Sunday, August 22, 2010

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

My parents' garden is producing zucchini faster than we can all eat. So I went on the hunt for a good zucchini cupcake recipe. I found one on Taste of Home that got rave reviews so I thought I would give it a try. I was kind of surprised that there was only a cup and a half of zucchini in the 24 cupcakes. Didn't seem like very much to me. The recipe called for orange juice which gave it an interesting little twist! Overall, not completely impressed with the cupcakes. The caramel frosting on the other hand was absolutely outstanding! If you know me well, you know I have high frosting standards. And this one definitely exceeded those standards! I will be committing this frosting recipe to the "keep file."

Caramel Frosting

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ to 2 cups powdered sugar

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peanut Butter Truffle

It was time to try something other than cupcakes! Found this recipe for peanut butter truffles on the Taste of Home website. The recipe called for crushed granola to give it a little crunch, but I didn't have any around the house so I substituted crushed graham crackers. Loved the taste of the graham crackers but I think next time I will add a little less because they were a tad bit dry. I dipped them in Baker's chocolate which worked very well. The consistency is a little runnier so it gave them a nice shiny look!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mini is so cute!

This past weekend one of my best friends Ashley got married! I kept bugging her to give me some kind of job for the wedding that would take some stress off of her shoulders. Well, she found the perfect job for me! I was put up to the task of making the desert for the grooms dinner! Does she know me or what! I whipped out my favorite recipes and decided to make mini cupcakes in a few different flavors. They turned out absolutely adorable. Michele came over on Thursday and helped me with this project. After we took the first pan out of the oven we were both gitty about how fricken cute the mini cupcakes were. The nice part about 'em is you don't have to feel guilty about trying each flavor. I ended up making dark chocolate with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, strawberry with strawberry buttercream, and pumpkin with cream cheese frosting.

With love,

Banana Chocolate Chip

These cupcakes were nothing too special. They smelt wonderful but I was a little disappointed when I took my first bite. The smell of banana was definitely stronger than the taste. This was my first time making chocolate butter cream frosting and thought that turned out pretty well. My favorite part of the whole day was probably playing with my new pastry bag and tip! Makes me want to do a little online shopping and order a bunch of fun tips.

With Love,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Red Velvet

Every year for our birthday my mom asks us kids what kind of cake we would like her to make. Without fail, all three of us kids always pick "the red cake." Whenever this cake was around the house we would eat a piece for breakfast, lunch, and supper. And there was always a fight about who would get the last piece. To be honest, I could probably sit down and eat the whole darn cake in one sitting. It is just that amazing! So a few weeks ago (I am a little late on writing this post) I whipped up a batch of the cake and made it into cupcakes! The cupcakes turned out beautifully. The cake is little on the dense side so the tops of the cupcakes were nice and round!

I was feeling a little daring that night and thought I would try and make my first batch of boiled frosting for the cupcakes. This is the frosting that my mom makes to go along with the cake. She warned me before hand that it is a little tricky. And turns out it is VERY tricky. It was a big huge failure. It became a curdled mess. I beat it with my hand-held mixer forever trying to get it smooth, but it was a lost cause. So I guess I will have to have a lesson from the expert some day. Luckily I had some left over cream cheese frosting in the fridge from a previous batch of cupcakes.

I sent these to work with Zach for a co-workers last day. Apparently Nate liked them because Zach said he ate three of them before putting them out to share with everyone else. I also brought a few to work with me to share with some co-workers. Everyone's first reaction was, "holy cow these are red." After they got over the redness shock, they loved the cupcakes!

Red Velvet
½ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 bottles red food coloring (total of two ounces)
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well mixed. In separate bowl, make a past of food coloring and cocoa. Add to batter. Add flour and salt alternating with buttermilk. Add vanilla. In another separate bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar together. Add to batter. Fill cupcake pans about three fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees until tops of cupcakes spring back.

With love,