Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day DIY Decor & Dessert

Well not only is this our 4th Valentines Day, it is our FIRST married Valentines Day! Curious 
what we're doing for the big celebration? Don't worry, I'll tell you...I'll be working all day and 
same with Ty. It's a good thing we don't believe in loving and treating each other a certain way 
one day a year. We have 364 other days we do that.

For those who aren't busy today doing too much, you could make up this silly little craft and
the cupcakes for some good ol' Valentines spirit. Better than sulking that you don't have anything
to do on Valentines Day and it would get you off your butt. Make enough where you can have
like 5 and still be able to share a few with others tomorrow when you go to work. Who knows,
maybe you'll get a date out of it. Never know. A little cupcake swooning hasn't hurt
anybody, right?

We go through toilet paper like nobody's business. Surprise! Alright fine, it's all your business
since it's shared on here all the time. Anyway, don't throw away your toilet paper rolls! Instead
of going out and buying some sort of decor to put in a jar, you can do this craft. Just like the last
one, it won't cost must of anything (maybe 1-2 bucks depending if you have the vases or not),
you don't have to have any painting ability, and it's super easy and quick! If you don't want
to do it, your child would do a fine job at it I'm sure!

Jars of Hearts
4-8 toilet paper rolls
1-2 various sized jars or vases (go to dollar tree if you don't have any)
Paint, your choice colors
Paint brush

Squirt your paint onto your 'palate' (I used our fancy summer plastic BBQ plates).

Paint your choice of color onto your toilet paper rolls, inside and out.

Let dry. Then cut the toilet paper roll into slivers as pictured below.

Take each sliver that you just cut and hold onto it as I am below. Press one finger down to
give you the heart shape. I found I had to play with pressing the top down and
pinching the bottom of the heart. Give it a whirl!

One by one, continue to cut and shape. Cut and shape. Cut and Shape...

Until you have as many as you need to fill your jar or vase

There you have it! I put them in the kitchen to give the kitchen a little lovin'!

Now it's time to bake!
Sweet with a touch of spice cupcakes...not at all paleo, I know. I can't even eat them anyway! I still
love to bake cupcakes, but they all get shipped off with Ty to share with his coworkers now. I tend to
bake them for family and close friends for their wedding, birthdays, showers, etc. I got too wrapped
up in the business side to it when it consumed my life and I'm happy to say I
enjoy saving people the money instead.

Dave Ramsey (per his CDs...yes, I'm listening to his CDs. It's dry humor, I get it and love it)
has been telling me that people who give are much happier. I would agree
with the statement. I learned the hard way. Instead of charging for cupcakes, I'll enjoy
giving away the cupcakes. Give money, gifts, love, or whatever you want.
You'll be happy.

You'll also be happy when you eat these. That is, as long as you can handle a gluten belly.

Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes With Cinnamon Sugar Buttercream

This was one of the first cupcakes I ventured out on early in my cupcake career. Not the prettiest
updo but the flavor knocked the socks off everybody! I can't imagine what would come off next
if you let them have more than one. Be careful. Or don't be careful if it's your spouse.

2 C flour
3/4 C cocoa powder
2 C sugar
2 tsp chipotle powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 C strong coffee
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place your cupcake liners into your tin. In a large bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, chipotle powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up your mixture and put into cupcake liners. Fill half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let them cool completely.

2 C unsalted butter, room temp
1-3oz box of instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 C heavy cream, close to room temp
1/2 C sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon

In a bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter and pudding mix on medium for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the speed to low and slowly add the cream until mixed well. Once mixed well, turn up the speed to med-high for 5-10 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Turn the mixer back down to a med-low speed and add the sugar and cinnamon.

*Caramel Center
Store bought caramel sauce

Now cut out part of the center of the cupcake and squeeze some of that sugary caramel sauce
into the middle. It will soak into the cupcake...yum!

Place your frosting into your frosting bag with a fun tip, squeeze as you wish onto your cupcake,
then add a piece of chocolate or some of those old fancy red hots to the top!

Happy crafting, baking, and Valentines Day!

♡ The Stanleys ♡