Snickers Cupcakes

I have a confession to make: when I get a baking idea in my head, I become absolutely OBSESSED until the idea comes to fruition. When the thought of a candy bar cupcake came to mind, my go-to blog didn’t disappoint with a recipe. Annie never lets me down! These particular cupcakes are full of flavor- rich, but not-too-heavy chocolate cake; smooth, creamy, caramel buttercream; and a gooey Snickers and caramel filling. A new favorite, for sure! Try these for the Snickers lover in your life.

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. coarse salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

For the caramel sauce:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
24 fun-size Snickers bars, chopped

For the frosting:
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup caramel sauce
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnish:
8 fun-size Snickers bars, chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line cupcake pan with liners, about for this recipe. We’ll begin by making the caramel sauce so it has time to cool and set. Start by melting butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and cook until foaming (it may look or smell like it’s close to burning- this is good!).
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Remove from heat and add heavy cream, stirring until smooth before adding vanilla and salt. Set aside or place in refrigerator to speed cooling. Look at that beautiful sauce! This will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge (bango!).
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Next, take a whoooole buncha fun-sized Snickers…
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And chop ’em up. Try not to devour that mountain of goodness.
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Take 80% of that pile (I’m approximating here, I’m sorry) and put it in a bowl. Pour 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce into the Snickers, and mix well to coat. There’s your filling! Save the rest of the chopped Snickers for garnish.
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Now, zee cupcakes. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add the butter and the sugar to a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until the butter is melted, stirring between. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well between additions. Mix in the vanilla and cocoa mixture; beat until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined. Divide between liners, filling each about 3/4 full.
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Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cut a core from cupcakes using method of your choosing, and add about a tablespoon of filling to each. Feel free to stuff more in there… I sure did!
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Finally, the frosting. Beat butter on medium-high for about 1 minute, until smooth. Lower speed and add powdered sugar, mixing again until completely smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and caramel sauce; blend until combined. Add heavy cream and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
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Frost cooled, filled cupcakes as desired. Top with remaining chopped Snickers and drizzle whatever’s left of the caramel sauce over the top. Not only are these delish, they’re awfully pretty!
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And please, I know I’ve linked several of my recipes to her site- but check out Annie’s blog for all of your cooking, baking, and entertaining needs. She’s brilliant!
Recipe from Annie’s Eats

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Restaurant Review: Delicia

Warning: If you are a picky eater or are unwilling to try new/unfamiliar dishes, this place is NOT the restaurant for you! After trying the little sister cantina restaurant, La Mulita, a few weeks back, Delicia moved quickly up my short list of places I wanted to try. The restaurant has been around since March 2013, and their take on Latin/Mexican food has had the Indy food scene buzzing ever since. After much deliberation (and my friends will tell you, much badgering/menu comparing… thanks for being troopers!), a group of girlfriends and I decided Delicia would be the perfect place to celebrate my turning 28. Holy cow, I don’t think a single one of us was disappointed! We already know the margaritas are FABULOUS (per my La Mulita review), so we started with a round of those, some chips and guac, and then the real fun began. Leti ordered up some ceviche, and Abbie and Ali ordered the warm octopus salad and tostones. That’s right, OCTOPUS.
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As you can see, I was a bit ambivalent.
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Abbie and Ali were much more willing/excited. Hey look girls, you made it on the blog! My self-proclaimed biggest fans. 😊
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Turns out, it was kinda delicious… as long as you mashed it around enough to not get the tentacle texture. The overall verdict was “I didn’t hate it.” Ha! The ceviche was excellent, as were the chips and guacamole (of course.) For my next cocktail, I strayed from my comfort zone to try the fire and ice – jalapeño infused tequila, hibiscus, basil, habanero reduction, and an ice ball with chiles in it. It was simultaneously refreshing and HOT! This is a signature for Delicia and I can see why. I loved it!
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When it came time to order entrees, I don’t think anyone was really certain what they wanted. Funnily enough, we each ordered something different! After a bit of confusion, we passed samples around the table tapas-style so that everyone could try a bite of the offerings. I chose the serrano scallops, which were wrapped in ham and covered in a cava-lemon sauce and came with mashed white sweet potatoes and veggies. Guys, I about died and went to heaven. SO, SO GOOD. I can’t even begin to explain. The saltiness of the ham cut through the brininess of the scallops, and the sauce was a bright, lovely finish. Really, everything I tried was delicious- I believe the table got my scallops, tamal corn cakes, fish tacos, paella, moqueca (a sort of shrimp scampi, only better), ancho peach pork, and beef empanada. The only other photo of an entree I got was thanks to Morgan – those are her tamal corn cakes with beef, pico, cilantro-lime crema and some queso fresco. *DROOL*
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When it came time for dessert, the churros with chocolate was the hands-down preferred order. We also got a couple orders of tres leches cake, and a complimentary flan for my birthday! You’ll get tired of hearing me say this but oh man- everything was perfect! The churros were just the right amount of crunchy without being greasy; the chocolate sauce was smooth and not grainy. The tres leches was like taking a bite of a milky, delicious cloud – so light and flavorful. Even the flan was good, and the word “flan” conjures weird images for me. You get 4 churros to an order, but I’d wolfed down 2 before I remembered to take a photo. 😝
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Overall, the meal was spectacular. Food, drinks, ambiance, waitstaff, everything was top notch. Definitely a gem in Indianapolis! The girls were gracious enough to pay for my meal, which was no small chunk of change, but I thought it was pretty reasonable for the caliber of the food, drink, and just experience in general. For 2 drinks, my entree, dessert, and gratuity, the total was about $50. So yeah, not for a casual random dinner out, but special occasions for sure. If you find yourself in need of a somewhat fancy, off the beaten path menu-type restaurant, I’d highly recommend Delicia. Thanks again to Leti, Nancy, Morgan, Abbie, Ali, and Allison for a fabulous evening!
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Delicia is located on the northwest corner of 52nd and College Ave in the South Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis.

Chocolate Chip Scones

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Have you guys noticed I have a *slight* thing for chocolate? While these breakfast treats can be (and I have) made with a slew of other mix ins, chocolate chips are by far my favorite. Another thing I love about these scones is that you can whip up a batch in no time. Freeze them individually and bango, scones for breakfast any ol’ time you want! Yet another dangerous recipe, as the ingredients are mostly pantry staples and take no time at all to prepare. Read at your own risk!

Ingredients:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, melted
Additional sugar for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add chocolate chips and toss in til chips are lightly coated.
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Now mix in the heavy cream until combined and a dough forms.
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Give the dough a few good kneads with your clean, well floured hands.
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Use a dough scoop or rounded tablespoon to drop rounds of dough onto prepared baking sheet. (If you’re freezing them, pop them in the freezer to firm up at this point, then individually wrap in plastic wrap.) Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle a tiny pinch of sugar on top.
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Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy your delightful breakfast! 😄 Happy eating!
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Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Beef and Bean Burritos

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Now, this isn’t the fanciest of suppers. It IS, however, tasty, filling, and fast, which makes it a winner in my book. Even better, these are super customizable. We kept it pretty simple- just beef, spices, and cheese- but throw in some veggies or rice (or both!) and you’ve got a great well rounded meal in less than 20 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/4 medium-sized onion, diced
1 can Enchilada Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 pkg taco seasoning (or make your own)
1 can (28 Ounce) refried beans
3/4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, cojack, whatever you’ve got handy)
6-8 burrito sized flour tortillas

Directions:
Brown ground beef with onion and seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour in a little over half of the can of enchilada sauce and simmer over low heat.
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Heat refried beans in a saucepan or nuke for about 3 minutes. Add cheese and stir in till melted.
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Heat tortillas in microwave for about one minute, or until soft and workable. Spread a schmear of beans on each tortilla…
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Add meat…
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Fold over ends…
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And roll up.
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Please note my inadequacy at uniform burrito rolling. I promise, they taste equally good whether they look pretty or not! 😉 Place two burritos on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle some enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with more cheese. Microwave for about one minute, or until cheese is melted.
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Time to eat! See- easy peasy, great for when you’re in a pinch for a super quick dinner.

Recipe barely adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

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I’m gonna be honest here- I don’t really care for cherries of any kind. Nor am I a huge citrus fan… So what possessed me to make a cherry limeade cupcake, I’m not sure. I fondly remember trips to Sonic for half price diet cherry limeades with my fabulous college roommate (heeeey Ronnie!), so maybe this was me being nostalgic. Whatever the reason, the result was a fluffy cake with the lightest lime flavor and a sweet maraschino cherry buttercream that will definitely invoke that slushy taste of your childhood.

Ingredients:
Makes about 15 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp lime juice, divided
1 tbsp lime zest
For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare cupcake tins.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using your stand mixer/handheld mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Turn speed to low and add lime zest.
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Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix until just blended. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared tins. Bake until tops are just dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a cooling rack. Brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the cupcake. I like to poke a few holes in them to let the juice soak in!
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While those lovelies are cooling, make your frosting. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add almond extract and cherry juice, then beat on medium speed for another minute or two. So pretty!
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Frost cupcakes as desired and top with a maraschino cherry. Delightful!
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Recipe from I Am Baker

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

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Meatloaf is not typically one of those things I like to eat. Something about it, and the word meatloaf… Just has a bad connotation for me for some reason. However, my dear husband LOVES it. In the spirit of compromise and keeping it slightly healthier, I found this recipe a few years back. It’s become my go-to meatloaf recipe and is another easy make-ahead meal! Nice for fall-like weather and these dog days of summer.

Ingredients:
For the meatloaf:
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
For the topping:
2 tbsps brown sugar
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment or foil. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Next, mix up your topping. It tastes pretty similar to the traditional ketchup topping you put on regular meatloaf, but a bit runnier and helps seal in some moisture. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, Worcestershire, and water. Set aside.
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Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion, cooking just until translucent, then add garlic to the pan. Cook for another minute or two.
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Now the fun part! Throw the onion/garlic mix, quinoa, and all the rest of your ingredients in a bowl…
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And mix it up thoroughly. I like to use my (well cleaned) hands to ensure everything gets nice and melded together. Then dump the whole kit n’ caboodle into your prepared loaf pan, spreading evenly.
*Note: some reviews of the recipe I used complained about the meatloaf turning out dry when using a loaf pan and recommended simply shaping the mixture into a loaf shape on a baking sheet… I’ve never had this problem. Do what you wish. 😉*
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Then drizzle your sauce/paste evenly over the top…
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Pop into the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center.
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Let the juices rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving! A light, healthy dinner the whole family is sure to enjoy 😄
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Recipe from All Recipes