“Chocolate Surprise” Cupcakes

Chocolate and cream cheese = yummy!  You really don’t need to experiment with this recipe, Hershey’s has it just right.    It’s moist, rich, and easy to whip up in less than 30 minutes, plus baking time.   Make the filling first!

FILLING

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened/at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chips OR 1/2 cup of regular chips

Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and salt in small bowl until smooth and creamy. (Use hand mixer.)  Stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside.

CAKE

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S unsweetened Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin cups with pan.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl.   Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 3 minutes. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Spoon 1 level tablespoon FILLING into center of each cupcake.  (I used a small cookie dropper for this.  It was a lot less messy.)
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake portion comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. About 2-1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Original recipe: http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5373&name=Filled-Rich-Chocolate-Cupcakes

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Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

On the food blogosphere this recipe has been going around for quite some time, so I figured I should put it to the test!

A couple of tips:

  • Line 8×8 pan with foil for easy clean up.
  • Use margarine, instead of butter for the foil.  (Margarine is easier to spread in the foil than butter.)
  • I omitted the walnuts, simply because I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like buying some.
  • I microwaved the butter in a safe proof bowl.  It’s just faster.

Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 stick unsalted butter (melted in microwave)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened/room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Foil and grease (margarine is okay) an 8×8 baking pan, and set aside.   Make sure to line the pan with foil!

Brownie layer:
Melt butter in microwave.  Remove the butter to a large bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions.  Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir in cocoa mix.  Fold flour until lightly combined.  Pour batter into baking pan, save 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer:
Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. (Hand mixer recommended)  Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer.  Using tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes.

Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.  (At least 2 hours for cooling)

Original recipe found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/red-velvet-swirl-brownies-recipe/index.html