Recipe: Cookie Butter Pound Cake Cupcakes with Cookie Butter

//recipe by Mary Shirley//

Another Cookie Butter recipe for you Cookie Butter Lovers (AKA ME)!! I've mentioned a few times how obsessed I am with Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter. I actually recently bought the Cookies and Creme version, and have eaten most of the jar without making anything with it. Highly recommend. A few weeks ago I made these Cookie Butter Pound Cake Cupcakes with Cookie Butter Icing. YUM. Cookie Butter Pound CakeCookie Butter Pound Cake-2Cookie Butter Pound Cake-5They were moist and delicious. The perfect combination of Cookie Butter and my grandma's pound cake. Check out the recipe over on my blog, Gold Layer Cake. Cookie Butter Pound Cake-3 c

Teach Me How to Panko

//I Prefer Panko by Keri Ann O'Riordan//

The other night, my boyfriend asked what was for dinner, and I told him panko-breaded chicken breast, roasted corn, and a mixed green salad. He had no idea what panko breadcrumbs were and couldn’t wrap his head around why I’d use panko instead of regular breadcrumbs.

I was dumbfounded, since panko is one of my go-to ingredients. For those of you who are like my boyfriend, and don’t understand panko or its uses, read on! You can find a bag of panko at Trader Joe’s. I’ve found that the bag is plenty, and lasts me through a few meals.

Panko: Japanese-style breadcrumbs; used in place of regular breadcrumbs in a variety of recipes
Picture from Confessions of a Chocoholic
Typically, panko crumbs are made from loaves of white bread, so they are lighter colored and coarser than regular breadcrumbs. They produce a crunchy coating with a nice flavor. I recommend toasting panko in a pan before using them, as it deepens the flavor and makes the crumbs even crunchier. Panko can be used for practically any recipe that requires breadcrumbs, but here are a few of my favorite uses: 

Wine Delivery With A Bottle on The House, thanks to @clubw

Love wine? So do we, that's why we think you should gift yourself a few bottles of wine directly to your front door for the Holidays. Use our link and get your first bottle on the house.

We recommend you have them shipped to a place where you can sign for the wine (aka your office).

We have tried several Club W wines and below are our top 3 favorites:

Club W says "This is classic Napa Cabernet at its finest. With only six barrels made of the 2009 juice, a Cab of this stature would normally sell for way over $100 a bottle. We landed this gem in our private partner program and now we’re giving our members the insider’s deal. Drink it now or drink it later (this is the kind of bottle you could cellar for 10 years), but whatever you do, drink it slow. This is a way to experience a journey in wine as its flavors will change and evolve throughout your evening. 

The Bondsman is a beast. 16% alcohol plus five years spent aging in 100% new oak barrels means a wallop of flavor. Pop it open, pour it in a decanter, and come back to experience a taste of the fancy stuff. Dark fruit with rich, oak-aged flavors of cherry, toast, vanilla and clove beg for a steakhouse cut of beef. "

Club W says "We love Santa Barbara. It’s one of the hottest regions on the forefront of California’s “new wave” of winemaking that continues to impress us with its exceptionally balanced wines. To celebrate this newcomer, Funk Zone is all about getting funky with Santa Barbara fruit; unique varietals, unique blends, unique artists... there are no rules. Funk Zone wines are limited-lot, experimental wines from Santa Barbara County that celebrate the progressive attitude of this winemaking hotbed. 
The Funk Zone Syrah-Viognier blend is an unusual mix of both red and white grapes. Modeled after our favorite styles of Syrah, Funk Zone was created to represent a wild child character of the Rhône varietal. With just a subtle use of oak (the hallmark of great Rhône wines), this Funk Zone is really well balanced. Medium-bodied, smooth but a little spicy, with an extra oomph of floral jasmine and spice aromas courtesy of the blended Viognier. Fruity with some grit and a long finish as its flavors continue to evolve."
Club W says "Bright, jovial, and fun. If we had three words to describe Sauvignon Blanc from Happy Canyon those would be them. This little corner of Santa Barbara County has a storied history (its name comes from the folks who would take a trip for some “happy drinks” during the Prohibition), but Happy Canyon is also known as one of California’s most interesting growing areas for Sauvignon Blanc. The warmer climate is great for Bordeaux varietals like S.B., but the mineral soils here stress the vines into producing rich, tropical flavors alongside their refreshing minerality. 
The Smile and a Wink Sauvignon Blanc is your getaway wine -- it smells like a beach. Guava, papaya, passionfruit? Check, check, check. Fruit forward, bright, and tropical, it’s got a lot more texture than your typical Sauvignon Blanc with a little slipperiness on the palate. It’s easy, it’s refreshing, we’d be amiss if it doesn’t put a huge smile on your face."
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