Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Speculoos Frosting

This weekend I wanted to see how to make a filling or frosting out of speculoos that was less intense than the spread itself. The only way to do this more or less was with cupcakes…challenge accepted. Chocolate seemed most appropriate, and I had some chocolate chips from a photo shoot at work to use up (pics to come). I discovered that your typical frosting additions do not particularly help the spec-situation, and ended up with acceptably tasting, yet strangely textured speculoos “frosting”. I feel a civic duty as a self-proclaimed food blogger to share my culinary efforts, both successful and otherwise, to illustrate precisely what and what not to do in abnormal baking practices. So learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them yourself 😀

DSC_3041  First up: get your jar of speculoos into the bowl. This was almost the whole jar, but I used 1 cup. You’ll need an electric mixer or kitchen stand to get the spread whipped.

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See the color change? Good! I should have stopped there and forgotten the rest but….NAH

 Check out this gif! Gonna try to make this a thing, hopefully better. Not bad for a last-minute decision, though.

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Cue heavy cream. Except don’t, because this will happen. As they say, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke! I think with just some powdered sugar and more mixing it would have been 👌. So don’t add heavy cream. Maybe don’t add sugar either because it’s all so sweet to begin with.

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K moving right along…the cupcakes themselves were really great so we’ll get right to it. There was no cocoa powder in this recipe and just a half cup of chocolate chips. Melt with butter and you’re good to go.

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Time for whisking! With a fancy pointy whisk that is much easier to wash than the normal round ones.

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More whisking with the cute should-have-sifted-these-together-but-didn’t mini whisk

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Mix it up

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Add crushed raspberries

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Check it out – before rubber scraper, after rubber scraper!

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How cute. So moist and dark.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Speculoos Frosting
This is what I would recommend you to do. Everything described is how it went down, except for the frosting. If you have better luck with yours, leave a comment below and tell me about it!Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (~1/2 cup chips)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 handful raspberries

Frosting
1 cup speculoos, or cookie butter from TJ’s

Directions
Melt the butter and chocolate together with a double boiler. You can also microwave them. Make sure you mix well if you do this. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Add these dry ingredients in increments to the egg mixture. Add the chocolate and butter in two rounds, still using a whisk. Mash up the raspberries; you can use a potato masher, a fork, or your hands. Just make sure to get all the juice.
Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper, two thirds to three quarters of the way up. Place in the oven at 350° for 18 minutes.

For the frosting, put the speculoos in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or large bowl, using an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until the color has gotten much lighter and the speculoos is less dense. Add some powdered sugar if you dare. Once the cupcakes have cooled down, spread the frosting on the cupcakes and enjoy!

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Grab some milk. You’ll need it.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies


     Let’s get right to it: these things are gluten-free AND vegan! But these cookies aren’t GF and V to be accommodating; they’re really just good cookies disguised as healthy. Who said you need anything more than peanut butter and sugar in a good cookie, anyway?



      I was watching Unique Sweets (explanation of the show here) and they were showing the process for a bakery’s flourless peanut butter cookies, so naturally I tried to make some myself. They came out pretty great.



     There are only four things in these cookies, if you count water: peanut butter, powdered sugar, and a flax egg, made from flaxseed meal and water. Make sure you sift the sugar so you don’t have to deal with squashing tiny lumps later.



Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 12 3-inch cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons water)
Optional: coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Combine the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the flax egg and mix until smooth. To make the dough easier to handle, you can chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Scoop out dough to form balls of desired size and flatten with hands. Use a large fork to make cool patterns, so people know they’re peanut butter cookies. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes, or until edges look crispy.

     Evidently, you don’t have a real peanut butter cookie in your hands unless it has those fork marks. And if there’s a cookie with fork marks in your hands, it must be a peanut butter cookie.
     Potential variations include covering the dough in granulated sugar before baking, and using brown sugar in the dough. Hooray for peanut butter!


Oatmeal Date Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

As seen on “Foreign Food on Photos“, my Nigerian food blog
If you look closely you can see the SURPRISE

     EVERYONE GUESS WHAT! I made cookies.
     Duh, I made cookies…I mean I created cookies. How is this the first time I’ve made a cookie recipe, you ask? I’ll get back to you on that. But it looks like it took traveling 5000 miles from my kitchen to do it. Don’t worry, it will happen again! And it’ll only take me 300 miles. But here’s what happened.
     My uncle bought a good 3 kilos of rolled oats after giving up on the instant lifestyle (darn). He kindly asked if I would be willing to help him make some cookies with them (or something like that). So what does bored old me do with a clean kitchen in the dead of night when everyone’s gone to bed? Get cReAtIve. And too creative, by the sounds of it, right? Don’t worry, read on!
     With a half full tub of peanut butter waiting for me to make my lunch sandwiches, some questionably-sourced dates returning from I’m-not-sure-where in my cousin’s hand, no chocolate, and those darned oats, I had some interesting flavors to work with. And work I did. I wanted to go all out after the chocolate chipless cookies I’d made some weeks before, so why not use all these things, and if no one likes them, more for me! Haha kidding…
     ….yeah. So I had the basics: butter, sugar, flour etc. I decided to try the dark brown sugar that was around, which was a successful first. It’s also expiring on Thursday. Here was my “logic”, if I had been thinking rationally (I think it’s all subconscious at this point): peanut butter cookies are a norm, and so are oat and date cookies (soo good, you can actually check “my” recipe here!). Oats and peanut butter could be easily paired together. This combo might need something sweet to cut the thickness/nutty flavors. Dates are sweet. In they go!

Dark brown sugar for extra molasses chewiness and color

     Of course, right after adding some knife fulls of peanut butter, I decided I wanted to be like those fancy gourmet bakers who stuff shenanigans into their cookies. In my ideal cookie, this would be chocolate. Just an eruption of melted chocolate everywhere. But I had peanut butter. And peanut butter is what I used. So peanut butter cookies became stuffed with peanut butter. And it was an excellent choice. If you’re not so into PB, you can skip that part, but don’t skip the PB in the dough because it’s mild and lovely. I made some normal cookies so I wouldn’t overwhelm with the decadence, and they were good too.
     Alright, enough of the blog banter, let’s get y’all baking these. And I must warn you that some of these instructions and measurements are approximate, for I guesstimated a temperature from the knob on the gas oven and kept adding more of stuff. Who goes exactly by the recipe, though? They’re more like guidelines, anyway.
     Also, if you think of a better name for these cookies, do tell! I’ll bake you some for free. So far my other candidate is “Oatmeal Date Cookies with a Heart of Peanut Butter (or gold??)”

How innocent-looking

Crazy Oatmeal Date Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
Makes 25 stuffed cookies, or 35 regular cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 dashes of salt
6-8 mejdool dates, coarsely chopped
1 cup rolled oats
Several more spoonfuls of peanut butter

  1. Preheat the oven whenever you want, but it will be at/around 360 degrees. Butter two cookie sheets and set aside.
  2. Combine your softened butter and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well, then add the peanut butter.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the dates, making sure they separate in the dough. Gradually stir in the oatmeal.
  4. To make stuffed cookies, make small balls of dough, using just over half the dough, and place on the cookie sheets. Use a spoon to make a small well in the dough. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to stiffen. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of peanut butter in the well of the dough. Use your hands to flatten small tops to cover the peanut butter. Diligently seal the sides of the cookie so the peanut butter doesn’t escape.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean/with just peanut butter.

You can make bigger cookies to add more peanut butter,
but they’re already fairly large
I suggest finding your milky beverage of choice before
finishing the batch