This week's theme at IHCC is Chocolate Cravings...and just in case you don't know, our chef for the next 6 months is Giada De Laurentiis.
I was planing on using my one and only Giada cookbook, "Everyday Italian" but you know what they say, "The Best Laid Plans..."
My phone rang yesterday morning (It was a state holiday in Nevada)
"Hi Cam, what are you doing?"
"oh....nothing. Just watching some TV. There's nothing to do"
"oh....would you like to come visit me?"
Visiting, most times means spending the night, so I knew I would not have time to do a complicated Giada recipe. My job was to pay attention to Camron for the past two days.
We played Battleship, went to the movie, he and his Granddad decorated the garage for Halloween, we all played cards. Things like that.
Lucky for me (because I didn't want to miss another week of IHCC) I found the easiest cupcake recipe from Giada on the FoodNetwork website. And Camron helped me with it. He was very happy to do so.
Check out how easy this is:
Chocolate chip and walnut cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Program: Giada at Home
(oh...I did have to do measurement conversions and they didnt' come out exact, they were always just a tad bit off. For example 110ml vegetable oil is a tad bit less than 1/2 cup. But for the most part, they turned out well. At least the 2 I ate did. I sent the rest home with Cam.)
1/4 lbs finely chopped walnuts
8 oz mini milk chocolate chips (I couldn't find any, so I just used regular sized)
1 box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge)
2 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
For the Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
4 oz mascarpone at room temp
1 lb powdered sugar
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
In a small bowl combine the walnuts and mini chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of the brownie mix. Toss and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the remaining brownie mix, the eggs, vegetable oil and water. Stir for 20 seconds, until blended. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan (cupcake liners will be full). Bake 22 -25 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cheeses together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable.
Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes and garnish with remaining chocolate chips.
It's Halloween! One of my favorite times of the year. I don't know why I just love it.
Earlier today Camron and his Granddad decorated our garage. This year, it's just a small part of our garage, but we have been known to do the whole thing over into a graveyard. Yeah, we kinda like the spookiness side of Halloween.
I also like blond, blue-eyed, one-toothed 8 year old boys!
We haven't put up the cobwebs or the picket fence or the tumbleweeds, (we will skip church and do this tomorrow). Then we will get take and bake pizza's and some of our friends who live in the country or neighborhoods with no kids, will make our house their Halloween "Home Base" and I'll put on Disney's Ichabod Crane and It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, or Hocus Pocus and we'll have a wonderful evening.
(okay....this really is kinda creepy, but he wanted to pose in the graveyard)
Happy Halloween everybody!