Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Topping

February 22, 2017
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Topping

Rich, dark chocolate cupcakes with a cookie dough topping.

Last week, I took my kids to see the new Lego Batman movie. My oldest son is a major Lego addict and after he begged me for a million days, I kinda gave in and took them all.

My kids love the movies, but, it's expensive! Sooo expensive for us. So, we always hit the matinee show at our local theater (tickets are cheaper) and I smuggle in snacks. I am terrible? Does anyone else do that?  You do, right? If you don't, try it. I won't tell anyone.  Be sure to keep my secret too.

I give each person their own sandwich bag filled with candy from the grocery store and homemade popcorn and shove them all in my super-gigantic tote bag purse. That way, my expense at the movie is just tickets and drinks.  A much better fit for my budget.


So, what do cupcakes have to do with me being cheap at the movies?  It is what happened after the movie that is relevant in this story.  

There is tiny bakery right next door to our movie theater. The day we went to the show, they had a big sign out in front  that said "Fresh Cupcakes!"  Now, I may be cheap with movie popcorn, but, spending cash on cupcakes is perfectly fine with me.  Guys, I'm not crazy. Everyone got a different flavor cupcake and was happy as clams. It was a good day.

My oldest daughter's cupcake was chocolate with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  She loved it and persuaded me to make a batch right at home. Being a good mom, I made them. :)  

These cupcakes are dark chocolate (although, you can go with regular cocoa if you prefer) and have chocolate chip cookie dough smeared all over the top.  Dough that tastes just like the really thing, but, is totally safe to eat..no eggs!  

Bake up a batch of these soon, they are too yummy to pass up.




Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Topping

by Table for Seven
Prep Time: 00:30
Cook Time: 00:15
Ingredients (12 cupcakes)
    FOR CUPCAKES
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 TBSP butter, softened
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 3/4 cup milk
    FOR TOPPING
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup cream
    • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1 cup flour
    Instructions
    FOR CUPCAKES
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 count cupcake pan or line with cupcake liners.
    In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
    In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
    Add in milk and flour mixture gradually, alternately between the two.
    Beat until fully combined.
    Divide batter evenly into cupcake pan.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    Let cupcakes cool completely before adding topping.
    FOR TOPPING
    Beat ingredients together, except chocolate chips, until fluffy. Once beaten completely, stir in chocolate chips.
    Spread on cooled cupcakes.

    • Samoas Bars
    • Samoas Bars

      February 19, 2017

      Decadent layered bars with the same great taste of the classic Girl Scout cookies.
      What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

      Mine? I can't really decide.They are just all so good. Aren't they?


      Although, Samoas do probably rank higher than the rest of them.  A shortbread base and a caramel-coconut top? Then, dunked and topped with chocolate?!  Oh..so good.

      My kids aren't big coconut eaters, so, when a box of these are in my house, my husband and I are the only ones who eat them.  It's awesome.  A whole box of cookies to ourselves.  It's like a miracle.

      Same thing happened with these bars.

      They taste just like the Samoas Girl Scout cookie, but, are in bar form.  No, we didn't eat the whole pan. (About 3/4 of them went to my husband's work).  But, we did enjoy some without constantly being asked "can I have a bite of that?"  Kinda nice.

      So, they really do taste just like the classic cookies.  If you haven't had the pleasure of trying a Samoas cookie, then, please, for sure, make these!  You will be the happiest person ever.  Even if you have to share them with your kids or anyone else.


       linking up & weekend potluck

      Samoas Bars

      by Table for Seven
      Prep Time: 00:30
      Cook Time: 00:30
      Ingredients (Makes: approx 24 bars)
        FOR BASE
        • 1/2 cup sugar
        • 3/4 cup butter, softened
        • 1 large egg
        • 1 tsp vanilla
        • 2 cups flour
        FOR TOPPING
        • 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
        • 14 oz can, dulce de leche
        • 10 oz. bag of chocolate chips
        Instructions
        Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
        Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread coconut evenly on pan. Toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden.
        Cool on baking sheet. Set aside.
        Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
        In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and mix until dough forms.
        Spread dough evenly on top bottom of pan.
        Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned.
        Cool completely before topping.
        FOR TOPPING
        Spoon dulce de leche in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for approx 1 minutes or until mixture is easy to stir.
        Fold toasted coconut into dulce de leche and coat well.
        Spread mixture on top of cooled base.
        Let it cool completely, then, cut into bars.
        Bring a medium size pot of water to boil and place a heat-safe bowl on top, creating a double boiler.
        Place chocolate chips in bowl and stir until fully melted and smooth.
        Dip the bottom of each bar in melted chocolate and set on parchment paper.
        Then, drizzle tops of bars with chocolate.
        Let chocolate set compltey before serving.
        Lightly adapted from Baking Bites

      • Crock Pot Sesame Ginger Pulled Pork
      • Crock Pot Sesame Ginger Pulled Pork

        February 15, 2017

        You only three ingredients for this flavorful pork. So simple and so delicious!
        Many food blogs are sharing recipes using their Instant Pot. If you aren't familiar, the Instant Pot is a 7 in 1 multi-functional cooker. (you can check one out here).  I don't have one, but, after seeing so many great recipes and all it can do, it's really tempting.

        Have you heard of them?  Do you have one yourself?  Let me know! I'm really curious about them.

        For now, I'm totally faithful to my wonderful crock pot/slow cooker.

        Today's recipe is all about pork in the crock pot. My official favorite pork sandwich to be exact. Seriously, this is so good, friends. You start out with a boneless pork tenderloin. (you can use something comparable, just be sure it's boneless) and add two ingredients to it. Just two!

        The first is sesame ginger salad dressing. I used Annie's Sesame Ginger. (No paid endorsement, I just really like it. Again, use this or something comparable), the second is brown sugar.  That is it. Cook the pork on low for a few hours, remove it from the pot, shred and add in back in with the brown sugar.  Then, cook a bit longer and it's ready.

        For ours, we topped sandwiches with a premade coleslaw mix, but, serving it just on a plate with the coleslaw or with veggies and a white/brown rice is an great option too. This pork has a sweet-Asian style flavor too it, so, dress it up with whatever works best for you.

        Happy Eating-


        linking up & weekend potluck

        please note: this post contains affiliate links. see disclosure.

        Crock Pot Sesame Ginger Pulled Pork

        by Table for Seven
        Prep Time: 00:10
        Cook Time: 05:00
        Ingredients (Serves: 6-8)
        • 1 1/2 lb boneless pork tenderloin
        • 3/4 cup sesame ginger salad dressing
        • 1/4 cup brown sugar
        • coleslaw mixture, optional
        Instructions
        Add pork tenderloin into crock pot/slow cooker. Pour dressing on top and coat pork completely.
        Cover and cook on low for 5-5 1/2 hours or until tender.
        Remove pork from pot and using two fork, shred.
        Place shredded pork back into pork and stir in brown sugar.
        Cook an additional 15-20 or until heated thoroughly.
        Serve on buns.
        If desired, top sandwiches with coleslaw before serving.

      • Cake Batter Bars
      • Cake Batter Bars

        February 12, 2017



        Fun and simple bars made with a cake mix and loaded with fun sprinkles.

        It's so secret that we are big dessert eaters at my house. Even if I didn't have this blog, we would be.  I believe it's genetics. My husband and I, both come from a long line of dessert lovers in our families. It's inevitable, we will eat them. So, why mess with family history?

        Not only am I a dessert lover, but, a cake mix lover.  I can't help that either.  I try to go homemade and avoid them, but,  always wind back to them. So, why mess with that too? Therefore, there is usually at least one box of cake mix in my kitchen cabinet. Sometimes more.

        Since we always have cake mix and always eat desserts, these bars are made quite a bit. Simple, fun and delicious.  You only need a few ingredients and dessert is served.

        Change up your cake mix and baking chips flavor for your own unique creation!



        linking up & weekend potluck 

        Cake Batter Bars

        by Table for Seven
        Prep Time: 00:15
        Cook Time: 00:25
        Ingredients (Serves: 12)
        • white ( or yellow) box of cake mix
        • 1/4 cup canola oil
        • 1 egg
        • 1/3 cup milk
        • 1/2 cup sprinkles, plus additional for topping
        • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
        Instructions
        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish.
        In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil and egg. Then, add milk in slowly. The batter will be thick.
        Fold in sprinkles and white chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan.
        Sprinkle with more sprinkles if desired.
        Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are brown.
        Let them cool completely before serving.

      • Vanilla Buttermilk Layer Cake with Fluffy Cocoa Frosting
      • Vanilla Buttermilk Layer Cake with Fluffy Cocoa Frosting

        February 10, 2017

        A delicious vanilla buttermilk layer cake topped with a fluffy, sweet cocoa frosting.

        Over the summer, I took a cake decorating class.  It was just a three week course at a local craft store. They covered your "basics".  How to frost a cake correcting, use a piping bag and pretty much, make your bake goods look pretty.  It was fun and I did, in fact, learn some things.

        Hence, why you guys see a bit more decorations on my cake/pie posts the last few months. I'm not an expert, by any means, but, it's been fun adding small decorative touches here and there.


        This cake is one of those that I gave a little decorative touch to. 

        We have a vanilla buttermilk layer cake and it's frosted with a very dreamy fluffy cocoa frosting.  Now, the cocoa frosting is not your average chocolate, but, is a marshmallow-fluff type frosting. Made with egg whites and corn syrup. Not overly sweet and just the right amount of chocolate flavor. It's just soooo good. 

        I colored some of my frosting (about a cup?) with some pink food dye and piped a little edge of the top. Nothing fancy. But, it does add a little something extra to it. This is of course, is not necessary. You can frost this up anyway you like.  If you do have any extra frosting though, keep it in the fridge!

        A great cake that is totally versatile. If you don't want to do the cocoa frosting, your favorite buttercream 
        (any flavor) will go with this too. 

        Grab a fork and enjoy-



        linking up & weekend potluck 
        Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Fluffy Cocoa Frosting

        by Table for Seven
        Prep Time: 00:40
        Cook Time: 00:20
        Ingredients (Serves: 8-10)
          FOR CAKE
          • 2 1/2 cups flour
          • 1 1/3 cup sugar
          • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
          • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
          • 1/4 tsp salt
          • 3 eggs
          • 1 tsp vanilla
          • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
          • 1 cup buttermilk
          FOR FROSTING
          • 3 egg whites
          • 3 TBSP light corn syrup
          • 3 TBSP water
          • 1 tsp vanilla
          • 3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
          Instructions
          FOR CAKE
          Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour 2- 9 inch round pans.
          In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
          In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in vanilla. Then, add in eggs, one at a time. Beat for approx 3 minutes. Until mixture is fully combined.
          Add in buttermilk and flour mixture. Alternating between the two until combined. Be sure to scrape the bowl well to incorporate everything.
          Divide batter equally between the two pans.
          Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
          Let cakes cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from pans. Then, cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
          +FOR FROSTING
          In a small saucepan, add corn syrup and sugar. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Let mixture come to a boil and remove from heat.
          Beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form.
          Once peaks are formed, pour warm corn syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites.
          Continue beating until peaks are stiff.
          Gradually whisk cocoa powder into mixture. Just until combined.
          Frost on cooled cake.
          Store any leftovers in covered container in refrigerator.
          frosting adapted from Karo Syrup
          cake adapted from NY Times

        • BBQ Beef Biscuits
        • BBQ Beef Biscuits

          February 08, 2017


          Quick and simple! The perfect weeknight dinner.
          We get a bit tired of just meatloaf and meatballs when it comes to ground beef/turkey dishes. There are so many recipes that incorporate it, but, I seem to stick with the same thing because, well, it works and everyone likes them. So boring.



          That is why I love these biscuits. They work great. They are quick, easy and a great size for my kids. They do love their portable food.  Also, not very boring.

          You can use bottled BBQ or if you have a favorite homemade recipe , then, top them with cheese. A delicious and easy weeknight meal. These would also be great for appetizers at a party or a nice gathering in front of the TV.

          For the biscuits:  Use your favorite refrigerator biscuits. However, if you use the flaky version, you will need to cut the biscuits in half or they will be too large.

          Also, if you have some that don't love BBQ sauce (like I do), you can use ketchup instead. Works as a great substitute.



          BBQ Beef Biscuits

          by Table for Seven
          Prep Time: 00:20
          Cook Time: 00:12
          Ingredients (12 muffins)
          • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
          • 1 TBSP minced onion
          • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
          • 12 count refrigerator biscuits
          • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
          • chopped green pepper, for garnish, optional
          Instructions
          Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 count muffin pan.
          Brown meat with minced onion in a large skillet. Stir in BBQ sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese.
          Press 1 biscuit into each cup. Spoon meat mixture evenly over biscuits.
          Bake 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle tops with remaining cheese.
          Bake an additional 3-5 minutes until biscuits are brown and cheese is melted.
          If desired, garnish with chopped green pepper.