Friday, April 30, 2010

Happiness Is...

Happiness Is...

Happiness is what this little blog has helped me discover about myself and all that I can achieve. Happiness is the realization that I can be anything I want to be. Happiness is the overwhelming pride I feel when I watch my friends and family enjoying the things I have made for them. Happiness is this wonderful blogging community that I have found and that I feel so grateful to be a part of. Happiness is the giddy feeling I get whenever someone leaves a comment on any of my blog posts. Happiness is every culinary success (and failure!) I have experienced over this past year. Happiness is flour all over my hands and clothes and face. Happiness is licking the batter. Happiness is the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Happiness is here. Happiness is now. Happiness is what I'm filled with.

Happiness is Bella Baker.

Do what makes you happy. Be with the ones who make you smile. Laugh hysterically multiple times every single day. Love the life you live.

Happy Blogaversary to me!!!

Oh, and happiness can also be found in these Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Baileys White Chocolate Frosting. These cupcakes rock. These were some of the best cupcakes I've ever had, and the perfect way to celebrate my Blogaversary!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Baileys White Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Cupcake recipe (from Baking From My Home to Yours)

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona unsweetened)
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fit a 24 mini-muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then the yolk, beating 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among into 24 cup mini muffin tin. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a tooth pick inserted into their centers comes out clean. Transfer the cupcake pan to a rack and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature on the rack before frosting.

Mocha Baileys White Chocolate Frosting (recipe by me!)

4 oz good quality white chocolate (I used ghirardelli)
6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbps Baileys
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
1 strong double espresso

Melt white chocolate in microwave in 20 second spurts, stirring in between until completely melted. Put to the side to let cool. Beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high in the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and Baileys and until to beat to combined. Add melted white chocolate and beat another minute. Add confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat on medium high until a thick frosting consistency is reached. Add the espresso, beat on very high speed for one minute, then turn mixer off. Add more confectioners sugar, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.

Put frosting into piping bag with star tip and pipe generous amounts of this outragously delicious frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. And yes, you can eat as many as you want since they are mini!


  1. happy blogaversary to my most favorite-ist niece! i love your blog and always look forward to reading it! xo

  2. Happy blogaversary! So glad you are happy and doing what you really enjoy in life!

  3. Happy blogaversary to you!! :) These cupcakes sound fantastic!

  4. Happy Blogaversary Lauryn! Your post is wonderful - helps me to remember who I blog for first and foremost - myself :) Keep up the good work!

    These cupcakes look amazing! What a fantastic treat to celebrate your blogaversary.

  5. Happy Blogaversary! I've really enjoyed your blog.

  6. Happy blogaversary! Your cupcakes look delicious - I could probably eat a bowl of the frosting on its own!

  7. to my favorite baker and my bestest friend...happy blogaversary!! you rock my world...and my tastebuds. I LOVE YOU! Xxo

  8. Happy Blogaversary! So happy you are almost a neighbor! I will cook Christmas Eve for Grampy and family. I'd love to have you and Evan join us! Make dessert!
    xo aunt Gail