Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back to Cupcakes

These are by no means the first cupcakes that I have made since I have moved back to school.  These are just the first ones that lasted long enough for me to photograph them.  Cupcakes don't last long in the cupcake suite.

I made my classic chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting the day after moving back, but those were gone before I got my camera unpacked.

I wanted to try something a bit different so I went for Martha Stewart's maple walnut cupcakes.  They were decent, not anything spectacular though.  The cake was a bit dense and not very fluffy.  That being said, my suite still ate them up.  No complaints on their end!

Happy Baking,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baking with Friends

When I see my friends from home during breaks one of our most important tasks is to bake new cupcakes.  Two of my dear friends and I absolutely can't stay out of the kitchen when we are together.  They are a big part of the reason why my cupcake obsession exists.  We always end up making more than one type of cupcake, so this time we went for lemon and chocolate toffee!

Light Lemon Cupcakes
Adapted From Gourmet
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup canola oil
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pans.

Whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder.  Stir together milk, canola oil, vanilla, and zest in another bowl.  Beat together sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until just combined.  Reduce speed to low and add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Bake in muffin pans for 16-20 minutes.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted From Gourmet
Makes enough to frost 1 dozen cupcakes

2 cups confectioners sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until well combined.  Refrigerate frosting for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

The recipe for the chocolate toffee came from Lighter and Local.  The cupcakes were quite good!  The frosting recipe calls for a ton of butter, but don't be afraid to add it all!  I didn't add it all and my frosting was a bit too thick and hard to pipe.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another Year of Cupcakes

Happy New Year!  2012 should be a wonderful year filled with lots of friends, family, and cupcakes.  To celebrate the end of 2011,  I made a couple different cupcakes to serve at my family's New Year's Eve dinner party.  Since it seemed so festive and appropriate, I chose the champagne cupcakes and decided to pair them with some lavender glazed brownies.  It was the perfect way to watch the ball drop and welcome in the new year- with a cupcake in hand!

Lavender-Iced Brownie Cupcakes
From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 24

3/4 cup plus 2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
12/ tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tbs butter, softened
3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

With an electric mixer on medium, beat chocolate and sugar until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Bake brownies for about 17 minutes.

Lavender Icing
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

1/3 cup milk
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon lavender extract

Bring milk just to a boil in a saucepan.  Remove from heat and stir in lavender.  Whisk in confectioners sugar until smooth.  Use immediately.

 Champagne Cupcakes
From Crazy About Cupcakes
Makes 18

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup champagne
6 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the champagne.

In a large clean bowl beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter until blended, then fold the remaining whites.

Bake for 16-20 minutes.

Champagne Buttercream
From Crazy About Cupcakes

3/4 cup vegetable shortening
12 tbs butter
3 tbs champagne
4 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Beat shortening and butter until light.  Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating until thoroughly combined.  Add champagne once half of the sugar has been added.

Happy 2012!