Becoming Self-Centered…In A Good Way

Welcome  Two-for-Tuesday is back!  Yesterday, I referenced the quote, “Necessity is the mother of all invention.”  Today, I’m going to quote, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”  Our two recipes both have good stuff on the inside, as well as the outside!  I’m going to share a recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Sandwich Pockets that are waaaaaay better than what you buy in your grocer’s freezer.  I also have a triple threat of chocolate with my recipe for Fudge-Filled Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream.  Wow!  I will also explain what I mean by becoming self-centered in a good way.  Thanks for joining me today.

Today’s Scripture  Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Food For Thought  We are all probably aware that selfish behaviors and putting ourselves before others is not very spiritual or Godly.  But during a recent study, I decided that, as Christians, there is a time when we need to become a little more self-centered.  I bet you are thinking, “Whoa, did she really just say that?”  It has to do with today’s scripture in Matthew chapter seven.  When it comes to judging behaviors, we have this particular knack for looking for the wrong that others are doing.  It may just be time to become a little more self-centered!  Before I start looking for the sinful behaviors in the lives of others, I must first look at my life and check my own attitudes and actions.  I need to focus on removing the plank from my own eye.  And if we think about the illustration that Jesus is using here, a plank is very large.  In fact, the interpreted word for plank in this passage would be the equivalent to a roof beam or other structural support.  So what this passage says to me is that I likely have some “big” sin in my own life that needs to be addressed before I worry about my brother, or sister, in Christ that has some sawdust.

Now, don’t misunderstand this passage, as it is so often used in defense of one’s own behaviors, as in “Hey, don’t judge me!”  If you’ve ever had a speck of dirt, or sawdust in this case, in your eye, you know how painful and distracting it can be.  Sin is sin, big or small, and we are called to help our fellow Christians deal with their sins (Matthew 18:15-17).  But I have no authority to do this until I have looked inward and addressed my own spiritual short-comings, and trust me, I have plenty to keep me busy!  I also need to check my motivation for wanting to point out my neighbor’s sins.  Am I doing this because I truly care about their soul and well-being, or does this some how make me feel better about my own sinful choices?  One of these reasons is not helpful to either of us!  So, before I jump on the judgement bandwagon, I shall bring the focus back onto myself and find the areas I need to work on first.  Let’s take a moment to be self-centered and honestly look at the areas in our own lives we need to improve.  I’m going to add this to my journal right now!

Today’s Recipes  Sometimes you just want to eat dessert first!  So I will share my cupcake recipe first today.  It’s SO GOOD!  This has become my favorite cupcake recipe!  My disclaimer is about the chocolate whipped cream.  Since it is cream, you do need to refrigerate these cupcakes.  The risk you take with refrigerated cake is that it can dry out.  Lucky for us, these cakes are filled with rich, creamy fudge!  Additionally, using cake flour in these cupcakes will keep the texture of the cakes nice and tender, even after refrigeration.  It’s really a triple chocolate overload, which is the best kind of overload, if you ask me!  The cupcakes have a mild dark chocolate flavor, the fudge filling is rich and decadent, and the chocolate whipped cream is light and airy.  If you or someone you love is a fan of chocolate, these cupcakes are a must!

Triple chocolate cupcakes 2
A triple threat of chocolate in varied textures and richness.

 

Fudge-Filled Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream (makes 18 cupcakes)

Fudge Filling

  • 6 oz (half of a bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 TBS heavy cream
  • 3 TBS milk
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe container on 30 second intervals.  When melted, stir in cocoa powder; set aside.  In saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and salt over medium heat.  Add cream and milk, stirring until thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter is melted.  Remove pan from stove and add chocolate mixture, stirring until well-combined.  Set aside while preparing cupcakes.

fudge filling
The filling will set and become thicker like hot fudge sauce.

 

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee

Spray cupcake pans with nonstick spray or add paper liners to the cups.  To make 18 cupcakes in 2 12-cup pans, fill 18 of the 24 cups as directed, then fill the remaining 6 cups half full of water for even baking.  Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and brown sugar with electric mixer.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, beating until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix.  Add 1 cup of the cake flour and 1/2 cup sour cream; mix.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup sour cream, mixing until just combined.  Continue to mix on low while slowly adding coffee to the batter.  Add batter to prepared cups, filling until about 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 16-22 minutes, just until tops spring back when touched.  Remove pans from oven and place on cooling racks.  Cool completely before filling.

Devils Food Cupcakes
Devils Food Cupcakes

 

Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Before preparing whipped cream, place mixing bowl and beaters in refrigerator to chill completely.  When bowl is very cold, add cream to bowl and beat on high until cream begins to thicken.  This will take 3-5 minutes, but watch carefully, you don’t want butter!  Add remaining ingredients and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Place whipped cream in refrigerator until ready to top cupcakes.

chocolate whipped cream
chocolate whipped cream

 

Cupcake Assembly

When cupcakes have cooled completely, take a sharp knife and cut out a core from the middle of the top of the cakes.  Place these pieces in a separate bowl for now.  Using a teaspoon, add fudge filling into the holes of the cupcakes.  (I actually have a cupcake filling tool, but find it more work to deal with than this teaspoon method, just be careful)  Place the cut out pieces back on the top.  Don’t worry if they don’t sit evenly, you’ll be covering them with the whipped cream!  Please note in my picture that I filled them while they were still in the pan.  This provides a sturdiness to the cupcake while cutting out the core.  Just be sure to remove the cupcakes from the pan before frosting.  I use silicone pans, so I have no problem with removing the cupcakes.

Filling cupcakes
Remove a core from the cupcakes to fill with fudge sauce.

 

To top with whipped cream, I use the Wilton Decorator Pro, which is a tube with plunger and trigger so icing can be controlled as it comes out.  You can use any decorator bag or a gallon-size zip-top bag with the corner snipped.  I use a large star tip to get this “rose” type design.  You can use any large-holed tip for the whipped cream, or just spoon it on, if you prefer.

chocolate whipped cream roses
chocolate whipped cream “roses”
triple chocolate cupcakes 3
Three great flavors of chocolate combined in one great bite-devils food, fudge, and fluffy chocolate whipped cream.

Okay, here’s our second recipe for the day…a homemade “Hot Pocket.”  When my husband and I were first married we ate Hot Pockets for lunch all the time!  Well, we finally figured out we weren’t really getting much for what we paid for in those little cardboard heater boxes.  I figured I could make a sandwich pocket at home.  We don’t have them often, but when we do, we love them!  Even my daughter, who prefers to drown everything in ketchup, won’t put ketchup on these Bacon Cheeseburger Sandwich Pockets.  I think using bread dough is what makes these pockets so yummy.  My family says it’s the hearty fillings.  Don’t limit yourself to just bacon and cheeseburger, though.  You can make your own breakfast or pizza pockets too!

bacon cheeeburger sandwich pockets
Take the yummy flavors of a bacon cheeseburger on the go with this pocket sandwich!

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Sandwich Pockets (makes 12 pockets-leftovers make great lunches!)

  • 1 pkg frozen dinner roll dough (12 rolls)
  • 1 lb ground beef (93/7 works best)
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • flour for board and hands

Thaw roll dough 3-4 hours prior to making sandwiches.  Flour a large board or baking sheet and place the rolls on the board to thaw, turning rolls every hour or so.  When dough is thawed and you’re ready to make your sandwiches, heat a large skillet over medium heat and turn oven to 350 degrees.  Cook bacon until crisp and set on paper towels to drain.  In same skillet, crumble ground beef and begin to cook.  Add onion, Worcestershire, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and salt.  Drain off any excess grease.  Crumble the bacon pieces and stir into ground beef, along with the cheese.  Take each roll and flatten and stretch, sort of like making a small pizza dough.  Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of each dough piece.  Fold edges over and pinch closed or use a fork to crimp the edges together.  You could also brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Place sandwich pockets on pan and bake at 350 for 24-26 minutes.