Is it just me, or does American Idol seem to be hanging on by a dangerously thin thread this year?
My husband and I have watched Idol for several years now, and I’ve looked forward to it every January. This year, though….this year…..it just sucks.
There are a few contestants I am rooting for, but the majority of them, I just don’t get.
Out of all the hundreds of thousands of hopefuls that fill stadiums hoping for a chance to be a star….and Tim Urban is the cream of the crop?
Don’t get me wrong, Tim is a super cutie with a wonderfully positive attitude that I really admire. But superstar he is not. Disney star, maybe…..but I won’t be downloading him to my iPod, that’s for sure.
Why….oh why…do they deem it necessary for the contestants that are going home to sing that final song? Ummmm……we didn’t vote for that person because we didn’t think they sang well……why does Idol think we need to hear it again? Seriously, it’s pure torture for both the contestant, and those of us forced to watch them sing off key while tears well up in their eyes.Thank goodness for my DVR and the ability to fast forward.
I have a theory that Simon purposely influenced the judging panel to choose mediocre talent this season. With this year being his last on Idol, I think he wants us to get so disgusted that we swear off the show forever. Then he can reel us in with his upcoming X Factor. Hmmmmm….conspiracy perhaps? I think so.
Well, I’m on to you Simon Cowell. And it just might be working.
Now, if Simon can just get Paula on as an X Factor judge. With her slurred speech, frequent confusion, and weird, stiff hand clapping, I will totally be onboard.
Onto a dessert that no one will turn down: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting.
Who doesn’t want one of those?
This recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn. I cannot tell you enough that this book is absolutely amazing. I realize that it is by no means gourmet, but if you want a huge array of delicious and easy dessert recipes, you will love this book.
24 paper liners for cupcake pans
1 package 918.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
3 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (16.5 oz) refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough, chilled
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners and set the pans aside.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down teh side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the sides of the bowl again as needed. The batter should look well blended.
Set aside about 3/4 cup of the cupcake batter before filling the cupcake pans. Using the rest of the batter, spoon or scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes;remove empty liners, if any.)
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice the log lengthwise into four pieces. Then cut each piece into 6 even chunks. Place a chunk of cookie dough on top of each cupcake and push it down into the batter. Top each piece of cookie dough with about 1 teaspoon of the reserved cupcake batter.
Place the pans in the oven and bake the cupcakes until they are golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 18-23 minutes. Remove the pans from oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and place on wire racks to cool for 15 more minutes before frosting.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Place the sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil, 3 minutes. Still stirring, allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute longer, until the sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Continue stirring until the icing is smooth and the chocolate has melted. Let the icing cool in the pan for 5 minutes before using.
This frosting was delicious, but these cupcakes would also be good with canned milk chocolate frosting if you don’t have the time or ingredients to make it.