Saturday, January 19, 2013

Yellow Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Buttercream

Today was a cold and dreary winter day in Minnesota. I am so done with winter. It was cute when it was snowy and in the 20s around Christmas but this whole below zero thing has got to go. All in all, I needed an escape from this wintery dungeon, and what better way to liven things up than with cupcakes?!
Beautiful, spring inspired cupcakes! I got the recipe and the ideas from the two cupcake books I got for Christmas. Believe it or not, I got a lot of baking affiliated things for Christmas and I hadn't really tested them out until now. 
Easy yellow cupcakes
(Makes 24)
What you'll need:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
To make:
- Preheat to 350 degrees
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the egg, egg yolks and sugar together for a few minutes until thickened.
- On low speed mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.
-Mix in sour cream until no white streaks are visible.
-Mix in flour mixture until incorporated, then add fruit or chocolate if desired. I added a 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
-Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

I love these cupcake so much that I had to take a cupcake break in the middle of writing this post. I do have a problem...

I did try a slightly different buttercream recipe this time around, and it was pretty tasty, but  not too much different from the one I typically use.

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons heavy cream.
-Beat butter with mixer for a few minutes until fluffy.
-Add 3 cups of  powdered sugar until incorporated.
-Mix in salt, vanilla extract, and two tablespoons cream.
-If needed, add in remaining cup of powdered sugar.
-Dye if desired, then spread on cupcakes.

New Year's Eve Cupcakes

This was a tradition I started in 2011 when I was in Florida visiting my mom's best friend, Michelle. We were meandering around a book store and opened a cupcake book only to find these.
Okay, they might have been a lot prettier in the book. But my god are they tasty. They're definitely the favorite thing that I bake.

What you'll need:
for the cupcakes

  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • ½ cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (European style recommended)
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk, at room temperature

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two mini cupcake pans with thirty-six mini baking cups, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.
  2. Soak the fresh strawberries in the champagne.  Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.
  4. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. 
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  6. Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
  7. Reduce the speed to low.  Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated.  Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the milk mixture.  Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.  Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and mix slowly until just combined.
  8. Drain the strawberries of excess champagne, and gently fold the strawberries into the batter, just until incorporated.  If you are of age, the remaining champagne is a sweet treat!
  9. Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.  If using paper baking cups, peel off all the paper baking cups once the cupcakes are cool.
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (European style recommended)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  1. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer.  Add the confectioners’ sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, milk, salt, and champagne, and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Place frosting in a disposable piping bag with a large round tip.

24 fresh strawberries
1 cup good champagne (sweet rose champagne suggested)
  1. To prepare the strawberries, slice the strawberries lengthwise and soak in the champagne for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Note that these strawberries should be larger slices than the ones used in the cupcakes.
2 cups high-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat.  Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a medium glass bowl over the saucepan and melt the chocolate chips.  Stir occasionally until the chips are completely melted.  Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the saucepan.  Pour the ganache into a plastic squeeze bottle.  (if a squeeze bottle is not available, you can drizzle with a spoon.)
To assemble: 
I'll have some pictures along the way. My mom played photographer while I was making a mess.

12 glass champagne flutes
12 indoor-safe sparkler candles
12 long spoons

  1. Line up 12 glass champagne flutes.  Insert one mini strawberry champagne cupcake in the bottom of each glass.  Next, pipe a swirl of champagne buttercream frosting on top of each cupcake.  Add several slices of champagne-soaked strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate ganache.  Repeat layers.  Finally, place a third mini strawberry champagne cupcake at the top of each glass, pipe with a final Georgetown Cupcake signature swirl of champagne buttercream frosting, and top with a final drizzle of chocolate ganache.
  2. Insert one indoor-safe sparkler candle in the top of each glass.  Light the candles at midnight, serve with spoons, and enjoy!

 From "The Cupcake Diaries" book

Melting Moments (Bangdelish Cookies)

Saying that Christmas cookies are a big deal in my family is a complete and total understatement. Christmas in general for my family (my mom's side) is a big fat hairy stinking deal. It's one of the many times a year my mom, her thirteen siblings, their significant others, and all the grand kids get together. We love our Christmas and we love our cookies. Especially these cookies.
Although these cookies are called "Melting Moments" by normal people, my family has dubbed them "Bangdelish Cookies" because they're freaking awesome. The term Bangdelish was coined by my grandpa a few years ago while trying to tell my uncles that his shirt was made in Bangladesh, but instead it came out as "bangdelish." The word really has no meaning, but some of the family went through a period of saying it at anytime and whenever they deemed it appropriate. And by some of the family, I most definitely mean, my mother and my aunt Theresa.
What you'll need:

  • 1 lb. butter (oh yeah, these babies are artery clogging)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cornstarch
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
To make:
-Mix together the wet ingredients then add the dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

They're super freaking easy, I know. So you should go and make them.
These cookies could probably be frosted with any sort of vanilla frosting, but my favorite is my Grandma Pat's super simple recipe.

Mix together:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk
  • food coloring (if desired)

Time to Catch Up!

I know I haven't posted in awhile, so tonight I am dedicating my time to updating this blog. Enjoy the recipes that are to come!