Thin Mint Cupcakes

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!  I have wanted to make Thin Mint Cupcakes ever since last summer when I made a Thin Mint Cake. When I made that cake, I was very lucky to find Thin Mints in June, but I had to wait until Girl Scout Cookies went on sale again to make the Thin Mint Cupcakes. 

I brought these to a dinner party, and had plan to make these well in advance, so as soon as I saw Girl Scouts at my local grocery store, I grabbed a few boxes.   This was a bit problematic because Mr. Apron LOVES Thin Mints. I worried if I would still have any cookies left when I needed them.  I gave him one box, then put the other two boxes in the freezer with strict instructions that these were off-limits.  Mr. Apron  left them alone, and I was able to buy him a few more boxes since then to make sure he got enough Thin Mints before he has to wait another year for cookies.

I used my favorite devil's food cupcake recipe and to make these extra special I put a thin mint on the bottom of each cupcake.  For the frosting, I used a whipped cream based frosting, similar to the one I use for Cookies and Cream Cupcakes and added crushed thin mints.  I added creme de menthe to the frosting for the mint flavor and that also gave it the green hue.  I only used two tablespoons but more or less could added based on preference. 

Thin Mint Cupcakes

Devil's Food Thin Mint Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup boiling water
24 Thin Mints

In a mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Add boiling water; beat until smooth. 

Place a Thin Mint on the bottom of each muffin tin line with a cupcake liner. 

Pour batter into muffin tins on top of Thin Mints. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Mint Cookies and Cream Frosting
2 Cups Whipping Cream
4 Table Spoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons Creme de Menthe
One Dozen Thin Mints Crushed
One Dozen Thin Mints Halved for garnish

Combine cream, sugar and Creme de Menthe in a bowl. Beat with a whisk attachment for 5 minutes until stiff peaks form.  (More creme de menthe can be added depending on taste.) Fold in crushed Thin Mints. Frost cooled cupcakes. Garnish with Thin Mint halves.

Sushi Cupcakes


A really good friend of mine loves sushi!   When plans fell through to celebrate his birthday at a sushi restaurant I wanted to incorporate sushi into his birthday cake!   Rather than make a giant sushi cake, I decided to do cupcakes!   Cupcakes were easier to pass out at the bar where the party was, and I think little sushi rolls are more fun! 


If these cupcakes were not going to a bar I think I would have had more fun and gotten creative displaying these!   Most of the photos were taken at the bar, so they not my best.


I did not follow recipe to make these. I got ideas from other foodie blogs, made some mental notes, went shopping and used what I found. (I did not have time to place an order for materials.) But here is how to make similar cupcakes.

Use your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. I used devil's food (recipes are at the end).  Let the cupcakes cool.  Then frost with vanilla buttercream.

Roll the frosted cupcakes in white sprinkles.  If you cannot find white sprinkles you can also use coconut.

Top with cut up candies in various colors.  I used gum drops.  I was able to find them easily and the were soft enough cut up and make into little shapes.  You can also use fondant, but I am personally not a fan of the taste.

Garnish with chop sticks.


Devil Food Cupcakes
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup boiling water

In a mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Add boiling water; beat until smooth. Pour batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.


Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake


I love breakfast, but I rarely make a big breakfast.  It is the easiest meal for me to consistently eat healthy.      Only if Mr. Apron and I go out to eat for breakfast do I tend to indulge and have less healthier options at breakfast.  But when  I saw this coffee cake recipe I knew I had to try it.  This is one of Mr. Apron's favorites, especially since it gives him an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast.


I have made this coffee cake several times now and it never disappoints.   It does taste best still warm, but it is still good at room temperature.  When I made it most recently I used light sour cream.  No one who I served it to seemed to mind, and it got rave reviews, but I noticed a difference and so did Mr. Apron. 


Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 cups of sugar
3 eggs separated
16 oz sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grease a 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking pan. Set the oven at 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar, then mix in the egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then fold into the batter. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the chocolate chips.  Pour half of the cake batter into the pan. Sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour remaining batter on top, then cover that with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Source: Boston Globe

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and regular Pink Apron fans know how much much I love red velvet cupcakes.  But this year I didn't want to make red velvet cupcakes (despite how many requests I have gotten from friends over the past week), I felt like I have made a lot of red velvet cupcakes lately.  Instead I decided to make red velvet whoopie pies.   Even if you are not a Valentine's Day fan, it is hard not love these little cakes.  

I've mentioned before that you don't need a special whoopie pie pan to make these treats. All you need is a baking sheet and parchment paper.   I also recommend using an ice cream scoop to make the cakes even size.  The ice cream scoop also makes the process a lot less messy.


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons red food coloring

Preheat oven to 375, line baking sheet with parchment, set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, and food coloring.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just until combined.  Scoop batter onto prepared baking pans. (I used a yellow ice cream scoop and fit 15 on a full sheet pan, you could probably fit 6 on a half sheet pan, which is most common in home baking).  Bake for 8 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (you do NOT want to over bake)  Cool on wire racks.


Marshmallow Cream Filling
1/2 cup butter ( one stick butter)
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter until smooth and creamy, add confectioners sugar, beat until smooth, add marshmallow and vanilla.

Conversation Heart Cookies


It's almost Valentine's Day and any holiday is a good excuse for decorated sugar cookies.  One of the most iconic Valentine's Day candies is the conversation heart cookies and thought that they would make the perfect cookie for this February 14th.  Personally, I am not a fan of most candy, but cookies decorated as candy is something I can get behind!


Normally these candies are G-rated, but since I wasn't bring the cookies to any events with kids, I thought I would make them more adult!  (There's nothing wrong with being a little dirty.)

My favorites are definitely the "That's What She Said" cookies.  Who doesn't love Michael Scott on The Office.



Sugar Cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 cups unsalted butter 
2 cups granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Put the rolled dough, including the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer. Your dough will be chilled and ready to cut and bake with now wait and no added flour! Repeat with scraps after cutting cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -10 minutes. Let cool.

Source: Fancys Flours

Royal Icing
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted 
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms a peak (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). 

Source: Wilton

Princess Tiara Cookies



When someone asked to make pink princess cookies, I was very excited.  I am a pink person, and I have fondness for tiaras.  If you couldn't tell, the birthday girl name is Jordan and she celebrated her third birthday this weekend.   When I dropped off the cookies, I loved all the princess decorations around the house.   It's something I would have loved when I was a kid.  I still want to do the princess half marathon in Disney some year.   




Normally when I make decorated sugar cookies, I need to block off at least three evenings in row to make sure I have enough time finish them.  (One night to bake, one to outline and flood, and one night for detail work).  Because we had another major snow storm in Boston last week, I had an unexpected day off and these cookies were finished in record time.   But after this winter, I would prefer not to have any more snow days and just work on my time management skills.   

I have lots of baking projects coming up that I can't wait to share!  



Sugar Cookies
6 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 cups unsalted butter 
2 cups granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Put the rolled dough, including the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer. Your dough will be chilled and ready to cut and bake with now wait and no added flour! Repeat with scraps after cutting cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -10 minutes. Let cool.

Source: Fancys Flours

Royal Icing
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups confectioners' sugar sifted 
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms a peak (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). 

Source: Wilton

Snow Day Baking: Chocolate Chip Muffins


Woke up this morning to find out my office was closed due to the another blizzard hitting the Boston area.  This is the third snow day this winter. I think for the past month we have had snow at least once a week and there is now about  three feet of snow on the ground, if not more.  We are seriously running out of places to put all the snow!

Yesterday, I didn't know if I would have work today, and not wanting to jinx it, I decided not to run to the store for additional baking supplies.  This morning, I took inventory of what I had to work with and decided to treat Mr. Apron to some freshly made chocolate chip muffins this morning.   After shoveling out the car, I thought that he deserved something to look forward to when he came back inside.   (And regular Pink Apron readers know Mr. Apron LOVES chocolate).


I love this muffin recipe because it only needs two bowls (little clean up) and it doesn't require a mixer.   I have about 4 dozen sugar cookies with royal icing currently drying in the kitchen, so counter space was quite limited.   This was also taken into consideration when I was deciding on my morning baking project. 

The batter for these muffins could easily be used with other flavors, not just chocolate chips.  Blueberries, cranberries would all be great.


In honor of the snow day, I used snowman muffin liners.   They didn't show as well as  I would have liked in the photos, but I know that they so that's all that matters. 



Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated white sugar, plus additional tablespoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Position rack in center of oven. Butter, or line with paper liners, 12 - 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups. In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.  In another large bowl whisk together the flour,  2/3 cups of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. Fold the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined.  Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.  Top with remaining table spoon of sugar. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan. 

Adapted from Joy of Baking