Blogging with the consistency of a oh look something shiny (White Chocolate Fuggy Brownie)

You take one week off and BOOM, a year flies by. Sorry world, your sweet addiction of Not So Culinary Graduate was halted for a year, an entire freaken year! Well I hope you all did something fun in that time, I know I did… I think.

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MMMM warm white chocolate brownies

I’ve progressed my running career. I’m now a running machine! I’ve ran several half marathons, a bunch of 10 milers, countless 5ks and now I am prepping for the Chicago Marathon in October, HOW COOL IS THAT!??!?!?! If you want to stay updated with my running life please follow me on Instagram @Lauren_Runs_Here.

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Look at that batter

I moved too, that’s cool right!?!?! Not far, just down the road in Pennsylvania from where I was living, but the house is so much cooler, and the kitchen! Actually the kitchen is still in the works, I only have one cookie tray that fits in the oven, but the stove is nice, brand new Viking stove.

Does moving feel weird to anyone else? You stay in one house for a while, you get used to where everything is, the smell, the squeaks, it becomes so familiar, and then you move. I am still trying to figure out where the silverware drawer is, and if my house is haunted or if it’s just the wind.

Speaking of changes, Not So Culinary Graduate might be changing a little to. While I love bringing you a different recipe twice a month, we might switch it up now and then and do a review or a rant. I’m not saying I won’t throw in a drink recipe or the cookie of the week recipe, I’m just saying be prepared for anything!

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Pre-oven

In the meantime to keep tradition alive and the drinks flowing, this week I made a Fudgy white chocolate brownie. The tops and the side were crispy and slightly crunchy while the inside was sweet, gooey, and fudgy! The white chocolate was an interesting contrast from my typical regular chocolate, throw some chocolate chips on top and you got the best white brownie ever!

Fudgy White Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup unsalted butter

12oz or 1 bag of white chocolate chips

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 Cup all-purpose flour

Directions;

  1. Melt butter and cholate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Try this 30 seconds at a time to not burn the butter.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Mix in flour till combined.
  4. Spread into a Creased 8” by 8” pan for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

Which came first: Tequila vs. Revolution (Vanilla Lime Cupcakes)

One tequila, two tequila, three tequilas more, four tequila, five tequila, six tequila, floor.

Happy Cinco De Mayo, we Americans will spend it sipping margaritas, taking shots of tequila followed by sour faces, and the hugging of the porcelain express. Leave it up to Americans to take a holiday from another country and turn it upside down, IT IS NOT A MEXICAN DRINKING HOLIDAY.

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WARNING HISTORY LESSON AHEAD: In 1861 Mexico was going through an economic crisis, debt was not being paid, other countries were involved, it was not a good time. Good ol’ Napoleon III decided that France should take over Mexico because of the prime real estate next to the US. So the French army went over to Mexico and started a French vs. Mexican war. On May 5th, 1862 they Mexican army was surprised by the French in Puebla but somehow, although the Mexican army was out numbered, they defeated the French for the battle of Puebla!

Mexico City was still taken over by the French, until they decided that they did not want it anymore in 1866 then handed it back over to the Mexican government. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico serves as a day of Mexican pride where they hold parades and mock battles, but tequila is not a requirement.  END HISTORY LESSON.

America has a great way of taking something and blowing it out of the water. Alcohol companies did a great job taking a celebration of pride and turning it into a day of drunken stumbling in the US, but hey who can resist a good shot of patron?!?

Unfortunately tequila and cupcakes don’t match, just like tequila and anything creamy doesn’t match, trust me I tried. However what is a must have with tequila? Limes of course and despite the lime shortage this year I was able to snag a handful and make wonderful Vanilla lime cupcakes. So take a shot, and chase it with these vanilla lime cupcakes! Happy Drinking Everyone!

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Vanilla Lime Cupcakes

Since tequila and cupcakes lead to a sour blend, these cupcakes signify what comes after the shot, and I am not talking about a sour face! This vanilla cupcake is super light and goes down easy, while the buttercream Lime frosting is not too sweet, but chases the cupcake like a champ!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Cake

1 2/3 Cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1 Cup granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted

2 Egg whites

1/4 Cup vanilla yogurt

3/4 Cup Milk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract

Frosting

1 Cup Unsalted butter at room temp.

6 Cups Powdered sugar

Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Zest of 1 lime

Few drops of green food coloring

Small lime slices for garnish, if desired.

 

Directions:

Cupcakes –

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In a stand mixer (or a large bowl for a hand mixer) mix the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg whites, yogurt, milk and vanilla until combined.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated with no lumps.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 the way with batter, bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting –

  1. With a stand mixer beat butter until lite and fluffy.
  2. Add powder sugar, salt, lime juice, and zest and mix until creamy
  3. Mix in a few drops of green food coloring
  4. Transfer into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes when cool

 

Cake pops and surprise parties these are a few of my (least) favorite things

On Sunday May 26, we had a surprise 50th birthday party for my girlfriend’s father. I hate surprises. First of all, they never end up being surprises. People are naturally curious; a significant other will wonder why you are buying an extra 100 pounds of hamburger meat when you only have a family of 4.

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Family Birthdays

Needless to say, this surprise was not so shocking. He knew our intent and walked into the downstairs living room with a straight face saying “Hey surprise!” Still ended up being a good party and everyone had a blast but the real story was the desserts, of course.

I got a little out of hand with the desserts, okay, more than a little. We had three different varieties of cupcakes including Irish car bomb, key lime, and chocolate coconut. The headlining cupcake was the Irish car bomb cupcake. This is the alcohol lover’s dream. Featuring a stout cake, whisky gnash middle and a Bailey’s butter cream frosting, there is nothing not to love.

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Insides of Irish Car Bomb Giant Cupcake

The other highlights of my dessert collection included white chocolate Nutella cups, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate covered pretzel rods.

But our story today is Cake Pops. With as much fury as Hurricane Sandy on the Jersey shore, I hate cake pops. They were an internet sensation sweeping the nation last year, and with any luck the love of these retched things will dissipate by tomorrow. You may ask why I hate them so much. Last year my mom bought me a cake pop pan. I thought this was great, until I wasted three batches of bake batter on this thing because I thought it was just the batter sticking to the pan, but no the pan version just does not work. Also frosting these things is as much fun as planning your suicide.Image

Anyways these lil balls of joy were meant to simulate a golf balls, and I believe they looked pretty good! I wanted to find white nonpareils to simulate the dimples in the balls but I could not find them anywhere!! (If I did not wait until the last minute (like I always do) I could have gotten them from this internet site, but nothing screams me like the day of) Also I put Air Heads on the stick to represented the golf ball sitting on a tee.

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Cake and frosting mix

Reason number 634 why cake pops suck: you bake a serving worthy cake, just to destroy it. Ripping this cake apart with my hands made me feel like a murder. I just created something so beautiful just to dump it out. OOOH the cruelty.

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Balls o’ cake

After rolling these babies in melted white chocolate, dipping them in white sugar sprinkles, and wrapping a sticky Air Head around the base, these looked and tasted scrumptious. The cake was like a sponge, a chocolaty soft, decadent, moist, sponge. The outside was crunchy white chocolate and the sugar sprinkles gave it that extra sweetness.

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Sticks in balls

As much as these suck to make, was totally worth seeing everyone all oogly eyed over how fabulous these little golf balls looked. They were a hit too, only two left over and they did not last long either.

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Golf Ball Cake Pops

For the cake:

2 Cups Sugar

3/4 Cup cocoa powder

1 ¾ Teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 Cup Vegetable oil

1 Cup boiling water

1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ Teaspoon baking powder

1 Teaspoon salt

2 Cup Milk

3 Teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pop part

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 13x9X2 pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin, this is not a mistake, it is oaky). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes.

For the Pop:

Sticks

Nonpareils

Chocolate Frosting

Foam block

White melting chocolate

  1. Take the cake you just baked and crumble it into a bowl, just dump it in and crumble it up.
  2. Take half the can of frosting and dump in into the bowl of crumbled cake. With your hands mix it together. You could use a spoon but your hands are so much more fun.
  3. Roll the pops into balls
  4. Melt the chocolate according to the package
  5. Dip the stick into the chocolate, then dip the stick into the ball
  6. Dip the ball and the stick into the melted white chocolate, then stick the ball into the nonpareils
  7. Stick the cake pop into the foam block to dry.
  8. Enjoy slowly. And eat at least seven.