Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!! 

I kept it simple for the holiday. I made chocolate cupcakes with purple/orange swirled icing on top. I used the left over batter from my s'more cupcakes that I made previously and frozen. The wrappers are from Target. The buttercream recipe is below.

Buttercream Icing - This made one batch, which is enough to frost 12 cupcakes generously

1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of Crisco
4 cups (1 lb) of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk or water
Small dash of salt

Using a stand mixer, cream Crisco and the butter together . Make sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is mixed together add the dash of salt and add as much of the milk/water to get a nice smooth consistency.

Color and frost cupcakes as you desire.

Since this is a crusting buttercream, make sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put in a container with a lid if not using the icing right away.

Friday, October 21, 2011

S'more Cupcakes

For about a week we had nice fall weather and what better way to celebrate the the cooler weather than with some s'mores. I admit that other than the nice cool weather, I wanted to try out my new kitchen torch so these cupcakes were a must. These cupcakes were fun to make and incredibly gooey to eat. Everyone loved them and I can see making these again with some slight changes (see notes section).. Eating them with a fork is totally acceptable, at least in my house to limit getting frosting all over your face and hands.

S'more Cupakes - yields 24 cupcakes

Recipe Adapted from Annie Eats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cupcake pan(s)

Graham Cracker Crust:
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs (most of one sleeve)
1/4 cup of sugar
5 1/3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate

Using a food processor or bag/rolling pin method, crush the graha m crackers and put into bowl. Add the sugar, melted butter and mix well. Scoop 1 tablespoons to 1.5 tablespoons of graham cracker mixture into prepared cupcake pan and press the mixture down to form a crust (the bottom of a squeeze bottle works well for this). Chop the bittersweet chocolate very finely and sprinkle a little into each cup, on top of the graham cracker crust. Bake for 5 minutes then put on a cooling rack to cool whole making the cupcake batter.

2 cups and 2 tablepoons sugar
1 3/4cups AP flour
 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Put all of the dry ingredients into bowl of mixer and mix until incorporated or you can whisk the dry ingredients together if you don't have a stand mixer. Whisk together the wet ingredients except the boiling water together in a separate bowl and slowly add to the dry ingredients. Mix together, stopping once to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the boiling water and mix until just combined. Scoop the batter onto the top of the graham cracker crusts, making sure to fill the cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cupcakes are done.

8 large room temperature egg whites
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar to your mixer bowl and place on top of a pot of boiling water. Place a candy thermometer into the bowl. Whisk the mixture until the the temperature reads 160 degrees. Using the whisk attachment, mix the mixture until stiff peaks form (several minutes) and add the vanilla extract.

Frost the cupcakes anyway you choose and either use a kitchen torch or your ovens boiler to toast the frosting.


Next time, I think I would make the graham cracker crust thicker since there really wasn't a distinct
graham cracker bottom but still delicious.

The chocolate batter didn't rise as much so make sure to fill these up to the recommended 3/4 cup full.

Don't be shy with toasting the frosting. The general consensus was that I could have toasted the frosting a lot more. The cupcakes could have done with less frosting but you know, I personally love a lot of frosting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kahlua Red Velvet Cupcakes

These cupcakes are different than the traditional red velvet cakes that most people like but I actually prefer this over others I have tried. I have only tried these with cream cheese frosting but I bet a white chocolate frosting would also be wonderful. This recipe bakes up really well and I always get compliments whenever I make it. It also makes a lot, like tons of cake batter if you stick with the recipe as written, however, you can play with the recipe or just freeze the leftover batter like I do so it is easy to bake up a cake or cupcakes in a hurry.

Kahlua Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from Earlene's Cakes

2 white cake mixes
1 devils food cake mix
3/4 cup flour
32 oz or 2 pounds of sour cream
2/3 cup whole eggs
1 1/3 cup egg whites
1 1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoons Butavan
1 bottle of powdered red food coloring
2/3 cup Kahlua

Mix the first nine ingredients (mixes down to the red food coloring) until incorporated and then add the Kahlua and continue to mix until you can't see any streaks in the batter. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 12-18 minutes until done.

Cream Cheese Frosting (enough to frost 12 cupcakes):
8 oz cream cheese
6 Tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth.


Instead of mixes you can use your favorite white cake recipe and devils food cake recipe.

Butavan is a butter/vanilla emulsion that Earlene loves and uses in all of her recipes. You can substitute 1/2 Tablespoon butter extract and 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract.

If you can't find red powdered food coloring, you can use the gel coloring however, you might want to use 2 bottles. The powdered food coloring works great and I always get a nice rich red.

Earlene has a recipe for Homemade Kahlua but I find it is easier to just buy Kahlua.

The recipe freezes well. I have done this and the cupcakes/cakes taste just like I made the batter the same day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Breakfast Sweets - Cinnamon Rolls aka Cinnamon Squirls

My husband sent me this article from NPR, Showing Compassion Through the Gift of Food (recipe is at the end of the article) last week and he requested I try homemade cinnamon rolls or as we call them cinnamon squirls. I wasn't sure if I was up for the challenge but it was something new so I thought I would give it a shot plus my husband deserved some sugar since I haven't baked anything for two weeks.

These turned out great and the glaze was a wonderful touch, not heavy for the already rich cinnamon squirls. I will post my recipe after I play with it a little more, however the recipe as is would be great for a Sunday morning.
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