Ever since Gaby started to crawl, her favourite place to be was in our kitchen. She was quite taken by any sort of plastic container, pots, pans and wooden spoons. When she started to walk, I would find her playing with mixing bowls (filled with Cheerios) and measuring spoons. As soon as she turned four, she became my little kitchen helper and every time I would bake or make our Sunday waffles she would don her tiny pink apron, climb on a chair, start to carefully measure flour into her own set of measuring cups, ask me to let her add the vanilla and stir the batter. To this day, Gaby loves to bake. Especially with chocolate (like mother like daughter) and often I hear her in the kitchen after we've had dinner, getting cake pans and developing her own recipes. So with Halloween around the corner, I invited two of Gaby's closest friends, Rachel and Jules, to spend a Sunday afternoon baking Halloween chocolate cupcakes. That morning Gaby and I went shopping for a few Halloween decorations and placed them all around the dining room. Tiny ghost lights, gourds, sprinkles and a box of her favourite Nestlé Assorted Mini Bars (AERO, KIT KAT, SMARTIES and COFFEE CRISP)
We decided to make Spooky chocolate cupcakes, top them with a simple vanilla icing and decorate them using orange SMARTIES, KIT KAT, and marshmallows. We also added skull cake toppers and decided to host a few more parties before Halloween with the recipes on the Nestle site. Their site is such a good resource for recipes that are super easy and entertaining to do with your kids before Halloween. Most of them require little ingredients but guarantee a lot of fun for the parents as well. Hardest thing though? Using the mini bars just for decorating the cupcakes :) We must have had like 6 each! But in my books, that's what makes a party better anyways. How do you say no to a KIT KAT? Or a COFFE CRISP? Or a bubbly AERO right ? Kind of impossible! Not to mention, Nestlé Assorted Mini Bars are peanut-free, prepared right here in Canada, contain no artificial colours (SMARTIES) and are made with natural flavours and sustainably sourced cocoa certified by UTZ as part of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan.
As the music played and the girls made plans for Halloween, I realized that though they're teens and growing up at the speed of light, an impromptu baking party and planning their Halloween costumes, still excites them and makes them happy. Baking together, enjoying their favourite treats was the best part of our Sunday, especially when we got to sink our teeth into the delicious and spooky, chocolate cupcakes made with their favourite treat-sized chocolate. I've posted our recipe below and for more fun Halloween ideas visit the Nestlé site!
Also! Nestlé Canada is also hosting a recipe contest online from now until October 20, 2017. To enter the contest, share a Nestlé Halloween recipe featured on their site for a chance to win a $30 prize pack of Nestlé Halloween treats! The contest is only open to Canadian residents, excluding the province of Quebec.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
2 tbsp Greek yogurt, at room temperature
2 tablespoons hot water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until fluffy, approximately 4 minutes.
Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, and water. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.
Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tbsp milk
1 tbsp extract
1 pinch salt
Orange gel food colouring (about 6 drops)
Orange and yellow SMARTIES or SCARIES
Mini KIT KAT
In a small bowl, beat together butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy, and add orange gel food colouring until incorporated. Top cupcakes with icing, and decorate with your favourite Nestlé minis.
This post was made in collaboration with Nestle, however all views, opinions and recipe development are my own.