Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"not so high" HI-HATS


I've always wanted to try Hi-Hats. I love how they look when sliced in half, not to mention I imagined they were super tasty. I had read a few stories of people who hadn't had very good experiences with these (they tasted nasty, their couldn't get the stickiness out of their hair, etc...) but, I decided to give it a go anyway.
I decided on using the recipe found on marthastewart.com. The picture was lovely and I was SURE mine would turn out just as nice!
What a silly girl I am!

Let me start by saying that they tasted great! However, and this is a biggie, visually, they were horrendous! Oh my goodness . . . I was sooo disappointed! I got the frosting as thick as I could, I even mixed for a bit longer than instructed to be extra sure. Later, I took them out of the fridge to dip them in the chocolate (what I thought would be the really fun part). The frosting didn't stay at all, in fact it actually fell off into the melted chocolate!



What the heck is going on?, I said out loud. This isn't supposed to happen! I put the cupcakes back for another 1/2 hour and the same thing happened again! I was too heartbroken to try again and just decided to keep them the way they were. I figured that I can always pour that chocolate syrup over them when I want one, you know, the kind that turns into a hard shell?




Thinking about it, I'm sure that the weather here had something to do with it. It's extremely hot and very humid today. I still have hope for these cupcakes and I'll try them again. But I think I'll wait until the fall comes!
If you are feeling lucky, please give these a go and let me know how it turned out!! I'll post your pictures if you send them!

GOOD LUCK and ENJOY!!!


CUPCAKES

• 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Makes 12 cupcakes.
2. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
5. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
6. Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.


FROSTING

• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 3 large egg whites
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
• 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil


1. Prepare the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees; on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.
2. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the chocolate coating.
3. Prepare the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.
4. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
5. Carefully remove paper liners from cupcakes, and discard. Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

HOSTESS 100 CALORIE CUPCAKES



Although the HOSTESS 100 Calorie Cupcakes have been out for a couple of weeks now, I had put off trying them figuring they would be about as good as the 100 Calorie pack Oreos (yeck!).

Oh. My. Goodness. These are so incredibly delicious!

There are 3 flavors: Chocolate, Golden and Carrot and 3 little cakes are in each pack. I didn't try the carrot, but I tried both the golden and chocolate and I couldn't believe it! They actually taste like REAL Hostess Cupcakes! Actually, the Golden ones tasted like a twinkie, which I hadn't had in years! I urge everyone to add this to your grocery list and give them a try!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHAI cupcakes



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place 12 baking cups in a muffin pan.

CUPCAKES

2 cups of self-rising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp chai tea powder
1/4 (1/2 stick) sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 egg whites
2/3 buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips


1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and chai powder.
2. In a seperate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth.
3. Add the egg whites slowly, beating well.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture, and finally the buttermilk and vanilla.
5. Add white chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
6. Spoon batter into baking cups and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove cupcakes to cool.


FROSTING

1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla


1. Mix the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar together and beat until soft and light.
2. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, beating until smooth.
3. Frost the cupcakes
4. ENJOY!!!

*Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze up to three months
*Recipe from "500 CUPCAKES" by Fergal Connolly

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WINTER WHITE cupcakes




Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line muffin pan with liners
Makes 12 cupcakes

CUPCAKES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4cup sugar
1/4cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3cup buttermilk
1/2cup white chocolate (chips or chopped)

1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a bowl, using electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whits, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until smooth. Stir in white chocolate chips.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan. bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.


FROSTING

3 oz white chocolate (chips or chopped)
1/4cup unsalted butter
4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


1. Melt white chocolate (I used the microwave, many recipes recommend using a double boiler), and transfer to large bowl.
2. Add butter, cream cheese and vanilla to the white chocolate and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and blended.
3. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until it is incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
4. Frost cupcakes.


WHITE CHOCOLATE CURLS

6 to 8 oz block of white chocolate

1. At room temperature, hold chocolate in one hand and use a swivel vegetable peeler to scrape curls from the block of chocolate. Scrape peeler away from you until you have 2 cups of curls. Freeze curls for 30 minutes to firm the curls for easier handling.
2. Spoon the curls on top of the cupcakes or turn cupcakes over and dip into curls.

ENJOY!!

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

**Make "SPRINKLES CUPCAKES" at home!!**




Hey!
We've all heard about the infamously delicious SPRINKLES Bakery cupcakes from LA, right? Well, now we can all make them in our own kitchens! The clever folks over at WILLIAMS-SONOMA have begun selling a a selection of cupcake mixes made by Sprinkles Bakery! They are available in RED VELVET, DARK CHOCOLATE and VANILLA. Sold in cool sleek tubes, recipes for SPRINKLES Bakery frosting are included as well as 12 of the signature "Modern Dots" to adorn your creations with! I bought the Dark Chocolate and Vanilla, both of which recieved rave reviews from my co-workers! Unfortunately, the battery for my camera died so I wasn't able to take photos, but they were adorable and yummy!!!!

I hope you all have a great time with these! :-)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TIRAMISU cupcakes




Hello!
I decided to try a Tiramisu cupcake this week.... and the results taste pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! I took a one-bowl vanilla cupcake recipe from "Cupcakes Year-Round" by Sara Neumeier, soaked it with an espresso simple syrup and topped it with cream cheese frosting. I hope you like it!

CUPCAKES:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/ cups light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups cake flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line 24 cupcake tins with baking papers.
2. Place the butter in a medium, heatproof bowl placed over a pot of gently simmering water. When the butter is just melted, whisk in the brown sugar. Let cool to lukewarm temperature, about 4 minutes.
3. Whisk the eggs into the mixture.
4. Add the vanilla, milk, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine.
5. Whisk in the flour until evenly combined.
6. Fill each baking paper 2/3 full. Bake until a skewer or toothpick inserted into middle of cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.


ESPRESSO SYRUP

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons espresso powder

1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer.
2. Mix together 3 tablespoons water and espresso powder. Add to saucepan.
3. cook until slightly thickened.
4. Brush generously onto cupcakes.


Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

1. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
2. Beat in the vanilla.
3. On low speed, gradually add the confectioner's sugar until combined.
4. Frost cupcakes and decorate to your liking.
5. ENJOY!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CHOCOLATE ALMOND cupcakes with CHOCOLATE GANACHE AND ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM



Hey everyone!
It's suddenly gotten quite cold here in NY and I was looking to make something that had a kind of warm feeling about it. I happened upon a Chocolate Almond recipe from the "Cake Doctor". The recipe calls for a glaze topping, but as I LOVE frosting, I needed to find a compatible flavor buttercream/whipped cream/etc... I decided upon an Espresso Buttercream recipe and they turned out to be the most delicious cupcakes I've made in a long time!
I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did!!! :-)


ALMOND FILLING:

1/2 cup almond paste (3.5 oz)
1 bag (2.25 oz) sliced almonds

1. Crumble the almond paste into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add almonds, toss the mixture together with your hands and set it aside.


CUPCAKES:

1 package plain devil's food cake mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1. Place a rack in the center of teh oven and preheat to 350 degrees (farenheit). Line cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.
2. Place cake mix, cocoa powder, buttermilk, oil, eggs and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low until ingredients just come together, about 30 seconds.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase sped to medium for a few more minutes, until batter is smooth and thickened.
4. Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and stir this into the almond paste mixture and set aside.
5. Scoop 1/3 cup of the remaining batter into each lined cupcake cup., filling it three quarters of the way full. Dollop a heaping teaspoon of the almond paste mixture, centered, on the top of each cupcake. Place pans in oven.
6. bake until cupcakes until they spring back lightly when pressed, about 20-25 minutes. The almond filling will sink into the center of the cupcakes as they bake and may create an interestingly textured appearance on the tops. Remove and place on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan with dinner/butter knife and place on wire rack for 15 minutes to cool.


CHOCOLATE GANACHE

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
4 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ( 1/8 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

1. In a saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Whisk until smooth.
3. Dip cupcakes into ganache, twisting to coat evenly.


ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened just enough to get an imprint when pressed with a finger

1. Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon of water, making a paste.
2. Place the egg whites and sugar in the metal bowl of an electric mixer. Set it over a pan of simmering water, whisking until the sugar has dissolved (so you don't feel any grains between your fingers). Be careful not to let the egg whites cook at this stage; constant beating is important.
3. Remove from the heat. Add the cream of tartar and, with an electric mixer using a whip attachment, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time on slow speed. It may look like undercooked scrambled eggs for a while, but just keep beating it on low until it comes together into a smooth buttercream, about 15 minutes.
5. Add the espresso paste. If you want a stronger espresso taste, make more paste and add.
6. Frost over the gaanache and enjoy!


Makes 18-20 cupcakes

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

HAPPY FALL & HALLOWEEN!!! (...a little late!)




Hello!!
It's been too long since I have posted! But after my trip, getting sick and working like crazy, I am back in gear!
I made these quickly for work to celebrate Halloween and Fall!

Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

Cupcake Café Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes about 36 cupcakes

1 1/2cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
9 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Add vanilla; mix until incorporated.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside. With mixer on medium-low, add dry ingredients to mixer bowl in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and scraping down sides of bowl in between each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Gently fold in egg whites.

3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool in tins for 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and cool completely on rack. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Serve at room temperature.


Cupcake Café Vanilla Buttercream

4 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 pounds unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar with 1 cup water; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until it registers 236° (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization.

2. Blend eggs in a blender jar. With machine running, very slowly add hot sugar syrup until combined, being careful to not scramble the eggs. Let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add syrup mixture until incorporated. Add vanilla, and beat until desired consistency.

4. I colored a small portion of the frosting red to use as veins for the eyeballs and Lifesavers as the iris of the eye.

ENJOY!!! :-)

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

PINK LEMONADE ! ! !






Hello hello! I'm sorry I've been a bit MIA for a while, there's been a lot going on around here between work, planning and preparing my trip (10 days and counting!), and blah.. blah.. blah... (I'm going on a trip to Russia, which I've been dreaming about since grade school!) Anyway, on to the cupcakes!
Considering it's almost the end of summer, I thought I'd bake something in the spirit of the classic summertime lemonade stand. I used the recipe from Julie Hasson for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes . . . YUMMY! It was so nice and relaxing baking again, not to mention that Winston was really missing his volunteer job as "Quality Control Manager"!

As per Winnie's approval, here is the recipe:

PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES
makes 10/preheat oven to 350/line muffin pan with liners

CUPCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 cup thawed frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 or more drops red food coloring

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

EASY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a small bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed. beat together sugar, butter and salt until creamy. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, beating until frosting is smooth. Add food coloring if you wish.

2. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes with a knife or transfer to a pastry bag and pipe decoratively over cupcakes.

3. ENJOY ! ! !

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE cupcakes & MINT BUTTERCREAM












Hello! The other day I made these awsome chocolate and mint cupcakes! They didn't last very long!
I used Julie Hasson's recipie for "Best Chocolate Cupcakes" (and they WERE!) and a basic buttercream icing recipie, substituting peppermint extract for the vanilla, I actually added a little extra and it was perfect!
I used the same star tip that I used for the Ice Cream Cupcakes and the Chocolate Brown Liners from Edsol.

CUPCAKES:
1 1/4 cups all purpose four
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
(I used Hershey's cocoa instead b/c it's what I had)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Makes 12 cupcakes


1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth and add the chocolate chips.
3. Scoop batter into prepared/lined pan. Bake in preheated oven for 22-27 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, than remove and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

MINT BUTTERCREAM ICING:
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
Pinch salt ( I used my little "pinch" spoon!)
1 tsp mint extract

1. In a small bowl using an electric mixer on low, beat together sugar, butter and salt until creamy. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Add mint extract, beating until frosting is smooth. (At this point, I added a bit of green food coloring).
2. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes with a knife or transfer to a pastry bag and pipe over cupcakes.
3. ENJOY!!!!!!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SUPPLIES

My trip to "the Duck" got me thinking about supplies: what I have, what I'd like to have, my favorites, most used, etc... So I decided to post about them.

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer 85% of the time! I love it! It's a professional bowl-lift design, the bowl raises into the mixing position. It has a strong motor and 10 speed settings allowing you to do all kinds of baking, even Chrischikie (spelling??), a Polish cookie we make at Christmas (making that dough burned out a few of my mother's old mixers, even when she divided it in half!)


I bought this Hamilton Beach hand mixer because of the snap-on case! I loved that it had built-in storage! It works great, the only thing I would like to change about it is to add a slooooower 1st setting.



My main tip set is this Ateco 29-piece kit. I use them with both canvas pastry bags (12" & 14") AND the Williams Sonoma Mechanical Pastry Bag.



This angled spatula is great for frosting c-cakes and also for making those big cool swirls!




The next two I bought purely because they appeal to my weakness for "cute"!


This Flour Duster is pretty cool. Yes, I could just spred the flour by hand, but using this little gadget is so much more fun! Also, it's less messy and more evenly distributed.



The second one is my favorite frivolity: the Smidge, Pinch and a Dash spoon set! Absolutely adorable! Totally cute! 'Nuff said!


I love liners!
These cute floral ones I got from Edsol Party Supplies. I am also quite partial to Chocolate Brown colored liners, I found them at Confectionary House.



Sprinkles and quins! The finishing touch! Both Candyland Crafts and Fancy Flours have great selections. I used to go to Party City because they had a pretty big selection of stuff, but it seems to me that they have cut down on the baking selection.
Another place you can get cool decos, including Edible Glitter is KitchenKrafts.com. They also have a wide variety of supplies and accessories.



That's about all I can think of right now, but as I think of more or come accross anything cute, fun, interesting or cool, I'll be sure to post it!

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Monday, June 26, 2006

THE CHOCOLATE DUCK

Hey all! I took a trip to The Chocolate Duck today! So much fun! When you walk in, you can just SMELL the chocolate and sweets . . . yum!

I didn't see my tip, but to describe it, it is basically a large star tip. I picked up some Edible Glitter in blue, red, and clear/white. Also, I picked up some Luster Dust in periwinkle, an opalescent pearly white, rust, olive green and a fall-like orangey-yellow. I can't wait to decide what to do with them!
They have all kinds of supplies: cake spatulas, small icing spatulas, tons of decorations, food colorings, packaging, melting candy, fondants (not so tasty, but looks nice!), candy molds, cake pans - many different designs, liners, books, personalized ribbon and on and on . . .
I love visiting this shoppe, but it's just too dangerous for my wallet! But, come the holidays, it will be a regular stop for me! Cupcakes, cookies, candy....hmmmm.... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!
Anyway, my visit sparked my next post . . . See you there! :-)

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Friday, June 23, 2006

ICE CREAM CONE CUPCAKES





Hello!
Well, It was quite hot here today and I thought, what could be better than Ice Cream on a hot day? Ice Cream Cone Cupckes! I had bought the Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan about a month ago and had forgotten that I had it! I followed the recipie on the back for the cake and frosting... RAVE REVIEWS!! I hope you like them!!


For the Cupcakes:

2 2/3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

For the Frosting:
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 1/2 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Food colorings (optional)


To Make Cupcakes:

1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla just until incorporated, about 1 minute.
6. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Divide batter in half. Spoon half of the batter into prepared wells, dividing evenly. Gently tap the pan on work surface to level the batter.
8. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

When done, transfer to a wire rack and cool upright for 10 minutes, then invert and lift off the pan.
Repeat for the rest of the batter.
Let cool one hour.


To Make the Frosting:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 4 1/2 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks.
4. Tint with food coloring as desired. Makes about 4 cups.

*** FOR CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
- Increase milk to 6tbs and add 8oz of semi-sweet chocolate, melted.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

"MY LITTLE CUPCAKE" Bakeshop




Hello!
I didn't make any cupcakes this weekend, but I DID happen upon a cute little Cupcake-ery! I'm out on Long Island, so the city cupcake shops aren't the most convenient or easy to get to on a whim! The place I "discovered" is called My Little Cupcake . It's located in Farmingdale, NY on Boundary Ave. Open just a couple of months, it's a very sweet little shoppe, simple, yet traditional in atmosphere. The owner, Lisa, is a kind and friendly woman who clearly loves her job and by the taste of her cakes, is quite good at it too!!
I bought four cupcakes to try: Devil's Food with Buttercream Icing, Devil's Food with Mocha Buttercream Icing, Red Velvet and a basic Butter Vanilla with Fudge Icing (which didn't make it into the photo!!). They were all very tasty! Very rich in flavor!
In addition to cupcakes, the shoppe offers brownies, a variety of cookies, cheesecakes and regular and celebratory cakes can be made to order (the ones I saw were beautiful!).
If anyone is ever on Long Island and in the area, I highly recommend stopping by for a bite!

My Little Cupcake
516-694-1694
47 Boundary Ave Ste 7
Farmingdale NY 11735-4450

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

TROPICAL ESCAPE . . .





Hello!
The weather here in NY has been pretty dark, rainy and gloomy the last couple of days, prompting daydreams of a tropical getaway. As that wasn't possible (darn!), I decided instead to create the smell and taste of it! I remembered a great Coconut recipe I had read in "125 Best Cupcake Recipes" by Julie Hasson and got to baking! I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as it was enjoyed here!

COCONUT CUPCAKES
makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 egg whites
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.
4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

COCONUT RUM BUTTERCREAM

2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
Pinch salt
1 tbsp coconut rum (or dark rum)

1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together confectioners sugar, butter, sour cream and salt until smooth. Add rum, beating until smooth.
2. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.

The cake was good, but the icing was the best part!!!! (I did put just a little bit extra coconut rum into it. I think I might use a tad smaller amount of sour cream in the icing next time.)

**I had originally tried to make a pineapple buttercream, but it didn't work out so well. I'm going to keep working on that, though!

Also, I'm adding some new links to the left. They've been in my bookmarks and I realized I hadn't yet included them. I've ordered some nice things from a couple . . .

Enjoy your virtual vacation! :-)

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Monday, May 29, 2006

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!






Hi Everyone!
This weekend I made All-American Vanilla-on-Vanilla cupcakes! I used Billy's Bakery recipe, sooo tasty! I just need to work on my swirls! There was one particularly "feisty" cupcake that jumped out of my hand and "got away" ! !

Hope everyone had a great weekend!! :-)


BILLY'S VANILLA CUPCAKES
Makes about 30 cupcakes

1 ¾ cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

BILLY'S VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CUPCAKES





Hello!!
Last night I made Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes and a Strawberry Jam Cupcake. For the Shortcake, I just used a plain Vanilla recipe for the cake and a plain whipped cream recipe. For the strawberries, I let sliced berries soak in sugar for about 45 minutes. I sliced the cupcake in half, layering the strawberries, then the whipped cream.
For the second cupcake, I used the same Vanilla recipe. I piped seedless Strawberry Jam into the center of each cake and then iced them. For the icing I used the remaining whipped cream, but I mixed in the juices from the soaked strawberries and a bit of food coloring to make them pink.
I hope you like them! :-)

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

OT - WINSTON!!!!


HI!
I'm a little off-topic, but I wanted to introduce you all to Winston (the cutest boy ever)! Here he is sleeping like a little angel. I suppose that he is more directly related to the blog than I thought as he is always trying to "help me out" when I am baking! I imagine that Winnie thinks he's more like a "quality control" manager, checking to make sure nothing is spilled or dropped onto the floor, and that if it IS, that it tastes good! He gives his seal of approval with a little "I want one" cry/bark (I just give him a little dog treat instead!)
We'll see you tomorrow night! Have a great day!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

CHOCOLATE CHIP CUPCAKES with CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ICING



Hello!
The other day I whipped up some Chocolate Chip cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream icing. They were sooooooooooo good! I actually made a double batch so that I could bring them to work as well as to friends! Winston, my dog, tried really hard to catch anything I may have dropped, but alas, I was NOT sharing!!!! :-) Being the best boy in the world that he is, he gave them his esteemed approval anyway!

Have a great day!

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

ORANGE CHIFFON CUPCAKES with ORANGE BUTTER ICING




CUPCAKES
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs separated
1/3 cup water
1 ½ grated orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare cupcake pans.

1. Sift the cake flour, ¾ cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Using a large spoon, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and put in the yolks, oil, water, zest, orange juice and vanilla and almond extracts in the well.
2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture until smooth and thick, about 3 minutes.
3. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
4. Set aside.
5. In another large bowl. With clean beaters, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until the whites are foamy and the cream of tartar dissolves.
6. Beat on high speed until the egg whites look shiny and smooth and the beaters form lines in the mixture; if you stop the mixer and lift up the beaters, the egg whites should cling to the beaters.
7. Slowly beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat for one minute.
8. Stir in about one third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
10. Bake for about 35 minutes, until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Cool upside down for 45 minutes, then remove from pans.
(Klivens suggests setting the pan upside down with a can at either end to allow for air circulation. I just turned the pans upside down on the wire rack, no cans.)



ICING
1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In a small bowl, stir in the powdered sugar, melted butter, orange zest and orange juice together until smooth and thick.
Use a small spatula to spread a thin layer of icing over the top of each cupcake, about 1 tablespoon for each.

The cupcakes can be covered and stored at rooM temperature for up to 2 days.


From "“cupcakes!" ” by Elinor Klivans

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

CINCO DE MAYO RECIPE - SORRY IT'S LATE!

Hi all!
Sorry this is late, but better than never I suppose! These came out really well! Everyone at work that tried them loved them! Here it is:

CUPCAKES:
1 package German Chocolate cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, line 24 cupcake cups.
2. Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
3. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds.
4. Stop machine and scrape down sides with rubber spatula.
5. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scrape down the sides again if needed.
6. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 full. Place in oven.
7. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean after inserted.
8. Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.


MAGNOLIA VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add in 4 cups sugar, then the milk and vanilla.
3. On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat about 3-5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
4. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well (about 2 minutes) after each addition, until the icing is thick enough for good spreading consistency (you may not need all of the sugar).
5. Divide frosting evenly in 3 bowls.
6. Color the frosting in one bowl with red food coloring, another with green food coloring. Leave the frosting in the third bowl white.
7. Frost cupcakes in stripes, either spread with a knife or icing spatula or pipe with a fun tip. Make sure green is on the left, red is on the right and white is in the middle to accurately represent the Mexican flag. To represent the seal in the middle, use a disc of melting chocolate or Hershey's mini-kisses upside down.
8. ENJOY!!!


The icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!!



Hi!
I'm sorry I didn't post last night, the recipie I had used for the icing came out horribly and I had to re-do it (ie, run out and buy more supplies, etc...).
Anyway, here are my CINCO DE MAYO cupcakes! I tried to make them look like the Mexican Flag.
I used the CDM cupcake recipie from the "Cakedoctor"'s cupcake book, but I was unhappy with her buttercream icing. So, instead I used the good ol' Magnolia Bakery Buttercream icing recpie. Sooooo much better! The only thing was that I feel I needed to maybe add a bit more confectioner's sugar (8 cups instead of 6 - the recipe calls for 6-8), because the icing could have been a bit stiffer to hold the piping form.
I used a #30 tip and the Hershey's mini-kisses for the seal in the middle of the Mexican Flag.
I'll post the recipes after work tonight... gotta run!
Hope you all like them!
:-) :-)

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

OLE!

Hi everyone!

I'll be posting more cupcakes tonight:

CINCO DE MAYO!!!!

Whoo-hoo!

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

CHOCOLATE WITH PEANUT BUTTER FILLING



Hi everyone!
Tonight I made a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter filling and ganache topping. They were pretty good! I did add a little extra milk, as the recipe suggested, but I don't think I really needed to.
I'll be bringing them to work tomorrow, I hope they go over well!

Here's the link to the recipe I used:
PEANUT BUTTER FILLED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

CARAMEL CUPCAKES WITH FUDGY FROSTING

This recipie I got from a newsletter put out by Recchiuti Confections. I believe it was the April 2005 edition. About a year's worth of newsletters are available on the site. I don't have pictures for this post, but they were yummy!


CARAMEL CUPCAKES

1/2 C Butter (softened)
1 3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Eggs
1/2 C Milk (plus 2 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 whole Vanilla Bean (scraped)


FUDGY FROSTING

1 C Granulated Sugar
2 T Medaglia D’Oro powdered espresso
1 C Heavy Cream
6 oz 65% Semi-Sweet Chocolate
4 oz Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Caramel Cupcakes
Sift flour, salt and brown sugar into an electric mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk and butter. Using the whip attachment, whip for 1 minute at a low speed. Scrape the bowl then whip for another 1-1/2 minutes at a slightly higher speed. Fold in the baking powder, vanilla extract and the scraped vanilla bean. Whip at a medium speed to incorporate only. Pour into a cupcake tin that has been lined with cups or buttered and floured. Bake until the tops are golden brown (20-25 minutes.) Cool completely and turn out off baking pan before frosting.

Fudgy Frosting
Combine sugar, coffee, and cream in a deep saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes; do not stir. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until completely melted and blended. Whisk in butter and vanilla. Chill until mixture thickens. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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