My dad and stepmom came over the other night and she brought these cupcakes.
I was in heaven. The chocolate cake was moist. The filling was creamy. It was not like any chocolate cupcake that I’ve had. Yet, they tasted familar. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Then, it hit me…
They tasted just like a Hostess Cupcake! Down to the creamy center. Well, actually, they tasted even better then a Hostess Cupcake. Some of us grew up with Hostess Cupcakes. Moms put them in lunch boxes. If you were lucky, you got to have one when you came home from school.
If you loved chocolate cupcakes as a kid, you had to have a Hostess Cupcake.
Yes, there was the Twinkie, but Hostess Cupcakes are way better.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9-inch-round baking pans or one 13 x 9-inch
COMBINE dry ingredients in medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in larger bowl until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Add flour mixture and slowly add water. Spread into prepared pan(s).
BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan(s) for 15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
Place chocolate pieces in a bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate and stir until completely melted. Allow ganache to cool until it gets thick. Whip until frosting form
In a medium bowl, beat together all filling ingredients. Fill a large piping bag. When cupcakes are cool, press tip into the center and squeeze 2 tablespoons of the cream filling into the center. Save half for topping. Repeat for all cupcakes.
This week’s featured food blogger(s) is Six Sister’s Stuff! A great recipe and more blog ran by six sisters-way cool!
What inspired your family to first start writing a blog?
We started our blog as a way to stay in touch with each other as we all moved to different parts of the country. One of us to California, another to Missouri, and another was off to college for the first time. We started posting easy crafts we had done or simple meals that our families loved, and we started getting a bigger and bigger following (which we thought was totally crazy!) :)
What kinds of posts are your favorite to write?
We are definitely HUGE dessert fans! We grew up making and trying new desserts every Sunday, so it was always something we looked forward to. Those are probably our favorite to write (and eat!)
What do your readers seem to like the most?
We try to focus on easy recipes that can be made from ingredients you already have in your pantry and cupboards. Some of our most popular posts are our freezer meals. It takes one hour, you can make 8 meals, and then to cook them all you have to do is throw them in the crock pot in the morning! They are quick and most importantly – delicious!
Where do most of your recipes come from?
A lot of our recipes come from our mom and our grandma. They are the recipes we grew up with. We had dinner together every night growing up – our mom never failed to have a hot meal on the table. The rest of the recipes are ones we come across and can’t live without or create!
Since there are six of you, do you take turns deciding which recipes to post?
We have a set schedule of which sister posts what days – but as far as recipes go – it is first come, first serve! The first sister who posts a draft of it has claim on that particular recipe! :)
I love your new My Recipe Magic site! Can you tell my readers about it?
We created MyRecipeMagic in response to the questions we would get on a regular basis from our readers. We wanted a place where anyone and everyone could come and share their recipes. It also has some really awesome features – the nutritional value for every recipe posted (along with the Weight Watchers points), the ability to save recipes and make cookbooks, print shopping lists, and plan menus for your week. It is also a way to make a little extra “dough” – the more views your recipe gets, the more money we pay you!
Your blog has huge traffic, yet you are still on Blogger. Will you ever move to WordPress, or has Blogger been able to handle your traffic just fine?
Blogger has handles our traffic just fine – but we are in the middle of a transition to WordPress (it has been a long time coming). WordPress has a lot more plug-ins that are readily available that are going to save us quite a bit of time! Keep your eyes peeled for the makeover – it is coming in the next month! We are pretty excited :)
Does everyone share in taking photos, or is there a “photographer” in the group that takes care of photos?
We split it up – if it is your recipe, you are the photographer.
Do you have any advice for newbie food bloggers that want to get “big”?
Find what you love and what you are passionate about – what really interests you? Our main focus is on quick, easy family meals – we are definitely passionate about the importance of family dinners. If you write about what you love, it will draw people in! Also, network with bloggers in your niche and outside your niche. Networking is HUGE in the blogging world! Introduce your readers to them, and vice versa – it is a great way to gain new, loyal followers!
“Thank-you!” she squealed and hugged him. Still in shock, she had to look around the bakery. The place looked a bit dusty, like it hadn’t been used for awhile. There were five tables in the front area and a big double bakery glass display case and a small kitchen area in the back.
Sophie noticed that the kitchen seemed to have everything still in it, from baking utensils to a mixer. There was a nice stainless steel oven and fridge too.
“Wow, it looks like I have everything I need here,” she commented.
“Yep, I made sure,” he said and grinned one of his famous grins and walked up to Sophie and put his arms around her. “You like?”
“Heck ya, I like. How did you get this property?”
“Let’s just say I have connections in real estate.” He took out a business card from his breast pocket in his coat and handed it to Sophie. “Her name is Shirley, and if you need anything, you can call her.”
Sophie looked at the colorfully decorated business card. Shirley’s smiling photo was plastered on the middle of the card. She was beautiful, with gorgeous long blond hair and perfect white teeth like Jack. Sophie hoped this wasn’t an ex-girlfriend.
Jack told Sophie they would have some paperwork to fill out, but it was pretty much good to go. He also offered to give her a business credit card for supplies, but she insisted on using her savings she had built up for that. She also insisted that they work out a contract for her to pay him back.
Over the next six months, Sophie worked hard on the bakery, using her savings for whatever she could and now, her grand opening had finally arrived.
Sophie looked over her shoulder to find Susan, the pastry chef she hired, wiping off the glass counter. Sophie smiled nervously at the plump older woman, and then quickly looked down at her hands. She heard Susan chuckle, so she looked back over at her.
“You don’t have to be nervous, honey,” Susan assured her. She put down the towel and walked over to her and put her hands on her shoulders, giving them a quick squeeze. “Your pastries are the best in Chicago.”
Sophie shrugged her shoulders. “You’re just being nice so I’m not so nervous.” She wished that Jack could have been there for her opening, but he had to go out of town for the week.
“Well, I am trying to make you feel better, but I’m not lying about your pastries,” Susan said and then pointed at the bakery’s front doors. “Look at that line of people out there!”
Sophie looked up and saw the line forming outside. She walked up to the door and noticed the line of people going all the way down the block. “Oh my,” she gasped. “I can’t believe how many people are here already.”
She wondered if Jack had anything to do with it. She looked back at Susan, who was waving her hand for her to unlock the front doors. She took a deep breath and unlocked and opened the doors. She quickly stepped back as the line of people hustled into the bakery.
Sophie watched two mothers come in toting a toddler and infant in strollers. The quiet bakery now roared with conversation from the customers and orders being taken.
The bakery stayed busy all day long, and before they knew it, it was closing time. When the last customer finally left, Sophie locked the doors and plopped down on the nearest chair.
“Whew, what a day,” she said and wiped her forehead with her palm. “I thought we were going to run out of everything.”
Susan walked over to where Sophie was sitting and pulled up a chair. “It was a great first day. Where’s that gorgeous boyfriend of yours? He didn’t want to be here for your big day?”
“Unfortunately, Jack had to go out of town,” answered Sophie.
Susan wrinkled her nose. “What for?” she asked. “Isn’t he a rich spoiled brat or something?”
Sophie lightly punched Susan on her arm. “It’s not like that. He does work, but I really didn’t question him about what he had to do. He just said it was a business trip and I trust him.”
“Ha! Never trust a guy,” barked Susan. “Especially, a really rich and handsome one.”
Sophie sighed. “Susan, just because you’ve had a bit of bad luck with men…”
“Bad luck?” Susan stood up and put her hands on her hips. “Three marriages to three deadbeat guys is a curse.” She started to walk away and then turned back around and pointed at Sophie. “Just be careful. That’s all.”
Sophie stood up. “Well, let’s get this place cleaned up and get things ready for tomorrow.”
As the two women cleaned up, they were unaware of the two men in the black Mercedes parked across the street watching them.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar,salt and butter. Toss with a fork until dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Dust surface with flour and roll dough into 4 mini circles. Transfer to lined baking sheet. Combine the filling ingredients; spoon over pastry to within 2 in. of edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered.
Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Drizzle with caramel topping. Serve warm.
When Jack walked through the door, Sophie had just finished putting on her left diamond earring. She smiled and twirled around to show off her new black dress that Jack had given her before he left, then ran up to him and threw her arms around his neck. She kissed him fully on his lips.
Jack kissed her back and laughed. “See? That’s why I asked you to move in,” he said.”So, I get this kind of greeting when I come home. It’s better then coming home to a lonely empty apartment.”
“Oh I’m sure this apartment wasn’t always empty,” teased Sophie. She walked back to the hallway mirror and adjusted her necklace. “So, what is this surprise that you have planned?”
Jack set down his bags on the sofa. “You will have to just wait and see, my darling.”
Jack picked Champagne, Chicago’s most expensive restaurant for dinner. Sophie wished she had an appetite, but she was so nervous about Jack’s surprise, her stomach felt like it was full of butterflies. She ordered the salmon with mixed vegetables and forced herself to eat most of it. Jack had steak with baked potatoes, his favorite.
“Would you like dessert?” he asked when they were both finished.
“I don’t know if I could with all this suspense you are causing,” Sophie said with a teasing glare.
Jack laughed. “You can’t pass on Champagne’s dessert menu,” he commented. “They have the best chocolate truffles in Chicago. Heck, even their shortbread cookies melt in your mouth.”
Sophie decided to order the chocolate truffles, figuring she could take them home and eat later.
Sophie was glad she ended up getting the truffles. They were superb! She had the rest boxed up and Jack had the car brought around front. When they got in the car, Jack took out a silk scarf.
“What’s that?” asked Sophie, raising her eyebrow.
“Not what you think, silly,” Jack placed the scarf over her eyes and tied it in back. “I don’t want you to see where we are going.”
They drove for seemed to by an eternity when she felt the car finally pulled over and stop. Jack walked over and opened Sophie’s door and took her hand to lead her out of the car.
“Keep that blindfold on until I say,” he reminded her.
“I will. I will,” Sophie promised, though she wanted to yank it off.
He led her to the front of a building and took out some keys and unlocked the front door, opened it and led her in to the building. He positioned her and then carefully untied the scarf.
“Are you ready?” he asked before taking it off.
“Oh, come on! Yes, I’m ready!” Sophie growled impationately.
Jack slowly took off the scarf. Sophie’s eyes needed a minute to adjust. Then, she looked around and realized that she was standing in the middle of an empty bakery. “Is this what I think it is?” she asked shocked.
Jack stepped in front of her and lifted both his arms in the air. “If you are thinking your new bakery then, yes!”
“Jack, I don’t know what to say,” stuttered Sophie.
“How about, owning a bakery is all I ever talk about, so thank-you, Jack,” teased Jack.
Sophie cupped her mouth with her hands and looked around in disbelief.