Spoon rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

So simple, and soooo good!

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Caramel White Chocolate Chip Cookies

While grocery shopping this week, I came across some little kraft mini caramel balls mixed in with the bags of chocolate chips… Never one to turn down a fun new ingredient, I loaded ’em up into my cart and just knew something stunning would come out of it. The struggle was deciding whether I would put them IN the cookie, or use them for their intended purpose– the ease of melting for drizzle easier. Then I thought… Why not both? So here we are!

You will need:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits
Extra caramel bits with a splash of milk for melting and drizzling

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Preheat your oven to 325. Start off by beating your butter and sugars until smooth. Mix in your eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients except for the chips. Slowly add to your wet mixture and combine fully. Fold your caramel and white chips in. Spoon rounded teaspoons onto a prepared cookie sheet — for these I would definitely recommend using a silpat or wax paper, because the caramel will stick! Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just slightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cooled, toss your leftover caramel balls into a microwave safe bowl with a splash of milk. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth and creamy. You can drizzle this with a spoon or fork, or toss it into a piping bag for more purposeful drizzles. These cookies are great without the drizzle, but it definitely adds a nice little touch!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends (who is an extraordinarily talented photographer, check her out at www.danafortune.com) was visiting, and all kinds of delicious, ridiculous baking was bound to ensue — most of my pictures are taken amateurly and with my phone, so I’m usually just hoping for the best. With such a talented friend around, we figured it would be a great opportunity for some proper pictures!

We share a serious love for chocolate and peanut butter together, so the obvious thing to do is make some insanely moist, simple chocolate cupcakes and top them off with the most perfect, creamy peanut butter frosting you can imagine. Truly could not have gone better!

You will need:

For cupcakes:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup hot water

For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk (or whipping cream, if you have it on hand!)

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Preheat your oven to 325. Start off by combining all of your dry ingredients. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add hot water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. This batter is not going to be as thick as many cupcake recipes — in fact, you may be shocked by how thin it is, but don’t let that fool you, it turns into the most wonderful, full, moist cake! Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans, filling each well about 3/4 full, and bake for about 9-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While cupcakes cool, start up your frosting. Whip together your butter and peanut butter until fully combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue to whip. Last, whip in the milk and mix fully until your frosting is fluffy and ready to go!

Pipe this perfect peanut butter cream on to your cupcakes, top ’em with sprinkles or chips or whatever you like, and try your hardest not to eat the entire batch alone!

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