Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Charleston, SC

Charleston is a very lovely town. This is the famous pinapple fountian located in Waterfront park. It represents hospitality, welcome and goodwill.

It is quite an interesting design.

We enjoyed our first full day in Charleston - started out driving around rainbow row and the battery. Ate lunch at Bubba Gump's Shrimp (which was very, very good) and basically wore ourselves out.

We ended the day by enjoying a nice cold water ice from Rita's!

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday baby. I love you.

Only God knows how much I miss you.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

I have mentioned before, how much I adore the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes at Belly General Store. There are only 3 problems with their cupcakes:

1) They are extremely delicious and therefore extremely popular
2) They are made in a limited number each day
3) By the time I get to Belly (usually near closing time), they are gone

What is a girl to do when she has been craving these? Why make her own of course. Well, since I have found these little cupcakes from heaven, I have tried to find a way to make my own. I've searched the internet. I found chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate frosting but NO peanut butter & jelly cupcakes.

Until. . . one of my friends over at Two Peas In A Bucket, posted a link to their favorite food blog, Mommy's Kitchen and while poking around in there I found. . . Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and thought this one will do the trick. Apparently the recipe comes MeMa's Manna Cookbook (a cookbook that looks right up my alley). The original recipe I found didn't state the oven temp. or how many cupcakes it made. I set the oven on the normal baking temp of 350 and it was perfect. It made 22 cupcakes but I probably could have stretched it out to 24 if I made them a wee bit smaller.

Here is my slightly revised version turned into PB&J Cupcakes.


2/3 - cup shortening
1 1/2 - cups granulated sugar
3 - eggs
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 - cup milk
1 tsp - vanilla extract
2 tsp - baking powder (yes, I know the pic has baking soda, but I did use baking powder)
1 3/4 - cups all purpose flour
Grape jam (I used jam because it is a thicker consistency than jelly and thought it would bake better)

Preheat oven to 350. Set out a stick of butter (to use for the frosting), so it can be softening.

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and beat well. Add peanut butter and beat well. Add milk, vanilla extract, baking powder and flour. Using a ice cream scooper fill the muffing liners about 1/2 full with batter. Add about 1 tsp of grape jam to center of each and cover with another layer of batter (filling about 3/4 full).

Bake at 350 for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown. (22 minutes was perfect for me). Cool cupcakes completely and frost with peanut butter frosting .

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 - 16oz box (1lb) powdered sugar
1 - stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 - tsp vanilla extract
milk (about 3 - 4 tablespoons)

Cream powdered sugar and butter together, add peanut butter. Mix well, add vanilla extract and enough milk to make it easy enough to spread. Beat mixture together until you have the consistency you want. Frost cupcakes when completely cooled. (I used a piping bag and star tip)

I wish I sort of had some purple sprinkles to put on the top to give it more of a PB&J look on the outside - maybe next time.
The result: very good - very close to Belly's. I am glad I used the jam - I think jelly would have been too thin after cooking, the jam was perfect. I also think I could have put a little bit more jam into the center - maybe 1 1/2 - 2 tsp but I was afraid it would bake out so I was a bit careful this time. I really liked them and definetly will make again when I am needing a PB&J cupcake fix.
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