Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fudge Cupcakes

I had been mulling over this recipe for quite some time.  I wanted to make these cupcakes ever since I read the book Fudge Cupcake Murders by Joanne Fluke.  I even went so far as to take the Eden Lake Cookbook out at the library to get the recipe.  I photocopied this recipe and held onto it for months.  I finally decided to make them about a week ago.  My husband and I each ate one without the frosting.  It wasn't very exciting but after they were frosted, zowie they were great!  I don't know why but the frosting adds the needed zing.  Try them, you'll like them!

From Fudge Cupcake Murders
By Joanne Fluke


4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (1 oz. each)
½ cup raspberry syrup (for pancakes – Knott’s red raspberry)*
¼ cup white sugar (granulated)
1-2/3 cups flour (don’t sift)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, room temperature (one stick)
1-1/2 cups white sugar (not a misprint – you will use 1 and ¾ cups sugar in all)
3 eggs
½ cup milk


1.       Line a 12-cup muffin pan with double cupcake papers.  Since this recipe makes 18 cupcakes, you can use an additional 6-cup muffin pan lined with double papers, or you can butter and flour an 8-inch square cake pan or the equivalent.
2.       Microwave the chocolate, raspberry syrup and ¼ cup sugar in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave again for another minute.  At this point, the chocolate will be almost melted, but it will maintain its shape.  Stir the mixture until smooth and let cool to lukewarm.  (You can also do this in a double boiler on the stove.)
3.       Measure the flour, mix in the baking powder and salt, and set it aside.  With an electric mixer (or with VERY strong arms), beat the butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  (About 3 minutes with a mixer – an additional 2 minutes if you are doing it by hand.)  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to make sure they are thoroughly incorporated.  Add approximately 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the milk.  (You don’t have to be exact – adding the flour and milk in increments makes the batter smoother.)  When that is all mixed in, add another third of the flour and another third of the milk.  And when that is incorporated, add the remainder of the flour and the remainder of the milk.  Mix thoroughly.
4.       Test your chocolate mixture to make sure it is cool enough to add.  (You don’t want to cook the eggs!)  If it is fairly warm to the touch but not so hot you have to pull your hand away, you can add it at this point.  Stir thoroughly and you are done.
5.       Let the batter rest for five minutes.  Then stir it again by hand, and fill each cupcake paper three-quarters full.  If you decided to use the 8-inch cake pan instead of the 6-cup muffin tin, fill it with the remaining batter.
6.       Bake the cupcakes in a 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  The 8-inch cake should bake an additional 5 minutes.

*If you can’t find raspberry syrup, mix ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam with ¼ cup light Karo syrup and use that.


2 cups semi-sweet (regular) chocolate chips (a 12-ounce bag)
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

18 cupcakes or 12 cupcakes and 1 small cake, cooled to room temperature and ready to frost

If you use a double boiler for this frosting, it is foolproof.  You can also make it in a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat on the stovetop, but you’ll have to stir it constantly with a wooden spoon or a heat-resistant spatula to keep it from scorching.

Fill the bottom part of the double boiler with water.  Make sure the water does not touch the underside of the top.

Put the chocolate chips in the top of the double boiler, set it over the bottom, and place the double boiler on the stove top at medium heat.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate chips are melted.

Stir in the can of sweetened condensed milk and cook approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the frosting is shiny and of spreading consistency.

The cupcakes are even better if you cool them, and let them sit for several hours (or even overnight) before frosting them.

Hannah’s Note: If you want to make these in mini-cupcake tins, fill the cups 2/3 full and bake them at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.


The Creative Cook

Monday, June 16, 2014

Billionaire Blueberry Blondies

I'm sure that I have mentioned a few times that I am a big fan of food-related mysteries.  I adore Joanne Fluke, Diane Mott Davidson and Cleo Coyle.  This recipe comes from the latest Coffeehouse Mystery by author Cleo Coyle who, as Wikipedia will tell you, is the pen name for author Alice Alfonsi, who collaborates with her husband Marc Cerasini to write the Coffeehouse Mysteries.  The book is called "Billionaire Blend" hence the name of this recipe Billionaire Blueberry Blondies.  Her recipes are always great and this recipe is no exception.  You go girl!  

Billionaire Blueberry Blondies
By Cleo Coyle


2 large eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (Do not Omit! The cider interacts with the eggs to create the proper texture.)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup white, granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (grated rind of lemon, yellow only, no bitter white pith)
¼ teaspoon table salt (+ a generous pinch)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/8 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup frozen (or fresh) blueberries


Step 1 – Prep oven and pan:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Because this is a relatively low fat recipe and blueberries secrete juice as they bake, the best way to prevent sticking is to create a parchment paper sling for your 8-inch square pan.

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Into a large mixing bowl, break 2 eggs, add the cider vinegar, and whisk well.  Add the brown and white sugars, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt.  Whisk until well blended.  Add melted (and cooled) butter and the baking soda.  Whisk again until smooth.  Now add the flour and switch to a spoon or spatula, stirring well.  (Do not over-mix at this point.)  Gently fold in the blueberries, trying not to smash or crush them.

Step 3 – Bake: Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and bake in your well pre-heated 325 degrees F oven for 30 to 40 minutes (exact time depends on your oven).  The low temperature and long cooking time helps with even baking.  The Blondies are done when you see the top is golden brown and displaying slight cracking.  To be sure the Blondies are done; insert a test toothpick into the middle of the pan.  It should come out with no wet batter clinging to it (moist crumbs or blueberry juice are okay, just not wet batter).  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently lifting by the parchment paper handles.  Cut into 16 squares and serve.