R U Ready for the Crazy About Cupcakes Cookbook Contest??

Well, ready or not, Krystina Castella...she's the author of Crazy About Cupcakes...has awesomely (is that a word?) offered The Cupcake Queen an autographed copy of her new book for this contest. You will simply love this cupcake cookbook! I know from my own experience that I do. The cupcakes I made last Sunday...the Madras...were based on Krystina's recipe for her Seabreeze cupcake. She truly inspires creativity!

Oh yeah... this is about the contest: To enter, all you have to do is make a comment to this post. That's it. Only one comment per person, please.

The contest begins on September 27th...YOU CAN ENTER RIGHT NOW... And, it will end at 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, October 4th, one week from today! I will put all the entries in a hat and pull out one winner...will you be the one? I hope so! I'll announce the winner Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. (EST) on this blog. Krystina will mail her book to the winner!

If you're leaving a comment as anonymous...please put in some sort of identifying name in your comment...otherwise, we won't be able to tell one anonymous cupcake lover from another!

So, what are you waiting for? Let's hear from you!


Mad About Madras Cupcakes Appropriately Accompanied by Cranberry Vodka and Grand Marnier Glaze

These cupcakes were totally inspired by Crazy for Cupcakes authored by Krystina Catella. She does a cupcake, Sea Breeze ...based on the drink...but I can't eat grapefruit, so I changed a couple of things to make it more like the drink called a Madras !

And, they are very tasteee cupcakes, indeed. I added orange juice and small bits of orange rind...and I found some cranberry vodka at the store...that put a big smile on my face...and so I added that and some Grand Marnier, to the glaze. I also threw in some diced dried cranberies, too. These cupcakes are loaded with pleasure!

Layla is so into it when I'm making cupcakes! She just comes up to the table and begins to pose while I'm taking the cupcake photos. So...I actually did give her one little tiny dried cranberry as a reward for her vigilance. The funny thing is that she is a dog that loves fruit...including apples, oranges, pears, etc. I've never had a dog that liked fruit that much. She's simply amazing!

Guess what? I forgot the book at home today...I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

Also, be on the lookout for my next contest...I'll announce it on Wednesday....it's another CUPCAKE COOKBOOK signed by the author...betcha you can't guess which one!

Rock on, as always your Cupcake Queen


Double-Stuffed Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupakes

This weekend I was in New York for a beautiful wedding...got home this afternoon and came up with these cupcakes this evening...I bought some of the Double Stuffed Oreo Peanut Butter Cream cookies. I made up some chocolate cupcake batter.

Then I took the lid off of all the cookies. I put the bottom part of the cookie...with the peanut butter cream facing up..in the bottom of the cupcake liner. Then I poured the batter over each cookie. Then, with the remaining cookied I took either 1/2 or 1/4 of the peanut butter cream and put it on the top of the cupake batter for each cupcake.

To top it all off, I crumbled up the left over tops and sprinkled it over the top of the batter so that it would bake in. When the cupcakes out, and cooled off...I finished them off with some dark chocolate icing and a little white chocolate! And, now...to bed!

Rock on! CQ

Monday Night Football...But Really Go Redskins....Cupcakes!

These were the quickest cupcakes I've ever made...and the most frustrating at the same time! Very busy at work...come home...first Monday Night Football Game...gametime? 7:00. Uh oh! Layla said that we must have cupcakes for the Redskins or else they would lose the game tonight!

Such pressure! Do you know how hard it is to make burgundy frosting? I still haven't figured it out and the first quarter is almost over!

Even Layla..who is usually very kind about the cupcakes...said they tasted a lot better than they looked!

Go Skins...and Rock on!

Oh yeah...these are chocolate cupcakes stuffed with Vosges' black pearl chips (ginger + Japanese wasabi + black sesame seeds + Belgian dark chocolate).


Get Your Copy Now: The Blue-Suited Superhero...The Tick Is Back!

I am holding in my hands my very own new Tick DVD...the first season...I simply can't believe that The Tick...not the blood-sucking kind, the cartoon kind...is BACK! Warm fuzzy feelings...Color me happy!

If you don't know The Tick...Oh man, what have you been missing? He is a blue-suited...known as the blue tights of justice...superhero and he defends The City. His sidekick is a guy named Arthur...a former tax accountant...whose costume is a moth suit. His other superhero friends include Caped Chameleon, Rain Man-Inspired Sewer Urchin, American Maid and Die Dledermaus. The first episode is called The Tick vs The Idea Men...Then there's The Tick vs Chairface Chippendale...his head is a chair...okay, I know this sounds strange, but it is a hilarous show and will really make you laugh...If you can't wait for Amazon, head for Target...that's where I found my dvd...Shera...I hope that you got yours, too!

Hmmmm maybe this weekend I'll creat a THE TICK cupcake!

Rock on! As always, your Cupcake Queen...


Buttermilk Cupcakes Nabbed For Impersonating Pralines!

Several very nice...but plain...buttermilk cupcakes met up with Miss Praline Frosting and decided they would rather live their short lives as pralines...and so they did...have short lives, I mean!

Okay...for some reason I've been obsessing about buttermilk cupcakes ever since I bought this cookbook called Sweets "Soul Food Desserts and Memories"...by Patty Pinner. It has the most awesome recipes and there is one for Buttermilk Pie...in fact, the recipe is called Big Mama's Buttermilk Pie. WOW! It sounds so good, but I don't make pie so looked for a buttermilk cupcake or cake recipe. I found one and decided to try experiment I had read about. Instead of following the directions for the recipe, I gathered all the ingredients listed and put them all in a mixing bowl at the same time and mixed them up...all at the same time! Then I poured the batter into the liners like I always do, put them in the oven, and waited to see how they would turn out!

Well...they actually turned out awesome! Very moist and vanilla-like. But, the cupcakes faded away when the frosting was put on them...which turned out to be a great way to eat pralines! But, the good thing is that the frosting had absolutely no competition from the frosting, but it also didn't fight with it. Last week when we tasted the Cakelove cupcakes, I noted that the frosting was great but the cupcakes weren't...well, this cupcake is great but just adds texture for the frosting, especially is you like pralines, which, of course, Layla does!

I slathered the frosting on these babies. On a few, I first put a layer of frosting and then a layer of coarsely chopped pecans and then another layer of frosting. Yikes! Afterwards...I'm not proud of this mind you...we all ate the left over frosting directly from the bowl and forgot about the cupcake...I better give you guys the recipe now...

Buttermilk Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes

4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour (flour should be sifted before measuring out 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put liners in cupcake pans.

[Note: This is the point where I put all these items into one bowl...I did not follow these directions for my cupcakes]

In a small bowl lightly combine the yolks, one 1/4 of the buttermilk and the vanilla

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients, beating with a paddle on low speed for about 20 seconds, just to combine.

Cut the butter into pieces, add to the flour along with the remaining buttermilk. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are moist, and then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes until well combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in three batches, beating well after each addition until smooth.

Scrape down the sides and beat for 30 seconds on medium high.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, Remove from cupcake pans and let cool for another 10 minutes before frosting.

Pecan Praline Frosting
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Put brown sugar and heavy cream in saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool so that is still warm, but do not stir while it is cooling.

Pour frosting into a mixing bowl, add confectioners sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time, until you have spreading consistency. If you want , you can fold in chopped nuts, or put them on top of the cupcakes after you frost. If your frosting begins to harden, dip spatula into warm water to make frosting easier to spread.

Rock On!

Get Ready to Get Crazy About Cupcakes: The New Book Has Arrived!

Went to Barnes and NobLE today because I had a feeling that I would find Krystina Castella's new cupcake book...and I did...there were two on the shelf...I grabbed one and went directly to the cash register not making eye contact with anyone...I felt like some really crazy cupcake fan/person! Paid my money and headed for the car...tried to read it while I was driving but soon became sane again...ran inside house...sat down with a mcdonald's classic chicken and fries (i know, very bad)...and am looking at the book now. I've got to make one of these this weekend...more later....if you want it, go to Crazy About Cupcakes on Amazon.

Rock On!