strawberrycupcakes

Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes

I always try to find different recipes for some of my favorite baked goods and I think I’ve found a winner for a healthier version of cupcakes completely from scratch! I’ve actually used this recipe before, but for simple vanilla cupcakes and I figured I’d try something different and put my own spin on it: strawberry yogurt with fresh strawberries!

Now, the frosting recipe is just a typical recipe, but it does its job by keeping the cupcakes sweet.

Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups Flour (I used whole wheat flour, but white flour works just as well!)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Nonfat Strawberry Yogurt
1 1/2 cups Fresh Strawberries, chopped

For the Frosting
4 cups Powdered Sugar
4 tbsp Butter, softened
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
4-6 tsp Whole Milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°. Begin chopping up the strawberries until there’s approximately one and a half cups. Mix the all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) together in a medium mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until well blended. Add in the eggs, then gradually add the dry ingredients. While the dry ingredients are mixing, toss in the vanilla, yogurt and strawberries. If you decide to use whole wheat flour, add in at least another cup of yogurt until the mixture is soft.

Fill each mold in the cupcake pan(s) with cupcake liners and begin filling the liners about 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until they pass the clean toothpick test.

While the cupcakes are cooling, grab a medium mixing bowl. Start mixing the butter together so it’s nice and fluffy. Start adding in the powdered sugar and slowly add in the whole milk and vanilla extract, adding more milk if needed. Increase the speed of the mixer to a medium setting until fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, fill some frosting in a pastry bag (if you have one) or a ziplock bag and cut off a corner of the ziplock and begin decorating the cupcakes.

If you feel like you need a little extra decoration on your cupcakes, you can grab a bag of Starburst Fave Reds jelly beans and place them on the top, like I did.

mintoreo

Yummy Alert! – Mint Oreo Truffles

Yes, it’s that time of the year where cookie exchanges are all the rage or you’re just looking for something different to satisfy your sweet tooth! A couple years ago, I became obsessed with making Caramel Apple Cider Cookies and last year I made some Peppermint Meltaway Cookies. This year, I was scrolling through Pinterest and I found something I wanted to attempt. I ended up testing them last night after work. I was surprised by how good – and sweet – they are, so I decided to stop by the store and get some more ingredients to make them today for the cookie exchange tomorrow.

Below the picture is the recipe if you’d like to try it!

Mint Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

1 package Mint Creme Oreos
8 oz. creme cheese
12 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate (Ghiradelli or Baker’s)
Chocolate sprinkles

Directions

Process the Oreos (the entire cookies, filling and cookie) in a food processor or blender. Pulse until crumbs are formed. Using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the Oreo crumbs with the cream cheese until combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.

Using your hands, roll into 30-35 balls. Place balls on two large plates, a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or a silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Freeze the truffles for at least 30 minutes. **Freezing the balls is the most important step of this recipe. If they are not cold and solid, the melted chocolate will not coat the balls properly.**

Coarsely chop the chocolate and melt according to package directions. If you can find them, I prefer using the Ghiradelli melting wafers. Working with 1 truffle at a time, coat in chocolate. Tap your utensil on the edge of the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on a lined baking sheet or paper plate. Top with sprinkles immediately following placing covered ball on the sheet/plate.

Refrigerate truffles for at least 10 minutes so the chocolate sets. Truffles must always be chilled and will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Note: To make green covered truffles, melt Ghiradelli vanilla melting wafers and use green food coloring to turn the white color to green. To drizzle colored chocolate on truffles, fill a sandwich bag with the green chocolate, cut a corner and drizzle on top of chocolate truffles.

urockies

Moving Along

It is unfortunate and quite weird to find someone who takes seven years to attain a Bachelor’s Degree, but I am one of those rarities. It wasn’t my original plan to spend this long as an undergraduate and changing my major between music and psychology so many times, but in my seven years working to attain my undergraduate degree, it has taught me that I can change my decision and my life plan as many times as I want until I finally find what I want to — and what I’m supposed to — do.

Before last month, my plans for after graduation were nowhere to be found if I wasn’t accepted into graduate school solely because I didn’t have a Plan B. Thankfully, on my best friend’s birthday, I was accepted into graduate school.

That same week, I also received graduation information in the mail ordered my cap and gown.

It’s incredible how my life has changed drastically because I know for a fact that I will be graduating in May and that I will be moving to Denver this summer for graduate school. I walked into the University of the Rockies in Denver yesterday and it became so incredibly real. I spoke to a couple of the professors in other specializations as well as the admissions specialist that I have been in contact with since September. After that, I ended up walking around the 16th Street Mall and took in the realization that I will be walking up and down that street on a daily basis for the next two years beginning in August.

The only thing I’m worried about is how my classes are going to interfere with going to baseball games and concerts, especially when I’m already going to three concerts and one game after classes start.