Friday, December 28

Meet Shipley

Meet Shipley!! Shipley is our 2 yr old pup who we adopted from Citizens for Animal Protection on 10/17/12. She is 37 lbs and a mix of some sorts. It has been a new experience for the two of us, both bad and good. She has escaped out of our yard multiple times, tore up one of our doors in our house, escaped out of her kennel and has gotten sick multiple times. But, even with all that she has quickly gained a place in out hearts.

Her is a little bit about the dog that we love so much:

Shipley loves taking naps on her pillow.

She loves going on car rides
She had a fun time with the new pillow she got for Christmas.
Her first Christmas with her new Mommy and Daddy.
She was really excited for Santa to visit this year.
She also likes to sit on Daddy's lap while he is trying to work.

French Toast Maple Cupcakes (Guest Recipe)

My friend Emily sent me this recipe and I told her I would share it on my blog. The cupcakes look delicious and I wish I could have tasted them.

I hope yall enjoy.l 

French Toast and Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Life With Cake

Makes 12 cupcakes
For cupcakes
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup half-and-hal
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
For maple syrup buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
2 Tbsp maple syrup

cooked thick cut bacon, broken into pieces
extra maple syrup, garnish

To make cupcakes–
Preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the cupcake pan with liners
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla and set aside.

In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer), combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully combined before adding the next.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture. Continue mixing until batter is smooth. Set aside.

In a different bowl, whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed. Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cupcake batter, until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make buttercream–
In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), mix the butter and sugar on low speed until combined. Continuing mixing until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Using a Wilton 1M piping tip (or your favorite star tip) pipe frosting on cupcake. 
Garnish with crumpled bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Thursday, December 27

Eeek! Mice! - Chocolate Cherry Mice

Eeek! Mice! That is usually what is said when mice are around! But, not with these chocolate cherry mice. Usually its more like: "Awww they are soo cute" or "How did you make those."

My sister and I have been making these chocolate candy mice since I was in high school. I am not really sure where she got the idea, but we have been making them every Christmas since them. Even though we make them as Christmas mice, they would work well at any party or even Halloween

I still can't get over how cute these chocolate candy mice are.  They are really easy to make, and they always get rave reviews. They are fun to eat and taste oh so delicious.

The ingredients are simple; maraschino cherries with stems (body and tail), chocolate bark (body and glue), Hershey kisses (head), shaved almonds (ears) and white icing (eyes).

The first thing you have to do is rinse your cherries with water, and dry with a paper towel. Your chocolate will become lumpy and hard if it gets water in it. 

Next, I find it easiest to make an assembly line to create the mice. I unwrap all the Hershey kisses, and make stacks of shaved almonds. That way your chocolate won't harden why you are trying to put the mice together.

Finally, melt your chocolate and start assembling the mice. Dip the cherries in chocolate and place on parchment/wax paper. Attach a Hershey kiss as the head, attach two shaved almonds as ears, and pipe two eyes on with icing. Let dry.

Now grab a mouse by the tail, hang it over your mouth, and take a big bite!

 Chocolate Candy Mice

Chocolate Bark
Maraschino Cherries with Stems
Hershey Kisses
Shaved Almonds
White icing


1. Rinse cherries and pat dry with paper towels
2. Dip cherries in chocolate and set down on parchment or wax paper
3. Attach an unwrapped Hershey Kiss to the cherry opposite to the stem, as the head.
4. Attach two shaved almond as ears.
5. Pipe eyes onto the Hershey Kiss
6. Let harden and enjoy
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