It’s a boy! Meet Corbin Drake

Corbin DrakeMeet Corbin Drake, our new 9 week old Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Dogs have been an intrinsic part of my happiness since my childhood. My parents brought home various puppies over the years. The very first dog I owned, that looked to me, that I was responsible for, was a rescued Lab mix. She came to me in middle school.

Later, as an adult, I spent time with law enforcement K9s learning about their training and how important socialization was for them. 

My home had a rescued Shetland Sheepdog, a retired Schutzhund trained German Shepherd Dog, and a retired military explosives detection dog. Each of these brilliant, beautiful personalities passed away of old age in the last few years.

It took time for me to mourn. And during that time, I struggled with my happiness. I have a day job career I love. I also love my writing. And still, there’s a hollow spot, waiting for a warm life. As I struggle with symptoms of depression, my partner and I decided it was time.

Corbin will be the first dog for Matthew J Drake and me as partners. He’s ours. Hopefully he’ll choose us as his. After all, humans can own a dog, but the choice to look to a human is the dog’s. Time will tell and for the time being, there’s a fur-baby in our home giving us laughter and smiles and maybe just a few emotional tears.

It’s time to write. And Corbin is sleeping next to me. My life is warm again.

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* Note: Patrons of Piper’s Patreon received the news first. To find out more, visit https://www.patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Chocolate Fudge cupcakes with Cookie Dough Filling Topped with Sea Salt Caramel

More stress baking happened this weekend. The result? Chocolate fudge cupcakes with cookie dough filling topped with chocolate frosting and caramel drizzle finished with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.

choc-cupcake w cookdough filling topped with choc frosting and sea salt caramel drizzleThis is more of a concept set of directions rather than a step-by-step recipe. I got the idea from multiple photos on Pinterest.

For now though, I’ll share with you the simple tricks of these great cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Batch of favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Batch of favorite Chocolate Cupcake Batter

Batch of favorite icing

Sea Salt, to taste

Preparation:

Remove label from unopened can of condensed milk. Fill a deep medium saucepan with water. Bring to the boil. Carefully place the can in the saucepan. Simmer, uncovered for 3 hours ensuring the level of water is always covering the can. Carefully remove can from heat and allow to cool completely before opening to use the caramel.

Meanwhile, prepare favorite cookie dough recipe. Refrigerate cookie dough for about an hour, until easy to work with and not sticky. Roll cookie dough into 24 small 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Freeze these for at least 30 min, longer if you want the cookie dough more raw in the center.

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*Note: The more raw you want your cookie dough in the center, it is recommended you use an egg-free recipe. Since my cupcakes come out with the cookie dough baked as opposed to raw, I don’t worry about this as much.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit or temperature recommended for cupcake batter recipe. Prepare two 12 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

Prepare favorite cupcake batter recipe.

Fill each cupcake cup approximately three quarters of the way full.

Remove cookie dough balls from freezer and carefully place one ball into each cup of batter. Allow to sit on top if you’d like the dough to be more in the center of the cupcake or press gently to the bottom of the cup.

Bake for the recommended time of the cupcake batter directions. Test with a toothpick for doneness (toothpick comes out clean when done).

Allow to cool thoroughly.

Top with your favorite chocolate icing, then carefully pipe or drizzle the caramel over the cupcakes. Finish with a fine sprinkle of sea salt.