Red Velvet Cupcakes with Greek Yogurt

The word “cupcake” alone drives me crazy, in a good way that is. Say it with me. 
Cupcake. Cup cup cup, cake cake cake. Cup. Cake. Cupcaaaaake. It’s so cute and puts a smile on my face. 

As Greg and I were trying to decide on a puppy name, I might have even suggested we name the girl Cupcake. Okay, I wasn’t completely serious. Greg would never have gone for that in a million years anyway (he’s still convinced the girl doesn’t need a pink collar…we’re working on that one!). 
My other suggestion was Pancake. Can you imagine a puppy named Pancake? Oh em gee. Too cute. Don’t worry though, that’s not happening either.
I’ll reveal her real name when we pick her up in just about 10 days or so. Yay! 
In the meantime, let’s eat cupcakes together, shall we?  These are the perfect balance between dense and fluffy, they are not overly sweet, and they are low-fat to boot. 
What more can we ask for?
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Greek Yogurt
(Adapted from Undressed Skeleton)
Makes 8 cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt 
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1/2 tablespoon red food coloring
~1/2 cup whipped cream cheese frosting (I used Pillsbury)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine yogurt, applesauce, butter, milk, vanilla, egg whites and food coloring. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Slowly add dry ingredients while beating on low speed. Beat until just combined. Scrap down sides of bowl as needed.
4. Pour into cupcake wells, about 3/4 the way full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. 
Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired. 

Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies

The little sugar-loving devil inside of me won the fight. You know, the internal fight I have with myself on a daily basis to make the best choices possible when it comes to what I eat.  Yeah, that fight. It can be very violent I tell you. The claws come out and there may even be hair-pulling. 
Ok, no not really. 
Healthified” and “gluten free” desserts were well and good this past week, but it was only a matter of time until I indulged in a homemade treat like this again. A dessert with full-fat butter, sugar and that notorious refined white all-purpose flour rarely disappoints. And I was going to enjoy every last bite. 

This is one recipe I have been hanging onto for several months and now can finally announce with certainty I will not be letting it go anytime soon. It lived up to every expectation I had. 
This is how it started…
Jessica made red velvet browniesDorothy adapted that to make a red velvet brownie pie. Now I have adapted that to make Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies. 
So. dang. cute. 
I’ll take three.
After a couple of late nights out this weekend, spending a lazy Sunday afternoon enjoying something like this is just what I needed. 
Mini Red Velvet Brownie Pies
(Adapted from How Sweet It Is and Crazy for Crust; I halved their recipe which is reflected below)
Makes 9 mini pies
Refrigerated pie crust, cut into 9-3inch circles (using a circular cookie cutter is the easiest way)
For the brownies-
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon red food coloring
For the cream cheese whipped cream frosting-
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Place one circular pie crust into the bottom of 9 of the wells and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand-alone mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, then 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until well combined. 
3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, food coloring and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir thoroughly. Add to stand-mixer and blend. Add flour and salt. Continue to mix until well combined. 
4. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter on top of the pie crusts in the wells. Spread in an even layer with spoon, or gently tap pan on counter to flatten batter. 
5. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a mini pie comes out clean.  
6. While pies are baking, prepare frosting. Beat heavy whipping cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar. Fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream. 
7. Once pies have cooled completely, frost as desired!

Sweet, Sweet Revenge

You may have heard me talk about how excited I was to try a bakery in New York called Sweet Revenge. I don’t remember how I originally heard of the place, but I did. And the rest is history.

Sweet Revenge on Urbanspoon

This bakery established themselves on the concept of cupcake and wine pairings. Two of my favorite things.

But in addition to cupcakes and wine, they serve brunch and lunch among other desserts and pastries. There are several things on the menu that look great, but there was only one thing I wanted for brunch: Red Velvet Waffles.

Just like every other place in NY, the food was a bit overpriced ($11.95 for these two relatively small waffles and a small bowl of fruit), but it was worth the splurge. And, on a vacation where I was eating out for almost every meal, I honestly didn’t mind the smaller portions. 
Red velvet waffles taste just as amazing as you would imagine. And the salted caramel syrup made them even more delicious. 
Poor things…Didn’t stand a chance.
Greg had the “gigante” breakfast burrito and loved it. We also tried some cupcakes. The Pure (vanilla) was awesome.
Now that I am back home, it’s time to get in the swing of things again. I have a lot of baking and cooking to do to make up for my time away from the kitchen. One thing I now want to try: red velvet pancakes! How does THAT sound? I would try doing waffles, but that’s hard to do without a waffle iron 😉 I can’t complain though, my mom and Thom got me a brand new, b-e-a-utiful KitchenAid stand mixer and I can’t wait to use it!