February Foodie Penpals Reveal Day!

**Unfortunately, I lost all of my photos for this post. Please continue reading to find out more about the program!**

Hi everyone! It’s Foodie Penpals Reveal Day again! This pen pal program is so much fun. Everyone loves getting mail, especially when it contains food!!

This month, my package came from Allyson in Minnesota, is a blogger at The Shrinking Knitter. This was her first month participating in Foodie Penpals, and I could tell how excited she was from our emails back and forth. It made me equally excited to receive my package!

We have tried to maintain healthier eating habit and tried to replace some of our staple items with a gluten-free version. I mentioned this to Allyson and it seemed to spark a fire in her! She put together a WONDERFUL box of gluten-free goodies for me to try; all of which are brand new product to me. I have seen some of these on the shelf before but I haven’t purchased yet.

Let’s start with the baking item! First of all, Trader Joe’s Vanilla Beans. I have never seen these at my local Trader Joes, but now I want to march in there and insist that my local store carry them! I always buy my vanilla beans at World Market, because they are $3 for two beans, which is 1/3 of the normal price! Continue reading

Cake Ball Stuffed Cookies

Cupcake stuffed cookie

It’s been widely popular this past year to find safe ways to eat our favorite girls’ night snack: cookie dough! When we were little, my sister and I were babysitting my little brother. We made a batch of cookie dough and made him eat it with us. He got super sick, oops. Ever since, he won’t touch raw cookie dough.

There are tons of cookie dough cupcakes, but what happens when you want to stuff a cookie full of cupcake? It’s a pretty simple fix really. You make a cake ball and cover it in cookie dough, bake and ta-da, you have a cake ball stuffed cookie!

Cupcake stuffed cookie

First you need to make some cake balls. I have told you before, I never waste cake or cupcakes, I always crumble it up and throw it in the freezer for a later date (is that normal?). If you don’t already have some cake saved up, you should make a batch of your favorite cake, let it cool and break it into little crumbs. Then add your favorite frosting. Continue reading

Cupcake Camp Conejo Valley is next weekend!

Hi guys!! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably been seeing me hype up an event I am participating in next weekend. It is called Cupcake Camp Conejo Valley hosted by Cupcakes for Cancer.

First let me give you a little background about Cupcakes for Cancer. This non-profit organization was started by Blakely Colvin at the young age of 13. Blakely is a chemotherapy survivor and now at the age of 18 is cancer free and continuing to donate thousands of dollars each year to numerous non-profit organizations around the country. Blakely started out selling cupcakes for $1 at local sporting events to raise money for a child in her town who was diagnosed with cancer. It was so successful that in the first six weekends, they raised $5,000. I encourage you to take a look at the Cupcake for Cancer website to find out more about Blakely, her mission, and how to host an event in your town.

This is the second year for the Cupcake Camp Conejo Valley, and my first time participating. I could not be more excited! This year the event is raising money for the Cancer Support Community of Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara.

When: Sunday, March 3rd 1-4 PM

Where: Westlake Village Inn, Westlake, CA

Entry fees $10-20, and I hear that it is suggested to arrive early to get in line!

The event promises to be packed full of cupcakes, milk, and lemonade. There will be 60 bakers participating, including professional, amateur, and youth bakers. Besides the cupcake tasting, there are contests for bakers to enter and plenty of activities for kids and adults. For further information, head over to the event website. Besides having an excuse to bake dozens of cupcakes, I am also so excited to meet local bakers, the contest judges, and be able to support such a great cause. Please come out for the cupcake tasting or share this event with your friends if you can’t attend! I mean, I am sure I don’t have to beg you, right? Now I just have to make my final decision on the flavors to exhibit!

Samoa Cupcake Shooters

Samoa Cupcakes Shooters

Cupcakes never go to waste in my house, well as much as I can help it, but I can’t eat them all myself! Earlier this week, I made the Thin Mint Mini Cakes and I had leftover cake. So I made some Samoa Cupcake Shooters to continue on with Girl Scout Cookie week!

Now, when I was a Girl Scout, we called these Caramel Delights. No one here knows what I am talking about when I say Caramel Delights, so for this post, I am going with Samoas!

Samoa Cupcakes Shooters

These are pretty easy to make and they taste AH-mazing. Between the chocolate, caramel and coconut, your mouth will be watering for more. Here is what you need:

2-3 C Chocolate cake crumbs

6 Samoa cookies

1/2 C Chocolate ganache or melting chocolate

1/2 C Caramel sauce (I used Smuckers)

1/2 C Toasted Coconut

1 batch Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

*This will make enough for six cupcake shooters. Continue reading

Thin Mint Cookie Mini Cakes

Thin mint frosting

Calling all cookie lovers! When I was a little girl, I joined the Girl Scouts as a Brownie Scout and participated until I was in fifth grade. I always loved selling cookies, but in my town, we would sell door to door to our neighbors. It is quite the opposite in California, so I learned after my first year here that I had to find where the Girl Scouts would be selling cookies. I gotta have myself some Thin Mints!

I wanted to try something different with my Thin Mints this year, and since I am a major fan of frosting, I thought this would be a no brainer. I am absolutely in love with these, because the combination of the cake and the frosting reminds me of mint chip ice cream; which is my all time favorite ice cream.

Thin Mint frosting

 I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor and baked it in a 9×13” pan. You can plan this out ahead of time by deciding what size cakes you are going to make to see how many you will get out of your pan. My recipe makes 12 mini cakes.

Continue reading