Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

8 Feb IMG_1532

What’s that you said? Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes? Oh yes……


We got a sample magazine for AllRecipes in the mail in the beginning of the fall. I guess the online site is dipping their toe into the print world. The magazine is actually pretty cool – they have a great layout and some good features. They incorporate tips from readers – always helpful!



Anyway….back to the bacon……and the chocolate.


Robb perused the magazine and folded down some pages of interest. This was one of the pages. It is pure gold. I knew right away that I wanted to try it – and that my co-workers would also try it too🙂


The only annoying part about this recipe is cooking the bacon. No – you can not use baco-bits. No – you can not use pre-cooked bacon either.


It has to be the real thing……And you have to cook it on the stove to get it crispy. Beyond that, it’s as easy as making any cake recipe from scratch.


I don’t know who came up with the idea to pair bacon with chocolate. But I think I love them. Don’t tell Robb.


Now when the cupcakes came out, they were good but not “amazing”. You could definitely taste the bits of bacon in the cake, but it wasn’t an overwhelming bacon-y taste.


However when the chocolate icing went on, it was like magic. The icing just pulled it all together and made it SING! The only fault is that this recipe does not come with a recipe for chocolate frosting. So you will need to use your own favorite recipe (don’t buy storebought icing – gross!!!). Or you can do what I did and use my fave chocolate ganache.


This batter makes a LOT of cupcakes. And I am not sure why, but I didn’t think it would be enough for my team at work, so I doubled the recipe.


It made so many cupcakes! I had 2 full trays of them to bring into the office. I think there was one for everyone in the company!

They were a crowd-pleaser for sure! What a huge hit. How can you resist bacon and chocolate? That’s right – you cant. Everyone fell victim to the salty sweet confection.


People – this is your endorsement: When Robb tasted the cake alone, he said “eh, it’s allright…nothing special”. But when I put the icing on top I got the special look with the words I love to hear: “you’ve outdone yourself” and a high five.


Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ sp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup strong-brewed coffee, cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 375. Cook bacon in a skillet on medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, ¾ cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. Stir just until blended. The batter will be thin – don’t worry!

Mix in ¾ of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon batter into prepared cups, dividing equally.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (until tops spring back when touched). Mine were done in 20 minutes exactly.

Cool in pan set over wire rack. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. Dust with remaining cocoa powder.


Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

14 Jan IMG_1404

I saw this recipe a year or two ago on one of the blogs that I follow. It looked absolutely delicious and I knew I had to try it. I just needed an occasion to make it!


So when my brother had a family Superbowl party last year (remember these babies?), I immediately thought of this appetizer. And I am glad that I did!



They are a terrifically simple concept –browned beef in a sauce, on top of pizza flatbread, topped with cheese! Doesn’t it sound fabulous?


You can certainly use your own homemade dough for the flatbread part. But I was making 3 or 4 things and there’s only so much time in the day! So I used the Pilsbury dough as a shortcut. It worked out great though!


You can cut them into pieces as big or little as you want – which is awesome! I like being able to offer smaller bite appetizers for someone who just wants a lil piece, or larger bite appetizers for those who want to feast on heavy apps! Here is how the flatbread part came out:



Annnnnnnnnnnd here is the final product – cheesy, meaty, deliciousness in your hand.


This little gem was a HUGE HIT. I believe I quoted one of my brothers saying “Please stop making these – you’re killing me”. He couldn’t stop eating them.


Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts


  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tblsp mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 11 oz thin crust pizza dough, Pilsbury
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Brown and drain ground beef. Add water, vinegar, onion soup mix*, ketchup, mustard and garlic. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, divide the pizza dough into six equal portions and roll into a round, tortilla-like shape.

Heat 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Fry the dough for one minute on each side or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Top with beef mixture and shredded cheese. Serve warm.

Makes 6 flatbread melts – depending on what size you make. (* To double this recipe, double everything except the dry onion soup mix)


Brie and Puff Pastry Bites

5 Jan 20130120_183158

I saw this recipe on one of the blogs that I follow. It sounded both easy and delicious.

IMG_1375 IMG_1376 IMG_1377 And I was right! This lil app is a crowd-pleaser. It is fruity cheese inside dough and is best when served warm.

IMG_1378 IMG_1379

It is easy to assemble – but takes a little bit of time to get everything put together It’s well worth it though. I have made this appetizer 6+ times now and each time it gets quicker to put together.

IMG_1380 IMG_1381

I dont make it exactly as the original recipe says – laying cheese pieces on top of the puff pastry and baking it like an open-faced sandwich. I prefer to cut out circles of dough and wrap the cheese and preserves inside the dough and seal it.

20130120_183147 20130120_183158

I’ve got to include my oldest brother and his best friend here…..acting stupid with their fake teeth and enjoying some Brie and Puff Pastry Bites!


Brie and Puff Pastry Bites


  •  1 Sheet of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Log of Brie
  • 1/2 Cup of Sour Cherry Preserves
  • 1/4 of a Large Granny Smith Apple Cut Very Thin


Lay out defrosted puff pastry and cut into pieces.

Cut brie in 1/2 inch rounds and line up on puff pastry. If you cant find the log of brie to cut rounds, just cut up a wedge into small pieces.

Add a small dollop of preserves to each brie round with a teaspoon. Don’t get over-zealous with the preserves – too much will bubble out of the puff pastry.

Fold over the pastry to seal and place on greased cookie sheet. Make sure you poke holes on the top to vent the pastry as it bakes.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and add apple slivers on top of each puff.

Espresso Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies

23 Dec IMG_1358

Okay. Did you see the title of this cookie? Espresso – yum. Dark Chocolate – always. Coconut – amazing. Put it all together? AMAZINGLY AMAZING!


Now, I wondered what espresso powder was, since I don’t remember seeing it in the supermarket. I googled it and found out that Williams Sonoma was the easiest and most reliable place to get it – so I just went there. Boom.


Look at all those flakes of coconut and chunks of chocolate chips.


OMG look how amazing these babies look……They taste so delicious – espresso and coconut. Even if you aren’t a coconut fan, these are just spectacular. You have to try them.  And if you ARE a coconut AND a chocolate fan? OMG this could be your version of what heaven tastes like.


If you are thinking of making chocolate chip cookies with a twist, MAKE THESE NOW!!!!! I made these last Christmas and they were so awesome, I repeated them for this Christmas!  IMG_1359


Espresso Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies


  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. espresso powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Whisk to blend and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and coconut extracts.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut with a spatula.
  • Use a large dough scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (Note: I tried three different shaping methods for this dough and preferred the cookies made with the dough scoop to the others.)
  • Bake for about 14-16 minutes or until just set, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

Rosemary Olive Wreath

15 Dec Rosemary Olive Cheese wreath

I got this idea from Pinterest last fall. I saw it posted a couple times and decided it would be an awesome appetizer at Christmas dinner last year.

Rosemary Olive Cheese wreath

It was both pretty and delicious! This would make a great and artful appetizer to bring to someone’s house over the holidays if you have such occasion.

And so stinkin’ easy:

  • Purchase the following: Rosemary stalks, assorted olives in red, green, and black (kalamata), cornichons, and mozzarella (or other cheese of your liking)
  • Place stalks of rosemary around the edge of a pretty plate
  • Arrange multi-colored olives and mozzarella around the rosemary wreath

Voila! It will smell wondrous, too.

Rosemary Flatbreads

8 Dec IMG_1447


My dear friend, Keri Brennan, passed this recipe my way. And it was perfect timing as I was headed to a family dinner and wanted to bring some things. These lil flatbreads would be the perfect thing to bring.



They require some yeast – but don’t let that keep you from trying. It’s so easy to throw these together.



You just need a little bit of time to allow the dough to proof and rise.



You can also toss in any herbs/seasonings you like. They are so versatile!


They were delicious! I think next time I wouldn’t add as much sea salt to the tops of them – they were a bit salty. But they tasted great and made a great accompaniment to our meal!


Rosemary Flatbreads


  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 F/43 C)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme ( I used minced rosemary)
  • (homemade seasoned salt made by combining dried homegrown herbs with sea salt)


Place the water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms. Add the minced rosemary.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface all over. Cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out each piece to approximately 4″x10″ (or however small/large you like) on a lightly floured surface.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs (or homemade seasoned salt.)

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage and Freezing Instructions/Tips: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months.

Cranberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake

1 Dec IMG_1321

I saw this recipe online at foodgawker last fall. It was full-on cranberry season, and I wanted something sweet to make on a Sunday afternoon.


This was the perfect thing!


It comes together in a snap. Then bakes up nice and goldenIMG_1315.

You can either do a glaze for this cake (maybe a nice orange-flavored glaze would be nice) or powdered sugar.


We kept it simple with powdered sugar. Look how nice it looks.


It was so moist and delicious. I could see this as being a perfect breakfast cake or housewarming cake.


Cranberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking power and salt and mix well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Fold in the Greek yogurt and about half of the cranberries.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread the remaining cranberries on top of that layer. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55-65 minutes until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

Sticky Serenity's Blog

Just another site

The Stained Cookbook

Sharing stories, photos and recipes one blog post at a time

a happening life

mindfully mothering, marketing, and managing


Just another site