Monday, August 9, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

So i tried baking from scratch on for size. And i'd like to say it was a great success. A roaring success. In fact, im pretty sure when im ready to make the commitment, ill use them as bait to catch a tall, tanned and handsome husband. I'd add my usual "with abs" at the end of that sentence, but we know that said imaginary husband won't have any if he's shoving his face with cuppycakes.

I digress. Back to my Catch A Husband Cupcakes. I think from now on, any recipe i find online im just going to eliminate 1/2 of the powdered sugar and go from there. Cuz i couldnt imagine ruining the cream cheesey-ness of these with more sugar. I actually ended up making two batches. (Cuz i had a LOT of left over frosting.) The first were a lot better than the second and it's because i processed the strawberries differently. It completely made the cupcakes and i will only ever do it this way. Seriously. I mean yeah, i might have burnt my mom's sauce pan a little -- but did i mention i got four proposals? Worth it.

The following is my altered version of the recipe that i used - that i originally found here, after stalking the Internets for 2 weeks for the perfect one.

Strawberry Cupcakes
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 and 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup "strawberry sauce"
1/2 cup milk

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese
1 stick of butter
3.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup of "strawberry sauce"
Pink Food Coloring Gel
*note this made wayyyyyy too much frosting. lol. So you might want to change it a little to make less.

Strawberry Sauce (to be used for both cupcakes and frosting)
1 and 1/2 cartons of fresh strawberries
3 teaspoons of sugar

It's the strawberry sauce that really made them. In comparison to the ones i made the next day, where i simply blended the strawberries and added some sugar to them, these were like 100 times better.

To make the Strawberry sauce, you just take the stems off the berries and cut them in half. Put two teaspoons of sugar on top of them in a bowl and let them sit there for about 15 minutes. Then you put them in a small saucepan with a lid on medium heat. STIR OFTEN OR YOU WILL BURN THEM. Don't tell my mother. =x

Everytime i opened them to stir them it was like magic in my nostrils. The smell was simply intoxicating. They get all mushy and mixed with the sugar... it's crazy.
In abuot 10-15 minutes, when theyre all saucey and you want to shove your face in them, take them out and finish pureeing them to your preferred consistency. Add more sugar if needed. I just added one teaspoon, but it probably didn't even need that. Yeah it looks kinda gross...

Let cool before using (like all the other ingredients, it should be at room temperature. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in one bowl. In the other, beat the butter until its fluffy and then add the sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating for 30 seconds in between each one. Mix the strawberry sauce with the milk in a cup. Add one fourth of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/eggs. Then add 1/3 of the milk/strawberry sauce. Alternate adding the flour and sauce, ending with the flour. I will admit it. I tasted the cake batter. =x And it was good. It looked like a milk shake. It was gorgeous. (And i got to use my new mixer!)

And they cooked so pretty too! I love seeing cupcakes in their pans. All naked, ready for their frosting.
These were for a friend who shares an affinity for all things animal print. So of course, she got the zebra liners. Was there ever any doubt?

The frosting. Oh that frosting. Cream cheese. I once had a friend tell me that he thinks i would probably eat a whole brick of cream cheese on a stick. And you know what, if society didn't frown on that i totally would. Don't judge.

Beat the butter and the cream cheese together on medium speed until it is nice and creamy. Add half of the sugar. Add as much strawberry sauce as you'd like. Add the remaining sugar. Add food coloring (gel gel gel! none of that watery crap). I stuck it in the fridge for a while to get a little harder b/c i was using a piping bag. Piped it on with a 1M tip and ziplock, and then ate one before anyone saw me.

It made 28 cupcakes. And i had enough frosting to frost another 14 the next day. Oops. So yeah, you can seriosuly cut down on the frosting measurements haha. You can just do half, especially if you will use it to spread on the cupcakes instead of using it for piping. (Plus you can always garnish with real strawberries.)

Once i was done with them all, i put them in my trusty cupcake carrier and ran off to present the birthday girl with her pink zebra cupcakes.

And all 24 were eaten by the end of the night! Cuz there's nothing sadder than taking home rejected cupcakes, you know.

Next, i have my eyes set on choco-penut butter and on pineapple-mango... 'till then!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Scooby Snacks S'mores Cupcakes

My friends throw theme parties. A lot. My friends do awesome things. A lot. So every now and then when i post awesome stories, don't be surprised. Like today's post. A few weeks ago, one of those friends threw a party whose main attraction was a 35 x 15 foot long Scooby Doo Mystery Van shaped inflatable water bounce house. Yes you read that right. There was also a fire pit, the kind you can make s'mores on. So i figured the only appropriate thing to do would be to make S'mores Cupcakes... with some Scooby Doo in 'em!

I got the basic recipe from here, but made some changes. The first being was that i added a graham cracker crust to the bottom. To do that, i mashed up cinnamon graham crackers in a ziplock. Yeah pretty much the whole box, haha.

Mixed them with melted butter, mashed it up my hands....

And put it at the bottom of each of the cupcake liners. I think i might have overdone it a little, you only need a little! Mine was almost 1/3, but it should be less than 1/4.

Then on top of the graham cracked bottoms, i poured in chocolate cake batter. I also mixed in some more graham cracker bits as well as chocolate chips into the batter.

After those were baked and cooled, i started making the marshmallow frosting. I did NOT add any milk to it, like the recipe called for. I did not want runny icing. I hate runny icing/frosting. Especially if i want to pipe it on pretty!I also added a stick of butter.

Ziplock bags rock. I will tell you why. Because you can use them instead of real piping bags. They're uber cheap, and you can throw them away. That's convenient because it sucks to wash out piping bags especially if you're making marshmallow frosting. After i made the frosting, it didn't look hard enough, and i was afraid it'd spread too easily so i shoved it in the freezer for about a minute. Then I used an 1M tip and frosted the tops of the cupcakes.

I stuck them in the fridge because it was super hot outside. For maybe 4-5 hours and the frosting actually set perfectly since i had to transport them an hour away in the heat anyways. Then i added the "scooby snacks".

No they are NOT dog cookies. lol. Keebler makes these delicious little cinnamon graham cracker cookies. (I found these at Safeway, but FoodMaxx sells them too.)

I also added more chocolate chips to the tops too. They didn't taste too bad either. haha. I mean i am pretty sure it gave a few people diabetes but whatever right?

I would like to note though, that if youre filling part of the cupcake liners with graham crackers an adding chips and graham crackers into the mix, you end up with a LOT of left over batter. In fact, i made 24 cupcakes (2 standard muffin pans) and then made 24 MINI cupcakes (1 mini cupcake pan) and still threw a little bit away. I had enough graham crackers to line them too. I just broke the cookies in half and called them Mini Scooby Snacks! I think i might have actually liked those more -- people were just popping the whole things in their mouths!

I also had enough frosting for them all. So really, the recipe will yield a CRAPLOAD of cupcakes lol.

Hopefully, the next post will be me raving about how my first try at baking from scratch went really well. :)