FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS

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My love of baking comes from growing up in a home where my mom was a baker.  She not only worked in bakeries for as long as I can remember, but she would always bake goodies for parties and of course there was the most delicious Hershey’s chocolate cake for every birthday!  You would think one would get tired of having the same cake year after year, but the cake was one of my favorite parts of my birthday since it was not something we had regularly (only maybe 3x a year).  Although I love this chocolate cake, one of my favorite desserts has to be chocolate + cream cheese cupcakes.

It makes sense that now that I’m a mom, one of my favorite things to do for my favorite is bake.  With two little ones 3 years and under, and both me and the hubby working full time, I often don’t have the time to bake, so when I do, I go all out.  My favorite is, as you may have guessed, baking cakes & cupcakes for my family’s birthdays.

When I am not baking for birthdays, I do on occasion like to whip up a treat or two when I have time (which as I said is not very often at all).

It just so happens that the kids were on a similar schedule today, so I had the opportunity to make some cupcakes.  Now that Sophia is three, she has a lot of interest in everything we do, so I pulled up a chair to the kitchen breakfast bar and put Ollie in his highchair there as well, and got to work mixing up my recipe.  I would pour the ingredients into the measuring cups/spoons and then let Soph dump them into a large bowl.

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I’ve gotten so many compliments on my baking, especially my cupcakes, that I’ve decided to share this special recipe with you!  They may not be the prettiest looking in these photos, but they will forever be my favorite.

There recipe requires two bowls, separating out the chocolate cupcake portion from the cream cheese mixture until just as they are added to the cupcake tins.  Recipe is for 12 cupcakes, but when I doubled it today, I could have easily made upwards of 48, had I not overfilled my first tray.

Bowl 1 – Cream Cheese Mixture – Mix together:
1 – 8oz block of Philadelphia cream cheese
1 – large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Once the above is full mixed together, recipe calls for 1-2 cups of chocolate chips — I just add the entire bag, it’s just personal preference.

Bowl 2 – Chocolate Cupcake Mixture – Mix together:
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup black coffee (lukewarm)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Mix the following together before putting into the chocolate cupcake mixture:
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

After you have the two mixtures, line your cupcake trays.  Place the chocolate batter into the tins about half way full, then add about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on top.  In my opinion, for best tasting results, add the mixture to the top center, allowing chocolate to show on the sides and slightly pushing the cream cheese mixture further into the chocolate so when it bakes, it goes through more layers giving you that perfect chocolate and cream cheese bite every time.

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Once your cupcake tins are filled, place them in the oven (middle rack) for 20-30 minutes.  If the cream cheese mixture starts to brown slightly, take them out immediately.  The trick is to take them out just before they start to brown but not too early that they don’t bake through.  The photo below is my first batch today which clearly I overfilled, but they still  taste amazing 🙂

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After you have removed the trays from the oven, remove the cupcakes and set them out on a cooling rack or simply on another surface that will help pull the heat away.  Then when your cupcakes have cooled for at least half an hour, then place them in a storage container and into the refrigerator for at least an hour until ready to serve.  I think the longer they are in the fridge the better, so I just store them there unless I am setting them out for a party; otherwise if it’s just for a family treat at home, we grab one from the fridge whenever we want one.

Hope your friends & family enjoy these as much as mine do!

                                xox, Marie

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