Pinterest

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

I feel like it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these. So up for today is Apple-Oat Muffins. I wanted something apple, snackie, and easy to travel. Apple-Oat Muffins fit the bill.

This recipe comes from Good Housekeeping. It makes it a little different from my past Pinterest pieces because the recipe doesn’t come from a fellow blogger.

Recipe:
2c oats
1 1/4c flour
1/2c packed brown sugar
2t baking powder
3/4t baking soda
3/4t salt
1/2t ground cinnamon
1c buttermilk (I made my own. 1c milk with 1T vinegar. Let sit for 5 mins)
2T vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1c (1 to 2 medium) shredded, apples
1/2c walnuts, chopped

First off, we start with my changes. For the flour I did 1c white flour and 1/4c wheat flour. I like to throw wheat flour in with most recipes. If I use all wheat flour, it makes the food too dry. I mentioned above on making my own “buttermilk”. This saves me from buying a container of it that I won’t ever use the entire thing. Instead of vegetable oil I used applesauce. I do this with cake mixes too. Instead 1-2 apples I used 3 and I chopped them instead of shredding. My changes shaved off 5 calories a muffin. oooOOOooo lol

I know the recipes always say mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separate then mix them together. I don’t. I do not understand why you should. I used to, then I realized it didn’t make a difference so screw it. Everything goes in the mixer!!!

Dry Mix

I put my walnuts and oats through my mini chopper to pulverize the chunks. The only chunky thing I want in these muffins is the apples. Of course, neither of them were supposed to be turned to dust but I do what I want.

Finished Mix

I was really concerned with how many dry ingredients were in this. I didn’t think the milk would make the consistency right. It did. It was the perfect sloppy muffin batter consistency.

Apple Peeler

I have to say, if you do any baking with apples you need to have one of these gadgets. It slices, cores, and peels in seconds. I’ve spent too long doing all three tasks by hand. I feel spoiled now. I bought mine from Amazon for less than $10. Love it! Anyways. Like I said before I chopped my apples because I wanted them chunky. I want to know they are there and not hidden with the oats and nuts.

Poured Mix

Here’s what the batter looks like in the muffin liners. They are heaping. Maybe that’s why they said shredded…or only 1-2 apples. Whatever. When I placed them in the oven to bake I made sure to put a large cookie sheet underneath in case of spillage. Surprisingly nothing spilled over.

Muffin Pan

They came out moist and fluffy. I’ve tried them warm, room temp and cold. Surprisingly they are best cold. Having said that, they really don’t have that great of a flavor. It’s really boring. It’s like cinnamon apples with squishy stuff in between. I swear there is no such thing as a yummy, healthy apple muffin. This one goes in the fail pile.

Finished Muffin

Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for another Pinterest creation. I’m someone who enjoys Halloween. For my work Halloween celebration, it was encouraged to bring food that embraced the holiday. Last year I stuck with something easy (witch’s hats created with Hershey kisses and fudge striped cookies) but this year I wanted something a little more difficult. I spied Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcakes created by Lizzy from Your Cup of Cake.

They are so adorable and they didn’t look too difficult. I don’t know if it was stupidity or ambition that got the best of me by picking this creation. Now don’t get me wrong, I can bake. Making food items cute and fancy on the other hand is not my forte.

So I didn’t follow the recipe. Really no surprise there… I didn’t make my own cake mix. Mine came from the grocery store. I didn’t use white chocolate or Reese’s pieces or whatever she suggested to use for the dark part of the eyes. Why? Two reasons: I can’t melt chocolate correctly for the life of me and secondly I’m cheap.

RECIPE:
I left out what I didn’t use. If you want the full list check out Lizzy’s page.
Chocolate Cake Mix
Icing:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3-4 C. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Green Food Coloring
Decorations:
Reese’s Cups
Chocolate Chips

I made the cupcakes the night before to save me some time before construction. I knew it was going to take me a while to do this. I was prepared to allow extra time for frustration ie. cussing and throwing.

Cupcake?w=620

Here’s some happy, naked cupcakes. All prepped and ready to become monsters. I started off making the icing. Nothing too special about it, it’s close to a typical cake icing but this one calls for cream cheese. I can’t complain about that addition.

White icing?w=620

First shot of my icing. I’m still feeling good about this. I followed the directions and I did end up using all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

Green icing?w=620

I made the icing green. Yet again, easy kid stuff. I loaded up “my” (my mom’s😉) cake decorator to pipe this stuff on the naked cupcakes. I’m still feeling confident at this point. I grab the first cupcake, shoot some icing on it. “Hmmm… That seems a little runny. Oh well.” I give 5 more cupcakes green tops. I whip out my knife and try to start smoothing the icing out and up. This is where that frustration I spoke of started to set in.

I scraped the icing off of the cupcakes who now looked sickly because of this green ooze sitting atop their fluffy heads. I stirred in more powdered sugar to thicken it up and tried again. Nope! That’s it. It goes back into the mixing bowl and I added at least 2 more cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. I’m now grumbling about why I felt the need for cute cupcakes and 4 cups of powdered sugar!?! REALLY!?!

The perfect thickness for this icing is: if you scrape it up in a spoon, turn it over and it doesn’t fall off, then you’ve got it! At this point, I’m starting to feel nauseous. I don’t know if it’s all the “frustration” or the thought of the amount of powdered sugar going into this icing.

Frankenstein?w=620

First, pathetic Frankenstein. I kept a little bit of icing out before coloring the rest green. I used that for the white part of the eyes. I also used chocolate chips pushed deep in his head for the dark part of his eyes.

Frankenstein Army?w=620

The army of pathetic. Poor little guys. Their creator had such high hopes for them. There was no loud cackling of celebration after making these guys. It was more of a quiet, hide them in the fridge kind of moment. I deem this a Fail. Not only on my part but on that icing recipe. I think I should stick with food that tastes good and stay away from cute.