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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! ūüôā

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‚Äôs Candy melts in pink
  • About 1/2 cup of Wilton‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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:

Chocolate Ganache Brownies

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Ganache Brownies
These dense chocolate brownies are topped with a rich chocolate ganache. ¬†You won’t be able to eat just one!!

It’s November. ¬†Time for turkey and thankfulness. ¬†One of the things I am incredibly thankful for is my wonderful family. ¬†We are spread over many states and have many interests, but one thing we all love: ¬†dessert. ¬†This month I am going to feature some of our family’s best dessert recipes– just to get you all ready to bring some mouthwatering treats to¬†your¬†Thanksgiving feast!

This brownie recipe is from my Aunt Sara. ¬†She’s known in our family for her wonderful layered salad, but since this is a blog about sweets,¬†that recipe will have to wait for another day.

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Aunt Sarah and her granddaughter Sierra

Several years ago I asked everyone in our family to submit recipes to compile into a family cookbook. ¬†SO many wonderful things (with the exception of “Feline Delight”, submitted by my Uncle Keith and my dad, involving a stew made from the family pet…. a joke, of course!) ¬†My Aunt Sara turned in this brownie recipe and I’ve always wanted to try it but just hadn’t taken the time until right now.

The verdict: ¬†AMAZING. ¬†These are the¬†most fudge- like brownies I’ve ever had. ¬†If you prefer cake-like brownies just stop reading right here….because these are rich, heavy, delicious bits of chocolate joy.

Ganache Brownies
So, lets get you the recipe so you can try these yummy treats! (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2/3 cup chocolate (I used Nestle’ dark chocolate chips)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chocolate (Aunt Sara uses Ghiradelli, I just used the rest of the Nestle’ dark chips)

DIRECTIONS:

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 325F degrees
  • Place butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted and smooth.
  • Beat eggs and salt until they turn a light yellow color.
  • Add sugar to egg mixture gradually, and then beat until thick and creamy (about 15 minutes).
  • Fold in melted chocolate/butter mixture.
  • Add flour and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and pour batter in.
  • Bake at 325F degrees for 25-30 minutes. ¬†Toothpick should not come out clean- if you over-bake them they will be dry.

Frosting:

  • Place chocolate (either chips, or chopped up) into a bowl.
  • Bring whipping cream to a boil over the stove.
  • Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Refrigerate about 20 minutes, until thick enough to spread, but not completely set.
  • Spread over brownies and enjoy!!!

Ganache Brownies
My thoughts: ¬†These are wonderfully gooey and rich- my perfect kind of brownie! ¬†The only downside of these is having to beat the eggs for 15 minutes. ¬†If you have a stand mixer you won’t mind it, but I have a hand mixer…seemed like an eternity! ¬†Once I tasted them, it was worth every second though! ¬†Thanks for the wonderful recipe Aunt Sara!! ¬†Love you! ¬†~r

Other brownie recipes to fill your November with yummy goodness:

Caramel Fudge Brownies!!Fudge Brownie!Mint Creme Brownie CupsBrownie Oreo Cookie Cup

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