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Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Feel the Love Birthday Card and Sweet Saturday!

Happy Saturday, my sweet friends! I hope your weekend is joyous and sparkly. :o)

I have a couple of special treats to share with you today! I'm excited to share some love via the incredible I Feel the Love project, created by the sweet and talented Madison at Funky Cards. Every month she shares the story of a person or family in need of some extra love and blessings... and we all have the marvelous opportunity to participate by making cards to bring them a smile. :o) I can't think of a better reason to craft. This month we're celebrating Ethan's 2nd birthday! He was diagnosed with a rare liver disease when he was 2 months old and has since had a liver transplant and gone through far more than I can even imagine. Thankfully he is on his way to the childhood he deserves... and it's truly a blessing to be able to share in his birthday celebration in this small way. :o) I hope you'll join us!

"TONS of birthday love rolling your way!"

Admittedly, I had a terrible time photographing this due to overcast skies and a fierce wind. All that aside, this is the fun birthday card I made for Ethan! His name is spelled out on peanuts, which are dancing and hopping down the twine tightrope. I used a waffle-design paper to mimic a peanut shell. Our sweet elephant is anxious to celebrate with Ethan, so he's rolling along on a sparkly ball to pick up the pace. He's ready for the festivities, with two cupcakes in honor of his second birthday and a few ultra-glittery balloons. The balloons are coated with Glossy Accents for a hard, shiny epoxy finish. I used three shades of twine to coordinate with the balloons and added some to his cute little tail. You know why the heart balloon is first, right? Because this card, like his recovery, is guided by love. I used Sunshiney font for the sentiment because it just seemed appropriate for him. :o) For added texture, I embossed the main mat, both frostings, and the dark part of the elephant's ears. I hope this brings a smile to Ethan and all of his wonderful loved ones. :o)

Challenge entered:
 * Cooking With Cricut~ Incorporate a cake, cupcake, or teddy bear!

Today isn't a regular Sweet Saturday. Rather, it is a Special Edition. You know what's hard? When bloggy friends are hurting. Such is the case right now for some very kind crafters. One of them has become so special to me and our wonderful friendship has turned into something spectacular. Knowing she is heartbroken, so far away, leaves me feeling beyond helpless. Prayers transcend boundaries, but we naturally like to DO something for our loved ones when they're going through tough times. She is a huge fan of Sweet Saturday, so I scrapped my original plan yesterday and raced to the grocery store to get ingredients to make her a special dessert. Although I can't deliver them to her in person with a hug since she is 1,858 miles away... I still made them for her as a small gesture to remind her she is in my heart. This Sweet Saturday is for her.

When a friend is hurting, sometimes you just can't decide what heart-soothing treat to bake. Cake? Cupcakes? Cookies? When everything seems right and you just can't decide which is BEST... this fantastic cupcake is the answer. For you, my sweet friend: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

A brown sugar-chocolate chip cupcake, filled with a chunk of eggless cookie dough, and topped with cookie dough buttercream. Do I really need to tell you how amazing these taste? They are magical and are pretty much the dessert equivalent of a hug. Due to time constraints, I wasn't able to decorate the top with a teeny tiny version of my favorite chocolate chip cookies. That is such a sweet addition, so I'm disappointed I couldn't include them. They're still jam-packed with love, though. :o) Even if you make them without the filling, they are STILL beyond words. (And no, I will never try to figure out just how bad these are for you. Moderation and exercise make it okay.) ;) Every single person who I have made these for has fallen in love with them.

These are a special treat and if you're a cookie dough lover, you absolutely must try them! The frosting... oh my. The frosting. I told you a few months ago that I'm not a fan of buttercream frostings. This is the exception. It tastes exactly like cookie dough! It's so marvelous that I refrigerated the extra and will find some use for it. A mini cake? More cupcakes? Breakfast?

Note: This is a bit time consuming, but it is all easy and very enjoyable. This is a great recipe to bake over two days, if possible. Should it be a last minute decision, it's still worth the extended time in the kitchen... I do hope you'll give these a whirl. The recipe as written makes a ton, so you'll have lots to share! :o)

Note Two: This frosting is *supposed* to be a tad bit granular, so do not be alarmed. It's not grainy like the brown sugar wasn't fully incorporated... just a little granular, mimicking cookie dough.

Thank you for visiting me today! I wish you the sparkliest of weekends. :o)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Yield: 24-30 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For decoration:
Tiny chocolate chip cookies
Mini chocolate chips

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together to blend. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, approximately an hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture. Cover with the very top of the cut-out cones, if desired.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Source: Annie's Eats

Key Recipe Components (for card):
 * Cricut cartridges: Create a Critter, Elegant, Edges, Simply Charmed
 * Cuttlebug embossing folders: D'vine Swirls, Polka Dots, Swiss Dots
 * Spellbinders Nestabilities: Labels Four
 * Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Papertrey Ink
 * Twine: Sew Easy (blue lagoon, limeade, lollipop)
 * Ribbon: Target dollar bin
 * Miscellaneous: Glossy Accents, Martha Stewart glitter, Stickles



  1. Squee!!! It's an elephant!!! I so love elephants. I think it's because my name starts with E - as does elephant - so I always thought we had a special bond hehe. Therefore, I can determine that Ethan will love this special elephant as well. Especially because he's performing such amazingly fabulous circus tricks. Amazing job as always, my Sweets!

  2. WOW! Karen you thought of everything. This card made me smile and laugh and cry all at the same time. You are so talented!!! Two cupcakes, Ethan's name in peanuts, the heart balloon to guide his recovery. So creative and so thoughtful. You are amazing. This is just awesome. Thank you for all your support. God Bless.

  3. This card is so sweet and cute! Everything about it is perfect! This will definately bring a smile to Ethan's face! Those cupcakes look amazing too! :)


  4. You know when people say that something is "so cute, I could just eat it up"? That is exactly how I feel about Ethan's card. I mean, an elephant on a ball on a tight rope? Balancing delicious cupcakes? SO ADORABLE. Ethan is going to SMILE so big when he gets this. I bet he wants to sleep with it that first night. :)

    Now, about your recipe. Oh my sweet heavens. Did you know that my very favorite cookie in all the world is a CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE? And to combine that with cupcakes? Well, my friend, that is PURE GENIUS.

    Do you know what I did when I read the TITLE of the recipe? I SHOUTED it out so my whole family could hear. Then I did a happy dance. :) My husband almost fainted, I swear. He thinks you're some kind of dessert super hero.

    After the shouting and dancing ceased, I read the recipe through to make sure I had all the ingredients I need to make these TONIGHT. :) Because something THIS good can not wait. It would be almost criminal to wait, right?. I can hardly wait to TASTE them!

    Know what? As much as I love your card and adore your cupcakes, the thing I love most about today's Sweet Saturday is the HEART that went into it. You are such a blessing. :)

    Thank you my sparkly friend.

    Nita :)

  5. Wow Karen you are so thoughtful and caring! I just love this little card and all the fabulous thought out steps for each and every cut! I totally love the idea of the name on the peanuts and the cupcakes looks so yummy! I am SURE you will bring a HUGE smile to Eathan when he see's this adorable card! Thanks for sharing and for this awesome recipe. Your the best:)
    Sherrie K

  6. As usual my sweet friend, your card makes me laugh, cry and stare in awe at the thought and care you put into every single design element!! Every embellishment you add has some extraordinary meaning and it all adds up to an amazing card!! The peanuts happily dancing on the tightrope with Ethan's name inside is one example or your incredible creativity! You truly are a card artist, Karen!

    And YAY - sweet Saturday! The cupcakes look absolutely mouthwatering...but I am sorry for the meaning behind them. I hope they bring some comfort and joy to your friend who is hurting. You are so thoughtful and special :)

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! :D


  7. Looks very yummy. Thanks for playing with us at CWC. Sous-Chef Feli'(Felicia)

  8. Very adorable card, love the peanuts! Thanks for playing @ CWC!

  9. Beautiful card Karen.I love the thought and detail you put into every creation and this is no exception.Ethan will adore this special card.
    Jayne x

  10. What a sweet card! So sorry I haven't had the chance to comment much lately! Things have been super busy :( I love the sentiment on this card and I also love elephants! I've always heard that an elephant with it's trunk up is good luck! Hopefully your card brings it to little Ethan. I think it is wonderful that you made these yummy cupcakes for your friend in need! I'm sure it sweetened her day even though she can't actually eat them! You are so thoughtful and sweet. We are all lucky to have a wonderful blog friend like you!

  11. Karen, you are such a sweet thoughtful person. As someone said, we are all so lucky to have you for a blogger friend. I am sure your friend was so touched by your thoughtfulness. AND I am sure Ethan is going to love his card. You are such an inspiration. hugs from ukiah

  12. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Just look at this post! It is pure happiness from top to bottom!

    My eyes can't stop tearing up, Sunshine! I can't stop thinking about sweet little Ethan and the huge smile that is going to light up his face the second he receives your most beautiful gift. Your love will be sooo comforting and will give him so much strength...I wish I could be there when he opens your card, Sunshine. It will be his favourite present of all time. *dreams about the moment when his little hands will hold it for the very first time*

    I have seriously never seen a more adorable elephant in my life, sis. Isn't he the most precious little one ever?! And how can he balance so amazing like that?! *is jealous* TEE HEE! I love you Mr. Happy Elephantness! *borrows some of his peanuts to feed my squirrels with* TEE HEE!

    And oh boy. Where do I even start with these cupcakes, Sunshine? Are you kidding me?!?!?! Those are the most yummy things I have ever laid my eyes on! GASP! Look at that gorgeous frosting! *wipes drool from my lips* Even the precious little cupcake holder cups are the cutest I have ever seen. You are incredible, Sunshine...if I had been there when you made these, they wouldn't have even made it off the baking rack. They would have been devoured in five seconds flat. TEE HEE!

    *needs to borrow some of your happy cupcake holders because I SO need to make this recipe right this very second* WHEEEEEEE!!! I NEED SOMEEEEEE!!!

    *monsterously hugglers you in giant happy sparklie squishies*

    God bless you have just made a very special little boy's heart sparkle brighter than ever...I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

    Christina :)

  13. Ethan is going to love this card! His name in the peanuts is so clever and cute! I love the shiny balloons and the elephant on top of his sparkly ball is so cute! I love how he's carrying the cupcakes!

  14. That is one of the cutest cards EVER! I love it, so many cute details! I'm sure Ethan will love it! :)
    Tracy M

  15. How CUTE, Karen!!! First, what a strong little boy Ethan is! I think it is so sweet to have compassionate people like you who go out of teir way to make someone feel special. I think how his parents must feel as well. Now, the card is just absolutely adorable!! I am sure he will LOVE it!! I like the glossy accent details too. :)

    Thanks for participating at Cooking With Cricut!

    BTW, the recipe sounds delish!! hahahaha...okay enough rambling!


  16. what a fun card...and the recipe sounds yummy! thanks for sharing!

  17. Karen Thank You for dropping by my blog I love those baloons on your card. Amazing and Thank You for following me

    Cheers from Bangalore ,India
    Dr Sonia S V

  18. Me again. I just ate my SECOND cupcake of the day.
    **sugar buzz**

    These cupcakes are dangerous, my friend. This recipe should come with a warning. HA! :)



  19. Oh Karen this card is darling. I could stare at it all day long. So much fun:) I have so much glitter and stickles, but can often forget to use them. You have gotten me to get them out on my craft table so I remember to use them always. Really adds so much to a project. I can just see the smile that this is going to bring to Ethans face. I wish things would slow down for me so that I can get back to creating. I need to join you in making cards these cards for those special children.

    Once I start baking up these yummy goodies that I am getting off of you I am going to start phtographing them (and me as I pack on the pounds) and send them to you!

    Thanks much for always inspiring me;)

  20. This is a very special card that you created for Ethan. He will truly love it and so will his mom. You will bring light to a mom that is carrying a heavy load right now. I also hope your friend enjoys her cupcakes, and her heart is freed if only for a moment. Thank you for all of your visits to me too. I love to hear from you, and read your precious words. Hugs, Pam at

  21. A wonderful card AND a recipe! Love cooking it up!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    -Kemma, CookingWithCricut Design Team

  22. Super cute card! Love that elephant and the cupcakes on his head are very symbolic! Great story about the little boy! My son is 2 and can't even imagine what that little boy is going through! Wow! Anyways, thanks for sharing your project with us at CWC! Fantastic job! Jill from DT♥

  23. How adorable and fun is this!!! This is just fantastic! Thanks for joining CWC.

  24. Oh Karen! What an absolutely adorable card!!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your wonderful recipe too! May the Lord Jesus abundantly bless you for your heart of love and generosity of spirit! Thank you for playing and sharing with us at


  25. This card brought a smile to my face! Love the elephant :) and that recipe . . . YUM!! Thanks for sharing and joining us at Cooking with Cricut!

  26. This card is so love-filled and absolutely adorable, Karen! And I just know that your friend is feeling the love, even if she is so far away. Thanks for linking up at Cooking With Cricut this week.

    ~ Jen, CWC Design Team

  27. Karen, You are just truly amazing! What a special thoughful idea! These look mouth watering as all your desserts do :) Now, that card my friend is just so very adorable! I will say that I love the sparkle as much as you do! Those cupcakes on the elephants back are just so pretty! Thank you for sharing with us and I'm in awe of you Karen!

  28. This recipe has made me so very excited!!!! I can't wait to try these! It combines two of my favorite desserts and I have needed some cheering up lately! :)


Thank you for leaving some love! Have a beautifully blessed day. :o)

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