Archive | December, 2010

A Classic Beauty Indeed

23 Dec

One thing is absolutely, positively for certain: cupcakes rock. They’re small, compact, bite-size, decorative, attractive…the list of qualities goes on for days. But one thing that a cupcake must always be is delicious.

Nowadays cupcakes are available from single flavors with simplistic color schemes to flavor-explosions with more bells and whistles than the average man came prepared for. My fellow bakers and confectioners have gone off the deep end – in a good way. There is so much to choose from, so much to indulge in that cupcakes are almost anything but boring. Variety is a thing of beauty, but a classic beauty never fades.

“Why, Mr. Cupcake, you’ve become quite the handsome devil, haven’t you?”

I caught myself whispering this as I piped the chocolate buttercreme frosting atop these golden butter cupcakes. They were so fluffy and sweet, they seemed to be almost smiling when their new crowning glory was applied. “Be proud, my little cupcake friends, be very proud.” There I go whispering again…

With jalapeno-mango, green-tea&wasabi, and other rather interesting options floating around out there in the world of cupcakes, it’ll always be nice to take a stroll down memory lane to simpler times. The yellow cake: gotta love it.

…and chocolate frosting isn’t bad, either 🙂 

Until next time, have a delicious day!

– NelleBelle

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Cookies or Cupcakes? That is the question…

19 Dec

It’s bitter cold outside. I refuse to venture into the wilderness that is the 24 degree temperature awaiting me just outside my apartment door. I’ve decided to stay inside and start my Cupcake Monday adventures a little earlier than usual.

What’s Cupcake Monday? Well, let me catch you up to date. Seems the average person hates Monday. Hate is indeed a strong word yet, still, it wholeheartedly applies. Mondays just downright suck. You start from scratch after what should have been a fun-filled, restful weekend away from the office just to be thrust right back into work. So not fun. So I’ve decided to make Mondays a day of enjoyment. Better yet, Mondays are now a day of deliciousness 🙂 Every Sunday, NelleBelle is in the kitchen baking up scrumptious portions of lovin’ from the oven and serves them out for (drumroll, please) CUPCAKE MONDAY!!

Just imagine: You wake up Monday morning actually excited to come to work! Though, the pile of papers is still on your desk (my desk is actually a lab bench, and instead of papers it’s flooded with samples), your email is overflowing with weekend updates, and that light on your phone is taunting you with its incessant voicemails (sigh), knowing cupcakes await you is sure to put a smile on a your face.  Especially when said cupcakes are some of NelleBelle’s confections 🙂

Well, this morning I woke up wondering what to do: will I make Cookies, or will I make Cupcakes? It’s a tough question. As much as I love cupcakes, cookies are so very much in season. So which do I choose? I stared at my Kitchenaid mixer for a short while when suddenly it hit me: I’ll do both!

No, no, no. Not like that. Instead of making a tray of cookies and a separate batch of cupcakes, I made cookie-inspired cupcakes with cookie-dough insides. Mmmmmm, sweet….

Looks rather innocent, right? A dark brown sugar cupcake dazzled with honey and adorned with a rich buttercreme frosting sounds like a winner. Add a few chocolate chips and it’s almost chocolate chip cookie-like, right? Wrong. What would  truly make it a cupcake and a cookie would be to just go all out and put a cookie in it. Oh yeah, NelleBelle did it!

That’s chocolate chip cookie-dough! It was rather difficult to cut it open so you could see the magic waiting inside but you get the idea. How cool is that?

Just to be safe, I made a few variations of this cupcake. Calm down, they don’t ALL have a cookie dough center. I, personally, am terrified of eating raw cookie dough. I’m a scientist and, of all people, I should know that there’s not enough raw egg in the small amount of cookie-dough in each cupcake to actually hurt me but I still can’t bring myself to do it. I’m apparently a part of the .001% of the world that doesn’t eat raw cookie dough. Ah, well. In light of this, I made a dozen brown sugar cupcakes, a dozen brown sugar with chocolate chips, and a dozen with cookie-dough centers (6-brown sugar, 6-brown sugar w/ chocolate chips). Now I can rest easy and enjoy the remainder of this Sunday before Cupcake Monday steals it’s thunder.

Until next time, have a delicious day!

– NelleBelle

Christmas quickly approaches…

18 Dec

It’s almost Christmas…who knew! Seems like this time of year came out of nowhere and I’m just barely prepared. I certainly hope you guys are ready because I’m definitely not. Well, presents-wise, that is. As far as confections, I’ve always got something cooking (or should I say baking?) up in mind!

NelleBelle’s Confections is known for cupcakes from classic to creative, but what about cookies? Don’t you love cookies? Let’s be honest; everybody loves cookies.  What if cookies grew on trees? Better yet, what if trees were made of cookies?  What about a Christmas tree made of cookies!

I just couldn’t help myself on this one. It was so much fun to make and even more fun to eat! I was so excited when I came up with the idea that I seriously considered leaving work early just to go home and build it. Instead, I took the mature way out…and just planned my tree while at work. Genius!

The tree is simple: I used 4 star cookie cutters in ascending sizes and some colorful frosting. The cookies are sugar cookies zig-zagged from the largest cookie-star up into the smallest. My handy-dandy #16 star tip and some multi-colored buttercreme frosting added decoration to tips of randomly selected cookies and voila! NelleBelle’s Christmas Cookie-Tree was born! Toss a big star on top (so necessary) and sprinkle some green sanding sugar around for added holiday cheer.

This would be an excellent centerpiece for a holiday party at work, Christmas ceremony at church, or annual dinner with the family. It’s so easy and so delicious, you could make it yourself in almost no time! Or, you could focus on the joys of the season and order a custom-built tree from NelleBelle’s Confections! Personally, I think you should go with the second choice, but that’s just me 🙂

I wonder how cool it would be to have a green Christmas tree with red and white “ornaments”? Hmmmm…I think I sense another post coming soon…

Until next time, have a delicious day!

– NelleBelle