Let’s catch up.
First, I competed in NaNoWriMo this past November. The outcome: I didn’t get to 50,000 words like I wanted to. I made it to 28,000 or so. I started a damn good story and I am hoping to finish it soon. The holidays are a time of Mad Science like baking so there’s very little time to work on my story. I will though. ^_~
Second, I made some cupcakes and icing using a fantastic new recipe I found online. Once I get to a computer (instead of just my phone) I will add the awesome link. Any who, they turned out great and I gave most of them away to friends and family. They were delicious.
Update with Link:
The recipe is on Glorious Treats at http://www.glorioustreats.com/2010/04/recipe-perfectly-chocolate-cupcakes.html for the Chocolate Cupcakes.
The Cream Cheese Frosting can be found here: http://www.glorioustreats.com/2010/02/recipe-cream-cheese-frosting.html *
Note: * The Links are written out in case clicking on the underlined words doesn’t work. ^_^ Hope everyone tries these. Just in case I will include the entire set of recipes at the bottom of the post.
And super cute when I dressed them up to give away.
The best part: It is really cheap to make. The ingredients are basic items most people have around the house. ^_^
Third and last big update, Baby Shower time. My best friend is pregnant and I am putting together her baby shower. She is due next year but I am starting to put ideas together so it will be easier when the time comes. ^_^ I am very excited and happy for her.
With that in mind, I am hoping to make it an exciting, beautiful and unforgettable day for her. ^_^
I am checking out recipes, themes and the vast variety of styles. Hopefully, I will find a lot of great but equally simple ideas!
Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 24-27 standard sized cupcakes)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available)
1 cup boiling water
Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)
Bake cupcakes for approximately 18-22 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Recipe source- Hershey’s
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
½ cup (1 stick/8 Tablespoons) butter (set at room temp about 10 minutes, but should still be cool)
8 oz. cream cheese (directly from fridge)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 to 4 Tablespoons heavy cream, heavy whipping cream (or milk- although I do like the richness that cream adds)
*Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
*Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
*Slowly add the heavy cream, a little bit at a time until desired consistency is met. (Don’t add too much if you want the frosting to stay in place when piped on cupcakes.)
*Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
*Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)
The recipe above will produce a delicious VANILLA flavored frosting, here are a couple of other options to try…
For a Stronger Cream Cheese Flavor: Use an additional 4 oz. (½ block) of cream cheese. This is good for any cake/cupcake recipe that is traditionally topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, like Carrot Cake, or Red Velvet Cake.
For Chocolate Frosting: (my favorite!) add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Ghirardelli brand, it’s really good). Add the cocoa powder before adding the powdered sugar, so it gets fully incorporated into the butter and cream cheese.
Strawberry, Blackberry, etc: Add 2-4 tablespoons of preserves. Depending on how chunky or seedy the preserves are, you may want to blend it in the food processor, and/or strain it through a fine strainer before adding it to the frosting. Add the preserves to the frosting mixture before adding the heavy cream. Depending on the amount of preserves you add you may need very little or no cream, especially if you want the frosting thick enough to pipe. A final option would be to add a drop of food coloring to add to the color of the preserves (for example, pink coloring for the Strawberry flavor).
* This recipe will frost about 22-24 cupcakes if you are piping a nice swirl, or even more if you just spread it on. If you’re making a cake, this will frost and fill a two layer 9″ cake.
Enjoy the recipes from Glorious Treats. I sure did!
Thanks for Reading and Happy Holidays!!