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Love Bug Cupcakes

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These cute little bugs are filled with berry cream and jam. They sit on top of a dense, not-too-sweet brownie base, and are the *perfect* treat for your Valentine!

I feel like I am always on the lookout for something creative to make for Valentine’s Day. January is such a blah, grey month, and I miss having something to celebrate with colors and sprinkles. And along comes Valentine’s Day! Even as a single person (for WAY to many years!) I celebrated the day- just because you need SOMETHING in February to make you smile. In fact, if you are single and these love bugs make you want to roll your eyes, try my cute Frog Prince Oreo Pops instead! 🙂

These treats are a little on the fussy side. Obviously. Anything cute requires a little time. If you want a simple, delicious dessert- without the fuss- you can just pipe some topping on, add some sprinkles, and call it a day.

Want to know how to make these fun treats? Here is the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 24 love bug cupcakes)

Love Bugs: (make these 1st)- you will need a silicone chocolate bomb mold to make these:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry or raspberry extract
  • 1 cup of raspberry jam
  • Food color in pink
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in pink
  • About 1/2 cup of Wilton’s Candy melts in black
  • 48 candy eyes
  • Candy heart sprinkles

Brownie cups:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)
  • Green jimmies for grass!

DIRECTIONS:

Berry Love Bugs:

  • Melt pink candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard.
  • Make berry filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Add pink food coloring to make it a fun pink color.
  • Place filling into a large zip-top bag and seal tightly.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe berry filling into each pink shell- filling them about 1/4 full.
  • Place jam into a small zip-top bag, clip corner and pipe a little bit in the center of each pink shell.
  • Pipe more berry filling over the top until it is level .
  • Use a knife to spread berry filling to edges of shell.
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. 
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 berry bombs ready.

Brownie cups:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  

Chocolate Glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until cupcakes are ready to assemble.
  • Assemble the cupcakes by spooning a little chocolate glaze on top of a brownie and spreading to all edges.
  • Place a berry bomb in the center and sprinkle green jimmies around edge.
  • Allow this all to harden up (refrigerate to speed process up).
  • Melt black candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to paint a black face on the front of each bomb, and immediately place eyes before candy melts harden. Place the rest of the melts in a plastic zip-top bag, cut a corner and pipe the center line down the bug’s back.
  • Melt just a few pink candy melts, and use a paint brush to stick each little candy heart “dot” in place.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are delicious. Think chocolate covered strawberries. I made half of mine with the love bug domes, and half with just the berry icing and chocolate glaze- just to save time. Either way, they are delicious and sure to make YOUR Valentine smile! Enjoy! ~r

Looking for other fun baking ideas for Valentine’s Day? Click on the title to see the recipe:

Peppermint “Smoke Bomb” Brownies!

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Smoke Bomb5Celebrate July 4th with these fun peppermint brownie cups! Fun to make and sooooo yummy to eat!

I got a little chocolate bomb mold a few months ago and I love it. I have used it for so many creative things! This time, I am using it to make actual bombs- edible smoke bombs that is! The inside of this red candy shell is packed with sweet mint filling that mixes with the dark chocolate of these brownies perfectly!

Smoke Bomb1

Yes, these are a little fussy. It seems like anything super fun in the food realm takes some effort. If you want to make these SUPER easy, they are simply an adaptation from my Candy Cane Brownies from last Christmas. You could certainly add a little blue to the mint filling and just sprinkle stars on top for a fun (and equally delicious) patriotic alternative. OR you could be an over-achiever and make mint smoke bombs. Your choice! 🙂

Smoke Bomb2

Here is how we put these fun treats together: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)

Mint “Smoke Bombs”:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Food color in red and blue
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in red
  • One bag of Twizzler’s Red, White and Blue licorice (I found them at Target)
  • Large Star Sprinkles
  • Mini Star Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  
Chocolate Glaze:
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until bombs are made

Mint Smoke Bombs:

  • Melt red candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard. Do two coats- freezing in between.
  • Make mint filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Divide into 3 parts and color 2 of them red and blue using food coloring.
  • Place all three colors into a large zip-top bag and swirl together with a knife before sealing bag.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe mint filling into each red bomb shell- filling them about 3/4 full.
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. (I took pictures of this process in an earlier recipe here– but I didn’t fill these shells all the way full like I did there).
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 mint bombs ready.
  • Assemble brownies by spooning a little glaze on top of a brownie cup and then setting a bomb on top. Sprinkle edges with small star decorations and freeze to harden the glaze.
  • Once all your brownies are in the freezer, make the wicks by pulling apart the licorice and cutting into 1 to 2 inch pieces of blue. 
  • Dip one end into the leftover red candy melts (you might need to remelt these) and set it on top of a large red star sprinkle to harden. 

Smoke Bomb7Smoke Bomb9

  • Once these have hardened, and your brownies are nice and cold, take a few brownies out of the freezer, dip the end of a “wick” in red candy melts and hold it to the top of a cold peppermint bomb. It should immediately set and hold the wick in place.
  • Then- simply enjoy the smiles as people bite into your yummy (and very patriotic!) peppermint brownies!!!

Smoke Bomb6

My thoughts: Ah…I loved making these. I always wonder if the idea in my mind will come across the way I pictured it, and these did—-makes me smile! I loved sharing these with friends and family too. Makes me wish I had a 4th of July party to go to this year!!! 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try these and that you love them as much as I do!  ~r

Smoke Bomb3

Other fun desserts to make for the Fourth of July!!! (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!!!!Fire Cracker Cookies!

 

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