Friday, January 30, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes


OK, so I've been having a thing for cupcakes lately. I went and tried all the red velvet cupcakes in the immediate 5 mile radius. And then I decided that it was really expensive to buy cupcakes from cupcake bakeries. Especially when red velvet cupcakes (fast becoming one of my favorite cupcake flavors) were easy to make. I found this recipe from New York's famous Magnolia Bakery online, and I have to say, it's delicious! I absolutely love it, and I think it's loads better than the cupcakes I've been buying. I used 1 oz of food coloring paste and diluted it with 4 tablespoons of water, which worked out just fine. The cupcakes were more effort than the usual box of cake mix or going to the bakery, but totally worth it.

The recipe online came with a vanilla frosting of some sort, but I love my red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, so I included a recipe for cream cheese frosting as well. I have to say that I didn't get up to the suggested 5 cups of powdered sugar. I used maybe 2 1/2, and only because my husband wanted it sweeter. Enjoy!

RED VELVET CUPCAKES

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Adapted from Epicurious

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Thank You, Megan!




Megan knitted us sheep and sent it to us for Christmas. Presumably it was more for or because of the Skittle, but I had a notion that perhaps the smaller sheep was for Romeo, as he is in fact a shepherd by birth. Romeo, however, decided that the toy was way too nice for him and has kept his distance from the plush toy, which is unusual but I'm not complaining. The sheep is too nice and white for Romeo to be slobbering over.

Thank you, Megan!
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