Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cupcakes Week 6

I'm making these a couple days early...because I am crazy. I am getting up tomorrow morning at 4am to watch the Royal Wedding coverage! I can't help it. it has sucked me in. I can remember as a little kid being excited every time there was a shot of Princess Diana in her wedding gown, and being upset with my parents for not having me a few years earlier so that I could watch it live. *sigh* Gotta love a little kid mentality.

So if I'm going to be up that early, I might as well make it fun. So I will be having tea and these little cuties. For the decoration on top you can head over HERE for free royal wedding party themed printables!

Royal Wedding Cupcakes
"Buckingham Palace Garden Tea Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream"

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 egg
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
* 3/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 tbsp. Buckingham Palace Garden Tea (but you could use, English Breakfast or Earl Grey)

Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are thoroughly combined before adding the next one. Mix together the dry ingredients, including the tea. Beat in half of the dry mixture with the wet, then add the milk and the rest of the dry mixture, stirring until just combined. Line the cupcake pan with 12 cups and fill them about two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

* 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
* 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) softened
* 1/4 cup of milk
* 1 t vanilla
* 1 T lemon zest (the rind of a lemon)
* 2 T lemon juice
mix the butter, lemon zest and vanilla together, making sure all the lumps are gone.
add the milk, and quickly cream it into the butter mixture,by the 1/2 cup, mix in the sugar.once the sugar is all in the bowl, cream on "high" for two minutes. (I use this time to clean up) mix in lemon juice.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cupcakes Week 5

Happy Easter everyone! And in honor of easter how about these little beauties

Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes
18 Cadbury Creme eggs, frozen
3 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate
1 cup strong, hot brewed coffee
2 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the chocolate and the hot coffee until the chocolate dissolves. Set aside until the coffee mixture cools.

In a separate large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs for 2-3 minutes, until pale in color and almost doubled in volume. Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the coffee and chocolate mixture, and again beat until combined.

Add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until the batter comes together and no white streaks of flour are visible. Take care not to overmix, as this will make your cupcakes tough.

Divide the batter into lined cupcake tins, filling them three quarters full. Place a frozen Cadbury Creme egg in the center of each cupcake. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed (or a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean).

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 jar (7 ounce size) marshmallow cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter with mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in marshmallow cream. When well blended, beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla.

Increase speed and beat for 3 or 4 minutes, until fluffy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cupcakes Week 4

When I gave myself the challenge of 52 weeks of cupcakes, I wanted to step out of the regular cupcake box and use ingredients that I would never normally associate with a cupcake. This week, I have absolutely accomplished this task.

This tastes like breakfast in your mouth.

French Toast Cupcakes
What You’ll Need:

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Maple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows


1.) Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

2.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)

3.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.

4.) Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.

5.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.

6.) Thoroughly clean the bowl of the mixer and put the egg whites inside. Whip the egg whites on high speed, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks are formed.

7.) Working in 3 batches, using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

8.) Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely.

Maple Buttercream Frosting
Yield: about 1 2/3 cups, enough for 6 large or 12 regular cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

2 Sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons heavy cream, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon maple extract

1.) In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.)

2.) Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the heavy cream and maple extract.. Raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Crisp Bacon

Bacon works well for me baked in an oven at 425 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12-15 minutes, drain grease, and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crisp. You can do it in a pan as well.

Finally – Frost the cooled French Toast Cupcakes with the Maple Buttercream Frosting and top with a Crisp piece of Bacon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

aww shucks, I'd like to thank the committee, my fans... ;)

Well I got a lovely surprise this afternoon.
I was awarded the Verstile Blogger Award by the lovely Emily from Nap Time is My Time.

There are a few easy rules that go along with the Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
Give this award to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news!

So thank you a million times over to Emily from Nap Time is My Time. Check her blog out, it's pretty fun! :)

Seven things about me:

1. I would love to be a true housewife. I know that sounds crazy to some, but the thought of being able to stay home and cook and clean sounds like heaven to me.
2. I am a reality show junkie. I can't get enough. Even the trash. It's a train wreck I just can't stop myself from watching.
3. I have a slight obsession with peacocks since my honeymoon in Mexico.
4. I love my job. Like, a lot. I get to edit beauitful wedding photos, play with cute babies, and i love my co-workers and boss.
5. I'm obsessed with OPI nail polish, and dream of having every bottle in my possession. My husband may kill me if I even come close.
6. I hate Pepsi.
7. I want a french bulldog. So badly. I mean, REAAAALLY badly. Do you have one you could give me??

And here are some amazing bloggers who deserve this! (I couldn't pick just 15!)
2. Michele from Dodging Acorns
5. Dee from Living In Harmony
6. Char from Crap I've Made
7. Christian from Honey Scrap
8. Mandy from Crafty Southern Mama
9. Gina from Skinnytaste
10. Mayya from Sew Chic & Unique
12. Staci from CraftyStaci
13. Marina & Staci from Just Sew Sassy
14. Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom
15. Michelle from All Lacquered Up
16. Cheeky from Cheekydid

There you have it! Make sure you check them all out, every single one of them is worth a visit.

and thanks again Emily!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cupcakes Week 3

I got an early start with this week's because hubby is leaving for NC for work on Sunday and I know how much he loves Nutella, and I wanted to make sure he got a taste before he left.
You made proceed to reading and drooling now...

Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons and 3/4 teaspoon butter, softened
• 1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
• 1-1/2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup milk
• 6 oz of Nutella
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
4. When cooled hallow out the center with an apple corer and fill with nutella (tip-put nutella in a pasty bag for easy filling)

Nutella Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6-8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until well combined. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 3-5 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This weather is killing me.

I can not take any more dreary days. Honestly. I've had enough. When it's finally warming up it rains. When it's sunny, it's 32 degrees. I CAN NOT DEAL ANYMORE. So to cheer myself up, I painted my nails like it was the middle of summer, and I had to share my little Skittles with you.

Bright Pink from OPI (of course, i'm a brand nail polish whore). It's delicious looking. almost like you want to lick your fingers.

Didn't that just make your day? I know it made mine! ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cupcakes Week 2

As good as they look, they taste even better...

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or insert paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugars and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla until combined. Alternate the flour mixture with the milk until you get a smooth batter. Spoon into the muffin pan wells equally, about 2/3 full.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a testter comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Dulce de Leche Buttercream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup dulce de leche

Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar on low using an electric mixer. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps appear. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the prepared dulce de leche and beat to incorporate. Frost cooled cupcakes using a knife or a pastry bag and tip.