Thursday, February 10, 2011

And the Winner Is....

Commenter #31, Sharon!!

Please respond within 48 hours or another winner will be selected. Thank you to all who entered the giveaway. Stay tuned for future opportunities!

Handmade Valentines Gift Ideas - Chocolate

Just in time for Valentine's Day another opportunity to win a $35 online gift certificate to CSN Stores. If you don’t already know, CSN stores offer a wonderful online shopping experience where you can browse literally thousands of items at wonderful prices. One lucky follower of The Simple Gourmand will have the opportunity to use the gift certificate at any of the CSN sites. Personally, I have my eye on some of the Modern Bar Stools, Cookware, and Bakeware at, one of the hundreds of CSN Stores. Tell me what you'd spend the CSN gift certificate on and you'll earn an entry in the giveaway (mandatory before other entries count). Earn extra entries by doing the following:

  • First entry, visit CSN Stores and tell me one product you found that you would love to have. This is mandatory before other entries will be counted.
  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Add me to your blog roll
  • Post this giveaway link on your Facebook page (1 per day)
Be sure to leave a comment for each entry and a valid email address. Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen by random integer selection. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen. Contest will close on Thursday, February 10 at 5:00 PM EST. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chai Tea Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

A good friend of mine from work had a birthday last week, so I decided to make her some treats. These cupcakes were a huge hit so I promised the ladies from work that I'd post them here.

Chai Tea Cupcakes
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 heaping tsp ginger
1/2 heaping tsp nutmeg
1/2  heaping tsp cloves
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil or apple sauce
1 C Almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Scrape the bowl, then add the oil and mix until just incorporated.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over batter and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the Almond milk mixture, mixing on low until combined. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat until just mixed. Scrape the bowl, then add the remaining milk and mix until combined. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined.

Fill each cupcake liner about half full of batter and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1 C butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 C confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and cream together. Once combined, beat in another cup of sugar, then mix in the vanilla. Add the cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. If your frosting is too stiff or dry, beat in up to 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.