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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Keep Calm and Bake like a Mentally Unstable Person: Homemade Hostess Knock Off Cupcakes

Have you seen these cute little signs? You know...I'm sure you have. They are all popular and inspiring and stuff.

Yeah. See? Everyone thinks they are awesome. And they are kinda cool, I admit it. They even have cute spin offs like so:

And so my motto this past week was....
Keep Calm and Bake like a Mentally Unstable Person
I know, I know. Not as catchy as "cupcakes" but I canna tell a lie. It was kitchen crazy up in here. 
It's because I was stressed. I have been filling out college applications, and FAFSA forms, and credit transfer papers. I've been meeting with Transfer advisors from several schools, campus touring, emailing for references, and writing essays.   
It's been stressful. I generally don't stress too much (it's so much work! Right? Just go with the flow)...but when I do, two things usually happen. 

I bake myself into oblivion. Um. I'm not exaggerating. There are mountains of baked goods that come out of the kitchen. And then I flip my sleep patterns around. I take these really great naps all day long, because sleeping helps stress. It really does! Man, a nap can fix ANYthing. And then I can't sleep at night at all. I usually don't sleep at night anyways, being a self diagnosed insomniac/werido. But when the stress level starts to rise, there is zero sleep happening after the sun goes down. I usually bake all night instead. Ha! Funny how that works. 
I know for some people, they eat happy food when they are stressed (I'm using that word a lot, let's shake it up...) when they are under duress, experiencing consternation, apprehensive, etc. (Much better.)
I personally eat happy food all the time, no matter how I am feeling. But I can appreciate someone turning to comfort food in times of uneasiness. 

So what are some comfort foods I could have had? 
Macaroni and Cheese: Check. I put in bacon, just because. Bacon needs no reasons. 
Pancakes: Yup, blueberry ones.
Tomato Soup and Cheese Toast: Affirmative.
Little Debbie Hostess Cupcakes: Oh. Those are bad for you. Processed food, lots of preservatives. No can do. 
Wrong! You can make homemade ones....
and you can personalize the cute little swirlies for Valentine's Day! 

Sorry guys, I had to squeeze in one more Valentine's dessert before launching myself into Easter recipes. 
The chocolate cake used in these cuties is just my regular old (awesome) chocolate cake recipe. You can find it here. But I'm going to give you the ganache and filling recipes, because that's what really makes the cupcake anyway. 

Homemade Hostess Cupcake Cream Filling
4 Tablespoons softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
Beat together the heavy whipping cream and butter til fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly  combined. Stir in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until needed. 
To Fill Cooled Cupcakes: Fill a pastry bag with your filling and fitted with a star or other wide tip. Poke into the cupcake and squeeze to fill. Now, they are ready to dip! 

Chocolate Ganache
9 oz of chopped chocolate 
3/4 cup heavy cream
I used semi sweet chocolate chips for this recipe because my family loves darker chocolate. But if you want it to taste more like the original Hostess Cake, I would use milk chocolate. Heat the cream in a saucepan until boiling. (Don't worry about it curdling, heavy cream can't curdle unless you boil it a long time, unlike milk.) Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for three minutes. Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Let sit and cool a bit, and then dip your cupcake in by holding them by their wrappers. 

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