Tag Archives: Food Network

Monster Cookies

19 Feb

So, I wanna start another project.  I know that much.  But, it’s a huge undertaking, especially with a 3 1/2 month old at home.  So, alas, for now, I’ll stick to just some random recipes on random days when I get the chance to bake.  Some will be new (for me).  Others, like these Monster Cookies from Paula Deen/Food Network, are not new.  At all.


These have actually become one of my go-to cookie recipes.  They’re tasty, they’re SUPER easy to make and everyone loves them!  In fact, I’ve made these with my nieces who are 3 and 5, cause they’re so easy AND they have M&M’s (or num-nums, as they call them), so it’s a win-win.

(PS I’d love to try out your “go-to” recipes too!  What are they?!  Leave me a comment or shoot me a note.)


They can be made as large or as small as you want.  I used my cookie scooper (like an ice cream scoop, but smaller…for cookies).  My husband thinks this is a crime, because cookies should be large.  So, the choice is yours.  I will say, though, that mine took about 13 minutes to bake, not the 8-10 that the recipe calls for.  So just keep an eye.  They should be “set” but not firm.


The other great thing about these is that they are “mixer optional”.  In the video, Paula Deen makes them with just a bowl and a wooden spoon.  I used my stand mixer, just cause it’s so easy to do.  But, either way…yum!


Monster Cookies (from Food Network)


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz jar creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (aka M&M’s)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

For directions visit Food Network.


Day 266 – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

23 Apr

I don’t know about you, but on Wednesdays, sometimes, I just need a little pick-me-up.  Ya know, something light.  Fluffy.  Creamy.  Ya know.  Sweet and simple.  And these Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below from Food Network).

Coconut-Cupcakes     Mini-Coconut-Cupcakes

The cupcakes are dense, but springy, and a little sticky. They have a sweet, almond flavor, reminiscent of Angel Food Cake, but it’s a totally different texture. The coconut adds a nice texture and flavor. Kinda reminds me of a coconut macaroon.


The frosting is fluffy and smooth. It has a strong cream cheese flavor. I’d like more vanilla or almond, or maybe both. I’m getting mostly sweet cream cheese. Which isn’t bad, just not terribly interesting.

Coconut-Cream-Cheese     Mini-Coconut-Cream-Cheese

Together it’s almost like eating a frosted macaroon. The almond in the cupcake definitely makes up for the lack in the frosting. And the sweetness of the frosting brings out the coconut in the cupcake. Very complementary to one another.

Coconut-Cream cheese top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19

Mini-Coconut-Cream cheese-top


Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe from Food Network)


  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 oz sweetened, shredded coconut


  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For directions visit Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

*Tomorrow: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes*

Day 255 – Carrot Cake Cupcakes

12 Apr

With Easter just a little over a week away, I decided it was time for some Easter Bunny-type cupcakes.  Obviously, I mean Carrot Cake Cupcakes (recipe below from Food Network).  Bunnies…Carrots….see what I did there?

Carrot-Cupcake    Mini-Carrot-Cupcake

The cupcakes are moist and chewy. Full of texture from the carrots, walnuts and raisins. They have a nice sweet and spice flavor (thanks, cinnamon!). Very typical carrot cake.

Note: This recipe calls to bake the full-sized cupcakes for about 45 minutes, at 2 different temperatures. I baked one batch at 450 for 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes at 350. The second batch I did at 350 only for about 20 minutes. For the full time, they would have burned for sure! I preferred the second batch. The first batch is tough and tastes a little overcooked to me.)

First batch:


Second batch:


See what I mean?


The frosting is thick and creamy. It’s a very strong cream cheese flavor. Smooth, a little sweet and lots of cream cheese goodness!

Carrot-Cake-Cupcake     Mini-Carrot-Cake-Cupcake

The 2 go very well together. It’s a classic carrot cake with cream cheese. Smooth frosting to counter the chunky cupcake. Sweet, spicy. Everything you expect.

Note: The minis are a great version of these. Bite-sized and yummy!


Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4 (lots of chopping and grating)
  • TOTAL: 18


Carrot Cake Cupcakes (recipe from Food Network)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  • 3/4 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar

For directions visit Food Network.

*Tomorrow: Chubby Hubby Cupcakes*

Day 231 – Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

19 Mar

Yes, yes, yes.  St. Patrick’s Day was a couple of days ago.  But, can you really ever have too many Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (recipe below from Food Network)?

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense but airy. They are quite moist and chewy as well. The beer is the star of these cakes! The chocolate makes an appearance, but the beer flavor is really strong!

Note: My batter curdled from the very start – adding beer to melted butter isn’t a beautiful process. But once all of the ingredients were in it came together just fine.


The frosting is light and creamy. It’s a little on the soft side, but it pipes on just fine with a round tip. It’s a sugary sweet cream cheese frosting. I might prefer it if the cream cheese and sugar were combined, then add cream, just to smooth it out a little.

Chocolate-Stout-Cupcake     Mini-Stout-Cupcake

The frosting lightens the cupcake a lot. It doesn’t cancel the beer flavor, just evens it out a little and allows more of the chocolate to shine through. It’s not overly sweet or dark though, as a whole.

Chocolate-Stout-top     Mini-Stout-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 17.5


Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (recipe from Food Network)

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1 bottle stout beer
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 – 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar

For directions visit Food Network.

*Tomorrow: Death by Chocolate Cupcakes*

Day 201 – Devils Food Cupcakes

17 Feb

Okay.  So, yes, today is President’s Day.  But, it is NOT actually George Washington’s birthday, like your calendar might have told you.  His actual birthday is this Saturday (aka February 22nd).  So, check back that day for a cupcake in his honor.  Instead, today, I give you a little indulgence and a little chocolate.  Devil’s Food Cupcakes (recipe below from Food Network).  And…a little tune!

Thanks to Paul for sharing that amazing song!  And now, onto the cupcakes!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are beautiful. Both the full-sized and the minis bake up exactly like you want a cupcake to bake. They are crumbly and quite dry though. They have a really nice chocolate flavor, but it’s hard to get past the dryness.


I think I probably added a touch too much milk, so my frosting is between a frosting and a glaze, but it tastes like it’s supposed to. It has a strong chocolate flavor. A little sweet and very rich.

Devil's-Food-Cupcake     Mini-Devil's-Food

Because the frosting is so moist, the cupcakes don’t seem quite as dry as they did by themselves. But, it is still an extremely dry cupcake! The chocolatey flavor is really nice. Very rich and the 2 chocolates complement each other really well.

Devil's-Food-top     Mini-Devil's-Food-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4 (even with 3 parts)
  • TOTAL: 18


Devil’s Food Cupcakes (recipe from Food Network)


  • 1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white


  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp nonfat milk
  • 1 1/2 oz dark chocolate

For the squiggle:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

For directions visit Food Network.

*Tomorrow: Fruity Pebble Cupcakes*

Day 157 – Chocolate Chip & Mascarpone Cupcakes

4 Jan

Ok, I have a tale for you.  Regarding a word in these cupcakes.  (That sounds weird, I know.)  Chocolate Chip & Mascarpone Cupcakes (recipe below from Food Network)

But the word “mascarpone” brings with it a lot of drama within my family.  (Sounds weirder, I know.)  We are not an Italian family.  But, we are a food family.  Particularly my dad, my hubby and me.  So, we often get into arguments discussions over food things.  “Mascarpone” is one of them.  And here’s why:

My dad pronounces it “mar-sca-pone”.  Now, I say this is all kinds of wrong.  The ‘r’ isn’t even in the right place!

I pronounce it “mah-scar-po-nay”.  (Which, I might add, is how Giada De Laurentiis says it, so I’m pretty sure I’m right.)  My dad and hubby laugh at me every time cause it’s the only word I pronounce in a title with that kind of flair.

So, now I ask, how do you say it?  My way?  My dad’s way?  Or do you have a whole different variation??  Comment below and let us know!

Ok.  I’m done now.  Enjoy the cupcakes…

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Cupcake

The cupcakes are very cakey and crumbly. Almost dry, but not quite.  They have a nice, smooth chocolate flavor.

Ganache-side     Chocolate-Ganache

(It’s really hard to get a good picture of the shiny ganache!)

The ganache is smooth and creamy.  It has a nice, semisweet chocolate flavor.

CC-M-Cupcake     Mini-CC-M-Cupcake

These are very nice. Especially for the chocolate lover. Very smooth and even. Rich, but you don’t NEED a glass of milk. And not too dark.

Note: The minis have a little crunch to the top. They’re quite tasty.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19


Chocolate Chip & Mascarpone Cupcakes (recipe from Food Network)


  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For directions visit Food Network.

*Tomorrow: Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes*

Day 114 – Mini Carrot Cupcakes

22 Nov

Okay, okay.  This last week may have been aggressively gluttonous.  Aggressively.  We had some serious, over-the-top cupcakes.  So, I want to start this week with something a little milder.  Like these Mini Carrot Cupcakes (recipe below from Food Network).  And, to go with those, a nice read from today’s book Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner.

Full-Cupcake     Mini-Cupcake

The cupcakes are moist and not overly dense. They are very squishy.  The muffins have a kind of indifferent taste. They’re not sweet or spicy necessarily. I don’t get one distinct flavor.


The frosting is creamy and quite thin, but it does hold its piping.  It’s sweet with just a little tart. I can’t actually distinguish between the lemon and almond because they complement each other so nicely.

Full-Carrot-Cupcake     Mini-Carrot-Cupcake

The frosting is the star. It’s really the only flavor I get when I eat the mini. The candied carrots make a cute (and slightly uncommon) garnish. They don’t add a lot to the flavor, so it’s really just for the visual appeal.

Full-Carrot-top     Mini-Carrot-top

Notes: I graded based on the minis, since that’s what the recipe was supposed to make.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 2.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4 (that small addition goes a long way)
  • Ease of Making: 3 (nothing is hard, but peeling and candy-ing carrots, plus the grating of more carrots, it’s just a little more time-consuming.)
  • TOTAL: 17


Mini Carrot Cupcakes (recipe from Food Network)

For the Topping:1 medium carrot
3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For directions visit Food Network.
*Tomorrow: Delightful Devil’s Food Cupcakes*

Day 59 – Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing

28 Sep

I like tea…usually of the fruit variety, but I’m open to new things.  So, I was intrigued by these Tea Cakes with Earl Grey Icing (recipe below from Food Network).  And now that’s it’s slightly cooler outside, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday – curled up on the couch (preferably with my dog), watching movies and eating cupcakes.  Excellent!

Tea-Cake     Mini-Tea-Cake

The cakes feel like they’re gonna be hard, but they are a lot like brownies on the inside.  Very gooey.  Not hard at all.  The full-size is a lot gooey-er (??) than the mini is and has a crispy top.  They taste like a brownie but they’re not too chocolatey or too dark.


The frosting is a lot like 7-minute frosting.  Maybe slightly thinner. (Note: I had to whisk for longer than the 5 minutes it calls for with my hand mixer to get it pipeable.)  It tastes a lot like Earl Grey, but not crazy black-tea flavored.  The lemon adds a nice, light hint.

Tea-Cake-w-Icing     Mini-Tea-Cake-w-Icing

The tea flavor seems like it’s gonna be overpowering at first, but the chocolate finishes off nicely.  They balance really well.  These cupcakes were meant to be mini cupcakes, so that’s what I’m mainly judging here, instead of the full-size as usual.  The minis balance better than the full-sized, but both are pretty good.  These would be great for an afternoon tea!!

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 4

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 4

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 4 (batter is super easy and the frosting is a typical egg-white frosting, not for easy, but not hard)

– TOTAL: 19

RECIPE (from Food Network)

For the Cupcakes:6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 bags Earl Grey tea

For directions visit Food Network.
*Tomorrow: Chocolate & Toffee Cupcakes*
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