On a whim, I took a cupcake decorating class, and was hooked!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Carrot cake redux

I made another batch of carrot cake cupcakes last weekend, and gave them to my house painters.  Look - didn't they do a great job?

I've got one more weekend before my surgery on Monday, and would like to bake something.  Maybe these chocolate chip cookies from the Savory Sweet Life cookbook?  Not sure how my shoulder will be feeling this weekend, but I'll keep you posted.  :-)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Second time on the carrot cake!

The first batch of carrot cupcakes was so horrific I almost didn't even try a second attempt.  However, I promised Jon of Jon's Painting a dozen cupcakes of his choice, for giving me such a fantastic price for painting my house.  He chose carrot cake, so I searched online for a recipe that had good reviews.

And Google came to the rescue, as always, with this recipe for The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes.  I made them today, with hand-crushed pineapple (Thanks, Sweetheart!) and walnuts instead of pecans.  The recipe made about 30 cupcakes, and they came out very well, says my husband.  Whew!!  So I made up a double batch of cream cheese icing (2 blocks Philly, 3 pounds or so sifted powdered sugar, bunch of vanilla) and iced them up.  Stepson gave a thumbs up, so I think we're good to go.

I've got these ones in the fridge.  It's HOT here today, and I just don't think that cream cheese icing has the same ability to be stiff and fluffy that buttercream does.  Maybe THAT's why the cream cheese icing recipes always call for a little bit of butter, too.  I leave the butter out usually, but maybe next time I'll try putting the butter in.  It seemed to work very well in the lemon cream cheese icing, but I wanted it there to creamy up the lemon flavor a bit.  Hm.  Let's try, oh, I dunno, actually following a recipe and see what happens!

And while we're on the Philly recipe page, please join me in a SQUEEEEEE, 'cause, damn:

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

I want to make these, DESPERATELY,  but I don't know if I'll have time before my surgery on June 25.  I have only 2 weekends between now and then, and I've got to get my house in order.  We'll see!

PS:  Alice's cookbook is out!!  And for a $2.50 upcharge, you can pre-order the Kindle version.  It might go OK on my Kindle Fire, but I am not sure enough to buy that version.  I think I'll stick with the dead-tree version!

Lesson Learned:  Recipes don't always know what they're talking about (witness the first carrot cupcake debacle), but it might be advisable to try following them before deciding to change them up.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cupcakes from scratch

I'm making my first batch of cupcakes from a recipe today!  They're low-fat carrot cake cupcakes from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella.  And I'm going to make a double-batch of non-low-fat cream cheese icing to top them off.  The recipe looks very simple, I've just bought the ingredients I didn't have on hand, and I'm getting ready to get started.  Stand by for a review and pictures.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lemon cupcakes being mailed

I made a really nice batch of lemon cupcakes today, with more lemon creamcheese icing.  I used the same recipe as last time, only this time I actually followed the recipe for the most part.  1 block of Philly, half a stick of butter, 2 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons (actually, closer to three) of lemon zest, and a heaping teaspoon of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract.  Oh, yeah - and a bunch of powdered sugar to make it work.  :-)

I put mini cupcakes in Ball jars, then pipe on a LIBERAL layer of icing, then another cupcake and more icing, then this time I sprinkled the top with the vanilla sanding sugar I mentioned in my last lemony post.  Then put the lids and bands on the jars and we're ready to pack them up for mailing.

A batch of icing is *supposed* to be enough for 48 mini cupcakes, or 24 regular ones.  HAH!  I scoff at that.  When I make cupcake in a jar, it gets at least twice as much icing as a regular cupcake.  So a whole batch of icing is enough for 16-20 mini cupcakes.  NOM!!  Cupcakes are merely an icing delivery mechanism.  People look at you funny if you walk around eating icing by the spoonful, but they're merely consumed with jealousy if you've got cupcakes and they don't.

Half a dozen of these jars are going to Rebecca in North Carolina, and four are going to Lesli in Florida.  I'll mail them on Sunday if I can make it out to the airport post office.  

I've got plenty of cupcakes left over, looking for a home.  Gretchen and her folks will likely get some, too.  :-)