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Tagalong Cupcakes and How to Celebrate Your Dog's Birthday

La Petite Maison Verte: Tagalong Cupcakes and How to Celebrate Your Dog's Birthday

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tagalong Cupcakes and How to Celebrate Your Dog's Birthday

I think that has to be my most random blog post title yet, don't you think?

That's OK, I think you'll get over it when you see where I'm going with this.

My sweet pup, Hudson, celebrated his 3rd birthday last week.  Three years old!

Just the most ADORABLE puppy that has ever LIVED.

I remember when he was just a puppy, I knew I loved him the first moment I saw him.  The soft coat and pliable skin with lots of room to grow into.  Those sharp little daggers for teeth....  As much as I loved him on that first day, I love him even more today and every day that passes by.

It's no secret that I love my dog, and although he adores (and more importantly, respects) Brian, he's definitely my baby.  

Hudson, I love that you let me mug the crap out of you and lay in my lap for hours.

To celebrate Hudson's birthday, I made Vanilla 'Pup-Cakes' with Peanut Butter Frosting.  Oh, and then I dipped them in chocolate for the humans.  As we all know, chocolate is a total NO-NO for dogs, so please, for goodness' sake - leave the chocolate off the dog's cupcakes!

Pupcake for Hudson on the left, Cupcake for Mama on the right

I'm calling these "Tagalong Cupcakes", yep, like the Girl Scout Cookie.  Although, a Google-Search just informed me that they are now called Peanut Butter Patties - WHAAAT?!!  It's a vanilla cupcake with Peanut Butter Buttercream, dipped in Chocolate Ganache.  Just like the cookie, only a cupcake.  Can-you-handle-that?!?

I used the same vanilla cupcake batter and peanut butter frosting for the Pupcakes, I just made them in a mini cupcake pan because even though it's his birthday, I doubt a 16 pound dog needs a regular size cupcake.  Mini dog = mini cupcake.  He didn't care one way or the other.  Hudson made quick work of his in, oh, about 0.267 seconds....and it didn't take the humans much longer than that to finish theirs ;-)

the birthday boy eating his pupcake

Some tips for celebrating your dog's birthday:

  • Make sure to invite friends.  Lots of friends.  Your friends, his/her're going to have a lot of cupcakes and you don't need to eat them all.
  • Have your camera ready when you put the cupcake down in front of him/her.  Dogs aren't great at waiting, especially when it's their birthday and they know it.
  • Don't serve your dog's cupcake in the wrapper.  He/she will eat it.  
  • Make sure he or she has a special birthday bow-tie (or just a bow, for girls!).  I made Hudson's in about 20 minutes using some blue plaid ribbon, a little thread and a spare button.  Leave me a comment and let me know if you want me to post a DIY, it was quite easy!
  • Do it and don't feel silly about it!  This is your best friend, your fur-baby, the one who waits loyally for you to come home, licks your wounds (literally and figuratively), and lays with you when you're sick.  I think it's time to celebrate them for the important family-member that they are.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Hudson Sterling.

Vanilla Cupcakes (or Pupcakes) with Peanut Butter Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache (for the humans)
makes 12 regular cupcakes or at least 24 mini cupcakes
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, via Joy the Baker

1 cup All-Purpose flour
scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare cupcake pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick baking spray.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on slow speed until everything is combined.  It will be a sandy texture at this point.  Gradually add half the milk and mix just until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together for a few seconds.  Then pour into the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula.  Mix a few more seconds, just so everything is combined.  Don't overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cupcake tins (or mini cupcake pan, or a combination of the two).  Each cup should only be about 2/3 full, as these will rise significantly during baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes (or about 12-15 minutes for the mini cupcakes) until lightly golden, the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and allow to cool fully before frosting.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
makes enough for 12 regular cupcakes

2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter (unsweetened)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 cup
pinch salt

Cream peanut butter and unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment  at high speed until well incorporated, scraping down the sides occasionally.  Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until combined, then increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy and smooth.  Add salt, to taste, if desired.  Frost cupcakes using a pastry bag fitted with your desired tip.

Note:  If proceeding to coat the cupcakes with ganache, place the frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for 1 hour to allow the buttercream to firm up before coating with the chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache Coating (For Humans only.  No dogs allowed.)
makes more than you will need for 12 cupcakes, but enough so that you can easily dip the cupcakes into it (you can refrigerate or freeze the leftover ganache in an air-tight plastic or glass container)

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (I do not recommend using chocolate chips as they do not melt as well as a chocolate bar)
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil would also work)

Once the cupcakes have been frosted and chilled in the refrigerator for one hour, it is time to make the chocolate ganache.

Place chocolate and coconut oil into a 2-cup glass pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir and check to avoid burning the chocolate.

Holding the cupcake by the bottom, dip into the melted chocolate so fully submerge the frosting.  Pull up and allow the excess ganache to drip off for a few seconds, then flip the cupcake back over and allow to set fully for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Note:  if preparing the cupcakes 1 day ahead of time, store the frosted and dipped cupcakes in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.  Before serving, remove the cupcakes from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for at least 1-2 hours.  These cupcakes do not taste very good cold but they taste amazing at room temperature!

 And, just because I can't get enough of this dog.  Here are some more photos:

Such strange and wonderful expressions you make, Hudson.

Hudson, you love food.  I mean really, really love it.  You're just like your momma.

My awkward but beautiful little baby.

Such a sneaky little hider.

Hudson, my sweet, happy boy.


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At June 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous -Colleen & Ben said...

Happy birthday to the sweetest little guy!!I just want to kiss his adorable little face :-)

At June 11, 2012 at 1:35 PM , Anonymous Beka said...

Yum! I love celebrating my pet's birthday! The picture of him peeking out behind the pillows is too cute.

At June 12, 2012 at 6:43 AM , Anonymous Julye said...

happy birthday with your dog he is so cute ;)

At June 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

Thank you :-)

At June 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

It was a fun day and I swear, somehow he just knew it was his special day!

At June 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM , Anonymous Jules said...

He misses his favorite cousin, Roxie ;-)


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