Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Cupcakes

The kids don't like FOX News; Mark and I tire of Phineas and Ferb. The one channel all 6 of us agree on? The Food Network. Among our favorite shows are The Food Network Challenge, Dinner: Impossible, The Worst Cooks in America, and The Next Food Network Star. And the kids actually learn something from shows like Unwrapped and The Secret Life Of.... But really our most favorite show is Cupcake Wars.

Now--in the middle of a new diet lifestyle--is not the time to watch the episode I have DVRed because whenever we sit down to watch one, I get up afterwards and go make cupcakes. After a December episode, I made this delicious cupcake:


Red Velvet with a light, fluffy cream cheese frosting. And that tree decoration? That is what I was doing when the Princess gave herself a new do.

I must share the recipe for these because they really were delicious on Christmas Day. The recipe comes from Rombauer's Joy of Cooking, though I added an extra egg yolk for moistness (it worked!).

The Cupcake
Whisk together until thoroughly blended:
2 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 T. cocoa powder

Beat in large bowl until creamy:
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

Gradually add and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes:
1 1/3 c. sugar

Whisk together, then gradually beat in, taking about 2 minutes:
3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 t. vanilla

Beating at low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with:
1 c. buttermilk + 1-3 T. red food coloring

The Icing
I did a little bit of playing around with this because I didn't want a typical heavy cream cheese icing, so this is approximately what I did:

Cream together:
5 oz. cream cheese
splash of vanilla
big splash of heavy whipping cream

1 box confectioners sugar

In separate bowl whip to stiff peaks:
The rest of a small carton of the heavy whipping cream (mine was a little less than a full carton to begin with because my personal chef (ie: Mark) had used a bit in something he was cooking up).

Gently mix the whipped cream into the cream cheese icing mixture.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and place chocolate Christmas tree on top. (For the chocolate Christmas trees, I melted green chocolate wafers in a piping bag, snipped off the bottom, and then just piped my little trees on to waxed paper.)

By the way, do you like the cupcake wrappers? I LOVE them! They weren't exactly the design I was expecting when I put them on my shopping list and then sent my personal chef out to the store, but they were his pick because they have a foil lining which means...they don't get all greasy and soggy during baking!!!

So I have some other cupcake flavoring pairings floating around in my head for after we finally sit down to watch the episode of Cupcake Wars that is patiently waiting. I won't list all 38 flavor combinations I would like to try one day, but here are a few of my top contenders:

Cookies and Cream (chocolate w/cookie crumb buttercream)
Margarita (strawberry w/lime icing)
Reeses PB Cup (peanut butter w/chocolate icing)
S'Mores (graham cracker crust, chocolate w/marshmallow creme icing)
Breakfast (maple spice w/bacon bits buttercream)
Breakfast II (oatmeal w/maple icing)
Caramel Apples (apple w/caramel icing)

Which one sounds like a winner to you?


@nnie said...

omigoodness you MADE that?

It looks like it should be on the pages of some famous food magazine and if it tastes as good as it look? WOW.

Somehow I think if I tried my hand at these they wouldn't come out quite the same!

tsinclair said...

You are so creative. We used to cook a lot of different things when we watched that channel. Not sure what happened, will have to try to find it again. :-)

Together We Save said...

Wow - very pretty!! I am not very creative!

dclouser said...

Isn't it funny how when you're on a diet all you can think about is FOOD? Those cupcakes look amazing!

CrossView said...

Wow! Gorgeous cupcake! And because I like ya, I'll do you a favor. You bake, I'll taste test. That way, you won't ruin your resolution. Yeah, I'm nice like that. :O)

Anonymous said...

Wow, those are lovely :)