A couple weekends ago we had a hot cocktail party and of course I had to make some desserts. This wasn't one of my better ideas because all the drinks were so overly sweet that not even I could take a single bite of one my sweets. Way too much sugar. They got eaten soon enough though. I went all Martha Stewart on this one. You know, I always think that her stuff is going to be the best because it just seems with all the thousands of minions she has coming up with ideas and taste testing everything, that her recipes would just blow everything else away. I've come to find this is not true....all the time anyway. While she does make some seriously good looking things, I've found that, yes, they are ALWAYS good looking, but not always as good tasting as you expect. Most of the times she comes half way. So it's kind of a toss up. A toss up I'm always willing to make though for some reason. I'm so brainwashed by the gorgeous pictures that I just think, man, this MUST be the best chocolate cupcake recipe there is?! It just has to be. In my case, it was gingerbread cupcakes and chocolate sandwich cookies.
Both recipes were relatively easy to make. Nothing out of the ordinary. My main problems and compliments with each are as follows. The gingerbread cupcakes took some getting used to. If you like not-so-sweet desserts, which many do (weird...) this is a good one. It is intense and SUPER molassesy. I mean, like there is 1 cup of molasses in the batter. If you've ever made anything with molasses, a little goes a long way, so this was a ton. I was shocked. Also, there is a ton of ginger in it too. So mostly, they just tasted like gingery molasses. Maybe not your thing? Not really mine either. I did warm up to them after a couple though. Like I said, they take some getting used to. However, they looked so pretty with a little white buttercream piped on top to look like a snowflake and then dipped in shimmering sugar. You can't go wrong with that. Not to mention, the beautiful display I used that I got for my birthday. So pretty!
Gingerbread cupcake recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/gingerbread-cupcakes
The chocolate sandwich cookies turned out different than I expected as well. First, I thought they were going to be more bite-sized like in the picture, which I can only blame on myself because I was the one that distributed the dough. It was fun though because you put little balls of dough on your baking sheet and then press them down into a disk with the bottom of a sugared glass. Makes them sparkly and a little bit sweeter. However, the cookies came out too crunchy and hard for my taste. I didn't over-bake them, quite the opposite. If anything, I under-baked them. So if you like your cookies crunchy, these are good for you. The recipe book I used (Cookies-Martha) is so cool because it divides the recipes into the different cookie textures i.e. crunchy, soft and chewy, crumbly, rich and dense, etc. Pretty good thinking there minions. I can't recall, but if these cookies weren't in the crunchy section, they should've been. The filling surprised me as well because it came out almost exactly like the Oreo filling, which depending on your predilections, could be a good or bad thing. I thought it was a good thing.....mainly because it didn't contain high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated palm oil and was still just as tastey, but that's just me! So, the cookies had the frosting going for them, but they were too crunchy. Too hard to eat. And they were way too big. Especially since they were a sandwich. So not only do you have the too hard chocolate cookie, but you have two! Make them small if you make them. Word to the wise.
Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/cream-filled-chocolate-cookie
These weren't my favorite holiday treats by a long shot, but regardless, it's still fun to experiment and have people tell you what they think of them. I didn't even get too many tasters though, I think the cocktails did them (and me) in.