Thursday, April 26, 2012

Snickers Cupcakes

HUNGRY? GRAB A SNIKCER'S.... cupcake!  The Spatularettes took their favorite candy bar and transformed it into a a tasty, beautiful dessert!  This recipe is pretty involved, so make sure you carve out a large portion of your day if you choose to tackle this bad boy.  But trust us, the end product is worth the time commitment!


- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 24 Snickers mini's
**This is the basic chocolate recipe from Ming with slight Spatularette modification.

Chocolate Frosting:
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla

- 1 cup sugar
- 4 Tbs water
- 2 Tbs light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt

Caramel Frosting:
- 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 8 oz block cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup salted caramel (ingredients listed above, unless you decide to go store-bought; we suggest otherwise)
**This awesome frosting comes from another great Philly Food Blog.

Ok ok, we know, there is a lot going on here.  But bear with us! Because the frostings are very different recipes, you will have to let the caramel frosting cool quite a bit before the piping steps.  We suggest starting with the caramel frosting first.

Caramel and Caramel Frosting:
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup, stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Cover the saucepan and let cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring mixture to a boil.  Once boiling, begin to swirl (not stir) the liquid in the pan so that it doesn't burn.  Continue cooking until the caramel turns an even caramel amber color.  (IMPORTANT: When we say amber, we mean the light color of a yellow amber gemstone, not the dark color of an amber beer--we burned our first batch--oops! Check out the picture below to get an idea).

Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and allow to cool for 30 seconds.  Carefully (we had dishtowels over our arms because the caramel can bubble up during this step), slowly add the heavy cream and stir until incorporated.  Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt.  Continue stirring until well combined.  Pour one cup of the caramel (it makes about a cup) into a liquid measuring cup and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

Once the caramel has cooled,  you can start on your frosting.  Beat 2 sticks of butter and 8 oz of cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until well combined.  Stir in the one cup of salted caramel and then slowly add 2-3 more cups of powdered sugar while mixing until a nice thick frosting is formed.  Allow to cool in the refrigerator for about an hour before frosting.

Chocolate frosting:
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Set aside.

Using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Alternatively add the sugar mixture and the heavy cream until reached desired consistency.  Beat in vanilla.  (Simple in comparison to the caramel frosting!!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt in a large bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Slowly mix in vanilla and eggs. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk while mixing until well combined.

Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.  Fill the tins 1/3 of the way full.  Place a Snickers Mini in each tin and top with additional batter.  Tins should be 2/3 of the way full.  You will have some leftover batter.  DO NOT try and squeeze all of the batter into 24 tins.  We used our extra batter to make mini cupcakes!

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

We swirled the frosting to top these cupcakes.  If you'd like some helpful step by step photos, check out this other recipe for swirled frosting.

Once both frostings have chilled, snip the tips off of 2 disposable frosting bags and fill one with caramel frosting and the other with chocolate frosting.  Slide the tips of the 2 bags into a large frosting tip and then slide both bags into another disposable frosting bag.  Play with it a little bit until the two frostings begin to come out evenly.  Swirl the frosting on top of the cupcake starting with a large circle around the perimeter of the cupcake, slowly moving in and up.

If you don't have the time or the tools to do the swirled frosting, these cupcakes would also be delicious topped with just the caramel frosting!

We suggest garnishing them with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts before serving!

Tall and Small

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Power Breakfast!

We are all too familiar with the weekday 10am lethargy that not even another cup of coffee can cure.  The Spatularettes have the solution for you!  Don't drink your energy, EAT IT!  This power breakfast is easy to make, cheap, protein-rich, and relatively low cal.


1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 egg
1/2 tbsp feta (or your favorite cheese)
a couple of leaves of a leafy green (here we use mache)
salt, pepper, and paprika to taste

Cook the oatmeal according to the stovetop directions.  Just before removing the oatmeal from the heat, add the seasonings to taste.

Meanwhile, fry an egg over medium-low heat.

Mix cheese and greens into oats and top with an egg.

Enjoy with a warm cup of coffee!

This breakfast is so powerful that you will want to go all Christian Bale circa '92 and SEIZE THE DAY!

Tall and Small

Friday, April 13, 2012

Smoked Salmon Spread

So who has been to Seattle??  Both Spatularettes made a trip to the beautiful Pacific Northwest in the past year and had an absolutely fantastic time.  Tall One visited in August for a work conference and Small One visited in February for a grad school interview.  Seattle is a super cool city full of incredible outdoor adventures, quirky neighborhoods, world famous sites, and unbelievable food.  Without a doubt the highlight of both of our visits was wandering through the aisles of Pike's Market.

If you are ever in Seattle, be sure to check out Pike's Market!
 We're sure everyone who has visited Pike's Market will agree that the always popular fishmongers are a site not to be missed!  It's a group of guys tossing whole fish and shouting orders at the top of their lungs, all while cracking jokes and swapping stories with tourists and customers.  It doesn't sound like much entertainment, but it really is a lot of fun!  Small One enjoyed it and she doesn't even eat fish!

An awesome shot of the Space Needle, courtesy of Small One

While visiting Seattle last summer, Tall One bought some smoked salmon from Pike's Market and has been storing it in the freezer back in Philadelphia ever since.  An Easter Sunday lunch with friends seemed like the perfect time to pull it out of the freezer and try a new recipe.

Tall One with her friend Maria and a Pike's Market Fishmonger


-1 cup smoked salmon
-8 oz block cream cheese
-3 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
-Juice of half a lemon

Place an 8 oz block of cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whip on a high speed for about a minute or until it gets nice and light.  Add the dill and whip for another 30 seconds or so.  Turn the speed down to low and add the salmon and lemon juice.  Continue to mix on low speed until well combined, but not completely smooth.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with crackers or mini toasts.

There are a lot of similar salmon spread recipes out there but we think the quality of the smoked salmon is really what sets this one apart.  Try to skip the canned stuffed and go for the real thing!

Tall and Small

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt Cupcakes

Feeling too lazy to search the backyard for Easter eggs this weekend?  No need to look further than your kitchen counter after you whip up a batch of these simple, fun, and cute Easter Egg Hunt Cupcakes!   


-1 c flour
-1/2 c cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 stick butter, softened
-1/2 c sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 egg
-3/4 c cream of coconut

-1 stick of butter softened
-4 Tbs cream of coconut
-2 1/2-3 c powdered sugar

-1 cup shredded coconut
-Green food coloring
-Mini Cadberry eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg and continue to mix until well combined.

Pour the contents of 1 can of cream of coconut into a bow and mix well.  Measure 3/4 of the cream of coconut into a liquid measuring cup.  Cream of coconut is a sweetened coconut milk and is easy to find if your grocery store has a well stocked Goya aisle.

Turn the mixer back on to a low speed and alternately add the dry ingredients and the cream of coconut.  Once all ingredients are added, turn the speed up to medium and mix for another minute, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Fill the 12 tins with batter.  They will only be a little over half full, but that is what you want.  Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, beat 1 stick of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, a little at a time, and continue mixing until well combined.  Add 4 Tbs of cream of coconut and continue mixing.  Finally add the remaining 1/2 c to 1 c of powdered sugar and beat on medium speed until desired consistency is reached.  Use a few drops of food coloring to to make your frosting a festive shade of green.  Set frosting aside.

In a separate shallow bowl, measure 1 cup of shredded coconut.  Add 6-8 drops of food coloring and mix with a wooden spoon until coconut looks like Easter grass.

To finish the cupcakes, frost each one with a knife, then turn them upside down and dip the frosting in bowl of coconut.  Top each cupcake with 3 mini Cadberry eggs.

Happy Easter and XOXO,

Tall and Small