Moist New Year’s Eve Cupcakes (rich chocolate, zucchini and coconut)

These cupcakes are so moist and delicious.  You have to make these!!!!

DSC_0056

For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil, cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Coconut Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2  teaspoons princess extract

Let’s get these in the oven and in your belly

IMG_2713

 

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place cupcake holders on parchment paper covered cookie sheets.  You could also make a cake vs. cupcakes.  

2. In a large bowl, wnisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and mix until combined.

4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, coconut, and chocolate chips. Your batter will be thick do not be alarmed by this.

IMG_2717

5. Bake the cupcake for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcake from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack. I allowed mine to cool overnight.

IMG_2718

6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the princess frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the coconut and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

DSC_0001

Frost the cooled cupcakes however you choose. Since it’s New Year’s Even I chose swirl and flower wilton tips.  Sprinkle decorations over the top of the cupcakes. EAT,EAT,EAT!

DSC_0009

DSC_0027

 

DIY Clay Pot Soldier Nutcrackers

10802048_636011409857998_5618757053904634710_n

 

When I started making these Clay Pot Soldiers I was so excited.  I had dreams of making them for all of the neighbors.  Then we started… What you will need.

Materials:
  • 5 pots all the same size ( we purchased ours at Home Depot)
  • paint
  • Metal Rod to run from top to bottom with washers
  • Saucer Base (Just place one upside down)
  • Templates (just google clay pot soldier) 
  • Sharpie to draw eyes and mouth
  • A day without wind to spray pot

I spray painted all of the pots with two coats.  After the base dried I taped off the rim and spray painted each rim.

IMG_2293

Once the main portion of the pots were painted I mapped out a face and hand drew the faces with Sharpies.  It sounds difficult but it was the easier than painting the rims.

 

IMG_2294

IMG_2295

The washers, nuts and rods all came from home depot. Once you decide the size of Nutcracker you are making you can choose the correct washer and nut size.

 

10801923_636011516524654_1912815696672838316_n

IMG_2282 (1)

I love they way they turned out but they were a bit time consuming.

IMG_2281

No Bake Cinnamon Pecans

DSC_0003

Yummy Cinnamon Pecans

ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces (about 4 cups) unsalted pecans halves
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water

directions:
1. Turn Crock pot on low

2. In a medium bowl, add sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined. Set aside.

DSC_0083

3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white, vanilla, and water together until peaks form.

DSC_0085

Add the pecans and gently toss until the pecans are well coated. Add the sugar and cinnamon mixture and toss until pecans are covered.

DSC_0087

4. Throw all ingredients into a greased crock pot.  

DSC_0088

 

Stir every 20 to 30 minutes for 2 1/2 hours.

DSC_0089

5. Remove from the oven and let the pecans cool on the parchment paper then break apart.

 

When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Christmas Lollipops

IMG_2342IMG_2340

 

  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon extract of your choice

Place to pieces of parchment paper on your counter.  Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Attach the candy thermometer to your saucepan.

IMG_2324

 

Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mix to a boil, stirring until the sugar has disolved. Using a small pastry brush dipped in water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to prevent crystals from forming.

Boil the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes until it reaches 310ºF (hard-crack stage) on the candy thermometer. Immediately transfer the saucepan to the bowl of ice water, carefully submerging the sides but ensuring no water seeps into it. Swirl the pan for 10 to 15 seconds to help the mixture cool then remove the saucepan from the bowl of ice water.

IMG_2327

If you’re using an extract, carefully swirl it into the mixture immediately after you remove the saucepan from the ice bath my mint extract had color which caused my lollipops to look more antique than clear.

IMG_2326

Working quickly, pour the syrup onto the baking sheets to form circles that are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Immediately press in the lollipop sticks and sprinkle the lollipops with your sprinkles or candy, lightly pressing the garnishes into the syrup. Let cool completely until fully hardened then carefully peel the lollipops off the baking sheet.

These lollipops were so quick to make.  I’ve learned some lessons with the extract next time it will be clear.  I have to tell you my son was amazed.  He liked the swirly ones more than his Elf on the Shelf. You just never know with kids.

IMG_2328