Recipe for reaping a college scholarship

My recent Twitter hashtag: #Sweets4TheSweet is not a trendy one, but I’m new at creating hashtags, and by all statistical accounts, if I stick by my hashtag and encourage others to use the it – it is highly likely that within the next 24 months my beloved hashtag could have ownness onTwitter (and beyond). Talk about a sweet future coming.

Speaking of future, I’ve mentioned before that I am building this website as my #YoungEntreprenuer approach to starting my own bakery, buying a storefront, and buying a food truck. Yes! I’ve still got plans. Also in my plans, and most importantly is extending my education and acquiring a degree in medicine.

Yes I want to go to college and yes – I know it’s not cheap. I am very blessed to have parents that have the time and care enough to help me understand the process and help me to get through it. And while my dad has paid off his student loans – my mother has not. This was not cool news to me. My mom still takes college courses as her career is ever changing, though now, I think she pays cash in an effort to avoid adding on to her current collegiate deficit.

In light of, I am strapping on my apron-of-comprehension and prepared to tackle the recipe of reaping a college scholarship, or two or three or ten. I am in the mindset of: the more the merrier. I’m in public school and on my last progress report I made 4 A’s and 2 B’s. My friends were in awe. My parents kissed me on the forehead and congratulated me on my hard work, and I accepted all praises immediately and as humbly as I could past my all-teeth smile. However, in my heart of hearts, I know I can do better.

Who’s with me? Anyone whose in a grade school position facing their collegiate future has got to feel me on this. So let’s prepare. Let’s get all of the ingredients we need to make a sweet future for ourselves. I’ve been researching college scholarship prerequisites, and here’s what I’ve come to understand:

Ingredients:

    • Get that GPA up! If it’s possible to get more than a 4.0 – GO FOR IT, especially if you’re in the public school (like myself). The higher the better.
    • Join as many academic and social clubs as you can afford and handle. I think this shows a sign that you can multi task and handle a little pressure.
    • Get involved in the city and build community service hours.
    • Get letters of recommendation from any and all of your mentors – it will go a long way when applying for college.
    • Take up an art and stick to it, whether choir, dance, theater, etc. Focus your creative into something and hone it.

Preheat your thoughts to degrees of winning. Start speaking affirmations to yourself and put them on posted notes around your room (if you have to). Whatever you do, STAY MOTIVATED and on fire for your dreams.

Mix the ingredients into your everyday life. Make it a routine to comprehend class instructions while they’re being given instead of having to play catch-up via tutoring, etc. Mix the ingredients easy. Make your obligations work for you. Whisk in fun at every free moment. Free moments are available when you tackle your tasks immediately and not procrastinate on them.

Sift out any desires to put your plans on hold. Your future will not wait.

Marinate in integrity and bake in the confidence of knowing your future is in your hands and that you will reach your goal.

Be sure to line your high school years with filing as many scholarship applications out as you can find. It’s my understanding that if you are not one of the few athletes gifted to get a full scholarship ride, you may need many scholarships to do the trick or to at least minimize your out of pocket expense, (unless of course you’re into still having a student loan bill when you’re 40). Every time I try to imagine having a longterm bill, I think: Ain’t nobody got time for that:

#Sweets4TheSweets
Let’s move forward and in good taste for our future.

Who’s with me?

Hot Cocoa Cookies

click to enlarge

Imagine: Crisp, cold weather, wearing warm cozy sweaters, holiday specials playing on the television, all while you’re sipping on some delicious hot cocoa. Okay, maybe I am a little bit anxious for winter time, but then again who isn’t?! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Now if that didn’t put you in the mood for the holidays, then I’m sure this recipe will do the trick. I got this wonderful Hot Cocoa Cookie recipe from: http://www.pipandebby.com. I hope this gets you as anxious for the holiday season as I am!

Ingredients:

· 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
· 12 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate (bars)
· 1 ½ cups of flour
· ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1 ½ tsp baking powder
· ¼ tsp salt
· 1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
· 3 eggs (at room temperature)
· 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
· 8 marshmallows

Directions: In a medium saucepan, melt together: unsalted butter and chopped semisweet chocolate (bars). Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

· In a medium bowl, whisk together: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt

· Using an electric mixer, beat together: light brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract

· Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 7.5 ounces of semisweet chocolate (bars) into 1-inch squares. Snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes.

Grate 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate over the hot cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

Enjoy!

Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes

Great work Clclt.com! Great recipe too.

I found this treat on Clclt.com.  Aren’t they beautiful? These Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes don’t really have any ice cream in them, but only resemble sundaes (sorry, you ice-cream-o-holics). But they just may be better than an ice cream sundae. The base is a chocolate cake, which is then cored and filled with chocolate ganache, piped with vanilla buttercream, and then topped with sprinkles and a cherry, oh yes, and more ganache.

After the chocolate cupcakes are baked and cooled, you’ll need to dig out a core. The baker that made these (in the pic) didn’t have a round cookie cutter small enough to cut out the middles of the cupcakes, so they used an inverted circular piping tip instead and used the tip of a knife to pop the core out.

Once cored, you spoon in the ganache filling, which is just a melted mixture of cream, chocolate, and butter.

The buttercream frosting requires 5 minutes of whipping after each 1/2 cup addition of powdered sugar. Thank goodness for the KitchenAid stand mixer, because that adds up to a lot of whipping. To get the frosting to look like whipped cream, the baker used a round piping tip.

After you pipe the little white clouds of frosting on each, drizzle on more ganache sauce, add rainbow-colored sprinkles, and top with a stemmed maraschino cherry.

Here’s a dissected cupcake:

click to enlarge

Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup boiling water

sprinkles

maraschino cherries

Method

Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper baking cups.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Once cooled, core the cupcakes to take out the middles. Don’t core them all the way through though – you still want some on the bottom. Just 2/3 deep works. Fill cupcakes with chocolate ganache (recipe below). Save any leftover ganache because you will be using it for the ganache glaze. Frost with buttercream (recipe below) using a round piping tip, then drizzle on chocolate ganache glaze over buttercream. Add the sprinkles before the ganache cools. Push a maraschino cherry into the top of each mound of frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

Makes enough to fill 12 cupcakes, and for glaze

Ingredients

8 ounces semisweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon butter, room temperature

Method

Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until combined.

Vanilla Buttercream

Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Ingredients

Leftover Chocolate Ganache Filling

1 tablespoon corn syrup

Method

Add corn syrup to the leftover ganache. Heat over a double broiler and stir until smooth and shiny.

Sundaes are great on Sunday!  Enjoy!

The Cupcake Chique