Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

I know there are a lot of you cupcake haters here on ES, and yes, I am still trying to convert you. Can I offer you a cupcake with a boozy limoncello curd center that will drip, pour and ooze its way into likeability?

Come on, check out that money shot, begging you to take a bite and taste its tartness. Actually, it was really tart when I first made it so instead of adding more sugar to the mix to even it out, I decided to step it up with some limoncello. Booze is, after all, the grand equalizer in food — alright, that’s just my personal philosophy. It works more often than not to even out a too-strong flavor, and as expected here, it didn’t fail.

So, my dear cupcake haters, brace your tastebuds and take in a rich lemon cupcake body filled with a limoncello curd that’s then been stacked with piles of coconut sweet buttercream frosting, then covered in sweetened coconut.

And trust me when I say the lemon and coconut pairing is quite damntastic!

Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

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Booze Bites: Irish Car Bomb Jell-O Shots

Chewable beer bite? Sure, you probably associate that phrase with a less-than-pleasant experience, something that might have involved hanging out a car door window like a dog on a drive. Luckily, we’re here to supplant that memory with a chewable beer bite you can enjoy. Let’s talk Irish Car Bomb Jell-shots.

No more worries of having to invoke those college days when you had guzzle this drink quickly just to avoid the curdle. No, we’ve grown up, we can self-moderate and we can do so gracefully with a treat that won’t leave guzzling trails at the corner of our mouths.

*To make this fun treat we we used two types  of molds. The layered Jell-o shot  on the right is made using a mini  muffin pan. To acheive the shot-in-the-glass look like the ones on the left we used this mold found here.

Irish Car Bomb Jell-o Shots

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Booze Bites: Cupcake Pudding Shooters

I’m going to be blunt. You need this. So seriously, get to the store and buy yourself a bottle of Pinnacle Cake Vodka. Can life get better? Yes, I’m sure it can. But in terms of having a low-cal cupcake that can pull double duty as a cocktail — I don’t think so.

Plus, this is an easy-to-make, 20-minute dessert. Do yourself a favor and make a lot, because trust me, they go quickly. To shortcut the time even further, bypass making the chocolate shell and serve these in little shot glasses with wooden spoons and they will look just as fun and festive.

BTW — I’m kinda crazy for the whole line of Pinnacle vodkas, so don’t be surprised if you see a few more boozy bites using their stuff. No, I’m not a pitch person for them. I’m just fascinated by their flavor-infused vodkas — hello, butterscotch, cookie dough, cotton candy, marshmallow and whipped cream.

So after you make this Cupcake Pudding Shooter, come back and see what’s next.

Cupcake Pudding Shooters

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Make Way for Fluffertella

Can someone who is allergic to peanut butter really make a good  peanut butter anything besides a quick smear between some jelly and bread? Unless my friends and family are all liars, the answer is yes.

I have to rely on them as my taste testers when it comes to peanut butter treats.  The last one I made was a Fluffernutter (marshmallows, Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate chips and Nutter Butter cookies). Although well received by the majority, it did receive feedback from two people that it was too “peanut buttery.” To correct that, this time I decided to try cutting the strong peanut butter flavor with some Nutella. It worked. The Nutella comes through strong enough to taste, but not so much that it overwhelms the peanut butter. As it turns out my friends actually preferred the Fluffertella Bars over the Fluffernutter Bars.

So if anyone gives this a go, do come back let me know if my friends are lying to me.

Fluffertella Bars

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Fancy Caramel Toffee Shortbread Bars…OK, Fine – Homemade Twix

Let me start by saying, I’m a foodie. And as translated by some, I’ve been accused of being a food snob. My rebuttal is always, “We all have our snobbery.” If food is my worst snobbery I will take it with a glass of wine in one hand a Twinkie in the other.

So how the hell does snobbery play into this post? I’ll tell you. I made this last weekend and called them Caramel & Toffee Shortbread Bars. I was quickly corrected by a room full of 5-16 year olds and adults that these were nothing more than a homemade Twix copycat. And they also accused me of putting a “snobby” foodie title on a simple dessert.

Luckily, it doesn’t pain me to say — they are right. I’m for sure going to be calling these homemade Twix bars going forward —such an easier sell.

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Booze Bites: Royal Velvet Jello Shots

Ever been in a mood when you can’t decide whether what you need is a snack or a cocktail? We’ve got you covered. Our new series, Booze Bites, is for those times when what you need is something tasty…and drink-y. We’ll be bringing you boozy marshmallows, pudding shooters and  Jell-o shots.

To get things started we are featuring a Royal Velvet Jello Shot. Set against a raspberry backdrop, the whiskey comes through strong but is mellowed out by the sweetness of Chambord.

Now that you know what we will be consuming for our next happy hour, we want to know what you would like for yours. Order-up and leave us a comment letting us know if there is a drink you want to see turned into any one of our three boozy bites.

Royal Velvet Jello Shot

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How to Make Homemade Caramel Sauce

Because of some concerned comments on our recent whiskey caramel marshmallow bacon bark, we figured it was time to roll our sleeves up and get down to basics with a homemade caramel sauce recipe. The method we used for this post is a wet vs. dry process (dry process being no water added to dissolve the sugar – this method is a bit trickier).

To begin, let’s talk safety. Wear an oven mitt if you can to protect yourself from any steam or splatters. To prevent anything from boiling over, make sure to use a pan that is at least 2 quarts in size.  We also recommend that you keep a bowl filled with icy water nearby. Should any splatters hit your arm or hand, you can plunge it into the bowl. Resist the urge to put your mouth to any splatters that hit your skin or you will have a burnt tongue and lip as well.

If this is your first time making homemade caramel sauce and you biff it, no worries, we’re pretty sure most people do and did on their first run. Luckily, sugar is cheap and you’ll nail it on the second time.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

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