#60 Toffee Chocolate Cupcakes

I swear I think I used about 7 lbs of butter the past 2 weeks. It has reached the point where when I am at the store, I cruise by the butter section and just grab an extra pound because hey why not, right?

After Christmas I needed a few days to recuperate after the days of eating dense, chocolate, amazing, delicious desserts. It was just too much! It was like that Groundhog Day movie every morning: afternoon in kitchen, huge dinner, amazing dessert, pat your stomach like you have a chocolate food baby growing in there, sleep, repeat.

Finally after a few days I started to feel withdrawals from not baking, but still not craving anything special. I had to make something for New Years Eve, I knew it would be wrong if I didn’t. I book marked this recipe from Annie’s website a while back, and every time I go through my bookmarked recipes/cookbooks to decide on what I want to make, the picture of these cupcakes makes me drool.

These. Were. So. Good!

I’ve been on a cupcake break recently just because there wasn’t enough texture going on for me, my mouth felt bored…does that make sense? You know what I mean. This cupcake wins in the taste and the texture category.

Details: chocolate cake with espresso undertones in it (amazing), then it is dipped in a ganache and rolled in toffee (I used left over toffee from my English Toffee Recipe but you can use toffee from the store too) and topped with this ridiculous Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Ahhhhh….delicious

The one thing I did change from the recipe on Annie’s site was that I didn’t add the caramel sauce to the frosting. I tried the frosting right before adding the caramel sauce and it was already very sweet on its own and I didn’t want it to be too overwhelming. I think it turned out perfectly this way, but if you want to give the caramel sauce a try go ahead!

Environmental Side Note: I bought these environmentally friendly cupcake liners by If You Care (what a cute name for a company) a month or so back and finally had a chance to try them out! As many of you know, I’m a big supporter of being responsible in taking care of our environment. I understand that we all can’t be perfect and compost everything and be zero waste, but the little things do count!

These cupcake liners are unbleached, biodegradable, and safe for our landfills and compost bins. Even the packaging for the product is made from recycled cardboard, and uses vegetable based inks for the writing.  All in all, its a great product and environment friendly, which makes me very happy, and it does its job for my cupcakes. And hey, I think they’re cute. I’m into really simple stuff, sometimes those cupcake liners are just nuts with designs that just bake away in the oven. Go try them out for yourself 🙂

Happy New Year! 2012, lets do something exciting!

Enjoy,

Madeline

#56 English Toffee [Homemade Holiday Gift]

I love this time of the year. All of the wreaths, the little gingerbread men, and nutcrackers – I love it all. Christmas decorations just make the house look complete to me. Whenever it hits the new year, and the decorations get put back into their sad little boxes, the house just looks so cold and empty.

On the left is my baker nutcracker, he’s quite adorable. And on the right is my gingerbread man that I made when I was in Kindergarten. He’s looking a little ratty these days since he comes out every year. I think he use to have buttons on his eyes…poor guy.

Whenever my Granny visits she always brings with this amazing toffee. I sadly didn’t know how amazing this toffee was until a few years ago because my parents always told me that I wouldnt like it. Turns out that they were just trying to keep me away from it so they had more for themselves!

Since I had issues last time I made anything with a candy thermometer, I was a little apprehensive about making this. I used the holiday’s as an excuse to just go for it and I was surprised how simple it really was. All you really need is a candy thermometer! I have this cheap one from the grocery store, it isn’t great but it does the job well enough for how little I use it.

Break it up into pieces and put the toffee into little bags, voila! Makes a lovely home made gift for the holidays 🙂 and it’s quite delicious too.

Enjoy! I’ll be posting another home made holiday gift soon! 🙂

Madeline