Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Dance with Easter - Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Cupcakes, and Dresses

WHEW! That was a busy one. Winding down each semester is always chaotic, but this one was especially berserk.

I know this post comes a week after Easter, but I still wanted to write something about my weekend! 

The week preceding and the week following Easter were crammed. In a way, I'm lucky - I had many in class exams and assignments/essays which means I have few during exam period... Ergo, I leave for home real early! On the other hand, I felt like falling asleep and pretending I was having a nightmare to ease my mind. But alas, I made it through to the other end!

I hate missing Thanksgiving and Easter and all holiday meals with my family. So, as with Thanksgiving, I suggested we do our own little dinner party. Oh, what a wonderful idea! We all signed up on our whiteboard (cute, I know) to make something for the night. I, of course, signed up to do dessert. I probably spent way too long baking (I did have a ton of stuff to do) but it was sooo worth it. We invited a few close friends over and it was the best way to relax during the busy times.

I contributed Carrot Cupcakes and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Squares sprinkled with mini eggs.
Unfortunately, but predictably, I didn't capture any photos. But here are the recipes and some pictures to ignite your imagination! 

Carrot Cupcakes
For the cupcakes, I used "Sam's Famous Carrot Cake" on AllRecipes and just made a few adjustments. I replaced the pineapple with applesauce because even though I know you probably can't taste it, I really just don't like pineapple and wasn't going to put it in. I left out the raisins too and added about 1/2 cup more shredded carrots to compensate. 
Just a note, don't be careless and oblivious like me and use baking powder instead of baking soda... You'd think by now I would know to be sure which "baking" ingredient I need to use. Apparently not! The cupcakes were still DELICIOUS though (awesome reviews all around), but they were dense like pound cake and didn't rise.
The recipe made 22 cupcakes, FYI!

-- Cream Cheese Frosting
What's a carrot cake/cupcake without cream cheese frosting? I used this one and probably added a little more icing sugar than listed. It's all up to you though! Just taste it as you go and stop when satisfied!

PB Chocolate Bars with Mini Eggs
I was debating between making something more springy, such as lemon squares or a coconut cake, but come on, peanut butter and chocolate are always good. 
I came up with the idea to sprinkle them with crushed mini eggs - it is one of my proudest baking moments yet. I cannot suggest it enough! I had fun crushing them - I dumped about 1 1/2 cups of Mini Eggs into a ziploc bag, grabbed my hammer, and started banging away. I'll admit, it was fun. After I made the chocolate topping and poured and evened it on the peanut butter base, I sprinkled the pieces evenly. 
I made another version this weekend but with Smarties instead. Mini Eggs sell out fast after Easter! The first time around, they lasted less than 24 hours. They lasted about 48 this time, but I think people were more cautious to have them last longer. 

Also, I like going to church, especially on holidays! A few of my roomies and I went Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Basilica and it was beautiful. I was super excited to wear a dress that I got a few years ago from Madewell that I hadn't gotten the chance to wear yet due to weather. Here's a picture of it, though I think it looks even better in person (way, way better).

I hope everyone had a great Easter, spent with some people you love! Even if that meant only a few hours :)