Friday, December 31, 2010

Cuppy's and Beans Review

Since I am never home to bake cupcakes, I might as do the next best thing! Eat cupcakes! Tony and I decided we were going to venture to New York City to watch the ball drop for New Years.  So, for our snack during our 4 hour drive we stopped by Dulles Town Center (again) to pick up Sweetz Bakery Competitor's cupcakes for a cupcake showdown.  We were greeted by a snowhat wearing, Jamaican sounding guy named Zach (he wasn't really Jamaican but we got that warm welcoming Jamaican feeling just talking with him..Hey maun!).  Tony ordered the chocolate coconut and I ordered the chocolate ganache.  Tony really liked the taste of the chocolate coconut cupcake.  The vanilla frosting was not too sweet and it had a nice amount of coconut mixed in. However, we both thought the chocolate cupcake was a little dry.  The chocolate ganache cupcake was also dry.  The ganache was a bit more thick that I am used to.  I must admit it was at the end of the night when we ordered these cupcakes, but I do believe the cupcakes were more than a day old (the chocolate ganache cupcake anyway).  If I had to choose a place based on character and friendliness, I would pick Cuppy and Beans, but taste goes to Sweetz Bakery.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweetz Bakery review

I was walking through the Dulles Town Center today watching all the after Christmas shoppers and I remembered there was a cupcake kiosk in the food court.  Tony and I had visited them once before but it was so long ago that I had forgotten which flavors we ordered.  Sweetz Bakery had a nice variety of cupcakes and a good selection of gluten and dairy free ones too. They have a huge selection to pick from on their online ordering list on their website.  All the neatly lined rows of individually packaged cupcakes looked delicious and flavor combinations sounded so good.  I was greeted by a smiling, friendly girl. I asked her what her favorite one was and she immediately said "the chocolate peppermint".  I am not a big fan of peppermint but, she seemed pretty confident about her choice.  I decided to take her word and order the chocolate peppermint.   The chocolate cupcake was very moist.  It had a vanilla buttercream frosting, topped with crushed peppermint.  The frosting could have had a hint of peppermint in it.  I couldn't tell if I was tasting the frosting or the crushed peppermint.  The frosting was delicious either way.  I have to admit I was afraid the peppermint was going to take over the entire cupcake but it didn't. The crushed peppermint was mixed with crushed candy melts I think. That made all the difference in the world. It was a perfect combination.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was even a cream filling inside the cupcake as well.  The chocolate cupcake was so moist it really didn't need a filling.  Sweetz also has a really neat cupcake club that you can order a dozen of cupcakes each month to be delivered to a loved one. They have a 3, 6, and 12 month program.  I thinks its a great concept.  The only downfall is that it's local delivery only.  If you are ever in the area I would definitely recommend you to stop by and grab a cupcake to go along with your starbucks coffee
Sweetz Bakery
Chocolate Peppermint

Monday, December 20, 2010

Craves 2nd review!

Tony and I were driving around the streets of Houston looking for...I forget what we were looking for BUT we discovered another Crave's location in the Houston area.  The first Crave's we went to it was the Uptown location.  This time we visited the West University location.  I'm very glad we did! Tony ordered the key lime (he was very upset they did not have his coconut (we went on a Tuesday - they only make coconut cupcakes on Sunday, Monday, and Friday...Our luck!) and I ordered the chocolate peanut butter (I really liked the chocolate chips inside the cupcake).  We didn't feel rushed to make a choice and the counter girl was helpful in answering all of our questions.  Both cupcakes were moist and tasty.  We had a very different experience at the West University location than from our first visit at the Uptown location. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cake Balls

This year for Christmas we made about 10 different types of cookies to send out to our friends and neighbors.  I also sent a big brightly decorated Christmas care package to my son (his first year in college - I'm so proud of him).  I asked him what his favorite cookie was and he said without hesitation "those cake ball thingys" So if you haven't seen or heard of these so-easy-to-make delicious treats I have given you the no fail recipe. My 14 year old daughter makes them for her friends all the time.

Cake Balls

1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix (any flavor)
1 (16 ounce) container prepared frosting (any flavor)
Melting candy coating  or almond bark (any color)

Make cake according to directions, in a 9X13 pan. Let cool .

Tear up cake and put in a bowl. Add 3/4 tub of store bought frosting. 
(chocolate w/ chocolate, white w/ white, etc.) Be creative. 

Mix cake & frosting until evenly mixed.

Make the balls with your hands and place on wax paper.  Place in freezer until almost frozen firm

Melt candies or almond bark in medium sized bowl in the microwave or on a double boiler.

Dip cakeballs into melted bark & set on wax paper to dry.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Philly Cupcake review!

Wow! I cannot believe it's been 3 months since my last post.  My time has been stretched due to my job and my relocation.  I am happy to say I have the cupcake bug again! Tony and I went to Philadelphia for a day trip to see who has the better cheese steak in Philly -  Geno's or Pat's. After stuffing our bellies with cheese steaks (we preferred Geno's-not only because of taste but because of the atmosphere), we prowled around for a perfect Philadelphia cupcake.  We accidentally found this cute corner cupcake shop.  Philly Cupcake, 1132 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 P: 215-625-4888.  Philly Cupcake was more of a quaint Paris cupcake boutique. It was very girly girl!  They had antique glass hutches cases with shelves of gourmet cupcakes. Tony opted for a more pricier coconut snowman holiday cupcake ($5.00).  I opted for the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Massacre cupcake ($4.25).  We really did not mind spending a little bit extra for a cupcake that not only looks delicious but tastes how you expect it to taste.  These are not the actual pictures of the cupcakes but they look pretty close to the cupcakes we ordered.