Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

I am not a professional baker, but I do love to bake. There are several times where I try to come up with something new, and fail completely. However, I would not consider this tasty treat one of them.

So what prompted me to make these?!? My dad. He loves chocolate covered cherries. You know, the ones that come in a box? Yes those! When I was little he always had a stash of them somewhere. When I would find them I would eat all the chocolate on the outside and leave the cherry center. I didn’t like anything cream or fruit filled. I still don’t. My dad definitely didn’t think it was funny when I did that. 

For the actual cupcakes, I used store bought chocolate cake mix. It’s just easier sometimes. And why try to recreate the wheel when Betty Crocker has been doing this a lot longer than I have…

While gathering all my ingredients for the frosting, I asked my husband, who is a certified executive chef, how to make cherry flavored buttercream frosting. He told me that I should use cherry extract. Well cherry extract didn’t make the grocery list because who actually has cherry extract on hand?!? And I definitely wasn’t going to the store with a toddler that has a set of lungs that will put an opera singer to shame, so I improvised.

It only took me two failed batches to get one that worked, but it was worth it. My dad LOVED them and that’s all that mattered. I don’t think my dad would of loved them as much if I would of given him one of my first two batches. See batch 2 below. What can I say…you live and you learn. #bakingfail

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This might be the easiest recipe of ever. I have to thank my hubby for it. I’ve made buttercream frosting before, but used heavy whipping cream. Since I didn’t have any and was too lazy to go to the store my hubby said to use whole milk. It worked like a charm! Perks, of having a chef for a hubby. 😊

If you are looking for an easy and quick recipe for buttercream here it is!

Tip: This recipe made enough for me to add a layer in between two 8 inch cakes and a layer to the top. If you have more than 2 cakes and want to add a layer of frosting to each, I would recommend doubling this recipe. 

Frosting Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened)

4 1/4 cups of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of whole milk (can substitute heavy whipping cream)

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of almond extract 

18-20 fresh cherries (10 for the frosting, 8-10 for the drizzle)

Before you start the frosting, I will warn you the making of the frosting is very messy! So make sure you don’t have nice clothes on and wear gloves if you have them on hand or don’t wear gloves and have red dyed hands for a couple days. 

Step 1: Whip the softened butter in a mixer until fluffy. Don’t over beat the butter. THIS IS KEY!

Step 2: Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until peaks form.

Tip: I like to use almond extract, but you can substitute vanilla extract if you aren’t a fan of almond.

Step 3: Squeeze the juice of 10 cherries directly into the mixing bowl with the buttercream frosting. Fold the juice in with a rubber spatula instead of mixing it in to prevent the butter from separating. This is where I messed up the first batch.

Tip: I used the juice of 10 cherries to achieve the light pink you see below. If you want a darker shade of pink use more cherries until you reach the desired shade.

Step 4: Pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes. 

Tip: I always use a gallon size ziplock bag and cut one of the corners off of the bag. You can also use frosting bags and a tip if you prefer. When I use a tip I tape the tip to where I made the cut in the bag. Easy peasey.

This batch looks way better, huh?

Step 5: Using the 4-5 cherries (for the drizzle), squeeze a small amount of juice from one cherry on the top of each cupcake. I was able to use the juice from one cherry for three cupcakes. Once you have drizzled the cherry juice onto all the cupcakes, set them aside to make the chocolate coated cherries.

To make the chocolate covered cherries follow the instructions below.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Ingredients:

24 fresh cherries

1 bag of girahadell dark chocolate

Tip: I made cupcakes, so counted out 24 cherries to dip before making the chocolate.

Step 1: You’ll melt the chocolate with the bain-marie method i.e. fill a medium sized sauce pan halfway with water, turn the stove on to medium/high, then set a heat safe bowl (I use a stainless steel one) on top of the sauce pan.

Step 2: Lay out a piece of wax paper big enough to put all your dipped cherries on.

Step 3: Add the chocolate to the heat safe bowl and continually mix with a spoon until all the chocolate is melted.

Step 4: Dip one cherry at a time into the chocolate then set on the wax paper to cool. 

Step 5: Repeat step 4 until all cherries are dipped.

Tip: make sure to space the cherries out and allow the chocolate to completely solidify before using. Depending on the humidity, the chocolate should solidify with 20 minutes.

Step 6: Once the chocolate on the cherries has solidified place one on each of the cupcakes. 

Step 7: Enjoy!

These cupcakes were a big hit at my families 4th of July cookout! I will definitely be making them again. I would also recommend telling everyone that the cherries are pitted before serving.

Well friends, that’s all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns You can also follow along with me on Pinterest. My username is acarriedaffair.

Until next time. Xo

Lemon & Vanilla Bean Tart Recipe

My friends say I “stress bake”. It is true. I find peace in baking. With trying to juggle my career, working towards obtaining my black belt in lean six sigma, two kids, a hubby, an ever-shedding dog, my blog, and a house, sometimes I just need to go to my happy place. Baking. It also makes my coworkers and neighbors happy because I make so much that I have to give it away. 😂 So much that my coworkers said they were going to start a baking fund for me. Well I hope they come hungry Monday, because when life gives you lemons that are about to go bad and a vanilla bean you find in the pantry that you forgot you bought, you make a lemon & vanilla bean tart. Or in my case three.

The first time I made this lemon tart, I got so many messages asking for the recipe that I decided to share it. I found THIS RECIPE on good ol’ Pinterest. There is no need to recreate the wheel, right?!?

 Bonus, it is very easy to follow. But this time around I altered the recipe a little and I love how it turned out! So much that I could not stop licking the spoon. 😂 Look at that lemon vanilla bean goodness!

I used store bought pie dough, that I blind baked, instead of making the crust from scratch. I really want to make this with the crust recipe, but my lazy side kicks in and I always end up going with store bought. 😬

I still used THIS RECIPE (using 3 whole eggs) as the base, but made these alterations:

1. Omitted the heavy cream

2. Used the zest and lemon juice from two lemons instead of three

3. Mixed in one whole organic vanilla bean

I can’t tell you how much I love it with the vanilla bean addition. It is pure bliss.

The recipe takes about 5 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to make the curd. Any dessert is a winner in my book if it only takes 20 minutes to make!

After you pour the curd in the baked shell, put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. I let mine chill overnight for extra firmness. Then I topped it with fresh berries and powdered sugar the next day.

Serve immediately or take to your coworkers & neighbors. 😊

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I truly love sharing my baking adventures and DIY’s. I hope you find inspiration in my posts. I pour a lot of love into them.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if I wasn’t clear on the recipe above. If you decide to make my version, I would love to hear it! Feel free to leave a comment below or come say hi on Instagram! My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns You can also follow along with me on Pinterest. My username is acarriedaffair

Have a beautiful day. Until next time. Xo

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Fourth of July Tablescape

Summer is here! Let the backyard cookouts, longer days, & sun-kissed skin commence! But also, it’s the season to celebrate our great country on the Fourth of July. 🇺🇸 This year I’ll be taking the boys to my parents house for a cookout and fireworks in the back yard. Just like when I was a little girl. I love that my boys get to watch fireworks with me in the same backyard as I did growing up.

Since I am going home, I can’t go empty handed. So I will be taking a cherry pie and cake to greet my family with. I don’t go home very often, so maybe the sweet treats will help me lessen the scolding I’ll get from my brother. 😂

This year, for our 4th of July tablescape, I focused on textures. I love the variety of textures mixed  with the mismatched linen napkins and white dishes.

In Carrie fashion, I went on a baking frenzy. It’s funny, I do what my friends like to call “stress baking”. Baking always clears my mind and makes me happy. I think my family, friends, & coworkers are ok with that though. 😂

Originally I planned to make an American Flag cake, where the inside looked like the American Flag when you cut into it. However, I decided that was too much work…so I made a batch of buttercream frosting, slapped some between the two white cakes and spread a layer on the top, then topped it with some cherries. Easiest cake EVER! 🙌🏼 I took it to my work for my coworkers and it was all gone when I left work that day, so I think it tasted good. The recipe for the buttercream frosting is at the bottom of this post.

Of course I had to make cherry pie too! I LOVE cherry pie! It is my absolute favorite. My recipe is HERE. The recipe also shows how I braid the crust.

More times than not, I just use store bought crust and church it up by doing an egg wash and topping it with sugar in the raw. It makes the crust sweet and flaky. My favorite!

Hungry yet?!?

Well friends, thats all for this post. I hope you found it inspiring! If you have any questions please leave a comment below or come say hi on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

I hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July! Until next time. Xo

 

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Note: I purchased the wicker tray from an antique store, so I couldn’t find the exact one to link, but I linked similar ones. Everything else is as pictured.

 

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This might be the easiest recipe of ever. I have to thank my hubby for it. I’ve made buttercream frosting before, but used heavy whipping cream. Since I didn’t have any and was too lazy to go to the store my hubby said to use whole milk. It worked like a charm! Perks, of having a chef for a hubby. 😊

If you are looking for an easy and quick recipe for buttercream here it is!

Tip: This recipe made enough for me to add a layer in between two 8 inch cakes and a layer to the top. If you have more than 2 cakes and want to add a layer of frosting to each, I would recommend doubling this recipe. 

Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened)

4 1/4 cups of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of whole milk

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of almond extract 

Step 1: Whip the softened butter in a mixer until fluffy. Don’t over beat the butter.

Step 2: Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until peaks form.

Note: I like to use almond extract, but you can substitute vanilla extract if you aren’t a fan of almond.

Step 3: You’re done! Easy peasey! You can use immediately or put it in the refrigerator. 

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Every year I host a summer party. Well actually this is the second year, but I plan to do one every summer. 😊 Anyway…with trying to make my guests happy I am always trying out easy recipes to serve at my summer gathering. I love blueberry & lemon pound cake so I figured blueberry lemonade would be good too. And it is! It’s such a refreshing summer like drink. Bonus, if you want it to make it an adult beverage, just add rum. It’s basically like a blueberry lemonade mojito. Yum!

So if you are wanting to make this refreshing summer drink follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

4 lemons (1 for garnish)

1 cup of sugar

1 pint of blueberries (1/2 for garnish)

2-3 sprigs of fresh mint

2.5 cups of Country Time Lemonade mix

Note: This recipe makes 3.5 quarts

Instructions:

Step 1: Pour the Country Time Lemonade mix into your pitcher.

Step 2: Cut three of the lemons in half and remove the seeds. Then squeeze all the juice into the pitcher with the mix.

Step 3: Muddle 1/2 of the blueberries. Add 2-3 mint sprigs and the sugar to the muddled blueberries and muddle until mixed well.

Note: if you like your lemonade really sweet add an additional cup of sugar. 

Step 4: Using a strainer pour the blueberry mix into the pitcher.

Tip: To make sure I got all the blueberry mix into the pitcher, I used a wooden spoon and pressed down.

Step 5: Add 3.5 quarts of water and stir. Then put the remaining blueberries along with a few lemon slices in the pitcher.

Step 6: Pour into a glass and garnish with a few blueberries, a mint spring and a lemon slice. Enjoy! 

If you want to take it a step further, make blueberry and mint ice cubes. I bought these ice cube trays at Amazon when baby K was born so I could make all his food. I knew they would come in handy again. Click HERE to purchase them.

All you do is add 2-3 blueberries and a small mint sprig to each ice cube. Fill the trays with water and freeze. Easy peasy lemon squeeze. See what I did there.

This drink is so refreshing, isn’t too sweet, and looks pretty. What more could you want in a summer-y drink?!

Well that’s it friends. I hope you enjoyed my post. Feel free to leave a comment or come say hi on Instagram! My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns

Cheers! Xo

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