Baseball Themed! Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes

Hey guys, I’m back!  Hope you enjoyed my Taza Chocolate Factory post this morning.  I had a fun time writing that one.  As promised, I’m back with a new cupcake recipe.  I figured I might as well continue with the chocolate theme I have going today!

For Tim’s birthday last week, I whipped up a batch of chocolate cupcakes as part of his present.  I had full intentions on decorating them all to look like baseballs to go along with the other part of his present, Red Sox tickets.  However, I didn’t check to make sure we had enough red and blue decorative icing left!  Turns out, only had enough for 3 baseball cupcakes.  #kitchenfail.

It’s okay, I used other colors (which turns out — look just like blue and red anyways) to write Happy 27th on the remaining cupcakes.

The recipe I followed is actually from a vegan blog.  I didn’t make these vegan because I used regular milk, but you definitely could by using non-dairy milk.  I was a bit nervous at first about the whole no-egg thing, but you know what?  Couldn’t even tell.  And I’m not even just sayin’ that either.

Baseball Themed Cupcakes

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl:  Milk, apple cider vinegar, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
  3. Now sift the dry ingredients (flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) into the wet.
  4. Mix well, until all clumps are gone.
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each cupcake.  Bake for about 24-26 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Recipe inspired by Taste of Home – same recipe I used for the Coconut Nest Cupcakes, only I used vanilla extract instead of almond.  I guess I should put my F&F warning — frosting not good for you.  I mean it’s amazing for your taste buds and sweet tooth, but def not for the thighs.  😉

Ingredients
(For 12 cupcakes, about 3 cups)

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.

Insert pat on my own back.  I liked them so much that I ate two.  One before the game, and one after.  Yum!!

When’s the last time you baked cupcakes?  What did you make?  If you can’t remember the last time you made cupcakes, tell me about something delicious and chocolatey in your life lately.

…so I can dream about it while workin’ it at Two A Day Tuesday tonight!  Later!

A Chocolately Saturday in Union Square

Morning!

Here’s a little overdue update for your Tuesday morning.

A couple of weekends ago, Tim and I decided to have a little date day in Union Square in Somerville.  We headed over to Taza Chocolate Factory for a chocolate filled afternoon!  If that’s not a great day, I don’t know what is.  🙂

If you live in the Boston area and are looking for a fun and inexpensive daytime idea, I highly recommend checking out what Taza is all about.  The tours are only $5 each, they last 45 minutes, and they run often on Wednesdays – Sundays.  Definitely sign up ahead of time though because there is a maximum number of people allowed on each tour.

We got there a little early, so we spent some time browsing the Taza Chocolate Factory Store.  The store is a great little space where you can look directly into their manufacturing facility while sampling different chocolates.  We learned that every piece of Taza Chocolate is made from bean-to-bar at the Somerville factory.  In fact, the chocolate is roasted, winnowed, grinded, tempered, and molded in-house and by hand!  Pretty cool, huh?

I loved the chocolate because it was all DARK chocolate – yum!

I also appreciated the small pieces for sampling.  Sometimes too much can leave you feeling gross and stuffed, but these were the perfect size to avoid that too full feeling.  We sampled lots of different types of stone ground chocolate, including:

  • Taza Stone Ground Bars — High percentage, single-origin pure dark chocolate bars with intense cacao flavor and an ever-so-slightly gritty texture.
  • Taza Chocolate Mexicano — Rustic, round dark chocolate discs with a distinctively gritty texture, some sweet, some savory, some spicy.
  • Taza Chocolate Covered Treats — Fresh organic nuts and cacao nibs, roasted in-house and covered in rich layer of stone ground dark chocolate.

One of my favorite parts – obviously – was snatching up all the recipe cards they had up for grabs!

Nerd alert…

What?!  I just wanted some for my recipe collection!

The tour itself was fun.  Our tour guide was very enthusiastic and personable, which really does make such a difference.  During the guided 45 minutes, we were able to sample more stone ground dark chocolate, we learned about cocoa beans, and we got to see the machinery used to make the traditional stone ground chocolate in the factory!

One funny part — they made everyone wear hair nets on the tour!  Tim even had to wear a BEARD net – LOL!  Look how funny we look:

We left with a handful of goodies — clearly we couldn’t leave empty-handed!!

That box of chocolate covered almonds?  Already gone!!

After our time at Taza, we strolled around Union Square a bit but eventually started feeling a bit hungry for lunch.  I decided I wanted to go back to Bloc 11 Cafe, the same place I grabbed lunch with the CBC ladies the day of our fitness demonstration a few weeks ago.  I love this place!  It’s such a fun little hangout.

We started out with some massive drinks — all the chocolate made us thirsty!

A lemonade for Tim, and a giant iced coffee for me.

Seriously — it was a HUGE iced coffee!!

Tim and I ended up splitting this sandwich for lunch, “The Clover.”

Locally made fresh moz­zarella, arugula pesto, caramelized onions, tomato & greens on baguette.  Holy moly.  Second amazing sandwich from this place in one month.

That night we were tired from our day of fun, so we decided to have a low-key night in.  That was the night we cooked the zucchini for dinner — and had (yet another) Chopped marathon.

Ever been on a chocolate tour?  Do you guys have any recommendations for cheap “days of fun?” 

Be back later with a new cupcake recipe!!