Cappuccino Bars

Cappuccino  Bars

Cappuccino Bars

If they look like cake and taste like cake, they must be cake, right?   Well, not necessarily!   The recipe calls them “bars”, so I will, too.  Although I must admit I expected them to be more chewy, like brownies.  Once I got past the unexpected texture of these cake/bars I really loved the flavor.  It was the promise of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon all blended together that drew me to making them in the first place.

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The word cappuccino comes from the Italian “capuchin”, a monk who wore dark brown robes; since the color of coffee frothed with chocolate and cinnamon resembles the color of the monk’s robe, the drink became known as cappuccino.

Beside the flavor combination of this recipe, I liked the idea of using a cake mix as the basis for the recipe.  I see nothing wrong with using a good quality cake mix to get a jump start on a recipe if the end result is especially note-worthy.  I think this recipe meets that criteria.  I also liked baking them in a 13 x 9 ” pan,  –and I have one with a cover–so I could carry them easily to a picnic where everyone thought they were delicious.  Not exactly patriotic in color, I decorated the tops with “stars and stripes” sprinkles and a little flag to dress them up for the Memorial Day holiday.

CAPPUCCINO BARS

Yield:   about 28 bars,  more if you cut them smaller.IMG_4147

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup  (1 stick) butter, melted or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup each packed brown sugar and water
  • 1 Tablespoon each ground cinnamon and vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix. ( I used Devil’s Food)

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour a 13 x 9 – inch baking pan.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the cake mix.  Mis well to combine.  Stir in cake mix. and beat to incorporate well..  Batter will be thick.

3.  Spread into prepared pan and bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

4.  Frost or decorate the top as desired.  A drizzle of melted white or dark chocolate is nice, or frost lightly with frosting of your choice.  My version is frosted with butter cream and decorated with sprinkles.

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These are not heavy, chewy bars, but instead are light and airy with a complex flavor that will have people asking, “what is that flavor?”

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SOURCE:   Baking at Home;  Bars, Cakes and Cookies

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Red Velvet “Soda Can” Cupcakes

The end of June and beginning of July has been a very busy time with parties to celebrate various milestones within our family and  with friends.  I’ve already told you about my granddaughter’s graduation party and what I baked for that.  Today’s blog is about cupcakes that I made for a friend’s 20th anniversary in professional practice; and  since it is right around the Fourth of July, I went with the Patriotic theme.

I have been reading recently in some of the blogs I follow about a quick way to make a cake or cupcakes using nothing more than a boxed cake mix and a can of soda.  Really?  That’s what I said!  So I tried it and found out they come out really moist and kind of chewy;  The texture is not as fine as a cake’s, but for a cupcake I really liked that.  The cake and soda combo I used was Red Velvet Cake Mix and Cherry Coke.  I think it will be fun to try some other flavor combinations such as lemon cake with Sierra Mist or lemon and lime soda. So many possibilities.  If you haven’t heard about this until now, try it.  It’s a novel idea whose time has come.

For the frosting on my cupcakes, I wanted white, so I made a simple cream cheese and butter cream frosting, piped on with a large star decorating tip.  Then I sprinkled them with a “stars and stripes” sprinkle mix and topped each one with a tiny flag.  So Cute!

This is all you need:  a boxed cake mix and an 8 oz can of room temperature soda.  I poured that amount from a full-size bottle, because I couldn’t find the cans.

This is what it looks like when you start to mix it up.

Use a whisk to mix it up, working out most of the lumps.

Line muffin cups with liners and fill 1/2 – 2/3s full. Do not overfill.

After baking. I got a total of 17 cupcakes, could have gotten 18, by making them a tad bit smaller.

FROSTING:

4 ounces cream cheese

6 tablespoons butter

2 cup confectioners’ sugar

To make the frosting, put the cream cheese and butter in small bowl of mixer and blend together to cream.  Sift in the sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.  If you plan to pipe it on with a decorating tip, it needs to be quite stiff.   I refrigerated my frosting a bit after mixing just to get it stiff enough to decorate with.  Unless you are serving the cupcakes right away, it is wise to refrigerate them to prevent frosting melt in this warm weather.

Really Cute! They tasted as good as they looked.

SOURCE:  Thanks to Cookiesandcups.com

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, everyone.