Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m a fan of all Hallmark-inspired holidays. They never shy away from the two things that this site focuses on.

But I’m a particularly huge fan of Valentine’s Day. One could even call it the patron holiday of bubs and sprinks. A day when I can rock my pink and red and white. A day when I can justify a perma-sugar coma. A day when everyone should share the love as much as they possibly can!

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In honor of our [brand] new patron holiday, we’re rebooting an old favorite, with a brand new audience. I was hosted by Afternoon Live this week, and I doctored up a batch of Spicy Red Velvet. This was actually the very first recipe I ever made for bubbles+sprinkles. I would like to think today’s turned out a heck of a lot better than 2013’s 🙂 As always, huge thanks to Tre and the show for having me. It was a total blast. You can check out the video and recipe, here. 

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Looking for help with your future sugary treat needs? Feel free to reach out to hello@bubblesandsprinkles.com or take advantage of the form at the top of the page. Remember that all orders this month will benefit Planned Parenthood. I would like to continue contributing profits from this site to charities who could really use it. Have an idea for a group that would really appreciate it? Let me know!

Hope that everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Xo,
Jenna

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Clementine and a Fizzy Vinho Verde

What a beautiful weekend. Happy Father’s Day to anyone celebrating in any capacity. I enjoyed a really wonderful hike to Lava Canyon with my sister and dad as well as a really solid biker bar lunch in a town aptly named Cougar. Basically just all around great day.

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I’ve been wanting to make orange cupcakes for awhile but something about the flavor sounds tacky to me. It reminds me of the fake flavoring found frequently in candies or dental treatments. And I can’t go fake flavoring. So the other end of the spectrum is timely. It involves squeezing oranges, de-seeding oranges and then balancing the rest of my ingredients so that the acidity isn’t too strong.

Neither of these options sounded awesome. But they did give me a craving for Clementines. The sweet, innocent cousin of oranges. Easier to squeeze, no seeds to worry about, and pieces work much better as garnishes. ‘Let’s see what happens,’ I thought.

I like what happened. Clementine juice added moisture to my batter, but not too much. The end result was slightly addictive, as are most things tangy. Big fan.

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Cupcakes (makes 12)-

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 /2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of (2) Clementines
  • 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar
  • Juice of (2) Clementines

clem 3Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients (adding Clementine juice last) and beat until smooth. Bake for 20 minutes. While cupcakes cool, whip frosting ingredients (again, add Clementine juice last). Garnish with Clementine pieces. Don’t eat too many 🙂

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One of my favorite restaurants in the Portland area is Verde Cocina. It’s fresh and delicious Mexican inspired food. The organic and locally sourced ingredients make me feel slightly better about the giant portion sizes.

I went with my sister and one of my best friends this week to celebrate a milestone day. I was feeling ambiguous about my beverage and asked our server for a recommendation (bubbly, for sure). He challenged me to try their Vinho Verde. Very effervescent, he said. Dry. Bordering on sparkling wine land, but not quite.

I like a challenge and was extremely pleased with his recommendation. Vinho Verde means “cheap and cheerful” in Portuguese. The Broadbent Vinho Verde was super refreshing and light. There was a slight hint of lime in the color, but the taste pallet I got was extremely dry– I’m going to be a wine snob and say paper and almond. Worked perfectly with the mild tang of the cupcakes. Highly recommend for any Summer’s evening.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Cheers!
Jenna

One Year Later…

And some change 🙂 Sorry for being MIA, it’s been an adventurous couple of weeks. Still on the road but finally have a minute to sit down and think about what this year has meant to me. As far as Bubbles and Sprinkles goes, I’ve honed my craft, remembered my love of writing, found theraputic me-time in the kitchen and learned so much about the art of sparkling wine. I’ve fallen more and more in love with the idea of what this business will eventually be and I’m excited about what I’ll learn in the years ahead.

Lessons learned (that may or may not translate into real life)-

  • Frosting piping bags are amazing. Next up- to buy new tips and play around with texture. (No real life applications here)
  • Remember that projects like this stem from personal passion, they’re not a chore. Get excited.
  • Be patient. If it doesn’t work the first time, take the time to do it again.
  • Don’t pour boiling corn syrup down the drain. You will ruin the plumbing. (None here either)
  • Accept help. Meet new people, apply what you learn and watch your craft improve.
  • What you create can be as big as you want it to be. Put in the hours, focus on your vision and be proud of everything that you achieve.

No better way to close the circle than to re-create the very first cupcakes on this blog- Spicy Red Velvet. Talk about a then and now.

old spicy red velvet

(June 2013)

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(June 2014)

This flavor will always be close to my heart, and one of my favorites. It was a go-to when friends and family requested batches of cupcakes this past year and I noticed subtle differences as I played around with different brands and quantities of ingredients. This particular batch was for a red-letter-day at work and I wanted to go all out for my team.

Recipe:

Cupcakes (makes 12)-

  • 2 1/2 cups baking flour
  • 1/2 cups Dutch cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp Siracha
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Frosting-

  • 16 oz powdered confectioners sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Set aside. Combine cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Bake for 20 minutes. Whip frosting ingredients and frost cooled cupcakes. Dust with rainbow sprinkles and enjoy every, dang, bite.

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Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose – Perle d’Aurore, was a natural choice for this week. It’s a French sparkler made outside of the Champagne region- in Burgundy. It’s a creamy blend of two of my favorites- Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Teeny, tiny bubbles, which for some reason in my mind, perfectly complemented the teeny tiny rainbow sprinkles on the cupcakes. Rich, rich strawberry flavor. When you see Red Velvet, many still question what the dominant flavor will be. With this batch, it’s cocoa through and through, and what better celebratory combination than strawberry and chocolate?

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

 

Peanut Butter Cream and One of my Favourites

This post could also be titled, “The week I almost burned the house down”, or “The week that I successfully glued my drain shut using corn syrup”. I was not forewarned about the dangers of pouring burnt corn syrup down the drain. Actually I probably was, but I do have selective hearing when it comes to do’s and don’ts.

Context. This week’s flavor was my boss’ request and he’s been very patient as I rotate through holidaycentric cupcakes and whims which strike my fancy at the grocery store. I’ve done a Reese’s themed cupcake before but this week I wanted to work off the luxury and decadence of creamy peanut butter. My initial plan was to bake the cupcakes sans peanut butter, and fill hollowed baked cupcakes with a tsp or two of the rich goodness. Then I would mix peanut buttercream frosting and garnish with homemade peanut brittle.

Should have totally worked. Peanut brittle is in essence a very simple recipe. I’ve still included directions below who are not as corn syrup challenged as I. Long story short– corn syrup overcooked, burned, Jenna dumped down the drain, said corn syrup crystalized on contact, crazy noises were heard as it traveled through my plumbing and the drain was officially nailed shut. What followed was a stressful half hour of picking at the drain with forks, knives and my fingernails until I could finally first pry out the drain and then clean away any evidence of the disaster.

SO. Pictured are peanut butter cupcakes with peanut buttercream frosting, no filling. They’re really yummy, nice and soft and not too filling!

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Recipe (makes 12):

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup melted butter

Frosting:

  • 16 oz confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Peanut Brittle:

  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp baking soda

Combine cupcake ingredients and fill cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and set aside. Frost cupcakes once cooled. Peanut Brittle (grrr): boil sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook until mixture is 350 or until when you drop a spoonful into cold water, it crystalizes. Add peanuts and stir. Remove from heat and immediately add baking soda. Pour mixture onto greased baking tray. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Despite my disapointment with the peanut brittle, everything happens for a reason and I was stoked to find this week’s sparkling wine by accident at Freddy’s. Domaine Carneros was my favourite winery I visited during my first trip to Napa last Summer and the sparkling wines are really, really well done. This week I added the 2009 Brut to my collection. If the cupcakes weren’t enough creamy heaven, the bubbles in this wine were. Delicious flavors of vanilla, not a ton of fruit, a little bit of almond rounded out the finish. The price point is around $30, so if you’re looking to celebrate, or not :-), I highly recommend.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

 

 

Gingerbread, Egg Nog and a Tart Prima Cuvée

Arctic freeze begone! I kind of wished that I could bake with the cupcakes this week, it’s too dang cold outside. That being said, great incentive to be in the kitchen, trying to stir up some holiday heat and keeping the closest proximity possible to the oven.

This week, I was inspired to try and turn beloved gingerbread cookies into a cupcake counterpart. They baked gloriously, flour measurement dead on. I was worried about baking cupcakes with molasses but the combination of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg created the perfect flavor.

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I decided to avoid a fluffy whipped frosting this week, instead trying to channel more of a glaze that you might normally see on gingerbread cookies. When it comes to holiday flavors I say the more the merries, so I decided on an egg nog flavored glaze. It definitely had a thinner texture than my regular frostings, but it was a little bit more thick than I would like a glaze to be when I apply. This led to a wee bit of overflow when frosting. I’ll have to work on my technique there 🙂

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Recipe (makes 12):

Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice

  • Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Glaze:
12 oz powdered confectioners sugar
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup egg nog
1 tsp vanilla

  • Combine and beat until you achieve the preferred texture
  • Once cupcakes are cool glaze and sprinkle additional cinnamon as garnish
  • Enjoy!

Although I had to wear mittens to enjoy my Champagne this week, enjoy it I did. I went back and forth between whether to opt for a sweet creamy sparkling wine, or one that’s a little bit more tart. I decided to go tart, since the cupcake is rich and a little bit spicy.

Rosatello Prima Cuvée come from an Italian staple, Ruffino. One of the very first companies to inroduce Italian wines internationally, Rosatello is argued by some to be one of the most famous Rosé wines in the world. It’s sweet and fragrant, with just a hint of acidity that compliments the ginger in the cupcakes. Very drinkable– highly recommend for a price point of around $15.

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Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna