Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little about me and Vitatop whoopie pie recipe

Not sure what the age group of my readers is, but being a 16 year old girl isn’t always easy. And being a healthy, skinny 16 year old girl is even harder. Now I am sure that some of the parents out there may find this shocking—forget drinking and drugs—one of the most difficult issues I face is staying thin (I am 5’8”½ and weigh about 115 pounds) which is perfect for me. Staying that way and eating all these delicious baked goods that I love to make is a lesson in eating and living healthy.

If you did not know, whoopie pies are one of my favorite desserts, unfortunately they do not have good nutritionals. During one of my browsings of Hungry-Girl I struck upon an idea and then I saw it debut in her new cookbook 200 Under 200. I decided to make this last night because my dad has a huge sweet tooth and I wanted to make something he could indulge in. This recipe is beyond simple and is a new way to eat those delicious VitaTops.

VitaTops are jaw dropping, mind-boggling, 100 calorie muffin tops. They come in so many different flavors and basically you can do anything with them. In Hungry-Girl's new book she has an entire chapter devoted to VitaTops, I love it!

To make these; cut a thawed VitaTop in half lengthwise. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of CoolWhip Free. Cover with other half and wrap in seran wrap. Freeze for about 1 hour (or until frozen) Then serve or eat immediately. (the chocolate chips in the above picture fell out when i was cutting it so I tossed them right in to the CoolWhip.)Each "whoopie pie" contain about 115-125 calories, depending on the amount of CoolWhip Free used.

This recipe had the HG stamp of approval (love her!)

with love and cupcakes,

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food for Preseason!

Now that I am up to date with all of my posts I am going to be introducing something a little but different...How I really eat on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I eat what I bake but in moderation. Field Hockey preseason started and the night before I took a quick run to the A&P for foods I can eat before and during practice. Here's a glace at what my diet will consist of for the next week:I'm gonna be a rebel and start right to left.

For breakfast I have two bowls of honey nut Cheerio's with cut up banana. I do measure out 3/4 of a cup each time. And each bowl has half of a banana.

First we go to the pool. After the pool we go straight to the field for about 2 and a half hours. So in between I have ANOTHER banana and sometimes a Special K bar. But usually I have that between our running and our stick work.

After practice I am pretty hungry so right after food shopping I chopped up a salad.
These are the best cucumbers to buy. They come about 5 in a package and are a perfect single serving. If making a salad you can use 2-3 and they don't get mushy.
Cut up some red bell peppers. Just a rough chop, not too fine.
Peel and cut up the cucumbers as well. Since they are small, there is no need to cut them in half.
Now for the lettuce. Usually my family buys packages of lettuce heads but there were pre-cut lettuce bags on sale and it makes life a lot easier.
Now just toss the bag of lettuce into a tupperware, and toss in the peppers and cucumbers as well. I also added some slices of turkey cut up for protein. Also the night before my dad grilled corn. Grilled corn is the best thing in salad, crunchy and sweet--all you do is slice it off and toss it into the salad.

I was able to just scoop some salad into a bowl and eat it whenever. It was really nice having it readily available instead of having to do all of that at once.
To add some carbs to this I counted out 8 wheat thins (half of a serving size) and ate those on the side.

For lunch I love veggie burgers, Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie are the best. Before field hockey started I normally ate the veggie burger without any bun. But I bought sandwich thins from Arnold and they are really good. Only 100 calories and the size is perfect. Highly recommended.

Lastly is Cliff Bars. Cliff Bars are not a snack if you are not exercising. They deliver a high amount of protein and energy but they are pretty high in calories...average is about 240. But they do come in a variety of delicious flavors and can make a good breakfast if you are on the run. But personally, I find they do not fill me up enough for breakfast.

Seafood "salad"

This deli-style salad is perfect on anything and for anything. Put on some lightly toasted bread and eat as a sandwich, or toss it in some lettuce as a lettuce wrap, in a salad, plain and well any way your brain can think of.

I have made this for dinner with leftover shrimp my mom made but this time I made it with shrimp cocktail from Costco. This seafood salad was lunch for me and my mom, and keep in mind we had leftovers!

First start with crabmeat, or shall I say Krab? Artificial crab is not artificial fish. It is a white fish with sugar and other things added. Tastes delicious and low in calories! This is the type we like to use, they are usually buy one get one free and we save the plastic containers to use for other things! Each serving bag (there is 3 inside each box) has only 90 calories! For this entire recipe I used 3 bags. Chop up into cubes and place into a bowl.
Then take the shrimp and cut up into small cubes as well. I cut off each tail then cut the shrimp into three. But it totally depends on the size; mine were small. Toss the shrimp into the bowl with the Krab meat.
Then add 1/3 cup of mayonaisse (eyeball it) (I used lite mayo even though my mom doesn't like it)

½ teaspoon of mustard. Add in about 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Also add in a drop of honey for subtle sweetness.

Chop up some bell pepper and toss into the bowl as well. It adds a nice crunch. Now mix up all of ingredients with a spoon. Add more mayo, mustard, lemon juice or honey depending on your preferences.
**Note: In the pictures is only 2 packages of crabmeat. I added another one because I added too much mustard!

Served with lettuce and an avocado.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

During lacrosse season our team went to free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s after our game (we didn’t win). Right next to Ben and Jerry’s is a cupcake shop, La Dolce Diva’s Bakery. They have awesome cupcakes and it’s so hard to be outside and not go in. So I decided to get a cupcake for my dad, I’m such a good daughter, I know. Well as me and my friend walked in, (we both love cupcakes A LOT), I spotted these individually wrapped red velvet whoopee pies. I just couldn’t say no to those cute little cakes and those whoopee pie tasted amazing!!!! To good for words! I have been dreaming of these since then so for my dad’s birthday I decided to make them. But I am going to have to admit. I did not make the cake portion by hand. I used cake mix because it was already late and I found a recipe to make the right consistency with cake mix. But I did use a homemade cream recipe that I found on Martha Stewart and bookmarked a while back.

The first batch of the cake mixture I placed on cookie sheets and it flattened out because I made the circles too large. The next time I made them smaller and they did puff up more but not the way I liked. I then spotted the cupcake pans and an idea struck to mind. I placed a spoonful of batter in each cup, just enough to coat the bottom of the cup. These turned out the best, perfect shape, puffiness and they were easy to match up because they were all the same shape. These were good. Next time I will definitely make it from scratch though.
Now the cream in the center was what made these so delicious. I found it from Martha Stewart and will definitely be using this recipe in anything involving cream. It was so simple to make, no boiling! Also it contains lots and lots of marshmallow fluff, which makes it extra yummy. I highly recommend making this and storing it in your fridge. Serve with strawberries and other fruit, on cakes, or just eat plain with a spoon.
Recipe for Whoopie Pie Filling (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, preferably organic, room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, preferably organic

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.

Recipe to make Whoopie Pies with cake mix
1 Box of cake mix (red velvet)
3 eggs
1/2-cup water
1/2-cup oil

Sunday, August 23, 2009

yummmmm :)

Hey guys I know I have been slacking off with the postings but I have been baking and cooking a lot of delicious food which will be coming soon. But for now I feel the need to inform you of my dinner tonight.

My sister went back to college today (after lots of difficulties, aka, the storms) and my mom is visiting her old high school buds. So me and my dad decided to go out to dinner. The restaurant we went to is where I had my sweet sixteen dinner and personally I think their food is quite tasty. We had a great meal, started with a pizza to share (mushrooms on top, my knew obsession--tasty, filling and low in calories) then salad and for the entree we shared Branzini, a fish which I never had before tonight, but loved it. (Since we shared everything it also kept the price of the bill down which made my dad happy) The Branzini was cooked scampi style and instead of sun-dried tomatoes (bleh) we ordered it with fresh tomatoes (yum) and it was served with garlic mashed potatoes and spinach. Then our waitress asked us if we wanted dessert so we listened to the menu and when she said fried cheesecake we knew it was time to splurg!

Before I get into this dessert, let me tell you that I have been CRAVING cheesecake for the longest time, probably about 3 weeks now and my mom has my great, great grandma's recipe which is so yummy, you will love it! The only issue with cheesecake, well not the only issue, but it has to be made a day ahead to taste extra delicious. Another issue is the calories in cheesecake, oh boy are they high. So I have been meaning to make a low-er calorie cheesecake but I just have not had the time. I mean field hockey tryouts start tomorrow and I am so nervous!

Anyways, back to the FRIED cheesecake. Fried? Yes. It is a crust-less cheesecake wrapped in a pastry and then fried. Personally, I am not a fan of fried foods, however, this cheesecake was not greasy and oily but rather crisp and warm and heavenly.

It came on a rectangular plate drizzled with raspberry sauce (yes, I just learned that there is a p in Raspberry) and a scoop of ice cream on the side...vanilla that is. You know what an egg roll looks like? Well the cheese cake was sort of like that but wider, longer and did not have the funky bumps on it. It was cut in half...perfect for sharing and there were a few (like 4) blueberries on the side. That makes it healthy right? But if you ever have the chance to delve into a fried cheesecake I recommend it. Forget about the calories and the fact that you have a deadly running workout in two days and eat the cheesecake with no remorse.

Whoopie Pies and Seafood salad coming soon! I promise!!

with love and cupcakes,

P.S. I now made commenting available for everyone, not just gmail account holders so please comment so I know your out there! Thank You!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hostess with the Mostess

Hostess with the mostess.
Hostess Cupcakes were probably the best thing in my dad's lunch box when he was a kid. As they were in so many kids lunch boxes back in those days (wink wink). So in honor of his birthday my sister and I made him homemade Hostess cupcakes. By saying my sister and I, I mean mostly me but she would get mad if I did not give her the credit deserved. So yes my sister and I made Hostess Cupcakes. Aren't we cute?

We did research for these cupcakes. We were not going to just make a boring chocolate cake with a plain ole' whip cream center and chocolate on top. So we came to a final conclusion. A devil's food cake and vanilla center from Baking Bites and the chocolate top I mixed a combination of chocolates, butter and light corn syrup. But first, let's start with the batter.
Making the batter for the cake was not hard at all. However, I made a mistake with the first step. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. The butter had to get to room temperature and my sister kept wanting to just mix it already so once the butter was ready, I combined the sugar, butter, and all three eggs into the bowl at the same time to take picture. Whoops. But it did work out perfectly I just kept the mixer running a little longer. So if you ever make the mistake...DON'T WORRY! We all have Dumb Blondie moments my sister says.
Now the next step was to fill these beauties with creme. The creme proposed some questioning. Should we use marshmallow fluff? Do we add whipping creme instead of regular milk? How much sugar to the right consistency? I finally decided to go use Baking Bites's recipe for a vanilla creme as a reference. It looked delicious.

The first step is to heat milk (1/2 cup) and flour (3 tablespoons) until it is the consistency of a thin pudding and then to strain it. Seems easy enough right? Wrong. I had to make it twice. The first time I used a whisk to stir which was unable to get to the mixture on the bottom. Also I did not mix the flour and milk together before it hit the heat which could be the cause of the clumps. After it reaches thin pudding consistency, Baking Bites said to strain it. But since all of the lumps I felt that not enough mixture went through. I covered that one and let it sit (room temperature).
While it was sitting I made another concoction of the milk and flour but made sure it was mixed before the flame and used a spoon instead. I got more juice out of this one so once both were room temperature I decided to use the second one.
Besides the whole milk and flour incident, making the creme was relatively easy. Toss a stick of butter and some sugar into the mixing bowl and creme until light and fluffy (nothing unusual there). Then add the milk and flour mixture and vanilla. Crank up the speed on the mixture and set the timer for 7 minutes. I stopped and scraped the bowl down twice in this process. Once its done get your pasty bag ready with either Wilton tip #230 or #3 (or whatever works for you) and fill with the creme. It does not look like a lot. I thought was going to have to make another batch because I had a lot more then 24 cupcakes.

I happen to have the cupcake filling tip made by Wilton. But no fret if you don't have it because Wilton tip 3 would work as well, and that one is more common to have.To fill, place the tip about 2/3 of the way into the cupcakes and squeeze until you feel it, then begin to lift up. This might take some getting used to with the first few cupcakes. The picture on the left was one which exploded, too much filling (pshh as if that could happen). But I did have enough creme to get through all of the cupcakes (plus some for me and my sister to eat before, after and well during)

The third step in these cupcakes was the topping. Something that hardens but is still fudgy. We have this chocolate ganache type of recipe which turned out to be a balanced combination of fudgy while retaining it's shape.

For the chocolate mix 4 oz. of chocolate (I combined milk, bittersweet and semi-sweet to get the perfect flavor. It was about 1.5 oz. of milk, 1.5 oz. of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 oz. of bittersweet.) with 3 tablespoons of butter and microwave for a minute. Stir and add 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. That's it.
Now take a filled cupcake, turn it over and place it in the chocolate mixture. Let it run off a little and twist to avoid getting a point at the top. Repeat with all of the cupcakes.

Let the chocolate set and make a white icing. My sister mixed some confectioners sugar with a few drops (about 1/2 a teaspoon) of whipping cream (its what we had on hand) and about a tablespoon of light corn syrup. Add more sugar or milk until a thick drizzle consistency. Place in a piping bag with tip #1 and pipe the swirl. Feel free to practice on the wax paper first.

How pretty? Only disappointment was that I should have put more creme in the center of each. I recommend doing that.

recipes follow...

with love and cupakes,

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Cream Filling (adapted from Baking Bites)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-oz dark chocolate
1 cup water, boiling
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by sour cream and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla extract, followed by the addition of the rest of the flour mix. Stir well between each addition and mix until no streaks of flour remain.
Stir the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate into the boiling water (easiest in a large measuring cup). Pour chocolate water into the rest of the batter and stir until uniform.
Evenly distribute batter into prepared baking cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. (It’s fine if you can’t fit both trays into the oven at the same time, just wait until one batch finishes before putting in the second pan)
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling (adapted from Baking Bites)
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes. Sir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil. When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.
When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until lightl. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electrick mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and set aside until ready to fill your cupcakes.
Chocolate Ganche
4 oz. of chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Microwave the chocolate and the butter for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Add corn syrup and stir.

Summer bummer!

Hey guys! Tonight I finished the Hostess Cupcakes and made the cake part for the whoopie pies. Posts will come sometime tomorrow for both...hopefully. Unfortunately after that I have to finish my book for school, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. And then start AND finish Murder on the Orient Express. Sounds super fun, I know. My mom said that I cannot bake until the books are finished so wish me luck!

With love and cupcakes,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Choco-holic's Heaven Part 1

This Saturday is my dad's birthday and oh boy does he love chocolate. Anything chocolate he will eat...well he will eat pretty much anything I make, but chocolate desserts go twice as fast. So in honor of his birthday we (my mom, my sister and I) are making him 3-4 chocolate toned desserts he can devour leading up to his big day. Tonight I made him Brownie Cookies from Martha Stewart. I tried baking them in three different ways, but we can get to that later. Let's start with the chocolate...lots and lots of chocolate

Bring a pot (or sauce pan if you want to get all fancy) of water to a simmer and place a heat proof bowl full with 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate on top. I made a silly mistake of taking out a box of milk chocolate melting wafers instead of some bittersweet bars. Luckily, my sister, Brittney, decided to join me and caught my mistake (she liked snacking on the wafers before they went to the pot). So I used 8 oz. of bittersweet Ghirradeli Chocolate and 4 oz. of milk chocolate from William and Sonoma.

While I was melting the chocolate, big sister Brittney beat the sugars and the butter together.
Once the chocolate is melted and the flour, baking powder and salt are whisked together in a small bowl, add alternatively to the sugar/butter mixture.
Now for baking. Martha says to pile dough balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets, blah blah blah. Unfortunately I did not have any parchment paper so I just sprayed some Pam on the sheet and called it a day. That was my rebellious move number 1. The first batch I did what Martha said, because well let's face it, she's right most of the time. However, either I did something wrong or Martha is just super special because they flattened out when I baked them and did not rise as much as I would have enjoyed. Second batch I took a mini muffin pan and put a little batter in each. Those rose more and came out like those two-bite brownies you see at the supermarket. The last 3 batches I made like Martha, except I tried to make them smaller and have the batter stand up more then out before baking.

Verdict: All of the batches came out good. If you want a more cupcake like brownie put them in the muffin tins and if you want a cookie make them normal. It all depends on your preference.

Makes 34

1. 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
5. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
7. 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
8. 3 large eggs
9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted, then let cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. With mixer on low, alternately beat in chocolate and flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overmix).
3. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cookie comes out clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

But everything tastes better with frosting. Marshmallow seemed like a good choice so I put a 3-4 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan (yes I am getting fancy) with 6 marshmallows broken up, a generous 1/3 cup of sugar, skim milk and an egg white. I do not know why or how I randomly placed these ingredients but it seemed logical at the time. When it was cooking it looked promising, the order of ingredients and when I added them seemed correct but I realized that skim milk would not whip so my attempt failed :(

Instead I took a package of sugar-free instant pudding added 2 cups of cold milk and whisked away. The flavor...white chocolate. It tastes so delicious even though it was sugar-free.

With love and cupcakes,

Saturday, August 8, 2009


You know when its one of those days where you want to crawl under a rock? One of those days when you can't wait for your head to hit your pillow? One of those days where the crazy mothers at the pool yell at you for talking to your cute co-worker? Well these delicious cake balls can fix all those things.

My sister found these "cake balls" on Bakerella and every person who has eaten one of these begs us for more.
First things first...take that frozen red velvet cake out of your freezer the night before to defrost. If you don't just happen to have a frozen cake in your freezer then bake one, but it has to be completely cool before you begin. I use box cake for this. I know, I know, box cake is bleh BUT I use the best cream cheese frosting recipe and high quality melting chocolates so yes I use box cake. Don't judge me. (Oh, and notice the corner missing...I got hungry when I first made the cake)
Now once that cake is cool (or defrosted) break off a piece and place into you blender (or food processor, I don't have one of those).

Blend for just a few seconds until it is all crumbs.

Empty into a bowl. Add more cake and repeat.

Once the cake is blended, add the cream cheese frosting mixture.

Now grab a fork and get digging. Start mashing and mixing the cake crumbs with the frosting until it because a homogeneous mixture.

Now the fun part, grab a cooking sheet, and make sure it fits in your freezer before you begin. Also make sure you have space for it in you freezer. You'll be happy you did. Put wax paper and/or tinfoil on the bottom of the cookie sheet to make clean up (in that aspect) a breeze.

Grab your bowl of heaven and the cookie sheet and roll out a ball of cake mixture and place on the sheet. If you would like to make a cupcake lollipop they should be larger but if you would like make bon-bon type things that fit in cute mini cupcake holders then feel free to adjust. We usually make them an inch large.
Now take the pan full of balls and cover with tin-foil. You can either place in the fridge overnight or freezer for 15 minutes. I opt for the freezer, I don't have much patience.


While those are in the freezer, get out the wax paper roll, toothpicks, melting chocolates, and anything you want to decorate with. (ie: sprinkles, non-perils, oreo crumbs, cookie crunchies, etc.)

***Just as a note, this 9 x 9 cake (with a corner half-eaten) made 31 cake balls. A full size cake pan will make about 50 cake careful.***

15 minutes later when the cake balls are cold and firm take a few (4-5) out on a paper plate.
Warning: This part is extremely messy. Do not read further if you have mess issues. But for those who want to experience heaven, please continue.

Place the wax paper across you kitchen table and have toothpicks ready.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute intervals, stirring in-between.

Take one cake ball and place into the bowl with a fork, coat the ball in chocolate and pick up with the ball on top of the fork (not dug in like a meatball). I just use these handy tongs, quite helpful.
But you can use a toothpick to remove the ball from the fork onto the wax paper.

Cover with any toppings immediately, otherwise the chocolate will dry, and continue with other balls.
Also feel free to spice it up, make cupcake shapes like Bakerella is famous for (my mom made these) Or just stick a circle on a lollipop stick for easier dipping and a more kid friendly approach.

Now to grasp an idea of how these could get messy take a look...
And that was probably the second round of wax paper.

***Tip: when the ball is fully dry pick up gently, the bottom may have some cake exposed so you can redip it into the melted chocolate and place on the wax paper again.

Hope this helped and encouraged you to go make these...despite the mess.

With love and cupcakes,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Life Changing Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe!!

I don't care if you have your great-great-great grandmothers recipe for the cream cheese frosting she made with her home churned butter. You have to go downstairs pull out some basic ingredients and make this. Now.
So without further ado the ingredients:

Confectioners Sugar, Butter, Cream Cheese and Vanilla (treat yourself to the 10 dollar bottle of vanilla from will help change your life)

Cream 8 oz. of cream cheese and 5 Tbsp of butter for a minute or two. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Then sift two cups of powdered sugar. I hate sifting. I think that my kitchen Aid will do all the work for me. But every time I sift the powder sugar because if this recipe came out wrong just once I might cry. So do yourself a favor and sift the powder sugar for my sake.

Add the sugar to the bowl and start at a slow speed then increase, otherwise you'll end up with powder sugar everywhere and you'll have to re-sift more. (It does not look like a lot because I only made half of the recipe because well I only had half a cake.) But keep whipping until light and fluffy and delicious.

There you have it...the BEST cream cheese frosting ever!
Perfect to add to a blended red velvet box cake to make awesome cake balls
(post and picture for those tomorrow!)

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
1. 8 oz. COLD cream cheese
2. 5 Tbsp softened butter
3. 2 tsp vanilla
4. 2 cups powdered sugar

Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kickin' it Hippie Style....Tye-Dye Cupcakes

Colorful cupcakes can make anyone's day turn from bleh to do-able to great. Since Monday's are notorious stinky days (and I had to work 2 shifts, one being from 8am-12am) Colorful Cupcakes were definentally needed to make the day better, even at that ridiculously early hour. And in case you were wondering what I did, I'm a lifeguard, and its a fun job, except at 8 in the morning.

But, ever since I ate a rainbow cupcake from Baked By Melissa, which was way back when in May, I have wanted to make my own. I noticed many of the blogs have been posting about these colorful creations and I took the recipe from Baking Bites.

Now to begin,
First, in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Then in my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl I added the wet ingredients, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract.

We don't keep buttermilk in the house but for baking we do use this:
What you do is add 2 tablespoons of the powder with the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of water to the wet ingredients (this yields for 1/2 cup of buttermilk)

But back to the cupcakes...Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined (not to long...we don't want the flour to get all gluten-y)

Now the fun part, divide the batter into 5 cups or bowls or your choice.Baking Bites says to add about 1/2 a teaspoon of color to each cup but I did not feel the need to measure out so I just went with it...I had all the Wilton colors but I used regular food dye (the ones in the squeeze bottles, on the left) for the yellow, green and blue.

I accidentally added blue to two of the cups (oh no!) so being all crafty I took a knife full of the Wilton "no taste" red and added it to one of the blues to create a purple, which unfortunately was not as bright as I originally planned. I also just made a cup of red for the top layer.
These were my color, red, blue, yellow and the purple.
Assembling the a spoonful of the purple batter into a greased cupcake pan
I did not want to use cupcake wrappers so I used this new pan from William-Sonoma, The bottoms just pop right out!
Continue with the rest of the colors (blue, green, yellow then red...if you want your cupcakes to be in rainbow order, but feel free to mix it up and get creative!) But bake right away so the colors don't sink too much.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (on until puffy and toothpick comes out clean) and they look like this (minus the mess on the side...I tried to fill the cupcake holders quickly)
For the frosting I made Paula Deen's 7-Minute Frosting (recipe below) and cut it in half. To pipe on cupcakes I placed it into a plastic bag and cut the tip off. I did not want to go and get out a tip, a coupler and disposable bag, too much to wash and I was getting tired.
Now just look at those beauties.
And at this slice (or bite) of heaven. The colors make it so fun to bite into and give each one its own individuality.

Now this picture was just too fun to leave out. The concentric circles of colors made me so happy to see, I just thought it was just retro when biting into it like a normal person, but since I eat my cupcakes...differently we'll say, I was able to see this beauty.

Verdict: The guys at work loved them but next time I would probably use a different cake recipe. Don't get me wrong, this one was good, but not good enough to continue making. Also I would make them in a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and with brighter colors. I like vibrant colors.

Rainbow Cupcakes (from baking bites)
* 1 cup all purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* red, yellow, green and blue food colorings

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 10 cups from a 12 cup muffin tin (or line with paper cups).
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour in dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly into 5 small bowls; each should have a little more than 1/3 cup batter (approx 6 tbsp or so for each).
Add about 1/2 tsp food coloring to each bowl to make red, orange, yellow, green and blue batters. Stir well, so no streaks of plain batter remain. Add additional food coloring if necessary.
Starting with the blue batter, add a small spoonful to each of the 10 grease muffin cups (just over 1/2 tbsp in each). Repeat with all remaining colors, working from green to yellow to orange to red, adding each subsequent spoonful on top of the previous color. Do not attempt to spread the layers of color out (as it can cause layers to combined), but allow them to spread on their own.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.
Makes 10

Paula's Seven Minute Frosting (from or Paula Deen's Cookbook)
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 egg whites
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

And just one more picture because cupcakes are just so photographic.

with love and cupcakes,


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