Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cupcakes Week 10

What's better than cupcakes? Cupcakes with Andes Mints :)

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: 18


For the cupcakes:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
3/4 cup warm water

For the mint buttercream:
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 pound (4 sticks, yes you read it correctly) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Andes Mints for garnish


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

4. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat on low speed until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

5. Divide the batter evenly among the baking cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

6. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

7. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks to cool completely.

8. For the mint buttercream: In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar on high speed until pale and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl.

10. Bring the milk, vanilla, and mint leaves just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat.

11. Whisk about one third of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture.

12. Pour the yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine.

13. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan.

14. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 185 degrees.

15. Remove from the heat; strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discard solids).

16. Set the bowl in the ice bath, stirring the mixture until cool.

17. In another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.

18. Beat in chilled egg-yolk mixture.

19. Heat egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the clean heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water, whisking constantly by hand until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved completely.

20. Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment; starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is completely cool, about 10 minutes.

21. Add the egg-white mixture to the butter mixture; switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth.

22. Beat in peppermint extract.

23. Fill pastry bags fitted with your tip of choice and pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with Andes Mints

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cupcake week 9

I bet these make you drool before even reading the recipe title.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
• 3 c. cake flour
• 1 Tbsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped
• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 c. sugar
• 5 large eggs
• 1¼ c. buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla
• 2 teaspoons bourbon

also grab some strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 340 degrees Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl with the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 more minutes.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and bourbon and beat for 1 additional minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another minute.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling around half to 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
• 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 2 cups powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
How to assemble:
Using a piping tip designed for filling, or, using the cone removal method, add a bit of strawberry jam to the inside of the cooled cupcakes. Top with a healthy amount of the cream cheese frosting.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs and stir well, Sprinkle the mixture on the frosting.
Halve some fresh strawberries and add one half to each cupcake.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cupcakes Week 8

This was a crazy week. My family came to visit, and while i did make cupcakes, i made them from a box *hangs head in shame*. I was quickly reminded why i hate box mixes, but with a 4 year old, a box is the only way to go to keep their attention for long enough to accomplish any sort of cupcake!
So now they have all left, and my husband is away for business, so i'm alone with my oven, i decided i needed to make something to make up for my box cakes.

so here is a quickie!

Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
10 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour (sift, then measure!)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, approximately 1/3 cup

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Cream together butter and sugar until light, 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.

3. Using an ice cream scoop for uniformity, fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you’re not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 1/2 tsp nutella. Swirl nutella in with a toothpick, skewer, or sharp knife, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella. Don't worry about making it look pretty.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cupcakes Week 7

Since it's Kentucky Derby weekend, I decided to get these done early so you can have them in time (May 6th and 7th!)

Mint Julep Cupcakes

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe


Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.

Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.

3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add milk until the texture is right for piping. When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe or spread the icing on top. Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.