Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I would like to begin by remembering everyone affected by the storms over the past couple of days.  Especially remembering a place dear to my heart, Pensacola.  Praying for the safety of all!

Now, on to a lighter note, these delightful Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.  I have a slight obsession with cupcakes.  When I was a kid a cupcake was something you ate at a birthday party or a class party at school.  These days, not only is there a television show devoted to cupcakes on Food Network but there are cupcake shops everywhere you turn and cupcakes in every flavor you could imagine.  I adore them.  Not only are cupcakes delicious, but I love the fact that it’s one serving, no mess, they are so easy to transport, plus with a piping bag they are easy to decorate.  Most importantly, they make me feel like a kid again.  That saying a lot since I will be the big 5 0 in just a couple of weeks!

I’ve seen recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes on several websites.  After studying several different recipes I finally came up with a combination I wanted to try.  These even knocked the socks off of Wes who tends to be a hard one to please.  He’s not a huge chocolate fan but loved these cupcakes.

I used Savannah’s Perfect Chocolate Cake for the cake part of the cupcake.  It’s a no fail recipe that we love.  The cookie dough ingredients came from, and the frosting is my own creation.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
  • Cookie Dough Filling:
  • 1¾ c. all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 10 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ c. milk
  • 2¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 1¼ c. mini chips
  • Cupcakes:
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1¾ c. ap flour
  • ¾ c. cocoa
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2ggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • Frosting:
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c. shortening
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. butter extract
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • ½ tbsp. meringue powder
  • 2½ tbsp milk (or more is needed)
  1. To make the cookie dough filling, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix. In another bowl mix the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 24 balls of dough. (My cupcakes were standard muffin size and my scoop is a #40 and measures approximately 1½ tbsp.) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place dough balls on the pan. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°. Spray the top of your cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with paper liners and spray the bottom or the liners with cooking spray, set aside.
  4. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill each each up cake liner with about ¼ c. of batter or a little less.
  5. Remove dough balls from freezer and place one in the center of each cupcake.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake part of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 minute; remove to wire racks and cool completely. Frost with completely cool.
  7. To make frosting, mix the brown sugar and 2 tbsp. milk in a bowl and microwave until hot. Remove from microwave and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, shortening, and salt for 5 minutes.
  9. Add vanilla extract and butter extract, mix well.
  10. In another bowl, sift the flour and powdered sugar together. Add half of this mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add other half of powdered sugar mixture, meringue powder, and 2½ tbsp. milk on low speed. After everything is incorporated turn mixer to medium speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  11. Frost cupcakes and decorate as desired.
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Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones

Biscuits, muffins, coffee cake, pancakes, waffles, French toast, and scones…my preferred breakfast.  No, I do not have these everyday, but if I am going out for breakfast or preparing a special breakfast, these are my dishes of choice!

Last week we were out of town for spring break.  Before leaving I bought 3 new cookbooks on my iPad.  I fell in love with two of them and couldn’t wait to get home and start trying recipes.  This recipe comes from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman.  It’s not a new cookbook, just new to me.

I did not have apple-smoked bacon on hand and made these with thick-cut hickory smoked bacon.  They were delicious and pleased the entire family since.  The cookbook suggests that you can substitute the Cheddar for any cheese you have on hand.  Also, for richer scones, substitute heavy cream for half of the buttermilk.

Apple-Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Scones
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1½ c. grated Cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ to 1½ c. buttermilk
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 2 tbsp. water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl on low speed. With the mixer running, gradually add the cubes of butter until the mixture is crumbly and studded with flour-butter bits about the size of small peas. Add the grated cheese and mix just until blended. (This can also be done by hand: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Gradually cut in the butter with pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles small peas. Stir in the cheese.)
  2. Add the green onions, bacon, and ¾ cup of the buttermilk to the flour and cheese mixture. Mix by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the dough is too dry to hold together, us the remaining buttermilk, adding 1 tbsp. at a time, until the dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball. Stir as lightly and as little as possible to ensure a light-textured scone. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured flat surface. Pat the dough into a ball. using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten the dough into a circle about 8inches wide and ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 to 10 equal wedges, depending on the size scone you prefer.
  3. Whisk the egg and water in a small mixing bowl to combine. Brush each wedge with the egg wash. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle. Serve warm.
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Missy’s Fried Okra Salad

A friend recently shared what I thought was a very unusual recipe for Fried Okra Salad.   I’ve lived in the south all of my life and had never heard of such a thing.  I was instantly intrigued and knew I had to give it a try.  After all, she assured me that she has to share the recipe whenever she takes it out.

Last week I had a “recipe testing” day.  There were three recipes I wanted to try and I started with the Okra Salad first thing.  I had planned to have a bite and then take a big bowl up to my friends at the bank.  However, my friends at the bank never got to try it!  It was so delicious that I had a big bowl and then went back for seconds.  It was my breakfast and my lunch that day.  Obviously, I don’t need to be having recipe testing days often!

Missy's Fried Okra Salad
  • 2 (12-oz.) bags freshly frozen breaded okra
  • 8 sliced bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • dash hot sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Fry the okra as directed on the package, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add the crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes, and green onions. Add the fried and drained okra and set aside.
  3. In a small jar add vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine. Just before serving drizzle the dressing over the okra mixture. Toss to coat and serve.
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Easy Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Have I mentioned that pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats?  It cooks up so fast and when cooked right is tender and delicious!  Here’s yet another great rub for a grilled pork tenderloin.  Most of you probably already have these ingredients in your pantry.

Easy Grilled Pork Tenderloin
  • 3 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  1. Blot the tenderloin dry with paper towels and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, poultry seasoning, and chili powder together. Rub the mixture on all sides of the tenderloin. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare grill at medium-high heat. Grill pork tenderloin for 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of tenderloin reaches 160°F. Remove from grill, cover with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
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Chewy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies

My plan was to find a recipe that would give me a soft, chewy pecan cookie.  Not only did I find the perfect recipe but I found so much more.  

Years ago I had a Maraschino Pecan Cookie that was out of this world.  Over the next few years I spent many hours trying to find a recipe to recreate that wonderful cookie.  I finally gave up and honestly had almost forgotten about it.  That is, until I took my first bite of these Chewy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies.  This is it!!  All I have  to do to get the cookies from my past is add maraschino cherries and voila!!  No, I haven’t tried adding the cherries yet, and this recipe isn’t about the cherries, but I just can’t contain my excitement!   
These little gems are habit forming, you will not be able to eat just one!  Remove them when they start to brown around the edges.  They should be puffy when you take them out of the oven and as they cool they will flatten slightly.   By the time they are cool they are perfection!
Chewy Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 2½ c. all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 c. finely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until combined. Fold in the pecans.
  3. Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto parchment lined pan. Bake for 8 - 12 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.
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