Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Happy Fall Y’all!!  I have turned my favorite fall cocktail into a cupcake and let me tell you – the result was delicious!

A group of my friends and I had a fall themed painting party at one of those wine and canvas places that have become so popular over the last few years (I highly recommend Canvas Mixers is you are in the South Jersey area!).  I wanted to bring a pitcher of my Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail but you can only bring wine or beer to the venue, so I decided to bake my booze into some cupcakes!

These cupcakes contain all the ingredients from one of my most popular recipes on the blog: apple cider, Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, and RumChata.  Everyone at the painting party loved them, and we all had a great time creating our masterpieces!

Now, on to the recipe.  As I tend to do, I started off with a boxed cake mix, doctored it up a bit and topped the whole thing off with a made from scratch frosting.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients and Directions:

1 box of white or yellow cake mix
Eggs and oil as called for in directions on box
Pinnacle Caramel Apple vodka, or Caramel vodka
Apple Cider

Combine mix, eggs and oil.  Omit the water as called for on the box and substitute equal parts apple cider and caramel apple vodka.  My mix called for one cup of water, so I substituted 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup vodka.  Bake according to package directions and let cool.

RumChata Frosting Ingredients and Directions:
(adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon RumChata

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Caramel Apple Cider Cupcakes with RumChata Frosting

I also added some orange gel color to some of the batter and decorated those one for Halloween. 🙂

Halloween Cupcakes

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For those who don’t like candy corn…

Word on the streets is that some of you out there don’t like candy corn?  How is this possible???  It’s almost as confusing to me as folks who don’t like PEEPS.  Does. not. compute.   But hey, to each his own, right?

Since candy corn is quintessentially Halloween in my book I thought I’d share some candy corn treats that don’t actually contain any candy corn.  You’re welcome haters. 😉

First up – I made some candy corn decorated cookies!  Everybody likes sugar cookies, right?  (If you don’t, please don’t tell me.  My head might explode.)

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies for #HalloweenEverybody loved my mustache Easter bunnies so much that I thought I’d give the  ‘stache a try on my candy corn too.  As I suspected, these were a big hit.

I also made a super easy Halloween bark with Kraft Jet-Puffed Candy Corn Marshmallows and Wilton Halloween sprinkles.

Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark - A super easy treat to make for #Halloween!Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark

Ingredients
2 – 12 oz bags of chocolate melting wafers, any flavor
Bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Candy Corn Marshmallows
Halloween sprinkles

Directions
1. Melt both bags of chocolate in a double boiler, or follow the instructions on the package for melting in the microwave.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment paper and spread evenly with a spatula.
*IMPORTANT – if using a double boiler, make sure you dry the bottom of your pan thoroughly before pouring the chocolate onto the parchment paper.  You don’t want any water dripping onto the chocolate.  I just put a dish towel down on the counter and wiped the bottom of the pan across it a few times to dry it off.
4. Immediately top chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles.
5. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and let the chocolate harden.  If you’re in a hurry you can pop the tray in the refrigerator for about a half an hour, otherwise you can just let the bark rest on the counter top.
6. Once the chocolate has set, cut the bark into randomly sized pieces.

Quick and easy Marshmallow Candy Corn Bark for #Halloween

It really doesn’t get much easier than that, and look at how fun and festive that bark looks!  Plus – chocolate and marshmallow – can’t go wrong there, right?  Right?!

There you go, you despisers of candy corn.  You can still have some candy corn treats this Halloween!  We can all live together in peace and harmony!

You PEEPS hating people on the other hand… I can’t even deal with you. 😉

So, how do you feel about candy corn?  Love it or hate it?  Let me know in the comments, and have a Happy Halloween!

Creepy Fang Cupcakes

I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween already! Is this year going way too fast for anyone else, or is it just me? I certainly couldn’t let one of my favorite holidays pass by without making some Halloween cupcakes. These are scarily simple – I just made some chocolate cupcakes using a boxed mix, frosted them with a vanilla buttercream and decorated them with these super fun gummy fangs I found at Target.  Yes, I went to Target for toilet paper and ended up leaving with gummy fangs.  You know how it is, don’t lie.

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!As you can see, I also bought gummy tongues. How could I resist?! They look so realistic! Damn you Target!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!In addition to the gummy fangs, I used these cool Wilton sprinkles I found. I just love the little spiders!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!As you can see, some simple store bought decorations can make a fantastically creepy cupcake with minimal effort! I love simple things that make a big impact!

If you have some creepy cupcakes of your own that you’d like to share, head over and share a pic on my Facebook page! Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

The cupcake that bites back!  Make these creepy fang #cupcakes for #halloween!

3rd Annual Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale

Fall is seriously THE best time of year. In addition to all the usual favorites (cooler weather, apple cider, gorgeous fall foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING…) it is also the time for fun things such as my birthday (next week!), Halloween, signups for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale!

Go Bo Foundation Bake Sale

This amazing bake sale is put together by Jill from Jill FCS Funky Cookie Studio to support the Go Bo! Foundation’s mission of funding cancer research and helping the families of children with cancer in Door County, WI.  This year cookie artists from ALL 50 states AND 17 countries have donated their time and efforts to this worthy cause.  If you are in the area you should definitely go check it out! Don’t worry though if you can’t attend because you could seriously spend hours scrolling through the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale Facebook page looking at all the fabulous contributions.  There are some seriously talented cookie decorators out there!

This year Jill asked that in addition to whatever themed cookies we wanted to make we also send at least one butterfly cookie.  So here are the cookies I shipped out to WI last week:

Black Cat/Full Moon Halloween Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

Butterfly Decorated Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

                                                                 “You only live once so make it count.” – Bo

If you would like more information or would like to donate, please visit www.gobofoundation.org.

 

 

Mother Nature Mischief

It’s been an interesting few days here in NJ.  In case you missed it, the East Coast and other areas just got their asses kicked by Hurricane Sandy, aka “Frankenstorm”.  I am VERY fortunate in that our basement didn’t flood, we did not lose power (just a few pieces of siding), and though my cable/internet was down most of the day it is up and running again.

I did spend a good deal of time worrying that my neighbor’s dead tree was going to come crashing through our roof, but it somehow stayed put.  The worst part of the night last night came when my boyfriend entertained the thought of climbing out onto the roof – in the dark in, the middle of a hurricane with 70 mph wind gusts! – to try to tack down the siding that was coming loose.  Thankfully, common sense prevailed.

In order to keep my mind off the threat of impending doom, I spent a good portion of the day yesterday decorating some Halloween cookies and drinking wine.  Though trick or treating has been postponed in my neighborhood until Friday, Halloween is still tomorrow.  We’ve had enough tricks, now for some treats!

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween (no matter what day you actually get to celebrate!) and my thoughts are with all of those affected by this devastating storm.  It’s times like these when you really appreciate all that you have!

Peep-A-Boo

Eye See You!!!

Things are about to get a little hairy here on the East Coast, with the impending arrival of “Frankenstorm” (yes, that’s what the news people are calling it).   Water, bread and milk are flying off the shelves along with batteries, flashlights, and generators.  This begs the question – what happened to the generators everyone bought last year, before hurricane Irene?

Anywho, I have no desire to stock up on ingredients for french toast.  I’m more concerned about having an adequate supply of booze and cupcakes.  Too bad I don’t have any of these Peeps and Peepers Cupcakes leftover!

I had an order for some Halloween themed birthday cupcakes the other day.  When I saw these chocolate eyeball candies in the store I knew they would make perfect creepy cupcake toppers.  I also had a package of these cute pumpkin shaped Peeps that my mom gave me.  In case you missed my Easter rantings, I LOVE Peeps and thankfully there is a Peep for every season.

These were just basic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes but as you can see, a little decoration can go a long way!

Well, guess I better start battening down some hatches or something.  Or perhaps I will just have a glass of wine… : )

 

 

Halloweenie

One of my favorite holidays is a week away and I have just one question…

When did Halloween become so lame?!

Trick-or-Treat was a serious event when I was a kid.  My mom made a lot of costumes for me and my little brother.

Me, as Rainbow Brite.  Yes, my mom MADE that!
Me, as Rainbow Brite. Yes, my mom MADE that!

Then, when I was too old for my mom to be making my costume for me, I made my own!

Lucky Charms!  I was the blue diamond...
Lucky Charms! I was the blue diamond…

See those things in our hands?!  PILLOWCASES!  We filled them, at least twice! We didn’t run around with those crappy plastic pumpkins that hold ten pieces of candy.

If Halloween fell on a school day: 1.  We got to have a Halloween parade.  I’ve been hearing about all kinds of school districts in my area canceling these events because some asshat is offended.  Give me a freaking break.  What is offensive about playing dress-up and getting free candy?!  And 2.  We were out roaming the streets in droves as soon as school let out, and we didn’t come home until well after 8-9 o’clock.  Now, no one shows up at my house until after dinner and the last kids usually arrive around 7.  LAME!  If Halloween was on the weekend, it was on like Donkey Kong.

We were allowed to wear masks (the creepier the better) and we didn’t have to have our parents lurking on the sidewalk as we went up to ring doorbells.  We were running wild and free, and we had a ball!

These days, I have maybe a dozen kids come to my house to Trick-or-Treat, and half of them don’t even bother to put on costumes.  They just ring my doorbell and then sullenly hold out a bag when I open the door.  They don’t even yell “TRICK OR TREAT!”  I’m often tempted to ask what the hell they are doing on my doorstep, but I’m afraid my house will be paint-balled if I do.  So I give them their candy and send them on their way, all while mourning the loss of what used to be an AWESOME tradition.

So, to honor the good old days, I made some cupcakes with my favorite Halloween candy – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

I used a boxed chocolate cake mix.  I poured a little batter into the bottom of the cups, then added a peanut butter cup.  I poured the remaining batter on top and baked per the box instructions.  I made a chocolate buttercream, and topped the cupcakes with crushed Reese’s Pieces and a mini PB Cup.  Total candy coma!

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Doesn’t this make you want to stick a sheet over your head and go beg your neighbors for candy???  Bring (the real) Halloween Back!!!