Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blueberry Cupcakes

My dad bought me a present today--some pastry bags and frosting tips! :) So I'll be having fun experimenting with those over the next couple of days :) Today, I didn't have a ton of time, but I did make some blueberry cupcakes with a pineapple cream cheese frosting, using the Pineapple Upside Down Cake Piece of Cake liqueur. I liked the strawberry buttercream frosting better, but these weren't bad, and I actually liked the cake on these ones much better. Plus, experimenting with the flower tip was fun, and I can't wait to make a few more frostings over the next few days when I have more time and play around with some of the other tips. Meanwhile, here's the recipe for the cupcakes I made today.

1 1/2 cups flour
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup milk + 1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. Pineapple Upside Down Cake Piece of Cake Liqueur
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 12 cupcake tins or line with cupcake liners. Mix ingredients, and fold in blueberries. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter, and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

For the Frosting:
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tbsp. Pineapple Upside Down Cake Piece of Cake Liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Strawberry Daiquiri" Cupcakes

For graduation, my parents got me this super cute cupcake tray...so obviously I had to fill it! :)

Lately I've been coming up with an idea for a frosting, or a flavor I'd like to use, or even just a consistency for something that kind of gets the ball rolling on a recipe and I just go with it. Today was one of those days...I decided I wanted to make something strawberry. In part it was because I was really craving the flavor, but I also liked the idea of doing something red, white and blue again for memorial day. That end of it really went no where, because the cupcakes I made ended up being pink, but the strawberry idea really took off. I've also been really into using different liqueurs in frostings or in batters, and I decided in this recipe I'd try something with the Piece of Cake Strawberry Shortcake Liqueur. The result was awesome--a "strawberry daiquiri" cupcake, with fresh strawberries baked into the cake itself and a beautiful (and delicious) pink buttercream frosting flavored with the strawberry liqueur.

For the cupcakes...

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites from large eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Add egg whites and mix at high speed until fluffy and smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Fold in strawberries. Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter. Do not overfill. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For the frosting...

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Piece of Cake Strawberry Shortcake Liqueur
4 drops red food coloring

Lemon Sugar Cookies

It took me till today to dig out my camera cord from the box labeled "Last minute things: Unpack first!" that my dad conveniently put underneath all of my other boxes. But yesterday, I made these sugar cookies with just a hint of lemon. I didn't have any lemon zest for this recipe, but I used a little more lemon juice than it called for and they still turned out pretty good.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Additional sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in egg, milk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Shape into 1-in. balls or drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm back!

This year was one of the most amazing years of my life, and while that didn't leave much time for blogging about my reading or my baking, I wouldn't want anyone to think I wasn't doing either of the two. There was plenty of reading in finishing up my thesis and in some really amazing classes, and even a little bit of fun reading over Christmas and Spring Break. And as for the baking...two words: Cupcake Tuesdays.

Detailing every aspect of this year would take a few months, if not a few years, but I'll leave you with some pictures of some of the best cupcakes that entered 1021A N. St. Peter over the past semester.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Easter Chick Cupcakes and Chocolate Pretzel Nests

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

"All Request Cupcake Tuesday: the last Tuesday of the semester, more than 100 cupcakes!

I know it was a long hiatus from blogging, but I'm back and ready to bake :)