Introducing: Black Jack (and Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes)

My neighbor is madly in love with me. I must admit, the feeling is mutual.

He's not exactly tall, dark, and handsome. He's on the chubby end of the spectrum. Okay who am I kidding... he's a fatty. Jet black hair. Beautiful green eyes. Soft spoken yet attentive. I can't tell you the number of times I've left the front door open only to find him at the step, staring at me through the glass. My little stalker-boo.

Introducing Black Jack. The only neighbor on the street whose taken the time to make friends. We actually met the first day I came to explore the spot- he wanted to come in the house immediately. He's such a G.

This cat knows my schedule. He waits in the bushes till I come home from work just to say what's up. Maybe that slab of bacon I gave him has something to do with it. Of course, Autumn hates his guts. The bf and I are determined they were lovers at one point and she's salty over a past fight. Black Jack has that retired Zorro vibe going. Suave! He's just trying to win back his senorita. She'll come around.

Just as Black Jack and Autumn go hand in hand, so does dessert and nutella. If you've been following this blog, you know by now...

I

Love

Nutella.

The simplicity and concept of this recipe lured me right in: plain vanilla cake with a swirl of nutella built in. Beautiful! However.... the cake is actually quite heavy. It's not fluffy and soft, it's thick. Fortunately, the nutella helps smooth this out but it left me wanting more nutella.

This is a great recipe if you're in a pinch and want something a little sweet. The ingredients are as basic as they come. I'm going to try this down the road, but with a different base cupcake.

Note: warm your nutella up a little before you add it to make it smoother. It was really hard to create the marble effect with the thickness of the spread.

Self Frosting Cupcakes
by Pieknits

10 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Nutella, approx. 1/3 cup

Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Cream together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs on at a time, until fully incorporated. The batter may not look smooth, this is fine. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is smooth and all flour is blended.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner with batter. Cups should be 3/4 full if you're not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp Nutella (or more.....)

Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, folding a little batter up and over the Nutella as well. It's kind of like making a marble cake.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool. Makes 12.