Bubbly Snack Round-up

One of the many benefits of cultivating this passion project, is that my friends and colleagues love to share gifts of the bubbles+sprinkles persuasion. Birthdays and major holidays aside, I’ve begun to amass quite a collection of foods, beverages, clothes, trinkets, everything you can think of– with some link to sparkling wine or cupcakes. Some gifts have been downright amazing (I’m looking at you 2004 and 2006 Dom Perignon special editions), others I have loved for sentimental value (a favorite is a cupcake painting by one of my best friends). I’ve also received some kooky winners, which I still file away and cherish immensely.

Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of candies either infused with sparkling wine, or the flavors of. I thought it would be fun to profile my fave five— each of which I recommend as favors at your next party or gifts for your closest peeps.

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1) Champagne Bears by Sugarfina. Sugarfina knows what’s up. They’re currently offering a gummy bear detox AND you can design your own bento box of sugary goodness. My kinda haven. Their Champagne Bears are infused with the Dom and come in single-sized cubes for….portion control… 😉

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2) Champagne Dreams Gourmet Gummies by Project 7. Though not infused with actual alcohol, these gummies are super tasty and available at most local Starbucks. One of the best girls in all the land gave me these for my last birthday and I’m forever grateful.

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3) Champagne Bottle Jelly Beans by Jelly Belly. It’s all about the packaging for these love bugs, but the packaging is on point. One of my all time favorite memories growing up was visiting the Jelly Belly bean factory. They even had bags of “misshapen jelly beans” for a whopping $2. It’s only fitting that ma beans grow up with me.

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4) Jelly Belly Champagne Jelly Beans. These guys are one step beyond the above, a perfect visual representation of the tiny rose gold bubbles that we all find in our favorite beverages. Sweet and sassy and alcohol free, these are a great way to start Friday a little earlier than 5pm.

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5)Champagne Bubbles Gumdrops. The site even says that these things have a ‘je ne sais quoi’. It ain’t lyin’. Again, no booze in these babies, but they do have a great light grape flavor and a cool texture. These are an awesome choice if you’re looking to do a candy bar at your next event.

Hope that y’all have sugar-filled dreams a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna

Happy Easter!

Man oh man, do my teeth and stomach currently dislike me. They’re so over sugar-laden snacks that just NEED to be sampled. (Market research, right?) Even with the reprieve of my recently-shared Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes, they’re feeling quite disapproving.

Luckily, after this weekend, the Hallmark holidays take a breather for a minute. So I, and the rest of the five-year-old population of Portland, just HAD to indulge in all of the sweets I possibly could for Easter.

Pre-Easter, I was lucky enough to visit Tra’Renee Chambers and the team at Afternoon Live. So I brainstormed. I phoned a friend. I played the 50-50 game. And I asked the audience. The audience (thanks, Lori and Debbie!) was immensely helpful. With their recommendations, Easter Surprise Cupcakes were formulated. Inspired by the (sometimes polarizing) Peep, this dessert is so light and airy, you might feel like you’re floating away. Full video and recipe shared here.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday, and that you’re looking forward to an amazing week ahead.

Xo,
Jenna

Chocolate Cupcakes for my Paleo Friends

When this blog was but a young baby blog, my dad used to pester me about sharing healthy recipes for my beloved cupcakes. I would shoo him away, my cupcakes would be grandiose, full of sugar and fat, a treat after an active and healthy week.

But over time, it wasn’t just my dad. My friends on detoxes would stare longingly at the Sunday cupcakes, the acquaintances and work buddies who were celiac or on gluten-free diets would have to shun my cupcakes when I brought them in on Mondays. Slowly the weights shifted to a world where I was the fatty, glutinous outcast.

I’m being slightly dramatic, but it was definitely a great wake-up call. Here was an opportunity to bring my darling cupcakes into an arena where friends and family wouldn’t feel bad after inhaling two or three. So yes, you read that title right. Tonight, I delved into paleo, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. Disclaimer– I know that I have readers and friends who would still see this recipe as not 100% paleo or gluten free. Just know that I tried. I stuck my toe in the pool. I promise to continue to refine the recipes that I regularly post so that they’re appetizing to each and every one of you.

It was easier than I thought. I have so much respect for those of you that operate on a selective diet, because your shopping list is probably much shorter than mine. It was more about removing ingredients from the cupcakes and the frosting, and then making a couple substitutions. I only added one important ingredient, and that was a crumble from Paleo Eats. Paleo Eats is a company based out of Bend, Oregon, a place truly special to me. The Paleo Eats team sent me three different paleo bars to try– Coffee Bean Bar, Chai Spice Bar, and Coconut Cacao Bar. These three snacks were not only the inspiration for my cupcakes this week, they were also a delicious post-run snack as I kick off training for my next marathon. They’re chewy, flavorful and filling on their own. But as I nibbled away on Chai Spice after a run, I realized that these three bars could serve as the final touch on my paleo cupcakes.

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Cupcakes (makes 12):

  • 1 cup  cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paleo baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Frosting:

  • 3 sweet potatoes or 16 oz butternut squash
  • 2 cups melted dark chocolate
  • Paleo Eats bars for garnish

^easiest frosting ever, am I right?

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Heat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin. Combine all cupcakes ingredients, first the dry, then fold in the wet. The mixture will be pretty thick, but it will resemble chocolate cupcake batter to a T. Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 liners full and bake 20 minutes. The cupcakes will resemble ooey gooey chocolate brownies, a welcome sight in my eyes. While they cool, boil 3 sweet potatoes or microwave butternut squash cubes. Then melt your dark chocolate. Combine dark chocolate and squash or potatoes. Finely break bars into small pieces. Dip cooled cupcakes first into frosting mix and then into crumble. Share with friends… or don’t…

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No bubbly this week, but a few on the horizon that I’m excited to share. Stay tuned…

Xo,
Jenna

Funfetti Cupcakes: Reboot

The rainbow sprinkle. An enigma which has flooded the kingdom of sugar. From the most bourgeois of high society petit-fours, to the gentrified $30 corner-store treat, it has permeated all sorts of our cravings. We’re talking about a teeny, tiny concotion of sugar, wax and artificial flavorings, so what gives? What has bolstered the rainbow sprinkle (sorry chocolate sprinkles, not your post) to the inner-most sanctum of sweet symbols?

A lot of blood, sweat and tears, it would appear. We have the creative badassery of ladies like Candace Nelson (Sprinkles bakery) and Molly Yeh (My Name is Yeh) to thank. Thanks to rockstars like these, 2015 me was able to dip my toe in the Funfetti pool. And now, 2017 me is able to perfect (read- improve) the same sugary delight.

And so, as fanfare to my return to health, I give you… Funfetti Cupcakes: Round 2!

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In general I leveraged the same recipe as Funfetti Round 1 (see above- my darling little turd cupcakes), with a few small adjustments. The largest being that I learned my lesson and did not overwhelm the frosting with sprinkles before filling the piping bag. See, when you do such a thing, chances are high that you will break the frosting bag. Lo! With this small tweak, my frosting no longer resembled a colorful turd. Instead I garnished the cupcakes with an array of sprinkles, so that the my happy, rainbow vibe was apparent instead and outside of the cupcake. Other small adjustments included using only egg whites to maximize fluffiness and Madagascar vanilla in place of the previously generic option. The result? A day where I consumed 12 cupcakes and little else 🙂

Recipe (makes 12):

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Sprinkles

Frosting:

  • 15 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Rainbow sprinkles for garnish

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Pre-heat oven to 350 and choose the happiest, brightest, shiniest cupcake liners you possibly can. Combine cupcake ingredients (sans eggs) and mix in large bowl. To separate your egg whites, gently crack and move the contents of the egg back and forth, letting the yolk fall into the sink. Once you feel like you have only the egg white remaining, add to your cake batter and beat until smooth.

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Separate into your cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes. Your cupcakes will rise nicely and you’ll see a beautiful melange of colorful streaks and spots over their tops. Although it will initially hurt you to see these cupcakes covered in frosting, fear not. While they cool, you can stare longingly and combine your frosting ingredients at the same time. Add frosting to piping bag and frost cupcakes. Now douse in as many rainbow sprinkles as you would like. And please, please, reward yourself by eating all twelve.

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(in the process of eating all 12… probably still on cupcake 3 or 4 at this point…)

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Xo,
Jenna

One Bubbly Birthday

Hi friends!

It’s been a minute. This is largely due to one of the most debilitating colds/infections/sicknesses I’ve dealt with in a while. While my (imaginary) school of medicine believes that cupcakes and sparkling wine cure everything, my “real” doctor squad (the one I pay co-pays to, the pre-med sister, and the ass-kicking intern best friend) kind of aligned that fluids, rest, and meds were a better route.

Squarely in the middle of this cold season fell my 28th birthday! It was hands down the best birthday I’ve ever had. I say this most years, and I think that’s by design. That my friendships, my work achievements, my hobbies, and my adventures keep getting cooler and cooler is, well–COOL!

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The weekend prior, some of my beautiful lady friends treated me to a delicious supper at ClarkLewis. The week of, I kicked things off by cheering on my Blazers from killer seats. I treated my actual birthday as my floating holiday at work (National Jenna Appreciation Day) and headed to Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. Historically, I’ve been fairly opposed to gambling, but I guess new, 28-year-old me is a fan–and a big-time winner! I returned home on Sunday relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to enjoy a steak the size of my head at St. Jack. Bisous, bisous, bisous to everyone who made the celebrations so special.

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I figured it was in everyone’s best interests if I didn’t bake cupcakes while under the weather–but that didn’t stop a certain special someone from gifting me a truly top-notch bubbles gift.

YAY for Dom! This bottle joins another in my collection that will only be consumed when there’s a diamond ring on my finger, when I check off 100% of my professional goals (probably never going to happen), or–heck–when bubbles + sprinkles opens its first brick and mortar store. Hey, you read it here first!

Dom on its own is a sleek and sassy class act. But vintages like this one and my 2004 Limited Edition Gift Box by Jeff Koons are just next level. The box features designs by iconic artists, this one specifically–Michael Riedel. The bottle features a taste profile of licorice (not normally my jam, but they make it WORK), hay, tangerines, and peaches. It invokes some serious summer vibes, which automatically puts me in an amazing mood. (NOTE–even though I’m not opening this special bottle, I have tried this vintage at a recent shindig. Hence, I can speak to yumminess specifics.)

Closing the chapter on year 27, I have but one wish–a speedy recovery to 100% so that I can share “Then and Now: Funfetti Cupcakes.” Stay tuned…

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Xo,
Jenna