Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes

Igredients for Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes @ Megamommy.com

So, after being accused of not making cupcakes in forever, (which translates into about a whole week, maybe two if you have kids), I decided to make these simple little cupcakes.

When I opened my frdige the first thing I saw was a Cherry Coca Cola, so I thought to myself Cherry and Chocolate it is!

Ingredients for Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes @ Megamommy.com

Here are your basic Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcake ingredients.

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I followed the instructions on the back of the cake box, only instead of water I substituted Cherry Coca-Cola for the water, and I added about 2 Tbsp. of maraschino cherry juice. If you don’t have a jar of maraschino cherries, don’t sweat it, simply add 1/2 tsp of cherry extract to the cake batter.

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Two things I wanted to share with you guys. First, I thought these Life Saver Gummies – Wild Berries would be a great garnish, because of their flavor and color. If you’ve never had them before, they’re delicious!

Second, you can see here I used the smaller size Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix. I really like the 9 oz. size when I want to make a fun dessert for the kids but I don’t too much of it.

Just like the regular size mix they go on sale all the time! Ounce per ounce the regular size cake mix is always going to a better deal, but there are times where the smaller mixes come in handy.

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 I also added just a few sprinkles before garnishing them with the Life Saver Gummies – Wild Berries.

Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes @ Megamommy.com

Ready to dig in?

Chocolate Cherry Cola Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 (9 ounce) box Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1/2 cup Cherry Coca-Cola

1/4 cup canola oil

2 Tbsp. maraschino cherry juice or 1/2 tsp. cherry extract

2 large eggs

1/4 cup butter, softened but not metled

1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tablespoons of same Cherry Coca-Cola

Garnish: rainbow sprinkles & Life Saver Gummies – Wild Berries or any garnish you prefer

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with 10 cupcake liners (I usually spray those with nonstick spray), or spray muffin cups with nonstick spray.

2. Blend dry mix, Cherry Coca Cola, oil, and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds). Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into muffin cups, distributing evenly.

3. Bake for apx. 20 minutes; be sure not to over bake. Cool in pan, on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions

1. In a large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until nice and creamy. Add powdered sugar and cola, beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cupcakes.

The cherry flavor in the butter cream frosting is going to be very light. If you want a stronger cherry flavor you can either add cherry extract, add only 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time, or you can simply go with the Duncan Hines canned frosting starter and add a packet of cherry almond frosting creations flavor mix.

2. Garnish with sprinkles and gummies, or any other garnish, if desired.

One more thing my taste testers are funny when it comes to anything cherry flavored. They say they like it, but they want it light. This cupcake and frosting are both very light, I could easily make them heavier, but after coming off of Christmas I thought light would be nice.

Here are the comments of my Taste Testers:

Taste Tester 1 – The cupcake is light and moist and the frosting seems to be perfect! BUT I wanted something heavier. On a scale of 1-10, I rate these a 9.

Taste Tester 2 – Both the cupcake and frosting are great! Do you have any heavy goopy frosting to pour on there? I rate these a solid 8.5.

Taste Tester 3 – There aren’t any chunks of fruit, right? Not bad for something with cherry in the title. I rate these a 9. Next time no fancy frosting, give us the cheap stuff out of the can.

That’s my panel of taste testers, gotta’ love ’em. :)

This recipe can easily be made with a regular size cake mix, simply follow the back of the box for the exact amounts. Remembering to substitute the Cherry Coca-Cola for the water.

I’ve made this recipe many times, many different ways, and whether you make cupcakes or cake in a pan it turns out great!

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Chocolate-Banana Pudding Parfaits

Basic Ingredients for Chocolate-Banana Pudding Parfaits @ Megamommy.com

Chocolate Banana Pudding Parfaits @ Megamommy.com

Pudding Parfaits are a great dessert no matter who you are!

In the summer I like to do lighter parfaits with lots of great summer flavors, and in the winter I usually go with something a little heavier. This isn’t my usual winter combo, but I will be honest with you – I have had enough mint, mocha and gingerbread to last my a very long time.

Basic Ingredients for Chocolate-Banana Pudding Parfaits @ Megamommy.com

Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need to prepare these delights. I knew I wanted to make a soft and chewy cookie for the bottom layer of the parfaits. I took a dry sugar cookie mix and added a box of dry french vanilla instant pudding, then the butter and egg, as called for on the back of the package.

soft & chewy sugar cookies made in just minutes @ Megamommy.com

The cookies came out exactly how I wanted them to, soft and chewy, because of the pudding. You could barely taste the french vanilla flavor from the pudding, but they were still very good.

Pudding parfaits are a great way to stretch a dollar, create a unique dessert, and best of all the possibilities are endless!

I like to garnish the top with just a little bit of whip cream and a little crumbled cookie. It just seems to make it more exciting. :)

Chocolate-Banana Pudding Parfaits

Ingredients

Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding

Lo-Fat Milk (I use 1% because my kids drink it)

Sugar Cookies, be sure to save one or two for garnish, (I made my own, but any will do)

Bananas (I go about 1/2 a banana per person, you could easily go with less)

Whip Cream, Cool Whip or Rhedi-Whip, as desired

Directions

1. Pour 1 package (4-serving size) Instant Chocolate Pudding in medium bowl, add 2 cups of cold milk. Beat with wire whisk for about 2 minutes, or until well blended. This step is optional, gently fold in about a half a cup of whip cream, Cool Whip, or Rhedi-Whip. It doesn’t have to be exact.

2. I usually get six average size parfaits, or four large parfaits if you have big eaters coming for dinner. For a family use six parfait cups, if it’s your college age son and some of his buddies, you may want to go with four. It’s your call.

3. Crumble one or two sugar cookies in the bottom of your parfait glass. Then add the banana, be sure to slice it into pieces, then add the pudding, as is.

4. Now my favorite part. Garnish the top with a dollop of topping, whatever kind your family like, a little bit of crumbled cookie, and any type of sprinkle or other topping you would like to add.

5. Cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The colder they are, the better they are when you serve.

* Note: If it’s going to be more than a few hours before you serve the pudding parfaits, simply cover and place in the fridge to get nice and cold, and garnish just before serving.

 

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Baked Minty Double Cookie

minty double cookie in skillet

If you follow the food blogs at all, you know that there are stuffed cookies, brownies, bars, well stuffed everything all over the place right now.

There are a lot of really great ideas out there right now! So I thought I would do my own thing with this simple little goodie. Well that and the fact that I have three very different palates to try and please with this dessert.

Normally this cookie doesn’t crack like you see in the photo.

But I had a kitchen mishap and therefore the cracks. :(

It was perfect when it came out of the oven!

Here’s a photo of the ingredients you will need for my super easy Baked Mint Double Cookie.

Prepare the the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough according to the instructions on the back of the package. Then press the dough into the bottom of a 12″ skillet. I sprayed my skillet with cooking spray, even though it’s a non-stick skillet, because I spray just about everything. Of course, the dough pressed into the skillet before it goes in the oven.

This is very important – most quality cooking skillets are oven safe up to 450 degrees. However, you do need to know if your skillet is oven safe or not.

If it is oven safe, simply wrap the handle(s) with aluminum foil and you should be fine.

You can certainly use your own home-made cookie dough which, I usually do. But tonight I only had a few extra minutes before dinner so I needed something simple, delicious and not too time consuming.

The whole Baked Minty Double Cookie warm and golden brown. Yummy!

Be sure to let the whole thing cool before you slice and serve. Enjoy.  :)

Baked Minty Double Cookie

Igredients   

1 bag Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix + plus the butter and egg called for on the back of the package

1 bag Betty Crocker Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix + plus the butter and egg called for on the back of the package

1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup Mint Chocolate Holiday M&M’s

* The Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix appears to be a seasonal item from Betty Crocker. I saw the mix last week when I was in Target, it was on sale, and of course I had a coupon, so I thought I would try it.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 12 inch skillet with cooking spray, or simply use a non-stick skillet. Remember to wrap any handles or such in aluminum foil if need be.

2. In two separate bowls prepare each of the cookie mixes according to the instructions on the package.

3. Press the sugar cookie dough into bottom of skillet. Top with the semi sweet chocolate chips and the mint M&M’s. Press those into the sugar cookie dough slightly.

4. Press the prepared Mint Chocolate Chip mix evenly over the entire mixture. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until nice and golden brown and baked all the way through. Be sure not to over-bake. Let cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving.

Yield: 8-12 Servings

Remember wedges will be thicker because it’s a double cookie.

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